The buyer–supplier relationship is the nexus of the economic partnership of many commercial transactions and is founded upon the reciprocal trust of the two parties that participate in this economic exchange. In this article, we identify how six ethical elements play a key role in framing the buyer–supplier relationship, incorporating a model articulated by Hosmer (The ethics of management, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2008 ). We explain how trust is a behavior, the relinquishing of personal control in the expectant hope that (...) the other party will honor the duties of a psychological contract. Presenting information about six factors of organizational trustworthiness, we offer insights about the relationship between ethics and trust in the buyer–supplier relationship. (shrink)
Are there moral rights to do moral wrong? A right to do wrong is a right that others not interfere with the right-holder’s wrongdoing. It is a right against enforcement of duty, that is a right that others not interfere with one’s violation of one’s own obligations. The strongest reason for moral rights to do moral wrong is grounded in the value of personal autonomy. Having a measure of protected choice (that is a right) to do wrong is a condition (...) for an autonomous life and for autonomous moral self-constitution. This view has its critics. Responding to these objections reveals that none refute the coherence of the concept of a ‘moral right to do moral wrong’. At most, some objections successfully challenge the weight and frequency of the personal autonomy reasons for such rights. Autonomy-based moral rights to do moral wrong are therefore conceptually possible as well as, at least on occasion, actual. (shrink)
Ryle’s distinction between knowing that and knowing how has recently been challenged. The paper first briefly defends the distinction and then proceeds to address the question of classifying moral knowledge. Moral knowledge is special in that it is practical, that is, it is essentially a motive. Hence the way we understand moral knowledge crucially depends on the way we understand motivation. The Humean theory of motivation is wrong in saying that reason cannot be a motive, but right in saying that (...) desire is essential for motivating us. The right response to the Humean theory of motivation is to see that moral knowledge is desire-related rationality or thought-related desire. Moral knowledge is neither knowing that nor knowing how but rather a third species of knowledge which we may call “knowing to do.” Knowing to do is to be rationally disposed to do the right thing. This understanding of moral knowledge is exactly what we can learn from Aristotle’s ethics. (shrink)
It has been argued that voluntary euthanasia (VE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) are morally wrong. Yet, a gravely suffering patient might insist that he has a moral right to the procedures even if they were morally wrong. There are also philosophers who maintain that an agent can have a moral right to do something that is morally wrong. In this article, I assess the view that a suffering patient can have a moral right to VE and PAS despite the moral (...) wrongness of the procedures in light of the main argument for a moral right to do wrong found in recent philosophical literature. I maintain that the argument does not provide adequate support for such a right to VE and PAS. (shrink)
DISSERTAÇÃO DE MESTRADO MATTOS, Solange Missagia. Imaginário religioso: o simbolismo do herói à luz de Joseph Campbell e Carl Gustav Jung. 2011. 115 folhas. Dissertação (Mestrado) – Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Religião, Belo Horizonte.
O texto discute o pensamento ambiental contemporâneo na perspectiva filosófica e política. Tal pensamento tornou-se um quadro hermenêutico de referência para a compreensão e a interpretação de vários campos de conhecimento, do ponto de vista do ser, do conhecer e da ação política do ser no mundo atual, o que justifica o realce à relação entre Filosofia e Política. O pressuposto geral que orienta a discussão é que a atual configuração epistêmica do pensamento ecológico é tributária de um ideário filosófico (...) e político gestado pelos movimentos que defendiam a transformação do pensamento social, da ordem cultural e do sistema político das sociedades avançadas do contexto político resultante do após II Guerra Mmundial. O foco específico da discussão são as ideias filosóficas de Mmax Weber e Jürgen Habermas, com ênfase para os conceitos de racionalização, ação estratégica/ação comunicativa, respectivamente. As ideias desses autores convergem para explicar o pensamento ambiental como portador de uma racionalidade cultural estrategicamente orientada para a ação política, mas comunicativamente vinculada ao mundo da vida. (shrink)
Na querela entre os membros da Escola Histórica do Direito (Hugo e Savigny) e Hegel acerca de quem tem o título legítimo para pensar o direito, para os primeiros a Filosofia do Direito é uma inerência à própria ciência sistemática do direito, enquanto para o segundo o conceito de direito passa inevitavelmente por uma dialética transsistemática (o sistema jurídico opera como infrassistema de filosofia). Existiria assim como que uma distinção entre a “Filosofia do Direito dos juristas” e a “Filosofia do (...) Direito dos filósofos”, coexistindo sem interação. A partir desta querela, será demonstrado que uma releitura de ambos os lados da barricada levará à anulação da possibilidade de uma tal bifurcação da Filosofia do Direito entre juristas e filósofos. A “filosofia do direito dos juristas” não existe precisamente porque a normatividade e a aplicação constitutiva são apenas um dos momentos da natureza do direito: ser jurista é formar-se em e produzir-se em direito continuamente nas várias etapas da natureza do direito. A atitude do direito neste sentido amplo é uma de inclusão: autonomia disciplinar aqui decorre na imanência interdisciplinar do direito. (shrink)
Os usos do passado e da tradição em uma sociedade pós-tradicional, na perspectiva de Zygmunt Bauman, é resultado dos desdobramentos da modernidade em sua produção da ambivalência. O objetivo do presente artigo é rastrear esse pensamento na obra de Bauman a partir da suturação do conceito de tradição com a obra mais ampla do filósofo. Buscaremos, então, pontos de contato com outros autores que também trabalharam esta temática – notadamente, Hannah Arendt – a partir da ótica de que a modernidade (...) é marcada pela dependência de um passado ressignificado. (shrink)
O presente estudo tem por objetivo contribuir para o projeto de reatualização da Filosofia do Direito hegeliana inaugurado por Axel Honneth, mas de um modo indireto: meu interesse aqui não é investigar tópicos específicos da Filosofia do Direito, nem mesmo examinar a teoria do reconhecimento como proposta por Honneth, mas iniciar uma caminhada no sentido de tornar explícitos os pressupostos ontológicos carregados por tal projeto de reatualização.
O presenta artigo se constitui em um estudo interpretativo a respeito dos efeitos da inserção maciça de tecnologias conectadas à rede mundial de computadores, em nossa cultura. Celebradas a ponto de se alastrarem como objeto de desejo por toda a parte, essas tecnologias, sobretudo as mídias móveis, têm se tornado ubíquas e não há um único segmento da sociedade que não tenha sido tocado por essa inserção. A educação formal em nosso país, por meio de políticas públicas como o Programa (...) Nacional de Tecnologia Educacional – Proinfo, procurou introduzir nas escolas da rede recursos para agregar qualidade ao nosso ensino básico, sabidamente precário. Entretanto a iniciativa se depara com resistências de toda a sorte, tanto por parte de gestores quanto de professores. Esse artigo pondera sobre essas resistências procurando ultrapassas questões, tais como falta de capacitação dos gestores, incidência de problemas técnicos ou mera falta interesse nas tecnologias. Busca pistas dessa oposição silenciosa a partir das alterações promovidas pela “virtualidade” na relação simbólica do sujeito com o meio, incidindo na esfera de sua identidade. (shrink)
Kant explicitou, talvez com maior clareza que qualquer outro filósofo antes do que ele, a essência do conflito que implica a relação da causalidade natural e a causalidade livre. Hegel assevera que com o dualismo fenômeno-coisa em si Kant deixa intacta como tal a incompatibilidade entre as noções de causalidade natural e causalidade livre, já que, conserva sua contraposição mesma para simplesmente localizá-la na estrutura do sujeito. Hegel aspira precisamente a fechar o ciclo da metafísica dualista que definiu a filosofia (...) dos seus começos e, com isso, a dar solução definitiva às dificuldades que lhe são inerentes; para esse fim exige o abandono do paradigma que a constituiu como tal e propõe no seu lugar uma autêntica revolução no campo da ontologia e a teoria do conhecimento. Neste contexto geral, Hegel oferece uma solução inovadora ao problema da incompatibilidade entre causalidade natural e causalidade livre, entre determinismo e liberdade. (shrink)
J.W. Goethe concluded in 1795 his novel Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. Twelve years later, Hegel would publish his Phenomenology of Spirit. His “science of the experience of consciousness” and this new kind of novel appeared in historical conditions leading both literature and philosophy to pay attention to culture and to cultivation of identity by the hero himself. Goethe and Hegel converge in two masterpieces, close to each other in many aspects. This paper aims to present Hegel’s Phenomenology as an example of (...) a stylized apprenticeship novel. Lukács would point out in Goethe’s novel “the problem of the relation between poet and bourgeois world”, in which a romantic Werther had collapsed, for there is a pedagogical significance for socialists in this narrative. Although in our age philosophies of history are suspicious, such “coming-of-age novels” still survive as an appropriate gender in the writings of, e. g., Günter Grass and J. M. Coetzee. (shrink)
This text examines the distinction and relation between legal philosophy and legal theory in the book Law and Democracy by Jürgen Habermas. To that end, I seek at first to reflect on the concepts of law sociology and philosophy of justice from the dialogue that opposes Habermas to Dworkin and Rawls, on the philosophical basis of equality and distribution. Subsequently, we analyse the arguments about the social integrative function of law that Habermas develops from the works of Parsons and Weber, (...) in order to see what Habermas meant by integrative function of law as well as the contribution of that category for a reconstructive theory of the society. The conclusion points to the link between his philosophy of right to a sociological theory, when, through the concept of communicative reason, he eschews metaphysical discussions of the absolute and seeks to develop a concept of society capable of resisting the dimensions of the life world and system. (shrink)
O tema central do artigo que se segue diz respeito a uma abordagem que Heinrich Heine faz quanto à religião e seu encontro com a filosofia, em específico o tratado no Livro II da obra Contribuições à História da Religião e Filosofia na Alemanha publicada em 1835. Nesse sentido, será explicitada em um primeiro momento uma espécie de fideísmo heiniano que serve como instrumento para a motivação de sua tese da realização do declínio religioso quando aliado à filosofia. O método (...) empregado pelo poeta utiliza-se da análise de elementos sócio-históricos observando a conjuntura de diversos momentos, dentre eles a revolução filosófica como resultado do protestantismo luterano. Por fim, como pretende-se demonstrar, a religião desfrutada na Alemanha contemporânea de Heine, qual seja o cristianismo, tem uma destituição de seu caráter teísta, fazendo com que a religião se transforme em um puro deísmo. (shrink)
Este artigo tem como objetivo analisar o conceito de Vontade a partir do estudo detalhado do livro II de O mundo como vontade e representação , no qual Schopenhauer explicita sua Metafísica da Natureza. Para este fim, nós analisaremos a relação entre Vontade e Representação como dois lados constitutivos e inseparáveis do mundo, bem como a ideia de finalismo da Vontade.
o presente artigo pretende discutir a proposta de se trabalhar o cinema como componente do ensino de filosofia, a partir das idéias de Gilles Deleuze acerca da arte cinematográfica e de desdobramentos de sua filosofia direcionados a questões pedagógicas.
The present paper has the purpose of making a critical approach of the so called “independence thesis” (Unabhängigkeitsthese) between Law and Ethics based on the Kantian text about equity in his Doctrine of Law. To this critical approach, a weakening of the “independence thesis” is demonstrated according to some endogenous concepts of the Kant work, which we believe deals with an oblique opening of the Kantian’s law to ethics. To demonstrate this, we follow a methodological analytic way divided in three (...) moments: (i) an analysis of the concept of law in Kant; (ii) an explanatory approach of the “independence thesis”; and (iii) a critical approach of the “independence thesis”. (shrink)
O objetivo do artigo é apontar alguns horizontes interpretativos do Crepúsculo dos Ídolos, especialmente seu estatuto filológico em relação ao projeto literário da Vontade de Poder e seu status filosófico no conjunto dos textos de 1888. Dentre outras, a hipótese central que guiará nossa interpretação é a ‘heurística da necessidade’, a pergunta pelos anseios e necessidades que causaram uma determinada produção e, além disso, percorre todo o livro. Por fim, trata-se também de apontar em que medida Nietzsche opera um distanciamento (...) semântico em relação a conceitos previamente elaborados, como p.ex., o ‘gênio’. Essas hipóteses auxiliam a preencher uma lacuna na pesquisa-Nietzsche, de um texto que até agora não recebeu no Brasil sua real significação. (shrink)
Intuitions play an important role in contemporary epistemology. Over the last decade, however, experimental philosophers have published a number of studies suggesting that epistemic intuitions may vary in ways that challenge the widespread reliance on intuitions in epistemology. In a recent paper, Jennifer Nagel offers a pair of arguments aimed at showing that epistemic intuitions do not, in fact, vary in problematic ways. One of these arguments relies on a number of claims defended by appeal to the psychological literature on (...) intuitive judgment and on mental state attribution (also known as “theory of mind”, “mindreading” and “folk psychology”). I call this the "theoretical argument". The other argument relies on recent experimental work carried out by Nagel and her collaborators. It is my contention that in setting out her theoretical argument, Nagel offers an account of the relevant scientific literature that is, in crucial respects, flawed and misleading. My main goal in this paper is to rectify these errors and to make it clear that, once this is done, Nagel’s theoretical argument collapses. Since Nagel’s experimental work has not yet been published, and available details are very sketchy, I do not discuss this work in detail. However, in the final section of the paper I offer some critical observations about Nagel’s strategy for dealing with empirical data that does not support her view – both other people’s and her own. (shrink)
Imagine a philosophy conference in Presocratic Greece. The hot question is: what are things made of? Followers of Thales say that everything is made of water, followers of Anaximenes that everything is made of air, and followers of Heraclitus that everything is made of fire. Nobody is quite clear what these claims mean, and some question whether the founders of the respective schools ever made them. But amongst the groupies there is a buzz about all the recent exciting progress. The (...) mockers and doubters make plenty of noise too. They point out that no resolution of the dispute between the schools is in sight. They diagnose Thales, Anaximenes and Heraclitus as suffering from a tendency to overgeneralize. We can intelligibly ask what bread is made of, or what houses are made of, but to ask what things in general are made of is senseless, some suggest, because the question is posed without any conception of how to verify an answer; language has gone on holiday. Paleo-pragmatists invite everyone to relax, forget their futile pseudo-inquiries and do something useful instead. (shrink)
Robert Nozick’s experience machine thought experiment is often considered a decisive refutation of hedonism. I argue that the conclusions we draw from Nozick’s thought experiment ought to be informed by considerations concerning the operation of our intuitions about value. First, I argue that, in order to show that practical hedonistic reasons are not causing our negative reaction to the experience machine, we must not merely stipulate their irrelevance (since our intuitions are not always responsive to stipulation) but fill in the (...) concrete details that would make them irrelevant. If we do this, we may see our feelings about the experience machine becoming less negative. Second, I argue that, even if our feelings about the experience machine do not perfectly track hedonistic reasons, there are various reasons to doubt the reliability of our anti-hedonistic intuitions. And finally, I argue that, since in the actual world seeing certain things besides pleasure as ends in themselves may best serve hedonistic ends, hedonism may justify our taking these other things to be intrinsically valuable, thus again making the existence of our seemingly anti-hedonistic intuitions far from straightforward evidence for the falsity of hedonism. (shrink)
Do animals other than humans feel pain? How do we know? Well, how do we know if anyone, human or nonhuman, feels pain? We know that we ourselves can feel pain. We know this from the direct experience of pain that we have when, for instance, somebody presses a lighted cigarette against the back of our hand. But how do we know that anyone else feels pain? We cannot directly experience anyone else's pain, whether that "anyone" is our best friend (...) or a stray dog. Pain is a state of consciousness, a "mental event", and as such it can never be observed. Behavior like writhing, screaming, or drawing one's hand away from the lighted cigarette is not pain itself; nor are the recordings a neurologist might make of activity within the brain observations of pain itself. Pain is something that we feel, and we can only infer that others are feeling it from various external indications. (shrink)
According to some recent arguments, (Joyce in The evolution of morality, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2006; Ruse and Wilson in Conceptual issues in evolutionary biology, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1995; Street in Philos Studies 127: 109–166, 2006) if our moral beliefs are products of natural selection, then we do not have moral knowledge. In defense of this inference, its proponents argue that natural selection is a process that fails to track moral facts. In this paper, I argue that our having moral knowledge (...) is consistent with, (a) the hypothesis that our moral beliefs are products of natural selection, and (b) the claim (or a certain interpretation of the claim) that natural selection fails to track moral facts. I also argue that natural selection is a process that could track moral facts, albeit imperfectly. I do not argue that we do have moral knowledge. I argue instead that Darwinian considerations provide us with no reason to doubt that we do, and with some reasons to suppose that we might. (shrink)
In his classic paper, The Principle of Alternate Possibilities, Harry Frankfurt presented counterexamples to the principle named in his title: A person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. He went on to argue that the falsity of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) implied that the debate between the compatibilists and the incompatibilists (as regards determinism and the ability to do otherwise) did not have the significance that both parties had attributed (...) to it -- since moral responsibility could exist even if no one was able to do otherwise. I have argued that even if PAP is false, there are other principles that imply that moral responsibility entails the ability to do otherwise, and that these principles are immune to Frankfurt-style counterexamples. Frankfurt has attempted to show that my arguments for this conclusion fail. This paper is a rejoinder to that reply; I argue that he has failed to show this. (shrink)
Do spatial features appear the same whether they are perceived through vision or touch? This question is at stake in the puzzle that William Molyneux posed to John Locke, concerning whether a man born blind whose sight was restored would be able immediately to identify the shapes of the things he saw. A recent study purports to answer the question negatively, but I argue here that the subjects of the study likely could not see well enough for the result to (...) have been meaningful. I then propose a way to improve the study, by including cues from object motion. (shrink)
Knowledge of one's own states of mind is one of the varieties of self-knowledge. Do any nonhuman animals have the capacity for this variety of self-knowledge? The question is open to empirical inquiry, which is most often conducted with primate subjects. Research with a bottlenose dolphin gives some evidence for the capacity in a nonprimate taxon. I describe the research and evaluate the metacognitive interpretation of the dolphin's behaviour. The research exhibits some of the difficulties attached to the task of (...) eliciting behaviour that both attracts a higher-order interpretation while also resisting deflationary, lower-order interpretations. Lloyd Morgan's Canon, which prohibits inflationary interpretations of animal behaviour, has influenced many animal psychologists. There is one defensible version of the Canon, the version that warns specifically against unnecessary intentional ascent. The Canon on this interpretation seems at first to tell against a metacognitive interpretation of the data collected in the dolphin study. However, the model of metacognition that is in play in the dolphin studies is a functional model, one that does not implicate intentional ascent. I explore some interpretations of the dolphin's behaviour as metacognitive, in this sense. While this species of metacognitive interpretation breaks the connection with the more familiar theory of mind research using animal subjects, the interpretation also points in an interesting way towards issues concerning consciousness in dolphins. (shrink)
According to intellectualism, what a person knows is solely a function of the evidential features of the person's situation. Anti-intellectualism is the view that what a person knows is more than simply a function of the evidential features of the person's situation. Jason Stanley (2005) argues that, in addition to “traditional factors,” our ordinary practice of knowledge ascription is sensitive to the practical facts of a subject's situation. In this paper, we investigate this question empirically. Our results indicate that Stanley's (...) assumptions about knowledge ascriptions do not reflect our ordinary practices in some paradigmatic cases. If our data generalize, then arguments for anti-intellectualism that rely on ordinary knowledge ascriptions fail: the case for anti-intellectualism cannot depend on our ordinary practices of knowledge ascription. (shrink)
In Herbert Roitblat, ed., _Comparative Approaches to Cognitive Sciences_ , MIT Press, 1995. Daniel C. Dennett <blockquote> Do Animals Have Beliefs? </blockquote> According to one more or less standard mythology, behaviorism, the ideology and methodology that reigned in experimental psychology for most of the century, has been overthrown by a new ideology and methodology: cognitivism. Behaviorists, one is told, didn't take the mind seriously. They ignored--or even denied the existence of--mental states such as beliefs and desires, and mental processes such (...) as imagination and reasoning; behaviorists concentrated exclusively on external, publicly observable behavior, and the (external, publicly observable) conditions under which such behavior was elicited. Cognitivists, in contrast, take the mind seriously, and develop theories, models, explanations, that invoke, as real items, these internal, mental, goings-on. People (and at least some other animals) have minds after all--they are rational agents. (shrink)
It has become standard for feminist philosophers of language to analyze Catherine MacKinnon's claim in terms of speech act theory. Backed by the Austinian observation that speech can do things and the legal claim that pornography is speech, the claim is that the speech acts performed by means of pornography silence women. This turns upon the notion of illocutionary silencing, or disablement. In this paper I observe that the focus by feminist philosophers of language on the failure to achieve uptake (...) for illocutionary acts serves to group together different kinds of illocutionary silencing which function in very different ways. (shrink)
1. The philosophical problem of what we see My topic revolves around what is apparently a very basic question. Stripped of all additions and in its leanest, most economical form, this is the question: "What do we see?" But in this most basic form the question admits of at least three different interpretations. In the first place, one might understand it to be an epistemological question, perhaps one with skeptical overtones. "What do we see?", on this reading, is short for (...) something like "What things in the world are we justified in believing we see, given the possibility of evil demon scenarios and all the other impedimenta to genuine sight that have become the working tools of epistemologists over the last 350 years?" I shall not be concerned with the question in this skeptical sense. I intend the parenthetical addition to the question, "What do we see (when we do)?", along with the bald-faced assumption that the condition so specified at least sometimes obtains, to rule out discussion along these sorts of epistemological lines, at least for the purposes of this paper. Whether or not this condition in fact obtains, of course, will not effect the position I’m defending. (shrink)
In this essay, I discuss a few ways in which songs are used, ways in which listeners engage with and find meaning in music. I am most interested in sad songs—those that typically feature narratives about lost love, separation, missed opportunity, regret, hardship, and all manner of heartache. Many of us are drawn to sad songs in moments of emotional distress. The problem is that sad songs do not always make us feel better; to the contrary, they often make us (...) feel worse. So, why do we listen to sad songs? I argue that we seek out sad songs, partly, to intensify distress, which helps us reflect on situations of profound personal significance. (shrink)
The paper outlines and explores a possible strategy for defending both the action/omission distinction (AOD) and the principle of double effect (PDE). The strategy is to argue that there are degrees of actionhood, and that we are in general less responsible for what has a lower degree of actionhood, because of that lower degree. Moreover, what we omit generally has a lower degree of actionhood than what we actively do, and what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions generally has a lower (...) degree of actionhood than what we do under known-and-intended descriptions. Therefore, we are in general less responsible for what we omit than for what we do—which is just what AOD says. And we are in general less responsible for what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions than for what we do under known-and-intended descriptions—which is just what PDE says. (shrink)
Our beliefs about which actions we ought to perform clearly have an effect on what we do. But so-called “Humean” theories—holding that all motivation has its source in desire—insist on connecting such beliefs with an antecedent motive. Rationalists, on the other hand, allow normative beliefs a more independent role. I argue in favor of the rationalist view in two stages. First, I show that the Humean theory rules out some of the ways we ordinarily explain actions. This shifts the burden (...) of proof onto Humeans to motivate their more restrictive, revisionary account. Second, I show that they are unlikely to discharge this burden because the key arguments in favor of the Humean theory fail. I focus on some of the most potent and most recent lines of argument, which appeal to either parsimony, the teleological nature of motivation, or the structure of practical reasoning. (shrink)
Time is a fundamental dimension of consciousness. Many studies of the “sense of agency” have investigated whether we attribute actions to ourselves based on a conscious experience of intention occurring prior to action, or based on a reconstruction after the action itself has occurred. Here, we ask the same question about a lower level aspect of action experience, namely awareness of the detailed spatial form of a simple movement. Subjects reached for a target, which unpredictably jumped to the side on (...) some trials. Participants (1) expressed their expectancy of a target shift during the upcoming movement, (2) pointed at the target as quickly and accurately as possible before returning to the start posiment to the target shift if required and (3) reproduced the spatial path of the movement they had just made, as accurately as possible, to give an indication of their awareness of the pointing movement. We analysed the spatial disparity between the initial and the reproduced movements on those with a target shift. A negative disparity value, or undershoot, suggests that motor awareness merely reflects a sluggish record of coordinated motor performance, while a positive value, or overshoot, suggests that participants’ intention to point to the shifting target contributes more to their awareness of action than their actual pointing movement. Undershoot and overshoot thus measure the reconstructive (motoric) and the preconstuctive (intentional) aspects of action awareness, respectively. We found that trials on which subjects strongly expected a target shift showed greater overshoot and less undershoot than trials with lower expectancy. Conscious expectancy therefore strongly influences the experience of the detailed motor parameters of our actions. Further, a delay inserted either between the expectancy judgement and the pointing movement, or between the pointing movement and the reproduction of the movement, had no effect on visuomotor adjustment but strongly influenced action awareness. Delays during either interval boosted undershoots, suggesting increased reliance on a time-limited sensory memory for action. The experience of action is thus strongly influenced by prior thoughts and expectations, but only over a short time period. Thus, awareness of our actions is a dynamic and relatively flexible mixture of what we intend to do, and what our motor system actually does. (shrink)
Abstract Jonathan Weisberg (Analysis, 70(3), pp. 431–438, 2010 ) argues that, given that life exists, the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life does not confirm the design hypothesis. And if the fact that life exists confirms the design hypothesis, fine-tuning is irrelevant. So either way, fine-tuning has nothing to do with it. I will defend a design argument that survives Weisberg’s critique—the fact that life exists supports the design hypothesis, but it only does so given fine-tuning. Content Type (...) Journal Article Category Original Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9322-y Authors Darren Bradley, Philosophy Department, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031, USA Journal Erkenntnis Online ISSN 1572-8420 Print ISSN 0165-0106. (shrink)
How do questions concerning consciousness and phenomenal experience relate to, or interface with, questions concerning plans, knowledge and intentions? At least in the case of visual experience the relation, we shall argue, is tight. Visual perceptual experience, we shall argue, is fixed by an agent’s direct unmediated knowledge concerning her poise (or apparent poise) over a currently enabled action space. An action space, in this specific sense, is to be understood not as a fine-grained matrix of possibilities for bodily movement, (...) but as a matrix of possibilities for pursuing and accomplishing one’s intentional actions, goals and projects. If this is correct, the links between planning, intention and perceptual experience are tight, while (contrary to some recent accounts invoking the notion of ‘sensorimotor expectations’) the links between embodied activity and perceptual experience, though real, are indirect. What matters is not bodily activity itself, but our practical knowledge (which need not be verbalized or in any way explicit) of our own possibilities for action. Such knowledge, selected, shaped and filtered by the grid of plans, goals, and intentions, plays, we argue, a constitutive role in explaining the content and character of visual perceptual experience. (shrink)
This paper begins with a response to Josh Gert’s challenge that ‘on a par with’ is not a sui generis fourth value relation beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. It then explores two further questions: can parity be modeled by an interval representation of value? And what should one rationally do when faced with items on a par? I argue that an interval representation of value is incompatible with the possibility that items are on a par (a (...) mathematical proof is given in the appendix). I also suggest that there are three senses of ‘rationally permissible’ which, once distinguished, show that parity does distinctive practical work that cannot be done by the usual trichotomy of relations or by incomparability. In this way, we have an additional argument for parity from the workings of practical reason. (shrink)
Do we (sometimes) perceive apples as edible? One could argue that it is just a manner of speaking to say so: we do not really see an object as edible, we see it as having certain shape, size and color and we only infer on the basis of these properties that it is. I argue that we do indeed see objects as edible, and do not just believe that they are. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I point out (...) that Susanna Siegel's influential argument in favor of the claim that we represent sortal properties perceptually does not work. Second, I argue that we can fix this argument if we replace the sortal property in question with the property of being edible, climbable or Q-able in general. (shrink)
Pauline Kleingeld, "What Do the Virtuous Hope For?: Re-reading Kant's Doctrine of the Highest Good." In Proceedings of the Eighth International Kant Congress, Memphis 1995, edited by Hoke Robinson, Vol. I.1, 91-112. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1995.
Both macaque monkeys and humans have been shown to have what are called ‘mirror neurons’, a class of neurons that respond to goal-related motor-actions, both when these actions are performed by the subject and when they are performed by another individual observed by the subject. Gallese and Goldman (1998) contend that mirror neurons may be seen as ‘a part of, or a precursor to, a more general mind- reading ability’, and that of the two competing theories of mind-reading, mirror neurons (...) lend support to simulation theory. I here offer four reasons why I think mirror neurons do not provide support for simulation theory over its contender, theory theory. (shrink)
Kadri Vihvelin, in “What time travelers cannot do” (Philos Stud 81:315–330, 1996 ), argued that “no time traveler can kill the baby who in fact is her younger self”, because (V1) “if someone would fail to do something, no matter how hard or how many times she tried, then she cannot do it”, and (V2) if a time traveler tried to kill her baby self, she would always fail. Theodore Sider (Philos Stud 110:115–138, 2002 ) criticized Vihvelin’s argument, and Ira (...) Kiourti (Philos Stud 139:343–352, 2008 ) criticized both Vihvelin’s argument and Sider’s critique. I present a critique of Vihvelin’s argument different from both Sider’s and Kiourti’s critiques: I argue in a novel way that both V1 and V2 are false. Since Vihvelin’s argument might be understood as providing a challenge to the possibility of time travel, if my critique succeeds then time travel survives such a challenge unscathed. (shrink)
If a guilty offender is justly sentenced to be punished and an innocent volunteer agrees to be punished instead, is that any reason to leave the offender unpunished? In the context of mundane criminal justice, we mostly think not. But in a religious context, some Christians do believe in penal substitution as a theory of the atonement. However, it is not just these Christians, but most of us, who are of two minds. If the punishment is an imprisonment or death, (...) we do not believe in penal substitution. But if it’s a fine, even a big fine, we mostly do. (shrink)
What Numbers Could Not Be’) that an adequate account of the numbers and our arithmetic practice must satisfy not only the conditions usually recognized to be necessary: (a) identify some w-sequence as the numbers, and (b) correctly characterize the cardinality relation that relates a set to a member of that sequence as its cardinal number—it must also satisfy a third condition: the ‘<’ of the sequence must be recursive. This paper argues that adding this further condition was a mistake—any w-sequence (...) would do, no matter how undecidable its ‘<’ relation. (shrink)
It has been widely assumed that we do not perceive dispositional properties. I argue that there are two ways of interpreting this assumption. On the first, extensional, interpretation whether we perceive dispositions depends on a complex set of metaphysical commitments. But if we interpret the claim in the second, intensional, way, then we have no reason to suppose that we do not perceive dispositional properties. The two most important and influential arguments to the contrary fail.
People have always wondered how thinking takes place and what thoughts are constructed from. We typically experience our thoughts as involving pictorial (or sensory) contents or as being in words. Although this idea has been enshrined in psychology as the “dual code” theory of reasoning and memory, serious questions have been raised concerning this view. It appears that whatever the form of our thoughts it is unlikely that it is anything like our experience of them. But if thought is not (...) in pictures or words, what form does it take? If we do not sometimes think in words, then what actually goes on when we think by engaging in an “inner dialogue”? And if we do not sometimes think in pictures, what goes on when we reason by creating and examining “mental images”? (shrink)
This paper surveys and evaluates the answers that philosophers and animal researchers have given to two questions. Do animals have thoughts? If so, are their thoughts conceptual? Along the way, special attention is paid to distinguish debates of substance from mere battles over terminology, and to isolate fruitful areas for future research.
This paper discusses an important puzzle about the semantics of indicative conditionals and deontic necessity modals ( should , ought , etc.): the Miner Puzzle (Parfit, ms; Kolodny and MacFarlane, J Philos 107:115–143, 2010 ). Rejecting modus ponens for the indicative conditional, as others have proposed, seems to solve a version of the puzzle, but is actually orthogonal to the puzzle itself. In fact, I prove that the puzzle arises for a variety of sophisticated analyses of the truth-conditions of indicative (...) conditionals. A comprehensive solution requires rethinking the relationship between relevant information (what we know) and practical rankings of possibilities and actions (what to do). I argue that (i) relevant information determines whether considerations of value may be treated as reasons for actions that realize them and against actions that don’t, (ii) incorporating this normative fact requires a revision of the standard ordering semantics for weak (but not for strong) deontic necessity modals, and (iii) an off-the-shelf semantics for weak deontic necessity modals, due to von Fintel and Iatridou, which distinguishes “basic” and “higher-order” ordering sources, and interprets weak deontic necessity modals relative to both, is well-suited to this task. The prominence of normative considerations in our proposal suggests a more general methodological lesson: formal semantic analysis of natural language modals expressing normative concepts demands that close attention be paid to the nature of the underlying normative phenomena. (shrink)
This article aims to disrupt received views about the significance of J. L. Austin's contribution to philosophy of language. Its focus is Austin's 1955 lectures How To Do Things With Words . Commentators on the lectures in both philosophical and literary-theoretical circles, despite conspicuous differences, tend to agree in attributing to Austin an assumption about the relation between literal meaning and truth, which is in fact his central critical target. The goal of the article is to correct this misunderstanding and (...) to show that Austin is deeply critical of a picture of correspondence between language and the world which nearly half a century after he delivered his lectures continues to structure philosophical discussions of language. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum has expanded the capabilities approach to defend positive duties of justice to individuals who fall below Rawls’ standard for fully cooperating members of society, including sentient nonhuman animals. Building on this, David Schlosberg has defended the extension of capabilities justice not only to individual animals but also to entire species and ecosystems. This is an attractive vision: a happy marriage of social, environmental and ecological justice, which also respects the claims of individual animals. This paper asks whether it (...) is one that the capabilities approach can really deliver. Serious obstacles are highlighted. The potential for conflict between the capability-based entitlements of humans and those of nonhuman animals or ‘nature’ is noted, but it is argued that this does not constitute a decisive objection to the expanded capabilities approach. However, intra-nature conflicts are so widespread as to do so: the situation is outside the circumstances of justice as they are standardly understood. Schlosberg attempts to reconcile such conflicts by re-examining what it means to flourish as a sentient nonhuman animal. This fails, because of the distinction between flourishing as a species, which often requires predation, and flourishing as an individual, which is as frequently incompatible with it. Finally, the paper considers how a capabilities theorist might move beyond such conflicts, identifying two possible strategies (which are not themselves unproblematic) for reconciling the demands of humans, animals and ecosystems. (shrink)
Arguments over whether emotions and moods are feelings have demonstrated confusion over the concept of a feeling and, in particular, what it is that feelings can—and cannot—do. I argue that the causal and explanatory roles we assign emotions and moods in our theories are inconsistent with their being feelings. Sidestepping debates over the natures of emotions and moods I frame my arguments primarily in terms of what it is emotions, moods and feelings do. I provide an analysis that clarifies the (...) role feelings can play in our psychology that is consistent with current psychological and neurological data. (shrink)
There is a familiar argument based on the principle that the past is fixed that, if God foreknows what I will do, I do not have the power to act otherwise. So, there is a problem about reconciling divine omniscience with the power to do otherwise. However the problem posed by the argument does not provide a good reason for adopting the view that God is outside time. In particular, arguments for the fixity of the past, if successful, either establish (...) His timelessness independently of the problem, or mean that the problem could not be solved by adopting the view that He is timeless. (Published Online April 7 2006). (shrink)
Some medical services have long generated deep moral controversy within the medical profession as well as in broader society and have led to conscientious refusals by some physicians to provide those services to their patients. More recently, pharmacists in a number of states have refused on grounds of conscience to fill legal prescriptions for their customers. This paper assesses these controversies. First, I offer a brief account of the basis and limits of the claim to be free to act on (...) one’s conscience. Second, I sketch an account of the basis of the medical and pharmacy professions’ responsibilities and the process by which they are specified and change over time. Third, I then set out and defend what I call the “conventional compromise” as a reasonable accommodation to conflicts between these professions’ responsibilities and the moral integrity of their individual members. Finally, I take up and reject the complicity objection to the conventional compromise. Put together, this provides my answer to the question posed in the title of my paper: “Conscientious refusal by physicians and pharmacists: who is obligated to do what, and why?”. (shrink)
The late Jerry Cohen struggled to reconcile his egalitarian political principles with his personal style of life. His efforts were inconclusive, but instructive. This comment locates the core of Cohen’s discomfort in an abstract principle that connects what we morally ought to be compelled to do and what we have a duty to do anyway. The connection the principle states is more general and much tighter than Cohen and others, e.g. Thomas Nagel, have seen. Our principles of justice always put (...) our personal integrity to the test, unless those principles are designed not to. But to craft principles with an view to avoiding that test is, as Cohen argued, itself to undermine both justice and our integrity. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not excessive, or they argue that those exclusions would be ineffective or lacking in justification. (...) Rather than taking sides, after criticizing both positions I also argue that this way of carrying on the debate – i.e. as a debate about whether the harsh demands of responsibility outweigh other considerations, and about whether exclusions to responsibility-tracking would be effective and/or justified – is deeply problematic. On my account, the demands of responsibility do not – in fact, they can not – conflict with the demands of other normative considerations, because responsibility only provides a formal structure within which those other considerations determine how people may be treated, but it does not generate its own practical demands. (shrink)
Two of the most basic questions regarding self-deception remain unsettled: What do self-deceivers want? What do self-deceivers get? I argue that self-deceivers are motivated by a desire to believe. However, in significant contrast with Alfred Mele’s account of self-deception, I argue that self-deceivers do not satisfy this desire. Instead, the end-state of self-deception is a false higher-order belief. This shows all self-deception to be a failure of self-knowledge.
If we are serious about concepts, we must begin by addressing two questions: What are concepts for, what is their job? And what means are available in an organism for concepts to do their job? One is a question of raison d'.
Frankfurt-style examples (FSEs) cast doubt on the initially plausible claim that an ability to do otherwise is necessary for moral responsibility. Following the lead of Peter van Inwagen and others, I argue that if we are careful in distinguishing events by causal origins, then we see that FSEs fail to show that one may be morally responsible for x, yet have no alternatives to x. I provide reasons for a fine-grained causal origins approach to events apart from the context of (...) moral responsibility, and respond to the objection that moral responsibility depends on abstract entities other than events. In response to John Martin Fischer and others, I argue that the alternatives available in recent FSEs are robust enough for moral responsibility. If one thinks that the ability to do otherwise is a necessary condition for moral responsibility, the FSEs give no reason to relinquish this belief. (shrink)
At least some serial killers are psychopathic serial killers. Psychopathic serial killers raise interesting questions about the nature of evil and moral responsibility. On the one hand, serial killers seem to be obviously evil, if anything is. On the other hand, psychopathy is a diagnosable disorder that, among other things, involves a diminished ability to understand and use basic moral distinctions. This feature of psychopathy suggests that psychopathic serial killers have at least diminished responsibility for what they do. In this (...) chapter I consider whether psychopathic serial killers might be properly said to be both evil and morally responsible for their actions. I argue that psychopathic serial killers are plausibly evil in at least one recognizable sense of the term, but that they are nevertheless not likely to be responsible for many of the evils they perpetuate. (shrink)
There has been tremendous growth in the sales of certified fair trade products since the introduction of the first of these goods in the Netherlands in 1988. Many would argue that this rapid growth has been due in large part to the increasing involvement of corporations. Still, participation by corporations in fair trade has not been welcomed by all. The basic point of contention is that, while corporate participation has the potential to rapidly extend the market for fair trade goods, (...) it threatens key aspects of what many see as the original vision of fair trade – most notably a primary concern for the plight of small producers and the goal of developing an alternative approach to trade and development – and may even be undermining its long-term survival. The primary purpose of this article is to explore the normative issues involved in corporate participation in fair trade. In order to do that, however, it first provides a positive analysis of how corporations are actually involved in fair trade. In order to achieve both of these ends, the article draws upon global value chain analysis. (shrink)
As an affluent person in a world of needy poor, I should probably do more to aid badly off persons around the globe. Many people subscribe to this thought, which prompts guilt and chagrin. However, the thought readily becomes an extremely demanding vise. If I am contemplating using a few dollars of mine to go to a restaurant and a movie, I might reflect that the money would do more good, yield more (...) moral value, if I refrained from the personal expense and gave the money to a relief agency serving the global poor. Transferred to the relief agency, the money would save a life or prevent a severe deterioration in the quality of someone’s life. The vise tightens when I reflect further that if I give the few dollars to a relief agency, essentially the same decision problem recurs. I could contribute another similar increment of resources to a worthy cause and further reduce my expenditures to enhance my own quality of life. And another, and another, and so on. Peter Singer has observed that virtually all of us would agree that if we chance upon a child drowning in a pond we ought to save the child’s life even if the life-saving activity imposes a considerable sacrifice on us. We live in a world in which, in effect, children drowning in ponds or the moral equivalent are ubiquitous, and thanks to the existence of networks of.. (shrink)
This paper investigates the stock market reaction to the announcement that a firm has been included in the UK FTSE4Good index of socially responsible firms. We use the announcement of firm inclusion in the index to estimate the stock market reaction to a firm being classified as socially responsible. This is an important test of whether investors view the undertaking of socially responsible activities by firms as a value increasing or value decreasing initiative by management. We do not find strong (...) evidence in favour of a positive market reaction. However, there is a large cross-sectional variation in the market reaction to this announcement. Investors appear to be reacting to this event and there are a number of firm characteristics that are well-established proxies for CSR that can explain the market reaction. (shrink)
A number of authors have recently weighed in on the issue of whether it is coherent to have bound variables that range over absolutely everything. Prima facie, it is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to coherently state the “relativist” position without violating it. For example, the relativist might say, or try to say, that for any quantifier used in a proposition of English, there is something outside of its range. What is the range of this quantifier? Or suppose we ask the (...) relativist if there are some things that cannot appear in the range of any bound variable. The likely response would be along these lines: “No. For each object o, it possible to include o in the range of quantifiers, but one cannot quantify over everything at once.” This sentence contains unrestricted quantifiers, or so it seems, pending some clever move from a relativist. On the other hand, in the context of set theory, the reasoning behind the Burali-Forti paradox strongly suggests that there are well-orderings strictly longer than the collection of all ordinals. And set theorists regularly do transfinite recursions and transfinite reductions along such well-orderings. The relativist simply points out that one can always define new ordinals, and thus expand the range of one’s bound variables. The purpose of this paper is to explore the iterative framework, proposed in Zermelo’s 1930 paper, “Über Grenzzahlen und Mengenbereiche” (“On boundary numbers and domains of sets”), in order to shed light on these issues, and see what is involved in resolving them. (shrink)
In this paper we will address the problem of the existence of orbitals by analyzing the relationship between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics. In particular, we will consider the concept of orbital in the light of the arguments that deny its referring character. On this basis, we will conclude that the claim that orbitals do not exist relies on a metaphysical reductionism which, if consistently sustained, would lead to consequences clashing with the effective practice of science in its different branches.
Because work looms so large in our lives I believe that most of us don't reflect on its importance and significance. For most of us, work is well – work, something we have to do to maintain our lives and pay the bills. I believe, however, that work is not just a part of our existence that can be easily separated from the rest of our lives. Work is not simply about the trading of labor for dollars. Perhaps because we (...) live in a society that markets and hawks the fruits of our labor and not the labor itself, we have forgotten or never really appreciated the fact that the business of work is not simply to produce goods, but also to help produce people. We need work, and as adults we find identity and are identified by the work we do. If this is true then we must be very careful about what we choose to do for a living, for what we do is what we'll become. (shrink)
Many debates in the philosophy of religion, particularly arguments for and against the existence of God, depend on a claim or set of claims about what God—qua sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being— would do , either directly or indirectly, in particular cases or in general. Accordingly, before these debates can be resolved we must first settle the more fundamental issue of whether we can know, or at least have justified belief about, what God would do. In this paper, (...) I lay out the possible positions on the issue of whether we can know what God would do, positions I refer to as Broad Skeptical Theism, Broad Epistemic Theism, and Narrow Skeptical Theism. I then examine the implications of each of these views and argue that each presents serious problems for theism. (shrink)
This paper praises and criticizes Peter-Paul Verbeek’s What Things Do ( 2006 ). The four things that Verbeek does well are: (1) remind us of the importance of technological things; (2) bring Karl Jaspers into the conversation on technology; (3) explain how technology “co-shapes” experience by reading Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory in light of Don Ihde’s post-phenomenology; (4) develop a material aesthetics of design. The three things that Verbeek does not do well are: (1) analyze the material conditions in which (...) things are produced; (2) criticize the social-political design and use context of things; and (3) appreciate how liberal moral-political theory contributes to our evaluation of technology. (shrink)
How do models give us knowledge? The case of Carnot’s ideal heat engine Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 309-334 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0029-3 Authors Tarja Knuuttila, Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 24, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland Mieke Boon, Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, Postbox 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3.
My aim in this paper is to explore the notion that corporations have moral rights within the context of a constitutive rules model of corporate moral agency. The first part of the paper will briefly introduce the notion of moral rights, identifying the distinctive feature of moral rights, as contrasted with other moral categories, in Vlastos' terms of overridingness. The second part will briefly summarize the constitutive rules approach to the moral agency of corporations (à la French, Smith, Ozar) and (...) pose the question of the paper. The third part will argue that, since the moral agency of corporations is dependent on the choices of those whose acceptence of the relevant rules constitutes the corporation as a moral agent, the rights of corporations are conventional; that is, they exist because they are so created. Thus, as a first answer, corporations do not have moral rights.But this raises a further question which we must explore. Once a corporation has been constituted, by the acceptance of the relevant rules by the relevant persons, does the corporation then have rights which endure? Can those who have constituted a corporation with certain rights morally change or cancel those rights in medias res without doing some sort of moral violence to the corporation? Do corporations at least have a moral right to persist in the conventional rights with which they were constituted? (shrink)
Sagoff [Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (2005), 215–236] argues, against growing empirical evidence, that major environmental impacts of non-native species are unproven. However, many such impacts, including extinctions of both island and continental species, have both been demonstrated and judged by the public to be harmful. Although more public attention has been focused on non-native animals than non-native plants, the latter more often cause ecosystem-wide impacts. Increased regulation of introduction of non-native species is, therefore, warranted, and, contra Sagoff’s (...) assertions, invasion biologists have recently developed methods that greatly aid prediction of which introduced species will harm the environment and thus enable more efficient regulation. The fact that introduced species may increase local biodiversity in certain instances has not been shown to result in desired changes in ecosystem function. In other locales, they decrease biodiversity, as they do globally. (shrink)
From ancient times to the present, the discovery and presentation of new proofs of previously established theorems has been a salient feature of mathematical practice. Why? What purposes are served by such endeavors? And how do mathematicians judge whether two proofs of the same theorem are essentially different? Consideration of such questions illuminates the roles that proofs play in the validation and communication of mathematical knowledge and raises issues that have yet to be resolved by mathematical logicians. The Appendix, in (...) which several proofs of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic are compared, provides a miniature case study. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Alva Noë’s defense of the claim that knowing how to do something requires being able to do it. Noë objects to Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson’s arguments against this claim by charging that their arguments involve a lot of what he calls “GOOP”: good old-fashioned Oxford philosophy. I provide an example in which I claim an individual knows how to do something that he is unable to do. The example is persuasive, I maintain, and (...) especially so against someone who forbids the use of GOOP in this context. (shrink)
Do We Need a Scientific Revolution? (Published in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, vol. 8, no. 3, September 2008) Nicholas Maxwell (Emeritus Reader in Philosophy of Science at University College London) www.nick-maxwell.demon.co.uk Abstract Many see modern science as having serious defects, intellectual, social, moral. Few see this as having anything to do with the philosophy of science. I argue that many diverse ills of modern science are a consequence of the fact that the scientific community has long accepted, (...) and sought to implement, a bad philosophy of science, which I call standard empiricism. This holds that the basic intellectual aim is truth, the basic method being impartial assessment of claims to knowledge with respect to evidence. Standard empiricism is, however, untenable. Furthermore, the attempt to put it into scientific practice has many damaging consequences for science. The scientific community urgently needs to bring about a revolution in both the conception of science, and science itself. It needs to be acknowledged that the actual aims of science make metaphysical, value and political assumptions and are, as a result, deeply problematic. Science needs to try to improve its aims and methods as it proceeds. Standard empiricism needs to be rejected, and the more rigorous philosophy of science of aim-oriented empiricism needs to be adopted and explicitly implemented in scientific practice instead. The outcome would be the emergence of a new kind of science, of greater value in both intellectual and humanitarian terms. (shrink)
Recent and puzzling experimental results suggest that people’s judgments as to whether or not an action was performed intentionally are sensitive to moral considerations. In this paper, we outline these results and evaluate two accounts which purport to explain them. We then describe a recent experiment that allegedly vindicates one of these accounts and present our own findings to show that it fails to do so. Finally, we present additional data suggesting no such vindication could be in the offing and (...) that, in fact, both accounts fail to explain the initial, puzzling results they were purported to explain. (shrink)
Accelerating Turing machines have attracted much attention in the last decade or so. They have been described as the work-horse of hypercomputation (Potgieter and Rosinger 2010: 853). But do they really compute beyond the Turing limit —e.g., compute the halting function? We argue that the answer depends on what you mean by an accelerating Turing machine, on what you mean by computation, and even on what you mean by a Turing machine. We show first that in the current literature the (...) term accelerating Turing machine is used to refer to two very different species of accelerating machine, which we call end-stage-in and end-stage-out machines, respectively. We argue that end-stage-in accelerating machines are not Turing machines at all. We then present two differing conceptions of computation, the internal and the external, and introduce the notion of an epistemic embedding of a computation. We argue that no accelerating Turing machine computes the halting function in the internal sense. Finally, we distinguish between two very different conceptions of the Turing machine, the purist conception and the realist conception; and we argue that Turing himself was no subscriber to the purist conception. We conclude that under the realist conception, but not under the purist conception, an accelerating Turing machine is able to compute the halting function in the external sense. We adopt a relatively informal approach throughout, since we take the key issues to be philosophical rather than mathematical. (shrink)
The issue of whether there are laws in biology and the “special science”1 has been of interest owing to the debate about whether scientific explanation requires laws. A well-warn argument goes thus: no laws in social science, no explanations, or at least no scientific explanations, at most explanation-sketches. The conclusion is not just a matter of labeling. If explanations are not scientific they are not epistemically or practically reliable. There are at least three well-known diagnoses of where this argument goes (...) wrong. First, the argument that there are no laws in social science adopts an account of laws that is too stringent, one that not even the physical sciences satisfy (Cartwright 1983, Mitchell 2000). On a less stringent definition, there are plenty of laws in social science (and biology). These laws are, sensu Fodor, “non-strict,” as opposed to the “strict laws” (if any—vide Cartwright 1983) of physics. Second, scientific explanation does not require laws, and when laws do explain, they do so because they satisfy some other requirement on scientific explanation, for example unification, or the identification of causal difference-makers (Friedman 1974, Kitcher 1989, Salmon 1984, Strevens 2009). A third view, increasingly attractive among philosophers of social science and biology is due to James Woodward (2000, 2003). This view, like the second one eschews laws and identifies causes as difference makers. On this view explanations do require regularities, but these regularities need only satisfy a requirement of “invariance” under certain specified circumstances, in order to be explanatory, and.. (shrink)
Moral problems do not always come in the form of great social controversies. More often, the moral decisions we make are made quietly, constantly, and within the context of everyday activities and quotidian dilemmas. Indeed, these smaller decisions are based on a moral foundation that few of us ever stop to think about but which guides our every action. Here distinguished philosopher Bernard Gert presents a clear and concise introduction to what he calls "common morality" -- the moral system that (...) most thoughtful people implicitly use when making everyday, common sense moral decisions and judgments. Common Morality is useful in that -- while not resolving every disagreement on controversial issues -- it is able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable answers to moral problems. In the first part of the book Gert lays out the fundamental features of common morality: moral rules, moral ideals, and a two-step procedure for determining when a violation of a moral rule is justified. Written in a non-technical style, the ten general moral rules include rules on which everyone can agree, such as "do not kill," "do not deceive," and "keep your promises." The moral ideals include similarly uncontroversial precepts such as "Relieve pain" and "Aid the needy." In the second part of the book Gert examines the underlying concepts that justify common morality, such as the notions of rationality and impartiality. The distillation of over 40 years of scholarship, this book is the most accessible version of Gert's influential theory of morality as well as an eye-opening look at the moral foundations of our everyday actions. Throughout the discussion is clear enough for a reader with little or no philosophy background. (shrink)
There is an alleged tension between undue inducement and exploitation in research trials. This paper considers claims that increasing the benefits to research subjects enrolled in international, externally-sponsored clinical trials should be avoided on the grounds that it may result in the undue inducement of research subjects. This article contributes to the debate about exploitation versus undue inducement by introducing an analysis of the available empirical research into research participants' motivations and the influence of payments on research subjects' behaviour and (...) risk assessment. Admittedly, the available research in this field is limited, but the research that has been conducted suggests that financial rewards do not distort research subjects' behaviour or blind them to the risks involved with research. Therefore, I conclude that research sponsors should prioritise the prevention of exploitation in international research by providing greater benefits to research participants. (edited). (shrink)
Possession of any actual physical property depends on the ambient conditions for its bearers, irrespective of one's particular theory of dispositions. If 'self-sufficiency' makes a property intrinsic, then, because of this dependence, things in the actual world cannot have an intrinsic physical resemblance to one another or to things in other possible worlds. Criteria for the self-sufficiency of intrinsic properties based on, or implying indifference to both 'loneliness' and 'accompaniment' entail that no self-sufficient property can require its bearers to be (...) extended in space or time, yet all physical properties of concrete objects do require this. These outcomes undermine the vindication of physicalism claimed by neo-Humeans for their metaphysical project. For physical properties dependent on ambient conditions cannot supervene on intrinsic properties independent of ambient conditions: when ambient conditions change we get a change in the former without a change in the latter. (shrink)
Thought experiments are ordinary argumentation disguised in a vivid pictorial or narrative form. This account of their nature will allow me to show that empiricism has nothing to fear from thought experiments. They perform no epistemic magic. In so far as they tell us about the world, thought experiments draw upon what we already know of it, either explicitly or tacitly; they then transform that knowledge by disguised argumentation. They can do nothing more epistemically than can argumentation. I defend my (...) account of thought experiments in Section 3 by urging that the epistemic reach of thought experiments turns out to coincide with that of argumentation and that this coincidence is best explained by the simple view that thought experiments just are arguments. Thought experiments can err—-a fact to be displayed by the thought experiment - anti thought experiment pairs of Section 2. Nonetheless thought experiments can be used reliably and, I urge in Section 4., this is only possible if they are governed by some very generalized logic. I will suggest on evolutionary considerations that their logics are most likely the familiar logics of induction and deduction, recovering the view that thought experiment is argumentation. Finally in Section 5 I defend this argument based epistemology of thought experiments against competing accounts. I suggest that these other accounts can offer a viable epistemology only insofar as they already incorporate the notion that thought experimentation is governed by a logic, possibly of very generalized form. (shrink)
Recent work in social psychology suggests that people harbor “implicit race biases,” biases which can be unconscious or uncontrollable. Because awareness and control have traditionally been deemed necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility, implicit biases present a unique challenge: do we pardon discrimination based on implicit biases because of its unintentional nature, or do we punish discrimination regardless of how it comes about? The present experiments investigated the impact such theories have upon moral judgments about racial discrimination. The results (...) show that different theories differ in their impact on moral judgments: when implicit biases are defined as unconscious, people hold the biased agent less morally responsible than when these biases are defined as automatic (i.e., difficult to control), or when no theory of implicit bias is provided. (shrink)
The Russellian approach to the semantics of attitude ascriptions faces a problem in explaining the robust speaker intuitions that it does not predict. A familiar response to the problem is to claim that utterances of attitude ascriptions may differ in their Gricean conversational implicatures. I argue that the appeal to Grice is ad hoc. First, we find that speakers do not typically judge an utterance false merely because it implicates something false. The apparent cancellability of the putative implicatures is irrelevant, (...) since cancellability does not indicate conversational implicature. Finally, the appeal assumes, implausibly, that ordinary speakers generally subscribe to a particular philosophical theory about belief. (shrink)
Do conventions need to be common knowledge in order to work? David Lewis builds this requirement into his definition of a convention. This paper explores the extent to which his approach finds support in the game theory literature. The knowledge formalism developed by Robert Aumann and others militates against Lewis’s approach, because it shows that it is almost impossible for something to become common knowledge in a large society. On the other hand, Ariel Rubinstein’s Email Game suggests that coordinated action (...) is no less hard for rational players without a common knowledge requirement. But an unnecessary simplifying assumption in the Email Game turns out to be doing all the work, and the current paper concludes that common knowledge is better excluded from a definition of the conventions that we use to regulate our daily lives. (shrink)
Adam Smith's metaphor of the "invisible hand" and its analogue in classical physics are investigated in detail. Smith's analogue was the mechanics of the solar system. What makes the analogy fail are not the idealisations in the caricature-like model of the rational economic man . The main problem rather is that the metaphor does not employ the correct analogue, which belongs to thermodynamics and statistics. In the simplest macro-economic model, the business cycle has the same formal structure as the heat (...) flow between two heat reservoirs and a business cycle of growing efficiency works like a refrigerator: it pumps money from the poor to the rich. More complicated models do not give a friendlier image. Due to technological push, an economic system behaves like a thermodynamic system far from the equilibrium, showing chaotic behaviour and developing into unpredictable states. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Doing the Things We Do * The Reasons for which We Act * The Objects of Action Explanation * Things That Move Us to Act * Various Explananda, Various Explanantia * Agents and Their Actions * Causation in Action Individuation.
In our dealings with our pets, and larger animals in general, at least most of us see them as conscious beings. We say “the cat feels pain” ascribing sensation. We notice “My cat wants to get in the kitchen because she thinks there is some cheese left” ascribing beliefs and desires. Explanations likes these can be employed on a variety of occasions, and usually we are content with what they say. We seem to understand why our cat is doing what (...) she does. On the other hand the employment of human categories to animals seems to be problematic. Reflecting on the details of human beliefs, for example, casts serious doubt on whether the cat is able to believe anything at all. Clever as they are none of my cats has the concept of kitchen , because a kitchen is – roughly – a functional part of an artificial dwelling (a house). Since cats do not built houses and do not prepare their food, the place the cat is walking into cannot be conceptualized by the cat as kitchen . Even the concept of cheese in its generality (made out of goat or cow milk, or camel milk …) is beyond the cat. So when we say what our cat believes and wishes we use our concept, in fact express a belief that a human being might have in a similar situation. What, then, does the cat have? Does a cat have beliefs? Or at least something like beliefs? (shrink)
This paper addresses the argument from ‘contextualist cases’—such as for instance DeRose’s Bank cases—to attributor contextualism. It is argued that these cases do not make a decisive case against invariantism and that the debate between contextualists and invariantists will have to be settled on broader theoretical grounds.
Race and religion are integral parts of bioethics. Harm and oppression, with the aim of social and political control, have been wrought in the name of religion against Blacks and people of color as embodied in the Ten Commandments, the Inquisition, and in the history of the Holy Crusades. Missionaries came armed with Judeo/Christian beliefs went to nations of people of color who had their own belief systems and forced change and caused untold harms because the indigenous belief systems were (...) incompatible with their own. The indigenous people were denounced as ungodly, pagan, uncivilized, and savage. Hence, laws were enacted because of their perceived need to structure a sense of morality and to create and build a culture for these indigenous people of color. To date bioethics continues to be informed by a Western worldview that is Judeo/Christian in belief and orientation. However, missing from bioethical discourse in America is the historical influence of the Black Church as a cultural repository, which continues to influence the culture of Africans and Blacks. Cultural aspects of peoples of color are still largely ignored today. In attempting to deal with issues of race while steering clear of the religious and cultural impact of the Black Church, bioethics finds itself in the middle of a distressing situation: it simply cannot figure out what to do with race. (shrink)
Here I shall call elements (1)-(3) the quantum state (or the “state”), since they give the quantum state of the universe that obeys the dynamical laws and is written in terms of the kinematic variables, and I shall call elements (4)-(6) the probability rules (or the “rules”), since they specify what it is that has probabilities (here taken to be the results of observations, Oj, or “observations” for short), the rules for extracting these observational probabilities from the quantum state, and (...) the meaning of the probabilities. What I shall write below is largely independent of the meaning of the probabilities, though personally I view them in a rather Everettian way as objective measures for the set of observations with positive probabilities. Usually it is implicitly believed that the observational probabilities depend strongly upon the quantum state. (Sometimes the Everett interpretation  is taken to mean that all of physical reality is determined purely by the quantum state, without the need for any additional rules to extract probabilities, but this extreme view seems untenable  and will not be adopted here. Instead, I shall discuss the opposite view, that the probabilities are independent of the quantum state.) However, some advocates of inflation[5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22] often claim that our observations do not depend upon the quantum state at all, but rather that inflation acts as an attractor to give the same statistical distribution of observations from any state. In this note, I shall use the framework of state plus rules to discuss this possibility that observational probabilities might be independent of the quantum state. I shall show that this indeed is logically possible, but apparently only if the probability rules are rather ad hoc. If indeed the rules are this ad hoc, so that the probabilities of our observations do not depend upon a quantum state at all, it would seem to leave it mysterious why many of our observations can be simply interpreted as if our universe really were quantum.. (shrink)
Propósito deste ensaio é apresentar uma nova abordagem ao velho problema que é o acesso filosófico ao Deus cristão. Isto acontece dentro do esquema de uma nova metafísica cujo ponto de partida é a capacidade que a mente tem de percepcionar a totalidade do ser, facto este que o artigo apresenta como sendo justamente uma estrutura central do intelecto. Dado que as distinções entre intelecto e mundo, conceitos e realidade, sujeito e objecto, etc., já pressupõem a totalidade do ser dada (...) perceptivamente e nela está baseada, esta totalidade, assim concebida, torna-se mais fundamental que todas aquelas famosas distinções. A tarefa dessa nova metafísica aqui em questão consiste em explicitar uma explicação desta totalidade. No presente artigo, esta explicação é desenvolvida apenas numa direcção, a saber, a explicação no sentido de como proceder da totalidade do ser para o Deus cristão. Neste sentido, uma distinção fundamental é feita entre "o Absoluto" e "Deus (cristão)". A filosofia (cristão) tradicional acreditou frequentemente que a filosofia só poderia explicitar a "determinação" do absoluto como criador do universo finito. O autor do artigo visa justamente demonstrar que outras determinações do Absoluto podem ser filosoficamente alcançadas; mas isto pressupõe que a história da liberdade do Absoluto seja radicalmente tomada em consideração. Ora isto, por sua vez, significa que a história e interpretação da religião - especialmente da religião segundo a tradição judaico-cristã - tem de ser vista como um tópico filosófico verdadeiramente central. Assim compreendido, o Absoluto é apropriadamente designado por "Deus (cristão)". Segue-se que uma das consequências desta abordagem é a de que uma vincada distinção entre filosofia tradicional e teologia tradicional cristã deve ser abandonada. /// The purpose of this essay is to present a new approach to the old problem of philosophical access to the Christian God. This is done within the frame of a new metaphysics whose starting point is the mind's perception of the totality of being which is shown to be a central structural feature of the mind as such. Since the distinctions between mind and world, concepts and reality, subject and object, and the like, already presuppose the perceptually given totality of being and are based on it, this totality, so concei-ved, is more fundamental than all those famous distinctions. The task of the envisaged new metaphysics consists in working out an explication of this totality. In this paper this explication is developed only in one direction: the explication in the sense of how to proceed from the totality of being to the Christian God. To this effect, a fundamental distinction is made between "the Absolute" and "(Christian) God". Traditional (Christian) philosophy had constantly believed that philosophy could only work out the "determination "of the Absolute as the creator of the finite universe. The paper endeavours to demonstrate that further determinations of the Absolute can be philosophically reached; but this presupposes that the history of the freedom of the Absolute is radically taken into account. And this, in turn, amounts to the claim that the history and interpretation of religion - most especially according to the Judaic-Christian tradition -must be seen as a central philosophical topic. Thus understood, the Absolute is appropriately called "(Christian) God". One of the consequences of this approach is that the sharp distinction between traditional philosophy and traditional Christian theology should be abandoned. (shrink)
Meinong's theory of objects commits him to impossiblia: objects which have contradictory properties. Russell famously objected that these impossiblia were apt to infringe the law of noncontradiction. Meinong's defenders have often relied upon the distinction between internal and external negation, a defense that only works against less exotic impossiblia. The more exotic impossiblia fall victim to an argument that uses an intuitively attractive logical principle similar to the abstraction principle, but which is not subject to Russell's paradox. The upshot is (...) that things are not as bad as Russell claims. Some impossiblia don't entail contradictions. Nevertheless, things are still disastrous for Meinong. Some of his impossiblia do entail contradictions. (shrink)
If it is asked: “How do sentences manage to represent?” – the answer might be: “Don’t you know? You certainly see it, when you use them.” For nothing is concealed. How do sentences do it? – Don’t you know? For nothing is hidden. But given this answer: “But you know how sentences do it, for nothing is concealed” one would like to retort “Yes, but it all goes by so quick, and I should like to see it as it were (...) laid open to view.”. (shrink)
What is nature, and how are we to live with it rather than against it, as ecophilosophers enjoin? My own understanding of nature and of our proper relation to it is ultimately traceable to a metaphysics that could be broadly described as panpsychist, in that it attributes an internal principle, or subjectival dimension, to matter generally. I have explored such a metaphysic elsewhere, and do not propose..
The second chapter of book three of the De anima marks the end of Aristotle's discussion of sense-perception. The chapter is a long one and apparently rambling in subject matter. It begins with a passage that is usually taken as a discussion of some sort of self-awareness, particularly awareness that one is perceiving, although such an interpretation raises some difficulties. This paper reconsiders the problems raised by supposing that the question discussed in the first paragraph is ‘how do we perceive (...) that we perceive?’, and suggests an alternative interpretation which would solve many of the difficulties and have the additional merit of restoring unity to the sequence of notes which go to make up the whole chapter. (shrink)
This paper examines employees’ reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs at the attitudinal level. The results presented are drawn from an in-depth study of two Chilean construction firms that have well-established CSR programs. Grounded theory was applied to the data prior to the construction of the conceptual framework. The analysis shows that the implementation of CSR programs generates two types of attitudes in employees: attitudes toward the organization and attitudes toward society. These two broad types of attitudes can then (...) be broken down into four different categories: (1) acceptance of the new role of the organization, (2) identification with the organization, (3) importance attached to the work performed and (4) a sense of social justice. In turn, each of these categories is a grouping of many different concepts, some of which have at first sight little to do with CSR. Finally, the analysis reveals an attitudinal employee typology: the committed worker, the indifferent worker, and the dissident worker. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a framework in which we analyze three riddles about truth that are all (originally) due to Smullyan. We start with the riddle of the yes-no brothers and then the somewhat more complicated riddle of the da-ja brothers is studied. Finally, we study the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever (HLPE). We present the respective riddles as sets of sentences of quotational languages , which are interpreted by sentence-structures. Using a revision-process the consistency of these sets is established. (...) In our formal framework we observe some interesting dissimilarities between HLPE’ s available solutions that were hidden due to their previous formulation in natural language. Finally, we discuss more recent solutions to HLPE which, by means of self-referential questions , reduce the number of questions that have to be asked in order to solve HLPE . Although the essence of the paper is to introduce a framework that allows us to formalize riddles about truth that do not involve self-reference, we will also shed some formal light on the self-referential solutions to HLPE. (shrink)
Do conventions need to be common knowledge? David Lewis builds this requirement into his deﬁnition of a convention. This paper explores the extent to which his approach ﬁnds support in the game theory literature. The knowledge formalism developed by Robert Aumann and others militates against Lewis’s approach, because it demonstrates that it is almost impossible for something to become common knowledge in a large society. On the other hand, Ariel Rubinstein’s Email Game suggests that coordinated action is equally hard for (...) rational players. But an unnecessary simplifying assumption in the Email Game turns out to be doing all the work, and the paper concludes that common knowledge is better excluded from a deﬁnition of the conventions that we use to regulate our daily lives. (shrink)