David Henderson and Terence Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology, which they see as a mixed discipline, having both a priori and empirical elements. They defend the roles of a priori reflection and conceptual analysis in philosophy, but their revisionary account of these philosophical methods allows them a subtle but essential empirical dimension. They espouse a dual-perspective position which they call iceberg epistemology, respecting the important differences between epistemic processes that are consciously accessible and those that (...) are not. Reflecting on epistemic justification, they introduce the notion of transglobal reliability as the mark of the cognitive processes that are suitable for humans. Which cognitive processes these are depends on contingent facts about human cognitive capacities, and these cannot be known a priori. (shrink)
To mark the 30th anniversary of Richard Dawkins’s book, OUP is to issue a collection of essays about his work. Here, professor of psychology at Harvard University, wonders if Dawkins’s big idea has not gone far enough..
Â“Without good brain function, living to age 100 is not an attractive proposition,Â” said Nir Barzilai, director of the collegeÂ’s Institute for Ageing Research. Â“WeÂ’ve shown that the same gene variant that helps people live to exceptional ages has the added benefit of helping them think clearly.
We propose an approach to epistemic justification that incorporates elements of both reliabilism and evidentialism, while also transforming these elements in significant ways. After briefly describing and motivating the non-standard version of reliabilism that Henderson and Horgan call “transglobal” reliabilism, we harness some of Henderson and Horgan’s conceptual machinery to provide a non-reliabilist account of propositional justification (i.e., evidential support). We then invoke this account, together with the notion of a transglobally reliable belief-forming process, to give an account (...) of doxastic justification. (shrink)
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs (...) or people. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of what it is for an agent to be justified in holding a given belief commonly carry substantive commitments concerning what cognitive processes can and should be like. In this paper, we argue that concern for the plausiblity of such psychological commitments leads to significant epistemological results. In particular, it leads to a multi-faceted epistemology in which elements of traditionally conflicting epistemologies are vindicated within a single epistemological account. We suggest thinking of the epistemologically relevant cognitive processes in (...) terms of the metaphor of an iceberg--the accessible and articulable states that have been the exclusive focus of much epistemology must, for reasons that we explain, comprise only a proper subset of epistemologically relevant processing, even as only a part of an iceburg is exposed to view. When one focuses on the interaction of accessible states and articulable information, the structure of epistemic justification looks rather like what has been called structural contextualism (Timmons 1993, Henderson 1994b). It might also be called quasi-foundationalist. Yet, given the sort of creatures we are, in attending to our epistemological tasks we must rely on processing that is sensitive to information that we could not articulate, that is not accessible in the standard internalist sense. When one focuses on the full range of epistemologically important processes, the structure of what makes for justification may be rather more like that envisioned by some coherentists. (shrink)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Eliminative materialism, as William Lycan (this volume) tells us, is materialism plus the claim that no creature has ever had a belief, desire, intention, hope, wish, or other â€œfolk-psychologicalâ€ state. Some contemporary philosophers claim that eliminative materialism is very likely true. They sketch certain potential scenarios, for the way theory might develop in cognitive science and neuroscience, that they claim are fairly likely; and they maintain that if such scenarios (...) turned out to be the truth about humans, then eliminative materialism would be true. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Broadly speaking, there are two ways to reply to such arguments, for those who maintain that eliminative materialism is false (or that the likelihood of its being true is very low). One way is to argue that the scenarios the eliminativists envision are themselves extremely unlikelyâ€”that we can be very confident, given what we now know (including nontendentious scientific knowledge), that those scenarios will not come to pass. The other is to argue that even if they did come to pass, this would not undermine common-sense psychology anyway. People would still have beliefs, etc. The two strategies are not incompatible; one could pursue them both. But the second strategy attacks eliminativism at a more fundamental level. And if it can be successfully carried out, then the dialectical state of play will be strikingly secure for folk psychology. For, then it will turn out that folk psychology simply is not hostage to the kinds of potential empirical-theoretical developments that the eliminativists envision. It doesnâ€™t matter, as far as the integrity of folk psychology is concerned, whether or not such scenarios are likely to come to pass. Eliminativist arguments inevitably rely, often only implicitly, on certain assumptions about what it takes for a creature to have beliefs, desires, and other folk-psychological statesâ€”assumptions about some alleged necessary condition(s) for being a true believer (to adapt this colorful usage from Dennett 1987).. (shrink)
By a macro-level feature, I understand any feature that supervenes on, and is thus realized in, lower-level features. Recent discussions by Kim have suggested that such features cannot be causally relevant insofar as they are not classically reducible to lower-level features. This seems to render macro-level features causally irrelevant. I defend the causal relevance of some such features. Such features have been thought causally relevant in many examples that have underpinned philosophical work on causality. Additionally, in certain typical biological cases, (...) we conceive of causally relevant features at various compatible levels of analysis. When elaborated, these points make a strong prima facie case for macro-level causal relevance. However, we might abandon both the philosophical guideposts and the corresponding explanatory practice in the special sciences were we convinced that no reflective philosophical account could provide for the causal relevance there supposed. I show that such drastic measures are not necessary, for we can make sense of macro-level causal relevance by drawing on Paul Humphreys' recent work in ways suggested by the concrete examples considered here. (shrink)
What makes for a good explanation of a person’s actions? Their reasons, or soa natural reply goes. But how do reasons function as part of explanations, that is, within an account of the causes of action? Here philosophers divide concerning the logical relation in which reasons stand to actions. For, tradition holds, reasons evaluatively characterized must be causally inert, inasmuch as the normative features cannot be found in any account of the empirical/descriptive. To countenance reasons as causes thus seems to (...) imply some degree of normative involvement in causal explanation. Mark Risjord opts for full normative involvement while David Henderson insistently denies a role to norms in explanation. Stueber occupies an intermediate position here. I question just whether there exists some "special" problem regarding norms, at least in the form which, I take it, all three of the authors I discuss assume there to be one. Key Words: reasons • causes • norms • rules • explanation. (shrink)
Rosenberg argues that intentional generalizations in the human sciences cannot be law-like because they are not amenable to significant empirical refinement. This irrefinability is said to result from the principle that supposedly controls in intentional explanation also serving as the standard for successful interpretation. The only credible evidence bearing on such a principle would then need conform to it. I argue that psychological generalizations are refinable and can be nomic. I show how empirical refinement of psychological generalizations is possible by (...) considering concrete cases. A sufficiently detailed view of the role of psychological generalizations in interpretation allows us to find in psychological investigations instances of bootstrap testing. (shrink)
Epistemology has recently come to more and more take the articulate form of an investigation into how we do, and perhaps might better, manage the cognitive chores of producing, modifying, and generally maintaining belief-sets with a view to having a true and systematic understanding of the world. While this approach has continuities with earlier philosophy, it admittedly makes a departure from the tradition of epistemology as first philosophy.
Do our minds extend beyond our brains? In a series of publications, Mark Rowlands has argued that the correct answer to this question is an affirmative one. According to Rowlands, certain types of operations on bodily and worldly structures should be considered to be proper and literal parts of our cognitive and mental processes. In this article, I present and critically evaluate Rowlands' position.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens o Mark Twain es el autor del Diario de Adán y Eva, Un yanki en la corte del rey Arturo, Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer, Las aventuras de Huckleberry Finn y otras. Este escritor norteamericano asumió la práctica literaria como un asunto que va más allá del entretenimiento: escribió para interpelar al lector. Y este detalle salta a la vista con un libro que rara veces es referenciado: Sobre la decadencia del arte de mentir, texto que (...) aborda una enfermedad axiológica en el mundo moderno: los peligros que acarrea seguir al pie de la letra los postulados universales de un Deber y una Verdad abstracta. A continuación se hace un análisis de este problema. (shrink)
According to the thesis of the extended mind (EM) , at least some token cognitive processes extend into the cognizing subject's environment in the sense that they are (partly) composed of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. EM has attracted four ostensibly distinct types of objection. This paper has two goals. First, it argues that these objections all reduce to one basic sort: all the objections can be resolved by the provision of an (...) adequate and properly motivated criterion—or mark—of the cognitive. Second, it provides such a criterion—one made up of four conditions that are sufficient for a process to count as cognitive. (shrink)
An archive of Mark Sharlow's two blogs, "The Unfinishable Scroll" and "Religion: the Next Version." Covers Sharlow's views on metaphysics, epistemology, mind, science, religion, and politics. Includes topics and ideas not found in his papers.
<span class='Hi'>Mark</span> Balaguer’s project in this book is extremely ambitious; he sets out to defend both platonism and ﬁctionalism about mathematical entities. Moreover, Balaguer argues that at the end of the day, platonism and ﬁctionalism are on an equal footing. Not content to leave the matter there, however, he advances the anti-metaphysical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter about the existence of mathematical objects.1 Despite the ambitious nature of this project, for the most part Balaguer does (...) not shortchange the reader on rigor; all the main theses advanced are argued for at length and with remarkable clarity and cogency. There are, of course, gaps in the account (some of which are described below) but these should not be allowed to overshadow the sig-. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of figures; List of tables; Editors; Contributors; Editors' acknowledgements; Part I. The Conceptual Challenge of Researching Trust Across Different 'Cultural Spheres': 1. Introduction: unraveling the complexities of trust and culture Graham Dietz, Nicole Gillespie and Georgia Chao; 2. Trust differences across national-societal cultures: much to do or much ado about nothing? Donald L. Ferrin and Nicole Gillespie; 3. Towards a context-sensitive approach to researching trust in inter-organizational relationships Reinhard Bachmann; 4. Making sense of trust across (...) cultural contexts Alex Wright and Ina Ehnert; Part II. Trust Across Different 'Cultural Spheres': Inter-Organizational Studies: 5. Examining the relationship between trust and culture in the consultant-client relationship Stephanos Avakian, Timothy Clark and Joanne Roberts; 6. Checking, not trusting: trust, distrust and cultural experience in the auditing profession Mark R. Dibben and Jacob M. Rose; 7. Trust barriers in cross-cultural negotiations: a social psychological analysis Roderick M. Kramer; 8. Trust development in German-Ukrainian business relationships: dealing with cultural differences in an uncertain institutional context Guido Möllering and Florian Stache; 9. Culture and trust in contractual relationships: a French-Lebanese cooperation Hèla Yousfi; 10. Evolving institutions of trust: personalized and institutional bases of trust in Nigerian and Ghanaian food trading Fergus Lyon and Gina Porter; Part III. Trust Across Different 'Cultural Spheres': Intra-Organizational Studies: 11. The role of trust in international cooperation in crisis areas: a comparison of German and US-American NGO partnership strategies L. Ripley Smith and Ulrike Schwegler; 12. Antecedents of supervisor trust in collectivist cultures: evidence from Turkey and China S. Arzu Wasti and Hwee Hoon Tan; 13. Trust in turbulent times: organizational change and the consequences for intra-organizational trust Veronica Hope-Hailey, Elaine Farndale and Clare Kelliher; 14. The implications of language boundaries on the development of trust in international management teams Jane Kassis Henderson; 15. The dynamics of trust across cultures in family firms Isabelle Mari; Part IV. Conclusions and Ways Forward: 16. Conclusions and ways forward Mark N. K. Saunders, Denise Skinner and Roy J. Lewicki; Index. (shrink)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, which (...) derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation. (shrink)
Response to Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the passions Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9656-3 Authors Jonathan Dancy, The University of Reading, Reading, UK Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Recently, it has been a part of the so-called consequentializing project to attempt to construct versions of consequentialism that can support agent-relative moral constraints. Mark Schroeder has argued that such views are bound to fail because they cannot make sense of the agent relative value on which they need to rely. In this paper, I provide a fitting-attitude account of both agent-relative and agent-neutral values that can together be used to consequentialize agent-relative constraints.
In Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder provides a systematic, rigorously argued defense of a Humean theory of reasons for action, taking pains to respond to influential objections to the view. While inspired by Hume, Schroeder makes it clear that he aims to develop a Humean theory, not necessarily one that Hume himself embraced, and for this reason little is said about Hume in the book. One respect in which Schroeder takes himself to be departing from Hume is in (...) developing a normative account. On his reading, Hume held that only beliefs could stand in the reason relation (187, n11), whereas Schroeder, like many contemporary Humeans, holds that actions can as well. He sets out to develop a theory of this .. (shrink)
In recent times there have been a number of proposals for a nominalistic philosophy of mathematics. These proposals divide into two quite distinct camps: those who take mathematical propositions to be true, and those who take them to be untrue.2 Both options face substantial difficulties, but let’s focus on the first option. The problem here is in asserting that mathematical propositions such as ‘there exist infinitely many complex roots of the Riemann zeta function’ are true (as this one surely is) (...) and then to go on to deny that there are any complex numbers. To do this just seems inconsistent, or at least “intellectually dishonest” (Putnam, 1971, p. 347). One way to approach this problem is to reinterpret the mathematical claims in question so that they come out true, but do not refer to mathematical objects. So for example, Geoffrey Hellman  interprets mathematical claims to be about possible structures. Such options, since they do not take mathematical claims at face value, must employ a non-uniform semantics and this is thought, by almost everyone, to be a significant price to pay for one’s nominalism. The problem is particularly acute when one considers mixed mathematical and empirical statements such as ‘there exists a planet with mass m and location (x, y, z) and a function G that describes the gravitational potential of the planet at time t’. Here different parts of a single sentence must be treated differently—the talk of planets (and perhaps fields) is treated literally but the mathematical parts are treated non-literally. Apparently the only alternative to reinterpreting mathematical discourse is to follow Hartry Field  and deny the truth of mathematical propositions. But this option is very counterintuitive. (shrink)
In Slaves of the Passions Mark Schroeder puts forward Hypotheticalism, his version of a Humean theory of normative reasons that is capable, so he argues, to avoid many of the difficulties Humeanism is traditionally vulnerable to. In this critical notice, I first outline the main argument of the book, and then proceed to highlight some difficulties and challenges. I argue that these challenges show that Schroeder's improvements on traditional Humeanism – while they do succeed in making the view more (...) immune to some argumentative moves and somewhat more plausible – pushes rather strongly in non-Humean directions. This, together with the remaining failures of Schroeder's Hypotheticalism, should make us more rather than less suspicious of the prospects of Humeanism. (shrink)
The metaphysical importance of the compatibility question: comments on Mark Balaguer’s Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9897-4 Authors Michael McKenna, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Mark Schroeder’s Hypotheticalism: agent-neutrality, moral epistemology, and methodology Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9657-2 Authors Tristram McPherson, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota Duluth, 361 A. B. Anderson Hall, 1121 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don’t have to be (Clark, 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis (...) for Mark Rowlands’ thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind. (shrink)
In Morality Without Foundations, Mark Timmons argues that moral judgments (e.g. “cruelty is wrong”) have what he calls “evaluative assertoric content,” and so, are true or false. However, I argue that, even if correct, this argument renders moral truth or falsity mysterious.
During the past decade, the so-called “hypothesis of cognitive extension,” according to which the material vehicles of some cognitive processes are spatially distributed over the brain and the extracranial parts of the body and the world, has received lots of attention, both favourable and unfavourable. The debate has largely focussed on three related issues: (1) the role of parity considerations, (2) the role of functionalism, and (3) the importance of a mark of the cognitive. This paper critically assesses these (...) issues and their interconnections. Section 1 provides a brief introduction. Section 2 argues that some of the most prominent objections against the appeal to parity considerations fail. Section 3 shows that such considerations are nevertheless unsuitable as an argument for cognitive extension. First, the actual argumentative burden is carried by an underlying commitment to functionalism, not by the parity considerations themselves. Second, in the absence of an independently motivated mark of the cognitive, the argument based on parity considerations does not get off the ground, but given such a mark, it is superfluous. Section 4 argues that a similar dilemma arises for the attempt to defend cognitive extension by a general appeal to functionalism. Unless it can be independently settled what it is for a process to be cognitive, functionalism itself will be undermined by the possibility of cognitive extension. Like parity considerations, functionalism is thus either unable to support cognitive extension or superfluous. Hence, nothing short of the specification of an appropriate mark of the cognitive that can be fulfilled not only by intracranial but also by extended processes will do as an argument for cognitive extension. (shrink)
An inadequate grasp of the role of imagination has vitiated understanding of human cognition in western thinking. Extending a project initiated with George Lakoff in _Metaphors we Live By_ (1980), Mark Johnson's book _The Body in the Mind_ (1987) offers the claim that all thinking originates in bodily experience. A range of schemata formed during our early experience manipulating a physical world of surfaces, distances, and forces, lays the foundation of later, more abstract modes of thought. In presenting his (...) argument, Johnson lays special stress on the qualities and dynamics of the image schemata, the (generally unnoticed) metaphoricity of the transformations underlying abstract thought, and the new significance that should be attributed to the imagination, which is the general term Johnson wishes to claim for the mental processes he expounds. In this paper I draw attention to the importance of Johnson's insights for understanding literary response. In particular, I will show how a typical procedure of literary texts involves bringing to awareness image schemata of the kind that Johnson describes. At the same time, several problems in Johnson's account which limit its usefulness will also be examined: an undue reliance upon the spatial properties of schemata; a conflation of dead with live or poetic metaphors; and a neglect of other bodily influences on thought, especially kinaesthetic and affective aspects. These problems, for example, limit the usefulness of Johnson's attempt to build on Kant's theory of imagination. In comparison with Coleridge, who also attempted to build on Kant, Johnson is unable to overcome the formalism of Kant's theory. Coleridge's account of imagination, I will suggest, provides a better foundation for examining the bodily basis of meaning, while remaining compatible with Johnson's intentions and his more valuable insights. (shrink)
“Choose your words wisely,” my mother used to say, “because you never know who’s listening.” Oddly, this is something about which my dear mother and Mark Richard apparently would agree. They both seem to think that the words you use say something about who you are, and if you use bad words, then you are a bad person. About this, I have no doubt that they are right - those who use slurs, at least in the context of many (...) assertive utterances, are surely racists, anti-Semites or whatever. But MR in his paper points out that matters go further than this, for our conversational interactions with slur words can show us to be of such dubious moral status even if we don’t utter them; just our normal practices of accepting the utterances of others would be sufficient for this result. But something is surely amiss here; no doubt we can know the meaning of slur-words, and so comprehend the utterances of others, without impugning our moral stature in any way. (shrink)
artificial life, each of which is a grand challenge requiring a major advance on a fundamental issue for its solution. Each problem is briefly explained, and, where deemed helpful, some promising paths to its solution are indicated.
In addition to the standard ellipsis process known as VP-ellipsis, another ellipsis process, known as pseudo-gapping, was first brought to the fore-front in the 1970’s by Sag (1976) and N. Levin (1986). This process elides subparts of a VP, as in (1): (1) Although I don’t like steak, I do___pizza. Developing ideas of K.S. Jayaseelan (Jayaseelan (1990)), Howard Lasnik has developed an analysis in which pseudo-gapping, which, in some instances, looks as though it is simply deleting a verb, is in (...) fact deletion of a verb phrase, so that pseudo-gapping is really a probe into the structure of the verb phrase. I will examine pseudo-gapping in detail, and will show that it truly is a gold mine of insight into a number of fundamental issues in syntax. More concretely, I will demonstrate that a careful, detailed analysis of this process will bear on the derivational level at which Principle A of the binding theory applies, as well as the amount of explicit encoding within syntactic representations of informational structure, particularly focus. The paper will also re-assess Lasnik’s conclusion that pseudo-gapping provides evidence for Larson’s (1988) V-raising to a higher empty V position, a case of head movement, and will show that the movement involved is actually a case of remnant movement, or XP-movement. (shrink)
In this article the author maintains that complexity theory relies on reductionist assumptions, showing itself not to be completely convincing in dealing with the issue of novelty. First, an outline of Mark C. Taylor's The Moment of Complexity is presented as an exemplary case, particularly for his attempt to import complexity theory into the social sciences. Then, the connection between complexity theory and evolutionism is considered, arguing that this connection prevents complexity theory from giving a convincing account of the (...) emergence of novelty. A provisional conclusion is offered by arguing that novelty should be conceived as arising from a "widening" of reduction at the individual level. (shrink)
Griffiths (2001) make a number of comments about James Mark Baldwin's motivations and character at the time that he was developing what later became known as the "Baldwin effect." Some of these comments I found to be misleading. I attempt to correct the historical record concerning the origins of the "Baldwin effect.".
Mark Dooley has recently argued (principally against Simon Critchley) that the attempt to establish too strong a connection between Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas not only distorts crucial disparities between their respective philosophies, it also contaminates Derridas recent work with Levinass inherent political naivety. In short, on Dooleys reading, Levinas is only of inspirational value for Derrida. I am not concerned with defending Critchleys own reading of the DerridaLevinas connection. My objective is rather to demonstrate, first, the way in (...) which Dooleys argument hinges upon a misreading of Levinas and Derrida, and, second, why Derridas recent thinking is in fact fundamentally Levinasian. Key Words: contingency guilt Holocaust hospitality institutions nature suffering third party violence. (shrink)
The ideological interface between Muslims and liberal educators undoubtedly is strained in the realm of sex education, and perhaps on no topic more so than homosexuality. Mark Halstead argues that schools should not try to ?undermine the faith? of Muslims, who object to teaching homosexuality as an ?acceptable alternative lifestyle?. In this article, I will argue against his monolithic presentation of Islam. Furthermore, I will argue that because Halstead presents a narrow view of Islam he is neglectful of gay (...) and lesbian Muslims who are particularly vulnerable to the unrepentant hostilities of their own communities, and he limits the options available to sex educators in such a way as to discourage genuine encounters between homosexuals and Muslims. (shrink)
According to a subjectivist view of some concept, C, there is an a priori implication of subjective responses in C's application or possession conditions. Subjectivists who intend their view to be descriptive of our practice with C will hold that it is possible for there to be true empirical claims which explain such responses in terms of certain things being C. Mark Johnston's "missing-explanation argument" employs a substitution principle with a view to establishing that these strands of subjectivism are (...) inconsistent. I suggest that Johnston's substitution principle survives an attempt by Alex Miller to show that it is unreliable, but that it is prey to a counterexample which cannot be explained away by the proponent of the missing-explanation argument. I conclude that the missing-explanation argument poses no threat to subjectivism. (shrink)
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is (...) an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
In a recent article in The European Legacy, Mark Cortes Favis argued that the figure of Kierkegaard expressed a tension between two aspects of writing?the Socratic and the Platonic. While Favis is correct to see a duality in Kierkegaard's writing, his article does not fully answer the problem of how we can account for our interpretation of this tension. Given that the duality within Kierkegaard's writing transgresses the boundaries of author and reader, we cannot easily circumscribe any claims on (...) his writing without considering its effect on our reading. Rather, the characteristic duality of his authority manifests itself in a number of ways in the task of identifying the philosophical meaning of his texts. Kierkegaard's relationship to Socrates is thus symptomatic of a number of figural dualities that pervade interpretations of his work. By surveying the ways in which these interpretations draw on the axiom of duality in order to ascribe an authority to Kierkegaard's texts, I suggest Favis's argument that Kierkegaard's writing expresses both Socratic and Platonic aspects should be placed within the wider duality at work in the interpretation of Kierkegaard's work. (shrink)
Abstract This paper critically examines John Mark Mattox's view of the nature of the moral appropriateness of particular response options. By so doing, I aim to engage the wider readership in a debate, which I hope leads to greater clarity and precision of thinking on these topics. After summarizing Mattox's view, I argue first that in order for Mattox's ultimate conclusion to hold in moral terms, he must abandon the argument on the permissibility of nuclear reprisal to re-establish nuclear (...) deterrence and instead anchor this response solely on the moral grounds of retributive justice. Secondly, I argue that the morally superior and politically efficacious counter-nuclear terrorist response is to hunt down the nuclear terrorists and hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. This response is consistent with just war theoretic principles, and it also affirms the moral virtues of honor, dignity, and humane treatment in contexts where they are needed the most ? the holocausts of nuclear terrorist attacks. (shrink)
Perhaps the philosophical thesis most commonly associated with Brentano is that intentionality is the mark of the mental. But in fact Brentano often and centrally uses also what he calls ‘inner perception’ to demarcate the mental. In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Brentano’s conception of the interrelations between mentality, intentionality, and inner perception. According to this interpretation, Brentano took the concept of mind to be a natural-kind concept, with intentionality constituting the underlying nature of the mental (...) and inner-perceivability serving as the concept’s reference-fixer. (shrink)
Applied mathematics often operates by way of shakily rationalizedexpedients that can neither be understood in a deductive-nomological nor in an anti-realist setting.Rather do these complexities, so a recent paper of Mark Wilson argues, indicate some element in ourmathematical descriptions that is alien to the physical world. In this vein the mathematical opportunistopenly seeks or engineers appropriate conditions for mathematics to get hold on a given problem.Honest mathematical optimists, instead, try to liberalize mathematical ontology so as to include all physicalsolutions. (...) Following John von Neumann, the present paper argues that the axiomatization of a scientifictheory can be performed in a rather opportunistic fashion, such that optimism and opportunism appear as twomodes of a single strategy whose relative weight is determined by the status of the field to beinvestigated. Wilson's promising approach may thus be reformulated so as to avoid precarious talk about a physicalworld that is void of mathematical structure. This also makes the appraisal of the axiomatic method inapplied matthematics less dependent upon foundationalist issues. (shrink)
[Przekład] Czy nasze umysły wykraczają poza nasze mózgi? W serii swoich publikacji Mark Rowlands argumentuje za pozytywną odpowiedzią na to pytanie. Zgodnie z Rowlandsem pewne typy działań w cielesnych lub materialnych układach należy rozpatrywać jako właściwe i dosłowne elementy naszych procesów poznawczych czy mentalnych. W niniejszym artykule dokonuję krytycznego omówienia stanowiska Rowlandsa.
In a recent essay appearing in this journal, I argued that, even on the assumption that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception, a Christian can consistently hold that while abortion is always murder, it ought to be legally permitted. On the assumption that the ultimate fate of moral innocents is eternal bliss, abortion, I argued, does not result in thesort of harm that ought to be legally prohibited under certain principles of moral legitimacy. Mark C. (...) Murphy published a response to this essay in which he disputes my argument that abortion does not, under such an assumption, result in harm. In this brief essay, I reply to his criticism. (shrink)
Although he has written extensively on a broad array of topics, Mark Bevir is most famous for his influential and controversial book The Logic of the History of Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In a wide-ranging interview, Bevir responds to a number of criticisms and mischaracterizations of the book, clarifies his aims in writing it, and identifies his relationship of his postfoundationalism to both analytical and continental philosophy. Additionally, Bevir articulates a hitherto unexpected ethical dimension to the work, suggesting (...) that it seeks to provide for a philosophy of the human sciences that incorporates those capacities for agency and reasoning that make us fully human and are thus deserving of respect. As such, he connects the book to the broader web of moral and political beliefs that underpin his work as a whole. (shrink)
In The Nature of Consciousness, Mark Rowlands argues that phenomenal properties, which constitute what it is like to have a conscious experience, are “transcendental”: that they are properties by which we are conscious of the nonphenomenal world, but they are not objects of conscious awareness or even linguistic reference. He uses that conclusion to support a mysterian position on the explanatory-gap problem: that it is impossible to understand how phenomenal consciousness arises from physical systems such as the brain.
In Decision Theory as Philosophy, Mark Kaplan reissues a number of perennial questions within decision theory and epistemology, particularly regarding the relevance of decision theory to epistemology and the scope of an epistemology informed by a “modest” Bayesian decision theory. Much of Kaplan’s book represents a challenge to what he calls the “Orthodox” Bayesian theory of decision and evidence. His arguments turn positive in the fourth chapter, in which he argues for the “Assertion View” of belief---an attempted reconciliation of (...) the categorical notion of belief (as distinct from disbelief) with that of confidence, which comes in degrees. Theapproach to epistemology manifest in Decision Theory, while commendable in some respects, suffers fundamentally from its methodological commitment to the primacy of preference principles over and above distinctively epistemic principles. But to express this last misgiving is just to doubt whether decision theory has much of its own to contribute to epistemology. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy at (...) Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
Instead of reading Spinoza's account of the imagination in an anthropocentric way, as dependent on the traditional doctrine of human faculties, the author considers it as a consequence of his physics and cosmology. Knowledge by signs, as Spinoza calls imagination, has to be rooted in his theory of marks and images, and concerns all beings (human and non human) that are capable of marking and being marked by other bodies in the infinite semiosis of nature.
Is choice necessary for moral responsibility? And does choice imply alternative possibilities of some significant sort? This paper will relate these questions to the argument initiated by Harry Frankfurt that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility, and to John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's extension of that argument in terms of guidance control in a causally determined world. I argue that attending to Frankfurt's core conceptual distinction between the circumstances that make an action unavoidable and those that (...) bring it about that the action is performed – a distinction emphasised in his recent restatement – provides a new route into an analysis of Frankfurt's argument by showing how it depends on a person's ‘decision to act’ involving the exercise of choice. The implicit reliance of Frankfurt's argument on this notion of choice, however, undermines his claim that the example of the counterfactual intervener strengthens the compatibilist case by providing a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities. I also argue that Frankfurt's reliance on the exercise of choice for moral responsibility is also evident in the Fischer/Ravizza argument, and that a close analysis of both arguments shows that such exercise of choice is not available if causal determinism is true. (shrink)
Extended Cognition (EC) hypothesizes that there are parts of the world outside the head serving as cognitive vehicles. One criticism of this controversial view is the problem of “cognitive bloat” which says that EC is too permissive and fails to provide an adequate necessary criterion for cognition. It cannot, for instance, distinguish genuine cognitive vehicles from mere supports (e.g. the Yellow Pages). In response, Andy Clark and Mark Rowlands have independently suggested that genuine cognitive vehicles are distinguished from supports (...) in that the former have been “recruited,” i.e. they are either artifacts, or, products of evolution. I argue against this proposal. There are counter examples to the claim that “Teleological” EC is either necessary or sufficient for cognition. Teleological EC conflates different types of scientific projects, and inherits content externalism’s alienation from historically impartial cognitive science. (shrink)
The idea that there is something that it is like to have a thought is gaining acceptance in the philosophical community and has been argued for recently by several philosophers. Now, within this camp there is a debate about which component of the, say, the belief, is qualitative? Is the qualitative component part of the content of the belief, or part of the mental attitude that we take towards the content? Some argue that the qualitative character is had by the (...) content of the thought; others argue that it belongs to the attitude type itself. I examine the two answers and argue that the quality of thought is best understood as taking a qualitative mental attitude towards some representational content. Each propositional attitude is distinguished by a unique quality and it is having that quality with respect to the content that makes it a belief, fear (etc.) that p. (shrink)
This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate. It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates. And, in truth, even some non-functionalist (...) views of cognition apparently allow for the possibility that cognition extends into the external world. So, the (logical, conceptual, or nomological) possibility of extended cognition seems to us not the kind of radical view the advocates of this view have often implied. This is not, of course, to assess or pass judgment on the truth of these possibilities; it is only to note that they are not what most agitates people about the hypothesis of extended cognition. Framing the radical extended cognition hypothesis is a more delicate matter than framing the modal extended cognition hypothesis, but something like the following is in the ballpark. The radical extended cognition hypothesis maintains that, in many mundane cases of tool use, human cognitive processes extend into the tools. The principal reason this hypothesis is so delicate is that there remains much room for dispute about what constitutes a “mundane” case of tool use, such as keeping a notebook at hand at all times, versus an exotic case of tool use, such as having a computer memory chip implanted in one’s brain. Clark never in so many words defends the idea that there are actual cases of extended cognition. Rather, his tacit commitment must be inferred from such things as his proposal that the brain is made to use tools, so we should view tools as part of the mind (Cf., Clark, 2005, p. 8ff.). (shrink)
In recent years, much has been written about situated cognition, a movement in cognitive science that appears to have important philosophical implications (Robbins and Aydede 2009). Agents of this situated turn expound a variety of positive views; thus, at least initially, the movement may be best explained in terms of what its practitioners reject. The great majority of situated theorists direct their philosophical ire at a computer-based vision of human thought that came to prominence in the 1960s.
P.F. Strawson’s work on moral responsibility is well-known. However, an important implication of the landmark “Freedom and Resentment” has gone unnoticed. Specifically, a natural development of Strawson’s position is that we should understand being morally responsible as having externalistically construed pragmatic criteria, not individualistically construed psychological ones. This runs counter to the contemporary ways of studying moral responsibility. I show the deficiencies of such contemporary work in relation to Strawson by critically examining the positions of John Martin Fischer and (...) class='Hi'>Mark Ravizza, R. Jay Wallace, and Philip Pettit for problems due to individualistic assumptions. (shrink)
In his book Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder defends a Humean theory of reasons. Humeanism is the view that you have a reason to X only if X-ing promotes at least one of your desires. But Schroeder rejects a natural companion theory of the weight of reasons, which he calls proportionalism. According to it, the weight of a reason is proportionate to the strength of the desire that grounds it and the extent to which the act promotes the (...) object of that desire. In this paper, I aim to do three things: (1) to show why Schroeder’s arguments against proportionalism do not refute it, (2) to identify the real trouble with proportionalism, and (3) to suggest a better way of understanding it (preferentialism). According to this theory, the overal strength of reasons is determined by the agent’s preferences. (shrink)
In nearly forty years’ of work, Simon Blackburn has done more than anyone to expand our imaginations about the aspirations for broadly projectivist/expressivist theorizing in all areas of philosophy. I know that I am far from alone in that his work has often been a source of both inspiration and provocation for my own work. It might be tempting, in a volume of critical essays such as this, to pay tribute to Blackburn’s special talent for destructive polemic, by seeking to (...) take down that by which I’ve been most provoked over the years. But Blackburn’s biting wit has both more wit and more bite than I could hope to emulate. So instead I’ll try to emulate here what I’ve admired the most about Blackburn – the constructive vein of much of his work. (shrink)
The author argued elsewhere that a necessary condition that John Fischer and Mark Ravizza offer for moral responsibility is too strong and that the sufficient conditions they offer are too weak. This article is a critical examination of their reply. Topics discussed include blameworthiness, irresistible desires, moral responsibility, reactive attitudes, and reasons responsiveness.
Recent neuropsychological data indicating that an absence of dreaming follows lesions of frontal subcortical white matter have been interpreted by Solms as supportive of Freud's wish-fulfillment, disguise-censorship dream theory. The purpose of this commentary is to call attention to Solms's commitment to Freud and to challenge and contrast his specific arguments with the simpler and more complete tenets of the activation-synthesis hypothesis. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Solms].
I argue that too much attention has been paid to the Baldwin effect. George Gaylord Simpson was probably right when he said that the effect is theoretically possible and may have actually occurred but that this has no major implications for evolutionary theory. The Baldwin effect is not even central to Baldwin’s own account of ‘social heredity’ and biology-culture co-evolution, an account that in important respects resembles the modern ideas of epigenetic inheritance and niche-construction.
Mark Johnston’s book, Saving God (Princeton University Press, 2010) has two main goals, one negative and the other positive: (1) to eliminate the Old gods of the major Western monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as candidates for the role of “the Highest One”; (2) to introduce the real Highest One, a panentheistic deity worthy of devotion and capable of extending to us the grace needed to transform us from inwardly-turned sinners to practitioners of agape. In this review, we argue (...) that Johnston’s attack on traditional forms of monotheism has less force than his criticism of the “undergraduate atheists” (e.g., Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins); and that his candidate for Highest One is not the greatest possible being, and could not play the role Johnston casts for it. -/- . (shrink)
At last someone has called a spade a spade. To think God is literally a personal being is idolatry. And when you are dead you live on not in any otherworldly place but in the goodness you offer to the world. Sadly—and I really mean this as a condemnation of theologians—this plain-speaking, spade-calling truth teller professionally identifies as a philosopher and is not recognized as a theologian. A sizeable minority of theologians agrees with this brash thinker on God and life (...) after death, of course; not all theologians are supernaturalists. But the widespread commitment among theologians to support ecclesiastical institutions and to nurture the faith of religious believers prevents most professional theologians .. (shrink)
A standard strategy for defending a claim of non-identity is one which invokes Leibniz’s Law. (1) Fa (2) ~Fb (3) (∀x)(∀y)(x=y ⊃ (∀P)(Px ⊃ Py)) (4) a=b ⊃ (Fa ⊃ Fb) (5) a≠b In Kalderon’s view, this basic strategy underlies both Moore’s Open Question Argument (OQA) as well as (a variant formulation of) Frege’s puzzle (FP). In the former case, the argument runs from the fact that some natural property—call it “F-ness”—has, but goodness lacks, the (2nd order) property of its (...) being an open question whether everything that instantiates it is good to the conclusion that goodness and F-ness are distinct. And in the latter case, the argument runs from the fact that that Hesperus has, but Phosphorus lacks, the property of being believed by the ancient astronomers to be visible in the evening sky to the conclusion that Hesperus and Phosphorus are distinct. Kalderon argues that both the OQA and FP fail because in neither case is there good reason to believe that both (1) and (2) are true. The reason we are tempted to believe that they are true is because we mistake de dicto claims for de re claims. In order for FP to go through, the truth of the following de re claims needs to be established: FP1) Hesperus was believed by the ancient astronomers to be visible in the evening sky. (shrink)