Some hold that W.K. Clifford's arguments are inconsistent, appealing to the disvalue of likely consequences of nonevidential belief-formation, while also insisting that the consequences are irrelevant to the wrongness of so believing. My thesis is that Clifford's arguments are consistent; one simply needs to be clear on the role consequences play in the "Ethics of Belief" (and, for that matter, in William James's "The Will to Believe"). The consequences of particular episodes of nonevidential belief-formation are, as Clifford insists, irrelevant to (...) the epistemic, and so moral, status of believing. The moral matter is that adopting a policy of nonevidential belief-formation constitutes commitment to antithetical principles, viz. (i) our antecedent moral obligation to minimize the risk of harming ourselves and others and (ii) the flagrant disregard for (i) entailed by employing a policy of risk, i.e. nonevidentialism. Clifford's arguments should be read as demonstrating that a nonevidentialist approach to belief-management constitutes the kind of risk that, in fact, is at odds with this antecedent moral obligation - hence the discussion of likely consequences, despite his claims that they are irrelevant to the moral status of the beliefs yielding them. They are irrelevant to the moral status of nonevidentialism but not irrelevant to the fact of risk. The moral impermissibility of nonevidentialism inheres in the inconsistency of it and our antecedent moral obligations, not in the value or disvalue of the particular consequences of that belief-management style. (shrink)
Amongst philosophers and cognitive scientists, modularity remains a popular choice for an architecture of the human mind, primarily because of the supposed explanatory value of this approach. Modular architectures can vary both with respect to the strength of the notion of modularity and the scope of the modularity of mind. We propose a dilemma for modular architectures, no matter how these architectures vary along these two dimensions. First, if a modular architecture commits to the informational encapsulation of modules, as it (...) is the case for modularity theories of perception, then modules are on this account impenetrable. However, we argue that there are genuine cases of the cognitive penetrability of perception and that these cases challenge any strong, encapsulated modular architecture of perception. Second, many recent massive modularity theories weaken the strength of the notion of module, while broadening the scope of modularity. These theories do not require any robust informational encapsulation, and thus avoid the incompatibility with cognitive penetrability. However, the weakened commitment to informational encapsulation significantly weakens the explanatory force of the theory and, ultimately, is conceptually at odds with the core of modularity. We then propose a non-modular notion of functionally independent system that, we argue, achieves the explanatory force sought by modularity theorists. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss the modularity of the emotions. In a general methodological section, we discuss the empirical basis for the postulation of modularity. Then we discuss how certain modules -- the emotions in particular -- decompose into distinct anatomical and functional parts.
Everybody assumes (1) that musical performances are sonic events and (2) that their expressive properties are sonic properties. This paper discusses recent findings in the psychology of music perception that show that visual information combines with auditory information in the perception of musical expression. The findings show at the very least that arguments are needed for (1) and (2). If music expresses what we think it does, then its expressive properties may be visual as well as sonic; and if its (...) expressive properties are purely sonic, then music expresses less than we think it does. And if the expressive properties of music are visual as well as sonic, then music is not what we think it is—it is not purely sonic. (shrink)
Much of cognitive science is committed to the modular approach to the study of cognition. The core of this approach consists of a pair of assumptions - the anatomical and the functional modularity assumptions - which motivate two kinds of inference: the anatomical and the functional modularity inferences. The legitimacy of both of these inferences has been strongly challenged, a situation that has had surprisingly little impact on most theorizing in the field. Following the introduction of an important, yet rarely (...) made, distinction between two functional concepts - the distinction between cognitive working and cognitive role - this paper analyses these kinds of inference, and refocuses the attention on new aspects of their main limitations. It is argued that both the anatomical and functional modularity inferences can, and do, operate in three distinct modes in contemporary cognitive science, and that seeing this is essential to understanding both the power and the limitations of these methodological tools. (shrink)
Many prescriptions offered in the literature for enhancing creativity and innovation in organizations raise ethical concerns, yet creativity researchers rarely discuss ethics. We identify four categories of behavior proffered as a means for fostering creativity that raise serious ethical issues: (1) breaking rules and standard operating procedures; (2) challenging authority and avoiding tradition; (3) creating conflict, competition and stress; and (4) taking risks. We discuss each category, briefly identifying research supporting these prescriptions for fostering creativity and then we delve (...) into ethical issues associated with engaging in the prescribed behavior. These four rubrics illustrate ethical issues that need to be incorporated into the creativity and innovation literature. Recommendations for how organizations can respond to the ethical issues are offered based on practices of exemplary organizations and theories of organizational ethics. A research agenda for empirically investigating the ethical impact these four categories of behavior have on organizations concludes the article. (shrink)
Anderson and Dyck claim that the current trend of almost exclusively using citation-based evaluative metrics to assess the research output of scholars is unsound. I agree with them in this, but I feel that, for practical reasons, this system will not disappear in the near future, so we must concentrate on making it fairer. Both commentators doubt whether numerically expressing each contributor's relative contribution is feasible. I admit that an important precondition for this task is the possibility of an informed, (...) democratic debate among equals about the relative contribution of each contributor to the article. Mechanisms should be established to protect vulnerable researchers in the academic field in the same way as safeguards exist today to protect vulnerable research participants. Theoretically, however, I think that the fair allocation of authorship credit is possible, and much of this task is already being performed routinely when contributors determine the order of their names in the byline, being well aware of the widespread assumption that this order mostly mirrors the order of their relative contributions. All they would have to do as an additional task is to express this order in numbers. If they cannot reach a consensus, they could always choose not to express their relative contribution in numbers, in which case the presumption would be that they contributed equally. My proposal could, at best, make the system fairer and, at worst, not reduce the options that evaluators already have. (shrink)
Abstract It is common practice to regard participants in assisted and collaborative reproduction (gamete donors, embryologists, fertility doctors, etc.) as simply providing a desired biological product or medical service. These agents are not procreators in the ordinary sense, nor do they stand in any kind of meaningful parental relation to the resulting offspring. This paper challenges the common view by defending a principle of procreative responsibility and then demonstrating that this standard applies as much to those who provide reproductive assistance (...) in the form of medical services or gametes, as it does to coital reproducers or intending parents. Drawing on vocabulary from the common law tradition, I suggest that it may be helpful to refer to the various participants in assisted and collaborative reproduction (ACR) as accessories to procreation. Referring to the participants in ACR as accessories to procreation highlights the fact that these agents are not just providing medical services or products. They are participating in a supply chain designed to bring about new persons. I conclude by arguing that regulative standards in the fertility industry should be structured such that they permit, facilitate, and encourage agents to satisfy the requirements of procreative responsibility. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9330-7 Authors Melissa Seymour Fahmy, Department of Philosophy, University of Georgia, 107 Peabody Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820. (shrink)
Toleration has a rich tradition in Western political philosophy. It is, after all, one of the defining topics of political philosophy—historically pivotal in the development of modern liberalism, prominent in the writings of such canonical figures as John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and central to our understanding of the idea of a society in which individuals have the right to live their own lives by their own values, left alone by the state so long as they respect the similar (...) interests of others. -/- Toleration and Its Limits, the latest addition to the NOMOS series, explores the philosophical nuances of the concept of toleration and its scope in contemporary liberal democratic societies. Editors Melissa S. Williams and Jeremy Waldron carefully compiled essays that address the tradition's key historical figures; its role in the development and evolution of Western political theory; its relation to morality, liberalism, and identity; and its limits and dangers. -/- Contributors: Lawrence A. Alexander, Kathryn Abrams, Wendy Brown, Ingrid Creppell, Noah Feldman, Rainer Forst, David Heyd, Glyn Morgan, Glen Newey, Michael A. Rosenthal, Andrew Sabl, Steven D. Smith, and Alex Tuckness. (shrink)
Fiona Nicoll and Melissa Gregg met on the job at a new university having both moved from Sydney to Brisbane to take up their appointments. Here they share reflections on teaching a cultural theory course that they inherited from a prominent Australian Professor of Cultural Studies, offering the perspectives of two consecutive generations of cultural studies theorists now teaching in the field since the early 1990s. This situation gives rise to new interpretations regarding the value and uses of theory (...) in the classroom. Noting the subtle differences involved in teaching the same theoretical material in different cities, the ironies of teaching radical cultural theory in a conservative institutional environment, and the specific opportunities and challenges of teaching cultural studies theory as opposed to others, the article considers some of the silences teachers must also contend with in their classroom practice, drawing on and expanding the terrain established by Thorkelson's thesis. (shrink)
I take up Kant's remarks about a "transcendental deduction" of the "concepts of space and time" (A87/B119-120). I argue for the need to make a clearer assessment of the philosophical resources of the Aesthetic in order to account for this transcendental deduction. Special attention needs to be given to the fact that the central task of the Aesthetic is simply the "exposition" of these concepts. The Metaphysical Exposition reflects upon facts about our usage to reveal our commitment to the idea (...) that these concepts refer to pure intuitions. But the legitimacy of these concepts still hangs in the balance: these concepts may turn out to refer to nothing real at all. The subsequent Transcendental Exposition addresses this issue. The objective validity of the concepts of space and time, and hence their transcendental deduction, hinges on careful treatment of this last point. (shrink)
Abstract: My aim is to reconstruct Kant's argument for the principle of the synthetic unity of apperception. I reconstruct Kant's argument in stages, first showing why thinking should be conceived as an activity of synthesis (as opposed to attention), and then showing why the unity or coherence of a subject's representations should depend upon an a priori synthesis. The guiding thread of my account is Kant's conception of enlightenment: as I suggest, the philosophy of mind advanced in the Deduction belongs (...) to an enlightenment epistemology. Kant's conception of enlightenment turns on the requirement that a subject be able to recognize herself as the source of her cognitions. The argument for the apperception principle is reconstructed under the guidance of this conception of the ideal of enlightenment. (shrink)
A crucial feature of Kant's critical-period writing on the sublime is its grounding in moral psychology. Whereas in the pre-critical writings, the sublime is viewed as an inherently exhausting state of mind, in the critical-period writings it is presented as one that gains strength the more it is sustained. I account for this in terms of Kantian moral psychology, and explain that, for Kant, sound moral disposition is conceived as a sublime state of mind.
Realists about practical reasons agree that judgments regarding reasons are beliefs. They disagree, however, over the question of how such beliefs motivate rational action. Some adopt a Humean conception of motivation, according to which beliefs about reasons must combine with independently existing desires in order to motivate rational action; others adopt an anti-Humean view, according to which beliefs can motivate rational action in their own right, either directly or by giving rise to a new desire that in turn motivates the (...) action. I argue that the realist who adopts a Humean model for explaining rational action will have a difficult time giving a plausible account of the role that desire plays in this explanation. I explore four interpretations of this role and argue that none allows a Humean theory to explain rational action as convincingly as an anti-Humean theory does. The first two models, in different ways, make acting on a reason impossible. The third allows this possibility, but only by positing a reason-sensitive desire that itself demands an explanation. The fourth avoids this explanatory challenge only by retreating to an empty form of the Humean view. In contrast, an anti-Humean theory can provide an intuitively plausible explanation of rational action. I conclude that the realist about reasons should adopt an anti-Humean theory to explain rational action. (shrink)
For Kant, the ideal of enlightenment is most fundamentally expressed as a self-developed soundness of judgment. But what does this mean when the judgment at issue is practical, i.e., concerns the good to be brought about through action? I argue that the moral context places special demands on the ideal of enlightenment. This is revealed through an interpretation of Kant’s prescription for moral pedagogy in the Critique of Practical Reason. The goal of the pedagogy is to cultivate the moral disposition, (...) and the method consists of training in judgment. Unfortunately, Kant seems to wind up somewhere short of this goal, leaving the young person with only an idle wish for a properly cultivated moral disposition. In this paper, I argue that when we address the special issues that arise when the enlightenment ideal is brought to bear on practical judgment — issues that stem from the intrinsic connection between practical judgment and agency — we will see that there is no lacuna in Kant’s account. (shrink)
We conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis of 33 cases of internal and external whistleblowers wrongfully fired for reporting wrongdoing. Our results show external whistleblowers have less tenure with the organization, greater evidence of wrongdoing, and they tend to be more effective in changing organizational practices. External whistleblowers also experience more extensive retaliation than internal whistleblowers, and patterns of retaliation by management against the whistleblower vary depending on whether the whistleblower reports internally or externally. We discuss implications for organizations and whistleblowers, (...) and we conclude that researchers need to develop different theoretical explanations of internal and external whistleblowing processes. (shrink)