Jerry Fodor has defended the claim that psychological theories should appeal to narrow rather than wide intentional properties. One of his arguments relies upon the cross contexts test, a test that purports to determine whether two events have the same causally relevant properties. Critics have charged that this test is too weak, since it counts certain genuinely explanatory relational properties in science as being causally irrelevant. Further, it has been claimed, the test is insensitive to the (...) fact that special scientific laws allow for exceptions which do not undermine those laws. This paper refines the cross contexts test to meet these objections while still allowing it to play its role in Fodor. (shrink)
This study examined the influence of corporate giving programs on the link between certain categories of corporate crime and corporate reputation. Specifically, firms that violate EPA and OSHA regulations should, to some extent, experience a decline in their reputations, while firms that contribute to charitable causes should see their reputations enhanced. The results of this study support both of these contentions. Further, the results suggest that corporate giving significantly moderates the link between the number of EPA and OSHA violations committed (...) by a firm and its reputation. Thus, while a firm's reputation can be diminished through its violation of various government regulations, the extent of the decline in reputation may be significantly reduced through charitable giving. (shrink)
This paper posits that organizational variables are the factors that lead to the moral decline of companies like Enron and Worldcom. The individuals involved created environments within the organizations that precipitated a spiral of unethical decision-making. It is proposed that at the executive level, it is the organizational factors associated with power and decision-making that have the critical influence on moral and ethical behavior. The study has used variables that were deemed to be surrogate measures of the ethical violations (OSHA (...) and EPA violations), the risky shift phenomenon (executive team size), banality of wrong-doing (reputation score for firms) and escalating commitment (tenure with the firm/change in revenue for declining firms). The research found that there were small correlations between ethical violations and the three organizational variables. (shrink)
It has been argued that nonreductive physicalism leads to epiphenominalism about mental properties: the view that mental events cannot cause behavioral effects by virtue of their mental properties. Recently, attempts have been made to develop accounts of causal relevance for irreducible properties to show that mental properties need not be epiphenomenal. In this paper, I primarily discuss the account of Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit. I show how it can be developed to meet several obvious objections and to capture our (...) intuitive conception of degrees of causal relevance. However, I argue that the account requires large-scale miraculous coincidence for there to be causally relevant mental properties. I also argue that the same problem arises for two apparently very different accounts of causal relevance. I suggest that this result does not show that these accounts, on appropriate readings, are false. Therefore, I tentatively conclude that we have reason to believe that irreducible mental properties are causally irrelevant. Moreover, given that there is at leastprima facie evidence that mental properties can be causally relevant, my conclusion casts doubt on nonreductive physicalist theories of mental properties. (shrink)
William Alston’s Theory of Appearing has attracted considerable attention in recent years, both for its elegant interpretation of direct realism in light of the presentational character of perceptual experience and for its central role in his defense of the justificatory force of Christian mystical experiences. There are different ways to account for presentational character, however, and in this article we argue that a superior interpretation of direct realism can be given by a theory of perception as dynamic engagement. The conditions (...) for dynamic engagement are such that there can be no absolute discontinuity between individual perceptual experiences and more public forms of inquiry, and this requirement has radical consequences for the prima facie justificatory force of religious experience. (shrink)
In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.
In this note, we consider constraints on the physical possibility of transfinite Turing machines that arise from how one models the continuous structure of space and time in one's best physical theories. We conclude by suggesting a version of Church's thesis appropriate as an upper bound for physical computation given how space and time are modeled on our current physical theories.
Lewis signaling games illustrate how language might evolve from random behavior. The probability of evolving an optimal signaling language is, in part, a function of what learning strategy the agents use. Here we investigate three learning strategies, each of which allows agents to forget old experience. In each case, we find that forgetting increases the probability of evolving an optimal language. It does this by making it less likely that past partial success will continue to reinforce suboptimal practice. The learning (...) strategies considered here show how forgetting past experience can promote learning in the context of games with suboptimal equilibria. (shrink)
In recent years, philosophical discussions of free will have focused largely on whether or not free will is compatible with determinism. In this challenging book, David Hodgson takes a fresh approach to the question of free will, contending that close consideration of human rationality and human consciousness shows that together they give us free will, in a robust and indeterministic sense. In particular, they give us the capacity to respond appositely to feature-rich gestalts of conscious experiences, in ways that are (...) not wholly determined by laws of nature or computational rules. The author contends that this approach is consistent with what science tells us about the world; and he considers its implications for our responsibility for our own conduct, for the role of retribution in criminal punishment, and for the place of human beings in the wider scheme of things. -/- Praise for David Hodgson's previous work, The Mind Matters -/- "magisterial...It is balanced, extraordinarily thorough and scrupulously fair-minded; and it is written in clear, straightforward, accessible prose." --Michael Lockwood, Times Literary Supplement -/- "an excellent contribution to the literature. It is well written, authoritative, and wonderfully wide-ranging. ... This account of quantum theory ... will surely be of great value. ... On the front cover of the paper edition of this book Paul Davies is quoted as saying that this is "a truly splendid and provocative book". In writing this review I have allowed myself to be provoked, but I am happy to close by giving my endorsement to this verdict in its entirety!" --Euan Squires, Journal of Consciousness Studies -/- "well argued and extremely important book." --Sheena Meredith, New Scientist -/- "His reconstructions and explanations are always concise and clear." --Jeffrey A Barrett, The Philosophical Review -/- "In this large-scale and ambitious work Hodgson attacks a modern orthodoxy. Both its proponents and its opponents will find it compelling reading." --J. R. Lucas, Merton College, Oxford. (shrink)
The Barrett and Arntzenius (1999) decision paradox involves unbounded wealth, the relationship between period-wise and sequence-wise dominance, and an infinite-period split-minute setting. A version of their paradox involving bounded (in fact, constant) wealth decisions is presented, along with a version involving no decisions at all. The common source of paradox in BarrettâArntzenius and these other examples is the indeterminacy of their infinite-period split-minute setting.
David Buller's recent book, Adapting Minds, is a philosophical critique of the field of evolutionary psychology. Buller argues that evolutionary psychology is utterly bankrupt from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Although Adapting Minds has been well received in both the academic press and the popular media, we argue that Buller's critique of evolutionary psychology fails.
In a recent paper in this journal (Rottschaefer and Martinsen 1990) we have proposed a view of Darwinian evolutionary metaethics that we believe improves upon Michael Ruse's (e.g., Ruse 1986) proposals by claiming that there are evolutionary based objective moral values and that a Darwinian naturalistic account of the moral good in terms of human fitness can be given that avoids the naturalistic fallacy in both its definitional and derivational forms while providing genuine, even if limited, justifications for substantive (...) ethical claims. Jonathan Barrett (this issue) has objected to our proposal contending that we cannot hold for the reality of supervenient moral properties without either falling foul of the naturalistic fallacy or suffering the consequences of postulating inexplicable moral properties. In reply, we show that Barrett's explicit arguments that we commit either the definitional or derivational form of the naturalistic fallacy fail and that his naturalistic intuitions that supervenience explanations of moral properties by nonmoral properties force us into what we call the explanatory form of the naturalistic fallacy also fail. Positively, his objections help us to clarify the nature of the naturalistic fallacy within an evolutionary based naturalistic ethics and to point out the proper role of both supervenience explanations and moral explanations in such an ethics. (shrink)
Introduction -- Wittgenstein's early conception of value -- An outline of tractarian ontology -- Value, the self, and the mystical -- The lecture on ethics -- Language-games, the private language argument and aspect psychology -- Language-games -- The private language argument -- Aspect psychology -- The soul and attitudes towards the living -- Wittgenstein's general conception of the soul -- Ilham Dilman on the soul and seeing-as -- Religious contexts -- J.B. Watson and the denial of the soul -- Attitudes (...) towards other minds and forms of life -- The soul and the face -- Aspect blindness and dawning -- Particularism, rule-following, and evaluations -- David McNaughton on the property of humanity and particularism -- John McDowell on rule-following and values -- Peter Winch on moral particularism -- The meaning and value of the religious point of view -- Wittgenstein on Frazer's golden bough -- Truth in religion -- Wittgenstein on art : reactions and causes -- Aesthetics, causes, and natural history -- A contemporary evolutionary account of aesthetic value -- Neuro-scientific accounts -- Aesthetic realism and the definition of art -- Aesthetic historicism and relativism -- Institutional and historical theories of art -- Forms of life, moral truth, and justification -- Cora Diamond on forms on seeing-as theory and imagination -- Paul Johnston on moral justification and truth -- D.Z. Phillips and H.O. Mounce on the justification of morality -- Doubt and certainty : framework beliefs and core values -- An overview of certainty -- Avrum Stroll, Anthony O'Hear , and Cyril Barrett on certainty and value -- Cultural relativism and institutional embodiment -- Peter Winch on cultural relativism -- Sabina Lovibond on moral facts and institutional embodiment -- Cyril Barrett on cultural relativism -- Conclusion: How to do things with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
This is a comment on J. A. Barrett's article 'The Preferred-Basis Problem and the Quantum Mechanics of Everything' (), which concerns theories postulating that certain quantum observables have determinate values, corresponding to additional (often called 'hidden') variables. I point out that it is far from clear, for most observables, what such a postulate is supposed to mean, unless the postulated additional variable is related to a clear ontology in space-time, such as particle world lines, string world sheets, or fields.
Ranking systems such as The Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Rankings of World Universities simultaneously mark global status and stimulate global academic competition. As international ranking systems have become more prominent, researchers have begun to examine whether global rankings are creating increased inequality within and between universities. Using a panel Tobit regression analysis, this study assesses the extent to which markers of inter-institutional stratification and organizational segmentation predict global status among US research universities (...) as measured by position in ARWU. Findings indicate some support that both inter-institutional stratification and organizational segmentation predict global status. (shrink)
Nature of the problem: Testimony from scientists. Reflex action and theism (1881) by W. James. The organization of thought (1916) by A.N. Whitehead. The changing scientific scene 1900-1950 (1952) by J.B. Conant. A note on methods of analysis (1943) by H.J. Muller. The way things are (1959) by P.W. Bridgman. A definition of style (1948) by J.R. Oppenheimer.--Consequences of the problem: Testimony from artists and writers. Existentialism (1947) by J.-P. Sartre. The testimony of modern art (1957) by W. Barrett. (...) Parts of speech and punctuation (1935) by G. Stein. The waves (1931) by V. Woolf. The imperfect paradise, by W. Stevens. A note on style and the limits of language, by W. Gibson. (shrink)
Carlo Rovelli's relational interpretation of quantum mechanics holds that a system's states or the values of its physical quantities as normally conceived only exist relative to a cut between a system and an observer or measuring instrument. Furthermore, on Rovelli's account, the appearance of determinate observations from pure quantum superpositions happens only relative to the interaction of the system and observer. Jeffrey Barrett () has pointed out that certain relational interpretations suffer from what we might call the ‘determinacy problem', (...) but Barrett misclassifies Rovelli's interpretation by lumping it in with Mermin's view, as Rovelli's view is quite different and has resources to escape the particular criticisms that Barrett makes of Mermin's view. Rovelli's interpretation still leaves us with a paradox having to do with the determinacy of measurement outcomes, which can be accepted only if we are willing to give up on certain elements of the ‘absolute’ view of the world. (shrink)
Increasingly, epistemologists are becoming interested in social structures and their effect on epistemic enterprises, but little attention has been paid to the proper distribution of experimental results among scientists. This paper will analyze a model first suggested by two economists, which nicely captures one type of learning situation faced by scientists. The results of a computer simulation study of this model provide two interesting conclusions. First, in some contexts, a community of scientists is, as a whole, more reliable when its (...) members are less aware of their colleagues' experimental results. Second, there is a robust tradeoff between the reliability of a community and the speed with which it reaches a correct conclusion. ‡The author would like to thank Brian Skyrms, Kyle Stanford, Jeffrey Barrett, Bruce Glymour, and the participants in the Social Dynamics Seminar at University of California–Irvine for their helpful comments. Generous financial support was provided by the School of Social Science and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UCI. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Baker Hall 135, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)