Two of the most fundamental concepts in the current debate about future oil supply are oilfield decline rates and depletion rates. These concepts are related, but not identical. This paper clarifies the definitions of these concepts, summarizes the underlying theory and empirically estimates decline and depletion rates for different categories of oilfield. A database of 880 post-peak fields is analysed to determine typical depletion levels, depletion rates and decline rates. This demonstrates that the size of oilfields has a significant influence (...) on decline and depletion rates, with generally high values for small fields and comparatively low values for larger fields. These empirical findings have important implications for oil supply forecasting. (shrink)
This article is about young children’s morality and their concern for others’ wellbeing. Questions of what the value of others’ wellbeing can signify, how this value becomes visible to children and how it is expressed in their interaction will be posed. In this analysis, children’s commitment to others’ wellbeing is discussed in terms of two theories, namely the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s (1962, 1964) theory of intersubjectivity and the psychologist Martin Hoffman’s (1984, 1987, 2000) theory of empathy. The interaction between children (...) and adults in pre-school, drawn from different studies of morality (Johansson, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), constitutes the empirical basis. In the discussion, it is claimed that children’s care for others’ wellbeing can be understood in a fruitful way as experiences of, approaches to and ways of being involved in the other’s life-world rather than as expressions of empathy. (shrink)
Contemporary or traditional? Blended or seeker? Pop or "classical"? Chorus or hymn? Combo or organ? Questions concerning music in worship abound these days. Is there a practical way to deal with these issues? In Music and Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint, Calvin Johansson looks to God's Word for principles foundational to music ministry. Weaving together great scriptural truths, he establishes the need for a "directional balance" between pastoral contextualization and prophetic purity. In a time of facile musical accommodation of the (...) gospel to culture, Dr. Johansson suggests that a heightened concern for musical style and quality is in order—not for the sake of music, but for the sake of the gospel. (shrink)
Scott Campbell has recently defended the psychological approach to personal identity over time by arguing that a person is literally a series of mental events. Rejecting four-dimensionalism about the persistence of physical objects, Campbell regards constitutionalism as the main rival version of the psychological approach. He argues that his "series view" has two clear advantages over constitutionalism: it avoids the "two thinkers" objection and it allows a person to change bodies. In addition, Campbell suggests a reply to the objection, often (...) raised against views such as his, that thoughts must be distinct from their thinker. In this paper, I argue that Campbell's responses to the "two thinkers" and the "thoughts/thinker" objections are unsuccessful. Furthermore, his reply to the latter leads to four-dimensionalism of the kind he wanted to avoid – and this view too allows a person to change bodies. Moreover, I argue that it speaks against the series view that generalised versions of it fare much more poorly than do generalised versions of constitutionalism and four-dimensionalism. (shrink)
Derek Parfit famously defends a number of surprising views about "fission." One is that, in such a scenario, it is indeterminate whether I have survived or not. Another is that the fission case shows that it does not matter, in itself, whether I survive or not. Most critics of the first view contend that fission makes me cease to exist. Most opponents of the second view contend that fission does not preserve everything that matters in ordinary survival. In this paper (...) I shall provide a critique that does not rely on either of these contentions. There are other, interrelated reasons to reject Parfit's defense of the two theses. In particular, the availability of the following view creates trouble for Parfit: I determinately survive fission, but it is indeterminate which fission product I am. (shrink)
Several robotic automation systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are being used in combat today. This evokes ethical questions. In this paper, it is argued that UAVs, more than any other weapon, may determine which normative theory the interpretation of the laws of war (LOW) will be based on. UAVs have advantages in terms of reducing casualties for the UAV possessor, but they may at the same time make war seem more like a risk-free enterprise, much like a computer (...) game, lowering the threshold for starting a war. This indicates the importance of revising the LOW, or adding some rules that focus specifically on UAVs. (shrink)
A fundamental assumption of theories of decision-making is that we detect mismatches between intention and outcome, adjust our behavior in the face of error, and adapt to changing circumstances. Is this always the case? We investigated the relation between intention, choice, and introspection. Participants made choices between presented face pairs on the basis of attractiveness, while we covertly manipulated the relationship between choice and outcome that they experienced. Participants failed to notice conspicuous mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome (...) they were presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. We call this effect choice blindness. (shrink)
In this article I discuss the question of whether a person’s existence can be better (or worse) for him than his non-existence. Recently, Nils Holtug and Melinda A. Roberts have defended an affirmative answer. These defenses, I shall argue, do not succeed. In different ways, Holtug and Roberts have got the metaphysics and axiology wrong. However, I also argue that a person’s existence can after all be better (or worse) for him than his non-existence, though for reasons other than those (...) provided by Holtug and Roberts. (shrink)
Many philosophers maintain that artworks, such as statues, are constituted by other material objects, such as lumps of marble. I give an argument against this view, an argument which appeals to mereological simples.
Abstract: The symmetry argument is an objection to the 'deprivation approach'– the account of badness favored by nearly all philosophers who take death to be bad for the one who dies. Frederik Kaufman's recent response to the symmetry argument is a development of Thomas Nagel's suggestion that we could not have come into existence substantially earlier than we in fact did. In this paper, I aim to show that Kaufman's suggestion fails. I also consider several possible modifications of his theory, (...) and argue that they are unsuccessful as well. (shrink)
The paper ends with an argument that says: necessarily, if there are finitely spatially extended particulars, then there are monadic universals. Before that, in order to characterize the distinction between particulars and universals, Roman Ingardenâs notions of existential moments and modes (ways) of being are presented, and a new pair of such existential moments is introduced: multiplicityâmonadicity. Also, it is argued that there are not only real universals, but instances of universals (tropes) and fictional universals too.
Summary The article argues thatceteris paribus clauses have to be separated from another type of clauses called closure clauses. The former are associated with laws and theories, the latter with test situations of a particular kind. It is also argued that closure clauses, but notceteris paribus clauses, make Popper's falsifiability principle untenable. In that way, it also resolves the quarrel between Popper and Lakatos aboutceteris paribus clauses and falsifiability by saying that both are partly wrong and partly right.
The so-called 'Extreme Claim' asserts that reductionism about personal identity leaves each of us with no reason to be specially concerned about his or her own future. Both advocates and opponents of the Extreme Claim, whether of a reductionist or non-reductionist stripe, accept that similar problems do not arise for non-reductionism. In this paper I challenge this widely held assumption.
Political candidates often believe they must focus their campaign efforts on a small number of swing voters open for ideological change. Based on the wisdom of opinion polls, this might seem like a good idea. But do most voters really hold their political attitudes so firmly that they are unreceptive to persuasion? We tested this premise during the most recent general election in Sweden, in which a left- and a right-wing coalition were locked in a close race. We asked our (...) participants to state their voter intention, and presented them with a political survey of wedge issues between the two coalitions. Using a sleight-of-hand we then altered their replies to place them in the opposite political camp, and invited them to reason about their attitudes on the manipulated issues. Finally, we summarized their survey score, and asked for their voter intention again. The results showed that no more than 22% of the manipulated replies were detected, and that a full 92% of the participants accepted and endorsed our altered political survey score. Furthermore, the final voter intention question indicated that as many as 48% (69.2%) were willing to consider a left-right coalition shift. This can be contrasted with the established polls tracking the Swedish election, which registered maximally 10% voters open for a swing. Our results indicate that political attitudes and partisan divisions can be far more flexible than what is assumed by the polls, and that people can reason about the factual issues of the campaign with considerable openness to change. (shrink)
Every day, thousands of polls, surveys, and rating scales are employed to elicit the attitudes of humankind. Given the ubiquitous use of these instruments, it seems we ought to have firm answers to what is measured by them, but unfortunately we do not. To help remedy this situation, we present a novel approach to investigate the nature of attitudes. We created a self-transforming paper survey of moral opinions, covering both foundational principles, and current dilemmas hotly debated in the media. This (...) survey used a magic trick to expose participants to a reversal of their previously stated attitudes, allowing us to record whether they were prepared to endorse and argue for the opposite view of what they had stated only moments ago. The result showed that the majority of the reversals remained undetected, and a full 69% of the participants failed to detect at least one of two changes. In addition, participants often constructed coherent and unequivocal arguments supporting the opposite of their original position. These results suggest a dramatic potential for flexibility in our moral attitudes, and indicates a clear role for self-attribution and post-hoc rationalization in attitude formation and change. (shrink)
Incompetent patients need to have someone else make decisions on their behalf. According to the Substituted Judgment Standard the surrogate decision maker ought to make the decision that the patient would have made, had he or she been competent. Objections have been raised against this traditional construal of the standard on the grounds that it involves flawed counterfactual reasoning, and amendments have been suggested within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper shows that while this approach may circumvent the (...) alleged problem, the way it has so far been elaborated reflects insufficient understanding of the moral underpinnings of the idea of substituted judgment. Proper recognition of these moral underpinnings has potentially far-reaching implications for our normative assumptions about accuracy and objectivity in surrogate decision making. (shrink)
Rebecca Roache’s recent critique of David Lewis’s cohabitation view assumes that a person cannot be properly concerned about something that rules out that she ever exists. In this brief response, I argue against this assumption.
Chris Heathwood has recently put forward a novel and ingenious argument against the view that intrinsic value is analyzable in terms of fitting attitudes. According to Heathwood, this view holds water only if the related but distinct concept of welfare—intrinsic value for a person —can be analyzed in terms of fitting attitudes too. Moreover, he argues against such an analysis of welfare by appealing to the rationality of our bias towards the future. In this paper, I argue that so long (...) as we keep the tenses and the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction right, the fitting-attitudes analysis of welfare can be shown to survive Heathwood’s criticism. (shrink)
The paper highlights a certain kind of self-falsifying utterance, which I shall call antiperformative assertions, not noted in speech-act theory thus far. By taking such assertions into account, the old question whether explicit performatives have a truth-value can be resolved. I shall show that explicit performatives are in fact self-verifyingly true, but they are not related to propositions the way ordinary assertions are; antiperformatives have the same unusual relation to propositions, but are self-falsifyingly false. Explicit performatives are speech acts performed (...) in situations where it is important that the speaker is self-reflectively aware of what he is doing in the speech act. Antiperformatives, on the other hand, are speech acts performed in situations where lack of direct self-reflectiveness is required. In order to situate performatives and antiperformatives, the analysis is embedded within a more general discussion of self-falsifying and self-verifying assertions. (shrink)
Can there be relational universals? If so, how can they be exemplified? A monadic universal is by definition capable of having a scattered spatiotemporal localization of its different exemplifications, but the problem of relational universals is that one single exemplification seems to have to be scattered in the many places where the relata are. The paper argues that it is possible to bite this bullet, and to accept a hitherto un-discussed kind of exemplification relation called ‘scattered exemplification’. It has no (...) immediate symbolic counterpart in any Indo-European natural language or in any so far constructed logical language. In order to remedy this, a notion called ‘many-place copula’ is introduced, too. (shrink)
For many assertions, the correspondence theory of truth seems intuitively to give the best account of the difference between truth and falsity, but one of its problems is how to explicate the notions of “correspondence” and “truthmaking”. In conformity with the view of David Armstrong, it is claimed that truthmaking is an internal relation between a truthmaker and a truth(-value-)bearer. The truthbearer (a token proposition) can exist without the truthmaker (an object or a state of affairs), and vice versa, but (...) when both exist the truthmaker necessarily makes the truthbearer true and correspondence obtains. Contrary to Armstrong’s reductionist analyses of internal relations and propositions, however, it is argued that internal relations can have a mind-independent existence and “add to being”, that truthbearers and truthmakers are categorially different, and that the correspondence theory of truth requires a distinction between internal relations with heterogeneous and homogeneous relata, respectively. (shrink)
Most versions of the psychological-continuity approach to personal identity (PCA) contain a 'non-branching' requirement. Recently, Robert Francescotti has argued that while such versions of PCA handle Parfit's standard fission case well, they deliver the wrong result in the case of an intact human brain. To solve this problem, he says, PCA-adherents need to add a clause that runs contrary to the spirit of their theory. In this response, I argue that Francescotti's counterexample fails. As a result, the revision he suggests (...) is not needed. (shrink)
In this article I explore ways to argue about punishment of personal representations in virtual reality. I will defend the idea that such punishing might sometimes be morally required. I offer four different lines of argument: one consequentialistic, one appealing to an idea of appropriateness, one using the notion of organic wholes, and one starting from a supposed inability to determine the limits of the extension of the moral agent. I conclude that all four approaches could, in some cases, justify (...) punishing a virtual reality representation; an avatar. As a consequence of my conclusion, I suggest that our institutionalized criminal justice system must be broadened in scope and punitive measures, in order to cover the new and difficult cases arising in virtual reality. (shrink)
It is argued that medical science requires a classificatory system that (a) puts functions in the taxonomic center and (b) does justice ontologically to the difference between the processes which are the realizations of functions and the objects which are their bearers. We propose formulae for constructing such a system and describe some of its benefits. The arguments are general enough to be of interest to all the life sciences.
According to the “deprivation approach,” a person’s death is bad for her to the extent that it deprives her of goods. This approach faces the Lucretian problem that prenatal non-existence deprives us of goods just as much as death does, but does not seem bad at all. The two most prominent responses to this challenge—one of which is provided by Frederik Kaufman (inspired by Thomas Nagel) and the other by Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer—claim that prenatal non-existence is relevantly (...) different from death. This paper criticizes these responses. (shrink)
In a world of limited resources, it could be argued that companies that aspire to be good corporate citizens need to focus on making best use of resources. User value and environmental harm are created in supply chains and it could therefore be argued that company business ethics should be extended from the company to the entire value chain from the first supplier to the last customer. Starting with a delineation of the linkages between business ethics, corporate sustainability, and the (...) stakeholder concept, this article argues that supply chains generally have a great innovation potential for sustainable development. This potential could be highlighted with system thinking and the use of change management knowledge, promoting not only innovations within technology but also within organizational improvement. We propose process models and performance indicators as means of highlighting improvement potential and thus breaking down normative business ethics' requirements to an opertionalizable corporate level: Good business ethics should focus on maximizing stakeholder value in relation to harm done. Our results indicate that focusing on supply chains reveals previously unknown innovation potential that seems to be related to limited system understanding. The assumption is that increased visibility of opportunities will act as a driver for change. Results also highlight the importance of focusing on sustainability effects of the core business and clearly relating value created to harm done. (shrink)
The introduction of new medical treatments based on invasive technologies has often been surrounded by both hopes and fears. Hope, since a new intervention can create new opportunities either in terms of providing a cure for the disease or impairment at hand; or as alleviation of symptoms. Fear, since an invasive treatment involving implanting a medical device can result in unknown complications such as hardware failure and undesirable medical consequences. However, hopes and fears may also arise due to the cultural (...) embeddedness of technology, where a therapy due to ethical, social, political and religious concerns could be perceived as either a blessing or a threat. While Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for treatment resistant depression (TRD) is still in its cradle, it is important to be proactive and try to scrutinize both surfacing hopes and fears. Patients will not benefit if a promising treatment is banned or avoided due to unfounded fears, nor will they benefit if DBS is used without scrutinizing the arguments which call for caution. Hence blind optimism is equally troublesome. We suggest that specificity, both in terms of a detailed account of relevant scientific concerns as well as ethical considerations, could be a way to analyse expressed concerns regarding DBS for TRD. This approach is particularly fruitful when applied to hopes and fears evoked by DBS for TRD, since it can reveal if our comprehension of DBS for TRD suffer from various biases which may remain unnoticed at first glance. We suggest that such biases exist, albeit a further analysis is needed to explore this issue in full. (shrink)
The paper argues, that a direct formalization of the way common sense thinks about the numerical identity of enduring entities, requires that traditional predicate logic is developed. If everyday language mirrors the world, then persons, organisms, organs, cells, and ordinary material things can lose some parts but nonetheless remain numerically exactly the same entity. In order to formalize this view, two new logical operators are introduced; and they bring with them some non-standard syntax. One of the operators is called ‘the (...) instantiation operator’; it is needed because the existential quantifier and its traditional relatives cannot do the job required. The other operator is called ‘the form-on-matter operator’, and it allows an individual (an instance of a form) to stay the same even though some of its parts (its constituting matter) is taken away from it. Also, a certain kind of predicates, called ‘nature terms’, is needed in order to represent what gives a particular its kind of identity. Both the operators and the nature terms introduced can be used in constructions of formal languages and formal systems, but no such constructions are made in the paper. The paper is structured as a comment on the philosophical problem called ‘the problem of the cats Tibbles and Tib’. (shrink)
We focus on two problems with the evolutionary scenario proposed: (1) It bypasses the question of the origins of the communicative and semiotic features that make language distinct from, say, pleasant but meaningless sounds. (2) It does little to explain the absence of language in, for example, chimpanzees: Most of the selection pressures invoked apply just as strongly to chimps. We suggest how these problems could possibly be amended.
If the logic of belief changes is extended to cover belief states which contain both factual and normative beliefs, it is easily shown that a change of a factual belief (an 'Is') in a mixed belief state can imply a change of a normative belief (an 'Ought') in the same state. With regard to Hume's so-called 'Is-Ought problem', this means that one has to distinguish its statics from its dynamics. When this is done, it becomes clear that changes of factual (...) beliefs can, for rational reasons, have far-reaching normative consequences. Similarly, a change of a factual belief can imply a change of a value belief. (shrink)
The topic of this article is morality among pre-school children.Two different theories of morality, morality as lived and morality asrationality of thought, are analyzed with a special view to exploringtheir respective consequences for doing research on small children'smorality. Children's lived morality is then interpreted and discussed interms of rights.