Many contemporary scholars debate whether war should be conceived as a relative evil or a morally neutral act. The works of Augustine may offer new ways of thinking through the categories of this debate. In an early period, Augustine develops the distinction between evil done and evil suffered. Augustine's early treatments of war locate the saint as detached sage doing only good, and immune from evil suffered. In a middle period, he develops a richer picture of the evil suffered on (...) the occasion of the loss of historical goods but fails to develop the implications of this picture as concerns war. Finally, without abandoning emphasis on the avoidance of doing evil, Augustine comes to highlight how evil suffered in war prevents us from speaking simply of good wars. Augustine's ability to hold together senses of evil and their moral significance provides a useful avenue for new thought on this issue. (shrink)
For the last several decades, philosophers have wrestled with the proper place of religion in liberal societies. Usually, the debates among these philosophers have started with the articulation of various conceptions of liberalism and then proceeded to locate religion in the context of these conceptions. In the process, however, too little attention has been paid to the way religion is conceived. Drawing on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff, two scholars who are often read as holding opposing views (...) on these issues, I argue that, for the purposes of their argument about liberalism, both have implicitly accepted a concept of religion that has come under severe attack in recent work on the subject. Namely, they have accepted a concept of religion that identifies religion primarily with belief, ritual practice, and ecclesial institutions. Following recent scholarship, I suggest that religion is better conceived as a kind of culture. To conclude the essay, I gesture toward what the beginnings of a re-visioned debate about religion and liberal society might look like if one started from this revised conception of religion. (shrink)
Mike Gene and I used to be quite active on a private listserve some years back. I even arranged for him to give a keynote address at a private ID conference in the fall of 1997. When we were on that listserve together, I used to keep many of his posts because I thought that they were so insightful (unfortunately many were lost when a computer virus chewed up my email program). In all that time I do not recall (...) ever taking sharp exception to him. But this time it's happened. My beef centers on Mike's comments on my exchange with Scott and Branch. (shrink)
In this paper, I reflect on a number of issues raised in Kevin Carnahan’s “Religion, and not just Religious Reasons, in the Public Square: A Consideration of Robert Audi’s and Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Religion in the Public Square” and Eric A. Anderson’s “Religiously Conservative Citizens and the Ideal of Conscientious Engagement: A Comment on Wolterstorff and Eberle.” In response to Carnahan, I argue that recent discussions of the proper public role of religious reason do not depend on an objectionable (...) conception of religion. I also respond to Anderson's concern that my “ideal of conscientious engagement” is an insufficiently robust alternative to public reason liberalism. (shrink)
In my response to Kevin Carnahan, I explain the concept of religion that I have been working with in my writings on the place of religious reasons in public political discourse. While acknowledging that religion is often privatized, my concern has been with religion as a way of life. It is religion so understood that raises the most serious issues concerning the role of religion in public discourse. In my response to Erik A. Anderson, I go beyond what I (...) have previously said about the role of religious reasons in public discourse. As an alternative to Rawlsian public reason, I argue that the essence of liberal democracy is that every citizen is to have equal political voice. I go on to consider what it is to exercise one’s equal political voice as a moral engagement. (shrink)
Can some films be genuine thought experiments that challenge our commonsense intuitions? Certain filmic narratives and their mise-en-scène details reveal rigorous reasoning and counterintuitive outcomes on philosophical issues, such as skepticism or personal identity. But this philosophical façade may hide a mundane concern for entertainment. Unfamiliar narratives drive spectator entertainment, and every novel cinematic situation could be easily explained as part of a process that lacks motives of philosophical elucidation. -/- The paper inverses the above objection, and proposes that when (...) the main cinematic character resists spectator engagement (a crucial source of cinematic entertainment), emotionally challenged spectators also question their commonsensical beliefs about his/her actions, and detect a conceptually novel situation as such. -/- A case study is Mike Leigh’s film Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), in which the main female character presents an unrelenting but eccentric version of 'feel good' happiness. Spectators gradually detect that the previously unexamined, commonsensical version of subjective happiness comes at the price of individual eccentricity, and that the choice of a subjective theory of happiness leads to consequences hitherto unacknowledged. (shrink)
What is happiness? How is it related to morality and virtue? Does living with illusion promote or diminish happiness? Is it better to pursue happiness with a partner than alone? Philosopher Mike W. Martin addresses these and other questions as he connects the meaning of happiness with the philosophical notion of "the good life." Defining happiness as loving one's life and valuing it in ways manifested by ample enjoyment and a deep sense of meaning, Martin explores the ways in (...) which happiness interacts with all other dimensions of good lives--in particular with moral decency and goodness, authenticity, mental health, self-fulfillment, and meaningfulness. He interweaves a variety of examples from memoirs, novels, and films along the way, connecting his discussion of the philosophical issues to related topics that interest all of us: virtue, love, philanthropy, suffering, simplicity, balancing work and leisure, and much more. Drawing on wide-ranging and robust evidence, Martin also makes the case that we need a "politics of happiness" whereby government would apply the results of recent "happiness studies" in psychology to public policy. (shrink)
Moral Theory and Theorizing in Healthcare Ethics Content Type Journal Article Category Editorial Pages 365-368 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9291-x Authors Mike McNamee, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea, SA28PP UK Thomas Schramme, Universität Hamburg, Philosophisches Seminar, Von-Melle-Park 6, 20146 Hamburg, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 4.
Jean Baudrillard is one of the most important and provocative writers in the contemporary era. Widely acclaimed as the prophet of postmodernism, he has famously announced the disappearance of the subject, meaning, truth, class and the notion of reality itself. Although he worked as a sociologist, his writing has enjoyed a wide interdisciplinary popularity and influence. He is read by students of sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, literature, French and geography. Organized into eight sections, the volumes provide the most complete guide (...) to Baudrillard currently available: Section 1: Theoretical Issues In this section the central themes informing Baudrillard's work are defined and discussed. Baudrillard's place in contemporary social thought is examined through considerations of how his work has been received. The importance of signs and the sign economy in Baudrillard's analysis is highlighted. The case for treating Baudrillard as a seminal theorist in contemporary social thought is elucidated. Section 2: Postmodernism Baudrillard is reluctant to regard himself as a postmodernist. Nonetheless, it is as the leading theorist of postmodernism that he is widely celebrated and generally known. This section explores Baudrillard's relation to postmodernism and demonstrates his specific contribution. Questions of Baudrillards relation to capitalism, commodification, fatalism, Lyotard, Jameson and politics are explored. Section 3: Culture It is now commonplace to refer to the period since the late 1980s as `the cultural turn'. Baudrillard's work provided a leading exponent of the significance of culture in understanding contemporary life. Included here are reflections on Baudrillard and corporate culturalism, power, ideology, simulation, mass media, Disney, hyperreality and leisure. Section 4: War In the 1990s Baudrillard became famous for the thesis that `the gulf war did not happen'. For some critics, it revealed the poverty of Baudrillard's approach. For others it showed more profoundly why his thought is an indispensable tool in grappling with the complexities of contemporary society. At all events, Baudrillard's treatment of the war represented a climacteric in critical responses to Baudrillard. In this section the various range of responses to Baudrillard's intervention are precisely delineated, providing the reader with the essential data required to decide if Baudrillard's thesis is right or wrong. Section 5: America America dazzles and appalls Baudrillard. In America and of Cool Memories 1&2, he documents his violent responses to America as an idea; a physical space. Included here are reflections on Baudrillard, America and postmodernism; Baudrillard's significance as an ethnographer of US life; Baudrillard and American film; Baudrillard and Reagan's America; and Baudrillard, America and the politics of simulation. Section 6: Seduction Baudrillard's theory of seduction is, like much else in his work, controversial. This section examines how the theory has been interpreted and criticized. The relationship between Baudrillard and feminism is examined. Applications of his theory to art and work are explored. Section 7: Fiction and Art Baudrillard is an unusual contemporary thinker, in as much as his writing is taken seriously by artists. Baudrillard himself has responded to this, by becoming more interested in photography in the last ten years. This section aims to provide an essential guide to the relationship between Baudrillard and art. Included here are enquiries into Baudrillard and science fiction, the relationship between Baudrillard and J G Ballard's `Crash'; Baudrillard and abstract painting; Baudrillard and Francis Bacon; Baudrillard, Benjamin and Lichtenstein; Baudrillard, Barthes and photography; and Baudrillard's theory of communication. Section 8: Baudrillard and Other Social Theorists The concluding part of the collection aims to situate Baudrillard in the field of contemporary social theory. Interestingly, Baudrillard himself has never attempted to compare and contrast his theoretical ideas with those of others. The 14 contributions included in this section, seek to rectify this shortcoming. The contributions cover Baudrillard and Marx; Baudrillard, Durkheim and Rousseau; Baudrillard and psychoanalysis; Baudrillard and Bataille; existentialism, postmodernism and Baudrillard; Baudrillard and McLuhan; Baudrillard and Critical Theory; Baudrillard and Habermas; Baudrillard and Deleuze; Baudrillard and de Certeau; and the fictional Baudrillard, as dreamt up by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. The contributions are selected and introduced by Mike Gane, Professor of Sociology at the University of Loughborough. With publications like Baudrillard's Bestiary, Baudrillard: Critical & Fatal Theory and Baudrillard Live, Gane is widely recognized as the leading secondary commentator on the work of Baudrillard. No-one else matches him in the appreciation and critical understanding of Baudrillard. In a full length `Introduction' to the volumes, written with verve and penetration, Gane shows exactly why Baudrillard is a key thinker of our times. Mike Gane is Professor of Sociology at University of Loughborough. (shrink)
Morality and mental health are now inseparably linked in our view of character. Alcoholics are sick, yet they are punished for drunk driving. Drug addicts are criminals, but their punishment can be court ordered therapy. The line between character flaws and personality disorders has become fuzzy, with even the seven deadly sins seen as mental disorders. In addition to pathologizing wrong-doing, we also psychologize virtue; self-respect becomes self-esteem, integrity becomes psychological integration, and responsibility becomes maturity. Moral advice is now sought (...) primarily from psychologists and therapists rather than philosophers or theologians. In this wide-ranging, accessible book, Mike W. Martin asks: are we replacing morality with therapy, in potentially confused and dangerous ways, or are we creatively integrating morality and mental health? According to him, it's a little bit of both. He surveys the ways in which morality and mental health are related, touching on practical concerns like love and work, self-respect and self-fulfillment, guilt and depression, crime and violence, and addictions. Terming this integrative development "the therapeutic trend in ethics," Martin uses examples from popular culture, various moral controversies, and draws on a line of thought that includes Plato, the Stoics, Freud, Nietzsche, and contemporary psychotherapeutic theories. Martin develops some interesting conclusions, among them that sound morality is indeed healthy, and that moral values are inevitably embedded in our conceptions of mental health. In the end, he shows how both morality and mental health are inextricably intertwined in our pursuit of a meaningful life. This book will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists, as well as the general reader. (shrink)
Preface Leadership, Spirituality and the Common Good East and West Approaches Henri-Claude de Bettignies & Mike J. Thompson For many, to bring together “ leadership”, “spirituality” and “the Common Good” will be seen more as a ...
In this book, Mike Higton provides a constructive critique of Higher Education policy and practice in the UK, the US and beyond, from the standpoint of Christian theology. He focuses on the role universities can and should play in forming students and staff in intellectual virtue, in sustaining vibrant communities of inquiry, and in serving the public good. He argues both that modern secular universities can be a proper context for Christians to pursue their calling as disciples to learn (...) and to teach, and that Christians can contribute to the flourishing of such universities as institutions devoted to learning for the common good. In the process he sets out a vision of the good university as secular and religiously plural, as socially inclusive, and as deeply and productively entangled with the surrounding society. Along the way, he engages with a range of historical examples (the medieval University of Paris, the University of Berlin in the nineteenth century, and John Henry Newman's work in Oxford and Dublin) and with a range of contemporary writers on Higher Education from George Marsden to Stanley Hauerwas and from David Ford to Rowan Williams. (shrink)
I defend a theory of mental representation that satisfies naturalistic constraints. Briefly, we begin by distinguishing (i) what makes something a representation from (ii) given that a thing is a representation, what determines what it represents. Representations are states of biological organisms, so we should expect a unified theoretical framework for explaining both what it is to be a representation as well as what it is to be a heart or a kidney. I follow Millikan in explaining (i) in terms (...) of teleofunction, explicated in terms of natural selection. -/- To explain (ii), we begin by recognizing that representational states do not have content, that is, they are neither true nor false except insofar as they both “point to” or “refer” to something, as well as “say” something regarding whatever it is they are about. To distinguish veridical from false representations, there must be a way for these separate aspects to come apart; hence, we explain (ii) by providing independent theories of what I call f-reference and f-predication (the ‘f’ simply connotes ‘fundamental’, to distinguish these things from their natural language counterparts). -/- Causal theories of representation typically founder on error, or on what Fodor has called the disjunction problem. Resemblance or isomorphism theories typically founder on what I’ve called the non-uniqueness problem, which is that isomorphisms and resemblance are practically unconstrained and so representational content cannot be uniquely determined. These traditional problems provide the motivation for my theory, the structural preservation theory, as follows. F-reference, like reference, is a specific, asymmetric relation, as is causation. F-predication, like predication, is a non-specific relation, as predicates typically apply to many things, just as many relational systems can be isomorphic to any given relational system. Putting these observations together, a promising strategy is to explain f-reference via causal history and f-predication via something like isomorphism between relational systems. -/- This dissertation should be conceptualized as having three parts. After motivating and characterizing the problem in chapter 1, the first part is the negative project, where I review and critique Dretske’s, Fodor’s, and Millikan’s theories in chapters 2-4. Second, I construct my theory about the nature of representation in chapter 5 and defend it from objections in chapter 6. In chapters 7-8, which constitute the third and final part, I address the question of how representation is implemented in biological systems. In chapter 7 I argue that single-cell intracortical recordings taken from awake Macaque monkeys performing a cognitive task provide empirical evidence for structural preservation theory, and in chapter 8 I use the empirical results to illustrate, clarify, and refine the theory. (shrink)
The dead donor rule justifies current practice in organ procurement for transplantation and states that organ donors must be dead prior to donation. The majority of organ donors are diagnosed as having suffered brain death and hence are declared dead by neurological criteria. However, a significant amount of unrest in both the philosophical and the medical literature has surfaced since this practice began forty years ago. I argue that, first, declaring death by neurological criteria is both unreliable and unjustified but (...) further, the ethical principles which themselves justify the dead donor rule are better served by abandoning that rule and instead allowing individuals who have suffered severe and irreversible brain damage to become organ donors, even though they are not yet dead and even though the removal of their organs would be the proximal cause of death. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper I offer an account of a particular variety of perception of absence, namely, visual perception of empty space. In so doing, I aim to make explicit the role that seeing empty space has, implicitly, in Mike Martin's account of the visual field. I suggest we should make sense of the claim that vision has a field—in Martin's sense—in terms of our being aware of its limitations or boundaries. I argue that the limits of the visual (...) field are our own sensory limitations, and that we are aware of them as such. Seeing empty space, I argue, involves a structural feature of experience that constitutes our awareness of our visual sensory limitations, and thus, in virtue of which vision has a field. (shrink)
As commonly understood, professional ethics consists of shared duties and episodic dilemmas--the responsibilities incumbent on all members of specific professions joined together with the dilemmas that arise when these responsibilities conflict. Martin challenges this "consensus paradigm" as he rethinks professional ethics to include personal commitments and ideals, of which many are not mandatory. Using specific examples from a wide range of professions, including medicine, law, high school teaching, journalism, engineering, and ministry, he explores how personal commitments motivate, guide, and give (...) meaning to work. (shrink)
One of the many arguments against capital punishment is that execution is irrevocable. At its most simple, the argument has three premises. First, legal institutions should abolish penalties that do not admit correction of error, unless there are no alternative penalties. Second, irrevocable penalties are those that do not admit of correction. Third, execution is irrevocable. It follows that capital punishment should be abolished. This paper argues for the third premise. One might think that the truth of this premise is (...) self-evident. But in his paper “Is the Death Penalty Irrevocable?” Mike Davis argues that it is false: the death penalty is not irrevocable. While Davis’ argument is itself somewhat compelling, it receives additional support from work in the metaphysics of death, specifically the literature on posthumous harm. Strengthened in this way, the argument deserves careful consideration. I begin with a quick sketch of Davis’ argument, then show how the Pitcher-Feinberg theory of posthumous harm enables a more robust argument against the irrevocability of capital punishment, defending their theory of harm against standard objections in the literature. Having established the coherency of the robust argument, I conclude that it nevertheless fails to make the case against irrevocability. This is because it ignores the full set of practical requirements incumbent on legal institutions that wrongly punish someone. (shrink)
Although Robert Nozick has argued that libertarianism is compatible with the justice of a minimal state—even if does not arise from mutual consent—few have been persuaded. I will outline a different way of establishing that a non-consensual libertarian state can be just. I will show that a state can—with a few important qualifications—justly enforce the rights of citizens, extract payments to cover the costs of such enforcement, redistribute resources to the poor, and invest in infrastructure to overcome market failures. Footnotesa (...) For very helpful comments, I am indebted to Dani Attas, Ellen Frankel Paul, Robert <span class='Hi'>Johnson</span>, Brian Kierland, Mike Otsuka, Eric Roark, and the other contributors to this volume. (shrink)
We explicate representational content by addressing how representations that ex- plain intelligent behavior might be acquired through processes of Darwinian evo- lution. We present the results of computer simulations of evolved neural network controllers and discuss the similarity of the simulations to real-world examples of neural network control of animal behavior. We argue that focusing on the simplest cases of evolved intelligent behavior, in both simulated and real organisms, reveals that evolved representations must carry information about the creature’s environ- ments (...) and further can do so only if their neural states are appropriately isomor- phic to environmental states. Further, these informational and isomorphism rela- tions are what are tracked by content attributions in folk-psychological and cognitive scientific explanations of these intelligent behaviors. (shrink)
Legally defining “death” in terms of brain death unacceptably obscures a value judgment that not all reasonable people would accept. This is disingenuous, and it results in serious moral flaws in the medical practices surrounding organ donation. Public policy that relies on the whole-brain concept of death is therefore morally flawed and in need of revision.
Rational analysis (Anderson 1990, 1991a) is an empiricalprogram of attempting to explain why the cognitive system isadaptive, with respect to its goals and the structure of itsenvironment. We argue that rational analysis has two importantimplications for philosophical debate concerning rationality. First,rational analysis provides a model for the relationship betweenformal principles of rationality (such as probability or decisiontheory) and everyday rationality, in the sense of successfulthought and action in daily life. Second, applying the program ofrational analysis to research on human reasoning (...) leads to a radicalreinterpretation of empirical results which are typically viewed asdemonstrating human irrationality. (shrink)
In 2005 Mike Wheeler published a very nice book with MIT entitled Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step. Wheeler writes about – and is at the forefront of – a group of researchers calling attention to what we can call 4EA cognition: "embodied, embedded, enactive, extended, affective." The philosophical resource for Wheeler’s “next step” is Heidegger. I think it's time we use Deleuze to take another next step.1 I’m going to use Deleuze’s essay on Lucretius as a lead. (...) There, Deleuze writes about naturalism as demystification. For the 4EA schools, the fight is against myths of the subject. (shrink)
In “Personality Disorders: Moral or Medical Kinds—or Both?” Peter Zachar and Nancy Nyquist Potter (2010) reject any general dichotomy between morality and mental health, and specifically between character vices and personality disorders. In doing so, they provide a nuanced and illuminating discussion that connects Aristotelian virtue ethics to a multidimensional understanding of personality disorders. I share their conviction that dissolving morality–health dichotomies is the starting point for any plausible understanding of human beings (Martin 2006), but I register some qualms about (...) their discussion of responsibility. Zachar and Potter target the morality-health dichotomy as it appears in Louis C. .. (shrink)
Mike Otsukaʼs book aspires to do more than its title discloses. Libertarianism without Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2003) does not merely aim to reconcile liberty and equality (that is handled without remainder in the first chapter) but to draw the outlines of a complete, and distinctly Lockean, political theory. Rather than starting from first principles, Otsuka explores several specific issues only loosely connected to each other, hoping that these might add up to a complete political vision. Though the discussion (...) is clearly tinted in Lockean colours, his conclusions are always provocative and difficult to swallow, even for modern disciples of Locke. Thus he argues for the following theses. (shrink)
Markov models of evolution describe changes in the probability distribution of the trait values a population might exhibit. In consequence, they also describe how entropy and conditional entropy values evolve, and how the mutual information that characterizes the relation between an earlier and a later moment in a lineage’s history depends on how much time separates them. These models therefore provide an interesting perspective on questions that usually are considered in the foundations of physics—when and why does entropy increase and (...) at what rates do changes in entropy take place? They also throw light on an important epistemological question: are there limits on what your observations of the present can tell you about the evolutionary past? (shrink)
We examine in detail three classic reasoning fallacies, that is, supposedly ``incorrect'' forms of argument. These are the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam, the circular argument or petitio principii, and the slippery slope argument. In each case, the argument type is shown to match structurally arguments which are widely accepted. This suggests that it is not the form of the arguments as such that is problematic but rather something about the content of those examples with which they are typically justified. This (...) leads to a Bayesian reanalysis of these classic argument forms and a reformulation of the conditions under which they do or do not constitute legitimate forms of argumentation. (shrink)
The study of engineering ethics tends to emphasize professional codes of ethics and, to lesser degrees, business ethics and technology studies. These are all important vantage points, but they neglect personal moral commitments, as well as personal aesthetic, religious, and other values that are not mandatory for all members of engineering. This paper illustrates how personal moral commitments motivate, guide, and give meaning to the work of engineers, contributing to both self-fulfillment and public goods. It also explores some general frameworks (...) for thinking about these commitments and calls for further exploration of them. (shrink)
I don't want to mislead, and therefore should say, at once, that I am not all sure that I am taking part in the discussion. I think I understand some of what is said in the six papers, and agree with much of it. What I don't understand is the topic: the legitimacy of "rationality," "science," and "logic" (perhaps modified by "Western")--call the amalgam "rational inquiry," for brevity. I read the papers hoping for some enlightenment on the matter, but, to (...) quote one contributor, "my eyes glaze over and thanks, but I just don't want to participate." When Mike Albert asked me to comment on papers advocating that we abandon or transcend rational inquiry, I refused, and probably would have been wise to keep to that decision. After a good deal of arm-twisting, I will make a few comments, but, frankly, I do not really grasp what the issue is supposed to be. (shrink)
Creativity in science and engineering has moral significance and deserves attention within professional ethics, in at least three areas. First, much scientific and technological creativity constitutes moral creativity because it generates moral benefits, is motivated by moral concern, and manifests virtues such as beneficence, courage, and perseverance. Second, creativity contributes to the meaning that scientists and engineers derive from their work, thereby connecting with virtues such as authenticity and also faults arising from Faustian trade-offs. Third, morally creative leadership is important (...) at all levels of science and engineering. (shrink)
Thinking Space is ideal reading for those looking to learn about the Ospatial turn1 in social and cultural theory. As theorists have begun using using geographical concepts and metaphors to think about the complex and differentiated world this book examines the way they use spatial ideas, what role these ideas play in their thinking and what this means for how we think about theory and space. Among the writers discussed are: Simmel, Bakhtin, Deleuze, Cixous, Lefebvre, Lacan, Bourdieu, Foucault and Fanon.
We are thankful for the opportunity to reflect more on the difficult problem of the relationship between moral evaluations and the construct of personality disorders in response to the commentaries by Mike Martin and Louis Charland. We begin by emphasizing to readers that this important problem is complicated by the different perspectives of the various disciplines involved, especially, philosophy, psychiatry, and psychology. Incredulity, anger, and dismay are among the reactions we encountered in discussions of these issues, especially with some (...) mental health professionals. Strong reactions on either side of a disciplinary divide occasionally present barriers to a dispassionate discussion of the topic. .. (shrink)
Many philosophers of science believe that empirical psychology can contribute little to the philosophical investigation of explanations. They take this to be shown by the fact that certain explanations fail to elicit any relevant psychological events (e.g., familiarity, insight, intelligibility, etc.). We report results from a study suggesting that, at least among those with extensive science training, a capacity to render an event intelligible is considered a requirement for explanation. We also investigate for whom explanations must be capable of rendering (...) events intelligible and whether or not accuracy is also viewed as a requirement. (shrink)
Brent Kious has recently attacked several arguments generally adduced to support anti-doping in sports, which are widely supported by the sports medicine fraternity, international sports federations, and international governments. We show that his attack does not succeed for a variety of reasons. First, it uses an overly inclusive definition of doping at odds with the WADA definition, which has global, if somewhat contentious, currency. Second, it seriously misconstrues the position it attacks, rendering the attack without force against a more balanced (...) construal of an anti-doping position. Third, it makes unwarranted appeals to matters Kious considers morally ‘clear’, while simultaneously attacking a position many others take to be equally morally ‘clear’, namely that of anti-doping. Such an inconsistency, attacking and appealing to the moral status quo as befits one’s argument, is not acceptable without further qualification. Fourth, his position suffers from a general methodological flaw of over-reliance upon argumentation by analogy. Moreover, it is argued that the analogies, being poorly selected and developed, fail to justify his conclusion that the anti-doping lobby lacks philosophical and moral authority for its stance. These issues are symptomatic of a more fundamental problem: any attempt at providing a blanket solution to the question of whether doping is morally acceptable or not is bound to run up against problems when applied to highly specific contexts. Thus, rather than reaching any particular conclusion for or against doping products or processes in this article, we conclude that an increased context-sensitivity will result in a more evenhanded appraisal of arguments on the matter. (shrink)
Over the last decade, fully distributed models have become dominant in connectionist psychological modelling, whereas the virtues of localist models have been underestimated. This target article illustrates some of the benefits of localist modelling. Localist models are characterized by the presence of localist representations rather than the absence of distributed representations. A generalized localist model is proposed that exhibits many of the properties of fully distributed models. It can be applied to a number of problems that are difficult for fully (...) distributed models, and its applicability can be extended through comparisons with a number of classic mathematical models of behaviour. There are reasons why localist models have been underused, though these often misconstrue the localist position. In particular, many conclusions about connectionist representation, based on neuroscientific observation, can be called into question. There are still some problems inherent in the application of fully distributed systems and some inadequacies in proposed solutions to these problems. In the domain of psychological modelling, localist modelling is to be preferred. Key Words: choice; competition; connectionist modelling; consolidation; distributed; localist; neural networks; reaction-time. (shrink)
We argue that Maclaurin and Dyke's recent critique of non-naturalistic metaphysics suffers from difficulties analogous to those that caused trouble for earlier positivist critiques of metaphysics. Maclaurin and Dyke say that a theory is naturalistic iff it has observable consequences. Depending on the details of this criterion, either no theory counts as naturalistic or every theory does.
The rational analysis method, first proposed by John R. Anderson, has been enormously influential in helping us understand high-level cognitive processes. -/- 'The Probabilistic Mind' is a follow-up to the influential and highly cited 'Rational Models of Cognition' (OUP, 1998). It brings together developments in understanding how, and how far, high-level cognitive processes can be understood in rational terms, and particularly using probabilistic Bayesian methods. It synthesizes and evaluates the progress in the past decade, taking into account developments in Bayesian (...) statistics, statistical analysis of the cognitive 'environment' and a variety of theoretical and experimental lines of research. The scope of the book is broad, covering important recent work in reasoning, decision making, categorization, and memory. Including chapters from many of the leading figures in this field, -/- 'The Probabilistic Mind' will be valuable for psychologists and philosophers interested in cognition. (shrink)
A natural way of understanding (non-epistemic) looks talk in natural language is phenomenalist: to ascribe looks to objects is to say something about the way they strike us when we look at them. This explains why the truth values of looks-sentences intuitively vary with the circumstances with respect to which they are evaluated. But Mike Martin (2010) argues that there is no semantic reason to prefer a phenomenalist understanding of looks to “Parsimony”, the position according to which looks are (...) basic visible properties. He suggests a semantics for looks-sentences that explains their intuitive truth values and is compatible with Parsimony. I argue that there is semantic reason to prefer a phenomenalist understanding of looks to a parsimonious one since there is a simpler semantics compatible with a phenomenalist understanding of looks, but not with Parsimony. This semantics provides a better explanation of the relevant truth value distribution. (shrink)
This article examines the controversial notion of the role and value of the humanities in the contemporary university. It provides a review of the history of the emergence of the humanities in the European universities, arguing that any attempt to justify the presence of the humanities in the modern university in instrumental terms is futile. Through its depiction of the evolution of the humanities as a particular compendium of disciplinary fields, the article demonstrates that the humanities have become a focal (...) point for the exploration of the problems of meaning, significance and truth, which are inherent components of language itself. Through its portrayal of the historical development of the humanities, the article emphasizes the interminable nature of these problems, stressing that the inconclusive quality of these debates is a definitive feature of Modernity itself—the humanities have become the locus for Modernity's self-awareness. The articulation and extension of this self-awareness is an imperative that eludes the logic of instrumental reason to provide a justificatory category of its own. (shrink)
This last of three articles on Structuralism and Post-structuralism attempts to do four things: (1) to summarize the dispute between Structuralism and Post-structuralism about the stability of meaning; (2) to present three criticisms of Derrida’s dissemination; (3) to assess the worth of these criticisms; and (4) to offer some concluding remarks on Structuralism and Post-structuralism.