Two new philosophical problems surrounding the gradation of certainty began to emerge in the 17th century and are still very much alive today. One is concerned with the evaluation of inductive reasoning, whether in science, jurisprudence, or elsewhere; the other with the interpretation of the mathematical calculus of change. This book, aimed at non-specialists, investigates both problems and the extent to which they are connected. Cohen demonstrates the diversity of logical structures that are available for judgements of probability, and (...) explores the rationale for their appropriateness in different contexts of application. Thus his study deals with the complexity of the underlying philosophical issues without simply cataloging alternative conceptions or espousing a particular "favorite" theory. (shrink)
Johnathan Cohen's book provides a lucid and penetrating treatment of the fundamental issues of contemporary analytical philosophy. This field now spans a greater variety of topics and divergence of opinion than fifty years ago, and Cohen's book addresses the presuppositions implicit to it and the patterns of reasoning on which it relies.
Ethics has been identified as an important factor that potentially affects auditors’ professional skepticism. For example, prior research finds that auditors who are more concerned with professional ethics exhibit greater professional skepticism. Further, the literature suggests that professional skepticism may lead the auditor to more vigilantly resist the client’s position in financial reporting disputes. These reporting disputes are generally resolved through negotiations between the auditor and client to arrive at the final reported amounts. To date, the role that professional skepticism (...) potentially plays in the negotiation process has been relatively unexplored. The literature prior to the enactment of Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) suggests that auditors are more likely to approve a client position when the matter in dispute is relatively ambiguous and when changing the client’s position will result in the client failing to meet analysts’ expectations. However, changes resulting from SOX have led auditors to be more vigilant and therefore results found in the pre-SOX environment may not hold in the current environment where auditors are held more accountable for their actions. Results from an experiment with experienced audit managers and partners suggest that in the post-SOX climate, auditors’ negotiations do not appear to be substantively influenced by management being able to meet or beat forecasts. Moreover, we find that when auditors exhibit heightened professional skepticism, they are more ethical by being conservative and they stand more resolute than when auditors do not exhibit heightened professional skepticism. Finally, although we do not find a main effect for the influence of earnings forecast, we do find a significant interaction between earnings forecast and heightened professional skepticism. Implications for practice and research are then presented. (shrink)
Historians of medicine generally credit the hospital standardization movement of the early 20th century with establishing the record as a sign of hospital and staff quality. The medical record's role had already been the subject of intense interest at the New York Hospital several decades before, however. In the 1880s malpractice and insurance concerns caused the administration to attempt to supervise record creation, quality, and access, over the objections of physicians. Contemporary concerns about the uses of the medical record were (...) in play well before 1910. (shrink)
In this incisive new book one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied, at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? And (...) should statements and assertions be presumed to express what their authors believe or what they accept? Does such a distinction between belief and acceptance help to resolve the paradoxes of self-deception and akrasia? Must people be taken to believe everything entailed by what they believe, or merely to accept everything entailed by what they accept? Through a systematic examination of these problems, the author sheds new light on issues of crucial importance in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. (shrink)
It can happen that a single surface S, viewed in normal conditions, looks pure blue (“true blue”) to observer John but looks blue tinged with green to a second observer, Jane, even though both are normal in the sense that they pass the standard psychophysical tests for color vision. Tye (2006a) ﬁnds this situation prima facie puzzling, and then oﬀers two diﬀerent “solutions” to the puzzle.1 The ﬁrst is that at least one observer misrepresents S’s color because, though normal in (...) the sense explained, she is not a Normal color observer: her color detection system is not operating in the current condition in the way that Mother Nature intended it to operate. His second solution involves the idea that Mother Nature designed our color detection systems to be reliable with respect to the detection of coarse-grained colors (e.g., blue, green, yellow, orange), but our capacity to represent the ﬁne-grained colors (e.g., true blue, blue tinged with green) is an undesigned spandrel. On this second solution, it is consistent with the variation between John and Jane that both represent the color of S in a way that complies with Mother Nature’s intentions: both represent S as exemplifying the coarse-grained color blue, and since (we may assume) S is in fact blue, both represent it veridically. Of course, they also represent ﬁne-grained colors of S, and, according to Tye, at most one of these representations is veridical (Tye says that only God knows which). But at the level of representation for which Mother Nature designed our color detection systems, both John and Jane (qua Normal observers) are reliable detectors. (shrink)
(Tye 2006) presents us with the following scenario: John and Jane are both stan- dard human visual perceivers (according to the Ishihara test or the Farnsworth test, for example) viewing the same surface of Munsell chip 527 in standard conditions of visual observation. The surface of the chip looks “true blue” to John (i.e., it looks blue not tinged with any other colour to John), and blue tinged with green to Jane.1 Tye then in eﬀect poses a multiple choice question.
The classical analysis of relevance in probabilistic terms does not fit legal, moral or conversational relevance, and, though analysis in terms of a psychological model may fit conversational relevance, it certainly does not fit legal, moral or evidential relevance. It is important to notice here that some sentences are ambiguous between conversational and non-conversational relevance. But, if and only ifR is relevant to a questionQ, R is a reason, though not necessarily a complete or conclusive reason, for accepting or rejecting (...) something as an answer toQ. Reasons of this kind are governed by appropriate covering laws or principled probabilities and a number of questions thus arise about the relationship between relevance and certain formal-logical properties. (shrink)