In this paper, I begin by defending permissivism: the claim that, sometimes, there is more than one way to rationally respond to a given body of evidence. Then I argue that, if we accept permissivism, certain worries that arise as a result of learning that our beliefs were caused by the communities we grew up in, the schools we went to, or other irrelevant influences dissipate. The basic strategy is as follows: First, I try to pinpoint what makes irrelevant influences (...) worrying and I come up with two candidate principles. I then argue that one principle should be rejected because it is inconsistent with permissivism. The principle we should accept implies that it is sometimes rational to maintain our beliefs, even upon learning that they were caused by irrelevant influences. (shrink)
: In this essay, Miriam argues for a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach to the radical feminist theory of sex-right and compulsory heterosexuality. Against critics of radical feminism, she argues that when understood from a phenomenological-hermeneutic perspective, such theory does not foreclose female sexual agency. On the contrary, men's right of sexual access to women and girls is part of our background understanding of heteronormativity, and thus integral to the lived experience of female sexual agency.
This volume in honor of Miriam Griffin brings together seventeen international specialists. Their essays range from Socrates to late antiquity, with a particular focus on Cicero. Subjects covered include the Stoics and Cynics, Roman law, the formulation of imperial power, Jews and Christians, "performance philosophy," Augustine, late Platonism, and women philosophers.
Miriam Solomon's social empiricism is marked by emphasis on community level rationality in science and the refusal to impose a distinction between the epistemic and the non-epistemic character of factors ("decision vectors") that incline scientists for or against a theory. While she attempts to derive some norms from the analysis of cases, her insistent naturalism undermines her effort to articulate norms for the (appropriate) distribution of decision vectors.
This review essay discusses two recent attempts to reform the framework in which issues of international and global justice are discussed: Iris Marion Young?s ?social connection? model and the practice-dependent approach, here exemplified by Ayelet Banai, Miriam Ronzoni and Christian Schemmel?s edited collection. I argue that while Young?s model may fit some issues of international or global justice, it misconceives the problems that many of them pose. Indeed, its difficulties point precisely in the direction of practice dependence as it (...) is presented by Banai et al. I go on to discuss what seem to be the strengths of that method, and particularly Banai et al.?s defence of it against the common claim that it is biased towards the status quo. I also discuss Andrea Sangiovanni and Kate MacDonald?s contributions to the collection. (shrink)
Miriam Griffin is unrivalled as a bridge-builder between historians of the Graeco-Roman world and students of its philosophies. This volume in her honour brings togetherseventeen international specialists. Their essays range from Socrates to late antiquity, extending to Diogenes, Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Marcus Aurelius, the Second Sophistic, Ulpian, Augustine, the Neoplatonist tradition, women philosophers, provision for basic human needs, the development of law, the formulation of imperial power, and the interpretation of Judaism and early Christianity. Emperors and drop-outs, media (...) stars and administrators, top politicians and abstruse professionals, even ordinary citizens in their epitaphs, were variously called philosophers. Philosophy could offer those in power moral support or confrontation, a language for making choices or an intellectual diversion, but they might disregard philosophy and get on with the exercise of power. 'Philosophy' means 'love of wisdom', but what was the power of philosophy? (shrink)
Classical Presences Series Editors: Lorna Hardwick, Professor of Classical Studies, Open University, and James I. Porter, Professor of Greek, Latin, and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present. They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on (...) the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past. Athens in Paris explores the ways in which the writings of the ancient Greeks played a decisive part in shaping the intellectual projects of structuralism and post-structuralism--arguably the most significant currents of thought of the post-war era. Miriam Leonard argues that thinkers in post-war France turned to the example of Athenian democracy in their debates over the role of political subjectivity and ethical choice in the life of the modern citizen. The authors she investigates, who include Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Vernant, have had an incalculable influence on the direction of classical studies over the last thirty years, but classicists have yet to give due attention to the crucial role of the ancient world in the development of their philosophy. (shrink)
For this Clarendon Paperback, Dr Griffin has written a new Postscript to bring the original book fully up to date. She discusses further important and controversial questions of fact or interpretation in the light of the scholarship of the intervening years and provides additional argument where necessary. -/- The connection between Seneca's prose works and his career as a first-century Roman statesman is problematic. Although he writes in the first person, he tells us little of his external life or of (...) the people and events that formed its setting. Miriam Griffin addresses the problem by first reconstructing Seneca's career using only outside sources and his de Clementia and Apocolocyntosis, whose political purposes are undisputed. In the second part of the book she studies Seneca's treatment of subjects of political significance, including his views on slavery, provincial policy, wealth, and suicide. On the whole, the word of the philosopher is found to illuminate the work of the statesman, but notable exceptions emerge, and the links that are revealed vary from theme to theme and rarely accord with traditional autobiographical interpretations of Seneca's works. (shrink)
The Queen's College, Oxford, UK In his article `Facts and Principles', G.A. Cohen attempts to refute constructivist approaches to justification by showing that, contrary to what their proponents claim, fundamental normative principles are fact- in sensitive. We argue that Cohen's `fact-insensitivity thesis' does not provide a successful refutation of constructivism because it pertains to an area of meta-ethics which differs from the one tackled by constructivists. While Cohen's thesis concerns the logical structure of normative principles, constructivists ask how normative principles (...) should be justified . In particular, their claim that justified fundamental normative principles are fact-sensitive follows from a commitment to agnosticism about the existence of objective moral facts. We therefore conclude that, in order to refute constructivism, Cohen would have to address questions of justification, and take a stand on those long-standing meta-ethical debates about the ontological status of moral notions (for example, realism versus anti-realism) with respect to which he himself wants to remain agnostic. Key Words: John Rawls normative justification realism versus anti-realism methodological versus substantive principles. (shrink)
The paper analyses Rawls’s teleology/deontology distinction, and his concept of priority of the right. The first part of the paper aims both 1) to clarify what is distinctive about Rawls’s deontology/teleology distinction (thus sorting out some existing confusion in the literature, especially regarding the conflation of such distinction with that between consequentialism and nonconsequentialism); and 2) to cash out the rich taxonomy of moral theories that such a distinction helpfully allows us to develop. The second part of the paper examines (...) the concept of priority of the right. It argues that such a concept should not be identified with that of deontology—indeed, deontological theories do not necessarily assign priority to the right over the good. However, it contends that the concept of priority of the right is essential to explaining what specific kind of deontological theory “justice as fairness” is. Justice as fairness is a deontological theory which assigns priority to the right as a consequence of its commitment to a neutral position with respect to different accounts of what is ultimately valuable and good. (shrink)
We have benefited from conversations with Archon Fung, Brian Jacob, Todd Pittinsky, Peter Schuck, Ani Satz, Andrew Williams, and students in a joint class on statistics and ethics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in October 2002. We are also grateful to our audience at the conference “The Priority of Practice,” organized by Jonathan Wolff at University College London in September 2003, and to Arthur Applbaum, Miriam Avins, Frances Kamm, Simon Keller, Frederick Schauer, Alan Wertheimer, and the (...) Editors of Phi- losophy & Public Affairs for insightful comments. We have benefited from prepublication reading of Schauer’s work on profiling, Profiles, Probabilities, and Stereotypes (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003). We thank Avedis Koutoujian for research assistance. (shrink)
The American regulatory model of corporate governance rests on the theory of self-regulation as␣the most effective and efficient means to achieve corporate self-restraint in the marketplace. However, that model fails to achieve regular compliance with baseline ethical and legal behaviors as evidenced by a century of repeated corporate debacles, the most recent being Enron, WorldCom, and Refco. Seemingly impervious to its domestic failure, Congress imprinted the same self-regulation paradigm on legislation restraining global business behavior, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This (...) anti-bribery initiative prohibits unethical and illegal payments made to foreign public officials in an effort to eradicate bribery as a rational-choice global market entry strategy. However, this paper illustrates, using newly complied statistics from 1977 to 2008, that the FCPA has not had a dramatic impact on U.S. global corporate behavior despite its recent high profile coverage and the tough regulatory rhetoric about corporate compliance. The paper also extends the prior Cragg and Woof FCPA efficiency study and provides current empirical evidence to resolve several unanswered questions raised by that earlier study. (shrink)
In his multi-faceted attack on Rawls’s account of justice, G.A. Cohen has argued that the notion of basic structure is necessarily insensitive to the importance of informal social norms to social justice. The paper argues that the most plausible account of the basic structure is not blind to informal social norms in any meaningful sense. Whereas informal, non-legally coercive institutions are not part of the basic structure as such, their careful consideration is necessary for the assessment of whether the basic (...) structure itself is indeed just. This claim is based on an account of what it means for normative principle to apply to institutions, which I expound in detail throughout the paper. Principles apply to institutions, I argue, not in that they restrain their conduct, but in that they indicate which social conditions they should bring about. (shrink)
It has been argued that Extended Cognition (EXT), a recently much discussed framework in the philosophy of cognition, would serve as the theoretical basis to account for the impact of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) on the self and life of patients with Locked-in Syndrome (LIS). In this paper I will argue that this claim is unsubstantiated, EXT is not the appropriate theoretical background for understanding the role of BCI in LIS. I will critically assess what a theory of the extended (...) self would comprise and provide a list of desiderata for a theory of self that EXT fails to accommodate for. There is, however, an alternative framework in Cognitive Science, Enactivism, which entails the basis for an account of self that is able to accommodate for these desiderata. I will outline some first steps towards an Enactive approach to the self, suggesting that the self could be considered as a form of human autonomy. Understanding the self from an enactive point of view will allow to shed new light on the questions of whether and how BCIs affect or change the selves of patients with LIS. (shrink)
In this article I argue against Ronald Dworkin's rejection of the labour auction in his ‘Equality of Resources’. I criticize Dworkin's claims that the talented would envy the untalented in such an auction, and that the talented in particular would be enslaved by it. I identify some ways in which the talent auction is underdescribed and I compare the results for the condition of the talented of different further descriptions of it. I conclude that Dworkin's deviation from the ‘envy test’ (...) criterion results in an inequality between the talented and the untalented which cannot be justified in egalitarian terms. Correspondence:c1 firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
: The traditional "doctrinal" approach to interpreting Plato's dialogues has been criticized in recent literature on grounds that it can neither account for the structural complexities of the dialogues nor resolve conflicts within or between dialogues. Accordingly, a non-doctrinal, dramatic approach has been offered in its place. In response to this literature, I argue that, though the doctrinal approach is flawed, the non-doctrinal, dramatic approach does not provide a viable alternative. Instead, I offer a revised doctrinal approach based upon Socrates' (...) discussion of "summoners" in Republic 522e–525a and supported by the Meno. (shrink)
Epistemic diversity is widely approved of by social epistemologists. This paper asks, more specifi cally, how much epistemic diversity, and what kinds of epistemic diversity are normatively appropriate? Both laissez-faire and highly directive approaches to epistemic diversity are rejected in favor of the claim that diversity is a blunt epistemic tool. There are typically a number of diff erent options for adequate diversifi cation. The paper focuses on scientifi c domains, with particular attention to recent theories of smell.
I investigate what we mean when we hold people responsible for beliefs. I begin by outlining a puzzle concerning our ordinary judgments about beliefs and briefly survey and critique some common responses to the puzzle. I then present my response where I argue a sense needs to be articulated in which we do have a kind of control over our beliefs if our practice of attributing responsibility for beliefs is appropriate. In developing this notion of doxastic control, I draw from (...) John Fischer's discussions of ?guidance control?. A central feature of this kind of control is the idea of ?ownership?. I argue that we can own our beliefs and that we expect each other to do so. We take responsibility for our beliefs and taking responsibility includes taking control of them. I end by considering objections to my view as well as some implications of it. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to the criticisms of Helen Longino, Alan Richardson, Naomi Oreskes and Sharyn Clough. There is discussion of the character of social knowledge, the goals of scientific inquiry, the connections between Social Empiricism and other approaches in science studies, productive and unproductive dissent, and the distinction between empirical and non-empirical decision vectors.
Over the last several years, as cesarean deliveries have grown increasingly common, there has been a great deal of public and professional interest in the phenomenon of women 'choosing' to deliver by cesarean section in the absence of any specific medical indication. The issue has sparked intense conversation, as it raises questions about the nature of autonomy in birth. Whereas mainstream bioethical discourse is used to associating autonomy with having a large array of choices, this conception of autonomy does not (...) seem adequate to capture concerns and intuitions that have a strong grip outside this discourse. An empirical and conceptual exploration of how delivery decisions ought to be negotiated must be guided by a rich understanding of women's agency and its placement within a complicated set of cultural meanings and pressures surrounding birth. It is too early to be 'for' or 'against' women's access to cesarean delivery in the absence of traditional medical indications – and indeed, a simple pro- or con- position is never going to do justice to the subtlety of the issue. The right question is not whether women ought to be allowed to choose their delivery approach but, rather, taking the value of women's autonomy in decision-making around birth as a given, what sorts of guidelines, practices, and social conditions will best promote and protect women's full inclusion in a safe and positive birth process. (shrink)
This paper uses social network analysis to examine the interaction between corporate blogs devoted to sustainability issues and the blogosphere, a clustered online network of collaborative actors. By analyzing the structural embeddedness of a prototypical blog in a virtual community, we show the potential of online platforms to document corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and to engage with an increasingly socially and ecologically aware stakeholder base. The results of this study show that stakeholder involvement via sustainability blogs is a valuable (...) new practice for CSR communications and stakeholder engagement. It also opens new horizons for communicating CSR issues to key constituencies online. (shrink)
The work of Tversky, Kahneman and others suggests that people often make use of cognitive heuristics such as availability, salience and representativeness in their reasoning and decision making. Through use of a historical example--the recent plate tectonics revolution in geology--I argue that such heuristics play a crucial role in scientific decision making also. I suggest how these heuristics are to be considered, along with noncognitive factors (such as motivation and social structures) when drawing historical and epistemological conclusions. The normative perspective (...) is community-wide, contextual, and instrumental. (shrink)
Recent discussions of rational deliberation in science present us with two extremes: unbounded optimism and sober pessimism. Helen Longino (1990) sees rational deliberation as the foundation of scientific objectivity. Miriam Solomon (1991) thinks it is overrated. Indeed, she has recently argued (2006) that group deliberation is detrimental to empirical success because it often involves groupthink and the suppression of dissent. But we need not embrace either extreme. To determine the value of rational deliberation we need to look more closely (...) at the practice and practitioners of science. I offer a closer look here by exploring the joint agency of small research teams. Although there are factors that contribute to the suppression of dissent in group contexts, a closer look at the literature on group dynamics suggests that there are ways to mitigate the effects of groupthink. Thus, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the value of rational deliberation within certain scientific contexts. (shrink)
American legal theorists frequently ask whether and how theorists, citizens, lawmakers, judges, and other public officials can attain truth, correctness, or certainty in their legal and moral views. This essay discusses the views of contemporary liberal legal theorists who have attempted to answer these questions in a way that is neither objectivist nor formalist, on the one hand, nor subjectivist or relativist, on the other, referring to authors that make up this group as theorists of the "middle way." The essay (...) suggests areas in which such legal thinkers might profit from studying Aristotle's writings about ethics and politics. Two approaches of contemporary liberal legal theory of the middle way are discussed. The first is characterized by a reluctance to have recourse to substantive moral and political principles that exist independently of a particular legal order. Because of their reluctance to import substantive standards external to a nation?s legal system into legal reasoning, this approach advocates to a much greater degree than the second approach reliance on communal deliberation and various structural, procedural, and related devices to constrain deliberations about human values and conduct. This study outlines some of the central beliefs of this process-oriented approach to practical knowledge and then analyzes how Aristotle might react to them. The beliefs discussed are the place and method of communal reasoning about practical matters; self governance and consent; self-governance and transformative political participation; and the emphasis on ideal speech conditions to legitimate the products of communal deliberation. The second approach of contemporary liberal legal theory of the middle way discussed in the essay is characterized by a belief that moral or political philosophy can arrive at some measure of truth about principles and values having to do with the lives of individuals and the conduct of communities. With one exception, the theorists discussed in this part of the essay are willing to recognize and incorporate such principles and values into practical reasoning that takes place within the confines of a particular legal system such as our own. These thinkers disagree about the degree to which and the occasions on which recourse to values external to a political community should occur. This essay discusses how Aristotle might react to the major ideas common to these thinkers. The ideas discussed in this part are the sources of external substantive values that legal reasoning might incorporate; the relative roles of consent and habit in securing obedience to the law; and the connection between deliberation and character. (shrink)
The paper suggests that there are two different ways in which a legal system restricts an individualâ€™s rights. It can either grant a power that revokes the legal protection of the right or it can acknowledge the infringement of a legal right and yet justify such an infringement by means of a criminal law justification. The distinction proposed by the paper has both expressive and practical implications and is useful in solving dilemmas arising in emergencies when constitutional constraints make it (...) impossible to grant the power to revoke legal protection of a basic right. In some of these situations a criminal law justification might support infringement of such a right. This claim is demonstrated by analyzing the ruling of the German Constitutional Court concerning the shooting down of a hijacked airplane in circumstances similar to those of September 11. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is an axiomatic study of the interrelations between certain continuity properties. We deal with principles which are equivalent to the statements "every mapping is sequentially nondiscontinuous", "every sequentially nondiscontinuous mapping is sequentially continuous", and "every sequentially continuous mapping is continuous". As corollaries, we show that every mapping of a complete separable space is continuous in constructive recursive mathematics (the Kreisel-Lacombe-Schoenfield-Tsejtin theorem) and in intuitionism.
Linguists have seen creating dictionaries of endangered languages as a key activity in language maintenance and revival work. However, like any approach to language engineering, there are concerns to address. The first is the tension between language documentation and language maintenance2. The second is the role of literacy. A lot of effort has been put into vernacular literacy, on the assumption that it assists language maintenance, as well as language documentation. In some respects this is a dubious assumption, because writing (...) a language does not necessarily lead to speaking it or maintaining the language. Moreover, in some cases putting effort into writing the language can detract from efforts to encourage learners to speak the language. It is certain that much more effort should be put into oral language development. (shrink)
Paul Bernays was both a philosopher and a mathematician. He is famous for his logical-mathematical production (also in collaboration with David Hilbert), while his philosophical works have been given less consideration. The present article is an attempt to reconstruct the way that led Bernays from his early writings on ethics to his final epistemological thought.
After the 1930s, the research into the foundations of mathematics changed.None of its main directions (logicism, formalism and intuitionism) had any longer the pretension to be the only true mathematics.Usually, the determining factor in the change is considered to be Gödel?s work, while Heyting?s role is neglected.In contrast, in this paper I first describe how Heyting directly suggested the abandonment of the big foundational questions and the putting forward of a new kind of foundational research consisting in the isolation of (...) formal, intuitive, logical and platonistic elements within classical mathematics.Furthermore, I describe how Heyting indirectly influenced the abandon?ment of the old directions of foundational research by making out some lists of degrees of evidence that exist within intuitionism. (shrink)
This paper presents the content of the unpublished notes that the Dutch mathematician Arend Heyting wrote in different periods of his life on solipsism and that are preserved in Heyting's archive at the University of Amsterdam. Most of the notes are quoted here and translated into English. Their study shows the originality of Heyting's reflections on a subject that was typical of his master, L. E. J. Brouwer, the father of intuitionism.
In Social Empiricism, Miriam Solomon proposes a via media between traditional philosophical realism and social construction of scientific knowledge, but ignores a large body of historical literature that has attempted to plough just that path. She also proposes a standard for normatively appropriate consensus that, arguably, no theory in the history of science has ever achieved, including her own ideal type—plate tectonics. And while valorizing dissent, she fails to consider how dissent has been used in recent decades as a (...) political tool to challenge scientific evidence on diverse issues, including the link between tobacco and cancer and the reality of anthropogenic global warming. (shrink)
Social liberals and liberal nationalists often argue that cosmopolitans neglect the normative importance of state sovereignty and self-determination. This paper counter-argues that, under current global political and socio-economic circumstances, only the establishment of supranational institutions with some (limited, but significant) sovereign powers can allow states to exercise sovereignty, and peoples? self-determination, in a meaningful way. Social liberals have largely neglected this point because they have focused on an unduly narrow, mainly negative, conception of state sovereignty. I contend, instead, that we (...) should more closely consider the positive aspects of sovereignty, understood as the capacity to maintain internal problem-solving capacities and make meaningful discretionary choices on a range of national issues. (shrink)
Trust in the practice of rational deliberation is widespread and largely unquestioned. This paper uses recent work from business contexts to challenge the view that rational deliberation in a group improves decisions. Pressure to reach consensus can, in fact, lead to phenomena such as groupthink and to suppression of relevant data. Aggregation of individual decisions, rather than deliberation to a consensus, surprisingly, can produce better decisions than those of either group deliberation or individual expert judgment. I argue that dissent is (...) epistemically valuable, not because of the discussion it can provoke (Mill’s and Longino’s view about the benefit of dissent), but because dissenting positions often are associated with particular data or insights that would be lost in consensus formation. Social epistemologists can usefully pay attention to various methods of aggregation of individual opinion for their effectiveness at realizing epistemic goals. (shrink)
: Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch's introductory text, The Golem: What Everyone Should Know About Science (1993), includes a controversy about the significance of pseudosexual behavior in the parthenogenetic whiptail lizard. Collins and Pinch, basing their account on the work of Greg Myers (1990), claim that "in this area of biology, experiments are seldom possible" and that the debate has "battled to an honorable draw." I argue that a closer look at the publications of the scientists involved shows that, at (...) least by the late 1980s, it was widely accepted that pseudosexual behavior is important for reproduction in these lizards. Moreover, a variety of experiments, as well as laboratory and field observations, proved decisive in this acceptance. (shrink)
These are two very different books, but they both raise significant aesthetic issues that they do little to resolve. The fact that they are well directed on the main targets they select makes them useful, however, and we are now getting closer to an understanding of what an Arab aesthetics and art might be. Neither author tackles this topic with the necessary degree of concentration and we shall see what sorts of arguments might work here and what have up to (...) now made little progress. Admirers of the work of miriam cooke, of whom I am one, will on the whole be disappointed with her book here. It is slim not only in size but in the range of ideas it considers. It reads more like a travelogue of her period in .. (shrink)
Life expectancy and health differ greatly between emerging and developed countries and within countries. Global dependence on fossil fuels contributes to health inequalities through air pollution, the geopolitics of scarce resources and probable climate change arising from global warming. Substituting for fossil fuels (C), hydrogen (H2), as vector and store of energy produced from low-carbon and/or renewable sources could reduce health inequalities by improving the environment. It is unlikely that the global market would initiate such a change. Nation-states would not (...) act alone and would need to cooperate in leading it. Global recession might be the incentive that is needed to restructure a C-economy into an H2-economy. Yet, the transition would carry high costs, which would have to be borne by the developed countries in order to achieve a new treaty that included emerging countries. H2 for C is thus not only a technical fix, but also a global-ethical choice. (shrink)
In this paper, we consider the extension of the conception of the economic agent as a person who chooses particular actions in relation to his or her social identity. We do this in particular by analysing Akerlof and Kranton's recent models on ?economics and identity? (2000). Amartya Sen has over the years consistently pointed out that a person might have different reasons to choose, including not only those that increase a person's self?interested utility, however broadly this self might be defined. (...) The question then is how should one assess a person's well?being if her choices are not based on the maximisation of her ?own? utility. Against the background of these considerations, we will present our own analysis of the economic agent's identity, which is motivated not by the self?interested choices, but by achieving consistency between one's characteristics and one's desired self?image through participation in different social groups. We propose to situate this identity?conception in a space of capabilities. (shrink)