The Mental Capacity Bill endangers the vulnerable by inviting human rights abuse. It is perhaps these grave deficiencies that prompted the warnings of the 23rd Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights highlighting the failure of the legislation to supply adequate safeguards against Articles 2, 3 and 8 incompatibilities. Further, the fact that it is the mentally incapacitated as a class that are thought ripe for these and other kinds of intervention, highlights the Article 14 discrimination inherent in this (...) and related legislation. The financial, medical and research interests that underpin the legislation highlight how the legilsation endangers the ulnerable. It appears to be both a responsibility shifting exercise. Most alarmingly of all, efforts to permit non-therapeutic research on the non-consenting vulnerable as well as sterilisation and abortion on those who do not consent suggest that the legislation heralds a new era o gross human rights abuse in instutions around the UK. (shrink)
Commentators routinely urge that it is morally permissible forcibly to treat psychiatric patients (1) to preserve the patient's best interests and (2) to restore the patient's autonomy. Such arguments specify duties of beneficence toward others, while appreciating personal autonomy as a positive value to be weighted against other factors. Varying by jurisdiction, legal statutes usually require, in addition, at least (3) that there exists the threat of harm to self or others. In this paper, I argue against embracing the first (...) two elements of this prevailing view. I also argue for a very restricted reading of the third element, based on the moral limits of permissible state action. (shrink)
Helga Kuhse suggested in 1985 at a session of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies in Nice, that once dehydration to death became legal and routine in hospitals, people would, on seeing the horror of it, seek the lethal injection. The strategy of legalising passive euthanasia is itself flawed. Laing argues that the Mental Capacity Bill threatens the vulnerable by inviting breaches of arts 2,3,5,8, and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Most at risk are the (...) disabled and incapacitated. Sections permitting non-therapeutic research and non consensualsterilisation are at odds with the Nuremberg Code. New third party powers to dehydrate the vulnerable permit new systemic human rights abuse of a clinical though not historically unfamiliar variety. (shrink)
To study Judicial determinants of the ordered obstetrical and fertility interventions. Nature, corresponding laws, decisions upon the 37 expounded holdings at the Probate, Trial, District, Appellate, and Supreme Courts are studied in 92 published materials identified through the ACOG, RCOG, SOCG portals, and Legal Scholarship Repository. Hearings are held in the US (83.8 %), Canada (10.8 %) and U.K (5.4 %). Of all the hearings reviewed, 27 % concern mentally impaired, 37.8 %-maternal incompetence, and 21.6 % cases are of criminal (...) nature. The Judicial determinants vary from country to country. In Canada, the ordered medical interventions are effected by the child protection legislation, whereas in the US, by court orders. In majority of cases, orders are obtained by dismissing the patriae petitions for involuntary sterilizations of mentally impaired sui juris adults (57 %); coerced obstetrical interventions (33.3 %), fetal custody (50 %); enforcement of surrogacy contracts (62.5 %) in favor of the Common Humanity Benefit clause; and recognizing the rights to inherit in posthumously conceived children (80 %) pursuant to the Social Security Act, Law of obviousness, Law of inherent anticipation, and Intestacy statute. Current study prioritizes two questions: (1) whether it is justified to override the wishes of a competent patient purportedly in her best interests; and (2) whether the patient’s autonomy and competence is an absolute concept. With the law unsettled as to a woman’s right to assent a treatment and contradict her fetus, parties concerned with fetal rights should consider exercising of screening tools on maternal judgmental fitness jointly developed by medical and legal practitioners. Further, given the advances in gamete conservations, states consider enacting legislation in order to safeguard the orderly administration of estates disrupted by claims from posthumously conceived children. A balance must be struck between the child’s right to inherit, the state’s interest, as well as the interests of prior born children. (shrink)
Under what conditions is it morally permissible to commit suicide, to assist in someone’s suicide, or to kill another person with his/her consent? Under what conditions is it morally permissible to use force to prevent such acts? I shall defend a libertarian answer to these questions. On this view, autonomous agents initially fully own themselves in the same sense that one can fully own an inanimate object such as a car. Just as full owners of cars are morally permitted, under (...) a broad range of conditions, to destroy their cars or have someone else do so, autonomous agents who fully own themselves are permitted, under a broad range of conditions, to terminate their lives or to have someone else do so. Furthermore, under these conditions, other agents are not permitted to use force to prevent a full self-owner’s consensual death. I shall focus on consensual killing (i.e., with the killed person’s consent) of autonomous agents. This includes suicide, assisting with suicide, voluntary euthanasia, and even cases where a non-sick person requests that another kill her. I shall not address cases of killing that are involuntary (against the will of the person killed) or non-voluntary (where the being killed is not autonomous; e.g., killing animals, children, and incapacitated adults). These are important issues, but they cannot be addressed here. (shrink)
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in conjunction with these (...) favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
The Mental Incapacity Bill not only paves the way for euthanasia, but invites wholesale abuse and homicide, writes Jacqueline Laing. On 19 October 2004, when the Mental Capacity Bill was at its crucial committee stage, the Law Society issued a statement of ‘strong support’, claiming that it empowers patients and in no way introduces euthanasia. Laing argues that the Bill threatens the incapacitated by granting a raft of new third parties power to require that health professionals withhold ‘treatment’, which, after (...) the controversial decision in Airedale NHS Trust v Bland  AC 789, includes food and fluids delivered both by tube and, in certain cases, by spoon. The Bill further endangers the vulnerable, first, by allowing non-therapeutic research on the non-consenting mentally incapacitated, in breach of the Nuremberg Code and First Declaration of Helsinki, and secondly, by permitting new agents power to undertake on people with learning disabilities certain questionable procedures currently authorised by the High Court, such as non-voluntary sterilisation. (shrink)
In this chapter I seek to examine the credibility of Finnis’s basic stance on Aquinas that while many neo-Thomists are meta-ethically naturalistic in their understanding of natural law theory (for example, Heinrich Rommen, Henry Veatch, Ralph McInerny, Russell Hittinger, Benedict Ashley and Anthony Lisska), Aquinas’s own meta-ethical framework avoids the “pitfall” of naturalism. On examination, the short of it is that I find Finnis’s account (while adroit) wanting in the interpretation stakes vis-à-vis other accounts of Aquinas’s meta-ethical foundationalism. I think (...) that the neo-Thomists are basically right to argue that for Aquinas we cannot really understand objective truths about moral standards unless we derive them from our intellective knowledge of natural facts as given to us by the essential human nature that we have. While I find Finnis’s interpretative position on Aquinas wanting, I go on to argue that his own attachment to non-naturalism is justified and should not be jettisoned. Because I think non-naturalism important to the future tenability of a viable natural law ethics (an ethics that is both cognitive and objectivist), I argue that Finnis should, so to speak, “beef up” his “fundamental option” for non-naturalism and more fully avail himself of certain argumentative strategies available in its defense, argumentative strategies that are inspired by the analytical philosophy of G.E. Moore. (shrink)
The goals of this paper are two-fold: I wish to clarify the Aristotelian conception of the law of non-contradiction as a metaphysical rather than a semantic or logical principle, and to defend the truth of the principle in this sense. First I will explain what it in fact means that the law of non-contradiction is a metaphysical principle. The core idea is that the law of non-contradiction is a general principle derived from how things are in the world. For example, (...) there are certain constraints as to what kind of properties an object can have, and especially: some of these properties are mutually exclusive. Given this characterisation, I will advance to examine what kind of challenges the law of non-contradiction faces; the main opponent here is Graham Priest. I will consider these challenges and conclude that they do not threaten the truth of the law of non-contradiction understood as a metaphysical principle. (shrink)
Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper (...) he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states. (shrink)
A number of authors have objected to the application of non-classical logic to problems in philosophy on the basis that these non-classical logics are usually characterised by a classical metatheory. In many cases the problem amounts to more than just a discrepancy; the very phenomena responsible for non-classicality occur in the field of semantics as much as they do elsewhere. The phenomena of higher order vagueness and the revenge liar are just two such examples. The aim of this paper is (...) to show that a large class of non-classical logics are strong enough to formulate their own model theory in a corresponding non-classical set theory. Specifically I show that adequate definitions of validity can be given for the propositional calculus in such a way that the metatheory proves, in the specified logic, that every theorem of the propositional fragment of that logic is validated. It is shown that in some cases it may fail to be a classical matter whether a given sentence is valid or not. One surprising conclusion for non-classical accounts of vagueness is drawn: there can be no axiomatic, and therefore precise, system which is determinately sound and complete. (shrink)
Intuitively, the knowledge of one’s own intentional actions is different from the knowledge of actions of other sorts, including those of other people and unintentional actions of one's own. But how are we to understand this phenomenon? Does it pertain to all actions, under every description under which they are known? If so, then how is this possible? If not, then how should we think about cases that are exceptions to this principle? This paper is a critical survey of recent (...) attempts to answer these questions. I consider views under three headings: "special source" views, which hold that the knowledge of one's intentional actions has a non-perceptual source; "special domain" views, which hold that some but not all aspects of one's intentional actions are known in a special way; and "special character" views, which hold that the knowledge of intentional actions is special not because of where it comes from, but because of some other respect in which it is different in kind from the knowledge of other things. (shrink)
Inspired by Kant's account of intuition and concepts, John McDowell has forcefully argued that the relation between sensible content and concepts is such that sensible content does not severally contribute to cognition but always only in conjunction with concepts. This view is known as conceptualism. Recently, Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais, among others, have brought against this view the charge that it neglects the possibility of the existence of essentially non-conceptual content that is not conceptualized or subject to conceptualization. Their (...) defense against McDowell amounts to non-conceptualism. Both views believe that intuition is synthesized content in Kant's sense. In this article, I am particularly interested in how their views are true to Kant. I argue that although McDowell is right that intuition is only epistemically relevant in conjunction with concepts, I also believe that Hanna and Allais are right with regard to the existence of essentially non-conceptual content, but that they are wrong with regard to intuition being synthesized content in Kant's sense. I also point out the common failure to take account of the modal nature of Kant's argument for the relation between intuition and concept. [the article is written in Dutch]. (shrink)
I present a high-level account of the semantical distinction between count nouns and non-count nouns (concrete non-count nouns sometimes being dubbed 'mass nouns'). The basic idea is that count nouns are semantically either singular (one-one semantic correlation) or plural (one-many semantic correlation) and non-count nouns (one-much semantic correlation) are neither.
Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism (NRP) is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism (contra Non-reduction ), or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety (contra Physicalism ). I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may (...) hold between the degrees of freedom needed to characterize certain special science entities, and those needed to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities; these correspond to what I call ‘reductions’, ‘restrictions’, and ‘eliminations’ in degrees of freedom. I then argue that eliminations in degrees of freedom, in particular—when strictly fewer degrees of freedom are required to characterize certain special science entities than are required to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities—provide a basis for making sense of how certain special science entities can be both physically acceptable and ontologically irreducible to physical entities. (shrink)
I argue that an adequate account of non-reductive realization must guarantee satisfaction of a certain condition on the token causal powers associated with (instances of) realized and realizing entities---namely, what I call the 'Subset Condition on Causal Powers' (first introduced in Wilson 1999). In terms of states, the condition requires that the token powers had by a realized state on a given occasion be a proper subset of the token powers had by the state that realizes it on that occasion. (...) Accounts of non-reductive realization conforming to this condition are implementing what I call 'the powers-based subset strategy'. I focus on the crucial case involving mental and brain states; the results may be generalized, as appropriate. I ﬁrst situate and motivate the strategy by attention to the problem of mental causation; I make the case, in schematic terms, that implementation of the strategy makes room (contra Kim 1989, 1993, 1998, and elsewhere) for mental states to be ontologically and causally autonomous from their realizing physical states, without inducing problematic causal overdetermination, and compatible with both Physicalism and Non-reduction; and I show that several contemporary accounts of non-reductive realization (in terms of functional realization, parthood, and the determinable/determinate relation) are plausibly seen as implementing the strategy. As I also show, implementation of the powers-based strategy does not require endorsement of any particular accounts of either properties or causation---indeed, a categoricalist contingentist Humean can implement the strategy. The schematic location of the strategy in the space of available responses to the problem of mental (more generally, higher-level) causation, as well as the fact that the schema may be metaphysically instantiated, strongly suggests that the strategy is, appropriately generalized and instantiated, sufficient and moreover necessary for non-reductive realization. I go on to defend the sufficiency and necessity claims against a variety of objections, considering, along the way, how the powers-based subset strategy fares against competing accounts of purportedly non-reductive realization in terms of supervenience, token identity, and constitution. (shrink)
We propose an alternative approach to probability theory closely related to the framework of numerosity theory: non-Archimedean probability (NAP). In our approach, unlike in classical probability theory, all subsets of an infinite sample space are measurable and only the empty set gets assigned probability zero (in other words: the probability functions are regular). We use a non-Archimedean field as the range of the probability function. As a result, the property of countable additivity in Kolmogorov’s axiomatization of probability is replaced by (...) a different type of infinite additivity. (shrink)
In recent times, Evans’ idea that mental states could have non-conceptual contents has been attacked. McDowell (Mind and World, 1994) and Brewer (Perception and reason, 1999) have both argued that that notion does not have any epistemological role because notions such as justification or evidential support, that might relate mental contents to each other, must be framed in conceptual terms. On his side, Brewer has argued that instead of non-conceptual content we should consider demonstrative concepts that have the same fine (...) grainess of non-conceptual contents while having conceptual structure. In what follows I will argue that, first, that the notion of demonstrative concept is not viable and, second, that there is an epistemological role for non-conceptual content. (shrink)
Recently theorists have demonstrated a growing interest in the ethical aspects of resource allocation in international non-governmental humanitarian, development and human rights organizations (INGOs). This article provides an analysis of Thomas Pogge's proposal for how international human rights organizations ought to choose which projects to fund. Pogge's allocation principle states that ?an INGO should govern its decision making about candidate projects by such rules and procedures as are expected to maximize its long-run cost-effectiveness, defined as the expected aggregate moral value (...) of the projects it undertakes divided by the expected aggregate cost of these projects? (2007. Moral priorities for international human rights NGOs. In Ethics in action, ed. D. Bell and J. Coicaud, 218?56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 241). I critique Pogge's argument on two fronts: (1) I demonstrate that his view is problematic on his own terms, even if we accept the cost-effectiveness framework he employs. (2) I take issue with his overall approach because it generates results which can undermine the integrity of INGOs. Further, his approach mis-characterizes the nature of INGOs, and this mistake is at the root of his problematic view of INGO priority-setting. Ultimately, I argue for a conception of INGOs in which they are understood as ?organizations of principle?, in the sense that they are independent moral agents and so should be permitted a fairly wide sphere of autonomy within reasonable moral constraints. (shrink)
Though Nietzsche traditionally often used to be interpreted as a nihilist, a range of possible metaethical interpretations, including varieties of realism, subjectivism and fictionalism, have emerged in the secondary literature. Recently the possibility that Nietzsche is a non-cognitivist has been broached. If one sees Hume as a central non-cognitivist figure, as recent non-cognitivists such as Simon Blackburn have, then the similarities between Nietzsche and Hume can make this reading seem plausible. This paper assesses the general plausibility of interpreting Nietzsche as (...) a non-cognitivist. Non-cognitivism can mean various things and so some attempt is made to lay out the various kinds of non-cognitivism one might ascribe to Nietzsche. As part of the overall assessment of the plausibility of a non-cognitivist Nietzsche, the paper considers in detail the arguments of Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick on behalf of a non-cognitivist reading. It argues, however, that there is insufficient evidence to justify the interpretation and that the analogy to Hume is unhelpful. (shrink)
Many people in the developing world access essential health services either partially or primarily through programs run by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). Given that such programs are typically designed and run by Westerners, and funded by Western countries and their citizens, it is not surprising that such programs are regarded by many as vehicles for Western cultural imperialism. In this chapter, I consider this phenomenon as it emerges in the context of development and humanitarian aid programs, particularly those delivering medical (...) treatment, nutrition and access to clean water. I argue that in order to avoid contributing to cultural imperialism, INGOs have a duty to ensure that they do not offer services in a way that requires their beneficiaries to choose between accessing essential health services and violating or otherwise undermining traditional norms and practices which have significance for their beneficiaries. Following Onora O'Neill, I argue that offers requiring such a choice are effectively “unrefuseable” and so coercive. INGOs therefore, must avoid making such offers, and can accomplish this by means of an iterated process of reciprocal negotiation under conditions of equality, in which both the INGOs’ and the beneficiaries’ deep values and concerns play a role. In essence, I claim that employing such a process is a requirement of procedural justice, given the non-ideal conditions in which INGOs must operate. (shrink)
This essay in the comparative metaphysic of nothingness begins by pondering why Leibniz thought of the converse question as the preeminent one. In Eastern philosophical thought, like the numeral 'zero' (śūnya) that Indian mathematicians first discovered, nothingness as non-being looms large and serves as the first quiver on the imponderables they seem to have encountered (e.g., 'In the beginning was neither non-being nor being: what was there, bottomless deep?' RgVeda X.129). The concept of non-being and its permutations of nothing, negation, (...) nullity, etc., receive more sophisticated treatment in the works of grammarians, ritual hermeneuticians, logicians, and their dialectical adversaries variously across Jaina and Buddhist schools. The present analysis follows the function of negation/the negative copula, nãn, and dialetheia in grammar and logic, then moves onto ontologies of non-existence and extinction and further suggestive tropes that tend to arrest rather than affirm the inexorable being-there of something. After a discussion of interests in being (existence), non-being and nothingness in contemporary metaphysics, the article examines Heidegger’s extensive treatment of nothingness in his 1929 inaugural Freiburg lecture, 'Was ist Metaphysik?', published later as 'What is Metaphysics?' The essay however distances itself from any pretensions toward a doctrine of Metaphysical Nihilism. (shrink)
Some argue that Candrakīrti is committed to rejecting all theories of perception in virtue of the rejection of the foundationalisms of the Nyāya and the Pramāṇika. Others argue that Candrakīrti endorses the Nyāya theory of perception. In this paper, I will propose an alternative non-foundationalist theory of perception for Candrakīriti. I will show that Candrakrti’s works provide us sufficient evidence to defend a typical Prāsagika’s account of perception that, I argue, complements his core non-foundationalist ontology.
In recent years, the debate on the problem of causal exclusion has seen an ‘interventionist turn’. Numerous non-reductive physicalists (e.g. Shapiro and Sober 2007) have argued that Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory of causation provides a means to empirically establish the existence of non-reducible mental-to-physical causation. By contrast, Baumgartner (2010) has presented an interventionist exclusion argument showing that interventionism is in fact incompatible with non-reductive physicalism. In response, a number of revised versions of interventionism have been suggested that are compatible with (...) non-reductive physicalism. The first part of this paper reconstructs the definitional details of these modified interventionist theories. The second part investigates whether the modification proposed in Woodward (2011) is not only compatible with, but moreover supports non-reductive physicalism. In particular, it is examined whether that newest variant of interventionism allows for empirically resolving the problem of causal exclusion as envisaged by Shapiro, Sober and others. (shrink)
Moral non-cognitivists hope to explain the nature of moral agreement and disagreement as agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitudes. In doing so, they take on the task of identifying the relevant attitudes, distinguishing the non-cognitive attitudes corresponding to judgments of moral wrongness, for example from attitudes involved in aesthetic disapproval or the sports fan’s disapproval of her team’s performance. We begin this paper by showing that there is a simple recipe for generating apparent counterexamples to any informative specification of the (...) moral attitudes. This may appear to be a lethal objection to non-cognitivism, but a similar recipe challenges attempts by non-cognitivism’s competitors to specify the conditions underwriting the contrast between genuine and merely apparent moral disagreement. Because of its generality, this specification problem requires a systematic response, which, we argue, is most easily available for the non-cognitivist. Building on premisses congenial to the non-cognitivist tradition, we make the following claims: (1) In paradigmatic cases, wrongness-judgements constitute a certain complex but functionally unified state, and paradigmatic wrongness-judgments form a functional kind, preserved by homeostatic mechanisms. (2) Because of the practical function of such judgements, we should expect judges’ intuitive understanding of agreement and disagreement to be accommodating, treating states departing from the paradigm in various ways as wrongness-judgements. (3) This explains the intuitive judgements required by the counterexample-generating recipe, and more generally why various kinds of amoralists are seen as making genuine wrongness-judgements. (shrink)
Sartre's concept of ‘non-thetic awareness’ must be understood as equivalent to the concept of ‘nonconceptual content’ currently discussed in anglophone epistemology and philosophy of mind, since it could not otherwise play the role in the structure of ‘bad faith’, or self-deception, that Sartre ascribes to it. This understanding of the term makes sense of some otherwise puzzling features of Sartre's early philosophy, and has implications for understanding certain areas of his thought.
In this book a non-realist philosophy of mathematics is presented. Two ideas are essential to its conception. These ideas are (i) that pure mathematics--taken in isolation from the use of mathematical signs in empirical judgement--is an activity for which a formalist account is roughly correct, and (ii) that mathematical signs nonetheless have a sense, but only in and through belonging to a system of signs with empirical application. This conception is argued by the two authors and is critically discussed by (...) three philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
In formulating procreative principles, it makes sense to begin by thinking about whose interests ought to matter to us. Obviously, we care about those who exist. Less obviously, but still uncontroversially, we care about those who will exist. Ought we to care about those who might possibly, but will not actually, exist?Recently, unusual positions have been taken regarding merely possible people and the non-identity problem. David Velleman argues that what might have happened to you – an existent person – often (...) doesn't merit moral consideration since the alternative person one would have been had what might have happened actually happened is a merely possible person about whom one has no reason to care. He argues that his way of thinking can eliminate the non-identity problem. Caspar Hare argues that merely possible people have interests and are morally relevant. He argues that we can solve the non-identity problem by rejecting the view that merely possible people are morally irrelevant. Both Hare and Velleman argue that focusing on one's de dicto rather than on one's de re children can help us avoid the non-identity problem.I analyze the role that merely possible, nonexistent hypothetical entities ought to play in our moral reasoning, especially with regard to procreation. I refute both Velleman's and Hare's views and demonstrate the difficulties we encounter when we try to apply their views to common non-identity cases. I conclude with the common-sense view regarding who matters, morally: only those who do, did, or will exist. (shrink)
We argue that non-epistemic values, including moral ones, play an important role in the construction and choice of models in science and engineering. Our main claim is that non-epistemic values are not only “secondary values” that become important just in case epistemic values leave some issues open. Our point is, on the contrary, that non-epistemic values are as important as epistemic ones when engineers seek to develop the best model of a process or problem. The upshot is that models are (...) neither value-free, nor depend exclusively on epistemic values or use non-epistemic values as tie-breakers. (shrink)
Political liberalism, conceived of as a response to the diversity of conceptions of the good in multicultural societies, aims to put forward a proposal for how to organize political institutions that is acceptable to a wide range of citizens. It does so by remaining neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good while giving all citizens a fair opportunity to access the offices and positions which enable them to pursue their own conception of the good. Public educational institutions are at the (...) center of the state’s attempt to foster both of these commitments. I argue that recent empirical research on the role that non-cognitive dispositions (such as assertiveness) play in enabling students to have access to two important primary goods – opportunities for higher education and desirable jobs – creates a distinctive challenge for a liberal egalitarian education in remaining neutral with respect to conceptions of the good while promoting equal opportunity. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is threefold. Firstly, it aims to present, in an educational and non-technical fashion, the main ideas at the basis of Aerts’ creation-discovery view and hidden measurement approach : a fundamental explanatory framework whose importance, in this author’s view, has been seriously underappreciated by the physics community, despite its success in clarifying many conceptual challenges of quantum physics. Secondly, it aims to introduce a new quantum machine—that we call the δ quantum machine —which is able to (...) reproduce the transmission and reflection probabilities of a one-dimensional quantum scattering process by a Dirac delta-function potential. The machine is used not only to demonstrate the pertinence of the above mentioned explanatory framework, in the general description of physical systems, but also to illustrate (in the spirit of Aerts’ ∊-model) the origin of classical and quantum structures, by revealing the existence of processes which are neither classical nor quantum, but irreducibly intermediate. We do this by explicitly introducing what we call the k-model and by proving that its processes cannot be modelized by a classical or quantum scattering system. The third purpose of this work is to exploit the powerful metaphor provided by our quantum machine, to investigate the intimate relation between the concept of potentiality and the notion of non-spatiality , that we characterize in precise terms, introducing for this the new concept of process-actuality. (shrink)
In this paper we suggest that there is a need to examine what is meant by “context” in Social Psychology and present an example of how to place identity in its social and institutional context. Taking the case of British naturalisation, the process whereby migrants become citizens, we show that the identity of naturalised citizens is defined by common-sense ideas about Britishness and by immigration policies. An analysis of policy documents on “earned citizenship” and interviews with naturalised citizens shows that (...) the distinction between “elite” and “non-elite” migrants is evident in both the “reified” sphere of policy and the “common sense” sphere of everyday identity construction. While social representations embedded in lay experience construct ethno-cultural similarity and difference, immigration policies engage in an institutionalised positioning process by determining migrants' rights of mobility. These spheres of knowledge and practice are not disconnected as these two levels of “managing otherness” overlap—it is the poorer, less skilled migrants, originating outside the West who epitomise difference (within a consensual sphere) and have less freedom of mobility (within a reified sphere). We show that the context of identity should be understood as simultaneously psychological and political. (shrink)
Linguistic dependencies between non-adjacent words have been shown to cause comprehension difficulty, compared with local dependencies. According to one class of sentence comprehension accounts, non-local dependencies are difficult because they require the retrieval of the first dependent from memory when the second dependent is encountered. According to these memory-based accounts, making the first dependent accessible at the time when the second dependent is encountered should help alleviate the difficulty associated with the processing of non-local dependencies. In a dual-task paradigm, participants (...) read sentences that did or did not contain a non-local dependency (i.e., object- and subject-extracted cleft constructions) while simultaneously remembering a word. The memory task was aimed at making the word held in memory accessible throughout the sentence. In an object-extracted cleft (e.g., It was Ellen whom John consulted…), the object (Ellen) must be retrieved from memory when consulted is encountered. In the critical manipulation, the memory word was identical to the verb's object (ELLEN). In these conditions, the extraction effect was reduced in the comprehension accuracy data and eliminated in the reading time data. These results add to the body of evidence supporting memory-based accounts of syntactic complexity. (shrink)
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 this paper I argue that the work of the unorthodox Stoic Posidonius - as reported to us by Galen - can be seen as making an interesting contribution to contemporary debates about the nature of emotion. Richard Sorabji has already argued that Posidonius' contribution highlights the weaknesses in some well-known contemporary forms of cognitivism. Here I argue that Posidonius might be seen as advocating a theory of the emotions which sees them as being, in at least some cases, two-level (...) intentional phenomena. One level involves judgments, just as the orthodox Stoic account does. But Posidonius thinks that emotions must also include an element sometimes translated as an "irrational tug". I suggest that we see the "irrational tug" as involving a second level of intentional, but non-conceptual representation. This view satisfies two desiderata: it is a view which would have been available to Posidonius and which is compatible with the views reported to us; and it is a view which is independently attractive. It also makes Posidonius' position less far removed from that of orthodox Stoics than it might otherwise do, while remaining genuinely innovative. (shrink)
Radical non-dispositionalism is the view according to which the actual causal/nomic roles of natural properties are totally irrelevant to their de re modal representation. The major difficulty besetting all forms of radical non-dispositionalism is that the latter allegedly allows the metaphysical possibility of two natural properties swapping their actual causal/nomic roles. The aim of this paper is to provide a plausible solution to that problem. To this end, I describe the necessary steps that a proponent of the view may take (...) to respond to it. I argue that those steps include the rejection of the transworld existence of natural properties and the adoption of a counterpart-theoretic framework for their de re modal representation. I, finally, present two versions of the property-counterpart framework which are consistent with the radical non-dispositionalism. (shrink)
We use a simple relational framework to develop the key notions and results on hidden variables and non-locality. The extensive literature on these topics in the foundations of quantum mechanics is couched in terms of probabilistic models, and properties such as locality and no-signalling are formulated probabilistically. We show that to a remarkable extent, the main structure of the theory, through the major No-Go theorems and beyond, survives intact under the replacement of probability distributions by mere relations.
Background Non-therapeutic trials in which terminally ill cancer patients are asked to undergo procedures such as biopsies or venipunctures for research purposes, have become increasingly important to learn more about how cancer cells work and to realize the full potential of clinical research. Considering that implementing non-therapeutic studies is not likely to result in direct benefits for the patient, some authors are concerned that involving patients in such research may be exploitive of vulnerable patients and should not occur at all, (...) or should be greatly restricted, while some proponents doubt whether such restrictions are appropriate. Our objective was to explore clinician-researcher attitudes and concerns when recruiting patients who are in advanced stages of cancer into non-therapeutic research. Methods We conducted a qualitative exploratory study by carrying out open-ended interviews with health professionals, including physicians, research nurses, and study coordinators. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Analysis was carried out using grounded theory. Results The analysis of the interviews unveiled three prominent themes: 1) ethical considerations; 2) patient-centered issues; 3) health professional issues. Respondents identified ethical issues surrounding autonomy, respect for persons, beneficence, non-maleficence, discrimination, and confidentiality; bringing to light that patients contribute to science because of a sense of altruism and that they want reassurance before consenting. Several patient-centered and health professional issues are having an impact on the recruitment of patients for non-therapeutic research. Facilitators were most commonly associated with patient-centered issues enhancing communication, whereas barriers in non-therapeutic research were most often professionally based, including the doctor-patient relationship, time constraints, and a lack of education and training in research. Conclusions This paper aims to contribute to debates on the overall challenges of recruiting patients to non-therapeutic research. This exploratory study identified general awareness of key ethical issues, as well as key facilitators and barriers to the recruitment of patients to non-therapeutic studies. Due to the important role played by clinicians and clinician-researchers in the recruitment of patients, it is essential to facilitate a greater understanding of the challenges faced; to promote effective communication; and to encourage educational research training programs. (shrink)
In this article I investigate several possibilities to define the concept of “temporal non-locality” within the standard framework of quantum theory. In particular, I analyze the notions of “temporally non-local states”, “temporally non-local events” and “temporally non-local observables”. The idea of temporally non-local events is already inherent in the standard formalism of quantum mechanics, and Basil Hiley recently defined an operator in order to measure the degree of such a temporal non-locality. The concept of temporally non-local states enters as soon (...) as “clock-representing states” are introduced in the context of special and general relativity. It is discussed in which way temporally non-local measurements may find an interesting application for experiments which test temporal versions of Bell inequalities. (shrink)
The desire to defend a state against attacks by a non-state actor requires thinking about counter-attacking without violating the sovereign equality of the territorial state because targeting a non-state actor on the territory of that state may violate its sovereignty. This paper evaluates the main views on self-defense by states against non-state actors by studying the Just War Theory and argues that self-defense against a non-state actor is allowed if the counter-attack complies with the principle of sovereign equality. Sovereign equality (...) is the prohibition of states from dominion over other states because states are equal to one another. This principle can be respected by allowing self-defense against non-state actors to occur only if the state consented to the use of force on its territory or if that state is incapable of controlling or unwilling to control the non-state actor. (shrink)
Abstract: Those who endorse the Psychological Continuity Approach (PCA) to analyzing personal identity need to impose a non-branching constraint to get the intuitively correct result that in the case of fission, one person becomes two. With the help of Brueckner's (2005) discussion, it is shown here that the sort of non-branching clause that allows proponents of PCA to provide sufficient conditions for being the same person actually runs contrary to the very spirit of their theory. The problem is first presented (...) in connection with perdurantist versions of PCA. The difficulty is then shown to apply to endurantist versions as well. -/- . (shrink)
We show that there are continuum many different non-Fregean sentential logics that have adequate models. The proof is based on the construction of a special class of models of the power of the continuum.
We argue that Parfit's "Triviality Objection" against some naturalistic views of normativity is not compelling. We think that once one accepts, as one should, that identity statements can be informative in virtue of their pragmatics and not only in virtue of their semantics, Parfit's case against naturalism can be overcome.
Obligations to reduce one’s green house gas emissions appear to be difficult to justify prior to large-scale collective action because an individual’s emissions have virtually no impact on the environmental problem. However, I show that individuals’ emissions choices raise the question of whether or not they can be justified as fair use of what remains of a safe global emissions budget. This is true both before and after major mitigation efforts are in place. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to establish an (...) obligation to reduce personal emissions because it appears unlikely that governments will in fact maintain safe emissions budgets. The result, I claim, is that under current conditions we lack outcome, fairness, promotional, virtue or duty based grounds for seeing personal emissions reductions as morally obligatory. (shrink)
It ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book, but given that he won't review it, he ought not to accept. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to seriously entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality', that which we ought to do given that we're unlikely or unwilling to do much of what (...) ideal morality demands. If it is possible to give a coherent account of these kinds of obligations, then it is possible to entertain the idea that these obligations are in fact what morality demands. The conceptual truths about justice (good, right, fairness) that come from ideals are one thing; the actions that morality demands of people given their actual circumstances are quite another. In this paper I will ask about the kinds of facts that can be used to establish a more circumscribed set of obligations than we get from the orthodox view about moral obligation. (shrink)
I present an account of how agents can know what they are doing when they intentionally execute object-oriented actions. When an agent executes an object-oriented intentional action, she uses perception in such a way that it can fulfil a justificatory role for her knowledge of her own action and it can fulfil this justificatory role without being inferentially linked to the cognitive states that it justifies. I argue for this proposal by meeting two challenges: in an agent's knowledge of her (...) action perception can only play an enabling role (and no justificatory role) for the agent's knowledge and if perception has a justificatory role, then the agent's knowledge must be inferential. (shrink)
In this discussion of Colin McGinn's book, 'Logical Properties', I comment first on the chapter "Existence", then on the chapter "Modality." With respect to existence, I argue that McGinn's view that existence is a property that some objects have and other objects lack requires the property of existence to be fundamentally unlike ordinary qualitative properties. Moreover, it opens up a challenging skeptical problem: how do I know that I exist? With respect to modality, I argue that McGinn's argument that quantificational (...) analyses of modality in terms of possible worlds are inevitably circular does not apply to modal theorists who hold that the notion of an impossible world is incoherent. (shrink)
Highlighting the distinct approaches to behavior guidance employed by law and aspirational religious institutions like Buddhism, focusing on the work of Lon Fuller. There is importance to both baseline or duty-centered rules such as found primarily in criminal law and deontic morality, as well as aspirational guidance principles that are found in religious law, virtue ethics, and sometimes seen in civil law. However, the specific assumptions and aims of these two modes of guidance must be harmonized to be effective.
We describe a recent program from the study of definable groups in certain o-minimal structures. A central notion of this program is that of a (geometric) lattice. We propose a definition of a lattice in an arbitrary first-order structure. We then use it to describe, uniformly, various structure theorems for o-minimal groups, each time recovering a lattice that captures some significant invariant of the group at hand. The analysis first goes through a local level, where a pertinent notion of pregeometry (...) and generic elements is each time introduced. (shrink)
O propósito deste trabalho é fornecer uma resposta a duas questões fundamentais: 1) pode uma lógica não alética ser uma lógica meinongiana? E consequentemente 2) pode uma lógica não alética ser uma lógica adequada a uma teoria meinongiana dos objetos? Usando os resultados de da Costa (1989) e da Costa & Marconi (1986) e além disso de da Costa (1986 e 1993), proponho uma lógica minimal não alética de primeira ordem com identidade e o símblo " de Hilbert (da Costa (...) et al. 1992) que podem colocar em um espírito meinongiano os aspectos mais relevantes da lógica meinongiana subajcente à teoria dos objetos de Meinong. Esta é apenas uma primeira abordagem minha, para dar conta de reflexões complexas, mas também interessante como o pensamento de Meinong. Além disso, dando uma resposta positiva a 1) e 2) indico um modo plausível que pode evitar ambas as difíceis abordagens e a tentativa de recusar a teoria dos objetos de modo a não comprometer a lógica padrão e algumas de suas leis. Minha abordagem mostra que a teoria de Meinong pode ser uma ontologia válida, porque há uma lógica adequada e não banal subjacente a ela. DOI:10.5007/1808-1711.2010v14n1p99. (shrink)
In 1993 the Law Lords upheld the original conviction of five men under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act for participating in sado-masochistic practices. Although the five men were fully consenting adults, the Law Lords held that consent did not constitute a defence to acts of violence within a sado-masochistic context. This paper examines the judgements in this case and argues that sado-masochistic practices are no different from the known exceptions cited by the court to the idea that consent (...) is no defence to violence (sport, parental chastisement and surgery). It also argues that if we can make sense of rape as a non-consensual, violent act, expressed through sex, then we can make sense of sado-masochism as a consensual sexual act, expressed through violence. (shrink)
If rape is evaluated as a serious wrong, can it also be defined as non-consensual sex (NCS)? Many do not see all instances of NCS as seriously wrongful. I argue that rape is both properly defined as NCS and properly evaluated as a serious wrong. First, I distinguish the hurtfulness of rape from its wrongfulness; secondly, I classify its harms and characterize its essential wrongfulness; thirdly, I criticize a view of rape as merely ‘sex minus consent’; fourthly, I criticize (...) mistaken attempts to discount the wrongfulness of rape for those who do not value sex; fifthly, I contrast two models for weighing interests, according to one of which rape is not seriously wrongful; finally, I sketch a defence of the view that our sexual integrity ought to be a central interest of ours. (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)
The traditional view that legitimate international law is founded on the consent of the states subject to it has come under increasing attack by liberals, such as Allen Buchanan, who argue for a cosmopolitan order in which the protection of human rights norms is legally foundational. The cosmopolitan argument presupposes that human rights would be better preserved by doing away with the requirement of state consent. However, state consent is seen to be necessary for protecting the rights of individuals in (...) weaker states and preserving global stability. The requirement of state consent preserves individual rights better than attempts to assert non-consensual liberal norms as international law, such that the internationalist system is more legitimate than the cosmopolitan on the latter’s own terms. (shrink)
This paper postulates that the proper function of tort law is to provide protection from, and redress of, non-consensual invasions of individual rights of person and property. It then proceeds to analyze and criticize, in that context, several theories of the law of unintentional torts including traditional English negligence law and the models of Posner, Fletcher and Epstein. That analysis proceeds in terms of the answers of each theory to a uniform set of questions which must be answered by (...) any theory of the law of unintentional harms. The paper concludes that none of the theories examined is rights-based or, indeed, consistent with the existence of individual rights of person and property.The paper goes on to elucidate a theory of liability which is rights-based. That theory turns out to be variant of traditional English negligence law in which reasonable foreseeability of harm to legally recognized rights or interests is the sole criterion of liability, the burden of precautions on the agent of the harm being explicitly excluded from consideration. (shrink)
Focusing on the thought of Mencius and Xunzi, this essay reconstructs and examines the classical Confucian position on the legitimate use of military force. It begins by sketching historically important political concepts, such as types of political leaders, politics of the kingly way versus politics of the hegemonic way, and the controversial role of lords-protector. It then moves on to explore Confucian criteria for justifying resort to the use of force, giving special attention to undertaking punitive expeditions to interdict and (...) punish aggression and tyranny. Following this discussion, the essay then attends to important Confucian moral constraints on how military force is properly employed, including prohibitions on attacking the defenseless, indiscriminate slaughter of enemy forces, destruction of civilian infrastructure, prisoner abuse, and non-consensual annexation of territory. The essay concludes by first discussing an illustrative case from Mencius and then comparing its reconstruction of the Confucian position to those offered by other scholars. (shrink)
Non-Cartesian substance dualism (NCSD) maintains that persons or selves are distinct from their organic physical bodies and any parts of those bodies. It regards persons as ‘substances’ in their own right, but does not maintain that persons are necessarily separable from their bodies, in the sense of being capable of disembodied existence. In this paper, it is urged that NCSD is better equipped than either Cartesian dualism or standard forms of physicalism to explain the possibility of mental causation. (...) A model of mental causation adopting the NCSD perspective is proposed which, it is argued, is consistent with all that is currently known about the operations of the human central nervous system, including the brain. Physicalism, by contrast, seems ill-equipped to explain the distinctively intentional or teleological character of mental causation, because it effectively reduces all such causation to ‘blind’ physical causation at a neurological level. (shrink)
The aim of this work is to show that the reality is not only the world of being, it is equally the world of non-being. Such an approach, as I think, is not nihilism, on the contrary - it helps to resolve many problems and contradictions confusing the philosophical mind. The reader will not find any citations or references in this work because I tried to bring it closer to Philosophy as it used to be in its early stages and (...) from which it has departed so far nowadays. (shrink)
I offer a new theory of faultless disagreement, according to which truth is absolute (non-relative) but can still be non-objective. What's relative is truth-aptness: a sentence like ‘Vegemite is tasty’ (V) can be truth-accessible and bivalent in one context but not in another. Within a context in which V fails to be bivalent, we can affirm that there is no issue of truth or falsity about V, still disputants, affirming and denying V, were not at fault, since, in their context (...) of assertion V was bivalent. This theory requires a theory of assertion that is a form of cognitive expressivism. (shrink)
Amongst those who feel the pull of the truthmaker principle (that truths require for their truth a truthmaker to exist), there is disagreement as to whether it applies to all truths or merely to some distinguished subset. Those in the latter camp, the non-maximalists, argue that there are no ducks in my bath is true not because of something’s existence, but because of the lack of ducks in my bath. Maximalists, by contrast, insist that truths are made true by something’s (...) existence, and so appear to be committed to strange ‘negative’ entities in their ontology. As a consequence, non-maximalists appear to have a more common-sense ontology than maximalists. But things are not so straightforward. I will argue that if maximalism is committed to strange entities then so is non-maximalism; and if non-maximalism can do without strange entities, then so can maximalism. Either way, the non-maximalist has no ontological advantage over the maximalist. (shrink)
There is a common belief that non-being and nothingness are identical, a widespread, even general delusion the wrongness of which I will try to demonstrate in this work. And which I consider even more important, that is to define nothingness for further determination of “its” place and role in the reality and especially in human life.
It is a curious fact about mainstream discussions of animal rights that they are dominated by consequentialist defenses thereof, when consequentialism in general has been on the wane in other areas of moral philosophy. In this paper, I describe an alternative, non‐consequentialist ethical framework (combining Kantian and virtue‐ethical elements) and argue that it grants (conscious) animals more expansive rights than consequentialist proponents of animal rights typically grant. The cornerstone of this non‐consequentialist framework is the thought that the virtuous agent is (...) s/he who has the stable and dominating disposition to treat all conscious animals, including non‐human conscious animals, as ends and not mere means. (shrink)
Normative judgments involve two gradable features. First, the judgments themselves can come in degrees; second, the strength of reasons represented in the judgments can come in degrees. Michael Smith has argued that non-cognitivism cannot accommodate both of these gradable dimensions. The degrees of a non-cognitive state can stand in for degrees of judgment, or degrees of reason strength represented in judgment, but not both. I argue that (a) there are brands of noncognitivism that can surmount Smith’s challenge, and (b) any (...) brand of non-cognitivism that has even a chance of solving the Frege–Geach Problem and some related problems involving probabilistic consistency can also thereby solve Smith’s problem. Because only versions of non-cognitivism that can solve the Frege–Geach Problem are otherwise plausible, all otherwise plausible versions of noncognitivism can meet Smith’s challenge. (shrink)
Given some reasonable assumptions concerning the nature of mental causation, non-reductive physicalism faces the following dilemma. If mental events cause physical events, they merely overdetermine their effects (given the causal closure of the physical). If mental events cause only other mental events, they do not make the kind of difference we want them to. This dilemma can be avoided if we drop the dichotomy between physical and mental events. Mental events make a real difference if they cause actions. But actions (...) are neither mental nor physical events. They are realized by physical events, but they are not type-identical with them. This gives us non-reductive physicalism without downward causation. The tenability of this view has been questioned. Jaegwon Kim, in particular, has argued that non-reductive physicalism is committed to downward causation. Appealing to the nature of actions, I will argue that this commitment can be avoided. (shrink)
There are perceptual states whose representational content cannot even in principle be conceptual. If that claim is true, then at least some perceptual states have content whose semantic structure and psychological function are essentially distinct from the structure and function of conceptual content. Furthermore the intrinsically “orientable” spatial character of essentially non-conceptual content entails not only that all perceptual states contain non-conceptual content in this essentially distinct sense, but also that consciousness goes all the way down into so-called unconscious or (...) subpersonal mental states. Both my argument for the existence of essentially non-conceptual content and my theory of its structure and function have a Kantian provenance. (shrink)
This paper establishes that the occasional identity relation and the contingent identity relation are both non-transitive and as such are not properly classified as identity relations. This is achieved by appealing to cases where multiple fissions and fusions occur simultaneously. These cases show that the contingent and occasional identity relations do not even satisfy the time-indexed and world-indexed versions of the transitivity requirement and hence are non-transitive relations.
I begin by examining a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke over whether the content of perceptual experience is non-conceptual. Although I am sympathetic to Peacocke's claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual, I suggest a number of ways in which his arguments fail to make that case. This failure stems from an over-emphasis on the "fine-grainedness" of perceptual content - a feature that is relatively unimportant to its non-conceptual structure. I go on to describe two other features of (...) perceptual experience that are more likely to be relevant to the claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual. These features are 1) the dependence of a perceived object on the perceptual context in which it is perceived and 2) the dependence of a perceived property on the object it is perceived to be a property of. (shrink)
The first part of this paper presents an argument showing that the currently most highly acclaimed interventionist theory of causation, i.e. the one advanced by Woodward, excludes supervening macro properties from having a causal influence on effects of their micro supervenience bases. Moreover, this interventionist exclusion argument is demonstrated to rest on weaker premises than classical exclusion arguments. The second part then discusses a weakening of interventionism that Woodward suggests. This weakened version of interventionism turns out either to be inapplicable (...) to cases of downward causation involving supervening macro properties or to render corresponding causal claims meaningless. In sum, the paper argues that, contrary to what many non-reductive physicalists claim, interventionism does not render non-reductive physicalism immune to the problem of causal exclusion. (shrink)
Can physicalism (or materialism) be non-reductive? I provide an opinionated survey of the debate on this question. I suggest that attempts to formulate non-reductive physicalism by appeal to claims of event identity, supervenience, or realization have produced doctrines that fail either to be physicalist or to be non-reductive. Then I treat in more detail a recent attempt to formulate non-reductive physicalism by Derk Pereboom, but argue that it fares no better.
I examine the link between extensionality principles of classical mereology and the anti-symmetry of parthood. Varzi's most recent defence of extensionality depends crucially on assuming anti-symmetry. I examine the notions of proper parthood, weak supplementation and non-well-foundedness. By rejecting anti-symmetry, the anti-extensionalist has a unified, independently grounded response to Varzi's arguments. I give a formal construction of a non-extensional mereology in which anti-symmetry fails. If the notion of 'mereological equivalence' is made explicit, this non-anti-symmetric mereology recaptures all of the structure (...) of classical mereology. (shrink)
There is, I shall assume, such a thing as moral evil (more on which below). My question is whether is also such a thing as non-moral evil, and in particular whether there are such things as aesthetic evil and epistemic evil. More exactly, my question is whether there is such a thing as moral evil but not such a thing as non-moral evil, in some sense that reveals something special about the moral, as opposed to such would-be non-moral domains as (...) the aesthetic and the epistemic. The philosophical issue at stake here is that of the nature of these different normative domains, and the nature and extent of their difference. (shrink)
This article is a modified version in translation of the original Dutch version that appeared in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 4 (2010) / * Inspired by Kant's account of intuition and concepts, John McDowell has forcefully argued that the relation between sensible content and concepts is such that sensible content does not severally contribute to cognition but always only in conjunction with concepts. This view is known as conceptualism. Recently, Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais, among others, have brought against this view (...) the charge that it neglects the possibility of the existence of essentially non-conceptual content that is not conceptualized or subject to conceptualization. Their defence against McDowell amounts to non-conceptualism. Both views believe that intuition is synthesized content in Kant's sense. In this article I am particularly interested in how their views are true to Kant. I argue that although McDowell is right that intuition is only epistemically relevant in conjunction with concepts, I also believe that Hanna and Allais are right with regard to the existence of essentially non-conceptual content, but that they are wrong with regard to intuition being synthesized content in Kant's sense. I also point out the common failure to take account of the modal nature of Kant's argument for the relation between intuition and concept. (shrink)
By presenting a wide spectrum of non-reductive theories, the volume endeavors to overcome the dichotomy between dualism and monism that keeps plaguing the debate in favor of new and more differentiated positions.
It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And, reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? Some have hoped that a theory of possible worlds can be used to reduce modality to non-modal terms. This paper (...) sets reductive theories aside, and articulates and applies a framework for evaluating non-reductive theories of possible worlds. I argue that, if we abjure reduction, we should aim for a theory of possible worlds that is user-friendly. I then outline four leading contemporary theories and consider objections to each. My conclusions are negative: every theory we discuss fails to be user-friendly in some significant respect. (shrink)
One recent trend in contemporary epistemology is to study the way in which the concept of knowledge is actually applied in everyday settings. This approach has inspired an exciting new spirit of collaboration between experimental philosophers and traditional epistemologists, who have begun using the techniques of the social sciences to investigate the factors that influence ordinary judgments about knowledge attribution. This paper provides an overview of some of the results these researchers have uncovered, suggesting that in addition to traditionally considered (...) factors like evidence and justification, a number of important non-truth-conducive factors play significant roles in determining when people ascribe knowledge. The present review focuses on four non-traditional factors: pragmatic load (in relation to contextualism and interest-relative invariantism), moral judgment, performance errors, and demographic variation. (shrink)
This paper investigates the linguistic basis for moral non-cognitivism, the view that sentences containing moral predicates do not have truth conditions. It offers a new argument against this view by pointing out that the view is incompatible with our best empirical theories about the grammatical encoding of illocutionary force potentials. Given that my arguments are based on very general assumptions about the relations between the grammar of natural languages and a sentence's illocutionary function, my arguments are broader in scope than (...) the familiar semantic objections to non-cognitivism relating to the so-called Frege-Geach problem: even if a solution to the Frege-Geach problem has been found, my arguments still stand. (shrink)
It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...) problem of non-existence, despite what some philosophers say. (shrink)
* Note that in this article an inverted comma is used for NER', where it should be an accent, to differentiate it from standard NER. Same with P1', P2' etc. Apparently, the editors of de Gruyter can't understand an author's instruction and just invent their own conventions. -/- In this article, I am interested in answering two, relatively simple, but important questions: (a) Does Kant allow first-order consciousness without second-order consciousness, that is, does he allow for empirical consciousness that is (...) not transcendentally apperceived, and so not accompanied by the 'I think', either in principle or de facto? (b) If Kant allows for unaccompanied first-order consciousness, what is the status of this consciousness? Is it in any way possible to be conscious of this consciousness? Or is this first-order consciousness in some way a consciousness of which we are and remain ex hypothesi unconscious? A related question which is independent of Kant's arguments regarding the conditions for self-consciousness, is whether Kant allows for unconsciousness strictius dicta, viz., the total lack of consciousness at all. I believe that transcendental apperception itself provides sufficient ground for establishing Kant's position on unaccompanied or non-apperceptive consciousness. An argument for the thesis that Kant either allows or doesn't allow for non-apperceptive consciousness can be gleaned from the positive argument for transcendental apperception as an analytic principle. We need only look at the logical ramifications of this principle to find such an argument. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that presentism has a problem accounting forthe truth of statements whose truth conditions seem to require therebe relations that hold between present and non-present objects. Imotivate the problem and then examine several strategies for dealingwith the problem. I argue that no solution is forthcoming, and thispresents a prima facie problem for presentism.
William Kingdon Clifford famously argued that "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." His ethics of belief can be construed as involving two distinct theses—a moral claim (that it is wrong to hold beliefs to which one is not entitled) and an epistemological claim (that entitlement is always a function of evidential support). Although I reject the (universality of the) epistemological claim, I argue that something deserving of the name "ethics of belief" can (...) nevertheless be preserved. However, in the second half of the paper I argue that Clifford's response to the problem of unethical belief is insufficiently attentive to the role played by self-deception in the formation of unethical beliefs. By contrasting the first-person perspective of a doxastic agent with the third-person perspective of an outside observer, I argue that unethical belief is a symptom of deficiencies of character: fix these, and belief will fix itself. I suggest that the moral intuitions implicit in our response to examples of unethical belief (like Clifford's famous example of the ship owner) can better be accounted for in terms of a non-evidentialist virtue ethics of belief-formation, and that such an account can survive the rejection of strong versions of doxastic voluntarism. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper we (i) identify the notion of ‘essentially non-conceptual content’ by critically analyzing the recent and contemporary debate about non-conceptual content, (ii) work out the basics of broadly Kantian theory of essentially non-conceptual content in relation to a corresponding theory of conceptual content, and then (iii) demonstrate one effective application of the Kantian theory of essentially non-conceptual content by using this theory to provide a ‘minimalist’ solution to the problem of perceptual self-knowledge which is raised by Strong (...) Externalism. (shrink)
It is sometimes said that there are two, competing versions of W. V. O. Quine’s unrelenting empiricism, perhaps divided according to temporal periods of his career. According to one, logic is exempt from, or lies outside the scope of, the attack on the analytic-synthetic distinction. This logic-friendly Quine holds that logical truths and, presumably, logical inferences are analytic in the traditional sense. Logical truths are knowable a priori, and, importantly, they are incorrigible, and so immune from revision. The other, radical (...) reading of Quine does not exempt logic from the attack on analyticity and a priority. Logical truths and inferences are themselves part of the web of belief, and the same global methodology applies to logic as to any other part of the web, such as theoretical chemistry or ordinary beliefs about ordinary objects. Everything, including logic, is up for grabs in our struggle for holistic confirmation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the law of non-contradiction, and the concomitant principle of ex falso quodlibet, from the perspective of the principles advocated by the radical Quine. I show that he has no compelling reason to accept either of these. To put it bluntly, neither the law of non-contradiction nor the rule of ex falso quodlibet is empirically confirmed, and these principles fare poorly on the various criteria for theory acceptance on the methodology of the radical Quine. So the radical Quine is led rather quickly and rather directly into something in the neighborhood of Graham Priest’s dialetheism. (shrink)
It is occasionally claimed that the important work of philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians in the nineteenth and in the early twentieth centuries made Kant’s critical philosophy of geometry look somewhat unattractive. Indeed, from the wider perspective of the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries, the replacement of Newtonian physics with Einstein’s theories of relativity, and the rise of quantificational logic, Kant’s philosophy seems “quaint at best and silly at worst”.1 While there is no doubt that Kant’s transcendental project involves his own conceptions (...) of Newtonian physics, Euclidean geometry and Aristotelian logic, the issue at stake is whether the replacement of these conceptions collapses Kant’s philosophy into an unfortunate embarrassment.2 Thus, in evaluating the debate over the contemporary relevance of Kant’s philosophical project one is faced with the following two questions: (1) Are there any contradictions between the scientific developments of our era and Kant’s philosophy? (2) What is left from the Kantian legacy in light of our modern conceptions of logic, geometry and physics? Within this broad context, this paper aims to evaluate the Kantian project vis à vis the discovery and application of non-Euclidean geometries. Many important philosophers have evaluated Kant’s philosophy of geometry throughout the last century,3 but opinions with regard to the impact of non-Euclidean geometries on it diverge. In the beginning of the century there was a consensus that the Euclidean character of space should be considered as a consequence of the Kantian project, i.e., of the metaphysical view of space and of the synthetic a priori character of geometry. The impact of non-Euclidean geometries was then thought as undermining the Kantian project since it implied, according to positivists such.. (shrink)
Abstract. As a general theory of reasoning—and as a general theory of what holds true under every possible circumstance—logic is supposed to be ontologically neutral. It ought to have nothing to do with questions concerning what there is, or whether there is anything at all. It is for this reason that traditional Aristotelian logic, with its tacit existential presuppositions, was eventually deemed inadequate as a canon of pure logic. And it is for this reason that modern quantification theory, too, with (...) its residue of existentially loaded theorems and patterns of inference, has been claimed to suffer from a defect of logical purity. The law of non-contradiction rules out certain circumstances as impossible—circumstances in which a statement is both true and false, or perhaps circumstances where something both is and is not the case. Is this to be regarded as a further ontological bias? (shrink)
John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and (...) appreciating his insight into the experiential synthesis of intuition and conception (in particular, its role in grasping objects), I will argue that Edmund Husserl presents an even more comprehensive account of perceptual experience that explains how we experience the contribution of receptivity and sensibility and how they cooperate in perceptual discrimination. Further, it reveals “horizons”—a unique kind of contents, surplus content (rather than independent non-conceptual content)—beyond the synthesis of intuitive and conceptual contents through which objects are grasped. Such horizons play a constitutive role, making experience with its conceptual dimensions and justificatory potential possible; they in no way function like a bare given that is to fulfill some independent justificatory role. Whereas McDowell focuses on how experience does not take place in isolation from the exercise of conceptual capacities, Husserl complements his view by situating experience in a more encompassing whole and by elucidating the surplus-horizons that exceed the conceptual content of experience; play an inseparable, constitutive role within it; and indicate the limits of conceptual comprehension. (shrink)
I want to talk about a certain epistemic quality that I call “justification,” and inquire whether that quality can ever be had “immediately” or “non-inferentially.” Before we get into substantive issues, we need first to agree about what epistemic quality it is we’ll be talking about, and then we need to clarify what it is to have that quality immediately or non-inferentially. When I say I call this epistemic quality “justification,” you’re liable to think, “Oh I know what that is.” (...) You may. But experience has taught me that different philosophers use and understand the term “justification” differently, even before they start spinning substantive theories about what “justification” amounts to. So we should proceed cautiously. You may use the term “justification” to describe the same epistemic quality as I do; or you may use it to describe some different status or quality. You may use some other term, or no term at all, to describe the quality I call “justification.” I say that you have justification to believe P iff you’re in a position where it would be epistemically appropriate for you to believe P, a position where P is epistemically likely for you to be true. I intend this to be a very inclusive epistemic status.1 Some philosophers say you can know P without “having any justification” for your belief. We can assume that whenever a subject knows P, she’ll be in a position where it’d be epistemically appropriate to believe P. So on my usage, whoever knows P has justification to believe P. (Perhaps she has that justification because she knows.) The philosophers who say otherwise are using “having justification” to mean something different, or more specific, than the epistemic status I am using it to mean. The same goes for philosophers who say a belief can be epistemically appropriate, and so play a role in justifying other beliefs, though you do not “have any justification” for it. On my usage. (shrink)
I offer some reasons for the theory that, compared with human beings, non-human animals have some but lesser intrinsic value. On the basis of this theory, I first argue that we do not know how to compare an animal's claim to be free from a more serious type of harm (e.g., death), and a human's claim to be free from some lesser type of harm (e.g., non-fatal morbidity). For we need to take account of these parties' intrinsic value, and their (...) competing types of claim. Yet, there exists no known way for making such comparison, when a human's intrinsic value is higher than that of an animal, whereas the type of claim an animal has is morally weightier than the type of claim a human has. Second, I explain why utilitarianism is unhelpful in making such comparison. Third, in the case where some animals can be sacrificed for saving a larger number of humans, it is crucial to ask whether animals have the right to life, and I argue that this question is more perplexing than we might think. My conclusion is that the various difficulties mentioned above have a deeper source than we have so far acknowledged, and that this reflects that the moral reality is less tidy and more complex than many theories portray. (shrink)
This paper argues that ‘that’-clauses are not singular terms (without denying that their semantical values are propositions). In its first part, three arguments are presented to support the thesis, two of which are defended against recent criticism. The two good arguments are based on the observation that substitution of ‘the proposition that p’ for ‘that p’ may result in ungrammaticality. The second part of the paper is devoted to a refutation of the main argument for the claim that ‘that’-clauses are (...) singular terms, namely that this claim is needed in order to account for the possibility of quantification into ‘that’-clause position. It is shown that not all quantification in natural languages is quantification into the position of singular terms, but that there is also so-called ‘non-nominal quantification’. A formal analysis of non-nominal quantification is given, and it is argued that quantification into ‘that’-clause position can be treated as another kind non-nominal quantification. (shrink)
Both consequentialist and non-consequentialist ethical reasoning have difficulties in accounting for the value of consequences. Taken neat, consequentialism is too fierce in its emphasis on success and disregard of luck, while non-consequentialism seemingly over-values inner states and undervalues actual results. In Uneasy Virtue Julia Driver proposes a form of objective consequentialism which claims that characters are good if they typically (but not invariably) produce good results. This position addresses the problems moral luck raises for consequentialism, but requires some form of (...) realism about traits of character. However, if our knowledge of mental states is ascriptive, this form of objective consequentialism may make excessive demands. Non-consequentialists may gain in so far as the theories of action to which they are typically committed are less demanding, and are built to take account of the typical or systematic connections between states of character and results of action. (shrink)
Whether or not there are non-existent objects seems to be one of the more mysterious and speculative issues in ontology.1 To affirm that there are non-existent objects is to affirm that reality consists of two kinds of things, the existing and the non-existing. The existing contains all of what is in our space-time world, plus all abstract objects, if there are any. Most people, it seems fair to say, would think that this is all there is. For them the only (...) real question in ontology can be what kinds of existing things there are. However, followers of Meinong maintain that this isn’t all there is. There is also another kind of things, those that do not exist. And to say this, the Meinongians continue, is to accept that reality is divided into two basic kinds of things, the existing and the non-existing. Whether or not reality contains two basic categories of things, existing and non-existing, or only one, existing, is what the debate about non-existent objects is all about. And as such it seems to be the most speculative of the debates in ontology. How could we human beings possibly decide it? One might think that to find out whether or not there are abstract objects is hard to decide, since they are not in space and time, causally inaccessible, unobservable, etc.. But whatever difficulty there might be to answer the question whether or not there are abstract objects, it has to be even harder to decide whether or not there are non-existent objects. Abstract objects, if there are any, at least.. (shrink)
The immediate successors of Kant in classical German philosophy considered a subjectivity irreducible to objecthood as the core of personhood. The thesis of an irreducible subjectivity has, after the German idealists, been advocated by the phenomenological movement, as well as by analytical philosophers of self-consciousness such as Hector-Neri Castaneda and Sydney Shoemaker. Their arguments together show that self-consciousness cannot be reduced to a relation whereby a subject grasps itself as an object, but that there must be a core of subjectivity (...) always already familiar with itself before reflection. A number of contemporary accounts of self-consciousness are unaware of these old and new arguments, and flawed in that they do not account for the core 'non-objectal subjectivity' necessary for self-consciousness and. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum proposes a universal list of human capabilities as the basis for fundamental political principles. She claims that the list, in an Aristotelian spirit, might be justified by an ongoing inquiry into valuable human functionings for the good life. Here I argue that the attractiveness of Nussbaum’s theory crucially depends on the philosophical possibility of a non-reductionist understanding of naturalism and on resolving the tensions between ethical and political aspects of the role of capabilities. Through a comparison of Nussbaum’s (...) approach with those of Aristotle and (less familiarly) Hume, I try to show that in these alternative versions we find valuable resources for the kind of non-reductionist model which might, in line with Nussbaum’s own objectives, provide the basis for a capabilities-based critique of dominant modes of normative theorizing and their influence in public discourse. (shrink)