We suggest to define objective probabilities by similarity-weighted empirical frequencies, where more similar cases get a higher weight in the computation of frequencies. This formula is justified intuitively and axiomatically, but raises the question, which similarity function should be used? We propose to estimate the similarity function from the data, and thus obtain objective probabilities. We compare this definition to others, and attempt to delineate the scope of situations in which objective probabilities can be used.
This paper reconsiders Rubinstein's alternating-offer bargaining game with complete information. We define rationalizability and trembling- hand rationalizability (THR) for multi-stage games with observed actions. We show that rationalizability does not exclude perpetual disagreement or delay, but that THR implies a unique solution. Moreover, this unique solution is the unique subgame perfect equilibrium (SPE). Also, we reconsider an extension of Rubinstein's game where a smallest money unit is introduced: THR rules out the non-uniqueness of SPE in some particular case. Finally, (...) we investigate the assumption of boundedly rational players. Perpetual disagreement is excluded, but not delay. Furthermore, we cannot use the asymmetric Nash bargaining solution as an approximation of the alternating-offer bargaining model once the players are boundedly rational ones. (shrink)
There is disagreement in the coercion literature over whether an offer, which necessarily lacks a threat, could be coercive, which tends to imply at least some affinity with coercion, which, in paradigm cases, includes a threat. In one difficult sexual harassment case, someone is offered a promotion in exchange for sex, but there is, due to the arrangement of the case, no implied threat or repercussion for refusal. I argue this case counts as coercive since the offer-making attempts (...) to recast the agent's self-image simply by making the offer: the harasser attempts to define his employee as a sexualized object in the workplace to whom it is acceptable to make this kind of offer. Yet, such an offer can only be acceptably made to a woman who would accept sexual intrusions in her career, and it can never be right to assume others are willing to have their business lives sexualized. Thus, the offer is coercive in its disrespect for the employee's autonomy, although it involves no threat. (shrink)
The regress of reasons threatens an epistemic agent’s right to claim that any beliefs are justified. In response, Peter Klein’s infinitism argues that an infinite series of supporting reasons of the right type not only is not vicious but can make for epistemic justification. In order to resist the sceptic, infinitism needs to provide reason to think that there is at least one justified belief in the world. Under an infinitist conception this involves showing that at least one belief is (...) supported by an infinite series of supporting reasons. This paper argues that showing this makes problems for the infinitist. The finite minds problem that prevents completion of an infinite series is well documented. This paper examines alternative attempts to provide evidence of infinity that the infinitist might take, whether by using a notion of justification without infinite reasons or by altering the notion of evidence. It concludes that both of these fail and consequently infinitism is unable to offer a solution to Agrippa’s trilemma. (shrink)
A recent survey indicated that the majority of schools of business administration do not offer courses in business ethics and/or the social responsibilities of business firms. The author examines the reasons for the omission of these courses, and concludes that faculty in the major disciplines and techniques of management do not recognize the complexity of ethical problems or the importance of ethical decisions in the overall management of large business organizations.
Considerable debate has occurred about the proper role of philosophers when offering ethics consultations. Some argue that only physicians or clinical experienced personnel should offer ethics consultations in the clinical setting. Others argue still further that philosophers are ill-equipped to offer such advice, since to do so rests on no social warrant, and violates the abstract and neutral nature of the discipline itself.I argue that philosophers not only can offer such consultations but ought to. To be a (...) bystander when one's discipline does offer insights and methods of value discernment is pusillanimous. But this position requires a view of clinical medical ethics as one that arises out of the clinical practice of medicine, and not just from an application of general ethical principles to the practice of medicine. I conclude with some skills that trained philosophers can bring to the consultation service, and note that all consultations are in the form of recommendations that the patient, family, and physician are still free to accept or reject. Philosophers in the clinical setting do not make decisions. (shrink)
Payment for research participation has raised ethical concerns, especially with respect to its potential for coercion. We argue that characterising payment for research participation as coercive is misguided, because offers of benefit cannot constitute coercion. In this article we analyse the concept of coercion, refute mistaken conceptions of coercion and explain why the offer of payment for research participation is never coercive but in some cases may produce undue inducement.
A slight modification of Webb's diagrammatic representation of the dimensions for describing models is proposed which extends it to cover a range of theoretical models as well as material models. It is also argued that beyond a certain level robotic simulations could offer a number of real advantages over computer simulations of organisms interacting with their environment.
Understanding the bases of complex behavioral phenotypes, such as sociopathy, is assisted by an evolutionary approach, in addition to other theoretical perspectives. Unraveling genetic and environmental factors underlying variant forms of sociopathy remains a key challenge for behavioral science investigators. Twin research methods (e.g., longitudinal analyses; twins reared apart) offer informative means of assessing novel hypotheses relevant to sociopathic behaviors.
You are offered one billion dollars to 'simply' produce a proof-of-concept robot that has phenomenal consciousness -- in fact, you can receive a deliciously large portion of the money up front, by simply starting a three-year work plan in good faith. Should you take the money and commence? No. I explain why this refusal is in order, now and into the foreseeable future.
The paper asks about the reasons for the neglect of chemistry in modern philosophy of science and investigates in how far this science can be the object of an autonomous philosophical reflection. It is argued that from a culturalistic point of view chemistry indeed offers a field of interesting questions ranging from the reconstruction of its epistemological objects to the elucidation of the semantic functions of terms like "atom" or "molecule". It is further argued that the philosophical reflection upon chemistry (...) has important consequences for the didactic, the history and even the ethics of this science, making thus philosophy to a partner of chemistry in fulfilling its purposes in human society. (shrink)
Among other modalities of arts” approach, phenomenological apparatus offers us a fruitful one in the endeavour to disclose part of the rich and in-depthmeanings that art in general unfolds through its products. Here, we are especially interested in phenomenology as a style of philosophizing and as a method of analysis, able to open new dimensions to the process of interpretation and comprehension the peculiar living of man in relation with arts. There are some paradigms that have been acknowledged by phenomenologists (...) within the topics of dwelling upon the fullness of artistic logos in its potential of life experiencing, finally. In this essay we try to point out part of phenomenology”s opportunities to scrutinize, in an appropriate way, art as a significant creative phenomenon; and thus to reveal much more about an ideal essence communicating a fundamental order of beingness to which man has access. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
This article attempts to motivate a new approach to anti-realism (or nominalism) in the philosophy of mathematics. I will explore the strongest challenges to anti-realism, based on sympathetic interpretations of our intuitions that appear to support realism. I will argue that the current anti-realistic philosophies have not yet met these challenges, and that is why they cannot convince realists. Then, I will introduce a research project for a new, truly naturalistic, and completely scientific approach to philosophy of mathematics. It belongs (...) to anti-realism, but can meet those challenges and can perhaps convince some realists, at least those who are also naturalists. (shrink)
While a considerable amount of effort has been expended in an attempt to understand Ludwig Wittgenstein’s enigmatic comments about silence and the mystical at the end of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , very little attention has been paid to the implications of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations for the study of ineffability. This paper first argues that, since Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations problematizes private language, emphasizes the description of actual language use, and recognizes the rule-governed nature of language, it contains significant implications for the study (...) of ineffability, inviting investigations of the ways in which putative ineffability actually gets expressed rather than speculation about whether there are ineffable objects or experiences. It then undertakes such an investigation in the Dionysian corpus, finding therein not only grammatical techniques that express inexpressibility at the referential, illocutionary, and semiotic levels but also rules that underlie and govern these techniques. Finally, it shows how a recovery of the ordinary uses of ineffability might help dissolve the metaphysical problem of ineffability, thereby bringing ineffability back to the everyday. (shrink)
In this review essay Stanton Wortham explores how philosophy of education should both turn inward, engaging with concepts and arguments developed in academic philosophy, and outward, encouraging educational publics to apply philosophical approaches to educational policy and practice. He develops his account with reference to two recent ambitious projects: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education, edited by Harvey Siegel, and the two-volume yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE), titled Why Do We Educate? edited by (...) Gary Fenstermacher (series editor), David Coulter and John Wiens (volume 1), and Mark Smylie (volume 2). These two projects initially appear to be opposed, with the Handbook emphasizing elite philosophy and the Yearbook emphasizing public engagement. Wortham argues that each project is in fact more complex, and that they are in some respects complementary. He concludes by making a case against a simple hierarchy of basic and applied knowledge and calling for a more heterogeneous philosophy of education. (shrink)
In evaluating a metatheory, it is possible and desirable to use methods found in critical metatheory. In this post, I use such tools to rigorously analyze and quantify the internal logical structure of Wilber's metatheory. The results show that Wilber's metatheory is unlikely to be of much use in practical application and that it has much room for growth and improvement.
This paper argues for the utility of ANT as a philosophical and methodological approach to policy analysis. It introduces the key features of a recent educational policy reform initiative, Skills for Life and illustrates the argument by looking at three ‘moments’ (in Callon's 1986 terminology) in the life of this initiative, applying the theoretical tools of ANT to these. The analysis shows that even (and perhaps especially) within a strongly framed social policy initiative like the Skills for Life Strategy, things (...) constantly escape; that differences held in tension within the ‘successful’ project sow the seeds of failure and dissolution. (shrink)
This paper develops a framework for conceptualising social justice in education, drawing particularly on Martha Nussbaum's (2000) capabilities approach. The practical case for consideration is that of widening participation and pedagogical implications in higher (university) education in England. While the paper supports the value and usefulness of Nussbaum's list of ten capabilities for developing a more radical and challenging language and practice for higher education pedagogies, it also argues that her approach is limited. Other ways of conceptualising social justice are (...) also required in order to develop adjudicating theories which enable us to judge which practices take us closer to social justice. An argument is made for 'bivalent' theorising which integrates individual and institutional development and agents and social structures. (shrink)
As cultural evolutionists interested in how culture changes over the long term, we've thought and written a lot about migration, but only recently tumbled to an obvious idea: migration has a profound effect on how societies evolve culturally because it is selective. People move to societies that provide a more attractive way of life, and all other things being equal, this process spreads ideas and institutions that lead to economic efficiency, social order and equality.
Simplicius in Cat. 12,10-13,12 presents an interesting justification for the study of Aristotle's Categories, based in Neoplatonic psychology and metaphysics. I suggest that this passage could be regarded as a testimonium to Iamblichus' reasons for endorsing Porphyry's selection of the Categories as an introductory text of Platonic philosophy. These Iamblichean arguments, richly grounded in Neoplatonic metaphysics and psychology, may have exercised an influence comparable to Porphyry's.
This essay considers how Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy, including his philosophical hermeneutics and narrative theory, could be employed to facilitate dialogue and understanding between feminists from different contexts. Authors such as bel hooks and Hélène Cixous frame feminist tenets of liberation from sexual oppression and validation of the body as a source of knowledge. Weaving together Ricoeur’s writing and theories with the work of two feminist scholars, Trinh T. Minh-ha and Grace M. Cho, illuminates the potential Ricoeur’s work has to play (...) a part in feminist discourse. (shrink)
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a relatively recent incarnation in social work's long history of valuing evidence as a basis for practice. Few argue with the ethics and usefulness of grounding practice in empirically tested interventions. Critics of EBP instead focus on how it is defined and implemented. Critiques include what counts as evidence, who makes decisions regarding research agendas and processes, and the lack of attention to context. This essay reflects on such critiques and suggests that social work, as a (...) profession that values human diversity, equality, and self-determination, is well situated to shed light on such debates about EBP. As a profession that supports a person-in-environment perspective, we must examine not only the theory but the practice of EPB in academic, institutional, and societal settings. It is also argued that, owing to our professional mission, it is not enough to acknowledge the risk of oppression and harm; we are obligated to take them seriously and include such potential for harm in our assessment of so-called best practices. (shrink)
If stem cells ever show promise in treating diseases of the human brain, any potential therapy would need to be tested in animals. But putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes could raise awkward ethical dilemmas, like the possibility of generating a humanlike mind in a chimpanzee's body.
Disability studies can be of great value to medical education first, by placing the medical paradigm in the broad context of a sequence of ways of understanding and responding to disability that have emerged in the last two thousand years or so; second, by reminding medical professionals that people with disabilities have suffered as well as profited from medical treatment in the last two hundred years; finally, by providing access to a distinctive point of view from which the experience of (...) disability looks very different than it may from the outside. (shrink)