While the enormous influence of Martin Heidegger's thought in Japan and China is well documented, the influence on him from East-Asian sources is much lesser known. This remarkable study shows that Heidegger drew some of the major themes of his philosophy--on occasion almost word for word--from German translations of Chinese Daoist and Zen Buddhist classics.
The topic of this seminar will be the notion of language as it is employed in the philosophy of language. The seminar will be divided into two parts, of somewhat unequal length. The first part will be devoted to the change in the conception of language that marked the transition from structural linguistics to generative linguistics (the so-called "Chomskian revolution"). We will approach this not only as a chapter in the philosophy of language, but also as an important chapter in (...) the philosophy of science, in large part because much of the discussion centers around to what extent, and how, the study of language can be understood as a scientific inquiry, continuous with the other natural sciences. From this discussion, which will be devoted to reading some of the classic literature from the mid-50's to the mid-70's (largely by Chomsky), an articulation of the subject matter of the study of language will emerge, and in particular this will involve an articulation of the relation of syntax, semantics and pragmatics. This will lead us to explore, in the second part of the seminar, the most influential work, that of Grice, especially in "Logic and Conversation" devoted to articulating this distinction. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Note on texts, translations, references; Introduction Simon May; 1. The future of evil Raymond Geuss; 2. On the nobility of Nietzsche's priests R. Lanier Anderson; 3. The genealogy of guilt Bernard Reginster; 4. Why Nietzsche is still in the morality game Simon May; 5. Who is the 'sovereign individual'? Nietzsche on freedom Brian Leiter; 6. Ressentiment and morality Peter Poellner; 7. The role of life in the Genealogy Nadeem Hussain; 8. The relevance (...) of history for moral philosophy: a study of Nietzsche's Genealogy Paul Katsafanas; 9. Why would master morality surrender its power? Lawrence Hatab; 10. 'Genealogy' and the Genealogy Peter Kail; 11. The promising animal: the art of reading On the Genealogy of Morality as testimony Stephen Mulhall; 12. Nietzsche and the 'aesthetics of character' Edward Harcourt; 13. Nietzsche and the virtues of mature egoism Christine Swanton; 14. Une promesse de bonheur? Beauty in the Genealogy Aaron Ridley; Bibliography; Index. (shrink)
How many senses can a given name have, with its reference held fixed? One, more than one? One answer that most would agree to is that sense is unique for each utterance of a name, that is, that a name can have no more than one sense on any given occasion. But is sense unique in any stronger sense than this? The answer that is typically attributed to Frege is that there is not, that, as Tyler Burge puts it, 1 (...) Frege “treats proper names as having different senses while applying to the same person.” There are a number of possibilities for the locus of this multiplicity of sense; the following remark by Ruth Marcus indicates the possibilities: “the sense of a term is whatever is grasped or understood by a speaker on a particular occasion of use and may vary from occasion to occasion as well as from speaker to speaker.”2 Of the views canvassed by Marcus, we can draw out a more conservative one, and one more extreme. On the more conservative view, Frege is holding that sense may vary from speaker to speaker; on the more extreme view, Frege holds not only this, but that sense may vary from context to context. Endorsements of the two views are not hard to find. For example, typical sorts of endorsement of the conservative view are found in Harold Noonan’s remark that “different senses [are] associated with the name ‘Aris-. (shrink)
Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of political reconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not because their relationship (...) involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of political reconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
Nietzsche famously attacked traditional morality, and propounded a controversial ethics of 'life-enhancement'. Simon May presents a radically new view of Nietzsche's thought, which is shown to be both revolutionary and conservative, and to have much to offer us today after the demise of old values and the 'death of God'.
Richard J. Arneson May, 1999 The problem of social justice can arise in the absence of social interaction. This point emerges directly from an important passage in John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice where he is arguing for an opposed conclusion. Rawls argues that the primary subject of justice is the basic structure of society, the way that major social institutions work together to “determine the division of advantages from social cooperation.” He writes, “The basic structure is the primary subject (...) of justice because its effects are so profound and present from the start. The intuitive notion here is that this structure contains various social positions and that men born into different positions have different expectations of life determined, in part, by the political system as well as by economic and social circumstances. In this way the institutions of society favor certain starting places over others. These are especially deep inequalities. Not only are they pervasive, but they affect men’s initial chances in life; yet they cannot possibly be justified by an appeal to the notions of merit or desert.”1 This passage contrasts deep and shallow social inequalities and associates deep inequalities with the basic structure of society. Deep social inequalities are inequalities in people’s initial life prospects that are imposed on them in ways that are entirely beyond their power to control. We might think here of inequalities in life prospects among children born into different places in the social hierarchy of wealth and status. In contrast, shallow inequalities might be conceived as ones that arise among people who are equal in life chances initially but then choose to behave in ways that render them differentially meritorious or deserving and that also render them unequal in subsequent.. (shrink)
Other books have tried to explain Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), one of the twentieth century's most important and elusive thinkers, in general terms. However, Todd May organizes his introduction around a central question at the heart of Deleuze's philosophy: How might we live? He demonstrates how Deleuze offers a view of the cosmos as a living entity that provides ways of conducting our lives that we may not have even dreamed of.
Issues concerning patients' rights are at the center of bioethics, but the political basis for these rights has rarely been examined. In Bioethics in a Liberal Society: The Political Framework of Bioethics Decision Making , Thomas May offers a compelling analysis of how the political context of liberal constitutional democracy shapes the rights and obligations of both patients and health care professionals. May focuses on how a key feature of liberal society -- namely, an individual's right to make independent decisions (...) -- has an impact on the most important relational facets of health care, such as patients' autonomy and professionals' rights of conscience. Although a liberal political framework protects individual judgments, May asserts that this right is based on the assumption of an individual's competency to make sound decisions. May uses case studies to examine society's approach to medical decision making when, for reasons ranging from age to severe mental disorder, a person lacks sufficient competency to make independent and fully informed choices. To protect the autonomy of these vulnerable patients, May emphasizes the need for health care ethics committees and ethics consultants to help guide the decision-making process in clinical settings. Bioethics in a Liberal Society is essential reading for all those interested in understanding how bioethics is practiced within our society. (shrink)
Cottingham : Western philosophy : an anthology (second edition) -- Cahoone : from modernism to postmodernism : an anthology (expanded -- Second edition) -- Lafollette : ethics in practice : an anthology (third edition) -- Goodin and Pettit: contemporary political philosophy: an anthology (second -- Edition) -- Eze: african philosophy : an anthology -- McNeill and Feldman : continental philosophy : an anthology -- Kim and Sosa : metaphysics : an anthology -- Lycan and Prinz : mind and cognition : (...) an anthology (third edition) -- Kuhse and Singer : bioethics : an anthology (second edition) -- Cummins and Cummins : minds, brains, and computers : the foundations of -- Cognitive science : an anthology -- Sosa, Kim, Fantl, and McGrath epistemology : an anthology (second edition) -- Kearney and Rasmussen : continental aesthetics, romanticism to -- Postmodernism : an anthology -- Martinich and Sosa : analytic philosophy : an anthology -- Jacquette : philosophy of logic : an anthology -- Jacquette : philosophy of mathematics : an anthology -- Harris, Pratt, and Waters : American philosophies : an anthology -- Emmanuel and Goold: modern philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche : an anthology -- Scharff and Dusek : philosophy of technology ; the technological condition : an anthology -- Light and Rolston : environmental ethics : an anthology -- Taliaferro and Griffiths : philosophy of religion : an anthology -- Lamarque and Olsen : aesthetics and the philosophy of art; the analytic -- Tradition : an anthology -- John and Lopes : philosophy of literature ; contemporary and classic -- Readings : an anthology -- Cudd and Andreasen : feminist theory : a philosophical anthology -- Carroll and Choi : philosophy of film and motion pictures : an anthology -- Lange : philosophy of science : an anthology -- Shafer-Landau and Cuneo : foundations of ethics : an anthology -- Curren : philosophy of education : an anthology -- Shafer-Landau : ethical theory : an anthology -- Cahn and Meskin : aesthetics : a comprehensive anthology -- McGrew, Alspector-Kelly and Allhoff : the philosophy of science : an historical -- Anthology -- May and Brown : the philosophy of law : classic and contemporary readings -- Forthcoming -- Rosenberg and ARP : philosophy of biology : an anthology. (shrink)
: Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night demonstrates how willful and strategic epistemologies of ignorance intertwine. By rejecting a compartmentalized approach to domination, Mootoo highlights the disjuncture between idealized images of family, home, love, and the Caribbean and traumatic events of personal and cultural history. Mootoo not only asks readers to take up resistant questioning, argues May, but also to recognize that epistemology must acknowledge unspeakable and silenced stories to adequately account for multiple ways of knowing.
I distinguish two ways that a cultural practice may be inherently objectionable. I reject the claim that polygamy is inherently "vicious" because asymmetric marriages are inevitably inegalitarian. I argue that there is good reason to think polygamy is inherently "bankrupt" insofar as a cultural ideal of asymmetric marriage presupposes stereotypical gender roles.
Despite the fact that torture of prisoners has been condemned by every major document in international law, it has seemed to some, especially those in the Bush Administration, that terrorism creates a special case for how prisoners are to be treated. The prisoner may belong to a “cell” of those who have committed themselves to the use of tactics that risk horrible consequences for many innocent people. The prisoner may have information about future attacks on civilian populations that could, if (...) learned, be instrumental in the prevention of these attacks. Nonetheless, I will argue that normally even suspected international terrorists should be treated humanely in that they are not subject to torture when captured and imprisoned. Our humanity demands as much.I will ask what it is about humanity that might restrict or prohibit the use of torture and other forms of physical coercion in the treatment of prisoners. I will attempt to explain why torture has been so roundly condemned and yet why torture, especially in ticking time-bomb cases, has been seen as justifiable. In section 1, I argue that humane treatment should be seen as the centerpiece of international humanitarian law. In section 2, I discuss a 1999 case from Israel concerning soldiers who committed torture to obtain information from suspected terrorists in the Occupied Territories. In section 3, I discuss how the principle of proportionality complicates the picture, and end with some conclusions about what restrictions should be recognized in times of war, concerning what are sometimes called “the laws of humanity.”. (shrink)
There are many strains in Heidegger’s thought to which he often refers, but one that he never mentions, Taoism. Otto Pöggeler has noted that Heidegger’s engagement with Chinese philosophy, and in particular with the Tao Te Ching of Lao-tzu, exerted a decisive effect on the form and direction of his later thinking. With Reinhard May’s careful comparisons of passages from Heidegger’s major texts with translations of the Tao Te Ching and various Zen Buddhist texts, there is now general agreement (...) on Heidegger’s indebtedness to Chinese philosophy. The recurrent themes of his later lectures can all be found in Taoist texts. Often these are points on which he is labeled a mystic or an irrationalist and taken to task by his Western critics. This essay examines some key facets of his thought and compares his position to that of the Tao Te Ching so as to determine the extent to which Heidegger has departed from the Western tradition to become a Taoist. (shrink)
Based on his theory of animalrights, Regan concludes that humans are morallyobligated to consume a vegetarian or vegandiet. When it was pointed out to him that evena vegan diet results in the loss of manyanimals of the field, he said that while thatmay be true, we are still obligated to consumea vegetarian/vegan diet because in total itwould cause the least harm to animals (LeastHarm Principle, or LHP) as compared to currentagriculture. But is that conclusion valid? Isit possible that some other (...) agriculturalproduction alternatives may result in leastharm to animals? An examination of thisquestion shows that the LHP may actually bebetter served using food production systemsthat include both plant-based agriculture and aforage-ruminant-based agriculture as comparedto a strict plant-based (vegan) system. Perhapswe are morally obligated to consume a dietcontaining both plants and ruminant(particularly cattle) animal products. (shrink)
This paper consists of four parts. Part 1 is an introduction. Part 2 evaluates arguments for the claim that there are no strict empirical laws in biology. I argue that there are two types of arguments for this claim and they are as follows: (1) Biological properties are multiply realized and they require complex processes. For this reason, it is almost impossible to formulate strict empirical laws in biology. (2) Generalizations in biology hold contingently but laws go beyond describing contingencies, (...) so there cannot be strict laws in biology. I argue that both types of arguments fail. Part 3 considers some examples of biological laws in recent biological research and argues that they exemplify strict laws in biology. Part 4 considers the objection that the examples in part 3 may be strict laws but they are not distinctively biological laws. I argue that given a plausible account of what distinctively biological means, such laws are distinctively biological. (shrink)
Philosophers of time say that if presentism is true (i.e. if reality is comprised solely of presently existing things), then a complete description of reality must contain tensed terms, such as ‘was’, ‘presently is’ and ‘will be’. I counter this viewpoint by explaining how the presentist may de-tense our talk about times. I argue, furthermore, that, since the A-theory of time denies the success of any such de-tensing strategy, presentism is not a version of the A-theory – contrary to the (...) popular opinion. (shrink)
It is widely and firmly held that it is ethically impermissible to take organs from the dead if they earlier expressed a wish not to be a donor. We share that intuition and feel a visceral distaste towards the taking of organs without permission. Yet we respond quite differently to a thought experiment that seems analogous in the morally relevant ways to taking organs without consent. This thought experiment elicits from us (and most others) the belief that we can justifiably (...) go against the wishes of the living about how they later want their remains treated when doing so saves lives. It appears that our responses are inconsistent. We tentatively put forth reasons why it may be better that our response to the thought experiment should be preserved and support for a consent-based organ procurement policy abandoned. (shrink)
I try to convince the reader that we all too often consider our decisions more or less unreasonable â€“ and due to emotions overpowering reason. The dualism: reason/emotion may be dangerously misleading. Psychoanalysis may be said to have been the first systematic effort to help us find the real reasons for our important decisions and views. Personal maturity involves both strength of emotions and clearness of thinking.
On the assumption that theistic religious commitment takes place in the face of evidential ambiguity, the question arises under what conditions it is permissible to make a doxastic venture beyond oneâs evidence in favour of a religious proposition. In this paper I explore the implications for orthodox theistic commitment of adopting, in answer to that question, a modest, moral coherentist, fideism. This extended Jamesian fideism crucially requires positive ethical evaluation of both the motivation and content of religious doxastic ventures. I (...) suggest that, even though the existence of horrendous evil does not resolve evidential ambiguity in favour of atheism, there are reasonable value commitments that would preclude those who hold them from satisfying extended Jamesian fideist conditions for committing themselves to classical theism. I then begin a discussion of a possible revisionary theistic alternative (in the Christian tradition) which â one might hope â may meet those conditions. An earlier, shorter, version of this paper was delivered as a keynote address at the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God. (shrink)
Dispassionate cruelty and the euphoria of hunting or battle should be distinguished from the emotional savoring of victims' suffering. Such savoring, best called negative empathy, is what puzzles motivational theory. Hyperbolic discounting theory suggests that sympathy with people who have unwanted but seductive traits creates a threat to self-control. Cruelty to those people may often be the least effortful way of countering this threat.
In 1990, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a consent order to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The order decreed the AICPA to lessen its longstanding ethics code which had until then banned the receipts of commissions, referral fees and contingent fees. The FTC alleged that the AICPA banned receipt of the fees as an attempt to restrain trade (FTC, 1990).In the present study, we sought to determine if CPAs'' preference for bans on commissions, referral fees and (...) contingent fees is related to their moral reasoning whereby CPAs perceive the bans to serve as a means of resolving ethical issues. While determining this matter cannot prove whether the bans did or did not actually result in restrained trade, it can offer insight into the perceived ethical importance to CPAs of the overturned rules. Based on a random sample of AICPA members and using Rest''s Defining Issues Test (DIT) to measure moral reasoning, we did not find a CPA''s moral reasoning to be related to his/her preference for ethics rules which ban commissions, referral fees or contingent fees. However, our results did indicate that most CPAs prefer banning commissions, referral fees and contingent fees, with those CPAs holding a higher financial stake in public accounting, namely partners, favoring banning referral fees and contingent fees significantly less than CPAs with a lesser stake. Further, we noted a significant negative relationship between financial stake and moral reasoning. These results seem to suggest that self-interest among CPAs may influence their moral reasoning.Further study is needed to examine the relationship between self-interest of CPAs and their moral reasoning. If self-interest clouds moral judgments made by CPAs, capital markets are in danger. Rendering an independent audit opinion must exclude self-interest. (shrink)
The idea of “promoting democracy” is one that goes in and out of favor. With the advent of the so-called “Arab Spring”, the idea of promoting democracy abroad has come up for discussion once again. Yet an important recent line of thinking about human rights, starting with John Rawls’s book The Law of Peoples, has held that there is no human right to democracy, and that nondemocratic states that respect human rights should be “beyond reproach” in the realm of international (...) relations. This is, for obvious reasons, a controversial view, especially given the powerful and important arguments purporting to show that democracies do significantly better than nondemocracies in promoting internal peace and equality, and in engaging in peaceful international cooperation. Both proponents and opponents of the Rawlsian view of human rights have argued that the view implies that democracies may not “promote democracy” in nondemocratic societies. But, given that all parties to this dispute agree that democracy is necessary for justice, and given the important instrumental goods provided by democracy, the Rawlsian view has seemed deeply implausible to many. -/- In this paper I blunt this challenge to the Rawlsian view by showing how, even if there is no human right to democracy, we may still rightfully promote democracy in a number of ways and cases. Showing this requires investigation of what it means to “promote democracy”, and a more careful inspection of when various methods of promoting democracy are appropriate than has been done by most political theorists working on human rights. When we look carefully, we can see that in some instances acceptable forms of promoting democracy are compatible with the Rawlsian view of human rights, and that this view is therefore not vulnerable to the “instrumentalist” challenge. We also see how, if political philosophy is to be useful, it must be less abstract and look closely at actual cases. -/- This paper posted by permission of the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. For information visit the Stanford University website. (shrink)
Scenarios are flexible means to integrate disparate ideas, thoughts and feelings into holistic images, providing the context and meaning of possible futures. The application of narrative scenarios in engineering, development of socio-technical systems or communities provides an important link between general ideas and specification of technical system requirements. They focus on how people use systems through context-related storytelling rather than abstract descriptions of requirements. The quality of scenarios depends on relevant assumptions and authentic scenario stories. In this article, we will (...) explore how the narrative approach may enrich the scenario âskeletonâ with âflesh and bloodâ, that is, living, detailed and consistent storytelling. In addition, criteria are suggested for evaluation of the quality of scenario storytelling. (shrink)
Preston & de Waal are understandably cautious in applying their model to autism. They emphasise multiple cognitive impairments in autism, including prefrontal-executive, cerebellar-attention, and amygdala-emotion recognition deficits. Further empirical examination of imitation ability in autism may reveal deficits in the neural and cognitive basis of perception-action mapping that have a specific relation to the empathic deficit.
A major dopaminergic role for extraversion is compromised by the fact that affiliation and impulsivity tend to be reduced by psychostimulants. Also, the large clinical literature on the treatment of ADHD with drugs that promote dopamine activity provides little or no support for a major role for dopamine in human extraversion. Dopamine facilitation of agency may be more evident for inanimate rather than animate rewards.
This article argues in support of the proposition that “A Personality Disorder May Nullify Responsibility for a Criminal Act.” Building upon research in categorical and dimensional controversies in diagnosis, neurocognitive science and the behavioral genetics of mental disorders, and difficulties in differential diagnosis and co-morbidity with personality disorders, this article holds that a per se rule barring personality diagnosis as a basis for a defense of legal insanity is scientifically and conceptually indefensible. Rather, focus should be upon the severity and (...) impact in specific cases of any legally relevant functional deficits arising from a mental disorder (including personality disorders). Failure to do so risks potentially misleading “battles of the experts” about a defendant's diagnosis in criminal responsibility defenses and improper usurpation of the role of the legal finder of fact as mental health expert witnesses are inserted as gatekeepers indefensibly based upon diagnosis. Implications for practice and public policy are considered, including a “modest proposal” for post-trial management of defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity on the basis of functional deficits arising from personality disorder. (shrink)
Although predictive coding may offer a computational principle that unifies perception and action, states with different directions of fit are involved (with indicative and imperative contents, respectively). Predictive states are adjusted to fit the world in the course of perception, but in the case of action, the corresponding states act as a fixed target towards which the agent adjusts the world.
Sleep disturbances are common for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and are of great clinical significance. Brain dopamine plays an important role for both ADHD symptoms and sleep-wake regulation. We therefore suggest that one basic aspect of integrative brain-behavior relationship such as the sleep-wake cycle may certainly be addressed in a dynamic developmental theory of ADHD.
Environmentalists do not appear to walk their walk as consistently as animal liberationists and anti-abortionists. Are we therefore more hypocritical? Maybe; but there's another explanation. Unlike concern for individual animals or individual fetuses, environmental concerns are holistic (systemic)—air and waterpollution, species <span class='Hi'>extinction</span>, diminished ecological health and integrity. One pro-life pregnant woman may preserve the life of one unborn baby, the one in her uterus; and one animal liberationist can save the life of one animal, the one he didn't eat. (...) But one environmentalist who refuses to own and operate an automobile has no measurable effect on air pollution. Only collective, social change—universal banning of automobiles, mandatory recycling, etc.—will effectively redress environmental insults. Thus, the best way to put environmental ethics into practice is not to try to do one's bit—retire one's own car, recycle one's own waste—and leave it to every other person to do his or her bit and hope that all such individual environmental ethical acts will aggregate into significance. The best way to put environmental ethics into practice is to work to instill environmental values in society as the foundation for coercive environmental policies, regulations, and laws. The mechanistic-materialistic worldview and its associated consumerist value system trickled down into the collective consciousness via its technological manifestation in a plethora of machines. The systemic worldview in which environmental values are embedded may be communicated to the general public less by means of discursive discourse than by a new generation of systemic-electronic technologies. (shrink)
May's theorem famously shows that, in social decisions between two options, simple majority rule uniquely satisfies four appealing conditions. Although this result is often cited in support of majority rule, it has never been extended beyond decisions based on pairwise comparisons of options. We generalize May's theorem to many-option decisions where voters each cast one vote. Surprisingly, plurality rule uniquely satisfies May's conditions. This suggests a conditional defense of plurality rule: If a society's balloting procedure collects only a single vote (...) from each voter, then plurality rule is the uniquely compelling electoral procedure. To illustrate the conditional nature of this claim, we also identify a richer informational environment in which approval voting, not plurality rule, is supported by a May-style argument. (shrink)
Depue & Collins's general idea of a functional relationship between DA activity and extraversion is an important step toward an integrative biological model of personality. However, focusing primarily on incentive motivation and variations in VTA DA activity as basic behavioral and biological components underlying extraversion appears too limited. Existing data suggest that responsivity to changes in DA activity is higher in introverts than in extraverts. This may reflect a general, extraversion- related characteristic of the entire dopaminergic network in the brain.
Aims. Currently, methylphenidate (MPH, trade name Ritalin) is the most widely prescribed medication for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined the ability of repeated MPH administration to produce a sensitized appetitive eagerness type response in laboratory rats, as indexed by 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (50-kHz USVs). We also examined the ability of MPH to reduce play behavior in rats which may be partially implicated in the clinical efficacy of MPH in ADHD. Design. 56 adolescent rats received injections of either 5.0 mg/kg (...) MPH, or vehicle each day for 8 consecutive days, and a week later received a challenge injection of either MPH or vehicle. Measurements. Both play behavior (pins) and 50-kHz USVs were recorded after each drug or vehicle administration. Results. MPH challenge produced a substantial 73% reduction in play behavior during the initial treatment phase, and during the last test (1 week post drug), 50-kHz USVs were elevated approximately threefold only in animals with previous MPH experience. Conclusions. These data suggest that MPH treatment may lead to psychostimulant sensitization in young animals, perhaps by increasing future drug-seeking tendencies due to an elevated eagerness for positive incentives. Further, we hypothesize that MPH may be reducing ADHD symptoms, in part, by blocking playful tendencies, whose neuro-maturational and psychological functions remain to be adequately characterized. (shrink)
Abstract Advances in technology now make it possible to monitor the activity of the human brain in action, however crudely. As this emerging science continues to offer correlations between neural activity and mental functions, mind and brain may eventually prove to be one. If so, such a full comprehension of the electrochemical bases of mind may render current concepts of ethics, law, and even free will irrelevant. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11948-012-9351-1 Authors Thomas R. (...) Scott, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA Journal Science and Engineering Ethics Online ISSN 1471-5546 Print ISSN 1353-3452. (shrink)
The principle of informed consent obligates physicians to explain possible side effects when prescribing medications. This disclosure may itself induce adverse effects through expectancy mechanisms known as nocebo effects, contradicting the principle of nonmaleficence. Rigorous research suggests that providing patients with a detailed enumeration of every possible adverse event?especially subjective self-appraised symptoms?can actually increase side effects. Describing one version of what might happen (clinical ?facts?) may actually create outcomes that are different from what would have happened without this information (another (...) version of ?facts?). This essay argues that the perceived tension between balancing informed consent with nonmaleficence might be resolved by recognizing that adverse effects have no clear black or white ?truth.? This essay suggests a pragmatic approach for providers to minimize nocebo responses while still maintaining patient autonomy through ?contextualized informed consent,? which takes into account possible side effects, the patient being treated, and the particular diagnosis involved. (shrink)
Discussions of modes of analysis, as well as the received wisdom about which categories to place scholars in, often obscure the breadth and nature of inquiry a particular figure engaged in. This examination of Reinhard Bendix's various uses of comparison suggests that, beyond the sociohistorical comparison he was known for, one should also consider his reflexive works, his work on the role of social science and claims for knowledge, and his reflections on the history of ideas, the need for (...) conceptual clarification of terms, and the search for regularities and universals. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that if a deterministic description of the events leading up to a morally questionable action is couched in mechanistic, reductionistic, concrete and/or emotionally salient terms, people are more inclined toward compatibilism than when those descriptions use non-mechanistic, non-reductionistic, abstract and/or emotionally neutral terms. To explain these results, it has been suggested that descriptions of the first kind are processed by a concrete cognitive system, while those of the second kind are processed by an abstract cognitive system. The (...) current paper reports the results of three studies exploring whether or not considerations about possible future consequences of holding an agent responsible at a present time affect people’s judgments of responsibility. The results obtained suggest first that the concrete system does not produce compatibilist judgments of responsibility unconditionally, even when facing appropriately mechanistic, reductionistic, emotionally loaded and concretely worded deterministic scenarios. Second, these results suggest that considerations about possible future consequences for innocent third parties that may follow as a result of holding an agent responsible affect people’s judgment as to whether or not the agent is responsible for what she did. Finally, it is proposed that these results compliment extant evidence on the so-called “Side-effect effect”, as they suggest that emotional reactions toward possible future side effects influence people’s judgment of responsibility. The impact of these results for philosophy and moral psychology is discussed. (shrink)
This article investigates the effects of Machiavellianism (MACH) on sales performance. Results indicate that those who possess high Machiavellian traits are more productive but received lower overall managerial ratings. Findings suggest that Machiavellianism may in certain circumstances, be somewhat advantageous for long-term sales performance.
Identifying objects as members of ontological domains activates category-specific processes. There is evidence that these processes include particular ways of “tracking” substances and could do all the “tracking” necessary for concept acquisition. There may be no functional need or evolutionary scenario for a general tracking capacity of the kind described by Millikan.
Currently, there is a growing interest in combining genetic information with physiological data measured by functional neuroimaging to investigate the underpinnings of psychiatric disorders. The first part of this paper describes this trend and provides some reflections on its chances and limitations. In the second part, a thought experiment using a commonsense definition of psychiatric disorders is invoked in order to show how information from this kind of research could be used and potentially abused to invent new mental illnesses. It (...) is then argued why an inference to the best explanation could provide an antidote to such attempts. The conclusion emphasises why normative criteria, such as those used to define disorders, cannot be derived from descriptive empirical results alone. While the etiology of some psychiatric diseases may be purely organic, there are many other cases where the psychiatric symptoms and the associated genotypes and phenotypes have an essentially and irreducibly external meaning that is derived from social and political factors. A limited perspective on the genes and brain of man carries the risk that psychiatry may increasingly treat the effects of other domains, although social and political solutions would be more appropriate. (shrink)
The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 ? 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced (...) to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player's omnipotence ? versus the other's ? helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games. (shrink)
This commentary questions the authors’claim that cognitive neuropsychology is defined by modularity and that other theoretical frames, that is, connectionism, are a priori rejected. It also points to the fact that whereas in genetic disorders there are developmental delay and asynchrony, there are few reports of deviant developmental trajectories that are never seen in typical development. It is suggested that the possibility that structure does not equal function in the developing brain, may be a viable option.
The CDC's HIV screening recommendations for health care settings advocate abandoning two important autonomy protections: (1) pretest counseling and (2) the requirement that providers obtain affirmative agreement from patients prior to testing. The recommendations may violate the least infringement principle because there is insufficient evidence to conclude that abandoning pretest counseling or affirmative agreement requirements will further the CDC's stated public health goals.
Every year, like a social drinker who wants to prove to herself that she's not an alcoholic, I give up cannabis for a month. It can be a tough and dreary time - and much as I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, alcohol cannot take its place. Some people may smoke dope just to relax or have fun, but for me the reason goes deeper. In fact, I can honestly say that without cannabis, most of my scientific research (...) would never have been done and most of my books on psychology and evolution would not have been written. Some evenings, after a long day at my desk, I'll slip into the bath, light a candle and a spliff, and let the ideas flow - that lecture I have to give to 500 people next week, that article I'm writing for New Scientist, those tricky last words of a book I've been working on for months. This is the time when the sentences seem to write themselves. Or I might sit out in my greenhouse on a summer evening among my tomatoes and peach trees, struggling with questions about free will or the nature of the universe, and find that a smoke gives me new ways of thinking about them. Yes, I know there are serious risks to my health, and I know I might be caught and fined or put in prison. But I weigh all this up, and go on smoking grass. For both individuals and society, all drugs present a dilemma: are they worth the risks to health, wealth and sanity? For me, the pay-off is the scientific inspiration, the wealth of new ideas and the spur to inner exploration. But if I end up a mental and physical wreck, I hereby give you my permission to gloat and say: "I told you so". My first encounter with drugs was a joint shared with a college friend in my first term at Oxford. This was at the tail end of the days of psychedelia and flower power - and cannabis was easy to obtain. After long days of lectures and writing essays, we enjoyed the laughter and giggling, the heightened sensations and crazy ideas that the drug seemed to let loose. Then, one night, something out of the ordinary happened - though whether it was caused by the drug, lack of sleep or something else altogether, I don't know.. (shrink)
The adaptive trade-offs between long- and short-term matings may be mediated or at least reflected partially by the trade-offs between the relative reinforcement obtained through a greater frequency of intercourse (typically greater among cohabitants) versus a greater frequency of partner change. The differing correlates of each approach and meshing with the Sexual Strategies Theory of Gangestad & Simpson are discussed.
Recent studies with human infants and nonhuman primates reveal that posture interacts with the expression and stability of handedness. Converging results demonstrate that quadrupedal locomotion hinders the expression of handedness, whereas bipedal posture enhances preferred hand use. From an evolutionary perspective, these findings suggest that right-handedness may have emerged first, following the adoption of bipedal locomotion, with speech emerging later.
Hommel et al. propose that action planning and perception utilize common resources. This implies perception should have intention-relative content. Data supporting this implication are presented. These findings challenge the notion of perception as “seeing.” An alternative is suggested (i.e., perception as distal control) that may provide a means of integrating representational and ecological approaches to the study of organism-environment coordination.
Keller & Miller (K&M) briefly mention and promptly dismiss the idea that genes for harmful mental disorders may confer certain advantages to affected individuals. However, the authors fail to consider that the same genes (in low doses or reduced penetrance) may be adaptive for relatives, and that this may in part explain why they are retained in the gene pool. (Published Online November 9 2006).
The present study investigates the ways in which Japanese speakers negotiate their opinions in conversational interaction. On the one hand, speakers are apt to exaggerate a particular aspect of a given issue in asserting their opinion, on the other hand, they may also incorporate a self-qualification admitting a potential problem in their claim. By expressing their awareness of the problem before it is pointed out by the co-participants, the speakers seem to get license to proffer an exaggerated or overgeneralized claim (...) and to increase their chance of receiving an affiliative response. This study explicates the mechanism through which such a self-qualifying clause emerges in the development of opinion-negotiation sequences. Further, as a contribution to a growing body of research on "interaction and grammar" (Ochs, Schegloff, and Thompson, 1996), this study explores the use of "contrastive" markers, -kedo and demo, in constructing turns and sequences in opinion-negotiation. The data demonstrate these two structurally different types of markers play distinct roles in differentiating and yet conjoining the speakers'' assertion and self-qualification. (shrink)
We have shown that FEF lesion-induced extinction could be compensated for by changing the relative temporal onsets of two targets presented on either side of the midline. Monkeys were trained to make saccades to either of two identical visual stimuli presented with various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). In intact animals the targets were chosen with equal probability when they appeared simultaneously. After unilateral FEF lesions an SOA of 67–116 msec had to be introduced, with the contralesional target appearing first, to (...) obtain equal probability choice. With a smaller target separation, averaging saccades occurred with highest frequency at similar SOAs. Our findings suggest that neglect may be attributable to more time being required in the damaged hemisphere for converting sensory information into motor responses. (shrink)
Many debates about consciousness appear to be endless, in part because of conceptual confusions preventing clarity as to what the issues are and what does or does not count as evidence. This makes it hard to decide what should go into a machine if it is to be described as 'conscious'. Thus, triumphant demonstrations by some AI developers may be regarded by others as proving nothing of interest because the system does not satisfy *their* definitions or requirements specifications.
In the A-not-B situation children reach toward location A when the object is at location B. Researchers interpret this as an error. I question this interpretation. Reaches are inaccurate only if the intention actually is to obtain the hidden object. If this is not the goal, then reaching for A may be accurate and there may be no error to be explained.
“Finding out” about the visual world as approached from the organismic level may well include the “filling-in” type of perceptual completion if considered in terms of underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. But “filling in” can be interpreted not only as a result of within-level propagating of neural activity, but as a byproduct of the process that is necessary for modulating preconscious information about physically present objects or events so as to generate conscious quality in attending to them.
We suggest that the phenomenon of uncertainty monitoring in nonhuman animals contributes richly to the conception of nonhuman animals' self-monitoring. We propose that uncertainty may play a role in the emergence of new forms of behavior that are adaptive. We recommend that Smith et al. determine the extent to which the uncertain response transfers immediately to other test paradigms.
Although gestures have surface similarities with language, there are significant organisational and neurolinguistic differences that argue against the evolutionary connection proposed by Corballis. Dominance for language and handedness may be related to a basic specialisation of the left cerebral hemisphere for target-directed behaviour and sequential processing, with the right side specialised for holistic-environmental monitoring and spatial processing.
The search for a worldwide environmental ethic is linked to the increase in environmental concern since (particularly) the 1960s, and the recognition that environ mental problems can have a global impact. Numerous people and organizations have put forward their understanding of the necessary components of such an ethic and these have converged in a series of international statements ( Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment , 1972; World Charter for Nature , 1982; Rio Declaration on Environment and Development , 1992; (...) International Covenant on Environment and Development, 1995 ). A small number of common elements have emerged. These can be expressed in 10 'premises', which may form the basis for developing into an acceptable worldwide ethic, along the lines called for in the revised World Conservation Strategy, Caring for the Earth , 7991. (shrink)
The relationship between sleep and memory has been controversial since the 1950s. Studies on delayed dream recall and long-term retention of pre-sleep stimuli indicate that sleep may have a positive role in the consolidation of information. This positive indication counterbalances the negative one from the studies on the effects of REM deprivation. [Vertes & Eastman].
Professor Ilya Prigogine (January 25, 1917 -- May 28, 2003), Nobel Laureate 1977 in chemistry, was one of the great visionaries of our time. Not content to rest on his laurels, he continued hard technical scientific publication, often with junior colleagues, for 25 years after the Nobel Prize was awarded to him. His fields of work included non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the emergence of dissipative structures and complex behavior, and the foundations of the arrow of time in natural science. He directed two (...) major research institutions: the Center for Studies in Statistical Mechanics and Complex Systems at the University of Texas at Austin and the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry at Brussels. (shrink)
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, SAT 2004, held in Vancouver, BC, Canada in May 2004. The 24 revised full papers presented together with 2 invited papers were carefully selected from 72 submissions. In addition there are 2 reports on the 2004 SAT Solver Competition and the 2004 QBF Solver Evaluation. The whole spectrum of research in propositional and quantified Boolean formula satisfiability testing is covered; bringing together the (...) fields of theoretical and experimental computer science as well as the many relevant application areas. (shrink)
The problem that underlies Rawls' The Law of Peoples is the problem of how something particular—western— may become universal and human. Rawls claims that he solves this problem by means of extending particular western rights to other non western peoples. The extension of western liberal rights is done by a second original position similar to the first one in A Theory of Justice. The paper tries to prove that the second original position, in its second step, is not similar to (...) the first one and the parties taking part in this second original position are not symmetrically situated. Rawls' proposal falls into ethnocentrism and eurocentrism. The only way to transform particular rights into universal rights is by means of a universal multicultural dialogue where all peoples can make proposals and listen to other peoples' proposals. (shrink)
This paper takes up Richard Kearney's work The God Who May Be, specifically in the context of postmodern debates concerning epistemological claims regarding the other. Kearney's hermeneutics of religion attempts to forge a middle path between ontotheological philosophies of religion and various quasi-religious manifestations of postmodernism; however, my main concern is to address certain points of disagreement between Kearney and proponents of a deconstructive "religion without religion" principally Jacques Derrida and John D. Caputo. The main issue at stake is just (...) how other God is, which is itself a specific case of a broader question concerning otherness per se. Caputo et al. claim that religious assertions about God are fundamentally undecidable, which means that they are "infinitely translatable" and "substitutable," that we can never tell what is a translation of what, but the ultimate point is that it "does not matter" The undecidable nature of religious claims includes the very claim that religion is a discourse about God, which is why deconstructive religion without religion is a messianic hope for "the impossible" devoid of any content. Kearney objects that such radical undecidability leaves us lost in the desert ofkhora with no way to distinguish, even imperfectly and provisionally, between God and Satan, good and evil, the widow and the terrorist. In this paper I claim that Kearney succeeds in finding this via tertia between the Scylla of dogmatism and the Charybdis of complete indeterminacy by thinking God in two important ways: as persona-prosopon (which avoids confusing God with khora or monstrosity) and as posse (which keeps us from dogmatism). /// O presente artigo toma em particular consideração a obra de Richard Kearney The God Who May Be, especificamente no contexto dos debates pós-modernos acerca do estatuto epistemológico da alteridade. A abordagem hermeneutica que Kearney faz da religião procura estabelecer um caminho médio entre as filosofias ontoteológicas da religião e várias manifestações quase-religiosas do pós-modernismo. O autor do artigo, contudo, pretende estabelecer alguns pontos de desacordo entre Kearney e os defensores da "religião sem religião" típica do movimento da desconstrução, tendo em vista, sobretudo, as aportações de Jacques Derrida e de John D. Caputo. Em questão está especificamente a alteridade de Deus, ou seja, um caso específico da questão mais alargada acerca da alteridade em si mesma. Caputo, por exemplo, defende que as asserções religiosas sobre Deus são fundamentalmente indecidíveis, o que significa que elas são "infinitamente traduzíveis "e "substituíveis ", enfim, que nós nunca sabemos o que pwpriamente é tradução de quê, sendo que, no fundo, a questão em si mesma "não importa". O carácter indecidível das propostas religiosas inclui a ideia de que a religião constitui um discurso sobre Deus, razão pela qual a desconstrutora "religião sem religião "constitui uma esperança messiânica pelo "impossível" desprovida de qualquer conteúdo. Kearney objecta que uma tal indecidibilidade radical nos deixa perdidos no meio do deserto da Chora sem capacidade de distinguir, ainda que imperfeita e provisoriamente, entre Deus e Satanás, entre o bem e o mal, entre a viúva e o terrorista. Assim, o autor do artigo defende que Richard Kearney é bem sucedido em sua busca de uma via tertia entre a Cila do dogmatismo e a Caríbdis da completa indeterminação graças ao seu modo de pensar Deus por dois caminhos distintos: como pessoa-prosopon (o que impede confundir Deus com Chora ou monstruosidade) e como posse (o que nos resguarda do dogmantismo). (shrink)
Kubovy and Epstein's main quarrel is with the concept of “internalization.” I argue that they underestimate the aptness of this metaphor. In particular, an emulator which predicts unfolding events can be described as an internalization of external structures. Further, an emulator may use motoric as well as perceptual resources, which lends support to Hecht's proposal. [Hecht; Kubovy & Epstein].
Trichromacy may result from an adaptation to the regularities in terrestrial illumination. However, we suggest that a complete characterization of the challenges faced by colour perception must include changes in surface surround and illuminant changes due to inter-reflections between surfaces in cluttered scenes. Furthermore, our trichromatic system may have evolved to allow the detection of brownish-reddish edibles against greenish backgrounds. [Shepard].
The author acquired in May of 1965 a copy of Karl Rahner’s observations on the latest draft of “Schema XIII” which would becomeGaudium et Spes. The title was “Anmerkungen zum Schema DE ECCLESIA IN MUNDO HUIUS TEMPORIS (in der Fassungvom 28.5.65).” After the third session of Vatican II serious work remained to be done on that text. Among several meetings was onelong and important occurred at Ariccia in the Alban hills outside Rome. Rahner could not attend because he could not (...) miss so manylectures at the University of Munich. He sent written comments. That document is a valuable source for the research of the theologicalbackground of Gaudium et Spes. Rahner’s observations fall into three subheadings: remarks on the Latin syntax and style; generalobservations on the underlying theological principles; detailed observations on particular points. (shrink)
Metaknowledge may not always facilitate acquisition of knowledge or performance of complex tasks. A pigeon, for example, depending on the task, can report what it is doing even if it cannot perform the task well, and it can fail to report what it is doing when it performs the task well (Shimp 1982; 1983).
It has often been thought that our knowledge of ourselves is _different_ from, perhaps in some sense _better_ than, our knowledge of things other than ourselves. Indeed, there is a thriving research area in epistemology dedicated to seeking an account of self-knowledge that would articulate and explain its difference from, and superiority over, other knowledge. Such an account would thus illuminate the descriptive and normative difference between self-knowledge and other knowledge.<sup>1</sup> At the same time, self- knowledge has also encountered its (...) share of skeptics – philosophers who refuse to accord it any descriptive, let alone normative, distinction. In this paper, we argue that there is at least one _species_ of self-knowledge that is different from, and better than, other knowledge. It is a specific kind of knowledge of one’s concurrent phenomenal experiences. Call knowledge of one’s own phenomenal experiences _phenomenal knowledge_. Our claim is that some (though not all) phenomenal knowledge is different from, and better than, non-phenomenal knowledge. In other. (shrink)
Using neoPiagetian theory of mental attention (or working memory), I task-analyze two complex performances of great apes and one symbolic performance (funeral burials) of early Homo sapiens. Relating results to brain size growth data, I derive estimates of mental attention for great apes, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and modern Homo sapiens, and use children's cognitive development as reference. This heuristic model seems consistent with research.
In this paper I first examine two important assumptions underlying the argument that physicalism entails panpsychism. These need unearthing because opponents in the literature distinguish themselves from Strawson in the main by rejecting one or the other. Once they have been stated, and something has been said about the positions that reject them, the onus of argument becomes clear: the assumptions require careful defence. I believe they are true, in fact, but their defence is a large project that cannot begin (...) here. So, in the final section I comment on what follows if they are granted. I agree with Strawson that --broadly -- 'panpsychism' is the direction in which philosophy of mind should be heading; nevertheless, there are certain difficulties in the detail of his position. In light of these I argue for changes to the doctrine, bringing it into line with the slightly. (shrink)
Kadri Vihvelin, in “What time travelers cannot do” (Philos Stud 81:315–330, 1996 ), argued that “no time traveler can kill the baby who in fact is her younger self”, because (V1) “if someone would fail to do something, no matter how hard or how many times she tried, then she cannot do it”, and (V2) if a time traveler tried to kill her baby self, she would always fail. Theodore Sider (Philos Stud 110:115–138, 2002 ) criticized Vihvelin’s argument, and Ira (...) Kiourti (Philos Stud 139:343–352, 2008 ) criticized both Vihvelin’s argument and Sider’s critique. I present a critique of Vihvelin’s argument different from both Sider’s and Kiourti’s critiques: I argue in a novel way that both V1 and V2 are false. Since Vihvelin’s argument might be understood as providing a challenge to the possibility of time travel, if my critique succeeds then time travel survives such a challenge unscathed. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam has offered two arguments to show that we cannotbe brains in a vat, and one to show that our cognitive situationcannot be fully analogous to that of brains in a vat. The latterand one of the former are irreparably flawed by misapplicationsof, or mistaken inferences from, his semantic externalism; thethird yields only a simple logical truth. The metaphysical realismthat is Putnams ultimate target is perfectly consistent withsemantic externalism.
This exploratory study examines how managers and professionals regard the ethical and social responsibility reputations of 60 well-known Australian and International companies, and how this in turn influences their attitudes and behaviour towards these organisations. More than 350 MBA, other postgraduate business students, and participants in Australian Institute of Management (Western Australia) management education programmes were surveyed to evaluate how ethical and socially responsible they believed the 60 organisations to be. The survey sought to determine what these participants considered ‘ethical’ (...) and ‘socially responsible’ behaviour in organisations to be. The survey also examined how the participants’ beliefs influenced their attitudes and intended behaviours towards these organisations. The results of this survey indicate that many managers and professionals have clear views about the ethical and social responsibility reputations of companies. This affects their attitudes towards these organisations which in turn has an impact on their intended behaviour towards them. These findings support the view in other research studies that well-educated managers and professionals are, to some extent, taking into account the ethical and social responsibility reputations of companies when deciding whether to work for them, use their services or buy shares in their companies. (shrink)
Darwin''s biology was teleological only if the term teleology is defined in a manner that fails to recognize his contribution to the metaphysics and epistemology of modern science. His use of teleological metaphors in a strictly teleonomic context is irrelevant to the meaning of his discourse. The myth of Darwin''s alleged teleology is partly due to misinterpretations of discussions about whether morphology should be a purely formal science. Merely rejecting such notions as special creation and vitalism does not prevent the (...) pernicious effects of teleological reasoning, even at the present time. (shrink)
This essay examines the perspective from which Bas van Fraassen, in his book, The Empirical Stance , explains the project of empiricism. I argue that this perspective is a robustly transcendental perspective, which suggests that the tradition of empiricism lacks the resources to explain itself. I offer an alternative history of epistemic voluntarism in twentieth-century philosophy to the history van Fraassen himself provides, one that finds the novelty in van Fraassen’s own views to be precisely his reintroduction of the knowing (...) mind into the tradition of analytic philosophy of science. (shrink)
According to epistemic two-dimensionalism, every expression is associated with two kinds of meaning: a primary intension (a “Fregean” component) and a secondary intension (a “Russellian” component). While the rst kind of meaning lines up with the speaker’s abilities to pick out referents of correctly employed expressions in hypothetical scenarios, the second kind of meaning is a version of what standard semanticists call “semantic content”—a kind of content which does not pivot on speaker abilities. Despite its conciliatory temperament, epistemic two-dimensionalism has (...) come under recent attack. It has been alleged that it is bound to attribute to speakers a priori identifying knowledge of the referents of correctly employed terms, and bound also to reject valid rules of inference such as exportation: P(a) → λx[P(x)](a) (see, e.g., Soames 2005. (shrink)
The correspondence theory of truth is often thought to be supported by the intuition that if a proposition (sentence, belief) is true, then something makes it true. I argue that this appearance is illusory and is sustained only by a conflation of two distinct notions of truthmaking, existential and non-existential. Once the conflation is exposed, I maintain, deflationism is seen to be adequate for accommodating truthmaking intuitions.
The isolation of the Netherlands as the only country in which voluntary euthanasia is legal is about to end. In October 2001 the Belgian Senate voted by almost a 2:1 margin to allow doctors to act on a patient's request for assistance in dying. The legislation is expected to pass the lower house shortly. That the Netherlands' closest neighbor is likely to be the next country to take this step should provide food for thought among those who have denounced voluntary (...) euthanasia in the Netherlands as rife with abuses. If that were really the case, why would the country that is better placed than all others to know what goes on in the Netherlands – not only because of its geographical proximity, but because most of its people are Dutch-speaking – be ready to copy the Dutch model? (shrink)
In this article I examine the status of putative aesthetic judgements in science and mathematics. I argue that if the judgements at issue are taken to be genuinely aesthetic they can be divided into two types, positing either a disjunction or connection between aesthetic and epistemic criteria in theory/proof assessment. I show that both types of claim face serious difficulties in explaining the purported role of aesthetic judgements in these areas. I claim that the best current explanation of this role, (...) McAllister's 'aesthetic induction' model, fails to demonstrate that the judgements at issue are genuinely aesthetic. I argue that, in light of these considerations, there are strong reasons for suspecting that many, and perhaps all, of the supposedly aesthetic claims are not genuinely aesthetic but are in fact 'masked' epistemic assessments. (shrink)