In the history of modern philosophy systematic connections were assumed to hold between the modal concepts of logical possibility and necessity and the concept of conceivability. However, in the eyes of many contemporary philosophers, insuperable objections face any attempt to analyze the modal concepts in terms of conceivability. It is important to keep in mind that a philosophical explanation of modality does not have to take the form of a reductive analysis. In this paper I attempt to provide a (...) class='Hi'>response-dependent account of the modal concepts in terms of conceivability along the lines of a nonreductive model of explanation. (shrink)
Moral response-dependent metaethical theories characterize moral properties in terms of the reactions of certain classes of individuals. Nick Zangwill has argued that such theories are flawed: they are unable to accommodate the motive of duty. That is, they are unable to provide a suitable reason for anyone to perform morally right actions simply because they are morally right. I argue that Zangwill ignores significant differences between various approvals, and various individuals, and that moral response-dependent theories can accommodate the (...) motive of duty. (shrink)
Mark Johnston claims the pragmatist theory of truth is inconsistent with the way we actually employ and talk about that concept. He is, however, sympathetic enough to attempt to rescue its respectable core using ‘response-dependence’, a revisionary form of which he advocates as a method for clarifying various philosophically significant concepts. But Johnston has misrepresented pragmatism; it does not require rescuing, and as I show here, his ‘missing explanation argument’ against pragmatism therefore fails. What Johnston and other critics including (...) Putnam have overlooked is the distinctive nature of the pragmatist strategy, specifically, that it is non-reductive, a characteristic it shares with a more promising form of response-dependence; what Johnston calls ‘Descriptive Protagoreanism’ (DP). In this paper I offer a defence of pragmatism and show how it might be re-articulated as a form of DP. (shrink)
Response moralism holds that audience reactions to works of fiction can be morally bad. This position appears implausible: How could it be bad to enjoy fictional suffering? It's just fiction; no one is harmed. My goal is to sketch the most compelling avenue of defense for the theory. I show both how and how not to defend response moralism. First I argue that Allan Hazlett's recent defense fails. Then I defend a Moorean suggestion for how to support the (...) theory. Most important, I argue that the difficulties for the theory have not been fully appreciated. To this end, I present, but do not attempt to solve, four issues facing response moralism. (shrink)
Symbolic healing, that is, responding to meaningful experiences in positive ways, can facilitate human healing. This process partly engages consciousness and partly evades consciousness completely (sometimes it partakes of both simultaneously). This paper, presented as the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness Distinguished Lecture at the 2011 AAA meeting in Montreal, reviews recent research on what is ordinarily (and unfortunately) called the “placebo effect.” The author makes the argument that language use should change, and the relevant portions of what is (...) often called the placebo effect should be referred to as the “meaning response.”. (shrink)
This paper offers an appraisal of Phillip Pettit’s approach to the problem how a finite set of examples can serve to represent a determinate rule, given that indefinitely many rules can be extrapolated from any such set. Negatively, I argue that Pettit’s so-called ethocentric theory of rule-following fails to deliver the solution to this problem that he sets out to provide. More constructively, I consider what further provisions are needed in order to advance Pettit’s distinctive general approach to the problem. (...) I conclude that what is needed is a ‘no-priority’ account of rule-exemplification: that is, an account that (a) affirms the constitutive role of agents’ responses in the exemplification of rules but (b) denies the explanatory priority given to such responses in Pettit’s theory. (shrink)
The radical empiricism of William James was first formally presented in his seminal papers of 1904, 'Does Consciousness Exist?' and 'A World of Pure Experience'. In James's view, pure experience was to serve as the source for psychology's primary data and radical empiricism was to launch an effective critique of experimentalism in psychology, a critique from which the problem of experimentalism within science could be addressed more broadly. This collection of papers presents James's formal statements on radical empiricism and a (...) representative sample of contemporary responses from psychologists and philosophers. With only a few exceptions, these responses indicate just how badly James was misread - psychologists ignoring the heart of James's message and philosophers transforming James's metaphysics into something quite unintelligible to the emerging generation of experimental psychologists. (shrink)
I argue that Meeker is mistaken in two crucial respects. First, contrary to both myself and Plantinga, he treats exclusivism as a theory about the relation between the religions, and then claims that it is superior to the pluralist theory. But he does not say what his exclusivist theory is. Second, he bases his claim of a fundamental self-contradiction in my pluralist position on a view which I disavow, namely that altruism is the core of religion. He omits the central (...) idea of a profound reorientation in response to the Real, of which altruism is a manifestation. (Published Online April 7 2006). (shrink)
Where the old objectivity question asked, Objectivity or relativism: which side are you on?, the new one refuses this choice, seeking instead to bypass widely recognized problems with the conceptual framework that restricts the choices to these two. It asks, How can the notion of objectivity be updated and made useful for contemporary knowledge-seeking projects? One response to this question is the strong objectivity program that draws on feminist standpoint epistemology to provide a kind of logic of discovery for (...) maximizing our ability to block might makes right in the sciences. It does so by delinking the neutrality ideal from standards for maximizing objectivity, since neutrality is now widely recognized as not only not necessary, not only not helpful, but, worst of all, an obstacle to maximizing objectivity when knowledge-distorting interests and values have constituted a research project. Strong objectivity provides a method for correcting this kind of situation. However, standpoint approaches have their own limitations which are quite different from the misreadings of them upon which most critics have tended to focus. Unfortunately, historically limited epistemologies and philosophies of science are all we get to choose from at this moment in history. (shrink)
At the April 2006 meeting of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, in an author-meets-critics session on Scott Soames' book _Reference and Description: The Case Against Two-Dimensionalism_ , I presented a comment on Soames' book, "Scott Soames' Two-Dimensionalism" . The other critic was Robert Stalnaker. Soames presented his response to critics . Below is a reply to Soames' response to me, for those who were at the session and interested others. Note that this response was (...) mostly written before the session, except for one or two paragraphs where the discussion in the session is mentioned. (shrink)
Within much contemporary epistemology, Kant’s response to skepticism has come to be epitomized by an appeal to transcendental arguments. This form of argument is said to provide a distinctively Kantian way of dealing with the skeptic, by showing that what the skeptic questions is in fact a condition for her being able to raise that question in the first place, if she is to have language, thoughts, or experiences at all. In this way, it is hoped, the game played (...) by the skeptic can be turned against herself.1 At the same time, however, this appeal to transcendental arguments is also widely felt to show what is wrong with Kant’s response to skepticism: for, it is suggested, such arguments can only be made to work against the background of his transcendental idealism. As we shall see, what this doctrine amounts to is much disputed; but as with any form of idealism, the worry is that it means compromising the very realism and objectivity we want to defend against skepticism in the first place, so that the price for adopting this Kantian strategy appears too high—the cure of using transcendental arguments in conjunction with transcendental idealism is almost as bad as the disease.2 Faced with this difficulty, two kinds of response have been canvassed. On the first, it is accepted that transcendental arguments do require a commitment to the wider philosophical framework of transcendental idealism, but it is claimed that this framework can and should be defended against the suggestion that it is itself ‘‘quasi-skeptical.’’ On the second, transcendental idealism is indeed abandoned as wrongheaded, but it is held that Kant’s transcendental arguments can be made to.. (shrink)
Bas van Fraassen claims that constructive empiricism strikes a balance between the empiricist's commitments to epistemic modesty -- that one's opinion should extend no further beyond the deliverances of experience than is necessary -- and to the rationality of science. In "Should the Empiricist be a Constructive Empiricist?" I argued that if the constructive empiricist follows through on her commitment to epistemic modesty she will find herself adopting a much more extreme position than van Fraassen suggests. Van Fraassen and Bradley (...) Monton have recently responded. My purpose here is to contest their response. The goal is not merely the rebuttal of a rebuttal; there is a lesson to learn concerning the realist/anti-realist dialectic generated by van Fraassen's view. (shrink)
Eric T. Olson has argued that those who hold that two material objects can exactly coincide at a moment of time, with one of these objects constituting the other, face an insuperable difficulty in accounting for the alleged differences between the objects, such as their being of different kinds and possessing different persistence-conditions. The differences, he suggests, are inexplicable, given that the objects in question are composed of the same particles related in precisely the same way. In response, I (...) show that the differences are not at all inexplicable once it is recognized that the conditions for a persisting object to be composed by certain particles at a moment of time must involve facts concerning other moments of time, and that the relevant facts are different for persisting objects of different kinds. Philosophers who neglect this sort of constraint on composition principles may be said to be victims of the 'cinematographic fallacy'. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to review critically Julian Savulescu's principle of 'Procreative Beneficence,' which holds that prospective parents are morally obligated to select, of the possible children they could have, those with the greatest chance of leading the best life. According to this principle, prospective parents are obliged to use the technique of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select for the 'best' embryos, a decision that ought to be made based on the presence or absence of both disease (...) traits and non-disease traits such as intelligence. While several articles have been written in response to Savulescu's principle, none has systematically explored its philosophical underpinnings to demonstrate where it breaks down. In this paper I argue that the examples that Savulescu employs to support his theory in fact fail to justify it. He presents these examples as analogous to PGD, when in fact they differ from it in subtle but morally relevant ways. Specifically, Savulescu fails to acknowledge the fact that his examples evoke deontological and virtue ethics concerns that are absent in the context of PGD. These differences turn out to be crucial, so that, in the end, the analogies bear little support for his theory. Finally, I lay out the implications of this analysis for reproductive ethics. (shrink)
Coping with everyday life limits the extent of one’s scepticism. It is practically impossible to doubt the existence of the things with which one is immediately engaged and interacting. To doubt that, say, a door exists, is to step back from merely using the door (opening it) and to reflect on it in a detached, theoretical way. It is impossible to simultaneously act and live immersed in situation S while doubting that one is in S. Sceptical doubts—such as ‘Is this (...) really a door?’, ‘Am I really walking?’ — require a reflective withdrawal in thought from the situation at hand. Maintaining sceptical doubt while coping with everyday life requires a split consciousness, a bad faith, with one part of consciousness doubting the existing of things that the other part takes forgranted. For this reason, a sustained lived sceptical doubt is sometimes thought to be impossible. -/- In this article, I examine Wittgenstein's response to scepticism in "On Certainty". I argue that one of his responses is "the response based on action", which is (as other Wittgenstein interpreters have noted) a characteristically pragmatist response. I then evaluate the quality of this pragmatist response to scepticism, noting that actions just as much as representations are susceptible to mis-interpretation. It is argued that despite the insights contained in it, Wittgenstein's contextualism about meaning is inadequate to rescue the Wittgensteinian response to scepticism. (shrink)
This essay is a rejoinder to comments on Uneasy Virtue made by Onora O'Neill, John Skorupski, and Michael Slote in this issue. In Uneasy Virtue I presented criticisms of traditional virtue theory. I also presented an alternative – a consequentialist account of virtue, one which is a form of ‘pure evaluational externalism’. This type of theory holds that the moral quality of character traits is determined by factors external to agency (e.g. consequences). All three commentators took exception to this account. (...) Therefore, the bulk of my response focuses on defending the externalist account of virtue presented in the final chapters of Uneasy Virtue. (shrink)
Researchers working on children’s moral understanding maintain that the child’s capacity to distinguish morality from convention shows that children regard moral violations as objectively wrong (e.g. Nucci, L. (2001). Education in the moral domain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). However, one traditional way to cast the issue of objectivism is to focus not on conventionality, but on whether moral properties depend on our responses, as with properties like icky and fun. This paper argues that the moral/conventional task is inadequate for assessing (...) whether children regard moral properties as response-dependent. Unfortunately, children’s understanding of responsedependent properties has been neglected in recent research. Two experiments are reported showing that children are more likely to treat properties like fun and icky as response-dependent than moral properties like good and bad. Hence, this helps support the claim that children are moral objectivists. q 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
In this paper, Crispin Wright’s unified strategy against scepticism is put under pressure through an examination of the concept of entitlement. Wright’s characterisation of a generalised form of scepticism is first described, followed by an examination of the concept of entitlement and of the role played by presuppositions in his strategy. This will make manifest the transcendental structure of this response to scepticism. The paper ends with a discussion of the effectiveness of this transcendental strategy in providing a satisfying (...)response to scepticism. (shrink)
This article suggests first that the concept of interpersonal recognition be understood in a multidimensional (as opposed to one-dimensional), practical (as opposed to symbolic), and strict (as opposed to broad) way. Second, it is argued that due recognition be seen as a reason-governed response to evaluative features, rather than all normativity and reasons being seen as generated by recognition. This can be called a response-model, or, more precisely, a value-based model of due recognition. A further suggestion is that (...) there is a systematic basis for distinguishing three dimensions of recognition, depending on whether recognition is given to someone qua a person, qua a certain kind of person, or qua a certain person. Finally, it is argued that recognition is a necessary condition of personhood, but whether it is of direct or indirect relevance depends on our theories of personhood (social vs. capacity-theory) and practical identity (dialogical definition model vs. feature-model). Despite the apparent opposition, it is shown that interpersonal recognition is both a response to value and a precondition of personhood. (shrink)
This is my response to the critical commentaries by Hasker, McNaughton and Schellenberg on my tetralogy on Christian doctrine. I dispute the moral principles invoked by McNaughton and Schellenberg in criticism of my theodicy and theory of atonement. I claim, contrary to Hasker, that I have taken proper account of the ‘existential dimension' of Christianity. I agree that whether it is rational to pursue the Christian way depends not only on how probable it is that the Christian creed is (...) true and so that the way leads to the Christian goals, but (in part) on how strongly one wants those goals. Hasker is correct to say that I need to give arguments in favour of the historical claims of Christianity, and I outline how I hope to do that. (shrink)
The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan (...) and Jarrett Leplin suggests that the response is never appropriate. Arguments from Einstein for the special and general theories of relativity may fruitfully be seen as instances of the identical rivals response; since Einstein’s arguments are generally accepted, the response is at least sometimes appropriate. But when is it appropriate? We attempt to steer a middle course between Norton’s view and that of Laudan and Leplin: the identical rivals response is appropriate when there is good reason for adopting a parsimonious ontology. Although in simple cases the identical rivals response need not involve any ontological difference between the theories, in actual scientific cases it typically requires treating apparent posits of the various theories as mere verbal ornaments or computational conveniences. Since these would-be posits are not now detectable, there is no perfectly reliable way to decide whether we should eliminate them or not. As such, there is no rule for deciding whether the identical rivals response is appropriate or not. Nevertheless, there are considerations that suggest for and against the response; we conclude by suggesting two of them. (shrink)
In a recent article [Mertz 2001] in this journal I argued for the virtues of a realist ontology of relation instances (unit attributes). A major strength of this ontology is an assay of ontic ('material') predication that yields an account of individuation without the necessity of positing and defending 'bare particulars'. The crucial insight is that it is the unifying agency or combinatorial aspect of a relation instance as predicable that is for ontology the principium individuationis [Mertz 2002; 1996]. Or (...) in short, what is ontically predicable, precisely as such, is the cause of individuation. As a preface to this positive doctrine I offered arguments against the coherence of bare particulars as defended in an article by J. P. Moreland . In a reply contained in this issue Moreland and Timothy Pickavance (hereafter M/P) propose to answer my objections . The response that follows provides reasons why, I contend, M/P have not succeeded in parrying my objections to bare particulars. (shrink)
In this response to D. Z. Phillips's critique of my interpretation of Wittgenstein's view of magic and ritual, I counter Phillips's claim that I have misrepresented the Wittgensteinian view of ritual, consider the instrumentalist dimension of the Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, offer some objections to Phillips's expressivist view that a ritual ‘says itself’, and detect obscurantism in his approach to the study of religion.
The traditional conception of response-dependence isinadequate because it cannot account for all intuitivecases of response-dependence. In particular, it is unableto account for the response-dependence of (aesthetic, moral, epistemic ...) values. I therefore propose tosupplement the traditional conception with an alternativeone. My claim is that only a combination of the twoconceptions is able to account for all intuitivecases of response-dependence.
According to the proportionality objection to hell, infinite suffering is out of proportion to any wrong that finite human beings could commit and is hence unjust and inconsistent with God's moral perfection. The continuing-sin response concedes that eternal consignment to hell is out of proportion to the sins people commit during their earthly lives, but argues that people in hell continue to sin while in hell and, in this way, extend their consignment to hell ad infinitum. In this essay, (...) I evaluate the continuing-sin response. In particular, I argue that whether there is a proportionality problem to begin with and whether the continuing-sin response succeeds as a response depends on the character of the suffering that is experienced in hell. (shrink)
G. E. Moore famously offered a strikingly straightforward response to the radical sceptic which simply consisted of the claim that one could know, on the basis of one's knowledge that one has hands, that there exists an external world. In general, the Moorean response to scepticism maintains that we can know the denials of sceptical hypotheses on the basis of our knowledge of everyday propositions. In the recent literature two proposals have been put forward to try to accommodate, (...) to varying extents, this Moorean thesis. On the one hand, there are those who endorse an externalist version of contextualism, such as Keith DeRose, who have claimed that there must be some contexts in which Moore is right. More radically still, Ernest Sosa has expanded on this externalist thesis by arguing that, contra DeRose's contextualism, Moore may be right in all contexts. In this paper I evaluate these claims and argue that, suitably modified, one can resurrect the main elements of the Moorean anti-sceptical thesis. (shrink)
Alan Shewmons article, The brain and somatic integration: Insights into the standard biological rationale for equating brain death with death (2001), strikes at the heart of the standard justification for whole brain death criteria. The standard justification, which I call the standard paradigm, holds that the permanent loss of the functions of the entire brain marks the end of the integrative unity of the body. In my response to Shewmons article, I first offer a brief summary of the standard (...) paradigm and cite recent work by advocates of whole brain criteria who tenaciously cling to the standard paradigm despite increasing evidence showing that it has significant weaknesses. Second, I address Shewmons case against the standard paradigm, arguing that he is successful in showing that whole brain dead patients have integrated organic unity. Finally, I discuss some minor problems with Shewmons article, along with suggestions for further elaboration. (shrink)
In response to Michael Bradley, I summarize my account of the criteria by which the various data of natural theology increase the probability of theism and together make it probable. I explain the sense in which a simpler theory leaves less to be explained, justify my claim that God’s perfect goodness is entailed by his other divine properties, and show that not merely is theism simpler than Bradley’s ’Epicurean hypothesis’, but that the ’mixed’ data of natural theology are more (...) to be expected given theism than given the ’Epicurean hypothesis’. (shrink)
According to a Moorean response to skepticism, the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively low, and we can know across contexts all that we ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p, it can seem (...) that S does in fact lack that piece of knowledge. Moreover, this warranted-assertability maneuver is unique and better than similar maneuvers because it makes use of H. P. Grice’s general conversational rule of Quantity—“Do not make your contribution more informative than is required”—in explaining why we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p. (shrink)
The paper examines three tenets of Dancy’s meta-ethics, finds them incompatible, and proposes a response-dependentist (or response-dispositional) solution. The first tenet is the central importance of thick concepts and properties. The second is that such concepts essentially involve response(s) of observers, which Dancy interprets in a way that fits the pattern of context-dependent resultance: thick concepts are well suited for the particularist grounding of moral theory. However, and this is the third tenet, in his earlier paper (1986) (...) Dancy forcefully argues against response-dispositional accounts of moral concepts and properties. The present paper argues that an anti-dispositional view is incompatible with the first two points concerning thick concepts. If thick concepts and properties are paramount and ubiquitous in moral thought and reality, and if they are essentially tied to human responses, then anti-dispositionalism is false. Dancy himself avoids obvious contradiction by characterizing thick items (concepts) differently from the usual characterization of response-dependent items. Actions that satisfy thick concepts do so in virtue of meriting a determinate response. The (non-reductionist) response-dependentist usually puts it slightly differently: such actions satisfy a given moral concepts in virtue of eliciting a merited response. I have argued at length that this tenuous difference in formulation is too weak to support a relevant difference in rebus. If the argument is right, Dancy is implicitly committed to a kind of response-dependentism. Finally, the particularist should embrace thick concepts and properties, and reject anti-dispositionalism. However, this would bring back the analogy with color and other secondary qualities. Since there are ceteris paribus laws governing such properties, the analogy suggests that moral properties might also be best accounted for by a ceteris paribus, or hedged account, a compromise between traditional generalism and the particularism of Dancy’s variety. (shrink)
This paper is a critical response to the newest version of the rational choice theory of religion (RCTR). In comparison with previous critiques, this paper takes aim at RCTR's foundational assumption of psychological egoism and argues that the thesis of psychological egoism is untenable. Without that thesis, the normative aspects of religious commitment cannot be reduced validly to instrumental reason. On neither conceptual nor empirical grounds therefore can religion or religious commitment be defined comprehensively in terms of exchange theory. (...) With the failure of psychological egoism as a point of departure, the paper articulates an alternative theory of religion, one based on the epistemic rationality grounded in religious experience and religious emotion. (shrink)
Response-dependent theories of morality are currently popular. I suspect that this is because they combine ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ elements in an appealing way. Such theories seem to do justice to the idea that morality is out there to be known, at the same time as connecting moral judgements with our affective and motivational states. However, I shall argue that all response-dependent theories of morality are irretrievably ﬂawed.
A fully developed sophisticated response-dependent account would fill in specifications for B (the beings) and C (the conditions), would probably replace the reference to disapproval with a reference to a more complex response, and might involve a more complex scheme.[ii] For simplicity, however, I shall focus my argument on the above simple scheme of moral wrongness, since added complexities will be irrelevant to my argument.
Karl Ameriks has recently devoted an entire volume to defending what he calls "orthodox" Kantianism against what he judges to be the "errors" of such post-Kantian idealists as K. L. Reinhold and J. G. Fichte and to exposing what he claims is the frequently unnoticed but always deleterious influence of post-Kantianism upon certain prominent strands of contemporary philosophy. In response, this paper challenges Ameriks' interpretation of Kantianism itself and of the "post-Kantian project", as well as his construal of transcendental (...) idealism. This is followed by some remarks concerning Reinhold's and Fichte's actual "arguments" for transcendental idealism and a rejection of Ameriks' characterizations of the same. Ameriks' interpretation of "the primacy of the practical" within Fichte's philosophy is also analyzed and criticized, as are his unsubstantiated claims concerning the powerful "indirect" influence of the writings of Reinhold and Fichte upon contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Secondary and tertiary qualities are plausibly explained along dispositionalist lines. Concepts of such qualities are response-dependent, denoting properties that are partly mind/brain-dependent. Unfortunately, dispositionalism is hard to square with extant versions of naturalistic theories of representation. In particular the standard naturalistic (indicational) semantics of representational content cannot handle the question from either the subjectivist or the dispositional viewpoint. The paper proposes a remedy: the problem can be solved in a smooth and natural way, provided that we revise and supplement (...) the standard semantics in a rather obvious fashion, by allowing the mind/brain-involving properties to figure within it. (shrink)
Since Nelson Goodman 1951, the assumption that phenomenal indiscriminability is non-transitive is taken generally for granted. Moreover, this assumption was used (by Goodman 1951, Travis 1985, Dummett 1975 and others) to argue against the existence or coherence of subjective and/or observational properties. Recently, however, the assumption has been questioned [Fara 2001] and I agree with Fara that the assumption is much more problematic than was thought, partly because it is not clear what is meant by the relation of phenomenal indiscriminability, (...) and partly because it is not clear how to interpret ideas such as continuous change, and the limitations of our power of perceptual discrimination. In this paper I will bypass the question of the transitivity of phenomenal indiscriminability. I will use only the assumption about the existence (or even the possibility of existence) of a phenomenal sorites. This assumption is less controversial, and accepted (at least the version I will use) by opponents and defenders of transitivity alike. I will argue that the incoherence of 'red' (as response-dependent or purely observational) can be derived without committing ourselves to a view on the question of transitivity, and I will use this incoherence, to argue against the account of 'red' as a response-dependent concept. (shrink)
Our response amplifies our case for scientific realism and the unity of science and clarifies our commitments to scientific unity, nonreductionism, behaviorism, and our rejection of talk of “emergence.” We acknowledge support from commentators for our view of physics and, responding to pressure and suggestions from commentators, deny the generality supervenience and explain what this involves. We close by reflecting on the relationship between philosophy and science.
In a recent contribution to Grazer Philosophische Studien, Booth argues that for S to have an epistemic reason to ψ means that if S ψ's then he will have more true beliefs and less false beliefs than if he does not ψ. After strengthening this external account in response to the objection that one can improve one's epistemic state in other fashions, e.g. by having a gain in true beliefs which outweighs one's gain in false beliefs, I provide a (...) challenge to it. My main objection, which I advance with the aid of several examples, is that such epistemic reasons could not motivate any action whatsoever. I close by developing an alternative account, which avoids this problem by appeal to internal considerations. (shrink)
The extensions of response-dependent concepts are a priori connected with the subjective responses that competent users of that concept have in normal conditions. There are two strategies for specifying normal conditions for response-dependent concepts: topic-specific and topic-neutral. On a topic-specific specification, a characterization of normal conditions would be given separately for each response-dependent concept (or a non-trivial subset of response-dependent concepts, such as our colour concepts), whereas a topic-neutral specification would be given in a uniform way (...) for all response-dependent concepts. In this paper I argue, using a thought experiment, that only topic-neutral specifications will deliver the a priori knowledge constitutive of response-dependence. (shrink)
In my “Promising and Supererogation” I argue that one cannot fulfill promises to perform supererogatory actions (such as “I hereby promise to perform one supererogatory action every month”). In a response to my paper, David Heyd argues that there is an alternative solution to the problem I raise. While I agree with much that Heyd says about the examples he discusses, his proposed solution involves a crucial alteration of the problem; his proposed solution does not solve the problem I (...) present. (shrink)
For many reasons mainstream Hegel scholarship has disregarded Hegel's interests in epistemology, hence also his response to scepticism. From the points of view of defenders and critics alike, it seems that 'Hegel' and 'epistemology' have nothing to do with one another. Despite this widespread conviction, Hegel was a very sophisticated epistemologist whose views merit contemporary interest. This article highlights several key features and innovations of Hegel's epistemology-including his anti-Cartesianism, fallibilism, realism (sic) and externalism both about mental content and about (...) justification-by considering his systematic responses to Pyrrhonian, Humean, Cartesian and Kantian scepticism. (shrink)
For a biological anthropologist interested in the prehistory of religion, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen's book is welcome and resonant. Van Huyssteen's central thesis is that humans' capacity for spirituality emerges from a transformation of cognition and emotions that takes place in the symbolic realm, within Homo sapiens and apart from biology. To his thesis I bring to bear three areas of response: the abundant cognitive and emotional capacities of living apes and extinct hominids; the role of symbolic ritual in (...) the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens; and the closely intertwined nature of biology and culture in the workings of evolutionary change. (shrink)
Many response-dependence theorists equate moral truth with the generation of some affective psychological response: what makes this action wrong, as opposed to right, is that it would cause (or merit) affective response of type R (perhaps under ideal conditions). Since our affective nature is purely contingent, and not necessarily shared by all rational creatures (or even by all humans), response-dependence threatens to lead to relativism. In this paper, I will argue that emotional responses and moral features (...) do not align in the way predicted by the response-dependence theorist who wishes to tie morality to emotional affect. I further argue that since response-dependence accounts that tie morality to any sort of affect (be it an emotion, a desire, a desire to desire, or so on) cannot explain the objectivity and universality of morality; and since we do not need a psychological response to play a truth-constituting role in morality in order to explain the normativity or content of morality, we should reject such response-dependence accounts. (shrink)
This Article is a short response to Anders Tolland's "Iterated Non-Refutation: Robert Lockie on Relativism", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 14, no. 2, 245-254, 2006. Tolland's article was itself a response to Lockie, R (2003) "Relativism and Reflexivity", International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. 11, no. 3, 319-339.
manner. The construction of the space-time structure that describes the dynamics of the neural network in a causal manner is a non-trivial problem. I critically review the idea of response selectivity as is applied to.
Before beginning my response, let me express the honour I feel in having these three friends and distinguished philosophical colleagues comment so thoughtfully on my ideas in Divine Discourse. I warmly thank them for their ‘labours’. I propose mirroring the general structure of the book itself in my response. First, I'll consider what Helm says about my delineation of the topic, second, what Quinn says about my discussion of God speaking; third, what Westphal says about my discussion of (...) interpreting for God's speech; and last, what Quinn says about my discussion of the epistemology of believing that God speaks. (shrink)
This paper is a response to Professor Nancy Hudson’s paper “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” (Nancy Hudson, “Divine Immanence: Nicholas of Cusa’s Understanding of Theophany and the Retrieval of a ‘New’ Model of God,” Journal of Theological Studies 56.2 (October 2005): 450–470). The global ecological crisis has spawned intensive reflection about living in right relationship with the earth. Western Christian thought has received special scrutiny since modern alienation (...) from nature has been traced to Christian theology. Undiscovered within the mystical theology of Nicholas of Cusa lies an ecologically promising vision of nature. The concept of divine immanence presented by this medieval thinker provides a rich spirituality that is inclusive, rather than exclusive, of the natural world. It is also far more intimate than contemporary stewardship theology. Cusanus interprets theophany as divine self-expression. A series of striking metaphors, including God’s enfolding and unfolding, God as ‘Not-other’, and Christ as the contracted maximum, reveals a holistic spirituality. Nicholas of Cusa’s concept of divine immanence infuses the world with immeasurable value and gives rise to a Christian theology that can address the current ecological crisis. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God in response to a presentation of Nancy Hudson’s “Divine Immanence.”. (shrink)
You are, I suspect, exceedingly good at knowing what you intend to do. In saying this I pay you no special compliment. Knowing what one intends is the normal state to be in. And this cries out for some explanation. How is it that we are so authoritative about our own intentions? There are two different approaches that one can take in answering this question. The first credits us with special perceptual powers which we use when we examine our own (...) minds. On this view we detect our own mental states in much the same way that we detect the state of the world around us; but the powers we direct inward are much less prone t o error than those we direct outwards. The alternative approach denies that there is such a thing as inward perception. On this view the whole idea the we detect our own mental states using some kind of internal perceptual apparatus is misguided; a wholly different account is needed. (shrink)
Towards the end of his response to me, Lee presents an argument for the necessity of interpreting all evil as privation. I counter this argument by showingthat it works only for what I call “formal” good and evil, but not for what I call “contentful” good and evil. In fact, evil that is “contentful” presents a challenge tothe privation theory that I had not discussed in my article. I then proceed, in the second part of my response, to (...) revisit the three cases of evil that in my original paper I had presented as challenges to the privation theory. I engage Lee’s objections to these three counterexamples and I try to explain in a new way why the principle of badness in each of them, especially in pain/suffering and in moral evil, is not just a lack or a deficiency. (shrink)
After a short description of the major sociological theories based on the concept of risk (Douglas, Beck, Luhmann, Giddens) I propose to integrate the concept of risk with the concept of trust. On a less theoretical level I propose to consider governance as the institutional response to the growing complexity of the risk society. Above all, network governance – that is institutional steering based on a high community participation – seems to give good results in the field of health (...) care policies, as has been shown in the Emilia-Romagna area (Italy). (shrink)
Recently, Clifford Williams has attempted to argue for the plausibility of a Christian form of physicalism. To make his case, Williams appropriates certain claims by John Locke regarding the possibility of thinking matter to argue for what Williams calls the parity theses: (1) God can make matter and nonmatter either to think or not to think. Given God's omnipotence, the justification for (1) is: (2) there is no contradiction in asserting either that matter or nonmatter thinks or that they do (...) not think. If we expand thinking to include other morally and religiously relevant operations of the mind, then we get: (3) God can make either a purely material being or a nonmaterial entity to have moral and religious characteristics. From this, Williams infers that: (4) there is an equal amount of mystery in thinking matter as there is in non-thinking matter. In response to Williams, I argue that his main arguments for the parity theses fail and his Lockean style argument must be judged a failure. To show this I, first, state Williams' Lockean parity argument and, second, criticize the three arguments he offers for its most important premise. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider how a Kierkegaardian could respond critically to the question of strong theological universalism, i.e., the belief that all individuals must eventually be reconciled to God and experience everlasting happiness. A Kierkegaardian would likely reject what Thomas Talbott has called “conservative theism,” but has the resources to mount a sustained attack on the view that all individuals must experience everlasting happiness. Some have seen that Kierkegaard has some potential in this regard, but a full Kierkegaardian (...) class='Hi'>response to strong theological universalism has yet to be given. In this paper, I give such an account. (shrink)
This study examines the potential effects of unethically perceived advertising executionson consumer responses to the ad. The study found that the unethical perceptions of the advertisement shown significantly and negatively affected all advertising response variables examined in the study.
Fodor & Pylyshyn (1981) criticize J. J. Gibson's ecological account of perception for failing to address what I call the 'correlation problem' in visual perception. That is, they charge that Gibson cannot explain how perceivers learn to correlate detectable properties of the light with perceptible properties of the environment. Furthermore, they identify the correlation problem as a crucial issue for any theory of visual perception, what I call a 'primary problem'—i.e. a problem which plays a definitive role in establishing the (...) concerns of a particular scientific research program. If they are correct, Gibson's failure to resolve this problem would cast considerable doubt upon his ecological approach to perception. In response, I argue that both Fodor & Pylyshyn's problem itself and their proposed inferential solution embody a significant mistake which needs to be eliminated from our thinking about visual perception. As part of my response, I also suggest a Gibsonian alternative to Fodor & Pylyshyn's primary problem formulation. (shrink)
In Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics, Mark Balaguer attempts to show that there is (1) one and only one defensible version of platonism, (2) one and only one defensible version of anti-platonism, and (3) no fact of the matter as to which is true. His arguments depend essentially on the notion of supervenience, yet he rejects metaphysical necessity. I argue that he cannot use logical, conceptual, or nomological necessity to explicate supervenience. Balaguer must either give up the arguments that make (...) use of supervenience or accept metaphysical necessity. I also consider and reject a possible response to my arguments. (shrink)
I have very little disagreement with Carruthers' article, for our views are very similar. I think he is terminologically a bit hard on Michael Tye. I think that in invoking Swampman he is in danger of conflating teleological theories of representation with etiological theories of teleology. In response to his criticism of my own higher-order experience (HOE) view, I argue that there is good reason to believe that we human beings sport as great a degree of computational complexity as (...) is needed for HOEs. If other animals do not exhibit a comparable degree, we should deny that they have "phenomenal-consciousness" in the strong sense of that term. (shrink)
Hume is sometimes thought to provide a ‘naturalistic’ response to the sceptic. I consider two ways in which this response may be construed. According to the first, the fact that we are psychologically determined to hold a belief provides it with justification. According to the second, ‘natural’ beliefs provide limits within which reason can legitimately be employed, limits which the sceptic transgresses when he attempts to defend his position. Both versions of the naturalistic response to scepticism, I (...) will argue, aren't plausible. And they aren't, at least not predominantly, Hume's. (shrink)
This paper examines the associations among social desirability response bias, cultural constructs and gender. The study includes the responses of 1537 students from 12 countries including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Nepal, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. The results of the analysis indicate that, on average, social desirability response bias decreases (increases) as a country’s Individualism (Uncertainty Avoidance) increases. The analysis also indicates that women scored significantly higher on Paulhus’ Image Management Subscale (...) on an overall basis and for seven of the 12 country comparisons. This research serves as a caution when considering the research findings of prior international survey-based ethics research that do not include a direct measure of social desirability response bias. For example, the finding that women score higher on Paulhus’ measure of social desirability response bias calls into question prior research that does not control for social desirability response bias indicating women are more ethically sensitive than men. (shrink)
Student cheating and reporting of that cheating represents one form of organizational wrong-doing and subsequent whistle-blowing, in the context of an academic organization. Previous research has been hampered by a lack of information concerning the validity of survey responses estimating the incidence of organizational wrongdoing and whistle-blowing. An innovative method, the Randomized Response Technique (RRT), was used here to assess the validity of reported incidences of wrongdoing and whistle-blowing. Surprisingly, our findings show that estimates of these incidences did not (...) vary significantly when RRT questionnaire results were compared to those obtained from standard surveys. In fact, a large number of business undergraduates admitted cheating while only a small percentage reported peers'' cheating when they observed it. These results should be sobering for managers and their implications are considered in some detail. (shrink)
Researchers have used attribution theory as a basis for exploring the relationship between consumers'' inferences of advertiser motivation (attributions) and advertising response. This study postulated the existence of two new types of attributions which relate to the perceived ethics of the advertiser (advertiser ethical attributions) and the advertising message (message ethical attributions). Research conducted among a nationally representative sample of 273 adults: (1) verified the existence of both advertiser and message ethical attributions, (2) demonstrated the independence of advertiser and (...) message ethical attributions both from each other and from other measures of advertiser and message evaluation, (3) identified the specific advertising characteristics which lead to the formation of each type of ethical attribution and (4) demonstrated a significant relationship between advertiser and message ethical attributions and measures of advertising response. (shrink)
Betrayal trauma theory suggests that psychogenic amnesia is an adaptive response to childhood abuse. When a parent or other powerful figure violates a fundamental ethic of human relationships, victims may need to remain unaware of the trauma not to reduce suffering but rather to promote survival. Amnesia enables the child to maintain an attachment with a figure vital to survival, development, and thriving. Analysis of evolutionary pressures, mental modules, social cognitions, and developmental needs suggests that the degree to which (...) the most fundamental human ethics are violated can influence the nature, form, and processes of trauma and responses to trauma. (shrink)
Neither Johnston's nor Wright's account of response-dependence offers a complete picture of response-dependence, as they do not apply to all concepts that are intrinsically related to our mental responses. In order to (begin to) remedy this situation, a new conception of response-dependence is introduced that I call "acceptance-dependence". This account applies to concepts such as goal, constitutional, and money, the first two of which have mistakenly been taken to be response-dependent in another sense. Whereas on Johnston's (...) and Wright's accounts response-dependent concepts depend on counterfactual responses of individuals, acceptance-dependent concepts depend on the actual responses of groups of people. This implies that concepts of the latter kind are less objective than concepts of the former kind. (shrink)
According to the so-called “standard account” regarding the problem of material constitution, a statue and a lump of clay that makes it up are not identical. The usual objection is that this view yields many objects in the same place at the same time. Lynne Rudder Baker's theory of constitution is a recent and sophisticated version of the standard account. She argues that the aforementioned objection can be answered by defining a relation of being the same P as (sameP). (...) In this paper I shall examine consequences of her response and show that sameP has wrong formal properties, as a result of which this solution cannot be accepted. (shrink)
In Questioning Technology, Feenberg accuses Heidegger of an untenable 'technological essentialism'. Feenberg's criticisms are addressed not to technological essentialism as such, but rather to three particular kinds of technological essentialism: ahistoricism, substantivism, and one-dimensionalism. After these three forms of technological essentialism are explicated and Feenberg's reasons for finding them objectionable explained, the question whether Heidegger in fact subscribes to any of them is investigated. The conclusions are, first, that Heidegger's technological essentialism is not at all ahistoricist, but the opposite, an (...) historical conception of the essence of technology which serves as the model for Feenberg's own view. Second, that while Heidegger does indeed advocate a substantivist technological essentialism, he offers a plausible, indirect response to Feenberg's voluntaristic, Marcusean objection. Third, that Heidegger's one-dimensional technological essentialism is of a non-objectionable variety, since it does not force Heidegger to reject technological devices in toto. These conclusions help vindicate Heidegger's ground-breaking ontological approach to the philosophy of technology. (shrink)
In this critical response to Charles Ess’ ‚Ethical Pluralism and Global Information Ethics’ presented in this Special Issue of Ethics and Information Technology, it is firstly argued that his account of pros hen pluralism can be more accurately reformulated as a three layered doctrine by separating one acceptance of diversity at a cultural level and another at an ethical theoretic level. Following this clarificatory section, the next section considers Ess’ political and sociological reasons for the necessity and desirability of (...) pros hen pluralism, criticising the former reasons as social scientifically problematic, while elaborating on the latter as more persuasive. In the last section, I discuss how pros hen pluralism may be realised, making three arguments in particular. First, Ess’ requirement for sensitivity to cultural diversity is to be interpreted as differentiated and extended sensitivity. Second, his discussion of shared responses to central ethical problems is ambiguous and needs further elaboration and clarification. Third, his focus on dialogue and Socratic education is persuasive, although excessive optimism is not reasonable. (shrink)
Predictions about the health risks of low level radiation combine two sorts of measures. One estimates the amount and kinds of radiation released into the environment, and the other estimates the adverse health effects. A new field called health physics integrates and applies nuclear physics to cytology to supply both these estimates. It does so by first determining the kinds of effects different types of radiation produce in biological organisms, and second, by monitoring the extent of these effects produced by (...) given levels of exposure. This essay examines the interplay between evidential constraints and external, contextual interests and values in studying the biological hazards of radiation. By analyzing the debate over linear vs. quadratic dose response models, the essay focuses on problems of developing quantitative, rather than qualitative, estimates of the risks of increased cancer incidence in an exposed population. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of a social desirability response bias as a personality characteristic (self-deception and impression management) and as an item characteristic (perceived desirability of the behavior) on self-reported ethical conduct. Findings from a sample of college students revealed that self-reported ethical conduct is associated with both personality and item characteristics, with perceived desirability of behavior having the greatest influence on self-reported conduct. Implications for research in business ethics are drawn, and suggestions are offered for reducing the (...) effects of a socially desirable response bias. (shrink)
This research is an extension of Walker Information’s (Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, pp. 235–255, 1999) study on employees’ job attitudes that was conducted exclusively in the United States. Walker Information found that the reputation of the organization, fairness at work, care, and concern for employees, trust in employees, and resources available at work were important factors in an employee’s decision to remain with his or her company. Our sample includes 713 students from seven countries: Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, (...) Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States. When analyzing the entire sample, our data indicate that both social desirability response bias and gender were significant; however, this was not the case when the data are analyzed by country. On an individual country basis, our data suggest that the generally accepted premise that women are more ethically conscious than men was only true for the samples from the United States and Canada. The data also indicate that, while social desirability response bias was significant for the four factors suggesting ethical components for the sample from the United States, this finding was not universal. (shrink)
In his response to my Why There Are No Mental Representations, Robert Cummins accused me of having misinterpreted his views, and attempted to undermine a crucial premise of my argument, which claimed that one could only define a semantic type non-semantically by stipulating which tokens should receive a uniform interpretation. I respond to the charge and defend the premise.
This is essay is a critical response to Zhang Longxi's argument that Taoist philosophy is susceptible to Derrida's arguments against logocentrism. I present two main arguments. First, I argue that Zhang fails to provide sufficient evidence that would show Taoism is logocentric. Moreover, even if Zhang could provide support for such a claim there cannot be a general deconstructive argument against logocentrism. Derrida's arguments against logocentrism work from within a specific text. The second argument offers reasons for believing Taoism (...) is decidedly not logocentric because it lacks, among other things, the phonocentrism Derrida was intent on criticising. The 'presence' mentioned in Taoist literature is antithetical to the Platonic notion of Forms; it is not the presence of unchanging ideas in a rational mind. Zhuangzi and Plato do not share the similarities attributed to them by Zhang. (shrink)
In his reply to my original essay, David Hunt maintains that I do not discuss how his defence of providentially useful simple foreknowledge violates the Metaphysical Principle. Further, he claims that I try to force him into both affirming and denying the accidental necessity of future events and their role in explaining divine advice-giving. In this response, I attempt to articulate more fully why Hunt's defence of simple foreknowledge implies that dependency loops could unfold. Further, I argue that Hunt's (...) scenario is not tenable, whether one affirms that future events are accidentally necessary or contingent. (shrink)
I am grateful to both Richards, Foley and Fumerton, for the time and attention that they have given to my work. I have certainly learned from their excellent comments, just as I expected. Given the constraints, however, I must be selective in my response. First of all, I will aim to present my view of human knowledge in a broader context. Against this background I will then respond to several of the points they have made.
Readers familiar with Harry Frankfurt’s argument that we do not need leeway-liberty (or the power to bring about alternative possible actions or intentions) to be morally responsible will probably also know that the most famous and popular response on behalf of leeway-libertarianism remains a dilemma posed in similar forms by David Widerker, Robert Kane, and Carl Ginet: either the agent retains significant residual leeway in Frankfurt-style cases, or these cases beg the question by presupposing causal determinism. In the last (...) few years, there have been several different attempts to defend Frankfurtian critiques of PAP in response this dilemma. In a novel approach, Derk Pereboom and Michael McKenna present cases in which all deliberatively relevant or “robust” alternatives are blocked, but the agent’s act or decision is not determined. Pereboom and McKenna argue that any plausible leeway-condition on responsibility must characterize the required alternatives as robust in two ways: being voluntary performances and having a practical relevance accessible to the agent’s mind. I agree with the requirement of robustness, and argue that we can build this notion into a complex concept of agent-possibility, or “agentive-can.” However, I argue that both McKenna’s and Pereboom’s conceptions of robustness are too demanding: they exclude alternatives that are intuitively relevant. Moreover, I argue that the alternative of refraining from deciding, or voluntarily failing to decide, is robust in the right sense. In agreement with a tradition running from Ockham back through Scotus to Aquinas, I argue that this robust alternative is necessary for responsibility. If the Frankfurt-controller eliminates it, then the agent’s responsibility is undermined. In particular, I argue that Pereboom’s tax evasion cases do not refute this leeway-condition on moral responsibility. (shrink)
In her recent Counter-Reply to my views, Evelyn Pluhar defends her use of literature on nutrition and restates her argument for moral vegetarianism. In his Vegan Ideal article, Gary Varner claims that the nutrition literature does not show sufficient differences among women, men, and children to warrant concern about discrimination. In this response I show how Professor Pluhar continues to draw fallacious inferences: she begs the question on equality, avoids the main issue in my ethical arguments, argues from irrelevancies, (...) misquotes her sources, equivocates on context, confuses safety with morality, appeals to fear, confuses correlation with cause, fails to evaluate scientific studies, draws hasty conclusions from insufficient data, ignores a large amount of data which would call her views into question, does not follow good scientific or moral argumentation, objectionably exceeds the limits of her expertise, and resorts to scapegoating. I also argue that Professor Varner fails to make his case because he offers virtually no evidence from scientific studies on nutrition, relies on outdated and fallacious sources, makes unsupported claims, ignores evidence that would contravene his claims, draws hasty conclusions based on weakly supported hypotheses rather than facts, employs a double standard, appeals to ignorance, does not evaluate arguments from his sources, and makes anad hominem attack on a respected nutritionist when his focus should be on evaluating the evidence and arguments from the scientific studies themselves. Neither Varner nor Pluhar have responded sufficiently to the real issue in my arguments, that of discrimination and bias in the vegan ideal. (shrink)
This article presents a response to a recent article by Yotam Lurie and Robert Albin in which they discuss and present the merits of casuistry as a method for resolving moral dilemmas in business, principally by developing 'edifying' perspectives on the situation, and in doing so highlight the shortcomings of principles (such as the categorical imperative) in generating insights and thereby moral choices. The present article accepts the importance of cases and examples as a source of insight, but argues (...) that the process of conceptualisation involved in understanding these necessarily involves some reference to principles. However, principles and cases are best seen as complementary to the ethical decision-making process rather than in opposition. The complementary functions of these are highlighted in processes such as reflection upon experience, in applications of moral imagination and in the integration of emotive and cognitive elements in ethical choice. (shrink)
Williams argues that humans have evolved special purpose adaptations for eliciting medical attention from others, such as a specific facial expression of pain. She also recognises that such adaptations would almost certainly have coevolved with adaptations for providing and responding to medical care. The placebo response may be one such adaptation, and any evolutionary account of pain must also address this important phenomenon.
Half of the 33.2 million people living with HIV today are women. Yet, responses to the epidemic are not adequately meeting the needs of women. This article critically evaluates how prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs, the principal framework under which women's health is currently addressed in the global response to AIDS, have tended to focus on the prevention of HIV transmission from HIV-positive women to their infants. This paper concludes that more than ten years after their inception, PMTCT (...) programs still do not successfully ensure the adequate treatment, care and support of HIV-infected women. Of particular concern is the continued widespread use of single-dose nevirapine despite World Health Organization recommendations to employ more effective combination therapies that do not potentially jeopardize women's future treatment outcomes. In response, the article calls for a more comprehensive approach that places women's health needs at the centre of AIDS responses. This is critical in settings where the pandemic is generalized and there is a push to greatly expand PMTCT programs, as a more effective and equitable way of meeting the needs of women in the context of HIV. Without such a comprehensive approach, women will continue to be impacted disproportionately by the pandemic, and current strategies for prevention, including PMTCT, and treatment will not be as effective and responsive as they need to be. (shrink)
Lachman claims that the Dynamical Hypothesis (DH) is “untenable.” His own position is a version of the “The DH is epistemological, not ontological,” objection to the target article, which is dealt with in section R2.3 of my original response (van Gelder 1998r). Additional objections are that the coverage of the hypothesis is “vast” and that the DH presupposes we have reached the end point of scientific theorizing. Indeed, the DH is very broad, but it does not presuppose that science (...) has ended; that's why we call it a “hypothesis.”. (shrink)
In response to Hoeltje I concede the main point of his first section: for each logical truth S of the object language, it is a logical consequence of the Davidsonian theory of meaning I offered in my paper that S is logically true, contrary to what I asserted in the paper. However, I now argue that a Davidsonian theory of meaning may be formulated equally well in such a way that it not a logical consequence of the theory that (...) S is a logical truth. Nonetheless, the revised theory of meaning will still ‘entail’ in a wider sense that S is a logical truth, for we can prove by induction on the consequence class of the revised theory that S is a logical truth. So far, my disagreement with Hoeltje is over the more charitable interpretation of a passage from Davidson. I close by arguing that Davidson was mistaken on one point, a theory of meaning will entail a threefold distinction among the sentences of the object language, not a twofold distinction as he claimed. (shrink)
In this rejoinder to Eric Scerri's response to my first comment on his paper on the reduction of chemistry to physics, the main point concerns laws in chemistry. But other themes touched upon include the assumptions involved in ab initio calculations, the question of what is reduced to what on Scerri's view, and the significance he attaches to the term "naturalism".
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond (...) to criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the claim that businesspersons have what might be called "ethical immunity" with respect to the duty not to deceive. According to this ethical immunity claim, businesspersons are exempt from the ordinary ethical prohibition against deception; and widespread business deception is therefore ethically permissible. I focus on two arguments for the claim. One of the arguments, which has been presented by Albert Carr, relies upon an analogy between business on the one hand, and games in which (...) deception is permitted, on the other. The second argument is based upon the notion that exceptions to ethical duties may sometimes be justified on prudential grounds. In response to the arguments, I try to show that neither one provides strong support for the ethical immunity claim. (shrink)
: This response to my seven critics is organized under five topics: 1. The book's scope and approach; 2. Physicalism, idealism, anthropomorphism; 3. Final causation; 4. Peirce's development; 5. Signs, objects, interpretants. No ground is ceded, but I have found the interchange clarifying and hope that the reader will find it so, too.
In this study we seek to determine whether catastrophic events lead to corporate charitable giving unrelated to levels of firm profitability. We examine the issue relative to the corporate philanthropic response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Based on a sample of 489 Fortune 500 companies, we find that differences in the extent of corporate contributions following 9/11 are positively and significantly associated with differences in firms' profitability. Further, while the degree of connection to the catastrophic event led (...) to higher levels of giving in comparison to the contributions of less connected firms, differences in the extent of philanthropy are still␣related to short-term profitability for the more connected firms. The study thus provides evidence suggesting that even in the wake of catastrophic events, corporate philanthropic giving is constrained by economic concerns. (shrink)
On pages 490-491, in describing the results of Experiment 2, the authors state that out of a total of 3840 responses, only 355 (or 9%) fell outside the response deadlines. In fact, the total number of responses in Experiment 2 was 3200 and so the 355 responses represented 11%, not 9%, of the total. This error has no other implications. The authors are grateful to Peter Graf (personal communication, March 12, 2000) for pointing out the error.
In Can Abstractions be Causes, David Johnson defends the view that abstractions can have causal force. He offers as his own example of natural kinds ecological niches, arguing that the causal force of these niches in nature is akin to the force of Aristotelian final causes. He concludes that, rooted as it is in seventeenth century mechanism, the currently-accepted model of causality which recognises only efficient causes is inadequate to the needs of contemporary science. In Natural Kinds and Ecological (...) Niches — Response to Johnson''s Paper, Melinda Hogan offers a critique of Johnson''s paper which, by begging the question in favor of the very sort of causality Johnson seeks to supplement, misses the epistemological implications of his idea. In this paper I will attempt to clarify and defend Johnson''s position, pointing out some of its implications for the epistemology of science in general. (shrink)
: The following comments on Paul Root Wolpe's article "If I Am Only My Genes, What Am I? Genetic Essentialism and a Jewish Response" address (1) his presentation of the relationship between science and culture or religion as unimodal; (2) his misconception of the Jewish view of the physical corpus; and (3) his essential question of genetic determinism by examining the traditional Jewish view of the spiritual aspects of the human.
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Allen Orr wrote an extended critical review (over 6000 words) of my book No Free Lunch for the Boston Review this summer (http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html). The Boston Review subsequently contacted me and asked for a 1000 word response. I wrote a response of that length focusing on what I took to be the fundamental flaw in Orr's review (and indeed in Darwinian thinking generally, namely, conflating the realistically possible with the merely conceivable). What I didn't know (though I should have (...) expected it) is that Orr would have the last word and that the Boston Review would give him 1000 words to reply to my response (see the exchange in the current issue at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/exchange.html). (shrink)
The Human Genome Project (HGP) represents a massive merging of science and technology in the name of all humanity. While the disease aspects of HGP-generated data have received the greatest publicity and are the strongest rationale for the project, it should be remembered that the HGP has, as its goal the sequencing of all 100,000 human genes and the accurate depiction of the ancestral and functional relationships among these genes. The HGP will thus be constructing the molecular taxonomic norm for (...) humanity. Currently the HGP genomic baseline is almost exclusively skewed toward North Atlantic European lineages through the extensive use of the Centre d’Études du Polymorphisme Humaine (CEPH) data set. More recently, the HGP has shifted to the use of volunteer donors since adequate informed consent had not been secured from the CEPH families. No evidence exists that either the CEPH families or the current volunteers are the most appropriate demographic or evolutionary lineages for the functional genomic studies that will guide production of new DNA based drugs, targeted therapeutics and gene-based diagnostics. The lack of scientific representativeness of the HGP is a serious impediment to its broad applicability. Yet this can be remedied, and five alternative sampling strategies are presented. In response to the current exclusionary design of the HGP, there is noteworthy caution and skepticism in the African American community concerning genetic studies. The Manifesto on Genomic Studies Among African Americans reflects both a desire to be systematically included in federally funded genomic studies and a desire to maintain some control over the interpretation and application of research results. Representative sampling in the HGP is seen as an international human rights issue with domestic ethical implications. (shrink)
Response to wrongdoing is modeled as a decision process in an organizational context. The model is grounded in theory of risk, ambiguity, and informational influences on decision making. Time pressure, inadequate information and coworker influences are addressed. Along the way, a handful of propositions are provided which emphasize influences on the actual choice between response options.
Allen Orr reviewed my book No Free Lunch in the Summer 2002 issue of the Boston Review . Orr's review is available at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html. The response below is at the request of the Boston Review and will be appearing in a subsequent issue.
In a recent discussion note Sober (1985) elaborates on the argument given in Sober (1982) to show the inadequacy of Ronald Giere's (1979, 1980) causal model for cases of frequency-dependent causation, and denies that Giere's (1984) response avoids the problem he raises. I argue that frequency-dependent effects do not pose a problem for Giere's original causal model, and that all parties in this dispute have been guity of misinterpreting the counterfactual populations involved in applying Giere's model.
During the last several decades, business schools have increasingly portrayed themselves as the advocates and teachers of business ethics. In this context, educators have examined, criticized, and written about the questionable actions of many organizations. Business schools are, however, currently facing their own unprecedented crisis in the form of dramatically declining enrollments. This paper examines the morality of the various possible response strategies and argues that how business schools respond to this crisis will serve as a clear indication of (...) their own organizational ethics and values. (shrink)
In his (1988), Brian Baigrie criticizes my earlier discussion of the rationality of science (Siegel 1985). In this response, I argue that (1) Baigrie misses the point of my tripartite distinction between different questions one can ask about science's rationality, (2) Baigrie's argument that the history of the development of methodological principles is crucial to philosophical discussion of the rationality of science is flawed, and (3) Baigrie's charge that my view is "anemic" rests on a failure to appreciate the (...) point of my tripartite distinction. (shrink)