The study compared middle-school and elementary-school teachers' (N = 108) reasoning about their professional roles when violence occurred in "undefined" and potentially violence-prone school subcontexts (e.g. hallways, cafeterias, playgrounds). The study combined concepts from urban planing, architecture, criminology and cognitive developmental domain theory to explore teachers' moral attributions towards school spaces. Participants were asked to locate dangerous locations and discuss their professional roles in those locations. Teachers were also given hypothetical situations where the specific subcontexts (i.e. hallways, classroom, school yard) (...) and school type (middle versus elementary schools) were systematically manipulated to assess the impact of context on reasoning and judgement. The results indicated that middle-school teachers were more likely than elementary-school teachers to identify school subcontexts where they would not intervene. Middle-school teachers' reasoning patterns were closely associated with their perceived role in "undefined" spaces. Furthermore, middle-school teachers' reasoning about intervention was complex and included moral, social-conventional and personal explanations as to why intervention was not possible in all school subcontexts. In contrast, elementary school teachers were more likely to perceive the entire school context as within their professional purview. Their reasoning about intervention focused mainly on the potential physical harm to the students. The data imply that teachers' views of "role within context" and "subcontext" influence their decisions to intervene or not intervene. Implications for research, theory and intervention are discussed. (shrink)
An interpretation of John Rawls justice as fairness as a deliberative critical argumentative strategy for evaluating existing institutions is offered and its plausibility is discussed. I argue that justice as fairness aims at synthesizing the moral values claimed by existing social institutions into a coherent model of a well-ordered society in order to demand that these institutions stand up to the values that they promise. Understood in such a way, justice as fairness provides a set of idealizing mirrors through which (...) power dynamics in society can be viewed but does not function as a model for an ideal society. Key Words: distributive justice immanent criticism justice as fairness political liberalism public reason John Rawls reflective equilibrium. (shrink)
Much of the interest of critical realists in the hermeneutic character of social inquiry has been shaped by debates with critics. Critical realists insist that the meaningful character of societies does not exclude the possibility of treating them as objects that have causal powers and that these objects are more than the sum-total of their meanings. In what follows, I want to go beyond this debate. Working within critical realist ontology, the question I want to ask is what kind of (...) hermeneutics is required for the study of the causal powers of meaningful objects. If hypotheses about the causal powers of such objects can be confirmed only in dialogues, then what kind of dialogues and with whom are necessary for the understanding of causal powers? The question of the interpretation of causal objects is not merely a methodological one. Social structures are ontologically different from natural ones, and the nature of our understanding of meaningful objects is in part dependent on the way we come to apprehend them in thought. I argue that the approach to the understanding of the causal power of meaningful objects that has emerged in the debate between critical realists and their critics tends to view the study of causal powers as a dialogue between experts in the service of a more democratic society. Against this view, I suggest an understanding of the study of causal powers as a dialogue between critical social science and the public, a dialogue that takes place in the public sphere. (shrink)
Williams, Ron As I consider the list of previous AHOY recipients since the inaugural award in 1983, I can only say that this is an immeasurable honour. It means much to me because, for almost ten years now, Humanism has been there for my family. In 2005-2006, when separation of church and state school issues first crept into our lives, the Humanist Society of Queensland was to appear as the only beacon of secularist activism upon the deep northern horizon. So (...) in 2006 Andrea and I joined the HSQ. (shrink)
Ronald Moore's new book Natural Beauty: A Theory of Aesthetics Beyond the Arts seeks to offer up an account of beauty in nature rather than the beauty of nature. Moore claims his is a syncretic theory. That is, it combines the best parts of competing theories into a single comprehensive account of, in this case, our judgments of natural beauty. The syncretic impulse is a common one in philosophy. Seeing many theories, each with some strong points yet none successful overall, (...) a natural solution is to simply glom them all together. But does this work? Are we entitled to pick and choose in this manner, taking what we like but leaving behind the preconceptions to which each theory was moored? And is the resulting supertheory consistent and coherent? I will use Moore's book as a test case for some of these theoretical questions. I identify some 'syncretic sites' in Moore's theory to see whether his method passes muster. (shrink)
Allison, Lyn; Cannold, Leslie It is great to see such a good turnout for this important occasion and I congratulate the Humanist Society again on this award. It really makes a difference to people's lives: when they get the award, when they know about it, when there is publicity for the person concerned. It is an all-round good thing to do and I congratulate you for it.
While the notion of the mind as information-processor--a kind of computational system--is widely accepted, many scientists and philosophers have assumed that this account of cognition shows that the mind's operations are characterizable independent of their relationship to the external world. Existential Cognition challenges the internalist view of mind, arguing that intelligence, thought, and action cannot be understood in isolation, but only in interaction with the outside world. Arguing that the mind is essentially embedded in the external world, Ron McClamrock provides (...) a schema that allows cognitive scientists to address such long-standing problems in artificial intelligence as the "frame" problem and the issue of "bounded" rationality. Extending this schema to cover progress in other studies of behavior, including language, vision, and action, McClamrock reinterprets the importance of the organism/environment distinction. McClamrock also considers the broader philosophical question of the place of mind in the world, particularly with regard to questions of intentionality, subjectivity, and phenomenology. With implications for philosophy, cognitive and computer science, AI, and psychology, this book synthesizes state-of-the-art work in philosophy and cognitive science on how the mind interacts with the world to produce thoughts, ideas, and actions. (shrink)
While the recent special issue of JCS on machine consciousness (Volume 14, Issue 7) was in preparation, a collection of papers on the same topic, entitled Artificial Consciousness and edited by Antonio Chella and Riccardo Manzotti, was published. The editors of the JCS special issue, Ron Chrisley, Robert Clowes and Steve Torrance, thought it would be a timely and productive move to have authors of papers in their collection review the papers in the Chella and Manzotti book, and include these (...) reviews in the special issue of the journal. Eight of the JCS authors (plus Uziel Awret) volunteered to review one or more of the fifteen papers in Artificial Consciousness; these individual reviews were then collected together with a minimal amount of editing to produce a seamless chapter-by-chapter review of the entire book. Because the number and length of contributions to the JCS issue was greater than expected, the collective review of Artificial Consciousness had to be omitted, but here at last it is. Each paper's review is written by a single author, so any comments made may not reflect the opinions of all nine of the joint authors! (shrink)
Eighteenth-century Epicureanism is often viewed as radical, anti-religious, and politically dangerous. But to what extent does this simplify the ancient philosophy and underestimate its significance to the Enlightenment? Through a pan-European analysis of Enlightenment centres from Scotland to Russia via the Netherlands, France and Germany, contributors argue that elements of classical Epicureanism were appropriated by radical and conservative writers alike. They move beyond literature and political theory to examine the application of Epicurean ideas in domains as diverse as physics, natural (...) law, and the philosophy of language, drawing on the work of both major figures (Diderot, Helvétius, Smith and Hume) and of lesser-known but important thinkers (Johann Jacob Schmauss and Dmitrii Anichkov). -/- Table of Contents -/- Neven Leddy and Avi S. Lifschitz, Epicurus in the Enlightenment: an introduction -/- Elodie Argaud, Bayle’s defence of Epicurus: the use and abuse of Malebranche’s Méditations chrétiennes -/- Hans W. Blom, The Epicurean motif in Dutch notions of sociability in the seventeenth century -/- Thomas Ahnert, Epicureanism and the transformation of natural law in the early German Enlightenment -/- Charles T. Wolfe, A happiness fit for organic bodies: La Mettrie’s medical Epicureanism -/- Natania Meeker, Sexing Epicurean materialism in Diderot -/- Pierre Force, Helvétius as an Epicurean political theorist -/- Andrew Kahn, Epicureanism in the Russian Enlightenment: Dmitrii Anichkov and atomic theory -/- Matthew Niblett, Man, morals and matter: Epicurus and materialist thought in England from John Toland to Joseph Priestley -/- James A. Harris, The Epicurean in Hume -/- Neven Leddy, Adam Smith’s critique of Enlightenment Epicureanism -/- Avi S. Lifschitz, The Enlightenment revival of the Epicurean history of language and civilisation -/- Bibliography -/- Index. (shrink)
One of the mantras of progressive education is that genuine learning ought to be exciting and pleasurable, rather than joyless and painful. To a significant extent, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is associated with this mantra. In a theme of Emile that is often neglected in the educational literature, however, Rousseau stated that “to suffer is the first thing [Emile] ought to learn and the thing he will most need to know.” Through a discussion of Rousseau's argument for the importance of an education (...) in suffering, Avi Mintz contends that the reception of Rousseau by progressives suggests a detrimental misstep in the history of educational thought, a misstep that we should recognize and correct today. We ought to revive the progressive tradition of distinguishing the valuable educational pains from the harmful ones, even if we disagree with the particular types of pain that Rousseau identified as educationally valuable. (shrink)
Did Bayle write the Avis aux réfugiés? Although the long debate over this question might not be over, we are convinced that strong probability supports Gianluca Mori's position that Bayle was indeed its sole author. We are also convinced, however, that the significance that Mori assigns to Bayle's authorship gets it exactly the wrong way around, for while Mori is right that the Avis is not only consistent but also representative of the views espoused by Bayle in his subsequent work (...) (indeed, as we see it, throughout all his work), those views are not, as Mori claims, intended to be subversive of Christianity, indeed, of all religion, but supportive of it. (shrink)
. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." —Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Among the most influential academic books in this century." —Choice One of "The ...
Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...) (Weinberg et al. 2001). In light of these findings on cultural differences, two experiments were conducted which explored intuitions about reference in Westerners and East Asians. Both experiments indicate that, for certain central cases, Westerners are more likely than East Asians to report intuitions that are consistent with the causal-historical view. These results constitute prima facie evidence that semantic intuitions vary from culture to culture, and the paper argues that this fact raises questions about the nature of the philosophical enterprise of developing a theory of reference. (shrink)
In their delightfully provocative paper, “Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style,” Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich (2004), make several striking claims about theories of reference. First, they claim: (I) Philosophical views about reference “are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations” (p. B1). This claim is prompted by their observations of the role of intuitions in Saul Kripke’s refutation of the descriptivist view of proper names in favor of a causal-historical view (1980). The (...) particular intuitions they attend to are those aired in discussing Kripke’s cases of Gödel and Jonah. This prompts the next claim: (II) Those particular cases are “central” to Kripke’s refutation (p. B1). Indeed, Machery et al describe these cases as “some of the most influential thought experiments in the philosophy of reference” (p. B8). Inspired by recent work in psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al 2001) that shows “systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners” (p. B1), Machery et al predicted that there would be cultural differences in referential intuitions. They conducted some ingenious experiments on Gödel and Jonah cases to test this predication. The results in the Gödel cases, although not in the Jonah cases, confirmed their prediction, leading them to conclude: “Westerners are more likely than East Asians to report intuitions that are consistent with the causal-historical view” (p. B1). And, implicitly, they claim: (III) These results raise serious doubts about Kripke’s refutation, which relies solely on the intuitions of Westerners. They are explicit about the following bolder claim: (IV) The fact of these cultural differences “raises questions about the nature of the philosophical enterprise of developing a theory of reference” (p. B1); it points to “significant philosophical conclusions” (p.. (shrink)
Among race theorists, the view that race is a social construction is widespread. While the term ‘social construction’ is sometimes intended to mean merely that race does not (as once believed) constitute a robust, biological natural kind, it often labels the stronger position that race is real, but not a biological kind. For example, Charles Mills (1998) writes that, ‘‘the task of those working on race is to put race in quotes, ‘race’, while still insisting that nevertheless, it exists (and (...) moves people)’’(xiv, italics his). It is to ‘‘make a plausible social ontology neither essentialist, innate, nor transhistorical, but real enough for all that’’ (xiv). Racial constructionism, thus conceived, is a metaphysical position that contrasts both with the view that race is an important biological kind (racial naturalism) and with the more recent claim that race does not exist (racial skepticism). The desire for a constructionist metaphysics of race emerges against the background of a cluster of normative disputes, including. (shrink)
In recent years, there has been a flurry of work on the metaphysics of race. While it is now widely accepted that races do not share robust, bio-behavioral essences, opinions differ over what, if anything, race is. Recent work has been divided between three apparently quite different answers. A variety of theorists argue for racial skepticism, the view that races do not exist at all.[iv] A second group defends racial constructionism, holding that races are in some way socially constructed.[v],[vi] And (...) a third group maintains racial population naturalism, the view that races may exist as biologically salient populations albeit ones that do not have the biologically determined social significance once imputed to them.[vii] The three groups thus seem to disagree fundamentally upon the metaphysical character of race. (shrink)
The influence of celebrities in the 21st century extends far beyond the traditional domain of the entertainment sector of society. During the recent Palestinian presidential elections, the Hollywood actor Richard Gere broadcast a televised message to voters in the region and stated, “Hi, I’m Richard Gere, and I’m speaking for the entire world”. Celebrities in the 21st century have expanded from simple product endorsements to global political and international diplomacy. The celebrities industry is undergoing, “mission creep”, or the expansion of (...) an enterprise beyond its original goals (Hyde, 2009 ). The global internet is one of the major drivers of this phenomenon. The contribution of this paper is to analyse this global phenomenon and the potential implications for business ethics research. (shrink)
We have recently presented evidence for cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions and explored the implications of such variation for philosophical arguments that appeal to some theory of reference as a premise. Devitt (2011) and Ichikawa and colleagues (forthcoming) offer critical discussions of the experiment and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In this response, we reiterate and clarify what we are really arguing for, and we show that most of Devitt’s and Ichikawa and colleagues’ criticisms fail to address (...) our concerns. (shrink)
Philosophers of evolutionary biology favor the so-called etiological concept of function according to which the function of a trait is its evolutionary purpose, defined as the effect for which that trait was favored by natural selection. We term this the selected effect (SE) analysis of function. An alternative account of function was introduced by Robert Cummins in a non-evolutionary and non-purposive context. Cummins''s account has received attention but little support from philosophers of biology. This paper will show that a similar (...) non-purposive concept of function, which we term causal role (CR) function, is crucial to certain research programs in evolutionary biology, and that philosophical criticisms of Cummins''s concept are ineffective in this scientific context. Specifically, we demonstrate that CR functions are a vital and ineliminable part of research in comparative and functional anatomy, and that biological categories used by anatomists are not defined by the application of SE functional analysis. Causal role functions are non-historically defined, but may themselves be used in an historical analysis. Furthermore, we show that a philosophical insistence on the primary of SE functions places practicing biologists in an untenable position, as such functions can rarely be demonstrated (in contrast to CR functions). Biologists who study the form and function of organismal design recognize that it is virtually impossible to identify the past action of selection on any particular structure retrospectively, a requirement for recognizing SE functions. (shrink)
What, if anything, is wrong with typological thinking? The question is important, for some evolutionary developmental biologists appear to espouse a form of typology. I isolate four allegations that have been brought against it. They include the claim that typological thinking is mystical; the claim that typological thinking is at odds with the fact of evolution; the claim that typological thinking is committed to an objectionable metaphysical view, which Elliott Sober calls the ‘natural state model’; and finally the view (endorsed (...) by Ron Amundson and Günter Wagner) that typological thinking—and specifically evolutionary developmental biology’s typological thinking—is committed to a peculiar form of causation that does not fit neatly into the causal models endorsed by population genetics. I argue that, properly understood, the typological thinking of evolutionary developmental biology does not run into any of these problems. *Received April 2008; revised August 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, CB2 3RH Cambridge, United Kingdom; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Several prominent philosophers of science, most notably Ron Giere, propose that scientific theories are collections of models and that models represent the objects of scientific study. Some, including Giere, argue that models represent in the same way that pictures represent. Aestheticians have brought the picturing relation under intense scrutiny and presented important arguments against the tenability of particular accounts of picturing. Many of these arguments from aesthetics can be used against accounts of representation in philosophy of science. I rely on (...) Dominic Lopes’ recent summary of arguments against various views of picturing and reformulate some of them to fit the philosophy of science context. My specific targets here are Giere and Steven French. I go on to argue that assuming all scientific models and images represent in the same way is not the best guide to understanding scientific practice. (shrink)
The choices I will be talking about have to do with biotechnology and genetic engineering, choices which we are currently not making consciously because we really don't know what is going on. I would like to tell you what is going on in these areas, and then talk about how we might approach this matter in ethical ways.
From the very first milk you suckle, your food is genetically engineered. The natural world is completely made over, invaded and distorted beyond recognition by genetically engineered trees, plants, animals, insects, bacteria, and viruses, both planned and run amok. Illnesses are very different too. Most of the old ones are gone or mutated into new forms, yet most people are suffering from genetically engineered pathogens, either used in biowarfare, or mistakenly released into the environment, or recombined in toxic form from (...) originally harmless but rapidly mutating engineered organisms. Genetic engineering is so commonplace, you start your own simple experiments with it in elementary school. (shrink)
Avi Mintz (2008) has recently argued that Anglo-American educators have a tendency to alleviate student suffering in the classroom. According to Mintz, this tendency can be detrimental because certain kinds of suffering actually enhance student learning. While Mintz compellingly describes the effects of educator's desires to alleviate suffering in students, he does not examine one of the roots of the desire: the feeling of compassion or pity (used as synonyms here). Compassion leads many teachers to unreflectively alleviate student struggles. While (...) there are certainly times when compassion is necessary to help students learn, there are other times when it must be overcome. Compassion in the classroom is a two-edged sword that must be carefully employed; and yet it is often assumed that it is an unequivocal good that ought to trump all other impulses. In this article I hope to raise awareness concerning the promises and pitfalls of compassion in education by examining the theories of two historical figures who famously emphasised compassion in their philosophical writings: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Nietzsche. Rousseau and Nietzsche argue that compassion is a powerful educational force but that it must be properly employed. For Rousseau and Nietzsche, compassion is necessary to develop self-mastery in human beings—the ultimate goal of education—but it is a compassion that must hurt in order to help. My hope is that Rousseau's and Nietzsche's ideas on compassion will encourage thoughtful reflection on the uses and abuses of compassion in education. (shrink)
The so-called "adaptationism" of mainstream evolutionary biology has been criticized from a variety of sources. One, which has received relatively little philosophical attention, is developmental biology. Developmental constraints are said to be neglected by adaptationists. This paper explores the divergent methodological and explanatory interests that separate mainstream evolutionary biology from its embryological and developmental critics. It will focus on the concept of constraint itself; even this central concept is understood differently by the two sides of the dispute.
In “Against Arguments from Reference” (Mallon et al., 2009), Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich (hereafter, MMNS) argue that recent experiments concerning reference undermine various philosophical arguments that presuppose the correctness of the causal-historical theory of reference. We will argue three things in reply. First, the experiments in question—concerning Kripke’s Gödel/Schmidt example—don’t really speak to the dispute between descriptivism and the causal-historical theory; though the two theories are empirically testable, we need to look at quite different data (...) than MMNS do to decide between them. Second, the Gödel/Schmidt example plays a different, and much smaller, role in Kripke’s argument for the causal-historical theory than MMNS assume. Finally, and relatedly, even if Kripke is wrong about the Gödel/Schmidt example—indeed, even if the causal-historical theory is not the correct theory of names for some human languages—that does not, contrary to MMNS’s claim, undermine uses of the causalhistorical theory in philosophical research projects. (shrink)
...the problem of...how cognition...is possible at all...can never be answered on the basis of a prior knowledge of the transcendent [i.e. the external, spatio-temporal, empirical]...no matter whence the knowledge or the judgments are borrowed, not even if they are taken from the exact sciences.... It will not do to draw conclusions from existences of which one knows but which one cannot "see". "Seeing" does not lend itself to demonstration or deduction. [Husserl 1964a, pp. 2-3].
Exclusivism is a highly appealing option in religious terms. It reflects the believers’ commitment to their religion as well as their conviction that their religion is true, and that other religions are therefore false. My central argument is that the justification of inter-religious pluralism, while not less well established than that of exclusivism, successfully preserves the social intuitions of religious devotion and commitment. The effect of this justification, which remains valid despite objections raised against various forms of inter-religious pluralism, is (...) to undermine exclusivism. (shrink)
While the recent special issue of JCS on machine consciousness (Volume 14, Issue 7) was in preparation, a collection of papers on the same topic, entitled Artificial Consciousness and edited by Antonio Chella and Riccardo Manzotti, was published. 1 The editors of the JCS special issue, Ron Chrisley, Robert Clowes and Steve Torrance, thought it would be a timely and productive move to have authors of papers in their collection review the papers in the Chella and Manzotti book, and include (...) these reviews in the special issue of the journal. Eight of the JCS authors (plus Uziel Awret) volunteered to review one or more of the fifteen papers in Artificial Consciousness; these individual reviews were then collected together with a minimal amount of editing to produce a seamless chapter-by-chapter review of the entire book. Because the number and length of contributions to the JCS issue was greater than expected, the collective review of Artificial Con- sciousness had to be omitted, but here at last it is. Each paper’s review is written by a single author, so any comments made may not reflect the opinions of all nine of the joint authors! (shrink)
the _algorithmic_, and the _implementational_; Zenon Pylyshyn (1984) calls them the _semantic_, the _syntactic_, and the _physical_; and textbooks in cognitive psychology sometimes call them the levels of _content_, _form_, and _medium_ (e.g. Glass, Holyoak, and Santa 1979).
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)
Marc Hauser, Liane Young, and Fiery Cushman’s paper is an excellent contribution to a now resurgent attempt (Dwyer, 1999; Harman, 1999; Mikhail, 2000) to explore and understand moral psychology by way of an analogy with Noam Chomsky’s pathbreaking work in linguistics, famously suggested by John Rawls (1971). And anyone who reads their paper ought to be convinced that research into our innate moral endowment is a plausible and worthwhile research program. I thus begin by agreeing that even if the linguistic (...) analogy turns out to be weak, it can do titanic work in serving, "as an important guide to empirical research, opening doors to theoretically distinctive questions that, to date, have few answers" (p. XXX). Granting the importance of the empirical investigation of moral judgment generally, and of research designed to probe the linguistic analogy specifically, I will nonetheless argue that there is simply no evidence that there is a specialized moral faculty, no evidence that the stronger version of the linguistic analogy is correct (p. XXX). (shrink)
Demonstrative noun phrases (e.g. this; that guy over there ) are intimately connected to the context of use in that their reference is determined by demonstrations and/or the speaker's intentions. The semantics of demonstratives therefore has important implications not only for theories of reference, but for questions about how information from the context interacts with formal semantics. First treated by Kaplan as directly referential , demonstratives have recently been analyzed as quantifiers by King, and the choice between these two approaches (...) is a matter of ongoing controversy. Meanwhile, linguists and psychologists working from a variety of perspectives have gathered a wealth of data on the form, meaning, and use of demonstratives in many languages. Demonstratives thus provide a fruitful topic for graduate study for two reasons. On the one hand, they serve as an entry point to foundational issues in reference and the semantics–pragmatics interface. On the other hand, they are an especially promising starting point for interdisciplinary research, which brings the results of linguistics and related fields to bear on the philosophy of language. Author Recommends Kaplan, David. 'Demonstratives.' 1977. Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 481–563. The seminal work on the semantics of demonstratives and indexicals, such as I, here , and now . Kaplan introduces a distinction between content (which maps from possible circumstances to extensions) and character (which maps from possible contexts to contents). He argues that demonstratives and indexicals are directly referential : given a possible context, their character fixes their extension. Kaplan, David. 'Afterthoughts.' Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 565–614. An elaboration on the theory developed in 'Demonstratives.' Kaplan considers the connection between direct reference and rigid designation; raises the issue of whether demonstratives depend on demonstrations or speaker intentions; and discusses implications of the analysis for formal semantics and for epistemology. King, Jeffrey C. Complex Demonstratives . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. In perhaps the most influential challenge to date to the direct reference theory of demonstratives, King argues that complex demonstratives (i.e. demonstrative determiners with nominal complements) are best analyzed as quantifiers. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. This recent Kaplanian analysis of complex demonstratives shows the 'state of the art' of direct reference approaches and responds to some of the objections to such approaches raised by King. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–466. The most recent analysis of demonstratives as individual concepts, contrasting with both the direct reference and quantificational approaches. Fillmore, Charles. Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. In this collection of lectures, originally delivered in 1971, Fillmore considers demonstratives and indexical expressions in many languages to describe the types of information about the context (e.g. locations in space, time, and discourse) that are encoded in natural language. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Perhaps the most detailed pragmatic alternative to formal semantic theories of demonstratives and other referring expressions. The authors argue that demonstratives are best described as imposing a condition of use in which the referent of the demonstrative has a certain level of salience for the interlocutors. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ Indexicals (David Braun) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reference/ Reference (Marga Reimer) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid designators (Joseph LaPorte) http://philpapers.org/browse/indexicals-and-demonstratives/ Online bibliography of papers on indexicals and demonstratives Sample Syllabus The following syllabus can be used in entirety for a survey course on demonstratives; in addition, each of the three units is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1: Demonstratives and Indexicality Week 1: Indexicals 1. Kaplan, Demonstratives 2. Kaplan, Afterthoughts Week 2: Issues for Indexical Reference 1. Reimer, Marga. 'Do Demonstrations Have Semantic Significance?' Analysis 51 (1991): 177–83. 2. Bach, Kent. 'Intentions and Demonstrations.' Analysis 52 (1992): 140–46. 3. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 'Indexicality and Deixis.' Linguistics and Philosophy 16.1 (1993): 1–43. Week 3: Optional detour: Monsters 1. Schlenker, Philippe. 'A Plea for Monsters.' Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (2003): 29-120. Week 4: Demonstratives as Quantifiers 1. King. Complex Demonstratives , chapters 1–3. Week 5: Indexical and Non-Indexical Demonstratives 1. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. Optional additional reading 2. Roberts, Craige. 'Demonstratives as Definites.' Information Sharing . Ed. Kees van Deemter and Roger Kibble. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press, 2002. 3. Wolter, Lynsey. 'That's That: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2006, chapters 2–3. 4. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–66. Unit 2: Demonstratives, Proximity, Salience Week 6: Demonstratives and Proximity 1. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis I.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 59–76. 2. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis II.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 103–26. Optional additional reading 3. Prince, Ellen. 'On the Inferencing of Indefinite- this NPs.' Elements of Discourse Understanding . Ed. Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Weber, and Ivan A. Sag. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 231–50. Week 7: Demonstratives and Salience 1. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Optional additional reading 2. Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Donna K. Byron, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 'Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns.' Journal of Memory and Language 53 (2005): 292–313. Note: readers new to psycholinguistics should concentrate on the Introduction. Unit 3: Demonstratives and Copular Sentences Week 8: Background on the Typology of Copular Sentences 1. Higgins, F. Roger. 'The Pseudo-Cleft Construction in English.' Diss. MIT, 1973, chapter 5. Week 9: Demonstratives in Copular Sentences 1. Mikkelsen, Line. 'Specifying Who: On the Structure, Meaning, and Use of Specificational Copular Clauses.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004, chapter 8.2 (Truncated Clefts). 2. Heller, Daphna and Lynsey Wolter. ' That is Rosa : Identificational Sentences as Intensional Predication.' Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 . Ed. Atle Grønn. Oslo: Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, 2008. Week 10: Demonstratives, Copular Sentences, Modals 1. Birner, Betty J., Jeffrey P. Kaplan, and Gregory Ward. 'Functional Compositionality and the Interaction of Discourse Constraints.' Language 83 (2007): 317–43. Focus Questions 1. Which of the following expressions are indexicals? Which are demonstratives? Why? (a) a pencil (b) the pencil (c) this pencil (d) Mary Smith (e) Mary's pencil (f ) my pencil (g) we (h) you (i) here (j) there (k) now (l) then 2. Do demonstratives ever interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings? If so, under what circumstances? 3. (a) If demonstratives (sometimes or always) interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a direct reference theory of demonstratives be maintained? (b) If demonstratives never interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a quantificational theory of demonstratives be maintained? 4. What kind of thing is a demonstration? Is it a pointing gesture? An indication of the speaker's focus of attention? Something more abstract? 5. What information do English demonstratives convey about proximity? What is 'proximity'– physical closeness to the speaker, or something more abstract? What is the status of this information: is it entailed, presupposed, or something else? 6. Do demonstratives that are accompanied by a physical gesture of demonstration have the same semantic value as anaphoric demonstratives, such as that in (a)? Why or why not? (a) John made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it quickly. Next he took an apple from the fridge. He ate that more slowly. (shrink)
The paper briefly surveys the sentential proof-theoretic semantics for fragment of English. Then, appealing to a version of Frege’s context-principle (specified to fit type-logical grammar), a method is presented for deriving proof-theoretic meanings for sub-sentential phrases, down to lexical units (words). The sentential meaning is decomposed according to the function-argument structure as determined by the type-logical grammar. In doing so, the paper presents a novel proof-theoretic interpretation of simple type, replacing Montague’s model-theoretic type interpretation (in arbitrary Henkin models). The domains (...) of derivations are collections of derivations in the associated “dedicated” natural-deduction proof-system, and functions therein (with no appeal to models, truth-values and elements of a domain). The compositionality of the semantics is analyzed. (shrink)
Recent work by Joshua Knobe has established that people are far more likely to describe bad but foreseen side effects as intentionally performed than good but foreseen side effects (this is sometimes called the 'Knobe effect' or the 'side-effect effect.' Edouard Machery has proposed a novel explanation for this asymmetry: it results from construing the bad side effect as a cost that must be incurred to receive a benefit. In this paper, I argue that Machery's 'trade-off hypothesis' is wrong. I (...) do this by reproducing the asymmetry between judgments about good and bad side effects in cases that cannot plausibly be construed as trade-offs. (shrink)
This paper explicates the interaction between the implicit and explicit learning processes in skill acquisition, contrary to the common tendency in the literature of studying each type of learning in isolation. It highlights the interaction between the two types of processes and its various effects on learning, including the synergy effect. This work advocates an integrated model of skill learning that takes into account both implicit and explicit processes; moreover, it embodies a bottom-up approach (first learning implicit knowledge and then (...) explicit knowledge on its basis) towards skill learning. The paper shows that this approach accounts for various effects in the process control task data, in addition to accounting for other data reported elsewhere. (shrink)
1. The Problem, and Two Examples Discussions of deontological moral theories typically focus on the advantages and disadvantages of deontological constraints, rules to the effect that some actions should not be performed – at least sometimes – even when performing them will maximize the good. And, of course, the jury is still out on whether deontological constraints can be defended. But in their recent paper "Absolutist Moral Theories and Uncertainty", Frank Jackson and Michael Smith1 emphasize not the general and well-known (...) challenges to deontological constraints, but a more particular difficulty relating to what deontologists2 should say about cases of uncertainty. In their key example, a skier is about to cause the death of ten people by causing an avalanche. Jackson and Smith assume that whether or not it is morally permissible (and presumably also – given the possibility of saving the ten – morally required) to kill the skier (this is the only way of saving the ten) depends, according to a typical deontological theory, on whether or not he intends to kill the ten: If so, then he can permissibly be killed in self- (or other-) defense. If not, then it is presumably impermissible to kill him, for presumably.. (shrink)
The issue of methodological solipsism in the philosophy of mind and psychology has received enormous attention and discussion in the decade since the appearance Jerry Fodor's "Methodological Solipsism" [Fodor 1980]. But most of this discussion has focused on the consideration of the now infamous "Twin Earth" type examples and the problems they present for Fodor's notion of "narrow content". I think there is deeper and more general moral to be found in this issue, particularly in light of Fodor's more recent (...) defense of his view in Psychosemantics [Fodor 1987]. Underlying this discussion are questions about the nature and plausibility of the claim that scientific explanation should observe a constraint of methodological individualism . My goal in what follows is to bring out this more general problem in Fodor's "internalist" account of the mental. (shrink)
Continuing tensions exist between mainstream bioethics and advocates of the disability rights movement. This paper explores some of the grounds for those tensions as exemplified in From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice by Allen Buchanan and coauthors, a book by four prominent bioethicists that is critical of the disability rights movement. One set of factors involves the nature of disability and impairment. A second set involves presumptions regarding social values, including the importance of intelligence in relation to other human (...) characteristics, competition as the basis of social organization, and the nature of the parent–child relationship. The authors’ disapproval of certain aspects of the disability rights movement can be seen to be associated with particular positions regarding these factors. Although the authors intend to use a method of ‘broad reflective equilibrium,’ we argue that their idiosyncratic commitment to particular concepts of disability and particular social values produces a narrowing of the moral significance of their conclusions regarding disability rights. (shrink)
I want to relate to you two striking examples of animals acting with more humanity than most humans. My point is not that animals are more humane than humans, but that there is dramatic evidence that animals can act in ways that do not support certain Western stereotypes about their capacities.
Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have recently proposed a bold and intriguing hypothesis about the relationship between scientific cognition and cognitive development in childhood. According to this view, the processes underlying cognitive development in infants and children and the processes underlying scientific cognition are identical. We argue that Gopnik's bold hypothesis is untenable because it, along with much of cognitive science, neglects the many important ways in which human minds are designed to operate within a social environment. This leads to (...) a neglect of norms and the processes of social transmission which have an important effect on scientific cognition and cognition more generally. (shrink)
Coriolanus, the legendary fifth-century BC general who turned against his native city for banishing him, is painted by Shakespeare as the paragon Stoic warrior. Physically strong and detached, at home in the battlefield, he is the military man par excellence. Fearless, he sheds few tears. But the turning point in Shakespeare's play comes when Coriolanus remembers how to weep. He admits that "It is no small thing to make mine eyes sweat compassion."The absence of compassion in health care is increasingly (...) remarked upon. In 2009, it led to a campaign to broaden New Zealand's Code of Patients' Rights to include the legal right "to have services provided with compassion, including a prompt and humane response to .. (shrink)
Ron Giere's recent book Scientific Perspectivism sets out an account of science that attempts to forge a via media between two popular extremes: absolutist, objectivist realism on the one hand, and social constructivism or skeptical anti-realism on the other. The key for Giere is to treat both scientific observation and scientific theories as perspectives, which are limited, partial, contingent, context-, agent- and purpose-dependent, and pluralism-friendly, while nonetheless world-oriented and modestly realist. Giere's perspectivism bears significant similarly to early writings by Paul (...) Feyerabend and John Dewey. Comparing these to Giere's work not only uncovers a consilience of ideas, but also can help to fill out Giere's account in places where it is under-developed, as well as helping us understand the work of these earlier authors and their continuing relevance to contemporary concerns in philosophy of science. (shrink)
This article is an analysis of the theological-philosophical revolution that Leibowitz's thought represents in the philosophy of religion in general and in Jewish philosophy in particular. This revolution relies on a positivist viewpoint, which denies any possibility of making statements about God. In his approach, statements about God are interpreted as statements denoting the relationship between the individual and God. Conventional religious beliefs -- such as the belief in the creation or in revelation -- become meaningless. Leibowitz therefore suggests a (...) new interpretation, both of theoretical religious beliefs and of the normative system -- the Halakha. The belief in revelation is construed as a human judgment, which endows the halakhic system with divine validity. Halakha does not draw its meaning from its divine source but from its inner religious meaning, which Leibowitz sees in worship. (shrink)
instead he argues for a conditional: "if there is such a thing as narrow content, it is holistic," where holism is taken to be "the doctrine that any _substantial_ difference in W-beliefs, whether between two people or between one person at two times, requires a difference in the meaning or content of W" (153, 152).
In this article I present a positive ontology of 'race'. Toward this end, I discuss metaphysical pluralism and review the theories of Ian Hacking, John Dupre and Root. Working within Root's framework, I describe the conditions under which a constructed kind like 'race' would be real. I contend these conditions are currently satisfied in the United States. Given the social presence and impact of 'race' and the unique way 'race' operates at differing sites, I will argue that it is site-specific, (...) it is socially constructed, and it is real. Key Words: human kinds metaphysical pluralism philosophy of race promiscuous realism race race theory racial realism. (shrink)