How to draw the distinction between activity and passivity? Whatever that might be, the causal theory of action cannot give the right answer, as it offers an essentially passive account of human action.
David-Hillel Ruben mounts a defence of some unusual and original positions in the philosophy of action. Written from a point of view out of sympathy with the assumptions of much of contemporary philosophical action theory, his book draws its inspiration from philosophers as diverse as Aristotle, Berkeley, and Marx. Ruben's work is located in the tradition of the metaphysics of action, and will attract much attention from his peers and from students in the field.
In virtue of what are later and an earlier group members of one and the numerically same tradition? Gallie was one of the few philosophers to have engaged with issues surrounding this question. My article is not a faithful exegesis of Gallie but develops a terminology in which to discuss issues surrounding the numerical identity of a tradition over time, based on some of his insights.
A comparison of disjunctive theories of action and perception. The development of a theory of action that warrants the name, a disjunctive theory. On this theory, there is an exclusive disjunction: either an action or an event (in one sense). It follows that in that sense basic actions do not have events intrinsic to them.
Is the thought that having a reason for action can also be the cause of the action for which it is the reason coherent? This is an attempt to say exactly what is involved in such a thought, with special reference to the case of con-reasons, reasons that count against the action the agent eventually choses.
Argument that Marx has a realist ontology and a correspondence theory of truth. His views are compared to both Hegel's and Kant's. This interpretation departs from more Hegelian, 'idealist' interpretations that often rely on misunderstanding some of the work of the early Marx. There is also a discussion and partial defence of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism.
The debate between Lon Fuller and HLA Hart on the nature of law rests on two views on the connection between law and having a reason for action. Fuller's assumes that to say that something is a law is by itself reason-providing; Hart's view must deny this. If we can identify whether something is a law purely by descriptive criteria, then for something to be a law should not by itself provide an agent with any reason for action, however weak.
What constitutes numerically one and the same tradition diachronically, at different times? This question is the focus of often violent dispute in societies. Is it capable of a rational resolution? Many accounts attempt that resolution with a diagnosis of ambiguity of the disputed concept-Islam, Marxism, or democracy for example. The diagnosis offered is in terms of vagueness, namely the vague criteria for sameness or similarity of central beliefs and practices.
What might it mean to say that there is such a thing as a hermeneutic circle in the social sciences? A consideration of some remarks by Charles Taylor and others and an interpretive reconstruction, and assessment, of the idea of such a circle.
To what extend can genuinely mereological considerations apply to talk of wholes and parts in discussions of the relationship between individual persons and the social groups, etc. to which they belong?
Abstract Previous work has found few gender differences in moral orientation among children. Two experiments were conducted with third grade children (8?year?olds) to learn if children's moral orientation would be affected by the gender of dilemma characters: all male, all female, or mixed gender. Children responded to stories in which animal characters faced a conflict. Children's suggestions as to how the characters should solve their problems were coded as expressing a concern for others (care orientation) or a focus on issues (...) of rights and justice (rights orientation). Both boys and girls showed a small but consistent preference for the care orientation, and their reasoning was not influenced by the gender of the characters. Children tended to misremember female animal story characters as male (Experiment 1), unless an illustration depicting the characters? gender accompanied the text (Experiment 2). Overall, the results point to the role of children's literature in creating stereotyped expectations about male and female story characters, and emphasise the initial similarity of boys? and girls? moral orientation in childhood. (shrink)
What is the fate of philosophy as the spiritual weapon of the proletariat in changing reality when it is clear that the communist experiment has failed? The question pertains above all to the heritage of Marx''s theory, not to Marxism and Marxism-Leninism. The latter are party-inspired and -dominated and aspire to be schools of philosophy, whereas Marx did not seek to create a philosophy but to realize philosophy in the material world. For Marx, philosophy and emancipation go hand in hand: (...) man is emancipated when philosophy is realized in the world.The fate of the Marxian idea is set off against the development of dialectical materialist philosophy and Marxist social theory. In this way, the ground is laid for the conclusion that what is properly philosophical in Marx is restricted to a philosophy of history attendant on a theory of economic development. The conclusion is subject to the caveat that as yet unpublished notes by Marx about the true nature of dialectic may in fact reveal a more far-reaching philosophical conception. (shrink)
The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editor of each volume contributes an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. This volume presents a selection of the most important (...) recent writings on the nature of explanation. It covers a broad range of topics from the philosophy of science to the central philosophical terrain of the theory of knowledge. The distinguished contributors include Peter Achinstein, Wesley C. Salmon, Carl G. Hempel, Philip Kitcher, Bas C. van Fraassen, Jaegwon Kim, B. Brody, Timothy McCarthy, Peter Railton, David Lewis, Peter Lipton, James Woodward, and Robert J. Matthews. (shrink)
In an explanation, what does the explaining and what gets explained? What are the relata of the explanation relation? Candidates include: people, events, facts, sentences, statements, and propositions.
Ruben Berrios Queen’s University Belfast Anti-realism and Aesthetic Cognition Abstract At the core of the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism is the question of the relation between scientific theory and the world. The realist possesses a mimetic conception of the relation between theory and reality. For the realist, scientific theories represent reality. The anti-realist, in contrast, seeks to understand the relations between theory and world in non-mimetic terms. We will examine Cartwright’s simulacrum account of explanation in order to (...) illuminate the anti-realist position. Science consists of phenomenological and theoretical laws. The former are concerned with appearances, or those phenomena that can be directly observed; the latter involve the unobservable reality that is alleged to underlie appearances, and are capable only of indirect confirmation. Phenomenological laws are said to be descriptive, whilst theoretical laws are understood as explanatory. Cartwright is concerned with the theoretical. She claims that the standard realist account of the explanatory efficacy of theoretical laws is faulty. The explanatory power of theoretical laws consists in their ability to provide an explanation of physical phenomena. According to Cartwright, the realist claims that laws explain phenomena by providing an abstract description of them, in terms of their micro-structural features, that is alleged to be true. On this view, explanatory power is entirely dependent on descriptive adequacy. As phenomenological laws describe appearances, so theoretical laws describe the fundamental reality that governs appearances. Cartwright rejects the preceding view and in its place proposes a simulacrum account of explanation. According to Cartwright, the explanatory power of theoretical laws is related not to descriptive adequacy, but rather to the construction of adequate models. To explain a phenomenon is to construct a model which best or most adequately accommodates the phenomenon to a theory. The model will consist of various posited objects that serve to explain the phenomena in terms that are consistent with a set of theoretical laws. Cartwright claims that theoretical laws are true of, or describe, the objects of the model. The objects of the model, however, are not descriptive of reality. They are simulacra. They have, that is, the form or appearance of things, without possessing their substance or proper qualities. In light of the foregoing account we can summarise the distinction between scientific realism and anti-realism as follows. The realist claims that theoretical laws literally represent real objects. The anti-realist claims that laws represent objects of a model that are simulacra of reality. Anti-realism has an aesthetic dimension. The movement from realism to anti-realism is also the movement from the mimetic conception of the scientist as holding a mirror to nature to the constructionist view of the scientist as engaging with nature through invention. There is a lot of the artist in the anti-realist’s view of the scientist. This is true for Cartwright as well as, for example, Van Fraassen in his doctrine of constructive empiricism. It would appear, then, that the philosophy of science has absorbed some concepts that are ordinarily housed in aesthetics. And it has done so profitably. The aim of this paper is to reverse the direction of disciplinary influence. Can art, in relation to its status as a cognitive enterprise, be illuminated by scientific anti-realism? I will argue that it can. In an unexpected reference to the Nicomachean Ethics, Cartwright draws a suggestive parallel between theoretical laws and general moral principles, on the one hand, and physical phenomena and everyday moral conduct, on the other hand. If we add to this the claim that a central component of art’s value is cognitive, then we have the basic materials with which to flesh out a broadly anti-realist view of art. In the production of art, artists can construct models that mediate between everyday ethical phenomena and general ethical tendencies. These models reveal the ways in which there are implicit consistencies or inconsistencies, conflicts or congruences and so forth, between the phenomena and the tendencies. On this basis art can contribute to the reflective understanding of ethical life. This constitutes to a large degree art’s status as a cognitive enterprise. To apprehend art cognitively as artist or critic is to engage in aesthetic cognition. (shrink)
Mele questions the prevalence and ontological status of strong forms of self-deception, as well as our attempt at experimental demonstration. Without validated indicators outside laboratory contexts, statements about prevalence are purely speculative. Conceptualizing self-deception without positing the motivated lack of awareness of a contradictory belief is unsatisfactory in dealing with issues of “agency,” that is, how can we stop the processing of threatening information unless we recognize that the information is threatening?
Free will, before being an object of beliefs or theories susceptible of verification, is the omnipresent supposition of our conscious life. This paper claims that this omnipresence, even though it is not enough to validate theoretically free will, entails two significant consequences. First, that free will is the essential presumption of our actions, without which they would become incomprehensible. Second, that all denial of this – a rational action in itself – presupposes that which is denied.
The U.S. government embraces the concepts of privatization and market competition, but the realm of contracting shows that it has not always been able to put its principles into practice. Although the contracting system is supposed to be open and competitive, in recent years the government has often awarded contracts with little or no competitive bidding, has chosen to award mostly cost-plus type contracts that force the government to assume more of the risk, and lacked efficiency in monitoring and overseeing (...) private contractors. While the number and value of contracts have increased, the workforce to oversee these contracts has been reduced, preventing the government from adequately enforcing compliance with the contractors, and the government has not made use of past performance evaluations in its contracting system. Private contractors that do business with the U.S. government are for the most part well-established firms with ample resources and inside contacts; many contracts are still being awarded on preferential treatment and to the larger and well-established contractors. (shrink)
The study of academic plagiarism among university students is at an embryonic stage in Spain and in the other Spanish-speaking countries. This article reports the results of a research, carried out in a medium-sized Spanish university, based on a double method approach—quantitative and qualitative—concerning the factors associated with academic plagiarism from the students’ perspective. The main explanatory factors of the phenomenon, according to the results obtained, are: a) aspects and behaviour of students (bad time management, personal shortcomings when preparing assignments, (...) the elevated number of assignments to be handed in, etc.); b) the opportunities conferred by information and communication technologies to locate, copy and paste information; and, finally, c) aspects related to professors-lecturers and/or the characteristics of the subject-course (lecturers who show no interest in their work, eminently theoretical subjects and assignments, etc.). (shrink)
This research extends previous findings related to the positive influence of company credibility on a social Cause–Brand Alliance’s (CBA) persuasion mechanism. This study analyzes the mediating role of two dimensions of company credibility (trustworthiness and expertise) with regard to the influence of altruistic attributions and two types of brand–cause fit (functional and image fit) on corporate social responsibility image. A structural equation model tests the proposed framework with a sample of 299 consumers, and the results suggest that (1) image fit (...) and altruistic attribution are cues that consumers use to evaluate company trustworthiness when linking to a social cause; (2) functional fit significantly influences perceived company expertise but not trustworthiness; and (3) trustworthiness has more weight than expertise in judgments about corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
Many philosophers of action afford intentions a central role in theorizing about action and its explanation. Furthermore, current orthodoxy in the philosophy of action has it that intentions play a causal role with respect to the etiology and explanation of action. But action theory is not without its heretics. Some philosophers have challenged the orthodox view. In this paper I examine and critique one such challenge. I consider David-Hillel Ruben's case against the need for intentions to play a causal (...) role in the etiology and explanation of mental actions. Contra Ruben, I defend the orthodox view that intentions play an indispensable causal and explanatory role with respect to mental actions. (shrink)
The causal theory of action (CTA) is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency--the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources while (...) others focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action-oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues. Contributors: Fred Adams, Jesus H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout. (shrink)