This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
Tang Junyi (T’ang Chun-i 唐君毅) was among the founders of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the first chair of the Department of Philosophy at CUHK, an influential scholar of Chinese philosophy, and one of the leaders of the New Confucian movement. In this article, I take issue with the line of interpretation he develops in a provocative 1955 study of Mencius and Mozi. Though I don’t make the connections explicit, Tang’s views and my critique of them are (...) relevant to issues in contemporary discussions of action and motivation, particularly the debate between motivational Humeanism and anti-Humeanism. (shrink)
Brian Garrett has criticized my diagnosis of the paradox of self-consciousness. In reply, I focus on the classification of 'I'-thoughts, and show how the notion of immunity to error through misidentification can be used to characterize 'I'-thoughts, even though an important class of 'I'-thoughts (those whose expression involves what Wittgenstein called the use of 'I' as object) are not themselves immune to error through misidentification. 'I'-thoughts which are susceptible to error through misidentification are dependent upon those which are not. The (...) dependence here has to do with how a thinker understands what would defeat such thoughts. (shrink)
Abstract: I present empirical evidence suggesting that an infant first becomes aware of herself as the focal center of a caregiver's attending. Yet that does not account for her awareness of herself as agent. To address this question, I bring in research on neonatal imitation, as well as studies demonstrating the existence of a neural system in which parts of the same brain areas are activated when observing another's action and when executing a similar one. Applying these findings, I consider (...) gestural exchanges between infant and caregiver, such as reciprocal smiles and imitative vocalizations. Lacking self-awareness at first, the infant is unaware of her own agency. By returning her unwitting gesture, the caregiver singles out for her—thanks to neural matching—the gesture's kinesthesis. Moreover, the caregiver's smile, imitative vocalization, or other gesture is the form that focusing takes. The kinesthesis of the infant's gesture, in being singled-out, is experienced by the infant as what the caregiver is focusing on. It is experienced as being within the focal center. In this way the infant becomes aware of herself as a bodily entity acting toward the caregiver. Exchanges that involve matching are at first essential, I argue, in making the infant present to herself in action. Matching will cease to be necessary, but self-awareness continues to depend fundamentally on others until the acquisition of language, when the child becomes capable of talking to herself as if she were the caregiver. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of the self-ascription of experiences are wedded to two basic dogmas. The first is that self-ascription is immune to error through misidentification relative to the first person (IEM). The second dogma is that there is distinction between awareness of oneself qua subject and awareness of oneself qua object (the SCS/SCO distinction). In this paper, I urge that these dogmas are groundless. First, I illustrate that claims about immunity to error through misidentification are usually based upon claims about awareness (...) of oneself qua subject. Self-ascriptions are IEM, because self-ascriptions involve awareness of oneself qua subject. Following Sydney Shoemaker, philosophers appeal to Wittgenstein’s discussion of the I-as-subject to bolster this claim. I argue that this interpretation of Wittgenstein is actually a crossbreed of the views of Shoemaker and Wittgenstein, which I will call ‘Shoegenstein.’ I argue that Shoegenstein is not Wittgenstein. Apart from these historical considerations, I argue that if IEM is based on the SCS/SCO distinction, and there is no non-circular account of that distinction, then IEM is not based on anything. I suggest that we should understand self-consciousness as awareness of a subject as an object, which would mean that SCS and SCO are not exclusive. One consequence of disposing of these two dogmas is to allow for a positive naturalistic account of self-ascription. Another consequence is to present an approach to self-ascription that stresses the lived position of the subject, which I urge is friendly to Wittgenstein’s later account of the subject of self-ascription. (shrink)
I argue that recent developments in animal cognition support the conclusion that HOT theory is consistent with animal consciousness. There seems to be growing evidence that many animals are indeed capable of having I-thoughts, including episodic memory, as well as have the ability to understand the mental states of others.
Many philosophers as well as many biological psychologists think that recent experiments in neuropsychology have definitively discredited any notion of freedom of the will. I argue that the arguments mounted against the concept of freedom of the will in the name of natural causal determinism are valuable but not new, and that they leave intact a concept of freedom of the will that is compatible with causal determinism. After explaining this concept, I argue that it is interestingly related to our (...) use of the first person pronoun “I.” I discuss three examples of our use of “I” in thought and language and submit a few questions I would like neuropsychologists to answer concerning the brain processes that might underlie those uses. I suggest answering these questions would support the compatibilist notion of freedom of the will I have offered in part 1 of the paper. (shrink)
Hitler could have won World War II; I could have been a fisherman; The speed of light could have been twice as fast as it actually is; Swans could have been black; It’s impossible for there to be round squares; Necessarily, 2+2=4. Modal statements also include counterfactual statements: Scientific: If the speed of light were faster, atomic explosions would be more deadly; Ethical: If you hadn’t have made the deceased play on the motorway, he would’ve lived; Everyday: If I hadn’t (...) have gone out last I wouldn’t have a hangover. Modal statements can cover a variety of different types of modality: Logical Possibility: It’s logically possible for me to grow wings and fly to New York; Physical Possibility: It’s physically impossible to grow wings and fly to New York; Economic Possibility: It’s impossible for me to fly to New York. 2. Modal Logic.. (shrink)
What is it for a thinker to possess the concept of perceptual experience? What is it to be able to think of seeings, hearings and touchings, and to be able to think of experiences that are subjectively like seeings, hearings and touchings?
W sytuacjach, gdy powinniśmy mieć do czynienia ze wzajemnym oświecaniem, w rzeczywistości często spotykamy się z obopólnym oporem między kognitywistyką a fenomenologią, gdzie ta druga rozumiana jest jako podejście metodologiczne, po raz pierwszy zarysowane przez Husserla. Filozofowie umysłu, z pierwszych szeregów kognitywistów, niejednokrotnie czynią lekceważące gesty w stosunku do fenomenologii, oparte na myleniu fenomenologii z niewykwalifikoną introspekcją psychologiczną (np. Dennett, 1991). Z kolei wielu fenomenologów podlega mylnemu wrażeniu, że kognitywistyce nie udało się wyjść poza tradycyjne modele komputacyjne (DSSI – „dobra (...) staromodna sztuczna inteligencja” (GOFAI - „good old fashioned artificial inteligence”)). Odrzucają oni kognitywistykę, zarzucając jej nadmierny redukcjonizm, uniemożliwiający wyjaśnienie doświadczenia czy świadomości. O ile taki opór nie dziwi w przypadku tych, którzy znają i bronią antynaturalistycznego stanowiska Husserla, o tyle jest niezwykle zaskakujący w przypadku tych, którzy znają dzieła Merleau-Ponty’ego. Badania tego ostatniego łączyły bowiem analizy fenomenologiczne z rozważaniami pochodzącymi z nauk empirycznych, takich jak psychologia i neurologia, i to na długo, zanim kognitywistyka została skonstruowana jako model do uwzględniania tylko tych aspektów psychologii i neurologii, które skupiają się na doświadczeniu poznawczym. Zostawiając przykład Merleau-Ponty’ego, filozofowie po obu stronach stopniowo zdali sobie sprawę, że fenomenologia może być bezpośrednio przydatna do naukowego zrozumienia poznania. Wcześniej niejednokrotnie nawet sami naukowcy empiryczni dochodzili do tego wniosku i to pomimo filozofów. Dobry przykład stanowią tutaj badania Franisco Vareli z neurofenomenologii (Varela, 1996). (shrink)
Tradycyjne teorie psychologii moralności podkreślają rolę rozumowania i „wyższych procesów poznawczych”, podczas gdy ostatnie prace z tego zakresu uwypuklają udział emocji. W niniejszym artykule rozpatruję dane pochodzące z neuroobrazowania wspierające teorię sądzenia moralnego, zgodnie z którą zarówno procesy „poznawcze”, jak i emocjonalne pełnią istotne a czasami wzajemnie konkurencyjne role. Dane te wskazują, że rejony mózgu związane z kontrolą poznawczą (przednia część zakrętu obręczy i grzbietowo boczna kora przedczołowa) są zaangażowane w rozwiązywanie trudnych moralnych dylematów, w których wartości utylitarne wymagają naruszenia (...) „osobistej” sfery moralnej, co wiąże się ze wzrostem aktywności rejonów mózgu związanych z emocjami i poznaniem społecznym (przyśrodkowa kora przedczołowa, górna bruzda skroniowa, tylna część zakrętu obręczy, bieguny skroniowe, ciało migdałowate). Odkryliśmy także, że aktywność w~obszarach mózgu obejmujących przednią część grzbietowo bocznej kory przedczołowej prognozuje różnice w sądzeniu moralnym, w odmiennych warunkach — obszary te wykazują większą aktywność podczas wydawania sądów o~charakterze utylitarnym. Przypuszczam też, że coraz lepsze rozumienie fizjologicznych i neuronaukowych podstaw wydawania sądów moralnych może mieć wpływ na rozwiązywanie dylematów moralnych w~świecie realnym. (shrink)
Historical research has ~ecently made it dear that, prior to Austin and. his followers, there was but one author who developed a full-fledged theory of the given sort: the phenomenologist Adolf Reinach (1884-1917).' In his The A Priori I'oundutions of the Ciui/ I aIO, pubhshed. in 1918â' Reinach developed a theory of Ã¢â¬â 'as he termed them Ã¢â¬â "social acts*' which is not only on a par with the later speech act theories but in fact surpasses them in.
Przedstawiciele dwóch głównych podejść do badania rozumowania w odmienny sposób opisują poznawczy mechanizm wyciągania poprawnych i błędnych wniosków. Przedstawiciele teorii reguł zakładają, że rozumowanie ma charakter syntaktyczny i polega na uruchamianiu reguł podobnych do tych z logiki klasycznej. Przedstawiciele drugiej teorii — teorii modeli umysłowych opisują rozumowanie jako proces semantyczny polegający na tworzeniu modeli umysłowych, które odzwierciedlają strukturę relacji pomiędzy elementami opisanymi w przesłankach. Zgodnie z tak zwaną zasadą prawdziwości każda możliwa sytuacja jest reprezentowana przez odrębny model umysłowy, który odzwierciedla (...) jedynie te elementy, które rzeczywiście występują w danej sytuacji. Zasada ta jest wykorzystywana w teorii modeli do opisywania mechanizmu zarówno poprawnych, jak i błędnych rozumowań. Innymi źródłami błędów w rozumowaniu mogą być: zbyt duża liczba modeli, zbyt wiele relacji między elementami nazwanymi w modelach, zbyt wiele elementów, które należy zintegrować w jednym modelu. W artykule przedstawione są szczegółowo różne typy błędów wynikające z tych czterech powodów. (shrink)
L’article présente un texte inconnu de J. I. N. Baudouin de Courtenay (1845–1929), publié en 1872 à Poznañ, sous les initiales: „Dr. J. B.”, et intitulé: Du langage et des langues. Baudouin y introduit la distinction fondamentale du structuralisme: langue – langage – parole. Dans l’esprit de vulgarisation, après la lecture des Cours d’Oxford de Müller (1862–1864), il retrace l’histoire de la linguistique avec le comparatisme comme son achèvement et la figure majestueuse de Leibniz. Rejetant la recherche de la langue (...) adamique, il propose une classification des langues non selon leurs racines, mais d’après leurs structures: la structure d’une langue („budowa jêzyka”) constitue sa „marque caractéristique” („znamiê”). Baudouin discute également le phénomène d’aphasie et se prononce contre la théorie des localisations cérébrales, tout comme Freud dans Zur Auffassung der Aphasien (1891). Le rôle du „pont” entre leurs théories revient à Ernst von Brücke, maître de Freud, auteur des ouvrages traitant de la physiologie de la parole, très appréciés du linguiste. Dès ses premiers travaux de 1865, consacrés au physiologiste tchèque Purkyne, Baudouin se veut continuateur du programme linguistique de l’idéologue Volney, qui est tout simplement l’inverse du projet leibnizien. (shrink)
W badaniach nad kontrolą elementarnych procesów poznawczych osiągnięto ostatnio znaczący postęp. Na przykład, wyodrębniono w systemie poznawczym człowieka różnorakie funkcje i mechanizmy kontrolne. Jednakże, nauki o poznaniu nie poradziły sobie dotąd z wyjaśnieniem zjawiska samokontroli, czyli zdolności przejawiającej się na poziomie całego systemu poznawczego, polegającej na skutecznym podążaniu za odległymi celami oraz unikaniu dystrakcji. W pracy przedstawiona została koncepcja samokontroli odwołująca się do pojęcia emergencji, która prowadzi do nowych i nieprzewidywalnych własności systemu, wynikających ze złożonych, dynamicznych i nieliniowych interakcji jego (...) elementów składowych. Koncepcja ta pozwala wyobrazić sobie teorie samokontroli umysłu unikające dobrze znanego „problemu homunkulusa”. Dzięki symulacjom obliczeniowym, teorie takie umożliwiają (na razie, w bardzo prosty sposób) odtworzenie emergentnej zdolności umysłu do samokontroli, mimo że — ze względu na odpowiednią złożoność — nie możemy w pełni prześledzić ciągu przyczynowo\dywiz skutkowego, który do niej prowadzi. Tak więc, deterministycznie opisujemy i wyjaśniamy warunki konieczne do pojawienia się samokontroli, ale odnosząc się do modelowanego systemu wciąż możemy mówić o jego autonomii i autodeterminacji. Jak dowodzą najnowsze wyniki badań nad zaburzeniami samokontroli, owa autonomia bywa jednak znacznie ograniczona. (shrink)
W 1983 roku Benjamin Libet wraz ze współpracownikami po raz pierwszy wykazał, że w prostym działaniu dobrowolnym świadoma intencja nie pełni funkcji inicjującej. Czasowy przebieg tego typu działania wskazuje również, że intencja oraz samo działanie to produkty procesów nieświadomych. Na podstawie wyniku Libeta oraz wybranych koncepcji psychologicznych Daniel Wegner zaproponował teorię pozornej mentalnej przyczynowości, w ramach której intencja to rodzaj konstruktu umożliwiającego agentowi zrozumienie własnego zachowania w kategoriach przyczynowych, gdzie jego stan mentalny (intencja) jawi mu się jako przyczyna, a działanie (...) jako skutek. Ujęcie Wegnera rodzi jednak pytanie, jaka jest faktyczna relacja pomiędzy intencjami, a celami kształtującymi nasze decyzje. Biorąc pod uwagę wyjaśnienie amerykańskiego psychologa, nie możemy być pewni, że te dwa elementy mają ze sobą jakiś związek. Może to prowadzić do zaskakującego wniosku, że nasza świadoma wola jest w gruncie rzeczy iluzją. Korzystając z wyników badań Read’a Montague nad mechanizmami ustanawiania i osiągania celów wskazuję na alternatywną możliwość rozumienia roli intencji. Zgodnie z analizą Montague, możemy postulować, że przynajmniej w wybranych przypadkach treść intencji działania oraz przebieg zachowań celowych oparte są na tej samej abstrakcyjnej reprezentacji. Znaczy to, że interpretacja świadomej woli, jako przydatnej iluzji jest za szeroka, gdyż znamy (wskazane w tekście) przypadki, kiedy treść intencji jest tożsama z reprezentacją pełniącą rolę nagrody w systemie ustanawiania i osiągania celów. (shrink)
Francesc Pujols és un del personatges més destacats de la cultura catalana del segle XX. Pensador heterodox, crític d’art, periodista, poeta... és l’altra cara del Noucentisme imperant. Si Eugeni d’Ors és el seny, Pujols és la rauxa que reivindica el pensament salvatge i la internacionalització de la cultura i de la filosofia catalanes.
To, co może (naszym zdaniem) interesować, w dramatopisarstwie Stanisława Wyspiańskiego „historyka-socjologa” zajmującego się ideami politycznymi dotyczącymi kwestii kondycji i perspektyw narodu w drodze ku niepodległości oraz narodu, dla którego nowoczesność jest warunkiem koniecznym żywotności w ramach ekumeny europejskiej, zawrzeć można w pięciu tezach. Są to tezy odzwierciedlające krytycyzm dotyczący „tego, co polityczne” i wskazujące na skłonność do pesymizmu antropologicznego. Teza pierwsza: Kompetencje merytoryczne i kwalifikacje moralne polskich elit politycznych stanowią problem społeczny, który obecny jest w dziejach państwa polskiego z dawien (...) dawna. Próby rozwiązania tego problemu nie powiodły się. Tym gorzej, że nie powiodły się w czasie, gdy naród polski znalazł się w sytuacji powinności „wybicia się na niepodległość”. Teza druga: U ludzi, którzy wchodzą w skład elity politycznej/kandydują do elity politycznej w narodzie polskim, silna skłonność do prywaty łączy się z silną skłonność do megalomanii. Często i gęsto wydzieranie swej „działki” z tego „postawu sukna”, jakim jest Polska, łączy się z autoreklamą umiejętności męża stanu i ofiarności sługi ludu. Teza trzecia: Dobór do elity politycznej i zmiany w jej składzie nie przebiegają wedle reguł, w których na miejscu pierwszym stawia się interesy i aspiracje narodu. Praktyki świadczą o posługiwaniu się nieodpowiednimi standardami i kryteriami. Teza czwarta: Amatorszczyzna socjotechniczna i powszechność posługiwania się demagogią, w połączeniu z brakiem myślenia strategicznego w mentalności i behawiorze ludzi polskiej elity politycznej, przynoszą niebywałe szkody staraniom o polską racje stanu. Teza piąta: Narodu polskiego nie można nazwać wspólnotą polityczną kierowaną przez odpowiednią/właściwą elitę. Jest to naród którego nauczycielami są liczni szarlatani, demagodzy, kombinatorzy polityczni – naród, który jest źle kierowany przez osobników, którzy nie nadają się do odgrywanych ról i naród, który nie potrafi zbuntować się i pro domo sua wyłonić z siebie elity alternatywnej, skutecznie dbałej o tożsamość i żywotność narodu jako wspólnoty politycznej w ramach ekumeny europejskiej. […]. (shrink)
U większości ludzi lewa półkula odgrywa decydującą rolę zarówno w kontroli zdolności językowych jak i wyuczonych gestów manualnych. U osób praworęcznych, lewostronne obszary kory mózgowej kontrolują ponadto działania dłoni i palców ręki dominującej, włączając w to ruchy sięgania w kierunku celu, chwytania przedmiotów i manipulowania nimi. Dlatego do niedawana nie było oczywiste, czy lateralizacja funkcji językowych jest ściślej związana z kontrolą preferowanej ręki, czy też z przetwarzaniem informacji wyższego rzędu niezbędnych w sprawnej komunikacji przy pomocy gestów, niezależnie od wykorzystywanego ramienia (...) i dłoni. Za drugą z tych opcji przemawia to, że u większości osób leworęcznych lewa półkula także dominuje w kontroli języka i~gestów. Przeciw zdają się świadczyć przykłady nietypowej lateralizacji zdolności językowych do prawej półkuli, przy lewopółkulowej reprezentacji gestów manualnych. Choć dotąd względnie dobrze poznano jak często dochodzi do nietypowej lateralizacji niektórych funkcji w mózgu, ciągle nie jest jasne, jakie są tego przyczyny. Co ważniejsze, dopiero niedawno naukowcy zaczęli z sukcesem badać wzajemne relacje pomiędzy różnymi zdolnościami poznawczymi u ludzi zdrowych. Badania te sugerują istnienie bliskich zależności pomiędzy lateralizacją na pozór odmiennych funkcji, takich jak język i gesty, w przypadkach dotąd uznawanych za raczej wyjątkowe. Te ostatnie, z kolei, często łączono z reorganizacją mózgu w następstwie choroby lub innych zakłóceń jego działania. Tymczasem, istnienie ścisłych relacji pomiędzy reprezentacjami na pozór odmiennych dyspozycji poznawczych w przypadkach nietypowych, a nie mających źródła w chorobie i urazach, sugeruje nieco inny model lateralizacji funkcji w mózgu. (shrink)
Autor artykułu broni tezy, że niektóre systemy obliczeniowe mogą mieć własności semantyczne. Wskazana została klasa systemów obliczeniowych, w których reprezentacje mogą mieć przynajmniej dwie własności: własność odnoszenia się do obiektów (desygnowanie) i własność wspomagania rozpoznawania obiektów oznaczanych przez daną reprezentację (konotowanie). Autor argumentuje także, że własności semantyczne reprezentacji nie zależą wyłącznie od architektury systemów obliczeniowych, w których te reprezentacje występują. Konkretna architektura obliczeniowa nie jest czynnikiem kluczowym, a bodaj najmniej istotne są same rodzaje struktur danych, które mają mieć własności desygnowania (...) czy konotowania. Własność desygnowania czy konotowania nie musi być zlokalizowana w samych reprezentacjach, może być własnością wyższego rzędu, powstającą w mechanizmie wyższego poziomu. Własności semantyczne reprezentacji mogą być wielorako realizowane. Systemy klasyczne, koneksjonistyczne czy też hybrydowe mogą równie dobrze mieć własności semantyczne, jak ich nie mieć. (shrink)
W artykule przedstawiono funkcjonalny model struktury umysłu z perspektywy ograniczeń poznawczych i mechanizmów ich kompensacji. W ramach tej struktury centralne miejsce zajmuje pamięć robocza charakteryzowana jako „mały umysł”, który poprzez cztery kierunki przetwarzania informacji tworzy różne organizacje funkcjonalne reprezentowane jako sieci „pełnego umysłu”. W ramach tej organizacji bieżące przetwarzanie jest relatywnie odizolowane i chronione z czterech stron: od strony pola uwagi, od strony zasobów pamięci trwałej, wiedzy deklaratywnej i doświadczenia personalnego, od strony struktur poznawczych i emocjonalnych podświadomości i nieświadomości, od (...) strony programów realizujących świadomą kontrolę i metapoznawanie. (shrink)
W artykule podejmujemy zagadnienie udziału emocji w~podejmowaniu decyzji w sytuacjach dylematów moralnych. Prezentujemy stanowisko, jakie w tej sprawie głosi współczesna neuroetyka. Według badaczy-neuroetyków podczas podejmowania decyzji w sytuacji dylematów osobistych biorą górę czynniki emocjonalne, natomiast w dylematach nieosobistych — czynniki poznawczo-kontrolne. Postulują oni też istnienie specjalnej klasy emocji — emocji moralnych — uczestniczących w wydawaniu sądów moralnych w sytuacjach dylematów moralnych. W artykule proponujemy własne odróżnienie dwóch rodzajów emocji moralnych — emocji nie-epistemicznych i epistemicznych.
This piece continues the story line of “Where Am I?” by Dan Dennett. I am inclined to locate myself at the location of my point of view. In my fantasy stories, points of view can be far away from a brain inside a flesh-and-blood body. Points of view can also move discontinuously from one location to another.
Wczesny Descartes dokonuje radykalnego usunięcia z rozważań filozoficznych problemu poznania boskiego. Rekonstrukcja wielowiekowej tradycji średniowiecznej ukazała, że daleko idąca racjonalizacja opisu boskiego poznania prowadzi nieuchronnie do groźnej aporii dotyczącej statusu idei-przedmiotu w boskim intelekcie. Zwolennikiem uproszczenia na gruncie metafizyki był Duns Szkot, który dość zdecydowanie porzucił dziedziczony od Platona problem wzorów idei na rzecz wolnego, absolutnego i rozumnego przyczynowania o dominującym charakterze sprawczym. Zgodnie z dystynkcją wprowadzoną przez św. Tomasza, oprócz zagadnienia samych wzorów-rzeczy pojawia się oddzielny problem statusu ogólnych praw (...) rozumnego stwarzania. W obliczu niejasności otwierających możliwość poddania Boga takim prawom (przede wszystkim zasadzie niesprzeczności), Descartes jako pierwszy umieszcza tzw. prawdy wieczne w dystansie przyczynowym uznając później za „wrodzone” wyposażenie ego. W ten sposób uzyskujemy jasność co do ewentualnej skończoności lub nieskończoności nowego podmiotu. Jak pokazał Kartezjusz w Regułach, samo konstytuowanie przedmiotów Mathesis ma zasięg nieograniczony, choć sprawująca je władza podmiotowa doświadcza swej skończoności dwojako: po pierwsze, w ograniczeniu trwania oczywistości uporządkowanego szeregu (stąd ważność wskazania na termin absolutny, który odtąd w sposób niezależny kontroluje inne elementy szeregu); po drugie, we wtórności względem prawd wiecznych, które choć wytwarzane przez mens, są jednocześnie uprzednio ustanowione (stąd konieczność uznania i dopasowania się do nich). Poszukiwane przez nas związki pomiędzy średniowiecznymi teoriami poznania boskiego a nową teorią przedmiotowości potwierdziły złożoność badanego przełomu myślowego. Choć można mówić o podobieństwach zarówno opisywanych struktur poznawania, jak też używanych pojęć, teoria Descartes’a jest do nich niesprowadzalna. Choć w swej konstrukcji przedmiotu Mathesis, podmiot stycznie zdaje się imitować boskie intellectio, to jednak natychmiast uświadamia on sobie i opisuje własne ograniczenia. Pamiętać należy, że nie jest to ostatnie słowo Descartes’a, który kwestie z pogranicza epistemologii i teologii podejmie z nowymi siłami począwszy od Medytacji o pierwszej filozofii, centralnym zagadnieniem stanie się jednak nie tyle autonomiczny podmiot, co raczej idea nieskończoności. (shrink)
In his Meditations, Rene Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop (...) into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the Mind-Body distinction. How can Mind and Body be independent entities, yet joined--essentially so--within a single human being? If Mind and Body are really distinct, are human beings merely a "construction"? On the other hand, if we respect the integrity of humans, are Mind and Body merely aspects of a human being and not subjects in and of themselves? For centuries, philosophers have considered this classic philosophical puzzle. Now, in this compact, engaging, and long-awaited work UCLA philosopher Joseph Almog closely decodes the French philosopher's argument for distinguishing between the human mind and body while maintaining simultaneously their essential integration in a human being. He argues that Descartes constructed a solution whereby the trio of Human Mind, Body, and Being are essentially interdependent yet remain each a genuine individual subject. Almog's reading not only steers away from the most popular interpretations of Descartes, but also represents a scholar coming to grips directly with Descartes himself. In doing so, Almog creates a work that Cartesian scholars will value, and that will also prove indispensable to philosophers of language, ontology, and the metaphysics of mind. (shrink)
I have argued in a number of writings that the philosophical part (though not the neurobiological part) of the traditional mind-body problem has a fairly simple and obvious solution: All of our mental phenomena are caused by lower level neuronal processes in the brain and are themselves realized in the brain as higher level, or system, features. The form of causation is.
Dualists think that not all the facts are physical facts. They think that there are facts about phenomenal consciousness that cannot be explained in purely physical terms—facts about what it’s like to see red, what it’s like to feel sandpaper, what it’s like to run 10 miles when it’s 15° F out, and so on. These phenomenal facts are genuine ‘extras’, not fixed by the physical facts and the physical laws. To use the standard metaphor: even after God settled the (...) physical facts and laws, he had more work to do to put the phenomenal facts in place. Some dualists think that the additional work involves the creation of a special kind of nonphysical substance. More common these days are dualists who think that the additional work merely involves the creation and positioning of special nonphysical properties, and that is the only form of dualism that I will be explicitly concerned with here. The property dualist’s claim is that phenomenal properties, or at least protophenomenal properties, are among the basic furniture of the world. (shrink)
The expression ‘nonreductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Proponents of nonreductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet, mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties.s After setting out a minimal schema for nonreductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, I’ll canvass some classical arguments in favor of (NRM).1 Then, I’ll discuss the major challenge facing any construal of (NRM): (...) the problem of mental causation, pressed by Jaegwon Kim. Finally, I’ll offer a new solution to the problem of mental causation. (shrink)
The words “content” and “character” in my title refer to the representational content and phenomenal character of color experiences. So my topic concerns the nature of our experience of color. But I will, of course, be talking about colors as well as color experience. Let me set the stage by mentioning some things, some more controversial than others, that I will be taking for granted. I assume, to begin with, that objects in the world have colors, and have them independently (...) of being perceived to have them, and independently even of there being creatures capable of perceiving them. I think, and this of course sets me apart from the many color irrealists among philosophers and color scientists, that any reasonable semantics for color terms, and any reasonable account of the reference of color concepts, should yield the result that colors are properties of external things that are realized in certain of their physical properties, namely those responsible for their reflecting or emitting the light whose impact on our retinas is involved in causing our color perceptions. This brings me to a further assumption that I shall be making, namely the truth of physicalism. I take physicalism to be the thesis that all properties of things either are or are realized in basic physical properties, where basic physical properties are the properties that underlie the behavior and causal powers of inanimate things. There are two ways in which the commitment to physicalism will figure in my discussion. First, I assume that colors are physically realized properties. Second, I assume that color experiences are physically realized. These two commitments frame the problem I am discussing – how can colors be properties realized in the microphysical properties of things, and how can color experience be so realized? I don’t think there is any generally accepted account of what it is for a property to be “realized in” other properties. For those who think, as I do, that properties are individuated by their causal features, it should seem plausible to say that property P realizes property Q just in case the forward looking causal features of Q are a subset of the forward looking causal features of P, and the backward looking.... (shrink)
Suppose you and I are "human beings" in the sense of human animals, members of the genus Homo. Given this supposition, this article argues first and foremost that (it's at least very plausible that) we originated not at the moment of our biological conception but either before or after. For biological conception is most plausibly seen as a momentous event in the continuing life of a preexisting organism—the egg—rather than a cataclysmic event ending one life and creating another. This article (...) considers and rebuts the most likely challenges to this claim. This metaphysical point carries moral freight concerning abortion. This article surveys familiar "pro-life" principles and argues that if any of them raises moral qualms about the permissibility of aborting zygotic pregnancies, then these qualms apply equally (or at least almost equally) to the permissibility of contraception and abstinence. Hence no such principle provides a justification for condemning zygotic abortion while condoning abstinence or contraception. (shrink)
He was not just my teacher and my friend. He was my hero, a man who was quietly but passionately committed to truth, to clarity, to understanding everything under the sun–and to making himself understood. More than anybody else he has made me proud to be a philosopher, so I would like to dedicate my Presidential Address to his memory.
Possible worlds, concrete or abstract as you like, are irrelevant to the truthmakers for modality—or so I shall argue in this paper. First, I present the Neo-Humean picture of modality, and explain why those who accept it deny a common sense view of modality. Second, I present what I take to be the most pressing objection to the Neo-Humean account, one that, I argue, applies equally well to any theory that grounds modality in possible worlds. Third, I present an alternative, (...) properties-based theory of modality and explore several specific ways to flesh the general proposal out, including my favored version, the Powers Theory. And, fourth, I offer a powers semantics for counterfactuals that each version of the properties-based theory of modality can accept, mutatis mutandis. Together with a definition of possibility and necessity in terms of counterfactuals, the powers semantics of counterfactuals generates a semantics for modality that appeals to causal powers and not possible worlds. (shrink)
It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? This paper sets out and evaluates a leading contemporary theory of possible worlds, David Lewis's Modal Realism. I note two (...) competing ambitions for a theory of possible worlds: that it be reductive and user-friendly. I then outline Modal Realism and consider objections to the effect that it cannot satisfy these ambitions. I conclude that there is some reason to believe that Modal Realism is not reductive and overwhelming reason to believe that it is not user-friendly. (shrink)
[Jennifer Hornsby] The central claim is that the semantic knowledge exercised by people when they speak is practical knowledge. The relevant idea of practical knowledge is explicated, applied to the case of speaking, and connected with an idea of agents' knowledge. Some defence of the claim is provided. /// [Jason Stanley] The central claim is that Hornsby's argument that semantic knowledge is practical knowledge is based upon a false premise. I argue, contra Hornsby, that speakers do not voice their thoughts (...) directly. Rather, our actions of voicing our thoughts are justified by decisions we make (albeit rapidly) about what words to use. Along the way, I raise doubts about other aspects of the thesis that semantic knowledge is practical knowledge. (shrink)
Relativism offers a nifty way of accommodating most of our intuitions about epistemic modals, predicates of personal taste, color expressions, future contingents, and conditionals. But in spite of its manifest merits relativism is squarely at odds with epistemic value monism: the view that truth is the highest epistemic goal. I will call the argument from relativism to epistemic value pluralism the trivial argument for epistemic value pluralism. After formulating the argument, I will look at three possible ways to refute it. (...) I will then argue that two of these are unsuccessful, and defend the third, which involves denying that there are any genuinely relative truths. (shrink)
I examine different strategies involved in stating anti-theistic arguments from natural evil, and consider some theistic replies. There are, traditionally, two main types of arguments from natural evil: those that purport to deduce a contradiction between the existence of natural evil and the existence of God, and those that claim that the existence of certain types or quantities of natural evil significantly lowers the probability that theism is true. After considering peripheral replies, I state four prominent theistic rebutting strategies: skeptical (...) theism; Richard Swinburne's view that moral knowledge entails natural evil; the soul-making theodicy; and the natural law theodicy. (shrink)
Realism about cognitive or semantic phenomenology, the view that certain conscious states are intrinsically such as to ground thought or understanding, is increasingly being taken seriously in analytic philosophy. The principle aim of this paper is to argue that it is extremely difficult to be a physicalist about cognitive phenomenology. The general trend in later 20th century/early 21st century philosophy of mind has been to account for the content of thought in terms of facts outside the head of the thinker (...) at the time of thought, e.g. in terms of causal relations between thinker and world, or in terms of the natural purposes for which mental representations have developed. However, on the assumption that consciousness is constitutively realised by what is going on inside the head of a thinker at the time of experience, the content of cognitive phenomenology cannot be accounted for in this way. Furthermore, any internalist account of content is particularly susceptible to Kripkensteinian rule following worries. It seems that if someone knew all the physical facts about what is going on in my head at the time I was having a given experience with cognitive phenomenology, they would not thereby know whether that state had ‘straight’ rather than ‘quus-like’ content, e.g. whether the experience was intrinsically such as the ground the thought that two plus two equals four or intrinsically such as to ground the thought that two quus two equals four. The project of naturalising consciousness is much harder for realists about cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
Eric T. Olson has argued that any view of personal identity in terms of psychological continuity has a consequence that he considers untenable-namely, that he was never an early-term fetus. I have several replies. First, the psychological-continuity view of personal identity does not entail the putative consequence; the appearance to the contrary depends on not distinguishing between de re and de dicto theses. Second, the putative consequence is not untenable anyway; the appearance to the contrary depends on not taking seriously (...) an idea that underlies a plausible view of persons that I call `the Constitution View.' Finally, Olson's own "Biological View of personal identity" has liabilities of its own. (shrink)
In this article (Part I), I first engage in some conceptual clarification of what the words "imagine," "imagining," and "imagination" can mean. Each has (i) a constructive sense, (ii) an attitudinal sense, and (iii) an imagistic sense. Keeping the senses straight in the course of cognitive theorizing is important for both psychology and philosophy. I then discuss the roles that perceptual memories, beliefs, and genre truth attitudes play in constructive imagination, or the capacity to generate novel representations that go well (...) beyond what's prompted by one's immediate environment. (shrink)
Frege introduced the distinction between sense and reference to account for the information conveyed by identity statements. We can put the point like this: if the meaning of a term is exhausted by what it stands for, then how can 'a =a' and 'a =b' differ in meaning? Yet it seems they do, for someone who understands all the terms involved would not necessarily judge that a =b even though they judged that a =a. It seems that 'a =b' just (...) says something more than the trivial ’a = a' - it seems to contain more information, in some sense of 'information'. So either we have to add something to explain this extra information, or sever the very plausible links between meaning and understanding. This is what some writers have called 'Frege's Puzzle' It is undeniable that there is a phenomenon here to be explained, and it was Frege's insight to see the need for its explanation. But how should we explain it? Frege's idea was to add another semantic notion - Sinn, or Sense -— to account for the information conveyed. Sense is part of the meaning of an expression: it is the 'cognitive value' of the expression, or that ’wherein the mode of presentation is contained' (Frege 1957 p.57). Sense has a role to play in systematically determining the meanings of complex expressions, and ultimately in fixing the contents of judgements. It is the senses of whole sentences — Gedanken or Thoughts - which are candidates for truth and falsehood, and which are thus the objects of our propositional attitudes. Of course, introducing the notion of sense in this way does not, by itself, tell us what sense is. It only imposes a condition on a theory of meaning (and ultimately) belief: that it must account for distinctions in cognitive value or 'mode of presentation' (this is not a trivial thesis —- some philosophers today would deny that an explanation of Frege's Puzzle must occur within semantics or the theory of meaning: see Salmon 1985). In this paper I want to explore one way of meeting this condition for the theory of names in natural language, by examining Kripke's well-known 'Puzzle about Belief' (Kripke 1979).. (shrink)
Massimo Dell'Utri (1990) provides a reconstruction of Hilary Putnam's argument (1981, chapter 1) to show that the hypothesis that we are brains in a vat is self-refuting. I will explain why the argument Dell'Utri offers us is, on the face of it, quite problematic. Then I will provide a way out of the difficulty.
In this paper, I argue that, if a common form of materialism is true, I cannot know my own thoughts, or even that I am thinking. I conclude that, since I can and do know these things, materialism about mind as I characterize it must be false.
Our beliefs about which actions we ought to perform clearly have an effect on what we do. But so-called “Humean” theories—holding that all motivation has its source in desire—insist on connecting such beliefs with an antecedent motive. Rationalists, on the other hand, allow normative beliefs a more independent role. I argue in favor of the rationalist view in two stages. First, I show that the Humean theory rules out some of the ways we ordinarily explain actions. This shifts the burden (...) of proof onto Humeans to motivate their more restrictive, revisionary account. Second, I show that they are unlikely to discharge this burden because the key arguments in favor of the Humean theory fail. I focus on some of the most potent and most recent lines of argument, which appeal to either parsimony, the teleological nature of motivation, or the structure of practical reasoning. (shrink)
I am John's brain. In the flesh, I am just a rather undistinguished looking grey/white mass of cells. My surface is heavily convoluted and I am possessed of a fairly differentiated internal structure. John and I are on rather close and intimate terms; indeed, sometimes it is hard to tell us apart. But at times, John takes this intimacy a little too far. When that happens, he gets very confused about my role and functioning. He imagines that I organize and (...) process information in ways which echo his own perspective on the world. In short, he thinks that his thoughts are, in a rather direct sense, my thoughts. There is some truth to this of course. But things are really rather more complicated than John suspects, as I shall try to show. (shrink)
If tokens of 'I' have a sense as well as a reference the question immediately arises of what account to give of their sense. One influential kind of account, of which Gareth Evans provides the best developed instance, attempts to elucidate the sense of 'I' partly in terms of the distinctive functional role possessed by thoughts containing this sense ('I'-thoughts). Accounts of this kind seem to entail that my 'I'-thoughts cannot be entertained by anyone other than me, a consequence generally (...) thought unacceptable. I defend it. I also justify a functional role account of the sense of 'I'. The result should be to make plausible an account of the sense of 'I' in terms of the functional role of 'I'-thoughts. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen notes: "... almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition for holding an agent responsible for an act is believing that the agent could have refrained from performing that act." Perhaps van Inwagen is right; perhaps most philosophers agree on this. If so, this shared assumption, which I will call CDO (for "could have done otherwise"), is a good candidate for denial, especially since there turns out to be so little to be said in support of it, (...) once it is called in question. I will argue that, just like those people who are famous only for being famous, this assumption owes its traditional high regard to nothing more than its traditional high regard. It is almost never questioned. And the tradition itself, I will claim, is initially motivated by little more than inattentive extrapolation from familiar cases. To engage the issue, I assert that it simply does not matter at all to moral responsibility whether the agent in question could have done otherwise in the circumstances. (shrink)
This two-part article offers a defense of a libertarian doctrine that centers on two propositions. The first is the self-ownership thesis according to which each individual possesses original moral rights over her own body, faculties, talents, and energies. The second is the anti-egalitarian conclusion that, through the exercise of these rights of self-ownership, individuals may readily become entitled to substantially unequal extra-personal holdings. The self-ownership thesis remains in the background during Part I of this essay, while the anti-egalitarian conclusion is (...) supported in two ways. First, I offer a reconstruction of Robert Nozick's well-known `How Liberty Upsets Patterns' argument against all end-state and pattern theories of distributive justice; and I defend this reconstructed stance against what might (otherwise) seem to be telling criticisms. Second, I defend the two key principles of Nozickian historical entitlement theory (the principle of just transfer and the principle of just initial acquisition) against criticisms offered by G.A. Cohen. Part II will center on Cohen's contention that the crucial basis for the anti-egalitarian conclusion is the self-ownership thesis. There I argue that Cohen is correct to hold that he must reject the self-ownership thesis if he is to avoid the anti-egalitarian conclusion; but he is wrong to think that he has an adequate basis for rejecting this thesis. Thus, both elements in the libertarianism under consideration are vindicated. And, the self-ownership thesis plays a surprisingly direct role in vindicating the anti-egalitarian conclusion. Key Words: egalitarianism historical entitlement moral rights self-ownership. (shrink)
More than a few philosophers have sought to answer the atheistic argument from reasonable non-belief (a.k.a. the argument from divine hiddenness or the hiddenness argument) presented in my 1993 book Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason. In this first of two essays in response, I focus on objections sharing the defect – sometimes well-hidden – of irrelevance, using their shortcomings to highlight important features of the argument that are commonly overlooked.
Scott Campbell has recently defended the psychological approach to personal identity over time by arguing that a person is literally a series of mental events. Rejecting four-dimensionalism about the persistence of physical objects, Campbell regards constitutionalism as the main rival version of the psychological approach. He argues that his "series view" has two clear advantages over constitutionalism: it avoids the "two thinkers" objection and it allows a person to change bodies. In addition, Campbell suggests a reply to the objection, often (...) raised against views such as his, that thoughts must be distinct from their thinker. In this paper, I argue that Campbell's responses to the "two thinkers" and the "thoughts/thinker" objections are unsuccessful. Furthermore, his reply to the latter leads to four-dimensionalism of the kind he wanted to avoid – and this view too allows a person to change bodies. Moreover, I argue that it speaks against the series view that generalised versions of it fare much more poorly than do generalised versions of constitutionalism and four-dimensionalism. (shrink)
The question "Why should I be moral?," taken as a request for reasons to be moral, strikes many philosophers as silly, confused, or otherwise out of line. Hence we find many attempts to dismiss it as spurious. This paper addresses four such attempts and shows that they fail. It does so partly by discussing various errors about reasons for action, errors that lie at the root of the view that "Why should I be moral?" is ill-conceived. Such errors include the (...) mistake of confusing different uses of "moral reason for A to ø" and the mistake of treating as axiomatic, as in need of no argument, the view that moral considerations furnish every agent with practical reasons. Among the philosophers discussed are John Hospers, Philippa Foot, Stephen Toulmin, H. A. Prichard, and William Frankena. (shrink)
Whilst it may seem strange to ask to whom "I" refers, we show that there are occasions when it is not always obvious. In demonstrating this we challenge Kaplan's assumption that the utterer, agent and referent of "I" are always the same person. We begin by presenting what we regard to be the received view about indexical reference popularized by David Kaplan in his influential 1972 "Demonstratives" before going on, in section 2, to discuss Sidelle's answering machine paradox which may (...) be thought to threaten this view, and his deferred utterance method of resolving this puzzle. In section 3 we introduce a novel version of the answering machine paradox which suggests that, in certain cases, Kaplan's identification of utterer, agent and referent of "I" breaks down. In the fourth section we go on to consider a recent revision of Kaplan's picture by Predelli which appeals to the intentions of the utterer, before arguing that this picture is committed to unacceptable consequences and, therefore, should be avoided if possible. Finally, in section 5, we present a new revision of Kaplan's account which retains much of the spirit of his original proposal whilst offering a intuitively acceptable way to explain all of the apparently problematic data. In doing so, we also show how this picture is able to explain the scenario which motivated Predelli's account without appealing to speaker intentions. (shrink)
Utilizing the film I, Robot as a springboard, I here consider the feasibility of robot utilitarians, the moral responsibilities that come with the creation of ethical robots, and the possibility of distinct ethics for robot-robot interaction as opposed to robot-human interaction. (This is a revised and expanded version of an essay that originally appeared in IEEE: Intelligent Systems.).
In several disciplines within science—evolutionary biology, molecular biology, astrobiology, synthetic biology, artificial life—and outside science—primarily ethics—efforts to define life have recently multiplied. However, no consensus has emerged. In this article, I argue that this is no accident. I propose a dilemma showing that the project of defining life is either impossible or pointless. The notion of life at stake in this project is either the folk concept of life or a scientific concept. In the former case, empirical evidence shows that (...) life cannot be defined. In the latter case, I argue that, although defining life may be possible, it is pointless . I conclude that scientists, philosophers, and ethicists should discard the project of defining life. (shrink)
In this essay I distinguish three kinds of self-knowledge. I call these three kinds agent-relative knowledge, self-attached knowledge and knowledge of the person one happens to be. These aspects of self-knowledge diﬀer in how the knower or agent is represented. Most of what I say will be applicable to beliefs as well as knowledge, and to other kinds of attitudes and thoughts, such as desire, as well.1 Agent-relative knowledge is knowledge from the perspective of a particular agent. To have this (...) sort of knowledge, the agent need not have an idea of self, or a notion of himself or herself. This sort of knowledge can be expressed by a simple sentence containing a demonstrative for a place or object, and without any term referring to the speaker. For example, “There is an apple” or “that is a toaster”. (Ideas of speciﬁc objects I call notions. Ideas of properties and relations I just call ideas. A judgement involves an idea being associated with a notion. A.. (shrink)
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I am going to give an argument showing that abortion is wrong in exactly the same circumstances in which it is wrong to kill an adult.Â To argue further that abortion is always wrong would require showing that it is always wrong to kill an adult or that the circumstances in which it is not wrong--say, capital punishment--never befall a fetus.Â Such an argument will be beyond the scope of this (...) paper, but since it is uncontroversial that it is wrong to kill an adult human being for the sorts of reasons for which most abortions are performed, it follows that most abortions are wrong. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The argument has three parts, of decreasing difficulty.Â The most difficult will be the first part where I will argue that I was once a fetus and before that I was an embryo.Â This argument will rest on simple considerations of the metaphysics of identity.Â The next part of the argument will be to show that it would have been at least as wrong to have killed me before I was born as it would be to kill me now.Â I will argue for this in more than one way, but the guiding intuition is clear: if you kill me earlier, the victim is the same but the harm is greater since I am deprived of more the earlier I die.Â Finally, the easiest part of the argument will be that I am not relevantly different from anybody else and the fetus which I was was not relevantly different from any other human fetus, and so the argument applies equally well to all fetuses. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The advantage of this argument over others is that it avoids talking of personhood, except in one of the independent arguments in part 2. (shrink)
I defend the following version of the ought-implies-can principle: (OIC) by virtue of conceptual necessity, an agent at a given time has an (objective, pro tanto) obligation to do only what the agent at that time has the ability and opportunity to do. In short, obligations correspond to ability plus opportunity. My argument has three premises: (1) obligations correspond to reasons for action; (2) reasons for action correspond to potential actions; (3) potential actions correspond to ability plus opportunity. In the (...) bulk of the paper I address six objections to OIC: three objections based on putative counterexamples, and three objections based on arguments to the effect that OIC conflicts with the is/ought thesis, the possibility of hard determinism, and the denial of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. (shrink)
In this article I am concerned with whether it could be morally significant to distinguish between doing something 'in order to bring about an effect' as opposed to 'doing something because we will bring about an effect'. For example, the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE) tells us that we should not act in order to bring about evil, but even if this is true is it perhaps permissible to act only because an evil will thus occur? I discuss these questions (...) in connection with a version of the so-called Trolley Problem known as the Loop Case. I also consider how these questions may bear on whether a rational agent must aim at an event which he believes is causally necessary to achieve an end he pursues. (shrink)
Introspection plays a crucial role in Modern philosophy in two different ways. From the beginnings of Modern philosophy, introspection has been used a tool for philosophical exploration in a variety of thought experiments. But Modern philosophers (e.g., Locke and Hume) also tried to characterize the nature of introspection as a psychological phenomenon. In contemporary philosophy, introspection is still frequently used in thought experiments. And in the analytic tradition, philosophers have tried to characterize conceptually necessary features of introspection.2 But over the (...) last several decades, philosophers have devoted relatively little attention to the cognitive characteristics of introspection. This has begun to change, impelled largely by a fascinating body of work on how children and autistic individuals understand the mind.3 In a pair of recent papers, Stephen Stich and I have drawn on this empirical work to develop an account of introspection or self-awareness.4 In this paper, I will elaborate and defend this cognitive theory of introspection further and argue that if the account is right, it may have important ramifications for psychological and philosophical debates over the self. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that a general norm of truth governs the attitude of believing. In a recent and influential discussion, Krister Bykvist and Anandi Hattiangadi raise a number of serious objections to this view. In this paper, I concede that Bykvist and Hattiangadi's criticisms might be effective against the formulation of the norm of truth that they consider, but suggest that an alternative is available. After outlining that alternative, I argue that it is not vulnerable to objections parallel to those (...) Bykvist and Hattiangadi advance, although it might initially appear to be. In closing, I consider what bearing the preceding discussion has on important questions concerning the natures of believing and of truth. (shrink)
In this paper I defend the “Standard View” of the semantics of ‘I’—according to which ‘I’ is a pure, automatic indexical—from a challenge posed by “deferred reference” cases, in which occurrences of ‘I’ are (allegedly) not speaker-referential, and thus non-automatic. In reply, I offer an alternative account of the cases in question, which I call the “Description Analysis” (DA). According to DA, seemingly deferred-referential occurrences of the first person pronoun are interpreted as constituents of a definite description, whose operator scopes (...) over an open sentence Rxy—where R is a contextually selected relation ranging over pairs of people and objects. The role of intentions is thus limited to the determination of R, which is posterior to the fixation of the reference of ‘I’. In support of the DA I present evidence that, in the cases in question, the (Determiner) phrase containing ‘I’ behaves in relevant ways like a description. I show that the DA can account for the problematic examples, while preserving the simplicity of the standard semantics of ‘I’. Finally, I examine a rival account of the data, offered by Nunberg (Linguist Philos 16:1–43, 1993), and argue for the superiority of the DA. (shrink)
A number of clarifications of the target article and some corrections are made. I clarify which concepts the thesis was intended to be about, what “descriptionism” means, the difference between “concepts” and “conceptions,” and why extensions are not determined by conceptions. I clarify the meaning of “substances,” how one knows what inductions to project over them, the connection with “basic level categories,” how it is determined what substance a given substance concept is of, how equivocation in concepts occurs, and the (...) role of language in the conception of substances. Finally, I clarify exactly why I said that concepts of individuals, real kinds, and stuffs have “a common structure,”. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the question of whether the characterization of physicalism that is presupposed by some influential anti-physicalist arguments, namely, the so-called conceivability arguments, is a good characterization of physicalism or not. I compare this characterization with some alternative ones, showing how it can overcome some problems, and I defend it from several objections. I conclude that any arguments against physicalism characterised in that way are genuine arguments against physicalism, as intuitively conceived.
[T. M. Scanlon] It is clearly impermissible to kill one person (or refrain from giving him treatment that he needs in order to survive) because his organs can be used to save five others who are in need of transplants. It has seemed to many that the explanation for this lies in the fact that in such cases we would be intending the death of the person whom we killed, or failed to save. What makes these actions impermissible, however, is (...) not the agent's intention but rather the fact that the benefit envisaged does not justify an exception to the prohibition against killing or the requirement to give aid. The difference between this explanation and one appealing to intention is easily overlooked if one fails to distinguish between the prospective use of a moral principle to guide action and its retrospective use to appraise the way an agent governed him or herself. Even if this explanation is accepted, however, it remains an open question whether and how an agent's intention may be relevant to the permissibility of actions in other cases. \\\ [Jonathan Dancy] My first four sections concentrate on the second section of Professor Scanlon's contribution (hereafter IP), where he lays out his conception of moral principles and of the role they play in theory and practice. I will raise questions on the following issues: 1. Scanlon's initial introduction of the notion of a principle. 2. His rejection of the standard view that principles are concerned with the forbidding, permitting and requiring of actions. 3. His rejection of pro tanto conceptions of principles in favour of a conception of them as conclusive. 4. The resulting account of what it is for a principle to face and survive exceptions. Scanlon's discussion of these matters here both appeals to and is in some respects more detailed than the relevant section of his recent What We Owe to Each Other (hereafter WWO). The topic is interesting both for the role played by principles in Scanlon's present discussion of intention and permissibility, and more generally because of his account of wrongness: an act is wrong iff it is ruled out by principles that nobody could reasonably reject. The remainder of my contribution is concerned with the ostensible focus of IP, namely the relevance (if any) of agent-intentions to the permissibility of what is done. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to motivate and then defend a restricted version of the truth-maker theory. In defending such a theory I hope to do away with the perceived need for ‘negative existents’ such as totality facts and the like.
Can one be ill and happy? I use a phenomenological approach to provide an answer to this question, using Merleau-Ponty’s distinction between the biological and the lived body. I begin by discussing the rift between the biological body and the ill person’s lived experience, which occurs in illness. The transparent and taken for granted biological body is problematised by illness, which exposes it as different from the lived experience of this body. I argue that because of this rift, the experience (...) of illness cannot be captured within a naturalistic view and propose to supplant this view with a phenomenological approach. The latter approach accounts for changes in the ill person’s relationship to her social and physical world. These changes, I argue, cannot be captured by a naturalistic perspective. I then propose the notion of health within illness as a useful concept for capturing the experience of well-being reported by some ill people. I present empirical evidence for this phenomenon and assess its philosophical significance. Finally, I suggest that adaptability and creativity are two common positive responses to illness, demonstrating that health within illness is possible. The three elements combined – the transformed body, health within illness and adaptability and creativity – serve as the basis for a positive answer to the question posed above. (shrink)
In this essay I explore the idea that the solution to some important problems of personal identity lies in the philosophy of language: more precisely in the nature of first-person reference. I will argue that the “linguistic solution” is at best partly successful.
Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not excessive, or they argue that those exclusions would be ineffective or lacking in justification. (...) Rather than taking sides, after criticizing both positions I also argue that this way of carrying on the debate – i.e. as a debate about whether the harsh demands of responsibility outweigh other considerations, and about whether exclusions to responsibility-tracking would be effective and/or justified – is deeply problematic. On my account, the demands of responsibility do not – in fact, they can not – conflict with the demands of other normative considerations, because responsibility only provides a formal structure within which those other considerations determine how people may be treated, but it does not generate its own practical demands. (shrink)
Eric Olsen argues from the fact that we once existed as fetal individuals to the conclusion that the Standard View of personal identity in mistaken. I shall establish that a similar argument focusing upon dead people opposes Olson's favored Biological View of personal identity.
The document before you is by a member of a fanatical sect of heretical Ludwig scholars. Through a twist of fate it has fallen into my hands. I hesitate to make it public, since its circulation may do more harm than good. What speaks against publication is that it has the power to corrupt young minds. I do not take a light view of the dangers it poses in this regard. What speaks in favor of publication is the fact that (...) these people must be stopped. Through their pamphlets and brochures they continue to attract more converts everyday. The importance of this document lies in the fact that it brings to light some of the more esoteric doctrines of the sect, revealing the vulnerable theological underbelly of their creed. It also speaks of quar- relling within the inﬁdel camp. There are even suggestions that the author fears that he himself may be excommunicated by an up-and-coming generation of zealots. He pleads here for a mild interpretation of their creed. (Oblivious to the stench of his own blasphemies, he even imagines entering into dialogue with mainstream Ludwig scholars!) My main aim in making this text generally available is that more learned men than I may make a study of it. A sound theological thrashing of the author’s own (according to him, mild!) version of the creed is devoutly to be wished. But my fondest hope is that, in the hands of one of our ﬁner Ludwig scholars, it might become a weapon that can be turned against the inﬁdel camp. I have a Trojan horse maneuver in mind here. A cunningly crafted pseudonymous publication, addressing some of the niceties of their more peculiar doctrines, under the pretence of attempting to heal the looming schism in their sect, ought to be able to bust it wide open. One particularly confusing feature of the document is that the author occasionally adopts a heavily ironical tone, actually going so far as to refer to himself as an inﬁdel, etc., though without apparently the least appreciation of the fact that the heavier he allows his irony to become, the closer he comes ﬁnally to speaking the truth.. (shrink)
Some authors have claimed that ante rem structuralism has problems with structures that have indiscernible places. In response, I argue that there is no requirement that mathematical objects be individuated in a non-trivial way. Metaphysical principles and intuitions to the contrary do not stand up to ordinary mathematical practice, which presupposes an identity relation that, in a sense, cannot be defined. In complex analysis, the two square roots of –1 are indiscernible: anything true of one of them is true of (...) the other. I suggest that i functions like a parameter in natural deduction systems. I gave an early version of this paper at a workshop on structuralism in mathematics and science, held in the Autumn of 2006, at Bristol University. Thanks to the organizers, particularly Hannes Leitgeb, James Ladyman, and Øystein Linnebo, to my commentator Richard Pettigrew, and to the audience there. The paper also benefited considerably from a preliminary session at the Arché Research Centre at the University of St Andrews. I am indebted to my colleagues Craige Roberts, for help with the linguistics literature, and Ben Caplan and Gabriel Uzquiano, for help with the metaphysics. Thanks also to Hannes Leitgeb and Jeffrey Ketland for reading an earlier version of the manuscript and making helpful suggestions. I also benefited from conversations with Richard Heck, John Mayberry, Kevin Scharp, and Jason Stanley. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The central topic of this paper is to study joint intention to perform a joint action or to bring about a certain state. Here are some examples of such joint action: You and I share the plan to carry a heavy table jointly upstairs and realize this plan, we sing a duet together, we clean up our backyard together, and I cash a check by acting jointly with you, a bank teller, and finally we together elect a new president for (...) our country. In these cases the participants can be said to have a joint intention jointly or as a group to carry the table upstairs: the content of the intention involves our performing something together and the pronoun “we” refers to us, viz. you and me and the possible other participants considered together. When we jointly intend to carry the table, each of us can be said to.. (shrink)
If (backward) time travel is possible, presumably so is my shooting my younger self (YS); then apparently I can kill him – I can commit retrosuicide . But if I were to kill him I would not exist to shoot him, so how can I kill him? The standard solution to this paradox understands ability as compossibility with the relevant facts and points to an equivocation about which facts are relevant: my killing YS is compossible with his proximity but not (...) with his survival, so I can kill him if facts like his survival are irrelevant but I cannot if they are relevant. I identify a lacuna in this solution, namely its reliance without argument on the hidden assumption that my killing YS is possible : if it is impossible, it is not compossible with anything. I argue that this lacuna is important, and I sketch a different solution to the paradox. (shrink)
This is the first part of a two-part article in which we defend the thesis of Humean Supervenience about Laws of Nature (HS). According to this thesis, two possible worlds cannot differ on what is a law of nature unless they also differ on the Humean base. The Humean base is easy to characterize intuitively, but there is no consensus on how, precisely, it should be defined. Here in Part I, we present and motivate a characterization of the Humean base (...) that, we argue, enables HS to capture what is really stake in the debate, without taking on extraneous commitments. (shrink)
I use some ideas of Keith DeRose's to develop an (invariantist!) account of why sceptical reasoning doesn't show that I don't know that I'm not a brain in a vat. I argue that knowledge is subject to the risk-of-error constraint: a true belief won’t have the status of knowledge if there is a substantial risk of the belief being in error that hasn’t been brought under control. When a substantial risk of error is present (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are (...) false in nearby worlds), satisfying the constraint requires bringing the risk under control. This is achieved either by sensitivity, i.e. you wouldn’t have the belief if it were false, or by identifying evidence for the proposition. However, when the risk of error is not substantial (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are not false in nearby worlds), the constraint is satisfied by default. My belief that I am not a brain in a vat is insensitive and I have no evidence for it, but since it is not false in nearby worlds, it satisfies the constraint by default. (shrink)
According to Donald Davidson, linguistic meaning is determined by the principle of charity. Because of Davidson's semantic behaviourism, charity's significance is both epistemic and metaphysical: charity not only provides the radical interpreter with a method for constructing a semantic theory on the basis of his data, but it does so because it is the principle metaphysically determining meaning. In this paper, I assume that charity does determine meaning. On this assumption, I investigate both its epistemic and metaphysical status: is charity (...) a priori or a posteriori? And what kind of necessity does it have? According to Davidson himself, charity is an a priori truth and its necessity is conceptual: it is essential to, or constitutive of, our common concepts of meaning and belief. Not only does this generate tension within Davidson's own, Quine-inspired epistemology, but there is independent reason to think of charity as an empirical truth. Even so, charity might be essential to belief and meaning in the sense of being an a posteriori necessity. I conclude that our ordinary modal intuitions might well support charity's psychological-nomological necessity, but that they do not reach all the way to metaphysical necessity. (shrink)
One often hears Catholic and non-Catholic politicians and private citizens claim “I am personally opposed to abortion . . . ” but add that it is morally permissible for others to accept abortion. We consider a Rawlsian defense of this position based on the recognition that one’s opposition to abortion stems from acomprehensive doctrine which is incompatible with Public Reason. We examine a second defense of this position based upon respecting the autonomy of others and a third grounded in the (...) harm to the unwilling mother overriding that to the aborted fetus. We look at a fourth and fifth defense based upon our epistemic ignorance regarding the burdens on others of unwanted pregnancies and the ontological and moral status of embryo. We find most versions of these defenses to be wanting and conclude that only if the proponents of the position are subjectivist about morals, which few are, can they offer a coherent defense. (shrink)
A Kantian transcendental argument is an argument which purports to show that the existence of physical objects of a certain general character is a condition for the possibility of self-conscious experience. Both the Transcendental Deduction and the Refutation of Idealism satisfy this characterization. But we have seen that even a successful Kantian transcendental argument would be somewhat disappointing. Even though such an argument would refute the extreme Cartesian skepticism about the very existence of physical objects, it would not certify any (...) of one's claims to know facts about particular physical objects: it would not refute the weaker skeptical position I have sketched.5 How- ever, it would clearly be of great interest if one could show that the existence of physical objects is a condition for the possibility of self- conscious experience. Accordingly, I would like to investigate some problems surrounding the construction of Kantian transcendental arguments. (shrink)
[Peter Simons] Commonsense ontology contains both continuants and occurrents, but are continuants necessary? I argue that they are neither occurrents nor easily replaceable by them. The worst problem for continuants is the question in virtue of what a given continuant exists at a given time. For such truthmakers we must have recourse to occurrents, those vital to the continuant at that time. Continuants are, like abstract objects, invariants under equivalences over occurrents. But they are not abstract, and their being invariants (...) enables us to infer both their lack of temporal parts and that non-invariant predications about them must be relativized to times. \\\ [Joseph Melia] In this paper I try to eliminate occurrents from our ontology. I argue against Simons' position that occurrents are needed to supply truthmakers for existential claims about continuants. Nevertheless, those who would eliminate occurrents still need some account of our willingness to assert sentences that logically entail their existence. Though it turns out to be impossible to paraphrase away our reference to occurrents, I show that the truthmakers for such sentences are facts that involve only continuants. This is enough to allow us to regard our ordinary talk about occurrents as fictional. Finally, I argue that a proper conception of the underlying temporal facts about continuants can both avoid the problematic tensed theory of time and the problem of temporary intrinsics. (shrink)
We use “I’ll be glad I did it” reasoning all the time. For example, last night I was trying to decide whether to work on this paper or go out to a movie. I realized that if I worked on the paper, then today I would be glad I did it. Whereas, if I went out to the movie, today I would regret it. This enabled me to see that I should work on the paper rather than going out to (...) a movie. This looks like excellent reasoning: Paper argument: 1. If I work on my paper, I’ll be glad I did it. 2. Therefore, I should work on my paper. When we’re having trouble making a big life decision, we often try to picture what will happen each way we might choose, and imagine how we’ll feel in that outcome. When choosing between two jobs, we might use this reasoning. Suppose you are choosing between two jobs and you know quite a lot about what the two jobs will be like. In one, you will make a lot of money but have to work eighty-hour weeks and see little of your family. In the other, you will make considerably less money—though enough to support yourself and your family. You’ll have much more time for your family. The money is attractive. But overall, you realize you’ll be glad to have the time with your family if you take the second job—you’ll be glad you made that choice. It seems this is a good way of realizing that you should take the second job. (shrink)
When your word processor or email program is running on your computer, this creates a "virtual machine” that manipulates windows, files, text, etc. What is this virtual machine, and what are the virtual objects it manipulates? Many standard arguments in the philosophy of mind have exact analogues for virtual machines and virtual objects, but we do not want to draw the wild metaphysical conclusions that have sometimes tempted philosophers in the philosophy of mind. A computer file is not made of (...) epiphenomenal ectoplasm. I argue instead that virtual objects are "supervenient objects". The stereotypical example of supervenient objects is the statue and the lump of clay. To this end I propose a theory of supervenient objects. Then I turn to persons and mental states. I argue that my mental states are virtual states of a cognitive virtual machine implemented on my body, and a person is a supervenient object supervening on his cognitive virtual machine. (shrink)
Introduction There are some exceptions, which we shall see below, but virtually all theories in psychology and cognitive science make use of the notion of representation. Arguably, folk psychology also traffics in representations, or is at least strongly suggestive of their existence. There are many different types of things discussed in the psychological and philosophical literature that are candidates for representation-hood. First, there are the propositional attitudes – beliefs, judgments, desires, hopes etc. (see Chapters 9 and 17 of this volume). (...) If the propositional attitudes are representations, they are person-level representations – the judgment that the sun is bright pertains to John, not a subpersonal part of John. By contrast, the representations of edges in V1 of the cerebral cortex that neuroscientists talk about and David Marr’s symbolic representations of “zero-crossings” in early vision (Marr 1982) are at the “sub-personal” level – they apply to parts or states of a person (e.g. neural parts or computational states of the visual system). Another important distinction is often made among perceptual, cognitive, and action-oriented representations (e.g. motor commands). Another contrast lies between “stored representations” (e.g. memories) and “active representations” (e.g. a current perceptual state). Related to this is the distinction between “dispositional representations” and “occurrent representations.” Beliefs that are not currently being entertained are dispositional, e.g. your belief that the United States is in North America - no doubt you had this belief two minutes ago, but you were not consciously accessing it until you read this sentence. Occurrent representations, by contrast, are active, conscious thoughts or perceptions. Which leads us to another important distinction: 1 between conscious and non-conscious mental representations, once a bizarre-sounding distinction that has become familiar since Freud (see Chapter 4 of this volume). I mention these distinctions at the outset to give you some idea of the range of phenomena we will be considering, and to set the stage for our central “problem of representation”: what is a mental representation, exactly, and how do we go about deciding whether there are any? We know there are public representations of various kinds: words, maps, and pictures, among others.. (shrink)
This paper considers the question of whether predictions of wrongdoing are relevant to our moral obligations. After giving an analysis of ‘won’t’ claims (i.e., claims that an agent won’t Φ), the question is separated into two different issues: firstly, whether predictions of wrongdoing affect our objective moral obligations, and secondly, whether self-prediction of wrongdoing can be legitimately used in moral deliberation. I argue for an affirmative answer to both questions, although there are conditions that must be met for self-prediction to (...) be appropriate in deliberation. The discussion illuminates an interesting and significant tension between agency and prediction. (shrink)
The traditional account (TA) of first-person thought draws conclusions about this type of thinking from claims made about the first-person pronoun. In this paper I raise a worry for the traditional account. Certain uses of ‘I’ conflict with its conception of the linguistic data. I argue that once the data is analysed correctly, the traditional approach to first-person thought cannot be maintained.
Soc. …I speak of what I scarcely understand; but the soul when thinking appears to me to be just talking—asking questions of herself and answering them, affirming and denying. And when she has arrived at a decision, either gradually or by a sudden impulse, and has at last agreed, and does not doubt, this is called her opinion. I say, then, that to form an opinion is to speak, and opinion is a word spoken,—I mean, to oneself and in silence, (...) not aloud or to another: What think you? Theaet. I agree. (shrink)
In these articles, I describe Cantor’s power-class theorem, as well as a number of logical and philosophical paradoxes that stem from it, many of which were discovered or considered (implicitly or explicitly) in Bertrand Russell’s work. These include Russell’s paradox of the class of all classes not members of themselves, as well as others involving properties, propositions, descriptive senses, class-intensions, and equivalence classes of coextensional properties. Part I focuses on Cantor’s theorem, its proof, how it can be used to manufacture (...) paradoxes, Frege’s diagnosis of the core difficulty, and several broad categories of strategies for offering solutions to these paradoxes. (shrink)
Global warming has aroused profound concerns about the future of humanity and the planet as a whole. Indeed, Bill McKibben has argued that anthropogenic climate change is tantamount to the very end of nature and articulates a sense of deep anxiety that many people share. I argue that this feeling of anxiety cannot be fully accounted for either by appeal to the consequences of global warming or the associated injustices. I locate its source with our recognition that human beings are (...) now responsible for some of the basic conditions supporting all life on Earth. I argue that if we are to assume such an awesome responsibility (and we must), it's good that we do so anxiously. While some have criticized the "I have a nightmare" global warming rhetoric of environmentalists, I identify a particular feature of our nightmare and claim that in it we can find a source for hope. (shrink)
Imperatives cannot be true or false, so they are shunned by logicians. And yet imperatives can be combined by logical connectives: "kiss me and hug me" is the conjunction of "kiss me" with "hug me". This example may suggest that declarative and imperative logic are isomorphic: just as the conjunction of two declaratives is true exactly if both conjuncts are true, the conjunction of two imperatives is satisfied exactly if both conjuncts are satisfied—what more is there to say? Much more, (...) I argue. "If you love me, kiss me", a conditional imperative, mixes a declarative antecedent ("you love me") with an imperative consequent ("kiss me"); it is satisfied if you love and kiss me, violated if you love but don't kiss me, and avoided if you don't love me. So we need a logic of three -valued imperatives which mixes declaratives with imperatives. I develop such a logic. (shrink)
The maintenance of economic equality can easily seem to depend on participants caring more for impartial values such as distributive justice than they are morally required to do. A liberal morality in which partial concerns for the interests of oneself or one's loved ones are given some scope might seem to permit people to refrain from doing what is impartially best unless they are compensated, even though compensation would produce inequality. This tension between liberal morality and egalitarianism is often exaggerated (...) by a failure to consider the limits of permissible partiality even in a liberal, or partiality-friendly, morality. The option of partiality has limits; it cannot be exercised no matter what. I argue that partial concerns will often be overruled morally if some burdensome work would be good enough from an impartial standpoint. This idea of leveraged enhancement - intentionally enhancing the agent-neutral value of work that would otherwise be optional - has important normative consequences both for personal morality and for the design of social institutions with an eye to distributive justice. (shrink)