This paper develops an account of evolutionary progress for use in the field of evolutionary economics. Previous work is surveyed and a new account set out, based on the idea of evolvability as it has been used recently in evolutionary developmental biology. The biological underpinnings of this idea are explained using examples of a series of phenomena that influence the evolvability of biological systems. It is further argued that selection pressures and developmental processes are sufficiently similar to make this biological (...) concept useful in economics. The new account is defended against a number of common objections to the notion of progress in evolving systems, including the claim that all stipulated measures of evolutionary progress are essentially arbitrary. It is argued that progress, understood as an increase in evolvability over time, is both philosophically well-justified and provides useful predictive and explanatory resources to those seeking to understand and manipulate evolving economic systems. (shrink)
This article responds to a commentary by Christian Schubert on our 'Evolvability and Progress in Evolutionary Economics'. Our response elaborates the key disagreement between Schubert and us, namely, our views about the purpose of an account of progress in evolutionary economics.
The author comments on the article “The neurobiology of addition: Implications for voluntary control of behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. The author agrees with Hyman that debate persists whether addiction is a brain disease or a moral condition. The author suggests that even if we understand the neurobiology of addiction, it will make sense to seek accountability from the addict and to modify his behavior. He also suggests that no facts about neurobiology will change these moral requirements. Accession Number: 24077917; (...) Authors: Cochrane, Thomas I. 1; Email Address: email@example.com; Affiliations: 1: Harvard Medical School; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: NEUROBIOLOGY; Subject: BEHAVIOR; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Number of Pages: 2p. (shrink)
The concept of dignity is pervasive in bioethics. However, some bioethicists have argued that it is useless on three grounds: that it is indeterminate; that it is reactionary; and that it is redundant. In response, a number of defences of dignity have recently emerged. All of these defences claim that when dignity is suitably clarified, it can be of great use in helping us tackle bioethical controversies. This paper rejects such defences of dignity. It outlines the four most plausible conceptions (...) of dignity: dignity as virtuous behaviour; dignity as inherent moral worth; Kantian dignity; and dignity as species integrity. It argues that while each conception is coherent, each is also fundamentally flawed. As such, the paper argues for a bioethics without dignity: an 'undignified bioethics.'. (shrink)
This paper examines whether non-human animals have a moral right not to be experimented upon. It adopts a Razian conception of rights, whereby an individual possesses a right if an interest of that individual is sufficient to impose a duty on another. To ascertain whether animals have a right not to be experimented on, three interests are examined which might found such a right: the interest in not suffering, the interest in staying alive, and the interest in being free. It (...) is argued that while the first two of these interests are sufficient to ground animal rights against being killed and made to suffer by experiments, the interest in freedom does not ground a general animal right not to be used in experimentation. (shrink)
This paper examines the causal basis of our ability to attribute emotions to music, developing and synthesizing the existing arousal, resemblance and persona theories of musical expressivity to do so. The principal claim is that music hijacks the simulation mechanism of the brain, a mechanism which has evolved to detect one's own and other people's emotions.
The author proposes a dimensional model of our emotion concepts that is intended to be largely independent of one’s theory of emotions and applicable to the different ways in which emotions are measured. He outlines some conditions for selecting the dimensions based on these motivations and general conceptual grounds. Given these conditions he then advances an 8-dimensional model that is shown to effectively differentiate emotion labels both within and across cultures, as well as more obscure expressive language. The 8 dimensions (...) are: (1) attracted—repulsed, (2) powerful—weak, (3) free—constrained, (4) certain—uncertain, (5) generalized—focused, (6) future directed—past directed, (7) enduring—sudden, (8) socially connected—disconnected. (shrink)
I argue for the possibility of an extremely intimate connection between the emotional content of the music and the emotional state of the person who produces that music. Under certain specified conditions, the music may not just influence, but also partially constitute the musician’s emotional state.
This article reviews some of the ways in which philosophical problems concerning music can be informed by approaches from the cognitive sciences (principally psychology and neuroscience). Focusing on the issues of musical expressiveness and the arousal of emotions by music, the key philosophical problems and their alternative solutions are outlined. There is room for optimism that while current experimental data does not always unambiguously satisfy philosophical scrutiny, it can potentially support one theory over another, and in some cases allow us (...) to synthesize or reject traditional philosophical differences. (shrink)
This paper contrasts individual and collective listening to music, with particular regard to the expressive qualities of music. In the first half of the paper a general model of joint attention is introduced. According to this model, perceiving together modifies the intrinsic structure of the perceptual task, and encourages a convergence of responses to a greater or lesser degree. The model is then applied to music, looking first at the silent listening situation typical to the classical concert hall, and second (...) the noisy listening situation typical to rock or jazz concerts. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The essay refers to a concern for social justice in the origins of public health, borne in part by religious commitments, and to more recent expressions of a similar concern in debates about health equity. Equity, moreover, is affected by discursive power relations (dominant/hegemonic versus local/suppressed), which are discussed in relation to current research in the African Religious Health Assets Programme on the interaction of particular 'healthworlds' (a conceptual innovation) that shape the choices and behaviour of health-seekers. Two background theoretical (...) positions guide the argument: Amartya Sen's claim that development is linked to freedom (including religious freedom); and, building on Sen's and Martha Nussbaum's human capabilities theory, an asset-based community approach to the building or reconstruction of public health systems. On this basis, it is argued that health systems and health interventions are just to the extent that they mediate between the necessary leadership or polity from 'above' ( techné ) and the experience and wisdom ( métis ) of those who are 'below', taking into account the asymmetries of power that this equation represents. Because difference and diversity are so often expressed in what we might reasonably call 'religious' terms, I specifically emphasize the continuing persistence of religion and, hence, the importance of accounting for its pertinence in social theory generally, and in relation to discourses of health and justice in the African context specifically. Acknowledging the ambiguities of religion, I nevertheless argue that an appreciative alignment between public health systems and religious or faith-based initiatives in health promotion, prevention and care is crucial to sustainable and just health systems in Africa. (shrink)
In recent years there has been growing scholarly interest in the relationship between bioethics and human rights. The majority of this work has proposed that the normative and institutional frameworks of human rights can usefully be employed to address those bioethical controversies that have a global reach: in particular, to the genetic modification of human beings, and to the issue of access to healthcare. In response, a number of critics have urged for a degree of caution about applying human rights (...) to such controversies. In particular, they have claimed that human rights have unresolved distributive and foundational problems. Interestingly, however, some of these critics have gone on to suggest that it might be possible to draw on certain bioethical insights to remedy these problems with human rights. This paper evaluates these recent attempts to apply insights from bioethics to the theory and practice of human rights. It argues that while these insights do not constitute an entirely new and original contribution to human rights thinking, they do force human rights scholars and campaigners to reflect on some key issues. First of all, they force us to question the prevalent idea that human rights are always 'inviolable trumps'. Secondly, they demand that we pay close attention to the 'fairness' of the institutions we charge with determining our concrete rights. And finally, and perhaps most radically, these insights challenge the notion that human rights are held exclusively by members of the human species. (shrink)
This article calls for a paradigm shift in the language, theory and practice of human rights: it calls for human rights to be reconceptualized as sentient rights. It argues that human rights are not qualitatively distinct from the basic entitlements of other sentient creatures, and that attempts to differentiate human rights by appealing to something distinctive about humanity, their unique political function or their universality ultimately fail. Finally, the article claims that moving to sentient rights will not lead to intractable (...) conflicts between rights, but to a more inclusive, fair and rationally defensible normative enterprise. (shrink)
Abstract The ten provincial ministries of education in Canada were surveyed to determine the extent to which they promote moral education in their public schools. The results were compared with those from a similar inquiry completed 12 years before. In the intervening period, Quebec has taken giant steps forward on several fronts. By contrast, activity in other provinces has been far from encouraging.  An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the Association of Moral Education Conference held at (...) Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, 7?10 November 1990. (shrink)
Introduction : animals and political theory -- Animals in the history of political thought -- Utilitarianism and animals -- Liberalism and animals -- Communitarianism and animals -- Marxism and animals -- Feminism and animals.
The literature on the venerable aesthetic category of the sublime often provides us with lists of sublime phenomena — mountains, storms, deserts, volcanoes, oceans, the starry sky, and so on. But it has long been recognized that what matters is the experience of such objects. We then find that one of the most consistent claims about this experience is that it involves an element of fear. Meanwhile, the recognition of the sublime as a category of aesthetic appreciation implies that attraction, (...) admiration or pleasure is also present.1However, there is also a sense of fear and attraction when we watch car chases or fights. Neither of these is an occasion for the sublime so much as a visceral sort of excitement.2 As .. (shrink)
The context for these interviews was a seminar [Peter Gratton] conducted on speculative realism in the Spring 2010. There has been great interest in speculative realism and one reason Gratton surmise[s] is not just the arguments offered, though [Gratton doesn't] want to take away from them; each of these scholars are vivid writers and great pedagogues, many of whom are in constant contact with their readers via their weblogs. Thus these interviews provided an opportunity to forward student questions about their (...) respective works. Though each were conducted on different occasions, the interviews stand as a collected work, tying together the most classical questions about “realism” to ancillary movements about the non-human in politics, ecology, aesthetics, and video gaming—all to point to future movements in this philosophical area. (shrink)
The subject of this paper is the debate between externalism and internalism about mental content presented by Tim Crane in Chapter 4 of his book Elements of Mind. Crane’s sympathies in this debate are with internalism. The paper attempts to show that Crane’s argumentation is not refuting the Twin Earth argument and externalism, and that in its basis it does not differ much from externalism itself Crane’s version of the argument for externalism features two key premises: (1) The content of (...) a thought determines what the thought is about/what it refers to (the Content Determines Reference Principle); and (2) Twins are referring to different things when they use the word “water”. From these, in a few simple steps, Crane’s externalist infers: Therefore, their thoughts are not “in their heads”. Crane suggests denying the Content Determines Reference Principle in the light of indexical thoughts. In the first stage, Crane reduces “content” to “some aspect of content”, although he needs all aspects of content to secure identity of thoughts. However, his view then comes close to something acceptable to externalists. In the second stage, Crane makes content relative to context, but then reference still determines content. (shrink)
Tim Henning, Person sein und Geschichten erzählen: Eine Studie über personale Autonomie und narrative Gründe Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9341-z Authors Logi Gunnarsson, Department of Philosophy, University of Potsdam, 14469 Potsdam, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
In his book Elements of mind Tim Crane has developed some resources in order to answer the Twin Earth mental experiment, invented by Hilary Putnam. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that Crane’s strategy is ineffective because he misunderstands that argument. We intend to examine in detail the reconstruction of the argument that Crane offers to detect its problems. A tighter version of it is also proposed, more consistent with Putnam intentions.
Leif Wenar, in “The Nature of Rights,” claims to have provided an analytical framework which is not only adequate for explicating all assertions of rights but whose deployment offers a way out of the deadlock he believes to exist between will theories and interest theories regarding the nature of rights.i To have accomplished one, let alone both, of these things would be a significant achievement in the field of rights theory. It is therefore worth showing why, unfortunately, he has not (...) succeeded on either score. Despite the clarity of Wenar’s exposition of his own position, and notwithstanding the incisive insights he brings to bear in the course of it, his revised Hohfeldian analytical framework does not in fact serve better than the original to clarify what is at stake in controversies over rights, and his deployment of it does not provide a cogent alternative to the interest theory. (shrink)
In this essay, I address a novel criticism recently levelled at the Strong Programme by Nick Tosh and Tim Lewens. Tosh and Lewens paint Strong Programme theorists as trading on a contrastive form of explanation. With this, they throw valuable new light on the explanatory methods employed by the Strong Programme. However, as I shall argue, Tosh and Lewens run into trouble when they accuse Strong Programme theorists of unduly restricting the contrast space in which legitimate historical and sociological explanations (...) of scientific knowledge might be given. Their attack founders as a result of their failure to properly understand the overall methodological concerns of Strong Programme theorists. After introducing readers to the technique of contrastive explanation and correcting the errors in Tosh and Lewens’ interpretation of the Strong Programme, I argue that it is, in fact, Tosh and Lewens’ own commitment to scientific realism which places an unacceptable restriction on the explanatory space open to historians and sociologists of science. The happy ending is that the Strong Programme provides more freedom for analysis than does scientific realism, and that careful attention to the methodological benefits of contrastive explanation can help lighten the burden on historians and sociologists of science as they go about their explanatory business. (shrink)
Discusses the old problem of how to characterize apparently intentional states that appear to lack objects. In tandem with critically discussing a recent proposal by Tim Crane, I develop the line of reasoning according to which talking about intentional objects is really a way of talking about intentional states—in particular, it’s a way of talking about their satisfaction-conditions.
This paper concerns the role that reference to subjects of experience can play in individuating streams of consciousness, and the relationship between the subjective and the objective structure of consciousness. A critique of Tim Bayne’s recent book indicates certain crucial choices that works on the unity of consciousness must make. If one identifies the subject of experience with something whose consciousness is necessarily unified, then one cannot offer an account of the objective structure of consciousness. Alternatively, identifying the subject of (...) experience with an animal means forgoing the conceptual connection between being a subject of experience and having a single phenomenal perspective. (shrink)
In his recent book on the philosophy of mind,1 Tim Crane has maintained that intentional objects are to be conceived as schematic entities, having no particular intrinsic nature. I take this metaphysical thesis as fundamentally correct. Yet in this paper I want to cast some doubts on whether this thesis prevents intentionalia, especially nonexistent ones, from belonging to the general inventory of what there is, as Crane seems to think. If my doubts are grounded, Crane’s treatment of intentionalia may further (...) be freed from a certain tension that seems to affect it, namely the fact that he appeals to nonexistent intentionalia in order to individuate intentional states and at the same time he attempts at dispensing with them. (shrink)
O'Keefe's contention that Epicurus devised the atomic swerve to counter a threat to the efficacy of reason posed by the thesis that the future is fixed regardless of what we do, is not supported by the evidence he adduces. Epicurus' own words in On nature XXV, and testimony from Lucretius and Cicero, tell far more strongly in favour of the traditional view, that Epicurus' concerns were causal determinism and its threat to moral responsiblity for our actions and characters.