It is standard practice, when distinguishing between the foundationalist and the coherentist, to construe the coherentist as an internalist. The coherentist, the construal goes, says that justification is solely a matter of coherence, and that coherence, in turn, is solely a matter of internal relations between beliefs. The coherentist, so construed, is an internalist (in the sense I have in mind) in that the coherentist, so construed, says that whether a belief is justified hinges solely on what the subject is (...) like mentally. I argue that this practice is fundamentally misguided, by arguing that the foundationalism / coherentism debate and the internalism / externalism debate are about two very different things, so that there is nothing, qua coherentist, precluding the coherentist from siding with the externalist. I then argue that this spells trouble for two of the three most pressing and widely known objections to coherentism: the Alternative-Systems Objection and the Isolation Objection. (shrink)
Coherentists on epistemic justification claim that all justification is inferential, and that beliefs, when justified, get their justification together (not in isolation) as members of a coherent belief system. Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “individual credibility” is needed for “witness agreement” to increase the probability of truth and generate a high probability of truth. It can seem that, from this result in formal epistemology, it follows that coherentist justification is not truth-conducive, that it is not the case (...) that, under the requisite conditions, coherentist justification increases the probability of truth and generates a high probability of truth. I argue that this does not follow. (shrink)
Andrew Cling presents a new version of the epistemic regress problem, and argues that intuitionist foundationalism, social contextualism, holistic coherentism, and infinitism fail to solve it. Cling’s discussion is quite instructive, and deserving of careful consideration. But, I argue, Cling’s discussion is not in all respects decisive. I argue that Cling’s dilemma argument against holistic coherentism fails.
Probabilistic support is not transitive. There are cases in which x probabilistically supports y , i.e., Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y ), y , in turn, probabilistically supports z , and yet it is not the case that x probabilistically supports z . Tomoji Shogenji, though, establishes a condition for transitivity in probabilistic support, that is, a condition such that, for any x , y , and z , if Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y (...) ), Pr( z | y ) > Pr( z ), and the condition in question is satisfied, then Pr( z | x ) > Pr( z ). I argue for a second and weaker condition for transitivity in probabilistic support. This condition, or the principle involving it, makes it easier (than does the condition Shogenji provides) to establish claims of probabilistic support, and has the potential to play an important role in at least some areas of philosophy. (shrink)
Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “witness agreement” by itself implies neither an increase in the probability of truth nor a high probability of truth—the witnesses need to have some “individual credibility.” It can seem that, from this formal epistemological result, it follows that coherentist justification (i.e., doxastic coherence) is not truth-conducive. I argue that this does not follow. Central to my argument is the thesis that, though coherentists deny that there can be noninferential justification, coherentists do not (...) deny that there can be individual credibility. (shrink)
Igor Douven establishes several new intransitivity results concerning evidential support. I add to Douven’s very instructive discussion by establishing two further intransitivity results and a transitivity result.
This article explores the patient consent process in modern community pharmacy practice and discusses the related ethical dilemmas in this environment. The myth of appropriately informed consent, and irrefutable evidence as to a pharmacist’s intentions when advising a patient, are core issues for discussion. The objective is to clarify where such dilemmas may exist in the consent process and to ultimately form a framework against which ethical guidelines might facilitate resolution of the dilemma faced by the pharmacist who is expected (...) to simultaneously maintain legal and duty of care responsibilities in the patient consent process. (shrink)
This paper analyzes court rulings on tissue samples as property and critiques objections that have been raised to the recognition of DNA samples as personal property. The cases are: Moore v. Regents of the University of California (1988, 1990), Greenberg v. Miami Children’s Research Institute (2003), and Washington University v.Catalona (2007). The paper argues that it is possible for the law to support both individual privacy and property rights in DNA, recognizing nevertheless that some unresolved questions remain, including what exercising (...) those rights means on a practical level. Finally, it offers suggestions for changes in law based on those considerations. (shrink)
Background: The development of implicit tests for measuring biases and behavioral predispositions is a recent development within psychology. While such tests are usually researched within a social-cognitive paradigm, behavioral researchers have also begun to view these tests as potential tests of conditioning histories, including in the sexual domain. Objective: The objective of this paper is to illustrate the utility of a behavioral approach to implicit testing and means by which implicit tests can be built to the standards of behavioral psychologists. (...) Design: Research findings illustrating the short history of implicit testing within the experimental analysis of behavior are reviewed. Relevant parallel and overlapping research findings from the field of social cognition and on the Implicit Association Test are also outlined. Results: New preliminary data obtained with both normal and sex offender populations are described in order to illustrate how behavior-analytically conceived implicit tests may have potential as investigative tools for assessing histories of sexual arousal conditioning and derived stimulus associations. Conclusion: It is concluded that popular implicit tests are likely sensitive to conditioned and derived stimulus associations in the history of the test-taker rather than ‘unconscious cognitions’, per se. Keywords: implicit association test; function acquisition speed test; relational frame theory; stimulus equivalence; sex offenders; sexual interests (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17335 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17335. (shrink)
With its express intention ‘to put an end to impunity’, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a substantial challenge in the shape of conditional amnesties granted in future national truth commissions (TCs)—a challenge that invokes fundamental considerations of criminal justice ethics. In this article, I give an account of the challenge, and I consider a possible solution to it presented by Declan Roche. According to this solution the ICC-prosecutor should respect national amnesties and prosecute and punish only those perpetrators (...) who have refused to cooperate with the TC. I argue, however, that this compromise is untenable. As a general rule, if we justify the ICC on grounds of deterrence we should not accept conditional amnesties granted in national TCs. (shrink)
It is shown that a locally finite polyadic algebra on an infinite set V of variables is a Boolean-algebra object, endowed with some internal supremum morphism, in the category of locally finite transformation sets on V. Then, this new categorical definition of polyadic algebras is used to simplify the theory of these algebras. Two examples are given: the construction of dilatations and the definition of terms and constants.
Turing's programme, the idea that intelligence can be modelled computationally, is set in the context of a parallel between certain elements from metamathematics and Popper's schema for the evolution of knowledge. The parallel is developed at both the formal level, where it hinges on the recursive structuring of Popper's schema, and at the contentual level, where a few key issues common to both epistemology and metamathematics are briefly discussed. In light of this connection Popper's principle of transference, akin to Turing's (...) belief in the relevance of the theory of computation for modelling psychological functions, is widened into the extended principle of transference. Thus Turing's programme gains a solid epistemological footing. *I am grateful to Claude Lamontagne and Jean-Pierre Delage for their comments on this paper. (shrink)