This article provides a discussion of the principle of transmission of evidential support across entailment from the perspective of belief revision theory in the AGM tradition. After outlining and briefly defending a small number of basic principles of belief change, which include a number of belief contraction analogues of the Darwiche-Pearl postulates for iterated revision, a proposal is then made concerning the connection between evidential beliefs and belief change policies in rational agents. This proposal is found to be suffcient (...) to establish the truth of a much-discussed intuition regarding transmissionfailure. (shrink)
Many epistemologists hold that the Zebra Deduction (the animals are zebras, so they aren't cleverly disguised mules) fails to transmit knowledge to its conclusion, but there is little agreement concerning why it has this defect. A natural idea is, roughly, that it fails to transmit because it fails to improve the safety of its conclusion. In his , Martin Smith defends a transmission principle which is supposed to underwrite this natural idea. There are two problems with Smith's account. First, (...) Smith's argument for his transmission principle relies on a dubious premise (2). I suspect that the failures of Smith's account will be instructive for anyone who wants to connect transmissionfailure with a failure to enhance the safety, reliability or probability of one's conclusion. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has given an explanation of how a first time warrant can fall short of transmitting across a known entailment. Formal epistemologists have struggled to turn Wright’s informal explanation into cogent Bayesian reasoning. In this paper, I analyse two Bayesian models of Wright’s account respectively proposed by Samir Okasha and Jake Chandler. I argue that both formalizations are unsatisfactory for different reasons, and I lay down a third Bayesian model that appears to me to capture the valid kernel of (...) Wright’s explanation. After this, I consider a recent development in Wright’s account of transmissionfailure. Wright suggests that his condition sufficient for transmissionfailure of first time warrant also suffices for transmissionfailure of supplementary warrant. I propose an interpretation of Wright’s suggestion that shield it from objections. I then lay down a fourth Bayesian framework that provides a simplified model of the unified explanation of transmissionfailure envisaged by Wright. (shrink)
Even if our justified beliefs are closed under known entailment, there may still be instances of transmissionfailure. Transmissionfailure occurs when P entails Q, but a subject cannot acquire a justified belief that Q by deducing it from P. Paradigm cases of transmissionfailure involve inferences from mundane beliefs (e.g., that the wall in front of you is red) to the denials of skeptical hypotheses relative to those beliefs (e.g., that the wall in (...) front of you is not white and lit by red lights). According to the Bayesian explanation, transmissionfailure occurs when (i) the subject’s belief that P is based on E, and (ii) P(Q|E) P(Q). No modifications of the Bayesian explanation are capable of accommodating such cases, so the explanation must be rejected as inadequate. Alternative explanations employing simple subjunctive conditionals are fully capable of capturing all of the paradigm cases, as well as those missed by the Bayesian explanation. (shrink)
I set out the standard view about alleged examples of failure of transmission of warrant, respond to two cases for the view, and argue that the view is false. The first argument for the view neglects the distinction between believing a proposition on the basis of a justification and merely having a justification to believe a proposition. The second argument for the view neglects the position that one's justification for believing a conclusion can be one's premise for the (...) conclusion, rather than simply one's justification for the premise. Finally, the view is false since it is inconsistent with the closure of knowledge as closure is properly understood. (shrink)
In this paper I draw attention to a peculiar epistemic feature exhibited by certain deductively valid inferences. Certain deductively valid inferences are unable to enhance the reliability of one's belief that the conclusion is true—in a sense that will be fully explained. As I shall show, this feature is demonstrably present in certain philosophically significant inferences—such as GE Moore's notorious 'proof' of the existence of the external world. I suggest that this peculiar epistemic feature might be correlated with the much (...) discussed phenomenon that Crispin Wright and Martin Davies have called 'transmissionfailure'—the apparent failure, on the part of some deductively valid inferences to transmit one's justification for believing the premises. (shrink)
The Neo-Moorean Deduction (I have a hand, so I am not a brain-in-a-vat) and the Zebra Deduction (the creature is a zebra, so isn’t a cleverly disguised mule) are notorious. Crispin Wright, Martin Davies, Fred Dretske, and Brian McLaughlin, among others, argue that these deductions are instances of transmissionfailure. That is, they argue that these deductions cannot transmit justification to their conclusions. I contend, however, that the notoriety of these deductions is undeserved. My strategy is to clarify, (...) attack, defend, and apply. I clarify what transmission and transmissionfailure really are, thereby exposing two questionable but quotidian assumptions. I attack existing views of transmissionfailure, especially those of Crispin Wright. I defend a permissive view of transmissionfailure, one which holds that deductions of a certain kind fail to transmit only because of premise circularity. Finally, I apply this account to the Neo-Moorean and Zebra Deductions and show that, given my permissive view, these deductions transmit in an intuitively acceptable way—at least if either a certain type of circularity is benign or a certain view of perceptual justification is false. (shrink)
In the contemporary expanding literature on transmissionfailure and its connections with issues such as the Closure principle, the nature of perceptual warrant, Moore’s proof of an external world and the effectiveness of Humean scepticism, it has often been assumed that there is just one kind of it: the one made familiar by the writings of Crispin Wright and Martin Davies. Although it might be thought that one kind of failure is more than enough, Davies has recently (...) challenged this view: apparently, there are more ways in heaven and earth that warrant can fail to transmit across valid inference from one (set of) belief(s) to another, than have been dreamt of in philosophy so far. More specifically, Davies thinks that a second kind of transmissionfailure has to be countenanced. He connects each kind of failure of transmission of warrant with two different kinds of epistemic project, respectively, and with the exploration of whether the current dispute between conservatives such as Wright, and liberals such as Jim Pryor, on the nature of perceptual warrant, would have a bearing on them. I point out why Davies’s second kind of transmissionfailure is indeed no such thing. I then move on to canvass another kind of transmissionfailure, different from the one studied by both Wright and Davies, and dependent on an alternative conception of the structure of empirical warrants, which I dub “moderatism”. I then consider how this alternative notion of transmissionfailure fares with respect to Moore’s proof, its relationship with Wright’s kind of transmissionfailure and with the Closure principle. In closing, I defend it from criticisms that can be elicited from Pryor’s recent work. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that Boghossian's explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical principles through implicit definitions commits a transmission of warrant-failure. To this end, I will briefly outline Boghossian's account, followed by an explanation of what a transmission of warrant-failure consists in. I will also show that this charge is independent of the worry of rule-circularity which has been raised concerning the justification of logical principles and of which Boghossian (...) is fully aware. My argument comes in two steps: firstly, I will argue for the insufficiency of Boghossian's template which is meant to explain how a subject can acquire a warrant for logical principles. I will show however that this insufficiency of his template can be remedied by adopting what I call the Disquotational Step. Secondly, I will argue that incorporating this further step makes his template subject to a transmission of warrant-failure, assuming that certain rather basic and individually motivated principles hold. Thus, Boghossian's account faces a dilemma: either he adopts the Disquotational Step and subjects his account to the charge of a transmission of warrant-failure, or he drops this additional step leaving the account confronted with explaining the gap that has previously been highlighted. I will then suggest various rejoinders that Boghossian might adopt but none of which - I will argue - can resolve the dilemma. Lastly, I will raise and briefly discuss the question whether this worry generalizes to other accounts, such as Hale and Wright's that aim to explain our knowledge of logic and/or mathematics in virtue of implicit definitions. (shrink)
According to Wright, Moore’s contentious “proof of the existence of a material world” in not cogent because no warrant can transmit from its premise to its conclusion. Since Bayesian confirmation theory probably affords the best account of inductive reasoning we have today, if Wright’s analysis of Moore’s “proof” could be translated in Bayesian language, it would probably be preferable to rival analyses that cannot be reformulated in the same way. Okasha has recently proposed a Bayesian model that apparently vindicates Wright’s (...) analysis on the whole. In this paper I first argue that Okasha’s Bayesian vindication is in different respects flawed and thus unacceptable. I then propose a more suitable Bayesian framework, resting on the so-called Lockean Thesis, which does vindicate Wright’s analysis. My investigation sheds new lights on the logical features proper to the warrant that Wright deems not to transmit across entailment, on the constituents of the logical “mechanism” that according to Wright engenders failure of transmission, and on the fine structure of the rational architecture of perceptual warrant outlined by Wright. (shrink)
Consider the following well-worn example, first put forward by Fred Dretske. You’re at the zoo, and in the pen in front of you is a striped horse-like animal. The sign on the pen says “Zebra.” Assuming that animal really is a zebra, it would seem that your evidence is perfectly adequate to enable you to know that it’s a zebra. So you know.
In this paper we focus on transmission and failure of transmission of warrant. We identify three individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for transmission of warrant, and we show that their satisfaction grounds a number of interesting epistemic phenomena that have not been sufficiently appreciated in the literature. We then scrutinise Wright's analysis of transmissionfailure and improve on extant readings of it. Nonetheless, we present a Bayesian counterexample that shows that Wright's analysis is (...) partially incoherent with our analysis of warrant transmission and prima facie defective. We conclude exploring three alternative lines of reply: developing a more satisfactory account of transmissionfailure, which we outline; dismissing the Bayesian counterexample by rejecting some of its assumptions; reinterpreting Wright’s analysis to make it immune to the counterexample. (shrink)
Crispin Wright’s discussion of the notion of ‘transmission-failure’ promises to have important philosophical ramifications, both in epistemology and beyond. This paper offers a precise, formal characterisation of the concept within a Bayesian framework. The interpretation given avoids the serious shortcomings of a recent alternative proposal due to Samir Okasha.
In Boghossian's 1997 paper, 'Analyticity' he presented an account of a prioriknowledge of basic logical principles as available by inference from knowledge of their role in determining the meaning of the logical constants by implicit definitiontogether with knowledge of the meanings so-determined that we possess through ourprivileged access to meaning. Some commentators (e.g. BonJour (1998), Glüer (2003),Jenkins (2008)) have objected that if the thesis of implicit definition on which he relieswere true, knowledge of the meaning of the constants would presuppose (...) knowledge of the very logical principles knowledge of which the account purports to explain. Aconsequence would seem to be that implicit definition is incompatible with privilegedaccess. I argue that whilst it is possible for Boghossian to defend against theseobjections the form of argument he proposes does exhibit a subtle form of questionbegging such that it exhibits a transmission of warrant-failure. (shrink)
This paper reports on an ongoing ARC Discovery Project that is conducting design research into learning in collaborative virtual worlds (CVW).The paper will describe three design components of the project: (a) pedagogical design, (b)technical and graphics design, and (c) learning research design. The perspectives of each design team will be discussed and how the three teams worked together to produce the CVW. The development of productive failure learning activities for the CVW will be discussed and there will be an (...) interactive demonstration of the project's CVW. (shrink)
Introduction : low theory -- Animating revolt and revolting animation -- Dude, where's my phallus? forgetting, losing, looping -- The queer art of failure -- Shadow feminisms : queer negativity and radical passivity -- "The killer in me is the killer in you" : homosexuality and fascism -- Animating failure: ending, fleeing, surviving.
§1 It is not always true that recognizably valid reasoning from known, or otherwise epistemically warranted premises, can be enlisted to produce knowledge, or other epistemic warrant, for a conclusion. The counterexamples are cases that exhibit what I have elsewhere called warrant transmission-failure. It is nowadays widely accepted that there are indeed such counterexamples, though individual cases remain controversial. One such controversial case is the so-called McKinsey paradox. The paradox presents as a simple collision between three claims that (...) many would find attractive. (shrink)
In 1935, the Nazi government introduced what came to be known as the abrogation of the pro- hibition of analogy. This measure, a feature of the new penal law, required judges to stray from the letter of the written law and to consider instead whether an action was worthy of pun- ishment according to the ‘sound perception of the people’ and the ‘underlying principle’ of existing criminal statutes. In discussions of Nazi law, an almost unanimous conclusion is that a system (...) of criminal law ought not to contain legislation of this sort. This conclusion is often based on how the abro- gation relates to the normative claim that the law ought to be predictable. In particular, it has been argued that since the law ought to be predictable, and since this type of analogy legis- lation implied, caused or contributed to the diminution of the law’s predictability, this type of legislation ought to be prohibited. In this paper, we argue that this argument is not entirely correct. While we believe that the law ought to be predictable and that there is evidence for the claim that the Nazis’ intro- duction of analogical reasoning implied, caused, or contributed to a diminution of predictability, this fact is logically too weak to ground the conclusion that necessarily a penal system ought not to contain legislation of this kind. Despite the undeniable wickedness of the Nazi penal system, this type of analogical reasoning can be made consistent with the pre- dictability of the law. We argue that consistency of this sort depends on whether the use of analogy is supplemented by certain contextual background conditions. The occurrence of these conditions blocks an inference from the fact that the law ought to be predictable to the conclusion that a penal system ought not to allow for this type of analogical reasoning. (shrink)
What is social epistemology? Or what might it be? According to one perspective, social epistemology is a branch of traditional epistemology that studies epistemic properties of individuals that arise from their relations to others, as well as epistemic properties of groups or social systems. A simple example (of the first sort) is the transmission of knowledge or justification from one person to another. Studying such interpersonal epistemic relations is a legitimate part of epistemology. A very different perspective would associate (...) ‘social epistemology’ with movements in postmodernism, social studies of science, or cultural studies that aim to replace traditional epistemology with radically different questions, premises, or procedures. Although these enquiries examine the social contexts of belief and thought, they generally seek to debunk or reconfigure conventional epistemic concepts rather than illuminate the nature and conditions of epistemic success or failure. Under the first construal social epistemology is a bona fide part of the mainstream, and hence ‘real’ epistemology. Under the second construal, it is not part of epistemology at all. If protagonists of the latter-day movements marketed their products under the guise of epistemology, they would be imposters. Their products are not real epistemology. ‘Is social epistemology real epistemology?’ is a question posed by William Alston (2005). He raises it en passant, while noting that epistemology’s boundaries are controversial, drawn differently by different thinkers. To illustrate his point, he suggests that much of the material in my book on social epistemology, Knowledge in a Social World (Goldman 1999), ‘would be rejected by many contemporary epistemologists as ‘‘not real epistemology’’ ’ (Alston 2005: 5). The epistemologists in question, says Alston, would relegate much of this so-called social epistemology to sociology, social psychology, or other social sciences, or perhaps to the philosophical foundations thereof.. (shrink)
[Paul Boghossian] The paper asks under what conditions deductive reasoning transmits justification from its premises to its conclusion. It argues that both standard externalist and standard internalist accounts of this phenomenon fail. The nature of this failure is taken to indicate the way forward: basic forms of deductive reasoning must justify by being instances of 'blind but blameless' reasoning. Finally, the paper explores the suggestion that an inferentialist account of the logical constants can help explain how such reasoning is (...) possible. /// [Timothy Williamson] The paper challenges the inferentialist account of concept possession that Paul Boghossian takes as a premise in his account of the transmission of justification by deductive reasoning in his paper 'Blind Reasoning'. Unorthodox speakers who reject the inferences in an alleged possession condition can still have the concept by understanding a word for it. In that sense, the inferences are not analytic. Inferentialist accounts of logical constants, theoretical terms (using the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis method) and pejorative expressions such as 'Boche' are examined and rejected. It is suggested that epistemological questions cannot be reduced to questions in the theory of thought and meaning. (shrink)
The American regulatory model of corporate governance rests on the theory of self-regulation as␣the most effective and efficient means to achieve corporate self-restraint in the marketplace. However, that model fails to achieve regular compliance with baseline ethical and legal behaviors as evidenced by a century of repeated corporate debacles, the most recent being Enron, WorldCom, and Refco. Seemingly impervious to its domestic failure, Congress imprinted the same self-regulation paradigm on legislation restraining global business behavior, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. (...) This anti-bribery initiative prohibits unethical and illegal payments made to foreign public officials in an effort to eradicate bribery as a rational-choice global market entry strategy. However, this paper illustrates, using newly complied statistics from 1977 to 2008, that the FCPA has not had a dramatic impact on U.S. global corporate behavior despite its recent high profile coverage and the tough regulatory rhetoric about corporate compliance. The paper also extends the prior Cragg and Woof FCPA efficiency study and provides current empirical evidence to resolve several unanswered questions raised by that earlier study. (shrink)
According to fitting-attitudes accounts of value, the valuable is what there is sufficient reason to value. Such accounts face the famous wrong kind of reason problem. For example, if an evil demon threatens to kill you unless you value him, it may appear that you have sufficient reason to value the demon, although he is not valuable. One solution to this problem is to deny that the demon’s threat is a reason to value him. It is instead a reason to (...) want to value the demon, and to bring it about that you value him. However, many proponents of the wrong kind of reason problem find this solution unmotivated. This paper thus offers a new argument for this solution. The argument turns on the ‘transmission’ of reasons – the familiar fact that there is often reason for one action or attitude because there is reason for another. I observe that putative reasons of the wrong kind transmit in a very different way to other reasons. I then argue that this difference is best explained by the hypothesis that putative reasons of the wrong kind are not reasons for the attitude in question, but are instead reasons to want and bring about that attitude. (shrink)
My dissertation develops a novel approach to institutional analysis and begins to apply this approach to debates in the international justice literature. The main innovation of this institutional failure analysis approach is to ground our normative evaluation of institutions on a detailed understanding of the causal processes that generate problematic social outcomes. Chapters 1 and 2 motivate the need for this new approach, showing that philosophers' neglect of causal explanations of global poverty leads extant normative analyses of poverty astray. (...) The upshot is that causal (as opposed to moral) analyses of social outcomes must play a more central role than is typical in philosophers' moral assessment of institutional arrangements. Chapter 3 introduces and outlines the failure analysis framework. -/- Chapters 5 and 6 employ the failure analysis approach to address recent debate concerning an example of severe deprivation caused by institutional failure— the economic stagnation and authoritarian governance associated with natural resource dependence. Chapter 5 articulates a causal explanation of this so-called "resource curse." I claim that the curse occurs when a resource dependent country's domestic institutional structure permits the political leaders to disregard citizens' interests. My argument enumerates the conditions under which state leaders choose to advance citizens' interests. In chapter 6, I show that extant prescriptions to address the resource curse fail to satisfy at least one necessary condition for mitigating the resource curse. In particular, I highlight the importance of providing citizens with credible exit options both as necessary to successfully mitigating the resource curse and as being among the best forms of compensation to curse victims. I then explore the feasibility of various options for helping curse victims avoid absorbing the consequences of their resource-cursed situation. I end by tentatively proposing a strategy for mitigating the resource curse that satisfies the necessary conditions for a successful prescription as identified by the explanation in chapter 5. (shrink)
The most widely accepted and well worked out approaches to the foundations of meaning take facts about the meanings of linguistic expressions at a time to be derivative from the propositional attitudes of speakers of the language at that time. This mentalist strategy takes two principal forms, one which traces meaning to belief, and one which analyzes it in terms of communicative intentions. I argue that either form of mentalism fails, and conclude by suggesting that we can do better by (...) focusing on connections between linguistic meaning and the contents of perceptions (rather than beliefs or intentions), and by (following Kripke's approach to reference) replacing questions about the nature of meaning with questions about the nature of term introduction and meaning transmission. (shrink)
Pure causal theories of reference cannot account for cases of theoretical term reference failure and do not capture the scientific point of introducing new theoretical terminology. In order to account for paradigm cases of reference failure and the point of new theoretical terminology, a descriptive element must play a role in fixing the reference of theoretical terms. Richard Boyd's concept of theory constituitive metaphors provides the necessary descriptive element in reference fixing. In addition to providing a plausible account (...) of reference failure and success, a metaphor approach to reference fixing provides the basis for a plausible realist account of the progress of science. Indeed, the metaphor approach undermines the sceptical force of the meta-induction and Laudan's objections to scientific realism. (shrink)
Price gouging occurs when, in the wake of an emergency, sellers of a certain necessary goods sharply raise their prices beyond the level needed to cover increased costs. Most people think that price gouging is immoral, and most states have laws rendering the practice a civil or criminal offense. But the alleged wrongness of price gouging has been seriously under-theorized. This paper examines the argument that price gouging is morally objectionable and/or the proper subject of legal regulation because of the (...) context of market failure in which it occurs. It argues that even if claims of market failure or true, they do not generate these normative conclusions. (shrink)
Biologists rely heavily on the language of information, coding, and transmission that is commonplace in the field of information theory developed by Claude Shannon, but there is open debate about whether such language is anything more than facile metaphor. Philosophers of biology have argued that when biologists talk about information in genes and in evolution, they are not talking about the sort of information that Shannon’s theory addresses. First, philosophers have suggested that Shannon’s theory is only useful for developing (...) a shallow notion of correlation, the so-called causal sense of information. Second, they typically argue that in genetics and evolutionary biology, information language is used in a semantic sense, whereas semantics are deliberately omitted from Shannon’s theory. Neither critique is well-founded. Here we propose an alternative to the causal and semantic senses of information: a transmission sense of information, in which an object X conveys information if the function of X is to reduce, by virtue of its sequence properties, uncertainty on the part of an agent who observes X. The transmission sense not only captures much of what biologists intend when they talk about information in genes, but also brings Shannon’s theory back to the fore. By taking the viewpoint of a communications engineer and focusing on the decision problem of how information is to be packaged for transport, this approach resolves several problems that have plagued the information concept in biology, and highlights a number of important features of the way that information is encoded, stored, and transmitted as genetic sequence. (shrink)
The Puzzle of Imaginative Failure asks why, when readers are invited to do so, they so often fall short of imagining worlds where the moral facts are different. This is puzzling because we have no difficulty imagining worlds where the descriptive facts are different. Much of the philosophical controversy revolves around the question of whether the reader's lack of imagination in such cases is a result of psychological barriers (an inability or a difficulty on the reader's part to imagine (...) what she is asked to imagine) or whether it is instead a result of wilful resistance (a desire not to imagine what she's asked to imagine). I argue for a different kind of solution. I maintain the primary reason for such systematic failures on the reader's part is due to an inability on the author's part to make clear that she is inviting the reader to engage in such imaginings. (shrink)
In my 1991 paper, AAnti-Individualism and Privileged Access,@ I argued that externalism in the philosophy of mind is incompatible with the thesis that we have privileged , nonempirical access to the contents of our own thoughts.1 One of the most interesting responses to my argument has been that of Martin Davies (1998, 2000, and Chapter _ above) and Crispin Wright (2000 and Chapter _ above), who describe several types of cases to show that warrant for a premise does not always (...) transmit to a known deductive consequence of that premise, and who contend that this fact under-mines my argument for incompatibilism. I will try to show here that the Davies/Wright point about transmission of warrant does not adversely affect my argument. (shrink)
I present an account of what it is to trust a speaker, and argue that the account can explain the common intuitions which structure the debate about the transmission view of testimony. According to the suggested account, to trust a speaker is to grant her epistemic authority on the asserted proposition, and hence to see her opinion as issuing a second order, preemptive reason for believing the proposition. The account explains the intuitive appeal of the basic principle associated with (...) the transmission view of testimony: the principle according to which, a listener can normally obtain testimonial knowledge that p by believing a speaker who testifies that p only if the speaker knows that p. It also explains a common response to counterexamples to this principle: that these counterexamples do not involve normal cases of testimonial knowledge. (shrink)
According to vitalism, living organisms differ from machines and all other inanimate objects by being endowed with an indwelling immaterial directive agency, ‘vital force,’ or entelechy . While support for vitalism fell away in the late nineteenth century many biologists in the early twentieth century embraced a non vitalist philosophy variously termed organicism/holism/emergentism which aimed at replacing the actions of an immaterial spirit with what was seen as an equivalent but perfectly natural agency—the emergent autonomous activity of the whole organism. (...) Organicists hold that organisms unlike machines are ‘more than the sum of their parts’ and predict that the vital properties of living things can never be explained in terms of mechanical analogies and that the reductionist agenda is doomed to failure. Here we review the current status of the mechanist and organicist conceptions of life particularly as they apply to the cell. We argue that despite the advances in biological knowledge over the past six decades since the molecular biological revolution, especially in the fields of genetics and cell biology the unique properties of living cells have still not been simulated in mechanical systems nor yielded to reductionist—analytical explanations. And we conclude that despite the dominance of the mechanistic–reductionist paradigm through most of the past century the possibility of a twentyfirst century organicist revival cannot be easily discounted. (shrink)
Gricean communication is communication between utterers and their audiences, where the utterer means something and the audience understands what is meant. The weak transmission idea is that, whenever such communication takes place, there is something which is transmitted from utterer to audience; the strong transmission idea adds that what is transmitted is nothing else than what is communicated. We try to salvage these ideas from a seemingly forceful attack by Wayne Davis. Davis attaches too much significance to the (...) surface structure of sentences of the type ‘S communicates the belief (desire …) that p to A’ by assuming that the communicated entity is denoted by the grammatical object following ‘communicates’. On our proposal, what is communicated in all Gricean cases is a thought. And since S communicates the thought that p to A only if S means that p and A understands what S means, the thought that p will be transmitted from S to A. (shrink)
The 2006 trial of Suman Sood put criminal abortion on the public agenda for the first time in 25 years in NSW. Response to the case highlights tenacious myths about abortion law in Australia; namely that the common law “is an ass” that allows for abortion only by way of a lack of application of the law. By briefly explaining the history of abortion in Australia, I argue that the Sood case does not represent a general failure of the (...) common law to allow abortion, nor does it support the popular myth that abortion is “technically” illegal, or that doctors who perform abortions have historically been the target of the criminal law in Australia. I show that contrary to myths promoted particularly around the 1998 Western Australian reforms, abortion has long been lawful in Australia, and the common law has merit compared to other regulatory regimes. Hence, arguments for alternative abortion regimes should not depend on myths which are shown to be unrepresentative of the political and legal situation in Australia. (shrink)
New Volitionalism is a name for certain widespread conception of the nature of intentional action. Some of the standard arguments for New Volitionalism, the so-called arguments from total failure, have even acquired the status of basic assumptions for many other kinds of philosophers. It is therefore of singular interest to investigate some of the most important arguments from total failure. This is what I propose to do in this paper. My aim is not be to demonstrate that these (...) arguments are inconsistent or that total failure and naked tryings are metaphysically impossible. Rather, my aim is be to build a case against the possibility of naked, independently existing tryings, by questioning how well we understand the scenarios invoked in their favour. Thus, rather than attempting to present a definitive metaphysical refutation of New Volitionalism, I attempt to diminish or demolish its underlying motivation. (shrink)
?258 of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is often seen as the core of his private language argument. While its role is certainly overinflated and it is a mistake to think that there is anything that could be called the private language argument, ?258 is an important part of the private language sections of the Philosophical Investigations. As with so much of Wittgenstein's work, there are widely diverse interpretations of why exactly the private diarist's attempted ostensive definition fails. I argue for a (...) version of the no-stage-setting interpretation of the failure of private ostension. On this interpretation, the reason why the diarist cannot establish a meaning for ?S? is that she lacks the conceptual-linguistic stage-setting needed to disambiguate the concentration of her attention (the private analogue of an ostensive definition). Thus, the problem with any subsequent use of ?S? is not that there is no criterion of correctness for remembering the meaning of ?S? correctly, or for re-identifying S correctly in the future. Rather, it is because of the initial failure to define ?S? that there is nothing that could count as a criterion of correctness for the future use of ?S?; there is nothing to remember or re-identify. My argument for the no-stage-setting interpretation consists in showing how well it fits into the rest of the Philosophical Investigations and in defending it against objections from Robert J. Fogelin, Anthony Kenny, and most recently John V. Canfield. Kenny's and Canfield's objections are found to suffer from problems regarding memory scepticism. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that RadicalInterpretation (RI), taken to be a methodological doctrine regarding the conditions under which an interpretation of an utterance is both warranted and correct, has unacceptable implications for the conditions on (ascriptions of) understanding. The notion of understanding at play is that which underwrites the testimonial transmission of knowledge. After developing this notion I argue that, on the assumption of RI, hearers will fail to have such understanding in situations in which we should want (...) to maintain otherwise. The overall effect of the argument is to provide a heretofore unexamined source of motivation for anti-individualistic approaches to the semantics of utterances. (shrink)
Abstract In order to illuminate the role of information in biology, Bergstrom and Rosvall (Biol Philos 26:159–176, 2011a ; Biol Philos 26:195–200, 2011b ) propose a ‘transmission sense of information’ which builds on Shannon’s theory. At the core of the transmission sense is an appeal to the reduction in uncertainty in receivers and to etiological function. I explore several ways of cashing out uncertainty reduction as well as the consequences of appealing to function. Content Type Journal Article Pages (...) 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9310-x Authors Ulrich E. Stegmann, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Old Brewery, High Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3UB UK Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867. (shrink)
In this paper I return to one of the central points of contention in the renowned debate between John Searle and Jacques Derrida with the aim of rethinking the role of success and the place of failure in communication. What is the philosophical significance of Austin's decision to exclude from his investigation (in How to Do Things with Words) certain utterances that cannot qualify as successful? Examining the conflicting ways in which Searle and Derrida understand and respond to Austin, (...) I try to flesh out Derrida's call to grant failure (or the negative) the important place it deserves in our understanding of speech. Yet, whereas for Derrida, the call to recognize failure as an internal and positive condition ultimately leads to a structural – albeit a deconstructive – critique of language's conditions of possibility, I focus instead on the implications which this insight may have for our understanding of the actuality of language. Consequently, I argue that while Derrida's critique subverts the hegemony of success, it ironically remains, like Searle, distant from and external to the actual reverberation of spoken language. (shrink)
J. P. Moreland: The Recalcitrant Imago Dei : Human Persons and the Failure of Naturalism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9240-y Authors C. Robert Mesle, Graceland University 10003, 290th St. Lamoni IA 50140 USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
Why do policies fail? How can we objectively choose the best policy from two (or more) competing alternatives? How can we create better policies? To answer these critical questions this book presents an innovative yet workable approach. Avoiding Policy Failure uses emerging metapolicy methodologies in case studies that compare successful policies with ones that have failed. Those studies investigate the systemic nature of each policy text to gain new insights into why policies fail. -/- In addition to providing intriguing (...) directions for research, this book also suggests a bold new standard for evaluating policies. While this method is broadly generalizable, specific examples are provided showing how to develop better Economic Policy, Military Policy, and Constitutional Organizations. This book shows scholars, researchers, and policy analysts how to develop more effective policies so that we may achieve our highest aspirations and avoid the horrendous failures of the past. (shrink)
This paper presents the hypothesis that linguistic capacity evolved through the action of natural selection as an instrument which increased the efficiency of the cultural transmission system of early hominids. We suggest that during the early stages of hominization, hominid social learning, based on indirect social learning mechanisms and true imitation, came to constitute cumulative cultural transmission based on true imitation and the approval or disapproval of the learned behaviour of offspring. A key factor for this transformation was (...) the development of a conceptual capacity for categorizing learned behaviour in value terms - positive or negative, good or bad. We believe that some hominids developed this capacity for categorizing behaviour, and such an ability allowed them to approve or disapprove of their offsprings- learned behaviour. With such an ability, hominids were favoured, as they could transmit to their offspring all their behavioural experience about what can and cannot be done. This capacity triggered a cultural transmission system similar to the human one, though pre-linguistic. We suggest that the adaptive advantage provided by this new system of social learning generated a selection pressure in favour of the development of a linguistic capacity allowing children to better understand the new kind of evaluative information received from parents. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to demonstrate that a very simple learning rule based on imitation can help to sustain altruism as a culturally transmitted pattern or behaviour among agents playing a standard prisoner’s dilemma game. The point of this demonstration is not to prove that imitation is single-handedly responsible for existing levels of altruism (a thesis that is false), nor is the point to show that imitation is an important factor in explanations for the evolution of altruism (a (...) thesis already prominent in the existing literature). The point is to show that imitation contributes to the evolution of altruism in a particular way that is not always fairly represented by evolutionary game theory models. Specifically, the paper uses a simple model to illustrate that cultural transmission includes mechanisms that do not transmit phenotype vertically (i.e. from parent to related offspring) and that these mechanisms can promote altruism in the absence of any direct biological propensity favouring such behaviour. This is a noteworthy result because it shows that evolutionary models can be built to explicitly reflect the contribution of non-vertical transmission in our explanations for the evolution of altruism among humans and other social species. (shrink)
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Inattentiveness, overactivity, and impulsiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. The dynamic developmental behavioral theory is based on the hypothesis that altered dopaminergic function plays a pivotal role by failing to modulate nondopaminergic (primarily glutamate and GABA) signal transmission appropriately. A hypofunctioning mesolimbic dopamine branch produces altered reinforcement of behavior and deficient extinction of previously reinforced behavior. This gives rise to (...) delay aversion, development of hyperactivity in novel situations, impulsiveness, deficient sustained attention, increased behavioral variability, and failure to “inhibit” responses (“disinhibition”). A hypofunctioning mesocortical dopamine branch will cause attention response deficiencies (deficient orienting responses, impaired saccadic eye movements, and poorer attention responses toward a target) and poor behavioral planning (poor executive functions). A hypofunctioning nigrostriatal dopamine branch will cause impaired modulation of motor functions and deficient nondeclarative habit learning and memory. These impairments will give rise to apparent developmental delay, clumsiness, neurological “soft signs,” and a “failure to inhibit” responses when quick reactions are required. Hypofunctioning dopamine branches represent the main individual predispositions in the present theory. The theory predicts that behavior and symptoms in ADHD result from the interplay between individual predispositions and the surroundings. The exact ADHD symptoms at a particular time in life will vary and be influenced by factors having positive or negative effects on symptom development. Altered or deficient learning and motor functions will produce special needs for optimal parenting and societal styles. Medication will to some degree normalize the underlying dopamine dysfunction and reduce the special needs of these children. The theory describes how individual predispositions interact with these conditions to produce behavioral, emotional, and cognitive effects that can turn into relatively stable behavioral patterns. Key Words: catecholamine; clumsiness; dopamine; hyperkinesis; hyperkinetic disorder; impulsivity; monoamine; neuromodulator; overactivity; pollutants; reinforcement; reward; verbally governed behavior; soft signs; variability. (shrink)
In July 2008, Pacific Rim Mining, a socially responsive Canadian gold mining Multinational Corporation (MNC) with $77 million invested in El Salvador, experienced a 30% decline in stock price when it suspended exploration drilling for gold there. In April 2009, the company filed a lawsuit against the government of El Salvador through Central American Free Trade Agreement to recover its investments plus damages. This corporate failure is explored based on: (1) four globalization economic development models, (2) the social, political, (...) and economic history of El Salvador, (3) the El Salvador gold mining industry, and (4) social movement reactions to international mining companies. MNCs must carefully engage "Social Justice" Nongovernment Organizations when pursuing economic development projects to ensure a nation's successful integration into the global economy. (shrink)
This is not a general essay on the craft and institution of translation, though some of the claims and arguments I proffer here might generalize. I am concerned in particular with the activity of the translation of Asian Buddhist texts into English in the context of the current extensive transmission of Buddhism to the West, in the context of the absorption of cultural influences of the West by Asian Buddhist cultures, and in the context of the increased interaction between (...) Buddhist practitioner communities and academics in Buddhist Studies. These three phenomena and their synergy are very much a phenomenon of the late Twentieth and early Twenty−first Centuries, so I am talking about a particular scholarly activity engaging with a particular literature and extended community at a very particular time. (shrink)
In this paper we critically review recent developments in policies, practices and philosophies pertaining to the mediation between science and the public within the EU and the UK, focusing in particular on the current paradigm of Public Understanding of Science and Technology (PEST) which seeks to depart from the science information-transmission associated with previous paradigms, and enact a deliberative democracy model. We first outline the features of the current crisis in democracy and discuss deliberative democracy as a response to (...) this crisis. We then map out and critically review the broad outlines of recent policy developments in public-science mediation in the EU and UK contexts, focusing on the shift towards the deliberative-democratic model. We conclude with some critical thoughts on the complex interrelationships between democracy, equality, science and informal pedagogies in public-science mediations. We argue that science and democracy operate within distinct value-spheres that are not necessarily consonant with each other. We also problematize the now common dismissal of information-transmission of science as inimical to democratic engagement, and argue for a reassessment of the role and importance of informal science learning for the lay public, provided within the framework of a deliberative democracy that is not reducible to consensus building or the mere expression of opinions rooted in social and cultural givens. This, we argue, can be delivered by a model of PEST that is creative and experimental, with both educational and democratic functions. (shrink)
Presuppositions of utterances are the pieces of information you convey with an utterance no matter whether your utterance is true or not We rst study presupposition in a very simple framework of updating propo sitional information with examples of how presuppositions of complex propositional updates can be calculated Next we move on to presupposi tions and quanti cation in the context of a dynamic version of predicate logic suitably modi ed to allow for presupposition failure In both the propositional (...) and the quanti cational case presupposition failure can be viewed as error abortion of procedures Thus a dynamic assertion logic which describes the preconditions for error abortion is the suitable tool for analysing presupposition.. (shrink)
Ethics failure in academia is not new, yet its prevalence, causes, and methods to prevent it remain a matter of debate. The author’s premise is that value dissonance underlies most of the reasons ethics failure occurs. Vignettes are used to illustrate value dissonance at the individual and institutional levels. Suggestions are offered for ways academic institutions can assume greater responsibility as a moral agency to prevent the occurrence of ethics failure.
The subject is Sextus Empiricus, one the chief sources of information on ancient philosophy and one of the most influential authors in the history of skepticism. Sextus' works have had an extraordinary influence on western philosophy, and this book provides the first exhaustive and detailed study of their recovery, transmission, and intellectual influence through Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. This study deals with Sextus' biography, as well as the history of the availability and reception of his (...) works. It also contains an extensive bibliographical section, including editions, translations, and commentaries. (shrink)
underpinning of the cognitive sciences. I argue, however, that it often fails to provide adequate explanations, in particular in conjunction with competence theories. This failure originates in the idealizations in competence descriptions, which either ?block? the cascade, or produce a successful cascade which fails to explain cognition.
The idea that causation can be reduced to transmission of an amount of some conserved quantity between events is spelled out and defended against important objections. Transmission is understood as a symmetrical relation of copresence in two distinct events. The actual asymmetry of causality has its origin in the asymmetrical character of certain irreversible physical processes and then spreads through the causal net. This conception is compatible with the possibility of backwards causation and with a causal theory of (...) time. Genidentity, the persistence of concrete objects, can be given an explanation in causal terms. The transmission theory is shown to escape difficulties faced by two important alternative theories of causation: Salmon's (1984) Mark Transmission Theory and Dowe's (1992a) Conserved Quantities Theory. (shrink)
Supertasks recently discussed in the literature purport to display a failure ofenergy conservation and determinism in Newtonian mechanics. We debatewhether these supertasks are admissible as Newtonian systems, with Earmanand Norton defending the affirmative and Alper and Bridger the negative.
Henry Allison and Paul Guyer have recently offered interpretations of Kant's argument in _Groundwork III_. These interpretations share this premise: the argument moves from a non-moral, theoretical premise to a moral conclusion, and the failure of the argument is a failure to make this jump from the non-moral to the moral. This characterization both of the nature of the argument and its failure is flawed. Consider instead the possibility that in _Groundwork III_, Kant is struggling toward something (...) rather different from this, not trying to pull the moral rabbit out of the theoretical hat, but instead seeking a proto-phenomenological grounding of morality: a grounding that begins from first personal felt experiences that already possess moral content, and proceeds to its further practical claims via attentive reflection on these felt experiences. This paper brings this assumption to our reading of _Groundwork III_, showing that in doing so we acquire a deeper appreciation both of the argument, and the reasons it fails. Kant's argument is practical throughout. And the failure of the argument is the failure of Kant's nascent efforts to provide a new, phenomenological method for the grounding of practical philosophy. (shrink)
The explosion of scientific results about epigenetic and other parental effects appears bewilderingly diverse. An important distinction helps to bring order to the data. Firstly, parents can detect adaptively-relevant information and transmit it to their offspring who rely on it to set a plastic phenotype adaptively. Secondly, adaptively-relevant information may be generated by a process of selection on a reliably transmitted parental effect. The distinction is particularly valuable in revealing two quite different ways in which human cultural transmission may (...) operate. (shrink)
In "Nozick on Scepticism", Graeme Forbes attempts to establish a Transmission Principle for knowledge which has been challenged by a number of anti-sceptical philosophers (such as Nozick). This principle (or something like it) seems to be required by Cartesian sceptical arguments, so if it could be refuted, this would apparently rid us of such scepticism. I do not believe that Nozick or anyone else has refuted the principle, yet I will argue that Forbes has certainly failed to establish it.
Violations of Bell's Inequality can only be reliably produced if some information about the apparatus setting on one wing is available on the other, requiring superluminal information transmission. In this paper I inquire into the minimum amount of information needed to generate quantum statistics for correlated photons. Reflection on informational constraints clarifies the significance of Fine's Prism models, and allows the construction of several models more powerful than Fine's. These models are more efficient than Fine claims to be possible (...) and work for the full range of possible analyzer settings. It also demonstrates that the division of theories into those that violate parameter independence and those that violate outcome independence sheds no light on the question of superluminal information transmission. (shrink)
This paper examines how coherence of the contents of evidence affects the transmission of probabilistic support from the evidence to the hypothesis. It is argued that coherence of the contents in the sense of the ratio of the positive intersection reduces the transmission of probabilistic support, though this negative impact of coherence may be offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. It is argued further that there is no broader conception of coherence whose impact on (...) the transmission of probabilistic support is never offset by other aspects of the relations among the contents. The paper also examines reasons for the contrary impression that coherence of the contents increases the transmission of probabilistic support, especially in the special case where the hypothesis to evaluate is the conjunction of the contents of evidence. (shrink)
Humans have developed the capacity to approve or disapprove of the behavior of their children and of unrelated individuals. The ability to approve or disapprove transformed social learning into a system of cumulative cultural inheritance, because it increased the reliability of cultural transmission. Moreover, people can transmit their behavioral experiences (regarding what can and cannot be done) to their offspring, thereby avoiding the costs of a laborious, and sometimes dangerous, evaluation of different cultural alternatives. Our thesis is that, during (...) ontogeny, the evaluative communication (approval/disapproval) between parents and offspring is substituted by other evaluative communications among peers, like individuals of the same generation. Each person belongs to a reference social group with individuals that interact more intensively. Humans have developed psychological mechanisms that enable cultural transmission by being receptive to parental advice as well as their reference social group. The selective pressure that promoted these new evaluative interactions arose to facilitate the establishment of efficient cooperative relationships. In short, the social control of behavior is essential to understand human cultural transmission. (shrink)
Response to commentaries on “The Transmission Sense of Information” Content Type Journal Article Pages 195-200 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9257-3 Authors Carl T. Bergstrom, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1800, USA Martin Rosvall, Integrated Science Lab, Department of Physics, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 2.
I argue that mental descriptivism cannot be reasonably thought superior to rival theories on the grounds that it can (while they cannot) provide an elegant account of reference failure. Descriptivism about the particular-directed intentionality of our mental states fails when applied to desires. Consider, for an example, the desire that Satan not tempt me. On the descriptivist account, it looks like my desire would be fulfilled in conditions in which there exists exactly one thing satisfying some description only Satan (...) satisfies (call it the Satanic Description). However, against this analysis, it is clearly compatible with desiring that Satan not tempt me that I also desire that there exist nothing satisfying the Satanic Description. The descriptivist has room for maneuver here, but the cost of accommodating this phenomenon is that the descriptivist shall no longer be able to use her theory to ameliorate the possibility of reference failure. (shrink)
[First Paragraph] In his recent book, Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory (1998), Wayne Davis argues that the Gricean approach to conversational implicature is bankrupt and offers a new approach of his own. Although I disagree with Davis both in general and in detail, I think nonetheless that the problems he raises'or close relatives of them-- are serious and important problems which should give any Gricean pause. This is an extremely worthwhile book, even (...) for those who disagree with it. (shrink)
Atran's account of cultural transmission can be further refined by considering constraints from early-developed, domain-specific intuitive ontological understanding. These suggest specific predictions about the cultural survival of “memes,” depending on the way they activate intuitive understanding. There is no general dynamic of cultural inheritance; only complex predictions for domain-specific competencies that cut across cultural domains.
In 1991, the CDC recommended that health care workers (HCWs) infectedwith HIV or HBV (HbeAg positive) should be reviewed by an expert paneland should inform patients of their serologic status before engaging inexposure-prone procedures. The CDC, in light of the existing scientificuncertainty about the risk of transmission, issued cautiousrecommendations. However, considerable evidence has emerged since 1991suggesting that we should reform national policy. The data demonstratesthat risks of transmission of infection in the health care setting areexceedingly low. Current policy, (...) moreover, does not improve patientsafety. At the same time, implementation of current national policy atthe local level poses significant human rights burdens on HCWs.Consequently, national policy should be changed to ensure patient safetywhile protecting the human rights of HCWs. This article proposes a newnational policy, including: (1) a program to prevent bloodborne pathogentransmission; (2) a responsibility placed on infected HCWs to promotetheir own health and well-being and to assure patient safety; (3) adiscontinuation of expert review panels and special restrictions forexposure-prone procedures; (4) a discontinuation of mandatorydisclosure of a HCW's inflection status; and (5) the imposition ofpractice restrictions if a HCW is unable to practice safely because of aphysical or mental impairment or failure to follow careful infectioncontrol techniques. A new national policy, focused on management of theworkplace environment and injury prevention, would achieve high levelsof patient safety without discrimination and invasion of privacy. (shrink)
This critical review of Aviezer Tucker's Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography examines the character, scope, and limits of scientific historiography, the overall topic of Tucker's book. The review begins by arguing that the book both unwittingly juggles two criteria for scientific, as opposed to nonscientific, historiography - the production of knowledge and Kuhnian disciplinary matrices - and wrongly construes the subject matter of such historiography to be present evidence for the past as opposed to this evidence (...) in addition to the past itself. There ensues a lengthy discussion of the role of theories in scientific historiography that (1) contests Tucker's thesis that theories of information transmission and grand social theories are central to the enterprise, (2) criticizes his failure to distinguish technical from theoretical terms, and (3) claims that scholarly historiography is more of an art than a science. The review concludes by arguing that scientific historiography as Tucker conceives of it cannot meet the many needs society has vis- -vis the past. (shrink)
If the history of the Gettier Problem has taught us anything, it is to be skeptical regarding purported solutions. Nevertheless, in “Manifest Failure: The Gettier Problem Solved” (2011), that is precisely what John Turri offers us. For nearly fifty years, epistemologists have been chasing a solution for the Gettier Problem but with little to no success. If Turri is right, if he has actually solved the Gettier Problem, then he has done something that is absolutely groundbreaking and really quite (...) remarkable. Regrettably, however, while Turri’s account is both intuitive and elegant—improving upon many seminal projects within contemporary epistemology—I argue in this paper that any success against Gettier counterexamples it affords is merely fleeting. Straightforwardly, this is done in two sections. In §1, I briefly sketch Turri’s proposed solution to the Gettier Problem. Then, in §2, I level a counterexample against it. Unfortunately for Turri and his solution, in this paper we will see history repeat itself. (shrink)
Abstract. Our human condition is often defined in terms of human fallibility; we are human specifically because we fail to live up to our own expectations. This paper explores various conceptions of one form of human fallibility: self-control failure. Self-control failure is examined through two conceptualizations, with each conceptualization observed through a corresponding theological and psychological lens: first, as the result of a divided, conflicted humanity, as understood by the Catholic Doctrine of Original Sin and psychological Dual-Process Theories (...) of Cognition; and second, as the result of limited goal perception, as understood by Islamic conceptions of human memory and psychological Construal Level Theory. A concluding discussion considers two broader implications of the preceding analysis: first, that an appropriate understanding of human fallibility can help us to mitigate its effects, and second, that a conversation regarding overlapping concepts across academic disciplines and religious traditions can enrich understanding of said concepts. (shrink)
Supertasks recently discussed in the literature purport to display a failure of energy conservation and determinism in Newtonian mechanics. We debate whether these supertasks are admissible as Newtonian systems, with Earman and Norton defending the affirmative and Alper and Bridger the negative.
The Theory of Market Failure explores how markets respond, both in theory and in practice, to public?goods and externality problems. Most of the articles in this anthology find that markets often meet the demand for public goods in a variety of cases where existing theory would lead one to expect market failure. Moreover, upon reflection, existing theory reveals itself to be in need of supplementation by a more realistic picture of how flexible markets (and evolving systems of property (...) rights) respond to the demand for public goods and for the means of internalizing externalities. (shrink)
As I write these words, I can see on my shelves an attractively bound set of sixteen volumes, each bearing on its spine the words “J. Duns Scotus Opera Omnia.” One would be tempted to assume that these are The Complete Works of John Duns Scotus. Unfortunately, in medieval philosophy things are rarely so simple. Some of the works included in this set are not by Scotus at all, but were once attributed to him. Some of Scotus’s genuine works, including (...) his early Lectura on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, are not included. And what this set presents as Book 1 of Scotus’s late (and very important) Reportatio is actually not the Reportatio at all, but another work whose authenticity and authority are vigorously disputed. And there are further problems. The attractive modern binding belies the age of the edition itself. Open up any of the books, and what you will see is a photographic reprint of an edition first published in 1639. That edition (known as the Wadding edition, after its editor) is not a critical edition, made by weighing all the manuscript evidence according to established principles of textual scholarship in order to determine, with as much precision and certainty as possible, exactly what Scotus said or wrote. In many cases the editor simply looked at the one or two manuscripts he had handy and transcribed what he found there, sometimes without much attention to whether the resulting text even made good sense. Sadly, for much of Scotus’s work this faulty edition is the best one we have. So one has to use it: but one has to use it with great care. The pitfalls of the Wadding edition illustrate a general feature of the study of medieval philosophy: the gap that separates the authentic words of the medieval thinker one wishes to study from the Latin words one sees on the pages of a printed edition — and further still from the English words one sees in a translation. The aim of this essay is to make clear both the nature and the size of that gap, not in order to dismay prospective students of medieval philosophy, but in order to explain the hazards in such a way that students can equip themselves properly to meet them. I will begin by discussing in a general way the channels of 1 transmission by which medieval philosophy has made its way down to us. I then turn to three specific cases by which I illustrate some of those general points as they apply to texts of different sorts and from different periods. Along the way I draw attention to the kinds of errors that are liable to be introduced at the various stages of transmission between a medieval lecturer’s spoken words and the text of a modern critical edition, and I outline the tools and techniques that the careful historian of medieval philosophy will use in order to minimize such errors, especially where no critical edition is available. In the second half of the essay I turn to problems of translation. I provide an example that shows how a reader can sometimes detect errors in a translation even without checking the Latin text, and another to illustrate how translations sometimes reflect controversial views about how a text is to be interpreted. I then conclude with a look at the translation of particular terms, discussing a number of standard translations that are apt to be misleading, and giving some idea of the range of translation of certain key terms.. (shrink)
The application of phylogenetic methods to cultural variation raises questions about how cultural adaption works and how it is coupled to cultural transmission. Cultural group selection is of particular interest in this context because it depends on the same kinds of mechanisms that lead to tree-like patterns of cultural variation. Here, we review ideas about cultural group selection relevant to cultural phylogenetics. We discuss why group selection among multiple equilibria is not subject to the usual criticisms directed at group (...) selection, why multiple equilibria are a common phenomena, and why selection among multiple equilibria is not likely to be an important force in genetic evolution. We also discuss three forms of group competition and the processes that cause populations to shift from one equilibrium to another and create a mutation-like process at the group level. (shrink)
For Jean-Paul Sartre, both love and sexual desire are necessarily doomed to failure. In this paper, I wish to briefly explain why Sartre takes this position. Both love and sexual desire fail, as do all patterns to conduct towards the other, because they involve an attempt to simultaneouslycapture the other-as-subject and as-object. This, for Sartre, involves an ontological contradiction which I demonstrate.Furthermore, I wish to offer the outline of a criticism of this position, a criticism made from the perspective (...) of an acceptance of the basic Sartrian approach taken in Being and Nothingness. Sartre’s description of love implies an attempt to overcome ontological aspects of the human condition which are fundamentally insurmountable. I will show that this description is flawed even within the confines of a Sartrian ontology by pointing out unwarranted assumptions on Sartre’s part as to the goals of these activities and their worth, as well as the worth of the emotional consciousness itself. (shrink)
Introducción: Camagüey ocupa el cuarto lugar nacional en cuanto al número de infectados con VIH/SIDA, después de La Habana, Santiago de Cuba y Holguín. Camagüey se encuentra dentro de los 45 municipios con mayor prevalencia en Cuba. Objetivo: identificar las actitudes socioculturales frente a las infecciones de transmisión sexual en estudiantes de primer año de Medicina. Método: en noviembre de 2011 se realizó un estudio analítico, de corte transversal, a una muestra de estudiantes de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas "Carlos (...) J. Finlay". Se utilizó una encuesta para recoger información. Con el método no paramétrico de Kruskal Wallis se determinó el nivel de conocimiento de los mismos en cada uno de los componentes relacionados con las actitudes socioculturales. Se utilizó la técnica no paramétrica de ji cuadrado para evaluar si existían diferencias significativas entre los distintos grupos de edades, el sexo y el estado civil. Resultados: se valoró que el componente conductual se encuentra fortalecido, entre otras actitudes, por la tendencia de los estudiantes a mantener parejas estables. En el componente cognitivo sólo un 46 % supo reconocer las vías de transmisión del VIH/SIDA, y un 13,2 % no identificó las manifestaciones clínicas relacionadas con las infecciones de transmisión sexual. En el componente afectivo se destacó un 12 % de los encuestados como grupo de riesgo a los que no les gusta usar el preservativo. Conclusiones: como resultado de la encuesta se lograron identificar algunas actitudes socioculturales frente a las infecciones de transmisión sexual en estudiantes de Medicina de primer año, en los componentes valorados. Background: Camagüey has the fourth national place in the number of persons infected with VHI/AIDS, after Havana, Santiago and Holguín. Objetive: the aim of this work is identifying socio-cultural attitudes to face of the infections of sexual transmission in first year Medicine students. Methods: in November 2011, a group of students participated in a questionnaire. The non-parametric test Kruskal Wallis was made to find significant differences in the answers given by persons with different age, sex or civil status, Frequency of answers to each question was found out. The non parametric technique of Ji square was used to evaluate if there were significant differences among the different groups of ages, the sex and the civil status. Results: it was valued that the behavioral component is strengthened, among other attitudes, for the tendency of the students to maintain stable couples, only a 46 % know most of transmission ways of STD and a 13,2 % know the clinical symptoms, a 12 % said they did not like condom use. Conclusions: it was possible to find with this survey some socio-cultural attitudes to face of the infections of sexual transmission in first year Medicine students. (shrink)
The paper claims that analytic philosophy has failed within the philosophy of science due to the way the dynamic aspect of scientific theories is traditionally treated. On the formal side this failure manifests itself in the first-order logical and the model-theoretic analyses of scientific theories. An amendment of the treatment is sketched. It is based on using model generation, of the kind used in proving the Completeness Theorem for first-order logic, in such a way that some dynamic quantities in (...) the dynamic theory are formally represented as functions relating closed terms and sentences to their interpretations in a generated model. (shrink)
: What philosophical and historical insights might be gained by juxtaposing and linking two distinct areas of Zhu Xi's comments, those on guishen (conventionally glossed as ghosts or spirits) and those on the transmission and succession of the Way (daotong)? There is considerable evidence that he regarded canonical rites for ancestors and teachers as insufficiently satisfying, and thus he sought enhanced communion with the dead. His statements about spirits and especially his prayers to Confucius' spirit served to enhance his (...) confidence that he had gained the transmission of Confucius' dao and that nothing being passed down to him had been lost. In the rituals and prayers to Confucius, Zhu Xi also projected himself as mediator between his students and Confucius' spirit. After hearing such prayers and participating in the ritual sacrifices, Zhu's students would become more convinced of his special status in the transmission of the Way. This inquiry into these spiritual and philosophical issues ultimately demonstrates the compelling importance of Zhu's practical concerns. (shrink)
(2013). The systemic failure of economic methodologists. Journal of Economic Methodology: Vol. 20, Methodology, Systemic Risk, and the Economics Profession, pp. 56-68. doi: 10.1080/1350178X.2013.774848.
In this paper, I explore general features of the “architecture” (relations of white space, diagram, and text on the page) of medieval manuscripts and early printed editions of Euclidean geometry. My focus is primarily on diagrams in the Arabic transmission, although I use some examples from both Byzantine Greek and medieval Latin manuscripts as a foil to throw light on distinctive features of the Arabic transmission. My investigations suggest that the “architecture” often takes shape against the backdrop of (...) an educational landscape. The constraints of the economic marketplace and cultural aesthetic ideals also appear to play a role in determining the “architecture” of both manuscripts and early printed editions. (shrink)
The conventional wisdom regarding the creation of federal housing programs during the Great Depression cites market failure as the key factor leading to government action. A review of the historical record regarding one program in particular, the Federal Housing Administration's insurance of real?estate mortgages, suggests a more complex picture. Amortized loans were not created anew by the FHA but had been developed previously by various financial institutions; their use by national banks was restricted by law. What market failure (...) occurred seems to have been induced, at least in part, by the federal government. (shrink)
The theory of neoteny assumes that adult animals that are higher on the phylogenetic scale retain juvenile characteristics for greater periods of their lifetime. This hypothesis would account for the continuation of curiosity, learning and playfulness in humans and other higher primates in contrast to less evolved mammals. The failure of the neoteny process could result in humans that have lost these juvenile characteristics and lack motivation, curiosity and the capacity to learn freely. These features are indicative of the (...) negative symptoms of dementia praecox, a chronic mental illness that strikes individuals as they become adults.It is postulated that a possible mechanism in the etiology of dementia praecox is the failure of regulator genes to program structural genes to produce enzymes necessary for neoteny. Positive symptoms of the disorder may be conceptualized as the organisms aberrant response to this activation failure. The role of regulator genes in chronic illness may prove a significant avenue for further investigation. (shrink)
Voluntary management standards for social and environmental performance ideally help to define and improve firms’ related capabilities. These standards, however, have largely failed to improve such performance as intended. Over-emphasis on institutional factors leading to adoption of these standards has neglected the role of firms’ existing capabilities. External pressures can drive firms to adopt standards more than their technical capacity to employ them. This can lead to problems of “fit” between institutional requirements and a firm’s existing capabilities . We describe (...) a conceptual model that considers the impact of an interaction between a firm’s institutional requirements and its existing capabilities on standards failure. We suggest solutions that align institutional requirements to appropriate governance forms as a means to improve standards success. We contribute to theory by describing the role of firms’ internal capabilities to the success of voluntary management standards and the reliability of self-regulation generally. (shrink)
The ethnographic description of story-telling and narrative transmission of cultural facts is an aspect of Locke & Bogin's (L&B's) article that should be amplified. Innate shared gene patrimony is biased by the kinship structure of particular societies and interacts with the transmission of narratives. Trance experiences are another interesting aspect of verbal and agonistic “performances.”.
Failure to take note of distinctive attributes in the distal stimulus leads to an inadequate proximal encoding. Representation of similarities in Chorus suffers in this regard. Distinctive qualities may require additional complex representation (e.g., reference to linguistic terms) in order to facilitate discrimination. Additional semantic information, which configures proximal attributes, permits accurate identification of true veridical stimuli.
Twentieth-century action theory has concentrated on the relationship of intention to action, and thereby the relationship of belief as an occurrent state of the agent to the agent’s action. This stress on belief appears to be predicated on the view that our actions are primarily guided by our understanding of the relevant conditions of action, a view encouraged by the fact that we can and do attribute beliefs to ourselves and others to explain instances of the failure of an (...) action toachieve a desired outcome. I argue that, to the contrary, there is no compelling reason to conclude that such attributions imply that our actions are guided by occurrent beliefs. The alternative view offered is that our actions are typically guided by habit, but in cases of pragmatic failure we attribute putative prefailurebeliefs on the basis of the overall intention of action and relevant background understanding. (shrink)
This paper explores the failure of modernisation theory and its more recent offspring as represented by 'transition to democracy' and 'construction of capitalism' theories to explain the post-communist development of Russia. Some post-modern theories, though, reinterpreted to emphasise the disintegration and fragmentation of the 'hard core' of social structures rather than the 'post-philosophical' mode of thinking and 'aestheticised' styles of consumption, are looked at for a more fruitful conceptual alternative. In the conclusion, the idea of 'multiple fragile modernities' is (...) argued for as the most promising starting point for the conceptualisation of post-communism as well as its correlation with global 'late capitalism'. (shrink)
This study responds to Theodore Kisiel’s “review and overview” of Contributions, the English translation of Heidegger’s Beiträge, included in his essay published in Studia Phænomenologica, vol. 5 (2005), 277-285. This study shows the uniqueness and the significance of Beiträge, as well as the nature of the venture to render it into English (I); it explores the language and way of thinking, the be-ing-historical, enowning perspective, endemic to Heidegger’s second main work, and identifies the “ideal” and the difficulties of its translation (...) as a hermeneutic labor, as well as the inadequacy of “an archival perspective” for guiding the translation and the grasping of his text (II). Based on these insights, this study, then, leads to a critical assessment of Theodore Kisiel’s hyperbolic, acerbic, despairing reactions to Contributions as a work of translation, thus exhibiting the collapse of his gratuitous assertions and assumptions under their own weight, as well as the failure of his “archival” approach to the translation (and ultimately to the assessment of Heidegger’s thinking) (III); it concludes with showing the nature and the disclosive power of Contributions, as well as its significance for the future of Heidegger studies (IV). (shrink)
Abstract Why are political decisions often unfortunate? In replying to this question public?choice theorists fail to distinguish individual conditions from systemic ones. Instead, they make sweeping claims about the egoism of man and the failure of politics. But the real problem is that we often experience government failures despite the best, the most benign motives on the part of, citizens, politicians, and bureaucrats. Better than the theory of man's innate self?interest is the theory of the unintended consequences arising from (...) the inherent shortcomings of the political system. To wish well but to do evil?that is the dilemma of politics. (shrink)
ideals of their mission statements is often compromised. Following the ethical maxim that Aought implies can,@ business ethicists often grant that our practical obligations have to be understood against the backdrop of the relative scarcity or abundance of the business and social environment. Nothing brings on scarcity more dramatically than the total liquidation of a business=s assets. Bankruptcy protection and reorganization can, and probably should, lead businesses to cut back on some of their obligations. But even if we allow this (...) concession to practical exigency, we can still ask probing questions about how the future possibility of business failure may ground our understanding of the current actual obligations of owners and managers (hereafter, managers) to employees. While the obligations of the bankrupt business may devolve to minimal contractual obligations, an analysis of the responsibility of managers for business failure may tell us something important about the nature of both employment and managerial ethics. (shrink)
Interpreting a scene of lactation failure allows us to represent breast-feeding as a contested social practice. This essay reads a novelistic scene of lactation failure in the context of the decline of breast-feeding in the twentieth century. The protagonist's ignorance of the female experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation is an effect of her objectification within the opposition between science and nature. Unnatural as a woman because she is a natural individual, the pastor's wife exemplifies the dilemmas of (...) breast-feeding as a biosocial practice of maternity in a technological society which features the breakdown of traditional female networks in which knowledge about maternity and breast-feeding are circulated. (shrink)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adult Americans and has recently become a top killer worldwide. The direct costs of cardiovascular disease are projected to triple in the next 20 years, from $272.5 billion to $818.1 billion (Heidenreich et al. 2011). Although there has been a decreased incidence and prevalence of ischemic heart disease over the past several decades in the United States, heart failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In the United States, (...) approximately 500,000 to 700,000 new cases are identified each year (Lloyd-Jones et al. 2009). Heart failure is now the number one diagnosis leading to hospitalization. As such, it is an increasingly heavy economic burden on .. (shrink)
I argue that the idea of reference failure which is frequently mentioned and occasionally argued for in the recent philosophy of language literature is a misnomer at best and incoherent when taken seriously. In the first place, there is no such thing as an empty name or name that fails to name anything, where names are understood as not replaceable by descriptions. In the case of demonstrative reference, because the speaker’s perception fixes the referent and the speaker’s referential intention (...) is not formed prior to the fixation of the referent, reference is guaranteed. My argument is based on an analysis of the alleged cases of reference failure. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the role of punishment as a critical social mechanism for cheating prevention in MMORPGs. The role of punishment is empirically investigated in a case study of the MMORPG Tibia (Cipsoft 1997–2011 ) ( http://www.tibia.com ) and by focusing on the use of bots to cheat. We describe the failure of punishment in Tibia, which is perceived by players as one of the elements facilitating the proliferation of bots. In this process some players act as a (...) moral enterprising group contributing to the reform of the game rules and in particular to the reform of the Tibia punishment system by the game company. In the conclusion we consider the ethical issues raised by our findings and we propose some general reflections on the role of punishment and social mechanisms for the governance of online worlds more generally. (shrink)
Abstract This paper examines religious affiliation and commitment of teenagers as a function of the quality of mother?child interaction and the mothers? religious commitment, as an illustration of the principle that transmission of parental norms and values to their children is facilitated or inhibited by the quality of their interaction. We expected that in cases where mother?child interaction was good, parents would be better able to impose their own values upon their children, resulting in a lower disaffiliation and higher (...) religious commitment in high quality of family?interaction families. This expectation was tested using data from 223 British adolescent?mother pairs, by means of logistic and ordinary regression analysis. The results largely supported the hypotheses, exemplifying how mothers in their role of moral agents may profit from good mother?child relationships. (shrink)
Craig's interpolation theorem fails for the prepositional logicsE of entailment,R of relevant implication andT of ticket entailment, as well as in a large class of related logics. This result is proved by a geometrical construction, using the fact that a non-Arguesian projective plane cannot be imbedded in a three-dimensional projective space. The same construction shows failure of the amalgamation property in many varieties of distributive lattice-ordered monoids.
Placebo-trials on HIV-infected pregnant women in developing countries like Thailand and Uganda have provoked recent controversy. Such experiments aim to find a treatment that will cut the rate of vertical transmission more efficiently than existing treatments like zidovudine. This scenario is first stated as generally as possible, before three ethical principles found in the Belmont Report, itself a sharpening of the Helsinki Declaration, are stated. These three principles are the Principle of Utility, the Principle of Autonomy and the Principle (...) of Justice. These are taken as voices of moral imperative. But although each has intuitive appeal, it can be shown that there are possible scenarios in which they give conflicting prescriptions. To achieve consistency, one must be subordinate to the others. The voice of utility is taken as subordinate to those of justice and autonomy and it is shown that given plausible assumptions about the level of poverty and education in the developing country targeted, the experiment is ruled morally wrong in the name of both justice and autonomy. Moreover, it is argued that no justification can be found for the inclusion of a placebo group, when strictly defined. By contrast, a ‘no- treatment’ control arm might be justified, but only when the demands of autonomy are satisfied, demands that are more stringent than they might appear. A utilitarian defence of the experiment is examined, namely that the would-be participants are in a no-loss situation, and it is shown that this defence is seriously flawed. Finally, it is concluded that there is no justification for amending the Declaration of Helsinki. (shrink)
The event that King Kuai of Yan demised the crown to his premier Zizhi, is a tentative way of political power transmission happened in the social transforming Warring States Period, which was influenced by the popular theory of Yao and Shun’s demise of that time. However, this tentative was obviously a failure, coming under attacks from all Confucian, Taoist and Legalist scholars. We may understand the development of the thinking concerning the issue of political legitimacy during the Warring (...) States Period by analyzing the different commentaries by different schools on this unusual event, and get some beneficial inspirations. (shrink)