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)
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)
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)
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.
Transmission of justification across inference is a valuable and indeed ubiquitous epistemic phenomenon in everyday life and science. It is thanks to the phenomenon of epistemic transmission that inferential reasoning is a means for substantiating predictions of future events and, more generally, for expanding the sphere of our justified beliefs or reinforcing the justification of beliefs that we already entertain. However, transmission of justification is not without exceptions. As a few epistemologists have come to realise, more or (...) less trivial forms of circularity can prevent justification from transmitting from p to q even if one has justification for p and one is aware of the inferential link from p to q. In interesting cases this happens because one can acquire justification for p only if one has independent justification for q. In this case the justification for q cannot depend on the justification for p and the inferential link from p to q, as genuine transmission would require. The phenomenon of transmissionfailure seems to shed light on philosophical puzzles, such as Moore's proof of a material world and McKinsey's paradox, and it plays a central role in various philosophical debates. For this reason it is being granted continued and increasing attention. (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)
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)
This Introduction to the special issue on “Skepticism and Justification” provides a background to the nine articles collected here and a detailed summary of each, which highlights their interconnections and relevance to the debate at the heart of the issue.
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 it 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. This essay contends, however, that the notoriety of these deductions is undeserved. Its strategy is (...) to clarify, attack, defend, and apply. The essay clarifies what transmission and transmissionfailure really are, thereby exposing two questionable but quotidian assumptions. It attacks existing views of transmissionfailure, especially those of Crispin Wright. It defends a permissive view of transmissionfailure, one holding that deductions of a certain kind fail to transmit only because of premise circularity. Finally, it applies this account to the Neo-Moorean and Zebra Deductions and shows that, given the essay's 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 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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
Information changes as it is passed from person to person, with this process of cultural transmission allowing the minds of individuals to shape the information that they transmit. We present mathematical models of cultural transmission which predict that the amount of information passed from person to person should affect the rate at which that information changes. We tested this prediction using a function-learning task, in which people learn a functional relationship between two variables by observing the values of (...) those variables. We varied the total number of observations and the number of those observations that take unique values. We found an effect of the number of observations, with functions transmitted using fewer observations changing form more quickly. We did not find an effect of the number of unique observations, suggesting that noise in perception or memory may have affected learning. (shrink)
Failure is a central notion both in ethics of engineering and in engineering practice. Engineers devote considerable resources to assure their products will not fail and considerable progress has been made in the development of tools and methods for understanding and avoiding failure. Engineering ethics, on the other hand, is concerned with the moral and social aspects related to the causes and consequences of technological failures. But what is meant by failure, and what does it mean that (...) a failure has occurred? The subject of this paper is how engineers use and define this notion. Although a traditional definition of failure can be identified that is shared by a large part of the engineering community, the literature shows that engineers are willing to consider as failures also events and circumstance that are at odds with this traditional definition. These cases violate one or more of three assumptions made by the traditional approach to failure. An alternative approach, inspired by the notion of product life cycle, is proposed which dispenses with these assumptions. Besides being able to address the traditional cases of failure, it can deal successfully with the problematic cases. The adoption of a life cycle perspective allows the introduction of a clearer notion of failure and allows a classification of failure phenomena that takes into account the roles of stakeholders involved in the various stages of a product life cycle. (shrink)
Statutes criminalizing behavior that risks transmission of HIV/AIDS exemplify use of the criminal law against individuals who are victims of infectious disease. These statutes, despite their frequency, are misguided in terms of the goals of the criminal law and the public health aim of reducing overall burdens of disease, for at least three important reasons. First, they identify individual offenders for punishment, a paradigm that is misplaced in the most typical contexts of transmission of infectious disease and even (...) for HIV/AIDS, despite claims of AIDS exceptionalism. Second, although there are examples of individuals who transmit infectious disease in a manner that fits the criminal law paradigm of identification of individual offenders for deterrence or retribution, these examples are limited and can be accommodated by existing criminal laws not devoted specifically to infectious disease. Third, and most importantly, the current criminal laws regarding HIV/AIDS, like many other criminal laws applied to infectious disease transmission, have been misguided in focusing on punishment of the diseased individual as a wrongful transmitter. Instead of individual offenders, activities that enhance the scale of disease transmission—behaviors that might be characterized as ‘transmission facilitation’—are a more appropriate target for the criminal law. Examples are trafficking in human beings (including sex trafficking, organ trafficking, and labor trafficking), suppression of information about the emergence of infection in circumstances in which there is a legally established obligation to disclose, and intentional or reckless activities to discourage disease treatment or prevention. Difficulties remain with justifications for criminalizing even these behaviors, however, most importantly the need for trust in reducing overall burdens of disease, problems in identifying individual responsible offenders, and potential misalignment between static criminal law and the changing nature of infectious disease. (shrink)
Human culture has evolved through a series of major tipping points in information storage and communication. The first was the appearance of language, which enabled communication between brains and allowed humans to specialize in what they do and to participate in complex mating games. The second was information storage outside the brain, most obviously expressed in the “Upper Paleolithic Revolution”—the sudden proliferation of cave art, personal adornment, and ritual in Europe some 35,000–45,000 years ago. More recently, this storage has taken (...) the form of writing, mass media, and now the Internet, which is arguably overwhelming humans’ ability to discern relevant information. The third tipping point was the appearance of technology capable of accumulating and manipulating vast amounts of information outside humans, thus removing them as bottlenecks to a seemingly self-perpetuating process of knowledge explosion. Important components of any discussion of cultural evolutionary tipping points are tempo and mode, given that the rate of change, as well as the kind of change, in information storage and transmission has not been constant over the previous million years. (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.
There has been much debate regarding when modern human cognition arose. It was previously thought that the technocomplexes and artifacts associated with a particular timeframe during the Upper Paleolithic could provide a proxy for identifying the signature of modern cognition. It now appears that this approach has underestimated the complexity of human behavior on a number of different levels. As the artifacts, once thought to be confined to Europe 40,000 years ago onwards, can now be found in other parts of (...) the world well before this date, especially in South Africa, this suggests that modern cognition arose well before this period. Moreover, the variability of the archaeological record from the time when anatomically modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago suggests cognitive factors alone are unable to explain the obvious unevenness. In this article, it will be demonstrated how neuro-cognition can be assimilated with population dynamics and the transmission of information between individuals and groups that can provide important insights as to the nature and origins of modern human cognition. (shrink)
Les savants de langue syriaque - une branche de l'arameen - ont joue un role aujourd'hui reconnu dans la transmission du patrimoine philosophique et scientifique grec aux auteurs de langue arabe, et cela grace aux nombreuses traductions qu ...
Much existing literature in anthropology suggests that teaching is rare in non-Western societies, and that cultural transmission is mostly vertical (parent-to-offspring). However, applications of evolutionary theory to humans predict both teaching and non-vertical transmission of culturally learned skills, behaviors, and knowledge should be common cross-culturally. Here, we review this body of theory to derive predictions about when teaching and non-vertical transmission should be adaptive, and thus more likely to be observed empirically. Using three interviews conducted with rural (...) Fijian populations, we find that parents are more likely to teach than are other kin types, high-skill and highly valued domains are more likely to be taught, and oblique transmission is associated with high-skill domains, which are learned later in life. Finally, we conclude that the apparent conflict between theory and empirical evidence is due to a mismatch of theoretical hypotheses and empirical claims across disciplines, and we reconcile theory with the existing literature in light of our results. (shrink)
This article argues that the (epi)genetic, cultural, symbolic, and environmental transmission channels are insufficient to explain the structure of modern human societies. Economic exchange of knowledge embodied in goods and services constitutes an additional transmission channel that makes more efficient use of limited human cognitive capacity. Economic exchange results in a gradual shift in societies from task-based division of labor to cognitive specialization. This shifts scarce cognitive resources away from production and into learning. It accelerates learning and reinforces (...) the drive towards specialization. Cognitive specialization may constitute another “major transition” towards a higher level of aggregation in human societies, with properties that differ from symbolic transmission. Collective control of individual market-based exchange is ensured by means of economic institutions that put a constraint on individual behavior. (shrink)
This work presents a thorough derivation of the full-wave transmission-line equations on the basis of Maxwell’s theory. The multiconductor system is assumed to be composed of nonuniform thin wires. It is shown that the mixed potential integral equations are equivalent to generalized telegrapher equations. Novel, exact, and compact expressions for the multiconductor transmission-line parameters are derived, and their connection to radiation effects is shown. Iteration and perturbation procedures are proposed for the solution of the generalized transmission-line equations.
In this paper intergenerational dimensions of reproductive behavior are studied within the context of the experience of a mid-sized Spanish town just before and during the demographic transition. Different indicators of reproduction are used in bivariate and multivariate approaches. Fertility shows a small, often statistically significant intergenerational dimension, with stronger effects working through women and their mothers than those stemming from the families of their husbands. These effects are materialized mainly through duration-related fertility variables, are singularly absent for variables such (...) as age at first birth or birth intervals, and are much stronger in the case of firstborn daughters than with later siblings. There is a substantial increase in the strength of intergenerational effects during the course of the demographic transition, most visible in age at last birth and duration of reproduction (between women and their mothers), as well as in the effects working through the families of their husbands. These results underscore the on-going importance of biological dimensions of reproduction as well as the way attitudes toward reproduction are taught within the family. The changes identified in this study suggest that the transmission of values and attitudes became more important for reproductive outcomes during this period of demographic modernization. (shrink)
Many evolutionary models assume that behaviors are caused directly by genes. An implication is that behavioral uniformity should be found only in groups that are genetically uniform. Yet, the members of human social groups often behave in a uniform fashion, despite the fact that they are genetically diverse. Behavioral uniformity can occur through a variety of psychological mechanisms and social processes, such as imitation, consensus decision making, or the imposition of social norms. We present a series of models in which (...) genes code for social transmission rules, which in turn govern the behaviors that are adopted. Transmission rules can evolve in randomly formed groups that concentrate phenotypic variation at the between-group level, favoring the evolution of altruistic behaviors and other group-advantageous traits. In addition, a direct bias toward adopting altruistic behaviors can evolve. Our models begin to show how group selection can be a strong force in human evolution, despite the absence of extreme genetic variation among groups. (shrink)
§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)
This essay addresses the question of when evidence for a stronger claim H1 also constitutes evidence for a weaker claim H2. Although the answer “Always” is tempting, it is false on a natural Bayesian conception of evidence. This essay first describes some prima facie counterexamples to this answer and surveys some weaker answers and rejects them. Next, it proposes an answer, which appeals to the “Dragging Condition.” After explaining and arguing for its use of the Dragging Condition, the essay argues (...) that the Dragging Condition provides a general account of, and solution to, the counterexamples with which the essay began. The essay briefly discusses the relevance of the Dragging Condition to the recently much-discussed topic of “transmissionfailure” in epistemology, applies the Dragging Condition to the problem of “bootstrapping” in epistemology, and discusses three important objections to the view defended in the essay. (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)
Análisis estético, sociológico y político de la obra de Goethe Las desventuras del joven Werther, partiendo de las tesis estético-literarias de Georg Lukács, claramente influenciadas por Friedrich Schiller, y de las consideraciones que el mismo Goethe realizó posteriormente acerca de su vida y obra en su inconclusa autobiografía Poesía y verdad . El objetivo es realizar un pequeño estudio de la obra pero, en especial, del tipo de sujeto que ejemplifica su personaje principal: el sujeto del humanismo burgués revolucionario , (...) un sujeto que podemos caracterizar en palabras de Lukács como demoníaco y que, por su estructura constitutiva, está condenado al fracaso de sus expectativas vitales. (shrink)