Critics of functionalism about the mind often rely on the intuition that collectivities cannot be conscious in motivating their positions. In this paper, we consider the merits of appealing to the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity. We demonstrate that collective mentality is not an affront to commonsense, and we report evidence that demonstrates that the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity is, to some extent, culturally specific rather (...) than universally held. This being the case, we argue that mere appeal to the intuitive implausibility of collective consciousness does not offer any genuine insight into the nature of mentality in general, nor the nature of consciousness in particular. (shrink)
Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...) required for persistence of self. Open-ended, abstract questions about what is required for survival tend to elicit responses that appeal to the importance of psychological characteristics. This emphasis on psychological characteristics is largely preserved even when participants are exposed to a concrete case that yields conflicting intuitions over whether memory must be preserved in order for a person to persist. Insofar as our philosophical theory of personal identity should be based on our intuitions, the results provide some support for the view that psychological characteristics really are critical for persistence of self. (shrink)
Neste artigo o autor pretende mostrar como as reflexões filosóficas de Giordano Bruno sobre a Retórica foram fortemente influenciadas pelas concepções metafísicas e metodológicas de Raimundo Lúlio. Para tanto, são analisados especialmente os Escritos de Wittenberg, Artificium perorandi e De lampade combinatoria, onde Bruno discute a aplicação dos princípios do lulismo através da utilização da metáfora dos caracteres e da hierarquização do cosmos, bem como da operacionalização de um processo combinatório na construção de proposições e argumentos.
Abstract: The standard picture of rationality requires that the agent acts so as to realize her most preferred alternative in the light of her own desires and beliefs. However, there are circumstances where such an agent can predict that she will act against her preferences. The story of Ulysses and the Sirens is the paradigmatic example of such cases. In those circumstances the orthodoxy requires the agent to be ‘sophisticated’. That is to say, she should take into account her expected (...) future choices and prevent her future self to act in certain ways. She should ‘bind’ herself to a certain course of action. This is a form of causal commitment. It is generally recognized that this form of self-commitment is the only one that is available to a rational agent. Rational commitment, where the agent gives herself a reason to act in a certain way rather than making herself act in that way, is considered not feasible. In this paper, I question this verdict. I sketch the broad outlines of a model of rational commitment, which takes as its starting point Michael Bratman’s ‘planning theory’ of intention. There are two important objections against this theory (one by John Broome and one by the Dutch philosopher Govert den Hartogh.) Both criticisms claim that such a theory is a form of ‘bootstrapping’ reasons for action into existence. In the remainder of the paper, I will defend the theory against these objections. This way, I hope to establish that defending the feasibility of rational commitment is not an obvious mistake. (shrink)
Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology, edited by Rocco J. Gennaro, brings together fourteen new essays exploring the relative merits of and problems with higher-order representation theories of consciousness. The anthology is divided into two parts. Part I contains articles by proponents of HOR theories arguing for their favorite version of the theory , responding to well-known objections , and exploring potentially vindicating empirical results . Part II contains critical articles which attempt to press both traditional objections as well as (...) new ones to HOR theory, to undermine considerations usually put forth in its favor , and to offer alternative theories which might appeal to HOR theorists. (shrink)
Despite a large and multifaceted effort to understand the vast landscape of phenotypic data, their current form inhibits productive data analysis. The lack of a community-wide, consensus-based, human- and machine-interpretable language for describing phenotypes and their genomic and environmental contexts is perhaps the most pressing scientific bottleneck to integration across many key fields in biology, including genomics, systems biology, development, medicine, evolution, ecology, and systematics. Here we survey the current phenomics landscape, including data resources and handling, and the progress that (...) has been made to accurately capture relevant data descriptions for phenotypes. We present an example of the kind of integration across domains that computable phenotypes would enable, and we call upon the broader biology community, publishers, and relevant funding agencies to support efforts to surmount today's data barriers and facilitate analytical reproducibility. (shrink)
On Marx et Marxisms. In response to the questions addressed by Jacques Bidet and Bruno Tinel, Gérard Duménil, Michael Löwy and Emmanuel Renault here outline the approach they adopted in their two recently published books on Marx, and on Marxisms . The questions raised here mainly hinge on the articulation between the political, the philosophical and the economic dimension of Marx’s writings, and the way these can be mobilised within contemporary debates.
To combine some views of 'Diskursethik' and Constitutional Political Economy seems to be promising. In our comments on Frey's and Kirchgässner's attempt to join the forces of Discourse theory and Political Economy in defending the wider spread use of referenda we direct attention to three points. Firstly, the normative basis of both concepts is unsettled. Secondly, an economic approach contrary to the supposition of Frey and Kirchgässner provides substantial insights into the processes which precede collective decisions. Thirdly, the 'veil of (...) insignificance' in referenda will not necessarily increase altruism in voting behavior. (shrink)
Schools have been the main context for physical activity and sedentary behavior interventions among adolescents, but there is inconsistent evidence on whether they also improve dimensions of the health−related quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a school-based active lifestyle intervention on dimensions of HRQoL. A secondary aim was to verify whether sex, age, and HRQoL at baseline were moderators of the intervention effect. A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted at three control and (...) three intervention schools in Florianopolis, Brazil. All students from 7th to 9th grade were invited to participate. A school year intervention, designed primarily to increase PA and reduce SB, included strategies focused on teacher training on PA, SB, and nutrition, and availability of teaching materials related to these contents; environmental improvements ; and education strategies, with the availability of folders and posters regarding PA, SB, and nutrition. Participants and the research staffs were not blinded to group assignment, but a standardized evaluation protocol was applied at baseline and after the intervention using the KIDSCREEN−27 to assess HRQoL across five dimensions. Mixed linear models were performed to evaluate the effect of the Movimente intervention on the five HRQoL dimensions. Of the 921 students who answered the questionnaire at baseline, 300 and 434 completed the study in control and intervention groups, respectively. The results revealed no significant effects of the intervention on any HRQoL dimensions. A reduction of the school environment dimension was observed in both the control and intervention groups. Sensitivity analyses showed that students in the highest baseline tertiles of HRQoL in any dimension had a reduction in their respective scores from pre- to post-intervention in both school groups. In conclusion, our results demonstrated no intervention effect on HRQoL dimensions and those students with the highest levels of HRQoL at baseline on all dimensions reduced from pre to post-intervention.Clinical Trial RegistrationThe trial is registered at the Clinical Trial Registry. (shrink)
Quentin Meillassoux has argued that lives irremediably ruined by injustice, suffering, and tragedy confront us with an irresolvable dilemma: either God exists to bring justice to the world, or God does not exist and true justice is an impossibility. He proposes to escape this dilemma by introducing the idea of a “virtual” God who does not exist now but who could unpredictably come into existence in the future. According to Meillassoux’s argument, such an event would entail a radical break with (...) the world as we know it; at the same time, Meillassoux avows a thoroughgoing dismissal of any thought that relies on appeals to transcendence. This paper argues that Meillassoux’s notion of the inexistent God betrays his own commitment to immanence, and that Bruno Latour offers a more consistent and more constructive way of understanding the divine on immanent terms. (shrink)
This volume brings together previously unpublished papers by leading scholars that deal with the theme of practical reasoning and normativity. The volume includes contributions by Michael Bratman, Donald Bruckner, David Enoch, Elijah Millgram, Andrew Reisner, François and Laura Schroeter, Mark Schroeder, and William White.
Margit Osterloh and Bruno S. Frey have introduced a novel, and potentially powerful, vision of migration rights, on which European states might respond to the current crisis of migration by conditioning admission on the payment of an entry fee. In this comment, I raise a worry about the morality of a world governed by such a principle. While Osterloh and Frey foresee a world in which migration is made more sustainable, with benefits for all stakeholders as a result, I (...) am worried their program would lead to a lessening of support for the moral principles that gave rise to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This Convention, I argue, ought to be preserved as a public statement of the principle that wealthy states have an obligation to bear some costs in the defense of human rights; Osterloh and Frey, I argue, might be undermining support for those moral principleswe currently have the most need to reinforce. Nevertheless, I argue that under emergency circumstances we might have a need for experimentation and political innovation, even if we are confident that what they produce will necessarily involve some degree of political wrongdoing; we might, in short, have a reason to try out proposals of the sort Osterloh and Frey defend, even if the moral worries I defend here are correct. (shrink)
This article is an Introduction to a translation of ‘Zur Beurteilung der Schrift Das Wesen des Christentums’ by Ludwig Feuerbach. To my knowledge, no English translation of this essay currently exists. It was published in February 1842 and functions as both a general reply to critics of his 1841 book The Essence of Christianity, as well as a specific response to the claim of an anonymous reviewer that Feuerbach’s interpretation of religion was the same as that of his fellow Young (...) Hegelian Bruno Bauer. Besides capturing a central moment in Feuerbach’s development between The Essence of Christianity and his well-known works of 1842–4, the essay also sheds light on the rest of the Young Hegelian movement and provides crucial context for some of Marx’s later comments on Feuerbach and his philosophy. (shrink)
In this introduction, we address some of the complexities associated with the emergence of medicine’s bodies, not least as a means to ‘working with the body’ rather than simply producing a critique of medicine. We provide a brief review of some of the recent discussions on how to conceive of medicine and its bodies, noting the increasing attention now given to medicine as a technology or series of technologies active in constituting a multiplicity of entities – bodies, diseases, experimental objects, (...) the individualization of responsibility for health and even the precarity of life. We contrast what feminist theorists in the tradition of Judith Butler have referred to as the question of matter, and Science and Technology Studies with its focus on practice and the nature of emergence. As such we address tensions that exist in analyses of the ontological status of ‘the body’ – human and non-human – as it is enacted in the work of the laboratory, the randomized controlled trial, public health policy and, indeed, the market that is so frequently entangled with these spaces. In keeping with the recent turns toward ontology and affect, we suggest that we can regard medicine as concerned with the contraction and reconfiguration of the body’s capacities to affect and be affected, in order to allow for the subsequent proliferation of affects that, according to Bruno Latour, marks corporeal life. Treating both contraction and proliferation circumspectly, we focus on the patterns of affects wrought in particular by the abstractions of medicine that are described in the contributions to this special issue. Drawing on the work of A.N. Whitehead, we note how abstractions such as ‘medical evidence’, the ‘healthy human body’ or the ‘animal model’ are at once realized and undercut, mediated and resisted through the situated practices that eventuate medicine’s bodies. Along the way, we touch on the implications of this sort of perspective for addressing the distribution of agency and formulations of the ethical and the political in the medical eventuations of bodies. (shrink)
This article explores the elective affinities between Actor-Network Theory and the sociology of critical capacities. It argues that these two research programmes can be understood as symmetrical twins. We show the extent to which the exchange between Bruno Latour and Luc Boltanski has influenced their respective theoretical developments. Three strong encounters between the twin research programmes may be distinguished. The first encounter concerns explanations for social change. The second encounter focuses on the status of objects and their relationship to (...) places. The third encounter is about the concept of critique. Drawing on their long-term mutual readings, we gain insight into how pleas for symmetrical analysis raised in response to Bourdieu’s theory of fields have evolved within both ANT and the sociology of critical capacity. We conclude by relating the development of the respective research programmes to the issue of disciplinary boundaries. (shrink)
In _Sciences from Below_, the esteemed feminist science studies scholar Sandra Harding synthesizes modernity studies with progressive tendencies in science and technology studies to suggest how scientific and technological pursuits might be more productively linked to social justice projects around the world. Harding illuminates the idea of multiple modernities as well as the major contributions of post-Kuhnian Western, feminist, and postcolonial science studies. She explains how these schools of thought can help those seeking to implement progressive social projects refine their (...) thinking to overcome limiting ideas about what modernity and modernization are, the objectivity of scientific knowledge, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity. She also reveals how ideas about gender and colonialism frame the conventional contrast between modernity and tradition. As she has done before, Harding points the way forward in _Sciences from Below_. Describing the work of the post-Kuhnian science studies scholars Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, and the team of Michael Gibbons, Helga Nowtony, and Peter Scott, Harding reveals how, from different perspectives, they provide useful resources for rethinking the modernity versus tradition binary and its effects on the production of scientific knowledge. Yet, for the most part, they do not take feminist or postcolonial critiques into account. As Harding demonstrates, feminist science studies and postcolonial science studies have vital contributions to make; they bring to light not only the male supremacist investments in the Western conception of modernity and the historical and epistemological bases of Western science but also the empirical knowledge traditions of the global South. _Sciences from Below_ is a clear and compelling argument that modernity studies and post-Kuhnian, feminist, and postcolonial sciences studies each have something important, and necessary, to offer to those formulating socially progressive scientific research and policy. (shrink)
Philosophers of science traditionally have ignored the details of scientific research, and the result has often been theories that lack relevance either to science or to philosophy in general. In this volume, leading philosophers of biology discuss the limitations of this tradition and the advantages of the "naturalistic turn"—the idea that the study of science is itself a scientific enterprise and should be conducted accordingly. This innovative book presents candid, informal debates among scholars who examine the benefits and problems of (...) studying science in the same way that scientists study the natural world. Callebaut achieves the effect of face-to-face engagement through separate interviews with participants. Contributors include William Bechtel, Robert Brandon, Richard M. Burian, Donald T. Campbell, Patricia Churchland, Jon Elster, Ronald N. Giere, David L. Hull, Philip Kitcher, Karin Knorr Cetina, Bruno Latour, Richard Levins, Richard C. Lewontin, Elisabeth Lloyd, Helen Longino, Thomas Nickles, Henry C. Plotkin, Robert J. Richards, Alexander Rosenberg, Michael Ruse, Dudley Shapere, Elliott Sober, Ryan Tweney, and William Wimsatt. "Why can't we have both theoretical ecology and natural histories, lovingly done?"—Philip Kitcher "Don't underestimate the arrogance of philosophers!"—Elisabeth Lloyd. (shrink)
In _Facing the Planetary_ William E. Connolly expands his influential work on the politics of pluralization, capitalism, fragility, and secularism to address the complexities of climate change and to complicate notions of the Anthropocene. Focusing on planetary processes—including the ocean conveyor, glacier flows, tectonic plates, and species evolution—he combines a critical understanding of capitalism with an appreciation of how such nonhuman systems periodically change on their own. Drawing upon scientists and intellectuals such as Lynn Margulis, Michael Benton, Alfred North (...) Whitehead, Anna Tsing, Mahatma Gandhi, Wangari Maathai, Pope Francis, Bruno Latour, and Naomi Klein, Connolly focuses on the gap between those regions creating the most climate change and those suffering most from it. He addresses the creative potential of a "politics of swarming" by which people in different regions and social positions coalesce to reshape dominant priorities. He also explores how those displaying spiritual affinities across differences in creed can energize a militant assemblage that is already underway. (shrink)
In Smoke and Mirrors , James Robert Brown fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realistic accounts of science. This enlightening work also demonstrates that science mirrors the world in amazing ways. The metaphysics and epistemology of science, the role of abstraction, abstract objects, and a priori ways of getting at reality are all examined in this fascinating exploration of how science reflects reality. Both a defense of (...) science and knowledge in general and a defense of a particular way of understanding science, Smoke and Mirrors will be provocative and lively reading for all those who have an interest in how science works. (shrink)