In the correspondence between Baruch Spinoza and his former friends Nicolas Stensen and Albert Burgh we find an interesting discussion on the sense of committing oneself to a particular institutionalized religion. Burgh and Stensen, both being converts to Roman Catholicism, tried to convince the former Jew to make the same move as they did. Spinoza answers Burgh that he will not do so, and refers to his ‘universal religion’, which he developed in his published work, the Theological-Political Treatise. This modern (...) religion should provide the grounds for a peaceful social and individual life. It is tolerant towards all kinds of personal views of God, while holding high a universal ethics, which should be acceptable to all good men. In this article this small correspondence is analyzed and clarified with reference to Spinoza’s works. Also the critical question will be asked whether Spinoza can convincingly maintain to have found a religion which is acceptable to all humankind. Rather, it is argued that his religion remains tied to the particular religious tradition from which it takes it’s ethical content. Finally, some valuable elements in Spinoza’s approach will be singled out. (shrink)
On the basis of an analysis of relevant passages from the political-philosophical works of Spinoza, an interpretation is given of his concept of ‘public peace’. This investigation is undertaken in the context of the recent discussion between liberalists and communitarians on the question whether the basis of moral society has to be found in the autonomy of the individual or in the community which provides us with an identity. The outcome of the analysis is that Spinoza’s concept of peace refers (...) to a situation of harmony between individuals and their community. This harmony can be understood from the standpoint of the philosophy of law, of psychology and of ethics. Interesting is the fact that Spinoza’s political philosophy is a reflection on the actual practice of living together, and is therefore less ‘idealistic’ than the recent positions in the debate about the individual and the community. (shrink)
This book persuasively shows that modern philosophical ways of knowing are not the only valid forms of knowledge that exist. AngelaRoothaan argues for a critical reappraisal of indigenous ways of knowing and a need to overturn the politics of epistemology that sustain the modern system of knowledge with regard to its othering of indigenous outlooks of nature. According to Roothaan, this can be achieved by broadening our epistemological and moral vistas beyond the thin modern scientific view (...) that circumscribes valid knowledge merely to the empirical aspects of reality. Such broadening will make an intercultural environmental dialogue possible. (shrink)
Science is the study of our world, as it is in its messy reality. Nonetheless, science requires idealization to function—if we are to attempt to understand the world, we have to find ways to reduce its complexity. Idealization and the Aims of Science shows just how crucial idealization is to science and why it matters. Beginning with the acknowledgment of our status as limited human agents trying to make sense of an exceedingly complex world, Angela Potochnik moves on to (...) explain how science aims to depict and make use of causal patterns—a project that makes essential use of idealization. She offers case studies from a number of branches of science to demonstrate the ubiquity of idealization, shows how causal patterns are used to develop scientific explanations, and describes how the necessarily imperfect connection between science and truth leads to researchers’ values influencing their findings. The resulting book is a tour de force, a synthesis of the study of idealization that also offers countless new insights and avenues for future exploration. (shrink)
A common argument against explanatory reductionism is that higher‐level explanations are sometimes or always preferable because they are more general than reductive explanations. Here I challenge two basic assumptions that are needed for that argument to succeed. It cannot be assumed that higher‐level explanations are more general than their lower‐level alternatives or that higher‐level explanations are general in the right way to be explanatory. I suggest a novel form of pluralism regarding levels of explanation, according to which explanations at different (...) levels are preferable in different circumstances because they offer different types of generality, which are appropriate in different circumstances of explanation. *Received July 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University, 246 Murray Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...) between consciousness and intentionality and describes our favored view, which is a version of the phenomenal intentionality theory, roughly the view that the most fundamental kind of intentionality arises from phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
Debate about cognitive science explanations has been formulated in terms of identifying the proper level(s) of explanation. Views range from reductionist, favoring only neuroscience explanations, to mechanist, favoring the integration of multiple levels, to pluralist, favoring the preservation of even the most general, high-level explanations, such as those provided by embodied or dynamical approaches. In this paper, we challenge this framing. We suggest that these are not different levels of explanation at all but, rather, different styles of explanation that capture (...) different, cross-cutting patterns in cognitive phenomena. Which pattern is explanatory depends on both the cognitive phenomenon under investigation and the research interests occasioning the explanation. This reframing changes how we should answer the basic questions of which cognitive science approaches explain and how these explanations relate to one another. On this view, we should expect different approaches to offer independent explanations in terms of their different focal patterns and the value of those explanations to partly derive from the broad patterns they feature. (shrink)
Some mental states seem to be "of" or "about" things, or to "say" something. For example, a thought might represent that grass is green, and a visual experience might represent a blue cup. This is intentionality. The aim of this book is to explain this phenomenon. -/- Once we understand intentionality as a phenomenon to be explained, rather than a posit in a theory explaining something else, we can see that there are glaring empirical and in principle difficulties with currently (...) popular tracking and functional role theories of intentionality, which aim to account for intentionality in terms of tracking relations and functional roles. -/- This book develops an alternative theory, the phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), on which the source of intentionality is none other than phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, felt, or qualitative aspect of mental life. While PIT avoids the problems that plague tracking and functional role theories, it faces its own challenges in accounting for the rich and complex contents of thoughts and the contents of nonconscious states. In responding to these challenges, this book proposes a novel version of PIT, on which all intentionality is phenomenal intentionality, though we in some sense represent many non-phenomenal contents by ascribing them to ourselves. This book further argues that phenomenal consciousness is an intrinsic feature of mental life, resulting in a view that is radically internalistic in spirit: Our phenomenally represented contents are literally in our heads, and any non-phenomenal contents we in some sense represent are expressly targeted by us. (shrink)
The value of optimality modeling has long been a source of contention amongst population biologists. Here I present a view of the optimality approach as at once playing a crucial explanatory role and yet also depending on external sources of confirmation. Optimality models are not alone in facing this tension between their explanatory value and their dependence on other approaches; I suspect that the scenario is quite common in science. This investigation of the optimality approach thus serves as a case (...) study, on the basis of which I suggest that there is a widely felt tension in science between explanatory independence and broad epistemic inter dependence, and that this tension influences scientific methodology. (shrink)
The optimality approach to modeling natural selection has been criticized by many biologists and philosophers of biology. For instance, Lewontin (1979) argues that the optimality approach is a shortcut that will be replaced by models incorporating genetic information, if and when such models become available. In contrast, I think that optimality models have a permanent role in evolutionary study. I base my argument for this claim on what I think it takes to best explain an event. In certain contexts, optimality (...) and game-theoretic models best explain some central types of evolutionary phenomena. ‡Thanks to Michael Friedman, Helen Longino, Michael Weisberg, and especially Elliott Sober for comments on earlier drafts of this paper. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2155; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection is (...) the only important influence on the evolutionary outcome in question and is thus linked to adaptationism. However, biologists seldom intend this strong use of optimality models. One common alternative that I term the weak use simply involves the claim that an optimality model accurately represents the role of selection in bringing about the outcome. This and other weaker uses of optimality models insulate the optimality approach from criticisms of adaptationism, and they account for the prominence of optimality modeling (broadly construed) in population biology. The centrality of these uses of optimality models ensures a continuing role for the optimality approach, regardless of the fate of adaptationism. (shrink)
Using data collected at two phases, this study examines why and how ethical leadership behavior influences employees’ evaluations of organization-focused justice, i.e., procedural justice and distributive justice. By proposing ethical leaders as moral agents of the organization, we build up the linkage between ethical leadership behavior and the above two types of organization-focused justice. We further suggest trust in organization as a key mediating mechanism in the linkage. Our findings indicate that ethical leadership behavior engenders employees’ trust in their employing (...) organization, which in turn promotes their justice perceptions toward the organization. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, and some directions for future research are suggested. (shrink)
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to ground (...) an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor. (shrink)
Making data broadly accessible is essential to creating a medical information commons. Transparency about data-sharing practices can cultivate trust among prospective and existing MIC participants. We present an analysis of 34 initiatives sharing DNA-derived data based on public information. We describe data-sharing practices captured, including practices related to consent, privacy and security, data access, oversight, and participant engagement. Our results reveal that data-sharing initiatives have some distance to go in achieving transparency.
A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...) to react to the agent in various (negative) ways. This is problematic, I argue, because our intuitions about whether and when it would be fair to react negatively to another are sensitive to a host of considerations that appear to have little or nothing to do with an agent’s responsibility or culpability for her attitudes or behavior. If this is correct, then theories which make attributions of responsibility dependent upon the appropriateness of our reactions as moral judges will turn out to be fundamentally misguided. (shrink)
Advances in technologies and biomedical informatics have expanded capacity to generate and share biomedical data. With a lens on genomic data, we present a typology characterizing the data-sharing landscape in biomedical research to advance understanding of the key stakeholders and existing data-sharing practices. The typology highlights the diversity of data-sharing efforts and facilitators and reveals how novel data-sharing efforts are challenging existing norms regarding the role of individuals whom the data describe.
It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
Despite the recent proliferation of scientific, clinical, and narrative accounts of auditory verbal hallucinations, the phenomenology of voice hearing remains opaque and undertheorized. In this article, we outline an interdisciplinary approach to understanding hallucinatory experiences which seeks to demonstrate the value of the humanities and social sciences to advancing knowledge in clinical research and practice. We argue that an interdisciplinary approach to the phenomenology of AVH utilizes rigorous and context-appropriate methodologies to analyze a wider range of first-person accounts of AVH (...) at 3 contextual levels: cultural, social, and historical; experiential; and biographical. We go on to show that there are significant potential benefits for voice hearers, clinicians, and researchers. These include informing the development and refinement of subtypes of hallucinations within and across diagnostic categories; “front-loading” research in cognitive neuroscience; and suggesting new possibilities for therapeutic intervention. In conclusion, we argue that an interdisciplinary approach to the phenomenology of AVH can nourish the ethical core of scientific enquiry by challenging its interpretive paradigms, and offer voice hearers richer, potentially more empowering ways to make sense of their experiences. (shrink)
Michael Strevens offers an account of causal explanation according to which explanatory practice is shaped by counterbalanced commitments to representing causal influence and abstracting away from overly specific details. In this paper, I challenge a key feature of that account. I argue that what Strevens calls explanatory frameworks figure prominently in explanatory practice because they actually improve explanations. This suggestion is simple but has far-reaching implications. It affects the status of explanations that cite multiply realizable properties; changes the explanatory role (...) of causal factors with small effect; and undermines Strevens’ titular explanatory virtue, depth. This results in greater coherence with explanatory practice and accords with the emphasis that Strevens places on explanatory patterns. Ultimately, my suggestion preserves a tight connection between explanation and the creation of understanding by taking into account explanations’ role in communication. (shrink)
Propositionalism is the view that all intentional states are propositional states, which are states with a propositional content, while objectualism is the view that at least some intentional states are objectual states, which are states with objectual contents, such as objects, properties, and kinds. This paper argues that there are two distinct ways of understanding propositionalism and objectualism: (1) as views about the deep nature of the contents of intentional states, and (2) as views about the superficial character of the (...) contents of intentional states. I argue that we should understand the views in the second way. I also argue that the propositionalism debate is fairly independent from debates over the deep nature of intentionality, and that this has implications for arguments for propositionalism and objectualism from claims about the nature of intentional content. I close with a short discussion of how related points apply to the debate over singular content. (shrink)
Moods and emotions are sometimes thought to be counterexamples to intentionalism, the view that a mental state's phenomenal features are exhausted by its representational features. The problem is that moods and emotions are accompanied by phenomenal experiences that do not seem to be adequately accounted for by any of their plausibly represented contents. This paper develops and defends an intentionalist view of the phenomenal character of moods and emotions on which emotions and some moods represent intentional objects as having sui (...) generis affective properties, which happen to be uninstantiated, and at least some moods represent affective properties not bound to any objects. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIt has recently become fashionable among those who write on questions of moral responsibility to distinguish two different concepts, or senses, of moral responsibility via the labels ‘responsibility as attributability’ and ‘responsibility as accountability’. Gary Watson was perhaps the first to introduce this distinction in his influential 1996 article ‘Two Faces of Responsibility’ , but it has since been taken up by many other philosophers. My aim in this study is to raise some questions and doubts about this distinction and (...) to argue that it has led to confusion rather than clarification in debates over moral responsibility. In place of the attributability/accountability distinction, I propose that there is a single concept of moral responsibility underlying our actual moral practices. This core notion of moral responsibility, which I call ‘responsibility as answerability’, is well positioned to explain thos.. (shrink)
There is increasing attention to the centrality of idealization in science. One common view is that models and other idealized representations are important to science, but that they fall short in one or more ways. On this view, there must be an intermediary step between idealized representation and the traditional aims of science, including truth, explanation, and prediction. Here I develop an alternative interpretation of the relationship between idealized representation and the aims of science. In my view, continuing, widespread idealization (...) calls into question the idea that science aims for truth. I argue that understanding must replace truth as the ultimate epistemic aim of science. Additionally, science has a wide variety aims, epistemic and non-epistemic, and these aims motivate different kinds of scientific products. Finally, I show how these diverse aims---all rather distant from truth---result in the expanded influence of social values on science. (shrink)
This dissertation argues that mental representation is identical to phenomenal consciousness, and everything else that appears to be both mental and a matter of representation is not genuine mental representation, but either in some way derived from mental representation, or a case of non-mental representation.
This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
In his classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James remarked that, as a tradition, religion is always rooted in an original religious experience of an inspirational figure.1 Using the words of the French theologian Sabatier, James describes this as “an intercourse, a conscious and voluntary relation, entered into by a soul in distress with the mysterious power upon which it feels itself to depend, and upon which its fate is contingent.”2 James pioneered the description of religious experience in (...) ways that revealed more than traditional metaphysics and dogmatic theology did. His research into psychic phenomena led, for example, to “the subliminal” and “a wider consciousness,” expressions that.. (shrink)
The concept of hierarchical organization is commonplace in science. Subatomic particles compose atoms, which compose molecules; cells compose tissues, which compose organs, which compose organisms; etc. Hierarchical organization is particularly prominent in ecology, a field of research explicitly arranged around levels of ecological organization. The concept of levels of organization is also central to a variety of debates in philosophy of science. Yet many difficulties plague the concept of discrete hierarchical levels. In this paper, we show how these difficulties undermine (...) various implications ascribed to hierarchical organization, and we suggest the concept of scale as a promising alternative to levels. Investigating causal processes at different scales offers a way to retain a notion of quasi-levels that avoids the difficulties inherent in the classic concept of hierarchical levels of organization. Throughout, our focus is on ecology, but the results generalize to other invocations of hierarchy in science and philosophy of science. (shrink)
The predominant view is that a study using health data is observational research and should require individual consent unless it can be shown that gaining consent is impractical. But recent arguments have been made that citizens have an ethical obligation to share their health information for research purposes. In our view, this obligation is sufficient ground to expand the circumstances where secondary use research with identifiable health information is permitted without explicit subject consent. As such, for some studies the Institutional (...) Review Board/Research Ethics Committee review process should not assess the practicality of gaining consent for data use. Instead the review process should focus on assessing the public good of the research, public engagement and transparency. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Clinical Theory -- 1. Psychiatry on schizophrenia: clinical pictures of a sublime object -- 2. Schizophrenia: the sublime text of psychoanalysis -- Cultural Theory -- 3. Antipsychiatry: schizophrenic experience and the sublime -- 4. Anti-Oedipus and the politics of the schizophrenic sublime -- 5. Schizophrenia, modernity, postmodernity -- 6. Postmodern schizophrenia -- 7. Glamorama, postmodernity and the schizophrenic sublime -- Conclusion.
According to intentionalism, phenomenal properties are identical to, supervenient on, or determined by representational properties. Intentionalism faces a special challenge when it comes to accounting for the phenomenal character of moods. First, it seems that no intentionalist treatment of moods can capture their apparently undirected phenomenology. Second, it seems that even if we can come up with a viable intentionalist account of moods, we would not be able to motivate it in some of the same kinds of ways that intentionalism (...) about other kinds of states can be motivated. In this article, I respond to both challenges: First, I propose a novel intentionalist treatment of moods on which they represent unbound affective properties. Then, I argue that this view is indirectly supported by the same kinds of considerations that directly support intentionalism about other mental states. (shrink)
Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes sense of several aspects (...) of actual explanatory practice, including the widespread use of equilibrium explanations, the formulation of distinct explanations for a single event, and the tight relationship between explanations of events and explanations of causal regularities. (shrink)
Reliable misrepresentation is getting things wrong in the same way all the time. In Mendelovici 2013, I argue that tracking theories of mental representation cannot allow for certain kinds of reliable misrepresentation, and that this is a problem for those views. Artiga 2013 defends teleosemantics from this argument. He agrees with Mendelovici 2013 that teleosemantics cannot account for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation, but argues that this is not a problem for the views. This paper clarifies and improves the argument (...) in Mendelovici 2013 and response to Artiga's arguments. Tracking theories, teleosemantics included, really do need to allow for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation. (shrink)
The word stigma comes from ancient Greece, and was initially used in reference to signs or symbols physically cut into or burned onto the bodies of those deemed to be of an inferior status. It was a marking of one's tarnished and flawed character. Today, stigma is more often attached to one's social standing, personality traits, or psychological makeup. "People are no longer physically branded; instead they are societally labeled—as poor, as criminal, homosexual, mentally ill, and so on. These labels (...) influence public perceptions and behavior and lead to devaluation and denigration of those who are so labeled" (Wahl 1999, 11–12).The modern usage of the term stigma and contemporary focus on the concept as a topic of .. (shrink)
We examined the moderating effect of guilt on the associations between moral disengagement and bullying, defending and outsider behaviors in a sample of 404 students. Bullying, defending and outsider behavior were assessed through peer nominations, whereas guilt and moral disengagement were assessed by self-reports. Results showed that moral disengagement was associated with high levels of bullying and low levels of defending. Guilt was negatively associated with bullying and positively with defending. A moderating effect for guilt was also found: increasing levels (...) of moral disengagement contributed to more bullying and outsider behavior, and to less defending, among students with low levels of guilt. The current research broadens the extant literature, showing the combined effects of guilt and moral disengagement on bullying-related behaviors. (shrink)
The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics have been obscured (...) by not distinguishing among these independent questions and, especially, by not separating them from the question of what metaphysical dependence relation is explanatory. Philosophical analysis of scientific explanation would be much improved by attending more carefully to these, and probably still other, elements of an account of explanation. (shrink)
There is an apparent tension in our everyday moral responsibility practices. On the one hand, it is commonly assumed that moral responsibility requires voluntary control: an agent can be morally responsible only for those things that fall within the scope of her voluntary control. On the other hand, we regularly praise and blame individuals for mental states and conditions that appear to fall outside the scope of their voluntary control, such as desires, emotions, beliefs, and other attitudes. In order to (...) resolve this apparent tension, many philosophers appeal to a tracing principle to argue that agents are morally responsible for those attitudes whose existence can be traced back, causally, to a voluntary action or omission in the past. My aim in this article is to critically evaluate this tracing strategy and to argue that it gives us a misguided picture of when and why we are morally responsible for our attitudes. I argue that we should accept a ‘judgment sensitivity’ condition of moral responsibility rather than a ‘voluntary control’ condition, and defend this account against various objections. (shrink)