Psychopathy is often used to settle disputes about the nature of moral judgment. The “trolley problem” is a familiar scenario in which psychopathy is used as a test case. Where a convergence in response to the trolley problem is registered between psychopathic subjects and non-psychopathic subjects, it is assumed that this convergence indicates that the capacity for making moral judgments is unimpaired in psychopathy. This, in turn, is taken to have implications for the dispute between motivation internalists and motivation externalists, (...) for instance. In what follows, we want to do two things: firstly, we set out to question the assumption that convergence is informative of the capacity for moral judgment in psychopathy. Next, we consider a distinct feature of psychopathy which we think provides strong grounds for holding that the capacity for moral judgment is seriously impaired in psychopathic subjects. The feature in question is the psychopathic subject’s inability to make sincere apologies. Our central claim will be this: convergence in response to trolley problems does not tell us very much about the psychopathic subject’s capacity to make moral judgments, but his inability to make sincere apologies does provide us with strong grounds for holding that this capacity is seriously impaired in psychopathy. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Wittgenstein's aim in the aspect-perception passages is to critically evaluate a specific hypothesis. The target hypothesis in these passages is the Gestalt psychologist Köhler's "isomorphism principle." According to this principle, there are neural correlates of conscious perceptual experience, and these neural correlates determine the content of our perceptual experiences. Wittgenstein's argument against the isomorphism principle comprises two steps. First, he diffuses the substantiveness of the principle by undermining an important assumption that underpins this principle, (...) namely, that there is a unitary concept of seeing. Next, Wittgenstein argues that some forms of aspect-perception involve recognitional capacities, the exercise of which is normatively constrained. The normative nature of aspect-perceiving plays a pivotal role in Wittgenstein's rejection of the isomorphism principle. Aside from the clear exegetical benefits gained from identifying the target hypothesis in the aspect-perception passages as the isomorphism principle, construing the remarks in the way suggested here is also philosophically interesting in its own right: it shows Wittgenstein engaging directly in the mind–body problem, construed as the problem of intentionality. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to critically evaluate John Campbell's (2002) characterization of the sense of demonstrative terms and his account of why an object's location matters in our understanding of perceptually-based demonstrative terms. Campbell thinks that the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of consciously attending to an object. I will evaluate Campbell's account of sense by exploring and comparing two scenarios in which the actual location of a seen object is different from its perceived (...) location. I do this in order to motivate the following point: Campbell's characterization of the sense of a demonstrative term turns sense into a psychologistic notion. As a consequence of this, it is difficult to see how sense could underwrite reference. In short, I shall be arguing that Campbell's account of the ways of perceiving an object is simply inadequate as an account of the Fregean notion of sense, according to which the senses of a demonstrative term are the different ways of thinking about an object. (shrink)
It has recently been argued that persons diagnosed with a personality disorder ought to be held responsible for their actions because these actions are voluntary. Defending this claim, Hannah Pickard contends that exercising choice and control are definitive of voluntary action, and that the behaviors that are constitutive of PD are behaviors over which we have choice and control. Thus PD behaviors are voluntary, and on this basis, their agents can be held properly responsible for this type of behavior. In (...) what follows, I examine this claim with reference specifically to agents who display impulsive behavior, where this behavior is taken to be diagnostic of antisocial personality disorder... (shrink)
There is a Long-Standing concern that psychiatrists have the task of fitting a square peg into a round hole: the empirical generalizations upon which diagnoses are made have seemed too many to overlook something essential about the individual person who is the subject of the diagnosis. This concern prompted a World Psychiatric Association (WPA) workgroup to suggest that a personalized component should be added to patients’ diagnostic assessment (IDGA Workgroup 2003). One might have the following worry about the WPA workgroup’s (...) suggestion: if this personalized component is merely tagged on to the existing diagnostic framework, and diagnoses still rest primarily on empirical generalizations, which are left untouched .. (shrink)
GloriaAyob Begins her commentary with the main metaphysical and ethical motivations for including the personal perspective in psychopathological assessments. The metaphysical motivation: human actions are performed for a reason. Thus, from the personal perspective, explaining human actions amounts to justifying them by appeal to individual’s reasons. However, does it follow from this peculiarity that “explanations of human behavior that appeal to empirical generalizations and those that consist in justifying an action by appeal to reasons are of entirely (...) different logical orders” (Ayob 2013, 127) as she contends? I do not think so for two main reasons. First, in both cases, genuine explanations involve factual .. (shrink)
This book defines the relationship between the thought of Adam Smith and that of the ancients---Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the Stoics. Vivenza offers a complete survey of all Smith's writings with the aim of illustrating how classical arguments shaped opinions and scholarship in the eighteenth century.
Lifestyle-induced diseases are becoming a burden on healthcare, actualizing the discussion on health responsibilities. Using data from the National Association for Heart and Lung Diseases ’s 2015 Health Survey, this study examined the public’s attitudes towards personal and social health responsibility in a Norwegian population. The questionnaires covered self-reported health and lifestyle, attitudes towards personal responsibility and the authorities’ responsibility for promoting health, resource-prioritisation and socio-demographic characteristics. Block-wise multiple linear regression assessed the association between attitudes towards health responsibilities and individual (...) lifestyle, political orientation and health condition. We found a moderate support for social responsibility across political views. Respondents reporting unhealthier eating habits, smokers and physically inactive were less supportive of health promotion policies. The idea that individuals are responsible for taking care of their health was widely accepted as an abstract ideal. Yet, only a third of the respondents agreed with introducing higher co-payments for treatment of ‘self-inflicted’ conditions and levels of support were patterned by health-related behaviour and left-right political orientation. Our study suggests that a significant support for social responsibility does not exclude a strong support for personal health responsibility. However, conditional access to healthcare based on personal lifestyle is still controversial. (shrink)
Language is both a biological and a cultural phenomenon. Our aim here is to discuss, in an evolutionary perspective, the articulation of these two aspects of language. For this, we draw on the general conceptual framework developed by Ruth Millikan (1984) while at the same time dissociating ourselves from her view of language.
Although there is widespread agreement that our epistemic dependence on other people's knowledge is a key ingredient of our cognitive life, the role of trust in this dependence is much more open to debate. Is trust in epistemic authority—or “epistemic trust” for short—an epistemological notion in any sense, or is it simply a bridge-concept that connects our epistemological concerns to moral issues? Should we depict it in terms of the more familiar sociological notion of trust as a basis for cooperation?
Miranda Fricker has introduced the insightful notion of epistemic injustice in the philosophical debate, thus bridging concerns of social epistemology with questions that arise in the area of social and cultural studies. I concentrate my analysis of her treatment of testimonial injustice. According to Fricker, the central cases of testimonial injustice are cases of identity injustice in which hearers rely on stereotypes to assess the credibility of their interlocutors. I try here to broaden the analysis of that testimonial injustice by (...) indicating other mechanisms that bias our credibility assessments. In my perspective, the use of identity stereotypes is just one case among many biases in our credibility judgments. (shrink)
Although Gloria Anzaldúa's critical categories have steadily entered discussions in the field of philosophy, a lingering skepticism remains about her works’ ability to transcend the particularity of her lived experience. In an effort to respond to this attitude, I make Anzaldúa's corpus the center of philosophical analysis and posit that immanent to this work is a logic that lends it the unity of a critical philosophy that accounts for its concrete, multilayered character and shifting, creative force. I call this (...) an “affective logic of volverse una.” Starting with the understanding of a situated modality of all subjectivity, Anzaldúa's work exhibits a logic of three moments distinguished by states of awareness. Each state of awareness is characterized by the generative degree of the subject's responses to its conditions: critical, individuating, and expansive. Led by her late concepts of conocimiento and nepantlera, I return to her earlier works and trace Anzaldúa's innovative exploration of undoing the oppressive condition of marginal subjectivities from “La Prieta” through Borderlands/La Frontera to her final published essay “now let us shift.” I find a liberatory schema of volverse una/becoming whole that is grounded in an active receptivity of sensibility and facilitated by affective technologies for transformation. (shrink)
In this paper I try to challenge some received views about the role and the function of the traditional academic practice of publishing papers in peer?reviewed journals. I argue that our publishing practices today are rather based on passively accepted social norms and humdrum work habits than on actual needs for communicating the advancements of our research. By analysing some examples of devices and practices that are based on tacitly accepted norms, such as the Citation Index and the new role (...) of DOI attributions in digital publishing, I advocate an epistemically vigilant stance not only towards our ways of acquiring knowledge, but also towards the implicit norms we accept when we produce research. (shrink)
In this article, I examine the relationship between self-knowledge practices among women of color and structural patterns of ignorance by offering an analysis of Gloria E. Anzaldúa's discussions of self-writing. I propose that by writing about her own experiences in a manner that hails others to critically interrogate their own identities, Anzaldúa develops important theoretical resources for understanding self-knowledge, self-ignorance, and practices of knowing others. In particular, I claim that in her later writings, Anzaldúa offers a rich epistemological account (...) of these themes through her notion of autohistoria-teoría. The notion of autohistoria-teoría demonstrates that self-knowledge practices, like all knowledge practices, are social and relational. Moreover, such self-knowledge practices require contestation and affirmation as well, including, resistance and productive friction. (shrink)
Beverly Beckham writes in the Boston Globe in praise of Lisa Genova’s Still Alice: “You have to get this book. … I couldn’t put it down. …” After I read Still Alice, a book of fiction about an accomplished Harvard professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I too wanted to tell everyone to get this book, but not because “I couldn’t put it down.” The first time I read it, I put it down several times to cry. It was too painful (...) to read in one stretch. Years back, my mother, Gloria Baylis,1 had been diagnosed with vascular dementia, and recently there had been findings suggestive of an atypical presentation of Alzheimer’s disease. The story of Alice Howland, the Alice of Still Alice, was both too... (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the epistemology of trust and testimony should take into account the pragmatics of communication in order to gain insight about the responsibilities speakers and hearers share in the epistemic access they gain through communication. Communication is a rich process of information exchangein which epistemic standards are negotiated by interlocutors. I discuss examples which show the contextual adjustment of these standards as the conversation goes on. Our sensitivity to the contextual dimension of epistemic standards make (...) us more responsible communicators. (shrink)
This paper reconstructs and analyzes Thomas Aquinas’ intriguing views on transeunt causal activity, which have been the subject of an interpretive debate spanning from the fifteenth century up until the present. In his Physics commentary, Aquinas defends the Aristotelian positions that the actualization of an agent’s active potential is the motion that it causes in its patient and action and passion are the same motion. Yet, in other texts, Aquinas claims that action differs from passion and “action is in the (...) agent” as subject. This paper proposes a solution for how to reconcile Aquinas’ varying claims about what transeunt causal activity is in reality. In addition to advancing understanding of Aquinas’ views on causal activity, the paper also offers insights into more general topics in his thought, such as the relationship between actualities and accidents and the nature of extrinsic accidents. (shrink)
The relationship between divine and created causality was widely discussed in medieval and early modern philosophy. Contemporary scholars of these discussions typically stake out three possible positions: occasionalism, concurrentism, and mere-conservationism. It is regularly claimed that virtually no medieval thinker adopted the final view which denies that God is an immediate active cause of creaturely actions. The main aim of this paper is to further understanding of the medieval causality debate, and particularly the mere-conservationist position, by analysing Peter John Olivi's (...) neglected defence of it. The paper also includes discussion of Thomas Aquinas's arguments for concurrentism and an analysis of whether Olivi's objections refute his position. (shrink)
Concept-clé pour comprendre notre action sociale et morale, la confiance reste cependant l’une des notions les plus difficiles à traiter de la philosophie et des sciences sociales. La confiance est un état cognitif et motivationnel complexe, un mélange de rationalité, de sentiments et d’engagement. Faire confiance implique donner aux autres un certain pouvoir sur nous-mêmes et accepter la vulnérabilité que cela comporte. Ce volume analyse cette notion sous ses différentes dimensions : sa dimension morale, affective, épistémique et politique, en posant (...) des questions de fond : Avons-nous des devoirs de confiance? Face à un médecin, avons-nous vraiment le choix de faire confiance? Faut-il faire confiance à ceux qui nous gouvernent? (shrink)
We monitor the informational environment and catch reputational cues, gather signals from our informants and develop our trustful attitudes in context. I present an epistemology of reputation as a way of using social configurations to acquire information. I review the definitions of reputation that exist in the social sciences, stress the importance of the relational/social dimension of reputation as a property of entities, and put forward a definition of reputation suitable for epistemology. I then sketch social configurations that allow us (...) to extract reputational information and some typical heuristics we use to navigate the social information around us. (shrink)
Should fear guide our actions and governments’ political decisions? A leitmotiv of common sense is that emotions are tricky, they blur our rational capacity of estimating utilities in order to plan action and thus they should be banned from any account of our rational expectations. In this paper I argue that an “heuristic of fear” is the appropriate attitude to adopt in order to cope with extreme risks. I thus defend the Precautionary Principle against the criticism put forward by Cass (...) Sunstein and other authors on the basis of a new analysis of extreme risks or “ruin-problems”. (shrink)
Data are lacking with regard to participants' perspectives on return of genetic research results to relatives, including after the participant's death. This paper reports descriptive results from 3,630 survey respondents: 464 participants in a pancreatic cancer biobank, 1,439 family registry participants, and 1,727 healthy individuals. Our findings indicate that most participants would feel obligated to share their results with blood relatives while alive and would want results to be shared with relatives after their death.
I present a definition of expertise that involves both epistemic and political authority. I argue that these two forms of authority require different treatments and defend a political epistemology that articulates a division of cognitive labor between political and epistemic authority.
This paper discusses Scotus’s view of how God knows sins by analyzing texts from his discussions of God’s permission of sin and predestination. I show that Scotus departed from his standard theory of how God knows contingents when explaining how God knows sins. God cannot know sins by knowing a first-order act of his will, as he knows other contingents according to Scotus, since God does not directly will sins. I suggest that Scotus’s recognition that his standard theory of God’s (...) knowledge of contingents could not account for how God knows sins may have contributed to his ultimate rejection of this theory. (shrink)
Using a two-part instrument consisting of eight vignettes and twenty character traits, the study sampled 141 employees of a mid-west financial firm regarding their predispositions to prefer utilitarian or formalist forms of ethical reasoning. In contrast with earlier studies, we found that these respondents did not prefer utilitarian reasoning. Several other hypotheses were tested involving the relationship between people's preferences for certain types of solutions to issues and the forms of reasoning they use to arrive at those solutions; the nature (...) of the relationship between utilitarian and formalist categories ; and the possibility of measuring ethical predispositions using different methods. (shrink)
Both Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus were committed to the view that effects with a contingent modality exist in the created world. This is to say that there are things that could have been otherwise. This chapter explores their respective accounts of the ontological reason for why there are effects with a contingent modality. Leibniz considered Aquinas’s and Scotus’s views on this issue, concluding that they were in fundamental disagreement about the ‘root of contingency.’ This chapter first makes a (...) distinction between two different senses in which an object can have a contingent modality, one having to do with causation and the other with modes of existence. Then it applies this distinction to Aquinas’s and Scotus’s texts to show that their views on why there is contingency in creation are in fact quite similar. (shrink)
The purpose of this quantitative study of 401 students is to identify common motivations for Chinese students to plagiarize on written English assignments and ultimately to demystify and understand the mindset of Chinese students who do plagiarize. According to a regression analysis of these data, the most significant factor relating to likelihood to self-report plagiarism for Chinese students is the belief in a “standard answer,” which represents the correct answer to a given question. The regression results also suggest that students (...) who believe that imitation of experts is important to learning are more likely to self-report plagiarism, and that business students are more likely to self-report than non-business students. The other factors examined in our model, such as English writing ability; ability to express one’s self in English writing; embarrassment about English writing ability; concern for accuracy of English writing; and concerns about grade point average, were not significant predictors of self-reported plagiarism. These results give a key insight into the English writing plagiarism behaviors of Chinese students studying in Western higher education. (shrink)
Background. The increased number of clinical trials taking place in developing countries and the complexity of trial protocols mandate that local ethics review committees reviewing them have the capacity to ensure that they are conducted to the highest ethical standards.Methods. The Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative Institute of Clinical Research and the Kenyan National Council for Science and Technology embarked on an exercise to enhance the capacity of ERCs in Kenya to review such protocols. This process involved conducting an audit of (...) all ERCs in the country, and performing training needs assessments to identify knowledge and capacity gaps. Information obtained was used to develop training materials for ERC members at workshops conducted in different parts of the country.Results. Five accredited and 13 non-accredited ERCs were identified. Four of the accredited ERCs were located in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. The most common challenges cited by participants during the needs assessments were excess workload, and a lack of co-ordination and/or communication between the ERCs. Subsequently, 140 ERC members from 17 institutions across the country were trained as follows: 36 from institutions in the western part of Kenya, 38 from institutions in the south-eastern coastal region, 38 from the eastern region and 44 from Nairobi.Conclusion. The KAVI-ICR and the NCST have developed training modules for training ERC members in Kenya and are in the process of developing a manual to train members. The Kenyan experience may be used to enhance the capacity of ERCs in the East African region. (shrink)
This target article discusses the verbal working memory system used in sentence comprehension. We review the concept of working memory as a short-duration system in which small amounts of information are simultaneously stored and manipulated in the service of accomplishing a task. We summarize the argument that syntactic processing in sentence comprehension requires such a storage and computational system. We then ask whether the working memory system used in syntactic processing is the same as that used in verbally mediated tasks (...) that involve conscious controlled processing. Evidence is brought to bear from various sources: the relationship between individual differences in working memory and individual differences in the efficiency of syntactic processing; the effect of concurrent verbal memory load on syntactic processing; and syntactic processing in patients with poor short-term memory, patients with poor working memory, and patients with aphasia. Experimental results from these normal subjects and patients with various brain lesions converge on the conclusion that there is a specialization in the verbal working memory system for assigning the syntactic structure of a sentence and using that structure in determining sentence meaning that is separate from the working memory system underlying the use of sentence meaning to accomplish other functions. We present a theory of the divisions of the verbal working memory system and suggestions regarding its neural basis. (shrink)
In the last two decades the composition of the labor force in the United States has changed significantly. Today, most employeesare mothers or fathers of children under eighteen in families where both parents are employed or where the employed parent is a single mother. This represents a reversal of the older family ideal in which a father worked to provide income and a mother performed the domestic work that sustained families. The practices of business and much of the attention of (...) business ethicists have assumed the older ideal. However, the wage work of mothers raises serious concerns about how business should view their parent-employees. Business has responded with family friendly corporate policies. This article analyzes these policies in light of two particular values: The social equality of women and the well-being of families. Finding current policies inadequate to meet these values, this paper calls for renewed ethical attention to the issues of time demands on employees and just wages. (shrink)
The theology of God in the scholarship of John Haught exemplifies rigor, resourcefulness, and creativity in response to ever-evolving worldviews. Haught presents insightful and plausible ways in which to speak about the mystery of God in a variety of contexts while remaining steadfastly grounded in the Christian tradition. This essay explores Haught's proposals through three of his selected lenses—human experience, the informed universe, and evolutionary cosmology—and highlights two areas for further theological development.
A growing literature addresses the ethical implications of electronic surveillance at work, frequently assigning ethical priority to values such as the right to privacy. This paper suggests that, in practice, the issues are sociologically more complex than some accounts suggest. This is because many workplace electronic technologies not designed or deployed for surveillance purposes nevertheless embody surveillance capacity. This capacity may not be immediately obvious to participants or lend itself to simple deployment. Moreover, because of their primary functions, such systems (...) embody a range of other features which are potentially beneficial for those utilising them. As a result, more complex ethical dilemmas emerge as different desired goods compete for priority in the decision-making of individuals and groups. From a sociological point of view this raises interesting questions about the way ethical dilemmas arise in the context of the ongoing social relationships of work. The paper explores these issues using data from a study of the development and implementation of a computerised instructional package in a maternity setting. This medical setting illustrates clearly how seeking to assign ethical priority to a particular concern, such as the right to privacy, cannot but oversimplify the real day to day dilemmas encountered by participants. At the same time,the example of the instructional package demonstrates that it is difficult to predict in advance what ethical issues will be raised by technologies that almost always turn out to have a range of capabilities beyond those envisaged in their original design specification. (shrink)
En la vida democrática moderna la participación ha adquirido una importancia fundamental. La idea de la participación indirecta y del papel inactivo de las personas y de las comunidades mostró su carácter insuficiente para resolver las complejidades de los asuntos contemporáneos y las necesidades de las naciones. Los cambios que se han dado en los últimos tiempos proponen un Estado que se relaciona de manera más directa con el ciudadano, con el cual toma además las decisiones a través de procedimientos (...) de incidencia real y eficiente. La participación pasa a ocupar un puesto muy importante en la gestión del Estado, no solo en lo que tiene que ver con la toma de decisiones, sino también con la cogestión, el seguimiento y la evaluación de las mismas. Sin embargo, no basta con que el derecho a la participación sea reconocido: también se hace necesario el establecimiento de escenarios para su ejercicio como una obligación por parte del Estado. La participación es el cimiento del Estado y de la democracia; un deber y un derecho que se sustenta en el principio de solidaridad y en la unión de las comunidades en pos de un objetivo o de la integración de todas las personas en la construcción de un mejor país. El derecho a la participación es un derecho de primera generación correspondiente a los derechos civiles y políticos. En temas ambientales, una regla importante para orientar la actividad del Estado es la incidencia ciudadana en todos los ámbitos, desde las acciones de ordenamiento ambiental hasta las que tienen que ver con la investigación, con programas de control y protección de recursos, en el otorgamiento de licencias y permisos ambientales y en la planeación ambiental, entre otros. De esto se ha tenido conciencia desde la expedición del Código de Recursos Naturales en 1974, cuando se señaló que la actividad del Estado debería inducir a un manejo participativo, por cuanto se postula como regla de administración que debe promoverse la formación de asociaciones y de grupos cívicos para lograr la protección de los recursos naturales renovables y su utilización adecuada, con base en el estudio de las relaciones de la comunidad con tales recursos. (shrink)