In autumn 2009, BBC television ran a natural history series, ‘Last Chance to See’, with Stephen Fry and wildlife writer and photographer, Mark Carwardine, searching out endangered species. In one episode they retraced the steps Carwardine had taken in the 1980s with Douglas Adams, when they visited Madagascar in search of the aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur. Fry and Carwardine visited an aye-aye in captivity, and upon first setting eyes on the creature they found it rather ugly. After spending an hour (...) or so in its company, Fry said he was completely ‘under its spell’. A subsequent encounter with an aye-aye in the wild supported Fry's judgment of ugliness and fascination for the creature: ‘The aye-aye is beguiling, certainly bizarre, for some even a little revolting. And I say, long may it continue being so.’. (shrink)
The very idea of human resource management raises ethical considerations: What does it mean to us as humans for human beings to be managed as resources? Intriguingly, the field of ethics and HRM remains underdeveloped. Current approaches to HRM fail to place ethical considerations as their central warrant. This article, building on Greenwood (J Bus Ethics 36(3):261–279, 2002), argues for a deeper analysis of ethical issues in HRM, indeed for a differentiated ethical perspective of HRM that sets normative deliberations (...) as its prime task. By identifying a distinct ethical approach to HRM that is unashamedly normative and socio-politically embedded, two objectives can be achieved. First, mainstream and critical approaches will be challenged to take ethical issues in HRM more seriously. Second, a dedicated forward-looking research agenda for the ethical analysis of HRM will be advanced. (shrink)
n both the philosophy and psychology of emotion there is disagreement regarding the role of biology/genetics and culture/sociality in emotional development and experience. Using recent insights from developmental psychology and biology, and particularly recent developments in metaphysics of mind, I argue that distinctly human emotionality requires the complex interaction of both. Human neonates and caregivers are genetically preadapted to enable emotional ontogenesis in the context only of a complexly interdependent linguistically-mediated social relationship. This relationship provides the requisite sensory-perceptual stimulation to (...) excite intracellular genetic activity and the resultant development/maturation of emotion-related neural substrata. This genetic preadaptation and the close linguistically-mediated social relationship together provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for the gradual development of human adult emotionality. (shrink)
This paper reviews and develops the ethical analysis of human resource management (HRM). Initially, the ethical perspective of HRM is differentiated from the "mainstrea" and critical perspectives of HRM. To date, the ethical analysis of HRM has taken one of two forms: the application Kantian and utilitarian ethical theories to the gestalt of HRM, and the application of theories of justice and fairness to specific HRM practices. This paper is concerned with the former, the ethical analysis of HRM in its (...) entirety. It shows that numerous theoretical shortcomings exist, least of which is the disregard of stakeholder theory. These deficiencies are explored and, as such, the analysis is advanced. It is argued that such ethical analysis is outside the scope of the modern corporation. A third way in which ethics may be applied to HRM is suggested. Ethical concerns are used as a basis to develop minimum standards against which HRM, in its various guises and practice, may be evaluated. Yet, even when judged by these standards, HRM is seriously lacking. This begs the question, not of whether HRM is ethical, but of whether HRM can be ethical. (shrink)
The question of authenticity centers in the lives of women of color to invite and restrict their representative roles. For this reason, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Uma Narayan advocate responding with strategic essentialism. This paper argues against such a strategy and proposes an epistemic understanding of the question of authentic- ity. The question stems from a kernel of truth—the connection between experience and knowledge. But a coherence theory of knowledge better captures the sociality and the holism of experience and knowledge.
The author argues for the following as constituents of the moral virtue of open-mindedness: a second-order awareness that is not reducible to first-order doubt; strong moral concern for members of the moral community; and some freedom from reactive habit patterns, particularly with regard to one's self-narratives, or equanimity. Drawing on Buddhist philosophical accounts of equanimity, the author focuses on the third constituent, equanimity, and argues that it is a central, but often ignored, component of the moral virtue of open-mindedness, and (...) its absence can explain many failures of open-mindedness. (shrink)
much early modern metaphysics grew with an eye to the new science of its time, but few figures took it as seriously as Emilie du Châtelet. Happily, her oeuvre is now attracting close, renewed attention, and so the time is ripe for looking into her metaphysical foundation for empirical theory. Accordingly, I move here to do just that. I establish two conclusions. First, du Châtelet's basic metaphysics is a robust realism. Idealist strands, while they exist, are confined to non-basic regimes. (...) Second, her substance realism seems internally coherent, so her foundational project appears successful.I have two aims in this paper. Historically, I show that du Châtelet's main source of inspiration was Christian... (shrink)
Dementia patients in the moderate-late stage of the disease can, and often do, express different preferences than they did at the onset of their condition. The received view in the philosophical literature argues that advance directives which prioritize the patient’s preferences at onset ought to be given decisive moral weight in medical decision-making. Clinical practice, on the other hand, favors giving moral weight to the preferences expressed by dementia patients after onset. The purpose of this article is to show that (...) the received view in the philosophical literature is inadequate and is out of touch with real clinical practice. I argue that having dementia is a cognitive transformative experience and that preference changes which result from this are legitimate and ought to be given moral weight in medical decision-making. This argument ought to encourage us to reduce our confidence in the moral weight of advance directives for dementia patients. (shrink)
In Cohen’s vision of the just society, there would be no need for unequalizing incentives so as to benefit the least well-off; instead, people would be motivated by an egalitarian ethos to work hard and in the most socially productive jobs. As such, Cohen appears to offer a way to mitigate the trade-off of equality for efficiency that often characterizes theorizing about distributive justice. This article presents an egalitarian challenge to Cohen’s vision of the just society. I argue that a (...) society where all internalized the egalitarian ethos would be one lacking equal respect among its members, in which certain groups lacked the grounds of self-respect. Section 1 defends equal respect and a form of equality of self-respect as values with broad-based appeal to egalitarians, and argues that a particular form of hierarchy would undermine both equal respect and the grounds of self-respect. Sections 2 and 3 reveal that just such a hierarchy would emerge in a society in which all had internalized the egalitarian ethos, in the case of both carers and the untalented. Thus, Cohen’s proposed society is shown to fail to unite equality and efficiency. Instead, Cohen’s society would be characterized by a lack of equality. (shrink)
Liberalism is a wonderful theory, but its adherents have a difficult time explaining why. In his Tanner Lecture entitled Foundations of Liberal Equality, Ronald Dworkin proposes to defend liberalism in a new way. Dworkin is not content to view liberalism as a political compromise in which people set aside their personal convictions in the interest of social peace. Instead, he undertakes to make liberal political theory “continuous” with personal ethics, by describing an ethical position that endorses liberalism as a matter (...) of conviction. (shrink)
This introduction to the philosophy of social psychological science repudiates traditional empiricist and hermeneutical accounts, advancing instead a realist philosophy that stresses the social dimensions of mind and action.
In The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature, Emily Brady takes a fresh look at the sublime and shows why it endures as a meaningful concept in contemporary philosophy. In a reassessment of historical approaches, the first part of the book identifies the scope and value of the sublime in eighteenth-century philosophy, nineteenth-century philosophy and Romanticism, and early wilderness aesthetics. The second part examines the sublime's contemporary significance through its relationship to the arts; its position with respect (...) to other aesthetic categories involving mixed or negative emotions, such as tragedy; and its place in environmental aesthetics and ethics. Far from being an outmoded concept, Brady argues that the sublime is a distinctive aesthetic category which reveals an important, if sometimes challenging, aesthetic-moral relationship with the natural world. (shrink)
Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones was an English logician and contemporary of Bertrand Russell, as well as Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge. In this book, originally published in 1911, she argues for the existence of another fundamental law of thought to join the Law of Contradiction and the Law of Excluded Middle: the Law of Significant Assertion. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in logic or in Jones' work.
In his paper, in this journal, Sterelney claims that cases of extended mind are limiting cases of environmental scaffolding and that a niche construction model is a more helpful, general framework for understanding human action. He further claims that extended mind cases fit into a corner of a 3D space of environmental scaffolds of cognitive competence. He identifies three dimensions which determine where a resource fits into this space and suggests that extended mind models seem plausible when a resource is (...) highly reliable, individualised/entrenched and a single-user resource. Sterelney also claims that the most important cognition-enhancing resources are provided collectively by one generation to the next. In this paper, I argue that Sterelney is both right and wrong and this because he focuses primarily on external, physical resources and construes scaffolding as exclusively unidirectional and diachronic. Using examples of unfamiliar tool use, visual processing and human emotional ontogenesis, I argue, respectively, that extended mind cases include those which fail to meet Sterelney’s dimensional criteria; that the most important cognition—enhancing resources are those which actually build brains; that these are provided on a one-to-one basis in emotional ontogenesis; and, this depends on bidirectional and synchronic cognitive scaffolding. (shrink)
Simple idealized models seem to provide more understanding than opaque, complex, and hyper-realistic models. However, an increasing number of scientists are going in the opposite direction by utilizing opaque machine learning models to make predictions and draw inferences, suggesting that scientists are opting for models that have less potential for understanding. Are scientists trading understanding for some other epistemic or pragmatic good when they choose a machine learning model? Or are the assumptions behind why minimal models provide understanding misguided? In (...) this paper, using the case of deep neural networks, I argue that it is not the complexity or black box nature of a model that limits how much understanding the model provides. Instead, it is a lack of scientific and empirical evidence supporting the link that connects a model to the target phenomenon that primarily prohibits understanding. (shrink)
There is considerable agreement among epistemologists that certain abilities are constitutive of understanding-why. These abilities include: constructing explanations, drawing conclusions, and answering questions. This agreement has led epistemologists to conclude that understanding is a kind of know-how. However, in this paper, I argue that the abilities constitutive of understanding are the same kind of cognitive abilities that we find in ordinary cases of knowledge-that and not the kind of practical abilities associated with know-how. I argue for this by disambiguating between (...) different senses of abilities that are too often lumped together. As a consequence, non-reductionists about understanding—those that claim that understanding-why is not reducible to knowledge-that—need to find another way to motivate the view. In the end, the fact that abilities are constitutive of understanding-why does not give us reason to conclude that understanding is a kind of know-how. (shrink)
There are three questions associated with Simpson’s Paradox (SP): (i) Why is SP paradoxical? (ii) What conditions generate SP?, and (iii) What should be done about SP? By developing a logic-based account of SP, it is argued that (i) and (ii) must be divorced from (iii). This account shows that (i) and (ii) have nothing to do with causality, which plays a role only in addressing (iii). A counterexample is also presented against the causal account. Finally, the causal and logic-based (...) approaches are compared by means of an experiment to show that SP is not basically causal. (shrink)
Experiments are commonly thought to have epistemic privilege over simulations. Two ideas underpin this belief: first, experiments generate greater inferential power than simulations, and second, simulations cannot surprise us the way experiments can. In this article I argue that neither of these claims is true of experiments versus simulations in general. We should give up the common practice of resting in-principle judgments about the epistemic value of cases of scientific inquiry on whether we classify those cases as experiments or simulations, (...) per se. To the extent that either methodology puts researchers in a privileged epistemic position, this is context sensitive. (shrink)
This paper explores the practice of rewilding and its implications for environmental aesthetic values, qualities and experiences. First, we consider the temporal dimensions of rewilding in regard to the emergence of particular aesthetic qualities over time, and our aesthetic appreciation of these. Second, we discuss how rewilding potentially brings about difficult aesthetic experiences, such as the unscenic and the ugly. Finally, we make progress in critically understanding how rewilding may be understood as a distinctive form of ecological restoration, while resisting (...) the assimilation of rewilding into wilderness discourses. (shrink)
Do we see more than we can report? Psychologists and philosophers have been hotly debating this question, in part because both possibilities are supported by suggestive evidence. On one hand, phenomena such as inattentional blindness and change blindness suggest that visual awareness is especially sparse. On the other hand, experiments relating to iconic memory suggest that our in-the-moment awareness of the world is much richer than can be reported. Recent research has attempted to resolve this debate by showing that observers (...) can accurately report the color diversity of a quickly flashed group of letters, even for letters that are unattended. If this ability requires awareness of the individual letters’ colors, then this may count as a clear case of conscious awareness overflowing cognitive access. Here we explored this requirement directly: can we perceive ensemble properties of scenes even without being aware of the relevant individual features? Across several experiments that combined aspects of iconic memory with measures of change blindness, we show that observers can accurately report the color diversity of unattended stimuli, even while their self-reported awareness of the individual elements is coarse or nonexistent — and even while they are completely blind to situations in which each individual element changes color mid-trial throughout the entire experiment. We conclude that awareness of statistical properties may occur in the absence of awareness of individual features, and that such results are fully consistent with sparse visual awareness. (shrink)
Contemporary moral psychology has been enormously enriched by recent theoretical developments and empirical findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and social psychology and psychopathology. Yet despite the fact that some theorists have developed specifically “social heuristic” (Gigerenzer, 2008) and “social intuitionist” (Haidt, 2007) theories of moral judgment and behavior, and despite regular appeals to the findings of experimental social psychology, contemporary moral psychology has largely neglected the social dimensions of moral judgment and behavior. I provide a brief sketch (...) of these dimensions, and consider the implications for contemporary theory and research in moral psychology. (shrink)
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