There is an increasing turn to nationalism around the world. The advocacy of “America First” policies, the Brexit leave campaign in Britain, and recent elections in Poland and Hungary show evidence of a rise in nationalistic sentiments. One reason given to explain this rise in nationalism is that in an increasingly diverse world stability is not possible without close cultural links between members of society, and that a shared national culture can provide those links. Nationalists argue that a shared national (...) culture is a necessary condition of creating social solidarity that creates social stability. However, the nationalist solution to creating social solidarity can be questioned on a number of counts. First, it relies on a conceptually problematic account of national identity that holds that national identity includes elements like a shared culture, a shared history, and a shared connection to a particular geographic territory. There are reasons to think that this type of account of national identity is closer to an account of ethnicity than an account of national identity. An ethnic nationalism is morally problematic as it contends that one can only have solidarity with those who share one’s ethnicity, and could be used to justify discrimination against ethnic minorities. Second, even if this is the correct account of national identity, it is not the case that a shared culture, a shared history, and a shared connection to a particular geographic territory are necessary or sufficient conditions for social solidarity. Finally, nationalist attempts to protect the national identity of a liberal democracy by restricting all immigration, may actually destroy the values, such as individual rights and limited government of that liberal democracy. (shrink)
In this paper we present two compatible hypotheses to explain interest in celebrity gossip. The Learning Hypothesis explains interest in celebrity gossip as a by-product of an evolved mechanism useful for acquiring fitness-relevant survival information. The Parasocial Hypothesis sees celebrity gossip as a diversion of this mechanism, which leads individuals to misperceive celebrities as people who are part of their social network. Using two preliminary studies, we tested our predictions. In a survey with 838 respondents and in-depth interviews with 103 (...) individuals, we investigated how interest in celebrity gossip was related to several dimensions of the participants’ social lives. In support of the Learning Hypothesis, age proved to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. In partial support of the Parasocial Hypothesis, media exposure, but not social isolation, was a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. The preliminary results support both theories, indicate that across our life span celebrities move from being teachers to being friends, and open up a list of future research opportunities. (shrink)
Robert Veatch and others have questioned whether there are internal moral rules of medicine. This paper examines the legal regulatory model for governing professions as the autonomous exercise of professional skills and asks whether there is a theoretical basis for this model. Taking John Rawls’s distinction between the justification of a practice and justification of the rules internal to the practice, this paper argues that the autonomous exercise of professional skills is justified so long as it benefits society. In opposition (...) to Christopher Boorse, it is argued that medicine is pathocentric and that physicians exercise skills in treating pathologies. The autonomous treatmentof pathologies is justified because non-interference with physicians will lead to greater treatment of pathologies and so benefit society. Finally, the analysis of medicine as the autonomous exercise of skills in treating pathologies yields the rule that physicians not be forced to cause pathologies. (shrink)
Are fragile majorities capable of opening themselves to deep-rooted and new ethnic and cultural pluralism? What role does education play in this process? Based on ten years of comparative research, Fragile Majorities and Education is a nuanced study of ethnic dominance, linguistic integration of immigrants, and diversity in education. Ethnic relations are often depicted in an oversimplified framework where a clear dominant majority exercises power over various minorities. In many societies worldwide, however, this model does not hold true. In some (...) countries, two or more groups possess relatively equal power to control the state and impose their definitions of the nation, as is the case with Flemish speakers and French speakers in Belgium, and with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. In other instances, such as in Quebec or Catalonia, clearly identifiable majorities are nonetheless minorities at a larger nation-state level, which creates a situation of ambiguous ethnic dominance. Marie McAndrew analyzes and clarifies these complex situations through the lens of education as a means for both maintaining and transforming ethnic boundaries and identities. Deeply insightful and meticulously researched, Fragile Majorities and Education is a groundbreaking contribution to the field of ethnic studies. (shrink)
Fichte's reputation at the present time is in some respects a curious one. On the one hand, he is by common consent acknowledged to have exercised a dominant influence upon the development of German thought during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Thus from a specifically philosophical point of view he is regarded as an innovator who played a decisive role in transforming Kant's transcendental idealism into the absolute idealism of his immediate successors, while at a more general level (...) he is customarily seen as having put into currency certain persuasive conceptions which contributed—less directly but no less surely—to the emergence and spread of romanticism in some of its varied and ramifying forms. On the other hand, however, it is noticeable that detailed consideration of his work has not figured prominently in the recent revival of concern with post-Kantian thought as a whole which has been manifested by philosophers of the English-speaking world. Although his name is frequently mentioned in that connection, one suspects that his books may not be so often read. In part this may be due to his particular mode of expounding his views, which at times attains a level of opacity that can make even Hegel's obscurest passages seem comparatively tractable. It is also true that Fichte's principal theoretical works—if not his semipopular writings—are largely devoid of the allusions to scientific, historical, psychological or cultural matters with which his German contemporaries were prone to illustrate their philosophical doctrines and enliven their more abstract discussions: there is a daunting aridity about much of what he wrote which can raise nagging doubts in the modern reader's mind about the actual issues that are in question. Yet the fact remains that by the close of the eighteenth century his ideas had already made a profound impact, capturing the imagination of a host of German thinkers and intellectuals. The problem therefore arises as to what preoccupations, current at the time, they owed their indubitable appeal and to what puzzles they were welcomed as proffering a solution. If these can be identified, it may become at least partially intelligible that Fichte should have been widely regarded as having provided a framework within which certain hitherto intractable difficulties could be satisfactorily reformulated and resolved. Let me accordingly begin by saying something about them. (shrink)
Coherent, well organized text familiarizes readers with complete theory of logical inference and its applications to math and the empirical sciences. Part I deals with formal principles of inference and definition; Part II explores elementary intuitive set theory, with separate chapters on sets, relations, and functions. Last section introduces numerous examples of axiomatically formulated theories in both discussion and exercises. Ideal for undergraduates; no background in math or philosophy required.
This book is a major contribution to decision theory, focusing on the question of when it is rational to accept scientific theories. The author examines both Bayesian decision theory and confirmation theory, refining and elaborating the views of Ramsey and Savage. He argues that the most solid foundation for confirmation theory is to be found in decision theory, and he provides a decision-theoretic derivation of principles for how many probabilities should be revised over time. Professor Maher defines a notion of (...) accepting a hypothesis, and then shows that it is not reducible to probability and that it is needed to deal with some important questions in the philosophy of science. A Bayesian decision-theoretic account of rational acceptance is provided together with a proof of the foundations for this theory. A final chapter shows how this account can be used to cast light on such vexed issues as verisimilitude and scientific realism. (shrink)
An early, very preliminary edition of this book was circulated in 1962 under the title Set-theoretical Structures in Science. There are many reasons for maintaining that such structures play a role in the philosophy of science. Perhaps the best is that they provide the right setting for investigating problems of representation and invariance in any systematic part of science, past or present. Examples are easy to cite. Sophisticated analysis of the nature of representation in perception is to be found already (...) in Plato and Aristotle. One of the great intellectual triumphs of the nineteenth century was the mechanical explanation of such familiar concepts as temperature and pressure by their representation in terms of the motion of particles. A more disturbing change of viewpoint was the realization at the beginning of the twentieth century that the separate invariant properties of space and time must be replaced by the space-time invariants of Einstein's special relativity. Another example, the focus of the longest chapter in this book, is controversy extending over several centuries on the proper representation of probability. The six major positions on this question are critically examined. Topics covered in other chapters include an unusually detailed treatment of theoretical and experimental work on visual space, the two senses of invariance represented by weak and strong reversibility of causal processes, and the representation of hidden variables in quantum mechanics. The final chapter concentrates on different kinds of representations of language, concluding with some empirical results on brain-wave representations of words and sentences. (shrink)
Throughout his life, Kant was concerned with questions about empirical psychology. He aimed to develop an empirical account of human beings, and his lectures and writings on the topic are recognizable today as properly 'psychological' treatments of human thought and behavior. In this book Patrick R. Frierson uses close analysis of relevant texts, including unpublished lectures and notes, to study Kant's account. He shows in detail how Kant explains human action, choice, and thought in empirical terms, and how a (...) better understanding of Kant's psychology can shed light on major concepts in his philosophy, including the moral law, moral responsibility, weakness of will, and cognitive error. Frierson also applies Kant's accounts of mental illness to contemporary philosophical issues. His book will interest students and scholars of Kant, the history of psychology, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of action. (shrink)
_"One of the most important political books of 2018."—Rod Dreher, ___American Conservative__ Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents tend to forget that it _is _an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its (...) legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure. (shrink)
P.F. Strawson’s (1962) “Freedom and Resentment” has provoked a wide range of responses, both positive and negative, and an equally wide range of interpretations. In particular, beginning with Gary Watson, some have seen Strawson as suggesting a point about the “order of explanation” concerning moral responsibility: it is not that it is appropriate to hold agents responsible because they are morally responsible, rather, it is ... well, something else. Such claims are often developed in different ways, but one thing remains (...) constant: they meant to be incompatible with libertarian theories of moral responsibility. The overarching theme of this paper is that extant developments of “the reversal” face a dilemma: in order to make the proposals plausibly anti-libertarian, they must be made to be implausible on other grounds. I canvas different attempts to articulate a “Strawsonian reversal”, and argue that none is fit for the purposes for which it is intended. I conclude by suggesting a way of clarifying the intended thesis: an analogy with the concept of funniness. The result: proponents of the “reversal” need to accept the difficult result that if we blamed small children, they would be blameworthy, or instead explain how their view escapes this result, while still being a view on which our blaming practices “fix the facts” of moral responsibility. (shrink)
There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent propositions are (...) neither true nor false. However, I argue that, just as there is a Russellian alternative to the Strawsonian view concerning ‘the present King of France’, according to which the relevant class of propositions all turn out false, so there is a Russellian alternative to the Aristotelian view, according to which future contingents all turn out false, not neither true nor false. The result: contrary to millennia of philosophical tradition, we can be open futurists without denying bivalence. (shrink)
One of the striking features of the last few years has been a re-awakening of interest in spirituality. Many new books on prayer have appeared, old classics of the spiritual life have been re-published, prayer groups have sprung up and the Charismatic Movement has become an important factor in many Christian communities. If the 1960s was the decade of secularism and ‘God is dead’, the 1970s may well go down in history as the decade of renascent spirituality. But this interest (...) in spirituality has not, in general, gone hand in hand with a renewed interest in theology: indeed, in many cases I detect a positive hostility towards professional theologians . Still less has there been any link between this concern with spirituality and philosophy. And yet there are many important philosophical problems here: given that in a spiritual way of life men have certain experiences and are changed in various ways, what does this show? (shrink)
Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity (...) across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts. (shrink)
In this interview, Jordan B. Kinder discusses The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet with Patrick McCurdy. The Beast is a 2018 graphic novel published by independent Canadian publisher Ad Astra Comix. It is the result of a collaboration between communications scholar Patrick McCurdy, writer Hugh Goldring, and artist Nicole Marie Burton. Emerging from McCurdy’s work on the MediaToil database project—a database that gathers together competing visual representations of the Athabasca Oil Sands from several stakeholders—the graphic (...) novel addresses themes that arise from these representations while creatively exploring and navigating the tensions at the core of trying to live well in our current petroculture, a culture underwritten by neoliberalism and economic precarity. (shrink)
Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible? Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society--and ethics--change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions in this emerging field. Starting (...) with an overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or pure machines, should be given rights or moral consideration. Ethics is often slow to catch up with technological developments. This authoritative and accessible volume fills a gap in both scholarly literature and policy discussion, offering an impressive collection of expert analyses of the most crucial topics in this increasingly important field. (shrink)
Patrick Shade makes a strong argument for the necessity of hope in a cynical world that too often rejects it as foolish. While most accounts of hope situate it in a theological context, Shade presents a theory rooted in the pragmatic thought of such American philosophers as C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.
Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...) Many have thought that, intuitively, you should not. Recently, Alfred Mele has employed this line of thought to mount what many have taken to be a powerful argument for incompatibilism: the “Zygote Argument”. However, in interesting new papers, John Martin Fischer and Stephen Kearns have each independently argued that the Zygote Argument fails. As I see it, the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns reveal some important questions about how the argument is meant to be—or how it would best be—understood. Once we make a slight (but important) modification to the argument, however, I think we will be able to see that the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns do not detract from its substantial force. (shrink)
Roughly, animalism is the doctrine that each of us is identical with an organism. This paper explains and defends a hylemorphic version of animalism. I show how hylemorphic animalism handles standard objections to animalism in compelling ways. I also show what the costs of endorsing hylemorphic animalism are. The paper's contention is that despite the costs, the view is worth taking seriously.
This is an exploration of a cluster of related logical results. Taken together these seem to have something philosophically important to teach us: something about knowledge and truth and something about the logical impossibility of totalities of knowledge and truth. The book includes explorations of new forms of the ancient and venerable paradox of the :Liar, applications and extensions of Kaplan and Montague's paradox of the Knower, generalizations of Godel's work on incompleteness, and new uses of Cantorian diagonalization. Throughout, the (...) concern is with metaphysical and epistemological implications of these results: what such results may have to teach us about knowledge, truth, and possibility. (shrink)
In this ground-breaking new text, Patrick Baert analyses the central perspectives in the philosophy of social science, critically investigating the work of Durkheim, Weber, Popper, critical realism, critical theory, and Rorty's neo pragmatism. Places key writers in their social and political contexts, helping to make their ideas meaningful to students. Shows how these authors’ views have practical uses in empirical research. Lively approach that makes complex ideas understandable to upper-level students, as well as having scholarly appeal.
In the literature on free will, fatalism, and determinism, a distinction is commonly made between temporally intrinsic (‘hard’) and temporally relational (‘soft’) facts at times; determinism, for instance, is the thesis that the temporally intrinsic state of the world at some given past time, together with the laws, entails a unique future (relative to that time). Further, it is commonly supposed by incompatibilists that only the ‘hard facts’ about the past are fixed and beyond our control, whereas the ‘soft facts’ (...) about the past needn’t be. A substantial literature arose in connection with this distinction, though no consensus emerged as to the proper way to analyze it. It is time, I believe, to revisit these issues. The central claim of this paper is that the attempts to analyze the hard/soft fact distinction got off on fundamentally the wrong track. The crucial feature of soft facts is that they (in some sense) depend on the future. Following recent work on the notion of dependence, however, I argue that the literature on the soft/hard distinction has failed to capture the sense of dependence at stake. This is because such attempts have tried to capture softness in terms of purely modal notions like entailment and necessitation. As I hope to show, however, such notions cannot capture the sort of asymmetrical dependence relevant to soft facthood. Arguing for this claim is the first goal of this paper. My second goal is to gesture towards what an adequate account of soft facthood will really look like. (shrink)