Currently, two frameworks of causal reasoning compete: Whereas dependency theories focus on dependencies between causes and effects, dispositional theories model causation as an interaction between agents and patients endowed with intrinsic dispositions. One important finding providing a bridge between these two frameworks is that failures of causes to generate their effects tend to be differentially attributed to agents and patients regardless of their location on either the cause or the effect side. To model different types of error attribution, we augmented (...) a causal Bayes net model with separate error sources for causes and effects. In several experiments, we tested this new model using the size of Markov violations as the empirical indicator of differential assumptions about the sources of error. As predicted by the model, the size of Markov violations was influenced by the location of the agents and was moderated by the causal structure and the type of causal variables. (shrink)
Research on human causal induction has shown that people have general prior assumptions about causal strength and about how causes interact with the background. We propose that these prior assumptions about the parameters of causal systems do not only manifest themselves in estimations of causal strength or the selection of causes but also when deciding between alternative causal structures. In three experiments, we requested subjects to choose which of two observable variables was the cause and which the effect. We found (...) strong evidence that learners have interindividually variable but intraindividually stable priors about causal parameters that express a preference for causal determinism. These priors predict which structure subjects preferentially select. The priors can be manipulated experimentally and appear to be domain-general. Heuristic strategies of structure induction are suggested that can be viewed as simplified implementations of the priors. (shrink)
Causal queries about singular cases, which inquire whether specific events were causally connected, are prevalent in daily life and important in professional disciplines such as the law, medicine, or engineering. Because causal links cannot be directly observed, singular causation judgments require an assessment of whether a co‐occurrence of two events c and e was causal or simply coincidental. How can this decision be made? Building on previous work by Cheng and Novick (2005) and Stephan and Waldmann (2018), we propose a (...) computational model that combines information about the causal strengths of the potential causes with information about their temporal relations to derive answers to singular causation queries. The relative causal strengths of the potential cause factors are relevant because weak causes are more likely to fail to generate effects than strong causes. But even a strong cause factor does not necessarily need to be causal in a singular case because it could have been preempted by an alternative cause. We here show how information about causal strength and about two different temporal parameters, the potential causes' onset times and their causal latencies, can be formalized and integrated into a computational account of singular causation. Four experiments are presented in which we tested the validity of the model. The results showed that people integrate the different types of information as predicted by the new model. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes bruteness from fundamentality by developing a theory of stochastic grounding that makes room for non-fundamental bruteness. Stochastic grounding relations, which only underwrite incomplete explanations, arise when the fundamental level underdetermines derivative levels. The framework is applied to fission cases, showing how one can break symmetries and mitigate bruteness whilst avoiding arbitrariness and hypersensitivity.
This paper establishes that the occasional identity relation and the contingent identity relation are both non-transitive and as such are not properly classified as identity relations. This is achieved by appealing to cases where multiple fissions and fusions occur simultaneously. These cases show that the contingent and occasional identity relations do not even satisfy the time-indexed and world-indexed versions of the transitivity requirement and hence are non-transitive relations.
One hundred and fifty years ago, a hopeful young researcher reported a recent discovery he had made. Working in the bowels of a medieval castle in the German city of Tübingen, he had isolated a then entirely new type of molecule. This was the birth of a field that would fundamentally change the course of biology, medicine, and beyond. His discovery: DNA. His name: Friedrich Miescher. In this article, the authors try to find answers to the question why—despite the fact (...) that virtually everyone nowadays knows DNA—hardly anyone remembers the man who discovered it. In the history of science, the discovery of DNA was a seminal moment. Why then did it not enter into public memory? Ground‐breaking discoveries can occur in a historical context that is not ready to appreciate them. But that's not all that decides who is remembered and who is forgotten. Scientific pioneers sometimes fail to publicize their findings in a way that ensures that they receive the attention they merit. As discussed here, their personalities and habits may cause discoveries to be “overwritten” by more recent researchers, resulting in distorted cultural memories no longer reflecting the initial event. (shrink)
Resemblance Nominalism About Perfect Naturalness is the view that perfect naturalness of classes is best defined by a conceptual primitive of resemblance between particulars. The adequacy of RNPN is defended by outlining nominalism as the strictly anti-constitutive view that the particulars’ being the fundamental ways they are is not constituted by anything further, supplying a doubly plural contrastive and graded resemblance predicate that allows for a definition of perfect naturalness on an actualist basis, and proving a representation and a uniqueness (...) theorem on the basis of a formal constraint on resemblance called “the Principle”, thereby revealing that bodies of nominalist resemblance facts are guaranteed to behave as if they were grounded in patterns of universals distributed over particulars. (shrink)
Inductive Metaphysics combines an anti-aprioristic emphasis on an empirical and scientific basis for metaphysics with an insistence on a specifically philosophical abductive theory-building. Since the latter specifically philosophical work is not empirical itself, it may in a liberal sense be called apriori. This paper highlights this apriori dimension within IM by a case study on Structuralism, the view that fundamental reality consists of a network of relations, which a number of philosophers consider to be suggested by modern physics. Focussing on (...) Dasgupta’s algebraic Generalism, the author argues that Structuralism suffers from a severe entailment problem, because the relations-spanning apparatus must stand for metaphysically fundamental forms. Schaffer’s contention that there are no entailment problems is rejected. Advocates of IM are well advised to take seriously their own insistence on metaphysical abduction and not to one-sidedly emphasise the empirical input: the elaboration of exact metaphysical theories and the apriori evaluation of their inherent tenability is a constituent of IM no less important than the consideration of scientific input. More traditional ways of metaphysical reasoning inevitably survive as an essential dimension within IM. (shrink)
The aim of psychology is to understand the human mind and behavior. In contemporary psychology, the method of choice to accomplish this incredibly complex endeavor is the experiment. This dominance has shaped the whole discipline from the self-concept as an empirical science and its very epistemological and theoretical foundations, via research practice and the scientific discourse to teaching. Experimental psychology is grounded in the scientific method and positivism, and these principles, which are characteristic for modern thinking, are still upheld. Despite (...) this apparently stalwart adherence to modern principles, experimental psychology exhibits a number of aspects which can best be described as facets of postmodern thinking although they are hardly acknowledged as such. Many psychologists take pride in being “real natural scientists” because they conduct experiments, but it is particularly difficult for psychologists to evade certain elements of postmodern thinking in view of the specific nature of their subject matter. Postmodernism as a philosophy emerged in the 20th century as a response to the perceived inadequacy of the modern approach and as a means to understand the complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions of the times. Therefore, postmodernism offers both valuable insights into the very nature of experimental psychology and fruitful ideas on improving experimental practice to better reflect the complexities and ambiguities of human mind and behavior. Analyzing experimental psychology along postmodern lines begins by discussing the implications of transferring the scientific method from fields with rather narrowly defined phenomena—the natural sciences—to a much broader and more heterogeneous class of complex phenomena, namely the human mind and behavior. This ostensibly modern experimental approach is, however, per se riddled with postmodern elements: creating phenomena in an experimental setting, including the hermeneutic processes of generating hypotheses and interpreting results, is no carbon copy of “reality” but rather an active construction which reflects irrevocably the pre-existing ideas of the investigator. These aspects, analyzed by using postmodern concepts like hyperreality and simulacra, did not seep in gradually but have been present since the very inception of experimental psychology, and they are necessarily inherent in its philosophy of science. We illustrate this theoretical analysis with the help of two examples, namely experiments on free will and visual working memory. The postmodern perspective reveals some pitfalls in the practice of experimental psychology. Furthermore, we suggest that accepting the inherently fuzzy nature of theoretical constructs in psychology and thinking more along postmodern lines would actually clarify many theoretical problems in experimental psychology. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis paper addresses the problem of opaque sweetening and argues that one should use stochastic dominance in comparing lotteries even when dealing with incomplete orderings that allow for non-comparable outcomes.
This paper provides an account of the closure conditions that apply to sets of subvening and supervening properties, showing that the criterion that determines under which property-forming operations a particular family of properties is closed is applicable both to the finitary and to the infinitary case. In particular, it will be established that, contra Glanzberg, infinitary operations do not give rise to any additional difficulties beyond those that arise in the finitary case.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Ralf M. Bader and John Meadowcroft; Part I. Morality: 1. Side constraints, Lockean individual rights, and the moral basis of libertarianism Richard Arneson; 2. Are deontological constraints irrational? Michael Otsuka; 3. What we learn from the experience machine Fred Feldman; Part II. Anarchy: 4. Nozickian arguments for the more-than-minimal state Eric Mack; 5. Explanation, justification, and emergent properties - an essay on Nozickian metatheory Gerald Gaus; Part III. State: 6. The right to distribute David (...) Schmidtz; 7. Nozick's libertarian theory of justice Peter Vallentyne; 8. Does Nozick have a theory of property rights? Barbara Fried; 9. Nozick's critique of Rawls John Meadowcroft; Part IV. Utopia: 10. The framework for utopia Ralf M. Bader; 11. E Pluribus Plurum - how to fail to get to utopia in spite of really trying Chandran Kukathas. (shrink)
Health care decision making for patients without decisional capacity is ethically and legally challenging. Advance directives (living wills) have proved to be of limited usefulness in clinical practice. Therefore, academic attention should focus more on substitute decision making by the next of kin. In this article, we comparatively analyse the legal approaches to substitute medical decision making in England and Germany. Based on the current ethico-legal discourse in both countries, three aspects of substitute decision making will be highlighted: (1) Should (...) there be a legally predefined order of relatives who serve as health care proxies? (2) What should be the respective roles and decisional powers of patient-appointed versus court-appointed substitute decision-makers? (3) Which criteria should be determined by law to guide substitute decision-makers? (shrink)
This paper develops co-ordinated multiple-domain supervenience relations to model determination and dependence relations between complex entities and their constituents by appealing to R-related pairs and by making use of associated isomorphisms. Supervenience relations are devised for order-sensitive and repetition-sensitive mereologies, for mereological systems that make room for many-many composition relations, as well as for hierarchical mereologies that incorporate compositional and hylomorphic structure. Finally, mappings are provided for theories that consider wholes to be prior to their parts.
This paper assesses the role of the Refutation of Idealism within the Critique of Pure Reason, as well as its relation to the treatment of idealism in the First Edition and to transcendental idealism more generally. It is argued that the Refutation is consistent with the Fourth Paralogism and that it can be considered as an extension of the Transcendental Deduction. While the Deduction, considered on its own, constitutes a 'regressive argument', the Refutation allows us to turn the Transcendental Analytic (...) into a 'progressive argument' that proceeds by the synthetic method. (shrink)
Human dignity is one of the key concepts of our ethical evaluations, in politics, in biomedicine, as well as in everyday life. In moral philosophy, however, human dignity is a source of intractable trouble. It has a number of characteristic features which apparently do not fit into one coherent ethical concept. Hence, philosophers tend to ignore or circumvent the concept. There is hope for a philosophically attractive conception of human dignity, however, given that one takes three crucial turns. The negative (...) turn: to start the inquiry with violations of human dignity. The inductive turn: to consider the whole range of applications of the concept of human dignity in different areas of ethics. And finally, the historical turn: to take into account the historical bonds between human dignity and traditional conceptions of dignity. Taken together they point in the direction of an understanding of human dignity as universal nobility. (shrink)
Objectives Medical futility at the end of life is a growing challenge to medicine. The goals of the authors were to elucidate how clinicians define futility, when they perceive life-sustaining treatment (LST) to be futile, how they communicate this situation and why LST is sometimes continued despite being recognised as futile. Methods The authors reviewed ethics case consultation protocols and conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 physicians and 11 nurses from adult intensive and palliative care units at a tertiary hospital in (...) Germany. The transcripts were subjected to qualitative content analysis. Results Futility was identified in the majority of case consultations. Interviewees associated futility with the failure to achieve goals of care that offer a benefit to the patient's quality of life and are proportionate to the risks, harms and costs. Prototypic examples mentioned are situations of irreversible dependence on LST, advanced metastatic malignancies and extensive brain injury. Participants agreed that futility should be assessed by physicians after consultation with the care team. Intensivists favoured an indirect and stepwise disclosure of the prognosis. Palliative care clinicians focused on a candid and empathetic information strategy. The reasons for continuing futile LST are primarily emotional, such as guilt, grief, fear of legal consequences and concerns about the family's reaction. Other obstacles are organisational routines, insufficient legal and palliative knowledge and treatment requests by patients or families. Conclusion Managing futility could be improved by communication training, knowledge transfer, organisational improvements and emotional and ethical support systems. The authors propose an algorithm for end-of-life decision making focusing on goals of treatment. (shrink)
Social behaviour is but an expression of instinctive mechanisms whereby the aggressive instinct is of particular importance, having given rise to most of the complexity of social behaviour through processes of phylogenetic and cultural ritualisation. The role of the aggressive instinct is to dynamically maintain the ranking order in a group, and much of social interaction is concerned with this, including monetary exchange. What is certain, is that with the elimination of aggression, … the tackling of a task or problem, (...) the self-respect [in] everything that a man does from morning till evening, from the morning shave to the sublimest artistic or scientific creation, would lose all impetus; everything associated with ambition, ranking order, and countless other equally indispensable behaviour patterns would probably also disappear from human life. — Konrad Lorenz (1963/2002, p. 269) (Published Online April 5 2006). (shrink)
‘DU bist Radio’ (DBR) is an award winning [DBR has been awarded with the “Catholic Media Award of the German Bishops Conference, Prädikat WERTvoll” (2011), the Suisse “Media Prize Aargau/Solothurn” (2010), the German “Alternative Media Award” (2009) and was nominated for the “Prix Europa” (2009)] monthly radio format that goes on air on three Swiss radio stations. The purpose of this program which was first broadcast in 2009 is the development of a new media format which—without applying any journalistic (or (...) other) filter and influence—conveys authenticity of expression amongst society’s most vulnerable fellow citizens such as patients, clients and the socially deprived. So-called marginal groups are encouraged to speak for themselves, as a possible paradigm case for encouraging the inclusion of patients’ and relatives’ “unfiltered” voices in general and in clinical ethics as well. Before handing over the microphone to the groups in focus, a team of journalists, educated in medical ethics, over a period of 4 days, teaches them on-site radio skills and craft. Once this task is completed and the actual production of the broadcast begins, the media crew does not exert any influence whatsoever on the content of the 1-h program. Thus, the final product is solely created and accounted for by the media-inexperienced participants, leading to unforeseen and often surprising results. It is discussed that the DBR approach of fostering authenticity of expression can serve as an enhancement to today’s respect and autonomy oriented field of medical ethics. (shrink)
This paper provides an account of Kant's categories of freedom, explaining how they fit together and what role they are supposed to play. My interpretation places particular emphasis on the structural features that the table of the categories of freedom shares with the table of judgements and the table of categories laid out by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this way we can identify two interpretative constraints, namely (i) that the categories falling under each heading must form (...) a synthetic unity whereby the third one derives from the combination of the other two. and (ii) that the first two categories falling under each heading must be morally undetermined and sensibly conditioned, while the third category is sensibly unconditioned and determined only by the moral law. (shrink)
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