This paper will offer a systematic reconstruction of al-Ġazālī’s Sceptical Argument in his celebrated Deliverer/Delivered from Going Astray (al-Munqiḏ/al-Munqaḏ min al-Ḍalāl). Based on textual evidence, I will argue that the concept of certainty (yaqīn) in play in this argument is that of the philosophers—most notably Ibn Sīnā—and that it is firmly tied to demonstration (burhān) and hence to the materials of syllogism (mawwād al-qiyās). This will show that contrary to what many scholars believe, this Sceptical Argument is al-Ġazālī’s discovery of (...) a latent sceptical problem in Muslim philosophers’ epistemological theories based on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics that escaped even the agile mind of aš-šayḫ ar-raʾīs Ibn Sīnā. This reconstruction will also shed some light on the widespread assumption that al-Ġazālī anticipates Descartes’s sceptical considerations in the First Meditation. I will argue that not only do the two thinkers use incompatible strategies to reach their respective sceptical conclusions, but both their conclusions and their use of God in refuting them are also essentially non-identical. The conclusion is that the two sceptical arguments are essentially different. (shrink)
Pessimists about moral deference argue that there is something special about moral beliefs which make it impermissible for agents to defer on moral matters. In this paper, I argue that, even if pessimists are right that there is something special about moral beliefs, that is not enough to render moral deference impermissible. A stronger requirement—the rationality requirement—makes deferring to experts not only permissible but also rationally required. When one does not defer to one’s perceived moral expert, one either violates Belief (...) Consistency or violates Belief Closure. The moral considerations, such as moral understanding or virtue, for not deferring to experts either fail to show that not deferring is a better option than deferring or fail to show that those moral considerations outweigh rationality requirements. (shrink)
We propose a ‘Moral Imagination’ methodology to facilitate a culture of responsible innovation for engineering and product teams in technology companies. Our approach has been operationalized over the past two years at Google, where we have conducted over 50 workshops with teams from across the organization. We argue that our approach is a crucial complement to existing formal and informal initiatives for fostering a culture of ethical awareness, deliberation, and decision-making in technology design such as company principles, ethics and privacy (...) review procedures, and compliance controls. We characterize some distinctive benefits of our methodology for the technology sector in particular. (shrink)
Perception plays a central and wide-ranging role in the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. In this paper, I argue that Cavendish holds a naïve realist theory of perception. The case draws on what Cavendish has to say about perceptual presentation, the role of sympathy in experience, the natures of hallucination and of illusion, and the individuation of kinds. While Cavendish takes perception to have representational content, I explain how this is consistent with naïve realism. In closing, I address challenges to the (...) interpretation, one of which turns on whether Cavendish allows for action at a distance. I argue that she does. (shrink)
This paper presents and argues for a contemporary version of skepticism: neo-Pyrrhonism. Interest in the history of skepticism engendered a new, more complex and attractive conception of skepticism. Accordingly, many philosophers now claim they are skeptics. In line with what they say, I develop neo-Pyrrhonism as I see it. It has a negative part, in which dogmas are criticized, and a positive one: first, the neo-Pyrrhonist lives his life according to his skeptical principles and following everyday life, and, second, he (...) is able to describe philosophically his skeptical view of the world, thereby offering possible solutions to philosophical problems empirically conceived. (shrink)
This study rethinks the critical reception of Hegelianism in nineteenth-century France, arguing that this reception orbits around "pantheism" as the central political-theological threat. It is Hegel’s alleged pantheism that French authors often take to be the root cause of the other dangers that become associated with Hegelianism over the course of the century, ranging from the defence of the status quo to radical socialism to pangermanism. Moreover, the widespread fixation on the term "pantheism" as the enemy of all that is (...) true, and as the term that defines the age, is symptomatic of the perception of the nineteenth century by its contemporaries as a period of crisis and turmoil, in which heretical energies are let loose that threaten to unground all authority and all transcendence. More speculatively, I suggest in the conclusion that it is the same energies that the term "communism" comes to capture, too. (shrink)
Introduction: This study delves into the ethical dimensions surrounding autonomous vehicles (AVs), with a specific focus on decision-making algorithms. Termed the “Trolley problem,” an ethical quandary arises, necessitating the formulation of moral algorithms grounded in ethical principles. To address this issue, an online survey was conducted with 460 participants in China, comprising 237 females and 223 males, spanning ages 18 to 70. -/- Methods: Adapted from Joshua Greene’s trolley dilemma survey, our study employed Yes/No options to probe participants’ choices and (...) Likert scales to gauge moral acceptance. The primary objective was to assess participants’ inclinations toward four distinct algorithmic strategies—Utilitarianism, Rawlsianism, Egoism, and a Hybrid approach—in scenarios involving AVs -/- Results: Our findings revealed a significant disparity between participants’ preferences in scenarios related to AV design and those focused on purchase decisions. Notably, over half of the respondents expressed reluctance to purchase AVs equipped with an “egoism” algorithm, which prioritizes the car owner’s safety. Intriguingly, the rejection rate for “egoism” was similar to that of “utilitarianism,” which may necessitate self-sacrifice. -/- Discussion: The hybrid approach, integrating “Utilitarianism” and “Egoism,” garnered the highest endorsement. This highlights the importance of balancing self-sacrifice and harm minimization in AV moral algorithms. The study’s insights are crucial for ethically and practically advancing AV technology in the continually evolving realm of autonomous vehicles. (shrink)
Recent developments in AI, especially the spectacular success of Large Language models, have instigated renewed questioning of what remains distinctively human. As AI stands poised to take over more and more human tasks, what is left that distinguishes humans? One way we might identify a humanlike intelligence would be when we detect it telling lies. Yet AIs lack both the intention and the motivation to truly tell lies, instead producing merely bullshit. With neither emotions, embodiment, nor the social awareness that (...) leads to a theory of mind, AIs lack the internal referents on which to judge truth or falsity. When we are deceived by our computers, we need to look for the hidden agent who benefits from the deception. (shrink)
Many think that a specific aspect of phenomenal consciousness – valenced or affective experience – is essential to consciousness’s moral significance (valence sentientism). They hold that valenced experience is necessary for well-being, or moral status, or psychological intrinsic value (or all three). Some think that phenomenal consciousness generally is necessary for non-derivative moral significance (broad sentientism). Few think that consciousness is unnecessary for moral significance (non-necessitarianism). In this paper I consider the prospects for these views. I first consider the prospects (...) for valence sentientism in light of Vulcans, beings who are conscious but without affect or valence of any sort. I think Vulcans pressure us to accept broad sentientism. But I argue that a consideration of explanations for broad sentientism opens up possible explanations for non-necessitarianism about the moral significance of consciousness. That is, once one leans away from valence sentientism because of Vulcans, one should feel pressure to accept a view on which consciousness is not necessary for well-being, moral status, or psychological intrinsic value. (shrink)
The idea that humans are clearly distinguished from other animals and from the natural world in general is a cornerstone of European philosophy and culture at least from the sixteenth century onward. Often, this idea is related to understandings of ‘humanism’ that emerged in that period and legitimized regimes of power and control over non-European cultures; it also sanctioned the exploitation of the natural world in the form of extractive capitalism. Critiques of Eurocentric mindsets hinge on certain understandings of ‘humanism,’ (...) arguing for a transformation or even abandoning of humanist traditions in the sense of ‘posthumanism’ or ‘critical posthumanities.’ In their selective interpretation of European humanism—exemplified with Immanuel Kant’s philosophy—the current critique shows elements of an Occidentalist construction of humanism. If we want to overcome the idea that humans—and within that group particularly the white, male, educated Europeans—are the ‘masters of the world,’ we are confronted with conceptual challenges that need philosophical and theoretical reflection. The ontological and epistemological implications of non-anthropocentric ways of thinking and knowing provide a clear alternative to some problematic aspects of European philosophy and humanism. Engaging with new interpretations of other-than-human agency, relational understandings of animism, and intra-active production of knowledge can provide a relevant contribution to the ongoing discussion across intellectual, cultural, and political fields, an approach that takes the specificity of human animals seriously without identifying them as the center of knowledge and power. (shrink)
Spoken sentences have parts. Therefore they take time to speak. For instance, when you say, “Socrates is running”, you begin by uttering the subject term ("Socrates"), before carrying on to the predicate. But are the corresponding predications in thought also composite? And are such thoughts extended across time, like their spoken counterparts? Peter Abelard gave an affirmative response to both questions. Alberic of Paris denied the first and, as a corollary, denied the second. Here, I first set out Abelard’s account. (...) I then present a series of arguments against Abelard, reconstructed from (sometimes fragmentary) manuscripts associated with Alberic’s school. I conclude with an observation about present philosophy of language: this twelfth-century debate points to some undefended (and largely unstated) assumptions common to our latest thinking about propositions. I highlight this by presenting recent accounts of two philosophers with radically different outlooks: Jeffrey King and Peter Hanks. Both their accounts take many of the same things for granted, as the Alberican criticisms will make plain. (shrink)
Rabbi Simone Luzzatto was the first thinker of the early modern period to put forth new political and philosophical ideas under the banner of scepticism, helping to make the Jews an integral part of society.
The publication of Gödel’s Max IV contributes to better understanding of the complex development of Gödel’s philosophical thought, and, alongside the other published notebooks, it is a further contribution to modifying a conventional view on the 20th-century philosophy, where Gödel should be recognized as one of the most important and profound philosophers. Moreover, his questions, problem formulations, and ideas, particularly as presented in his philosophical notebooks, transcend the historical distance and can immediately resonate with and inspire the current philosophical research.
This article develops the philosophical work of Joanna Macy. It argues that ecological grief is a fitting response to our ecological predicament and that much of the ‘mental ill health’ that we are now seeing is, in fact, a perfectly sane response to our ecological reality. This paper claims that all ecological emotions are grounded in love/compassion. Acceptance of these emotions reveals that everything is fine in the world as it is, providing that we accept our ecological emotions as part (...) of what is ‘in the world’. This is non-dualistic acceptance or ‘fierce’ acceptance. This paper focuses primarily on the revolutionary qualities of ecological grief: a paradoxical revolution, coming as it does from a profound process of acceptance. (shrink)
QAnon is beginning to gain attention in scholarly circles, but these sources often disagree about how to categorize the movement. This amounts to the meta-dispute between those who view QAnon primarily as a religious “cult,” and those who grant it greater credibility as a political populist movement. Using quantitative and qualitative methods we test the proposition that QAnon could be a mix of both. Results from both analyses suggest that QAnon is best understood primarily as a political populist movement, but (...) one that utilizes religious rhetoric. The findings thus highlight the asymmetric nature of the conflation of religion and politics in the contemporary American civil sphere. (shrink)
Computational models have shown how polarisation can rise among deliberating agents as they approximate epistemic rationality. This paper provides further support for the thesis that polarisation can rise under condition of epistemic rationality, but it does not depend on limitations that extant models rely on, such as memory restrictions or biased evaluation of other agents’ testimony. Instead, deliberation is modelled through agents’ purposeful introduction of arguments and their rational reactions to introductions of others. This process induces polarisation dynamics on its (...) own. A second result is that the effect size of polarisation dynamics correlates with particular types of argumentative behaviour. Polarisation effects can be soothed when agents take into account the opinions of others as premises, and they are amplified as agents fortify their own beliefs. These results underpin the relevance of argumentation as a factor in social-epistemic processes and indicate that rising issue polarisation is not a reliable indicator of epistemic shortcomings. (shrink)
This dissertation contains three standalone chapters, each of which addresses a different philosophical issue related to emotional assessment or emotion regulation. But each of these chapters contributes to the larger goal of understanding when and how we should regulate our emotions. In chapter 1, I examine what it means to say that an emotion is fitting. I argue that in order for an emotion to be fitting, it must do more than correctly represent its object; it must also mobilize the (...) individual to correctly respond to this object. My analysis, which also leads me to argue that action-responses can be fitting, suggests that fittingness is not fundamentally about the correctness of mental representations. In chapter 2, I investigate the relationship between emotions, emotion regulation, and evaluative understanding. I argue that if our goal is evaluative understanding, we should regulate our emotions in a particular, organized way, that involves both engagement with our emotional concerns, as well as disengagement. In chapter 3, I investigate the claim that fitting negative emotions have a distinctive final value, for epistemic or moral reasons, that calmer mental states cannot possess. I argue that this claim is false. We can, and often do, downregulate our emotions without losing anything of distinctive epistemic or moral final value. I conclude the dissertation by briefly describing the structure of a practical, normative model for emotion regulation. (shrink)
From the standpoint of both philosophers and psychologists, the study of moral psychology has undergone an affective revolution over the last three decades. This revolution has generated substantial interest in the role of the emotions in moral talk, thought, and behavior. Further, it has been claimed that some emotions are distinctively moral in nature. However, what it means for an emotion to count as moral and which emotions count as the moral ones are issues in need of further elucidation. My (...) dissertation addresses these questions in three connected chapters, with a particular focus on two emotions often but obscurely referred to as “moral”: disgust and anger. In Chapter 1, “Is There Such a Thing as Genuinely Moral Disgust”, I defend a novel, skeptical view about moral disgust. In so doing, I reject a widely-held, albeit largely implicit, assumption in the moral disgust literature that there exists a distinctive psychological state of moral disgust. To give a positive answer to what I call the ontological question about moral disgust, thereby vindicating its existence, I propose that a given psychological state must be shown to bear sufficient resemblance to the familiar, generic version of disgust, yet be distinguishable from it in virtue of its distinctively moral nature. I argue that existing accounts of moral disgust fail to satisfy these conditions. Further, I contend that we should be skeptical about the general prospect of giving a positive answer to the ontological question, because the empirical evidence that can be invoked in favor of moral disgust’s existence is too equivocal to properly distinguish (putatively) moral disgust from other psychological states, particularly anger. In Chapter 2, “What Makes an Emotion Moral?”, I develop a novel, empirically-informed answer to the general version of the ontological question that was raised in Chapter 1 with respect to moral disgust: how can we vindicate the existence of a distinctively moral emotion? I examine two contemporary, representative accounts of the “moral” emotions, one that type-identifies the moral emotions based on their effects, and another that defines the moral emotions as those that are constituted by specifically moral judgments. I argue that the former defines the moral emotions too broadly, and thus fails to draw a substantive distinction between the moral emotions and the non-moral ones, whereas the latter defines the moral emotions too narrowly. Informed by the problems with these accounts, I introduce a motivational theory of moral emotion, which defines the moral emotions as those with distinctively moral action tendencies and goals. Finally, in Chapter 3, “In Defense of Genuinely Moral Anger”, I defend the claim that there is a distinctively moral subtype of anger. I argue that moral anger is a genuine form of anger that is differentiable from generic anger primarily in virtue of its action tendencies, which are typically triggered by perceived injustice and aim to satisfy two moral goals: a communicative goal, and a retributive goal. With this account, I offer an empirically-supported account that constitutes a positive answer to the ontological question about moral anger, thereby demonstrating that it is possible to vindicate the existence of a genuinely moral emotion while making sense of the idea that the moral emotions should be understood as a recognizable subset within the general class of the emotions. (shrink)
How do emotional and social experiences influence the knowledge we produce about our world? Here I investigate this question in two contexts: the individual mind, as represented in literature, and recent critical practices in the humanities. I combine readings of Toni Cade Bambara’s The Salt Eaters, Toni Morrison’s Sula and Beloved, and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony with contemporary neuroscience to explore the roles of gender and community in trauma and healing, with particular attention to the way emotion shapes perception, cognition, (...) and memory. I lay the theoretical groundwork for this study with a sustained analysis of recent shifts away from poststructuralist accounts of the subject, as they are taking shape across contemporary critical theory and current public and academic receptions of neuroscience. At its heart, my project forges new paths for interdisciplinary exchange in order to shed light on the more underattended features of human knowledge, while foregrounding issues of gender,agency, and relationality. In the first half of the dissertation, I analyze trauma studies in the 1990s, and interdisciplinary engagements with neuroscience in the past decade, two movements whose vogue has been as substantial as it is surprising. That an era generally held to be poststructuralist, antibiological, and postmodern – that is, that conceives identity as fluid, shifting, and socially constructed – should be so fascinated by accounts of the subject that involve, of all things, permanence, indelibility, or biology, is intriguing. In these chapters, I work to contextualize these fields historically, culturally, and theoretically, and to compare their symbolic investments, with particular attention to the role of affect in their intellectual reception. In the second half of the dissertation, I explore how accounts of the mind and the brain might be thought together, focusing on the role of gender and of community in traumatic memory and healing through the lens of the core novels in dialogue with contemporary neuroscience. In advancing innovative frameworks for combining science and the humanities, my goal is not only to deepen our understanding of knowledge production, but also to expand our repertoire of methods of pursuing knowledge. (shrink)
We know, since Descartes (1641), that exercises of sensory imagining (S-imagining) are not purely imagistic: they possess multiple aspects. This much is agreed upon among philosophers but, when the question of the intentionality of S-imaginings arises, agreement seems to unravel. -/- According to the Two Content View (TCV), S-imagining “has two kinds of content, qualitative content and assigned content” (Kung, 2010:632) – e.g., my image of an apple is about both (i) shapes and colors and (ii) about the fact that (...) it is an apple, rather than a perfect imitation thereof. Advocates of TCV claim that the imagistic content does represent something, but it is not enough to individuate the imagining of an A rather than a B (Kung, 2010; Langland-Hassan, 2015; Martin, 2002; Noordhof, 2002; Peacocke, 1985; Tooming, 2018; White, 1990). -/- Some, however, have expressed skepticism about TCV. As Sartre claims, “despite some prejudices […] when I produce in myself the image of Pierre, it is Pierre who is the object of my current consciousness.” (1940/2010:4) The intentional object of our S-imaginings is exhausted by a single content treated in a specific way (Currie & Ravenscroft, 2002; Goldman, 2006; Hutto, 2015; Mulligan, 1999; Soteriou, 2013; Stock, n.d.; Wiltsher, 2016,2019). -/- In the following, (1) I sketch one of the most efficient pleas for the TCV by Peter Langland-Hassan, (2) I give two reasons to doubt the decisiveness of his arguments, and (3) suggest that S-imagining can be captured by the attitude/content distinction. (shrink)
The article "Philosophy is the unborn child of science: in search of a universal commonly used language" explores the problem of creating a universal philosophical language that includes not only the language of classification concepts of natural language that define people's reasoning thinking, but also the language of comparative concepts, which is the basis their mind and wisdom. At the same time, the author divides comparative concepts into two parts, the first of which is determined by particular concepts – concepts (...) of practical mind peculiar to natural and exact sciences, while the second part is determined by extremely general concepts – categories of pure mind, which were supposed to become the beginnings of philosophy as a verifiable rigorous science. Along with the majority of thinking people, the author sees that as a cumulative rigorous science, philosophy has not taken place, and therefore considers it an unborn child of science. In this regard, he analyzes various philosophical traditions and comes to the conclusion that "everything is known in comparison." Therefore, the basis of a language that would facilitate effective communication between different philosophical directions, as well as between natural and humanitarian disciplines, can only be the language of comparative concepts. As a result of using the four types of opposition identified by Aristotle as the principles of philosophy: "contradictory", "correlated", "opposite", "deprivation and possession", the author built a philosophical Matrix from which he approaches the creation of such a universal language. At the same time, the Matrix includes other more complex comparative concepts than those of Aristotle – concepts of pure mind found by the author in the teachings of outstanding thinkers of the past: Lao Tzu, Pythagoras, Heraclitus and K. Marx, but today misunderstood or forgotten. The comparative concepts returned from oblivion, in the author's opinion, represent a valuable contribution to many areas of philosophy and linguistics, and can be useful for philosophers, psychologists, educators, linguists and anyone interested in the problem of language in philosophy and their undeniable role in the development of mind and wisdom. (shrink)
This draft preprint presents a nine step argument for “Connectionist Structuralism” (CS), an account of the ontology of abstract objects that is neither purely nominalist nor purely platonist. CS is a common, often implicit assumption in parts of the artificial intelligence literature, but such discussions have not presented formal accounts of the position or engaged with metaphysical issues that potentially undermine it. By making the position legible and presenting an initial case for it, we hope to support a constructive dialogue (...) between AI researchers and philosophers of metaphysics that helps both sides to refine the position. -/- CS proposes that each abstract object we can draw on in human analysis corresponds to a particular subset of an individual person’s brain structure whose functionality is isomorphic to a subset of the nodes and connections in a suitable connectionist network. In other words, abstract objects are physically realised, but in individual brains, rather than only in the referent objects (pure nominalism) or in metaphysical universals (pure platonism). -/- This paper’s minimum claim is that CS can account for all abstract object predicables regarding sensible properties, such as “is red” or “is a square”. Using evidence from cognitive neuroscience, machine learning, and evolutionary biology, as well as a fully traceable toy example, we describe how CS can support our core cognitive uses of such sensible properties and can account for our core phenomenal experiences of them. In the former, CS provides sufficient albeit imperfect inferential safety, whose limitations are argued to strengthen rather than weaken the case for CS as describing human behaviour. In the latter, four target phenomenal features are accounted for – abstract objects as feeling intangible, non-located, transparent, and unchanging - along with accounts for further phenomena such as semantic refinement, the Stroop effect, synaesthesia, semantic clarity, sensory overload, and satiation. -/- Our minimum claim concerns the day-to-day usage and felt experience of abstract objects, but we suggest also an extended claim in which CS can form the basis of a pragmatic sufficient logic. As such, the initial outline of a response is provided for five common objections to positions that seek to ground abstract objects without reference to metaphysically stand-alone universals: referential opacity; identity of indiscernibles; infinite regression; non-physical concepts; and necessary truths. These outlines lay the foundation for (but do not seek to formally demonstrate) an extended CS account that addresses other abstract objects, including issues relating to their use in mathematics and formal logic. -/- The CS account leads to a four-layer hierarchy of similarity for whether your “red” is the same as mine. Considering both semantic and phenomenal similarity, we conclude that our “reds” are likely non-identical but can be made close enough for practical purposes. Finally, we describe how future work could elaborate CS as a metaphysical project and how confidence in it could be tested through empirical research. (shrink)
This chapter surveys essentialist and anti-essentialist theories of sex and gender. It does so by engaging three approaches to sex and gender: externalism, internalism, and contextualism. The chapter also draws attention to two key debates about sex and gender in the feminist literature: the debate about the sex/gender distinction (the distinction debate) and the debate about whether sex and gender have essences (the essentialism/anti-essentialism debate). In addition, it describes three problems that theories of sex and gender tend to face: the (...) Inclusion Problem, the Definition Problem, and the Exclusion Problem. Lastly, the chapter highlights why the division between essentialist and anti-essentialist accounts of sex and gender is not clear. (shrink)
An increasing amount of contemporary philosophy of mathematics posits, and theorizes in terms of special kinds of mathematical modality. The goal of this paper is to bring recent work on higher-order metaphysics to bear on the investigation of these modalities. The main focus of the paper will be views that posit mathematical contingency or indeterminacy about statements that concern the ‘width’ of the set theoretic universe, such as Cantor’s continuum hypothesis. Within a higher-order framework I show that contingency about the (...) width of the set-theoretic universe refutes two orthodoxies concerning the structure of modal reality: the view that the broadest necessity has a logic of S5, and the ‘Leibniz biconditionals’ stating that what is possible, in the broadest sense of _possible_, is what is true in some possible world. Nonetheless, I suggest that the underlying picture of modal set-theory is coherent and has attractions. (shrink)
This paper explores Moritz Geiger’s work on the role of emotions in aesthetic appreciation and shows its potential for contemporary research. Drawing on the main tenets of Geiger’s phenomenological aesthetics as an aesthetics of value, the paper begins by elaborating his model of aesthetic appreciation. I argue that, placed in the contemporary debate, his model is close to affective models which make affective states responsible for the apprehension of the aesthetic value of an artwork, though Geiger also makes important concessions (...) to the intellectualist. Indeed, like proponents of the affective model, Geiger argues that a work’s aesthetic values are extracted by means of an affective state though the affective state in question is neither an emotion nor a feeling but a “liking”. In fact, like the intellectualist, he considers that a focus on the emotions might on certain occasions interfere in the aesthetic appreciation of the artwork. Next, I reconstruct Geiger’s distinction between surface and depth effects in terms of a distinction between two types of emotional responses to artworks. It is argued that Geiger’s distinction offers a powerful tool to distinguish those emotions that are intrinsically related to aesthetic values from those that are not and that this distinction can be useful to understand how different kinds of emotions contribute to aesthetic appreciation. I proceed to examine the historical sources of Geiger’s distinction between surface and depth effects in Theodor Lipps’s aesthetics and compare Geiger’s account with the works of other early phenomenologists working on values. In the final part, I illustrate the place of Geiger’s model in the contemporary discussion by means of an example. (shrink)
The Operator Argument against eternalism holds that having non-vacuous tense operators in the language is incompatible with the claim that every proposition has its truth-value eternally. Assuming that (1) there are non-vacuous tense operators, (2) tense operators operate on propositions and (3) tense operators which operate on eternal entities are vacuous, it may be argued that eternalism is false. In this paper, I examine the Operator Argument. The goal is threefold. First, I want to present some aspects of the debate (...) in a more elaborate way, especially those concerning formal matters. Secondly, I will argue that eternalism can escape the Operator Argument. There are two main strategies for handling the Operator Argument. The first one is based on replacing temporal operators with object-language quantifiers. The second rejects the identification of compositional semantic value with assertoric content. My third goal is to show that none of them is as good as the strategy that adopts Timestamp Semantics (Fritz in Philosl Stud 176:2933–2959, 2019). I am going to argue that the quantificational treatment of tenses is compatible with temporalism and that the arguments for rejecting the identification of compositional semantic value with assertoric content provide, in fact, a motivation for the temporalist position. At the end, I will develop Timestamp Semantics by providing a novel formalization of it, and defend it against three potential counter-arguments. (shrink)
The last half-century of religious studies scholarship has seen the diminishing importance of belief as a concept of analysis. The putative inaccessibility of beliefs and the concept’s Western Christian provenance has led many scholars of religion to reject the concept. Recent years have seen attempts to rehabilitate the concept of belief, including Kevin Schilbrack’s 2014 Philosophy and the Study of Religions. Schilbrack proposes that by engaging with contemporary philosophical reflection on belief—specifically dispositionalist and interpretationist theories—the traditional critiques of belief can (...) be overcome. The purpose of this paper is to further develop this approach by proposing an additional, currently overlooked, element of belief—its affectivity. This approach builds on current research from enactivist cognitive science and avoids the objections traditionally levelled at belief, while enabling a more sophisticated analysis of power dynamics in religion. (shrink)
In this position paper, we introduce a new epistemic lens for analyzing algorithmic harm. We argue that the epistemic lens we propose herein has two key contributions to help reframe and address some of the assumptions underlying inquiries into algorithmic fairness. First, we argue that using the framework of epistemic injustice helps to identify the root causes of harms currently framed as instances of representational harm. We suggest that the epistemic lens offers a theoretical foundation for expanding approaches to algorithmic (...) fairness in order to address a wider range of harms not recognized by existing technical or legal definitions. Second, we argue that the epistemic lens helps to identify the epistemic goals of inquiries into algorithmic fairness. There are two distinct contexts within which we examine algorithmic harm: at times, we seek to understand and describe the world as it is, and, at other times, we seek to build a more just future. The epistemic lens can serve to direct our attention to the epistemic frameworks that shape our interpretations of the world as it is and the ways we envision possible futures. Clarity with respect to which epistemic context is relevant in a given inquiry can further help inform choices among the different ways of measuring and addressing algorithmic harms. We introduce this framework with the goal of initiating new research directions bridging philosophical, legal, and technical approaches to understanding and mitigating algorithmic harms. (shrink)
This paper presents some impossibility results for certain views about what you should do when you are uncertain about which moral theory is true. I show that under reasonable and extremely minimal ways of defining what a moral theory is, it follows that the concept of expected moral choiceworthiness is undefined, and more generally that any theory of decision-making under moral uncertainty must generate pathological results.
Analytic theology is often described as something like the application of analytic philosophy's tools to theological studies, but what this means can be unclear. In this paper, I offer a primer on analytic theology which clarifies this common description of the field. Particularly, following Sarah Coakley, I sketch an account of analytic theology on which it consists of a relation of familial resemblance. That is, analytic theologians are those who investigate theological loci in ways akin to those seen in contemporary (...) analytic philosophy. In so doing, I also briefly describe how analytic theology is conceptually distinct from both philosophical theology and analytic philosophy of religion. I then provide a threefold typology for understanding analytic theology's literary landscape whereby its practitioners can generally be understood to produce works which are either philosophically-inclined, theologically-inclined, or mixed in their inclination. Finally, I offer a brief survey of new frontiers being explored by analytic theologians. (shrink)
Influenced by James Bernat’s approach, the US President’s 1981 Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioural Research concluded that human death is an instant that separates the dying process from the cadaveric state. Death, as Bernat and the President’s Commission argue, cannot be a process. Because organisms cannot be both alive and dead, Bernat claims, the transition from one state to the other must be sudden and instantaneous. Since then, few have argued the opposite (...) notion that death is a process, and that the transition between living and perishing is not a discrete event. In this article we argue that human death is a process that comprises three distinct phases: dying (when the physiological responses against the shutdown of vital organs and systems are in an imminence of breaking down), decease (when events such as respiratory and cardiac arrest indicate the critical failure of vital organs or systems), and decay (the irreversible and accelerated systemic biological process of cellular death that eventually takes over the whole body). We also argue that human death differs from the ‘time of death’ indicated by death certificates, which is pointed out only to clinically and legally establish the irreversibility of the entire process. (shrink)
"Philosophie" fait partie de ces mots dont tout le monde, ou presque, connaît l’étymon tant il est populaire d’ expliquer ce que cela veut dire « faire de la philosophie» en arguant que le terme prend ses racines dans φιλεῖν (aimer) et σοφία (la sagesse), donc philosophie : acte d’ aimer la sagesse… Édifiant n’ est-ce pas ?