Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...) of color. In this way the book not only offers a methodological program for philosophy, but also casts new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations. (shrink)
What is the nature of, and what is the relationship between, external objects and our visual perceptual experience of them? In this book, Frank Jackson defends the answers provided by the traditional Representative theory of perception. He argues, among other things that we are never immediately aware of external objects, that they are the causes of our perceptual experiences and that they have only the primary qualities. In the course of the argument, sense data and the distinction between mediate and (...) immediate perception receive detailed defences and the author criticises attempts to reduce perceiving the believing and to show that the Representative theory makes the external world unknowable. Jackson recognises that his views are unfashionable but argues in detail that they are to be preferred to their currently favoured competitors. It will become an obvious point of reference for all future work on the philosophy of perception. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention (...) to whether they are framing questions in terms of belief or in terms of credence and the success or failure of a reductionist project in the belief-credence realm has significant implications for epistemology generally. (shrink)
Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broader significance of the belief-credence connection and concludes with general lessons from the (...) debate thus far. (shrink)
Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes . Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no.
I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...) focuses on the possibilities that the evidence makes salient. I argue that this makes better sense of the difference between rational credence and rational belief than other accounts. (shrink)
Belief-credence dualism is the view that we have both beliefs and credences and neither attitude is reducible to the other. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that practical stakes can affect the epistemic rationality of states like knowledge or justified belief. In this paper, I argue that dualism offers a unique explanation of pragmatic encroachment cases. First, I explain pragmatic encroachment and what motivates it. Then, I explain dualism and outline a particular argument for dualism. Finally, I show how dualism can (...) explain the intuitions that underlie pragmatic encroachment. My basic proposal is that in high-stakes cases, it is not that one cannot rationally believe that p; instead, one ought not to rely on one's belief that p. One should rather rely on one's credence in p. I conclude that we need not commit ourselves to pragmatic encroachment in order to explain the intuitiveness of the cases that motivate it. (shrink)
The philosophy of mind and cognition has been transformed by recent advances in what is loosely called cognitive science. This book is a thoroughly up-to-date introduction to and account of that transformation, in which the many strands in contemporary cognitive science are brought together into a coherent philosophical picture of the mind. The book begins with discussions of the pre-history of contemporary philosophy of mind - dualism, behaviourism, and early versions of the identity theory of mind - and moves through (...) discussions of functionalism in autonomy of psychology, to topics such as eliminative materialism, individualism and the problems of content and representation. The synoptic nature of the discussion makes it ideal as the foundation of an undergraduate course in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is (...) more plausible than many have previously supposed. (shrink)
This collection introduces the reader to some of the most interesting current work on conditionals. Particular attention is paid to possible world semantics for conditionals, the role of conditional probability in helping us to understand conditionals, implicature and the material conditional, and subjunctive versus indicative conditionals. Contributors include V.H. Dudman, Dorothy Edgington, Nelson Goodman, H.P. Grice, David Lewis, and Robert Stalnaker.
Some properties are causally relevant for a certain effect, others are not. In this paper we describe a problem for our understanding of this notion and then offer a solution in terms of the notion of a program explanation.
Permissivism is the view that there are evidential situations that rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. In this paper, I argue for Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism (IaBP): that there are evidential situations in which a single agent can rationally adopt more than one belief-attitude toward a proposition. I give two positive arguments for IaBP; the first involves epistemic supererogation and the second involves doubt. Then, I should how these arguments give intrapersonal permissivists a distinct response to the toggling (...) objection. I conclude that IaBP is a view that philosophers should take seriously. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson’s popular introduction to philosophy of mind and cognition is now available in a fully revised and updated edition. Ensures that the most recent developments in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science are brought together into a coherent, accessible whole. Revisions respond to feedback from students and teachers and make the volume even more useful for courses. New material includes: a section on Descartes’ famous objection to materialism; extended treatment of connectionism; coverage of the view (...) that psychology is autonomous; fuller discussion of recent debates over phenomenal experience; and much more. (shrink)
I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude by showing (...) how my picture can explain how action-oriented commitments can be rational over time, both in the face of counterevidence and in the face of waning affections. (shrink)
Much of the contemporary debate in the philosophy of mind is concerned with the clash between certain strongly held intuitions and what science tells us about the mind and its relation to the world. What science tells us about the mind points strongly towards some version or other of physicalism. The intuitions, in one way or another, suggest that there is something seriously incomplete about any purely physical story about the mind.
Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a (...) reason to pay special attention to the infinite consequences of our actions. (shrink)
Many of the things that we try to explain, in both our common sense and our scientific engagement with the world, are capable of being explained more or less finely: that is, with greater or lesser attention to the detail of the producing mechanism. A natural assumption, pervasive if not always explicit, is that other things being equal, the more finegrained an explanation, the better. Thus, Jon Elster, who also thinks there are instrumental reasons for wanting a more fine-grained explanation, (...) assumes that in any case the mere fact of getting nearer the detail of production makes such an explanation intrinsically superior: “a more detailed explanation is also an end in itself”. Michael Taylor agrees: “A good explanation should be, amongst other things, as fine-grained as possible.”. (shrink)
Much of the literature on the relationship between belief and credence has focused on the reduction question: that is, whether either belief or credence reduces to the other. This debate, while important, only scratches the surface of the belief-credence connection. Even on the anti-reductive dualist view, belief and credence could still be very tightly connected. Here, I explore questions about the belief-credence connection that go beyond reduction. This paper is dedicated to what I call the independence question: just how independent (...) are belief and credence? I look at this question from two angles: a descriptive one (as a psychological matter, how much can belief and credence come apart?) and a normative one (for a rational agent, how closely connected are belief and credence?) Ultimately, I suggest that the two attitudes are more independent than one might think. (shrink)
In Unsettled Thoughts, Julia Staffel argues that non-ideal thinkers should seek to approximate ideal Bayesian rationality. She argues that the more rational you are, the more benefits of rationality you will enjoy. After summarizing Staffel's main results, this paper looks more closely at two issues that arise later in the book: the relationship between Bayesian rationality and other kinds of rationality, and the role that outright belief plays in addition to credence. Ultimately, I argue that there are several roles that (...) outright belief might play, and I explore different ways that these roles for belief might fit together. (shrink)
I defend the view that the truth conditions of the ordinary indicative conditional are those of the material conditional. This is done via a discussion of assertability and by appeal to conventional implicature rather than conversational implicature.
Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one should likewise accept (...) radical moral encroachment on credence. We outline and reject potential attempts to establish a basis for asymmetry between the attitude types. Then, we explore the merits and demerits of the two available responses to our symmetry claim: (i) embracing moral encroachment on credence and (ii) denying moral encroachment on belief. (shrink)
A popular objection to theistic commitment involves the idea that faith is irrational. Specifically, some seem to put forth something like the following argument: (P1) Everyone (or almost everyone) who has faith is epistemically irrational, (P2) All theistic believers have faith, thus (C) All (or most) theistic believers are epistemically irrational. In this paper, I argue that this line of reasoning fails. I do so by considering a number of candidates for what faith might be. I argue that, for each (...) candidate, either (P1) is false or (P2) is false. Then, I make two positive suggestions for how faith can be epistemically rational but nonetheless have a unique relationship to evidence: one, that Jamesian self-justifying attitudes describe a distinctive kind of faith in oneself and others, and two, that faith is not solely based on empirical evidence. (shrink)
How is what an agent ought to do at time t related to what they ought to do over a period of time that includes t? I revisit an example that sheds light on this question, taking account of issues to do with the agent's intentions and the distinction between subjective and objective obligation.
This article is concerned with developing a philosophical approach to a number of significant changes to academic publishing, and specifically the global journal knowledge system wrought by a range of new digital technologies that herald the third age of the journal as an electronic, interactive and mixed-media form of scientific communication. The paper emerges from an Editors' Collective, a small New Zealand-based organisation comprised of editors and reviewers of academic journals mostly in the fields of education and philosophy. The paper (...) is the result of a collective writing process. (shrink)
_Language, Names, and Information_ is an important contribution to philosophy of language by one of its foremost scholars, challenging the pervasive view that the description theory of proper names is dead in the water, and defending a version of the description theory from a perspective on language that sees words as a wonderful source of information about the nature of the world we live in. Challenges current pervasive view that the description theory of reference for proper names has been refuted (...) Discusses several topics at the center of current debates, including representation and information, two-dimensionalism, possible worlds, and broad vs. narrow content Maintains the conversational and somewhat informal tone of the original lectures upon which the book is based. (shrink)
In spite of extensive research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its link with economic and social performance, few studies have investigated the institutional determinants of CSR. This article draws upon neo-institutional theory and comparative institutional analysis to compare the influence of different institutional environments on CSR policies of European firms. On the basis of a dataset of European firms, we find that firms from the more liberal market economies of the Anglo-Saxon countries score higher on most dimensions of CSR (...) than firms in the more coordinated market economies (CMEs) in Continental Europe. This result lends support to the view of voluntary CSR practices in liberal economies as being a substitute for institutionalized forms of stakeholder participation. Meanwhile, CSR tends not to mirror more institutionalized forms of stakeholder coordination. Instead, in CMEs, CSR often takes on more implicit forms. Our analysis also shows that national institutional and sectoral-level factors have an asymmetric effect - strongly influencing the likelihood of firms adopting 'minimum standards' of CSR, but having little influence on the adoption of 'best practices'. (shrink)
Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...) underdetermination thesis, and show how this moves the debate forward in fruitful ways: in distinguishing between different types of permissivism, in dispelling classic objections to permissivism, and in shedding light on the relationship between permissivism and evidentialism. (shrink)
This paper develops an informal semantics for 'ought to be' and 'ought to be given...' and argues for its plausibility. A feature of the semantics is that it invalidates 'if a entails b, And o(a), Then o(b)' and 'if o(a) & o(b), Then o(a&b)', While validating detachment for conditional obligation.
This essay proposes a design perspective on argumentation, intended as complementary to empirical and critical scholarship. In any substantive domain, design can provide insights that differ from those provided by scientific or humanistic perspectives. For argumentation, the key advantage of a design perspective is the recognition that humanity’s natural capacity for reason and reasonableness can be extended through inventions that improve on unaided human intellect. Historically, these inventions have fallen into three broad classes: logical systems, scientific methods, and disputation frameworks. (...) Behind each such invention is a specifiable “design hypothesis”: an idea about how to decrease error or how to increase the quality of outcomes from reasoning. As problems in contemporary argumentation practice become more complex, design thinking rises in relevance and importance. A design research agenda in argumentation would focus on theorizing design innovations and on evaluating design hypotheses. (shrink)
How do Dutch people let each other know that they disagree? What do they say when they want to resolve their difference of opinion by way of an argumentative discussion? In what way do they convey that they are convinced by each other’s argumentation? How do they criticize each other’s argumentative moves? Which words and expressions do they use in these endeavors? By answering these questions this short essay provides a brief inventory of the language of argumentation in Dutch.