_The Promise of Happiness_ is a provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy. It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: “I just want you to be happy”; “I’m happy if you’re happy.” Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the “happiness duty,” the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which (...) is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others. Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way. Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including_ Mrs. Dalloway_, _The Well of Loneliness_, _Bend It Like Beckham_, and _Children of Men_, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy. (shrink)
Differences That Matter challenges existing ways of theorising the relationship between feminism and postmodernism which ask 'is or should feminism be modern or postmodern?' Sara Ahmed suggests that postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates and calls instead for feminist theorists to speak (back) to postmodernism, rather than simply speak on (their relationship to) it. Such a 'speaking back' involves a refusal to position postmodernism as a generalisable condition of the world and requires closer readings of what postmodernism (...) is actually 'doing' in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Sara Ahmed hence examines constructions of postmodernism in relation to rights, ethics, subjectivity, authorship, meta-fiction and film. (shrink)
Abstract It is common practice to regard participants in assisted and collaborative reproduction (gamete donors, embryologists, fertility doctors, etc.) as simply providing a desired biological product or medical service. These agents are not procreators in the ordinary sense, nor do they stand in any kind of meaningful parental relation to the resulting offspring. This paper challenges the common view by defending a principle of procreative responsibility and then demonstrating that this standard applies as much to those who provide reproductive assistance (...) in the form of medical services or gametes, as it does to coital reproducers or intending parents. Drawing on vocabulary from the common law tradition, I suggest that it may be helpful to refer to the various participants in assisted and collaborative reproduction (ACR) as accessories to procreation. Referring to the participants in ACR as accessories to procreation highlights the fact that these agents are not just providing medical services or products. They are participating in a supply chain designed to bring about new persons. I conclude by arguing that regulative standards in the fertility industry should be structured such that they permit, facilitate, and encourage agents to satisfy the requirements of procreative responsibility. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9330-7 Authors Melissa Seymour Fahmy, Department of Philosophy, University of Georgia, 107 Peabody Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820. (shrink)
Saul Kripke is one of the most important and original post-war analytic philosophers. His work has undeniably had a profound impact on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. Yet his ideas are amongst the most challenging frequently encountered by students of philosophy. In this informative and accessible book, Arif Ahmed provides a clear and thorough account of Kripke's philosophy, his major works and ideas, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key (...) philosopher. The book offers a detailed review of his two major works, Naming and Necessity and Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, and explores how Kripke's ideas often seem to overturn widely accepted views and even perceptions of common sense. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of Kripke's thought, the book provides a cogent and reliable survey of the nature and significance of Kripke's contribution to philosophy. This is the ideal companion to the study of this most influential and challenging of philosophers. (shrink)
We live today within a system in which state and corporate power aim to render space flat, transparent, and uniform, for only then can it be truly controlled. The gaze of power and the commodity form are capable of infiltrating even the darkest of corners, and often, we invite them into our most private spaces. We do so as a matter of convenience, but also to placate ourselves and cope with the alienation inherent in our everyday lives. The resulting dominant (...) space can best be termed totalitarian. It is space stripped of uniqueness, deprived of the “spatial aura” necessary for authentic experience. In Totalitarian Space and the Destruction of Aura, Saladdin Ahmed sets out to help us grasp what has been lost before no trace remains. He draws attention to that which we might prefer not to see, but despite the bleakness of this indictment of reality, the book also offers a message of hope. Namely, it is only once we comprehend the magnitude of the threat to our spatial experience and our own complicity in sustaining this system that we can begin to resist the totalizing forces at work. (shrink)
In _Willful Subjects_ Sara Ahmed explores willfulness as a charge often made by some against others. One history of will is a history of attempts to eliminate willfulness from the will. Delving into philosophical and literary texts, Ahmed examines the relation between will and willfulness, ill will and good will, and the particular will and general will. Her reflections shed light on how will is embedded in a political and cultural landscape, how it is embodied, and how will (...) and willfulness are socially mediated. Attentive to the wayward, the wandering, and the deviant, Ahmed considers how willfulness is taken up by those who have received its charge. Grounded in feminist, queer, and antiracist politics, her sui generis analysis of the willful subject, the figure who wills wrongly or wills too much, suggests that willfulness might be required to recover from the attempt at its elimination. (shrink)
Most philosophers agree that causal knowledge is essential to decision-making: agents should choose from the available options those that probably cause the outcomes that they want. This book argues against this theory and in favour of evidential or Bayesian decision theory, which emphasises the symptomatic value of options over their causal role. It examines a variety of settings, including economic theory, quantum mechanics and philosophical thought-experiments, where causal knowledge seems to make a practical difference. The arguments make novel use of (...) machinery from other areas of philosophical inquiry, including first-person epistemology and the free will debate. The book also illustrates the applicability of decision theory itself to questions about the direction of time and the special epistemic status of agents. (shrink)
Abstract. Suppose that the word of an eyewitness makes it 80% probable that A committed a crime, and that B is drawn from a population in which the incidence rate of that crime is 80%. Many philosophers and legal theorists have held that if this is our only evidence against those parties then (i) we may be justified in finding against A but not against B; but (ii) that doing so incurs a loss in the accuracy of our findings. This (...) paper argues against (ii). It argues that accuracy considerations can motivate taking different attitudes towards individualized and statistical evidence even across cases where they generate the same probability that the defendant is guilty. (shrink)
Business relations rely on shared perceptions of what is acceptable/expected norms of behavior. Immense expansion in transnational business made rudimentary consensus on acceptable business practices across cultural boundaries particularly important. Nonetheless, as more and more nations with different cultural and historical experiences interact in the global economy, the potential for misunderstandings based on different expectations is magnified. Such misunderstandings emerge in a growing literature on "improper" business practices – articulated from a narrow cultural perspective. This paper reports an ongoing research (...) on the cultural and contextual aspects of business ethics. The objective is to investigate how the perception/attitudes of business students towards the ethical dimension of doing business varies in different countries; Whether there are socio-cultural factors that influence the perception of ethicality in business practices. Research findings among business students in six countries: China, Egypt, Finland, Korea, Russia, and the U.S.A. are reported. While all groups had basic agreement on what constitutes ethical business practices, differences are found in the respondents'' tolerance to damage resulting from "unethical" behavior. Without underestimating the role of national culture, variations in research results also point to the importance of current socio-political developments in the relevant countries. Implications for business teaching and management development are discussed. (shrink)
Rule-Based Systems (RBS) are computer programs based on technologies established by Artificial Intelligence research, which express some characteristics of human knowledge and expertise to perform tasks normally done by human experts. Thus, a Rule -based system has two distinguishing features: a Rule base and an inference engine. The first part, the Rule base, represents facts about the world. The second part, the inference engine, allows new knowledge to be inferred. Most commonly, it can take the form of IF-THEN rules coupled (...) with forward or backward chaining approaches. The paper introduce the concept of Rule based systems, Architecture of a Rule -Based System, Tools for Building Rule -Based System, and brief introduction to the most popular Rule based systems found in the literatures. (shrink)
Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS) are computer programs based on technologies established by Artificial Intelligence research, which express some characteristics of human knowledge and expertise to perform tasks normally done by human experts. Thus, a knowledge-based system has two distinguishing features: a knowledge base and an inference engine. The first part, the knowledge base, represents facts about the world. The second part, the inference engine, allows new knowledge to be inferred. Most commonly, it can take the form of IF-THEN rules coupled with (...) forward or backward chaining approaches. The paper introduce the concept of knowledge based systems, Architecture of a Knowledge-Based System, Tools for Building Knowledge-Based System, and brief introduction to the most popular knowledge based systems found in the literatures. (shrink)
The main goals of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are: providing highly developed instructional guidance on a one-to-one foundation that is improved than what is attained with traditional computer aided instruction and is analogous to that of a decent human tutor; and developing and testing models of intelligent processes associated with instruction. ITS is a subfield of artificial intelligence. ITS consists of four interacting components: the student model which embodies the student's present knowledge state, the pedagogical module which comprises appropriate instructional (...) measures which are depending on the content of the student model, the knowledge model which contains the domain knowledge, and the user interface model which permits an effective dialog among ITS and the user. Usually, the knowledge model is the central part in the instructional process but there is a diversity of approaches that also put the stress on the other components. In this paper we have surveyed 68 existing intelligent tutoring system found in the literature. There might be other intelligent tutoring systems that we did not include in the current survey; but when found, we will make sure to be included in the next release of the intelligent tutoring systems survey. (shrink)
In the Doctrine of Virtue Kant stipulates that ‘Love is a matter of feeling, not of willing . . . so a duty to love is an absurdity.’ Nonetheless, in the same work Kant claims that we have duties of love to other human beings. According to Kant, the kind of love which is commanded by duty is practical love. This paper defends the view that the duty of practical love articulated in the Doctrine of Virtue is distinct from the (...) duty of beneficence and best understood as a duty of self-transformation, which agents observe by cultivating a benevolent disposition and practical beneficent desires. (shrink)
The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
The best justification of time-discounting is roughly that it is rational to care less about your more distant future because there is less of you around to have it. I argue that the standard version of this argument, which treats both psychological continuity and psychological connectedness as reasons to care about your future, can only rationalize an irrational—because exploitable—form of future discounting.
The main goals of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are: providing highly developed instructional guidance on a one-to-one foundation that is improved than what is attained with traditional computer aided instruction and is analogous to that of a decent human tutor; and developing and testing models of intelligent processes associated with instruction. ITS is a subfield of artificial intelligence. ITS consists of four interacting components: the student model which embodies the student's present knowledge state, the pedagogical module which comprises appropriate instructional (...) measures which are depending on the content of the student model, the knowledge model which contains the domain knowledge, and the user interface model which permits an effective dialog among ITS and the user. Usually, the knowledge model is the central part in the instructional process but there is a diversity of approaches that also put the stress on the other components. In this paper we have surveyed 55 existing intelligent tutoring system found in the literature. There might be other intelligent tutoring systems that we did not include in the current survey; but when found, we will make sure to be included in the next release of the intelligent tutoring systems survey. (shrink)
International marketing practices, embedded in a strong ethical doctrine, can play a vital role in raising the standards of business conduct worldwide, while in no way compromising the quality of services or products offered to customers, or surrendering the profit margins of businesses. Adherence to such ethical practices can help to elevate the standards of behavior and thus of living, of traders and consumers alike. Against this background, this paper endeavors to identify the salient features of the Islamic framework of (...) International Marketing Ethics. In particular, it highlights the capabilities and strengths of this framework in creating and sustaining a strong ethical international marketing culture. At the heart of Islamic marketing is the principle of value-maximization based on equity and justice (constituting just dealing and fair play) for the wider welfare of the society. Selected key international marketing issues are examined from an Islamic perspective which, it is argued, if adhered to, can help to create a value-loaded global ethical marketing framework for MNCs in general, and establish harmony and meaningful cooperation between international marketers and Muslim target markets in particular. (shrink)
The main goals of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are: providing highly developed instructional guidance on a one-to-one foundation that is improved than what is attained with traditional computer aided instruction and is analogous to that of a decent human tutor; and developing and testing models of intelligent processes associated with instruction. ITS is a subfield of artificial intelligence. ITS consists of four interacting components: the student model which embodies the student's present knowledge state, the pedagogical module which comprises appropriate instructional (...) measures which are depending on the content of the student model, the knowledge model which contains the domain knowledge, and the user interface model which permits an effective dialog among ITS and the user. Usually, the knowledge model is the central part in the instructional process but there is a diversity of approaches that also put the stress on the other components. In this paper we survey the existing intelligent tutoring system found in the literature prior to publishing it. There might be other intelligent tutoring systems that we have missed; but when found, they will be added to the next release of the intelligent tutoring systems survey. (shrink)
Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument again3 The Descriptive (...) Premise3.1 Causal decision theory3.2 Causal decision theory prefers A14 The Normative Premise5 Objections5.1 Table 1 and Table 2 are misleading5.2 The agency theory of causation5.3 The payment mechanism5.4 Newcomb’s problem5.5 Against the normative premise5.6 Drop soft determinism. (shrink)
You should rather play hide-and-seek against someone who cannot predict where you hide than against someone who can, as the article illustrates in connection with a high-stakes example. Causal Decision Theory denies this. So Causal Decision Theory is false.
The paper discusses Ian Wells’s recent argument that there is a decision problem in which followers of Evidential Decision Theory end up poorer than followers of Causal Decision Theory despite having the same opportunities for money. It defends Evidential Decision Theory against Wells’s argument, on the following grounds. Wells's has not presented a decision problem in which his main claim is true. Four possible decision problems can be generated from his central example, in each of which followers of Evidential Decision (...) Theory do at least as well as followers of Causal Decision Theory. There is another case in which followers of Causal Decision Theory have the same opportunities for making money but end up worse than followers of Evidential Decision Theory. (shrink)
The Humean argument concerning miracles says that one should always think it more likely that anyone who testifies to a miracle is lying or deluded than that the alleged miracle actually occurred, and so should always reject any single report of it. A longstanding and widely accepted objection is that even if this is right, the concurring and non-collusive testimony of many witnesses should make it rational to believe in whatever miracle they all report. I argue that on the contrary, (...) even multiple reports from non-collusive witnesses lack the sort of independence that could make trouble for Hume. (shrink)
Background: Anemia is a condition that occurs due to a lower concentration of hemoglobin than the normal level (non-pregnant adult females less than 11 g / dL and males younger than 13 g / dL). Because of the low level of hemoglobin, the body's organs suffer from lack of enough oxygen, so patients complain of signs and symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, lack of concentration, lethargy and others. Objectives: The main goal of this expert system is to get the appropriate (...) diagnosis of disease. Methods: In this paper the design of the proposed Expert System which was produced to help Doctor in diagnosing many of the anemia diseases such as : Fatigue, Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Swelling of the body, Pallor of skin. The proposed expert system presents an overview about anemia diseases are given, the cause of diseases are outlined. SL5 Expert System language was used for designing and implementing the proposed expert system. Results: The proposed anemia diseases diagnosis expert system was evaluated by engineering students. (shrink)
This discussion note examines a recent argument for the principle that any counterfactual with true components is itself true. That argument rests upon two widely accepted principles of counterfactual logic to which the paper presents counterexamples. The conclusion speculates briefly upon the wider lessons that philosophers should draw from these examples for the semantics of counterfactuals.
The mainstream literature on corporate governance is based on the premise of conflicts of interest in a competitive game played by variously defined stakeholders and thus builds explicitly and/or implicitly on masculinist ethical theories. This article argues that insights from feminist ethics, and in particular ethics of care, can provide a different, yet relevant, lens through which to study corporate governance. Based on feminist ethical theories, the article conceptualises a governance model that is different from the current normative orthodoxy.
Opponents of Causal Decision Theory (CDT) sometimes claim (i) that it gives the wrong advice in Egan-style cases, where the CDT-endorsed act brings news that it causes a bad outcome; (ii) that CDT gives the right advice in Newcomb cases, where it is known in advance that the CDT-act causes you to be richer than the alternative. This paper argues that (i) and (ii) cannot both be true if rational preference over acts is transitive.
The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...) non-zero credence has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. However, we concede that no version of the Many Worlds Interpretation (Vaidman, in Zalta, E.N. (ed.), Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014) gives rise to the conflicts that we point out. (shrink)
A standard argument for one-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem is ‘Why Ain’cha Rich?’, which emphasizes that one-boxers typically make a million dollars compared to the thousand dollars that two-boxers can expect. A standard reply is the ‘opportunity defence’: the two-boxers who made a thousand never had an opportunity to make more. The paper argues that the opportunity defence is unavailable to anyone who grants that in another case—a Frankfurt case—the agent is deprived of opportunities in the way that advocates of Frankfurt (...) cases typically claim. (shrink)
This article examines ‘collective feelings’ by considering how ‘others’ create impressions on the surfaces of bodies. Rather than considering ‘collective feeling’ as ‘fellow feeling’ or in terms of feeling ‘for’ the collective, the article suggests that how we respond to others in intercorporeal encounters creates the impression of a collective body. In other words, how we feel about others is what aligns us with a collective, which paradoxically ‘takes shape’ only as an effect of such alignments. The article considers different (...) examples of racism in which a particular other is held in place by being aligned with other others. The ‘moment of contact’ is shaped by past histories of contact, which allows the proximity of a racial other to be perceived as threatening, at the same time as it re-shapes the bodies in the contact zone of the encounter. Feelings rehearse associations that are already in place, in the way in which they ‘read’ the proximity of others, at the same time as they establish the ‘truth’ of the reading. The article extends its analysis by showing that bodily proximity is not required to create the impressions of others, and offers an analysis of ‘collective feelings’ within virtual communities of global nomads. Proximity does not require physical co-presence: the collective can ‘surface’ through giving up on local attachments . The article concludes that collective feelings are not feelings that the collective ‘has’, as if the collective was a subject. Rather the collective is an effect of the impressions left by others on the surfaces of skins. (shrink)
In the Doctrine of Virtue Kant divides duties of love into three categories: beneficent activity , gratitude and Teilnehmung – commonly referred to as the duty of sympathy . In this paper I will argue that the content and scope of the third duty of love has been underestimated by both critics and defenders of Kant's ethical theory. The account which pervades the secondary literature maintains that the third duty of love includes only two components: an obligation to make use (...) of our natural receptivity to sympathetic feelings as a means to fulfilling other duties of love, and an indirect duty to cultivate these feelings. As a result, Kant's duty of sympathy has been widely regarded as a duty whose value is derived from the way in which it serves other duties, in particular, the duty of beneficent activity, which obliges agents ‘to promote according to one's means the happiness of others in need’ . Teilnehmung has thus assumed something of a second-class status among the duties to others. My aim in this paper is to demonstrate that the prevailing account of Kant's third duty of love is incomplete. (shrink)
This paper demonstrates that accounting for the moral harm of selecting for deafness is not as simple or obvious as the widespread negative response from the hearing community would suggest. The central questions addressed by the paper are whether our moral disquiet with regard to selecting for deafness can be adequately defended, and if so, what this might entail. The paper considers several different strategies for accounting for the supposed moral harm of selecting for deafness and concludes that the deaf (...) case cannot be treated in isolation. Accounting for the moral harm of selecting for deafness necessarily entails moral implications for other cases of procreation and procreative decision-making, including unassisted coital reproduction. The lesson to be learned from the deaf case is that we need norms that govern not just the use of reproductive technology, but procreation and procreative decision-making in all of its various forms. (shrink)
Good’s theorem is the apparent platitude that it is always rational to ‘look before you leap’: to gather information before making a decision when doing so is free. We argue that Good’s theorem is not platitudinous and may be false. And we argue that the correct advice is rather to ‘make your act depend on the answer to a question’. Looking before you leap is rational when, but only when, it is a way to do this.
Causal Decision Theory reckons the choice-worthiness of an option to be completely independent of its evidential bearing on its non-effects. But after one has made a choice this bearing is relevant to future decisions. Therefore it is possible to construct problems of sequential choice in which Causal Decision Theory makes a guaranteed loss. So Causal Decision Theory is wrong. The source of the problem is the idea that agents have a special perspective on their own contemplated actions, from which evidential (...) connections that observers can see are either irrelevant or invisible. (shrink)
The best-known argument for Evidential Decision Theory (EDT) is the ‘Why ain’cha rich?’ challenge to rival Causal Decision Theory (CDT). The basis for this challenge is that in Newcomb-like situations, acts that conform to EDT may be known in advance to have the better return than acts that conform to CDT. Frank Arntzenius has recently proposed an ingenious counter argument, based on an example in which, he claims, it is predictable in advance that acts that conform to EDT will do (...) less well than acts that conform to CDT. We raise two objections to Arntzenius’s example. We argue, first, that the example is subtly incoherent, in a way that undermines its effectiveness against EDT; and, second, that the example relies on calculating the average return over an inappropriate population of acts. (shrink)
We give a novel application of algebraic logic to first order logic. A new, flexible construction is presented for representable but not completely representable atomic relation and cylindric algebras of dimension n (for finite n > 2) with the additional property that they are one-generated and the set of all n by n atomic matrices forms a cylindric basis. We use this construction to show that the classical Henkin-Orey omitting types theorem fails for the finite variable fragments of first order (...) logic as long as the number of variables available is > 2 and we have a binary relation symbol in our language. We also prove a stronger result to the effect that there is no finite upper bound for the extra variables needed in the witness formulas. This result further emphasizes the ongoing interplay between algebraic logic and first order logic. (shrink)
Mario Gómez-Torrente (2006) says that whilst theoretical identifications (e.g. 'All lightning is electrical discharge') do not entail their own necessitations, they do entail the necessitation of a weaker statement. And he claims that this weaker entailment serves Kripke's purposes as well as the stronger one would have. I argue that this is false. Section 1 says what the weaker entailment is; section 2 says why it matters. Section 3 argues that the entailment identified at section 1 does not meet the (...) purpose identified at section 2. Section 4 rejects two possible objections. The aim is to illustrate (not establish) the general claim that those 'modal facts' that are not entirely speculative are quite useless. (shrink)