This volume brings together new work on the logic and ontology of plurality and a range of recent articles exploring novel applications to natural language semantics. The contributions in this volume in particular investigate and extend new perspectives presented by plural logic and non-standard mereology and explore their applications to a range of natural language phenomena. Contributions by P. Aquaviva, A. Arapinis, M. Carrara, P. McKay, F. Moltmann, O. Linnebo, A. Oliver and T. Smiley, T. Scaltsas, P. Simons, and (...) B.-Y. Yi . (shrink)
We-thinking theories allow groups to deliberate as agents. They have been introduced into the economic domain for both theoretical and empirical reasons. Among the few scholars who have proposed formal approaches to illustrate how we-thinking arises, Bacharach offers one of the most developed theories from the game theoretic point of view. He presents a number of intuitions, not always mutually consistent and not fully developed. In this article, I propose a way to complete Bacharach’s theory, generalizing the interdependence hypothesis and (...) building on his intuition about vacillation. It is a simple model of vacillation between the I and we-modes of reasoning, as a way in which we-thinking can come to mind in the face of a decision problem. The vacillation model makes we-reasoning more easily usable in game theory. (shrink)
Intellectual humility, I argue in this paper, is a cluster of strong attitudes directed toward one's cognitive make-up and its components, together with the cognitive and affective states that constitute their contents or bases, which serve knowledge and value-expressive functions. In order to defend this new account of humility I first examine two simpler traits: intellectual self-acceptance of epistemic limitations and intellectual modesty about epistemic successes. The position defended here addresses the shortcomings of both ignorance and accuracy based accounts of (...) humility. (shrink)
The use of ultrasonic scans in pregnancy makes it possible to observe the fetus undisturbed in the womb. Dr Alessandra Piontelli has done what no one has done before: she observed eleven fetuses in the womb using ultrasound scans, and then observed their development at home from birth up to the age of four years. She includes a description of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy of one of the research children, and the psychoanalysis of five other very young children whose behaviour (...) in analysis suggested that they were deeply preoccupied with their experience in the womb. Dr Piontelli has discovered what many parents have always thought - that each fetus, like each newborn baby, is a highly individual creature. By drawing on her experience as a child psychotherapist and psychoanalyst as well as on her observational research, she is able to investigate issues relating to individuality, psychological birth and the influence of maternal emotions during pregnancy. Her findings demonstrate clearly how psychoanalytical evidence enhances, deepens and supports observational data on the remarkable behavioural and psychological continuities between pre-natal and post-natal life. (shrink)
To solve the direct problem of central forces when the trajectory is an ellipse and the force is directed to its centre, Newton made use of the famous Lemma 12 that was later recognized equivalent to proposition 31 of book VII of Apollonius’s Conics. In this paper, in which we look for Newton’s possible sources for Lemma 12, we compare Apollonius’s original proof, as edited by Borelli, with those of other authors, including that given by Newton himself. Moreover, after having (...) retraced its editorial history, we evaluate the dissemination of Borelli's edition of books V-VII of Apollonius’s Conics before the printing of the Principia. (shrink)
Clinical ethics consultation, as an activity that may be provided by clinical ethics committees and consultants, is nowadays a well-established practice in North America. Although it has been increasingly implemented in Europe and elsewhere, no agreement can be found among scholars and practitioners on the appropriate role or approach the consultant should play when ethically problematic cases involving conflicts and uncertainties come up. In particular, there is no consensus on the acceptability of consultants making recommendations, offering moral advice upon request, (...) and expressing personal opinions. We translate these issues into the question of whether the consultant should be neutral when performing an ethics consultation. We argue that the notion of neutrality 1) functions as a hermeneutical key to review the history of CEC as a whole; 2) may be enlightened by a precise assessment of the nature and goals of CEC; 3) refers to the normative dimension of CEC. Here, we distinguish four different meanings of neutrality: a neutral stance toward the parties involved in clinical decision making, toward the arguments offered to frame the discussion, toward the values and norms involved in the case, and toward the outcome of decision making, that is to say the final decision and action that will be implemented. Lastly, we suggest a non-authoritarian way to intend the term “recommendation” in the context of clinical ethics consultation. (shrink)
The Mismeasure of the Self is dedicated to vices that blight many lives. They are the vices of superiority, characteristic of those who feel entitled, superior and who have an inflated opinion of themselves, and those of inferiority, typical of those who are riddled with self-doubt and feel inferior. Arrogance, narcissism, haughtiness, and vanity are among the first group. Self-abasement, fatalism, servility, and timidity exemplify the second. This book shows these traits to be to vices of self-evaluation and describes their (...) pervasive harmful effects in some detail. Even though the influence of these traits extends to any aspect of life, the focus of this book is their damaging impact on the life of the intellect. Tanesini develops and defends a view of these vices that puts vicious motivations at their core. The analyses developed in this work build on empirical research in attitude psychology and on philosophical theories in virtue ethics and epistemology. The book concludes with a positive proposal for weakening vice and promoting virtue. (shrink)
In this paper I provide an account of two forms of intellectual arrogance which cause the epistemic practices of conversational turn-taking and assertion to malfunction. I detail some of the ethical and epistemic harms generated by intellectual arrogance, and explain its role in fostering the intellectual vices of timidity and servility in other agents. Finally, I show that arrogance produces ignorance by silencing others (both preventing them from speaking and causing their assertions to misfire) and by fostering self-delusion in the (...) arrogant themselves. (shrink)
According to Antoine Augustine Cournot, chance events are the result of the intersection between independent causal chains. This coincidental notion of chance is not a new one, but—as Cournot remarks—it comes from Saint Thomas Aquinas, Boethius, and more probably from Jean de La Placette. Such a conception of chance phenomena seems to be very important, not only because it is closely related to the Principle of Causality, but also since it grounds Cournot’s theory of objective probability. Starting from Martin’s work, (...) the main attempt of this survey is to endorse the idea that Cournot’s coincidental notion of hasard is objective, that is it is ontic and it does not depend—in some sense—on our degree of knowledge. In order to do that, a central role in the discussion will be given to the meaning of the independence between the intersecting causal chains and to Cournot’s conception of causation. (shrink)
Alessandra Tanesini ABSTRACT: Arrogance has widespread negative consequences for epistemic practices. Arrogant people tend to intimidate and humiliate other agents, and to ignore or dismiss their views. They have a propensity to mansplain. They are also angry. In this paper I explain why anger is a common manifestation of arrogance in order to understand the...
This paper distinguishes between two arguments based on measurement robustness and defends the epistemic value of robustness for the assessment of measurement reliability. I argue that the appeal to measurement robustness in the assessment of measurement is based on a different inferential pattern and is not exposed to the same objections as the no-coincidence argument which is commonly associated with the use of robustness to corroborate individual results. This investigation sheds light on the precise meaning of reliability that emerges from (...) measurement assessment practice. In addition, by arguing that the measurement assessment robustness argument has similar characteristics across the physical, social and behavioural sciences, I defend the idea that there is continuity in the notion of measurement reliability across sciences. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an original account of intellectual modesty and some of its surrounding vices: intellectual haughtiness, arrogance, servility and self-abasement. I argue that these vices are attitudes as social psychologists understand the notion. I also draw some of the educational implications of the account. In particular, I urge caution about the efficacy of direct instruction about virtue and of stimulating emulation through exposure to positive exemplars.
Understanding the goals of others is fundamental for any kind of interpersonal interaction and collaboration. From a neurocognitive perspective, intention understanding has been proposed to depend on an involvement of the observer’s motor system in the prediction of the observed actions. An open question is if a similar understanding of the goal mediated by motor resonance can occur not only between humans, but also for humanoid robots. In this study we investigated whether goal-oriented robotic actions can induce motor resonance by (...) measuring the appearance of anticipatory gaze shifts to the goal during action observation. Our results indicate a similar implicit processing of humans’ and robots’ actions and propose to use anticipatory gaze behaviour as a tool for the evaluation of human-robot interactions. Keywords: Humanoid robot; motor resonance; anticipation; proactive gaze; action understanding. (shrink)
Notini et al 1 offer a timely addition in the wake of a significant increase in young people identifying as transgender and gender diverse. The authors focus specifically on the case of 18-year-old Phoenix’s request for ongoing puberty suppression to affirm a non-binary gender identity. A central issue raised by Phoenix’s predicament, and that I suggest we can extend to ethical consideration of requests for other types of medical intervention by binary and non-binary TGD individuals, is whether we should ‘affirm’ (...) the claims made by TGD young people about what promotes their well-being. As a clinician working with TGD young people who have undergone a range of medical interventions to align their bodies with their gender identity, my starting presumption is that it is important to respect what people think will help them: there are some TGD young people for whom, all things considered, medical interventions to affirm gender identity promote their well-being. Well-being has become an important conceptual currency in ethical debates and lies at the core of the authors’ analysis of Phoenix’s case. While the authors do not ground their argument in favour of OPS in a specific theory of well-being, welfarist considerations 2 appear to underpin …. (shrink)
Alessandra Tanesini is a Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University working on epistemology and philosophy of language. In this post she summarises some of her recent work on collective amnesia and epistemic injustice.
This article argues that intellectual character vices involve non-instrumental motives to oppose, antagonise, or avoid things that are epistemically good in themselves. This view has been the recent target of criticism based on alleged counterexamples presenting epistemically vicious individuals who are virtuously motivated or at least lack suitable epistemically bad motivations. The paper first presents these examples and shows that they do not undermine the motivational approach. Finally, having distinguished motivating from explanatory reasons for belief and action, it argues that (...) our epistemic practice of vice attribution supplies evidence in favour of motivational accounts of vice. (shrink)
Theories of assertion must explain how silencing is possible. This chapter defends an account of assertion in terms of normative commitments on the grounds that it provides the most plausible analysis of how individuals might be silenced when attempting to make assertions. The chapter first offers an account of the nature of silencing and defends the view that it can occur even in contexts where speakers’ communicative intentions are understood by their audience. Second, it outlines some of the normative commitments (...) characteristic of assertion when used in the speech act of telling;. This commitment view of assertion is then used to explain silencing as a matter of being deprived of the ability to make some of the commitments one is trying to acquire. Finally, the main rivals of the commitment view of assertion endorsed here are shown to be unable to account for silencing, at least when they are considered in their purest form. (shrink)
Logical metonymy resolution (begin a book begin reading a book or begin writing a book) has traditionally been explained either through complex lexical entries (qualia structures) or through the integration of the implicit event via post-lexical access to world knowledge. We propose that recent work within the words-as-cues paradigm can provide a more dynamic model of logical metonymy, accounting for early and dynamic integration of complex event information depending on previous contextual cues (agent and patient). We first present a self-paced (...) reading experiment on German subordinate sentences, where metonymic sentences and their paraphrased version differ only in the presence or absence of the clause-final target verb (Der Konditor begann die Glasur Der Konditor begann, die Glasur aufzutragen/The baker began the icing The baker began spreading the icing). Longer reading times at the target verb position in a high-typicality condition (baker + icing spread ) compared to a low-typicality (but still plausible) condition (child + icing spread) suggest that we make use of knowledge activated by lexical cues to build expectations about events. The early and dynamic integration of event knowledge in metonymy interpretation is bolstered by further evidence from a second experiment using the probe recognition paradigm. Presenting covert events as probes following a high-typicality or a low-typicality metonymic sentence (Der Konditor begann die Glasur AUFTRAGEN/The baker began the icing SPREAD), we obtain an analogous effect of typicality at 100 ms interstimulus interval. (shrink)
After more than three centuries, Molyneux's question continues to challenge our understanding of cognition and perceptual systems. Locke, the original recipient of the question, approached it as a theoretical exercise relevant to long-standing philosophical issues, such as nativism, the possibility of common sensibles, and the empiricism-rationalism debate. However, philosophers were quick to adopt the experimentalist's stance as soon as they became aware of recoveries from congenital blindness through ophtalmic surgery. Such recoveries were widely reported to support empiricist positions, suggesting that (...) the question had found its empirical answer. Contrary to this common view, we argue that studies of patients recovering from early blindness through surgery cannot provide an answer. In fact, because of the very nature of such ophtalmological interventions it is impossible to test the question in the empirical conditions outlined by Molyneux. Thus we propose that Molyneux's question be treated as an early thought experiment of a specific kind. Although thought experiments of this kind cannot be turned into actual experimental conditions, they provide a conceptual restructuring of theories. Such restructuring in turn leads to new predictions that can then be tested by normal experiments. In accord with this interpretation, we show that Molyneux's question can be analyzed into a hierarchy of specific questions about vision in its phenomenal and sensory-motor components. Some of these questions do lead to actual experimental conditions that could be studied empirically. (shrink)
Intellectual servility is a vice opposing proper pride about one's intellectual achievements. Intellectual timidity is also a vice; it is manifested in a lack of proper concern for others’ esteem. This paper offers an account of the nature of these vices and details some of the epistemic harms that flow from them. I argue that servility, which is often the result of suffering humiliation, is a form of damaged self-esteem. It is underpinned by attitudes serving social-adjustive functions and causes ingratiating (...) behaviors. Timidity, which is habituated through self-silencing, is underpinned by negative attitudes toward the intellectual worth of the self, which serve a defensive function. Like servility, timidity is an obstacle to the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and especially knowledge about oneself. (shrink)
Introduction / Alessandra Tanesini and Michael P. Lynch -- Reassessing different conceptions of argumentation / Catarina Dutilh Novaes -- Martial metaphors and argumentative virtues and vices / Ian James Kidd -- Arrogance and deep disagreement / Andrew Aberdein -- Closed-mindedness and arrogance / Heather Battaly -- Intellectual trust and the marketplace of ideas / Allan Hazlett -- Is searching the Internet making us intellectually arrogant? / J. Adam Carter and Emma C. Gordon -- Intellectual humility and the curse of (...) knowledge / Michael Hannon -- Bullshit and dogmatism : a discourse analytical perspective / Chris Heffer -- Polarization and the problem of spreading arrogance / Michael P. Lynch -- Arrogance, polarization and arguing to win / Alessandra Tanesini -- Partisanship, humility, and epistemic polarization / Thomas Nadelhoffer, Rose Graves, Gus Skorburg, Mark Leary, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong -- Science denial, polarization, and arrogance / Lee McIntyre -- The polarization toolkit / Quassim Cassam -- Epistemic rights in a polarized world : the right to know and the abortion / Debate Lani Watson. (shrink)
Although their positions and arguments differ in several respects, feminists have asserted that science, knowledge, and rationality cannot be severed from their social, political, and cultural aspects.
More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared with less than 1% of the general population. In so doing, these doctors willingly participated in genocide, something that should have been antithetical to the values of their chosen profession. The participation of physicians in torture and murder both before and after World War II is a disturbing legacy seldom discussed in medical school, and underrecognised in contemporary medicine. Is there something inherent (...) in being a physician that promotes a transition from healer to murderer? With this historical background in mind, the author, a medical student, defines and reflects upon moral vulnerabilities still endemic to contemporary medical culture. (shrink)
There is much of interest in Cassam’s ground-breaking Vices of the Mind. This discussion focuses exclusively on one aspect of his view, namely, his account of what it takes to be properly criticisable or blameworthy for one’s epistemic vices. This critical discussion consists of two sections. The first provides an overview of Cassam’s account of responsibility and criticisability for intellectual vices. The second raises a problem for that account whose formulation is due to Battaly and proposes a solution which, at (...) least in part, could also be adopted by Cassam himself if he were prepared to make some small changes to his view. This solution generates a highly disjunctive account of criticisability and responsibility for possessing an epistemic vice. Although such heterogeneity might seem wholly unsatisfactory, it receives a plausible explanation when the account is put within the context of a Strawsonian approach to the practice of holding people responsible for their epistemic vices. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the Enkratic principle of rationality, according to which rationality requires that if an agent sincerely and with conviction believes she ought to X, then X-ing is a goal in her plan. We analyze the logical structure of Enkrasia and its implications for deontic logic. To do so, we elaborate on the distinction between basic and derived oughts, and provide a multi-modal neighborhood logic with three characteristic operators: a non-normal operator for basic oughts, a non-normal operator for (...) goals in plans, and a normal operator for derived oughts. We prove two completeness theorems for the resulting logic, and provide a dynamic extension of the logic by means of product updates. We illustrate how this setting informs deontic logic by considering issues related to the filtering of inconsistent oughts, the restricted validity of deontic closure, and the stability of oughts and goals under dynamics. (shrink)
Arrogance has widespread negative consequences for epistemic practices. Arrogant people tend to intimidate and humiliate other agents, and to ignore or dismiss their views. They have a propensity to mansplain. They are also angry. In this paper I explain why anger is a common manifestation of arrogance in order to understand the effects of arrogance on debate. I argue that superbia is a vice of superiority characterised by an overwhelming desire to diminish other people in order to excel and by (...) a tendency to arrogate special entitlements for oneself, including the privilege of not having to justify one’s claims. (shrink)
This book considers the semantic and syntactic nature of indexicals - linguistic expressions, as in I, you, this, that, yesterday, tomorrow , whose reference shifts from utterance to utterance.There is a long-standing controversy as to whether the semantic reference point is already present as syntactic material or whether it is introduced post-syntactically by semantic rules of interpretation. Alessandra Giorgi resolves this controversy through an empirically grounded exploration of temporal indexicality, arguing that the speaker's temporal location is specified in the (...) syntactic structure. She supports her analysis with theoretical and empirical arguments based on data from English, Italian, Chinese, and Romanian. Professor Giorgi addresses some difficult and longstanding issues in the analysis of temporal phenomena - including the Italian imperfect indicative, the properties of the so-called future-in-the-past, and the properties of Free Indirect Discourse - and shows that her framework can account elegantly for all of them. Carefully argued, succinct, and clearly written her book will appeal widely to semanticists in linguistics and philosophy from graduate level upwards and to linguists interested in the syntax-semantics interface. (shrink)
In this new book, Alessandra Tanesini demonstrates that feminist thought has a lot to offer to the study of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, and that -at the same time-that work can inspire feminist reflection in new directions. In Wittgenstein, Tanesini offers a highly original interpretation of several themes in Wittgenstein's philosophy. She argues that when we look at his work through feminist eyes we discover that he is not primarily concerned with providing solutions to technical problems in the philosophy of (...) mind, mathematics, and language. Instead, his remarks on these topics are intended to offer insights about human finitude, the loneliness of the modern autonomous self, and our relations to other human beings. Thus, the modern conception of the individual emerges as the critical target of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, both early and late. This conception has also been one of the dominant concerns of contemporary feminist philosophy. In this book, Wittgenstein's insights are deployed to further feminist debates on issues such as identity, difference, the masculine character of the modern self. (shrink)
Communities often respond to traumatic events in their histories by destroying objects that would cue memories of a past they wish to forget and by building artefacts which memorialize a new version of their history. Hence, it would seem, communities cope with change by spreading memory ignorance so to allow new memories to take root. This chapter offers an account of some aspects of this phenomenon and of its epistemological consequences. Specifically, it is demonstrated in this chapter that collective forgetfulness (...) is harmful. Here, the focus is exclusively on the harms caused by its contribution to undermining the intellectual self-trust of some members of the community. Further, since some of these harms are also wrongs, collective amnesia contributes to causing epistemic injustices. (shrink)
We analyse the structure of propositional proofs in the sequent calculus focusing on the well-known procedures of Interpolation and Cut Elimination. We are motivated in part by the desire to understand why a tautology might be ‘hard to prove’. Given a proof we associate to it a logical graph tracing the flow of formulas in it . We show some general facts about logical graphs such as acyclicity of cut-free proofs and acyclicity of contraction-free proofs , and we give a (...) proof of a strengthened version of the Craig Interpolation Theorem based on flows of formulas. We show that tautologies having minimal interpolants of non-linear size must have proofs with certain precise structural properties. We then show that given a proof Π and a cut-free form Π′ associated to it , certain subgraphs of Π′ which are logical graphs correspond to subgraphs of Π which are logical graphs for the same sequent. This locality property of cut elimination leads to new results on the complexity of interpolants, which cannot follow from the known constructions proving the Craig Interpolation Theorem. (shrink)
This paper has five aims: it clarifies the nature of esteem and of the related notions of admiration and reputation ; it argues that communities that possess practices of esteeming individuals for their intellectual qualities are epistemically superior to otherwise identical communities lacking this practice and that a concern for one's own intellectual reputation, and a motivation to seek the esteem and admiration of other members of one's community, can be epistemically virtuous ; it explains two vices regarding these concerns (...) for one's own intellectual reputation and desire for esteem: intellectual vanity and intellectual timidity ; finally, it offers an account of some of the epistemic harms caused by these vices. (shrink)
Fundamental questions in value sensitive design include whether and how high-tech products/artefacts could embody values and ethical ideals, and how plural and incommensurable values of ethical and social importance could be chosen rationally and objectively at a collective level. By using a humanitarian cargo drone study as a starting point, this paper tackles the challenges that VSD’s lack of commitment to a specific ethical theory generates in practical applications. Besides, it highlights how mainstream ethical approaches usually related to VSD are (...) incapable of solving main ethical dilemmas raised by technological design for well-being in democratic settings. Accordingly, it is argued that VSD’s ethical-democratic import would substantially be enhanced by the espousal of a procedural ethics stance and the deliberative approach to value and welfare entailed by Amartya Sen’s capability approach. Differently from rival ethical–political theories, its normative and meta-ethical foundations better handle human diversity, value-goal pluralism, conflicting vested interests as well as the epistemic-moral disagreements typical of contemporary complex democracies. Particularly, Sen’s capability approach procedural-deliberative tenets result in an “objective-impartial” choice procedure selecting a “hierarchy” of plural incommensurable values and rational goals thus, suitable to validate an applied science such as welfare-oriented technological design in concrete social environments. Conclusions suggest that refining VSD with a capability-based procedural approach to ethics fosters the concern for democracy and social justice while preserving vital scientific-technical standards. Major advantages are at an applied level to delivering ethically and socially justified, but yet highly functional technologies and high-tech products/artefacts. (shrink)