Over the past thirty-odd years, the feminist contribution of the ethic of care has changed the way in which scholars and ‘lay people’ think about and approach ethical practices in our contemporary society. These changes are important in two significant ways. First, the contribution of feminist work to the body of ethics as a whole is a valuable addition. Second, by drawing attention to the concrete context of moral decision-making, particularly the notion of care, feminist scholars have opened the door (...) for meaningful discussion and understanding of the word care as it is involved in moral decision-making. The latter is where Lonergan’s theory of ethics is most beneficial.The article is written in four sections. It begins with a brief review of a feminist perspective on the ethic of care; a second section explores Lonergan’s identification of levels of consciousness as relevant to feminist notions of care; a third section explores the influence of Aquinas on Lonergan’s theory of ethics and richly applies this fuller context (linking feelings, plans, actions and decisions) to feminist contributions; a final section enlarges significantly on the meaning of the word care by introducing Lonergan’s idea of functional specialization as an ‘ethic of ethics’ that will care about the field of ethics in a radically new way. (shrink)
The Twentieth Century has seen a dramatic rise in the use of probability and statistics in almost all fields of research. This has stimulated many new philosophical ideas on probability. _Philosophical Theories of Probability_ is the first book to present a clear, comprehensive and systematic account of these various theories and to explain how they relate to one another. Gillies also offers a distinctive version of the propensity theory of probability, and the intersubjective interpretation, which develops the subjective theory.
This paper has three main goals. First, to motivate a puzzle about how ignorance-expressing terms like maybe and if interact: they iterate, and when they do they exhibit scopelessness. Second, to argue that there is an ambiguity in our theoretical toolbox, and that exposing that opens the door to a solution to the puzzle. And third, to explore the reach of that solution. Along the way, the paper highlights a number of pleasing properties of two elegant semantic theories, explores some (...) meta-theoretic properties of dynamic notions of meaning, dips its toe into some hazardous waters, and offers characterization theorems for the space of meanings an indicative conditional can have. (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)
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.
Part I: Inductivism and its Critics:. 1. Some Historical Background: Inductivism, Russell and the Cambridge School, the Vienna Circle and Popper. 2. Popper’s Critique of Inductivism. 3. Duhem’s Critique of Inductivism. Part II: Conventionalism and the Duhem-Quine Thesis:. 4. Poincare’s Conventionalism of 1902. 5. The Duhem Thesis and the Quine Thesis. Part III: The Nature of Observation:. 6. Observation Statements: the Views of Carnap, Neurath, Popper and Duhem. 7. Observation Statements: Some Psychological Findings. Part IV: The Demarcation between Science and (...) Metaphysics:. 8. Is Metaphysics Meaningless? Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle and Popper’s Critique. 9. Metaphysics in relation to Science: the Views of Popper, Duhem and Quine. 10. Falsification in the light of the Duhem-Quine Thesis. (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)
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)
Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Method examines the remarkable advances made in the field of AI over the past twenty years, discussing their profound implications for philosophy. Taking a clear, non-technical approach, Donald Gillies shows how current views on scientific method are challenged by this recent research, and suggests a new framework for the study of logic. Finally, he draws on work by such seminal thinkers as Bacon, Gdel, Popper, Penrose, and Lucas, to address the hotly-contested question of whether computers might (...) become intellectually superior to human beings. (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)
Social revolutions--that is critical periods of decisive, qualitative change--are a commonly acknowledged historical fact. But can the idea of revolutionary upheaval be extended to the world of ideas and theoretical debate? The publication of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962 led to an exciting discussion of revolutions in the natural sciences. A fascinating, but little known, off-shoot of this was a debate which began in the United States in the mid-1970's as to whether the concept of revolution could (...) be applied to mathematics as well as science. Michael Grove declared that revolutions never occur in mathematics, while Joseph Dauben argued that there have been mathematical revolutions and gave some examples. This book is the first comprehensive examination of the question. It reprints the original papers of Grove, Dauben, and Mehrtens, together with additional chapters giving their current views. To this are added new contributions from nine further experts in the history of mathematics, who each discuss an important episode and consider whether it was a revolution. The whole question of mathematical revolutions is thus examined comprehensively and from a variety of perspectives. This thought-provoking volume will interest mathematicians, philosophers, and historians alike. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) makes use of explicit procedures for grading evidence for causal claims. Normally, these procedures categorise evidence of correlation produced by statistical trials as better evidence for a causal claim than evidence of mechanisms produced by other methods. We argue, in contrast, that evidence of mechanisms needs to be viewed as complementary to, rather than inferior to, evidence of correlation. In this paper we first set out the case for treating evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence of correlation in (...) explicit protocols for evaluating evidence. Next we provide case studies which exemplify the ways in which evidence of mechanisms complements evidence of correlation in practice. Finally, we put forward some general considerations as to how the two sorts of evidence can be more closely integrated by EBM. (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)
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)
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)
Epistemic modals are standardly taken to be context-dependent quantifiers over possibilities. Thus sentences containing them get truth-values with respect to both a context and an index. But some insist that this relativization is not relative enough: `might'-claims, they say, only get truth-values with respect to contexts, indices, and—the new wrinkle—points of assessment (hence, CIA). Here we argue against such "relativist" semantics. We begin with a sketch of the motivation for such theories and a generic formulation of them. Then we catalogue (...) central problems that any such theory faces. We end by outlining an alternative story. (shrink)
Succinct representation and fast access to large amounts of data are challenges of our time. This unique book suggests general approaches of 'complexity of descriptions'. It deals with a variety of concrete topics and bridges between them, while opening new perspectives and providing promising avenues for the 'complexity puzzle'.
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...
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)
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.
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)
It is a recurring mantra that epistemic must creates a statement that is weaker than the corresponding flat-footed assertion: It must be raining vs. It’s raining. Contrary to classic discussions of the phenomenon such as by Karttunen, Kratzer, and Veltman, we argue that instead of having a weak semantics, must presupposes the presence of an indirect inference or deduction rather than of a direct observation. This is independent of the strength of the claim being made. Epistemic must is therefore quite (...) similar to evidential markers of indirect evidence known from languages with rich evidential systems. We work towards a formalization of the evidential component, relying on a structured model of information states (analogous to some models used in the belief dynamics literature). We explain why in many contexts, one can perceive a lack of confidence on the part of the speaker who uses must. (shrink)
The simplest story about modals—might, must, possibly, necessary, have to, can, ought to, presumably, likelier, and the rest—is also the canon: modals are context-dependent quantiﬁers over a domain of possibilities. Diﬀerent ﬂavors of modality correspond to quantiﬁcation over diﬀerent domains of possibilities. Logical modalities quantify over all the possibilities there are, physical modalities over possibilities compatible with the..
According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, (...) evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation. Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms. (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.
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)
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)
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)
way on the information available in the contexts in which they are used, it’s not surprising that there is a minor but growing industry of work in semantics and the philosophy of language concerned with the precise nature of the context-dependency of epistemically modalized sentences. Take, for instance, an epistemic might-claim like..
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)
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)