Philosophy of Science is a mid-level text for students with some grounding in philosophy. It introduces the questions that drive enquiry in the philosophy of science, and aims to educate readers in the main positions, problems and arguments in the field today. Alex Rosenberg is certainly well qualified to write such an introduction. His works cover a large area of the philosophy of natural and social sciences. In addition, the author of the argument that the ‘queen of the social (...) sciences’, economics, is not a science at all, can be counted on to show how the philosophy of science can be relevant to the understanding of the status of scientific knowledge and can provide a critical assessment of practitioners’ view of their field. (shrink)
Origens : Alex Atala, Fernando e Humberto Campana -- Presente : Fernando e Humberto Campana e Jum Nakao -- Intermezzo : convívio : Jam Nakao e colaboradores -- Destinos : Alex Atala e Jum Nakao -- Entrevistas -- Um pouco de história.
A common objection to moral enhancement is that it would undermine our moral freedom and that this is a bad thing because moral freedom is a great good. Michael Hauskeller has defended this view on a couple of occasions using an arresting thought experiment called the 'Little Alex' problem. In this paper, I reconstruct the argument Hauskeller derives from this thought experiment and subject it to critical scrutiny. I claim that the argument ultimately fails because (a) it assumes that (...) moral freedom is an intrinsic good when, in fact, it is more likely to be an axiological catalyst; and (b) there are reasons to think that moral enhancement does not undermine moral freedom. (shrink)
In “Prediction, Understanding, and Medicine,” Alex Broadbent rejects the curative thesis, the view that the core medical competence is to cure, in favor of his predictive thesis that the main intellectual medical competence is to explain and the main practical medical competence is to predict. Broadbent thinks his account explains the phenomenon of multiple consultation, which is the fact that people persist in consulting alternative medical traditions despite having access to mainstream medicine. I argue that Broadbent’s explanation of multiple (...) consultation makes sense only from the perspective of patients who migrate from mainstream to alternative consultation. His explanation is not as convincing when we consider alternative-to-mainstream migration. I also provide an argument against Broadbent’s view that prediction is medicine’s main practical competence and argue that, when it comes to explaining most cases of multiple consultation, the curative thesis provides a more convincing explanation than the predictive thesis. (shrink)
In his essay ‘Transparency, Belief, Intention’, Alex Byrne (2011) argues that transparency—our ability to form beliefs about some of our intentional mental states by considering their subject matter, rather than on the basis of special psychological evidence—involves inferring ‘from world to mind’. In this reply I argue that this cannot be correct. I articulate an intuitive necessary condition for a pattern of belief to count as a rule of inference, and I show that the pattern involved in transparency does (...) not meet that condition. As a result, I conclude that transparency does not involve inference. (shrink)
Using an economic bargaining game, we tested for the existence of two phenomena related to social norms, namely norm manipulation – the selection of an interpretation of the norm that best suits an individual – and norm evasion – the deliberate, private violation of a social norm. We found that the manipulation of a norm of fairness was characterized by a self-serving bias in beliefs about what constituted normatively acceptable behaviour, so that an individual who made an uneven bargaining offer (...) not only genuinely believed it was fair, but also believed that recipients found it fair, even though recipients of the offer considered it to be unfair. In contrast, norm evasion operated as a highly explicit process. When they could do so without the recipient's knowledge, individuals made uneven offers despite knowing that their behaviour was unfair. (shrink)
El presente trabajo de Alex Ibarra Peña recoge los resultados de una investigación cuyo tema es la constitución de un campo de estudios ligado a la filosofía analítica en Chile. El autor se propone una tarea informativa y crítica en la que cifra la novedad de su propuesta. En otros términos, la suya es una labor de rescate, de algunos filósofos y corrientes de pensamiento relegados en las narraciones hegemónicas de la institucionalización de la filosofía en Chile y (...) una tarea que busca corregir el papel asignado a Chile en las visiones panorámicas de mayor circulación sobre la emergencia de la filosofía analítica en nuestro continente. En el cruce de estos dos vectores radica la novedad de la empresa de Ibarra Peña: proponer una visión más ajustada de la recepción de los filósofos analíticos en Chile. En nuestra reseña comentamos los núcleos centrales del trabajo y proponemos algunas hiótesis sobre los conflictos internos al campo cultural que subyacen a las opciones realizadas por el autor. Para finalizar indicamos lo que nos parece ser una falencia del trabajo: un estudio de la constitución de la filosofía analística como campo de estudios no debería dejar de tener en cuenta que el énfasis en la delimitación de la cientificidad por la filosofía analítica tenía en los años 60 y 70 adversarios concretos en el marxismo y el psicoanálisis. (shrink)
Alex Gourevitch’s From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth is a valuable contribution to republican historiography: in reconstructing the ideas of the 19th century American labour republicans, this work significantly expands and enriches our appreciation of the classical republican tradition. While the labour republicans are convincingly shown to have made important contributions to that tradition, stronger claims that they fundamentally transformed republicanism are less persuasive.
Analyzing two harm reduction comics campaigns—one early in the AIDS crisis and one more recent, I explore tensions between queer safer sexual erotics and national discourses of sexual norms/deviation raised by Cindy Patton and William Haver at the height of AIDS discourse theory in 1996, approximately halfway between the comics. Using these theorists’ reflections on the history of AIDS activism/representation as a hinge, I explore the manifestation/transformation a decade later of the ethical, educational, and erotic issues they raise. Both foreground (...) the ways that HIV, safer sex, and/or eroticism pose difficulties for systems of linguistic and visual representation. Combining text and image, comics—a common harm reduction medium—epitomize this representational issue. While the GMHC addresses an immediate need for information about safer sex, Alex attempts to tackle the unrepresentability/unthinkability of safer and/or seropositive sex. Safer Sex Comix, while largely prioritizing directness above formal experimentation, employ strategies of transgressing the borders of the comics panel to emphasize a plethora of lower-risk sexual acts. The most visually inventive moments in Alex represent Alex’s feelings of unintelligbility post-diagnosis, but the comic restricts its representation of sex only to anal intercourse, and it proves unable to visualize alternative formulations of the erotic, turning to more normative narratives and images as earlier, visually explicit unsafe sexual encounters are replaced with more a/illusive representations post-conversion, literalizing the unrepresentability of seropositive erotic life. (shrink)
Reply to Alex Byrne and Fred Dretske Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9814-2 Authors Christopher S. Hill, Department of Philosophy, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Alex Broadbent’s Philosophy of Epidemiology is the latest volume in Palgrave Macmillan’s New Directions in the Philosophy of Science series. Other monographs in the series focus on mathematics, biology, astronomy, et al.—the usual topics of discourse when philosophers engage science. The present volume is a welcome addition not just to the series but also for the field of epidemiology. As Broadbent notes, “Although a few philosophers have studied epidemiology, there have been no philosophical studies of epidemiology” . There is (...) one now.As noted in the book’s foreword, the core theme of Philosophy of Epidemiology “has to do with the nature and role of explanation and prediction in epidemiological analyses” . These are practical matters which are familiar to epidemiologists, but being largely mechanical in nature, “this explains why philosophers of science have neglected epidemiology” .Broadbent is a young philosopher, trained at Cam .. (shrink)
The fiction of Australian novelist Alex Miller has long been exploring the dynamics of friendship, but in Landscape of Farewell (2007) he provides the most ambitious, and in my view the most comprehensive and perceptive, treatment of the subject of any contemporary novel, Australian or otherwise. This essay explores this profound view of friendship, which goes quite beyond mateship, and examines the ways in which Miller represents and embodies that vision in fiction. Through its brilliant handling of the complexities (...) of tone and its rich deployment of the dynamics of gift exchange, Landscape of Farewell confronts the stark realities of suffering and death and finds within the darkness itself the deepest sources of light. (shrink)
This paper argues that the utterances made by the renowned talking parrot, Alex, were not only meaningful and sincere, they counted as a language. Three arguments are considered in favor of this claim: 1) Alex demonstrated the capacity for recursion, 2) Alex satised the Davidsonian requirements for a talking entity to have language, and 3) Alex satised the Searlean requirements for making speech acts. The paper concludes that the pieces of human language that Alex most (...) readily acquired and those pieces that he lacked might point out a kind of evolutionary path by which our ancestors acquired the language that we now speak. (shrink)
While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...) content. In contrast, I argue that Pepperberg's work with Alex (and other African grey parrots) provides evidence that the vocal articulations of at least some parrots have conceptual content. Using Frege's insight that numbers assert something about a concept, I argue that Alex's ability to answer the question "How many?" depended upon a prior grasp of conceptual content. Developing this claim, I argue that Alex's arithmetical abilities show that he was capable of using numbers as both concepts and objects. Frege's theoretical insight and Pepperberg's empirical work provide reason to reconsider the capabilities of parrots, as well as what sorts of tasks provide evidence for conceptual content. (shrink)
This paper argues in defense of theanti-reductionist consensus in the philosophy ofbiology. More specifically, it takes issues with AlexRosenberg's recent challenge of this position. Weargue that the results of modern developmentalgenetics rather than eliminating the need forfunctional kinds in explanations of developmentactually reinforce their importance.
A review of Francoise Laruelle's General Theory of Victims, which places Laruelle's theory in the context of post-colonial theories of the subaltern subject after Gayatri Spivak and Edward Said. The review questions whether Laruelle's General Theory of Victims really allows the so-called victims to speak for themselves, or simply represents another attempt by Western (French?) intellectuals to speak to/through the victims, for their own political and theoretical purposes.