Overdiagnosis is an emerging problem in health policy and practice: we address its definition and ethical implications. We argue that the definition of overdiagnosis should be expressed at the level of populations. Consider a condition prevalent in a population, customarily labelled with diagnosis A. We propose that overdiagnosis is occurring in respect of that condition in that population when the condition is being identified and labelled with diagnosis A in that population ; this identification and labelling would be accepted as (...) correct in a relevant professional community; but the resulting label and/or intervention carries an unfavourable balance between benefits and harms. We identify challenges in determining and weighting relevant harms, then propose three central ethical considerations in overdiagnosis: the extent of harm done, whether harm is avoidable and whether the primary goal of the actor/s concerned is to benefit themselves or the patient, citizen or society. This distinguishes predatory, misdirected and tragic overdiagnosis; the degree of harm moderates the justifiability of each type. We end with four normative challenges: methods for adjudicating between professional standards and identifying relevant harms and benefits should be procedurally just; individuals, organisations and states are differently responsible for addressing overdiagnosis; overdiagnosis is a matter for distributive justice: the burdens of both overdiagnosis and its prevention could fall on the least-well-off; and communicating about overdiagnosis risks harming those unaware that they may have been overdiagnosed. These challenges will need to be addressed as the field develops. (shrink)
BackgroundWhen conducting research with Indigenous populations consent should be sought from both individual participants and the local community. We aimed to search and summarise the literature about methods for seeking consent for research with Indigenous populations.MethodsA systematic literature search was conducted for articles that describe or evaluate the process of seeking informed consent for research with Indigenous participants. Guidelines for ethical research and for seeking consent with Indigenous people are also included in our review.ResultsOf 1447 articles found 1391 were excluded (...) ; 56 were relevant and included. Articles were categorised into original research that evaluated the consent process or publications detailing the process of seeking consent and guidelines for ethical research. Guidelines were categorised into international ; national and state/regional/local guidelines. In five studies based in Australia, Canada and The United States of America the consent process with Indigenous people was objectively evaluated. In 13 other studies interpreters, voice recording, videos, pictures, flipcharts and “plain language” forms were used to assist in seeking consent but these processes were not evaluated. Some Indigenous organisations provide examples of community-designed resources for seeking consent and describe methods of community engagement, but none are evaluated. International, national and local ethical guidelines stress the importance of upholding Indigenous values but fail to specify methods for engaging communities or obtaining individual consent. In the ‘Grey literature’ concerns about the consent process are identified but no solutions are offered.ConclusionConsultation with Indigenous communities is needed to determine how consent should be sought from the community and the individual, and how to evaluate this process. (shrink)
The consent and community engagement process for research with Indigenous communities is rarely evaluated. Research protocols are not always collaborative, inclusive or culturally respectful. If participants do not trust or understand the research, selection bias may occur in recruitment, affecting study results potentially denying participants the opportunity to provide more knowledge and greater understanding about their community. Poorly informed consent can also harm the individual participant and the community as a whole. Invited by local Aboriginal community leaders of the Fitzroy (...) Valley, the Kimberley, Western Australia, The Picture Talk project explores the consent process for research. Focus groups of Aboriginal community members were conducted to establish preferences for methods of seeking individual consent. Transcripts were analysed through NVivo10 Qualitative software using grounded theory with inductive and deductive coding. Themes were synthesised with quotes highlighted. Focus groups with Aboriginal community members were facilitated by a Community Navigator as a cultural guide and interpreter and a researcher. Participants were recruited from all main language groups of the Fitzroy Valley – Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Wangkatjungka, Bunuba and Nikinya. Participants were aged ≥18 years, with 5 female groups and one male group. Themes identified include: Reputation and trust is essential; The Community Navigator is key; Pictures give the words meaning – milli milli versus Pictures; Achieving consensus in circles; Signing for consent; and Research is needed in the Valley. Aboriginal communities of the Fitzroy Valley recommend that researchers collaborate with local leaders, develop trust and foster a good reputation in the community prior to research. Local Aboriginal researchers should be employed to provide cultural guidance throughout the research process and interpret local languages especially for elders. Pictures are preferred to written text to explain research information and most prefer to sign for consent. The Fitzroy Valley welcomes research when collaborative and for the benefit of the community. Future research could include exploring how to support young people, promote health screening and improve understanding of medical knowledge. (shrink)
Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first (...) the extent to which content externalism is compatible with epistemic externalism; second, whether active externalism entails epistemic externalism; and third whether there are varieties of epistemic externalism that are better suited to accommodate active externalism. Finally, we examine whether the combination of epistemic and cognitive externalism is necessary for epistemology and we comment on the potential ramifications of this move for social epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ ; though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC only if its epistemic assessments (...) do not violate what we call ‘the epistemic parity principle’. In §2, we show how the constraint of respecting the epistemic parity principle stands in what appears to be a prima facie intractable tension with mainstream thinking about cases of propositional memory. We then outline and evaluate in §3 several lines of response. (shrink)
Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas and, in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
While openmindedness is often cited as a paradigmatic example of an intellectual virtue, the connection between openmindedness and truth is tenuous. Several strategies for reconciling this tension are considered, and each is shown to fail; it is thus claimed that openmindedness, when intellectually virtuous, bears no interesting essential connection to truth. In the final section, the implication of this result is assessed in the wider context of debates about epistemic value.
A conspicuous oversight in recent debates about the vexed problem of the value of knowledge has been the value of knowledge-how. This would not be surprising if knowledge-how were, as Gilbert Ryle [1945, 1949] famously thought, fundamentally different from knowledge-that. However, reductive intellectualists [e.g. Stanley and Williamson 2001; Brogaard 2008, 2009, 2011; Stanley 2011a, 2011b] maintain that knowledge-how just is a kind of knowledge-that. Accordingly, reductive intellectualists must predict that the value problems facing propositional knowledge will equally apply to knowledge-how. (...) We show, however, that this is not the case. Accordingly, we highlight a value-driven argument for thinking that knowledge-how and knowledge-that come apart. (shrink)
Recent empirical studies have established that disgust plays a role in moral judgment. The normative significance of this discovery remains an object of philosophical contention, however; ‘disgust skeptics’ such as Martha Nussbaum have argued that disgust is a distorting influence on moral judgment and has no legitimate role to play in assessments of moral wrongness. I argue, pace Nussbaum, that disgust’s role in the moral domain parallels its role in the physical domain. Just as physical disgust tracks physical contamination and (...) pollution, so moral disgust tracks social contamination. I begin by examining the arguments for skepticism about disgust and show that these arguments threaten to overgeneralize and lead to a widespread skepticism about the justifiability of our moral judgments. I then look at the positive arguments for according disgust a role in moral judgment, and suggest that disgust tracks invisible social contagions in much the same way as it tracks invisible physical contagions, thereby serving as a defense against the threat of socio-moral contamination. (shrink)
Internalist approaches to epistemic justification are, though controversial, considered a live option in contemporary epistemology. Accordingly, if ‘active’ externalist approaches in the philosophy of mind—e.g. the extended cognition and extended mind theses—are _in principle_ incompatible with internalist approaches to justification in epistemology, then this will be an epistemological strike against, at least the _prima facie_ appeal of, active externalism. It is shown here however that, contrary to pretheoretical intuitions, neither the extended cognition _nor_ the extended mind theses are in principle (...) incompatible with two prominent versions of epistemic internalism—viz., accessibilism and mentalism. In fact, one possible diagnosis is that pretheoretical intuitions regarding the incompatibility of active externalism with epistemic internalism are symptomatic of a tacit yet incorrect identification of epistemic internalism with epistemic individualism. Thus, active externalism is not in principle incompatible with epistemic internalism per se and does not significantly restrict one’s options in epistemology. (shrink)
According to robust virtue epistemology , knowledge is type-identical with a particular species of cognitive achievement. The identification itself is subject to some criticism on the grounds that it fails to account for the anti-luck features of knowledge. Although critics have largely focused on environmental luck, the fundamental philosophical problem facing RVE is that it is not clear why it should be a distinctive feature of cognitive abilities that they ordinarily produce beliefs in a way that is safe. We propose (...) a novel way to resolve this problem. Key to our proposal will be an appreciation of different representational states beholden to truth. We suggest these different representational states are distinguished by how, in the proper governance of these states, the twin goods of attaining truth and avoiding error are weighted. Moreover, we explain how varieties of representational states line up with varieties of cognitive achievement such that knowledge, cum cognitive achievement, must be safe because of the kind of attempt at success that belief is—namely, an attempt that places the premium it does on avoiding error. (shrink)
Social and moral issues in business have drawn attention to a gap between theory and practice and fueled the search for a reconciling perspective. Finding and establishing an alternative remains a critical initiative, but a daunting one. In what follows, the assumptions of two prominent contenders are considered before introducing a third in the form of Aristotle’s ancient theory of virtue. Comparative case studies are used to briefly illustrate the practical implications of each paradigm. In the quest for a better (...) sense-making and sense-giving lens, this paper refines and encourages the search by highlighting some of the key features required of a worthy paradigmatic challenge. The author proceeds to identify a particular type of institutional community, and a promising champion, for the practical unification of strategic and normative excellence. (shrink)
When extended cognition is extended into mainstream epistemology, an awkward tension arises when considering cases of environmental epistemic luck. Surprisingly, it is not at all clear how the mainstream verdict that agents lack knowledge in cases of environmental luck can be reconciled with principles central to extended cognition.
Is there anything wrong with publishing philosophical work which one does not believe? I argue that there is not: the practice isn’t intrinsically wrong, nor is there a compelling consequentialist argument against it. Therefore, the philosophical community should neither proscribe nor sanction it. The paper proceeds as follows. First, I’ll clarify and motivate the problem, using both hypothetical examples and a recent real-world case. Next, I’ll look at arguments that there is something wrong with PWB, and show that none is (...) sound. Then, I’ll give some reasons for thinking a norm against PWB is detrimental to the profession. Do I believe these arguments? If I’m right, it shouldn’t matter. (shrink)
Epistemology and Relativism Epistemology is, roughly, the philosophical theory of knowledge, its nature and scope. What is the status of epistemological claims? Relativists regard the status of epistemological claims as, in some way, relative— that is to say, that the truths which epistemological claims aspire to are … Continue reading Epistemology and Relativism →.
Empirical work on motivated reasoning suggests that our judgments are influenced to a surprising extent by our wants, desires and preferences (Kahan 2016; Lord, Ross, and Lepper 1979; Molden and Higgins 2012; Taber and Lodge 2006). How should we evaluate the epistemic status of beliefs formed through motivated reasoning? For example, are such beliefs epistemically justified? Are they candidates for knowledge? In liberal democracies, these questions are increasingly controversial as well as politically timely (Beebe et al. 2018; Lynch forthcoming, 2018; (...) Slothuus and de Vreese 2010). And yet, the epistemological significance of motivated reasoning has been almost entirely ignored by those working in mainstream epistemology. We aim to rectify this oversight. Using politically motivated reasoning as a case study, we show how motivated reasoning gives rise to three distinct kinds of skeptical challenges. We conclude by showing how the skeptical import of motivated reasoning has some important ramifications for how we should think about the demands of intellectual humility. (shrink)
The Swamping Argument – highlighted by Kvanvig (2003; 2010) – purports to show that the epistemic value of truth will always swamp the epistemic value of any non-factive epistemic properties (e.g. justification) so that these properties can never add any epistemic value to an already-true belief. Consequently (and counter-intuitively), knowledge is never more epistemically valuable than mere true belief. We show that the Swamping Argument fails. Parity of reasoning yields the disastrous conclusion that nonfactive epistemic properties – mostly saliently justification (...) – are never epistemically valuable properties of a belief. We close by diagnosing why philosophers have been mistakenly attracted to the argument. (shrink)
According to reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how :147–190, 2008; Philos Phenomenol Res 78:439–467, 2009) knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. To the extent that this is right, then insofar as we might conceive of ways knowledge could be extended with reference to active externalist :7–19, 1998; Clark in Supersizing the mind: embodiment, action, and cognitive extension: embodiment, action, and cognitive extension. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) approaches in the philosophy of mind, we should expect no interesting difference between the two. However, (...) insofar as anti-intellectualist approaches to knowledge-how are a viable option, there is an overlooked issue of how knowledge-how might be extended, via active externalism, in ways very differently from knowledge-that. This paper explores this overlooked space, and in doing so, illustrates how a novel form of extended knowledge-how emerges from a pairing of active externalism in the philosophy of mind with anti-intellectualism in the theory of knowledge. Crucial to our argument will be a new way of thinking about the extended mind thesis, as it pertains to the kinds of state one is in when one knows how to do something, and how this state connects with non-accidentally successful performance. (shrink)
The philosophical debate over disgust and its role in moral discourse has focused on disgust’s epistemic status: can disgust justify judgments of moral wrongness? Or is it misplaced in the moral domain—irrelevant at best, positively distorting at worst? Correspondingly, empirical research into disgust has focused on its role as a cause or amplifier of moral judgment, seeking to establish how and when disgust either causes us to morally condemn actions, or strengthens our pre-existing tendencies to condemn certain actions. Both of (...) these approaches to disgust are based on a set of assumptions that I call, in what follows, the evidential model of disgust. This paper proposes an alternative model, which I call the response model. Instead of looking at disgust as a cause and justification of judgments of moral wrongness, I will argue that disgust is better understood as a response to wrongness. More precisely, I argue that disgust is a response to norm violations, and that it is a fitting response insofar as norm violations are potentially contagious and therefore pose a threat to the stability and maintenance of norms. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard has, in the years following his (2005) defence of a safety-based account of knowledge in Epistemic Luck, abjured his (2005) view that knowledge can be analysed exclusively in terms of a modal safety condition. He has since (Pritchard in Synthese 158:277–297, 2007; J Philosophic Res 34:33–45, 2009a, 2010) opted for an account according to which two distinct conditions function with equal importance and weight within an analysis of knowledge: an anti-luck condition (safety) and an ability condition-the latter being (...) a condition aimed at preserving what Pritchard now takes to be a fundamental insight about knowledge: that it arises from cognitive ability (Greco 2010; Sosa 2007, 2009). Pritchard calls his new view anti-luck virtue epistemology (ALVE). A key premise in Pritchard’s argument for ALVE is what I call the independence thesis; the thesis that satisfying neither the anti-luck condition nor the ability condition entails that the other is satisfied. Pritchard’s argument for the independence thesis relies crucially upon the case he makes for thinking that cognitive achievements are compatible with knowledge-undermining environmental luck—that is, the sort of luck widely thought to undermine knowledge in standard barn facade cases. In the first part of this paper, I outline the key steps in Pritchard’s argument for anti-luck virtue epistemology and highlight how it is that the compatibility of cognitive achievement and knowledge- undermining environmental luck is indispensible to the argument’s success. The second part of this paper aims to show that this compatibility premise crucial to Pritchard’s argument is incorrect. (shrink)
I investigate the implication of the truth-relativist’s alleged ‘ faultless disagreements’ for issues in the epistemology of disagreement. A conclusion I draw is that the type of disagreement the truth-relativist claims to preserve fails in principle to be epistemically significant in the way we should expect disagreements to be in social-epistemic practice. In particular, the fact of faultless disagreement fails to ever play the epistemically significant role of making doxastic revision rationally required for either party in a disagreement. That the (...) truth-relativists’ disagreements over centred content fail to play this epistemically significant role that disagreements characteristically play in social epistemology should leave us sceptical that disagreement is what the truth-relativist has actually preserved. (shrink)
In non‐literal uses of language, the content an utterance communicates differs from its literal truth conditions. Loose talk is one example of non‐literal language use (amongst many others). For example, what a loose utterance of (1) communicates differs from what it literally expresses: (1) Lena arrived at 9 o'clock. Loose talk is interesting (or so I will argue). It has certain distinctive features which raise important questions about the connection between literal and non‐literal language use. This paper aims to (i.) (...) introduce a range of novel data demonstrating certain overlooked features of loose talk, and (ii.) develop a new theory of the phenomenon which accounts for these data. In particular, this theory is motivated by the need to explain minimal pairs such as (2)-(3): (2) Lena arrived at 9 o'clock, but she did not arrive at 9 o'clock exactly. (3) ?? Lena did not arrive at 9 o'clock exactly, but she arrived at 9 o'clock. (2) and (3) agree in their truth conditions. Yet they differ in felicity. As such, they constitute a problem for any account which hopes to predict the acceptability of the loose use of a sentence from its truth conditions and the context of utterance alone. Instead, it will be argued, to explain loose talk phenomena we must posit an additional layer of meaning outstripping truth conditions. This layer of meaning is shown to exhibit a range of properties, all of which point to its being semantically encoded. Thus, if correct, the theory provides a new example of how semantic meaning must extend beyond literal, truth‐conditional content. (shrink)
The philosophical significance of attitudinal autonomy—viz., the autonomy of attitudes such as beliefs—is widely discussed in the literature on moral responsibility and free will. Within this literature, a key debate centres around the following question: is the kind of attitudinal autonomy that’s relevant to moral responsibility at a given time determined entirely by a subject’s present mental structure at that time? Internalists say ‘yes’, externalists say ’no’. In this essay, I motivate a kind of distinctly epistemic attitudinal autonomy, attitudinal autonomy (...) that is relevant to knowledge. I argue that regardless of whether we are externalists or internalists about the kind of attitudinal autonomy that is relevant for moral responsibility, we should be externalists about the kind of autonomy that a belief must have to qualify as knowledge. (shrink)
According to one prominent view of exercising abilities (e.g., Millar 2009), a subject, S, counts as exercising an ability to ϕ if and only if S successfully ϕs. Such an ‘exercise-success’ thesis looks initially very plausible for abilities, perhaps even obviously or analytically true. In this paper, however, I will be defending the position that one can in fact exercise an ability to do one thing by doing some entirely distinct thing, and in doing so I’ll highlight various reasons (epistemological, (...) metaphysical and linguistic) that favor the alternative approach I develop over views that hold that the exercise of an ability is a success notion in the sense Millar maintains. (shrink)
Expressivist views of an area of discourse encourage us to ask not about the nature of the relevant kinds of values but rather about the nature of the relevant kind of evaluations. Their answer to the latter question typically claims some interesting disanalogy between those kinds of evaluations and descriptions of the world. It does so in hope of providing traction against naturalism-inspired ontological and epistemological worries threatening more ‘realist’ positions. This is a familiar position regarding ethical discourse; however, some (...) authors have recently defended a similar view regarding epistemic discourse. Others have argued that epistemic expressivism faces special problems, not necessarily attaching to expressivism about other areas. Their arguments differ in interesting ways, but the common strategy is an attempt to show that the very sort of meta-epistemological theorizing needed to articulate and establish epistemic expressivism involves the epistemic expressivist in some sort of internal incoherence or self-defeat. That is, they think that articulating or defending the position requires implicit commitment to the negation of one of the positions core tenets. This paper responds to those arguments on behalf of epistemic expressivism, suggesting that they each misunderstand what is crucial to epistemic expressivism. By responding to these arguments, we hope to achieve more clarity about what epistemic expressivism is and why one might want to endorse it in a meta-epistemology. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to propose a systematic classification of emotions which can also characterize their nature. The first challenge we address is the submission of clear criteria for a theory of emotions that determine which mental phenomena are emotions and which are not. We suggest that emotions as a subclass of mental states are determined by their functional roles. The second and main challenge is the presentation of a classification and theory of emotions that can account for (...) all existing varieties. We argue that we must classify emotions according to four developmental stages: 1. pre-emotions as unfocussed expressive emotion states, 2. basic emotions, 3. primary cognitive emotions, and 4. secondary cognitive emotions. We suggest four types of basic emotions (fear, anger, joy and sadness) which are systematically differentiated into a diversity of more complex emotions during emotional development. The classification distinguishes between basic and non-basic emotions and our multi-factorial account considers cognitive, experiential, physiological and behavioral parameters as relevant for constituting an emotion. However, each emotion type is constituted by a typical pattern according to which some features may be more significant than others. Emotions differ strongly where these patterns of features are concerned, while their essential functional roles are the same. We argue that emotions form a unified ontological category that is coherent and can be well defined by their characteristic functional roles. Our account of emotions is supported by data from developmental psychology, neurobiology, evolutionary biology and sociology. (shrink)
Bioethics has begun to see the revaluation of affects in medical practice, but not all of them, and not necessarily in the sense of affects as we know them. Empathy has been accepted as important for good medical practice, but only in a way that strips it of its affectivity and thus prevents other affects, like sympathy, from being accepted. As part of a larger project that aims at revaluing the importance of affectivity in medical practice, the purpose of this (...) paper is to develop a clinical sympathy that can serve as a trainable skill for medical professionals. While everyday sympathy may be problematic as a professional skill for physicians, this does not imply that sympathy should be entirely rejected. As a natural part of our moral psychology, sympathy is an intersubjective affect that aids in our interactions with others and our decision-making abilities. I present here a theory of clinical sympathy as an affective response to patients, in which physicians are both attuned to their affective response and understand how their affects are influencing their beliefs and judgments. In this way, clinical sympathy serves as a trainable skill that can aid physicians in their interactions with their patients. (shrink)
Regulatory agencies vary widely in their classification of FMT, with significant impact on patient access. This article conducts a global survey of national regulations and collates existing FMT classification statuses, ultimately suggesting that the human cell and tissue product designation best fits FMT's characteristics and that definitional objectives to that classification may be overcome.
ABSTRACT: We argue that the so-called ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ Value Problems for knowledge are more easily solved than is widely appreciated. Pritchard, for instance, has suggested that only virtue-theoretic accounts have any hopes of adequately addressing these problems. By contrast, we argue that accounts of knowledge that are sensitive to the Gettier problem are able to overcome these challenges. To first approximation, the Primary Value Problem is a problem of understanding how the property of being knowledge confers more epistemic value (...) on a belief than the property of being true. The Secondary Value is a problem of understanding how, for instance, property of being knowledge confers more epistemic value on a belief than the property of being jointly true and justified. We argue that attending to the fact that beliefs are ongoing states reveals that there is no difficulty in appreciating how knowledge might ordinarily have more epistemic value than mere true belief or mere justified true belief. We also explore in what ways ordinary cases of knowledge might be of distinctive epistemic value. In the end, our proposal resembles the original Platonic suggestion in the Meno that knowledge is valuable because knowledge is somehow tied to the good of truth. (shrink)
In his lectures on general logic Kant maintains that the generality of a representation (the form of a concept) arises from the logical acts of comparison, reflection and abstraction. These acts are commonly understood to be identical with the acts that generate reflected schemata. I argue that this is mistaken, and that the generality of concepts, as products of the understanding, should be distinguished from the classificatory generality of schemata, which are products of the imagination. A Kantian concept does not (...) provide mere criteria for noting sameness and difference in things, but instead reflects the inner nature of things. Its form consists in the self-consciousness of a capacity to judge (i.e. the Concept is the ‘I think’). (shrink)
This article explores the strategies followed by the International Olympic Committee for the achievement of gender equality. It is argued that this international body can go beyond simply adopting an equality of opportunities approach to gender equality. It suggests which other strategies can be incorporated for which it draws on the different ways of understanding gender equality in gender political theory.
Relativism has been, in its various guises, both one of the most popular and most reviled philosophical doctrines of our time. Defenders see it as a harbinger of tolerance and the only ethical and epistemic stance worthy of the open-minded and tolerant. Detractors dismiss it for its alleged incoherence and uncritical intellectual permissiveness. Debates about relativism permeate the whole spectrum of philosophical sub-disciplines. From ethics to epistemology, science to religion, political theory to ontology, theories of meaning and even logic, philosophy (...) has felt the need to respond to this heady and seemingly subversive idea. Discussions of relativism often also invoke considerations relevant to the very nature and methodology of philosophy and to the division between the so-called “analytic and continental” camps in philosophy. And yet, despite a long history of debate going back to Plato and an increasingly large body of writing, it is still difficult to come to an agreed definition of what, at its core, relativism is, and what philosophical import it has. This entry attempts to provide a broad account of the many ways in which “relativism” has been defined, explained, defended and criticized. (shrink)
I will discuss the relationship between two different accounts of remedial duty ascriptions. According to one account, the beneficiary account, individuals who benefit innocently from injustices ought to bear remedial responsibilities towards the victims of these injustices. According to another account, the causal account, individuals who caused injustices ought to bear remedial duties towards the victim. In this paper, I examine the relation between the principles central to these accounts: the Beneficiary Pays Principle and the well-established principle of Strict Liability (...) in law. I argue that both principles display a strong yet unexplored similarity as they make certain kinds of causal connection sufficient for incurring liability. Because of this similarity, I suggest that insights into the Beneficiary Pays Principle can be gained from exploring its relation with Strict Liability. In particular, I examine two new positive arguments that could be adapted to support of the Beneficiary Pays Principle: the Minimising Injustice Argument and the Normative Connection Argument. However, I’ll show that only one of those arguments, namely the Normative Connection Argument, can truly support the Beneficiary Pays Principle. I conclude that, if you endorse the Normative Connection Argument for Strict Liability, you have at least a strong prima facie reason to endorse the parallel argument for the Beneficiary Pays Principle. (shrink)