A number of recent writers have expressed scepticism about the viability of a specifically moral concept of obligation, and some of the considerations offered have been interesting and persuasive. This is a scepticism that has its roots in Nietzsche, even if he is mentioned only rather rarely in the debate. More proximately, the scepticism in question receives seminal expression in Elizabeth Anscombe's 1958 essay, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, a piece that is often paid lip-service to, but—like Nietzsche's work—has only rarely been (...) taken seriously by those wishing to defend the conception of obligation under attack. This is regrettable. Anscombe's essay is powerful and direct, and it makes a forthright case for the claim that, in the absence of a divine law conception of ethics, any specifically moral concept of obligation must be redundant, and that the best that can be hoped for in a secular age is some sort of neo-Aristotelianism. Anscombe is right about this, we think. And, among those who disagree, one of the very few to have taken her on at all explicitly is Christine Korsgaard, whose Kantianism of course commits her to the view that the concept of moral obligation is central, with or without God. Here, we try to show that Korsgaard loses the argument. (shrink)
Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
Álvarez J.F. (2016) Conflicts, Bounded Rationality and Collective Wisdom in a Networked Society. In: Scarafile G., Gruenpeter Gold L. (eds) Paradoxes of Conflicts. Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning (Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences), vol 12. Springer, Cham -/- The adoption of an individualistic perspective on reasoning, choice and decision is a spring of paradoxes of conflicts. Usually the agents immerse in conflicts are drawn or modelled as rational individuals with targets well defined and full capabilities to access to (...) information, without both temporal limitations and perfect reasoning abilities to obtain their preferences are taken account. -/- However, other models of agent, in the bounded rationality perspective, could help to understand better the interrelationships. I adopt embedded argumentative reasoning processes as satisfying criteria to analyze the expert function in a new socio technical environment that has changed deeply the mechanism and tools to access and to aggregate information. The open access to information and institutional arrangements addressed towards team knowledge could offer other kind of tools to affront the conflict, even its possible benefits. -/- The “crowd expertise” is emerging as an actual possibility and it must be incorporated to affront with conflicts. The very possibility of obtaining knowledge generated by “many minds”, collective wisdoms, brings up a real challenge to the conservative or elitist conception of the masses, because masses now emerge as a smart collective user, with new mechanisms to select and produce quality knowledge. These new collective actions differ deeply from the traditional modes of social organization. A new mass society is emerging now as a hybrid one that breaks some conceptual traditional models, such as Ortega y Gasset’s ones, and induces a structured way of flourishing both new practices and new knowledge with transforming capabilities. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a way of characterizing human agency in terms of the concept of a two‐way power. I outline this conception of agency, defend it against some objections, and briefly indicate how it relates to free agency and to moral praise‐ and blameworthiness.
What kind of thing is a reason for action? What is it to act for a reason? And what is the connection between acting for a reason and rationality? There is controversy about the many issues raised by these questions. In this paper I shall answer the first question with a conception of practical reasons that I call ‘Factualism’, which says that all reasons are facts. I defend this conception against its main rival, Psychologism, which says that practical reasons are (...) mental states or mental facts, and also against a variant of Factualism that says that some practical reasons are facts and others are false beliefs. I argue that the conception of practical reasons defended here provides plausible answers to the second and third questions above; and gives a more unified and satisfactory picture of practical reasons than those offered by its rivals. (shrink)
In 1969 Harry Frankfurt published his hugely influential paper 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility' in which he claimed to present a counterexample to the so-called 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities' ('a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise'). The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. Such cases (...) all require a counterfactual mechanism that could cause an agent to perform an action that he cannot avoid performing. I argue that, given our concept of what it is for someone to act, this requirement is inconsistent. Frankfurt-style alleged counterexamples are cases where an agent is morally responsible for an action he performs even though, the claim goes, he could not have avoided performing that action. However, it has recently been argued, e.g. by John Fischer, that a counterexample to the Principle could be a 'Fischer-style case', i.e. a case where the agent can either perform the action or do nothing else. I argue that, although Fischer-style cases do not share the conceptual flaw common to all Frankfurt-style cases, they also fail as counterexamples to the Principle. The paper finishes with a brief discussion of the significance of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. (shrink)
Ignorance is often a perfectly good excuse. There are interesting debates about whether non-culpable factual ignorance and mistake subvert obligation, but little disagreement about whether non-culpable factual ignorance and mistake exculpate. What about agents who have all the relevant facts in view but fail to meet their obligations because they do not have the right moral beliefs? If their ignorance of their obligations derives from mistaken moral beliefs or from ignorance of the moral significance of the facts they have in (...) view, should they be excused for failing to meet their moral obligations? It is not obvious that they should. In this paper we argue that the best non-skeptical accounts of moral responsibility acknowledge that factual ignorance and mistake will diminish moral responsibility in a way that moral ignorance and mistake will not. That is because factual ignorance is often non-culpable so long as it meets certain merely procedural epistemic standards but the same is not true of moral ignorance. Our argument is that the assumption that it is gets the standards of culpability for moral ignorance wrong, and that the mistake is encouraged by the thought that culpability in general requires an instance of known wrongdoing: that acting wrongly requires de dicto unresponsiveness to one’s obligations at some stage. We deny this and conclude that, therefore, ignorance and mistaken belief are indeed often perfectly good excuses – but far less often than some philosophers claim. (shrink)
In the past thirty years or so, the doctrine that actions are events has become an essential, and sometimes unargued, part of the received view in the philosophy of action, despite the efforts of a few philosophers to undermine the consensus. For example, the entry for Agency in a recently published reference guide to the philosophy of mind begins with the following sentence: A central task in the philosophy of action is that of spelling out the differences between events in (...) general and those events that fall squarely into the category of human action. There is no consensus about what events are. But it is generally agreed that, whatever events may prove to be, actions are a species or a class of events. We believe that the received view is mistaken: actions are not events. We concede that for most purposes, the kind of categorial refinement which is involved in either affirming or denying that actions are events is frankly otiose. Our common idiom does not stress the difference between actions and events, at least not in general terms, because it has no need to. Perhaps it sounds a little odd to say that some events are performed; but if we balked at describing, say, the abdication of Edward VIII as one of the politically significant events in Britain in 1936, it could not be for metaphysical reasons. And since actions, like events, are datable — though often, as we shall see, only imprecisely — actions are said to take place and to occur. But an important class of actions consist in moving something; indeed, according to many philosophers, every action consists in moving something. And when we consider actions of this sort from a theoretical point of view it becomes imperative to distinguish between actions and events. Or so we shall argue. (shrink)
Reasons can play a variety of roles in a variety of contexts. For instance, reasons can motivate and guide us in our actions (and omissions), in the sense that we often act in the light of reasons. And reasons can be grounds for beliefs, desires and emotions and can be used to evaluate, and sometimes to justify, all these. In addition, reasons are used in explanations: both in explanations of human actions, beliefs, desires, emotions, etc., and in explanations of a (...) wide range of phenomena involving all sorts of animate and inanimate substances. This diversity has encouraged the thought that the term 'reason' is ambiguous or has different senses in different contexts. Moreover, this view often goes hand in hand with the claim that reasons of these different kinds belong to different ontological categories: to facts (or something similar) in the case of normative/justifying reasons, and to mental states in the case of motivating/explanatory reasons. In this paper I shall explore some of the main roles that reasons play and, on that basis, I shall offer a classification of kinds of reasons. As will become clear, my classification of reasons is at odds with much of the literature in several respects: first, because of my views about how we should understand the claim that reasons are classified into different kinds; second, because of the kinds into which I think reasons should be classified; and, finally, because of the consequences I think this view has for the ontology of reasons. (shrink)
The last three decades have seen much important work on powers and dispositions: what they are and how they are related to the phenomena that constitute their manifestation. These debates have tended to focus on ‘paradigmatic’ dispositions, i.e. physical dispositions such as conductivity, elasticity, radioactivity, etc. It is often assumed, implicitly or explicitly, that the conclusions of these debates concerning physical dispositions can be extended to psychological dispositions, such as beliefs, desires or character traits. In this paper I identify some (...) central features of paradigmatic dispositions that concern their manifestation, stimulus conditions, and causal bases. I then focus on a specific kind of psychological disposition, namely character traits, and argue that they are importantly different from paradigmatic dispositions in relation to these features. I conclude that this difference should lead us to re-examine our assumption that character traits are dispositions and, by implication, whether we can generalize conclusions about physical dispositions to psychological dispositions, such as character traits and their manifestations. (shrink)
This paper seeks a better understanding of the elements of practical reasoning: premises and conclusion. It argues that the premises of practical reasoning do not normally include statements such as ‘I want to ϕ’; that the reasoning in practical reasoning is the same as in theoretical reasoning and that what makes it practical is, first, that the point of the relevant reasoning is given by the goal that the reasoner seeks to realize by means of that reasoning and the subsequent (...) action; second, that the premises of such reasoning show the goodness of the action to be undertaken; third, that the conclusions of such reasoning may be actions or decisions, that can be accompanied by expressions of intention, either in action, or for the future; and that these are justified, and might be contradicted, in ways that are not only peculiar to them (i.e. in ways that diverge from those found in theoretical reasoning), but are distinctively practical, in that they involve reference to reasons for acting and to expressions of intention, respectively.1. (shrink)
This paper explores the question whether whatever is done intentionally is done for a reason. Apart from helping us to think about those concepts, the question is interesting because it affords an opportunity to identify a number of misconceptions about reasons. In the paper I argue that there are things that are done intentionally but not done for a reason. I examine two different kinds of example: things done “because one wants to” and “purely expressive actions”. Concerning the first, I (...) argue that the tendency to think that things done because one wants to are things done for a reason derives from conflating the reason that explains why someone did something with their reason for doing it. While these sometimes coincide, they need not always do so. And although the fact that someone wanted to do something can contribute to explaining the person's action, it is not normally that person's reason for doing that thing. Purely expressive actions also provide examples of things done intentionally but not for a reason. I argue that, although those actions are spontaneous, they are nonetheless intentional and that, since they are mere expressions of emotions, they are not done for reasons - although there are reasons why we do them. (shrink)
Two conceptions of motivating reasons, i.e. the reasons for which we act, can be found in the literature: (1) the dominant 'psychological conception', which says that motivating reasons are an agent's believing something; and (2) the 'non-psychological' conception, the minority view, which says that they are what the agent believes, i.e. his beliefs. In this paper I outline a version of the minority view, and defend it against what have been thought to be insuperable difficulties - in particular, difficulties concerning (...) 'error cases' (cases where what the agent believes is false); and difficulties concerning the explanation of action. Concerning error cases, I argue that if we are motivated by something believed that is true, what motivates us to act is a motivating reason. By contrast, if we are motivated by something believed that is false, then what motivates us to act is merely an apparent motivating reason. Either way, what motivates us is, as the non-psychological conception says, what we believe and not our believing it. I offer an account of the relation between motivating reasons and the explanation of action, and argue that this account helps bring out two important points. One is that the fact that we often do, and indeed sometimes must, use explanations such as 'He did it because he believed that p' does not vindicate the psychological conception of motivating reasons. The other is that endorsing the non-psychological conception of motivating reasons does not commit one to a non-factive view of explanations of action. (shrink)
The multiattribute rotation scheme is a methodology that uses a numerical solution to estimate a transform to predict petrophysical properties from elastic attributes. This is achieved by estimating a new attribute in the direction of maximum change of a target property in an [Formula: see text]-dimensional Euclidean space formed by an [Formula: see text] number of attributes and subsequent scaling of this attribute to the target unit properties. We have computed the transform from well-log-derived elastic attributes and petrophysical properties, and (...) we have posteriorly applied it to seismically derived elastic attributes. Such transforms can be used to estimate reservoir property volumes for reservoir characterization and delineation in exploration and production settings and to estimate secondary variables in geostatistical workflows for static model generation and reserve estimation. To illustrate the methodology, we applied MARS to estimate a transform to predict the water saturation and total porosity from elastic attributes in a well located in the Barents Sea as well as to estimate a water-saturation volume in a mud-rich turbidite gas reservoir located onshore Colombia. (shrink)
This paper presents a restructured set of axioms for categorical logic. In virtue of it, the syllogistic with indefinite terms is deduced and proved, within the categorical logic boundaries. As a result, the number of all the conclusive syllogisms is deduced through a simple and axiomatic methodology. Moreover, the distinction between immediate and mediate inferences disappears, which reinstitutes the unity of Aristotelian logic.
We have developed an example from the Hoop Area of the Barents Sea showing a sequential quantitative integration approach to integrate seismic and controlled-source electromagnetic attributes using a rock-physics framework. The example illustrates a workflow to address the challenges of multiphysics and multiscale data integration for reservoir characterization purposes. A data set consisting of 2D GeoStreamer seismic and towed streamer electromagnetic data that were acquired concurrently in 2015 by PGS provide the surface geophysical measurements that we used. Two wells in (...) the area — Wisting Central and Wisting Alternative — provide calibration for the rock-physics modeling and the quantitative integrated analysis. In the first stage of the analysis, we invert prestack seismic and CSEM data separately for impedance and anisotropic resistivity, respectively. We then apply the multi-attribute rotation scheme to estimate rock properties from seismic data. This analysis verified that the seismic data alone cannot distinguish between commercial and noncommercial hydrocarbon saturation. Therefore, in the final stage of the analysis, we invert the seismic and CSEM-derived properties within a rock-physics framework. The inclusion of the CSEM-derived resistivity information within the inversion approach allows for the separation of these two possible scenarios. Results reveal excellent correlation with known well outcomes. The integration of seismic, CSEM, and well data predicts very high hydrocarbon saturations at Wisting Central and no significant saturation at Wisting Alternative, consistent with the findings of each well. Two further wells were drilled in the area and used as blind tests in this case: The slightly lower saturation predicted at Hanssen is related to 3D effects in the CSEM data, but the positive outcome of the well is correctly predicted. At Bjaaland, although the seismic indications are good, the integrated interpretation result predicts correctly that this well was unsuccessful. (shrink)
This paper will examine the issue of Plato’s purposes in the Sophist. First, we will shed light on the main purpose Plato might be drawing in the prologue of the dialog, where the Eleatic Stranger begins to show his philosophical status. Then, we will locate the sophist’s characterization within this main purpose, by reading the result of this characterization as an implicit παράδειγμα which prepares the execution ofthe dialectic and anticipates the defining features of an object key to this science.
Muchos autores que se han ocupado de la autonomía personal parecen identificar la capacidad de autonomía esencialmente con la capacidad de todo agente racional para identificar preferencias y tomar decisiones conforme a las mismas. Estos autores -entre los que podríamos ubicar a C. Nino- prescinden a menudo de ulteriores elementos o condiciones para su ejercicio. Sin embargo, resulta fundamental ahondar en esos aspectos a veces pasados por alto; ahondar principalmente en las opciones y el proceso de formación de preferencias de (...) los agentes, para delinear mejor los aspectos normativos de la autonomía. En este trabajo propongo recuperar un elemento central del concepto que ha sido extensamente desarrollado en la literatura feminista, me refiero al contexto de relaciones que ha dado lugar a la llamada "autonomía relacional". Propongo incorporar esta noción al núcleo conceptual de la autonomía sin renunciar, sin embargo, a otros elementos del concepto entre los que destacaré las "opciones relevantes", es decir, la presencia de cursos de acción, de oportunidades, que la persona es capaz de reconocer como propuestas no solo viables sino legítimas para sí. Para desarrollar esta idea comenzaré por definir la autonomía a través de los que considero los elementos o condiciones centrales del concepto, deteniéndome especialmente en la condición de opciones relevantes. A continuación se abordará la cuestión relativa al modo en que las opciones se perfilan, se construyen y son percibidas por los sujetos. En este punto el estudio se fijará específicamente en el entorno contextual y de relaciones que sirve de trasfondo para la construcción de las opciones, para proponer la noción de opciones relacionales. Many authors have written about autonomy focusing mainly on the capacity of the autonomous agent for identifying preferences and making decisions. These authors -C. Nino among them- do not take into consideration further elements or conditions for being autonomous. However, it is necessary to take other aspects into consideration; mainly it is important to take account of both options and the building of the agent’s preferences. This way, autonomy normative aspects will be better understood. I propose here to analyse the concept of "relational autonomy", which has been largely elaborated within feminist theory. My aim is to incorporate relations and options to the core of the concept of personal autonomy. In this article, I will define personal autonomy first, highlighting the importance of relevant options. Second, I will describe the way options are built and their perception by the agent. Finally, I will focus on the context and relations on the background, and I will propose the notion of relational options. (shrink)
Se plantea el problema de la existencia de una campo científico -el geográfico - para el cual existen candidaturas e disciplinas determinadas como la Geografía Física, La Humana, la R egional y la Universal, etc. Se plantea la diferencia entre ciencias naturales y humanas, así como entre ciencias texonómicas y ciencias mereológicas, como marcos de análisis para las ciencias geográficas.