Ecological concern has recently prompted efforts to assess the economic value of ecological functions: the “work of nature” must no longer be taken for granted as a free amenity, but priced and accounted for as “natural capital.” Critiques of this approach tend to defend nature’s intrinsic value against intrusions of economic logic, but fail to articulate a compelling politics in response. I here argue that nature ought indeed to be brought in to the realm of political economy, but question the (...) category of natural capital: instead, extending the insights of feminist theorists regarding undervalued forms of production, I articulate an expanded idea of hybrid labor that understands the “work of nature” as a collective, distributed undertaking of humans and nonhumans acting to reproduce, regenerate, and renew a common world. This approach poses the value of nature as inherently political and suggests the potential for new forms of more-than-human politics. (shrink)
This paper proposes a strategy for extending the wave function realist interpretation of quantum mechanics to the case of relativistic quantum theories and responds to the arguments of Wallace and Timpson (2010) and Myrvold (2015) that this cannot be done.
What justifies the allocation of funding to research in physics when many would argue research in the life and social sciences may have more immediate impact in transforming our world for the better? Many of the justifications for such spending depend on the claim that physics enjoys a kind of special status vis-a-vis the other sciences, that physics or at least some branches of physics exhibit a form of fundamentality. The goal of this paper is to articulate a conception of (...) fundamentality that can support such justifications. I argue that traditional conceptions of fundamentality in terms of dynamical or ontic completeness rest on mistaken assumptions about the nature and scope of physical explanations. (shrink)
This is a commentary on Mathias Frisch's book Causal Reasoning in Physics (Cambridge 2014). This commentary was presented at the 2016 Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in a session sponsored by the Society for the Metaphysics of Science.
In this book, authors Alyssa Magee Lowery and William Hayes trace the history of teaching from Greek philosophy to twenty-first century educational issues in an effort to provide some perspective in the long art versus science debate, ultimately finding that the two components may be able to coexist peacefully.
This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics?
When pursued naturalistically, metaphysics may seem forced to navigate a narrow path. So that it may be a worthwhile enterprise, it must have claim to discovery of a distinctive set of objective truths. Yet it must also avoid potential competition or conflict with the results of scientific theories. In response to this problem, some naturalistic metaphysicians have argued that properly understood, metaphysics is aimed at a set of truths distinct from those of science. Metaphysicians investigate a realm of truths more (...) fundamental than those of even fundamental science. This paper examines what is required both in science and metaphysics for a theory to count as a fundamental theory. Several criteria are presented which suggest that metaphysics does not investigate a realm more fundamental than that of science. (shrink)
There are now several, realist versions of quantum mechanics on offer. On their most straightforward, ontological interpretation, these theories require the existence of an object, the wavefunction, which inhabits an extremely high-dimensional space known as configuration space. This raises the question of how the ordinary three-dimensional space of our acquaintance fits into the ontology of quantum mechanics. Recently, two strategies to address this question have emerged. First, Tim Maudlin, Valia Allori, and her collaborators argue that what I have just called (...) the ‘most straightforward’ interpretation of quantum mechanics is not the correct one. Rather, the correct interpretation of realist quantum mechanics has it describing the world as containing objects that inhabit the ordinary three-dimensional space of our manifest image. By contrast, David Albert and Barry Loewer maintain the straightforward, wavefunction ontology of quantum mechanics, but attempt to show how ordinary, three-dimensional space may in a sense be contained within the high-dimensional configuration space the wavefunction inhabits. This paper critically examines these attempts to locate the ordinary, three-dimensional space of our manifest image “within” the ontology of quantum mechanics. I argue that we can recover most of our manifest image, even if we cannot recover our familiar three-dimensional space. (shrink)
We look at some strategies for solving the macro-object problem for wave function realism. This is the problem of finding an account of the existence of macroscopic objects assuming a metaphysics in which objects in space-time are not fundamental; rather what is fundamental is the quantum wave function, a field characterized by an assignment of values to points in a much different kind of space, one adequate to realizing the full range of possible quantum pure states. -/- .
This article discusses recent disagreements over the correct formulation of physicalism. Although there appears to be a consensus outside those who discuss the issue that physicalists believe that what exists is what is countenanced by physics, as we will see, this orthodoxy faces an important puzzle now frequently referred to as 'Hempel's Dilemma'. After surveying the historical trajectory from Enlightenment-era materialism to contemporary physicalism, I examine several mainstream approaches that respond to Hempel's dilemma, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Some philosophers argue that many contemporary debates in metaphysics are “illegitimate,” “shallow,” or “trivial,” and that “contemporary analytic metaphysics, a professional activity engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued” (Ladyman and Ross, Every thing must go: Metaphysics naturalized , 2007 ). Many of these critics are explicit about their sympathies with Rudolf Carnap and his circle, calling themselves ‘neo-positivists’ or ‘neo-Carnapians.’ Yet (...) despite the fact that one of the main conclusions of logical positivism was that metaphysical statements are meaningless, many of these neo-positivists are themselves engaged in metaphysical projects. This paper aims to clarify how we may see a neo-positivist metaphysics as proceeding in good faith, one that starts with serious engagement with the findings of science, particularly fundamental physics, but also has room for traditional, armchair methods. (shrink)
Obstacles to achieving a global climate treaty include disagreements about questions of justice raised by the UNFCCC's principle that countries should respond to climate change by taking cooperative action "in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions". Aiming to circumvent such disagreements, Climate Change Justice authors Eric Posner and David Weisbach argue against shaping treaty proposals according to requirements of either distributive or corrective justice. The USA's climate envoy, Todd Stern, takes (...) a similar position. In this article I explain the practical and theoretical drawbacks of Posner & Weisbach's welfarist perspective and propose an alternative. I show that their arguments fail to rule out John Rawls' non-utilitarian, political conception of international justice and human rights, the Law of Peoples. On this basis I develop a conception of climate justice that highlights implications of some of Rawls' principles and adds a principle for determining fair shares of climate -treaty-related benefits and burdens. I propose this conception as a moral framework for negotiating a treaty that would promote human welfare consistently with requirements of justice, and I argue that a treaty proposal satisfying these requirements could best satisfy Posner & Weisbach's own feasibility criteria. (shrink)
Wave function realism is an interpretational framework for quantum theories that has been defended for its ability to provide a clear and natural metaphysics for quantum theories, one that is fundamentally both separable and local. This is in contrast to competitor primitive ontology frameworks that while they could be separable, are not local, and holist or structuralist approaches that while they could be local, are not separable. The claim that wave function realist metaphysics is local, however, is not as straightforward (...) as it has sometimes been assumed to be (nor as straightforward as the sense in which wave function realist metaphysics are separable). This paper distinguishes different senses in which a metaphysics for physics may be local, what may be the virtues of a metaphysics local in these senses, and the capacity of wave function realism to deliver such a metaphysics. (shrink)
*A shortened version of this paper will appear in Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science, Dasgupta and Weslake, eds. Routledge.* This paper describes the case that can be made for a high-dimensional ontology in quantum mechanics based on the virtues of avoiding both nonseparability and non locality.
This paper defends wave function realism against the charge that the view is empirically incoherent because our evidence for quantum theory involves facts about objects in three-dimensional space or space-time . It also criticizes previous attempts to defend wave function realism against this charge by claiming that the wave function is capable of grounding local beables as elements of a derivative ontology.
This paper examines the relationship between physical theories of causation and theories of difference-making. It is plausible to think that such theories are compatible with one another as they are aimed at different targets: the former, an empirical account of actual causal relations; the latter, an account that will capture the truth of most of our ordinary causal claims. The question then becomes: what is the relationship between physical causation and difference-making? Is one kind of causal fact more fundamental than (...) the other? This paper defends causal foundationalism: the view that facts about difference-making are dependent on the obtaining of facts about physical causation. However, the paper's main goal is to clarify the structure of the debate. At the end of the paper, it is shown how settling the issue about the relationship between physical theories of causation and theories of difference-making has more than mere intrinsic interest in unifying the very different pursuits that have been undertaken in the philosophy of causation. It can help to break a stalemate that has arisen in the current debate about mental causation. (shrink)
It is widely noted that physicalism, taken as the doctrine that the world contains just what physics says it contains, faces a dilemma which, some like Tim Crane and D.H. Mellor have argued, shows that “physicalism is the wrong answer to an essentially trivial question”. I argue that both problematic horns of this dilemma drop out if one takes physicalism not to be a doctrine of the kind that might be true, false, or trivial, but instead an attitude or oath (...) one takes to formulate one’s ontology solely according to the current posits of physics. (shrink)
Intent and mitigating circumstances play a central role in moral and legal assessments in large-scale industrialized societies. Al- though these features of moral assessment are widely assumed to be universal, to date, they have only been studied in a narrow range of societies. We show that there is substantial cross-cultural variation among eight traditional small-scale societies (ranging from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to horticulturalist) and two Western societies (one urban, one rural) in the extent to which intent and mitigating circumstances influence (...) moral judgments. Although participants in all societies took such factors into account to some degree, they did so to very different extents, varying in both the types of considerations taken into account and the types of violations to which such considerations were applied. The particular patterns of assessment characteristic of large-scale industrialized societies may thus reflect relatively recently culturally evolved norms rather than inherent features of human moral judgment. (shrink)
Jaegwon Kim has argued that unless mental events are reducible to subvening physical events, they are at best overdeterminers of their effects. Recently, nonreductive physicalists have endorsed this consequence claiming that the relationship between mental events and their physical bases is tight enough to render any such overdetermination nonredundant, and hence benign. I focus on instances of this strategy that appeal to the notion of constitution. Ultimately, I argue that there is no way to understand the relationship between irreducible mental (...) events and their physical bases such as to both eliminate causal redundancy and preserve the efficacy of mental events. (shrink)
Physicalism is sometimes portrayed by its critics as a dogma, but there is an empirical argument for the position, one based on the accumulation of diverse microphysical causal explanations in physics, chemistry, and physiology. The canonical statement of this argument was presented in 2001 by David Papineau. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate a tension that arises between this way of understanding the empirical case for physicalism and a view that is becoming practically a received position in philosophy (...) of physics: that microphysics does not support the existence of causal facts (and so does not support causal explanations). Indeed this is a conclusion embraced in recent work by Papineau himself. This paper examines a range of natural ways of avoiding this tension and reconciling the empirical case for physicalism with the rejection of microphysical causation. (shrink)
Non-suicidal self-injury is a complex behaviour, routinely engaged for emotion regulatory purposes. As such, a number of theoretical accounts regarding the aetiology and maintenance of NSSI are grounded in models of emotion regulation; the role that cognition plays in the behaviour is less well known. In this paper, we summarise four models of emotion regulation that have repeatedly been related to NSSI and identify the core components across them. We then draw on social cognitive theory to unite models of cognition (...) and models of emotion in developing a new cognitive-emotional model of NSSI. Our model articulates how emotion regulation and cognition can work in concert to govern NSSI, and offers several new research questions that can be addressed within this framework. (shrink)
that the properties of science are purely extrinsic with the metaphysical principle that substances must also have intrinsic properties, the arguments reach the conclusion that there are intrinsic properties of whose natures we cannot know. It is the goal of this paper to establish that such arguments are not just ironic but extremely problematic. The optimistic physicalist principles that help get the argument off the ground ultimately undermine any justification the premises give for acceptance of the conclusion. Though I do (...) find these arguments unsound, it is nevertheless worthwhile to consider them in order to see more clearly what should be the methodology of the philosopher inclined to take the discoveries of physical science as having ontological authority. And, I hope, what follows will prompt the physicalist to ask herself – what room _is_ there for metaphysics once physical science is complete? (shrink)
Cooperative child care among humans, where individuals other than the biological mother (allomothers) provide care, may increase a mother’s fertility and the survivorship of her children. Although the potential benefits to the mother are clear, the motivations for allomothers to provide care are less clear. Here, we evaluate the kin selection allomothering hypothesis using observations on Hadza hunter-gatherers collected in ten camps over 17 months. Our results indicate that related allomothers spend the largest percentage of time holding children. The higher (...) the degree of relatedness among kin, the more time they spend holding, supporting the hypothesis of nepotism as the strongest motivation for providing allomaternal care. Unrelated helpers of all ages also provide a substantial amount of investment, which may be motivated by learning to mother, reciprocity, or coercion. (shrink)
The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history…. You watch. The time has come. Women are gonna take charge of society.I think [#MeToo] will have staying power because people, and not only women, men as well as women, realize how wrong the behavior was and how it subordinated women. So we shall see, but my prediction is that it is here to stay.As the story is told, #MeToo arrived in a kairotic moment. Jodi Kantor and (...) Megan Twohey's 5 October 2017 New York Times exposé of the methods Harvey Weinstein used to systematically harass and subsequently silence women in the entertainment industry opened the proverbial floodgates. Ten days later, actor Alyssa... (shrink)
An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical (...) causation. She takes this to imply that causation is not fundamentally a matter of difference-making. In this paper, I defend the difference-making approach against Ney’s argument. I also offer some positive reasons for thinking, pace Ney, that causation is fundamentally a matter of difference-making. (shrink)
This volume is fourth in the series of annuals created under the auspices of The Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory . The topics covered herein_from peacekeeping and terrorism, to sex trafficking and women's paid labor, to poverty and religious fundamentalism_are vital to women and to feminist movements throughout the world.
Objectives To review the extant literature on HIV criminal laws, and to determine the impact of these laws on public health practice.Methods The available research on this topic was obtained and reviewed.Results The extant literature addressed three main topics: people's awareness of HIV criminal laws; people's perceptions of HIV criminal laws; and the potential effects of HIV criminal laws on people's sexual, HIV-status disclosure and healthcare-seeking practices. Within these categories, the literature demonstrated a high level of awareness of HIV criminal (...) laws, but a poor comprehension of these laws. For perceptions, on the whole, the quantitative research identified support for, while the qualitative literature indicated opposition to, these laws. Lastly, the behavioural effects of HIV criminal laws appear to be complex and non-linear.Conclusions A review of the extant literature from a public health perspective leads to the conclusion that HIV criminal laws undermine public health. (shrink)
Usury, charging a higher interest rate than thought by some to be “fair,” has had and still has, a bad press. Historically, it was heavily punished. It was then, and all too often is now, thought to be exploitative. Yet, as even the most economically unsophisticated must realize, both sides of these transactions must necessarily gain at least in the ex ante sense, otherwise one or the other would refuse to enter into the deal in the first place. The present (...) paper is an attempt to justify the practice of charging interest on loans, at any rate agreeable to both borrowers and lenders. (shrink)