This volume considers forms of information manipulation and restriction in contemporary society, paying special attention to contemporary paternalistic practices in big data and scientific research, as the way in which the flow of information or knowledge might be curtailed by the manipulations of a small body of experts or algorithms.
What is inequality? In the late 1990s there was an explosion of interest in the subject that yielded a substantial body of formal tools and results for income-distribution analysis. Nearly all of this is founded on a small set of core assumptions - such as the Principle of Transfers, scale independence, the population principle∑ - that are used to give meaning to specific concepts of inequality measurement, inequality ranking and, indeed, to inequality itself. But does the standard axiomatic structure coincide (...) with public perceptions of inequality? Or is the economist's concept of inequality a thing apart, perpetuated through serial brainwashing in the way the subject is studied and taught? In this 1999 book, Amiel and Cowell examine the evidence from a large international questionnaire experiment using student respondents. Along with basic 'cake-sharing' issues, related questions involving social-welfare rankings, the relationship between inequality and overall income growth and the meaning of poverty comparisons are considered. (shrink)
The phenomenal properties of conscious mental states happen to be exclusively accessible from the first-person perspective. Consequently, some philosophers consider their existence to be incompatible with materialist metaphysics. In this paper I criticise one particular argument that is based on the idea that for something to be real it must (at least in principle) be accessible from an intersubjective perspective. I argue that the exclusively subjective access to phenomenal contents can be explained by the very particular nature of the epistemological (...) relation holding between a subject and his own mental states. Accordingly, this subjectivity does not compel us to deny the possibility that phenomenal contents are ontologically objective properties. First, I present the general form of the argument that I will discuss. Second, I show that this argument makes use of a criterion of reality that is not applicable to the case of subjective experience. Third, I discuss a plausible objection and give an argument for rejecting observation models of self-knowledge of phenomenal contents. These models fall prey to the homunculus illusion. (shrink)
The article deals with the concept of “justness” as it is treated by the Genevan psychologist Henri-Fréderic Amiel (1821-1881) in his Journal. Justness has its seat in the domain of “doing” rather than in the domain of “saying” or “thinking”: its non-propositional nature entails that one can “do just” while having false beliefs and vice-versa. The virtue of justness concerns the sphere of interpersonal interactions and goes hand in hand with moderation as virtue concerning the sphere of personal action. (...) In both cases, it is an excess of effort on the part of the will vis-à-vis the intelligence that keeps one away from virtue. This “Taoist moment” in Amiel also implies a critique of the activism of modern Western civilization and of the overweight of rules (“categorical imperatives”) that accompany it. (shrink)
Some influential arguments in the metaphysics of consciousness, in particular Chalmers’ Zombie Argument, suppose that all the physical properties of composed physical systems are metaphysically necessitated by their fundamental constituents. In this paper I argue against this thesis in order to debate Chalmers’ argument. By discussing, in non-technical terms, an EPR system I try to show that there are good reasons to hold that some composed physical systems have properties which are nomologically necessitated by their fundamental constituents, i.e., which emerge (...) in the sense of the so-called ‘nomological supervenience’ views. (shrink)
There is general agreement that from the first few months of life, our apprehension of physical objects accords, in some sense, with certain principles. In one philosopher's locution, we are 'perceptually sensitive' to physical principles describing the behavior of objects. But in what does this accordance or sensitivity consist? Are these principles explicitly represented or merely 'implemented'? And what sort of explanation do we accomplish in claiming that our object perception accords with these principles? My main goal here is to (...) suggest answers to these questions. I argue that the object principles are not explicitly represented, first addressing some confusion in the debate about what that means. On the positive side, I conclude that the principles supply a competence account, at Marr's computational level, and that they function like natural constraints in vision. These are among their considerable explanatory benefits - benefits endowed by rules and principles in other cognitive domains as well. Characterizing the explanatory role of the object principles is my main project here, but in pursuing certain sub-goals I am led to other conclusions of interest in their own right. I address an argument that the object principles are explicitly represented which assumes that object perception is substantially thought-like. This provokes a jaunt off the main path which leads to interesting territory: the boundary between thought and perception. I argue that object apprehension is much closer to perception than to thought on the spectrum between the two. (shrink)
The phenomenal properties of conscious mental states happen to be exclusively accessible from the first-person perspective. Consequently, some philosophers consider their existence to be incompatible with materialist metaphysics. In this paper I criticise one particular argument that is based on the idea that for something to be real it must be accessible from an intersubjective perspective. I argue that the exclusively subjective access to phenomenal contents can be explained by the very particular nature of the epistemological relation holding between a (...) subject and his own mental states. Accordingly, this subjectivity does not compel us to deny the possibility that phenomenal contents are ontologically objective properties. First, I present the general form of the argument that I will discuss. Second, I show that this argument makes use of a criterion of reality that is not applicable to the case of subjective experience. Third, I discuss a plausible objection and give an argument for rejecting observation models of self-knowledge of phenomenal contents. These models fall prey to the homunculus illusion. (shrink)
In Book 19, chapter 9 of the Nodes Atticae Gellius describes the birthday party of a young Greek of equestrian rank at which a group of professional singers entertained the guests by performing poems by Anacreon, Sappho, ‘et poetarum quoque recentium λεγεα quaedam erotica’ . After the singing, Gellius goes on, some of the Greek συμπόται present challenged Roman achievements in erotic poetry, excepting only Catullus and Calvus, and criticized in particular Laevius, Hortensius, Cinna, and Memmius. Rising to meet this (...) charge, Gellius’ teacher of rhetoric, Antonius Julianus, admits the superiority of the Greeks in what he calls ‘cantilenarum mollitiae’ in general , but to show that the Romans too have some good erotic poets, he recites four early Latin love epigrams, by Valerius Aedituus , Porcius Licinus , and Lutatius Catulus . The same three poets are listed in the same order in Apuleius’ Apology in a list of amatory poets which he provides in order to establish precedents and thus invalidate his prosecutors’ referral to his erotic poems in their accusation . Catulus is also enumerated in Pliny's list of Roman dignitaries who composed ‘uersiculos seueros parum’ like his own , and an amatory epigram of his is cited by Cicero in De Natura Deorum 1.79 . We possess no further evidence connecting the other two with the composition of either erotic or, more generally, ‘light’ verse, but a poem by Porcius Licinus on Roman literary history is attested by several sources including Varro, Suetonius, and Gellius himself. (shrink)
Comparison of literary passages is a critical procedure much favoured by Gellius, and is the main theme in several chapters of his Noctes Atticae: ch. 2.23 is dedicated to a comparison of Menander's and Caecilius′ versions of the Plocium; 2.27 to a confrontation of passages from Demosthenes and Sallust; in 9.9 Vergilian verses are compared with their originals in Theocritus and Homer; parts of speeches by the elder Cato, C. Gracchus and Cicero are contrasted in 10.3; two of Vergil's verses (...) are again compared with their supposed models in ch. 11.4; a segment of Ennius′ Hecuba is contrasted with its Euripidean original in 13.27; Cato's and Musonius′ formulations of a similar sententia are confronted in 16.1; in 17.10 Vergil's description of Etna is compared to Pindar's; the value of Latin erotic poetry is weighed against the Greek in ch. 19.9, in which an Anacreontean poem and four Latin epigrams are cited; and finally in 19.11 a ‘Platonic' distich is set side by side with its Latin adaptation, composed by an anonymous friend of Gellius, though in this case no comparison of the poems is attempted. (shrink)
In the preface to his Nodes Atticae, Gellius explains his choice of title: quoniam longinquis per hiemem noctibus in agro, sicuti dixi, terrae Atticae commentationes hasce ludere ac facere exorsi sumus, idcirco eas inscripsimus Noctium esse Atticarum He then proceeds to enumerate other titles used for miscellaneous works similar to his own, both Greek and Latin, which, he claims, are far more refined and witty than his title . Attractive as Gellius' explanation may be, it raises some serious difficulties2 and (...) should not be taken at face value, especially since it seems to establish a novel type of relation between title and work. None of the titles in Gellius' list seems to have been based on the circumstances of the inception of the work, nor indeed does any other extant title prior to the publication of the Nodes Atticae. There is no reason to deny Gellius the credit for inventing a novel principle of titling, yet titles based on the circumstances of composition rather than on the content of the work fail to perform a primary function of titles, namely an initial direction of the expectations of prospective readers. (shrink)
We examine individuals’ distributional orderings in a number of contexts. This is done by using a questionnaire-experiment that is presented to respondents in any one of seven “flavors” or interpretations of the basic distributional problem. The flavors include inequality, risk, social welfare and justice.
ABSTRACTWhen, in societies today, civic commitment decreases, there is a call for the need to strengthen citizenship education, identified uniquely with its public dimension and, on the other hand, the requirement for character education has been advocated, which is a cultivator of the most strictly private dimension. Setting out from the recognition of the new social conditions, mediated by the phenomenon of globalisation and of the place that people have in these new contexts, we ask ourselves about the new profile (...) which the construction of citizenship must adopt. We endeavor to show that the moral dimension is the core of reconsidering the link between the private and the public, so it would currently be meaningless to propose an education of citizenship exclusively focused on its public dimension. (shrink)
Je commence par tenter de clarifier le concept de « conscience phénoménale », suivant la notion de « l’effet ça fait » élaborée par Nagel (1974). Deuxièmement, je défends la réalité de la conscience (phénoménale) en opposition avec l'éliminativisme. Il n’est pas possible de prouver que la conscience est un phénomène réel, mais les éliminativistes ne peuvent pas non plus prouver qu’elle n’en est pas un. Pour le réaliste, la conscience est donnée comme un fait brut. Troisièmement, j’introduis une notion (...) générale de physicalisme et de survenance [supervenience], et soutiens qu’un monisme physicaliste est la métaphysique la plus raisonnable. Ceci, étant donné l’existence de relations causales entre le corps et l’esprit, et malgré nos intuitions dualistes. Je prétends qu’il existe une propriété X, qui est une propriété physique ou une propriété survenante (sur le physique), telle que être conscient—au sens phénoménal—c’est instancier X. Enfin, je critique le panpsychisme et conclus que la conscience est une propriété de certaines entités physiques complexes. (shrink)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights anniversary: More shame than glory? Aniversário da Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos: mais pena que glória? Para citar esta editorial / to reference this editorial / para citar esta editorial Gamboa-Bernal GA. Aniversario de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos: ¿más pena que gloria?. Pers Bioet. 2019; 23: 6-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5294/pebi.2019.23.1.1.