Awareness of farm animal welfare issues is growing in Canada, as part of a larger food movement. The baseline Canadian standards for farm animal welfare—the Recommended Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals—are up for revision. The success of these standards will depend in part on perceived legitimacy, which helps determine whether voluntary code systems are adopted, implemented, and accepted by target audiences. In the context of the Codes, legitimacy will also hinge on whether the standards-developers (...) marshal narratives about farm animals that accord with their audiences’ expectations. The aim of this paper is to catalogue factors that influence legitimacy in farm animal welfare standard-setting, including which narratives of animal welfare are emphasized by standard-setters. Drawing upon the example of the baseline Canadian standards, and the National Farm Animal Care Council, the paper will present a theoretical and methodological framework for analyzing legitimacy in the context of animal welfare standards-development and discuss associated policy considerations. (shrink)
Like many disciplines, moral philosophy is being subjected to critical scrutiny by feminist scholars. By applying a feminist critique of gender to the area of ethics, feminists pose the question, “Does gender make a difference?” or “Is ethics gendered?” Given that gender differences exist, it stands to reason that these differences might be institutionalized at the level of theory. Given also that different theories highlight different properties of a moral problem, theories can be evaluated according to how well, or how (...) poorly they account for gendered perspectives. Such gender differences need not be explained essentialistically, but may be explained as the result of different socialization strategies and the different social, political and economic standing of men and women. This discussion has seen the revival of the issue over whether ethical theory ought primarily to reflect care or justice, with the former reflecting a consequentialist approach with emphasis on concrete particulars and sentiment, and the latter reflecting a nonconsequentialist approach with emphasis on abstract universals and reason. (shrink)
In the eyes of the philosophical public, F.H. Bradley is recognized primarily for the theories he advanced in Appearance and Reality, which themselves are known, on the whole, only through the writings of Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore. It has been suggested that the rejection of idealism during the early twentieth century, and the subsequent rise to prominence of analysis, was for Moore and Russell in many respects a rejection of the central ideas in Appearance and Reality. History, we (...) are told, is always written by a conflict’s victors, and surely to this philosophy is no exception. Bradley’s notable fall from prominence, however, has deposited him in the philosophical netherworld, and his metaphysical arguments, when mentioned, are often invoked to show students how they by all means must not conduct their own. That Bradley was an idealist, a monist, an absolutist, and even a mystic are all things everyone seems to know, but I suspect that upon the careful inspection of Bradley’s project, these labels can be shown to supply only misleading half truths, and in some cases, might not stick at all. But let me make clear that in this paper, my concern will not be with what has been said about Bradley. Rather, this is a paper about what Bradley says. (shrink)
Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends (...) the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible. (shrink)
Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
F. H. Bradley was the foremost philosopher of the British Idealist school, which came to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century and remained influential into the first half of the twentieth. Bradley, who was educated at Oxford, and spent his life as a fellow of Merton College, was influenced by Hegel, and also reacted against utilitarianism. He was recognised during his lifetime as one of the greatest intellectuals of his generation and was the first philosopher (...) to receive the Order of Merit, in 1924. This collection of some of Bradley's most important journal articles was first published in 1914. He examines coherence and identity theories of truth, and discusses pragmatism and radical empiricism. The book contains extensive discussion of the work of Bertrand Russell and William James, while other essays cover a range of different subjects such as faith, memory, error and God. (shrink)
John Christman has argued that constitutively relational accounts of autonomy, as defended by some feminist theorists, are problematically perfectionist about the human good. I argue that autonomy is constitutively relational, but not in a way that implies perfectionism: autonomy depends on a dialogical disposition to hold oneself answerable to external, critical perspectives on one's action-guiding commitments. This type of relationality carries no substantive value commitments, yet it does answer to core feminist concerns about autonomy.
I respond to Chalmers’ (2006, 2010) objection to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy (PCS) by showing that his objection is faced with a dilemma that ultimately undercuts its force. Chalmers argues that no version of PCS can posit psychological features that are both physically explicable and capable of explaining our epistemic situation. In response, I show that what Chalmers calls ‘our epistemic situation’ admits either of a phenomenal or of a topic-neutral characterization, neither of which supports Chalmers’ objection. On the one (...) hand, if our epistemic situation is characterized phenomenally, then Chalmers’ demand that PCS should explain our epistemic situation is misplaced. PCS can explain our epistemic situation only if there is a reductive explanation of consciousness. But according to PCS, no reductive explanation of consciousness can be given. On the other hand, if our epistemic situation is characterized topic-neutrally, then PCS is not only physically explicable, but it also explains our epistemic situation. Either way, PCS is safe. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question whether future contingents are knowable, that is, whether one can know that things will go a certain way even though it is possible that things will not go that way. First I will consider a long-established view that implies a negative answer, and draw attention to some endemic problems that affect its credibility. Then I will sketch an alternative line of thought that prompts a positive answer: future contingents are knowable, although our epistemic access of (...) them is limited in some important respects. (shrink)
Self-locating beliefs cause a problem for conditionalization. Miriam Schoenfield offers a solution: that on learning E, agents should update on the fact that they learned E. However, Schoenfield is not explicit about whether the fact that they learned E is self-locating. I will argue that if the fact that they learned E is self-locating then the original problem has not been addressed, and if the fact that they learned E is not self-locating then the theory generates implausible verdicts which Schoenfield (...) explicitly rejects. (shrink)
In his recent article ‘Limits of trust in medical AI,’ Hatherley argues that, if we believe that the motivations that are usually recognised as relevant for interpersonal trust have to be applied to interactions between humans and medical artificial intelligence, then these systems do not appear to be the appropriate objects of trust. In this response, we argue that it is possible to discuss trust in medical artificial intelligence, if one refrains from simply assuming that trust describes human–human interactions. To (...) do so, we consider an account of trust that distinguishes trust from reliance in a way that is compatible with trusting non-human agents. In this account, to trust a medical AI is to rely on it with little monitoring and control of the elements that make it trustworthy. This attitude does not imply specific properties in the AI system that in fact only humans can have. This account of trust is applicable, in particular, to all cases where a physician relies on the medical AI predictions to support his or her decision making. (shrink)
Accoding to G.E. Moore, something''s intrinsic valuedepends solely on its intrinsic nature. Recently Thomas Hurka andShelly Kagan have argued, contra Moore, that something''s intrinsic valuemay depend on its extrinsic properties. Call this view the ConditionalView of intrinsic value. In this paper I demonstrate how a Mooreancan account for purported counterexamples given by Hurka and Kagan. I thenargue that certain organic unities pose difficulties for the ConditionalView.
As made manifest by Clower's comments on their “science fiction” nature, general equilibrium theories present such peculiar and puzzling features that the methodologist must perforce seek some specific methodological accommodation for this part of economic theory. The role played by such theories in contemporary economics is so fundamental that the impossibility of appraising them by means of any version of falsificationism, and their patent lack of empirical content if approached with the conceptual devices of the methodology of scientific research programs, (...) have prompted several scholars interested in the methodology of economics to search for a reasonable way out. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
The central contention of this article is that the classificatory scheme of contemporary affective science, with its traditional categories of emotion, anger, fear, and so on, is no longer suitable to the needs of affective science. Unlike psychological constructionists, who have urged the transition from a discrete to a dimensional approach in the study of affective phenomena, I argue that we can stick to a discrete approach as long as we accept that traditional emotion categories will have to be transformed (...) in order to do any scientific work. I conclude by articulating some general rules for turning traditional emotion categories into suitable scientific tools. (shrink)
This paper analyzes communication with a language that is vague in the sense that identical messages do not always result in identical interpretations. It is shown that strategic agents frequently add to this vagueness by being intentionally vague, i.e. they deliberately choose less precise messages than they have to among the ones available to them in equilibrium. Having to communicate with a vague language can be welfare enhancing because it mitigates conflict. In equilibria that satisfy a dynamic stability condition intentional (...) vagueness increases with the degree of conflict between sender and receiver. (shrink)
Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
How should we revise our beliefs in response to the expressed probabilistic opinions of experts on some proposition when these experts are in disagreement? In this paper I examine the suggestion that in such circumstances we should adopt a linear average of the experts’ opinions and consider whether such a belief revision policy is compatible with Bayesian conditionalisation. By looking at situations in which full or partial deference to the expressed opinions of others is required by Bayesianism I show that (...) only in trivial circumstances are the requirements imposed by linear averaging compatible with it. (shrink)
A version of Bradley's regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism . A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well-founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported (...) by showing that Cameron's argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful. (shrink)
How do temporal and eternal beliefs interact? I argue that acquiring a temporal belief should have no effect on eternal beliefs for an important range of cases. Thus, I oppose the popular view that new norms of belief change must be introduced for cases where the only change is the passing of time. I defend this position from the purported counter-examples of the Prisoner and Sleeping Beauty. I distinguish two importantly different ways in which temporal beliefs can be acquired and (...) draw some general conclusions about their impact on eternal beliefs. (shrink)
In light of the impact of work on human flourishing, an intractable problem for political theorists concerns the distribution of meaningful work in a community of moral equals. This article reviews a number of partial solutions that a well-ordered society could draw upon to provide equality of opportunity for eudemonistically meaningful work and to minimize the impact of bad work upon those who perform it. Even in view of these solutions, however, it is not likely that opportunities for meaningful work (...) can be guaranteed for all people, which carries an implication that, even in well-ordered societies, it is likely that not all people will flourish. The author argues that the limitedness of meaningful work is not a reason to reject the normative claim that meaningful work is integral in flourishing, nor is it a reason against working to transform social and political institutions to increase opportunities for meaningful work. (shrink)
What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...) I will argue that this type of particularism is more plausible in epistemology than in ethics. The result is an unwieldy and possibly infinitely long epistemic rule — an Uber-rule. I will argue that the Uber-rule applies to all agents, but is still defeasible — one may get misleading evidence against it and rationally lower one’s credence in it. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the study of the philosopher F. H. Bradley, the most influential member of the nineteenth-century school of British Idealists. It offers a sustained interpretation of Bradley's Principles of Logic, explaining the problem of how it is possible for inferences to be both valid and yet have conclusions that contain new information. The author then describes how this solution provides a basis for Bradley's metaphysical view that reality is one interconnected experience (...) and how this gives rise to a new problem of truth. (shrink)
In this article we analyse the role that artificial intelligence (AI) could play, and is playing, to combat global climate change. We identify two crucial opportunities that AI offers in this domain: it can help improve and expand current understanding of climate change and it contribute to combating the climate crisis effectively. However, the development of AI also raises two sets of problems when considering climate change: the possible exacerbation of social and ethical challenges already associated with AI, and the (...) contribution to climate change of the greenhouse gases emitted by training data and computation-intensive AI systems. We assess the carbon footprint of AI research, and the factors that influence AI’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in this domain. We find that the carbon footprint of AI research may be significant and highlight the need for more evidence concerning the trade-off between the GHG emissions generated by AI research and the energy and resource efficiency gains that AI can offer. In light of our analysis, we argue that leveraging the opportunities offered by AI for global climate change whilst limiting its risks is a gambit which requires responsive, evidence-based and effective governance to become a winning strategy. We conclude by identifying the European Union as being especially well-placed to play a leading role in this policy response and provide 13 recommendations that are designed to identify and harness the opportunities of AI for combating climate change, while reducing its impact on the environment. (shrink)
I argue that the state of boredom (i.e., the transitory and non-pathological experience of boredom) should be understood to be a regulatory psychological state that has the capacity to promote our well-being by contributing to personal growth and to the construction (or reconstruction) of a meaningful life.
What does logic tells us how about we ought to reason? If P entails Q, and you believe P, should you believe Q? There seem to be cases where you should not, for example, if you have evidence against Q, or the inference is not worth making. So we need a theory telling us when an inference ought to be made, and when not. I will argue that we should embed the issue in an independently motivated contextualist semantics for ‘ought’. (...) With the contextualist machinery in hand we can give a theory of when inferences should be made and when not. (shrink)
In this paper, I show how a solution to Lewis’ problem of temporary intrinsics is also a response to McTaggart’s argument that the A-series is incoherent. There are three strategies Lewis considers for solving the problem of temporary intrinsics: perdurantism, presentism, and property-indexing. William Lane Craig (Analysis 58(2):122–127, 1998) has examined how the three strategies fare with respect to McTaggart’s argument. The only viable solution Lewis considers to the problem of temporary intrinsics that also succeeds against McTaggart, Craig claims, is (...) presentism. This gives us prima facie reason to be presentists. But there is a strategy Craig does not consider-indexing, or relativizing, the copula. In this paper, I show that to the degree that indexing the copula solves the problem of temporary intrinsics, it also shows the invalidity of McTaggart’s argument. The upshot: the copula-indexer needn’t affirm the unreality of time, nor need she embrace presentism. (shrink)
This article defends the Doomsday Argument, the Halfer Position in Sleeping Beauty, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the applicability of Bayesian confirmation theory to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will argue that all four problems have the same structure, and it gives a unified treatment that uses simple models of the cases and no controversial assumptions about confirmation or self-locating evidence. The article will argue that the troublesome feature of all these cases is not self-location but selection effects.
Bradley has argued that a truth-conditional semantics for conditionals is incompatible with an allegedly very weak and intuitively compelling constraint on the interpretation of conditionals. I argue that the example Bradley offers to motivate this constraint can be explained along pragmatic lines that are compatible with the correctness of at least one popular truth-conditional semantics for conditionals.
First published in 1876, this forceful and vigorous classic of English moral philosophy, written in opposition to Utilitarianism by one of England's most eminent philosophers, is now available for the first time since 1977.
In this comprehensive study of Wittgenstein's modal theorizing, Bradley offers a radical reinterpretation of Wittgenstein's early thought and presents both an interpretive and a philosophical thesis. A unique feature of Bradley's analysis is his reliance on Wittgenstein's Notebooks, which he believes offer indispensable guidance to the interpretation of difficult passages in the Tractatus. Bradley then goes on to argue that Wittgenstein's account of modality--and the related notion of possible worlds--is in fact superior to any of the currently (...) popular theories in this area. In this context, he examines and critiques the work of such figures as Adams, Carnap, Hintikka, Lewis, Rescher, and Stalnaker. (shrink)
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