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)
El kitsch no es solo una categoría que ha definido una de las posibles gramáticas estéticas de la modernidad, sino también una dimensión antropológica que ha tenido diferentes configuraciones en el curso de los procesos históricos. El ensayo ofrece una mirada histórico-crítica sobre las transformaciones que condujeron desde el kitsch de principios del siglo XX hasta el neokitsch contemporáneo: desde la génesis del kitsch hasta su afirmación como una de las manifestaciones más tangibles de la cultura de masas. Integrándose con (...) la estética posmoderna, el kitsch se transforma en neokitsch, una estética que utiliza el kitsch como su propia sintaxis en el complejo escenario de la estética contemporánea. /// -/- Kitsch is not just a category that has defined one of the possible aesthetic grammars of modernity, but also an anthropological dimension that has had different configurations in the course of historical processes. The essay offers a historical-critical look at the transformations that led from the early twentieth century kitsch to the contemporary neokitsch: from the genesis of kitsch to its affirmation as one of the most tangible manifestations of mass culture. Integrating with postmodern aesthetics, kitsch turns into neokitsch, an aesthetic that deliberately uses kitsch as its own syntax in the complex scenario of contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
Citizen science models of public participation in scientific research represent a growing area of opportunity for health and biomedical research, as well as new impetus for more collaborative forms of engagement in large-scale research. However, this also surfaces a variety of ethical issues that both fall outside of and build upon the standard human subjects concerns in bioethics. This article provides background on citizen science, examples of current projects in the field, and discussion of established and emerging ethical issues for (...) citizen science in health and biomedical research. (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.
This book develops the view that meaningful work is central in human flourishing. The author defends a pluralistic account of what makes work meaningful, arguing that work can be meaningful in virtue of developing capabilities, supporting virtues, providing a purpose, or integrating elements of a worker's life.
She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg, if there was a draught, she sat in it—in short, she was so constituted that she never had a mind or wish of her own, but preferred to sympathise always with the minds and wishes of others. — Virginia Woolf (1979, 59).
Andrea Falcon's work is guided by the exegetical ideal of recreating the mind of Aristotle and his distinctive conception of the theoretical enterprise. In this concise exploration of the significance of the celestial world for Aristotle's science of nature, Falcon investigates the source of discontinuity between celestial and sublunary natures and argues that the conviction that the natural world exhibits unity without uniformity is the ultimate reason for Aristotle's claim that the heavens are made of a special body, unique (...) to them. This book presents Aristotle as a totally engaged, systematic investigator whose ultimate concern was to integrate his distinct investigations into a coherent interpretation of the world we live in, all the while mindful of human limitations to what can be known. Falcon reads in Aristotle the ambition of an extraordinarily curious mind and the confidence that that ambition has been largely fulfilled. (shrink)
Is logic masculine? Is women's lack of interest in the "hard core" philosophical disciplines of formal logic and semantics symptomatic of an inadequacy linked to sex? Is the failure of women to excel in pure mathematics and mathematical science a function of their inability to think rationally? Andrea Nye undermines the assumptions that inform these questions, assumptions such as: logic is unitary, logic is independenet of concrete human relations, and logic transcends historical circumstances as well as gender. In a (...) series of studies of the logics of historical figures--Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Abelard, Ockham, and Frege--she traces the changing interrelationships between logical innovation and oppressive speech strategies, showing that logic is not transcendent truth but abstract forms of language spoken by men, whether Greek ruling citizens, or scientists. (shrink)
is accounted for, among other things, in terms of particular relations between events (or states1) and places or times. Roughly speaking, an event α is said to occur in a place p (or interval t) if the spatial (temporal) extension of α is located in p (or t). Let the predicate ‘Occ’ denote such a relation. From this point of view, part of the content of the above sentences can be associated, respectively, with formulas such as.
This paper examines Husserl’s theory of intentionality as it is developed in Logical Investigations and other early writings. In Section 1, the author attempts to capture the core of Husserl’s concept of intentionality. Section 2 is devoted to a detailed analysis of the account of intentional relation developed in the fifth Investigation. In Section 3, the author tries to flesh out what is meant by the claim in the sixth Investigation that the designation ‘object’ is a relative one. In Section (...) 4, the author discusses Husserl’s conception of intentionality in light of the mereology outlined in the third Investigation. In Section 5, the author explains how Husserl criticizes the so-called theory of immanent objects and how he addresses the problem of non-existents. In Section 6, the author argues that a phenomenological theory of intentionality grounded in Husserl’s insights cannot be a non-relational one. (shrink)
Clarifying the nature of possibility is crucial for an evaluation of the phenomenological approach to ontology. From a phenomenological perspective, it is ontological possibility, and not spatiotemporal existence, that has pre-eminent ontological status. Since the sphere of phenomenological being and the sphere of experienceability turn out to be overlapping, this makes room for two perspectives. We can confer foundational priority to the acts of consciousness over possibilities, or to pre-set possibilities over the activity of consciousness. Husserl’s position on this issue (...) seems to change over time. Ultimately, the establishment of a phenomenological perspective must involve a rejection of any hypostatization of pre-set possibilities, but not all implications of this theoretical step seem to be drawn in Husserl’s texts. This paper is devoted to an illustration of how the phenomenological notion of possibility should change when we reject the hypostatization of possibility, that is, when we reject the idea that all acts of consciousness are to be conceived as realizations of pre-set “ideal forms”. We examine this question, first, by trying to clarify the conceptual constellation of “possibility” in Husserl’s texts. This leads to an overall classification of the features of constituted possibilities. Then we distinguish such constituted possibilities from their constituting conditions, which outlines a different sense of “possibility”. In the last instance two “possibilizing” dimensions are shown to lie at the root of all ontic possibilities. This leads to a final suggestion on the nature of the relation between experience and possibility. Actual experiences create the room for possibility: they are possibilizations. In this sense, experience is to be taken as a generative sphere which goes beyond the customary boundary between epistemic and ontological. From this point of view all experience is to be conceived as emergence. (shrink)
This essay explores the connection between representation and explanation in the sciences. I suggest that scientific representation schemes be viewed as pragmatic tools for acquiring the sort of articulated awareness that is the hallmark of nontrivial knowledge. Crystal field theory in chemistry illustrates this perspective. Certain representations achieve the status of being paradigmatically explanatory, thereby shaping models of intelligibility. In turn, these explanatory preferences serve largely to define and differentiate disciplinary communities by implicitly endorsing particular epistemic aims and values. In (...) this way, the pragmatic nature of explanatory discourse effectively grants its intellectual utility. (shrink)
Name any valued human trait—intelligence, wit, charm, grace, strength—and you will find an inexhaustible variety and complexity in its expression among individuals. Yet we insist that such diversity does not provide grounds for differential treatment at the most basic level. Whatever merit, blame, praise, love, or hate we receive as beings with a particular past and a particular constitution, we are always and everywhere due equal respect merely as persons. -/- But why? Most who attempt to answer this question appeal (...) to the idea that all human beings possess an intrinsic dignity and worth—grounded in our capacities, for example, to reason, reflect, or love—that raises us up in the order of nature. Andrea Sangiovanni rejects this predominant view and offers a radical alternative. -/- To understand our commitment to basic equality, Humanity without Dignity argues that we must begin with a consideration not of equality but of inequality. Rather than search for a chimerical value-bestowing capacity possessed to an equal extent by each one of us, we ought to ask: Why and when is it wrong to treat others as inferior? Sangiovanni comes to the conclusion that our commitment to moral equality is best explained by a rejection of cruelty rather than a celebration of rational capacity. He traces the impact of this fundamental shift for our understanding of human rights and the norms of anti-discrimination that underlie it. (shrink)
– The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...) Furthermore, by starting from actual dispositional properties and branching out, we are able to include possibilities that are quite far removed from any state of affairs that happens to obtain, while still providing a natural and actual grounding of possibility. Stressing the importance of ontological considerations in any theory of possibility, it is argued that the account of possibility in terms of dispositional properties provides a more palatable ontology than those of its competitors. Coming at it from the other direction, the dispositional account of possibility also provides motivation for taking an ontology of dispositions more seriously. As well as the relevant dispositional notions required to lay out the view, the paper discusses the dispositional realism needed as the basis for the account of possibility. (shrink)
Most contemporary chemists consider quantum mechanics to be the foundational theory of their discipline, although few of the calculations that a strict reduction would seem to require have ever been produced. In this essay I discuss contemporary algebraic and diagrammatic representations of molecular systems derived from quantum mechanical models, specifically configuration interaction wavefunctions for ab initio calculations and molecular orbital energy diagrams. My aim is to suggest that recent dissatisfaction with reductive accounts of chemical theory may stem from both the (...) inability of standard accounts of reduction to incorporate the diverse forms of representation found in chemical practice and our philosophical predilection to analyze all connections between theories in terms of logical reduction. (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)
In _The Boundaries of Babel_, Andrea Moro tells the story of an encounter between two cultures: contemporary theoretical linguistics and the cognitive neurosciences. The study of language within a biological context has been ongoing for more than fifty years. The development of neuroimaging technology offers new opportunities to enrich the "biolinguistic perspective" and extend it beyond an abstract framework for inquiry. As a leading theoretical linguist in the generative tradition and also a cognitive scientist schooled in the new imaging (...) technology, Moro is uniquely equipped to explore this. Moro examines what he calls the "hidden" revolution in contemporary science: the discovery that the number of possible grammars is not infinite and that their number is biologically limited. This radical but little-discussed change in the way we look at language, he claims, will require us to rethink not just the fundamentals of linguistics and neurosciences but also our view of the human mind. Moro searches for neurobiological correlates of "the boundaries of Babel" -- the constraints on the apparent chaotic variation in human languages -- by using an original experimental design based on artificial languages. He offers a critical overview of some of the fundamental results from linguistics over the last fifty years, in particular regarding syntax, then uses these essential aspects of language to examine two neuroimaging experiments in which he took part. He describes the two neuroimaging techniques used, but makes it clear that techniques and machines do not provide interesting data without a sound theoretical framework. Finally, he discusses some speculative aspects of modern research in biolinguistics regarding the impact of the linear structure of linguistics expression on grammar, and more generally, some core aspects of language acquisition, genetics, and evolution. (shrink)
By “Brentanian inner consciousness” I mean the conception of inner consciousness developed by Franz Brentano. The aim of this paper is threefold: first, to present Brentano’s account of inner consciousness; second, to discuss this account in light of the mereology outlined by Brentano himself; and third, to decide whether this account incurs an infinite regress. In this regard, I distinguish two kinds of infinite regress: external infinite regress and internal infinite regress. I contend that the most plausible reading of Brentano’s (...) account is the so-called fusion thesis, and I argue that internal infinite regress turns out to be inherent to Brentanian inner consciousness. (shrink)
Abstract: According to the Veridicality Thesis, information requires truth. On this view, smoke carries information about there being a fire only if there is a fire, the proposition that the earth has two moons carries information about the earth having two moons only if the earth has two moons, and so on. We reject this Veridicality Thesis. We argue that the main notions of information used in cognitive science and computer science allow A to have information about the obtaining of (...) p even when p is false. (shrink)
This paper reviews the uneven history of the relationship between Anthropology and Cognitive Science over the past 30 years, from its promising beginnings, followed by a period of disaffection, on up to the current context, which may lay the groundwork for reconsidering what Anthropology and (the rest of) Cognitive Science have to offer each other. We think that this history has important lessons to teach and has implications for contemporary efforts to restore Anthropology to its proper place within Cognitive Science. (...) The recent upsurge of interest in the ways that thought may shape and be shaped by action, gesture, cultural experience, and language sets the stage for, but so far has not fully accomplished, the inclusion of Anthropology as an equal partner. (shrink)
This collection of new essays examines philosophical issues at the intersection of feminism and autonomy studies. Are autonomy and independence useful goals for women and subordinate persons? Is autonomy possible in contexts of social subordination? Is the pursuit of desires that issue from patriarchal norms consistent with autonomous agency? How do emotions and caring relate to autonomous deliberation? Contributors to this collection answer these questions and others, advancing central debates in autonomy theory by examining basic components, normative commitments, and applications (...) of conceptions of autonomy. Several chapters look at the conditions necessary for autonomous agency and at the role that values and norms -- such as independence, equality, inclusivity, self-respect, care and femininity -- play in feminist theories of autonomy. Whereas some contributing authors focus on dimensions of autonomy that are internal to the mind -- such as deliberative reflection, desires, cares, emotions, self-identities and feelings of self-worth -- several authors address social conditions and practices that support or stifle autonomous agency, often answering questions of practical import. These include such questions as: What type of gender socialization best supports autonomous agency and feminist goals? When does adapting to severely oppressive circumstances, such as those in human trafficking, turn into a loss of autonomy? How are ideals of autonomy affected by capitalism? and How do conceptions of autonomy inform issues in bioethics, such as end-of-life decisions, or rights to bodily self-determination? (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)
The sense of agency is the experience of being the origin of a sensory consequence. This study investigates whether contextual beliefs modulate low-level sensorimotor processes which contribute to the emergence of the sense of agency. We looked at the influence of causal beliefs on ‘intentional binding’, a phenomenon which accompanies self-agency. Participants judged the onset-time of either an action or a sound which followed the action. They were induced to believe that the tone was either triggered by themselves or by (...) somebody else, although, in reality, the sound was always triggered by the participants. We found that intentional binding was stronger when participants believed that they triggered the tone, compared to when they believed that another person triggered the tone. These results suggest that high-level contextual information influences sensorimotor processes responsible for generating intentional binding. (shrink)
‘Soul’, ‘self’, ‘substance’ and ‘person’ are just four of the terms often used to refer to the human individual. Cutting across metaphysics, ethics, and religion the nature of personal identity is a fundamental and long-standing puzzle in philosophy. Personal Identity and Applied Ethics introduces and examines different conceptions of the self, our nature, and personal identity and considers the implications of these for applied ethics. A key feature of the book is that it considers a range of different approaches to (...) personal identity; philosophical, religious, and cross-cultural, including perspectives from non-Western traditions. Within this comparative framework, Andrea Sauchelli examines the following topics: -Early views of the soul in Plato, Christianity, and Descartes -The Buddhist ‘no-self’ views and the self as a fiction -Confucian ideas of our nature and the importance of self-cultivation as constitutive of the self -Locke’s theory of personal identity as continuity of consciousness and memory and objections to Locke’s argument by Butler and Reid as well as contemporary critics -The theory of ‘animalism’ and arguments concerning embodied concepts of personal identity -Practical and narrative theories of personal identity and moral agency -Personal identity and issues in applied ethics, including abortion, organ transplantation, and the idea of life after death -Implications of life-extending technologies for personal identity. Throughout the book Sauchelli also considers the views of important recent philosophers of personal identity such as Sydney Shoemaker, Bernard Williams, Derek Parfit, Marya Schechtman, and Christine Korsgaard, placing these in helpful historical context. Chapter summaries, a glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading make this a refreshing, approachable introduction to personal identity and applied ethics. It is an ideal text for courses on personal identity that consider both Western and non-Western approaches and that apply theories of personal identity to ethical problems. It will also be of interest to those in related subjects such as religious studies and history of ideas. (shrink)
In this paper I develop a conception of joint practical deliberation as a special type of shared cooperative activity, through which co-deliberators jointly accept reasons as applying to them as a pair or group. I argue, moreover, that the aspiration to deliberative “pairhood” is distinguished by a special concern for mutuality that guides each deliberator’s readiness to accept a given consideration as a reason-for-us. It matters to each of us, as joint deliberators, that each party’s (individual) reasons for accepting something (...) as a reason-for-us support a conception of our relationship as one characterized by mutual, non-instrumental concern for one another. (shrink)
Philosophical cognitivists have argued for more than four decades that emotions are special types of judgments. Anti-cognitivists have provided a series of counterexamples aiming to show that identifying emotions with judgments overintellectualizes the emotions. I provide a novel counterexample that makes the overintellectualization charge especially vivid. I discuss neurophysiological evidence to the effect that the fear system can be activated by stimuli the subject is unaware of seeing. To emphasize the analogy with blind sight , I call this phenomenon blind (...) fright . Cognitivists may reply that blindfright is nothing but an unconscious judgment subcortically elicited. This reply is in line with the strategy commonly employed by cognitivists against their critics. I call it the Elastic Strategy, because it consists of ‘stretching’ the notion of judgment in order to accommodate counterexamples. This strategy, I argue, turns cognitivism into a theory that is at worst unfalsifiable and at best trivially true. The final portion of my article aims to rescue cognitivism from the damage done by the Elastic Strategy. I distinguish three varieties of cognitivism, one concerned with what emotions essentially are (Constitutive Cognitivism), one concerned with what causes emotions (Etiological Cognitivism) and one concerned with what emotions represent (Representational Cognitivism). I conclude that what cognitivism has to offer to emotion theory are primarily insights concerning the causes and representational content of emotions. The constitutive identification of emotions with judgments, on the other hand, does more harm than good. (shrink)
This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative study to understand how active adherence to the Christian faith influences the way SME owner-managers conceptualise their business practices. The study was based on in-depth interviews with 21 Christian SME owner-managers in Germany and the UK. Using a socio-psychological approach, the data analysis yielded a range of linguistic and conceptual resources that are peculiar to Christian discourse and that have the potential to influence business activity in rather distinctive ways. This paper (...) particularly focuses on those Christian concepts that could be regarded as distinct 'frames' for action. It outlines what effect these concepts had on the respondents and how they were related to business practices. The paper also discusses how this study could inform further research into the influence of other socio-cultural forms of identity on economic actors' conceptualisations of their own practice. (shrink)
Recent feminist accounts of autonomy have focused both on autonomous agents’ relationships to others and on their self-regarding attitudes or self-relations. This chapter focuses on the attitude of practical self-care, arguing that autonomous agents must care about themselves in a sense that amounts to caring about their practical reasons. While self-care is primarily a self-relation, it also implies a form of interpersonal relationality. Caring about one’s reasons requires caring about intersubjective assessments thereof, and the relation of self-care thus implies openness (...) to the reasons of others and a disposition to hold oneself answerable for one’s identity-constituting concerns. (shrink)
Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...) in the ten countries and the United States. The experiment investigated how the gender of the protagonist, his or her level of performance, the efficacy of the enhancer and the mode of enhancement affected support for neuroenhancement in both educational and employment contexts. Of these, higher efficacy and lower performance were found to increase willingness to support enhancement. A series of commonly articulated claims about the individual and societal dimensions of neuroenhancement were derived from the public engagement activities. Underlying these claims, multivariate analysis identified two social values. The Societal/protective highlights counter normative consequences and opposes the use enhancers. The Individual/proactionary highlights opportunities and supports use. For most respondents these values are not mutually exclusive. This suggests that for many neuroenhancement is viewed simultaneously as a source of both promise and concern. (shrink)