Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...) higher‐level theories guide learning at lower levels. In addition, they help resolve certain issues for Bayesians, such as scientific preference for simplicity and the problem of new theories. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Henderson and Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology. They defend the roles of the a priori and conceptual analysis, but with an essential empirical dimension. 'Transglobal reliability' is the key to epistemic justification. The question of which cognitive processes are reliable depends on contingent facts about human capacities.
We propose an approach to epistemic justification that incorporates elements of both reliabilism and evidentialism, while also transforming these elements in significant ways. After briefly describing and motivating the non-standard version of reliabilism that Henderson and Horgan call “transglobal” reliabilism, we harness some of Henderson and Horgan’s conceptual machinery to provide a non-reliabilist account of propositional justification (i.e., evidential support). We then invoke this account, together with the notion of a transglobally reliable belief-forming process, to give an account (...) of doxastic justification. (shrink)
Some hold that beliefs arising out of certain sources such as perceptual experience enjoy a kind of entitlement—as one is entitled to believe what is thereby presented as true, at least unless further evidence undermines that entitlement. This is commonly understood to require that default epistemic entitlement is a non-evidential kind of epistemic warrant. Our project here is to challenge this common, non-evidential, conception of epistemic entitlement. We will argue that although there are indeed basic beliefs with default entitlement status, (...) typically the kind of default entitlement they possess is primarily a matter of the evidential support that accrues to them, both synchronically and diachronically, from wider mental states beyond the specific sensory-perceptual experiences that spawn them. We will call this status evidentially embedded epistemic entitlement—as distinct from entitlement as commonly understood in the literature, which we will call evidentially insular. Epistemic entitlement normally is characterized in the manner set forth in the first paragraph above, viz., as a form of default epistemic warrant that a given belief possesses independently of any other beliefs. We suggest that not all evidential support is managed at the level of belief. Thus, leaves room for the possibility of an epistemically embedded kind of entitlement. Here we develop the needed conception of entitlement drawing on Henderson and Horgan’s ideas of a kind of “iceberg epistemology.”. (shrink)
John Henderson explores three letters of Seneca describing visits to Roman villas, and surveys the whole collection to show how these villas work as designs for contrasting lives. Seneca's own place is ageing drastically; a recent Epicurean's paradise is a seductive oasis away from the dangers of Nero's Rome; once a fortress of the dour Rome of yesteryear, the legendary Scipio's lair was now a shrine to the old morality: Seneca revels in its primitive bath-house, dark and cramped, before (...) exploring the garden with the present owner. Seneca brings the philosophical epistle to Latin literature, creating models for moralizing which feature self-criticism, parody and re-animated myth. Virgil and Horace come in for rough handling, as the Latin moralist wrests ethical practice and writing away from Greek gurus and texts, and into critical thinking within a Roman context. Here is powerful teaching on metaphor and translation, on self-transformation and cultural tradition. (shrink)
Henderson, Gerard The internet age has led to a veritable explosion of knowledge-both contemporary and historical. It's just that, in free societies, there has never been a time where information is so unreliable and so in need of checking.
Outsourcing is becoming a major option in British business, including the financial services industry, and it raises a number of ethical considerations. The author of this major ethical study contends that “Outsourcing seems to present a particular threat to employees ... because of the factors which have led to outsourcing and the way in which it tends to work.” Mike Henderson is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Senior Lecturer in Financial Services in the School of (...) Financial Studies and Law of Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Pond Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, England. (shrink)
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Contemporary accounts of what it is for an agent to be justified in holding a given belief commonly carry substantive commitments concerning what cognitive processes can and should be like. In this paper, we argue that concern for the plausiblity of such psychological commitments leads to significant epistemological results. In particular, it leads to a multi-faceted epistemology in which elements of traditionally conflicting epistemologies are vindicated within a single epistemological account. We suggest thinking of the epistemologically relevant cognitive processes in (...) terms of the metaphor of an iceberg--the accessible and articulable states that have been the exclusive focus of much epistemology must, for reasons that we explain, comprise only a proper subset of epistemologically relevant processing, even as only a part of an iceburg is exposed to view. When one focuses on the interaction of accessible states and articulable information, the structure of epistemic justification looks rather like what has been called structural contextualism (Timmons 1993, Henderson 1994b). It might also be called quasi-foundationalist. Yet, given the sort of creatures we are, in attending to our epistemological tasks we must rely on processing that is sensitive to information that we could not articulate, that is not accessible in the standard internalist sense. When one focuses on the full range of epistemologically important processes, the structure of what makes for justification may be rather more like that envisioned by some coherentists. (shrink)
This volume offers an exciting new reading of John Ruskin's economic and social criticism, based on recent research into rhetoric in economics. Willie Henderson uses notions derived from literary criticism, the rhetorical turn in economics and more conventional approaches to historical economic texts to reevaluate Ruskins economic and social criticism. By identifying Ruskin's rhetoric, and by reading his work through that of Plato, Xenophon, and John Stuart Mill, Willie Henderson reveals how Ruskin manipulated a knowledge base. Moreover in (...) analysis of the writings of William Smart, John Bates Clark and Alfred Marshall, the author shows that John Ruskin's influence on the cultural significance of economics and on notions of economic well-being has been considerable. (shrink)
Alexis de Tocqueville asserted that America had no truly great literature, and that American writers merely mimicked the British and European traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This new edited collection masterfully refutes Tocqueville's monocultural myopia and reveals the distinctive role American poetry and prose have played in reflecting and passing judgment upon the core values of American democracy. The essays, profiling the work of Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Willa Cather, (...) Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe, reveal how America's greatest writers have acted as society's most ardent cheerleaders and its most penetrating critics. Christine Dunn Henderson's exciting new work offers literature as a portal through which to view the philosophical principles that animate America's political order and the mores which either reinforce or undermine them. (shrink)
Long prone to dogmatic disagreement, the question of value in Marx’s thought—what value is, the purpose it serves, its application to real-world capitalism—requires renewal if Marx’s work is to remain vibrant. In _Value in Marx_, George Henderson offers a lucid rereading of Marx that strips value of its turgid theoretical reduction and reframes it as an investigation into the tensions between social relations and forms as they are rather than as what they could otherwise become. Drawing on Marx’s _Capital_ (...) and _Grundrisse_, Henderson shows how these volumes do not harbor a single theory of value that equates value to capital. Instead, these books experimentally compose and recompose value for a world that is more than capitalist. At stake is how Marx conceives of human freedom, of balanced social arrangements, and of control over the things people produce. Henderson finds that the limits on social becoming, including the tendency toward alienated existence, haunt Marx even as he looks beyond the critique of capital to an emancipated society to come. Can these limits be confronted in a creative, even joyful, way? Can they become aspects of what we desire, rather than being silenced and denied? As long as we persist in interpreting value broadly, following it as an active and not a shut-down, predetermined feature of Marx’s texts, Henderson ultimately views Marx as responding positively to these challenges and employing value as a powerful tool of the political imaginary. (shrink)
In the wake of life-changing events—whether as global in reach as the terrorist attacks on September 11 or as personal as the death of a child—the first question that springs to mind is “Why?” Why do good people suffer pain and loss? Why does God allow these things to happen? In this simple, straightforward book, Bruce Henderson tackles some of the most difficult questions that people of faith face in their lives. Drawing from the wisdom of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg, (...) who wrestled with these same questions more than two hundred years ago, Henderson describes a universe in which God allows us free will and choice, subtly guiding the course of our lives with an insight no mortal can comprehend. Pain and suffering ultimately lead to good, and as we walk the path, we draw ever closer to heaven. In the end, the question is not why these things happen, but what good can come of them, and how we can use our gift of free will to create a better world for ourselves and others. In this, Henderson says, God is our partner and guiding hand, turning pain to hope and trust. (shrink)
What happens to us when we die? Is there really a heaven and hell? Are there angels watching over us? These questions follow us from early childhood to old age, particularly in moments when we’re confronted with the loss of a loved one. In _Window to Eternity,_ Bruce Henderson draws from the teachings of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg to paint a vivid picture of heaven and hell, where the souls of the departed become angels and demons and indescribable wonders await. (...) But far from being a distant destination, Henderson shows that heaven is a choice that each of us makes every day—ours to have or to turn away from, regardless of our background or religious upbringing. (shrink)
Increased technological and pharmacological interventions in patient care when patient outcomes are uncertain have been linked to the escalation in moral and ethical dilemmas experienced by health care providers in acute care settings. Health care research has shown that facilities that are able to attract and retain nursing staff in a competitive environment and provide high quality care have the capacity for nurses to process and resolve moral and ethical dilemmas. This article reports on the findings of a systematic review (...) of the empirical literature (1980 — February 2007) on the effects of unresolved moral distress and poor ethical climate on nurse turnover. Articles were sought to answer the review question: Does unresolved moral distress and a poor organizational ethical climate increase nurse turnover? Nine articles met the criteria of the review process. Although the prevailing sentiment was that poor ethical climate and moral distress caused staff turnover, definitive answers to the review question remain elusive because there are limited data that confidently support this statement. (shrink)
The concept of knowledge is used to certify epistemic agents as good sources (on a certain point or subject matter) for an understood audience. Attributions of knowledge and denials of knowledge are used in a kind of epistemic gate keeping for (epistemic or practical) communities with which the attributor and interlocutors are associated. When combined with reflection on kinds of practical and epistemic communities, and their situated epistemic needs for gate keeping, this simple observation regarding the point and purpose of (...) the concept of knowledge has rich implications. First, it gives one general reason to prefer contextualism over various forms of sensitive invariantism. Second, when gate keeping for a select community of experts or authorities, with an associated body of results on which folk generally might then draw (when gate keeping for a general source community ) the contextual demands approximate those with which insensitive invariantists would be comfortable. (shrink)
Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the Bayesian either does or should (...) make use of them in assigning probabilities to hypotheses. I argue that van Fraassen has not succeeded in establishing that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible, but that the existing compatibilist response is also not satisfactory. I suggest that a more promising approach to the problem is to investigate whether explanatory considerations are taken into account by a Bayesian who assigns priors and likelihoods on his or her own terms. In this case, IBE would emerge from the Bayesian account, rather than being used to constrain priors and likelihoods. I provide a detailed discussion of the case of how the Copernican and Ptolemaic theories explain retrograde motion, and suggest that one of the key explanatory considerations is the extent to which the explanation a theory provides depends on its core elements rather than on auxiliary hypotheses. I then suggest that this type of consideration is reflected in the Bayesian likelihood, given priors that a Bayesian might be inclined to adopt even without explicit guidance by IBE. The aim is to show that IBE and Bayesianism may be compatible, not because they can be amalgamated, but rather because they capture substantially similar epistemic considerations. 1 Introduction2 Preliminaries3 Inference to the Best Explanation4 Bayesianism5 The Incompatibilist View : Inference to the Best Explanation Contradicts Bayesianism5. 1 Criticism of the incompatibilist view6 Constraint - Based Compatibilism6. 1 Criticism of constraint - based compatibilism7 Emergent Compatibilism7. 1 Analysis of inference to the best explanation7. 1. 1 Inference to the best explanation on specific hypotheses7. 1. 2 Inference to the best explanation on general theories7. 1. 3 Copernicus versus Ptolemy7. 1. 4 Explanatory virtues7. 1. 5 Summary7. 2 Bayesian account8 Conclusion. (shrink)
This paper explores a position that combines contextualism regarding knowledge with the idea that the central point or purpose of the concept of knowledge is to feature in attributions that keep epistemic gate for contextually salient communities. After highlighting the main outlines and virtues of the suggested gate-keeping contextualism, two issues are pursued. First, the motivation for the view is clarified in a discussion of the relation between evaluative concepts and the purposes they serve. This clarifies why one's sense for (...) the point of an evaluative concept ought to constrain and inform one's understanding of the concept. Second, the paper explores ways of avoiding a problem in the author's earlier development of gate-keeping contextualism. The initial development of the view opened the door to a form of skepticism that would hobble an important facet of our social-epistemic lives. (shrink)
Potts (2005) and many subsequent works have argued that the semantic content of appositive (non-restrictive) relative clauses, e.g., the underlined material in John, who nearly killed a woman with his car, visited her in the hospital, must be in some way separate from the content of the rest of the sentence, i.e., from at-issue content. At the same time, there is mounting evidence from various anaphoric processes that the two kinds of content must be integrated into a single, incrementally evolving (...) semantic representation. The challenge is how to reconcile this informational separation with these pervasive anaphoric connections. We propose a dynamic semantic account that accomplishes this by taking appositive and at-issue content to involve two different kinds of updates to the Context Set (CS). Treating the context set as a distinguished propositional variable, pcs, we argue that appositives directly impose their content on the CS by eliminating possible values assigned to pcs. In contrast, we treat at-issue assertions as introducing a new propositional dref and proposing that pcs be updated with its content, subject to addressee's response. In addition to capturing the behavior of appositives in discourse, we show that the account can be extended to capture the projection of appositive content past various sentential operators. (shrink)
One of the central points of contention in the epistemology of testimony concerns the uniqueness (or not) of the justification of beliefs formed through testimony--whether such justification can be accounted for in terms of, or 'reduced to,' other familiar sort of justification, e.g. without relying on any epistemic principles unique to testimony. One influential argument for the reductionist position, found in the work of Elizabeth Fricker, argues by appeal to the need for the hearer to monitor the testimony for credibility. (...) Fricker (1994) argues, first, that some monitoring for trustworthiness is required if the hearer is to avoid being gullible, and second, that reductionism but not anti-reductionism is compatible with ascribing an important role to the process of monitoring in the course of justifiably accepting observed testimony. In this paper we argue that such an argument fails. (shrink)
Alvin Goldman’s contributions to contemporary epistemology are impressive—few epistemologists have provided others so many occasions for reflecting on the fundamental character of their discipline and its concepts. His work has informed the way epistemological questions have changed (and remained consistent) over the last two decades. We (the authors of this paper) can perhaps best suggest our indebtedness by noting that there is probably no paper on epistemology that either of us individually or jointly have produced that does not in its (...) notes and references bear clear testimony to the influence of Professor Goldman’s arguments. The present paper is no exception (and this would be a particularly inapt place to break with our tradition of indebtedness). Professor Goldman has produced a series of discussions that we find particularly important for coming to terms with the venerable idea that there may be truths that can be known a priori (Goldman 1992a, 1992b, 1999). We do not altogether follow his lead, while he draws on the idea that a priori justification has something to do with innateness or processess, we prefer to accentuate the idea that a priori justification turns on a conceptually grounded truths and access via acquired conceptual competence (at least in many significant philosophical cases). Still, in developing our understanding we have been aided by much that Professor Goldman says regarding concepts, conceptual competence, and related psychological processes. The influences should become progressively clear, particularly in the later sections of this paper. What would it take for there to be a priori knowledge or justification? We can begin by reflecting on a widely agreed on answer to this question—one that purports to identify something that would at least be adequate for a priori justification. The answer will then serve as one anchor for the present investigation, a bit of shared ground on which empiricists and rationalists can, and typically do, agree.. (shrink)
This paper focuses on examining the dynamic nature of community supported agriculture (CSA) and the real-world experiences which mark its contours, often making it distinct from the early idealized CSA “model.” Specifically, our study examines the narratives of the farmers of Devon Acres CSA over its duration, in tandem with a survey of recent shareholders in order to understand and explain its evolution. The framework we develop here shows that this CSA is largely characterized by instrumental and functional beliefs and (...) practices, with some elements in the collaborative mode. A key contribution of this research is the development of a framework which helps to highlight the relative fluidity and patchwork quality of CSA participant positions over time. At Devon Acres, the real-world factors and issues influencing CSA evolution are seen to be products of both the local and larger contexts, evident in such areas as shifts in farmer learning and adaptation, differences between beliefs and practices in member volunteer efforts, and changes in farm and resource conditions. With respect to CSA more broadly, we argue that the reality of dominant food system context and site-specific influences on CSA development compels us to rework our attachment to early idealized “model” traits. Expansion in CSA numbers, evidence of adaptation and situated learning, and retention of the local and organic as core traits, speak to the pragmatic yet transformative potential of CSA contribution to food system change. (shrink)
Reliablists have argued that the important evaluative epistemic concept of being justified in holding a belief, at least to the extent that that concept is associated with knowledge, is best understood as concerned with the objective appropriateness of the processes by which a given belief is generated and sustained. In particular, they hold that a belief is justified only when it is fostered by processes that are reliable (at least minimally so) in the believer’s actual world. Of course, reliablists typically (...) recognize other concepts of justification--typically subjective notions--which are given a noncompeting sort of epistemic legitimacy. However, they have tended to focus on the epistemically central notion of "strong justification," and have come to settle on this familiar reliablist analysis, supposing that it pretty much exhausts what there is to say about "objective justification.". (shrink)
The doctrine is familiar. In a sentence, a priori truths are those that are knowable on the basis of reflection alone (independent of experience) by anyone who has acquired the relevant concepts. This expresses the classical conception of the a priori. Of course, there are those who despair of finding any truths that fully meet these demands. Some of the doubters are convinced, however, that the demands, are somewhat inflated by an epistemological tradition that was nevertheless on to something of (...) importance. These thinkers would then seek to reconceive the a priori somewhat--accommodating some of the classical demands within a "retentive analysis." Ultimately, we will urge a place for both the classical conception and a complementary revisionary but retentive conception as well. (shrink)
The night sky has been radically altered by light pollution, artificially produced light that obscures the stars. The effects and costs of this are diverse and poorly appreciated. A survey of the economically quantifiable aspects of this problem demonstrates that the value of the starry sky is immense, and yet it remains stubbornly beyond the ken of the market. The attempts to quantify this value and the ultimate impossibility of the task give lie to the economic pretense that the dollar (...) can commensurate all value. The case of light pollution exemplifies the importance of regulation to the protection of environmental value. (shrink)
In What Philosophers Know, Gary Gutting provides an epistemology of philosophical reflection. This paper focuses on the roles that various intuitive inputs are said to play in philosophical thought. Gutting argues that philosophers are defeasibly entitled to believe some of these, prior to the outcome of the philosophical reflection, and that they then rightly serve as significant (again defeasible) anchors on reflection. This paper develops a view of epistemic entitlement and applies it to argue that many prephilosophical convictions of the (...) kind Gutting discusses would be just the sort of belief for which entitlement would plausibly be defeated from the start. They then could not properly play the role in philosophical reflection that Gutting envisions for them. (shrink)
Common formulations of the principle of charity in translation seem to undermine attributions of irrationality in social scientific accounts that are otherwise unexceptionable. This I call the problem of irrationality. Here I resolve the problem of irrationality by developing two complementary views of the principle of charity. First, I develop the view (ill-developed in the literature at present) that the principle of charity is preparatory, being needed in the construction of provisional first-approximation translation manuals. These serve as the basis for (...) explanatory accounts and associated refinements in the translation manual. In developing such explanatory accounts, the principle of charity is no longer constraining. Thus, the principle of charity applies only in the early stages of constructing translation manuals, and there is no problem of irrationality in the later stages of constructing translation manuals. Second, I reduce the principle of charity, where it does apply, to a special case of what I call the principle of explicability: so translate as to attribute explicable beliefs and practices to the speakers of the source-language. I show that the appropriate formulation of the principle of charity counsels just what the principle of explicability requires in the early stages of social scientific investigation. (shrink)
This paper explores the role and limits of cognitive simulation in understanding or explaining others. In simulation, one puts one's own cognitive processes to work on pretend input similar to that one supposes that the other plausibly had. Such a process is highly useful. However, it is also limited in important ways. Several limitations fall out from the various forms of cognitive diversity. Some of this diversity results from cultural differences, or from differences in individuals' cognitive biographies. Such diversity is (...) clearly important in history. Some sorts of such diversity are discussed, with attention to the results of contemporary cognitive science. It is argued that one must sometimes employ mixed (simulation-based/theory-based) strategies, and that sometimes what is done will be neither purely simulation nor purely theory-based. (shrink)
It seems that hope springs eternal for the cherished idea that norms (or normativeprinciples) explain actions or regularities in actions. But it also seems thatthere are many ways of going wrong when taking norms and normative principlesas explanatory. The author argues that neither norms nor normative principlesinsofar as they are the sort of things with normative forceis explanatoryof what is done. He considers the matter using both erotetic and ontic models ofexplanation. He further considers various understandings of norms. Key Words: (...) explanation norms social science rationality. (shrink)
In recent years the literature on bioethics has begun to pose the sociological challenge of how to explore organisational processes that facilitate a systemic response to ethical concerns. The present discussion seeks to make a contribution to this important new direction in ethical research by presenting findings from an Australian pilot study. The research was initiated by the Clinical Ethics Committee of Redland Hospital at Bayside Health Service District in Queensland, Australia, and explores health professionals’ understanding of the nature of (...) ethics and their experience with ethical decision-making within an acute medical ward. This study focuses on the actual experience, understanding and attitudes of clinical professionals in a general medical ward. In particular, the discussion explores the specific findings from the study concerned with how a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals define and operationalise the notion of ethics in an acute ward hospital setting. The key issue reported is that health professionals are not only able to clearly articulate notions of ethics, but that the notions expressed by a multi-disciplinary diversity of participants share a common definitional concept of ethics as patient-centred care. The central finding is that all professional groups indicated that there is a guiding principle to address their ethical sense of the ‘good’ or the ‘ought’ and that is to act in a way that furthered the interests of patients and their families. The findings affirm the importance of a sociological perspective as a productive new direction in bioethical research. (shrink)
Familiar accounts have it that one explains thoughts or actions by showing them to be rational. It is common to find that the standards of rationality presupposed in these accounts are drawn from what would be thought to be aprioristic sources. I advance an argument to show this must be mistaken. But, recent work in epistemology and on rationality takes a less aprioristic approach to such standards. Does the new (psychological or cognitive scientific) realism in accounts of rationality itself significantly (...) improve the prospects for unproblematic forms of rationalizing explanation? Do earlier misgivings about rationalizing explanation ring hollow when the rationality to be attributed is "naturalized"? Answer: while explanation in terms of naturalized rationality would be free of one fatal flaw possessed by explanation in terms of rationality understood in the traditional fashion, it would yet have parallel flaws. (shrink)
Descriptions of social norms can be explanatory. The erotetic approach to explanation provides a useful framework. I describe one very broad kind of explanation-seeking why-question, a genus that is common to the special sciences, and argue that descriptions of norms can serve as an answer to such why-questions. I draw upon Woodwards recent discussion of the explanatory role of generalizations with a significant degree of invariance. Descriptions of norms provide what is, in effect, a generalization regarding the kind of historically (...) contingent system a group or society, a generalization with a significant degree of invariance. Key Words: explanation invariance norms social sciences erotetic laws. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.