Ancient Egyptian Wisdom for the Internet demonstrates that the legal philosophy and knowledge of ancient civilizations are of great value in helping us deal with the Internet. Through a challenging exploration of ancient legal knowledge this book offers new perspective on how to deal with, and best profit from the Internet.
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)
This conversation between two scholars of international law focuses on the contemporary realities of feminist analysis of international law and on current and future spaces of resistance. It notes that feminism has moved from the margin towards the centre, but that this has also come at a cost. As the language of women’s rights and gender equality has travelled into the international policy worlds of crisis management and peace and security, feminist scholars need to become more careful in their analysis (...) and find new ways of resistance. While noting that we live in dangerous times, this is also a hopeful discussion. (shrink)
Psychopathy is a personality disorder frequently associated with immoral behaviors. Previous behavioral studies on the influence of psychopathy on moral decision have yielded contradictory results, possibly because they focused either on judgment (abstract evaluation) or on choice of hypothetical action, two processes that may rely on different mechanisms. In this study, we explored the influence of the level of psychopathic traits on judgment and choice of hypothetical action during moral dilemma evaluation. A population of 102 students completed a questionnaire with (...) ten moral dilemmas and nine non-moral dilemmas. The task included questions targeting both judgment (“Is it acceptable to … in order to …?”) and choice of hypothetical action (“Would you … in order to …?”). The level of psychopathic traits of each participant was evaluated with the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy (LSRP) scale. Logistic regression fitted with the generalized estimating equations method analyses were conducted using responses to the judgment and choice tasks as the dependent variables and psychopathy scores as predictor. Results show that a high level of psychopathic traits, and more specifically those related to affective deficit, predicted a greater proportion of utilitarian responses for the choice but not for the judgment question. There was no first-order interaction between the level of psychopathic traits and other potential predictors. The relation between a high level of psychopathic traits and increased utilitarianism in choice of action but not in moral judgment may explain the contradictory results of previous studies where these two processes were not contrasted. It also gives further support to the hypothesis that choice of action endorsement and abstract judgment during moral dilemma evaluation are partially distinct neural and psychological processes. We propose that this distinction should be better taken into account in the evaluation of psychopathic behaviors. (shrink)
Intuitively, we often see absences. For example, if someone steals your laptop at a café, you may see its absence from your table. However, absence perception presents a paradox. On prevailing models of perception, we see only present objects and scenes (Marr, Gibson, Dretske). So, we cannot literally see something that is not present. This suggests that we never literally perceive absences; instead, we come to believe that something is absent cognitively on the basis of what we perceive. But this (...) cognitive explanation does not do justice to the phenomenology. Many experiences of absence possess immediate, perceptual qualities. One may further argue that the ability to detect certain absences confers strong adaptive advantage and therefore must be as primitive and fundamental to humans as seeing positive things. I argue that we can literally see absences; in addition to representing objects, perception represents absences of objects. I present a model of seeing absence based on visual expectations and a visual matching process. The phenomenon of seeing absence can thus serve as an adequacy-test for a theory of perceptual content. If experiences of absence are possible, then we have another reason (following Siegel) to reject the view that perceptual content is restricted to colors and shapes. Furthermore, if the proposed account is correct, then we have grounds for dissociating seeing absence from other imagery-based phenomena termed “perceptual presence-in-absence” (Noë, Macpherson). (shrink)
Many political theorists today deny that citizenship can be defended on liberal grounds alone. Cosmopolitans claim that loyalty to a particular state is incompatible with universal liberal principles, which hold that we have equal duties of justice to persons everywhere, while nationalist theorists justify civic obligations only by reaching beyond liberal principles and invoking the importance of national culture. In Liberal Loyalty, Anna Stilz challenges both views by defending a distinctively liberal understanding of citizenship. Drawing on Kant, Rousseau, and (...) Habermas, Stilz argues that we owe civic obligations to the state if it is sufficiently just, and that constitutionally enshrined principles of justice in themselves--rather than territory, common language, or shared culture--are grounds for obedience to our particular state and for democratic solidarity with our fellow citizens. She demonstrates that specifying what freedom and equality mean among a particular people requires their democratic participation together as a group. Justice, therefore, depends on the authority of the democratic state because there is no way equal freedom can be defined or guaranteed without it. Yet, as Stilz shows, this does not mean that each of us should entertain some vague loyalty to democracy in general. Citizens are politically obligated to their own state and to each other, because within their particular democracy they define and ultimately guarantee their own civil rights. Liberal Loyalty is a persuasive defense of citizenship on purely liberal grounds. (shrink)
The Orwell centenary of 2003 has come and gone, but the pace of academic publications that usually accompany such biographical milestones has not slackened. The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell was released in summer 2007, John Rodden's Every Intellectual's Big Brother: George Orwell's Literary Siblings was published in 2006, On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future, the proceedings of a 1999 conference, came out in 2005. The striking thing about many of these publications, not to mention the ones which emerged (...) out of the commemorative activities of 2003 itself, is that they are more concerned with Orwell's reputation and relevance today than with his oeuvre as such. As many as five chapters of the Cambridge Companion have a “posthumous” focus; the proceedings of the largest centenary conference, George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century, raise the issue of Orwell and the war in Iraq more frequently than that of Orwell and World War II.The latter is not entirely surprising for an American conference which featured the “liberal hawk” and former Trotskyist journalist Christopher Hitchens as the keynote speaker, and whose proceedings were edited in accordance with a corresponding political agenda, but it is also indicative of a larger phenomenon, a phenomenon most thoroughly examined by John Rodden in books like George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation and Scenes from an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell. Few imaginative writers have been so compulsively remoulded, coopted, and invoked outside of their proper literary sphere; as Rodden's scrupulous documentation shows, no modern crisis from the Cold War to the war on terror has gone by without an Orwell headline to define it. What, one may ask, are the mechanisms behind this astounding popularity? How are reputations on this vast scale made? Looking at “the writer and his work” will only get one so far; one must also look outward, for the world's perception of Orwell is as interesting and intriguing a subject as Orwell himself. Rodden, the most prolific Orwell critic publishing today, has made this reception history his focus. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increasing focus on a crucial aspect of the ‘meeting of minds’ problem :160–165, 2013), namely the ability that human beings have for sharing different types of mental states such as emotions, intentions, and perceptual experiences. In this paper I examine what counts as basic forms of ‘shared experiences’ and focus on a relatively overlooked aspect of human embodiment, namely the fact that we start our journey into our experiential life within the experiencing body (...) of a second person, i.e. our mothers. For example, Zahavi and Rochat recently draw on phenomenological insights and developmental studies in order to support the idea that empathy must be considered a central precondition for experiential sharing. Here I suggest that the defence of the primacy of empathy over experiential sharing might reveal how we are often mislead in our understanding of more basic forms of shared experiences. I argue that while previous approaches mainly defined experiential sharing by using the case of visual experience as a paradigmatic example of ‘togetherness’, it is fruitful to consider the case of pregnancy and intersubjective touch in early infancy as a more basic model of experiential sharing in general. I conclude that shared experiences are phenomena emerging first and foremost from a ‘meeting of bodies’ rather than of minds and as such they precede rather than presuppose empathetic abilities. (shrink)
This paper proposes a novel account of the contents of memory. By drawing on insights from the philosophy of perception, I propose a hybrid account of the contents of memory designed to preserve important aspects of representationalist and relationalist views. The hybrid view I propose also contributes to two ongoing debates in philosophy of memory. First, I argue that, in opposition to eternalist views, the hybrid view offers a less metaphysically-charged solution to the co-temporality problem. Second, I show how the (...) hybrid view conceives of the relationship between episodic memory and other forms of episodic thinking. I conclude by considering some disanalogies between perception and memory and by replying to objections. I argue that, despite there being important differences between memory and perception, those differences do not harm my project. (shrink)
Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical (...) cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind", while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures. (shrink)
Richard Bradley and others endorse Reverse Bayesianism as the way to model awareness growth. I raise a problem for Reverse Bayesianism—at least for the general version that Bradley endorses—and argue that there is no plausible way to restrict the principle that will give us the right results. To get the right results, we need to pay attention to the attitudes that agents have towards propositions of which they are unaware. This raises more general questions about how awareness growth should be (...) modelled. (shrink)
That there could be ontologically complex concrete particulars is self-evidently true. A reductio may however be formulated which contradicts this truth. In this paper I argue that all of the reasonable ways in which we might refute this reductio will require the existence of at least some tropes.
What is it like to be a good person? I examine and reject suggestions that this will involve having thoughts which have virtue or being a good person as part of their content, as well as suggestions that it might be the presence of feelings distinct from the virtuous person’s thoughts. Is there, then, anything after all to the phenomenology of virtue? I suggest that an answer is to be found in looking to Aristotle’s suggestion that virtuous activity is pleasant (...) to the virtuous person. I try to do this, using the work of the contemporary social psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and his work on the ‘flow experience’. Crucial here is the point that I consider accounts of virtue which take it to have the structure of a practical expertise or skill. It is when we are most engaged in skilful complex activity that the activity is experienced as ‘unimpeded’, in Aristotle’s terms, or as ‘flow’. This experience does not, as might at first appear, preclude thoughtful involvement and reflection. Although we can say what in general the phenomenology of virtue is like, each of us only has some more or less dim idea of it from the extent to which we are virtuous—that is, for most of us, not very much. (shrink)
In this Introduction we introduce the central themes of the Evaluative Perception volume. After identifying historical and recent contemporary work on this topic, we discuss some central questions under three headings: (1) Questions about the Existence and Nature of Evaluative Perception: Are there perceptual experiences of values? If so, what is their nature? Are experiences of values sui generis? Are values necessary for certain kinds of experience? (2) Questions about the Epistemology of Evaluative Perception: Can evaluative experiences ever justify evaluative (...) judgments? Are experiences of values necessary for certain kinds of justified evaluative judgments? (3) Questions about Value Theory and Evaluative Perception: Is the existence of evaluative experience supported or undermined by particular views in value theory? Are particular views in value theory supported or undermined by the existence of value experience? (shrink)
Imagination and belief are obviously different. Imagining that you have won the lottery is not quite the same as believing that you have won. But what is the difference? According to a standard view in the contemporary debate, they differ in two key functional respects. First, with respect to the cognitive inputs to which they respond: imaginings do not respond to real-world evidence as beliefs do. Second, with respect to the behavioural outputs that they produce: imaginings do not motivate us (...) to act as beliefs do. I argue that this view is mistaken in one important respect. The distinction between imagination and belief does lie at the functional level; but the relevant functional difference does not concern behavioural outputs – since, in spite of appearances, imaginings and beliefs motivate us to act in the same ways. To see the difference, we need to focus on the inputs side – and, relatedly, on the sorts of inferential relations that imaginings and beliefs bear to each other. I show that this view does not have the absurd consequences that it may prima facie seem to have; on the contrary, it has important implications for our understanding of how the mind works. (shrink)
How many hairs must a person lose before they become bald? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of answering this. This is because “bald”, along with a large number of other words, is vague. This vagueness causes problems and Anna Mahtani specialises in thinking very precisely about these problems….
Modifying the descriptive and theoretical generalizations of Relativized Minimality, we argue that a significant subset of weak island violations arise when an extracted phrase should scope over some intervener but is unable to. Harmless interveners seem harmless because they can support an alternative reading. This paper focuses on why certain wh-phrases are poor wide scope takers, and offers an algebraic perspective on scope interaction. Each scopal element SE is associated with certain operations (e.g., not with complements). When a wh-phrase scopes (...) over some SE, the operations associated with that SE are performed in its denotation domain. The requisite operations may or may not be available in a domain, however. We present an empirical analysis of a variety of wh-phrases. It is argued that the wh-phrases that escape all weak islands (i.e., can scope over any intervener) are those that range over individuals, the reason being that all Boolean operations are defined for their domain. Collectives, manners, amounts, numbers, etc. all denote in domains with fewer operations and are thus selectively sensitive to scopal interveners—a “semantic relativized minimality effect”. (shrink)
This paper is about the standard Reflection Principle :235–256, 1984) and the Group Reflection Principle :478–502, 2007; Bovens and Rabinowicz in Episteme 8:281–300, 2011; Titelbaum in Quitting certainties: a Bayesian framework modeling degrees of belief, OUP, Oxford, 2012; Hedden in Mind 124:449–491, 2015). I argue that these principles are incomplete as they stand. The key point is that deference is an intensional relation, and so whether you are rationally required to defer to a person at a time can depend on (...) how that person and that time are designated. In this paper I suggest a way of completing the Reflection Principle and Group Reflection Principle, and I argue that so completed these principles are plausible. In particular, they do not fall foul of the Sleeping Beauty case :143–147, 2000), the Cable Guy Paradox :112–119, 2005), Arntzenius’ prisoner cases :356–370, 2003), or the Puzzle of the Hats :281–300, 2011). (shrink)
This book intervenes in the field of intersectionality studies: the integrative examination of the effects of racial, gendered, and class power on people’s lives. While “intersectionality” circulates as a buzzword, Anna Carastathis joins other critical voices to urge a more careful reading. Challenging the narratives of arrival that surround it, Carastathis argues that intersectionality is a horizon, illuminating ways of thinking that have yet to be realized; consequently, calls to “go beyond” intersectionality are premature. A provisional interpretation of intersectionality (...) can disorient habits of essentialism, categorial purity, and prototypicality and overcome dynamics of segregation and subordination in political movements. -/- Through a close reading of critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s germinal texts, published more than twenty-five years ago, Carastathis urges analytic clarity, contextual rigor, and a politicized, historicized understanding of this widely traveling concept. Intersectionality’s roots in social justice movements and critical intellectual projects—specifically Black feminism—must be retraced and synthesized with a decolonial analysis so its radical potential to actualize coalitions can be enacted. (shrink)
Superstition and confabulation are extremely pervasive in our cognitive lives. Whilst both these phenomena are widely discussed in the recent psychological literature, however, the relationship between them has not been the object of much explicit attention. In this paper, I argue that this relationship is actually very close, and deserves indepth consideration. I argue that superstitious and confabulatory attitudes share several key features and are rooted in the same psychological mechanisms. Moreover, some of the key features that superstitious and confabulatory (...) attitudes share reveal such attitudes to be non-doxastic in nature, with important implications for our assessment of their epistemic rationality. Many instances of what we call superstitious and confabulatory ‘beliefs’ are not, in fact, beliefs; hence, entertaining them may be less irrational than it prima facie seems to be. (shrink)
The Anna Karenina Theory says: all conscious states are alike; each unconscious state is unconscious in its own way. This note argues that many components have to function properly to produce consciousness, but failure in any one of many different ones can yield an unconscious state in different ways. In that sense the Anna Karenina theory is true. But in another respect it is false: kinds of unconsciousness depend on kinds of consciousness.
Affordances, i.e. the opportunity of actions offered by the environment, are one of the central research topics for the theoretical perspectives that view cognition as emerging from the interaction between the environment and the body. Being at the bridge between perception and action, affordances help to question a dichotomous view of perception and action. While Gibson’s view of affordances is mainly externalist, many contemporary approaches define affordances as the product of long-term visuomotor associations in the brain. These studies have emphasized (...) the fact that affordances are activated automatically, independently from the context and the previous intention to act: for example, affordances related to objects’ size would emerge even if the task does not require focusing on size. This emphasis on the automaticity of affordances has led to overlook their flexibility and contextual-dependency. In this contribution I will outline and discuss recent perspectives and evidence that reveal the flexibility and context-dependency of affordances, clarifying how they are modulated by the physical, cultural and social context. I will focus specifically on social affordances, i.e. on how perception of affordances might be influenced by the presence of multiple actors having different goals. (shrink)
In this study I explore from a phenomenological perspective the relationship between affectivity and narrative self-understanding in depression. Phenomenological accounts often conceive of the disorder as involving disturbances of the narrative self and suggest that these disturbances are related to the alterations of emotions and moods typical of the illness. In this paper I expand these accounts by advancing two sets of claims. In the first place, I suggest that, due to the loss of feeling characteristic of the illness, the (...) narratives with which the patients identified prior to the onset of depression are altered in various ways, thus leading to the weakening or abandonment of the narratives themselves. I then move to show that these autobiographical narratives are replaced by new stories which possess a distinctive structure and I argue that this is dependent upon specific configurations of affective experience, such as existential feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and isolation, and particular forms of temporal and spatial experience. (shrink)
This volume introduces readers to a selected number of core issues in metaphysics that have been central in the history of philosophy and remain foundational to contemporary debates, that is: substances; properties; modality and essence; causality; determinism and free will. Anna Marmodoro and Erasmus Mayr take a neo-Aristotelian approach both in the selection and presentation of the topics. But Marmodoro and Mayr's discussion is not narrowly partisan-it consistently presents opposing sides of the debate and addresses issues from different philosophical (...) traditions, and encourages readers to draw their own conclusions about them. (shrink)
This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...) theory of perception can provide a framework for such a view and I devote the rest of the paper to developing my own pragmatic and Peircean theory of perception. In particular, I argue that considering perception as a continuous temporal process, which essentially involves interaction with the environment, allows us to do justice to the Hybrid Triad. I motivate this view by discussing how a pragmatic theory of perception would deal with issues such as the distinction between veridical and non-veridical experiences and the nature of perceptual objects. (shrink)
We construct two recursive models of fragments of set theory. We also show that the fragments of Kripke-Platek set theory that prove -induction for -formulas have no recursive models but the standard model of the hereditarily finite sets.
As Justin Biddle and I have argued, climate skepticism can be epistemically problematic when it displays a systematic intolerance of producer risks at the expense of public risks : 261–278, 2015). In this paper, I will provide currently available empirical evidence that supports our account, and I discuss the normative consequences of climate skepticism by drawing upon Philip Kitcher’s “Millian argument against the freedom of inquiry.” Finally, I argue that even though concerns regarding inappropriate disqualification of dissent are reasonable, a (...) form of “targeting” dissent—namely revealing manufactured dissent—is required in order to identify epistemically detrimental dissent and, thus, to protect scientific and public discourse. (shrink)