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)
This important new book by one of the world's leading political theorists boldly questions the moral justification for organizing our world as a territorial states-system and proposes major changes to states' sovereign powers.
Can social phenomena be understood by analyzing their parts? Contemporary economic theory often assumes that they can. The methodology of constructing models which trace the behavior of perfectly rational agents in idealized environments rests on the premise that such models, while restricted, help us isolate tendencies, that is, the stable separate effects of economic causes that can be used to explain and predict economic phenomena. In this paper, I question both the claim that models in economics supply claims about tendencies (...) and also the view that economics, when successful, necessarily follows this method. When economics licenses successful policy interventions, as it did in the case of the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions, its method is not to study tendencies but rather to study the phenomenon as a whole. Key Words: economic models tendencies economic experiments policy making John Stuart Mill. (shrink)
The concept of ‘pareto superiority’ plays a central role in ethics, economics, and law. Pareto superiority is sometimes taken as a relation between outcomes, and sometimes as a relation between actions—even where the outcomes of the actions are uncertain. Whether one action is classed as pareto superior to another depends on the prospects under the actions for each person concerned. I argue that a person’s prospects can depend on how that person is designated. Without any constraints on acceptable designators, then, (...) the concept of pareto superiority is ill defined and gives inconsistent results. I consider various ways of completing the definition and draw out some surprising implications. (shrink)
This article aims to provide a critical map of toleration as it is displayed in contemporary democracy. It does so by presenting three conceptions of toleration to which current practices of toleration can be traced, and, precisely, these are the standard notion, the political conception based on the neutrality principle, and toleration as recognition. The author argues that the latter is the appropriate conception to address the politically relevant issues of toleration arising in pluralistic democracy, while the first is adequate (...) only for social relations. In order to illustrate this argument, she presents a case of a contested and never solved request for a place of worship by the Muslims of Vercelli which represents an example of a very restricted and minimal interpretation of the standard notion, labeled ‘disrespectful tolerance’. The case is meant to show that unacceptable forms of toleration are still practised, and that the standard notion, here interpreted in the most minimal and negative way, is inappropriate for democratic politics. (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)
There has recently been a resurgence of philosophical and scientific interest in the foundations of self-consciousness, with particular focus on its altered, anomalous forms. This paper looks at the altered forms of self-awareness in Depersonalization Disorder, a condition in which people feel detached from their self, their body and the world. Building upon the phenomenological distinction between reflective and pre-reflective self-consciousness, we argue that DPD may alter the transparency of basic embodied forms of pre-reflective self-consciousness, as well as the capacity (...) to flexibly modulate and switch between the reflective and pre-reflective facets of self-awareness. Empirical evidence will be invoked in support of the idea that impaired processing of bodily signals is characteristic of the condition. We provide first-hand subjective reports describing the experience of self-detachment or fracture between an observing and an observed self. This split is compared with similar self-detachment phenomena reported in certain Buddhist-derived meditative practices. We suggest that these alterations and changes may reveal the underlying and tacit transparency that characterises the embodied and basic pre-reflective forms of self-consciousness, in the same way that a crack in a transparent glass may indicate the presence of an unnoticed window. (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)
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)
There is an ongoing debate in the metaphysics of dispositions regarding which type of modality governs their manifestation. This paper assumes as its default position the view that dispositions manifest by conditional necessity; that is, when in appropriate circumstances dispositions manifest necessarily. From this standpoint, the paper engages critically with an existing alternative in the literature, put forward most prominently by Mumford and Anjum, and known as dispositional modality. According to this latter view, even when in appropriate manifestation conditions, dispositions (...) only merely tend towards their manifestation. By raising difficulties for this alternative, the paper offers indirect support for the conditional necessity view. (shrink)
This paper aims to critique the phenomenon of advanced patient autonomy and choice in healthcare within the specific context of self-testing devices. A growing number of self-testing medical devices are currently available for home use. The premise underpinning many of these devices is that they assist individuals to be more autonomous in the assessment and management of their health. Increased patient autonomy is assumed to be a good thing. We take issue with this assumption and argue that self-testing provides a (...) specific example how increased patient autonomy and choice within healthcare might not best serve the patient population. We propose that current interpretations of autonomy in healthcare are based on negative accounts of liberty to the detriment of a more relational understanding. We also propose that Kantian philosophy is often applied to the healthcare arena in an inappropriate manner. We draw on the philosophical literature and examples from the self-testing process to support these claims. We conclude by offering an alternative account of autonomy based on the interrelated concepts of relationality, care and responsibility. (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….
Technology has developed to the point where a clear distinction between nature and culture seems to be dissolving. Against this background, a broad aspect of social research has emerged that considers an interdependence between the social and the material. So far, social-systems cybernetics as described by Luhmann has remained rather marginalized in these discussions. This article is intended to overcome this marginalization by developing the concept of meaning. Meaning can abstractly be defined as a ‘doing negativity’. Returning to systems theory, (...) it becomes obvious that verbalized meaning is only one possible medium of meaning. Adopting some concepts from Helmuth Plessner, I introduce another medium of meaning – corporealized meaning, which also operates meaningfully along the distinction between actuality and potentiality, and thus does negativity. I discuss consequences of observing the relationship between sociality and materiality from this perspective. (shrink)
It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...) I argue that the psychological claim — that a capacity for mental simulation explains our intuitive judgements — does not, even if true, provide reasons to reject rationalism. (More generally, a simulation hypothesis, about any category of judgements, is very limited in its epistemological implications: it is pitched at a level of explanation that is insensitive to central epistemic distinctions.) I also argue that Williamson’s semantic claim — that intuitive judgements are judgements of counterfactuals — is mistaken; rather, I propose, they are a certain kind of metaphysical possibility judgement. Several other competing proposals are also examined and criticized. (shrink)
Our ability to attend selectively to our surroundings - noticing things that matter, ignoring those that don't - is crucial if we are to negotiate the world around us. This is the first book in years to explore just how our attention can be influenced by time, and how our own perception of time can be influenced by what we attend to.
Our claim in this paper is that not being identified as the data source might cause harm to a person or group. Therefore, in some cases the default of anonymisation should be replaced by a careful deliberation, together with research subjects, of how to handle the issues of identification and confidentiality. Our prime example in this article is community participatory research and similar endeavours on indigenous groups. The theme, content and aim of the research, and the question of how to (...) handle property rights and ownership of research results, as well as who should be in charge of the research process, including the process of creating anonymity, should all be answered, before anonymity is accepted. (shrink)
Radical enactivism, an increasingly influential approach to cognition in general, has recently been applied to memory in particular, with Hutto and Peeters New directions in the philosophy of memory, Routledge, New York, 2018) providing the first systematic discussion of the implications of the approach for mainstream philosophical theories of memory. Hutto and Peeters argue that radical enactivism, which entails a conception of memory traces as contentless, is fundamentally at odds with current causal and postcausal theories, which remain committed to a (...) conception of traces as contentful: on their view, if radical enactivism is right, then the relevant theories are wrong. Partisans of the theories in question might respond to Hutto and Peeters’ argument in two ways. First, they might challenge radical enactivism itself. Second, they might challenge the conditional claim that, if radical enactivism is right, then their theories are wrong. In this paper, we develop the latter response, arguing that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, radical enactivism in fact aligns neatly with an emerging tendency in the philosophy of memory: radical enactivists and causal and postcausal theorists of memory have begun to converge, for distinct but compatible reasons, on a contentless conception of memory traces. (shrink)
Recent progress in synthetic biology has enabled the development of novel therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of human disease. In the near future, first-in-human trials will be indicated. FIH trials mark a key milestone in the translation of medical SynBio applications into clinical practice. Fostered by uncertainty of possible adverse events for trial participants, a variety of ethical concerns emerge with regards to SynBio FIH trials, including ‘risk’ minimization. These concerns are associated with any FIH trial, however, due to the (...) novelty of the approach, they become more pronounced for medical applications of emerging technologies like SynBio. To minimize potential harm for trial participants, scholars, guidelines, regulations and policy makers alike suggest using ‘risk assessment’ as evaluation tool for such trials. Conversely, in the context of emTech FIH trials, we believe it to be at least questionable to contextualize uncertainty of potential adverse events as ‘risk’ and apply traditional risk assessment methods. Hence, this issue needs to be discussed to enable alterations of the evaluation process before the translational phase of SynBio applications begins. In this paper, we will take the opportunity to start the debate and highlight how a misunderstanding of the concept of risk, and the possibilities and limitations of risk assessment, respectively, might impair decision-making by the relevant regulatory authorities and research ethics committees, and discuss possible solutions to tackle the issue. (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)
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 book surveys research in quantification starting with the foundational work in the 1970s. It paints a vivid picture of generalized quantifiers and Boolean semantics. It explains how the discovery of diverse scope behavior in the 1990s transformed the view of quantification, and how the study of the internal composition of quantifiers has become central in recent years. It presents different approaches to the same problems, and links modern logic and formal semantics to advances in generative syntax. A unique feature (...) of the book is that it systematically brings cross-linguistic data to bear on the theoretical issues, discussing French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese, Telugu (Dravidian), and Shupamem (Grassfield Bantu), and pointing to formal semantic literature involving quantification in around thirty languages. -- -/- 1. What this book is about and how to use it; 2. Generalized quantifiers and their elements: operators and their scopes; 3. Generalized quantifiers in non-nominal domains; 4. Some empirically significant properties of quantifiers and determiners; 5. Potential challenges for generalized quantifiers; 6. Scope is not uniform and not a primitive; 7. Existential scope versus distributive scope; 8. Distributivity and scope; 9. Bare numeral indefinites; 10. Modified numerals; 11. Clause-internal scopal diversity; 12. Towards a compositional semantics of quantifier words. (shrink)
The treatise attempts to approach and deal with some of the most fundamental problems facing anyone who wishes to uphold some version of the so-called theory of tropes. Three assumptions serve as a basis for the investigation: tropes exist, only tropes exist, and a one-category trope-theory along these lines should be developed so that the tropes it postulates are able to serve as truth-makers for all kinds of atomic propositions. Provided that these assumptions are accepted, it is found that the (...) trope-theorist will have to deal with two important problems. First, some atomic propositions seem to require universal truth-makers. Second, some atomic propositions seem to require concrete truth-makers. As tropes are abstract particulars, it follows that the trope-theorist, in order to fulfil assumption, must provide an account of exactly how he or she could construct universality and concreteness from his or her basic stock of tropes. In the treatise such constructions are attempted and some basic problems with such constructions are revealed. Although these problems are serious enough it is argued that it is nevertheless possible to deal with these basic issues while staying squarely within the boundaries of a one-category trope-ontology. (shrink)
What sort of claims do scientific models make and how do these claims then underwrite empirical successes such as explanations and reliable policy interventions? In this paper I propose answers to these questions for the class of models used throughout the social and biological sciences, namely idealized deductive ones with a causal interpretation. I argue that the two main existing accounts misrepresent how these models are actually used, and propose a new account. *Received July 2006; revised August 2008. †To contact (...) the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 599 Lucas Hall (MC 73), One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (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)
The metaphysics of powers (Shoemaker, 1980; Mumford, 2004; Marmodoro, 2009; Heil, 2012 among many others) is a promising conceptual framework that has been successfully put to use in many philosophical and scientific domains, but surprisingly its potential applications in the contemporary philosophy of mind are still under-investigated. This thematic issue aims to show that power ontology has implications concerning major questions in the contemporary philosophy of mind, such as: what is the metaphysical relationship between consciousness and the physical? Are phenomenal (...) properties reducible to physical properties, fundamental, or emergent? How are we to explain notions such as belief, agency, and free will? (shrink)
Prenatal diagnosis challenges the issue of parental autonomy. Two ethical aspects of the parental decision making process with reference to PND have been taken into consideration: the duty to know and the right not to know. Whilst the first approach has been widely discussed in literature, the latter seems to be overlooked. In order to find good moral reasons supporting the right not to know, firstly the duty to know approach was critically analysed. Subsequently, the emphasis was put on the (...) unconditional parental love and the issue of child’s best interests as the features supporting parental right not to know. The clarification of what is good parenthood was presented as the best normative approach supporting the parental right not to know in case of PND. Apart from parental autonomy, raising the question of the right not to know is important in the debate about the place and role of people with disabilities in society. (shrink)
The spectacular progress in assisted reproduction technology that has been witnessed for the past thirty years resulted in emerging new ethical dilemmas as well as the revision of some perennial ones. The paper aims at a feminist approach to oocyte and spare embryo donation for research. First, referring to different concepts of autonomy and informed consent, we discuss whether the decision to donate oocyte/embryo can truly be an autonomous choice of a female patient. Secondly, we argue the commonly adopted language (...) of gift is misleading and that calling for altruism could put female patients at risk of exploitation. Finally, we point out that the presence of gender stereotypes in the procreative area casts doubt whether even a more robust notion of informed consent manages to overcome this risk. (shrink)
Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
Positive polarity items (PPIs) are generally thought to have the boring property that they cannot scope below negation. The starting point of the paper is the observation that their distribution is significantly more complex; specifically, someone/something-type PPIs share properties with negative polarity items (NPIs). First, these PPIs are disallowed in the same environments that license yet type NPIs; second, adding any NPI-licenser rescues the illegitimate constellation. This leads to the conclusion that these PPIs have the combined properties of yet-type and (...) ever-type NPIs: what appears to be a prohibition is nothing but “halfway licensing”. The paper goes on to propose a unification of the analyses of rescuable PPIs, NPIs, and negative concord, and questions the grounding of polarity sensitivity in the scalar or the referential semantics of the items involved. (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.