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)
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….
The philosophy of “ human dignity” remains a young, piecemeal endeavor with only a small, dedicated literature. And what dedicated literature exists makes for a rather slapdash mix of substantive and formal metatheory. Worse, ironically we seem compelled to treat this existing theory both charitably and casually. For how can we definitively assess any of it? Existing suggestions about the general features of dignity are necessarily contentious in virtue of being more or less blissfully uncritical of themselves. Because none of (...) the suggested features are conscientiously situated in their own right, their justification is taken to rest solely on whether each is borne out by some substantive account. But absent the sort of second-order considerations that would make for a proper metatheory, what can we do with their substantive suggestions? Of course, the concept of dignity has other forums. It figures prominently into insular analyses of either Kantian or Biblical ethics, and, to various degrees, an array of subsidiary fields of practical philosophy including human rights, bioethics, law, theories of respect, race theory, Judaic studies, feminism, care ethics, war, technology, and political philosophy. Each of these areas has an established literature. Each contributes interesting observations to the nature of dignity. But, again, ultimately, without a proper metatheory, it is unclear what to do with any of them. My goal is to remedy this, or at least reverse the trend. In doing so I will have in view one particular subfield, namely, the ever-pressing subject of human rights. (shrink)
To formalize the human judgment of rhythm complexity, we used five measures from information theory and algorithmic complexity to measure the complexity of 48 artificially generated rhythmic sequences. We compared these measurements to human prediction accuracy and easiness judgments obtained from a listening experiment, in which 32 participants guessed the last beat of each sequence. We also investigated the modulating effects of musical expertise and general pattern identification ability. Entropy rate and Kolmogorov complexity were correlated with prediction accuracy, and highly (...) correlated with easiness judgments. A logistic regression showed main effects of musical training, entropy rate, and Kolmogorov complexity, and an interaction between musical training and both entropy rate and Kolmogorov complexity. These results indicate that information-theoretic concepts capture some salient features of the human judgment of rhythm complexity, and they confirm the influence of musical expertise on complexity judgments. (shrink)
This special volume of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy presents sixteen specially written essays on virtue and happiness, and the treatment of these topics by thinkers from the fifth century BC to the third century AD. It is published in honour of Julia Annas--one of the leading scholars in the field.
Rémi Brague in On the God of the Christians gives a defence of the validity of faith against modern presumption that science supplies the model for all knowledge. Brague argues that since God is superpersonal, faith must know God in the way we know persons. Personal knowledge requires the connaturality of a loving will: hence faith in God requires love, utterly unlike any scientific knowledge. In criticism, it is suggested that love is essentially motivated by its object's value, and so (...) presupposes knowledge of the object. What is crucial in faith is not the love the subject brings but the demands of a supremely valuable reality. Since faith is, in the broadest sense, experiential, it has points of contact with scientific rationality. (shrink)
Well–being, health and freedom are some of the many phenomena of interest to science whose definitions rely on a normative standard. Empirical generalizations about them thus present a special case of value-ladenness. I propose the notion of a ‘mixed claim’ to denote such generalizations. Against the prevailing wisdom, I argue that we should not seek to eliminate them from science. Rather, we need to develop principles for their legitimate use. Philosophers of science have already reconciled values with objectivity in several (...) ways, but none of the existing proposals are suitable for mixed claims. Using the example of the science of well-being, I articulate a conception of objectivity for this science and for mixed claims in general. _1_ Introduction _2_ What Are Mixed Claims? _3_ Mixed Claims Are Different _3.1_ Values as reasons to pursue science _3.2_ Values as agenda-setters _3.3_ Values as ethical constraints on research protocols _3.4_ Values as arbiters between underdetermined theories _3.5_ Values as determinants of standards of confirmation _3.6_ Values as sources of wishful thinking and fraud _4_ Mixed Claims Should Stay _4.1_ Against Nagel _5_ The Dangers of Mixed Claims _6_ The Existing Accounts of Objectivity _6.1_ The perils of impartiality _7_ Objectivity for Mixed Claims _8_ Three Rules _8.1_ Unearth the value presuppositions in methods and measures _8.2_ Check if value presuppositions are invariant to disagreements _8.3_ Consult the relevant parties _9_ Conclusion. (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)
The long section on knowledge and the philosopher in books V–VII of the Republic is undoubtedly the most famous passage in Plato's work. So it is perhaps a good idea to begin by stressing how very peculiar, and in many ways elusive, it is. It is exciting, and stimulating, but extremely hard to understand.
Some years ago I started to write a book on virtue ethics, in which I tried to meet early criticisms of what was then a new way of doing ethics. The book continued to be unsatisfactory, and I finally abandoned it, realizing that I needed to get clear about virtue before producing a defence of virtue ethics. This need should have been obvious, especially since I frequently teach Platonic dialogues where Socrates gets people to see that they are doing what (...) I was doing, namely developing ideas about something without first examining what it is. The need became even more obvious as the field rapidly expanded with the production of Humean, Nietschean, Kantian and consequentialist kinds of virtue ethics. Within the field of neo-Aristotelian ethics itself it became clear that different aspects can be stressed: the importance of practical wisdom can be developed, for example, without defending a naturalistic account of the relation of virtue to happiness.I finally wrote a book to explore and d .. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a new version of the acquaintance view of the nature of introspection of phenomenal states. On the acquaintance view, when one introspects a current phenomenal state of one’s, one bears to it the relation of introspective acquaintance. Extant versions of the acquaintance view neglect what I call the phenomenal modification problem. The problem, articulated by Franz Brentano in his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, is that drawing introspective attention to one’s current conscious experience may modify (...) its phenomenology. Failing to take phenomenal modification into account affects the adequacy of extant versions of the acquaintance view. The purpose of this paper is to develop a better version, the integration account, that meets the phenomenal modification challenge while preserving the merits of other versions. (shrink)
What is "race"? What role, if any, should race play in our moral obligations to others and to ourselves? Ethics along the Color Line addresses the question of whether black Americans should think of each other as members of an extended racial family and base their treatment of each other on this consideration, or eschew racial identity and envision the day when people do not think in terms of race. Anna Stubblefield suggests furthermore that white Americans should consider the (...) same issues. She argues, finally, that for both black and white Americans, thinking of races as families is crucial in helping to combat anti-black oppression. Stubblefield is concerned that the philosophical debate—argued notably between Kwame Anthony Appiah and Lucius Outlaw—over whether or not we should strongly identify in terms of race, and whether or not we should take race into account when we decide how to treat each other, has stalled. Drawing on black feminist scholarship about the moral importance of thinking and acting in terms of community and extended family, the author finds that strong racial identification, if based on appropriate ideals, is morally sound and even necessary to end white supremacy. (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)
This chapter provides an intellectual framework for understanding modern theories of virtue. It presents a version of virtue ethics, which draws on the resources of the historical, particularly ancient, tradition, discussing the ways in which a virtue is a disposition, and the ways in which it involves practical reasoning and emotion. It explores virtue’s relation to flourishing and to right action, and the way in which virtue involves aspiring to an ideal. It also discusses the relation of virtue to human (...) nature. Finally, it shows how some modern versions of virtue ethics can reasonably be seen as weaker or less complete theories than the one featured. (shrink)
We show that MRP + MA implies that ITP(λ, ω 2 ) holds for all cardinal λ ≥ ω 2 . This generalizes a result by Weiß who showed that PFA implies that ITP(λ, ω 2 ) holds for all cardinal λ ≥ ω 2 . Consequently any of the known methods to prove MRP + MA consistent relative to some large cardinal hypothesis requires the existence of a strongly compact cardinal. Moreover if one wants to force MRP + MA (...) with a proper forcing, it requires at least a supercompact cardinal. We also study the relationship between MRP and some weak versions of square. We show that MRP implies the failure of □(λ, ω) for all λ ≥ ω 2 and we give a direct proof that MRP + MA implies the failure of □(λ, ω 1 ) for all λ ≥ ω 2. (shrink)
The philosophy of emotion has long been divided over the cognitive nature of emotion. In this paper I argue that this debate suffers from deep confusion over the meaning of “cognition” itself. This confusion has in turn obscured critical substantive agreement between the debate’s principal opponents. Capturing this agreement and remedying this confusion requires re-conceptualizing “the cognitive” as it functions in first-order theories of emotion. Correspondingly, a sketch for a new account of cognitivity is offered. However, I also argue that (...) this new account, despite tacit acceptance by all major theories of emotion, in fact rules out some of the most fundamental and controversial claims of one side of the nature-of-emotion debate, emotional cognitivism. (shrink)
The focus of this paper is introspection of phenomenal states, i.e. the distinctively first-personal method through which one can form beliefs about the phenomenology of one’s current conscious mental states. I argue that two different kinds of phenomenal state introspection should be distinguished: one which involves recognizing and classifying the introspected phenomenal state as an instance of a certain experience type, and another which does not involve such classification. Whereas the former is potentially judgment-like, the latter is not. I call (...) them, respectively, reflective introspection and primitive introspection. The purpose of this paper is to argue that primitive introspection is a psychologically real phenomenon. I first introduce the distinction and provide some preliminary motivation to accept it (§1). After some set-up considerations (§2), I present my central argument for the existence of a non-classificatory kind of introspective state (§3), what I call the ‘argument from phenomenal-concept acquisition’. Finally, I briefly present some reasons why my distinction may be important for various philosophical debates (§4). (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.
There are problems with egoism as a theory, but what matters here is the point that intuitively ethics is thought to be about the good of others, so that focusing on your own good seems wrong from the start. Virtues are not just character traits, however, since forgetfulness or stubbornness are not virtues. Virtues are character traits which are in some way desirable. Criticism is generally renewed at this point on the grounds that claims about flourishing are now including claims (...) about virtue, and are thus no longer common ground to the defender and the critic of virtue ethics. But virtue ethics has never held that they are, so this is not a problem. It is only to be expected that the virtuous will differ from the nonvirtuous in their assessments of flourishing, because we are dealing here with virtue in the context of a formally characterized conception of flourishing. (shrink)
According to Bourdieu, the `collective intellectual' resembles the sports team in terms of the spirit which drives it, the collectivist attitudes implied by its activity, and the form of apprenticeship involved - constant, intensive and regular training. The combination of these elements gives rise to gestures and syntheses which are constantly, incessantly repeated to the point where they become a habitus ; it also creates the mutually supportive force, mobilized in its practical, articulate and coherent mode, which Bourdieu believed a (...) research centre - a specific form taken by the collective intellectual in the scientific sphere - should constitute. His prime concern, a principle evident from the start both in his experience of teaching and in the first research projects he led in Algeria, was in fact to establish and institutionalize a collective sociological practice based on a habitus shared by all those involved in the activities he instigated. (shrink)
To celebrate forty years of publication, we asked people new to bioethics to tell us what should be next on the docket. We received 195 essays. Here are four we especially like. Bioethics has, until now, focused mainly on those who directly influence human health. It worked to establish guidelines for doctors to follow when treating their patients, and it provided a backbone for ethical human research. Bioethics has done a lot of good, but it is time for the field (...) to branch out to things that affect human health in less obvious ways. Of the things that bioethics must turn its focus to, one of the most pressing issues is establishing a duty of care between pharmaceutical companies and the people they .. (shrink)
When the ancient Greeks looked up into the heavens, they saw not just sun and moon, stars and planets, but a complete, coherent universe, a model of the Good that could serve as a guide to a better life. How this view of the world came to be, and how we lost it (or turned away from it) on the way to becoming modern, make for a fascinating story, told in a highly accessible manner by Remi Brague in this wide-ranging (...) cultural history. Before the Greeks, people thought human action was required to maintain the order of the universe and so conducted rituals and sacrifices to renew and restore it. But beginning with the Hellenic Age, the universe came to be seen as existing quite apart from human action and possessing, therefore, a kind of wisdom that humanity did not. Wearing his remarkable erudition lightly, Brague traces the many ways this universal wisdom has been interpreted over the centuries, from the time of ancient Egypt to the modern era. Socratic and Muslim philosophers, Christian theologians and Jewish Kabbalists all believed that questions about the workings of the world and the meaning of life were closely intertwined and that an understanding of cosmology was crucial to making sense of human ethics. Exploring the fate of this concept in the modern day, Brague shows how modernity stripped the universe of its sacred and philosophical wisdom, transforming it into an ethically indifferent entity that no longer serves as a model for human morality. Encyclopedic and yet intimate, The Wisdom of the World offers the best sort of history: broad, learned, and completely compelling. Brague opens a window onto systems of thought radically different from our own. (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)
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)
Imagine that in entering a café, you are struck by the absence of Pierre, with whom you have an appointment. Or imagine that you realize that your keys are missing because they are not hanging from the usual ring-holder. What is the nature of these absence experiences? In this article, we discuss a recent view defended by Farennikova (2012) according to which we literally perceive absences of things in much the same way as we perceive present things. We criticize and (...) reject the perceptual interpretation of absence experiences but we also reject the cognitive view which reduces them to beliefs. We propose an intermediary, metacognitive account according to which absence experiences belong to a specific kind of affective experience, involving the feeling of surprise. (shrink)