A. P. A. Hutchinson. What's the Point of Elucidation? Metaphilosophy, 2007, vol. 38, no. 5, pages 691-713. Published by and copyright Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version of this article is available from http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/.
In this article, we present evidence of a bidirectional coupling between moral concern and the attribution of properties and states that are associated with experience (e.g., conscious awareness, feelings). This coupling is also shown to be stronger with experience than for the attribution of properties and states more closely associated with agency (e.g., free will, thoughts). We report the results of four studies. In the first two studies, we vary the description of the mental capacities of a creature, and assess (...) the effects of these manipulations on moral concern. The third and fourth studies examine the effects of variations in moral concern on attributions of mindedness. Results from the first two studies indicate that moral concern depends primarily on the attribution of experience, rather than the attribution of agency. The results of the latter two studies demonstrate that moral concern increases attributions of mindedness, and that this effect is stronger for attributions of experience than for attributions of agency. (shrink)
Seminal work in moral neuroscience by Joshua Greene and colleagues employed variants of the well-known trolley problems to identify two brain networks which compete with each other to determine moral judgments. Greene interprets the tension between these brain networks using a dual process account which pits deliberative reason against automatic emotion-driven intuitions: reason versus passion. Recent neuroscientific evidence suggests, however, that the critical tension that Greene identifies as playing a role in moral judgment is not so much a tension between (...) reason and passion, but a tension between distinct forms of deliberative reasoning: analytic versus empathetic. In this paper we present results from several new studies supporting this alternative hypothesis. (shrink)
Bering contends that belief in the afterlife is explained by the simulation constraint hypothesis: the claim that we cannot imagine what it is like to be dead. This explanation suffers from some difficulties. First, it implies the existence of a corresponding belief in the “beforelife.” Second, a simpler explanation will suffice. Rather than appeal to constraints on our thoughts about death, we suggest that belief in the afterlife can be better explained by the lack of such constraints.
Those who are optimistic about the prospects of a science of consciousness, and those who believe that it lies beyond the reach of standard scientific methods, have something in common: both groups view consciousness as posing a special challenge for science. In this paper, we take a close look at the nature of this challenge. We show that popular conceptions of the problem of consciousness, epitomized by David Chalmers’ formulation of the ‘hard problem’, can be best explained as a cognitive (...) illusion, which arises as a by-product of our cognitive architecture. We present evidence from numerous sources to support our claim that we have a specialized system for thinking about phenomenal states, and that an inhibitory relationship exists between this system and the system we use to think about physical mechanisms. Even though the ‘hard problem’ is an illusion, unfortunately it appears that our cognitive architecture forces a closely related problem upon us. The ‘genuine problem’ of consciousness shares many features with the hard problem, and it also represents a special challenge for psychology. Nonetheless, researchers should be careful not to mistake the hard problem for the genuine problem, since the strategies appropriate for dealing with these problems differ in important respects. (shrink)
Shame is a ubiquitous and highly intriguing feature of human experience. It can motivate but it can also paralyse. It is something which one can legitimately demand of another, but is not usually experienced as a choice. Perpetrators of atrocities can remain defiantly immune to shame while their victims are racked by it. It would be hard to understand any society or culture without understanding the characteristic occasions upon which shame is expected and where it is mitigated. Yet, one can (...) survey much of the literature in social and political theory over the last century and find barely a footnote to this omnipresent emotional experience. The two books under review aim to rectify this lacuna. (shrink)
BackgroundThe ARRIVE guidelines are widely endorsed but compliance is limited. We sought to determine whether journal-requested completion of an ARRIVE checklist improves full compliance with the guidelines.MethodsIn a randomised controlled trial, manuscripts reporting in vivo animal research submitted to PLOS ONE were randomly allocated to either requested completion of an ARRIVE checklist or current standard practice. Authors, academic editors, and peer reviewers were blinded to group allocation. Trained reviewers performed outcome adjudication in duplicate by assessing manuscripts against an operationalised version (...) of the ARRIVE guidelines that consists 108 items. Our primary outcome was the between-group differences in the proportion of manuscripts meeting all ARRIVE guideline checklist subitems.ResultsWe randomised 1689 manuscripts, of which 1269 were sent for peer review and 762 accepted for publication. No manuscript in either group achieved full compliance with the ARRIVE checklist. Details of animal husbandry was the only subitem to show improvements in reporting, with the proportion of compliant manuscripts rising from 52.1 to 74.1% in the control and intervention groups, respectively.ConclusionsThese results suggest that altering the editorial process to include requests for a completed ARRIVE checklist is not enough to improve compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines. Other approaches, such as more stringent editorial policies or a targeted approach on key quality items, may promote improvements in reporting. (shrink)
"The essays, both philosophical and historical, demonstrate the continuing significance of a neglected aspect of Kant’s thought."—Religious Studies Review Challenging the traditional view that Kant's account of religion was peripheral to his thinking, these essays demonstrate the centrality of religion to Kant's critical philosophy. Contributors are Sharon Anderson-Gold, Leslie A. Mulholland, Anthony N. Perovich, Jr., Philip J. Rossi, Joseph Runzo, Denis Savage, Walter Sparn, Burkhard Tuschling, Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, and Allen W. Wood.
This article considers the development of the idea of universal moral principles in the work of Thomas Aquinas and his predecessors in the thirteenth century. Like other medieval authors who sought to place the principles of moral practice on a foundation more secure than on the choices of the good person, as described by Aristotle, Thomas chooses to introduce a measure of ethical certitude through the concept of the innate habit of synderesis. This idea, introduced by Jerome in his commentary (...) on Ezekiel, locates an inextinguishable spark of conscience in all humans. Thomas, influenced by Philip the Chancellor and Albert the Great, locates the principles of natural law in this innate habit of synderesis. By so doing he can claim that all human beings have the ability to recognize universally binding moral imperatives, regardless of their background and societal influences. Through this natural ability the human basis for moral action found in Aristotle's Ethics yields to one based upon the eternal immutable laws of a divine being. (shrink)
Western Political Thought in Dialogue with Asia is a unique collection of essays that examines the exchange of political ideas between Western Europe and Asia from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. The contributors to the volume call for globalizing the scope of research and teaching in the history of political thought.
A founding text of European aestheticism and literary criticism, Poetics underpins our moden understanding of imaginative writing. Anthony Kenny's new translation is accompanied by associated material from Plato, Sir Philip Sidney, P. B. Shelley, and Dorothy L. Sayers and a wide-ranging introduction.
Notes on Contributors Preface David B Rottman, Problems of, and Prospects for, Comparing the Two Irelands John Bradley, The History of Economic Development in Ireland, North and South D A Coleman, Demography and Migration in Ireland, North and South Tony Fahey & Eithne McLaughlin, Family and State Andrew Greeley, The Religions of Ireland John D Brewer, Bill Lockhart & Paula Rodgers, Crime in Ireland 1945?95 Richard Breen, Anthony F Heath & Christopher T Whelan, Educational Inequality in Ireland, North and (...) South Philip J O?Connell, Sick Man or Tigress? The Labour Market in the Republic of Ireland Graham Gudgin, The Northern Ireland Labour Market Pat O?Connor & Sally Shortall, Does the Border Make the Difference? Variations in Women’s Paid Employment, North and South Richard Breen & Christopher T Whelan, Social Mobility in Ireland: A Comparative Analysis Paul Teague & John McCartney, Industrial Relations in the Two Irish Economies Brian Girvin, Nationalism and the Continuation of Political Conflict in Ireland Paul Bew, The Political History of Northern Ireland since Partition: The Prospects for North-South Co-operation Geoffrey Evans & Richard Sinnott, Political Cleavages and Party Alignments in Ireland, North and South Bernadette C Hayes & Ian McAllister, Generations, Prejudice and Politics in Northen Ireland Anthony F Heath, Richard Breen & Christopher T Whelan, Conclusions Index. (shrink)
Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul suggest a version of skepticism according to which the skeptic posits a distinct skeptical hypothesis for each external world proposition that a person claims to know. In a recent issue of this journal, Eric Yang argues against this piecemeal approach. In this note, I show that Yang’s argument against piecemeal skepticism is fallacious.
The next four chapters are devoted to consideration of the doxastic component of faith. In Chapter 2, Helm defends the claim of Alvin Plantinga’s version of Reformed epistemology that belief in the existence of God is properly basic in certain conditions against some objections raised by Anthony Kenny. Making use of the Quinean metaphor of a web of belief, he argues in Chapter 3 that the rationality of belief in a developed religion such as Christianity is best defended in (...) terms of a coherentist approach to epistemic justification. Taking issue with Basil Mitchell, he tries to show in Chapter 4 that, because of the nature of religious belief, it is not a necessary condition for conflicting religious beliefs being rationally held that disagreements in belief be capable in principle of being resolved by rational means. And in Chapter 5, he tentatively endorses the view that, because one’s moral sensibility or passional nature is sometimes needed to evaluate evidence properly, particularly in situations in which the evidence itself is moral in character, properly functioning moral capacities are needed to appraise correctly “evidence related to the existence and character of a God who has a moral character as an essential part of his nature”. (shrink)
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that (...) mountaineering may actually be worthwhile because of the risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms of how risky mountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve are justified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering often is justified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified by and because of the risks it involves. (shrink)
This is the first complete English translation of Gottlob Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, with introduction and annotation. The importance of Frege's ideas within contemporary philosophy would be hard to exaggerate. He was, to all intents and purposes, the inventor of mathematical logic, and the influence exerted on modern philosophy of language and logic, and indeed on general epistemology, by the philosophical framework.
Abstract In this essay, a new approach for the ethical study of emerging technology ethics will be presented, called anticipatory technology ethics (ATE). The ethics of emerging technology is the study of ethical issues at the R&D and introduction stage of technology development through anticipation of possible future devices, applications, and social consequences. I will argue that a major problem for its development is the problem of uncertainty, which can only be overcome through methodologically sound forecasting and futures studies. I (...) will then consider three contemporary approaches to the ethics of emerging technologies that use forecasting: ethical technology assessment, the techno-ethical scenarios approach and the ETICA approach, and I considered their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this critical study, I then present my own approach: ATE. ATE is a conceptually and methodologically rich approach for the ethical analysis of emerging technologies that incorporates a large variety of ethical principles, issues, objects and levels of analysis, and research aims. It is ready to be applied to contemporary and future emerging technologies. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-13 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0141-7 Authors Philip A. E. Brey, Department of Philosophy, School of Behavioral Sciences, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
In this paper, we present the results of two surveys that investigate subjects’ judgments about what can be known or justifiably believed about lottery outcomes on the basis of statistical evidence, testimonial evidence, and “mixed” evidence, while considering possible anchoring and priming effects. We discuss these results in light of seven distinct hypotheses that capture various claims made by philosophers about lay people’s lottery judgments. We conclude by summarizing the main findings, pointing to future research, and comparing our findings to (...) recent studies by Turri and Friedman. (shrink)
Fodor & Pylyshyn (1981) criticize J. J. Gibson's ecological account of perception for failing to address what I call the 'correlation problem' in visual perception. That is, they charge that Gibson cannot explain how perceivers learn to correlate detectable properties of the light with perceptible properties of the environment. Furthermore, they identify the correlation problem as a crucial issue for any theory of visual perception, what I call a 'primary problem'—i.e. a problem which plays a definitive role in establishing the (...) concerns of a particular scientific research program. If they are correct, Gibson's failure to resolve this problem would cast considerable doubt upon his ecological approach to perception. In response, I argue that both Fodor & Pylyshyn's problem itself and their proposed inferential solution embody a significant mistake which needs to be eliminated from our thinking about visual perception. As part of my response, I also suggest a Gibsonian alternative to Fodor & Pylyshyn's primary problem formulation. (shrink)
Cognitive science is shamelessly materialistic. It maintains that human beings are nothing more than complex physical systems, ultimately and completely explicable in mechanistic terms. But this conception of humanity does not ?t well with common sense. To think of the creatures we spend much of our day loving, hating, admiring, resenting, comparing ourselves to, trying to understand, blaming, and thanking -- to think of them as mere mechanisms seems at best counterintuitive and unhelpful. More often it may strike us as (...) ludicrous, or even abhorrent. We are. (shrink)
In this essay, a new approach to the ethics of emerging information technology will be presented, called anticipatory technology ethics (ATE). The ethics of emerging technology is the study of ethical issues at the R&D and introduction stage of technology development through anticipation of possible future devices, applications, and social consequences. In the essay, I will first locate emerging technology in the technology development cycle, after which I will consider ethical approaches to emerging technologies, as well as obstacles in developing (...) such approaches. I will argue that any sound approach must centrally include futures studies of technology. I then present ATE and some applications of it to emerging information technologies. In ATE, ethical analysis is performed at three levels, the technology, artifact and application levels, and at each levels distinct types of ethical questions are asked. ATE analyses result in the identification and evaluation of a broad range of ethical issues that can be anticipated in relation to an emerging information technology. This ethical analysis can then be used for ethical recommendations for design or governance. (shrink)
W.V.O.Quine’s doctrine of referential inscrutability (RI) is the thesis that, first, linguistic reference must always be determined relative to an interpretation of the discourse and, second, that the empirical evidence always underdetermines our choice of interpretation--at least in principle. Although this thesis is a central result of Quine’s theory of language, it was long unclear just how much force RI actually carried. At best, Quine’s discussions provided localized examples of RI (e.g., ‘gavagai’), supplemented merely by arguments for the (in principle) (...) constructability of more general referentially divergent manuals. In defense of Quine, Gerald Massey provides a method for generating large-scale referentially divergent manuals for a complex language. I argue that, while Massey’s rival manuals do meet Quine’s translational criteria, they are demonstrably inferior to their commonsensical “homophonic” competitor. This result provides a clear indication of seminal deficiencies in Quine’s behaviorial approach to the theory of language. Next I argue that Quine’s acceptance of standard assumptions about the nature of perception strongly influences the shape of his semantical theory. Finally, I suggest how an alternative to the standard account of perception might provide grounds for a more adequate understanding of language. (shrink)
How does Hume determine what qualities of the mind count as virtues and what qualities count as vices? By what standard, for example, does Hume dismiss the so-called “monkish virtues”? Hume’s commentators have proposed various possibilities for the standard of virtue, among them the general point of view and the usefulness/agreeableness of qualities. I consider the case for these standards and argue that Hume contends ultimately that consensus decides controversial questions about the status of virtues and vices. I try especially (...) to show that while the usefulness of any quality is not a means by which we can identify virtues or vices, it can be relevant to moral evaluations in so far as it influences what people tend to approve of. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that Boghossian's explanation of how we can acquire a priori knowledge of logical principles through implicit definitions commits a transmission of warrant-failure. To this end, I will briefly outline Boghossian's account, followed by an explanation of what a transmission of warrant-failure consists in. I will also show that this charge is independent of the worry of rule-circularity which has been raised concerning the justification of logical principles and of which Boghossian is fully aware. My (...) argument comes in two steps: firstly, I will argue for the insufficiency of Boghossian's template which is meant to explain how a subject can acquire a warrant for logical principles. I will show however that this insufficiency of his template can be remedied by adopting what I call the Disquotational Step. Secondly, I will argue that incorporating this further step makes his template subject to a transmission of warrant-failure, assuming that certain rather basic and individually motivated principles hold. Thus, Boghossian's account faces a dilemma: either he adopts the Disquotational Step and subjects his account to the charge of a transmission of warrant-failure, or he drops this additional step leaving the account confronted with explaining the gap that has previously been highlighted. I will then suggest various rejoinders that Boghossian might adopt but none of which - I will argue - can resolve the dilemma. Lastly, I will raise and briefly discuss the question whether this worry generalizes to other accounts, such as Hale and Wright's that aim to explain our knowledge of logic and/or mathematics in virtue of implicit definitions. (shrink)
This is the first complete English translation of Gottlob Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (1893 and 1903), with introduction and annotation. As the culmination of his ground-breaking work in the philosophy of logic and mathematics, Frege here tried to show how the fundamental laws of arithmetic could be derived from purely logical principles.
Abstractionism, which is a development of Frege's original Logicism, is a recent and much debated position in the philosophy of mathematics. This volume contains 16 original papers by leading scholars on the philosophical and mathematical aspects of Abstractionism. After an extensive editors' introduction to the topic of abstractionism, the volume is split into 4 sections. The contributions within these sections explore the semantics and meta-ontology of Abstractionism, abstractionist epistemology, the mathematics of Abstractionis, and finally, Frege's application constraint within an abstractionist (...) setting. (shrink)
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that (...) mountaineering may actually be worthwhilebecause ofthe risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms ofhow riskymountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve arejustified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering oftenisjustified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified byandbecause ofthe risks it involves. (shrink)
Characterizing how activity in the central and autonomic nervous systems corresponds to distinct emotional states is one of the central goals of affective neuroscience. Despite the ease with which individuals label their own experiences, identifying specific autonomic and neural markers of emotions remains a challenge. Here we explore how multivariate pattern classification approaches offer an advantageous framework for identifying emotion-specific biomarkers and for testing predictions of theoretical models of emotion. Based on initial studies using multivariate pattern classification, we suggest that (...) central and autonomic nervous system activity can be reliably decoded into distinct emotional states. Finally, we consider future directions in applying pattern classification to understand the nature of emotion in the nervous system. (shrink)
Next SectionIt is commonly proposed that artifacts cannot be understood without reference to human intentions. This fact, I contend, has relevance to the use of artifacts in intentional action. I argue that because artifacts have intentions embedded into them antecedently, when we use artifacts we are sometimes compelled to intend descriptions of our actions that we might, for various reasons, be inclined to believe that we do not intend. I focus this argument to a specific set of artifacts, namely, medical (...) devices, before considering an extended application to emergency contraceptive devices. Although there is some debate about whether emergency contraception has an abortifacient effect, I argue that if there is an abortifacient effect, then the effect cannot normally be a side effect of one’s action. (shrink)
This book is a collection of essays on the Parallel Lives of the Greek philosopher and biographer Plutarch which examines the moral issues Plutarch recognized behind political leadership, and places his writings in their political and social context of the reigns of the Flavian emperors and their successors.
This paper explores the Rousseauian background to Kant’s critique of metaphysics and philosophical theology. The core idea is that the rejection of metaphysics and philosophical theology is part of a turn from theoretical to practical reason influential on European philosophy of religion, a turn we associate with Kant but that is prefigured by Rousseau. Rousseau is not, however, a thinker normally associated with the notion of metaphysical criticism, nor the notion of the primacy of practical reason. The paper draws out (...) this dimension of Rousseau’s thinking and its importance for Kantian thought. It will proceed by discussing the Kant-Rousseau connection; demonstrate the importance of practical philosophy for Kant and the critical project generally; overview Kant’s critique of metaphysics; and turn to a consideration of Rousseau, particularly from the text Émile . Given the indisputable influence of Rousseau on Kant, the purpose of this paper is to explore the ways that Rousseau’s own rejection of philosophical theology might be suggestive to those interested in Kant and the way in which it throws new light on Kant’s philosophy of religion. As well as drawing out the Kant-Rousseau connection, it also, implicitly, defends the general orientation of these philosophers as one that is important, perhaps vital, to philosophy of religion. (shrink)
What is the relation between ‘full’ or ‘outright’ belief and the various levels of confidence that agents can have in the propositions that concern them? This paper argues for a new answer to this question. Decision theory implies that in making decisions, rational agents must treat certain propositions as though they were completely certain; but on most forms of decision theory, these propositions are not ones for which any finite agent could have maximal justification – the agent will clearly have (...) less justification for these propositions than for elementary logical truths. Thus, every adequate model of a finite rational agent's belief‐system must involve two set of credences – theoretical credences and practical credences . A full or outright belief in p can be defined as the state of being stably disposed to assign a practical credence of 1 to p, for all normal practical purposes. This definition allows for a kind of reconciliation between the pragmatist and intellectualist approaches in epistemology. (shrink)