Contemporary societies are often “polarized”, in the sense that sub-groups within these societies hold stably opposing beliefs, even when there is a fact of the matter. Extant models of polarization do not capture the idea that some beliefs are true and others false. Here we present a model, based on the network epistemology framework of Bala and Goyal, 784–811 1998), in which polarization emerges even though agents gather evidence about their beliefs, and true belief yields a pay-off advantage. As we (...) discuss, these results are especially relevant to polarization in scientific communities, for these reasons. The key mechanism that generates polarization involves treating evidence generated by other agents as uncertain when their beliefs are relatively different from one’s own. (shrink)
In their recent book, Oreskes and Conway describe the ‘tobacco strategy’, which was used by the tobacco industry to influence policymakers regarding the health risks of tobacco products. The strategy involved two parts, consisting of promoting and sharing independent research supporting the industry’s preferred position and funding additional research, but selectively publishing the results. We introduce a model of the tobacco strategy, and use it to argue that both prongs of the strategy can be extremely effective—even when policymakers rationally update (...) on all evidence available to them. As we elaborate, this model helps illustrate the conditions under which the tobacco strategy is particularly successful. In addition, we show how journalists engaged in ‘fair’ reporting can inadvertently mimic the effects of industry on public belief. 1Introduction2Epistemic Network Models3Selective Sharing4Biased Production5Journalists as Unwitting Propagandists6ConclusionAppendix. (shrink)
"Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it irrelevant to (...) many people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by "fake news," "alternative facts," and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, the authors argue that social factors, not individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the persistence of false belief and that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively."–Publisher’s description. (shrink)
In his 1836 lectures to the Royal Institute, the great landscape painter John Constable stated that ‘Painting is a science, and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature.’ Landscape, he went on to say, should ‘be considered a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but the experiments.’ 1 Constable makes two claims in this striking passage. The first is that painting is a form of inquiry. This is, by itself, a bold claim, but Constable (...) goes on to state that painters and scientists inquire in the same way. As controversial as these views are, both of them have been sympathetically entertained in recent years by several philosophers. In particular, Nelson Goodman and Catherine Elgin have maintained that painting, and the other arts, are forms of inquiry, and that they are akin to the sciences in important respects. 2 I think, however, that Constable is only half right. Although I agree that the arts are forms of inquiry, I will argue that the arts and the sciences employ radically different methods. That the arts and the sciences are very different forms of inquiry might seem to be a point so obvious as to be scarcely worth making. We can, however, appreciate more clearly how the arts can contribute to our knowledge by contrasting its methods with those of science. (shrink)
Scientists are generally subject to social pressures, including pressures to conform with others in their communities, that affect achievement of their epistemic goals. Here we analyze a network epistemology model in which agents, all else being equal, prefer to take actions that conform with those of their neighbors. This preference for conformity interacts with the agents’ beliefs about which of two possible actions yields the better result. We find a range of possible outcomes, including stable polarization in belief and action. (...) The model results are sensitive to network structure. In general, though, conformity has a negative effect on a community’s ability to reach accurate consensus about the world. (shrink)
Public health ethics, like the field of public health it addresses, traditionally has focused more on practice and particular cases than on theory, with the result that some concepts, methods, and boundaries remain largely undefined. This paper attempts to provide a rough conceptual map of the terrain of public health ethics. We begin by briefly defining public health and identifying general features of the field that are particularly relevant for a discussion of public health ethics.Public health is primarily concerned with (...) the health of the entire population, rather than the health of individuals. Its features include an emphasis on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease and disability; the collection and use of epidemiological data, population surveillance, and other forms of empirical quantitative assessment; a recognition of the multidimensional nature of the determinants of health; and a focus on the complex interactions of many factors—biological, behavioral, social, and environmental—in developing effective interventions. (shrink)
The authors examined the effects of ethical leadership on follower organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and deviant behavior. Drawing upon research related to the behavioral plasticity hypothesis, the authors examined a moderating role of follower self-esteem in these relationships. Results from a field study revealed that ethical leadership is positively related to follower OCB and negatively related to deviance. We found that these relationships are moderated by followers' self-esteem, such that the relationships between ethical leadership and OCB as well as between (...) ethical leadership and deviant behavior are weaker when followers' self-esteem is high than low. Implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
James O. Young seeks to explain why we value music so highly. He draws on the latest psychological research to argue that music is expressive of emotion by resembling human expressive behaviour. The representation of emotion in music gives it the capacity to provide psychological insight--and it is this which explains a good deal of its value.
Now, for the first time, a philosopher undertakes a systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise. Cultural appropriation is a pervasive feature of the contemporary world Young offers the first systematic philosophical investigation of the moral and aesthetic issues to which cultural appropriation gives rise Tackles head on the thorny issues arising from the clash and integration of cultures and their artifacts Questions considered include: “Can cultural appropriation result in the production of aesthetically (...) successful works of art?” and “Is cultural appropriation in the arts morally objectionable?” Part of the highly regarded New Directions in Aesthetics series. (shrink)
_The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation_ undertakes a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic questions that arise from the practice of cultural appropriation. Explores cultural appropriation in a wide variety of contexts, among them the arts and archaeology, museums, and religion Questions whether cultural appropriation is always morally objectionable Includes research that is equally informed by empirical knowledge and general normative theory Provides a coherent and authoritative perspective gained by the collaboration of philosophers and specialists in the field (...) who all participated in this unique research project. (shrink)
Paul Oskar Kristeller famously argued that the modern ‘ system of the arts ’ did not emerge until the mid-eighteenth century, in the work of Charles Batteux. On this view, the modern conception of the fine arts had no parallel in the ancient world, the middle-ages or the modern period prior to Batteux. This paper argues that Kristeller was wrong. The ancient conception of the imitative arts completely overlaps with Batteux’s fine arts : poetry, painting, music, sculpture, and dance. Writers (...) from the sixteenth century on adopted the ancient conception of the imitative arts and anticipated the views of Batteux by 200 years. Batteux simply popularized the rubric ‘fine arts ’. (shrink)
Self, Language, and World: Problems from Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg Edited by James R. O'Shea and Eric M. Rubenstein Introduction KANT Willem deVries, Kant, Rosenberg, and the Mirror of Philosophy David Landy, The Premise That Even Hume Must Accept LANGUAGE AND MIND William G. Lycan, Rosenberg On Proper Names Douglas Long, Why Life is Necessary for Mind: The Significance of Animate Behavior Dorit Bar-On and Mitchell Green, Lionspeak: Communication, Expression, and Meaning David Rosenthal, The Mind and Its Expression MIND (...) AND KNOWLEDGE Jeffrey Sicha, The Manifest Image: the Sensory and the Mental Bruce Aune, Rosenberg on Knowing Joseph C. Pitt, Sellarsian Antifoundationalism and Scientific Realism Matthew Chrisman, The Aim of Belief and the Goal of Truth: Reflections on Rosenberg James O’Shea, Conceptual Thinking and Nonconceptual Content: A Sellarsian Divide ONTOLOGY Anton Koch, Persons as Mirroring the World Eric M. Rubenstein, Form and Content, Substance and Stuff Ralf Stoecker, On Being a Realist About Death William G. Lycan, Biographical Remarks on Jay F. Rosenberg Scholarly Publications of Jay F. Rosenberg. (shrink)
Almost all of us would agree that the experience of art is deeply rewarding. Why this is the case remains a puzzle; nor does it explain why many of us find works of art much more important than other sources of pleasure. Art and Knowledge argues that the experience of art is so rewarding because it can be an important source of knowledge about ourselves and our relation to each other and to the world. The view that art is a (...) source of knowledge can be traced as far back as Aristotle and Horace. Artists as various as Tasso, Sidney, Henry James and Mendelssohn have believed that art contributes to knowledge. As attractive as this view may be, it has never been satisfactorily defended, either by artists or philosophers. Art and Knowledge reflects on the essence of art and argues that it ought to provide insight as well as pleasure. It argues that all the arts, including music, are importantly representational. This kind of representation is fundamentally different from that found in the sciences, but it can provide insights as important and profound as available from the sciences. Once we recognise that works of art can contribute to knowledge we can avoid thorough relativism about aesthetic value and we can be in a position to evaluate the avant-garde art of the past 100 years. Art and Knowledge is an exceptionally clear and interesting, as well as controversial, exploration of what art is and why it is valuable. It will be of interest to all philosophers of art, artists and art critics. (shrink)
William James is notorious for the large number of inconsistencies and at least apparent contradictions in his writings. Many readers conclude that he should be appreciated more for his profound but erratic insights than for any coherent philosophical perspective. Ellen Kappy Suckiel disagrees. She argues that James is far more careful and systematic than many readers realize. Her work on James is guided by the attempt to lay bare his coherent philosophical vision and the consistent philosophical methodology (...) underlying it. As a result of this approach, Suckiel's work on James is both sympathetic to his philosophical insights and carefully argued. In her first book, The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (1982), Suckiel applies this approach to James's philosophy as a whole. The result is a work of remarkable clarity and insight that serves as a wonderful introduction to James's thought. In her more recent book, Suckiel applies this approach specifically to James's philosophy of religion, with similar felicitous results. Heaven's... (shrink)
The work of the American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars continues to have a significant impact on the contemporary philosophical scene. His writings have influenced major thinkers such as Rorty, McDowell, Brandom, and Dennett, and many of Sellars basic conceptions, such as the logical space of reasons, the myth of the given, and the manifest and scientific images, have become standard philosophical terms. Often, however, recent uses of these terms do not reflect the richness or the true sense of Sellars original ideas. (...) This book gets to the heart of Sellars philosophy and provides students with a comprehensive critical introduction to his lifes work. The book is structured around what Sellars himself regarded as the philosophers overarching task: to achieve a coherent vision of reality that will finally overcome the continuing clashes between the world as common sense takes it to be and the world as science reveals it to be. It provides a clear analysis of Sellars groundbreaking philosophy of mind, his novel theory of consciousness, his defense of scientific realism, and his thoroughgoing naturalism with a normative turn. Providing a lively examination of Sellars work through the central problem of what it means to be a human being in a scientific world, this book will be a valuable resource for all students of philosophy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Central to both James’s earlier psychology and his later philosophical views was a recurring distinction between percepts and concepts. The distinction evolved and remained fundamental to his thinking throughout his career as he sought to come to grips with its fundamental nature and significance. In this chapter, I focus initially on James’s early attempt to articulate the distinction in his 1885 article “The Function of Cognition.” This will highlight a key problem to which James continued to (...) return throughout his later philosophical work on the nature of our cognition, including in his famous “radical empiricist” metaphysics of “pure experience” around the turn of the century. We shall find that James grappled insightfully but ambivalently with the perceptual and conceptual dimensions of the “knowledge relation” or the “cognitive relation,” as he called it—or what, following Franz Brentano, philosophers would later call our object-directed thought or intentionality more generally. Some philosophers have once again returned to James’s work for crucial insights on this pivotal topic, while others continue to find certain aspects of his account to be problematic. What is beyond dispute is that James’s inquiries in this domain were both innovative and of lasting significance. (shrink)
This article examines the relationship in Kant between transcendental laws and empirical laws (focusing on causal laws), and then brings a particular interpretation of that issue to bear on familiar puzzles concerning the status of the regulative maxims of reason and reflective judgment. It is argued that the 'indeterminate objective validity' possessed by the regulative maxims derives ultimately from strictly constitutive demands of understanding.
This paper examines the normative ideas flowing from the contemporary theories that make up the New Finance. These theories include the Irrelevance Theorem, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Capital Asset Pricing Model, Options Pricing Model, and Agency Theory. The behavioral consequences that would ensue if everyone took the normative precepts of the New Finance seriously are subjected to a Kantian analysis to determine their ethical implications. It is concluded that the corporate world in the New Finance is a place where the firm (...) can select any operating and financial strategies that it wishes, and the investors will respond immediately through a combination of homemade portfolio diversification, clever option positions, and carefully constructed agency relationships, all of which results in a pervasive nihilism. Recommendations are offered on how these features of the New Finance might be avoided or moderated. (shrink)
Methods. We employed a "flicker" technique, in which an original and a modified image (each of duration 240 ms) continually alternated, with a blank field (duration 80 ms) between each display. Images were all of real-world scenes. One of three kinds of change (appearance/disappearance, color, or translation) was made to an object or region in each scene. Changes were large and easily seen under normal conditions. Subjects viewed the flicker display, and pressed a key when they noticed the change.
At the core of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason was a decisive break with certain fundamental Cartesian assumptions or claims about consciousness and self-consciousness, claims that have nonetheless remained perennially tempting, from a phenomenological perspective, independently of any further questions concerning the metaphysics of mind and its place in nature. The core of this philosophical problem has recently been helpfully exposed and insightfully probed in Dan Zahavi’s book, Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame. In these remarks I suggest (...) that Zahavi’s view of what he calls ‘The Experiential Self’ defends precisely the sorts of claims to which a Kantian account of consciousness is fundamentally opposed, and while assessing the overall merits of the two contrasting outlooks is no easy matter, I side with the Kantian view. (shrink)
DUMMETT HAS BEEN CONCERNED WITH SHOWING HOW ONE MIGHT GIVE\nAN ANTI-REALIST ACCOUNT OF RESTRICTED CLASSES OF SENTENCES.\nTHIS PAPER ARGUES THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO GIVE AN\nANTI-REALIST ACCOUNT OF ALL CLASSES OF SENTENCES. THAT IS,\nIN THE CASE OF NO CLASSES OF SENTENCES DOES TRUTH TRANSCEND\nWHAT CAN BE WARRANTED. THE KEY TO GLOBAL ANTI-REALISM IS\nREPLACING DUMMETT'S EMPIRICISM WITH A COHERENTIST ACCOUNT\nOF WARRANT. THE AUTHOR POINTS OUT THAT COLIN McGINN'S\nARGUMENT AGAINST GLOBAL ANTI-REALISM FAILS.
Although William James claims be a "rabid individualist" and although his commentators agree that his individualism is central to his philosophical views, neither he nor they give an explicit account of that individualism. My goal in this dissertation is to provide such an account. ;In the first three chapters, I discuss the main contexts in which James's individualism arises: the political context, in which James contends that the contributions of individual geniuses are the catalysts of social change; (...) the psychological context, where James argues that psychology is properly the study of finite, individual minds; and the religious/metaphysical context, in which James claims that individuals are irreducible constituents of spiritual reality. ;In the fourth chapter, I present my integration thesis, which argues for a way of minimizing the ambiguities and inconsistencies that plague James's writings on individualism. This thesis claims that James experienced a gradual philosophical conversion in the last ten years of his life and that this conversion allowed him to integrate his earlier beliefs. In his later works, James reconciles active moralism and passive religion, softens his strong anti-intellectualism, and modifies his anti-institutionalism. ;These changes result in an integrated individualism that is also radical. James's individualism is more radical, for example, than that of Emerson or Kierkegaard. On the metaphysical level, Emerson holds individuality to be illusory, and Kierkegaard holds it to be derivative: only James defends its primacy. ;The final chapter consists of a further development of James's views. In it, I present structured wholeness, my theory for applying James's radical and integrated individualism to epiphanal experience. Human experience includes both feelings of wholeness and the structure of everyday, ordinary existence . Structured wholeness claims that the stoic rejection of epiphany and the romantic rejection of mundanity are both pathological. It insists, instead, on the volitional integration of epiphany and mundanity in a process of unlimited personal progress. (shrink)
This collection of new essays on the systematic thought and intellectual legacy of the American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars (1912–1989) comes at a time when Sellars’s influence on contemporary debates about mind, meaning, knowledge, and metaphysics has never been greater. Sellars was among the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, and many of his central ideas have become philosophical stock-in-trade: for example, his conceptions of the ‘myth of the given’, the ‘logical space of reasons’, and the ‘clash’ between the ‘manifest (...) and scientific images of man-in-the-world’. This volume of well-known contemporary philosophers who have been strongly influenced by Sellars – Robert Brandom, Willem deVries, Robert Kraut, Rebecca Kukla, Mark Lance, John McDowell, Ruth Millikan, James O’Shea, David Rosenthal, Johanna Seibt, and Michael Williams – critically examines the groundbreaking ideas by means of which Sellars sought to integrate our thought, perception, and rational agency within a naturalistic outlook on reality. Topics include Sellars’s inferentialist semantics and normative functionalist view of the mind; his attempted reconciliations of internalist and externalist aspects of thought, meaning, and knowledge; his novel nominalist account of abstract entities; and a speculative ‘pure process’ metaphysics of consciousness. Of particular interest is how this volume exhibits the ongoing fruitful dialogue between so-called ‘left-wing Sellarsians’, who stress Sellars’s various Kantian and pragmatist defenses of the irreducibility of normativity and rationality within the space of reasons, and ‘right-wing Sellarsians’ who defend the plausibility of Sellars’s highly ambitious and systematic scientific naturalism. (shrink)
Recent critics of the coherence theory of truth (notably Ralph Walker) have alleged that the theory is incoherent, since its defence presupposes the correctness of the contrary correspondence theory of truth. Coherentists must specify the system of propositions with which true propositons cohere (the specified system). Generally, coherentists claim that the specified system is a system composed of propositions believed by a community. Critics of coherentism maintain that the coherentist’s assertions about which system is the specified system must be true, (...) not because they cohere with a system of beliefs, but because of facts about what a community believes. I argue that coherentists can admit that there are facts about what systems of beliefs communities accept, without being committed to the claim that these facts are the truth conditions of sentences about what communities accept. (shrink)