It is often claimed that irreducibly normative truths would have unacceptable metaphysical implications, and are incompatible with a scientific view of the world. The book argues, on the basis of a general account of the relevance of ontological questions, that this claim is mistaken. It is also a mistake to think that interpreting normative judgments as beliefs would make it impossible to explain their connection with action. An agent’s acceptance of a normative judgment can explain that agent’s subsequent action because (...) it is part of being a rational agent that such an agent’s beliefs about reasons normally, but not invariably, make a difference to the agent’s subsequent behavior. Because facts about reasons are not entities existing apart from us, there is no epistemological problem of how we can “be in touch with” such facts. There are serious worries about normative knowledge, but the problems involved are internal to the normative domain itself. The best solution to these problems would be an overall account of the domain of reasons in normative terms, supported by an argument from reflective equilibrium. But no existing account, constructivist, or based on desires or on an idea of rationality, is plausible, and no alternative is likely to succeed. Conclusions about reasons for action must rest on more piecemeal applications of the method of reflective equilibrium. (shrink)
Being and Nothingness is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy. Its revolutionary approach challenged all previous assumptions about the individual's relationship with the world. Known as 'the Bible of existentialism', its impact on culture and literature was immediate and was felt worldwide, from the absurd drama of Samuel Beckett to the soul-searching cries of the Beat (...) poets. Being and Nothingness is one of those rare books whose influence has affected the mind-set of subsequent generations. Sixty years after its first publication, its message remains as potent as ever - challenging the reader to confront the fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, responsibility and action. (shrink)
This book addresses a range of relevant theoretical issues, including the possibility of an interpersonally comparable measure of well-being, or “utility” metric; the moral value of equality, and how that bears on the form of the social welfare function; social choice under uncertainty; and the possibility of integrating considerations of individual choice and responsibility into the social-welfare-function framework. This book also deals with issues of implementation, and explores how survey data and other sources of evidence might be used to (...) calibrate both a utility metric and a social welfare function, and whether distributive goals are ever best pursued through regulation rather than the tax system. In working through this range of theoretical and practical issues, the book draws from a wide variety of literatures, including philosophical scholarship on equality, responsibility, the nature of well-being, and personal identity over time; the social choice literature within economics; applied economic literatures concerning the measurement of inequality and poverty; legal and policy-analysis scholarship on cost-benefit analysis, environmental justice, and the choice between regulation and taxation; and the burgeoning field of “happiness studies”. (shrink)
Well-Being and Death addresses philosophical questions about death and the good life: what makes a life go well? Is death bad for the one who dies? How is this possible if we go out of existence when we die? Is it worse to die as an infant or as a young adult? Is it bad for animals and fetuses to die? Can the dead be harmed? Is there any way to make death less bad for us? Ben Bradley defends (...) the following views: pleasure, rather than achievement or the satisfaction of desire, is what makes life go well; death is generally bad for its victim, in virtue of depriving the victim of more of a good life; death is bad for its victim at times after death, in particular at all those times at which the victim would have been living well; death is worse the earlier it occurs, and hence it is worse to die as an infant than as an adult; death is usually bad for animals and fetuses, in just the same way it is bad for adult humans; things that happen after someone has died cannot harm that person; the only sensible way to make death less bad is to live so long that no more good life is possible. (shrink)
"Well-being," "welfare," "utility," and "quality of life," all closely related concepts, are at the center of morality, politics, law, and economics. Griffin's book, while primarily a volume of moral philosophy, is relevant to all of these subjects. Griffin offers answers to three central questions about well-being: what is the best way to understand it, can it be measured, and where should it fit in moral and political thought. With its breadth of investigation and depth of insight, this work (...) holds significance for philosophers as well as for those interested in political and economic theory and jurisprudence. (shrink)
This paper is an investigation of the general logic of "identifications", claims such as 'To be a vixen is to be a female fox', 'To be human is to be a rational animal', and 'To be just is to help one's friends and harm one's enemies', many of which are of great importance to philosophers. I advocate understanding such claims as expressing higher-order identity, and discuss a variety of different general laws which they might be thought to obey. [New version: (...) Nov. 4th, 2016]. (shrink)
Being Known is a response to a philosophical challenge which arises for every area of thought: to reconcile a plausible account of what is involved in the truth of statements in a given area with a credible account of how we can know those statements. Christopher Peacocke presents a framework for addressing the challenge, a framework which links both the theory of knowledge and the theory of truth with the theory of concept-possession.
Normativity involves two kinds of relation. On the one hand, there is the relation of being a reason for. This is a relation between a fact and an attitude. On the other hand, there are relations specified by requirements of rationality. These are relations among a person's attitudes, viewed in abstraction from the reasons for them. I ask how the normativity of rationality—the sense in which we ‘ought’ to comply with requirements of rationality—is related to the normativity of reasons—the (...) sense in which we ‘ought’ to have the attitudes what we have conclusive reason to have. The normativity of rationality is not straightforwardly that of reasons, I argue; there are no reasons to comply with rational requirements in general. First, this would lead to ‘bootstrapping’, because, contrary to the claims of John Broome, not all rational requirements have ‘wide scope’. Second, it is unclear what such reasons to be rational might be. Finally, we typically do not, and in many cases could not, treat rational requirements as reasons. Instead, I suggest, rationality is only apparently normative, and the normativity that it appears to have is that of reasons. According to this ‘Transparency Account’, rational requirements govern our responses to our beliefs about reasons. The normative ‘pressure’ that we feel, when rational requirements apply to us, derives from these beliefs: from the reasons that, as it seems to us, we have. (shrink)
Anthropology is a disciplined inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life. Generations of theorists, however, have expunged life from their accounts, treating it as the mere output of patterns, codes, structures or systems variously defined as genetic or cultural, natural or social. Building on his classic work The Perception of the Environment, Tim Ingold sets out to restore life to where it should belong, at the heart of anthropological concern. Being Alive ranges over such themes as the (...) vitality of materials, what it means to make things, the perception and formation of the ground, the mingling of earth and sky in the weather-world, the experiences of light, sound and feeling, the role of storytelling in the integration of knowledge, and the potential of drawing to unite observation and description. Our humanity, Ingold argues, does not come ready-made but is continually fashioned in our movements along ways of life. Starting from the idea of life as a process of wayfaring, Ingold presents a radically new understanding of movement, knowledge and description as dimensions not just of being in the world, but of being alive to what is going on there. (shrink)
Expressivism - the sophisticated contemporary incarnation of the noncognitivist research program of Ayer, Stevenson, and Hare - is no longer the province of metaethicists alone. Its comprehensive view about the nature of both normative language and normative thought has also recently been applied to many topics elsewhere in philosophy - including logic, probability, mental and linguistic content, knowledge, epistemic modals, belief, the a priori, and even quantifiers. Yet the semantic commitments of expressivism are still poorly understood and have not been (...) very far developed. As argued within, expressivists have not yet even managed to solve the "negation problem" - to explain why atomic normative sentences are inconsistent with their negations. As a result, it is far from clear that expressivism even could be true, let alone whether it is. Being For seeks to evaluate the semantic commitments of expressivism, by showing how an expressivist semantics would work, what it can do, and what kind of assumptions would be required, in order for it to do it. Building on a highly general understanding of the basic ideas of expressivism, it argues that expressivists can solve the negation problem - but only in one kind of way. It shows how this insight paves the way for an explanatorily powerful, constructive expressivist semantics, which solves many of what have been taken to be the deepest problems for expressivism. But it also argues that no account with these advantages can be generalized to deal with constructions like tense, modals, or binary quantifiers. Expressivism, the book argues, is coherent and interesting, but false. (shrink)
Humanity and the very notion of the human subject are under threat from postmodernist thinking which has declared not only the 'Death of God' but also the 'Death of Man'. This book is a revindication of the concept of humanity, rejecting contemporary social theory that seeks to diminish human properties and powers. Archer argues that being human depends on an interaction with the real world in which practice takes primacy over language in the emergence of human self-consciousness, thought, emotionality (...) and personal identity - all of which are prior to, and more basic than, our acquisition of a social identity. This original and provocative new book from leading social theorist Margaret S. Archer builds on the themes explored in her previous books Culture and Agency (CUP 1988) and Realist Social Theory (CUP 1995). It will be required reading for academics and students of social theory, cultural theory, political theory, philosophy and theology. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that, barring a few important exceptions, the phenomenon we refer to using the expression “being moved” is a distinct type of emotion. In this paper’s first section, we motivate this hypothesis by reflecting on our linguistic use of this expression. In section two, pursuing a methodology that is both conceptual and empirical, we try to show that the phenomenon satisfies the five most commonly used criteria in philosophy and psychology for thinking that some affective (...) episode is a distinct emotion. Indeed, being moved, we claim, is the experience of a positive core value (particular object) perceived by the moved subject as standing out (formal object) in the circumstances triggering the emotion. Drawing on numerous examples, we describe the distinctively rich phenomenology characteristic of the experience as well as the far-reaching action-tendencies and functions associated with it. Having thus shown that the candidate emotion seem to satisfy the five criteria, we go on, in section three, to compare it with sadness and joy, arguing that it should not be confused with either. Finally, in section four, we illustrate the explanatory power of our account of “being moved” by showing how it can shed light on, and maybe even justify, the widespread distrust we feel towards the exhibition of ‘sentimentality’. On the whole and if we are right, we have uncovered an emotion which, though never or rarely talked about, is of great interest and no small importance. (shrink)
Epistemologists often claim that in addition to belief and disbelief there is a third, neutral, doxastic attitude. Various terms are used: ‘suspending judgment’, ‘withholding’, ‘agnosticism’. It is also common to claim that the factors relevant to the justification of these attitudes are epistemic in the narrow sense of being factors that bear on the strength or weakness of one’s epistemic position with respect to the target proposition. This paper addresses two challenges to such traditionalism about doxastic attitudes. The first (...) concerns the relevance of non-epistemic factors we might call "future-comparative" – e.g., that you’ll have more decisive evidence on whether p tomorrow – to the justification of suspending judgment. The second, from Jane Friedman, is to explain the point of the neutral attitude without appealing to inquiry and thus taking goal-related factors, which are not epistemic, such as the value of the goal or the prospects for finding means to achieve it, to bear on the justification of the neutral attitude. My defense of traditionalism relies on distinguishing three ways of being neutral on a question: agnosticism, inquiry and suspension of judgment. Traditionalism is saved because, of these, agnosticism alone is a genuine doxastic attitude. (shrink)
_Being and Nothingness_ is without doubt one of the most significant books of the twentieth century. The central work by one of the world's most influential thinkers, it altered the course of western philosophy. Its revolutionary approach challenged all previous assumptions about the individual's relationship with the world. Known as 'the Bible of existentialism', its impact on culture and literature was immediate and was felt worldwide, from the absurd drama of Samuel Beckett to the soul-searching cries of the Beat poets. (...) _Being and Nothingness_ is one of those rare books whose influence has affected the mind-set of subsequent generations. Sixty years after its first publication, its message remains as potent as ever - challenging the reader to confront the fundamental dilemmas of human freedom, responsibility and action. (shrink)
Graham Priest presents an original exploration of questions concerning the one and the many. He covers a wide range of issues in metaphysics--unity, identity, grounding, mereology, universals, being, intentionality and nothingness--and draws on Western and Asian philosophy as well as paraconsistent logic to offer a radically new treatment of unity.
Disjunctivism about perceptual appearances, as I conceive of it, is a theory which seeks to preserve a naïve realist conception of veridical perception in the light of the challenge from the argument from hallucination. The naïve realist claims that some sensory experiences are relations to mind-independent objects. That is to say, taking experiences to be episodes or events, the naïve realist supposes that some such episodes have as constituents mind-independent objects. In turn, the disjunctivist claims that in a case of (...) veridical perception like this very kind of experience that you now have, the experiential episode you enjoy is of a kind which could not be occurring were you having an hallucination. The common strategy of arguments from hallucination set out to show that certain things are true of hallucinations, and hence must be true of perceptions. For example, it is argued that hallucinations must have non-physical objects of awareness, or that such states are not relations to anything at all, but are at best seeming relations to objects. In insisting that veridical perceptual experience is of a distinct kind from hallucination, the disjunctivist denies that any of these conceptions of hallucination challenges our conception of veridical perceptions as relations to mind-independent objects. More specifically, I assume that the disjunctivist advocates naïve realism because they think that this position best articulates how sensory experience seems to us to be just through reflection. If the disjunctivist is correct in this contention, then anyone who accepts the conclusion of the argument from hallucination must also accept that the nature of sensory experience is other than it seems to us to be. In turn, one may complain that any such error theory is liable to lead to sceptical consequences. A Humean scepticism about the senses launches a challenge about our knowledge of the world through questioning the conception we have of what sense experience is, and how it can provide knowledge of the world. (shrink)
My project in Being For is both constructive and negative. The main aim of the book is to take the core ideas of meta-ethical expressivism as far as they can go, and to try to develop a version of expressivism that solves many of the more straightforward open problems that have faced the view without being squarely confronted. In doing so, I develop an expressivist framework that I call biforcated attitude semantics, which I claim has the minimal structural (...) features required in order to solve some of these open problems facing expressivism. I take biforcated attitude semantics to prove that expressivism is a coherent and interesting hypothesis about the semantics of natural languages.So much for the constructive part; having argued that biforcated attitude semantics incorporates the minimal moves required in order to solve a few of the more pressing open questions facing expressivism, I use it in order to productively constrain what an expressivist answer to further open questions must look like. The results, I end up arguing, are ultimately not promising; the very same structural features that expressivists need in order to answer so simple a problem as to explain why ‘P’ and ‘∼P’ are inconsistent sentences lead to a very general problem about how ordinary, non-moral sentences are to end up with the right truth-conditions, and though I show how to finesse this problem for some simple constructions – truth-conditional connectives and the quantifiers – I ultimately argue that it can’t be done for the full range of constructions in natural languages – including terms like modals, tense and binary quantifiers like ‘most’. So even if expressivism is coherent and interesting, it is an extremely unpromising hypothesis about the language that we actually speak.The main theme of the book is that the most fruitful way …. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...) to react to the agent in various (negative) ways. This is problematic, I argue, because our intuitions about whether and when it would be fair to react negatively to another are sensitive to a host of considerations that appear to have little or nothing to do with an agent’s responsibility or culpability for her attitudes or behavior. If this is correct, then theories which make attributions of responsibility dependent upon the appropriateness of our reactions as moral judges will turn out to be fundamentally misguided. (shrink)
Philosophers concerned with what would be good for a person sometimes consider a person’s past desires. Indeed, some theorists have argued by appeal to past desires that it is in the best interests of certain dementia patients to die. I reject this conclusion. I consider three different ways one might appeal to a person’s past desires in arguing for conclusions about the good of such patients, finding flaws with each. Of the views I reject, the most interesting one is the (...) view that prudential value is, at least partly, concerned with the shape of a life as a whole. (shrink)
What is well-being? This is one of humanity's oldest and deepest questions; Valerie Tiberius offers a fresh answer. She argues that our lives go well to the extent that we succeed in what matters to us emotionally, reflectively, and over the long term. So when we want to help others achieve well-being, we should pay attention to their values.
I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be (...) ontological committed to what I will call almost nothings. Examples of almost nothings include holes, cracks, and shadows; almost nothings thrive in the absence of ‘positive’ entities such as donuts, walls, and sunlight. Let’s focus on holes, since the literature on them is voluminous.2 We quantify over holes, and even count them: we say, for example, that there are some holes in the cheese, seven to be precise. We ascribe features to them and talk as though they stand in relations: that hole is three feet wide, much wider than that tire over there. Holes apparently persist through time, as evidenced by the fact that my sweater has the same hole in it as the last time you saw me wear it. We even talk as though holes are causally efficacious: my ankle was badly sprained because I stepped in that hole in the sidewalk.3 It seems then that we believe in holes. If our beliefs are true, holes must enjoy some kind of reality. This puts the ontological monist in an uncomfortable position. According to her, everything that there is enjoys the same kind of reality, which is the kind of reality enjoyed by full-fledged concrete entities such as ourselves. She is committed to the unpleasant claim that holes are just as real as concretia, a claim that is apt to be met with incredulous stares by those not acquainted with contemporary metaphysics. Roy Sorensen (2008, p. 19) notes the tension almost nothings generate for ontological monists: ‘… it feels paradoxical to say that absences exist—but no better to say that absences do not exist’.. (shrink)
In Being and Time, Heidegger affirms that being-with or Mitsein is an essential constitution of Dasein but he does not submit this existential to the same rigorous analyses as other existentials. In this essay, Jean-Luc Nancy points to the different places where Heidegger erased the possibility of thinking an essential with that he himself opened. This erasure is due, according to Nancy, to the subordination of Mitsein to a thinking of the proper and the improper. The polarization of (...)Being-with between an improper face, the Anyone, and a proper one, the people, which is also, as Nancy shows, a polarization between everydayness and historicity, between a being-together in exteriority (indifference and anonymity) and a being-together in interiority (union through destiny), between a solitary dying and the sacrificial death in combat, leaves the essential with unthought. This essay shows not only the tensions that arise out of Heidegger’s own analyses of Mitsein and affect the whole of Being and Time but also underlines in the end a “shortfall in thinking” inherent not only to Heidegger’s work but, as Nancy claims, to our Western tradition, a shortfall which Nancy has attempted to remedy in his Being Singular Plural. (shrink)
It is a commonly expressed sentiment that the science and philosophy of well-being would do well to learn from each other. Typically such calls identify mistakes and bad practices on both sides that would be remedied if scientists picked the right bit of philosophy and philosophers picked the right bit of science. We argue that the differences between philosophers and scientists thinking about well-being are more difficult to reconcile than such calls suggest, and that pluralism is central to (...) this task. Pluralism is a stance that explicitly drives towards accommodating and nurturing the richness and diversity of well-being, both as a concept and as an object of inquiry. We show that well-being science manifests a contingent pluralism at the level of methodology, whereas philosophy of well-being has largely rejected pluralism at the conceptual level. Recently, things have begun to change. Within philosophy, conceptual monism is under attack. But so is methodological pluralism within science. We welcome the first development, and bemoan the second. We argue that a joined-up philosophy and science of well-being should recognise the virtues of both conceptual and methodological pluralism. Philosophers should embrace the methodological justification of pluralism that can be found in the well-being sciences, and scientists should embrace the conceptual reasons to be pluralist that can be found in philosophical debate. (shrink)
_On Being in the World_, first published in 1990, illumines a neglected but important area of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, revealing its pertinence to the central concerns of contemporary analytic philosophy. The starting point is the idea of ‘continuous aspect perception’, which connects Wittgenstein’s treatment of certain issues relating to aesthetics with fundamental questions in the philosophy of psychology. Professor Mulhall indicates parallels between Wittgenstein’s interests and Heidegger’s _Being and Time_, demonstrating that Wittgenstein’s investigation of aspect perception is designed to cast (...) light on much more than a bizarre type of visual experience: in reality, it highlights what is distinctively _human _about our behaviour in relation to things in the world, what it is that distinguishes our practical activity from that of automata. On Being in the World remains an invaluable resource for students of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, as well as anyone interested in negotiating the division between analytic and continental philosophy. (shrink)
One of the strongest strands in Nancy's philosophy is an attempt to rethink community and the very idea of the social in a way that does not ground these ideas in some individual subject or subjectivity. The fundamental argument of this book is that being is always 'being with', that 'I' is not prior to 'we', that existence is essentially co-existence. He thinks this being together, not as a comfortable enclosure in a pre-existing group, but as a (...) mutual abandonment and exposure to each other, one that would preserve the 'I' and its freedom in a mode of imagining community as neither a 'society of spectacle' nor via some form of 'authenticity'. (shrink)
: In the 1980s, the analysis of presupposition projection contributed to a ‘dynamic turn’ in semantics: the classical notion of meanings as truth conditions was replaced with a dynamic notion of meanings as Context Change Potentials. We argue that this move was misguided, and we offer an alternative in which presupposition projection follows from the combination of a fully classical semantics and a new pragmatic principle, which we call Be Articulate. This principle requires that a meaning pp’ conceptualized as involving (...) a pre-condition p should be articulated as … … rather than as … pp’ …, unless the full conjunction is ruled out because the first or the second conjunct is semantically idle. In particular, … … is infelicitous - and hence … pp’ … is acceptable - if one can determine as soon as p and is uttered that no matter how the sentence ends these words could be eliminated without affecting its contextual meaning. An equivalence theorem guarantees that this condition suffices to derive Heim’s results in almost all cases. Extensions of the condition lead to several new predictions, in particular concerning some ‘symmetric readings’, as well as presupposition projection in quantified structures, which displays a complex interaction between the nature of the trigger and the monotonicity of the quantifier. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) influenced the work of such diverse thinkers as Sartre and Derrida. In Tool-Being, Graham Harman departs from the prevailing linguistic approach to analytic and continental philosophy in favor of Heideggerian object-oriented research into the secret contours of objects. Written in a colorful style, it will be of interest to anyone open to new trends in present-day philosophy.
Previous work in Game Studies has centered on several loci of investigation in seeking to understand virtual gameworlds. First, researchers have scrutinized the concept of the virtual world itself and how it relates to the idea of “the magic circle”. Second, the field has outlined various forms of experienced “presence”. Third, scholarship has noted that the boundaries between the world of everyday life and virtual worlds are porous, and that this fosters a multiplicity of identities as players identify both with (...) themselves-offline and themselves-in-game. Despite widespread agreement that these topics are targets for research, so far those working on these topics do not have mutually agreed-upon framework. Here we draw upon the work of Alfred Schutz to take up this call. We provide a phenomenological framework which can be used to describe the phenomena of interest to Game Studies, as well as open new avenues of inquiry, in a way acceptable and useful to all. This helps to distinguish the core of the field from the supplemental theoretical and critical commitments which characterize diverse approaches within the field. (shrink)
This paper defends a new norm of assertion: Assert that p only if you are in a position to know that p. We test the norm by judging its performance in explaining three phenomena that appear jointly inexplicable at first: Moorean paradoxes, lottery propositions, and selfless assertions. The norm succeeds by tethering unassertability to unknowability while untethering belief from assertion. The PtK‐norm foregrounds the public nature of assertion as a practice that can be other‐regarding, allowing asserters to act in the (...) best interests of their audience when psychological pressures would otherwise prevent them from communicating the knowable truth. (shrink)
Even though the link between perceived corporate social responsibility fit and corporate reputation has received much attention from scholars, this tradition has ignored that the underpinnings of this association vary depending on the particular characteristics of each industry under study. To delve into this matter, we investigate in the increasingly relevant context of controversial industries how PCSR-fit could enhance corporate reputation and which are the mediating mechanisms of this association. Our academic contribution is twofold. First, we find that controversial sectors (...) indeed can increase corporate reputation through CSR activities. However, we find that to achieve this goal, the nature of PCSR-fit should be different than what extant literature indicates, because companies in these settings should directly focus on avoiding or reducing their inherent controversial harm or impact. Second, we evidence that “CSR initiatives' legitimacy” and “situational skepticism” mediate the PCSR-fit and corporate reputation relationship in CIs. Therefore, we further unravel the underpinnings of this association to advance what we know on the matter and aid practitioners in this particular context. (shrink)
This paper addresses three problems: the problem of formulating a coherent relativism, the Sorites paradox and a seldom noticed difficulty in the best intuitionistic case for the revision of classical logic. A response to the latter is proposed which, generalised, contributes towards the solution of the other two. The key to this response is a generalised conception of indeterminacy as a specific kind of intellectual bafflement-Quandary. Intuitionistic revisions of classical logic are merited wherever a subject matter is conceived both as (...) liable to generate Quandary and as subject to a broad form of evidential constraint. So motivated, the distinctions enshrined in intuitionistic logic provide both for a satisfying resolution of the Sorites paradox and a coherent outlet for relativistic views about, e.g., matters of taste and morals. An important corollary of the discussion is that an epistemic conception of vagueness can be prised apart from the strong metaphysical realism with which its principal supporters have associated it, and acknowledged to harbour an independent insight. (shrink)
We often use the term “attachment” to describe our emotional connectedness to objects in the world. We become attached to our careers, to our homes, to certain ideas, and perhaps most importantly, to other people. Interestingly, despite its import and ubiquity in our everyday lives, the topic of attachment per se has been largely ignored in the philosophy literature. I address this lacuna by identifying attachment as a rich “mode of mattering” that can help to inform certain aspects of agency (...) and emotion. First, drawing on insights from Ancient stoicism and developmental and clinical psychology, I suggest that the relevant form of attachment involves a felt need for its object and a particular relationship between the object and the attached agent’s sense of security. I then argue that these features serve to distinguish the attitude from the more philosophically familiar notion of caring. Finally, I show that recognizing this form of attachment as a distinct mode of mattering has important implications for understanding grief. (shrink)
This article explores whether and under which circumstances it is ethically viable to include artificial beings worthy of moral consideration in virtual environments. In particular, the article focuses on virtual environments such as those in digital games and training simulations – interactive and persistent digital artifacts designed to fulfill specific purposes, such as entertainment, education, training, or persuasion. The article introduces the criteria for moral consideration that serve as a framework for this analysis. Adopting this framework, the article tackles the (...) question of whether including artificial intelligences that are entitled to moral consideration in virtual environments constitutes an immoral action on the part of human creators. To address this problem, the article draws on three conceptual lenses from the philosophical branch of ethics: the problem of parenthood and procreation, the question concerning the moral status of animals, and the classical problem of evil. Using a thought experiment, the concluding section proposes a contractualist answer to the question posed in this article. The same section also emphasizes the potential need to reframe our understanding of the design of virtual environments and their future stakeholders. (shrink)
This book offers a new argument for the ancient claim that well-being as the highest prudential good -- eudaimonia -- consists of happiness in a life according to virtue. Virtue is a source of happiness, but happiness also requires external goods.
Philosophy, Socrates declared, is the art of dying. This book underscores that it is also the art of learning to live and share the earth with those who have come before us. Burial, with its surrounding rituals, is the most ancient documented cultural-symbolic practice: all humans have developed techniques of caring for and communicating with the dead. The premise of Being with the Dead is that we can explore our lives with the dead as a cross-cultural existential a priori (...) out of which the basic forms of historical consciousness emerge. Care for the dead is not just about the symbolic handling of mortal remains; it also points to a necropolitics, the social bond between the dead and living that holds societies together—a shared space or polis where the dead are maintained among the living. Moving from mortuary rituals to literary representations, from the problem of ancestrality to technologies of survival and intergenerational communication, Hans Ruin explores the epistemological, ethical, and ontological dimensions of what it means to be with the dead. His phenomenological approach to key sources in a range of fields gives us a new perspective on the human sciences as a whole. (shrink)
My subject is what I will call the “Myth of Formal Coherence.” In its normative telling, the Myth is that there are “requirements of formal coherence as such,” which demand just that our beliefs and intentions be formally coherent.1 Some examples are.
The view that it is better for life to be created free of disability is pervasive in both common sense and philosophy. We cast doubt on this view by focusing on an influential line of thinking that manifests it. That thinking begins with a widely-discussed principle, Procreative Beneficence, and draws conclusions about parental choice and disability. After reconstructing two versions of this argument, we critique the first by exploring the relationship between different understandings of well-being and disability, and the (...) second by more briefly focusing on the idea of a significant reason. By placing these results against the broader historical and ongoing contexts in which the lives of those with disabilities have been deemed of inferior quality, we conclude with a call for greater humility about disability and well-being in thought and practice. (shrink)
Bayesians defend norms of ideal rationality such as probabilism, which they claim should be approximated by non-ideal thinkers. Yet, it is not often discussed exactly in what sense it is beneficial for an agent’s credence function to approximate probabilistic coherence. Some existing research indicates that approximating coherence leads to improvements in accuracy, whereas other research suggests that it decreases Dutch book vulnerability. Yet, the existing results don’t settle whether there is a way of approximating coherence that delivers both benefits at (...) once. We show that there is. (shrink)
Emergence is much discussed by both philosophers and scientists. But, as noted by Mitchell (2012), there is a significant gulf; philosophers and scientists talk past each other. We contend that this is because philosophers and scientists typically mean different things by emergence, leading us to distinguish being emergence and pattern emergence. While related to distinctions offered by others between, for example, strong/weak emergence or epistemic/ontological emergence (Clayton, 2004, pp. 9–11), we argue that the being vs. pattern distinction better (...) captures what the two groups are addressing. In identifying pattern emergence as the central concern of scientists, however, we do not mean that pattern emergence is of no interest to philosophers. Rather, we argue that philosophers should attend to, and even contribute to, discussions of pattern emergence. But it is important that this discussion be distinguished, not conflated, with discussions of being emergence. In the following section we explicate the notion of being emergence and show how it has been the focus of many philosophical discussions, historical and contemporary. In section 3 we turn to pattern emergence, briefly presenting a few of the ways it figures in the discussions of scientists (and philosophers of science who contribute to these discussions in science). Finally, in sections 4 and 5, we consider the relevance of pattern emergence to several central topics in philosophy of biology: the emergence of complexity, of control, and of goal-directedness in biological systems. (shrink)
"To thine own self be true." From Polonius's words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the "real" me, or something greater than me, even God? Thought-provoking and with an astonishing range of references, On Being Authentic is a gripping journey into the self that begins (...) with Socrates and Augustine. Charles Guignon asks why being authentic ceased to mean being part of some bigger, cosmic picture and with Rousseau, Wordsworth and the Romantic movement, took the strong inward turn alive in today's self-help culture. He also plumbs the darker depths of authenticity, with the help of Freud, Carl Jung and Konrad Lorenz, and reflects on the future of being authentic in a postmodern, global age. He argues ultimately that being authentic is not about what is owed to me but how I depend on others. (shrink)
In Spinoza’s metaphysics, we encounter many puzzling doctrines that appear to entangle metaphysical notions with cognitive, logical, and epistemic ones. According to him, a substance is that which can be conceived through itself and a mode is that which is conceived through another. Thus, metaphysical notions, substance and mode, are defined through a notion that is either cognitive or logical, being conceived through. He defines an attribute as that which an intellect perceives as constituting the essence of a substance. (...) Intellectual perception, something cognitive, is used to define an attribute, something metaphysical. And he claims that if something exists there is a reason why it exists and if something doesn’t exist there is also a reason why it doesn’t. Thus, a reason, something cognitive or epistemic, is necessary for existence or nonexistence. What are we to make of the intimate connections that Spinoza sees between metaphysical, cognitive, logical, and epistemic notions? Between being and reason? In this book, I argue for what might be called a realist interpretation: although Spinoza is confident that the order of being mirrors the order of reason, he believes that they are two orders, not one. There is inherence over and above conceptual dependence; there is causation in addition to causal explanation; the world has a nature that we can grasp and that our way of grasping it does not interpose an impenetrable conceptual veil between it and us. (shrink)
Joint attention to an external object at the end of the first year is typically believed to herald the infant's discovery of other people's attention. I will argue that mutual attention in the first months of life already involves an awareness of the directednesss of attention. The self is experienced as the first object of this directedness followed by gradually more distal 'objects'. this view explains early infant affective self-consciousness within mutual attention as emotionally meaningful, rather than as bearing only (...) a spurious similarity to that in the second and third years of life. Such engagements precede and must inform, rather than derive from, conceptual representations of self and other, and can be better described as self-other conscious affects. (shrink)
In Being and Worth Andrew Collier argues that beings both in the natural and human worlds have worth in themselves, whether we recognize it or not. He builds on recent work in critical realism to provide a reassessment of Spinoza's philosophy of mind and ethics. Conclusions are developed with particular reference to environmental ethics.