While philosophers and scientists sometimes suggest (or take for granted) that consciousness is an essential condition for free will and moral responsibility, there is surprisingly little discussion of why consciousness (and what sorts of conscious experience) is important. We discuss some of the proposals that have been offered. We then discuss our studies using descriptions of humanoid robots to explore people’s attributions of free will and responsibility, of various kinds of conscious sensations and emotions, and of reasoning capacities, and examine (...) the relationships between these attributions. Our initial results suggest that people’s attributions of free will are strongly influenced by their attributions of conscious emotions, such as happiness and disappointment, including Strawsonian emotions, such as pride and regret. These results provide some support for an intriguing proposal: Free will requires the capacity to make decisions that really matter to the agent, and for anything to really matter to the agent, she must be able to consciously experience the good and bad effects of the decisions she makes—to suffer and regret, or to enjoy and feel proud of, their outcomes. (shrink)
F. H. Bradley was the foremost philosopher of the British Idealist school, which came to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century. Bradley, who was a life fellow of Merton College, Oxford, was influenced by Hegel, and also reacted against utilitarianism. He was recognised during his lifetime as one of the greatest intellectuals of his generation and was the first philosopher to receive the Order of Merit, in 1924. His work is considered to have been important (...) to the formation of analytic philosophy. In metaphysics, he rejected pluralism and realism, and believed that English philosophy needed to deal systematically with first principles. This work, first published in 1893, is divided into two parts: 'Appearance' deals with exposing the contradictions that Bradley believed are hidden in our everyday conceptions of the world; and in 'Reality', he builds his positive account of reality and considers possible objections to it. (shrink)
A new powerful military weapon has appeared in the skies of world and with it a new form of warfare has quickly emerged bringing with it a host of pressing ethical questions and issues. Killing By Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military brings together some of the best scholars currently working on these questions.
A version of Bradley's regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism . A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well-founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported (...) by showing that Cameron's argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
F. H. Bradley’s relation regress poses a difficult problem for metaphysics of relations. In this paper, we reconstruct this regress argument systematically and make its presuppositions explicit in order to see where the possibility of its solution or resolution lies. We show that it cannot be answered by claiming that it is not vicious. Neither is one of the most promising resolutions, the relata-specific answer adequate in its present form. It attempts to explain adhence (relating), which is a crucial (...) component of the explanandum of Bradley’s relation regress, in terms of specific adherence of a relational trope to its relata. Nevertheless, since we do not know the consequences and constituents of a trope adhering to its specific relata, it remains unclear what specific adherence is. It is left as a constitutively inexplicable primitive. The relata-specific answer only asserts against Bradley. This negative conclusion highlights the need for a metaphysical account of what the holding of adherence consists. (shrink)
If we make the basic assumption that the components of a proposition have reference on the model of proper name and bearer, we face the problem of distinguishing the proposition from a mere list' of names. We neutralize the problem posed by that assumption of we first of all follow Wiggins and distinguish, in every predicate, a strictly predicative element (the copula), and a strictly non-predicative conceptual component (available to be quantified over). If we further allow the copula itself to (...) conform to the basic assumption, a regress ( Bradley's regress') arises: the referent of the copula will be instantiation, the instantiation of instantiation etc. To avert the regress, Wiggins simply legislates that the basic assumption is to fail for the copula. But we are entitled to regard the regress as constitution not a difficulty, but the solution: the infinitism it imports (capturable in a finitistic theory of meaning) is just what the unity of the proposition "is". (edited). (shrink)
A version of Bradley's regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism. A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well‐founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported by (...) showing that Cameron's argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Over the past decade, a number of accounting and financial reporting frauds have led to lost stock wealth, destroyed public trust, and a worldwide recession that called for necessary reform. Regulatory responses and systemic reforms quickly followed, and we show that, while necessary, these reforms are insufficient. The purpose of this paper is to forward virtuous professionalism as a necessary path toward restoring financial reporting systems. We take the position of external observer and analyze the accounting profession over time to (...) assess what has transpired within our financial reporting systems. Our analysis reveals that the combined influence of commercialism and regulatory response has led to a systemic decline in accounting’s professional ideals and, as a result, an erosion of public trust. We then propose virtuous professionalism as a necessary process for restoring financial reporting systems based on sociological, professional, and philosophical theories. We argue that virtuous professionalism is necessary for restoring the public servant identity of the accounting professional. We conclude that efforts to restore financial reporting systems should begin with reforms that restore professional identity shaped by virtues. (shrink)
One might well wonder—is there a category under which every thing falls? Offering an informative account of such a category is no easy task. For nothing would distinguish things that fall under it from those that don’t—there being, after all, none of the latter. It seems hard, then, to say much about any fully general category; and it would appear to do no carving or categorizing or dividing at all. Nonetheless there are candidates for such a fully general office, including (...) thing, being, entity, item, existent, and—especially—object.[ It is not obvious that there is any fully general category (whether object or otherwise). Accordingly, not all accounts of object assign it to a fully general category, instead allowing that there are non-objects. On those views, object does indeed divide. Accounts of object, then, differ with respect to whether there are non-objects. And this is not the only fault line. Other dimensions of difference include what objects there are and what objects are. Accordingly, this entry will survey three broad questions about the category object: What, if any, is its contrast or complement? What is its extension? What is its nature? (shrink)
Bradley has argued that a truth-conditional semantics for conditionals is incompatible with an allegedly very weak and intuitively compelling constraint on the interpretation of conditionals. I argue that the example Bradley offers to motivate this constraint can be explained along pragmatic lines that are compatible with the correctness of at least one popular truth-conditional semantics for conditionals.
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
The lesson to be learned from the paradoxical St. Petersburg game and Pascal’s Mugging is that there are situations where expected utility maximizers will needlessly end up poor and on death’s door, and hence we should not be expected utility maximizers. Instead, when it comes to decision-making, for possibilities that have very small probabilities of occurring, we should discount those probabilities down to zero, regardless of the utilities associated with those possibilities.
A variety of ethical objections have been raised against the military employment of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs, drones). Some of these objections are technological concerns over UAVs abilities’ to function on par with their inhabited counterparts. This paper sets such concerns aside and instead focuses on supposed objections to the use of UAVs in principle. I examine several such objections currently on offer and show them all to be wanting. Indeed, I argue that we have a duty to protect an (...) agent engaged in a justified act from harm to the greatest extent possible, so long as that protection does not interfere with the agent's ability to act justly. UAVs afford precisely such protection. Therefore, we are obligated to employ UAV weapon systems if it can be shown that their use does not significantly reduce a warfighter's operational capability. Of course, if a given military action is unjustified to begin with, then carrying out that act via UAVs is wrong, just as it would be with any weapon. But the point of this paper is to show that there is nothing wrong in principle with using a UAV and that, other things being equal, using such technology is, in fact, obligatory. (shrink)
In this paper, I articulate and argue for a new truthmaker view of ontological commitment, which I call the “General Truthmaker View”: when one affirms a sentence, one is ontologically committed to there being something that makes true the proposition expressed by the sentence. This view comes apart from Quinean orthodoxy in that we are not ontologically committed to the things over which we quantify, and it comes apart from extant truthmaker views of ontological commitment in that we are not (...) ontologically committed to the truthmakers of our sentences. (shrink)
A quick look at what is happening in the corporate world makes it clear that the stakeholder idea is alive, well, and flourishing; and the question now is not “if ” but “how” stakeholder theory will meet the challenges of its success. Does stakeholder theory’s “arrival” mean continued dynamism, refinement, and relevance, or stasis? How will superior stakeholder theory continue to develop? In light of these and related questions, the authors of these essays conducted an ongoing dialogue on the current (...) state and future of stakeholder thinking. Beginning with a review of research and theory that has developed since the majorstakeholder theorizing efforts of the 1990s, the authors individually offer their perspectives on the key issues relevant today to stakeholder thinking, and to suggest possible approaches that might lead toward and enable the continuing development of superior stakeholder theory. (shrink)
One of the main contributions of Richard Bradley’s book is an elegant extension of Jeffrey’s Logic of Decision that countenances the evaluation of conditional prospects. This extension offers a promising new setting in which to model dynamic choice. In Bradley’s framework, plans can be understood as conditionals of an appropriate sort, while dynamic consistency can be viewed as providing a constraint on the evaluation of conditionals across time. In this paper, we study connections between planning conditionals and dynamic (...) consistency. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...) puzzles apply just as well to the old puzzles, the old puzzles provide no motivation to be a mereological nihilist. (shrink)
We investigate the dynamics of sensory integration for perceiving musical performance, a complex natural behavior. Thirty musically trained participants saw, heard, or both saw and heard, performances by two clarinetists. All participants used a sliding potentiometer to make continuous judgments of tension (a measure correlated with emotional response) and continuous judgments of phrasing (a measure correlated with perceived musical structure) as performances were presented. The data analysis sought to reveal relations between the sensory modalities (vision and audition) and to quantify (...) the effect of seeing the performances on participants' overall subjective experience of the music. In addition to traditional statistics, functional data analysis techniques were employed to analyze time-varying aspects of the data. The auditory and visual channels were found to convey similar experiences of phrasing but different experiences of tension through much of the performances. We found that visual information served both to augment and to reduce the experience of tension at different points in the musical piece (as revealed by functional linear modeling and functional significance testing). In addition, the musicians' movements served to extend the sense of phrasing, to cue the beginning of new phrases, to indicate musical interpretation, and to anticipate changes in emotional content. Evidence for an interaction effect suggests that there may exist an emergent quality when musical performances are both seen and heard. The investigation augments knowledge of human communicative processes spanning language and music, and involving multiple modalities of emotion and information transfer. (shrink)
In recent years, many philosophers of religion have turned their attention to the topic of faith. Given the ubiquity of the word “faith” both in and out of religious contexts, many of them have chosen to begin their forays by offering an analysis of faith. But it seems that there are many kinds of faith: religious faith, non‐religious faith, interpersonal faith, and propositional faith, to name a few. In this article, I discuss analyses of faith that have been offered and (...) point out the dimensions along which they differ. (shrink)
An able and clear defense of Bradley's principal theses and the underlying conception of metaphysical enterprise. "This is a book about a metaphysician, about metaphysics, and, most importantly, it attempts to develop elements of a metaphysical position long the lines of what is called Absolute Idealism." The Introduction takes up the Verificationists [[sic]] argument and two recent accounts of metaphysics. Part I devotes ten Chapters to the elucidation and defense of Bradley's conception of reality. It culminates in examining (...) three alternative accounts of "Real". Part II considers "the major philosophical theories of the self in order to defend Bradley's Theory of the self within his metaphysical scheme."--A. S. C. (shrink)
I argue that the wave function ontology for quantum mechanics is an undesirable ontology. This ontology holds that the fundamental space in which entities evolve is not three-dimensional, but instead 3N-dimensional, where N is the number of particles standardly thought to exist in three-dimensional space. I show that the state of three-dimensional objects does not supervene on the state of objects in 3N-dimensional space. I also show that the only way to guarantee the existence of the appropriate mental states in (...) the wave function ontology has undesirable metaphysical baggage: either mind/body dualism is true, or circumstances which we take to be logically possible turn out to be logically impossible. (shrink)
We discuss how the approach taken by regulators to address financial reporting issues has a significant influence on tone at the top. While tone must ultimately be established internally, regulators are more likely to have a positive impact on the quality of financial reporting by addressing organizational tone. A strong tone at the top should ensure that the financial reports are characterized by greater transparency and complete disclosures, and a regulator’s response will depend upon their perspective as to what motivates (...) management. A compliance-based approach, rooted in agency theory’s assumption that managers act in their own best interests, seeks to mandate desirable behavior through elevated monitoring and reduced managerial discretion. Alternatively, an empowerment-based approach rooted in stewardship theory views managers as trustworthy guardians and grants them greater discretion without burdensome external monitoring. In practice, regulations fall on a continuum between these two approaches. To illustrate the continuum between compliance and empowerment, we present three cases in financial and tax reporting and examine the outcomes of these recent regulatory responses. We then provide conclusions regarding the effectiveness of each regulation by considering how tone was influenced within organizations. (shrink)
The doctrine of intelligent design is often the subject of acrimonious debate. Seeking God in Science cuts through the rhetoric that distorts the debates between religious and secular camps. Bradley Monton, a philosopher of science and an atheist, carefully considers the arguments for intelligent design and argues that intelligent design deserves serious consideration as a scientific theory. -/- Monton also gives a lucid account of the debate surrounding the inclusion of intelligent design in public schools and presents reason why (...) students' science education could benefit from a careful consideration of the arguments for and against it. (shrink)
The doctrine of intelligent design is often the subject of acrimonious debate. _Seeking God in Science_ cuts through the rhetoric that distorts the debates between religious and secular camps. Bradley Monton, a philosopher of science and an atheist, carefully considers the arguments for intelligent design and argues that intelligent design deserves serious consideration as a scientific theory. Monton also gives a lucid account of the debate surrounding the inclusion of intelligent design in public schools and presents reason why students’ (...) science education could benefit from a careful consideration of the arguments for and against it. (shrink)
In this book, Bradley Armour-Garb and James A. Woodbridge distinguish various species of fictionalism, locating and defending their own version of philosophical fictionalism. Addressing semantic and philosophical puzzles that arise from ordinary language, they consider such issues as the problem of non-being, plural identity claims, mental-attitude ascriptions, meaning attributions, and truth-talk. They consider 'deflationism about truth', explaining why deflationists should be fictionalists, and show how their philosophical fictionalist account of truth-talk underwrites a dissolution of the Liar Paradox and its (...) kin. They further explore the semantic notions of reference and predicate-satisfaction, showing how philosophical fictionalism can also resolve puzzles that these notions appear to present. Their critical examination of fictionalist approaches in philosophy, together with the development and application of their own brand of philosophical fictionalism, will be of great interest to scholars and upper-level students of philosophy of language, metaphysics, philosophical logic, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and linguistics. (shrink)
Monism about being says that there is one way to be. Pluralism about being says that there are many ways to be. Recently, Trenton Merricks and David Builes have offered arguments against Pluralism. In this paper, I show how Pluralists who appeal to the relative naturalness of quantifiers can respond to these arguments.
Typically, literature is defined ontologically as linguistically-fixed texts consisting of specific words and word order. However, some have noted that this condition is too strict for linguistically-fluid works such as the Iliad where the words and word order differ in their various instances. I argue that it is not strict enough for some works of literature, such as pattern poetry and the novels of Irvin Welsh and Mark Z. Danielewski, that have a further ontological condition. In that the graphic features (...) play an artistic role in these works, those graphic features must be reproduced in an authentic copy. Using exemplars in both poetry and prose, I define these works as graphically-fixed literature and identify a sufficient condition of such works specific to their graphic features. Finally, I examine copies of graphically-fixed works that omit their graphic features as well as audiobook and Braille editions that necessarily lack graphic components. (shrink)