Two different types of functional dependencies are compared: dependencies that are functional due to the laws of nature and dependencies that are functional if all involved agents behave rationally. The first type of dependencies was axiomatized by Armstrong. This article gives a formal definition of the second type of functional dependencies in terms of strategic games and describes a sound and complete axiomatization of their properties. The axiomatization is significantly different from the Armstrong’s axioms.
The article studies properties of interchangeability of pure, mixed, strict, and strict mixed Nash equilibria. The main result is a sound and complete axiomatic system that describes properties of interchangeability in all four settings. It has been previously shown that the same axiomatic system also describes properties of independence in probability theory, nondeducibility in information flow, and non-interference in concurrency theory.
Shaun Nichols offers a naturalistic, psychological account of the origins of the problem of free will. He argues that our belief in indeterminist choice is grounded in faulty inference and therefore unjustified, goes on to suggest that there is no single answer to whether free will exists, and promotes a pragmatic approach to prescriptive issues.
It is an old philosophical idea that if the future self is literally different from the current self, one should be less concerned with the death of the future self. This paper examines the relation between attitudes about death and the self among Hindus, Westerners, and three Buddhist populations. Compared with other groups, monastic Tibetans gave particularly strong denials of the continuity of self, across several measures. We predicted that the denial of self would be associated with a lower fear (...) of death and greater generosity toward others. To our surprise, we found the opposite. Monastic Tibetan Buddhists showed significantly greater fear of death than any other group. The monastics were also less generous than any other group about the prospect of giving up a slightly longer life in order to extend the life of another. (shrink)
Kelly Aguirre, Phil Henderson, Cressida J. Heyes, Alana Lentin, and Corey Snelgrove engage with different aspects of Robert Nichols’ Theft is Property! Dispossession and Critical Theory. Henderson focuses on possible spaces for maneuver, agency, contradiction, or failure in subject formation available to individuals and communities interpellated through diremptive processes. Heyes homes in on the ritual of antiwill called “consent” that systematically conceals the operation of power. Aguirre foregrounds tensions in projects of critical theory scholarship that aim for dialogue and solidarity (...) with Indigenous decolonial struggles. Lentin draws attention to the role of race in undergirding the logic of Anglo-settler colonial domination that operates through dispossession, while Snelgrove emphasizes the link between alienation, capital, and colonialism. In his reply to his interlocutors, Nichols clarifies aspects of his “recursive logics” of dispossession, a dispossession or theft through which the right to property is generated. (shrink)
Presentists argue that only the present is real. In this paper, I ask what duration the present has on a presentist’s account. While several answers are available, each of them requires the adoption of a measure and, with that adoption, additional work must be done to define the present. Whether presentists conclude that a reductionist account of duration is acceptable, that duration is not an applicable concept for their notion of the present, that the present has a duration of zero, (...) or that that the present has a duration, a more robust account of the present is required. I suggest that some of the most difficult questions about duration can be avoided at the cost of no longer viewing presentism as a theory about time, but rather as a theory about existence. In the conclusion, I suggest an interpretation of presentism that allows it to endorse the view that time is nothing more than the measure of change. (shrink)
Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...) required for persistence of self. Open-ended, abstract questions about what is required for survival tend to elicit responses that appeal to the importance of psychological characteristics. This emphasis on psychological characteristics is largely preserved even when participants are exposed to a concrete case that yields conflicting intuitions over whether memory must be preserved in order for a person to persist. Insofar as our philosophical theory of personal identity should be based on our intuitions, the results provide some support for the view that psychological characteristics really are critical for persistence of self. (shrink)
Through the ability to preview the future , people can anticipate how best to think, feel and act in just about any setting. But exactly what factors determine the contents of prospection? Extending research on action identification and temporal construal, here we explored how action goals and temporal distance modulate the characteristics of future previews. Participants were required to imagine travelling to Egypt to climb or photograph a pyramid. Afterwards, to probe the contents of prospection, participants provided a sketch of (...) their imaginary experience. Results elucidated the impact of goal type and temporal distance on mental imagery. While a climbing goal prompted participants to draw a larger pyramid in the near than distant future, a photographic goal influenced only the compositional complexity of the sketches. These findings reveal how action goals and temporal distance shape the contents of future simulations. (shrink)
According to recent accounts of the imagination, mental mechanisms that can take input from both imagining and from believing will process imagination-based inputs (pretense representations) and isomorphic beliefs in much the same way. That is, such a mechanism should produce similar outputs whether its input is the belief that p or the pretense representation that p. Unfortunately, there seem to be clear counterexamples to this hypothesis, for in many cases, imagining that p and believing that p have quite different psychological (...) consequences. This paper sets out some central problem cases and argues that the cases might be accommodated by adverting to the role of desires concerning real and imaginary situations. (shrink)
The Taranaki Basin is located offshore west of North Island, New Zealand. Within the study area, deepwater channel systems are present as a result of plate boundary movement and clastic deposition during the Plio-Pleistocene. Multiattribute analysis revealed a few interesting features that we identified and interpreted. After refining the horizon of focus, we have concluded some interpretations as noise, whereas others were confirmed as geologic deposits. In one funny-looking thing, we interpreted high energy and high sweetness response along the northwestern (...) portion of the main channel body as a sand-rich levee deposit and, in a second funny-looking thing, scalloping and elongate “finger-like” geometries as noise. The visualization and interpretation of these features through seismic attributes allow for optimized exploration, and therefore an opportunity for hydrocarbon extraction, within the Taranaki Basin. Geologic feature: Deep marine channel system: sandy channel fill to the northwest ; interesting features in the center of the time slice Seismic appearance: Chaotic, discontinuous reflectors with a high-energy response ; chaotic high-variance features Alternative interpretations: Overlapping sand-dominated channel ; crevasse splays, fan lobes, distributary channels, ravines, and incisions Age: Plio-Pleistocene Location: Taranaki Basin, western offshore North Island, New Zealand Seismic data: Provided by Anadarko Taranaki Company Analysis tool: A 3D reflection seismic, geometric, and physical seismic attributes. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy is a new interdisciplinary field that uses methods normally associated with psychology to investigate questions normally associated with philosophy. The present review focuses on research in experimental philosophy on four central questions. First, why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions? Second, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, or do they see morality as fundamentally relative? Third, do people believe in free will, and do they see free (...) will as compatible with determinism? Fourth, how do people determine whether an entity is conscious? (shrink)
Martin Heidegger and Michel Foucault are two of the most important and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Each has spawned volumes of secondary literature and sparked fierce, polarizing debates, particularly about the relationship between philosophy and politics. And yet, to date there exists almost no work that presents a systematic and comprehensive engagement of the two in relation to one another. _The World of Freedom_ addresses this lacuna. Neither apology nor polemic, the book demonstrates that it is not merely (...) interesting but necessary to read Heidegger and Foucault alongside one another if we are to properly understand the shape of twentieth-century Continental thought. Through close, scholarly engagement with primary texts, Robert Nichols develops original and demanding insights into the relationship between fundamental and historical ontology, modes of objectification and subjectification, and an ethopoetic conception of freedom. In the process, his book also reveals the role that Heidegger's reception in France played in Foucault's intellectual development—the first major work to do so while taking full advantage of the recent publication of Foucault's last Collège de France lectures of the 1980s, which mark a return to classical Greek and Roman philosophy, and thus to familiar Heideggerian loci of concern. (shrink)
In this paper we propose to argue for two claims. The first is that a sizeable group of epistemological projects – a group which includes much of what has been done in epistemology in the analytic tradition – would be seriously undermined if one or more of a cluster of empirical hypotheses about epistemic intuitions turns out to be true. The basis for this claim will be set out in Section 2. The second claim is that, while the jury is (...) still out, there is now a substantial body of evidence suggesting that some of those empirical hypotheses are true. Much of this evidence derives from an ongoing series of experimental studies of epistemic intuitions that we have been conducting. A preliminary report on these studies will be presented in Section 3. In light of these studies, we think it is incumbent on those who pursue the epistemological projects in question to either explain why the truth of the hypotheses does not undermine their projects, or to say why, in light of the evidence we will present, they nonetheless assume that the hypotheses are false. In Section 4, which is devoted to Objections and Replies, we’ll consider some of the ways in which defenders of the projects we are criticizing might reply to our challenge. Our goal, in all of this, is not to offer a conclusive argument demonstrating that the epistemological projects we will be criticizing are untenable. Rather, our aim is to shift the burden of argument. (shrink)
Working parents in are struggling to balance the demands of their occupation with those of childcare and homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, studies show that women are shouldering more of the burden and reporting greater levels of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression relative to men. However, research has yet to show that increases in psychological symptoms are linked to changes in stress during the pandemic. Herein, we conduct a small-N study to explore the associations between stress and psychological symptoms (...) during the pandemic among mothers using structural equation modeling, namely latent change score models. Thirty-three mothers completed questionnaires reporting current anxious and depressive symptoms, as well as stressful life experiences prior to-versus during the pandemic. Women endorsed significantly more stressful events during the pandemic, relative to the pre-pandemic period. Additionally, 58% of mothers scored as moderate-to-high risk for developing a stress-related physical illness in the near future because of their pandemic-level stress. Depressive symptoms were associated with the degree of change in life stress, whereas anxiety symptoms were more related to pre-pandemic levels of stress. The present study preliminarily sheds light on the nuanced antecedents to mothers’ experiences of anxious and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although further work is needed in larger, more diverse samples of mothers, this study highlights the potential need for appropriate policies, and prevention and intervention programs to ameliorate the effects of pandemics on mothers’ mental health. (shrink)
This article offers a preliminary critical-historical reconstruction of the concept of dispossession. Part I examines its role in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century struggles against European feudal land tenure. Drawing upon Marx’s critique of French anarchism in particular, I identify a persistent limitation at the heart of the concept. Since dispossession presupposes prior possession, recourse to it appears conservative and tends to reinforce the very proprietary and commoditized models of social relations that radical critics generally seek to undermine. Part II turns (...) to use of the term in Indigenous struggles against colonization, both in order to better grasp the stakes of the above problematic and suggest a way beyond it. Through a reconstruction of arguments by Indigenous scholars and activists, I seek to show the coherence and novelty of their formulation by suggesting that dispossession has come to name a unique historical process, one in which property is generated under conditions that require divestment and alienation from those who appear, only retroactively, as its original owners. In this way, theft and property are related in a recursive, rather than strictly unilinear, manner. Part III provides a specific historical example in the form of nineteenth-century US property law concerning squatters and homesteaders. (shrink)
There are few scientists of the twentieth century whose life's work has created more excitement and controversy than that of physicist David Bohm . For the first time in a single volume, The Essential David Bohm offers a comprehensive overview of Bohm's original works from a non-technical perspective. Including three chapters of previously unpublished material, and a forward by the Dalai Lama, each reading has been selected to highlight some aspect of the implicate order process, and to provide an introduction (...) to one of the most provocative thinkers of our time. (shrink)
Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...) (Weinberg et al. 2001). In light of these findings on cultural differences, two experiments were conducted which explored intuitions about reference in Westerners and East Asians. Both experiments indicate that, for certain central cases, Westerners are more likely than East Asians to report intuitions that are consistent with the causal-historical view. These results constitute prima facie evidence that semantic intuitions vary from culture to culture, and the paper argues that this fact raises questions about the nature of the philosophical enterprise of developing a theory of reference. (shrink)
Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, artists and scholars have pursued connections between modern art movements and scientific exploration and expertise. Particularly in discussions of Cubism and Futurism, artists and historians have employed the terms ‘fourth dimension’, ‘simultaneity’, and ‘space-time’ in their artistic theories. Select scholars have connected the use of these terms with Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity. This paper presents brief notes on this perceived intersection between Western science and art during the early to mid-twentieth century. It focuses (...) on the Bauhaus master Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, for whom ideas of “space-time” offered new and dynamic possibilities for art and perception. Rather than solely trying to interpret or represent Einstein’s theories in art, Moholy-Nagy considered the artistic implications of a theory that challenged the notion of absolute time and space. His writing on technology and the use of projected light to produce spatial modulation greatly impacted subsequent generations of artists. Moholy-Nagy also viewed greater collaboration within the disciplines of science and art as necessary. He argued that in order to best respond to the twentieth century a new generation of artists must be equipped with both technical and scientific expertise. (shrink)
The precautionary principle has been widely discussed in the academic, legal, and policy arenas. This paper argues, however, that there is no single precautionary principle and we should stop referring to ?the? precautionary principle. Instead, we should talk about ?precaution? and ?precautionary approaches? more generally and identify and defend distinct precautionary principles of limited scope. Drawing on the vast literature on ?the? precautionary principle, this paper further argues that the challenges of decision making under conditions of uncertainty necessitate taking a (...) precautionary approach to decision making that will enable us to understand what particular precautionary principles require of us on a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
Solar radiation management is a form of geoengineering that involves the intentional manipulation of solar radiation with the aim of reducing global average temperature. This paper explores what precaution implies about the status of solar radiation management. It is argued that any form of solar radiation management that poses threats of catastrophe cannot constitute an appropriate precautionary measure against another threat of catastrophe, namely climate change. Research of solar radiation management is appropriate on a precautionary view only insofar as such (...) research aims to identify whether any forms of solar radiation management could be implemented without creating new or exacerbating existing threats of catastrophe. (shrink)
The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing volume (...) in the prestigious interdisciplinary Oxford Cognitive Science series. (shrink)
Natural/social kind essentialism is the view that natural kind categories, both living and non-living natural kinds, as well as social kinds (e.g., race, gender), are essentialized. On this view, artifactual kinds are not essentialized. Our view—teleological essentialism—is that a broad range of categories are essentialized in terms of teleology, including artifacts. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments typically used to provide evidence of essentialist thinking—involving superficial change (study 1), transformation of insides (study 2) and inferences about offspring (study 3)—we find (...) support for the view that a broad range of categories—living natural kinds, non-living natural kinds and artifactual kinds—are essentialized in terms of teleology. Study 4 tests a unique prediction of teleological essentialism and also provides evidence that people make inferences about purposes which in turn guide categorization judgments. (shrink)
Memory of past episodes provides a sense of personal identity — the sense that I am the same person as someone in the past. We present a neurological case study of a patient who has accurate memories of scenes from his past, but for whom the memories lack the sense of mineness. On the basis of this case study, we propose that the sense of identity derives from two components, one delivering the content of the memory and the other generating (...) the sense of mineness. We argue that this new model of the sense of identity has implications for debates about quasi-memory. In addition, articulating the components of the sense of identity promises to bear on the extent to which this sense of identity provides evidence of personal identity. (shrink)
Two important criticisms of contemporary liberalism turn to Aristotle's political thought for support that which advocates participatory democracy, and that sympathetic to the rule of a virtuous or philosophic elite. In this commentary on Aristotle's politics the author explores how Aristotle offers political rule as an alternative to both the rule of aristocratic virtue and an unchecked participatory democracy. Writing in lucid prose, she offers an interpretation grounded in a close reading of the text, and combining a respectful and patient (...) attempt to understand Aristotle in his own terms with a wide, sympathetic, and argumentative reading in the secondary literature. (shrink)
Sentimental Rules is an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary work, which proposes and defends a new theory about the nature and evolution of moral judgment. In it, philosopher Shaun Nichols develops the theory that emotions play a critical role in both the psychological and the cultural underpinnings of basic moral judgment. Nichols argues that our norms prohibiting the harming of others are fundamentally associated with our emotional responses to those harms, and that such 'sentimental rules' enjoy an advantage in cultural evolution, (...) which partly explains the success of certain moral norms. This has sweeping and exciting implications for philosophical ethics. Nichols builds on an explosion of recent intriguing experimental work in psychology on our capacity for moral judgment and shows how this empirical work has broad import for enduring philosophical problems. The result is an account that illuminates fundamental questions about the character of moral emotions and the role of sentiment and reason in how we make our moral judgments. This work should appeal widely across philosophy and the other disciplines that comprise cognitive science. (shrink)
The idea that incompatibilism is intuitive is one of the key motivators for incompatibilism. Not surprisingly, then philosophers who defend incompatibilism often claim that incompatibilism is the natural, commonsense view about free will and moral responsibility (e.g., Pereboom 2001, Kane Journal of Philosophy 96:217–240 1999, Strawson 1986). And a number of recent studies find that people give apparently incompatibilist responses in vignette studies. When participants are presented with a description of a causal deterministic universe, they tend to deny that people (...) are morally responsible in that universe. Although this suggests that people are intuitive incompatibilists, Eddy Nahmias and Dylan Murray, in a recent series of important papers, have developed an important challenge to this interpretation. They argue that people confuse determinism with bypassing, the idea that one’s mental states lack causal efficacy. Murray and Nahmias present new experiments that seem to confirm the bypassing hypothesis. In this paper, we use structural equation modeling to re-examine the issue. We find support instead for an incompatibilist explanation of the bypassing results, i.e., incompatibilist judgments seem to cause bypassing judgments. We hypothesize that this phenomenon occurs because people think of decisions as essentially indeterministic; thus, when confronted with a description of determinism they tend to think that decisions do not even occur. We provide evidence for this in three subsequent studies which show that many participants deny that people make decisions in a deterministic universe; by contrast, most participants tend to allow that people add numbers in a deterministic universe. Together, these studies suggest that bypassing results don’t reflect a confusion, but rather the depth of the incompatibilist intuition. (shrink)
Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments (...) used by traditional essentialists—involving superficial change (study 1), transformation of insides (study 2), acquired traits (study 3) and inferences about offspring (study 4)—we find support for the view that essences are elaborated by a telos. And we find evidence (study 5) that teleological essences may generate category judgments. (shrink)
Psychology's tendency to focus on confirmatory analyses before ensuring constructs are clearly defined and accurately measured is exacerbating the generalizability crisis. Our growing use of digital behaviors as predictors has revealed the fragility of subjective measures and the latent constructs they scaffold. However, new technologies can provide opportunities to improve conceptualizations, theories, and measurement practices.
Recent work in folk metaethics finds a correlation between perceived consensus about a moral claim and meta-ethical judgments about whether the claim is universally or only relatively true. We argue that consensus can provide evidence for meta-normative claims, such as whether a claim is universally true. We then report several experiments indicating that people use consensus to make inferences about whether a claim is universally true. This suggests that people's beliefs about relativism and universalism are partly guided by evidence-based reasoning. (...) In a final study, we show that the rejection of universalism does not generate a simple subjectivism but is associated with a more moderate relativism on which highly atypical positions are regarded as mistaken. (shrink)
A tradition of work in cognitive science indicates that much of our mental lives is not available to introspection . Though the researchers often present these results as surprising, little has been done to explore the degree to which people presume introspective access to their mental events. In this paper, we distinguish two dimensions of introspective access: the power of access, i.e. whether people believe they can unfailingly or only typically introspect mental events; and the domain of access, i.e. what (...) types of mental events people believe they are able to introspect. We report five experiments carried out to discover where lay beliefs about introspection fall on these dimensions. In our experiments, people did not presume universal introspective access, but they did overestimate the amount of access they actually have, particularly in the case of decisions. (shrink)