: The aim of the present paper is to discuss how the legal metaphors in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason can help us understand the work’s transcendental argumentation. I discuss Dieter Henrich’s claim that legal deductions form a methodological paradigm for all three Critiques that exempts the deductions from following a stringent logical structure. I also consider Rüdiger Bubner’s proposal that the legal metaphors show that the transcendental deduction is a rhetorical argument. On the basis of my own reading of (...) the many different uses of legal analogies in the first Critique, I argue that they cannot form a consistent methodological paradigm as Henrich and Bubner claim. (shrink)
The Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies has been and continues to be enormously influential in the physiology, psychology, and philosophy of perception. In simple terms, the Doctrine states that we directly perceive in the first instance the activity of our nerves, rather than properties in the external world. The canonical early statement of the Doctrine by the physiologist Johannes Peter Müller had profound influence on both the phi- losophy and psychology of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially as reformulated (...) and transmitted by Müller’s student Helmholtz. A common assumption of historical and ongoing debate about the Doctrine has been its supposedly idealist or skeptical implications. What is not commonly recognized is that Müller himself ad- vanced a realist interpretation along lines that would be recognized today as a form of epistemic structural realism. This paper analyzes Müller’s structuralist epistemology in detail and reconstructs his articulation and defense of the Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies in its canonical form. Part II argues for the continued im- portance of the Doctrine and its structuralist interpretation for contemporary psychology, philosophy of per- ception, and history of philosophy of science. (shrink)
In this article I assess the Invariance Principle, which states that only quantities that are invariant under the symmetries of our theories are physically real. I argue, contrary to current orthodoxy, that the variance of a quantity under a theory’s symmetries is not a sufficient basis for interpreting that theory as being uncommitted to the reality of that quantity. Rather, I argue, the variance of a quantity under symmetries only ever serves as a motivation to refrain from any commitment to (...) the quantity in question. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
The concept ‘hereditary breast cancer’ is commonly used to delineate a group of people genetically at risk for breast cancer—all of whom also having risk for other cancers. People carrying pathogenic variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often referred to as those having predisposition for ‘hereditary breast cancer’. The two genes, however, are when altered, associated with different risks for and dying from breast cancer. The main risk for dying for carriers of both genes is from ovarian cancer. (...) These biological facts are of philosophical interest, because they are the facts underlying the public debate on BRCA1/2 genetic testing as a model for the discussion of how to implement genetic knowledge and technologies in personalized medicine. A contribution to this public debate describing inherited breast cancer as ‘biological citizenship’ recently printed in Med Health Care and Philos illustrated how fragmented and detached from the biological and socio-political facts this debate sometimes is. We here briefly summarize some of the biological facts and how they are implemented in today’s healthcare based on agreed philosophical, ethical and moral principles. The suggestion of a ‘biological citizenship’ defined by hereditary breast cancer is incorrect and ill-advised. ‘Identity politics’ focusing hereditary breast cancer patients as a group based on a bundle of ill-defined negative arguments is well known, but is supported neither by scientific nor philosophical arguments. To those born with the genetic variants described, the philosophical rule of not doing harm is violated by unbalanced negative arguments. (shrink)
Data-intensive science comes with increased risks concerning quality and reliability of data, and while trust in science has traditionally been framed as a matter of scientists being expected to adhere to certain technical and moral norms for behaviour, emerging discourses of open science present openness and transparency as substitutes for established trust mechanisms. By ensuring access to all available information, quality becomes a matter of informed judgement by the users, and trust no longer seems necessary. This strategy does not, however, (...) take into consideration the networks of professionals already enabling data-intensive science by providing high-quality data. In the life sciences, biological data- and knowledge bases managed by expert biocurators have become crucial for data-intensive research. In this paper, I will use the case of biocurators to argue that openness and transparency will not diminish the need for trust in data-intensive science. On the contrary, data-intensive science requires a reconfiguration of existing trust mechanisms in order to include those who take care of and manage scientific data after its production. (shrink)
This article offers reinterpretation of the current economic and political crisis through the lens of Gramsci’s concept of “interregnum,” departing from the model of “punctured equilibrium” to analyze the specific political dynamics of nonhegemonic periods between the breakdown of one ideological order and the emergence of a new one. Although political science has a range theories about periods of hegemony and paradigmatic stability, the periods between stable hegemonies remain distinctly undertheorized. A theoretical concept describing periods of interregnum is offered and (...) applied to the changes in economic ideology and political alignments that followed the breakdown of the liberal order in the interwar period and the postwar Keynesian consensus of the 1970s. The concept is then applied to the current juncture, in which the hegemony of neoliberalism has been shaken by the 2008 financial crisis but no clear successor has emerged. (shrink)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, his main work of theoretical philosophy, frequently uses metaphors from law. In this first book-length study in English of Kant's legal metaphors and their role in the first Critique, Sofie Møller shows that they are central to Kant's account of reason. Through an analysis of the legal metaphors in their entirety, she demonstrates that Kant conceives of reason as having a structure mirroring that of a legal system in a natural right framework. Her study shows (...) that Kant's aim is to make cognisers become similar to authorized judges within such a system, by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate her conclusion that reason's systematicity is legal systematicity. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that there are differences in physicians’ and caregivers’ ethical attitudes towards clinical situations. The assumption is that the difference is driven by different values, views and judgements in specific situations. At Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark, we aimed to investigate these assumptions by conducting a large quantitative study. The study design, based on the Factorial Survey Method, was a carefully constructed survey with 50 questions designed to test which factors influenced the respondents’ ethical reasoning. The factors were (...) clustered into three categories of ethical reasoning and values. The categories were formulated in terms of easily recognizable ethical positions: consequential ethics, deontological ethics and relational ethics. Based on 2129 respondents, we found significant support for the assumption of differences between physicians and caregivers. The group of caregivers favoured the relational ethics view in clinical ethical situations, and the group of ph... (shrink)
Since the BBS article in which Premack and Woodruff (1978) asked “Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?,” it has been repeatedly claimed that there is observational and experimental evidence that apes have mental state concepts, such as “want” and “know.” Unlike research on the development of theory of mind in childhood, however, no substantial progress has been made through this work with nonhuman primates. A survey of empirical studies of imitation, self-recognition, social relationships, deception, role-taking, and perspective-taking suggests (...) that in every case where nonhuman primate behavior has been interpreted as a sign of theory of mind, it could instead have occurred by chance or as a product of nonmentalistic processes such as associative learning or inferences based on nonmental categories. Arguments to the effect that, in spite of this, the theory of mind hypothesis should be accepted because it is more parsimonious than alternatives or because it is supported by convergent evidence are not compelling. Such arguments are based on unsupportable assumptions about the role of parsimony in science and either ignore the requirement that convergent evidence proceed from independent assumptions, or fail to show that it supports the theory of mind hypothesis over nonmentalist alternatives. Progress in research on theory of mind requires experimental procedures that can distinguish the theory of mind hypothesis from nonmentalist alternatives. A procedure that may have this potential is proposed. It uses conditional discrimination training and transfer tests to determine whether chimpanzees have the concept “see.” Commentators are invited to identify flaws in the procedure and to suggest alternatives. Key Words: apes; associative learning; concepts; convergence; deception; evolution of intelligence; folk psychology; imitation; mental state attribution; monkeys; parsimony; perspective-taking; primates; role-taking; self-recognition; social cognition; social intelligence; theory of mind. (shrink)
A common objection to paternalism concerns its expressive content. Many reject paternalistic policies and actions on the ground that they arguably involve insulting expressions of disrespect toward those subjected to them. The paper challenges this view. It argues that refraining from acting paternalistically can be disrespectful. Specifically, the paper argues that there is a relevant way in which A disregards the moral worth of B if A stands idly by when B is about to act very imprudently. If true, treating (...) others with equal respect and concern, as relational egalitarians and others rightly ask us to do, will somewhat surprisingly sometimes involve treating them paternalistically. (shrink)
In this 1921 opus, Wittgenstein defined the object of philosophy as the logical clarification of thoughts and proposed the solution to most philosophic problems by means of a critical method of linguistic analysis. Beginning with the principles of symbolism, the author applies his theories to traditional philosophy, examines the logical structure of propositions and the nature of logical inference, and much more. Definitive translation. Introduction by Bertrand Russell.
This book presents a thorough study and an up to date anthology of Plato’s Protagoras. International authors' papers contribute to the task of understanding how Plato introduced and negotiated a new type of intellectual practice – called philosophy – and the strategies that this involved. They explore Plato’s dialogue, looking at questions of how philosophy and sophistry relate, both on a methodological and on a thematic level.
Features include a comprehensive review of existing material, combined with new perspectives to equip students for the challenges in the work environment; chapter overviews and student learning objectives offer a solid and useful framework in which to organise study; diagrams and charts present overviews and contexts for the subject to act as useful revision aids; effective pedagogy including a review of the arguments considered, a menu of seminar topics, and questions in every chapter, serving as an ideal basis for seminar (...) study; and additional open-ended simulations to allow students to work through unfolding scenarios. (shrink)
In his own writings, Rawls purposively used only a loose characterization of the basic structure, but two prominent misinterpretations highlight the current need for a more detailed account. First, G.A. Cohen argues that the Rawlsian focus on the basic structure is arbitrary due to the Rawlsian appeal to profound effects. Second, some theorists conflate the justification of coercion with the assessment of a basic structure by defining the basic structure as the coercive structure. Both misinterpretations can be corrected by carefully (...) specifying what social institutions are and explaining which social institutions come together to form the basic structure of society. (shrink)
In this article I will attempt to show examples of the cultural manifestations of the identity crisis that is currently sweeping over Scandinavia. What is particular about this crisis is that it seems to have struck on most sides of society, while the?Scandinavian model? of the welfare state is slowly crumbling in the wake of the global financial problems. At the center of both this struggle and crisis is the notion of the Homo Scandinavicus; this seems at the same time (...) a threat to existence and contested in its very content. In all Scandinavian countries a so-called?cultural battle? has been articulated and used as heavy artillery when articulating characteristics of either side. It is this battle I will highlight and demonstrate through examples how the?general public? has been taken hostage on this identity battle field. Furthermore, I will give examples of alternative strategies, and why these have also failed to provide actual functioning alternatives to the leading, rivaling, identity strategies. The nature of this crisis and the ways it manifests itself, are by no means strictly restricted to Scandinavia. Therefore, considerations about manifestations and consequences presents some highly relevant and much more general insights. U ovom tekstu pokusavam da pokazem primere ispoljavanja krize identiteta u kulturi, koja se upravo odvija u Skandinaviji. Posebnost ove krize je u tome sto je ona pogodila vecinu drustva u vreme kada se?skandinavski model? drzave blagostanja polako rusi sa nastankom globalnih finansijskih problema. U centru ove krize je ideja Homo Scandinavicusa cije je postojanje istovremeno ugrozeno i ciji je sadrzaj doveden u pitanje. U svim skandinavskim zemljama takozvane?kulturne bitke? bile su koriscene kao?teska artiljerija? pri artikulisanju stavova obe sukobljene strane. Na primerima pokazujem kako je?javnost? postala talac poprista sukoba identiteta. Takodje cu na primerima alternativnih strategija pokazati zasto one nisu uspele da pruze funkcionalne alternative vodecim rivalskim strategijama identiteta. Priroda ove krize i nacini njenog ispoljavanja nisu ograniceni na Skandinaviju i zato su razmatranja njenih posledica relevantna i za siri uvid. (shrink)