With increasing influence of illiberalism, freedom should not be considered or interpreted lightly. Post-truth contexts provide grounds for alt-right movements to capture and pervert notions of freedom of speech, making universities battlefields of politicised emotions and expressions. In societies facing these pressures around the world, academic freedom has never been challenged as much as it is today. As Peters and colleagues note, conceptualisations of ‘facts’ and ‘evidences’ are politically, socially, and epistemically reconstructed in post-truth contexts. At the same time, with (...) intelligence commodified, reified or marginalised, freedom of speech and of mobility can entail fights for entitlements, or escapes from local responsibilities. The decline and corruptions of democratic free speech and academic freedom, or the absence of forces to defend them, are thus serious challenges. These challenges grow as the competition of ideas, sometimes under the rubric of academic freedom, often implies the power struggle and questioning of statuses in the so-called ‘marketplace of ideas’. Competition as a value invoked in some conceptualisations of freedom, becomes more important than human dignity, which was originally supposed to expand and strengthen under democratic conceptions of freedom in higher education. What had been happening to freedoms, of speech, teaching, and learning, across different subject positions and cultures of higher education, remains largely underexplored, as alt-right movements, neoliberalism and illiberalism, and post-truthism values and orientations expand. (shrink)
Common lawyers are accustomed to the presumption of innocence being described as a “golden thread” running “[t]hroughout the web” of the criminal law: “that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner’s guilt” (Woolmington v DPP  AC 462 per Viscount Sankey LC at 481). But although the language of “golden thread” is memorable and oft-quoted, the presumption of innocence must mean more than this: it is not simply a restatement of the burden of proof in a (...) criminal trial.Once this simple point is recognised, a whole host of more complex questions arise. For example: what, precisely, is the scope of the principle? Is this a matter on which consensus is possible or desirable? What role does the presumption have to play in pre-trial proceedings, in decisions by prosecutors? Does the presumption have consequences for the substantive criminal law, or can legislators blunt its impact by defining criminal offences so as to deprive the presumption of its bite? Can legislators tr. (shrink)
The article is devoted to the memory of Vyacheslav Semenovich Stepin and Nikita Nikolaevich Moiseev, whose multifaceted work was integrally focused on philosophical, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research of the key ideas and principles of universal human-dimensional evolutionism. Other remarkable Russian scientists V.I. Vernadsky, S.P. Kurdyumov, S.P. Kapitsa, D.S. Chernavsky worked in the same tradition of universal evolutionism. While V.I. Vernadsky and N.N. Moiseev had been the originators of that scientific approach, V.S. Stepin provided philosophical foundations for the ideas of those (...) remarkable scientists and thinkers. The scientific legacy of V.S. Stepin and N.N. Moiseev maintained the formation of a new quality of research into the philosophy of science and technology as well as into the philosophy of culture. This new quality is multidimensional and it is difficult to define unambiguously, but we presume the formation of those areas of philosophical knowledge as constructively oriented languages of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary co-participation of philosophy in the convergent-evolutionary development of scientific knowledge in general. In this regard, attention is paid to V.S. Stepin’s affirmations about non-classical nature of modern social and humanitarian knowledge. Quantum mechanics teaches us that the reality revealed through it is a hybrid construct, or symbiosis, of both mean and object of cognition. Therefore, the very act of cognitive observation constructs quantum reality. Thus, it is very close to the process of cognition in modern sociology and psychology. V.S. Stepin insisted that these principles are applicable to all complex selfdeveloping systems, and such are all “human-dimensional” objects of modern humanities. In all the phases of homeostasis changes, or crises, there is necessarily a share of chaos, instability, uncertainty in the selection process of future development scenarios, which is ineliminably affected by our observation. Therefore, a cognitive observer in the humanities should be considered as a concept of post-non-classical rationality, that is as an observer of complexity. (shrink)
In this article I describe the development of my collaboration with the textile artist Susie Freeman in the production of the visual arts project Pharmacopoeia. Over the last 3 years we have created a body of work that aims to provide information about common medical treatments in a way that engages the public imagination. The work is dominated by the use of active pharmaceuticals, both pills and capsules, which are incorporated into dramatic fabrics by a process known as pocket knitting. (...) These fabrics are then made into clothing and accessories, making their individual messages easier to ‘read’. The work aims to encourage people to think about their own medical and pharmacological history, and to reflect on their relationship with commonly prescribed drugs. It also reveals how dependent our society is on pharmaceuticals, how ambivalent we feel about them and yet how casually we use them. (shrink)
Selected by the Economist as one of the best books of 2020. -/- Privacy Is Power argues that people should protect their personal data because privacy is a kind of power. If we give too much of our data to corporations, the wealthy will rule. If we give too much personal data to governments, we risk sliding into authoritarianism. For democracy to be strong, the bulk of power needs to be with the citizenry, and whoever has the data will have (...) the power. Privacy, I argue, is not a personal preference; it is a political concern. I also argue that personal data is a toxic asset, and should be regulated as if it were a toxic substance, similar to asbestos. I call for a complete ban to the trade in personal data. The book is at once philosophical and political, and extremely practical and accessible. It discusses liberal democracy, equality, justice, and autonomy. It includes a chapter for policymakers, and one that addresses what ordinary citizens can do to protect privacy. Finally, the book covers the tension between privacy and public health in the context of covid19. -/- . (shrink)
In philosophy of mind, zombies are imaginary creatures that are exact physical duplicates of conscious subjects but for whom there is no first-personal experience. Zombies are meant to show that physicalism—the theory that the universe is made up entirely out of physical components—is false. In this paper, I apply the zombie thought experiment to the realm of morality to assess whether moral agency is something independent from sentience. Algorithms, I argue, are a kind of functional moral zombie, such that thinking (...) about the latter can help us better understand and regulate the former. I contend that the main reason why algorithms can be neither autonomous nor accountable is that they lack sentience. Moral zombies and algorithms are incoherent as moral agents because they lack the necessary moral understanding to be morally responsible. To understand what it means to inflict pain on someone, it is necessary to have experiential knowledge of pain. At most, for an algorithm that feels nothing, ‘values’ will be items on a list, possibly prioritised in a certain way according to a number that represents weightiness. But entities that do not feel cannot value, and beings that do not value cannot act for moral reasons. (shrink)
The proposal of moral enhancement as a valuable means to face the environmental, technological and social challenges that threaten the future of humanity has been criticized by a number of authors. One of the main criticisms has been that moral enhancement would diminish our freedom. It has been said that moral enhancement would lead enhanced people to lose their ‘freedom to fall’, that is, it would prevent them from being able to decide to carry out some morally bad actions, and (...) the possibility to desire and carry out these bad actions is an essential ingredient of free will, which would thus be limited or destroyed—or so the argument goes. In this paper we offer an answer to this criticism. We contend that a morally enhanced agent could lose the ‘freedom to fall’ without losing her freedom for two reasons. First, because we do not consider that a morally well-educated person, for whom the ‘freedom to fall’ is a remote option, is less free than an evildoer, and there is no reason to suppose that bioenhancement introduces a significant difference here. Second, because richness in the amount of alternative possibilities of action may be restored if the stated loss is compensated with an improvement in sensitivity and lucidity that can lead to seeing new options and nuances in the remaining possible actions. (shrink)
In philosophical and psychological literature, gratitude has normally been promoted as beneficial to oneself and others and as morally good. Being grateful for what you have is conceived as virtuous, while acts expressing gratefulness to those who have benefited you is often regarded as morally praiseworthy, if not morally expected. However, critical interrogations of the moral status of gratitude should also frame the possible cultivation of gratitude in moral education. This article focuses on whether gratitude should be regarded as morally (...) ideal, praiseworthy or expected in contexts marked by social inequity and injustice. It considers competing articulations of gratitude in philosophical and psychological research and how gratitude can be conceived in some cases as praiseworthy and in others as potentially problematic. Finally, it considers the implications of a multipronged view of gratitude for teaching for and about gratitude in social justice education. (shrink)
Рассматриваются актуальные проблемы философской антропологии, проводится анализ парадоксов и противоречий, возникающих при изучении человека, тех кардинальных сдвигов в культуре, которые открыли новые стороны человеческого бытия. Для студентов.
ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
As philosophers of mind we seem to hold in common no very clear view about the relevance that work in psychology or the neurosciences may or may not have to our own favourite questions—even if we call the subject ‘philosophical psychology’. For example, in the literature we find articles on pain some of which do, some of which don't, rely more or less heavily on, for example, the work of Melzack and Wall; the puzzle cases used so extensively in discussions (...) of personal identity are drawn sometimes from the pleasant exercise of scientific fantasy, at times from surprising reports of scientific fact; and there are those who deny, as well as those who affirm, the importance of the discovery of rapid-eye-movement sleep to the philosophical treatment of dreaming. A general account of the relation between scientific, and philosophical, psychology is long overdue and of the first importance. Here I shall limit myself to just one area where the two seem to connect, discussing one type of neuropsychological research and its relevance to questions in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. (shrink)