In this paper I critically examine Michael Moore's views about responsibility in overdetermination cases. Moore argues for an asymmetrical view concerning actions and omissions: whereas our actions can make us responsible in overdetermination cases, our omissions cannot. Moore argues for this view on the basis of a causal claim: actions can be causes but omissions cannot. I suggest that we should reject Moore's views about responsibility and overdetermination. I argue, in particular, that our omissions can make us responsible in overdetermination (...) cases. I go on to provide an account of how this may be possible. (shrink)
Carolina Sartorio argues that only the actual causes of our behaviour matter to our freedom. The key, she claims, lies in a correct understanding of the role played by causation in a view of that kind. Causation has some important features that make it a responsibility-grounding relation, and this contributes to the success of the view. Also, when agents act freely, the actual causes are richer than they appear to be at first sight; in particular, they reflect the agents' (...) sensitivity to reasons, where this includes both the existence of actual reasons and the absence of other reasons. So acting freely requires more causes and quite complex causes, as opposed to fewer causes and simpler causes, and is compatible with those causes being deterministic. The book connects two different debates, the one on causation and the one on the problem of free will, in new and illuminating ways. (shrink)
Delusions are deeply evidence-resistant. Patients with delusions are unmoved by evidence that is in direct conflict with the delusion, often responding to such evidence by offering obvious, and strange, confabulations. As a consequence, the standard view is that delusions are not evidence-responsive. This claim has been used as a key argumentative wedge in debates on the nature of delusions. Some have taken delusions to be beliefs and argued that this implies that belief is not constitutively evidence-responsive. Others hold fixed the (...) evidenceresponsiveness of belief and take this to show that delusions cannot be beliefs. Against this common assumption, I appeal to a large range of empirical evidence to argue that delusions are evidence-responsive in the sense that subjects have the capacity to respond to evidence on their delusion in rationally permissible ways. The extreme evidence-resistance of delusions is a consequence of powerful masking factors on these capacities, such as strange perceptual experiences, motivational factors, and cognitive biases. This view makes room for holding both that belief is constitutively evidence-responsive and that delusions are beliefs, and it has important implications for the study and treatment of delusions. (shrink)
‘Scientific dishonesty’ implies the fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research or in reporting research results. A questionnaire was given to postgraduate students at the medical faculties in Sweden who attended a course in research ethics during the academic year 2008/2009 and 58% answered (range 29%–100%). Less than one-third of the respondents wrote that they had heard about scientific dishonesty in the previous 12 months. Pressure, concerning in what order the author should be mentioned, was reported by (...) about 1 in 10 students. We suggest that all departments conducting research should have a written policy about acceptable research behaviour and that all doctoral students should be informed of the content of this policy. Participants in the research groups concerned should also be required to analyse published articles about scientific dishonesty and critically discuss what could be done about unethical conduct. (shrink)
Human dignity is grounded in basic human attributes such as life and self-respect. When people cannot stand up for themselves they may lose their dignity towards themselves and others. The aim of this study was to elucidate if dignity remains intact for family members during care procedures in a children’s hospital. A qualitative approach was adopted, using open non-participation observation. The findings indicate that dignity remains intact in family-centred care where all concerned parties encourage each other in a collaborative relationship. (...) Dignity is shattered when practitioners care from their own perspective without seeing the individual in front of them. When there is a break in care, family members can restore their dignity because the interruption helps them to master their emotions. Family members’ dignity is shattered and remains damaged when they are emotionally overwhelmed; they surrender themselves to practitioners’ care, losing their self-esteem and self-respect. (shrink)
Starting from the notions of q-entailment and p-entailment, a two-dimensional notion of entailment is developed with respect to certain generalized q-matrices referred to as B-matrices. After showing that every purely monotonic singleconclusion consequence relation is characterized by a class of B-matrices with respect to q-entailment as well as with respect to p-entailment, it is observed that, as a result, every such consequence relation has an inferentially four-valued characterization. Next, the canonical form of B-entailment, a two-dimensional multiple-conclusion notion of entailment based (...) on B-matrices, is introduced, providing a uniform framework for studying several different notions of entailment based on designation, antidesignation, and their complements. Moreover, the two-dimensional concept of a B-consequence relation is defined, and an abstract characterization of such relations by classes of B-matrices is obtained. Finally, a contribution to the study of inferential many-valuedness is made by generalizing Suszko’s Thesis and the corresponding reduction to show that any B-consequence relation is, in general, inferentially four-valued. (shrink)
What is the relationship between moral responsibility and causation? Plainly, we are not morally responsible for everything that we cause. For we cause a multitude of things, including things that we couldn't possibly foresee we would cause and with respect to which we cannot be assessed morally. Thus, it is clear that causing something does not entail being morally responsible for it. But, does the converse entailment hold? Does moral responsibility require causation? Intuitively, it does: intuitively, we can only be (...) morally responsible for things that we cause. (shrink)
Some philosophers have claimed that causally determined agents are not morally responsible because they cannot make a difference in the world. A recent response by philosophers who defend the compatibility of determinism and responsibility has been to concede that causally determined agents are incapable of making a difference, but to argue that responsibility is not grounded in difference making. These compatibilists have rested such a claim on Frankfurt cases—cases where agents are intuitively responsible for acts that they couldn’t have failed (...) to perform. This essay argues, first, that the intuitive plausibility of the idea that responsibility is grounded in difference making is not completely put to rest by Frankfurt cases, even if those cases successfully show that responsibility is not grounded in difference making in the sense of access to alternative possibilities of action. It then goes on to develop a different compatibilist strategy, one according to which responsibility is grounded in difference making, but the type of difference making it is grounded in does not require access to alternative possibilities. Indeed, it is a form of difference making that is clearly compatible with determinism. (shrink)
The standard notion of formal theory, in logic, is in general biased exclusively towards assertion: it commonly refers only to collections of assertions that any agent who accepts the generating axioms of the theory should also be committed to accept. In reviewing the main abstract approaches to the study of logical consequence, we point out why this notion of theory is unsatisfactory at multiple levels, and introduce a novel notion of theory that attacks the shortcomings of the received notion by (...) allowing one to take both assertions and denials on a par. This novel notion of theory is based on a bilateralist approach to consequence operators, which we hereby introduce, and whose main properties we investigate in the present paper. (shrink)
Some classical studies in social psychology suggest that we are more sensitive to situational factors, and less responsive to reasons, than we normally recognize we are. In recent years, moral responsibility theorists have examined the question whether those studies represent a serious threat to our moral responsibility. A common response to the “situationist threat” has been to defend the reasons-responsiveness of ordinary human agents by appeal to a theory of reasons-responsiveness that appeals to patterns of counterfactual scenarios or possible worlds. (...) In this paper I identify a problem with that response and I offer a better solution. (shrink)
In this article I examine the relation between causation and moral responsibility. I distinguish four possible views about that relation. One is the standard view: the view that an agent's moral responsibility for an outcome requires, and is grounded in, the agent's causal responsibility for it. I discuss several challenges to the standard view, which motivate the three remaining views. The final view – the view I argue for – is that causation is the vehicle of transmission of moral responsibility. (...) According to this view, although moral responsibility does not require causation, causation still grounds moral responsibility. (shrink)
There is an initial presumption against disjunctive causes. First of all, for some people causation is a relation between events. But, arguably, there are no disjunctive events, since events are particulars and thus they have spatiotemporal locations, while it is unclear what the spatiotemporal location of a disjunctive event could be.1 More importantly, even if one believes that entities like facts can enter in causal relations, and even if there are disjunctive facts, it is still hard to see how disjunctive (...) facts could be causes. Imagine, for instance, the following scenario. I have a gun filled with red paint and another gun filled with blue paint, and I fire both guns at my neighbor’s white wall. A moment later, there is a graffiti on the wall and my neighbor notifies the police. He would have done so regardless of the graffiti’s color, since all he cares about is the existence of a graffiti on his wall. Is it plausible to claim that a disjunctive fact is a cause of his notifying the police? In particular, is it plausible to claim that he notified the police because I fired the red-paint gun or the blue-paint gun (the thought being that my firing paint of either color would have sufficed)? It seems not. The police was notified because of the actual graffiti on the wall, and the actual graffiti on the wall is made of a certain pattern of colored patches. Imagine, that, as it turns out, there are patches of both colors on the wall. Then it seems that both my firing the red-paint gun and my firing the blue-paint gun were causes of my neighbor’s notifying the police. In other words, my firing the red-paint gun and my firing the blue-paint gun jointly caused the outcome: each of them was a contributory cause of the outcome’s occurrence. On the other hand, imagine that there are only patches of one color on the wall. Then it seems that my firing only one of the guns was a cause. Either way, the disjunction fails to be a cause: either my firing the red-paint gun was a cause, or my firing the blue-paint gun was a cause, or they were both causes, but their disjunction was not.. (shrink)
Since the 1990s, numerous studies on the relationship between parents and their children have been reported on in the literature and implemented as a philosophy of care in most paediatric units. The purpose of this article is to understand the process of nurses' care for children in a paediatric setting by using Noddings's caring ethics theory. Noddings's theory is in part described from a theoretical perspective outlining the basic idea of the theory followed by a critique of her work. Important (...) conceptions in her theory are natural caring (reception, relation, engrossment, motivational displacement, reciprocity) and ethical caring (physical self, ethical self, and ethical ideal). As a nurse one holds a duty of care to patients and, in exercising this duty, the nurse must be able to develop a relationship with the patient including giving the patient total authenticity in a 'feeling with' the patient. Noddings's theory is analysed and described in three examples from the paediatrics. In the first example, the nurse cared for the patient in natural caring while in the second situation, the nurse strived for the ethical caring of the patient. In the third example, the nurse rejected the impulse to care and deliberately turned her back to ethics and abandoned her ethical caring. According to the Noddings's theory, caring for the patient enables the nurse to obtain ethical insights from the specific type of nursing care which forms an important contribution to an overall increase of an ethical consciousness in the nurse. (shrink)
RESUMO O presente artigo apresenta uma semântica baseada nas atitudes cognitivas de aceitação e rejeição por uma sociedade de agentes para lógicas inspiradas no First Degree Entailment de Dunn e Belnap. Diferente das situações epistêmicas originalmente usadas em E, as atitudes cognitivas não coincidem com valores-de-verdade e parecem mais adequadas para as lógicas que pretendem considerar o conteúdo informacional de proposições “ditas verdadeiras” tanto quanto as proposições “ditas falsas” como determinantes da noção de validade das inferências. Após analisar algumas lógicas (...) associadas à semântica proposta, introduzimos a lógica E B cuja relação de consequência semântica subjacente - o B-entailment - é capaz de expressar diversos tipos de raciocínio em relação às atitudes cognitivas de aceitação e rejeição. Apresentamos também um cálculo de sequentes correto e completo para E B.ABSTRACT In the present work I introduce a semantics based on the cognitive attitudes of acceptation and rejection entertained by a given society of agents for logics inspired on Dunn and Belnap’s ‘First Degree Entailment’. Distinctly from the original epistemic situation of E, the cognitive attitudes do not coincide with truth-values and it seems more suitable for logics that intend to consider the informational content of propositions “said to be true” as well as propositions “said to be false” as determinants of the notion of logical validity. After analyzing some logics associated with the proposed semantics, we introduce the logic E B, whose underlying semantic entailment relation - the B-entailment - is able to express several kinds of reasoning towards the cognitive attitudes of acceptance and rejection. Acorrect and complete sequent calculus for E B is also presented. (shrink)
Over the years, two models of freedom have emerged as competitors: the alternative-possibilities model and the actual-sequence model. This paper is a partial defense of the actual-sequence model. My defense relies on two strategies. The first strategy consists in de-emphasizing the role of examples in arguing for a model of freedom. Imagine that, as some people think, Frankfurt-style cases fail to undermine the alternative-possibilities model. What follows from this? Not much, I argue. In particular, I note that the counterparts of (...) Frankfurt-style cases also fail to undermine the actual-sequence model. My second strategy of defense consists in revitalizing the original motivation for the actual-sequence model, by revamping it, isolating it from claims that do not fully capture the same idea, and arguing that it can be developed in a successful way. (shrink)
In this paper I reexamine the debate between two contrasting conceptions of free will: the classical model, which understands freedom in terms of alternative possibilities, and a more recent family of views that focus only on actual causes, and that were inspired by Frankfurt’s famous attack on the principle of alternative possibilities. I offer a novel argument in support of the actual-causes model, one that bypasses the popular debate about Frankfurt-style cases.
Recent scholarship on John Locke's "Two Treatises of Government" has drawn particular attention to the colonial antecedents and applications of the theory of appropriation in chapter V of the Second Treatise. This attention has coincided with a more general interest among political theorists in the historical and theoretical relationship between liberalism and colonialism. This essay reviews the surviving evidence for Locke's knowledge of the Carolina colony and argues that it was both more extensive and more enduring than previous commentators (...) have suggested. In particular, the essay provides evidence that Locke was engaged in revising the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina at just the moment in the summer of 1682 when he was most likely to have composed chapter V of the Second Treatise and hence that there was an immediate and identifiable colonial context that contributed to his distinctive theory of property. (shrink)
In 1992, as part of a larger charitable campaign, the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s older son and heir) launched a line of organic food products called “Prince’s Duchy Originals”.1 The first product that went on sale was an oat cookie: “the oaten biscuit.” Since then the oaten biscuit has been joined by hundreds of other products and Duchy Originals has become one of the leading organic food brands in the UK. Presumably, the Prince of Wales is very (...) proud of his Duchy Originals products, and of the oaten biscuits in particular. Let’s imagine that he is so proud of the oaten biscuits that he eats them regularly. Also, let’s imagine that one day Queen Elizabeth asks the Prince to water the plant in her room. As she explains to him, she’ll be gone for the day and the plant needs to be watered every afternoon. But the Prince decides not to water the plant. Instead of watering the plant, he spends his afternoon savoring some oaten biscuits, and the Queen’s plant dies. (shrink)
What do the words ceteris paribus add to a causal hypothesis, that is, to a generalization that is intended to articulate the consequences of a causal mechanism? One answer, that looks almost too good to be true, is that a ceteris paribus hedge restricts the scope of the hypothesis to those cases where nothing undermines, interferes with, or undoes the effect of the mechanism in question, even if the hypothesis’s own formulator is otherwise unable to specify fully what might constitute (...) such undermining or interference. This paper proposes a semantics for causal generalizations according to which ceteris paribus hedges deliver on this promise, because the truth conditions for a causal generalization depend in part on the -- perhaps unknown -- nature of the mechanism whose consequences it is intended to describe. It follows that the truth conditions for causal hypotheses are typically opaque to their own formulators. (shrink)
Although Joseph de Maistre has long been regarded as characterising the Counter-Enlightenment, his intellectual relationship to eighteenth-century philosophy remains unexplored. In this first comprehensive assessment of Joseph de Maistre's response to the Enlightenment, a team of renowned scholars uncover a writer who was both the foe and heir of the philosophes. While Maistre was deeply indebted to thinkers who helped to fashion the Enlightenment - Rousseau, the Cambridge Platonists - he also agreed with philosophers such as Schopenhauer who adopted an (...) overtly critical stance. His idea of genius, his critique of America and his historical theory all used 'enlightened' language to contradict Enlightenment principles. Most intriguingly, and completely unsuspected until now, Maistre used the writings of the early Christian theologian Origen to develop a new, late, religious form of Enlightenment that shattered the logic of philosophie. The Joseph de Maistre revealed in this book calls into question any simple opposition of Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, and offers particular lessons for our own time, when religion is at the forefront of public debate and a powerful political tool. (shrink)
On the face of it, causal responsibility seems to be “additive” in the following sense: if I cause some effects, then it seems that I also cause the sum (aggregate, conjunction, etc.) of those effects. Let’s call the claim that causation behaves in this way, Additivity.
I respond to the critical comments by Randolph Clarke, Alfred Mele, and Derk Pereboom on my book Causation and Free Will. I discuss some features of the view that our freedom is exclusively based on actual causes, including the role played in it by absences of reasons, absence causation, modal facts, and finally some additional thoughts on how a compatibilist can respond to the manipulation argument for incompatibilism.
Recent scholarship on John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government has drawn particular attention to the colonial antecedents and applications of the theory of appropriation in chapter V of theSecond Treatise. This attention has coincided with a more general interest among political theorists in the historical and theoretical relationship between liberalism and colonialism. This essay reviews the surviving evidence for Locke’s knowledge of the Carolina colony and argues that it was both more extensive and more enduring than previous commentators have (...) suggested. In particular, the essay provides evidence that Locke was engaged in revising the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina at just the moment in the summer of 1682 when he was most likely to have composed chapter V of theSecond Treatise and hence that there was an immediate and identifiable colonial context that contributed to his distinctive theory of property. (shrink)