In this article I argue that Fanon articulates a more complex relationship between his notion of radical freedom and slavery reparations that allows for the possibility of demanding the latter without sacrificing the former. While at times Fanon seems to posit a simple dilemma according to which one must choose between freedom and reparations, he also describes a vicious cycle in which the taking of material reparations appears to be a precondition for freedom, yet the claim for reparations appears to (...) come at the cost of adoption of a constraining cultural identity. In other words, the process of attaining the material conditions necessary for radical freedom through slavery reparations can have the opposite effect of inhibiting freedom. The question of the possibility of taking reparations without sacrificing freedom becomes a question about the possibility of thinking about enslaved Africans and their descendants as a collective entitled to reparations without positing a constraining cultural identity. (shrink)
This title sees the re-emergence of the seminal 1970s magazine Curtains edited by Paul Buck. With its early promotion of French writers such as Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Pierre Faye and Edmond Jabès, Curtains’ re-appearance in 2016 arrives after an exhibition at Focal Point Gallery in 2012 that was recreated from an earlier 1992 work at Cabinet Gallery around the concept of ‘disappearing’. The invited contributions come from thirteen artists with whom the editor has engaged over the (...) years. In addition, Buck has returned to pull threads from the earlier editions of his magazine to explore ideas with writers encountered in the intervening years, making all appear in a consolidated grouping as a final gesture, one that refuses to disappear. Contributions include those by: Kathy Acker, Anne-Marie Albiach, Mireille Andres, Stephen Barber, David Barton, Diane Bataille, Georges Bataille, Mathieu Bénézet, Jean-Pierre Bobillot, Joë Bousquet, Michael Camus, Danielle Collobert, David Coxhead, John Cussans, Tatjana Doll, Jerry Estrin, Ulli Freer, Margarita Gluzsberg, Paul Green, Anouchka Grose, Pierre Guyotat, Susan Hiller, Andrew Hunt, Franz Kamin, Chris Kraus, Liane Lang, Roger Laporte, Francesca Lisette, Lucy McKenzie, Bernard Noël, Hestia Peppe, Holly Pester, Perle Petit, Richard Prince, Pascal Quignard, Clunie Reid, Mitsou Ronat, Claude Royet-Journoud, Eugène Savitzkaya, Will Shutes, Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, Miroslav Tichy, Colette Thomas, Simon Thompson, Sophie von Hellermann, and Gabrielle Wittkop. (shrink)
Defends the buck-passing account of value from the wrong kind of reason objection by arguing that in the cases proposed there are no reasons to value the intuitively worthless object, but there are practical reasons to bring it about that one values it. Also extends the account to other evaluative concepts.
The ‘buck-passing’ account equates the value of an object with the existence of reasons to favour it. As we argued in an earlier paper, this analysis faces the ‘wrong kind of reasons’ problem: there may be reasons for pro-attitudes towards worthless objects, in particular if it is the pro-attitudes, rather than their objects, that are valuable. Jonas Olson has recently suggested how to resolve this difficulty: a reason to favour an object is of the right kind only if its (...) formulation does not involve any reference to the attitudes for which it provides a reason. We argue that despite its merits, Olson's solution is unsatisfactory. We go on to suggest that the buck-passing account might be acceptable even if the problem in question turns out to be insoluble. (shrink)
This article argues for a revised best system account of laws of nature. David Lewis’s original BSA has two main elements. On the one hand, there is the Humean base, which is the totality of particular matters of fact that obtain in the history of the universe. On the other hand, there is what I call the ‘nomic formula’, which is a particular operation that gets applied to the Humean base in order to output the laws of nature. My revised (...) account focuses on this latter element of the view. Lewis conceives of the nomic formula as a balance of simplicity and strength, but I argue that this is a mistake. Instead, I motivate and develop a different proposal for the standards that figure into the nomic formula, and I suggest a rationale for why these should be the correct standards. Specifically, I argue that the nomic formula should be conceived as a collection of desiderata designed to generate principles that are predictively useful to creatures like us. The resulting view—which I call the ‘best predictive system’ account of laws—is thus able to explain why scientists are interested in discovering the laws, and it also gives rise to laws with the sorts of features that we find in actual scientific practice 1Introduction2The LOPP3A Problem with Lewis's Formula4A Pragmatic Account of the Nomic Formula 4.1Informative dynamics4.2Wide applicability4.3Spatial locality4.4Temporal locality4.5Spatial, temporal, and rotational symmetries4.6Predictively useful properties4.7Simplicity4.8Recap5 Conclusion. (shrink)
T. M. Scanlon's buck-passing account of value (BPA) has been subjected to a barrage of criticisms. Recently, to be helpful to BPA, Roger Crisp has suggested that a number of these criticisms can be met if one makes some revisions to BPA. In this paper, I argue that if advocates of the buck-passing account accepted these revisions, they would effectively be giving up the buck-passing account as it is typically understood, that is, as an account concerned with (...) the conceptual priority of reasons or the right vis-à-vis value or the good. I conclude by addressing some of the broader implications of my arguments for the current debate about the buckpassing account of value. (shrink)
According to T.M. Scanlon's buck-passing account of value, to be valuable is not to possess intrinsic value as a simple and unanalysable property, but rather to have other properties that provide reasons to take up an attitude in favour of their owner or against it. The 'wrong kind of reasons' objection to this view is that we may have reasons to respond for or against something without this having any bearing on its value. The challenge is to explain why (...) such reasons are of the wrong kind. This is what I set out to do, after illustrating the objection more thoroughly. (shrink)
This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing (...) good for in a buck-passing fashion (§II). The second are the buck-passing analyses of good for proposed by John Skorupski (§III), Henry Sidgwick (§IV), and Stephen Darwall (§V). Along the way the paper shows that Michael Smith’s and Peter Railton’s analyses of other concepts—analyses that could be (and have been) taken to be analyses of good for —are similarly unsuitable as analyses of it. The paper concludes by suggesting that the fact that none of the buck-passing accounts of good for considered here is satisfactory, coupled with an appreciation of the various problems that a buck-passing analysis of good for would have to avoid, suggests that we should be sceptical about the prospects of finding such an analysis and should look for one of a different type. (shrink)
This book takes concepts developed by researchers in theoretical computer science and adapts and applies them to the study of natural language meaning. Summarizing over a decade of research, Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan put forward the Continuation Hypothesis: that the meaning of a natural language expression can depend on its own continuation.
Buck-passers about value accept two theses about value, a negative thesis and a positive. The negative thesis is that the fact that something is valuable is not itself a reason to promote or appreciate it. The positive thesis is that the fact that something is valuable consists in the fact that there are other reasons to promote or appreciate it. Buck-passers suppose that the negative thesis follows from the positive one, and sometimes insist on it as if it (...) is the central part of their view. But as I'll explain here, what we say about the negative thesis is orthogonal to what we say about the positive one. (shrink)
Two ideas shape the epistemology of testimony. One is that testimony provides a unique kind of knowledge. The other is that testimonial knowledge is a social achievement. In traditional terms, those who affirm these ideas are anti-reductionists, and those who deny them are reductionists. There is increasing interest, however, in the possibility of affirming these ideas without embracing anti-reductionism. Thus, Sanford Goldberg uses the idea of epistemic buck-passing to argue that even reductionists can accept the uniqueness of testimonial knowledge, (...) and Jennifer Lackey gives both speaker and hearer an essential role in testimonial justification, rejecting both reductionism and anti-reductionism in favor of what she calls dualism. After distinguishing a weaker and a stronger notion of buck-passing, we show how anti-reductionists can use the stronger notion to motivate their position, and to answer Goldberg’s and Lackey’s challenges. (shrink)
Sciabarra replies to the seven respondents to his Fall 2002 essay on Rand, Rush, and progressive rock music. He defends the view that Rand's dialectical orientation underlies a fundamentally radical perspective. Rand shared with the counterculture—especially its libertarian progressive rock representatives—a repudiation of authoritarianism, while embracing the "unknown ideal" of capitalism. Her ability to trace the interrelationships among personal, cultural, and structural factors in social analysis and her repudiation of false alternatives is at the heart of that ideal vision, which (...) transcends left and right. (shrink)
This paper explores the so-called buck-passing accounts of value. These views attempt to use normative notions, such as reasons and ought to explain evaluative notions, such as goodness and value . Thus, according to Scanlon's well-known view, the property of being good is the formal, higher-order property of having some more basic properties that provide reasons to have certain kind of valuing attitudes towards the objects. I begin by tracing some of the long history of such accounts. I then (...) describe the arguments which are typically used to motivate these views. The rest of this article investigates how some of the central details of the buck-passing accounts should be specified, and what kind of problems these views face. (shrink)
In Beyond Art (2014), Dominic Lopes proposed a new theory of art, the buck passing theory. Rather than attempting to define art in terms of exhibited or genetic featured shared by all artworks, Lopes passes the buck to theories of individual arts. He proposes that we seek theories of music, painting, poetry, and other arts. Once we have these theories, we know everything there is to know about the theory of art. This essay presents two challenges to the (...) theory. First, this essay argues that Lopes is wrong in supposing that theories of arts were developed to deal with the ‘hard cases’ – developments such as Duchamp’s readymades and conceptual art. This is a problem since Lopes holds that the buck passing theory’s capacity to deal with the hard cases is one of its virtues. Second, this essay argues that the buck passing theory has no account of which activities are arts and no account of what makes some activity an art. (shrink)
The buck-passing account of value involves a positive and a negative claim. The positive claim is that to be good is to have reasons for a pro-attitude. The negative claim is that goodness itself is not a reason for a pro-attitude. Unlike Scanlon, Parfit rejects the negative claim. He maintains that goodness is reason-providing, but that the reason provided is not an additional reason, additional, that is, to the reason provided by the good-making property. I consider various ways in (...) which this may be understood and reject all of them. So I conclude that buck-passers cannot reject the negative claim. (shrink)
Chris L. Firestone and Nathan Jacobs integrate and interpret the work of leading Kant scholars to come to a new and deeper understanding of Kant's difficult book, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. In this text, Kant's vocabulary and language are especially tortured and convoluted. Readers have often lost sight of the thinker's deep ties to Christianity and questioned the viability of the work as serious philosophy of religion. Firestone and Jacobs provide strong and cogent grounds for taking (...) Kant's religion seriously and defend him against the charges of incoherence. In their reading, Christian essentials are incorporated into the confines of reason, and they argue that Kant establishes a rational religious faith in accord with religious conviction as it is elaborated in his mature philosophy. For readers at all levels, this book articulates a way to ground religion and theology in a fully fledged defense of Religion which is linked to the larger corpus of Kant's philosophical enterprise. (shrink)
Author of _The Fountainhead_ and _Atlas Shrugged_, Ayn Rand is one of the most widely read philosophers of the twentieth century. Yet, despite the sale of over thirty million copies of her works, there have been few serious scholarly examinations of her thought. _Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical_ provides a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual roots and philosophy of this controversial thinker. It has been nearly twenty years since the original publication of Chris Sciabarra’s _Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical_. (...) Those years have witnessed an explosive increase in Rand sightings across the social landscape: in books on philosophy, politics, and culture; in film and literature; and in contemporary American politics, from the rise of the Tea Party to recent presidential campaigns. During this time Sciabarra continued to work toward the reclamation of the dialectical method in the service of a radical libertarian politics, culminating in his book _Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism_. This new edition of _Ayn Rand_ adds two chapters that provide in-depth analysis of the most complete transcripts to date documenting Rand’s education at Petrograd State University. It includes a new preface that places the book in the context of Sciabarra’s own research and the recent expansion of interest in Rand’s beliefs. And finally, this edition adds a postscript that answers a recent critic of Sciabarra’s historical work on Rand. Shoshana Milgram, Rand’s biographer, has tried to cast doubt on Rand’s own recollections of having studied with the famous Russian philosopher N. O. Lossky. Sciabarra shows that Milgram’s analysis fails to cast doubt on Rand’s recollections—or on Sciabarra’s historical thesis. (shrink)
Chapter 8 argues against the view that the moral rightness of an act is not a reason to perform it, and our reasons are instead the features that make the act right. Philosophers typically defend this view by noting that it seems redundant to take rightness to be an additional reason, once it has been acknowledged that the right-making features are already reasons. The author shows that this argument dramatically overgeneralizes, ruling out all cases in which two or more reasons (...) are arranged in relationships of metaphysical constitution. She then proposes an alternative way of thinking about these metaphysical hierarchies: Rather than assuming that at most one of the facts in each hierarchy is the “real” reason, bearing all the normative weight, it should be accepted that these facts can all be genuine reasons, whose normative weight is shared in virtue of the metaphysical relationships between them. Some tests are offered that can be used to determine which facts occur in metaphysical hierarchies with shared weight, and it is argued that the fact that an act is morally right passes the tests. The author then explains what she takes to be some kernels of truth underlying the redundancy argument, arguing that these phenomena are pragmatic, not metaphysical. (shrink)
Recent clinical trials show that psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin can be given safely in controlled conditions, and can cause lasting psychological benefits with one or two administrations. Supervised psychedelic sessions can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and addiction, and improve well-being in healthy volunteers, for months or even years. But these benefits seem to be mediated by "mystical" experiences of cosmic consciousness, which prompts a philosophical concern: do psychedelics cause psychological benefits by inducing false or implausible beliefs about (...) the metaphysical nature of reality? This book is the first scholarly monograph in English devoted to the philosophical analysis of psychedelic drugs. Its central focus is the apparent conflict between the growing use of psychedelics in psychiatry and the philosophical worldview of naturalism. Within the book, Letheby integrates empirical evidence and philosophical considerations in the service of a simple conclusion: this "Comforting Delusion Objection" to psychedelic therapy fails. While exotic metaphysical ideas do sometimes come up, they are not, on closer inspection, the central driver of change in psychedelic therapy. Psychedelics lead to lasting benefits by altering the sense of self, and changing how people relate to their own minds and lives-not by changing their beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality. The upshot is that a traditional conception of psychedelics as agents of insight and spirituality can be reconciled with naturalism (the philosophical position that the natural world is all there is). Controlled psychedelic use can lead to genuine forms of knowledge gain and spiritual growth-even if no Cosmic Consciousness or transcendent divine Reality exists. Philosophy of Psychedelics is an indispensable guide to the literature for researchers already engaged in the field of psychedelic psychiatry, and for researchers-especially philosophers-who want to become acquainted with this increasingly topical field. (shrink)
An Introduction to Philosophical Methods is the first book to survey the various methods that philosophers use to support their views. Rigorous yet accessible, the book introduces and illustrates the methodological considerations that are involved in current philosophical debates. Where there is controversy, the book presents the case for each side, but highlights where the key difficulties with them lie. While eminently student-friendly, the book makes an important contribution to the debate regarding the acceptability of the various philosophical methods, and (...) so it will also be of interest to more experienced philosophers. (shrink)
Given the groundswell of corporate misconduct, the need for better business ethics education seems obvious. Yet many business schools continue to sidestep this responsibility, a policy tacitly approved by their accrediting agency, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Some schools have even gone so far as to cut ethics courses in the wake of corporate scandals. In this essay I discuss some reasons for this failure of business school responsibility and argue that top university officials must go (...) beyond weak accrediting standards to insist that ethics courses be required in business school curriculum. Otherwise, students will continue to get the message that practicing managers have little or no legal and ethical responsibilities to society. (shrink)
In this paper I explore buck passing analyses of deontic properties in terms of reasons. The preferred analysis is that the permissibility/impermissibility/optionality/requiredness/etc. of some agent's acting is to be couched in terms of reasons to respond in some way to that agent's action, or the prospect thereof. Along the way I try to accommodate supererogation, wrong kinds of reasons objections, and commonly accepted inferences in deontic logic.
I first distinguish between different forms of the buck-passing account of value and clarify my target in other respects on buck-passers' behalf. I then raise a number of problems for the different forms of the buck-passing view that I have distinguished.
According to T. M. Scanlon's 'buck-passing' analysis of value, x is good means that x has properties that provide reasons to take up positive attitudes vis-à-vis x. Some authors have claimed that this idea can be traced back to Franz Brentano, who said in 1889 that the judgement that x is good is the judgement that a positive attitude to x is correct ('richtig'). The most discussed problem in the recent literature on buckpassing is known as the 'wrong kind (...) of reason' problem (the WKR problem): it seems quite possible that there is sometimes reason to favour an object although that object is not good and possibly very evil. The problem is to delineate exactly what distinguishes reasons of the right kind from reasons of the wrong kind. In this paper we offer a Brentano-style solution. We also note that one version of the WKR problem was put forward by G. E. Moore in his review of the English translation of Brentano's Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis. Before getting to how our Brentano-style approach might offer a way out for Brentano and the buck-passers, we briefly consider and reject an interesting attempt to solve the WKR problem recently proposed by John Skorupski. (shrink)
In this book, Chris W. Surprenant puts forward an original position concerning Kant’s practical philosophy and the intersection between his moral and political philosophy. Although Kant provides a detailed account of the nature of morality, the nature of human virtue, and how right manifests itself in civil society, he does not explain fully how individuals are able to become virtuous. This book aims to resolve this problem by showing how an individual is able to cultivate virtue, the aim of (...) Kant’s practical philosophy. Through an examination of Kant’s accounts of autonomy, the state, and religion, and their effects on the cultivation of virtue, Surprenant develops a Kantian framework for moral education, and ultimately raises the question of whether or not Kantian virtue is possible in practice. (shrink)
While earlier work has emphasized Kant’s philosophy of religion as thinly disguised morality, this timely and original reappraisal of Kant’s philosophy of religion incorporates recent scholarship. In this volume, Chris L. Firestone, Stephen R. Palmquist, and the other contributors make a strong case for more specific focus on religious topics in the Kantian corpus. Main themes include the relationship between Kant’s philosophy of religion and his philosophy as a whole, the contemporary relevance of specific issues arising out of Kant’s (...) philosophical theology, and the relationship of Kant’s philosophy to Christian theology. As a whole, this book capitalizes on contemporary movements in Kant studies by looking at Kant not as an anti-metaphysician, but as a genuine seeker of spirituality in the human experience. (shrink)
The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods contains twenty-six original and substantive papers examining a wide selection of philosophical methods. Drawing upon an international range of leading contributors, this Handbook will help shape future debates about how philosophy should be done. Topics explored include philosophical disagreement, thought experiments, intuitions, rational reflection, conceptual analysis, explanation, parsimony, and experimental philosophy. Written in a clear and accessible form, and drawing upon the most recent thinking in the field, the papers will be of particular interest (...) to researchers and high-level undergraduates. (shrink)
This article investigates the relationships between forms of humor that conjure up possible worlds and real-world social critiques. The first part of the article will argue that subversive humor, which is from or on behalf of historically and continually marginalized communities, constitutes a kind of aesthetic experience that can elicit enjoyment even in adversarial audiences. The second part will be a connecting piece, arguing that subversive humor can be constructed as brief narrative thought experiments that employ the use of fictionalized (...) scenarios to facilitate an open, playful attitude, encouraging a space for collaborative interpretation. This interaction between humorist and audience is an aesthetic experience that is enjoyable in and of itself, as the feelings of mirth are intrinsically valuable. But connected to the “Ha-ha!” experience of these sorts of humorous creations is an “Aha!” or potentially revelatory experience that is a mixture of cognitive comprehension and motivated (emotional) response. The third part of the article will attempt to go beyond the consciousness-raising element with an account of how such possible worlds created in the realm of imagination through subversive humor can bleed into the real world of flesh and blood people. Finally, an example of subversive humor will be analyzed. (shrink)
In “’But It Would Be Wrong,’” Stephen Darwall advances a mixed view regarding “deontic buck-passing.” He holds that a wrong action’s “wrong-making features” are our reasons for reactive attitudes like blame; with respect to these reasons, the action’s wrongness “passes the buck” to these features. Yet the action’s being wrong is itself an additional reason for the agent not to do the action, Darwall contends, a “second-personal” moral reason. So with respect to reasons for action, the buck (...) doesn’t get passed. But once we remember that compunction is one of the moral reactive attitudes, we can see that Darwall’s rationale for treating these two sorts of reasons differently is insufficient. While giving up on deontic buck-passing altogether would require significant revisions to his second-personal account of morality, Darwall can easily adopt a thoroughgoing buck-passing, since a wrong action’s wrong-making features can be second-personal reasons not to do it. (shrink)
BackgroundMedical ethics has recently seen a drive away from multiple prescriptive approaches, where physicians are inundated with guidelines and principles, towards alternative, less deontological perspectives. This represents a clear call for theory building that does not produce more guidelines. Phronesis offers an alternative approach for ethical decision-making based on an application of accumulated wisdom gained through previous practice dilemmas and decisions experienced by practitioners. Phronesis, as an ‘executive virtue’, offers a way to navigate the practice virtues for any given case (...) to reach a final decision on the way forward. However, very limited empirical data exist to support the theory of phronesis-based medical decision-making, and what does exist tends to focus on individual practitioners rather than practice-based communities of physicians.MethodsThe primary research question was: What does it mean to medical practitioners to make ethically wise decisions for patients and their communities? A three-year ethnographic study explored the practical wisdom of doctors and used their narratives to develop theoretical understanding of the concepts of ethical decision-making. Data collection included narrative interviews and observations with hospital doctors and General Practitioners at all stages in career progression. The analysis draws on neo-Aristotelian, MacIntyrean concepts of practice- based virtue ethics and was supported by an arts-based film production process.ResultsWe found that individually doctors conveyed many different practice virtues and those were consolidated into fifteen virtue continua that convey the participants’ ‘collective practical wisdom’, including the phronesis virtue. This study advances the existing theory and practice on phronesis as a decision-making approach due to the availability of these continua.ConclusionGiven the arguments that doctors feel professionally and personally vulnerable in the context of ethical decision-making, the continua in the form of a video series and app based moral debating resource can support before, during and after decision-making reflection. The potential implications are that these theoretical findings can be used by educators and practitioners as a non-prescriptive alternative to improve ethical decision-making, thereby addressing the call in the literature, and benefit patients and their communities, as well. (shrink)
In their recent article “A Hierarchy of Classical and Paraconsistent Logics”, Eduardo Barrio, Federico Pailos and Damien Szmuc present novel and striking results about meta-inferential validity in various three valued logics. In the process, they have thrown open the door to a hitherto unrecognized domain of non-classical logics with surprising intrinsic properties, as well as subtle and interesting relations to various familiar logics, including classical logic. One such result is that, for each natural number n, there is a logic which (...) agrees with classical logic on tautologies, inferences, meta-inferences, meta-meta-inferences, meta-meta-...-meta-inferences, but that disagrees with classical logic on n + 1-meta-inferences. They suggest that this shows that classical logic can only be characterized by defining its valid inferences at all orders. In this article, I invoke some simple symmetric generalizations of BPS’s results to show that the problem is worse than they suggest, since in fact there are logics that agree with classical logic on inferential validity to all orders but still intuitively differ from it. I then discuss the relevance of these results for truth theory and the classification problem. (shrink)
The Gadamer Dictionary is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the world of Hans-Georg Gadamer. Meticulously researched and extensively cross-referenced, this unique book covers all his major works, ideas and influences and provides a firm grounding in the central themes of Gadamer's thought. Students will discover a wealth of useful information, analysis and criticism. A-Z entries include clear definitions of all the key terms used in Gadamer's writings and detailed synopses of his key works, including his magnum opus, Truth and (...) Method. The Dictionary also includes entries on Gadamer's major philosophical influences, from Plato to Heidegger, and his contemporaries, including Derrida and Habermas. It covers everything that is essential to a sound understanding of Gadamer's 'philosophical hermeneutics', offering clear and accessible explanations of often complex terminology. The Gadamer Dictionary is the ideal resource for anyone reading or studying Gadamer or Modern European Philosophy more generally. (shrink)
Users of psychedelic drugs often report that their sense of being a self or ‘I’ distinct from the rest of the world has diminished or altogether dissolved. Neuroscientific study of such ‘ego dissolution’ experiences offers a window onto the nature of self-awareness. We argue that ego dissolution is best explained by an account that explains self-awareness as resulting from the integrated functioning of hierarchical predictive models which posit the existence of a stable and unchanging entity to which representations are bound. (...) Combining recent work on the ‘integrative self' and the phenomenon of self-binding with predictive processing principles yields an explanation of ego dissolution according to which self-representation is a useful Cartesian fiction: an ultimately false representation of a simple and enduring substance to which attributes are bound which serves to integrate and unify cognitive processing across levels and domains. The self-model is not a mere narrative posit, as some have suggested; it has a more robust and ubiquitous cognitive function than that. But this does not mean, as others have claimed, that the self-model has the right attributes to qualify as a self. It performs some of the right kinds of functions, but it is not the right kind of entity. Ego dissolution experiences reveal that the self-model plays an important binding function in cognitive processing, but the self does not exist. (shrink)
Conflicting accounts of the role of mathematics in our physical theories can be traced to two principles. Mathematics appears to be both (1) theoretically indispensable, as we have no acceptable non-mathematical versions of our theories, and (2) metaphysically dispensable, as mathematical entities, if they existed, would lack a relevant causal role in the physical world. I offer a new account of a role for mathematics in the physical sciences that emphasizes the epistemic benefits of having mathematics around when we do (...) science. This account successfully reconciles theoretical indispensability and metaphysical dispensability and has important consequences for both advocates and critics of indispensability arguments for platonism about mathematics. (shrink)
Large-scale, self-sufficient space colonization is a plausible means of efficiently reducing existential risks and ensuring our long-term survival. But humanity is by and large myopic, and as an intergenerational global public good, existential risk reduction is systematically undervalued, hampered by intergenerational discounting. This paper explores how these issues apply to space colonization, arguing that the motivational and psychological barriers to space colonization are a special—and especially strong—case of a more general problem. The upshot is not that large-scale, self-sufficient space colonization (...) will never occur, but that, absent institutional change, the conditions under which it is most likely to occur are precisely those conditions where the threat of suffering risks might be most high. (shrink)
Looking out the window, I see that it's raining outside. Do I know that it’s raining outside? According to proponents of the Entailment Thesis, I do. If I see that p, I know that p. In general, the Entailment Thesis is the thesis that if S perceives that p, S knows that p. But recently, some philosophers (McDowell 2002, Turri 2010, Pritchard 2011, 2012) have argued that the Entailment Thesis is false. On their view, we can see p and not (...) know that p. In this paper, I argue that their arguments are unsuccessful. (shrink)
In his wide-ranging study of architecture and cultural evolution, Chris Abel argues that, despite progress in sustainable development and design, resistance to changing personal and social identities shaped by a technology-based and energy-hungry culture is impeding efforts to avert drastic climate change. The book traces the roots of that culture to the coevolution of Homo sapiens and technology, from the first use of tools as artificial extensions of the human body to the motorized cities spreading around the world, whose (...) uncontrolled effects are fast changing the planet itself. Advancing a new concept of the meme, called the 'technical meme', as the primary agent of cognitive extension and technical embodiment, Abel proposes a theory of the 'extended self' as a complex and diffuse outcome of that coevolution. Challenging conventional ideas of the self as a separate and autonomous being, the extended self, he explains, encompasses material and spatial as well as psychological and social elements, including the built environment and artifacts, and now reaches out into the virtual world of cyberspace. Drawing upon research into extended cognition and embodied minds from philosophy, psychology and the neurosciences, the book presents a new approach to environmental and cultural studies. N.B. This book was the winner of the International Committee of Architectural Critics 2017 Bruno Zevi Book Award by unanimous decision of the international jury. (shrink)
We review Potts' influential book on the semantics of conventional implicature, offering an explication of his technical apparatus and drawing out the proposal's implications, focusing on the class of CIs he calls supplements. While we applaud many facets of this work, we argue that careful considerations of the pragmatics of CIs will be required in order to yield an empirically and explanatorily adequate account.