We focus on a class of multicriteria methods that are commonly used in environmental decision making--those that employ the weighted linear average algorithm (and this includes the popular analytic hierarchy process (AHP)). While we do not doubt the potential benefits of using formal decision methods of this type, we draw attention to the consequences of not using them well. In particular, we highlight a property of these methods that should not be overlooked when they are applied in environmental and wider (...) decision-making contexts: the final decision or ranking of options is dependent on the choice of performance scoring scales for the criteria when the criteria weights are held constant. We compare this "sensitivity" to a well-known criticism of the AHP, and we go on to describe the more general lesson when it comes to using weighted linear average methods--a lesson concerning the relationship between criteria weights and performance scoring scales. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics illustrates our deepening descent into the details of individual cognition. This descent is guided by the implicit assumption that “individual human” is the important “agent” of neoclassical economics. I argue here that this assumption is neither obviously correct, nor of primary importance to human economies. In particular I suggest that the main genius of the human species lies with its ability to distribute cognition across individuals, and to incrementally accumulate physical and social cognitive artifacts that largely obviate the innate (...) biological limitations of individuals. If this is largely why our economies grow, then we should be much more interested in distributed cognition in human groups, and correspondingly less interested in individual cognition. We should also be much more interested in the cultural accumulation of cognitive artefacts: computational devices and media, social structures and economic institutions. (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)
This book is meant to be a primer, that is, an introduction, to probability logic, a subject that appears to be in its infancy. Probability logic is a subject envisioned by Hans Reichenbach and largely created by Adams. It treats conditionals as bearers of conditional probabilities and discusses an appropriate sense of validity for arguments such conditionals, as well as ordinary statements as premisses. This is a clear well-written text on the subject of probability logic, suitable for advanced undergraduates or (...) graduates, but also of interest to professional philosophers. There are well-thought-out exercises, and a number of advanced topics treated in appendices, while some are brought up in exercises and some are alluded to only in footnotes. By this means, it is hoped that the reader will at least be made aware of most of the important ramifications of the subject and its tie-ins with current research, and will have some indications concerning recent and relevant literature. (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)
Analyzes the varied discourse on values and ethics. Addresses the need for self-scrutiny and explores leadership, the professoriate, and campus culture. Also examines academic integrity, freedom of speech, and the conflict between individual rights and the needs of the academic community.
While many are born into prosperity, hundreds of millions of people lead lives of almost unimaginable poverty. Our world remains hugely unequal, with our place of birth continuing to exert a major influence on our opportunities. -/- In this accessible book, leading political theorist Chris Armstrong engagingly examines the key moral and political questions raised by this stark global divide. Why, as a citizen of a relatively wealthy country, should you care if others have to make do with less? (...) Do we have a moral duty to try to rectify this state of affairs? What does 'global justice' mean anyway - and why does it matter? Could we make our world a more just one even if we tried? Can you as an individual make a difference? -/- This book powerfully demonstrates that global justice is something we should all be concerned about, and sketches a series of reforms that would make our divided world a fairer one. It will be essential introductory reading for students of global justice, activists and concerned citizens. (shrink)
In social work there is seldom an uncontroversial `right way' of doing things. So how will you deal with the value questions and ethical dilemmas that you will be faced with as a professional social worker? This lively and readable introductory text is designed to equip students with a sound understanding of the principles of values and ethics which no social worker should be without. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, this book successfully explores the complexities of ethical issues, (...) while recognising the real-world context in which social workers operate. Key features of the text include: - Full of hands-on advice and tips for professional practice. - Engaging and student-friendly. Each chapter is packed with case studies, reader exercises, key definitions and useful summaries. - Comprehensive content. The book explores core issues such as moral philosophy; professionalism; religion; power; oppression; difference and diversity; and ethical codes of practice. - Satisfies all the curriculum and training requirements for the new social work degree. Mapping directly on to first year courses, this text is essential reading for all social work undergraduates. It is an ideal refresher text for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduate and post-qualifying students, and for professionals. `This introductory text succeeds in providing an accessible introduction to the subject area. The book is consistently structured, well planned and uniformly written in a conversational and immediate style…. The discussion manages to combine a sense of engagement with a balanced treatment of the issues. Readers who apply themselves will be well sensitised to the matters under discussion and should be able to take their understanding into the practical arena' - Chris Clark, University of Edinburgh. (shrink)
This book examines the hypothesis of "direct compositionality", which requires that semantic interpretation proceed in tandem with syntactic combination. Although associated with the dominant view in formal semantics of the 1970s and 1980s, the feasibility of direct compositionality remained unsettled, and more recently the discussion as to whether or not this view can be maintained has receded. The syntax-semantics interaction is now often seen as a process in which the syntax builds representations which, at the abstract level of logical form, (...) are sent for interpretation to the semantics component of the language faculty. In the first extended discussion of the hypothesis of direct compositionality for twenty years, this book considers whether its abandonment might have been premature and whether in fact direct compositionality is not after all a simpler and more effective conception of the grammar than the conventional account of the syntax-semantics interface in generative grammar. It contains contributions from both sides of the debate, locates the debate in the setting of a variety of formal theories, and draws on examples from a range of languages and a range of empirical phenomena. (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.
Like many recent works in legal theory, especially those focusing on the apparently conflicting schools of legal positivism and natural law, Waluchow’s Inclusive Legal Positivism begins by admitting a degree of perplexity about the field; indeed, he suggests that the field has fallen into “chaos”. Disturbingly, those working within legal theory appear most uncertain about what the tasks of their field are. Legal philosophers often seem to suspect strongly that at least their colleagues in the field are confused about those (...) tasks. As a result, many recent books in legal theory are in large part exercises in legal metatheory, devoting many pages to attempts to define the purposes and goals of the field. Waluchow follows this trend and begins by expressing a desire to clarify the issues that separate those trying to give an account of the nature of law. His ultimate goal is to defend a version of legal positivism, inclusive legal positivism, that he thinks is at least implicit in H. L. A. Hart’s work. (shrink)
Mohism was an ancient Chinese philosophical movement founded in the fifth century B.C.E. by the charismatic artisan Mozi, or "Master Mo." The Mohists advanced a consequentialist ethics that anticipated Western utilitarianism by more than two thousand years and developed fascinating logical, epistemological, and political theories that set the terms of philosophical debate in China for generations. They were the earliest thinkers to outline a just war doctrine and to explain the origin of government from a state of nature. Their epistemology (...) and psychology provide intriguing alternatives to contemporary Western mentalism. The Philosophy of the Mozi is an extensive study of Mohism that immerses readers in the Mohist worldview, situates the movement's rise and decline within Chinese history, and highlights its relevance to modern thought. (shrink)
There is a recent and growing trend in philosophy that involves deferring to the claims of certain disciplines outside of philosophy, such as mathematics, the natural sciences, and linguistics. According to this trend— deferentialism , as we will call it—certain disciplines outside of philosophy make claims that have a decisive bearing on philosophical disputes, where those claims are more epistemically justified than any philosophical considerations just because those claims are made by those disciplines. Deferentialists believe that certain longstanding philosophical problems (...) can be swiftly and decisively dispatched by appeal to disciplines other than philosophy. In this paper we will argue that such an attitude of uncritical deference to any non-philosophical discipline is badly misguided. With reference to the work of John Burgess and David Lewis, we consider deference to mathematics. We show that deference to mathematics is implausible and that main arguments for it fail. With reference to the work of Michael Blome-Tillmann, we consider deference to linguistics. We show that his arguments appealing to deference to linguistics are unsuccessful. We then show that naturalism does not entail deferentialism and that naturalistic considerations even motivate some anti-deferentialist views. Finally, we set out deferentialism’s failings and present our own anti-deferentialist approach to philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
States claim the right to choose who can come to their country. They put up barriers and expose migrants to deadly journeys. Those who survive are labelled ‘illegal’ and find themselves vulnerable and unrepresented. The international state system advantages the lucky few born in rich countries and locks others into poor and often repressive ones. In this book, Christopher Bertram skilfully weaves a lucid exposition of the debates in political philosophy with original insights to argue that migration controls must be (...) justifiable to everyone, including would-be and actual immigrants. Until justice prevails, states have no credible right to exclude and no-one is obliged to obey their immigration rules. Bertram’s analysis powerfully cuts through the fog of political rhetoric that obscures this controversial topic. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the politics and ethics of migration. (shrink)
In this précis I summarise the main ideas of my book Philosophy of Psychedelics. The book discusses philosophical issues arising from the therapeutic use of “classic” psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD. The book is organised around what I call the Comforting Delusion Objection to psychedelic therapy: the concern that this novel and promising treatment relies essentially on the induction of non-naturalistic metaphysical beliefs, rendering it epistemically objectionable. I begin the précis by summarizing material from chapters two and three (...) of the book, which review evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics, and the facts about their clinical use that prompt the Comforting Delusion Objection. I then summarize materials from chapters four and five of the book, which argue that psychedelic therapy works neither by experience-independent processes of neuroplasticity, nor by inducing non-naturalistic metaphysical ideations, but by altering mental representations of the self. Next, I summarise the specific, speculative account of how this might work that is developed in chapters six and seven of the book. This account is based on the predictive processing theory of brain function and the self-binding theory of self-representation. Chapters eight and nine of the book argue, on the basis of this account, that psychedelic therapy can have significant epistemic and spiritual benefits that are compatible with a naturalistic worldview. I summarize this material, and then, finally, the overall conclusions about psychedelic therapy drawn in the tenth and final chapter of the book. (shrink)
Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to fathom, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough and confident understanding of demanding material. Hans-Georg Gadamer is one of the formeost European philosophers of recent times. His work on philosophical hermeneutics defined the whole subject, and Truth (...) and Method , his magnum opus, is a landmark text in modern philosophy. However, Gadamer's ideas, the complex relationship between them, and the often opaque way they are expressed, undoubtedly pose a considerable challenge for the reader. Gadamer: A Guide for the Perplexed is the ideal text for anyone trying to get to grips with Gadamer's work. Providing a clear account of the central tenets of Gadamer's philosophy, the book does not shy away from the more complex material and provides an invaluably thorough and fully engaged account of Gadamer's hermeneutics. There is clear exposition and analysis of such key terms - often problematic for the reader - as 'fusion of horizons', 'effective historical consciousness' and 'the logic of question and answer', as well as Gadamer's redefinition of such concepts as 'prejudice', 'authority' and 'tradition'. The book also discusses Gadamer's influence in other areas of philosophy; the response of other philosophers to his work; and criticisms of his work on the grounds of relativism. (shrink)
The (moral) permissibility of an act is determined by the relative weights of reasons, or so I assume. But how many weights does a reason have? Weight Monism is the idea that reasons have a single weight value. There is just the weight of reasons. The simplest versions hold that the weight of each reason is either weightier than, less weighty than, or equal to every other reason. We’ll see that this simple view leads to paradox in at least two (...) ways. We must complicate the picture somehow. I consider two candidate complications. The first, Parity Monism, is inspired by Ruth Chang’s suggestion that parity is a fourth comparative beyond the traditional three (>, <, =). This view complicates the single weight relation by allowing that the weights of reasons can be on a par. Unfortunately, Parity Monism resolves only one of the two paradoxes that afflict simple versions of Weight Monism. To resolve both paradoxes, we need our second candidate complication, Weight Pluralism. This view holds that reasons have at least two weight values (e.g., justifying weight and requiring weight) and these two values aren’t always equivalent. Parity is no substitute for Pluralism. (shrink)
Creativity in Whitehead is analogous to prime matter in Aristotle; both principles serve as the counterpart of form. A fundamental difference is that whereas prime matter is purely passive, creativity is pure activity. ;My dissertation focuses on the question whether creativity in some sense exists as numerically one running throughout the entire universe, or only as numerically many in the many individual actual entities which are the basis of his avowed ontological pluralism? ;The most common view in the literature is (...) that creativity exists only as many . Four leading commentators are examined, and each is seen to face a problem with creativity's on-goingness. If creativity exists only in its individuals, then why do new individuals continue to come into existence? Two of the commentators attempt to answer this question by appealing, each in a slightly different way, to creativity's universality; but in both cases it is argued that this form of answer is circular for the pluralist must show that creativity is universal in the future. ;Two other interpreters of creativity are examined who emphasize creativity's causal role in perpetuating the universe. Analysis of their interpretations shows that each in fact requires creativity to be something numerically one throughout the universe , though this view is not made explicit. ;A monistic interpretation is then put forward and defended against a common criticism; namely, that it is inconsistent with Whitehead's ontological pluralism. It is argued that creativity implies process and process implies a plurality of stages. The monistic creativity is not more real than its plurality of stages, since these stages are essential to its being a creating activity. Creativity is merely the counterpart of form; each stage of creativity's process has its own ingredient eternal objects and its own subjective aim at satisfaction in terms of which it is a novel atomic individual . A monistic creativity does not imply ontological monism. Furthermore, since it solves the problem of on-goingness, it should replace the received pluralistic interpretation. (shrink)
Jonathan Westphal's recent paper attempts to reconcile the view that propositions about the future can be true or false now with the idea that the future cannot now be real. I attempt to show that Westphal's proposal is either unoriginal or unsatisfying. It is unoriginal if it is just the well-known eternalist solution. It is unsatisfying if it is instead making use of a peculiar, tensed truthmaking principle.
How do we define religious experiences? And what would be the relationship with spiritual experiences? The author claims that the cognitive turn in science gives us new opportunities to map the territory of religion and spirituality. In line with other authors, he proposes a building block approach of cognitive mechanisms that can deal with questions regarding the specificity, origin, and complexity of religious experiences. Two concepts are presented that bridge the great divide which is presumed to exist between sciences that (...) study the brain and humanities, namely the encultured brain and predictive minds. In section three, six building blocks of the structure of religious experience are formulated. New in his approach is the unexpected possible as distinctive ground between normal experiences and what we consider spiritual and religious experiences. Finally, the author presents a critical reflection on his proposal and challenges for the road ahead. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic study of three foundational issues in the semantics of natural language that have been relatively neglected in the past few decades. focuses on the formal characterization of intensions, the nature of an adequate type system for natural language semantics, and the formal power of the semantic representation language proposes a theory that offers a promising framework for developing a computational semantic system sufficiently expressive to capture the properties of natural language meaning while remaining computationally tractable (...) written by two leading researchers and of interest to students and researchers in formal semantics, computational linguistics, logic, artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
So what is feminism anyway? Why are all the experts so reluctant to give us a clear definition? Is it possible to make sense of the complex and often contradictory debates? In this concise and accessible introduction to feminist theory, Chris Beasley provides clear explanations of the many types of feminism. She outlines the development of liberal, radical and Marxist//socialist feminism, and reviews the more contemporary influences of psychoanalysis, postmodernism, theories of the body, queer theory, and attends to the (...) ongoing significance of race and ethnicity. Given the diversity of feminist ideas, Chris Beasley a number of ways of looking at feminist theory and offer an open-ended approach which allows for variety and change. What is Feminism? is a clear and up-to-date guide to Western feminist theory for students, their teachers, researchers and anyone else who wants to understand and engage in current feminist debates. `Over the last three decades feminist theories and methodologies have become an increasingly complex as well as somewhat fraught terrain where ideas and egos alternately clash productively and destructively. This is an up-to-date and intelligent introduction to a field which remains a vital component of contemporary sociopolitical issues and debates' - Sneja Gunew, Professor of English and Women’s Studies, University of British Columbia. (shrink)
"American criminal justice is a dysfunctional mess. The so-called Land of the Free imprisons more people than any other country in the world. Understanding why means focusing on color -- not only on black or white, but also on green. The problem is that nearly everyone involved in criminal justice faces bad incentives. "Injustice for All" systematically diagnoses why and where American criminal justice goes wrong, and offers functional proposals for reform. By changing who pays for what, how people are (...) appointed, how people are punished, and which things are criminalized, we can make the US a country which guarantees justice for all." --. (shrink)
Good theory; bad politics - this is how Zizek's works have been described. Now Chris McMillan argues that Zizek's reading of global capitalism could reinvent political subversion. He highlights the political consequences of Zizek's fundamental concepts, such as the Lacanian Real, universality and the communist hypothesis. He argues that Zizek's turn to Communism represents the ultimate significance of Zizek's work for the 21st century and a marked new direction for Zizekian theory. While Zizek's work attracts a lot of labels, (...) most of them pejorative - communist, conservative, anti-semantic - Chris McMillan identifies Zizek's unique and productive contribution to social and political theory, constructing his work as a response to the difficulties of contemporary social theory and the political deadlock of global capitalism. (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)
Struggles over precious resources such as oil, water, and land are increasingly evident in the contemporary world. States, indigenous groups, and corporations vie to control access to those resources, and the benefits they provide. These conflicts are rapidly spilling over into new arenas, such as the deep oceans and the Polar regions. How should these precious resources be governed, and how should the benefits and burdens they generate be shared? Justice and Natural Resources provides a systematic theory of natural resource (...) justice. It argues that we should use the benefits and burdens flowing from these resources to promote greater equality across the world, and share governance over many important resources. At the same time, the book takes seriously the ways in which particular resources can matter in peoples lives. It provides invaluable guidance on a series of pressing issues, including the scope of state resource rights, the claims of indigenous communities, rights over ocean resources, the burdens of conservation, and the challenges of climate change and transnational resource governance. It will be required reading for anyone interested in natural resource governance, climate politics, and global justice. (shrink)
Typically, case histories are used to illustrate assertions or arguments or to stimulate debate about an issue within business ethics. This volume examines that role, illustrating the link between case histories and more general theoretical approaches to business ethics.
The principle of indifference has fallen from grace in contemporary philosophy, yet some papers have recently sought to vindicate its plausibility. This paper follows suit. In it, I articulate a version of the principle and provide what appears to be a novel argument in favour of it. The argument relies on a thought experiment where, intuitively, an agent’s confidence in any particular outcome being true should decrease with the addition of outcomes to the relevant space of possible outcomes. Put simply: (...) the greater the number of outcomes, the weaker your confidence should be in any one of those outcomes. The argument holds that this intuition favours the principle of indifference. I point out that, in contrast, the intuition is also incompatible with a major alternative to the principle which prescribes imprecise credences: the so-called wide interval view. Consequently, the argument may also be seen as an argument against the wide interval view. (shrink)
Traditional debates, such as those regarding whether the universe is finite in spatial or temporal extent, exemplified, according to Kant, the inherent tendency of pure reason to lead us astray. Although various aspects of Kant’s arguments fail to find a footing in modern cosmology, Kant’s objections to the search for a complete objective description of the cosmos are related to three intertwined issues that are still of central importance: the applicability of universal laws, the status of distinctively cosmological laws, and (...) the explanatory sufficiency of laws. We will advocate a broadly Kantian position on these three issues as part of a critical response to a prevalent strain of Leibnizian rationalism in contemporary cosmology. (shrink)