The Enkratic Principle enjoys something of a protected status as a requirement of rationality. I argue that this status is undeserved, at least in the epistemic domain. Compliance with the principle should not be thought of as a requirement of epistemic rationality, but rather as defeasible indication of epistemic blamelessness. To show this, I present the Puzzle of Inconsistent Requirements, and argue that the best way to solve this puzzle is to distinguish two kinds of epistemic evaluation – requirement and (...) appraisal. This allows us to solve the puzzle while accommodating traditional motivations for thinking of the Enkratic Principle as a requirement of rationality. (shrink)
One of the twentieth-century's most exciting and challenging intellectuals, Gilles Deleuze's writings covered literature, art, psychoanalysis, philosophy, genetics, film and social theory. This book not only introduces Deleuze's ideas, it also demonstrates the ways in which his work can provide new readings of literary texts. This guide goes on to cover his work in various fields, his theory of literature and his overarching project of a new concept of becoming.
I argue for the unexceptionality of evidence about what rationality requires. Specifically, I argue that, as for other topics, one’s total evidence can sometimes support false beliefs about this. Despite being prima facie innocuous, a number of philosophers have recently denied this. Some have argued that the facts about what rationality requires are highly dependent on the agent’s situation, and change depending on what that situation is like (Bradley, 2019). Others have argued that a particular subset of normative truths, those (...) concerning what epistemic rationality requires, have the special property of being ‘fixed points’ – it is impossible to have total evidence that supports false belief about them (Smithies, 2012; Titelbaum, 2015). Each of these kinds of exceptionality permit a solution to downstream theoretical problems that arise from the possibility of evidence supporting false belief about requirements of rationality. However, as I argue here, they incur heavy explanatory burdens that we should avoid. (shrink)
This paper describes a method for analyzing a corpus of descriptions collected through micro-phenomenological interviews. This analysis aims at identifying the structure of the singular experiences which have been described, and in particular their diachronic structure, while unfolding generic experiential structures through an iterative approach. After summarizing the principles of the micro-phenomenological interview, and then describing the process of preparation of the verbatim, the article presents on the one hand, the principles and conceptual devices of the analysis method and on (...) the other hand several dimensions of the analysis process: the modes of structural unfolding of generic structures, the mutual guidance of the processes of structural and experiential unfolding, the tracking of analysis processes, and finally the assessment of analysis results. (shrink)
This article presents an interview method which enables us to bring a person, who may not even have been trained, to become aware of his or her subjective experience, and describe it with great precision. It is focused on the difficulties of becoming aware of one’s subjective experience and describing it, and on the processes used by this interview technique to overcome each of these difficulties. The article ends with a discussion of the criteria governing the validity of the descriptions (...) obtained, and then with a brief review of the functions of these descriptions. (shrink)
Can we make mistakes about what rationality requires? A natural answer is that we can, since it is a platitude that rational belief does not require truth; it is possible for a belief to be rational and mistaken, and this holds for any subject matter at all. However, the platitude causes trouble when applied to rationality itself. The possibility of rational mistakes about what rationality requires generates a puzzle. When combined with two further plausible claims – the enkratic principle, and (...) the claim that rational requirements apply universally – we get the result that rationality generates inconsistent requirements. One popular and attractive solution to the puzzle denies that it is possible to make rational mistakes about what rationality requires. I show why (contra Titelbaum (2015b), and Littlejohn (2015)) this solution is doomed to fail. (shrink)
Challenging previous interpretations of Levinas that gloss over his use of the feminine or show how he overlooks questions raised by feminists, Claire Elise Katz explores the powerful and productive links between the feminine and religion in Levinas’s work. Rather than viewing the feminine as a metaphor with no significance for women or as a means to reinforce traditional stereotypes, Katz goes beyond questions of sexual difference to reach a more profound understanding of the role of the feminine in (...) Levinas’s conception of ethical responsibility. She combines feminist interpretations of Levinas with interpretations that focus on his Jewish writings to reveal that the feminine provides an important bridge between his philosophy and his Judaism. Katz’s reading of Levinas’s conception of the feminine against the backdrop of discussions of women of the Hebrew bible points to important shifts in contemporary philosophy toward the creation of life and care for the other. (shrink)
Introduction: The problem of vitalism : active/passive -- Brain, system, model : the affective turn -- Vitalism and theoria -- Inorganic art -- Inorganic vitalism -- The vital order after theory -- On becoming -- Living systems, extended minds, gaia -- Conclusion.
Reexamining Emmanuel Levinas’s essays on Jewish education, Claire Elise Katz provides new insights into the importance of education and its potential to transform a democratic society, for Levinas’s larger philosophical project.
Cinema, thought and time -- Deleuze's cinema books -- Technology -- Essences -- Space and time -- Bergson, time, and life -- The movement-image -- The history of time and space and the history of cinema -- The movement-image and semiotics -- Styles of sign -- The whole of movement -- Image and life -- Becoming-inhuman, becoming imperceptible -- The deduction of the movement-image -- Art and time -- Destruction of the sensory motor apparatus and the spiritual automaton -- Time (...) and money -- Art and history -- Monument -- Framing, territorialization, and the plane of composition -- Politics and the origin of meaning -- Transcending life and the genesis of sense -- Beyond symbolic and imaginary -- Shit and money -- Exchange, gift, and theft -- The fiction of mind -- Collective investment and group fantasy -- The time of man -- The intense germinal influx. (shrink)
A familiar part of debates about supererogatory actions concerns the role that cost should play. Two camps have emerged: one claiming that extreme cost is a necessary condition for when an action is supererogatory, while the other denies that it should be part of our definition of supererogation. In this paper, I propose an alternative position. I argue that it is comparative cost that is central to the supererogatory and that it is needed to explain a feature that all accounts (...) agree is central to the very notion of supererogation: optionality. Perhaps because of this agreement on its importance, few attempts have been made to clarify and explain the notion of optionality. I argue that giving an account of the optionality of supererogatory requires drawing a line between doing the bare minimum permissible and going beyond the bare minimum and that this line ought to be drawn based on comparative cost of alternative permissible acts. Having outlined my account and motivated it, I discuss and reject two concerns that might be raised: firstly, that it is extreme cost, not comparative cost, that matters and, secondly, that in fact no cost is needed for an act to be supererogatory. (shrink)
Is normative uncertainty like factual uncertainty? Should it have the same effects on our actions? Some have thought not. Those who defend an asymmetry between normative and factual uncertainty typically do so as part of the claim that our moral beliefs in general are irrelevant to both the moral value and the moral worth of our actions. Here I use the consideration of Jackson cases to challenge this view, arguing that we can explain away the apparent asymmetries between normative and (...) factual uncertainty by considering the particular features of the cases in greater detail. Such consideration shows that, in fact, normative and factual uncertainty are equally relevant to moral assessment. (shrink)
This article offers a critique and reformulation of the concept of empathy as it is currently used in the context of medicine and medical care. My argument is three pronged. First, that the instrumentalised notion of empathy that has been common within medicine erases the term’s rich epistemological history as a special form of understanding, even a vehicle of social inquiry, and has instead substituted an account unsustainably structured according to the polarisations of modernity. I suggest that understanding empathy by (...) examining its origins within the phenomenological tradition, as a mode of intersubjective understanding, offers a different and profitable approach. Secondly, I argue that the appropriation of empathy in medicine means that, ironically, empathy can function as a technique of pastoral power, in which virtue, knowledge and authority remain with the doctor. And thirdly, empathy is in danger of being resourced as a substitute for equity and funding within health systems. I conclude however with hope for the productive possibilities for empathy. (shrink)
The well-known experiments of Nisbett and Wilson lead to the conclusion that we have no introspective access to our decision-making processes. Johansson et al. have recently developed an original protocol consisting in manipulating covertly the relationship between the subjects’ intended choice and the outcome they were presented with: in 79.6% of cases, they do not detect the manipulation and provide an explanation of the choice they did not make, confirming the findings of Nisbett and Wilson. We have reproduced this protocol, (...) while introducing for some choices an expert guidance to the description of this choice. The subjects who were assisted detected the manipulation in 80% of cases. Our experiment confirms Nisbett and Wilson’s findings that we are usually unaware of our decision processes, but goes further by showing that we can access them through specific mental acts. (shrink)
We can imagine a world in which ectogenesis provides a safe gestating space that eliminates maternal morbidity and mortality while maximising healthy outcomes for babies. In this world, women, no longer physically—and visibly—pregnant, are no longer economically, socially or physically disadvantaged due to the potential for pregnancy and birth. Because everyone can access the same technology, women are able to work without fear of pregnancy-related discrimination or restrictions, and health disparities among individuals in gestation and birth based on socioeconomic status (...) are eliminated. This imagining allows us to explore the ethical and social underpinnings of such a world, and consider how to achieve it in our current paradigm. Having explored the freedom and equality that is possible in an ideal hypothetical where all have equal access to such technologies, we can now imagine that same world without ectogenesis: women, no longer economically, socially or physically disadvantaged due to pregnancy and birth, despite still becoming pregnant. Such is the potential political perspective and provocation that can be spurred on by discussion of ectogenesis. As Cavaliere argues, the technological reality of ectogenesis may not achieve the freedom and equality that …. (shrink)
Standing in San Marco Cathedral in Venice, you immediately notice the exquisitely decorated spandrels: the triangular spaces bounded on either side by adjoining arches and by the dome above. You would be forgiven for seeing them as the starting point from which to understand the surrounding architecture. To do so would, however, be a mistake. It is a similar mistaken inference that evolutionary biologists have been accused of making in assuming a special adaptive purpose for such biological features as fingerprints (...) and chins. I argue that a mistake of just this sort is being made by ethicists who appeal to the intrinsic value of supererogatory acts in their efforts to make space for supererogation in ethical theory. Many cases of supererogatory action are simply spandrels: by-products of uncontroversial commitments elsewhere in our moral thought. This is not to downplay their value but rather to show that their value need not be the justification for making room for the supererogatory. I demonstrate this by examining two areas: rights and the distribution of burdens among a group. My argument has significance for those who take themselves to be defends of the possibility of supererogatory actions, as well as those who are committed to the contrary and those who believe themselves to be indifferent on the matter. (shrink)
In this new and original book, Claire Armon-Jones examines the concept of affect and various philosophical positions which attempt to define and characterize it: the standard view, the neo-cognitivist view, and the objectual thesis. She contends that these views radically distort our understanding of affect by disregarding modes of affect which fail to conform to the accounts they each employ. Against the standard and neo-cognitivist views she argues that the notions they use to characterize affect are neither necessary nor (...) sufficient; and against the objectual thesis she further argues that affective states exhibit degrees of independence from the concept of an object. She develops a new theory of the varieties of affect that explains their cognitive nature, their felt aspect, their special logic and the relationship between their objectless and object-directed forms. Armon-Jones concludes by suggesting that her arguments call into question certain assumptions about the rationality and moral status of affect and require a revision of the conception of the good in affect. (shrink)
Advances in DNA sequencing technology open new possibilities for public health genomics, especially in the form of general population preventive genomic sequencing. Such screening programs would sit at the intersection of public health and preventive health care, and thereby at once invite and resist the use of clinical ethics and public health ethics frameworks. Despite their differences, these ethics frameworks traditionally share a central concern for individual rights. We examine two putative individual rights—the right not to know, and the child’s (...) right to an open future—frequently invoked in discussions of predictive genetic testing, in order to explore their potential contribution to evaluating this new practice. Ultimately, we conclude that traditional clinical and public health ethics frameworks, and these two rights in particular, should be complemented by a social justice perspective in order adequately to characterize the ethical dimensions of general population PGS programs. (shrink)
In this paper we list the various criticisms that have been formulated against introspection, from Auguste Comte denying that consciousness can observe itself, to recent criticisms of the reliability of first person descriptions. We show that these criticisms rely on the one hand on poor knowledge of the introspective process, and on the other hand on a naïve conception of scientific objectivity. Two kinds of answers are offered: the first one is grounded on a refined description of the process of (...) becoming aware of one's experience and describing it, the second one relies on a comparison with the methods of the experimental sciences. We conclude the article by providing a renewed definition of 'the truth' of a first person description. (shrink)
This article is devoted to the description of the experience associated with listening to a sound. In the first part, we describe the method we used to gather descriptions of auditory experience and to analyse these descriptions. This work of explicitation and analysis has enabled us to identify a threefold generic structure of this experience, depending on whether the attention of the subject is directed towards the event which is at the source of the sound, the sound in itself, considered (...) independently from its source, the felt sound. In the second part of the article, we describe this structure. The third part is devoted to a discussion of these results and the paths they open up in various fields of theoretical and applied research. (shrink)
It is often argued that the combination of deflationism about truth and the truth-conditional theory of meaning is impossible for reasons of circularity. I distinguish, and reject, two strains of circularity argument. Arguments of the first strain hold that the combination has a circular account of the order in which one comes to know the meaning of a sentence and comes to know its truth condition. I show that these arguments fail to identify any circularity. Arguments of the second strain (...) hold that the combination has a circular explanation of the ideas or concepts of meaning and truth. I show that these arguments identify a genuine, but acceptable, circularity. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to show through the concrete example of epileptic seizure anticipation how neuro-dynamic analysis and “pheno-dynamic” analysis may guide and determine each other. We will show that this dynamic approach to epileptic seizure makes it possible to consolidate the foundations of a cognitive non pharmacological therapy of epilepsy. We will also show through this example how the neuro-phenomenological co-determination could shed new light on the difficult problem of the “gap” which separates subjective experience from neurophysiological (...) activity. (shrink)
Block proposes that phenomenal experience overflows conscious access. In contrast, we propose that conscious access overflows overt report. We argue that a theory of phenomenal experience cannot discard subjective report and that Block's examples of phenomenal relate to two different types of perception. We propose that conscious access is more than simply readout of a pre-existing phenomenal experience.
The critical realist and Bourdieusian conceptions of action fundamentally disagree on a number of fronts: the synthetic versus dualistic relationship between structure and agency; the social nature of the self/body; the link between morphogenesis and reflexivity. Despite these differences, this article argues that re-reading Bourdieu’s theories with attention to some of the core tenets of critical realism can provide insights into how the habitus is capable of reflexivity and social change. In particular, this article reworks Bourdieu’s theory of habitus by (...) suggesting that social selves are always situated at the intersection of multiple and competing social locations and that the habitus itself is always layered. Reflexivity arises from horizontal disjunctures and vertical disjunctures. (shrink)
There has been some debate as to whether or not it is possible to keep a promise, and thus fulfil a duty, to supererogate. In this paper, I argue, in agreement with Jason Kawall, that such promises cannot be kept. However, I disagree with Kawall’s diagnosis of the problem and provide an alternative account. In the first section, I examine the debate between Kawall and David Heyd, who rejects Kawall’s claim that promises to supererogate cannot be kept. I disagree with (...) Heyd’s argument, as it fails to get to the heart of the problem Kawall articulates. Kawall’s argument however fails to make clear the problem with promising to supererogate because his discussion relies on the plausibility of the following claim: that supererogatory actions cannot also fulfil obligations. I argue that this view is mistaken because there are clear examples of supererogatory actions that also fulfil obligations. In the final section, I give my alternative account of the problem, identifying exactly what is wrong with fulfilling a duty, and thus keeping a promise, to supererogate. My diagnosis emphasises the importance of identifying non-supererogatory actions when it comes to understanding the way in which supererogatory actions go above and beyond the call of duty. (shrink)
I define 'skim semantics' to be a Davidson-style truth-conditional semantics combined with a variety of deflationism about truth. The expressive role of truth in truth-conditional semantics precludes at least some kinds of skim semantics; thus I reject the idea that the challenge to skim semantics derives solely from Davidson's explanatory ambitions, and in particular from the 'truth doctrine', the view that the concept of truth plays a central explanatory role in Davidsonian theories of meaning for a language. The fate of (...) skim semantics is not determined by the fate of the truth doctrine, so rejecting the truth doctrine does not in itself open the way to skim semantics. I establish my thesis by showing that some recently proposed versions of skim semantics fail because of truth's expressive role. I also discuss the conditions that might permit skim semantics. (shrink)
The objective of this article is to study a deeply pre- reflective dimension of our subjective experience. This dimension is gestural and rhythmic, has precise transmodal sensorial submodalities, and seems to play an essential role in the process of emergence of all thought and understanding. In the first part of the article, using examples, we try to draw the attention of the reader to this dimension in his subjective experience. In the second part, we attempt to explain the difficulties and (...) describe the interior process of becoming aware of it. Then we describe the structural characteristics of this dimension, and the different types of 'interior gestures' which enable us to connect ourselves with it. Finally, we formulate a genetic hypothesis about the role of this dimension in cognition, on the basis of which we suggest some research paths in the neuroscientific, educational and existential domains. (shrink)
The notion of supererogation—going above and beyond the call of duty—is typically discussed in a moral context. However, in this paper we argue for the existence of rationally supererogatory actions: that is, actions that go above and beyond the call of rational duty. In order to establish the existence of such actions, we first need to overcome the so-called paradox of supererogation: we need to provide some explanation for why, if some act is rationally optimal, it is not the case (...) that we are rationally required to carry out that act. We argue that a response to this ‘paradox’ can be found by reflecting on normative conflicts: cases where what is best according to some normative domain is different from what is best according to some other normative domain. (shrink)
Gestational surrogacy relies on a legal agreement between the surrogate and the intended parents to define the roles and responsibilities of the parties, including explicit consent by the surrogate to allow the physician to release all pregnancy-related medical information to the intended parents. In the event of surrogate misconduct, however, physicians may feel conflicted if the surrogate asks the physician to withhold information about potentially dangerous behaviour in pregnancy from the intended parents. While the American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines (...) may support disclosure over the objections of the surrogate, the authors argue that such disclosure is a violation of the surrogate’s rights and the physician’s ethical and professional duties. A surrogate’s confidentiality must be maintained as it is an essential element of the physician–patient relationship. (shrink)
Interdisciplinary research is frequently viewed as an important component of the research landscape through its innovative ability to integrate knowledge from different areas. However, support for interdisciplinary research is often strategic rhetoric, with policy-makers and universities frequently adopting practices that favour disciplinary performance. We argue that disciplinary and interdisciplinary research are complementary, and we develop a simple framework that demonstrates this for a semi-permanent interdisciplinary research field. We argue that the presence of communicating infrastructures fosters communication and integration between disciplines (...) and the interdisciplinary research field to generate innovative knowledge. We apply this to the experience of economic history in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century to demonstrate the life cycle of a semi-permanent interdisciplinary research field. (shrink)
Two experiments examined similarities and differences in the effects of consciously and unconsciously perceived rewards on the active maintenance of goal-relevant information. Participants could gain high and low monetary rewards for performance on a word span task. The reward value was presented supraliminally or subliminally at different stages during the task. In Experiment 1, rewards were presented before participants processed the target words. Enhanced performance was found in response to higher rewards, regardless whether they were presented supraliminally or subliminally. In (...) Experiment 2, rewards were presented after participants processed the target words, i.e., during maintenance. Performance increased in response to relatively high rewards when they were presented subliminally, but decreased when they were presented supraliminally. We conclude that both consciously and unconsciously perceived rewards boost resources supporting the maintenance of task-relevant information. Conscious processing of rewards can, however, heavily interfere with an ongoing maintenance process and impair performance. (shrink)
Amy saves a man from drowning despite the risk to herself, because she is moved by his plight. This is a quintessentially supererogatory act: an act that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Beth, on the other hand, saves a man from drowning because she wants to get her name in the paper. On this second example, opinions differ. One view of supererogation holds that, despite being optional and good, Beth’s act is not supererogatory because she is not (...) praiseworthy; the other agrees that Beth is not praiseworthy but holds that her act is nevertheless supererogatory because, while supererogatory actions are generally performed by praiseworthy agents, an individual need not be praiseworthy for their act to be supererogatory. In this paper, I raise a problem for this latter position, which I shall call the Anti-Motivation View of supererogation. While the Anti-Motivation View rejects the claim that the agent’s motivations are important, it accepts that the agent’s intentions are. Thus, this view assumes that a clear, coherent distinction can be drawn between intentions and motivations in the context of supererogation. This distinction is often attributed to Mill; however, his original discussion reveals an inconsistency. Consider Clara, who saves a man from drowning because she wants to torture him later. According to Mill, Clara’s act is not morally good; those who follow Mill will have to accept that it is therefore not supererogatory. Mill asserts that Clara’s act differs from Amy’s and Beth’s not just in motivation but also in intention. I question this explanation and demonstrate that the distinction between motivation and intention is not as clear as the Anti-Motivation View has supposed and that the gap between the Anti-Motivation View and the alternative Praise-Based View is either much greater or much smaller than previously thought. (shrink)