People are motivated by shared social values that, when held with moral conviction, can serve as compelling mandates capable of facilitating support for ideological violence. The current study examined this dark side of morality by identifying specific cognitive and neural mechanisms associated with beliefs about the appropriateness of sociopolitical violence, and determining the extent to which the engagement of these mechanisms was predicted by moral convictions. Participants reported their moral convictions about a variety of sociopolitical issues prior to undergoing functional (...) MRI scanning. During scanning, they were asked to evaluate the appropriateness of violent protests that were ostensibly congruent or incongruent with their views about sociopolitical issues. Complementary univariate and multivariate analytical strategies comparing neural responses to congruent and incongruent violence identified neural mechanisms implicated in processing salience and in the encoding of subjective value. As predicted, neuro-hemodynamic response was modulated parametrically by individuals’ beliefs about the appropriateness of congruent relative to incongruent sociopolitical violence in ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and by moral conviction in ventral striatum. Overall moral conviction was predicted by neural response to congruent relative to incongruent violence in amygdala. Together, these findings indicate that moral conviction about sociopolitical issues serves to increase their subjective value, overriding natural aversion to interpersonal harm. (shrink)
The notion of experience plays a deeply ambiguous role in philosophical thinking. In ordinary discourse we say that applicants for employment as joiner, farmhand or nanny should have some previous experience with carpentry, livestock or children. Such uses of the word clearly presuppose the existence of the relevant objects of experience. In other usages the focus is more on the mental effect on the subject , as when someone says that they have had several unpleasant experiences that day–a wetting in (...) a thunderstorm, an altercation with a traffic warden, and a long wait at the station. (shrink)
In this collection of essays, Clifford Geertz explores the nature of his anthropological work in relation to a broader public, serving as the foremost spokesperson of his generation of scholars, those who came of age after World War II. ...
We investigate how the perceived uncertainty of a conditional affects a person's choice of conclusion. We use a novel procedure to introduce uncertainty by manipulating the conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. In Experiment 1, we show first that subjects reduce their choice of valid conclusions when a conditional is followed by an additional premise that makes the major premise uncertain. In this we replicate Byrne. These subjects choose, instead, a qualified conclusion expressing uncertainty. If subjects are given (...) a third statement that qualifies the likelihood of the additional premise, then the uncertainty of the conclusions they choose is systematically related to the suggested uncertainty. Experiment 2 confirms these observations in problems that omit the additional premise and qualify the first premise directly. Experiment 3 shows that the qualifying statement also affects the perceived probability of the consequent given the antecedent of the conditional. Experiment 4 investigates the effect of suggested uncertainty on the fallacies and shows that increases in uncertainty reduce the number of certain conclusions that are chosen while affirming the consequent but have no effect on denying the antecedent. We discuss our results in terms of rule theories and mental models and conclude that the latter give the most natural account of our results. (shrink)
W.K. Clifford’s famous 1876 essay The Ethics of Belief contains one of the most memorable lines in the history of philosophy: "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." The challenge to religious belief stemming from this moralized version of evidentialism is still widely discussed today.
Contemporary literature on consciousness, with some exceptions, rarely considers the olfactory system. In this article the characteristics of olfactory consciousness, viewed from the standpoint of the phenomenal /access distinction, are examined relative to the major senses. The review details several qualitative differences in both olfactory P consciousness and A consciousness . The basis for these differences is argued to arise from the functions that the olfactory system performs and from the unique neural architecture needed to instantiate them. These data suggest, (...) at a minimum, that P and A consciousness are uniquely configured in olfaction and an argument can be made that the P and A distinction may not hold for this sensory system. (shrink)
The basic alternatives seem to be either a Humean reductionist view that any particular assertion needs backing with inductive evidence for its reliability before it can retionally be believed, or a Reidian criterial view that testimony is intrinscially, though defeasibly, credible, in the absence of evidence against its reliability.Some recent arguments from the constraints on interpreting any linguistic performances as assertions with propositional content have some force against the reductionist view. We thus have reason to accept the criterial view, at (...) least as applied to eyewitness reports. But these considerations do not establish that any rational enquirer must have the concept of other minds or testimony. The logical possibility of the lone enquirer, who uses symbols and thereby expresses some knowledge of his world, remains open — but it is a question we have no need to pronounce upon. (shrink)
The traditional description of A- and B-time is that the former consists of a mind-independent past, present, and future, and that the latter consists solely of the time relations--earlier than, simultaneous with, and later than. Although this description makes it look as if there are two clearly contrasting concepts of time, it does not differentiate the passage of A-time from the succession in B-time. Nor does it explain what it means for events in B-time to be equally real and for (...) events in A-time not to be equally real. I argue that although McTaggart and numerous others have thought that there is a difference between the two kinds of time, it remains undescribed. (shrink)
Kant famously said he 'had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith ’ . But what exactly was his conception of Glaube, and how does it fit into his epistemology? In the first Critique it is not until the concluding Method section that he explicitly addresses these issues. In the Canon of Pure Reason he lists three questions that sum up ‘all interest of my reason’: What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope? (...) . Kant here put hope on the agenda of philosophy. In his essays on history he argued that we can hope for secular progress in the development of human culture; but in his moral and religious philosophy he was also concerned with eschatological hopes that we can perfect our characters in a life after death, and that the moral governor of the universe will ensure that happiness is eventually proportionate to virtue. About immortality and the existence of God, his constant refrain is that we can have only a practical kind of faith. (shrink)
While Nozick and his sympathizers assume there is a widespread anti-hedonist intuition to prefer reality to an experience machine, hedonists have marshalled empirical evidence that shows such an assumption to be unfounded. Results of several experience machine variants indicate there is no widespread anti-hedonist intuition. From these findings, hedonists claim Nozick's argument fails as an objection to hedonism. This article suggests the argument surrounding experience machines has been misconceived. Rather than eliciting intuitions about what is prudentially valuable, these intuitive judgements (...) are instead calculations about prudential pay-offs and trade-offs. This position can help explain the divergence of intuitions people have about experience machines. (shrink)
The ability to think of something not presently perceived, but spatio-temporally real. (2) The ability to think of whatever one acknowledges as possible in the spatio-temporal world. (3) The liability to think of something that the subject believes to be real, but which is not. (4) The ability to think of things that one conceives of as fictional. (5) The ability to entertain mental images. (6) The ability to think of anything at all. (7) The non-rational operations of the mind, (...) that is, those explicable in terms of causes rather than reasons. (8) The ability to form perceptual beliefs about public objects in space and time. (9) The ability to sensuously appreciate works of art or objects of natural beauty without classifying them under concepts or thinking of them as useful. (10) The ability to create works of art that encourage such sensuous appreciation. (11) The ability to appreciate things that are expressive or revelatory of the meaning of human life. (12) The ability to create works of art that express something deep about the meaning of life. (shrink)
This scenario-based study examines the perceptions of university students in the United States and Australia regarding the ethics and acceptability of various sales practices. Study results indicate several significant differences between U.S. and Australian university students regarding the perceptions of ethical and acceptable sales practices. These differences centered on company-salesperson and salesperson-customer relationships. The findings are significant for the employer, and have consequences for customers and competitors. They also have implications for recruiters and managers of salespeople, academics with an interest (...) in understanding cross-national differences in sales ethics, and educators preparing students for future careers as business professionals. (shrink)
The challenge that confronts corporate decision-makers in connection with global labor conditions is often in identifying the standardsby which they should govern themselves. In an effort to provide greater direction in the face of possible global cultural conflicts, ethicistsThomas Donaldson and Thomas Dunfee draw on social contract theory to develop a method for identifying basic human rights: Integrated Social Contract Theory (ISCT). In this paper, we apply ISCT to the challenge of global labor standards, attempting to identify labor rights that (...) could serve as guides for corporations producing or outsourcing outside of their home country. In addition to identifying areas of universal agreement, we also examine whether ISCT is, in fact, a sufficient basis for determining worker rights; we seek to define the parameters of the “sweatshop” problem; we include the application and results of our ISCT analysis as applied to labor standards: the global labor rights hypernorms; and conclude that ISCT is sufficient only for rights that are universal. We also discuss whether market-driven decisions can identify the boundaries of labor rights, or at least assure that market outcomes are compatible with maintaining labor rights, in order to respond to the shortcomings of ISCT. We conclude with some comments on directions of analysis for labor rights determination. (shrink)
It has been suggested that there maybe no olfactory illusions. This manuscript examines this claim and argues that it arises because olfactory illusions are not typically accompanied by an awareness of their illusory nature. To demonstrate that olfactory illusions do occur, the relevant empirical literature is reviewed, by examining instances of where the same stimulus results in different percepts, and of where different stimuli result in the same percept. The final part of the manuscript evaluates the evidence favoring the existence (...) of olfactory illusions, and then examines why they may not typically be accompanied by awareness. Three contributory mechanisms are discussed, relating to difficulty of verification and paucity of olfactory knowledge, the role of change blindness, and restricted access consciousness in this sense. (shrink)
I argue that our experience of time supports the B-Theory of time and not the A-Theory of time. We do not experience pastness, presentness, and futurity as mind-independent properties of events. My method in supporting this experiential claim is to show that our experience of presentness is like our experience of hereness--in neither case are we aware of a mind-independent property over and above the events or objects to which we ascribe the presentness or hereness.
Mass media ethics and the classical liberal ideal of the autonomous individual are historically linked and professionally dominant--yet the authors of this work feel this is intrinsically flawed. They show how recent research in philosophy and social science--together with a longer tradition in theological inquiry--insist that community, mutuality, and relationship are fundamental to a full concept of personhood. The authors argue that "persons-in-community" provides a more defensible grounding for journalists' professional moral decision-making in crucial areas such as truthtelling, privacy, organizational (...) culture, and balanced coverage. With numerous examples drawn from life as well as from theory, this book will interest journalists, editors, and professionals in media management as well as students and scholars of media ethics, reporting, and media law. (shrink)
Examination of recent debates about belief shows the need to distinguish: (a) non-linguistic informational states in animal perception; (b) the uncritical use of language, e.g. by children; (c) adult humans' reasoned judgments. If we also distinguish between mind-directed and object-directed mental states, we have: Perceptual 'beliefs' of animals and infants about their material environment. 'Beliefs' of animals and infants about the mental states of others. Linguistically-expressible beliefs about the world, resulting from e.g. the uncritical tendency to believe what we are (...) told. Uncritically-formed beliefs about the mental states. Beliefs about the material world arrived at by the weighing of evidence. Beliefs about mental states formed by critical assessment. (shrink)
Over three previous editions, Ten Theories of Human Nature has been a remarkably popular introduction to some of the most influential developments in Western and Eastern thought. This thoroughly revised fourth edition features substantial new chapters on Aristotle and on evolutionary theories of human nature; the latter centers on Edward O. Wilson but also outlines the ideas of Emile Durkheim, B. F. Skinner, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, Noam Chomsky, and recent evolutionary psychology. This edition also includes a rewritten introduction that (...) invites readers (even if inclined toward fundamentalism, or to cultural relativism) to careful, critical thought about human nature; a useful new section that summarizes the history of ideas from the Stoics to the Enlightenment; and a new conclusion that suggests a way to synthesize the various theories. Lucid and accessible, Ten Theories of Human Nature, 4/e, compresses into a small space the essence of such ancient traditions as Confucianism, Hinduism, and the Old and New Testaments as well as the theories of Plato, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The authors juxtapose the ideas of these and other thinkers and traditions in a way that helps readers understand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. To encourage readers to think critically for themselves and to underscore the similarities and differences between the many theories, the book examines each one on four points--the nature of the universe, the nature of humanity, the diagnosis of the ills of humanity, and the proposed cure for these problems. Ideal for introductory courses in human nature, philosophy, religious studies, and intellectual history, Ten Theories of Human Nature, 4/e, will engage and motivate students and other readers to consider how we can understand and improve both ourselves and human society. (shrink)
Four experiments investigated uncertainty about a premise in a deductive argument as a function of the expertise of the speaker and of the conversational context. The procedure mimicked everyday reasoning in that participants were not told that the premises were to be treated as certain. The results showed that the perceived likelihood of a conclusion was greater when the major or the minor premise was uttered by an expert rather than a novice (Experiment 1). The results also showed that uncertainty (...) about the conclusion was higher when the major premise was uttered by a novice and an alternative premise by an expert, compared to when the major premise was uttered by an expert and the alternative by a novice (Experiment 2). Similarly, the believability of a conclusion was considerably lower when the minor premise was uttered by a novice and denied by an expert, as opposed to when an expert uttered the minor premise and a novice denied it (Experiment 3). Experiment 4 showed that the nature of the uncertainty induced by a denial of the minor premise depended on whether or not the context was a conversation. These results pose difficult problems for current theories of reasoning, as current theories are based on the results of experiments in which the premises are treated as certain. Our discussion of the results emphasises the importance of pragmatics in reasoning, namely, the role of general knowledge about the world in assessing the probability of a premise uttered by an expert or a novice and the role of interpretations of the premise based on pragmatic inferences in revising these initial probabilities. (shrink)