Why is aesthetics important to Wittgenstein? What, according to him, is the function of the aesthetic? My answer consists of three parts: first, I argue that Wittgenstein finds himself in an aporia of normative consciousness – that is to say, a problem with regard to our awareness of the world in terms of its relation to a norm. Second, I argue that the function of Wittgenstein’s aesthetic writings is to deal with this aporia. Third, through a comparison with Friedrich Schlegel’s (...) writings on allegory, I try to show that the way in which Wittgenstein resolves the aporia renders him a Romanticist philosopher. The point of an aesthetic interaction, for Wittgenstein, is that it can render clear what cannot be described without running against the walls of our cage: the absolute. Through aesthetic interactions we are able to (indirectly) access a ground for norms by which we experience ourselves as unconditionally bound. (shrink)
In ‘Pro-life arguments against infanticide and why they are not convincing’ Joona Räsänen argues that Christopher Kaczor's objections to Giubilini and Minerva's position on infanticide are not persuasive. We argue that Räsänen's criticism is largely misplaced, and that he has not engaged with Kaczor's strongest arguments against infanticide. We reply to each of Räsänen's criticisms, drawing on the full range of Kaczor's arguments, as well as adding some of our own.
Becoming autonomous is a process of coming to realise oneself in shared, socio-historical practices. There can be no self before these practices, but their existence is no guarantee for selfhood either: one can be heteronomous through one's successful participation in various practices if that participation is not a genuine expression of one's own personhood. This means that the sheer capability to participate in the practices in which one finds oneself is not sufficient for personal autonomy. Something else is required before (...) the self is realised in shared, socio-historical practices. How can this be, if as we said, there can be no self before these practices? By what principle do we decide whether a particular expression of selfhood in a socio-historical practice is genuine? If there can only be a self within socio-historical practices, it stands to reason that we can find it only there. If, however, one's participation cannot be considered in advance as a genuine expression of oneself, what we may expect to find is perhaps only a fragment, a hint of autonomy always already entangled in heteronomous elements, or things that would be different if one could have so chosen. To come to an understanding of oneself, then, will require more than just a handle on one's existence in various practices. It will require the capacity to see one's participation in this socio-historically determined practice as a fragment of a whole, a particular instance of something more general which points beyond our present participation in these particular, socio-historically determined practices towards a horizon of possibility that recedes beyond our grasp whenever we try to make definitive sense out of a possibility for agency. (shrink)
In psychological contract research, the side of the supervisor is strongly underexposed. However, supervisors are responsible for maintaining relationships with both their subordinates and senior management and are likely to be influenced by events unfolding in these relationships. In this study, we state that supervisor well-being may be affected by subordinates who fail to meet their obligations. This study adds to psychological contract research by developing an understanding of how and when subordinate psychological contract breach is associated with supervisor emotional (...) exhaustion. Through a weekly diary survey among 56 Dutch supervisors, we test hypotheses about the relationships between subordinate PCB and the emotional exhaustion of the supervisor, the mediating role of perceptions of performance pressure by the supervisor in this relationship, and the moderating role of i-deals between the supervisor and senior management. Multilevel analyses support the first two hypotheses, but contradictory to our expectations show that the positive association between subordinate PCB and the emotional exhaustion of the supervisor is strengthened when the supervisor has high levels of i-deals with senior management. We discuss the findings in relation to their contribution to psychological contract theory. (shrink)
The aim of the present study..is to help the interested student come to grips with the basic issues and problems of morality as these appear In the light of Christian faith. It is hoped that the student will be led to pursue the issues that are raised here by reference to other interpretations of Christian ethics. Finally, the reader should perhaps be warned in advance that he will find here no code or set of rules which will tell him what (...) the Christian must do in order to lead the good life. Rather, he will be pointed to a faith which enables him to act spontaneously and freely where the rules break down or are lacking. -- Introduction, p. 18. (shrink)
ABSTRACTSome political ads used in the 2016 U.S. election evoked feelings colloquially known as being moved to tears. We conceptualise this phenomenon as a positive social emotion that appraises and motivates communal relations, is accompanied by physical sensations, and often labelled metaphorically. We surveyed U.S. voters in the fortnight before the 2016 U.S. election. Selected ads evoked the emotion completely and reliably, but in a partisan fashion: Clinton voters were moved to tears by three selected Clinton ads, and (...) Trump voters were moved to tears by two Trump ads. Viewers were much less moved by ads of the candidate they did not support. Being moved to tears predicted intention to vote for the candidate depicted. We conclude that some contemporary political advertising is able to move its audience to tears, and thereby motivates support. (shrink)
Despite the biological predisposition to recognize and mimic facial expressions, research has shown that contextual or experiential factors may elicit emotionally incongruent, or counterempathic, responses. This experimental study reports how counterempathic responses to televised leader displays may be evoked in political communication. Findings suggest that unexpected nonverbal communication is subject to cognitive appraisal, which may influence emotional responding. Subjects were shown a series of four news stories, each followed by a 30-second televised reaction of President Bill Clinton. The story–reaction (...) sequences varied by story topic, level of emotion and degree of leader display appropriateness. Physiological and emotional self-report measures indicated that evaluations of display appropriateness moderated how much attention was given to the display, the affective direction of viewers’ facial muscle activation and the level of autonomic activation, or arousal. The EMG data showed that viewers frowned in response to positive expressive displays that followed positive news. Smiling activation also decreased for high-intensity, positive displays. By manipulating the valence and intensity of the associated news event, facial mimicry, and emotional responses to leaders generally, are shown to be situationally influenced by the larger social and informational context. (shrink)
From the Back Cover "After decades of cut-and-paste offerings on the subject, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in whisk(e)y—whether single malt, bourbon, or anything else—and all that makes it truly unique." —Jim McEwan, Production Director, Bruichladdich Distillery -/- "Does being a philosopher require an appreciation of good whiskey or does having an appreciation of good whiskey make one philosophical? Whichever is the case, Whiskey & Philosophy makes for a thought-provoking and thirst-inducing read. Cheers!" —Chris Morris, Master Distiller, (...) Woodford Reserve Distillery -/- "Whiskey & Philosophy contains a panacea of spiritual pleasure waiting to be enjoyed and shared. Many books have been written about whiskey, but few take you as deep into its inner world. It is an enlightening journey, and one that crosses boundaries and opens new doors. This is indeed a book that unlocks a treasure chest of pure liquid gold to the whiskey enthusiast." —Richard Paterson, Master Blender, Whyte and Mackay Ltd. -/- Whiskey & Philosophy explores the heart and soul of this heady potation in a lively collection of essays from philosophers, other academics, and whiskey writers. From the first reference to Scotch in 1494 in the records of King James IV of Scotland to Hillary Clinton tossing back that famous shot of Crown Royal during the 2008 campaign, this spirited book captures the history of whiskey, its various forms, and associated philosophical issues. -/- . (shrink)
I argued in ‘Pro‐life arguments against infanticide and why they are not convincing’ that arguments presented by pro‐life philosophers are mistaken and cannot show infanticide to be immoral. Several scholars have offered responses to my arguments. In this paper, I reply to my critics: Daniel Rodger, Bruce P. Blackshaw and Clinton Wilcox. I also reply to Christopher Kaczor. I argue that pro‐life arguments still are not convincing.
We describe a dual-process theory of how individuals estimate the probabilities of unique events, such as Hillary Clinton becoming U.S. President. It postulates that uncertainty is a guide to improbability. In its computer implementation, an intuitive system 1 simulates evidence in mental models and forms analog non-numerical representations of the magnitude of degrees of belief. This system has minimal computational power and combines evidence using a small repertoire of primitive operations. It resolves the uncertainty of divergent evidence for single (...) events, for conjunctions of events, and for inclusive disjunctions of events, by taking a primitive average of non-numerical probabilities. It computes conditional probabilities in a tractable way, treating the given event as evidence that may be relevant to the probability of the dependent event. A deliberative system 2 maps the resulting representations into numerical probabilities. With access to working memory, it carries out arithmetical operations in combining numerical estimates. Experiments corroborated the theory's predictions. Participants concurred in estimates of real possibilities. They violated the complete joint probability distribution in the predicted ways, when they made estimates about conjunctions: P, P, P, disjunctions: P, P, P, and conditional probabilities P, P, P. They were faster to estimate the probabilities of compound propositions when they had already estimated the probabilities of each of their components. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of probabilistic reasoning. (shrink)
From Wodehouse to the White House: A Corpus-Assisted Study of Play, Fantasy and Dramatic Incongruity in Comic Writing and Laughter-Talk In this paper I consider two discourse types, one written and literary, the other spoken and semi-conversational, in an attempt to discover if there are any similarities in the ways in which humour is generated in such apparently diverse forms of communication. The first part of the paper is concerned with the explicitly comic prose of P. G. Wodehouse, whilst in (...) the second part of the paper, we investigate the laughter-talk, defined as the talk preceding and provoking, intentionally or otherwise, an episode of laughter, occurring during press briefings held at the White House during the Clinton era and the subsequent Bush administration. Both studies, by employing corpus analysis techniques together with detailed discourse reading, integrate quantitative and qualitative approaches to the respective data sets. (shrink)
It is fortunate for my purposes that English has the two words ‘almighty’ and ‘omnipotent’, and that apart from any stipulation by me the words have rather different associations and suggestions. ‘Almighty’ is the familiar word that comes in the creeds of the Church; ‘omnipotent’ is at home rather in formal theological discussions and controversies, e.g. about miracles and about the problem of evil. ‘Almighty’ derives by way of Latin ‘omnipotens’ from the Greek word ‘ pantokratōr ’; and both this (...) Greek word, like the more classical ‘ pankratēs ’, and ‘almighty’ itself suggest God's having power over all things. On the other hand the English word ‘omnipotent’ would ordinarily be taken to imply ability to do everything; the Latin word ‘omnipotens’ also predominantly has this meaning in Scholastic writers, even though in origin it is a Latinization of ‘ pantocratōr ’. So there already is a tendency to distinguish the two words; and in this paper I shall make the distinction a strict one. I shall use the word ‘almighty’ to express God's power over all things, and I shall take ‘omnipotence’ to mean ability to do everything. (shrink)
A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
A growing amount of media is paid for by its consumers through their very consumption of it. Typically, this new media is web-based and paid for by advertising. It includes the services offered by Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. We offer an ethical assessment of the attention economy, the market where attention is exchanged for new media. We argue that the assessment has ethical implications for how the attention economy should be regulated. To conduct the assessment, we employ two heuristics (...) for evaluating markets. One is the “harm” criterion, which relates to whether the market tends to engender extremely harmful outcomes for individuals or society as a whole. The other is the “agency” criterion, which relates not to the outcomes of the market, but rather, to whether it somehow reflects or has its source in weakened agency. We argue that the attention economy animates concerns with respect to both criteria and that new media should be subject to the same sort of regulation as other harmful, addictive products. (shrink)
New media (highly interactive digital technology for creating, sharing, and consuming information) affords users a great deal of control over their informational diets. As a result, many users of new media unwittingly encapsulate themselves in epistemic bubbles (epistemic structures, such as highly personalized news feeds, that leave relevant sources of information out (Nguyen forthcoming)). Epistemically paternalistic alterations to new media technologies could be made to pop at least some epistemic bubbles. We examine one such alteration that Facebook has made in (...) an effort to fight fake news and conclude that it is morally permissible. We further argue that many epistemically paternalistic policies can (and should) be a perennial part of the internet information environment. (shrink)
Impermissivists hold that an agent with a given body of evidence has at most one rationally permitted attitude that she should adopt towards any particular proposition. Permissivists deny this, often motivating permissivism by describing scenarios that pump our intuitions that the agent could reasonably take one of several attitudes toward some proposition. We criticize the following impermissivist response: while it seems like any of that range of attitudes is permissible, what is actually required is the single broad attitude that encompasses (...) all of these single attitudes. While this might seem like an easy way to win over permissivists, we argue that this impermissivist response leads to an indefensible epistemology; permissive intuitions are not so easily co-opted. (shrink)
In recent years philosophers have given much attention to the ‘ontological problem’ of events. Donald Davidson puts the matter thus: ‘the assumption, ontological and metaphysical, that there are events is one without which we cannot make sense of much of our common talk; or so, at any rate, I have been arguing. I do not know of any better, or further, way of showing what there is’. It might be thought bizarre to assign to philosophers the task of ‘showing what (...) there is’. They have not distinguished themselves by the discovery of new elements, new species or new continents, nor even of new categories, although there has often been more dreamt of in their philosophies than can be found in heaven or earth. It might appear even stranger to think that one can show what there actually is by arguing that the existence of something needs to be assumed in order for certain sentences to make sense. More than anything, the sober reader will doubtlessly be amazed that we need to assume , after lengthy argument, ‘that there are events’. (shrink)
I argue for a new delimitation of what Kant means by ‘cognition [Erkenntnis]’, on the basis of the intermediate, transitional place that Kant gives to cognition in the ‘progression [Stufenleiter]’ of our representations and our consciousness of them. I show how cognition differs from mental acts lying earlier on this progression—such as sensing, intuiting, and perceiving—and also how cognition differs from acts lying later on this progression—such as explaining, having insight, and comprehending. I also argue that cognition should not be (...) confused with ‘knowledge [Wissen]’, insofar as knowledge represents the culmination of a separate orthogonal progression of acts of ‘holding-true’. Along the way, I show how having in focus the specific progression from representation, to consciousness, to cognition (and beyond) allows us to better appreciate the architectonic significance of the progression of Kant’s analysis in the first Critique (and beyond), and also helps to illuminate the unity of Kant’s account of cognition itself across its variety of (empirical, mathematical, philosophical) forms. (shrink)
We offer an ethical assessment of the market for data used to generate what are sometimes called “consumer scores” (i.e., numerical expressions that are used to describe or predict people’s dispositions and behavior), and we argue that the assessment has ethical implications on how the market for consumer scoring data should be regulated. To conduct the assessment, we employ two heuristics for evaluating markets. One is the “harm” criterion, which relates to whether the market produces serious harms, either for participants (...) in the market, for third parties, or for society as a whole. The other is the “agency” criterion, which relates to whether participants understand the nature and significance of the exchanges they are making, if they can be guaranteed fair representation, or if there is differential need for the market’s good. We argue that consumer scoring data should be subject to the same sort of regulation as the older FICO credit scores. Although the movement in the 1990s that was aimed at regulating the FICO scores was not aimed at restraining a market per se, we argue that the reforms were underwritten by concerns about the same sorts of problems as those outlined by our heuristics. Therefore, consumer data should be subject to the same sort of regulation. (shrink)
In this essay Clinton Golding introduces a new construct and area of research — epistemic progress — and argues that it can shed new light on educational inquiry. By clearly distinguishing progress through developing better ideas from progress through developing better inquiry skills , teachers and students can better understand, participate in, and evaluate inquiry. In addition, epistemic progress complements other epistemic constructs, such as “knowledge,” and could provide new insights about different kinds of inquiry or research, as well (...) as about the diverse disciplines and areas of study. (shrink)
The twentieth-century theologian and public intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr frequently employed a formulation confounding to his readers, simultaneously appealing to the loftiest altruism as summed up in his identification of the “law of love” and compelling attention to the grittiest realism as encapsulated in his recognition of a universal struggle for power. This sharp contrast was no careless error on Niebuhr’s part, but rather an insistence on describing in the most sharply contrasting tones the paradoxical character of human nature. In his (...) Christian Realist view fear and a consequent desire for power over others to protect oneself are inescapable components of human existence within history. The human need for community and refusal to be satisfied with anything less than devotion to the wellbeing of others unsullied by self-love are nevertheless also implanted in the human heart, which recognizes that reality extends beyond human history. Niebuhr demanded attention to both. (shrink)
I present an argument for an interpretation of Kant's views on the nature of the ‘content [Inhalt]’ of ‘cognition [Erkenntnis]’. In contrast to one of the longest standing interpretations of Kant's views on cognitive content, which ascribes to Kant a straightforwardly psychologistic understanding of content, and in contrast as well to the more recently influential reading of Kant put forward by McDowell and others, according to which Kant embraces a version of Russellianism, I argue that Kant's views on this topic (...) are of a much more Fregean bent than has traditionally been admitted or appreciated. I conclude by providing a sketch of how a better grasp of Kant's views on cognitive content in general can help bring into sharper relief what is, and what is not, at stake in the recent debates over whether Kant accepts a particular kind of cognitive content—namely, non‐conceptual content. (shrink)
The Protestant Work Ethic is a powerful force in Western culture with far reaching effects on our values and judgments. While research on PWE as a cultural value is abundant in diverse disciplines, little research has explored how this cultural value facilitates the use of heuristics when evaluating the morality of others. Using both PWE and illusory correlation as foundations, this paper explores whether people attribute positive moral characteristics to others merely based upon a description as hardworking. Three experiments suggest (...) merely being described as hardworking leads to perceptions of greater honesty, a more careful and detailed approach to one’s work, accompanied by a lesser likelihood of engaging in cheating behavior and a greater likelihood of accountability. These results have implications regarding the detection of deviant/fraudulent behavior. (shrink)
I present an argument for an interpretation of Kant's views on the nature of the ‘content [Inhalt]’ of ‘cognition [Erkenntnis]’. In contrast to one of the longest standing interpretations of Kant's views on cognitive content, which ascribes to Kant a straightforwardly psychologistic understanding of content, and in contrast as well to the more recently influential reading of Kant put forward by McDowell and others, according to which Kant embraces a version of Russellianism, I argue that Kant's views on this topic (...) are of a much more Fregean bent than has traditionally been admitted or appreciated. I conclude by providing a sketch of how a better grasp of Kant's views on cognitive content in general can help bring into sharper relief what is, and what is not, at stake in the recent debates over whether Kant accepts a particular kind of cognitive content—namely, non-conceptual content. (shrink)
Data-driven, decision-making technologies used in the justice system to inform decisions about bail, parole, and prison sentencing are biased against historically marginalized groups (Angwin, Larson, Mattu, & Kirchner 2016). But these technologies’ judgments—which reproduce patterns of wrongful discrimination embedded in the historical datasets that they are trained on—are well-evidenced. This presents a puzzle: how can we account for the wrong these judgments engender without also indicting morally permissible statistical inferences about persons? I motivate this puzzle and attempt an answer.
For much of the last 50 years, a key platform animating public sector reform in Canada and elsewhere has been that efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved by adapting private sector financial management methods and practices. We argue that the recent re-establishment of the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) of Canada represents a key element of a program of strengthening financial accountability that has emerged within the Canadian Federal Government. Although this program is longstanding and is associated Canada’s implementation (...) of new public management initiatives, it has recently drawn particular sustenance from the sponsorship scandal in Canada. We demonstrate that the reincarnated OCG, re-established amid a rhetoric of “modernization” and of “strengthening” accountability, has a wide-ranging mandate to enhance financial and audit controls, create financial standards, nurture professional development, and oversee government spending. We explore some of the consequences of this development and of the broader financial accountability mechanisms introduced in response to the Sponsorship scandal within the Canadian public sector. (shrink)
Throughout its history philosophy has been thought to be a member of a community of intellectual disciplines united by their common pursuit of knowledge. It has sometimes been thought to be the queen of the sciences, at other times merely their under-labourer. But irrespective of its social status, it was held to be a participant in the quest for knowledge – a cognitive discipline.
Although constructivist discussions in the classroom are often treated as if they were all of the same kind, in this paper I argue that there are subtle but important distinctions that need to be made. An analysis of these distinctions shows that there is a continuum of different constructivist discussions. At one extreme are teacher-directed discussions where students are led to construct the ‘correct’ understanding of a pre-decided conclusion; at the other extreme are unstructured discussions where students are free to (...) construct any understanding. While there are many positions on the continuum, the middle ground is occupied by discussions that find a balance between teacher-control and student-independence, and between having set-answers and a free-for-all. I argue that the Community of Inquiry is a useful conception of constructivist discussions in this middle ground. (shrink)