John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by (...) non-conceptual content, and appreciating his insight into the experiential synthesis of intuition and conception (in particular, its role in grasping objects), I will argue that Edmund Husserl presents an even more comprehensive account of perceptual experience that explains how we experience the contribution of receptivity and sensibility and how they cooperate in perceptual discrimination. Further, it reveals “horizons”—a unique kind of contents, surplus content (rather than independent non-conceptual content)—beyond the synthesis of intuitive and conceptual contents through which objects are grasped. Such horizons play a constitutive role, making experience with its conceptual dimensions and justificatory potential possible; they in no way function like a bare given that is to fulfill some independent justificatory role. Whereas McDowell focuses on how experience does not take place in isolation from the exercise of conceptual capacities, Husserl complements his view by situating experience in a more encompassing whole and by elucidating the surplus-horizons that exceed the conceptual content of experience; play an inseparable, constitutive role within it; and indicate the limits of conceptual comprehension. (shrink)
I respond to Chalmers’ (2006, 2010) objection to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy (PCS) by showing that his objection is faced with a dilemma that ultimately undercuts its force. Chalmers argues that no version of PCS can posit psychological features that are both physically explicable and capable of explaining our epistemic situation. In response, I show that what Chalmers calls ‘our epistemic situation’ admits either of a phenomenal or of a topic-neutral characterization, neither of which supports Chalmers’ objection. On the one (...) hand, if our epistemic situation is characterized phenomenally, then Chalmers’ demand that PCS should explain our epistemic situation is misplaced. PCS can explain our epistemic situation only if there is a reductive explanation of consciousness. But according to PCS, no reductive explanation of consciousness can be given. On the other hand, if our epistemic situation is characterized topic-neutrally, then PCS is not only physically explicable, but it also explains our epistemic situation. Either way, PCS is safe. (shrink)
Within a given conversation or information exchange, do privacy expectations change based on the technology used? Firms regularly require users, customers, and employees to shift existing relationships onto new information technology, yet little is known as about how technology impacts established privacy expectations and norms. Coworkers are asked to use new information technology, users of gmail are asked to use GoogleBuzz, patients and doctors are asked to record health records online, etc. Understanding how privacy expectations change, if at all, and (...) the mechanisms by which such a variance is produced will help organizations make such transitions. This paper examines whether and how privacy expectations change based on the technological platform of an information exchange. The results suggest that privacy expectations are significantly distinct when the information exchange is located on a novel technology as compared to a more established technology. Furthermore, this difference is best explained when modeled by a shift in privacy expectations rather than fully technology-specific privacy norms. These results suggest that privacy expectations online are connected to privacy offline with a different base privacy expectation. Surprisingly, out of the five locations tested, respondents consistently assign information on email the greatest privacy protection. In addition, while undergraduate students differ from non-undergraduates when assessing a social networking site, no difference is found when judging an exchange on email. In sum, the findings suggest that novel technology may introduce temporary conceptual muddles rather than permanent privacy vacuums. The results reported here challenge conventional views about how privacy expectations differ online versus offline. Traditionally, management scholarship examines privacy online or with a specific new technology platform in isolation and without reference to the same information exchange offline. However, in the present study, individuals appear to have a shift in their privacy expectations but retain similar factors and their relative importance—the privacy equation by which they form judgments—across technologies. These findings suggest that privacy scholarship should make use of existing privacy norms within contexts when analyzing and studying privacy in a new technological platform. (shrink)
In §54 of the Grundlagen, Frege advances an interesting proposal on how to distinguish among different sorts of concepts, only some of which he thinks can be associated with number. This paper is devoted to an analysis of the two criteria he offers, isolation and non-arbitrary division. Both criteria say something about the way in which a concept divides its extension; but they emphasize different aspects. Isolation ensures that a concept divides its extension into discrete units. I offer (...) two construals of this: isolation as discreteness, i.e. absence of overlap, between the objects to be counted; and isolation as the drawing of conceptual boundaries. Non-arbitrary division concerns the internal structure of the units we count: it makes sure that we cannot go on dividing them arbitrarily and still find more units of the kind. Non-arbitrary division focuses not only on how long something can be divided into parts of the same kind; it also speaks to the way in which these divisions are made, arbitrarily or non-arbitrarily, as well as to the compositional structure of the objects divided. (shrink)
Emerging evidence suggests that the long-established distinction between habit-based and goal-directed decision-making mechanisms can also be sustained in humans. Although the habit-based system has been extensively studied in humans, the goal-directed system is less well characterized. This review brings to that task the distinction between conceptual and nonconceptual representational mechanisms. Conceptual representations are structured out of semantic consituents - the use of which requires an ability to perform some language-like syntactic processing. Decision making - as investigated by neuroscience (...) and psychology - is normally studied in isolation from questions about concepts as studied in philosophy and cognitive psychology. We ask what role concepts play in the "goal-directed" decision-making systems. We argue that one fruitful way of studying this system in humans is to investigate the extent to which it deploys conceptual representations. (shrink)
Colour is, according to prevailing orthodoxy in perceptual psychology, a kind of autonomous and unitary attribute. It is regarded as unitary or homogeneous by assuming that its core properties do not depend on the type of ‘perceptual object’ to which it pertains and that‘colour per se’ constitutes a natural attribute in the functional architecture of the perceptual system. It is regarded as autonomous by assuming that it can be studied in isolation of other perceptual attributes. These assumptions also provide (...) the pillars for the technical field of colorimetry, and have proved very fruitful for neurophysiological investigations into peripheral colour coding. They also have become, in a technology-driven cultural process of abstraction, part of our common-sense conception of colour. With respect to perception theory, however, both assumptions are grossly inadequate, on both empirical and theoretical grounds. All the same, the idea of an internal homogeneous and autonomous attribute of ‘colour per se’, mostly taken not as an empirical hypothesis but as a kind of truism, became a guiding idea in perceptual psychology. Here, it has impeded the identification of relevant theoretical issues and consequently has become detrimental for the development of explanatory frameworks for the role of ‘colour’ within the structure of our perceptual system. The chapter argues that enquiries into colour perception cannot be divorced from general enquiries into the structure of the conceptual forms underlying perception. (shrink)
What can we learn from “minimal” economic models? I argue that learning from such models is not limited to conceptual explorations—which show how something could be the case—but may extend to explanations of real economic phenomena—which show how something is the case. A model may be minimal qua certain world-linking properties, and yet “not-so-minimal” qua learning, provided it is externally valid. This, in turn, depends on using the right principles for model building and not necessarily “isolating” principles. My argument (...) is buttressed by a case study from computational economics, namely, two agent-based models of asset pricing. (shrink)
Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and (...) the philosophy of color. In this way the book not only offers a methodological program for philosophy, but also casts new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations. (shrink)
Conceptual Engineering alleges that philosophical problems are best treated via revising or replacing our concepts (or words). The goal here is not to defend Conceptual Engineering but rather show that it can (and should) invoke Neutralism—the broad view that philosophical progress can take place when (and sometimes only when) a thoroughly neutral, non-specific theory, treatment, or methodology is adopted. A neutralist treatment of one form of skepticism is used as a case study and is compared with various non-neutral (...) rivals. Along the way, a new taxonomy for paradox is proposed. (shrink)
Dray: Mandelbaum legislates regarding the historian's "task" in the guise of descriptive analysis. He seems to envisage two fundamental tasks for the historian: explaining, and relating parts to wholes. Contrary to Mandelbaum's implication, there is no more opposition between narration and either of these tasks than there is between the two tasks themselves.Ely: Mandelbaum refutes White and Danto, who both hold that historical writing is essentially narrative; but not Gallie, who asserts that historical writing is necessarily, but never solely, a (...) narrative construction. The claim that history is essentially narrative is fruitful even though false because it recognizes an important characteristic of historical thinking - the historian's conceptualisolation of a series of intentional human actions from the situations with which they were designed to cope.Gruner: Mandelbaurn is correct in his criticism of narrativism, but does not support his criticism by good reasons. Historians offer both static, non-narrative descriptions and kinetic, narrative descriptions. Historical description is therefore not the same as historical narration; the latter is only a species of the former. (shrink)
The assurance of corporate sustainability reporting has long been a controversial field. Corporate management and assurance providers are routinely accused of 'capturing' what should be an exercise in public accountability. This article responds to recent calls for an analysis of the process by which Capture' takes place. Integrating elements of neo-institutional theory and the arena concept, the article sets out a fresh conceptual framework for investigating the dynamics of the interactions between the various bodies active in the assurance field (...) in the UK. (shrink)
Philosophical conceptual analysis is an experimental method. Focusing on this helps to justify it from the skepticism of experimental philosophers who follow Weinberg, Nichols & Stich. To explore the experimental aspect of philosophical conceptual analysis, I consider a simpler instance of the same activity: everyday linguistic interpretation. I argue that this, too, is experimental in nature. And in both conceptual analysis and linguistic interpretation, the intuitions considered problematic by experimental philosophers are necessary but epistemically irrelevant. They are (...) like variables introduced into mathematical proofs which drop out before the solution. Or better, they are like the hypotheses that drive science, which do not themselves need to be true. In other words, it does not matter whether or not intuitions are accurate as descriptions of the natural kinds that undergird philosophical concepts; the aims of conceptual analysis can still be met. (shrink)
The conceptual spaces approach has recently emerged as a novel account of concepts. Its guiding idea is that concepts can be represented geometrically, by means of metrical spaces. While it is generally recognized that many of our concepts are vague, the question of how to model vagueness in the conceptual spaces approach has not been addressed so far, even though the answer is far from straightforward. The present paper aims to fill this lacuna.
According to grounded cognition, words whose semantics contain sensory-motor features activate sensory-motor simulations, which, in turn, interact with spatial responses to produce grounded congruency effects. Growing evidence shows these congruency effects do not always occur, suggesting instead that the grounded features in a word's meaning do not become active automatically across contexts. Researchers sometimes use this as evidence that concepts are not grounded, further concluding that grounded information is peripheral to the amodal cores of concepts. We first review broad evidence (...) that words do not have conceptual cores, and that even the most salient features in a word's meaning are not activated automatically. Then, in three experiments, we provide further evidence that grounded congruency effects rely dynamically on context, with the central grounded features in a concept becoming active only when the current context makes them salient. Even when grounded features are central to a word's meaning, their activation depends on task conditions. (shrink)
Evolutionary systems biology aims to integrate methods from systems biology and evolutionary biology to go beyond the current limitations in both fields. This article clarifies some conceptual difficulties of this integration project, and shows how they can be overcome. The main challenge we consider involves the integration of evolutionary biology with developmental dynamics, illustrated with two examples. First, we examine historical tensions between efforts to define general evolutionary principles and articulation of detailed mechanistic explanations of specific traits. Next, these (...) tensions are further clarified by considering a recent case from another field focused on developmental dynamics: stem cell biology. In the stem cell case, incompatible explanatory aims block integration. Experimental approaches aim at mechanistic explanation while dynamical system models offer explanation in terms of general principles. We then discuss an ESB case in which integration succeeds: search for general attractors using a dynamical systems framework synergizes with the experimental search for detailed mechanisms. Contrasts between the positive and negative cases suggest general lessons for achieving an integrated understanding of developmental and evolutionary dynamics. The key integrative move is to acknowledge two complementary aims, both relevant to explanation: identifying the space of possible dynamic states and trajectories, and mechanistic understanding of causal interactions underlying a specific phenomenon of interest. These two aims can support one another in a joint project characterizing dynamic aspects of evolving lineages. This more inclusive project can lead to insights that cannot be reached by either approach in isolation. (shrink)
Carnap and Goodman developed methods of conceptual re-engineering known respectively as explication and reflective equilibrium. These methods aim at advancing theories by developing concepts that are simultaneously guided by pre-existing concepts and intended to replace these concepts. This paper shows that Carnap’s and Goodman’s methods are historically closely related, analyses their structural interconnections, and argues that there is great systematic potential in interpreting them as aspects of one method, which ultimately must be conceived as a component of theory development. (...) The main results are: an adequate method of conceptual re-engineering must focus not on individual concepts but on systems of concepts and theories; the linear structure of Carnapian explication must be replaced by a process of mutual adjustments as described by Goodman; Carnap’s condition of similarity can be analysed into two components, one securing a relation to the specific extensions of the pre-existing concepts, one regulating the transition to the new system of concepts; these two criteria of adequacy can be built into Goodman’s account of reflective equilibrium to ensure that the resulting concepts promote theoretical virtues while being sufficiently similar to the concepts we started out with. (shrink)
How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philosophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sorts of associations probed by the Implicit Association Test and various priming tasks. In this paper, we argue that these discussions systematically overlook an alternative way in which biases are encoded, i.e., in the dependency networks that are part of our representations of social categories. Dependency (...) networks encode information about how the features in a conceptual representation depend on each other, which determines their degree of centrality in a conceptual representation. Importantly, centrally encoded biases systematically disassociate from those encoded in salient-statistical associations. Furthermore, the degree of centrality of a feature determines its cross-contextual stability: in general, the more central a feature is for a concept, the more likely it is to survive into a wide array of cognitive tasks involving that concept. Accordingly, implicit biases that are encoded in the central features of concepts are predicted to be more resilient across different tasks and contexts. As a result, our distinction between centrally encoded and salient-statistical biases has important theoretical and practical implications. (shrink)
The explanatory gap . Consciousness is a mystery. No one has ever given an account, even a highly speculative, hypothetical, and incomplete account of how a physical thing could have phenomenal states. Suppose that consciousness is identical to a property of the brain, say activity in the pyramidal cells of layer 5 of the cortex involving reverberatory circuits from cortical layer 6 to the thalamus and back to layers 4 and 6,as Crick and Koch have suggested for visual consciousness. .) (...) Still, that identity itself calls out for explanation! Proponents of an explanatory gap disagree about whether the gap is permanent. Some say that we are like the scientifically naive person who is told that matter = energy, but does not have the concepts required to make sense of the idea. If we can acquire these concepts, the gap is closable. Others say the gap is uncloseable because of our cognitive limitations. Still others say that the gap is a consequence of the fundamental nature of consciousness. (shrink)
What is the rationale for the methodological innovations of experimental philosophy? This paper starts from the contention that common answers to this question are implausible. It then develops a framework within which experimental philosophy fulfills a specific function in an otherwise traditionalist picture of philosophical inquiry. The framework rests on two principal ideas. The first is Frank Jackson’s claim that conceptual analysis is unavoidable in ‘serious metaphysics’. The second is that the psychological structure of concepts is extremely intricate, much (...) more so than early practitioners of conceptual analysis had realized. This intricacy has implications for the activity of analyzing concepts: while the central, coarser, more prominent contours of a concept may be identified from the armchair, the finer details of the concept’s structure require experimental methods to detect. (shrink)
Of this article's seven experiments, the first five demonstrate that virtually no Americans know the basic global warming mechanism. Fortunately, Experiments 2–5 found that 2–45 min of physical–chemical climate instruction durably increased such understandings. This mechanistic learning, or merely receiving seven highly germane statistical facts, also increased climate-change acceptance—across the liberal-conservative spectrum. However, Experiment 7's misleading statistics decreased such acceptance. These readily available attitudinal and conceptual changes through scientific information disconfirm what we term “stasis theory”—which some researchers and many (...) laypeople varyingly maintain. Stasis theory subsumes the claim that informing people about climate science may be largely futile or even counterproductive—a view that appears historically naïve, suffers from range restrictions, and/or misinterprets some polarization and correlational data. Our studies evidenced no polarizations. Finally, we introduce HowGlobalWarmingWorks.org—a website designed to directly enhance public “climate-change cognition.”. (shrink)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion of (...) dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory. (shrink)
Conceptual analysis of health and disease is portrayed as consisting in the confrontation of a set of criteria—a “definition”—with a set of cases, called instances of either “health” or “ disease.” Apart from logical counter-arguments, there is no other way to refute an opponent’s definition than by providing counter-cases. As resorting to intensional stipulation is not forbidden, several contenders can therefore be deemed to have succeeded. This implies that conceptual analysis alone is not likely to decide between naturalism (...) and normativism. An alternative to this approach would be to examine whether the concept of disease can be naturalized. (shrink)
This paper outlines a new approach to the task of giving an account of the meaning of moral statements: a sort of "conceptual role semantics", according to which the meaning of moral terms is given by their role in practical reasoning. This role is sufficient both to distinguish the meaning of any moral term from that of other terms, and to determine the property or relation (if any) that the term stands for. The paper ends by suggesting reasons for (...) regarding this "conceptual role semantics" approach as preferable to noncognitivism, the causal theory of reference, and noncircular conceptual analysis. (shrink)
The claim that conceptual systems change is a platitude. That our conceptual systems are theory-laden is no less platitudinous. Given evolutionary theory, biologists are led to divide up the living world into genes, organisms, species, etc. in a particular way. No theory-neutral individuation of individuals or partitioning of these individuals into natural kinds is possible. Parallel observations should hold for philosophical theories about scientific theories. In this paper I summarize a theory of scientific change which I set out (...) in considerable detail in a book that I shall publish in the near future. Just as few scientists were willing to entertain the view that species evolve in the absence of a mechanism capable of explaining this change, so philosophers should be just as reticent about accepting a parallel view of conceptual systems in science evolving in the absence of a mechanism to explain this evolution. In this paper I set out such a mechanism. One reason that this task has seemed so formidable in the past is that we have all construed conceptual systems inappropriately. If we are to understand the evolution of conceptual systems in science, we must interpret them as forming lineages related by descent. In my theory, the notion of a family resemblance is taken literally, not metaphorically. In my book, I set out data to show that the mechanism which I propose is actually operative. In this paper, such data is assumed. (shrink)
Conceptual analysis is undergoing a revival in philosophy, and much of the credit goes to Frank Jackson. Jackson argues that conceptual analysis is needed as an integral component of so-called serious metaphysics and that it also does explanatory work in accounting for such phenomena as categorization, meaning change, communication, and linguistic understanding. He even goes so far as to argue that opponents of concep- tual analysis are implicitly committed to it in practice. We show that he is wrong (...) on all of these points and that his case for conceptual analysis doesn. (shrink)
We put forward a possible new interpretation and explanatory framework for quantum theory. The basic hypothesis underlying this new framework is that quantum particles are conceptual entities. More concretely, we propose that quantum particles interact with ordinary matter, nuclei, atoms, molecules, macroscopic material entities, measuring apparatuses, in a similar way to how human concepts interact with memory structures, human minds or artificial memories. We analyze the most characteristic aspects of quantum theory, i.e. entanglement and non-locality, interference and superposition, identity (...) and individuality in the light of this new interpretation, and we put forward a specific explanation and understanding of these aspects. The basic hypothesis of our framework gives rise in a natural way to a Heisenberg uncertainty principle which introduces an understanding of the general situation of ‘the one and the many’ in quantum physics. A specific view on macro and micro different from the common one follows from the basic hypothesis and leads to an analysis of Schrödinger’s Cat paradox and the measurement problem different from the existing ones. We reflect about the influence of this new quantum interpretation and explanatory framework on the global nature and evolutionary aspects of the world and human worldviews, and point out potential explanations for specific situations, such as the generation problem in particle physics, the confinement of quarks and the existence of dark matter. (shrink)
How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philosophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sorts of associations probed by the Implicit Association Test and various priming tasks. In this paper, we argue that these discussions systematically overlook an alternative way in which biases are encoded, that is, in the dependency networks that are part of our representations of social categories. (...) Dependency networks encode information about how features in a conceptual representation depend on each other. This information determines the degree of centrality of a feature for a conceptual representation. Importantly, centrally encoded biases systematically disassociate from those encoded in salient-statistical associations. Furthermore, the degree of centrality of a feature determines its cross-contextual stability: in general, the more central a feature is for a concept, the more likely it is to survive into a wide array of cognitive tasks involving that concept. Accordingly, implicit biases that are encoded in the central features of concepts are predicted to be more resilient across different tasks and contexts. As a result, the distinction between centrally encoded and salient-statistical biases has important theoretical and practical implications. (shrink)
This essay concerns the question of how we make genuine epistemic progress through conceptual analysis. Our way into this issue will be through consideration of the paradox of analysis. The paradox challenges us to explain how a given statement can make a substantive contribution to our knowledge, even while it purports merely to make explicit what one’s grasp of the concept under scrutiny consists in. The paradox is often treated primarily as a semantic puzzle. However, in “Sect. 1” I (...) argue that the paradox raises a more fundamental epistemic problem, and in “Sects.1 and 2” I argue that semantic proposals—even ones designed to capture the Fregean link between meaning and epistemic significance—fail to resolve that problem. Seeing our way towards a real solution to the paradox requires more than semantics; we also need to understand how the process of analysis can yield justification for accepting a candidate conceptual analysis. I present an account of this process, and explain how it resolves the paradox, in “Sect. 3”. I conclude in “Sect. 4” by considering the implications for the present account concerning the goal of conceptual analysis, and by arguing that the apparent scarcity of short and finite illuminating analyses in philosophically interesting cases provides no grounds for pessimism concerning the possibility of philosophical progress through conceptual analysis. (shrink)
A theory of how concept formation begins is presented that accounts for conceptual activity in the first year of life, shows how increasing conceptual complexity comes about, and predicts the order in which new types of information accrue to the conceptual system. In a compromise between nativist and empiricist views, it offers a single domain-general mechanism that redescribes attended spatiotemporal information into an iconic form. The outputs of this mechanism consist of types of spatial information that we (...) know infants attend to in the first months of life. These primitives form the initial basis of concept formation, allow explicit preverbal thought, such as recall, inferences, and simple mental problem solving, and support early language learning. The theory details how spatial concepts become associated with bodily feelings of force and trying. It also explains why concepts of emotions, sensory concepts such as color, and theory of mind concepts are necessarily later acquisitions because they lack contact with spatial descriptions to interpret unstructured internal experiences. Finally, commonalities between the concepts of preverbal infants and nonhuman primates are discussed. (shrink)
This paper examines the prospects for a conceptual or functional role theory of moral concepts. It is argued that such an account is well-placed to explain both the irreducibility and practicality of moral concepts. Several versions of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts are distinguished, depending on whether the concept-constitutive conceptual roles are wide or narrow normative or non-normative and purely doxastic or conative. It is argued that the most plausible version of conceptual role semantics for (...) moral concepts involves only ‘narrow’ conceptual roles, where these include connections to motivational, desire-like, states. In the penultimate section it is argued, contrary to what Wedgwood, Enoch and others have claimed, that such an account of moral concepts cannot plausibly be combined with the claim that moral concepts refer to robust properties. (Published with Open Access.). (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to identify China’s indigenous conceptual dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and to increase the knowledge and comprehension about CSR in specific context. We conducted an inductive analysis of CSR in China based on an open-ended survey of 630 CEOs and business owners in 12 provinces (municipalities) in China. In the survey, we collected CSR sample responses. After examining the qualitative data, we identified nine dimensions of CSR, among which six dimensions are similar (...) to their western counterparts; however, the other three dimensions were never mentioned in previous literature, which mostly study the cases in the western world. In addition, two of the widely accepted CSR dimensions in the western world have no embodiments in China. A comparative study of CSR between China and western countries also unveiled some unique dimensions of CSR in China. In conclusion, CSR manifested in China is different from that in western countries, and China’s CSR is closely related to its social and cultural background. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the claim that the successful reduction of qualitative to physical states requires some sort of intelligible connection between our qualitative and physical concepts, which in turn requires a conceptual analysis of our qualitative concepts in causal-functional terms. While I defend this claim against some of its recent critics, I ultimately dispute it, and propose a different way to get the requisite intelligible connection between qualitative and physical concepts.
My aim here is threefold: to show that conceptual facts play a more significant role in justifying explanatory reductions than most of the contributors to the current debate realize; to furnish an account of that role, and to trace the consequences of this account for conceivability arguments about the mind.
Challenges the widely held view that good models must necessarily be simplifications and hence cannot be true. This is done by distinguishing between whole truth (complete description) and truth (essential description, attained by the method of isolation).
This paper surveys and evaluates the answers that philosophers and animal researchers have given to two questions. Do animals have thoughts? If so, are their thoughts conceptual? Along the way, special attention is paid to distinguish debates of substance from mere battles over terminology, and to isolate fruitful areas for future research.
Discussions in social psychology overlook an important way in which biases can be encoded in conceptual representations. Most accounts of implicit bias focus on ‘mere associations’ between features and representations of social groups. While some have argued that some implicit biases must have a richer conceptual structure, they have said little about what this richer structure might be. To address this lacuna, we build on research in philosophy and cognitive science demonstrating that concepts represent dependency relations between features. (...) These relations, in turn, determine the centrality of a feature f for a concept C: roughly, the more features of C depend on f, the more central f is for C. In this paper, we argue that the dependency networks that link features can encode significant biases. To support this claim, we present a series of studies that show how a particular brilliance-gender bias is encoded in the dependency networks which are part of the concepts of female and male academics. We also argue that biases which are encoded in dependency networks have unique implications for social cognition. (shrink)
We present an account of semantics that is not construed as a mapping of language to the world but rather as a mapping between individual meaning spaces. The meanings of linguistic entities are established via a “meeting of minds.” The concepts in the minds of communicating individuals are modeled as convex regions in conceptual spaces. We outline a mathematical framework, based on fixpoints in continuous mappings between conceptual spaces, that can be used to model such a semantics. If (...) concepts are convex, it will in general be possible for interactors to agree on joint meaning even if they start out from different representational spaces. Language is discrete, while mental representations tend to be continuous—posing a seeming paradox. We show that the convexity assumption allows us to address this problem. Using examples, we further show that our approach helps explain the semantic processes involved in the composition of expressions. (shrink)
The so-called `no-thesis' view is without a doubt one of the most immediately puzzling philosophical features of Nāgārjuna's thought and also largely responsible for ascribing to him either sceptical or mystical leanings (or indeed both). The locus classicus for this view is found in verse 29 of the Vigrahavyāvartanī: “If I had some thesis the defect [just mentioned] would as a consequence attach to me. But I have no thesis, so this defect is not applicable to me.” That this absence (...) of a thesis is to be regarded as a positive feature is stressed in a passage from the Yuktiṣaṣṭikā, where Nāgārjuna remarks about the Buddhas: “For these great beings there is no position, no dispute. How could there be another's [opposing] position for those who have no position?” Now it is important to observe that when considered in isolation it is very hard to make any coherent sense of these passages. For even if we assume that the Buddhas do not hold any philosophical position anymore (having perhaps passed beyond all conceptual thinking), how are we to make sense of the first quotation which, in the middle of a work full of philosophical theses claims that there is no such thesis asserted at all? (shrink)
During the last decades, many cognitive architectures (CAs) have been realized adopting different assumptions about the organization and the representation of their knowledge level. Some of them (e.g. SOAR ) adopt a classical symbolic approach, some (e.g. LEABRA[ 48]) are based on a purely connectionist model, while others (e.g. CLARION ) adopt a hybrid approach combining connectionist and symbolic representational levels. Additionally, some attempts (e.g. biSOAR) trying to extend the representational capacities of CAs by integrating diagrammatical representations and reasoning are (...) also available . In this paper we propose a reflection on the role that Conceptual Spaces, a framework developed by Peter G¨ardenfors  more than fifteen years ago, can play in the current development of the Knowledge Level in Cognitive Systems and Architectures. In particular, we claim that Conceptual Spaces offer a lingua franca that allows to unify and generalize many aspects of the symbolic, sub-symbolic and diagrammatic approaches (by overcoming some of their typical problems) and to integrate them on a common ground. In doing so we extend and detail some of the arguments explored by G¨ardenfors  for defending the need of a conceptual, intermediate, representation level between the symbolic and the sub-symbolic one. In particular we focus on the advantages offered by Conceptual Spaces (w.r.t. symbolic and sub-symbolic approaches) in dealing with the problem of compositionality of representations based on typicality traits. Additionally, we argue that Conceptual Spaces could offer a unifying framework for interpreting many kinds of diagrammatic and analogical representations. As a consequence, their adoption could also favor the integration of diagrammatical representation and reasoning in CAs. (shrink)
It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while (...) vindicating our ability to know a priori precisely what it is our words and thoughts represent._ _Despite its apparent promise, however, I. (shrink)
I argue that scientism in general is best understood as the thesis that the boundaries of the natural sciences should be expanded in order to include academic disciplines or realms of life that are widely considered not to belong to the realm of science. However, every adherent and critic of scientism should make clear which of the many varieties of scientism she adheres to or criticizes. In doing so, she should specify whether she is talking about (a) academic or universal (...) scientism, (b) reductive, methodological, epistemological, ontological, moral, or existential, scientism, (c) full or partial scientism, (d) strong or weak scientism, and (e) in the case of moral and existential scientism: replacement or illusion scientism. The strongest version of scientism one could defend is a conjunction of the following theses: strong full epistemological scientism, strong full ontological scientism, strong full Illusion-moral scientism, strong Illusion-existential scientism, and strong full reductive scientism. After a detailed discussion of each of the main varieties of scientism and their interrelations, the paper provides a conceptual map, consisting of two figures, which displays the main varieties of scientism and the relations that obtain between them, primarily, those of implication and mutual exclusion. (shrink)
Clarence I. Lewis (1883-1964) delineated the structure of mind based on his “conceptual pragmatism.” Human mind grounds itself on the ongoing dynamic interaction of relational processes, which is essentially mediated and structural. Lewis’s pragmatism anchors itself on the theory of knowledge that has the triadic structure of the given or immediate data, interpretation, and the concept. Lewis takes the a priori given as a starting point of meaningful experience. The interpretative work of mind is the mediator of the a (...) priori given and the concepts. The a priori given is the principle that determines the application of concepts in our interpretative process. Our mind interprets the given in relating to other possible experience. In other words, the meaning of the a priori given is determined by mind, the subject of interpretative process, which performs constructive and legislative activity, and allows room for the existence of alternatives. Lewis’s theory of knowledge calls for pragmatic justification of value experience. In his ethical theory, Lewis pursues to find answers for how to build up the objectivity of value experience regarding the work of mind as conceptual apparatus. For Lewis, knowledge is a claim about valuation and normativity. In our value experience, the normative significance of our empirical assessments for action comprises objective significance for future experience. Mind is “principle- content apparatus” composed of imperatives as the a priori given principles and the contents of experience as a whole.Imperatives are the result of lessons accumulated from the past and function as rules for the future. Individuals start their experience from imperatives and organize their own experience by doing based on the inferential process, which is directional from the past to the future. (shrink)
Pavel Materna proposed valuable explications of concept and conceptual system. After their introduction, we contrast conceptual systems with (a novel notion of) derivation systems. Derivation systems differ from conceptual systems especially in including derivation rules. This enables us to show close connections among the realms of objects, their concepts, and reasoning with concepts.
One strategy for blocking Chalmers's overall case against physicalism has been to deny his claim that showing that phenomenal properties are in some sense physical requires an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones. Here I avoid this well-trodden ground and argue instead that an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones does not require an analysis in the Jackson/Chalmers sense. This is to sever the dualist's link between conceptual analysis and (...) a priori entailment by showing that the lack of the former does not imply the absence of the latter. Moreover, given the role of the argument from conceptual analysis in Chalmers's overall case for dualism, undermining that argument effectively undermines that case as a whole in a way that, I'll argue, undermining the conceivability arguments as stand-alone arguments does not. (shrink)
The idea that there are conceptual schemes, relative to which we conceptualize experience, and empirical content, the “raw” data of experience that get conceptualized through our conceptual schemes into beliefs or sentences, is not new. The idea that there are neither conceptual schemes nor empirical content, however, is. Moreover, it is so new, that only four arguments have so far been given against this dualism, with Donald Davidson himself presenting versions of all four. In this paper, I (...) show that in both the general and Davidson’s specific form the first three arguments against scheme-content dualism rely on the fourth. From many there is just one. Then I show that the fate of the first three arguments against scheme-content dualism hangs on that of the fourth. Finally I present four reasons why the fourth argument fails. For the sake of the dualism’s detractors, therefore, one can only hope that forthcoming arguments against scheme-content dualism fare better than those given so far. (shrink)
There are several important conceptual issues and questions about the practice of healthcare ethics that can, and should, inform the development of any practice standards. This paper provides a relatively short overview of seven of these issues, with the invitation for further critical reflection and examination of their relevance to and implications for practice standards. The seven issues described include: diversity (from the perspective of training and experience); moral expertise and authority/influence; being an insider or outsider; flexibility and adaptability (...) (for local contexts of practice); the relative weighting of procedural and normative aspects of ethics practice; making mistakes or errors; and conflicts of interest in practice. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to undertake a conceptual investigation of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm: a psychological project initiated by Paul Baltes and intended to study the complex phenomenon of wisdom. Firstly, in order to provide a wider perspective for the subsequent analyses, a short historical sketch is given. Secondly, a meta-theoretical issue of the degree to which the subject matter of the Baltesian study can be identified with the traditional philosophical wisdom is addressed. The main result (...) yielded by a careful conceptual analysis is that the philosophical and psychological concepts of wisdom, though not entirely the same, are at least parallel. Finally, one of the revealed aspects of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, i.e. its relative neglect of the non-cognitive and personal aspects of wisdom is brought to the fore. This deficiency, it is suggested, can be remedied by the application of the virtue ethics' conceptual framework. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the implications of recent empirical research on concept representation for the philosophical enterprise of conceptual analysis. I argue that conceptual analysis, as it is commonly practiced, is committed to certain assumptions about the nature of our intuitive categorization judgments. I then try to show how these assumptions clash with contemporary accounts of concept representation in cognitive psychology. After entertaining an objection to my argument, I close by considering ways in which conceptual analysis (...) might be altered to accord better with the empirical work. (shrink)
Quantification, Negation, and Focus: Challenges at the Conceptual-Intentional Semantic Interface Tista Bagchi National Institute of Science, Technology, and Development Studies (NISTADS) and the University of Delhi Since the proposal of Logical Form (LF) was put forward by Robert May in his 1977 MIT doctoral dissertation and was subsequently adopted into the overall architecture of language as conceived under Government-Binding Theory (Chomsky 1981), there has been a steady research effort to determine the nature of LF in language in light of (...) structurally diverse languages around the world, which has ultimately contributed to the reinterpretation of LF as a Conceptual-Intentional (C-I) interface level between the computational syntactic component of the faculty of language and one or more interpretive faculties of the human mind. While this has opened up further possibilities of research in phenomena such as quantifier scope and scope interactions between negation, quantification, and focus, it has also given rise to a few real challenges to linguistic theory as well. Some of these are: (i) the split between lexical meaning – a matter supposedly belonging to the phase-wise selection of lexical arrays – and issues of semantic interpretation that arise purely from binding and scope phenomena (Mukherji 2010); (ii) partially relatedly, the level at which theta role assignment can be argued to take place, an issue that is taken up by me in Bagchi (2007); and (iii) how supposedly “pure” scopal phenomena relating to quantifiers, negation, and emphasizing expressions such as only and even (comparable to, e.g., Urdu/Hindi hii and bhii, Bangla –i and –o) also have dimensions of both focus and discourse reference. While recognizing all of these challenges, this talk aims to highlight particularly challenge (iii), both in terms of scholarship in the past and for the rich prospects for research on languages of south Asia with the semantics of quantification, negation, and focus in view. The scholarship of the past that I seek to relate this issue to is where, parallel to (and largely independently of) the research on LF that had been happening, Barwise and Cooper were developing their influential view of noun phrases as generalized quantifiers, culminating in their key 1981 article “Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language” while, independently, McCawley, in his 1981 book Everything that Linguists have Always Wanted to Know about Logic, established through argumentation that all noun phrases semantically behave like generalized quantified expressions (further elaborated by him in the second – 1994 – revised edition of his book). I seek to demonstrate, based on limited data analysis from selected languages of south Asia, that our current understanding of quantification, negation, and focus under the Minimalist view owes something significant to the two major, but now largely marginalized, works of scholarship, and that for the way forward it is essential to adopt a more formal-semantic approach as adopted by them and also by later works such as Denis Bouchard’s (1995) The Semantics of Syntax, Mats Rooth’s work on focus (e.g., Rooth 1996, “Focus” in Shalom Lappin’s Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory), Heim and Kratzer’s Semantics in Generative Grammar (1998), and Yoad Winter’s (2002) Linguistic Inquiry article on semantic number, to cite just a few instances. (shrink)
This paper argues that Davidson's argument against conceptual schemes fail against so-called "Applied Relativisms", i.e. theories of conceptual relativism found outside philosophy such as Whorf's. These theories make no metaphysical claims, which Davidson seems to assume. Ultimately, the misunderstanding (and resulting strawman argument) illustrates (the effect of) differences in conceptual schemes more than that it undermines it.