We think that certain of our mental states represent the world around us, and represent it in determinate ways. My perception that there is salt in the pot before me, for example, represents my immediate environment as containing a certain object, a pot, with a certain kind of substance, salt, in it. My belief that salt dissolves in water represents something in the world around me, namely salt, as having a certain observational property, that of dissolving. But what exactly is (...) the relation between such states and the world beyond the surfaces of our skins? Specifically, what exactly is the relation between the contents of those states, and the world beyond our bodies? (shrink)
In this interview, Cynthia Hammond sits down with Marc Lafrance in order to discuss the 30-year sketching practice that led to her exhibition, Drawings for a Thicker Skin, in 2012. In this practice, Hammond made small, quick drawings of the clothes she would need for trips or key professional events. As she explains, the drawings were not just essential to knowing what to pack; they were essential to being able to pack. While she never conceived of the practice as (...) art, when invited to exhibit the drawings she found a way to relate this idiosyncratic and private practice to a larger set of ontological concerns. Clothing as a second skin is the key idea here, as Hammond and Lafrance explore what it means to navigate identity, idealized self-image, professional ‘passing’ and the skin ego. (shrink)
The concept of “difference” forms the core of contemporary attacks on “liberal legalism” and is central to proposals for replacing it. Critics charge that liberal law quashes difference because it grounds political equality and individual rights in the assumption that all persons share certain “samenesses,” such as rationality or autonomy. In the words of the philosopher Iris Marion Young, “liberal individualism denies difference by positing the self as a solid, self-sufficient unity, not defined by or in need of anything or (...) anyone other than itself.” The claim is that this “sameness”-based vision of equality is in fact an exercise of power, reflecting a highly specific model of personhood that was constructed by and for a white male elite and ensures its continued social dominance. Liberalism's critics conclude that the achievement of social justice will be possible only when sameness-based conceptions of equality are rejected. (shrink)
Expressions used in religious contexts have often seemed odd and paradoxical to philosophers. Statements have appeared in Christian discourse to the effect that God is not a person and yet is a person, that he is a servant and a king, that he is nothingness and being itself. These statements appear unintelligible either because their terms are self-contradictory or because they are mutually exclusive.
This paper develops a notion of manipulative gaslighting, which is designed to capture something not captured by epistemic gaslighting, namely the intent to undermine women by denying their testimony about harms done to them by men. Manipulative gaslighting, I propose, consists in getting someone to doubt her testimony by challenging its credibility using two tactics: “sidestepping” and “displacing”. I explain how manipulative gaslighting is distinct from reasonable disagreement, with which it is sometimes confused. I also argue for three further claims: (...) that manipulative gaslighting is a method of enacting misogyny, that it is often a collective phenomenon, and, as collective, qualifies as a mode of psychological oppression. (shrink)
Heroin prescription involves the medical provision of heroin in the treatment of heroin addiction. Rudimentary clinical trials on that treatment modality have been carried out and others are currently underway or in development. However, it is questionable whether subjects considered for such trials are mentally competent to consent to them. The problem has not been sufficiently appreciated in ethical and clinical discussions of the topic. The challenges involved throw new light on the role of value and accountability in contemporary discussions (...) of mental competence. (shrink)
In ____Maternal Ethics and Other Slave Moralities__ which includes the first extended philosophical discussion of the works of Frederick Douglass, Cynthia Willett puts forward a novel theory of ethical subjectivity that is aimed to counter prevailing pathologies of sexist, racist Eurocentric culture. Weaving together accounts of the self drawn from African-American and European philosophies, psychoanalysis, slave narratives and sociology, Willett interrogates what Hegel locates as the core of the self: the desire for.
There is mounting evidence that methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin) is being used by healthy college students to improve concentration, alertness, and academic performance. One of the key concerns associated with such use of pharmaceuticals is the degree of freedom individuals have to engage in or abstain from cognitive enhancement (CE). From a pragmatic perspective, careful examination of the ethics of acts and contexts in which they arise includes considering coercion and social pressures to enhance cognition. We were interested in understanding how (...) university students, parents of university students, and healthcare providers viewed autonomy and coercion in CE using MPH. We found that perspectives converged on the belief that CE is a matter of personal and individual choice. Perspectives also converged on the existence of tremendous social pressures to perform and succeed. Parents emphasized personal responsibility and accountability for CE choices, and expressed feelings of worry, sadness and fear about CE. Students emphasized the importance of personal integrity in CE, expressed tolerance for personal choices of others, and highlighted the challenge that CE poses to maintaining one’s personal integrity. Healthcare providers emphasized the health consequences of CE. These results illustrate: (1) the importance of understanding how context is viewed in relation to perspectives on autonomous choice; (2) the limitations of individualistic libertarian approaches that do not consider social context; and (3) the ethical implications of public health interventions in a value-laden debate where perspectives diverge. (shrink)
Interspecies Ethics explores animals' vast capacity for agency, justice, solidarity, humor, and communication across species. The social bonds diverse animals form provide a remarkable model for communitarian justice and cosmopolitan peace, challenging the human exceptionalism that drives modern moral theory. Situating biosocial ethics firmly within coevolutionary processes, this volume has profound implications for work in social and political thought, contemporary pragmatism, Africana thought, and continental philosophy. Interspecies Ethics develops a communitarian model for multispecies ethics, rebalancing the overemphasis on competition in (...) the original Darwinian paradigm by drawing out and stressing the cooperationist aspects of evolutionary theory through mutual aid. The book's ethical vision offers an alternative to utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics, building its argument through rich anecdotes and clear explanations of recent scientific discoveries regarding animals and their agency. Geared toward a general as well as a philosophical audience, the text illuminates a variety of theories and contrasting approaches, tracing the contours of a postmoral ethics. (shrink)
Network science provides a set of quantitative methods to investigate complex systems, including human cognition. Although cognitive theories in different domains are strongly based on a network perspective, the application of network science methodologies to quantitatively study cognition has so far been limited in scope. This review demonstrates how network science approaches have been applied to the study of human cognition and how network science can uniquely address and provide novel insight on important questions related to the complexity of cognitive (...) systems and the processes that occur within those systems. Drawing on the literature in cognitive network science, with a focus on semantic and lexical networks, we argue three key points. Network science provides a powerful quantitative approach to represent cognitive systems. The network science approach enables cognitive scientists to achieve a deeper understanding of human cognition by capturing how the structure, i.e., the underlying network, and processes operating on a network structure interact to produce behavioral phenomena. Network science provides a quantitative framework to model the dynamics of cognitive systems, operationalized as structural changes in cognitive systems on different timescales and resolutions. Finally, we highlight key milestones that the field of cognitive network science needs to achieve as it matures in order to provide continued insights into the nature of cognitive structures and processes. (shrink)
Comedy, from social ridicule to the unruly laughter of the carnival, provides effective tools for reinforcing social patterns of domination as well as weapons for emancipation. In Irony in the Age of Empire, Cynthia Willett asks: What could embody liberation better than laughter? Why do the oppressed laugh? What vision does the comic world prescribe? For Willett, the comic trumps standard liberal accounts of freedom by drawing attention to bodies, affects, and intimate relationships, topics which are usually neglected by (...) political philosophy. Willett's philosophical reflection on comedy issues a powerful challenge to standard conceptions of freedom by proposing a new kind of freedom that is unapologetically feminist, queer, and multiracial. This book provides a wide-ranging, original, thoughtful, and expansive discussion of citizenship, social manners, and political freedom in our world today. (shrink)
Gilbert and colleagues point out the discrepancy between the limited empirical data illustrating changes in personality following implantation of deep brain stimulating electrodes and the vast number of conceptual neuroethics papers implying that these changes are widespread, deleterious, and clinically significant. Their findings are reminiscent of C. P. Snow’s essay on the divide between the two cultures of the humanities and the sciences. This division in the literature raises significant ethical concerns surrounding unjustified fear of personality changes in the context (...) of DBS and negative perceptions of clinician-scientists engaged in DBS. These concerns have real world implications for funding future innovative, DBS trials aimed to reduce suffering as well as hampering true interdisciplinary scholarship. We argue that the philosophical tradition of pragmatism and the value it places on empirical inquiry, experiential knowledge, and inter-disciplinary scholarship – reflecting diverse ways of knowing – provides a framework to start to address the important questions Gilbert and colleagues raise. In particular, we highlight the importance of expert clinician knowledge in contributing to the neuroethical questions raised by Gilbert and colleagues. Finally, we provide illustrative examples of some of our interdisciplinary empirical research that demonstrate the iterative cycle of inquiry characteristic of pragmatism in which conceptual neuroethics questions have led to empirical studies whose results then raise additional conceptual questions that give rise to new empirical studies in a way that highlights the contributions of the humanities and the sciences. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion of sustainability behaviors by introducing the construct of perceived organizational support toward the environment. We propose and empirically test an integrated model whereby we test the association of POS-E with employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors toward the environment as well as to job attitudes. Results indicated that POS-E was positively related to OCB-E, job satisfaction, organizational identification, and psychological empowerment, and negatively related to turnover intentions. We also found that psychological empowerment partially mediated the (...) relationship between POS-E and the dependent variables. We discuss the theoretical implications as well as practical implications for managers seeking to encourage sustainability in their organizations. (shrink)
Hypothetical contracts have been said to be not worth the paper they are not written on. This paper defends hypothetical consent theories of justice, such as Rawls's, against the view that they lack justificatory power. I argue that while hypothetical consent cannot generate political obligation, it can generate political legitimacy.
Globalization theories posit organizational convergence, suggesting that Codes of Ethics will become commonplace and include greater consideration of global issues. This study explores the degree to which the Codes of Ethics of 157 corporations on the Global 500 and/or Fortune 500 lists include the "third generation" of corporate social responsibility. Unlike first generation ethics, which focus on the legal context of corporate behavior, and second generation ethics, which locate responsibility to groups directly associated with the corporation, third generation ethics transcend (...) both the profit motive and the immediate corporate environment. Third generation ethics are grounded in responsibilities to the larger interconnected environment. The results of the study suggest convergence, insofar as Codes of Ethics are becoming standard communication features of corporations across region and industrial sector but still manifest a primary concern with profits and those behaviors which are mandated by law. Only corporations headquartered in the European Union demonstrate a significant degree of global consciousness and reflexivity. However, there is some evidence that third generation ethics and thinking are becoming part of the corporate landscape. More then three quarters of the corporations made at least some reference to third generation ethics. (shrink)
Comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to the question of futility in chronic psychiatric disorders, with the exception of a small body of work on so-called end-stage anorexia nervosa. A review of this literature provides the background for a critical examination of whether the concept of futility has any clinically meaningful, ethically justifiable, and legally defensible application to AN. In this article, the arguments for and against futility judgments in AN are analyzed with special emphasis on determinations of capacity (...) in this serious mental illness. Parallels between the futility disputes in medical and psychiatric disorders, where applicable, will be drawn to further illuminate whether or not the concept that continued psychiatric treatment for AN is ever truly futile. (shrink)
Three global developments situate the context of this investigation: the increasing use of social media by organizations and their employees, the burgeoning presence of social media policies, and the heightened focus on corporate social responsibility. In this study the intersection of these trends is examined through a content analysis of 112 publicly available social media policies from the largest corporations in the world. The extent to which social media policies facilitate and/or constrain the communicative sensibilities and values associated with contemporary (...) notions of CSR is considered. Overall, findings indicate that a large majority of policies, regardless of sector or national headquarters, increasingly inhibit communicative tenets of contemporary CSR and thereby diminish employee negotiation and participation in the social responsibilities of corporations. Moreover, policies generally enact organizational communication practices that are contrary to international CSR guidelines. Findings suggest that social media policies represent a relatively unrecognized development in the institutionalization of CSR communicative norms and practices that call into question the promising affordances of social media for the inclusion of various voices in the public negotiation of what constitutes corporate social responsibility. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to and review of key contemporary debates concerning connectionism, and the nature of explanation and methodology in cognitive psychology. The first debate centers on the question of whether human cognition is best modeled by classical or by connectionist architectures. The second centres on the question of the compatibility between folk, or commonsense, psychological explanation and explanations based on connectionist models of cognition. Each of the two sections includes a classic reading along with important responses, and (...) concludes with a specially commissioned reply by the main contributor. The editorial introductions provide a comprehensive survey and map through the debates. (shrink)
By exploring diverse and sometimes positive roles for ignorance, A Defense of Ignorance offers a revisionary approach to epistemology that challenges core assumptions about epistemic values. Townley contributes innovative ways of thinking about the practicalities and politics of knowledge and argues for an expanded domain of responsible epistemic conduct. All social scientists, especially those interested in knowledge and in feminist scholarship, stand to benefit from Townley's arguments.
This paper argues that, with modification, Rawls's social contract theory can produce principles of distributive justice applying to the severely disabled. It is a response to critics who claim that Rawls's assumption that the parties in the original position represent fully cooperating citizens excludes the disabled from the social contract. I propose that this idealizing assumption should be dropped at the constitutional stage of the contract where the parties decide on a social minimum. Knowing that they might not be fully (...) capable of social cooperation, the parties will choose a social minimum that is as high and comprehensive as is compatible with the difference principle. This will ensure that the disabled have an adequate income. (shrink)
Across normative and empirical disciplines, considerable attention has been devoted to the prevalence and ethics of the non-medical use of prescription and illegal stimulants for neuroenhancement among students. A predominant assumption is that neuroenhancement is prevalent, in demand, and calls for appropriate policy action. In this paper, we present data on the prevalence, views and knowledge from a large sample of German students in three different universities and analyze the findings from a moral pragmatics perspective. The results of our study (...) indicate that neuroenhancement is a well-known phenomenon among German students, but not prevalent. 2.2 % of our sample reported having used a prescription medication for neuroenhancement. Exams and competitive situations were predominant motivators of use. Students were unenthusiastic and critical about neuroenhancement in the academic context and disapproved of neuroenhancement for professionals. The majority of respondents agreed that neuroenhancing substances should be regulated by the state. These stances were based on strong beliefs in resisting peer pressure, avoiding the creation of injustice and valuing of hard work. From a moral pragmatics standpoint, these results challenge the assumption that policy on neuroenhancement is necessary in academic environments. (shrink)
Recently, Hosmer (1994a) proposed a model linking right, just, and fair treatment of extended stakeholders with trust and innovation in organizations. The current study tests this model by using Victor and Cullen''s (1988) ethical work climate instrument to measure the perceptions of the right, just, and fair treatment of employee stakeholders.In addition, this study extends Hosmer''s model to include the effect of right, just, and fair treatment on employee communication, also believed to be an underlying dynamic of trust.More specifically, the (...) current study used a survey of 111 managers to test (1) whether right, just, and fair treatment influences trust, both directly as well as indirectly via communication, and (2) whether trust influences perceptions of commitment and innovation. Strong support for the study''s hypotheses and Hosmer''s (1994a) model was found. Such findings support those who argue that moral management may be good management. (shrink)
Children ranging from 3 to 5 years were introduced to two anthropomorphic robots that provided them with information about unfamiliar animals. Children treated the robots as interlocutors. They supplied information to the robots and retained what the robots told them. Children also treated the robots as informants from whom they could seek information. Consistent with studies of children's early sensitivity to an interlocutor's non-verbal signals, children were especially attentive and receptive to whichever robot displayed the greater non-verbal contingency. Such selective (...) information seeking is consistent with recent findings showing that although young children learn from others, they are selective with respect to the informants that they question or endorse. (shrink)
Critics have argued that Rawls's account of self-respect is equivocal. I show, first, that Rawls in fact relies upon an unambiguous notion of self-respect, though he sometimes is unclear as to whether this notion has merely instrumental or also intrinsic value. I show second that Rawls’s main objective in arguing that justice as fairness supports citizens’ self-respect is not, as many have thought, to show that his principles support citizens’ self-respect generally, but to show that his principles counter the effects (...) of the market on lower class citizens’ sense of worth. This discussion establishes that Rawls, in the end, sees self-respect primarily as an intrinsic good. (shrink)
_Varieties of Things: Foundations of Contemporary Metaphysics_ is about some of the most fundamental kinds of things that there are; the things that we encounter in everyday experience. A book about the things that we encounter in everyday experience. Contains a thorough and accessible discussion of the nature and aims of metaphysics. Examines a wide range of ontological categories, including both particulars and universals. Mounts a forceful and persuasive case for anti-reductionism.
There is substantial evidence that methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin), is being used by healthy university students for non-medical motives such as the improvement of concentration, alertness, and academic performance. The scope and potential consequences of the non-medical use of MPH upon healthcare and society bring about many points of view.
The national-level scenarios project NanoFutures focuses on the social, political, economic, and ethical implications of nanotechnology, and is initiated by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU). The project involves novel methods for the development of plausible visions of nanotechnology-enabled futures, elucidates public preferences for various alternatives, and, using such preferences, helps refine future visions for research and outreach. In doing so, the NanoFutures project aims to address a central question: how to deliberate the social implications (...) of an emergent technology whose outcomes are not known. The solution pursued by the NanoFutures project is twofold. First, NanoFutures limits speculation about the technology to plausible visions. This ambition introduces a host of concerns about the limits of prediction, the nature of plausibility, and how to establish plausibility. Second, it subjects these visions to democratic assessment by a range of stakeholders, thus raising methodological questions as to who are relevant stakeholders and how to activate different communities so as to engage the far future. This article makes the dilemmas posed by decisions about such methodological issues transparent and therefore articulates the role of plausibility in anticipatory governance. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that physicalism faces its most serious challenge when it comes to making room for the phenomenal character of psychological experience, its so-called what-it-is-like aspect. The challenge has surfaced repeatedly over the past two decades in a variety of forms. In a particularly striking one, Frank Jackson considers a situation in which Mary, a brilliant scientist who knows all the physical facts there are to know about psychological experience, has spent the whole of her life in a (...) black and white room. He asks, What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a colour television monitor? Will she learn anything or not? It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then it is inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. (Jackson 1986: 130). (shrink)
Reproductive medicine, a sector of a health care system increasingly captured by the demands of the marketplace, is enmeshed in a drive to sell certain human bits and pieces, such as gametes, cells, fetal eggs, and fetal ovaries, for reproductive purposes. The ethical objection raised by Kant and Radin to the sale of human organs -that this is incompatible with human dignity and worth - also applies to these sales. Moreover, such sales nullify the reproductive paradigm, irretrievably replacing it with (...) a ma nufacturing paradigm. This represents a change in kind, not just of degree, in the way that we view our capacity to generate children and destroys our concept of reproduction as an essentially human activity. In the face of a struggle to retain those common ethical values at the foundation of reproductive medicine, this form of commodification of the human body should be viewed as ethically unacceptable. (shrink)
Because contractarians see justice as mutual advantage, they hold that justice can be rationally grounded only when each can expect to gain from it. John Rawls seems to avoid this feature of contractarianism by fashioning the parties to the contract as Kantian agents whose personhood grounds their claims to justice. But Rawls also endorses the Humean idea that justice applies only if people are equal in ability. It would seem to follow from this idea that dependent persons (such as the (...) disabled) lack claims of justice. It appears, then, that the Kantian and Humean themes in Rawls conflict. I present a reading of Rawls that resolves this tension between the Kantian and Humean themes. The first theme, I argue, allows Rawls to maintain that persons as such are owed justice regardless of their ability to engage in social cooperation. The second theme, I argue, allows him to retain Hume's connection between justice and reciprocity, but confines the reciprocity condition to relations among nondependents. I conclude that Rawls's approach permits him to rebut recent criticisms leveled by disability theorists and others who claim that his theory excludes dependents. (shrink)
This case study describes a patient presenting with a long history of excessive daydreaming which has caused her distress but is not incident to any other apparent clinical psychiatric disorders. We have treated this patient for over 10 years, and she has responded favorably to fluvoxamine therapy, stating that it helps to control her daydreaming. Our patient, and other psychotherpists, have brought to our attention other possible cases of excessive daydreaming. We examine the available literature regarding daydreaming, mind wandering, and (...) fantasy proneness relative to current cognitive and neuroanatomical models of executive attention. (shrink)