In ordinary circumstances, human actions have a myriad of unintended and often unforeseen consequences for the lives of other people. Problems of pollution are serious examples, but spillovers and side effects are the rule, not the exception. Who knows what consequences this essay may have? This essay is concerned with the problems of justice created by spillovers. After characterizing such spillovers more precisely and relating the concept to the economist's notion of an externality, I shall then consider the moral conclusions (...) concerning spillovers that issue from a natural rights perspective and from the perspective of welfare economics supplemented with theories of distributive justice. I shall argue that these perspectives go badly awry in taking spillovers to be the exception rather than the rule in human interactions. I. Externalities Economists have discussed spillovers under the heading of “externalities.” To say this is not very helpful, since there is so much disagreement concerning both the definition and significance of externalities. (shrink)
Hausman and McPherson defend welfare economics by claiming that even if welfare does not consist in preference satisfaction, preferences still provide good, if fallible, evidence of welfare. I argue that this strategy does not yet fully solve the problems for welfare economics stemming from the preference satisfaction theory of welfare. More work is needed to show that our self-interested preferences are sufficiently reliable, or in some other sense our best, evidence of well-being. Thus, my aim is to identify the (...) challenges that remain and clarify what additional work is needed before Hausman and McPherson's defence of welfare economics succeeds. (shrink)
With the collapse of the centrally controlled economies and the authoritarian governments of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics, political leaders are, with appreciable public support, espousing “liberal” economic and political transformations—the reinstitution of markets, the securing of civil and political rights, and the establishment of representative governments. But those supporting reform have many aims, and the liberalism to which they look for political guidance is not an unambiguous doctrine.
Woodward present an argument for the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) on the basis of a principle they dub ‘modularity’ ([1999, 2004]). I show that the conclusion of their argument is not in fact the CMC but a substantially weaker proposition. In addition, I show that their argument is invalid and trace this invalidity to two features of modularity, namely, that it is stated in terms of pairwise independence and ‘arrow-breaking’ interventions. Hausman & Woodward's argument can be rendered valid through (...) a reformulation of modularity, but it is doubtful that the argument so revised provides any substantially new insight regarding the basis of the CMC. Introduction The CMC versus Hausman & Woodward's conclusion Hausman & Woodward's argument Modularity and independent error terms Conclusion Appendix: D-separation. (shrink)
The Knobe effect :190–194, 2003a) consists in our tendency to attribute intentionality to bringing about a side effect when it is morally bad but not when it is morally good. Beebe and Buckwalter have demonstrated that there is an epistemic side-effect effect : people are more inclined to attribute knowledge when the side effect is bad in Knobe-type cases. ESEE is quite robust. In this paper, I present a new explanation of ESEE. I argue that when people attribute knowledge in (...) morally negative cases, they express a consequence-knowledge claim rather than a predictive claim. I use the omissions account :550–571, 2015) to explain why the consequence-knowledge claim is particularly salient in morally negative cases. Unlike the doxastic heuristic account :264–289, 2012), the omissions account can explain the persistence of ESEE in the so-called slight-chance of harm conditions. I present the results of empirical studies that test the predictions of the account. I show that ESEE occurs in Butler-type scenarios. Some of the studies involve close replications of Nadelhoffer’s :277–284, 2004) study. (shrink)
This book offers a comprehensive overview of the structure, strategy and methods of assessment of orthodox theoretical economics. In Part I Professor Hausman explains how economists theorise, emphasising the essential underlying commitment of economists to a vision of economics as a separate science. In Part II he defends the view that the basic axioms of economics are 'inexact' since they deal only with the 'major' causes; unlike most writers on economic methodology, the author argues that it is the rules (...) that economists espouse rather than their practice that is at fault. Part III links the conception of economics as a separate science to the fact that economic theories offer reasons and justifications for human actions, not just their causes. With its lengthy appendix introducing relevant issues in philosophy of science, this book is a major addition to philosophy of economics and of social science. (shrink)
This book is about preferences, principally as they figure in economics. It also explores their uses in everyday language and action, how they are understood in psychology and how they figure in philosophical reflection on action and morality. The book clarifies and for the most part defends the way in which economists invoke preferences to explain, predict and assess behavior and outcomes. Hausman argues, however, that the predictions and explanations economists offer rely on theories of preference formation that are (...) in need of further development, and he criticizes attempts to define welfare in terms of preferences and to define preferences in terms of choices or self-interest. The analysis clarifies the relations between rational choice theory and philosophical accounts of human action. The book also assembles the materials out of which models of preference formation and modification can be constructed, and it comments on how reason and emotion shape preferences. (shrink)
This book, by one of the pre-eminent philosophers of science writing today, offers the most comprehensive account available of causal asymmetries. Causation is asymmetrical in many different ways. Causes precede effects; explanations cite causes not effects. Agents use causes to manipulate their effects; they don't use effects to manipulate their causes. Effects of a common cause are correlated; causes of a common effect are not. This book explains why a relationship that is asymmetrical in one of these regards is asymmetrical (...) in the others. Hausman discovers surprising hidden connections between theories of causation and traces them all to an asymmetry of independence. This is a major book for philosophers of science that will also prove insightful to economists and statisticians. (shrink)
The rise of popular culture programs in universities is to a significant degree a consequence of the rejection of a particular theory of aesthetics. According to this older, rejected view, the classical, “fine” arts were considered—largely on the basis of complexity of form—higher, more refined, more admirable, and of greater value than other kinds of “popular” creative activities. While the former were the subject of intense critical study, the latter were neglected, seen as unworthy of serious attention. Ultimately, the sociological (...) fact that these classical forms of culture were intimately connected to a certain privileged socioeconomic strata—society’s “elite”—triggered a reassessment of not only the canon but .. (shrink)
This essay explains what the Causal Markov Condition says and defends the condition from the many criticisms that have been launched against it. Although we are skeptical about some of the applications of the Causal Markov Condition, we argue that it is implicit in the view that causes can be used to manipulate their effects and that it cannot be surrendered without surrendering this view of causation.
In his Introduction to Logical Theory, Strawson argues that Aristotelian logic can be given a successful interpretation into ordinary English, but not into the symbolism of Principia Mathematica, on the grounds that Aristotelian logic and ordinary English share something absent in PM, namely, the doctrine of presupposition. It is argued that Strawson is mistaken. PM does justice to the logical rules of Aristotelian logic and also has a fully articulated doctrine of presupposition.
In this systematic introduction to the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, the author focuses on four of Peirce's fundamental conceptions: pragmatism and Peirce's development of it into what he called 'pragmaticism'; his theory of signs; his phenomenology; and his theory that continuity is of prime importance for philosophy. He argues that at the centre of Peirce's philosophical project is a unique form of metaphysical realism, whereby continuity and evolutionary change are both necessary for our understanding of experience. In his final (...) chapter Professor Hausman applies this version of realism to contemporary controversies between anti-realists and anti-idealists. Peirce's views are compared to those of such contemporary figures as Davidson, Putnam, and Rorty. The book will be of particular interest to philosophers concerned with American philosophy and current debates on realism as well as linguists working in semiotics. (shrink)
This essay develops an account of health, the functional efficiency theory, which derives from Christopher Boorse's biostatistical theory. Like the BST, the functional efficiency theory is a nonevaluative view of health, but unlike the BST, it argues that the fundamental theoretical task is to distinguish levels of efficiency with which the parts and processes within organisms and within systems within organisms function. Which of these to label as healthy or pathological is of secondary importance. Because the statistical distributions that Boorse's (...) account relies on are distributions of functional efficiency, the functional efficiency theory arguably complements rather than challenges the BST. (shrink)
Interpreting a scene of lactation failure allows us to represent breast-feeding as a contested social practice. This essay reads a novelistic scene of lactation failure in the context of the decline of breast-feeding in the twentieth century. The protagonist's ignorance of the female experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation is an effect of her objectification within the opposition between science and nature. Unnatural as a woman because she is a natural individual, the pastor's wife exemplifies the dilemmas of breast-feeding as (...) a biosocial practice of maternity in a technological society which features the breakdown of traditional female networks in which knowledge about maternity and breast-feeding are circulated. (shrink)
Carl Hausman is a former editor of The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, a revival of one of the first American philosophy journals, where Peirce published some of his early work; and Hausman has devoted a good deal of his career to Peirce scholarship. He interprets Peirce’s thought “as a fallibilistic foundationalism that affirms a unique realism according to which what is real is a dynamic, evolving extramental condition.” The theme is an interesting one partly in view of the (...) many recent criticisms of foundationalism, some drawing on pragmatist sources. It promises to re-emphasize more conservative moments of the pragmatic conception of inquiry. Similarly, Hausman’s approach highlights the historical continuities between pragmatism and realism in American philosophy. Still, if Peircean realism implies evolutionary pressure due to “extra-mental” conditions, this suggests a question. Can we also expect a corresponding realism or autonomy of human lives, thought, and cultures—themselves evolving through their interactions? A positive answer here might help avoid the de-centering excesses of contemporary anti-foundationalists, implying social and institutional space for cross-fertilizations, innovations, and the rejection of social-institutional rigidities. (shrink)
The tenuous claims of cost-benefit analysis to guide policy so as to promote welfare turn on measuring welfare by preference satisfaction and taking willingness-to-pay to indicate preferences. Yet it is obvious that people's preferences are not always self-interested and that false beliefs may lead people to prefer what is worse for them even when people are self-interested. So welfare is not preference satisfaction, and hence it appears that cost-benefit analysis and welfare economics in general rely on a mistaken theory of (...) well-being. This essay explores the difficulties, criticizes standard defences of welfare economics, and then offers a new partial defence that maintains that welfare economics is independent of any philosophical theory of well-being. Welfare economics requires nothing more than anevidentialconnection between preference and welfare: in circumstances in which people are concerned with their own interests and reasonably good judges of what will serve their interests, their preferences will be reliable indicators of what is good for them. (shrink)
In this systematic introduction to the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, the author focuses on four of Peirce's fundamental conceptions: pragmatism and Peirce's development of it into what he called 'pragmaticism'; his theory of signs; his phenomenology; and his theory that continuity is of prime importance for philosophy. He argues that at the centre of Peirce's philosophical project is a unique form of metaphysical realism, whereby continuity and evolutionary change are both necessary for our understanding of experience. In his final (...) chapter Professor Hausman applies this version of realism to contemporary controversies between anti-realists and anti–idealists. Peirce's views are compared to those of such contemporary figures as Davidson, Putnam, and Rorty. The book will be of particular interest to philosophers concerned with American philosophy and current debates on realism as well as linguists working in semiotics. (shrink)
In their rich and intricate paper ‘Independence, Invariance, and the Causal Markov Condition’, Daniel Hausman and James Woodward () put forward two independent theses, which they label ‘level invariance’ and ‘manipulability’, and they claim that, given a specific set of assumptions, manipulability implies the causal Markov condition. These claims are interesting and important, and this paper is devoted to commenting on them. With respect to level invariance, I argue that Hausman and Woodward's discussion is confusing because, as I (...) point out, they use different senses of ‘intervention’ and ‘invariance’ without saying so. I shall remark on these various uses and point out that the thesis is true in at least two versions. The second thesis, however, is not true. I argue that in their formulation, the manipulability thesis is patently false and that a modified version does not fare better. Furthermore, I think their proof that manipulability implies the causal Markov condition is not conclusive. In the deterministic case it is valid but vacuous, whereas it is invalid in the probabilistic case. 1 Introduction 2 Intervention, invariance and modularity 3 The causal Markov condition: CM1 and CM2 4 From MOD to the causal Markov condition and back 5 A second argument for CM2 6 The proof of the causal Markov condition for probabilistic causes 7 ‘Cartwright's objection’ defended 8 Metaphysical defenses of the causal Markov condition 9 Conclusion. (shrink)
Carl Hausman presents here a sustained and systematic examination of the problems of constructing a framework for understanding the concept of creativity. His discussion is unique in focusing systematically on problems of understanding creativity, examining our assumptions about what we take to be creative, and the possibility of seeing how creativity fits into a world that we expect to behave in rational patterns. In a careful examination of this complex phenomena, Hausman suggests a way of approaching creativity in (...) terms of a novel theory of metaphor. (shrink)
This essay argues that what is central to Christopher Boorse’s biostatistical theory of disease as statistically subnormal part function (BST) are comparisons of the “functional efficiency” of parts and processes and that statistical considerations serve only to pick out a healthy level of functional efficiency. On this interpretation, the distinction between health and pathology is less important than comparisons of functional efficiency, which are entirely independent of statistical considerations. The clarifications or revisions of the BST that this essay offers are (...) friendly amendments that render moot some of the most prominent criticisms of Boorse’s account. (shrink)
This book shows through argument and numerous policy-related examples how understanding moral philosophy can improve economic analysis, how moral philosophy can benefit from economists' analytical tools, and how economic analysis and moral philosophy together can inform public policy. Part I explores the idea of rationality and its connections to ethics, arguing that when they defend their formal model of rationality, most economists implicitly espouse contestable moral principles. Part II addresses the nature and measurement of welfare, utilitarianism and cost-benefit analysis. Part (...) III discusses freedom, rights, equality, and justice - moral notions that are relevant to evaluating policies, but which have played little if any role in conventional welfare economics. Finally, Part IV explores work in social choice theory and game theory that is relevant to moral decision making. Each chapter includes recommended reading and discussion questions. (shrink)