Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...) higher‐level theories guide learning at lower levels. In addition, they help resolve certain issues for Bayesians, such as scientific preference for simplicity and the problem of new theories. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Henderson and Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology. They defend the roles of the a priori and conceptual analysis, but with an essential empirical dimension. 'Transglobal reliability' is the key to epistemic justification. The question of which cognitive processes are reliable depends on contingent facts about human capacities.
We propose an approach to epistemic justification that incorporates elements of both reliabilism and evidentialism, while also transforming these elements in significant ways. After briefly describing and motivating the non-standard version of reliabilism that Henderson and Horgan call “transglobal” reliabilism, we harness some of Henderson and Horgan’s conceptual machinery to provide a non-reliabilist account of propositional justification (i.e., evidential support). We then invoke this account, together with the notion of a transglobally reliable belief-forming process, to give an account (...) of doxastic justification. (shrink)
John Henderson explores three letters of Seneca describing visits to Roman villas, and surveys the whole collection to show how these villas work as designs for contrasting lives. Seneca's own place is ageing drastically; a recent Epicurean's paradise is a seductive oasis away from the dangers of Nero's Rome; once a fortress of the dour Rome of yesteryear, the legendary Scipio's lair was now a shrine to the old morality: Seneca revels in its primitive bath-house, dark and cramped, before (...) exploring the garden with the present owner. Seneca brings the philosophical epistle to Latin literature, creating models for moralizing which feature self-criticism, parody and re-animated myth. Virgil and Horace come in for rough handling, as the Latin moralist wrests ethical practice and writing away from Greek gurus and texts, and into critical thinking within a Roman context. Here is powerful teaching on metaphor and translation, on self-transformation and cultural tradition. (shrink)
Some hold that beliefs arising out of certain sources such as perceptual experience enjoy a kind of entitlement—as one is entitled to believe what is thereby presented as true, at least unless further evidence undermines that entitlement. This is commonly understood to require that default epistemic entitlement is a non-evidential kind of epistemic warrant. Our project here is to challenge this common, non-evidential, conception of epistemic entitlement. We will argue that although there are indeed basic beliefs with default entitlement status, (...) typically the kind of default entitlement they possess is primarily a matter of the evidential support that accrues to them, both synchronically and diachronically, from wider mental states beyond the specific sensory-perceptual experiences that spawn them. We will call this status evidentially embedded epistemic entitlement—as distinct from entitlement as commonly understood in the literature, which we will call evidentially insular. Epistemic entitlement normally is characterized in the manner set forth in the first paragraph above, viz., as a form of default epistemic warrant that a given belief possesses independently of any other beliefs. We suggest that not all evidential support is managed at the level of belief. Thus, leaves room for the possibility of an epistemically embedded kind of entitlement. Here we develop the needed conception of entitlement drawing on Henderson and Horgan’s ideas of a kind of “iceberg epistemology.”. (shrink)
Henderson, Gerard The internet age has led to a veritable explosion of knowledge-both contemporary and historical. It's just that, in free societies, there has never been a time where information is so unreliable and so in need of checking.
Outsourcing is becoming a major option in British business, including the financial services industry, and it raises a number of ethical considerations. The author of this major ethical study contends that “Outsourcing seems to present a particular threat to employees ... because of the factors which have led to outsourcing and the way in which it tends to work.” Mike Henderson is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Senior Lecturer in Financial Services in the School of (...) Financial Studies and Law of Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Pond Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, England. (shrink)
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Contemporary accounts of what it is for an agent to be justified in holding a given belief commonly carry substantive commitments concerning what cognitive processes can and should be like. In this paper, we argue that concern for the plausiblity of such psychological commitments leads to significant epistemological results. In particular, it leads to a multi-faceted epistemology in which elements of traditionally conflicting epistemologies are vindicated within a single epistemological account. We suggest thinking of the epistemologically relevant cognitive processes in (...) terms of the metaphor of an iceberg--the accessible and articulable states that have been the exclusive focus of much epistemology must, for reasons that we explain, comprise only a proper subset of epistemologically relevant processing, even as only a part of an iceburg is exposed to view. When one focuses on the interaction of accessible states and articulable information, the structure of epistemic justification looks rather like what has been called structural contextualism (Timmons 1993, Henderson 1994b). It might also be called quasi-foundationalist. Yet, given the sort of creatures we are, in attending to our epistemological tasks we must rely on processing that is sensitive to information that we could not articulate, that is not accessible in the standard internalist sense. When one focuses on the full range of epistemologically important processes, the structure of what makes for justification may be rather more like that envisioned by some coherentists. (shrink)
This volume offers an exciting new reading of John Ruskin's economic and social criticism, based on recent research into rhetoric in economics. Willie Henderson uses notions derived from literary criticism, the rhetorical turn in economics and more conventional approaches to historical economic texts to reevaluate Ruskins economic and social criticism. By identifying Ruskin's rhetoric, and by reading his work through that of Plato, Xenophon, and John Stuart Mill, Willie Henderson reveals how Ruskin manipulated a knowledge base. Moreover in (...) analysis of the writings of William Smart, John Bates Clark and Alfred Marshall, the author shows that John Ruskin's influence on the cultural significance of economics and on notions of economic well-being has been considerable. (shrink)
Alexis de Tocqueville asserted that America had no truly great literature, and that American writers merely mimicked the British and European traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This new edited collection masterfully refutes Tocqueville's monocultural myopia and reveals the distinctive role American poetry and prose have played in reflecting and passing judgment upon the core values of American democracy. The essays, profiling the work of Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Willa Cather, (...) Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe, reveal how America's greatest writers have acted as society's most ardent cheerleaders and its most penetrating critics. Christine Dunn Henderson's exciting new work offers literature as a portal through which to view the philosophical principles that animate America's political order and the mores which either reinforce or undermine them. (shrink)
Long prone to dogmatic disagreement, the question of value in Marx’s thought—what value is, the purpose it serves, its application to real-world capitalism—requires renewal if Marx’s work is to remain vibrant. In _Value in Marx_, George Henderson offers a lucid rereading of Marx that strips value of its turgid theoretical reduction and reframes it as an investigation into the tensions between social relations and forms as they are rather than as what they could otherwise become. Drawing on Marx’s _Capital_ (...) and _Grundrisse_, Henderson shows how these volumes do not harbor a single theory of value that equates value to capital. Instead, these books experimentally compose and recompose value for a world that is more than capitalist. At stake is how Marx conceives of human freedom, of balanced social arrangements, and of control over the things people produce. Henderson finds that the limits on social becoming, including the tendency toward alienated existence, haunt Marx even as he looks beyond the critique of capital to an emancipated society to come. Can these limits be confronted in a creative, even joyful, way? Can they become aspects of what we desire, rather than being silenced and denied? As long as we persist in interpreting value broadly, following it as an active and not a shut-down, predetermined feature of Marx’s texts, Henderson ultimately views Marx as responding positively to these challenges and employing value as a powerful tool of the political imaginary. (shrink)
In the wake of life-changing events—whether as global in reach as the terrorist attacks on September 11 or as personal as the death of a child—the first question that springs to mind is “Why?” Why do good people suffer pain and loss? Why does God allow these things to happen? In this simple, straightforward book, Bruce Henderson tackles some of the most difficult questions that people of faith face in their lives. Drawing from the wisdom of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg, (...) who wrestled with these same questions more than two hundred years ago, Henderson describes a universe in which God allows us free will and choice, subtly guiding the course of our lives with an insight no mortal can comprehend. Pain and suffering ultimately lead to good, and as we walk the path, we draw ever closer to heaven. In the end, the question is not why these things happen, but what good can come of them, and how we can use our gift of free will to create a better world for ourselves and others. In this, Henderson says, God is our partner and guiding hand, turning pain to hope and trust. (shrink)
What happens to us when we die? Is there really a heaven and hell? Are there angels watching over us? These questions follow us from early childhood to old age, particularly in moments when we’re confronted with the loss of a loved one. In _Window to Eternity,_ Bruce Henderson draws from the teachings of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg to paint a vivid picture of heaven and hell, where the souls of the departed become angels and demons and indescribable wonders await. (...) But far from being a distant destination, Henderson shows that heaven is a choice that each of us makes every day—ours to have or to turn away from, regardless of our background or religious upbringing. (shrink)
Reliablists have argued that the important evaluative epistemic concept of being justified in holding a belief, at least to the extent that that concept is associated with knowledge, is best understood as concerned with the objective appropriateness of the processes by which a given belief is generated and sustained. In particular, they hold that a belief is justified only when it is fostered by processes that are reliable (at least minimally so) in the believer’s actual world. Of course, reliablists typically (...) recognize other concepts of justification--typically subjective notions--which are given a noncompeting sort of epistemic legitimacy. However, they have tended to focus on the epistemically central notion of "strong justification," and have come to settle on this familiar reliablist analysis, supposing that it pretty much exhausts what there is to say about "objective justification.". (shrink)
Common formulations of the principle of charity in translation seem to undermine attributions of irrationality in social scientific accounts that are otherwise unexceptionable. This I call the problem of irrationality. Here I resolve the problem of irrationality by developing two complementary views of the principle of charity. First, I develop the view (ill-developed in the literature at present) that the principle of charity is preparatory, being needed in the construction of provisional first-approximation translation manuals. These serve as the basis for (...) explanatory accounts and associated refinements in the translation manual. In developing such explanatory accounts, the principle of charity is no longer constraining. Thus, the principle of charity applies only in the early stages of constructing translation manuals, and there is no problem of irrationality in the later stages of constructing translation manuals. Second, I reduce the principle of charity, where it does apply, to a special case of what I call the principle of explicability: so translate as to attribute explicable beliefs and practices to the speakers of the source-language. I show that the appropriate formulation of the principle of charity counsels just what the principle of explicability requires in the early stages of social scientific investigation. (shrink)
In recent years the literature on bioethics has begun to pose the sociological challenge of how to explore organisational processes that facilitate a systemic response to ethical concerns. The present discussion seeks to make a contribution to this important new direction in ethical research by presenting findings from an Australian pilot study. The research was initiated by the Clinical Ethics Committee of Redland Hospital at Bayside Health Service District in Queensland, Australia, and explores health professionals’ understanding of the nature of (...) ethics and their experience with ethical decision-making within an acute medical ward. This study focuses on the actual experience, understanding and attitudes of clinical professionals in a general medical ward. In particular, the discussion explores the specific findings from the study concerned with how a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals define and operationalise the notion of ethics in an acute ward hospital setting. The key issue reported is that health professionals are not only able to clearly articulate notions of ethics, but that the notions expressed by a multi-disciplinary diversity of participants share a common definitional concept of ethics as patient-centred care. The central finding is that all professional groups indicated that there is a guiding principle to address their ethical sense of the ‘good’ or the ‘ought’ and that is to act in a way that furthered the interests of patients and their families. The findings affirm the importance of a sociological perspective as a productive new direction in bioethical research. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.
The contemporary debate about "who is a journalist" is occurring in two distinct domains: law and professional ethics. Although the debate in these domains is focused on separate problems, participants treat the central question as essentially the same. This article suggests that the debates in law and professional ethics have to be resolved independently and that debate within those domains needs to be more nuanced. In law, it must vary depending on whether the context involves constitutional law, statutory law, or (...) the distribution of informal privileges by government officials. In professional ethics, the debate should not be oriented around a single definitional threshold but should identify tiers that take account of different communicators' unique goals, tactics, and values. (shrink)
Epistemology has recently come to more and more take the articulate form of an investigation into how we do, and perhaps might better, manage the cognitive chores of producing, modifying, and generally maintaining belief-sets with a view to having a true and systematic understanding of the world. While this approach has continuities with earlier philosophy, it admittedly makes a departure from the tradition of epistemology as first philosophy.
By a macro-level feature, I understand any feature that supervenes on, and is thus realized in, lower-level features. Recent discussions by Kim have suggested that such features cannot be causally relevant insofar as they are not classically reducible to lower-level features. This seems to render macro-level features causally irrelevant. I defend the causal relevance of some such features. Such features have been thought causally relevant in many examples that have underpinned philosophical work on causality. Additionally, in certain typical biological cases, (...) we conceive of causally relevant features at various compatible levels of analysis. When elaborated, these points make a strong prima facie case for macro-level causal relevance. However, we might abandon both the philosophical guideposts and the corresponding explanatory practice in the special sciences were we convinced that no reflective philosophical account could provide for the causal relevance there supposed. I show that such drastic measures are not necessary, for we can make sense of macro-level causal relevance by drawing on Paul Humphreys' recent work in ways suggested by the concrete examples considered here. (shrink)
In codifying the methods of translation, several writers have formulated maxims that would constrain interpreters to construe their subjects as (more or less) rational speakers of the truth. Such maxims have come to be known as versions of the principle of charity. W. V. O. Quine suggests an empirical, not purely methodological, basis for his version of that principle. Recently, Stephen Stich has criticized Quine's attempt to found the principle of charity in translation on information about the probabilities of various (...) sorts of mistakes. Here 1 defend Quine's approach. These issues have important implications for the supposed a priori status of human rationality. (shrink)
Eliminative materialism, as William Lycan (this volume) tells us, is materialism plus the claim that no creature has ever had a belief, desire, intention, hope, wish, or other “folk-psychological” state. Some contemporary philosophers claim that eliminative materialism is very likely true. They sketch certain potential scenarios, for the way theory might develop in cognitive science and neuroscience, that they claim are fairly likely; and they maintain that if such.
The argument I present here is an example of the manner in which naturalizing epistemology can help address fairly traditional epistemological issues. I develop one argument against coherentist epistemologies of empirical knowledge. In doing so, I draw on BonJour (1985), for that account seems to me to indicate the direction in which any plausible coherentist account would need to be developed, at least insofar as such accounts are to conceive of justification in terms of an agent (minimally) possessing articul able (...) reasons and arguments, as is standard. I end by indicating important elements of coherentist epistemology that can be salvaged in the face of my argument, provided we are willing to drop the traditional commitment to characterizing justification in terms of the structure of articulable argument. (shrink)
Rosenberg argues that intentional generalizations in the human sciences cannot be law-like because they are not amenable to significant empirical refinement. This irrefinability is said to result from the principle that supposedly controls in intentional explanation also serving as the standard for successful interpretation. The only credible evidence bearing on such a principle would then need conform to it. I argue that psychological generalizations are refinable and can be nomic. I show how empirical refinement of psychological generalizations is possible by (...) considering concrete cases. A sufficiently detailed view of the role of psychological generalizations in interpretation allows us to find in psychological investigations instances of bootstrap testing. (shrink)
This article relates the emergence of a group of faculty researchers utilizing complexity science approaches. The narrative emerges from three projects combining research into complexity, communities, and technologies. Details of how the research was initiated, and the nature and quality of the conversational method, are provided. In addition, theoretical concepts that were consciously applied and others that arose through insights from the data as it was collected are discussed. Although this is like most real narratives, a never-ending story, it concludes (...) with a presentation of some of the ideas that separate complexity-informed research from other paradigms. (shrink)