Dual-process theories of conditional reasoning predict that relationships among four basic logical forms, and to intellectual ability and thinking predictions, are most evident when conflict arises between experiential and analytic processing (e.g., Stanovich & West, 2000). To test these predictions, 210 undergraduates were presented with conditionals for which the consequents were either weakly or strongly associated with alternative antecedents (i.e., WA and SA problems, respectively). Consistent with predictions, modus ponens inferences were not related to inferences on the uncertain forms (affirmation (...) of the consequent, denial of the antecedent). On WA problems, modus tollens, affirmation of the consequent, and denial of the antecedent were related to each other and to verbal ability. Modus ponens was linked to verbal ability only when disabling conditions were activated. In accord with the predictions of Stanovich and West (2000), on most problems, thinking dispositions predicted variance in inferences independently from verbal ability. We argue that a largely automatic experiential processing system governs performance on modus ponens, unless disablers are activated. Consciously controlled analytic processing predominates on the uncertain forms and, under some conditions, on modus tollens. (shrink)
The article presents examples of economists pressing methodologies on students and professional colleagues without actually articulating, and thus exposing to critical examination, the methodological precepts being urged. Such behavior has twisted economic research and doctrine. Topics discussed (with various degrees of approval and disapproval) include the ?Cartesian? appeal to first principles, justificationism, supposed rigor, modeling, the decorative use of symbols, the parade of technique, abuses of econometrics, nonquantitative evidence, competition among hypotheses, fallacy-mongering, fads and frontiersmanship, academic incentives and games, the (...) supposed analogy between markets for academic research and for ordinary goods, and clarity versus obscurantism. The article calls for exposing and examining tacit preachments. It calls on economists to support each other in resisting inappropriate pressures. (shrink)
The author confronts the idea of responsibility by mapping the work of J. L. Austin onto the criminal law. Doing so entails considering the extent to which the language of criminal law can be reconciled with ordinary language, a project that entails considering whether the language of criminal law is ordinary language.
At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting (...) voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers. (shrink)
Thomas clarifies his basic criticism of Yeager's book, Ethics as Social Science, emphasizing his concern about lack of clarity of argument rather than style. Thomas discusses the role of ethical standards in contextual moral reasoning and defends Rand's rejection of ethical altruism against criticisms that it represents a "corner solution" or an unrealistic slippery-slope argument.
The most important argument against the B-theory of time is the paraphrase argument. The major defense against that argument is the “new” tenseless theory of time, which is built on what I will call the “indexical reply” to the paraphrase argument. The move from the “old” tenseless theory of time to the new is most centrally a change of viewpoint about the nature and determiners of ontological commitment. Ironically, though, the new tenseless theorists have generally not paid enough sustained, direct (...) attention to that notion. I will defend a general criterion of ontological commitment and apply it to generate a version of the new tenseless theory of time. I will argue that many of the extant versions of the new tenseless theory of time (specifically, all those which seek to identify tenseless truth-conditions of tensed sentences as a way out of apparent ontological commitment to tensed features of reality) are unsatisfactory because their general criterion of ontological commitment is inadequate. Those versions of the new tenseless theory which are adequate (specifically, those which identify tenseless truthmakers for tensed sentences) actually entail the criterion of ontological commitment that I defend, despite appearances to the contrary. (shrink)
The structure of the pre‐Christian book of Daniel as newly edited in Palestine in the first century B.C. is coherent, often symmetrical, and meaningful and was the version used by Jesus and the early Christians. Origen's and Jerome's reordering of the fourteen‐chapter book in conformity with the extant Hebrew, however, vitiated that structure. Susanna's account opened the pre‐Christian Palestinian version. That account inaugurates the themes of wisdom and judgment and provides the restoration of right order within the community in (...) exile, a restoration essential for what transpires thereafter. Her experience is the first of four holy ordeals placed symmetrically in the first half of the book and framing the book as a whole. Significantly, the two chapters of Daniel most quoted in the Gospels are the ones that open the two halves of the book: Susanna, and the first vision of Daniel. Those two chapters are linked thematically and by diction, including the pair of unique phrases ‘[one grown] ancient of evil days' and ‘Ancient of Days’. Susanna exemplifies the experiences of the saints – suffering and then vindicated – and also, for the writers of the synoptic Gospels – the experiences of Jesus in his passion. (shrink)