This essay criticizes the proposal recently defended by a number of prominent economists that welfare economics be redirected away from the satisfaction of people's preferences and toward making people happy instead. Although information about happiness may sometimes be of use, the notion of happiness is sufficiently ambiguous and the objections to identifying welfare with happiness are sufficiently serious that welfare economists are better off using preference satisfaction as a measure of welfare. The essay also examines and criticizes the position associated (...) with Daniel Kahneman and a number of co-authors that takes welfare to be ‘objective happiness’ – that is, the sum of momentary pleasures. (shrink)
The fourteen authors in this collection used phenomenology and hermeneutics to conduct deep inquiry into perplexing and wondrous events in their work and personal lives. These seasoned scholar-practitioners gained remarkable insight into areas such as health care and illness, organ donation, intercultural communications, high-performance teams, artistic production, jazz improvisation, and the integration of Tai Chi into education. All authors were transformed by phenomenology's expanded ways of seeing and being.
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 an evidential connection 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 book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the relation of consciousness, the will, and our intentional and voluntary actions. Wegner claims that our experience and common sense view according to which we can influence our behavior roughly the way we experience that we do it is an illusion.
Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience. In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient (...) problems of moral and political freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve-and could be extinguished. According to Dennett, biology provides the perspective from which we can distinguish the varieties of freedom that matter. Throughout the history of life on this planet, an interacting web and internal and external conditions have provided the frameworks for the design of agents that are more free than their parts-from the unwitting gropings of the simplest life forms to the more informed activities of animals to the moral dilemmas that confront human beings living in societies. As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems-in a nutshell, our freedom. (shrink)
El desarrollo de la argumentación en el proceso de alfabetización académica cobra especial importancia debido a que el conocimiento académico es esencialmente argumentativo. Por esto, el objetivo de esta investigación es, por un lado, relevar, a partir del discurso de los docentes en un programa de Biología e Historia, las representaciones sociales acerca de la enseñanza-aprendizaje de la argumentación y, por otro, generar un modelo explicativo de este fenómeno. La recolección de datos se realizó por medio de entrevistas a docentes (...) de ambas disciplinas y el análisis de ellos, mediante la técnica de análisis de contenido, la que busca formular inferencias reproducibles y válidas que puedan aplicarse a un contexto determinado. The development of argumentation in the process of academic literacy is particularly important because scientific knowledge is essentially argumentative. For this reason, the purpose of this research is to elicit social representations about teaching and learning of argumentation from the discourse of teachers in a program of Biology and History, as well as to generate an explanatory model for this phenomenon. The data collection instrument used was an interview to teachers in both disciplines, and the data was analyzed using content analysis, a technique that seeks to develop replicable and valid inference that can be applied to a given context. (shrink)
This essay attempts to distinguish the pressing issues for economists and economic methodologists concerning realism in economics from those issues that are of comparatively slight importance. In particular I shall argue that issues concerning the goals of science are of considerable interest in economics, unlike issues concerning the evidence for claims about unobservables, which have comparatively little relevance. In making this argument, this essay raises doubts about the two programs in contemporary economic methodology that raise the banner of realism. In (...) particular I argue that the banner makes it more difficult to relate the concerns of those who wave it to those of other methodologists. Although this essay argues that many of the debates in this century between scientific realists and their opponents are not relevant to economics, it does not attack scientific realism, and it does not urge economists or economic methodologists to reject it. (shrink)
In this paper on Karl Barth's conception of truth I shall try to state his position regarding the nature of truth and the criterion of truth, and secondly I shall draw from his position some propositions which I believe exhibit a pattern in his theology which brings it into close relationship to a philosophical tradition.
The psychological condition of happiness is normally considered a paradigm subjective good, and is closely associated with subjectivist accounts of well-being. This article argues that the value of happiness is best accounted for by a non-subjectivist approach to welfare: a eudaimonistic account that grounds well-being in the fulfillment of our natures, specifically in self-fulfillment. And self-fulfillment consists partly in authentic happiness. A major reason for this is that happiness, conceived in terms of emotional state, bears a special relationship to the (...) self. These arguments also point to a more sentimentalist approach to well-being than one finds in most contemporary accounts, particularly among Aristotelian forms of eudaimonism. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger and Ernst Jünger rightly count among the signal examples of intellectual complicity with National Socialism. But after supporting the National Socialist movement in its early years, they both withdrew from political activism during the 1930s and considered themselves to be in “inner emigration” thereafter. How did they react to the end of National Socialism, to the Allied occupation and finally to the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949? Did they abandon their stance of seclusion and (...) engage once more with political issues? Or did they persist in their withdrawal from the political sphere? In analyzing the intellectual relationship of Heidegger and Jünger after 1945, the article reevaluates the assumption of a “deradicalization” of German conservatism after the Second World War by showing that Heidegger's and Jünger's postwar positions were no less radical than their earlier thought, although their attitude towards the political sphere changed fundamentally. (shrink)
We examined the question—is the intention of completing a simulated motor action the same as the intention used in processing overt actions? Participants used motor imagery to estimate distance reachability in two conditions: Imagery-Only and Imagery-Execution . With IO only a verbal estimate using imagery was given. With IE participants knew that they would actually reach after giving a verbal estimate and be judged on accuracy. After measuring actual maximum reach, used for the comparison, imagery targets were randomly presented across (...) peripersonal- and extrapersonal space. Results indicated no difference in overall accuracy by condition, however, there was a significant distinction by space; participants were more accurate in peripersonal space. Although more research is needed, these findings support an increasing body of evidence suggesting that the neurocognitive processes driving motor imagery and overt actions are similar. (shrink)
In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of (...) cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions. -/- Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic. (shrink)
To Live in the Spirit provides a detailed examination of πνεῦμα in Paul’s teaching about virtues in his seven undisputed letters. Naveros Córdova shows how Paul’s understanding of πνεῦμα as a foundational concept in his ethical teaching is construed within both the Hellenistic Jewish and Greek traditions.
Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints, on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be (...) true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible. (shrink)
Dan Haybron presents an illuminating examination of well-being, drawing on important recent work in the science of happiness. He shows that we are remarkably prone to error in judgements of our own personal welfare, and suggests that we should rethink traditional assumptions about the good life and the good society.
It is extraordinary, when one thinks about it, how little attention has been paid by theorists of the nature and justification of punishment to the idea that punishment is essentially a matter of self-defense. H. L. A. Hart, for example, in his famous “Prolegomenon to the Principles of Punishment,” is clearly committed to the view that, at bottom, there are just three directions in which a plausible theory of punishment can go: we can try to justify punishment on purely consequentialist (...) grounds, which for Hart, I think, would be to try to construct a purely utilitarian justification of punishment; we can try to justify punishment on purely retributive grounds; or we can try to justify punishment on grounds that are some sort of shrewd combination of consequentialist and retributive considerations. Entirely absent from Hart's discussion is any consideration of the possibility that punishment might be neither a matter of maximizing the good, nor of exacting retribution for a wrongful act, nor of some imaginative combination of these things, but, rather, of something altogether different from either of them: namely, the exercise of a fundamental right of self-protection. Similarly, but much more recently, R. A. Duff, despite the fact that he himself introduces and defends an extremely interesting fourth possibility, begins his discussion by writing as though, apart from his contribution, there are available to us essentially just the options previously sketched by Hart. Again, there is no mention here, any more than in Hart's or any number of other recent discussions, of the possibility that we might be able to justify the institution of punishment on grounds that are indeed forward-looking, to use Hart's famous term, but that are not at all consequentialist in any ordinary sense of the word. (shrink)
By embodying the hopes of a set of qualitative liberals who believed that postwar economic abundance opened up opportunities for self-development, David Riesman's bestselling The Lonely Crowd influenced the New Left. Yet Riesman's assessment of radical youth protest shifted over the course of the 1960s. As an antinuclear activist he worked closely with New Left leaders during the early 1960s. By the end of the decade, he became a sharp critic of radical protest. However, other leading members of Riesman's circle, (...) such as Kenneth Keniston, author of the influential Young Radicals, applied Riesman's ideas to create more sympathetic understandings of the New Left. Examining reactions to the New Left by Riesman and his associates allows historians to go beyond the common understanding of the key ideological divisions of the 1960s as existing between liberalism and radicalism or between liberalism and conservatism to better appreciate the significance of splits among liberals themselves. (shrink)
Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or logical cost. The paper then provides an (...) account of reasoning with impossible worlds, by treating such reasoning as reasoning employing counterpossible conditionals, and provides a semantics for the proposed treatment. (shrink)
En este trabajo se señalan dos aportaciones antropológicas elaboradas por Leonardo Polo en escritos dirigidos a iluminar la acción humana, social, económica y empresarial, en particular su trabajo Ricos y pobres. Igualdad y desigualdad. Allí se ve una importante crítica a la visión antropológica que hay tras la concepción del homo oeconomicus con la que se apoyó el nacimiento y desarrollo de la economía como ciencia y que se caracteriza por la pobreza ontológica de un ser que es un maximizador (...) pleno de recursos. Ésta, homo oeconomicus, es una noción que desde distintas disciplinas se está criticando reiteradamente, por la limitación de este modelo al entender la acción humana, que resultan insuficientes sin un marco antropológico radical. (shrink)
Una paradoja constitutiva de la cuestión migratoria a nivel mundial, tiene relación con el derecho humano a la libre circulación y la incapacidad política para avalarlo. Principalmente porque las garantías extendidas al emigrante no son las mismas que se ofrecen al inmigrante, y varían dependiendo de lo reconocido legítimamente por los Estados en su constitución y del interés, la conveniencia y la voluntad política de los gobiernos. Los que muchas veces tienden a politizar un problema social,..
“Podemos escoger entre responsabilidad e irresponsabilidad, pero no podemos salirnos de la disyuntiva. O nos hacemos responsables del globo globalizado, o estamos involucrados en su destrucción” Franz HinkelammertHinkelammert (2001) emplea la metáfora de “cortar la rama del árbol en la cual se está sentado” para referirse a las consecuencias de la consolidación de la globalización en todos los ámbitos de la vida. Esta tendencia suicida, entendida a partir de la “crisis general de la conviven..
This article shows how two concepts for which Blaise Pascal'sPensées are best known—divertissementandennui—inherited and transformed medical conceptions of melancholy along with one of melancholy's signature therapeutic protocols: diversion. Instead of limiting the genealogy of Pascal's concepts to more obvious textual sources, here they are read against the background of an epistemological paradigm dominant in his time: Galenic medicine. Drawing on a large corpus of early modern French medical texts, this article discloses how melancholy, stripped of its overt medical status, remerges (...) in Pascal's analysis of subjectivity, which valorized melancholicennuiagainst the values of a nascent civil society subservient to the monarchic order. Once used to describe outlying temperaments and exceptional pathologies, the discourse on melancholy becomes fundamental to the human being per se in Pascal's theological and anthropological perspective. Thus transformed, the older forms of melancholy and its remedies ensured the possibility of their survival—disguised and unrecognized—in modern theories of subjectivity and psychology. Understanding melancholy's latent presence in thePensées, in other words, sheds new light on the affective aspects of Pascal's social critique and invites us to investigate the modern afterlife of early modern melancholy. (shrink)
This book examines Philo’s understanding of the acquisition of virtues and the avoidance of vices using the Greek concept of piety as a central virtue in his ethical discourse. Naveros exceptionally shows how Philo construes his understanding of living ethically within both the Hellenistic Jewish and Greek traditions.
This book examines Philo’s understanding of the acquisition of virtues and the avoidance of vices using the Greek concept of piety as a central virtue in his ethical discourse. Naveros exceptionally shows how Philo construes his understanding of living ethically within both the Hellenistic Jewish and Greek traditions.
In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely (...) than by necessary equivalence: two pieces of language can apply to the same entities across all possible worlds but not be equivalent; thoughts can be necessarily equivalent in truth value but not synonymous. This paper argues that hyperintensional resources are valuable in metaphysics outside theories of representation, and discusses some promising areas of hyperintensional metaphysics. (shrink)
From an early age, humans know a surprising amount about basic physical principles, such as gravity, force, mass, and shape. We can see this in the way that young children play, and manipulate objects around them. The same behaviour has long been observed in primates - chimpanzees have been shown to possess a remarkable ability to make and use simple tools. But what does this tell us about their inner mental state - do they therefore share the same understanding to (...) that of a young child? Do they understand the simple, underlying physical principles involved? Though some people would say that they do, this book reports groundbreaking research that questions whether this really is the case. -/- Folk Physics for Apes challenges the assumptions so often made about apes. It offers us a rare glimpse into the workings of another mind, examining how apes perceive and understand the physical world - an understanding that appears to be both similar to, and yet profoundly different from our own. The book will have broad appeal to evolutionary psychologists, developmental psychologists, and those interested in the sub-disciplines of cognitive science (philosophy, anthropology). The book additionally offers for developmental psychologists some valuable new non-verbal techniques for assessing causal understanding in young children. (shrink)
Objective reasons are given by the facts. Subjective reasons are given by one’s perspective on the facts. Subjective reasons, not objective reasons, determine what it is rational to do. In this paper, I argue against a prominent account of subjective reasons. The problem with that account, I suggest, is that it makes what one has subjective reason to do, and hence what it is rational to do, turn on matters outside or independent of one’s perspective. After explaining and establishing this (...) point, I offer a novel account of subjective reasons which avoids the problem. (shrink)
Claims pertaining to understanding are made in a variety of contexts and ways. As a result, few in the philosophical literature have made an attempt to precisely characterize the state that is y understanding x. This paper builds an account that does just that. The account is motivated by two main observations. First, understanding x is somehow related to being able to manipulate x. Second, understanding is a mental phenomenon, and so what manipulations are required to be an understander must (...) only be mental manipulations. Combining these two insights, the paper builds an account (URM) of understanding as a certain representational capacity—specifically, understanding x involves possessing a representation of x that could be manipulated in useful ways. By tying understanding to representation, the account correctly identifies that understanding is a fundamentally cognitive achievement. However, by also demanding that which representations count as understanding-conferring be determined by their practical effects, URM captures the insight that understanding is vitally connected to practice. URM is fully general, and can apply equally well to understanding states of affairs, understanding events, and even understanding people and works of art. The ultimate test of URM is its applicability in actual scientific and philosophical discourse. To that end the paper discusses the importance of understanding in the philosophy of science, psychology, and computer science. (shrink)
That truth provides the standard for believing appears to be a platitude, one which dovetails with the idea that in some sense belief aims only at the truth. In recent years, however, an increasing number of prominent philosophers have suggested that knowledge provides the standard for believing, and so that belief aims only at knowledge. In this paper, I examine the considerations which have been put forward in support of this suggestion, considerations relating to lottery beliefs, Moorean beliefs, the criticism (...) and defence of belief, and the value of knowledge. I argue that those considerations do not give us reason to give up the truth view in favour of the knowledge view and, moreover, that reflection on those considerations gives us some reason to reject the knowledge view. Thus, I conclude, we can continue to the take the apparent platitude at face value. (shrink)
Participants watched themselves in a mirror while another person behind them, hidden from view, extended hands forward on each side where participants’ hands would normally appear. The hands performed a series of movements. When participants could hear instructions previewing each movement, they reported an enhanced feeling of controlling the hands. Hearing instructions for the movements also enhanced skin conductance responses when a rubber band was snapped on the other’s wrist after the movements. Such vicarious agency was not felt when the (...) instructions followed the movements, and participants’ own covert movement mimicry was not essential to the influence of previews on reported control. (shrink)
Philosophers have found postulating possible worlds to be very useful in a number of areas, including philosophy of language and mind, logic, and metaphysics. Impossible worlds are a natural extension to this use of possible worlds, and can help resolve a number of difficulties thrown up by possible‐worlds frameworks.
We often consciously will our own actions. This experience is so profound that it tempts us to believe that our actions are caused by consciousness. It could also be a trick, however – the mind’s way of estimating its own apparent authorship by drawing causal inferences about relationships between thoughts and actions. Cognitive, social, and neuropsychological studies of apparent mental causation suggest that experiences of conscious will frequently depart from actual causal processes and so might not reﬂect direct perceptions of (...) conscious thought causing action. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that a general norm of truth governs the attitude of believing. In a recent and influential discussion, Krister Bykvist and Anandi Hattiangadi raise a number of serious objections to this view. In this paper, I concede that Bykvist and Hattiangadi's criticisms might be effective against the formulation of the norm of truth that they consider, but suggest that an alternative is available. After outlining that alternative, I argue that it is not vulnerable to objections parallel to those (...) Bykvist and Hattiangadi advance, although it might initially appear to be. In closing, I consider what bearing the preceding discussion has on important questions concerning the natures of believing and of truth. (shrink)
Mechanistic explanation has an impressive track record of advancing our understanding of complex, hierarchically organized physical systems, particularly biological and neural systems. But not every complex system can be understood mechanistically. Psychological capacities are often understood by providing cognitive models of the systems that underlie them. I argue that these models, while superficially similar to mechanistic models, in fact have a substantially more complex relation to the real underlying system. They are typically constructed using a range of techniques for abstracting (...) the functional properties of the system, which may not coincide with its mechanistic organization. I describe these techniques and show that despite being non-mechanistic, these cognitive models can satisfy the normative constraints on good explanations. (shrink)
This article was prepared for the Prepared for the Memorial Service at the University of New Mexico on March 28, 2003. Compared are the philosophy of Standing Bear and Viola Cordova. "Both Standing Bear and Cordova recognized the ruptured consciousness into which Indian students frequently fall when we encounter colonial culture. Both critically challenged the academic education being taught to Native students, in method and content. Both recognized the importance of Native students receiving an education in consonance with (...) their cultural historical ways of being and belief systems. Standing Bear and Cordova, from different tribes, different centuries, both announce a panIndian approach to Native education and healing, urging an immersion in Native cultural values, language, and ways of being." In this article Waters remembers her friend, "And I remember that although we shared a fondness for Wittgenstein, you reminded me that 'They won’t let me teach philosophy.'" At the end of the article Waters presents a poem in honor of Viola's work titled "A Transnational Indigenist Woman’s Agenda". (shrink)
Theorists are converging from quite different quarters on a version of the global neuronal workspace model of consciousness, but there are residual confusions to be dissolved. In particular, theorists must resist the temptation to see global accessibility as the cause of consciousness (as if consciousness were some other, further condition); rather, it is consciousness. A useful metaphor for keeping this elusive idea in focus is that consciousness is rather like fame in the brain. It is not a privileged medium of (...) representation, or an added property some states have; it is the very mutual accessibility that gives some informational states the powers that come with a subject's consciousness of that information. Like fame, consciousness is not a momentary condition, or a purely dispositional state, but rather a matter of actual influence over time. Theorists who take on the task of accounting for the aftermath that is critical for consciousness often appear to be leaving out the Subject of consciousness, when in fact they are providing an analysis of the Subject, a necessary component in any serious theory of consciousness. (shrink)
In the Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals' Kant is explicit, sometimes to the point of peevishness, in denying anthropology and psychology any part or place in his moral science. Recognizing that this will strike many as counterintuitive he is unrepentant: ‘We require no skill to make ourselves intelligible to the multitude once we renounce all profundity of thought’. That the doctrine to be defended is not exemplified in daily experience or even in imaginable encounters is necessitated by the very (...) nature of morality which cannot be served worse ‘… than by seeking to derive it from examples’. Thus, the project of the moral philosopher begins with the recognition that the moral realm is not mapped by anthropological data and does not get its content therefrom. Rather, moral philosophy must be ‘completely cleansed’ of everything that is appropriate to anthropology. (shrink)