The difficulty of ascribing metaphysical predicates such as absoluteness, necessity and perfection to God while simultaneously ascribing personal predicates such as compassion, freedom and agency has often been noted. Most efforts to resolve this dilemma have tended to fall into one of three categories: a merely verbal solution such as that God is ‘compassionate in terms of our experience but…not so in terms of [God's] own’; the univocal and unqualified ascription of the metaphysical predicates to God coupled with equivocation with (...) respect to the personal predicates which results in the final elimination of the latter; the fideistic denial that intelligible language is applicable to God. Unfortunately, none of these is satisfactory. The first solution is seen to be but a version of the second, and it is arguable that the second is, as Feuerbach contends, tantamount to a ‘subtle, disguised atheism’, since ‘to deny all the qualities of a being is equivalent to denying the being himself’ or, alternatively, ‘an existence in general, an existence without qualities, is an insipidity, an absurdity’. The third ‘solution’ is no better and is hardly more than an evasive tactic. (shrink)
Colour has often been supposed to be a subjective property, a property to be analysed orretly in terms of the phenomenological aspects of human expereince. In contrast with subjectivism, an objectivist analysis of color takes color to be a property objects possess in themselves, independently of the character of human perceptual expereince. David Hilbert defends a form of objectivism that identifies color with a physical property of surfaces - their spectral reflectance. This analysis of color is shown to provide (...) a more adequate account of the features of human color vision than its subjectivist rivals. The author's account of colro also recognises that the human perceptual system provides a limited and idiosyncratic picture of the world. These limitations are shown to be consistent with a realist account of colour and to provide the necessary tools for giving an analysis of common sense knowledge of color phenomena. (shrink)
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, (1) between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and (2) between learning that involves the encoding of instances (or fragments) versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning (...) derived from subliminal learning, conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks (e.g., artificial grammar learning) is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and between learning that involves the encoding of instances versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning derived from subliminal learning, (...) conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the “implicitly learned” rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
Solar radiation management (SRM), a form of climate engineering, would offset the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations by reducing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth. To encourage support for SRM research, advocates argue that SRM may someday be needed to reduce the risks from climate change. This paper examines the implications of two moral constraints?the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, and the Doctrine of Double Effect?on this argument for SRM and SRM research. The Doctrine of Doing and (...) Allowing, and perhaps the Doctrine of Double Effect, shows that the argument is weaker than it appears. (shrink)
There are serious reasons for accepting each of these propositions individually but there are apparently insurmountable difficulties with accepting all three of them simultaneously if we assume that color is a single property. 1) and 2) together seem to imply that there is some property which all organisms with color vision can see and 3) seems to imply that there can be no such property. If these implications really are valid then one or more of these propositions will have to (...) be rejected in spite of whatever reasons can be given for their apparent acceptability. Before going on to discuss possible resolutions of this apparent contradiction it is worth pointing out there our three propositions are not all of a kind. Proposition 1) is a metaphysical thesis about the ontological status of color and proposition 3) is an empirical thesis about what properties organisms with color vision are capable of detecting. If you accept 1) then 2) will appear to verge on the trivial, but if 1) is denied then the status of 2) will appear more problematic. In what follows I will have more to say about why we either should or should not accept all three of these propositions. (shrink)
The typical kind of color realism is reductive: the color properties are identified with properties specified in other terms (as ways of altering light, for instance). If no reductive analysis is available — if the colors are primitive sui generis properties — this is often taken to be a convincing argument for eliminativism. That is, realist primitivism is usually thought to be untenable. The realist preference for reductive theories of color over the last few decades is particularly striking in light (...) of the generally anti-reductionist mood of recent philosophy of mind. The parallels between the mind—body problem and the case of color are substantial enough that the difference in trajectory is surprising. While dualism and non-reductive physicalism are staples, realist primitivism is by and large a recent addition to the color literature. And it remains a minority position, although one that is perhaps gaining support. In this paper, we investigate whether it should be accepted, and conclude it should not be. (shrink)
The strongest arguments for the permissibility of geoengineering (also known as climate engineering) rely implicitly on non-ideal theory—roughly, the theory of justice as applied to situations of partial compliance with principles of ideal justice. In an ideally just world, such arguments acknowledge, humanity should not deploy geoengineering; but in our imperfect world, society may need to complement mitigation and adaptation with geoengineering to reduce injustices associated with anthropogenic climate change. We interpret research proponents’ arguments as an application of a particular (...) branch of non-ideal theory known as “clinical theory.” Clinical theory aims to identify politically feasible institutions or policies that would address existing (or impending) injustice without violating certain kinds of moral permissibility constraints. We argue for three implications of clinical theory: First, conditional on falling costs and feasibility, clinical theory provides strong support for some geoengineering techniques that aim to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Second, if some kinds of carbon dioxide removal technologies are supported by clinical theory, then clinical theory further supports using those technologies to enable “overshoot” scenarios in which developing countries exceed the cumulative emissions caps that would apply in ideal circumstances. Third, because of tensions between political feasibility and moral permissibility, clinical theory provides only weak support for geoengineering techniques that aim to manage incoming solar radiation. (shrink)
David R. Blumenthal is Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University. He has contributed greatly to the growth of Jewish Studies, the place of Judaism in Religious Studies, interreligious dialogue, and the reframing of Judaism in light of the Holocaust, postmodernism, and poststructuralism. For Blumenthal, theology is an ongoing reflection about everything we believe and do in the context of the living tradition.
In this paper, we examine the logics of essence and accident and attempt to ascertain the extent to which those logics are genuinely formalizing the concepts in which we are interested. We suggest that they are not completely successful as they stand. We diagnose some of the problems and make a suggestion for improvement. We also discuss some issues concerning definability in the formal language.
If you trained someone to emit a particular sound at the sight of something red, another at the sight of something yellow, and so on for other colors, still he would not yet be describing objects by their colors. Though he might be a help to us in giving a description. A description is a representation of a distribution in a space (in that of time, for instance).
In their recent paper ‘Why lockdown of the elderly is not ageist and why levelling down equality is wrong’ Savulescu and Cameron attempt to argue the case for subjecting the ‘elderly’ to limits not imposed on other generations. We argue that selective lockdown of the elderly is unnecessary and cruel, as well as discriminatory, and that this group may suffer more than others in similar circumstances. Further, it constitutes an unjustifiable deprivation of liberty.
I might summarize this section by saying that the English tenses, according to this analysis, form quite a motley group. PAST, PRES and FUT serve to relate reference time to speech time, while WOULD and USED-TO behave like Priorian operators, shifting the point of evaluation away from the reference time. HAVE also shifts the point of evaluation away from the reference time, but in a more complicated way. And FUT, in contrast to PRES and PAST, is a substitution operator, putting (...) the reference time of its clause in the plate of the speech time of subordinate clauses. (shrink)
One central question of climate justice is how to fairly allocate the global emissions budget. Some commentators hold that the concept of fairness is hopelessly equivocal on this point. Others claim that we need a complete theory of distributive justice to answer the question. This paper argues to the contrary that, given only weak assumptions about fairness, we can show that fairness requires an allocation that is at least as prioritarian as the equal per capita view. Since even the equal (...) per capita view is more prioritarian than is politically feasible, fairness is univocal enough for all practical purposes. (shrink)
It is human nature to wonder how things might have turned out differently--either for the better or for the worse. For the past two decades psychologists have been intrigued by this phenomenon, which they call counterfactual thinking. Specifically, researchers have sought to answer the "big" questions: Why do people have such a strong propensity to generate counterfactuals, and what functions does counterfactual thinking serve? What are the determinants of counterfactual thinking, and what are its adaptive and psychological consequences? This important (...) work brings together a collection of thought-provoking papers by social and cognitive psychologists who have made important theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of this topic. The essays in this volume contain novel theoretical insights, and, in many cases descriptions of previously unpublished empirical studies. The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking provides an excellent overview of this fascinating topic for researchers, as well as advanced undergraduates and graduates in psychology--particularly those with an interest in social cognition, social judgment, decision judgment, decision making, thinking and reasoning. (shrink)
This paper develops sequent calculi for several classical modal logics. Utilizing a polymodal translation of the standard modal language, we are able to establish a base system for the minimal classical modal logic E from which we generate extensions in a modular manner. Our systems admit contraction and cut admissibility, and allow a systematic proof-search procedure of formal derivations.
Larry Hardin has been the most steadfast and influential critic of physicalist theories of color over the last 20 years. In their modern form these theories originated with the work of Smart and Armstrong in the 1960s and 1970s1 and Hardin appropriately concentrated on their views in his initial critique of physicalism.2 In his most recent contribution to this project3 he attacks Michael Tye’s recent attempts to defend and extend color physicalism.4 Like Byrne and Hilbert5, Tye identifies color with the (...) reflecting properties of objects (“reflectance physicalism”). Specifically, the determinate and determinable colors are identified with types of reflectances. (Setting some complications aside, the reflectance of an object is the proportion of light that it reflects at each wavelength in the visible spectrum.) These reflectance types are, in the terminology of Hilbert, anthropocentric—in the terminology of Lewis6, they are not very “natural”. (shrink)
Over the past decade or so, several commentators have called for mission-driven research programs on solar geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management (SRM) or climate engineering. Building on the largely epistemic reasons offered by earlier commentators, this paper argues that a well-designed mission-driven research program that aims to evaluate solar geoengineering could promote justice and legitimacy, among other valuable ends. Specifically, an international, mission-driven research program that aims to produce knowledge to enable well-informed decision-making about solar geoengineering could (1) (...) provide a more effective way to identify and answer the questions that policymakers would need to answer; and (2) provide a venue for more efficient, effective, just, and legitimate governance of solar geoengineering research; while (3) reducing the tendency for solar geoengineering research to exacerbate international domination. Thus, despite some risks and limitations, a well-designed mission-driven research program offers one way to improve the governance of solar geoengineering research relative to the ‘investigator-driven’ status quo. (shrink)
Some types of solar radiation management (SRM) research are ethically problematic because they expose persons, animals, and ecosystems to significant risks. In our earlier work, we argued for ethical norms for SRM research based on norms for biomedical research. Biomedical researchers may not conduct research on persons without their consent, but universal consent is impractical for SRM research. We argue that instead of requiring universal consent, ethical norms for SRM research require only political legitimacy in decision-making about global SRM trials. (...) Using Allen Buchanan & Robert Keohane's model of global political legitimacy, we examine several existing global institutions as possible analogues for a politically legitimate SRM decision-making body. (shrink)
"A Workbook for Arguments" builds on Anthony Weston's "Rulebook for Arguments" to provide a complete textbook for a course in critical thinking or informal logic. "Workbook" includes: The entire text of "Rulebook," supplemented with extensive further explanations and exercises. Homework exercises adapted from a wide range of arguments from newspapers, philosophical texts, literature, movies, videos, and other sources. Practical advice to help students succeed when applying the "Rulebook's" rules to the examples in the homework exercises. Suggestions for further practice, outlining (...) activities that students can do by themselves or with classmates to improve their skills. Detailed instructions for in-class activities and take-home assignments designed to engage students. An appendix on mapping arguments, giving students a solid introduction to this vital skill in constructing complex and multi-step arguments and evaluating them. Model answers to odd-numbered problems, including commentaries on the strengths and weaknesses of selected sample answers and further discussion of some of the substantive intellectual, philosophical, or ethical issues they raise. (shrink)
. This is the first of four installments by the author, presenting an intellectual biography of Ralph Wendell Burhoe. This first segment follows Burhoe from his college years at Harvard through the founding of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science in 1954. In this period, after his college and seminary study, Burhoe worked at Harvard's Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory and as executive officer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Throughout his early life he had been (...) concerned with how religion could maintain its credibility as a bearer of truth vis‐à‐vis the sciences, which were displacing religion not only among leading intellectuals, but also in other segments of society. The founding of IRAS provided an important instrument for dealing with this concern. (shrink)
Climate engineering (CE), the intentional modification of the climate in order to reduce the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, is sometimes touted as a potential response to climate change. Increasing interest in the topic has led to proposals for empirical tests of hypothesized CE techniques, which raise serious ethical concerns. We propose three ethical guidelines for CE researchers, derived from the ethics literature on research with human and animal subjects, applicable in the event that CE research progresses beyond computer (...) modeling. The Principle of Respect requires that the scientific community secure the global public's consent, voiced through their governmental representatives, before beginning any empirical research. The Principle of Beneficence and Justice requires that researchers strive for a favorable risk–benefit ratio and a fair distribution of risks and anticipated benefits, all while protecting the basic rights of affected individuals. Finally, the Minimization Principle requires that researchers minimize the extent and intensity of each experiment by ensuring that no experiments last longer, cover a greater geographical extent, or have a greater impact on the climate, ecosystem, or human welfare than is necessary to test the specific hypotheses in question. Field experiments that might affect humans or ecosystems in significant ways should not proceed until a full discussion of the ethics of CE research occurs and appropriate institutions for regulating such experiments are established. (shrink)