Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds and his theory of laws of nature.
A major issue facing the health of young adults in the United States is the often unintentional lack of confidentiality maintained in the provision of sensitive health services. Of primary concern is that young adults who remain on their parents' health insurance plans forgo Sexually Transmitted Infection screening and treatment, as well as other sensitive services such as family planning services and mental health treatment out of a concern that explanation of benefit forms from such services will inform their parents, (...) the policyholders. The challenges of providing confidential health care to young adults have become more prominent and concerning following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, as adult children can now remain on their parents' plans until the age of 26. While this change will grant more young adults access to health care services, ensuring confidential care remains a challenge whenever the parent and not the patient is the policyholder. This article discusses these serious challenges and offers potential solutions to ensuring confidentiality for specific services for young adults. (shrink)
A major issue facing the health of both minors and young adults in the United States is the often unintentional lack of confidentiality maintained in the provision of sensitive health services. Studies have shown that access to confidential care is crucial for minors seeking preventive care and treatment for sensitive services. Evidence demonstrates that many minors will not seek health care if confidentiality cannot be ensured, which can have significant negative health implications; this finding can be extended to young adults (...) covered under their parents health plans. Young adults, not just minors, also often forgo important sensitive services when they face a breach of confidentiality, which most likely occurs when their parents have access to the adult child's health information.Currently, private insurance companies generally send the policyholder an explanation of benefits whenever a service is provided under a plan. EOBs generally include information identifying the patient, provider, type of care received, total charge for services, amount paid by the insurance company, and any financial obligation of the policyholder. (shrink)
This edition presents a letter from Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus to Karl Joseph Hieronymus Windischmann, dated 13 February 1804, in which Paulus thanks Windischmann for his translation of Plato, discuses philosophy, and mentions the pending appointment of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher.
Between 1825 and 1895, Victorian Britain witnessed a significant blossoming of interest in foreign theological literature. Much of this interest, together with a concomitant anxiety, focused on the negotiation of German biblical criticism and the new challenges and possibilities this criticism introduced. This article thematizes this transnational literary and theological encounter, paying particular attention both to the major book series that undertook to mediate criticism to Britain, and to the burgeoning periodical literature that supplied ’foreign intelligence’ and short translations. Translation (...) served as both a liberalizing force as it introduced critical results that troubled some proponents of orthodoxy, but also offered a channel for resistance as doctrinally conservative strands of German biblical scholarship found a warm reception. The article is followed by a chronologically organized bibliography of translated works published in Britain from 1825 to 1895. (shrink)
To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the (...) door to further progress is opened. In the second half of the paper, I argue that if we move to a new kind of nonreductive explanation, a naturalistic account of consciousness can be given. I put forward my own candidate for such an account: a nonreductive theory based on principles of structural coherence and organizational invariance, and a double-aspect theory of information. (shrink)
This classic edition presents the correspondence of one of the great thinkers of the 18th century, and offers a rich picture of the man and his age. This first volume contains David Hume's letters from 1727 to 1765. Hume's correspondents include such famous public figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, James Boswell, and Benjamin Franklin.
Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes . Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no.
In 'How Many Lives Has Schrödinger's Cat?' David Lewis argues that the Everettian no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is in a tangle when it comes to probabilities. This paper aims to show that the difficulties that Lewis raises are insubstantial. The Everettian metaphysics contains a coherent account of probability. Indeed it accounts for probability rather better than orthodox metaphysics does.
The world is configured in ways that seem systematically hospitable to life forms, especially the human race. Is this the outcome of divine planning or simply of the laws of physics? Ancient Greeks and Romans famously disagreed on whether the cosmos was the product of design or accident. In this book, David Sedley examines this question and illuminates new historical perspectives on the pantheon of thinkers who laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Versions of what we call (...) the "creationist" option were widely favored by the major thinkers of classical antiquity, including Plato, whose ideas on the subject prepared the ground for Aristotle's celebrated teleology. But Aristotle aligned himself with the anti-creationist lobby, whose most militant members—the atomists—sought to show how a world just like ours would form inevitably by sheer accident, given only the infinity of space and matter. This stimulating study explores seven major thinkers and philosophical movements enmeshed in the debate: Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Socrates, Plato, the atomists, Aristotle, and the Stoics. (shrink)
David and Mary Norton present the definitive scholarly edition of Hume's Treatise, one of the greatest philosophical works ever written. This set comprises the two volumes of texts and editorial material, which are also available for purchase separately. -/- David Hume (1711 - 1776) is one of the greatest of philosophers. Today he probably ranks highest of all British philosophers in terms of influence and philosophical standing. His philosophical work ranges across morals, the mind, metaphysics, epistemology, religion, and (...) aesthetics; he had broad interests not only in philosophy as it is now conceived but in history, politics, economics, religion, and the arts. He was a master of English prose. -/- The Clarendon Hume Edition will include all of his works except his History of England and minor historical writings. It is the only thorough critical edition, and will provide a far more extensive scholarly treatment than any previous editions. This edition (which has been in preparation since the 1970s) offers authoritative annotation, bibliographical information, and indexes, and draws upon the major advances in textual scholarship that have been made since the publication of earlier editions - advances both in the understanding of editorial principle and practice and in knowledge of the history of Hume's own texts. (shrink)
Confronted with the apparent explanatory gap between physical processes and consciousness, there are many possible reactions. Some deny that any explanatory gap exists at all. Some hold that there is an explanatory gap for now, but that it will eventually be closed. Some hold that the explanatory gap corresponds to an ontological gap in nature.
In this paper, I defend a well-known theory of belief reports from an important objection. The theory is Russellianism, sometimes also called `neo-Russellianism', `Millianism', `the direct reference theory', `the "Fido"-Fido theory', or `the naive theory'. The objection concernssubstitution of co-referring names in belief sentences. Russellianism implies that any two belief sentences, that differ only in containing distinct co-referring names, express the same proposition (in any given context). Since `Hesperus' and `Phosphorus' both refer to the planet Venus, this view implies that (...) all utterances of (1) and.. (shrink)
A major theme in discussions of the influence of technology on society has been the computer as a threat to privacy. It now appears that the truth is precisely the opposite. Three technologies associated with computers—public-key encryption, networking, and virtual reality—are in the process of giving us a level of privacy never known before. The U.S. government is currently intervening in an attempt, not to protect privacy, but to prevent it.
In this paper we consider a Bayesian treatment of ‘Duhem's thesis’, the proposition that theories are never refuted on empirical grounds because they cannot be tested in isolation from auxiliary hypotheses about initial conditions or the operation of scientific instruments. Sawyer, Beed, and Sankey consider Duhem's thesis and its role in hypothesis testing, using four theories from economics and finance as examples. Here we consider Duhem's thesis in the context of theory choice, econometric results, and the ‘farm problem’ in agricultural (...) economics. This problem is defined as persistently low and highly variable prices, incomes, and returns in the agricultural sector as compared to the nonagricultural sector of the U.S. economy. The existence of the farm problem tends to refute an implication of general equilibrium theory — that resources flow to equate returns between sectors of the economy. We discuss Duhem's thesis in the context of demonstrating why evidence supporting the farm problem has not diminished the standing of general equilibrium theory among agricultural economists. (shrink)
The headlines at the outset of 1987 told of Howard Beach, where a group of blacks had been chased, and one killed, because they had unwittingly entered a white enclave in New York City. And they told of Forsythe County, Georgia, where the mere presence of civil rights marchers, in a place from which blacks had been driven three-quarters of a century earlier, brought out depths of antagonism unknown since an earlier era of civil rights marches. Behind both events – (...) indeed, behind almost every question of race to arise in recent years – was the specter of affirmative action. Even as, during the late 1960s, some blamed urban riots on the federal government's failure to achieve equal opportunity between the races by equalizing life outcomes, so in 1987 white antagonisms were regarded in some quarters as a crude reflection of the Reagan administration's hostility towards affirmative action. The rhetoric and the policies of that administration, it was said, contributed to a sentiment that blacks already had their share – indeed, more than their share. Official word and deed contributed also, it was argued, to a resentment against blacks who, because of quotas, had been unfairly advantaged. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that the normativity of conceptual judgement poses problems for naturalism. Thus John McDowell urges that 'The structure of the space of reasons stubbornly resists being appropriated within a naturalism that conceives nature as the realm of law' (1994, p 73). Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other writers, for example Robert Brandom (1994, p xiii) and Paul Boghossian (1989, p 548).
Do psychological traits predict philosophical views? We administered the PhilPapers Survey, created by David Bourget and David Chalmers, which consists of 30 views on central philosophical topics (e.g., epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language) to a sample of professional philosophers (N = 314). We extended the PhilPapers survey to measure a number of psychological traits, such as personality, numeracy, well-being, lifestyle, and life experiences. We also included non-technical ‘translations’ of these views for eventual use (...) in other populations. We found limited to no support for the notion that personality or demographics predict philosophical views. We did, however, find that some psychological traits were predictive of philosophical views, even after strict correction for multiple comparisons. Findings include: higher interest in numeracy predicted physicalism, naturalism, and consequentialism; lower levels of well-being and higher levels of mental illness predicted hard determinism; using substances such as psychedelics and marijuana predicted non-realist and subjectivist views of morality and aesthetics; having had a transformative or self-transcendent experience predicted theism and idealism. We discuss whether or not these empirical results have philosophical implications, while noting that 68% of our sample of professional philosophers indicated that such findings would indeed have philosophical value. (shrink)
In recent work, we have argued that a number of disputes of interest to philosophers – including some disputes amongst philosophers themselves – are metalinguistic negotiations. Prima facie, many of these disputes seem to concern worldly, non-linguistic issues directly. However, on our view, they in fact concern, in the first instance, normative questions about the use of linguistic expressions. This will strike many ordinary speakers as counterintuitive. In many of the disputes that we analyze as metalinguistic negotiations, speakers might quite (...) strongly resist the idea that their debate is in any sense about language. In this paper, we explore and provide responses to what we take to be the best versions of an objection that our view involves an unacceptable attribution of false beliefs to ordinary speakers. (shrink)
The Dead Donor Rule holds that removing organs from a living human being without their consent is wrongful killing. The rule still prevails in most countries, and I assume it without argument in order to pose the question: is it possible to have a metaphysically correct, clinically relevant analysis of human death that makes organ donation possible? I argue that the two dominant criteria of death, brain death and circulatory death, are both empirically and metaphysically inadequate as definitions of human (...) death, and therefore of no epistemic value in themselves. I first set out a neo-Aristotelian theory of death as separation of soul and body, which is then fleshed out as loss of organismic integrity. The brain and circulatory criteria are shown to have severe weaknesses as physiological manifestations of loss of integrity. Given the mismatch between what death is metaphysically speaking, and the dominant criteria accepted by clinicians and philosophers, it turns out that only actual bodily decomposition is a sure sign of death. In this I differ from Alan Shewmon, whose important work I discuss in detail. (shrink)
This paper responds to a recently popular objection to non-naturalist, robust moral realism. The objection is that moral realism is morally objectionable, because realists are committed to taking evidence about the distribution of non-natural properties to be relevant to their first-order moral commitments. I argue that such objections fail. The moral realist is indeed committed to conditionals such as “If there are no non-natural properties, then no action is wrong.” But the realist is not committed to using this conditional in (...) a modus-ponens inference upon coming to believe its antecedent. Placing the discussion in a wider epistemological discussion—here, that of “junk-knowledge”, and of how background knowledge determines the relevance of purported evidence—shows that this objection does not exert a price from the realist. (shrink)
Aware that the representational thesis is more plausible for the attitudinal than for the phenomenal, Dretske courageously focuses on sensory experience, where progress in our philosophical understanding of the mental has lagged. His view, essentially, is that what makes any mental state what it is is not so much what it's like as what it's about.
The unit of metaphor isn’t always a complete sentence; often it is a single word or phrase. In such a case, the word or phrase in question makes a nonstandard, metaphorically determined contribution to the propositional content of the sentence in which it appears, a content whose other ingredients are determined in routine ways by routine recursive procedures of truth-conditional semantics. In this respect, metaphor belongs to semantics. In other respects, it doesn’t belong to semantics at all. To identify what (...) Yeats contributed to the content of his own sentence when he wrote. (shrink)
The “ultimate objective” of this book, says David Schmidtz, “is to examine the degree to which being moral is co-extensive with being rational”. For Schmidtz, an “end” gives us a reason for action provided that its pursuit is not undercut by some other end. Morality has a two-part structure. A person’s goal is “moral” if “pursuing it helps [her] to develop in a reflectively rational way,” provided its pursuit does not violate “interpersonal moral constraints”. Interpersonal constraints are imposed by (...) “collectively rational” social institutions, institutions that “make people in general better off by nonexploitative means”. Schmidtz’s view is a form of “actualism.” Our reasons are given by our actual goals, subject to the qualification mentioned above, and moral constraints are given by actually existing collectively rational institutions. Schmidtz concedes that this framework cannot guarantee that it is rational for every agent to be moral, and he concedes that his moral theory might be incomplete. Nevertheless, he argues, “morality and rationality make room for each other in a variety of ways”. (shrink)
It is very natural to suppose that conscious sensory experience is essentially representational. However this thought gives rise to any number of philosophical problems and confusions. I shall argue that it is quite mistaken. Conscious phenomena cannot be constructed out of representational materials.
Originally conceived as a forty-page conclusion to Hacker’s twenty years of work on the monumental four-volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations, this book “rapidly assumed a life of its own”. A major contribution to the history of analytic philosophy, this substantial volume delivers even more than the title promises. The eight chapters are best approached as a six-chapter book, itself some 220 pages long, on Wittgenstein’s contribution to twentieth-century philosophy, followed by a two-chapter, 120-page epilogue about how and why (...) his influence has waned. The first six chapters provide an encyclopedic summary of the fruits of Hacker’s research on Wittgenstein’s writing, an immensely learned account of British philosophy from the turn of the century to the 1970s, and a detailed account of Wittgenstein’s reception by Oxford, Cambridge, and the Vienna Circle. The book’s closing chapters, “Post-positivism in the United States and Quine’s Apostasy” and “The Decline of Analytic Philosophy,” polemically argue that Quine’s philosophy, and the post-Quinean naturalism prevalent in Anglo-American philosophy today, amount to such a decisive break with the analytic tradition, as Hacker conceives of it, that they should not be counted as “analytic.”. (shrink)
A survey of the connection between grounding and modality, in particular supervenience. The survey explores three possible connections between grounding and supervenience: (1) supervenience can be analyzed in terms of grounding, (2) grounded facts supervene on their grounds, and (3) grounding and supervenience overlap in their theoretical roles.
While the idea of exemplification or role-modelling as a means to the education of moral character and virtue is of ancient pedigree—traceable at least to Aristotle’s ethics—the influence of personal example is clearly not unproblematic since individuals may be admired or imitated for less than morally admirable qualities. However, personal exemplification is evidently not the only route to moral exemplification, insofar as readers may find much to admire or emulate in the characters of literary or other artworks which may allow (...) for some critical distance between admired and admirers. This article is concerned with exploring the potential for moral exemplification of literature and arts. (shrink)
Physicists have suggested what I call symmetry fundamentalism: the view that symmetries are fundamental aspects of physical reality and that these aspects are more fundamental than what one might ordinarily think of as the fundamental building blocks of the world, such as elementary particles. The goal of this paper is to develop an ontology for classical particle mechanics that provides a precise instance of symmetry fundamentalism.
Recent moral philosophy has seen a revival of interest in the concept of virtue, and with it a reassessment of the role of virtue in the work of Aristotle and Kant. This book brings that reassessment to a new level of sophistication. Nancy Sherman argues that Kant preserves a notion of virtue in his moral theory that bears recognizable traces of the Aristotelian and Stoic traditions, and that his complex anthropology of morals brings him into surprising alliance with Aristotle. She (...) develops her argument through close readings of major texts by both Aristotle and Kant, illustrating points of congruence and contrast. (shrink)
Relocating Kripke's puzzle about belief, this paper investigates i) in what the puzzle consists, exactly; ii) the method used in its construction; and iii) relations between meaning and rationality. Essential to Kripke's puzzle is a normative notion of contradictory belief. Different positions about the meaning of names yield different views of what constitutes the attribution of contradictory belief; and Kripke's puzzle unwittingly _imports a Millian assumption. Accordingly, the puzzle about belief is not independent of positions about the meaning of names.