A morally objectionable outcome can be overdetermined by the actions of multiple individual agents. In such cases, the outcome is the same regardless of what any individual does or does not do. (For a clear example of such a case, imagine the execution of an innocent person by a firing squad.) We argue that, in some of these types of cases, (a) there exists a group agent, a moral agent constituted by individual agents; (b) the group agent is guilty of (...) violating a moral obligation; however, (c) none of the individual agents violate any of their moral obligations. We explicate and defend this view, and consider its applications to problems generated by anthropogenic climate change and electoral politics. (shrink)
This book is about an ecological-interpretive image of "the basics" in teaching and learning. The authors offer a generous, rigorous, difficult, and pleasurable image of what this term might mean in the living work of teachers and learners. In this book, Jardine, Clifford, and Friesen: *sketch out some of the key ideas in the traditional, taken-for-granted meaning of "the basics"; *explain how the interpretive-hermeneutic version of "the basics" operates on different fundamental assumptions; *show how this difference leads, of necessity, to (...) very different concrete practices in our schools; *illustrate richly how it is necessary for interpretive work to show, again and again, how new examples enrich, transform, and correct what one thought was fully understood and meaningful; and *explore the challenges of an interpretive approach in relation to child development, mathematics education, science curriculum, teacher education, novel studies, new information technologies, writing practices in the classroom, and the nature of interpretive inquiry itself as a form of "educational research." This text will be valuable to practicing teachers and student-teachers in re-imagining what is basic to their work and the work of their students. Through its many classroom examples, it provides a way to question and open up to conversation the often literal-minded tasks teachers and students face. It also provides examples of interpretive inquiry that will be helpful to graduate students and scholars in the areas of curriculum, teaching, and learning who are pursuing this form of research and writing. (shrink)
Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development.
In a recent paper McCain (2012) argues that weak predictivism creates an important challenge for external world scepticism. McCain regards weak predictivism as uncontroversial and assumes the thesis within his argument. There is a sense in which the predictivist literature supports his conviction that weak predictivism is uncontroversial. This absence of controversy, however, is a product of significant plasticity within the thesis, which renders McCain’s argument worryingly vague. For McCain’s argument to work he either needs a stronger version of weak (...) predictivism than has been defended within the literature, or must commit to a more precise formulation of the thesis and argue that weak predictivism, so understood, creates the challenge to scepticism that he hopes to achieve. The difficulty with the former is that weak predictivism is not uncontroversial in the respect that McCain’s argument would require. I consider the prospects of saving McCain’s argument by committing to a particular version of weak predictivism, but find them unpromising for several reasons. (shrink)
Research has indicated that 13% of students in the UK experience a high degree of assessment‐related stress/anxiety, which may have debilitating health, emotional and educational effects. Recent policy initiatives have attempted to encourage a responsibility for promoting well‐being in schools; however, at present there is little known about what, if any, support is provided for students over assessment stress/anxiety. The purpose of this exploratory study was to gather data on the conceptualisation and understanding of assessment stress/anxiety in key stage 4 (...) students, and what current policy and practice are adopted to support students experiencing a high degree of assessment stress/anxiety. Data were collected from semi‐structured interviews conducted with 34 students and nine members of staff from six schools in the north of England and analysed using an abbreviated form of grounded theory according to the principles, as described by Strauss and Corbin. Teachers conceptualised assessment stress/anxiety as resulting from KS4 assessment demands requiring skills and knowledge beyond the current capabilities of students. Support was mostly structured along academic lines, theorised as reducing stress by increasing the students’ ability to cope with assessment demands. Students who experienced a strong degree of manifest anxiety during examinations were moved to alternative venues, but students were not routinely identified in all schools prior to their final GCSE examinations. Staff and students also emphasised the importance of a “good” relationship in receiving both emotional and academic forms of support. These strategies were theorised as “bolt‐on” policies. Schools had few specific strategies for dealing with assessment stress/anxiety directly but used existing policies related to behaviour management and the promotion of achievement. (shrink)
Frege's historical milieu is investigated under the rubric of the "neo-Kantian paradigm." This term is used loosely to describe those philosophers in the fourth generation after Kant who went back to Kant in protest to the vulgar or scientific materialism which had prevailed in the previous decades. This paradigm is characterized in a linguistic or conceptual fashion, after the historical precedent of the so-called "Cambridge school" . ;Frege's relation to the neo-Kantians of his own day, to Lotze, and to Herbart (...) and the Brentano school are examined. Correlations are traced between the motivations and the impetus for the development of the "new logic" in light of the increasing emphasis upon logic and its relation to thought by such figures as Lotze, Cohen, Natorp, and Husserl. Frege's own developments are then outlined by illustrating how the functional innovations of his Begriffsschrift made possible new accounts of negation, numerical and existential quantification, and the notion of the object, but are accomplished nonetheless against the backdrop of the work of such thinkers as Herbart, Lotze, Stumpf, and Marty. Finally, this historical interpretation is brought to bear on a much-debated topic in the recent literature: Frege's two stipulations of the logical form of the statement of number. (shrink)
A collection of 14 essays honoring the life and work of Oxford philosopher Wiggins touching on topics from ancient philosophy to ethics, metaphysics and the theory of meaning. The contributing scholars debate many of the seminal issues of Wiggins' work, including the determinancy of distinctness, relative identity, naturalism in ethics, logic and truth in moral judgments, and the practical wisdom of Aristotle. The collection uniquely features replies by Wiggins to each of the papers. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, (...) OR. (shrink)
A stellar group of philosophers offer new works on themes from the great philosophy of Wittgenstein, honoring one of his most eminent interpreters David Pears. This collection covers both the early and the later work of Wittgenstein, relating it to current debates in philosophy. Topics discussed include solipsism, ostension, rules, necessity, privacy, and consciousness.
Abstract While agreeing that dynamical models play a major role in cognitive science, we reject Stepp, Chemero, and Turvey's contention that they constitute an alternative to mechanistic explanations. We review several problems dynamical models face as putative explanations when they are not grounded in mechanisms. Further, we argue that the opposition of dynamical models and mechanisms is a false one and that those dynamical models that characterize the operations of mechanisms overcome these problems. By briefly considering examples involving the generation (...) of action potentials and circadian rhythms, we show how decomposing a mechanism and modeling its dynamics are complementary endeavors. (shrink)
The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...) how Williams’s fundamental ontology and philosophy of time influenced in part the early formation of David Lewis’s metaphysics. Thus, Williams played an important role in the revival of analytic metaphysics. (shrink)
The public often believes that parents have a right to make medical decisions about their child. The idea that, in respect of children, doctors should do what parents tell them to do is problematic on the face of it. The effect of such a claim would be that a doctor who acted deliberately to harm a child would be making a morally correct decision, providing only that it is what the child’s parents said they wanted. That is so obviously nonsense (...) that it cannot be what people who claim it actually mean. In this paper, I suggest that the claim actually represents either or both of two misunderstandings. It can be a result of wrongly appealing to the principle of respect for autonomy, or a belief that doctors are not committed to acting in the interests of the child. In this paper, I show that, while neither belief is entirely justified, there are elements of truth in both. I argue that if ethically correct decisions are those that are directed to improving the quality of a child’s existence, then neither parents nor doctors are in a position to make ethically correct decisions about a child except in discussion with one another. Where such discussion is not possible, I suggest there should be a national Children’s Interests Panel to agree on the child’s interests. The panel should include, but not be limited to, paediatricians and lawyers and its decisions should be legally binding on all parties. (shrink)
William James is frequently considered one of America's most important philosophers, as well as a foundational thinker for the study of religion. Despite his reputation as the founder of pragmatism, he is rarely considered a serious philosopher or religious thinker. In this new interpretation David Lamberth argues that James's major contribution was to develop a systematic metaphysics of experience integrally related to his developing pluralistic and social religious ideas. Lamberth systematically interprets James's radically empiricist world-view and argues for (...) an early dating for his commitment to the metaphysics of radical empiricism. He offers a close reading of Varieties of Religious Experience; and concludes by connecting James's ideas about experience, pluralism and truth to current debates in philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and theology, suggesting James's functional, experiential metaphysics as a conceptual aid in bridging the social and interpretive with the immediate and concrete while avoiding naive realism. (shrink)
This project continues our interdisciplinary research into computational and cognitive aspects of narrative comprehension. Our ultimate goal is the development of a computational theory of how humans understand narrative texts. The theory will be informed by joint research from the viewpoints of linguistics, cognitive psychology, the study of language acquisition, literary theory, geography, philosophy, and artiﬁcial intelligence. The linguists, literary theorists, and geographers in our group are developing theories of narrative language and spatial understanding that are being tested by the (...) cognitive psychologists and language researchers in our group, and a computational model of a reader of narrative text is being developed by the AI researchers, based in part on these theories and results and in part on research on knowledge representation and reasoning. This proposal describes the knowledge-representation and natural-language-processing issues involved in the computational implementation of the theory; discusses a contrast between communicative and narrative uses of language and of the relation of the narrative text to the story world it describes; investigates linguistic, literary, and hermeneutic dimensions of our research; presents a computational investigation of subjective sentences and reference in narrative; studies children’s acquisition of the ability to take third-person perspective in their own storytelling; describes the psychological validation of various linguistic devices; and examines how readers develop an understanding of the geographical space of a story. This report is a longer version of a project description submitted to NSF. This document, produced in May 2007, is a L ATEX version of Technical Report 89-07 (Buffalo: SUNY Buffalo Department of Computer Science, August 1989), with slightly.. (shrink)
Patricia Williams made a number of claims concerning the methods and practise of cladistic analysis and classification. Her argument rests upon the distinction of two kinds of hierarchy: a divisional hierarchy depicting evolutionary descent and the Linnean hierarchy describing taxonomic groups in a classification. Williams goes on to outline five problems with cladistics that lead her to the conclusion that systematists should eliminate cladism as a school of biological taxonomy and to replace it either with something that is philosophically coherent (...) or to replace it with pure methodology, untainted by theory (Williams 1992, 151). Williams makes a number of points which she feels collectively add up to insurmountable problems for cladistics. We examine Williams' views concerning the two hierarchies and consider what cladists currently understand about the status of ancestors. We will demonstrate that Williams has seriously misunderstood many modern commentators on this subject and all of her five persistent problems are derivable from this misunderstanding. Some persons believe and argue, on grounds approaching faith it seems to me, that phylogeny comes from our knowledge of evolution. Others have found to their surprise, and sometimes dismay, that phylogeny comes from our knowledge of systematics. Nelson (1989, 67). (shrink)
In the past two to three decades health behavior scientists have increasingly emphasized affect-related concepts in their attempts to understand and facilitate change in important health behaviors, such as smoking, eating, physical activity, substance abuse, and sex. This article provides a narrative review of this burgeoning literature, including relevant theory and research on affective response, incidental affect, affect processing, and affectively charged motivation. An integrative dual-processing framework is presented that suggests pathways through which affect-related concepts may interrelate to influence health (...) behavior. (shrink)
David Williams explores the complex links between Condorcet as visionary ideologist and pragmatic legislator, and between his concept of modernity and the management of change. The Marquis de Condorcet was one of the few Enlightenment thinkers to witness and participate in the French Revolution. Based on an extensive array of printed and original manuscript sources, Williams' analysis of Condorcet's politics will be a major contribution to Enlightenment studies.
This collection of Habermas's recent essays on philosophical topics continues the analysis begun in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. In a short introductory essay, he outlines the sources of twentieth-century philosophizing, its major themes, and the range of current debates. The remainder of the essays can be seen as his contribution to these debates.Habermas's essay on George Herbert Mead is a focal point of the book. In it he sketches a postmetaphysical, intersubjective approach to questions of individuation and subjectivity. In (...) other essays, he develops his distinctive, communications-theoretic approach to questions of meaning and validity. The book as a whole expands on his earlier efforts to define a middle ground between nostalgic revivals of metaphysical conceptions of reason and radical deconstructions of reason. Jürgen Habermas is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt.The Essays: The Horizon of Modernity is Shifting. Metaphysics after Kant. Themes in Postmetaphysical Thinking. Toward a Critique of the Theory of Meaning. Peirce and Communication. The Unity of Reason in the Diversity of Its Voices. Individuation through Socialization: On George Herbert Mead's Theory of Subjectivity. Philosophy and Science as Literature? (shrink)
When should nudging be deemed as permissible and when should it be deemed as intrusive to individuals’ freedom of choice? Should all types of nudges be judged the same? To date the debate concerning these issues has largely proceeded without much input from the general public. The main objective of this study is to elicit public views on the use of nudges in policy. In particular we investigate attitudes toward two broad categories of nudges that we label pro-self and pro-social (...) nudges. In addition we explore how individual differences in thinking and feeling influence attitudes toward nudges. General population samples in Sweden and the United States were presented with vignettes describing nudge-policies and rated acceptability and intrusiveness on freedom of choice. To test for individual differences, measures on cultural cognition and analytical thinking were included. Results show that the level of acceptance toward nudge-policies was generally high in both countries, but were slightly higher among Swedes than Americans. Somewhat paradoxically a majority of the respondents also perceived the presented nudge-policies as intrusive to freedom of choice. Nudge-polices classified as pro-social had a significantly lower acceptance rate compared to pro-self nudges. Individuals with a more individualistic worldview were less likely to perceive nudges as acceptable, while individuals more prone to analytical thinking were less likely to perceive nudges as intrusive to freedom of choice. To conclude, our findings suggest that the notion of “one-nudge- fits-all” is not tenable. Recognizing this is an important aspect both for successfully implementing nudges as well as nuancing nudge theory. (shrink)
In “The logic of deep disagreements” (Informal Logic, 1985), Robert Fogelin claimed that there is a kind of disagreement – deep disagreement – which is, by its very nature, impervious to rational resolution. He further claimed that these two views are attributable to Wittgenstein. Following an exposition and discussion of that claim, we review and draw some lessons from existing responses in the literature to Fogelin’s claims. In the final two sections (6 and 7) we explore the role reason can, (...) and sometimes does, play in the resolution of deep disagreements. In doing this we discuss a series of cases, mainly drawn from Wittgenstein, which we take to illustrate the resolution of deep disagreements through the use of what we call “rational persuasion.” We conclude that, while the role of argumentation in “normal” versus “deep” disagreements is characteristically different, it plays a crucial role in the resolution of both. (shrink)
Within any organization (e.g. a hospital or clinic) the perception of the way things operate may vary dramatically as a function of one’s location in the organizational hierarchy as well as one’s professional discipline. Interorganizational variability depends on organizational coherence, safety, and stability. In this four-nation (Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Korea) qualitative study of 42 nurses, we explored their perception of how ethical decisions are made, the nurses’ hospital role, and the extent to which their voices were heard. These nurses (...) suggested that their voices were silenced (often voluntarily) or were not expressed in terms of ethical decision making. Finally, they perceived that their approach to ethical decision making differed from physicians. (shrink)