For some years now, the concept of basic research has been under attack. Yet although the significance of the concept is in doubt, basic research continues to be used as an analytical category in science studies. But what exactly is basic research? What is the difference between basic and applied research? This article seeks to answer these questions by applying historical semantics. I argue that the concept of basic research did not arise out of the tradition of pure science. On (...) the contrary, this new concept emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a time when scientists were being confronted with rising expectations regarding the societal utility of science. Scientists used the concept in order to try to bridge the gap between the promise of utility and the uncertainty of scientific endeavour. Only after 1945, when United States science policy shaped the notion of basic research, did the concept revert to the older ideals of pure science. This revival of the purity discourse was caused by the specific historical situation in the US at that time: the need to reform federal research policy after the Second World War, the new dimension of ethical dilemmas in science and technology during the atomic era, and the tense political climate during the Cold War. (shrink)
This study explores the relationship between moral intensity and the use of different sensemaking strategies in military critical incidents. First, narratives of military personnel were used to select prototypical high/low moral intensity critical incidents. In a follow-up, a scenario study was conducted with active duty military personnel to examine the relationship between moral intensity and the use of sensemaking tactics. This study offers three main conclusions. First, the use of sensemaking tactics is strongly tied to the level of moral intensity (...) in the situation. In high-intense situations, the servicemen draw on previous experiences, prediction of consequences, and help of others to recognize and interpret the situation. Less attention goes out to higher level critical thinking. Thus, it seems that in these critical incidents, the servicemen react without giving room for thorough consideration and deliberation. Second, the number of deployments a serviceman experienced influences the perceived seriousness and harmfulness of the situation negatively in low-intense situations. Finally, and in line with earlier studies, the results indicate that the concept of moral intensity is formed out of three rather than the six dimensions originally proposed by Jones. The implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
It has been suggested that states have no right to directly discriminate against would-be immigrants on grounds of race or sex. However, while the discourse on cases of wrongful discrimination has largely focused on discrimination on grounds of gender, race, and sexual orientation, states frequently engage in discrimination of a different kind when it comes to admissions and naturalisation policies. It is assumed that the anti-discrimination principle does not include cases of talent-based discrimination, and that these fall well within the (...) rights of states. I wish to suggest, to the contrary, that selecting immigrants on the basis of talent is a form of wrongful discrimination. First, with reference to Deborah Hellman’s expressive theory of discrimination, I explain what is wrongful about particular forms of state discrimination between would-be migrants. Next, I tackle the issue of immigrant selection on grounds of talent, which I refer to as ‘talent-based selection’. Unlike gender or race-based selection, it is generally not regarded as wrongful discrimination, for the reason that it does not express disrespect in the same way that sexist or racist selection criteria does. I argue that this assumption is mistaken, as talent-based discrimination does involve the expression of disrespect. In the present context, it has the expressive effect of reproducing demeaning stereotypes about low-skilled foreigners. Finally, I anticipate four objections to my conclusion. (shrink)
This article discusses the difference between comradeship, brotherhood, and friendship in a military context. The difference between these bonds will be made clear with the help of the story of Achilles and Patroclus, poems of the war poets, and Aristotle's books on friendship in the Ethica Nicomachea, amplified with insightful reflections on this classical text by several present-day philosophers.
RESUMEN El artículo responde algunas críticas planteadas por Ignacio Ávila a mi interpretación de la epistemología davidsoniana. Presento argumentos en contra de: a) que sea necesario distinguir entre representaciones epistemológicamente “peligrosas”e “inofensivas”; b) que el empirismo mínimo sea un tipo de realismo directo; c) que mi uso de la expresión “evidencia distal” y el interés por la teoría de la correspondencia sean asuntos ajenos a Davidson. Finalmente, sostengo que la triangulación es un elemento fundamental de la epistemología davidsoniana, pues permite (...) sortear la ansiedad realista manteniéndose en una postura no representacionalista. ABSTRACT In this article, I respond to some of Ignacio Ávila's criticisms of my interpretation of Davidson’s epistemology. I argue against: a) the need to distinguish between epistemologically “dangerous” and “harmless” representations; b) the idea that minimal empiricism is a kind of direct realism; and c) the claim that my usage of the expression “distal evidence” and interest in the theory of correspondence are issues that do not pertain to Davidson. Finally, I claim that triangulation is a key element in Davidsonian epistemology since it allows us to deal with the realist anxiety while maintaining a non-representationalist viewpoint. (shrink)
This paper proposes a theoretical framework for understanding fat stigma and its impact on people’s well-being. It argues that stigma should never be used as a tool to achieve public health ends. Drawing on Bruce Link and Jo Phelan’s 2001 conceptualization of stigma as well as the works of Hilde Lindemann, Paul Benson, and Margaret Urban Walker on identity, positionality, and agency, this paper clarifies the mechanisms by which stigmatizing, oppressive conceptions of overweight and obesity damage identities and diminish moral (...) agency, arguing that the use of obesity-related stigma for public health ends violates the bioethics principles of nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice. (shrink)
Using narrative descriptions of the author's own lived-experience of her ethnic heritage, Martinez offers a systematic interrogation of the social and cultural norms by which certain aspects of her Mexican-American cultural heritage are both retained and lost over generations of assimilation. Combining semiotic and existential phenomenology with Chicana feminism, the author charts new terrain where anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic work may be pursued.
Representationalist theories of phenomenal consciousness have problems in accounting for pain, for at least two reasons. First of all, the negative affective phenomenology of pain (its painfulness) does not seem to be representational at all. Secondly, pain experiences are not transparent to introspection in the way perceptions are. This is reflected, e.g. in the fact that we do not acknowledge pain hallucinations. In this paper, I defend that representationalism has the potential to overcome these objections. Defenders of representationalism have tried (...) to analyse every kind of phenomenal character in terms of indicative contents. But there is another possibility: Affective phenomenology, in fact, depends on imperative representational content. This provides a satisfactory solution to the aforementioned difficulties. (shrink)
This paper introduces and defends a way to translate Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations from a semiotic standpoint. This turn builds on Semiosic Translation. 102–130), a framework that advances the interaction of sign systems as a necessary point of departure in the translation process. From this vantage, the key term “Bild,” is analyzed, explained and retranslated into English. This term evinces high levels of complexity and variability that cannot be captured by traditional linguistic translations. In applying a semiotic (...) approach, any iteration of Bild is characterized as reflecting the author’s intentions at a given moment. This semiotic reading seeks to provide semioticians, translators, and philosophers with new conceptual tools leading to an understanding of translation as a systemic operation not confined to the realm of subjective interpretation. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore a new type of semiotic translation in the context of Audiovisual Translation Studies. To that end, a set of formulaic sequences bestowed of pragmalinguistic value is analysed. It is argued that the semiotic analysis of conversational features in English may contribute to facilitate their pedagogical exploitation in English as a Foreign Language classrooms. This analysis builds theoretically on a semiotic translational framework termed Semiosic Translation predicated upon three types of translation: Metaleptic translation; indexical translation; and (...) translation as dynamic discontinuity. The translational rationale thus arrived at is deemed to account for what it is that binds together linguistic signs with other sign systems. (shrink)
In the first part of the paper, I present a framework for the description and evaluation of teleosemantic theories of intentionality, and use it to argue that several different objections to these theories (the various indeterminacy and adequacy problems) are, in a certain precise sense, manifestations of the same underlying issue. I then use the framework to show that Millikan's biosemantics, her own recent declarations to the contrary notwithtanding, presents indeterminacy. In the second part, I develop a novel teleosemantic proposal (...) which makes progress in the treatment of this family of problems. I describe a procedure to derive a (unique) homeostatic property cluster [HPC] from facts having to do with the properties that a certain indicator relied on, in the events leading to its fixation in a certain population. This HPC is the one that should figure in the content attribution to the indicator in question. (shrink)
Abstract: Introspection reveals that one is frequently conscious of some form of inner speech, which may appear either in a condensed or expanded form. It has been claimed that this speech reflects the way in which language is involved in conscious thought, fulfilling a number of cognitive functions. We criticize three theories that address this issue: Bermúdez’s view of language as a generator of second-order thoughts, Prinz’s development of Jackendoff’s intermediate-level theory of consciousness, and Carruthers’s theory of inner speech as (...) a rehearsal of action-schemata. We contend they have problems to account for those cases in which inner speech is fragmentary, and for the difference with those instances in which it appears as more sentence-like. In addition, we present verbal overshadowing as a phenomenon that neither of them can easily explain. Finally, we propose an account in which inner speech is fundamentally silent outer speech and argue that it is more explanatory than the alternatives. (shrink)
Imperativism is the view that the phenomenal character of the affective component of pains, orgasms, and pleasant or unpleasant sensory experience depends on their imperative intentional content. In this paper I canvass an imperativist treatment of pains as reason-conferring states.
Miller (2005) and Miller (2008) argue that the branching picture of time is incompatible with the possibility of backwards time travel. In this paper I show that Miller’s conclusion is based on a hidden assumption which, while generally plausible, is unwarranted if time travel is possible. Branching time is, after all, compatible with time travel as Miller characterises it.
Godfrey-Smith advocates for linking deception in sender-receiver games to the existence of undermining signals. I present games in which deceptive signals can be arbitrarily frequent, without this undermining information transfer between sender and receiver.
In this article I follow James Gordon Finlayson who claims that a Hegelian criticism applies both to Kant and also to Habermas, namely, the criticism of the will as a tester of maxims. The issue is that Kant cannot connect the will of morality and the will of the particular agent and this leaves the empirical will unaffected. According to Finlayson, Habermas can be charged with this criticism, insofar as he draws a distinction between agent-neutral and agent-relative reasons. The upshot (...) is that in Discourse Ethics the empirical will seems to be left also unaffected by the moral will. In light of an analysis of ideal role taking, and rational discourse, I claim that Habermas can rebut the Hegelian criticism. Nonetheless, I show that these concepts are incompatible with the distinction between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons. Hence, either the concepts or the distinction have to be removed. Habermas can only afford to discard the distinction, and indeed this modification answers the criticism. The... (shrink)
To what extent can sovereign states limit or exercise discretion over migration into their territory? Furthermore, once migrants have been admitted, what rights are they entitled to? Joseph Carens’s The Ethics of Immigration, a much-awaited synthesis of his influential previous work on the topic, answers these questions both carefully and forcefully.Throughout, Carens assumes that his audience, like him, is motivated by what he terms ‘democratic principles’ : a web of assorted beliefs that together reflect a basic commitment to the equal (...) moral worth of individuals. This allows him to establish a ‘shared understanding’ between those with a permissive attitude towards immigration, and those with a considerably more restrictive view, rather than accepting the myth that both positions are irreconcilable from the ground up. After all, as Carens notes, ‘there is already a wide area of agreement about immigration among democratic states in Europe and North America, an agreement that is .. (shrink)
The current European ‘migration crisis’ encompasses increasing rates of migration and the accompanying failure of migrants, including both economic migrants and refugees, to integrate. In this paper, I focus on a normative analysis of the entry fee immigration system, providing both an internal and external critique. In the internal critique, I take for granted that states are best understood as clubs. However, states seem to share greater similarities with clubs that are too exclusive to allow membership to be purchased. In (...) the external critique, I argue that imposing a substantial entry fee on club membership is impermissible if exclusion from membership deprives non-members of basic rights and interests, even if measures are taken to equalise their ability to pay. The upshot of the internal and external critique, I believe, is that membership ought not to be contingent on the payment of a fee, or more generally, the acceptance of current members. (shrink)
More than two hundred and fifty years have elapsed since George Berkeley first published his Principles of Human Knowledge and thereby divided the intelligible world into “notions” and “ideas". In the ensuing period, the more articulate world has shown a marked preference for treating only his theory of “ideas” .The result has been misleading. It is therefore the purpose of this essay to present Berkeley' s theory of “notions”, in so far as it can be gleaned from the pages of (...) his extant works, and to emphasize the importance of "notions" in any fair-minded attempt to view Berkeleyan philosophy as a whole. The vital role of a theory of notions will become evident in due course. (shrink)