Disagreement is a hot topic right now in epistemology, where there is spirited debate between epistemologists who argue that we should be moved by the fact that we disagree and those who argue that we need not. Both sides to this debate often use what is commonly called “the method of cases,” designing hypothetical cases involving peer disagreement and using what we think about those cases as evidence that specific normative theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing (...) as such. With so much weight being given in the epistemology of disagreement to what people think about cases of peer disagreement, our goal in this paper is to examine what kinds of things might shape how people think about these kinds of cases. We will show that two different kinds of framing effect shape how people think about cases of peer disagreement, and examine both what this means for how the method of cases is used in the epistemology of disagreement and what this might tell us about the role that motivated cognition is playing in debates about which normative positions about peer disagreement are right and wrong. (shrink)
Gregor Betz explores the following questions: Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge? Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken? Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?
We use recently developed approaches in argumentation theory in order to revamp the hypothetico-deductive model of confirmation, thus alleviating the well-known paradoxes the H-D account faces. More specifically, we introduce the concept of dialectic confirmation on the background of the so-called theory of dialectical structures (Betz 2010, 2012b). Dialectic confirmation generalises hypothetico-deductive confirmation and mitigates the raven paradox, the grue paradox, the tacking paradox, the paradox from conceptual difference, and the problem of surprising evidence.
Tre studiosi di filosofia interculturale espongono – molto sinteticamente – le loro posizioni su alcuni snodi problematici del loro oggetto di ricerca. Cacciatore si concentra sulla relazione teorica, assai fruttuosa, fra lo storicismo critico-problematico, antiontologico e antimetafisico, della Scuola napoletana e i temi connessi all’interculturalità. D’Anna ritrova in Aristotele – discusso anche attraverso Pietro Piovani e Raul Fornet-Betancourt – un concetto di universale che, distinto da quello di assoluto, è inclusivo della molteplicità e dunque funzionale alla riflessione interculturale. Diana (...) – seguendo un percorso che contamina letteratura e filosofia – mette in luce il carattere storico, plurimo e relazionale dell’identità individuale e chiarisce il senso del cogito autobiografico. (shrink)
Descartes' "Meditationen" sind vielleicht 'der' Klassiker der Philosophie. Sie behandeln grundlegende Fragen: Welche Arten von Gegenständen kommen in der Welt vor? Was für eine Art von Ding bin ich? Bin ich frei? Was ist Wahrheit? Welchen Status haben logische Wahrheiten oder mathematische Theoreme? Was kann ich wissen? Gregor Betz' systematischer Kommentar rekonstruiert die entsprechenden Gedankengänge und Begründungen und versucht Antworten auf Descartes' Fragen zu geben. Auch andere Philosophen, insbesondere des 20. Jahrhunderts, werden in einen Dialog mit Descartes gestellt. Denn (...) eine philosophische Position zu verstehen bedeutet letztlich auch zu überblicken, "welche weiteren Thesen sie impliziert und mit welchen anderen Positionen sie in Konflikt gerät", so der Autor des Bandes. (shrink)
The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty articulation, understood as a methodological strategy, is exemplified by the current (...) practice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (shrink)
This paper explores possible connections between gender and the willingness to engage in unethical business behavior. Two approaches to gender and ethics are presented: the structural approach and the socialization approach. Data from a sample of 213 business school students reveal that men are more than two times as likely as women to engage in actions regarded as unethical but it is also important to note that relatively few would engage in any of these actions with the exception of buying (...) stock with inside information. Fifty percent of the males were willing to buy stock with insider information. Overall, the results support the gender socialization approach. (shrink)
We argue that the stakeholder perspective on corporate social responsibility is in the process of being enlarged. Due to the process of institutional isomorphism, corporations are increasingly adopting organizational features designed to promote proactivity over mere reactivity in their stakeholder relationships. We identify two sources of pressure promoting the emergence of the proactive corporation -- stakeholder activism and the recognition of the social embeddedness of the economy. The final section describes four organizational design dimensions being installed by the more proactive (...) corporations today -- cooperation, participation, negotiation, and direct anticipation. (shrink)
This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta - argument. (...) My analysis thus bears a certain analogy to Sellars ’ well - known justification of inductive reasoning ; it is based on recently developed theories of complex argumentation. (shrink)
This paper gives an explication of our intuitive notion of strength of justification in a controversial debate. It defines a thesis' degree of justification within the bipolar argumentation framework of the theory of dialectical structures as the ratio of coherently adoptable positions according to which that thesis is true over all coherently adoptable positions. Broadening this definition, the notion of conditional degree of justification, i.e.\ degree of partial entailment, is introduced. Thus defined degrees of justification correspond to our pre-theoretic intuitions (...) in the sense that supporting and defending a thesis t increases, whereas attacking it decreases, t's degree of justification. Moreover, it is shown that (conditional) degrees of justification are (conditional) probabilities. Eventually, the paper explains that it is rational to believe theses with a high degree of justification insofar as this strengthens the robustness of one's position. (shrink)
Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises the question how to justify possibilistic predictionsincluding the identication of the worst case. The development of (...) such a modal methodology is particularly vital with respect to predictions of climate change. I show that a methodological dilemma emerges when possibilistic predictions are framed in traditional terms and argue that a more nuanced conceptual framework, distinguishing dierent types of possibility, should be used in order to convey our uncertain knowledge about the future. The new conceptual scheme, however, questions the applicability of standard rules of rational decision-making, thus generating new challenges. (shrink)
Wo Meinungen aufeinanderprallen, um Verständnis geworben und Überzeugungsarbeit geleistet wird, sind Begründungen nicht weit. Für jede Überzeugung gibt es immer ein, zwei Gründe, die mit Gegengründen konfrontiert und, im Gegenzug, mit weiteren Überlegungen verteidigt werden usw. usf. Schnell sind wir verwirrt und drohen, ohne uns der "Grammatikregeln" vernünftigen Argumentierens zu besinnen, nicht mehr durchzublicken. Die Theorie dialektischer Strukturen leistet einen Beitrag zur Grammatik vernünftigen Argumentierens. Sie stellt Begriffe und Verfahren bereit, um Fragen, die sich angesichts einer komplexen Argumentation stellen können, (...) zu beantworten: Wie beziehen sich die einzelnen Argumente der Debatte aufeinander? Welche Positionen vertreten die verschiedenen Proponenten, und wie lassen sich diese bewerten? Wie gut ist die zentrale These der Kontroverse alles in allem begründet? Ist die und die Argumentationshandlung angesichts des Debattenstandes tatsächlich zweckmäßig und rational? Liegt hier eine zirkuläre - und damit fehlerhafte - Argumentation vor? Die klassische Logik, die sogenannte informal logic und argumentationstheoretische Ansätze der Künstlichen Intelligenz bilden Anknüpfungspunkte der Theorie dialektischer Strukturen. Exemplarisch werden die entwickelten argumentationstheoretischen Methoden zur Analyse umfangreicher philosophischer Kontroversen eingesetzt. (shrink)
This paper contends that rationality is more properly evaluated as a property of an organization’s relationships with its stakeholders than of the organization itself. We predicate our approach on the observation that stakeholders can hold goals quite distinct from those of owners and top managers, and these too can be rationally pursued. We build upon stakeholder theory and Weber’s classic distinction between wertrationalitat and zweckrationalitat, adding to them the “new institutionalist” concept of the organization field . Stakeholders employ a variety (...) of direct and indirect mechanisms to rationalize relations with the firm. We discuss four: internal subunits, legislated stakeholder participation, legislated access to information, and direct stakeholder activism. Thesedevelopments are blurring the distinction between the environment and the organization by importing the values and goals of external stakeholders into the internal organization. They are also precipitating a more structured set of relationships among the actors who comprise the field. To the extent that the zweckrationalitat values of managers and owners as well as the wertrationalitat concerns of stakeholders are met, the firm is more rational. (shrink)
Climate models don’t give us probabilistic forecasts. To interpret their results, alternatively, as serious possibilities seems problematic inasmuch as climate models rely on contrary-to-fact assumptions: why should we consider their implications as possible if their assumptions are known to be false? The paper explores a way to address this possibilistic challenge. It introduces the concepts of a perfect and of an imperfect credible world, and discusses whether climate models can be interpreted as imperfect credible worlds. That would allow one to (...) use models for possibilistic prediction and salvage widespread scientific practice. (shrink)
This paper develops concepts and procedures for the evaluation of complex debates. They provide means for answering such questions as whether a thesis has to be considered as proven or disproven in a debate or who carries a burden of proof. While being based on classical logic, this framework represents an (argument-based) approach to non-monotonic, or defeasible reasoning. Debates are analysed as dialectical structures, i.e. argumentation systems with an attack- as well as a support-relationship. The recursive status assignment over the (...) arguments is conditionalised on proponents in a debate. The problem of multiple status assignments arising on circular structures is solved by showing that uniqueness can be guaranteed qua reconstruction of a debate. The notion of burden of proof as well as other discursive aims rational proponents pursue in a debate is defined within the framework. (shrink)
This article sets up a graph-theoretical framework for argumentation-analysis (dialectical analysis) which expands classical argument-analysis. Within this framework, a main theorem on the existence of inconsistencies in debates is stated and proved: the vicious circle theorem. Subsequently, two corollaries which generalize the main theorem are derived. Finally, a brief outlook is given on further expansions and possible applications of the developed framework.
This essay is concerned with modern and postmodern theories of the sublime and with a possible theological response to them. The essay first discusses the “modern sublime” and the “postmodern sublime” , and shows how these versions of the sublime terminate in one or the other form of “pure immanence” and, hence, are not sublime in any standard sense of the term. The essay then argues, in a second part, for an aesthetic of the beautiful and the sublime based upon (...) the theological doctrine of the analogy of being as articulated in the past century by Erich Przywara, S. J. (shrink)
This paper investigates in how far a theory of dialectical structures sheds new light on the old problem of giving a satisfying account of the fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. It defends that (i) circular argumentation on the one hand and petitio principii on the other hand are two distinct features of complex argumentation, and that (ii) it is impossible to make general statements about the defectiveness of an argumentation that exhibits these features. Such an argumentation, in (...) contrast, has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. “Petitio principii”, this paper thence suggests, is one name for, in fact, a multitude of different and quite complex dialectical situations which require specific analysis and evaluation. (shrink)
With the evidence for anthropogenic climate change piling up, suggesting that climate impacts of GHG emissions might have been underestimated in the past (Allison et al. 2009; WBGU 2009), and mitigation policies apparently lagging behind what many scientists consider as necessary reductions in order to prevent dangerous climate change, the debate about intentional climate change, or “climate engineering”, as we shall say in the following, has gained momentum in the past years. While efforts to technically modify earth’s climate had been (...) the focus of sporadic discussions at least since the White House’s Report “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment” (cf. Keith 2000), Paul Crutzen’s cautious plea for research into the feasibility and side-effects of stratospheric sulphur injections (Crutzen 2006) has incited an inter-disciplinary controversy (with a preliminary culmination in the Royal Society’s assessment (Royal Society 2009)), while increasing public awareness and debate about climate engineering, as well. The controversy, though, does not focus on the question whether climate engineering should be carried out today (which is largely reckoned to be a bad idea, unnecessary, or premature) or at some point in the future (which is considered a decision we don’t have to take now), but on whether to engage in large-scale research into the alternative technological options for carrying out intentional climate change. It is this paper’s purpose to make that controversy more transparent. In order to do so, we analyse what seems to be the major argument in favour of research into climate engineering: the lesser evil-, or, as Stephen Gardiner has called it, the arm the future-argument — in short: the AF-argument (Gardiner 2010). Such an argumentative analysis makes explicit the normative and descriptive assumptions which underlie the reasoning, without ascertaining or denying them, and thus enables one to assess the overall strength of the argument as well as to determine which objections do, and which don’t undermine it. (shrink)
While rooted in careful study of Mead’s original writings and transcribed lectures and the historical context in which that work was carried out, the papers in this volume have brought Mead’s work to bear on contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, cognitive science, and social and political philosophy.
This study investigates the ethical aspects of deploying and researching into so-called climate engineering methods, i.e. large-scale technical interventions in the climate system with the objective of offsetting anthropogenic climate change. The moral reasons in favour of and against R&D into and deployment of CE methods are analysed by means of argument maps. These argument maps provide an overview of the CE controversy and help to structure the complex debate.
Science advances by means of argument and debate. Based on a formal model of complex argumentation, this article assesses the interplay between evidential and inferential drivers in scientific controversy, and explains, in particular, why both evidence accumulation and argumentation are veritistically valuable. By improving the conditions for applying veritistic indicators , novel evidence and arguments allow us to distinguish true from false hypotheses more reliably. Because such veritistic indicators also underpin inductive reasoning, evidence accumulation and argumentation enhance the reliability of (...) inductive inference, for example, inference to the best explanation. 1 Introduction2 Theory of Dialectical Structures3 Debate Simulations4 From Evidence and Arguments to Truth: The First Route5 From Evidence to Truth: The Second Route6 Conclusion. (shrink)
Climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty and are, therefore, based on a range of future climate scenarios, describing possible consequences of alternative policies. Accordingly, the methodology for setting up such a scenario range becomes pivotal in climate policy advice. The preferred methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be characterised as ,,modal verificationism"; it suffers from severe shortcomings which disqualify it for scientific policy advice. Modal falsificationism, as a more sound alternative, would radically alter the way the (...) climate scenario range is set up. Climate science's inability to find robust upper bounds for future temperature rise in line with modal falsificationism does not disprove that methodology, rather, this very fact prescribes even more drastic efforts to curb CO2 emissions than currently proposed. (shrink)
What is the relation of business ethics to politics? My answer has two parts. First, business ethics exists quite apart from politics in matters of simple, basic ethical norms like those prohibiting lying, wanton injury, sexual harrassment. One would be foolish to unsettlethis settled ethics as A. Z. Carr does in this article, “Is Business Bluffing Ethical?” For the business community thus loses the public’s trust and invites a government regulation of business smothering to business and burdensome to government.Second, there (...) are issues in business ethics which do not represent a settled and shared and common ethics because they represent a choice between competing, almost equally attractive, values. These problems in business ethics can only have a political solution. Politics here represents the commitment to different basic values and will represent liberal and conservative extremes or somecompromise in-between. The solution acceptable for these problems will change with the political climate and will be unstable. We should strive to keep the basic, simple, settled, ethical issues in business out of politics, and we should strive to be frank about our political differences as we needfully politicize the solutions to the more complex unsettled problems in business ethics. (shrink)
The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change is a highly influential welfare analysis of climate policy measures which has been published in 2006. This paper identifies and systematically assesses the long-term socioeconomic and climatic predictions the Stern Review relies on, and reflects them philosophically. Being a cost-benefit analysis, the Stern Review has to predict the benefits of climate mitigation policies, i.e.the damaging consequences of climate change which might be avoided, as well as the costs of implementing such policies. (...) While distinguishing deterministic, probabilistic, and possibilisitic forecasts, this paper finds that the Review's major predictions severly suffer from a lack of robustness. It argues, moreover, that the use of subjective probabilities as well as the fact/value entanglement pose additional problems. Given our ignorance, this assessment raises finally the question how detailed an analysis of climate policy decisions should reasonably be at all, and whether the argument for acting against climate change is maybe very simple. (shrink)
[Reading Samuel Beckett's "Fin de Partie". Notes from a seminar]. The paper sets out the results of a didactic workshop about Fin de Partie by Samuel Beckett held by the Author at the ISPF. After clarifying the link between the concept of absurdity and the concept of contradiction, and touching the issue in Giuseppe Rensi, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, the Author presents his ontological reading of Beckett’s play.
Predictive success as an aim of science -- On the very possibility of prediction in the social sciences -- Empirical facts about social prediction: its mode, object and performance -- Understanding poor forecast performance.
Epistemic trust figures prominently in our socio-cognitive practices. By assigning different degrees of competence to agents, we distinguish between experts and novices and determine the trustworthiness of testimony. This paper probes the claim that epistemic trust furthers our epistemic enterprise. More specifically, it assesses the veritistic value of competence attribution in an epistemic community, i.e., in a group of agents that collaboratively seek to track down the truth. The results, obtained by simulating opinion dynamics, tend to subvert the very idea (...) that competence ascription is essential for the functioning of epistemic collaboration and hence veritistically valuable. On the contrary, we find that, in specific circumstances at least, epistemic trust may prevent a community from finding the truth effectively. (shrink)
Pet adoption from an animal rescue shelter would seem to be one of those indisputable things in life that only increases a person's positive karma. Kant spoke of morality residing in a good will and pure intention; saving a dog from being euthanized by providing it with a loving, secure home seems the living embodiment of that. Or so it would seem.
Just war theory requires that a nation at war respect proportionality both before it goes to war, jus ad bellum, and in the way it fights a war, jus in bello. To respect proportionality is to know or estimate on good evidence that the whole war and the tactics used in the war will not generate more evil and harm and costs than they will generate good and help and benefits. This paper argues that the 2003–2004 U.S. war on Iraq (...) fails on both counts. It considers, in regard to jus ad bellum, the evils, harms, and costs that the war forces on the Iraqi military and civilians, the American military, and American and non-Iraqi civilians. It considers, under jus in bello, the evils, harms, and costs that the war forces on Iraqi civilians. On the proportionality standards for a just war, this war is a miserable failure. (shrink)
Bok defines lying in the same way as Augustine and Kant. But she wants to oppose their position that one cannot lie to save an innocent life. This position was successfully and consistently opposed by Constant and Grotius who did so by redefining lying so that the untruth one tells to save an innocent life does not count as a lie since it does not violate a right. Bok refuses to use this way. She instead uses her analogy of deception (...) and violence. But this analogy is not, as she believes it is, intuitively clear or a good a fortiori argument. Still, if one pays attention to the ordinary sense of the words Bok uses in her confused analogy, deception and lying, force and violence, one realizes that Bok's analogy has some persuasive power, not because violence and lying are right means to save a life, but because force and deception, or force or deception are. And to see why this is so requires that Constant and Grotius's way of opposing Kant, and their definition of lying, must be adopted. Bok's apparent success with her analogy of force and lying is due to the fact that it is a shadow of the more genuine success of the analogy of force and violence and deception and lying which requires Constant and Grotius's definition of deception and lying. Thus her way of opposing Augustine and Kant is weak in trying to do it in a new approach and demonstrates the advantages of Constant and Grotius's approach. (shrink)