A medical information commons is a networked data environment utilized for research and clinical applications. At three deliberations across the U.S., we engaged 75 adults in two-day facilitated discussions on the ethical and social issues inherent to sharing data with an MIC. Deliberants made recommendations regarding opt-in consent, transparent data policies, public representation on MIC governing boards, and strict data security and privacy protection. Community engagement is critical to earning the public's trust.
Do Russellian propositions have their constituents as parts? One reason for thinking not is that if they did, they would generate apparent counterexamples to plausible mereological principles. As Frege noted, they would be in tension with the transitivity of parthood. A certain small rock is a part of Etna but not of the proposition that Etna is higher than Vesuvius. So, if Etna were a part of the given proposition, parthood would fail to be transitive. As William Bynoe has noted (...) (speaking of facts rather than propositions), they would seem to violate certain supplementation principles. Consider the singular proposition, concerning identity, that it is identical with itself. Given the relevant form of Russellianism, this proposition would have identity as a proper part, but it would not have any parts disjoint from identity, and indeed it would not have even a single pair of disjoint parts, in violation of various supplementation principles. This chapter offers a unified solution to the problems about transitivity and supplementation. One key ingredient in the solution is the view that parthood is a four-place relation expressed by ‘x at y is a part of z at w’. Another key ingredient is the view that the semantic contents of predicates and sentential connectives have ‘slots’ or ‘argument positions’ in them. (Both ingredients are independently motivated elsewhere.) Four-place analogues of the transitivity and supplementation principles are set out, and it is argued that these are not threatened by the examples from Frege and Bynoe. (shrink)
Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...) past, present, and future are all equally real and there is nothing metaphysically special about the present. A third is perdurantism, according to which persisting material objects are made up of different temporal parts located at different times. We sketch routes from relativity to unitism and to the B-theory. We then discuss some routes to perdurantism, via the B-theory and via unitism. (shrink)
Symbolic arithmetic is fundamental to science, technology and economics, but its acquisition by children typically requires years of effort, instruction and drill1,2. When adults perform mental arithmetic, they activate nonsymbolic, approximate number representations3,4, and their performance suffers if this nonsymbolic system is impaired5. Nonsymbolic number representations also allow adults, children, and even infants to add or subtract pairs of dot arrays and to compare the resulting sum or difference to a third array, provided that only approximate accuracy is required6–10. Here (...) we report that young children, who have mastered verbal counting and are on the threshold of arithmetic instruction, can build on their nonsymbolic number system to perform symbolic addition and subtraction11–15. Children across a broad socio-economic spectrum solved symbolic problems involving approximate addition or subtraction of large numbers, both in a laboratory test and in a school setting. Aspects of symbolic arithmetic therefore lie within the reach of children who have learned no algorithms for manipulating numerical symbols. Our findings help to delimit the sources of children’s difficulties learning symbolic arithmetic, and they suggest ways to enhance children’s engagement with formal mathematics. We presented children with approximate symbolic arithmetic problems in a format that parallels previous tests of non-symbolic arithmetic in preschool children8,9. In the first experiment, five- to six-year-old children were given problems such as ‘‘If you had twenty-four stickers and I gave you twenty-seven more, would you have more or less than thirty-five stickers?’’. Children performed well above chance (65.0%, t1952.77, P 5 0.012) without resorting to guessing or comparison strategies that could serve as alternatives to arithmetic. Children who have been taught no symbolic arithmetic therefore have some ability to perform symbolic addition problems. The children’s performance nevertheless fell short of performance on non-symbolic arithmetic tasks using equivalent addition problems with numbers presented as arrays of dots and with the addition operation conveyed by successive motions of the dots into a box (71.3% correct, F1,345 4.26, P 5 0.047)8.. (shrink)
I formulate a theory of persistence in the endurantist family and pose a problem for the conjunction of this theory with orthodox versions of special or general relativity. The problem centers around the question: Where are things?
Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...) The new puzzles confront perdurantists and can be solved just by shifting to endurantism. (shrink)
Slot theory is the view that (i) there exist such entities as argument places, or ‘slots’, in universals, and that (ii) a universal u is n-adic if and only if there are n slots in u. I argue that those who take properties and relations to be abundant, fine-grained, non-set-theoretical entities face pressure to be slot theorists. I note that slots permit a natural account of the notion of adicy. I then consider a series of ‘slot-free’ accounts of that notion (...) and argue that each of them has significant drawbacks. (shrink)
Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
Many philosophical accounts of the emotions conceive of them as susceptible to assessments of rationality, fittingness, or some other notion of aptness. Analogous assumptions apply in cases of emotions directed at what are taken to be only fictional or only imagined. My question is whether the criteria governing the aptness of emotions we have toward what we take to be real things apply invariantly to those emotions we have toward what we take to be only fictional or imagined. I argue (...) that what counts as a reason justifying an emotion can differ across real, fictional, and imagined domains. (shrink)
Ned Markosian has recently defended a new theory of composition, which he calls regionalism : some material objects xx compose something if and only if there is a material object located at the fusion of the locations of xx. Markosian argues that regionalism follows from what he calls the subregion theory of parthood. Korman and Carmichael agree. We provide countermodels to show that regionalism does not follow from, even together with fourteen potentially implicit background principles. We then show that regionalism (...) does follow from five of those background principles together with and two additional principles connecting parthood and location, which we call and. While the additional principles are not uncontroversial, our conjecture is that many will find them attractive. We conclude by mentioning that fills a previously unnoticed gap in the formal theory of location presented in Parsons. (shrink)
Immanent universals, being wholly present wherever they are instantiated, are capable of both multi-location and co-location. As a result, they can become involved in some bizarre situations, situations whose contradictory appearance cannot be dispelled by any of the relativizing maneuvers familiar to metaphysicials as solutions to the problem of change. Douglas Ehring takes this to be a fatal problem for immanent universals, but I do not. Although the old relativizing maneuvers don't solve the problem, I propose a new one that (...) does. I spend half the paper defending the proposed solution against objections, and in the course of this task I touch upon such topics as backward time travel and the distinction between universals and particulars. I close by putting forward -- merely as an option -- a new way to draw the distinction in question. (shrink)
This volume provides a brief and accessible introduction to the 9th-century philosopher and theologian John Scottus Eriugena, who was perhaps the most important philosophical thinker to appear in Latin Christendom in the period between Augustine and Anselm. Eriugena was known as the interpreter of Greek thought to the Latin West, particularly as teacher to Frankish emperor Charles the Bald, and this book emphasizes the relation of Eriugena's thought to his Greek and Latin sources, while also looking at his speculative philosophy.
I develop and defend the following functional view of art: a work of art typically possesses as an essential feature one or more points, purposes, or ends with reference to the satisfaction of which that work can be appropriately evaluated. This way of seeing a work’s artistic value as dependent on its particular artistic ends (whatever they may be) suggests an answer to a longstanding question of what sort of internal relation, if any, exists between the wide variety of values (...) (moral, cognitive, aesthetic, etc.) that may be possessed by works of art and their value qua works of art. (shrink)
Yuri Balashov has argued that endurantism is untenable in the context of Minkowski spacetime. Balashov's argument runs through two main theses concerning the relation of coexistence, or temporal co-location. Coexistence must turn out to be an absolute or objective matter; and in Minkowski spacetime coexistence must be grounded in the relation of spacelike separation. If endurantism is true, then leads to absurd conclusions; but if perdurantism is true, then is harmless. I object to both theses. Against, I argue that coexistence (...) is better construed as being relative to a hyperplane of simultaneity. Against, I argue that the consequences of given endurantism are no worse than the consequences of given perdurantism. (shrink)
I formulate an account, in terms of essence and ground, that explains why atomic Russellian propositions have the truth conditions they do. The key ideas are that (i) atomic propositions are just 0-adic relations, (ii) truth is just the 1-adic version of the instantiation (or, as I will say, holding) relation (Menzel 1993: 86, note 27), and (iii) atomic propositions have the truth conditions they do for basically the same reasons that partially plugged relations, like being an x and a (...) y such that Philip gave x to y, have the holding conditions they do. The account is meant to be mainly of intrinsic interest, but I hope that it goes some distance toward answering an objection to classical theories of propositions put forward by King (2014), who writes that ‘since the classical conception of propositions as things that have truth conditions by their very natures and independently of minds and languages is incapable of explaining how or why propositions have truth conditions, it is unacceptable’ (2014: 47). Propositions do have their truth conditions ‘by their very natures’ and ‘independently of minds and languages’. But a fact about a given entity can hold by the very nature of that entity without being a fundamental fact. I argue that this is plausibly the case for atomic Russellian propositions and the facts about their truth conditions. A fact about the truth conditions of such a proposition holds by the very nature of the given proposition but is metaphysically grounded in facts about that proposition’s parts and their essences. If my account is correct, then the supposedly intractable problem of explaining why the given propositions have the truth conditions they do reduces to the problem of explaining why relations have the holding essences they do, which few seem to have found worrisome . (shrink)
I defend coincidentalism (the view that some pluralities have more than one mereological fusion) and restricted composition (the view that some pluralities lack mereological fusions) against recent arguments due to Theodore Sider.
Personal time, as opposed to external time, has a certain role to play in the correct account of death and immortality. But saying exactly what that role is, and what role remains for external time, is not straightforward. I formulate and defend accounts of death and immortality that specify these roles precisely.
What is it for a thing to be dead? Fred Feldman holds, correctly in my view, that a definition of ‘dead’ should leave open both (1) the possibility of things that go directly from being dead to being alive, and (2) the possibility of things that go directly from being alive to being neither alive nor dead, but merely in suspended animation. But if this is right, then surely such a definition should also leave open the possibility of things that (...) go directly from being dead to being neither alive nor dead, but merely in suspended animation. I show that Feldman’s own definition of ‘dead’ (in terms of ‘lives’ and ‘dies’) does not leave this possibility open. I propose a new definition that does. (shrink)
I argue for the recognition of a particular kind of interest that one has in freedom of expression: an interest served by expressive activity in forming and discovering one’s own beliefs, desires, and commitments. In articulating that interest, I aim to contribute to a family of theories of freedom of expression that find its justification in the interests that speakers have in their own speech or thought, to be distinguished from whatever interests they may also have as audiences or third (...) parties for speech. Although there are many differences among such speaker-centered theories, a core commitment that most share is that expressive liberty plays a fundamental role in securing or constituting some form of individual self-realization. My account is a defense and elaboration of what I take to be one specific way in which the nature of such self-realization should be understood. In my proposal, self-realization is sometimes internally related to the very activity of expression, viz, expressing ourselves is one way in which we come to form and know our own minds. (shrink)
Many philosophers have thought that the problem of personal identity over time is not metaphysically deep. Perhaps the debate between the rival theories is somehow empty or is a ‘merely verbal dispute’. Perhaps questions about personal identity are ‘nonsubstantive’ and fit more for conceptual analysis and close attention to usage than for theorizing in the style of serious metaphysics, theorizing guided by considerations of systematicity, parsimony, explanatory power, and aiming for knowledge about the objective structure of the world. I discuss (...) a thesis about consciousness according to which there are perfectly natural phenomenal properties. Although I do not argue for this thesis, I believe that it is plausible, whether or not physicalism is true. Given the thesis, there are deep, substantive questions about which individuals or pluralities instantiate the relevant phenomenal properties. Equally substantive questions can then be asked about the duration and other spatiotemporal characteristics of those individuals or pluralities, both in actual cases and in hypothetical puzzle cases adapted from the personal identity literature. I suggest that, at least prima facie, these questions interact with our future-directed egoistic concern in much the same way that the personal identity question is often thought to. As a slogan: “you give me substantive, determinate facts about consciousness; I give you substantive, determinate facts about personal identity”. (shrink)
In the title essay of The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art Arthur Danto describes two dominant strains of the philosophy of art in its Platonic beginnings: one that art is dangerous, and thus subject to political censorship or control, and the other that art exists at several removes from the ordinary reality, impotent to effect any meaningful change in the human world.1 These two ways of understanding art, really two charges laid at art’s door, seem contradictory, he writes, until one realizes (...) that the second is a philosophical response to the first. In a ‘‘kind of warfare between philosophy and art’’ philosophy sees art as a rival, as a challenger to the supremacy of reason over the minds of men. Thus Danto describes the premise advanced in Book X of the Republic that art is mimesis, or that of The Ion that the artist lacks knowledge of what he does, as components of a powerfully disabling theory of art, designed not so much to come to terms with the essence of art as to neutralize its power through metaphysical exile, denying art causal efficacy or epistemic validity in the real world. And the history of aesthetics, in Danto’s view, continues this disenfranchisement, whether in the Kantian ephemeralization of art as an object of disinterested judgment, outside the realm of human practical and political concerns, or in the Hegelian ‘‘takeover’’ of art, in which it is demoted as an inadequate form of philosophy. (shrink)
Since scholarly interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) has primarily focused on the synergies between social and economic performance, our understanding of how (and the conditions under which) companies use CSR to produce policy outcomes that work against public welfare has remained comparatively underdeveloped. In particular, little is known about how corporate decision-makers privately reconcile the conflicts between public and private interests, even though this is likely to be relevant to understanding the limitations of CSR as a means of aligning (...) business activity with the broader public interest . This study addresses this issue using internal tobacco industry documents to explore British-American Tobacco’s (BAT) thinking on CSR and its effects on the company’s CSR Programme. The article presents a three-stage model of CSR development, based on Sykes and Matza’s theory of techniques of neutralization, which links together: how BAT managers made sense of the company’s declining political authority in the mid-1990s; how they subsequently justified the use of CSR as a tool of stakeholder management aimed at diffusing the political impact of public health advocates by breaking up political constituencies working towards evidence-based tobacco regulation; and how CSR works ideologically to shape stakeholders’ perceptions of the relative merits of competing approaches to tobacco control. Our analysis has three implications for research and practice. First, it underlines the importance of approaching corporate managers’ public comments on CSR critically and situating them in their economic, political and historical contexts. Second, it illustrates the importance of focusing on the political aims and effects of CSR. Third, by showing how CSR practices are used to stymie evidence-based government regulation, the article underlines the importance of highlighting and developing matrices to assess the negative social impacts of CSR. (shrink)
The comprehension principle of set theory asserts that a set can be formed from the objects satisfying any given property. The principle leads to immediate contradictions if it is formalized as an axiom scheme within classical first order logic. A resolution of the set paradoxes results if the principle is formalized instead as two rules of deduction in a natural deduction presentation of logic. This presentation of the comprehension principle for sets as semantic rules, instead of as a comprehension axiom (...) scheme, can be viewed as an extension of classical logic, in contrast to the assertion of extra-logical axioms expressing truths about a pre-existing or constructed universe of sets. The paradoxes are disarmed in the extended classical semantics because truth values are only assigned to those sentences that can be grounded in atomic sentences. (shrink)
In learning mathematics, children must master fundamental logical relationships, including the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. At the start of elementary school, children lack generalized understanding of this relationship in the context of exact arithmetic problems: they fail to judge, for example, that 12 + 9 - 9 yields 12. Here, we investigate whether preschool children’s approximate number knowledge nevertheless supports understanding of this relationship. Five-year-old children were more accurate on approximate large-number arithmetic problems that involved an inverse transformation (...) than those that did not, when problems were presented in either non-symbolic or symbolic form. In contrast they showed no advantage for problems involving an inverse transformation when exact arithmetic was involved. Prior to formal schooling, children therefore show generalized understanding of at least one logical principle of arithmetic. The teaching of mathematics may be enhanced by building on this understanding. (shrink)
Speaks defends the view that propositions are properties: for example, the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks's theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic relations. This style of argument has recently been deployed by many, including Moore and King, against the view that propositions are n-tuples, and by Caplan and Tillman against King's view that propositions are facts (...) of a special sort. We offer our argument as an objection to the view that propositions are unsaturated relations. (shrink)
In this acclaimed work, first published in 1986, world-renowned scholar Arthur C. Danto explored the inextricably linked but often misunderstood relationship between art and philosophy. In light of the book's impact -- especially the essay "The End of Art," which dramatically announced that art ended in the 1960s -- this enhanced edition includes a foreword by Jonathan Gilmore that discusses how scholarship has changed in response to it. Complete with a new bibliography of work on and influenced by Danto's (...) ideas, _The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art_ continues to be of interest to anyone who thinks seriously about art, as well as to philosophers, aestheticians, and art historians. (shrink)
Nonsymbolic comparison tasks are commonly used to index the acuity of an individual's Approximate Number System (ANS), a cognitive mechanism believed to be involved in the development of number skills. Here we asked whether the time that an individual spends observing numerical stimuli influences the precision of the resultant ANS representations. Contrary to standard computational models of the ANS, we found that the longer the stimulus was displayed, the more precise was the resultant representation. We propose an adaptation of the (...) standard model, and suggest that this finding has significant methodological implications for numerical cognition research. (shrink)
It is argued that preparation of a quantum state characterized by density operator ρ not commuting with a superselection operatorQ does not by itself constitute an instance of superselection rule violation. It would, however, be an instance of state restriction violation. It is held that superselection rule violation is only possible with simultaneous observable and state restriction violations. It is shown that it is a priori conceivable to subdivide an ensemble whose ρ satisfies[ρ, Q] = 0 into subensembles whose density (...) operators violate the state restrictions. The dynamics of the subdivision process is not considered. (shrink)
Gilmore proposes a new definition of ‘dead’ in response to Fred Feldman’s earlier definition in terms of ‘lives’ and ‘dies.’ In this paper, I critically examine Gilmore’s new definition. First, I explain what his definition is and how it is an improvement upon Feldman’s definition. Second, I raise an objection to it by noting that it fails to rule out the possibility of a thing that dies without becoming dead.