There have been and continue to be disagreements about how to consider the traditional square of opposition and the traditional inferences of obversion, conversion, contraposition and inversion from the perspective of contemporary quantificational logic. Philosophers have made many different attempts to save traditional inferences that are invalid when they involve empty classes. I survey some of these attempts and argue that the only satisfactory way of saving all the traditional inferences is to make the existential assumption that both the subject (...) and predicate classes and their complement classes are non-empty for all the propositions we admit. I briefly indicate the room for continued controversy over how properly to interpret Aristotle?s statements regarding these inferences, but find some plausibility in the views of Manley Thompson and A.N.Prior that Aristotle had in mind a particular arrangement of existential import unfamiliar to most contemporary logicians. (shrink)
Many theorists of explanation from Hempel onward have worked with the explicit or implicit assumption that considerations of the subjective sense of understanding should be kept out of the formulation of a proper theory of explanation. They claim that genuine understanding of an event comes only from being in an appropriate cognitive relation to the true explanation of that event. I argue that considerations of the subjective sense of understanding cannot be completely removed from the process of formulating and justifying (...) an acceptable theory of explanation. Although understanding is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for an explanation, understanding is necessary as an initial guide to the nature of explanation. The widespread method of providing counterexamples for criticizing theories of explanation presupposes that there is a neutral method of identifying at least some clear cases of explanation and some clear cases of non-explanations. I argue that the only plausible method to fill this role relies essentially on the subjective sense of understanding. Objective validation of judgments about explanatoriness comes only through a complex process of social correction of our initial intuitive judgments regarding explanation. (shrink)
The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction explains the main ideas and problems of contemporary epistemology while avoiding technical detail. Comprehensive and rich in illustrations and examples, it highlights contemporary debates over the definition, sources, and limits of human knowledge, and covers major topics including the nature of belief, theories of truth, epistemic justification, the Gettier problem, skepticism, and epistemic rationality. Its discussions identify important connections between traditional epistemological questions and cognitive science, the history of science, the sociology of knowledge, (...) and cross-cultural studies. The book culminates with a focus on questions regarding epistemological method and an examination of the roots of contemporary analytic approaches to epistemology. The authors defend a distinctive position regarding epistemological method, called broad explanationism, that incorporates some insights from naturalism in epistemology. The volume is enhanced by a glossary of important epistemological terms and suggestions for further reading. Easily accessible to beginning students in philosophy, The Theory of Knowledge serves as an ideal text for courses in the theory of knowledge and will also appeal to general readers interested in philosophy. (shrink)
This paper sought to test whether student demographics (gender, age, religion, type of degree and number of courses done containing ethics) influenced the likelihood of engaging in unethical business practices. The study involved the use of a questionnaire being administered to a sample of 231 undergraduate students in Barbados. It was found that gender, religiousness, type of degree and number of courses taken containing ethics significantly impacted on the intentions to engage in unethical behaviour. It was also found that the (...) impact of age was not conclusive. The study has several limitations including low generalisability due to the use of a non-probability sampling method, and the possibility of social desirability bias. The study informs educators about the need to integrate ethics into the curriculum as an essential component of professional training for future managers and business people. This study makes an important contribution to the ethics literature on small island developing states, since the study was done in the country of Barbados. (shrink)
Paper begins: Chapter 4 of Hud Hudson’s stimulating book The metaphysics of hyperspace contains an discussion of the notion of location in a container spacetime. Hudson uses this idea to define a number of what we might call modes of extension or ways of being extended. A pertended object is what most people think of as a typical extended object — it is made up of spatial parts, one part for each region the object pervades. An entended object (...) is an extended simple (or a complex object made up of extended simples). Elsewhere, I’ve argued that entended objects are conceptually possible; that nothing about the concept of “extended” rules out entention. (More about how this argument works below). Hudson thinks that I did not go far enough. Besides pertended and entended objects, he also sees conceptual room for what he calls spanners and multiply located objects. These last two ways of being extended are even more exotic than extended simples. …. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to analyze and criticize, both positively and negatively. Whitehead's concept of progress. Whitehead's progressive cosmology is critically examined, as is the relationship between technology and moral progress. The fragility of progress is emphasized.
The healthcare systems of the United States and United Kingdom are vastly different. The former relies primarily on private sector incentives and market forces to allocate medical care services, while the latter is a centrally planned system funded almost entirely by the public sector. Therefore, each nation represents divergent views on the relative efficacy of the market or government in achieving social objectives in the area of medical care policy. Since its inception in 1948, the National Health Services of the (...) United Kingdom has consistently emphasized equity in the allocation of medical services. It has done so by creating a system whereby services are universally free of charge at the point of entry. Conversely, the United States has relied upon the evolution of a perplexing array of public and private sector insurance schemes centered more around consumer choice than equity in allocation. (shrink)
The brain adapts to changes that take place in the body. Deprivation of input results in size reduction of cortical representations, whereas an increase in input results in an increase of representational space. Amputation forms one of the most dramatic disturbances of the integrity of the body. The brain adapts in many ways to this breakdown of the afferent–efferent equilibrium. However, almost all studies focus on the sensorimotor consequences. It is not known whether adaptation takes place also at other “levels” (...) in the system. The present study addresses the question whether amputees dream about their intact body, as before the amputation, or about the body after the amputation and whether the dream content was a function of time since the amputation and type of amputation. The results show that the majority of the dreamers reported dreams about their intact body although the mean time that elapsed since the amputation was twelve years. There is no clear relation with the type of amputation. The results give modest evidence for the existence of a basic neural representation of the body that is, at least, partly genetically determined and by this relatively insensitive for changes in the sensory input. (shrink)
Modern logicians have sought to unlock the modal secrets of Aristotle's Syllogistic by assuming a version of essentialism and treating it as a primitive within the semantics. These attempts ultimately distort Aristotle's ontology. None of these approaches make full use of tests found throughout Aristotle's corpus and ancient Greek philosophy. I base a system on Aristotle's tests for things that can never combine (polarity) and things that can never separate (inseparability). The resulting system not only reproduces Aristotle's recorded results for (...) the apodictic syllogistic in the Prior Analytics but it also generates rather than assumes Aristotle's distinctions among 'necessary', 'essential' and 'accidental'. By developing a system around tests that are in Aristotle and basic to ancient Greek philosophy, the system is linked to a history of practices, providing a platform for future work on the origins of logic. (shrink)
Nearly 90 percent of the earth's land surface is directly affected by human infrastructure and activities, yet less than 5 percent is legally "protected" for biodiversity conservation--and even most large protected areas have people living inside their boundaries. In all but a small fraction of the earth's land area, then, conservation and people must coexist. Conservation is a resource for all those who aim to reconcile biodiversity with human livelihoods. It traces the historical roots of modern conservation thought and practice, (...) and explores current perspectives from evolutionary and community ecology, conservation biology, anthropology, political ecology, economics, and policy. The authors examine a suite of conservation strategies and perspectives from around the world, highlighting the most innovative and promising avenues for future efforts. Exploring, highlighting, and bridging gaps between the social and natural sciences as applied in the practice of conservation, this book provides a broad, practically oriented view. It is essential reading for anyone involved in the conservation process--from academic conservation biology to the management of protected areas, rural livelihood development to poverty alleviation, and from community-based natural resource management to national and global policymaking. (shrink)
At the beginning of his book, Principles of Christian Theology, John Macquarrie says that theology ‘implicitly claims to have its place in the total intellectual endeavour of mankind’. The question I want to discuss is this: in what terms, if any, can that claim be justified?
In this paper I defend the view that not only does Fear and Trembling espouse the teleological suspension of the ethical as a radical suspension and even possible violation of otherwise ethical duties, but also that Kierkegaard himself espouses it and carries the belief through his entire authorship. A brief analysis of Religiousness A suggests that Climacus made a dialectical error in Concluding Unscientific Postscript. This error is corrected by Anti-Climacus and Kierkegaard's own journals, and the correction makes possible a (...) full-blooded affirmation of the teleological suspension where Climacus failed. This reaffirmation can explain the shift from Climacus to Anti-Climacus on the topic of hidden inwardness as well as the shift from Climacus to Kierkegaard on the topic of religious suffering. It can also provide a legitimate Kierkegaardian alterative to positing a stage Merold Westphal (and not Kierkegaard) has termed Religiousness C. What we are left with is an uncompromisingly radical religious dialectic that gives every appearance of being exactly what Kierkegaard intended. (shrink)
What connexion is there between factual statements concerning God or man and moral judgments? That is the question which occasions this paper. Not long ago moral philosophers were wont to say that there is a logical gap between the two sorts of utterance to which I have just referred: that nothing follows in terms of moral value from a statement of fact, no ‘ought’ from any ‘is’. They recognised only one restriction on what may be said in terms of ‘ought’ (...) by what has been said in terms of ‘is’, namely that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. It is manifest nonsense to say that anyone ought to do what he cannot do. But, this apart, they thought it possible without contradiction or anomaly to hold any conceivable factual belief and at the same time subscribe to any conceivable moral judgment. They would have held that it makes perfectly good sense to say, for example, ‘This is God’s will but it ought not to be done’ or ‘Men are not pigs but a good man will live like a pig’. Bizarre such judgments may be, they would have said, but nonsensical they are not. They conceived it to be their main business, as moral philosophers, to erect warning notices along the edge of the is-ought gap so that contemporary moralists would not fall headlong into it as so many of their predecessors, in less enlightened ages, had done. (shrink)
I want to put forward a certain view of the logical foundation of religious belief. It is, in a sentence, the view that religious belief is constituted by the concept of god. This view will be discussed under three headings. First, I shall explain as clearly as I can what I mean by it. Secondly, I shall indicate what seem to me to be interesting parallels, both with regard to universes of discourse in general and to religious belief in particular, (...) between my idea of a constitutive concept and Wittgenstein's ideas of a fundamental proposition and a religious ‘picture’. Thirdly, I shall try to substantiate the view I take of the logical foundation of religious belief by rebutting three conceivable objections to it: namely, that it rests on an illegitimate craving for generality, that it is at variance with common usage, and that it consigns religious belief to an intellectual ghetto. (shrink)
This review discussion outlines Justin Barrett’s Preparedness Model. This evolutionary model for belief in God is shown to posit a maladaptive mind for infants. Questions about its implications and the supporting data are considered.
This article is an exploration of the problem of identity in Whitehead. Both the Platonic and the nominalistic tendencies in Whitehead are analyzed. His theory of eternal objects is criticized and a process view of identity based on tropes is defended.
In this article, I argue for the redundancy of Whitehead’s Platonic notion of the extensive continuum, counterposing it to his related notion of an atomic “ether of events.” I argue that Whitehead’s atomic ether is more compatible with orthodox general relativity than generally supposed and remarkably close to the contemporary idea of a discrete manifold in the causal set theory of quantum gravity. I argue that the method of extensive abstraction complements Whitehead’s atomic hypothesis by demonstrating the ultimately fictive nature (...) of any continuum. (shrink)
Applications of sexual selection theory to humans lead us to expect that because of mammalian sex differences in obligate parental investment there will be gender differences in fitness variances, and males will benefit more than females from multiple mates. Recent theoretical work in behavioral ecology suggests reality is more complex. In this paper, focused on humans, predictions are derived from conventional parental investment theory regarding expected outcomes associated with serial monogamy and are tested with new data from a postreproductive cohort (...) of men and women in a primarily horticultural population in western Tanzania (Pimbwe). Several predictions derived from the view that serial monogamy is a reproductive strategy from which males benefit are not supported. Furthermore, Pimbwe women are the primary beneficiaries of multiple marriages. The implications for applications of sexual selection theory to humans are discussed, in particular the fact that in some populations women lead sexual and reproductive lives that are very different from those derived from a simple Bateman-Trivers model. (shrink)
Libertarian free will is, roughly, the view that agents cause actions to occur or not occur: Maddy’s decision to get a beer causes her to get up off her comfortable couch to get a beer, though she almost chose not to get up. Libertarian free will notoriously faces the luck objection, according to which agential states do not determine whether an action occurs or not, so it is beyond the control of the agent, hence lucky, whether an action occurs or (...) not: Maddy’s reasons for getting beer in equipoise with her reasons to remain in her comfortable seat do not determine that she will get up or stay seated, so it seems beyond her control, hence lucky, that she gets up. In this paper I consider a sub-set of the luck objection called the Physical Indeterminism Luck Objection, according to which indeterministic physical processes cause actions to occur or not, and agent’s lack control over these indeterministic physical processes, so agent’s lack control over, hence it is lucky, whether action occurs or not. After motivating the physical indeterminism luck objection, I consider responses from three recent event-causal libertarian models, and conclude that they fail to overcome the problem, though one promising avenue is opened up. (shrink)
I recently argued that reductive physicalist versions of libertarian free will face a physical indeterminism luck objection. John Lemos claims that one potential advocate of reductive physicalist libertarianism, Robert Kane, avoids this physical indeterminism luck objection. I here show how the problem remains.
Civil Dialogue on Abortion provides a cutting-edge discussion between two philosophy scholars on each side of the abortion debate. Bertha Alvarez Manninen argues for her pro-choice view, but also urges respect for the life of the fetus, while Jack Mulder argues for his pro-life view, but recognizes that for the pro-life movement to be consistent, it must urge society to care more for the vulnerable. Coming together to discuss their views, but also to seek common ground, the two authors (...) show how their differing positions nevertheless rest upon some common convictions. The book helps to provide a way forward for a divide that has only seemed to widen the aisle of public discourse in recent years. This engaging book will prove essential reading for students across multiple disciplines, including applied ethics, medical ethics, and bioethics, but will also be of interest to students of religious studies and women's studies. (shrink)
Libertarian free will is, roughly, the view that the same agential states can cause different possible actions. Nonreductive physicalism is, roughly, the view that mental states cause actions to occur, while these actions also have sufficient physical causes. Though libertarian free will and nonreductive physicalism have overlapping subject matter, and while libertarian free will is currently trending at the same time as nonreductive physicalism is a dominant metaphysical posture, there are few sustained expositions of a nonreductive physicalist model of libertarian (...) free will – indeed some tell against such an admixture. This paper concocts such a blend by articulating and defending, with some caveats, a nonreductive physicalist model of libertarian free will. (shrink)
Vaccination can protect vaccinated individuals and often also prevent them from spreading disease to other people. This opens up the possibility of getting vaccinated for the sake of others. In fact, altruistic vaccination has recently been conceptualized as a kind of vaccination that is undertaken primary for the benefit of others. In order to better understand the potential role of altruistic motives in people’s vaccination decisions, we conducted two focus group studies with a total of 37 participants. Study 1 included (...) three focus groups on the subject of HPV vaccination for boys. Study 2 included three focus groups on the subject of pertussis and measles vaccination for childcare workers. We found substantial evidence of other-regarding motives across all focus groups, which suggests that altruistic motives could be an important factor when it comes to people’s vaccination decisions. We address the significance of these findings for vaccination policy surrounding HPV vaccination for boys and vaccination for childcare workers. We also extend the findings to normative work on vaccination for the sake of others more generally. (shrink)
Brain–Computer Interface technology is a promising research area in many domains. Brain activity can be interpreted through both invasive and non-invasive monitoring devices, allowing for novel, therapeutic solutions for individuals with disabilities and for other non-medical applications. However, a number of ethical issues have been identified from the use of BCI technology. In this paper, we review the academic discussion of the ethical implications of BCI technology in the last five years. We conclude that some emerging applications of BCI technology—including (...) commercial ventures that seek to meld human intelligence with AI—present new and unique ethical concerns. Further, we seek to understand how academic literature on the topic of BCIs addresses these novel concerns. Similar to prior work, we use a limited sample to identify trends and areas of concern or debate among researchers and ethicists. From our analysis, we identify two key areas of BCI ethics that warrant further research: the physical and psychological effects of BCI technology. Additionally, questions of BCI policy have not yet become a frequent point of discussion in the relevant literature on BCI ethics, and we argue this should be addressed in future work. We provide guiding questions that will help ethicists and policy makers grapple with the most important issues associated with BCI technology. (shrink)
Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these autonomist models fail on account (...) of the problem of Edwards’s Dictum. However, I appeal to foundational principles of action theory to resuscitate mental-to-mental causation in a manner that is consistent with the models of causation endorsed by these autonomists. (shrink)