In this Introduction we introduce the central themes of the Evaluative Perception volume. After identifying historical and recent contemporary work on this topic, we discuss some central questions under three headings: (1) Questions about the Existence and Nature of Evaluative Perception: Are there perceptual experiences of values? If so, what is their nature? Are experiences of values sui generis? Are values necessary for certain kinds of experience? (2) Questions about the Epistemology of Evaluative Perception: Can evaluative (...) experiences ever justify evaluative judgments? Are experiences of values necessary for certain kinds of justified evaluative judgments? (3) Questions about Value Theory and Evaluative Perception: Is the existence of evaluative experience supported or undermined by particular views in value theory? Are particular views in value theory supported or undermined by the existence of value experience? (shrink)
It is widely believed that a conservative moral outlook is opposed to biomedical forms of human enhancement. In this paper, I argue that this widespread belief is incorrect. Using Cohen’s evaluative conservatism as my starting point, I argue that there are strong conservative reasons to prioritise the development of biomedical enhancements. In particular, I suggest that biomedical enhancement may be essential if we are to maintain our current evaluative equilibrium (i.e. the set of values that undergird and permeate (...) our current political, economic, and personal lives) against the threats to that equilibrium posed by external, non-biomedical forms of enhancement. I defend this view against modest conservatives who insist that biomedical enhancements pose a greater risk to our current evaluative equilibrium, and against those who see no principled distinction between the forms of human enhancement. (shrink)
Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) conceptually entail (...)evaluative contents. The Semantic View has a number of outspoken critics, but I shall limit discussion to the most recent--Pekka Väyrynen--who believes that objectionable thick concepts present a problem for the Semantic View. After advancing my positive argument in favor of the Semantic View (section II), I argue that Väyrynen’s attack is unsuccessful (section III). One reason ethicists cite for not focusing on thick concepts is that such concepts are supposedly not semantically evaluative whereas traditional thin concepts (e.g. good and wrong) are. But if my view is correct, then this reason must be rejected. (shrink)
It is generally accepted that there are two kinds of normative concepts : evaluative concepts, such as good, and deontic concepts, such as ought. The question that is raised by this distinction is how it is possible to claim that evaluative concepts are normative. Given that deontic concepts appear to be at the heart of normativity, the bigger the gap between evaluative and deontic concepts, the less it appears plausible to say that evaluative concepts are normative. (...) After having presented the main differences between evaluative and deontic concepts, and shown that there is more than a superficial difference between the two kinds, the paper turns to the question of the normativity of evaluative concepts. It will become clear that, even if these concepts have different functions, there are a great many ties between evaluative concepts, on the one hand, and the concepts of ought and of reason, on the other. (shrink)
A recent quarrel over faultless disagreements assumes that disputes over evaluative sentences should be understood as regular, factual disagreements. Instead, I propose that evaluative disagreements should be understood in Lewisian terms. Language use works like a rule-governed game. In it, the assertion of an evaluative sentence is an attempt to establish one value as default in the conversation; its rejection, in turn, is in most cases the refusal to accept this move.
Following Shelly Kagan’s useful terminology, foundational consequentialists are those who hold that the ranking of outcomes is at the foundation of all moral assessment. That is, they hold that moral assessments of right and wrong, virtuous and vicious, morally good and morally bad, etc. are all ultimately a function of how outcomes rank. But foundational consequentialists disagree on what is to be directly evaluated in terms of the ranking of outcomes, which is to say that they disagree on what the (...) primary evaluative focal point is. Act-consequentialists take acts to be the primary evaluative focal point. They evaluate acts in terms of how their outcomes rank (the higher ranked the outcome, the morally better the act), but evaluate everything else in terms of the morally best acts. Thus, the morally best rules are those that would, if internalized, most reliably lead us to perform the morally best acts. Rule-consequentialists, by contrast, take rules to be the primary evaluative focal point. They evaluate rules according to how their outcomes rank and then assess everything else in terms of the morally best rules. Thus, the morally best acts are those that conform to the morally best rules. In this paper, I argue that foundational consequentialists should not take the primary evaluative focal point (or points) to be acts, rules, virtues, or even everything. In so doing, I argue against act-consequentialism, rule-consequentialism, and global consequentialism. But my project is not entirely negative, for I argue that the primary evaluative focal point should be a complex of acts and attitudes. In the end, then, I claim that foundational consequentialists should accept a new kind of consequentialism, which I call attitude-consequentialism. (shrink)
What account of evaluative expressions, such as ‘is beautiful’, ‘is generous’ or ‘is good’, should a Fregean adopt? Given Frege’s claim that predicates can have both a sense and a reference in addition to their extension, an interesting range of only partially explored theoretical possibilities opens to Frege and his followers. My intention here is to briefly present these putative possibilities and explore one of them, namely David Wiggins’ claim that evaluative predicates refer to non-natural concepts and have (...) a sense which is sentiment-involving. In order to defend this claim against objections which aim at showing that evaluative concepts do not really exist, I shall suggest that our awareness of evaluative concepts involves affective (or emotive) states. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Are there justified emotions? Can they justify evaluative judgements? We first explain the need for an account of justified emotions by emphasizing that emotions are states for which we have or lack reasons. We then observe that emotions are explained by their cognitive and motivational bases. Considering cognitive bases first, we argue that an emotion is justified if and only if the properties the subject is aware of constitute an instance of the relevant evaluative property. We then (...) investigate the roles of motivational bases. Finally, we argue that justified emotions are sufficient for justified evaluative judgements. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a characterization of evaluative realism, present the intuitive case against it, and offer two considerations to support it further: one concerning the internalist connection between values and motivation, and the other concerning the intuitive causal inefficacy of evaluative properties. The considerations ultimately rely on the former intuitions themselves, but are not devoid of interest, as they might make one revise what one took to be his own realistic supporting intuitions, if such one had.
In this paper I offer a characterization of evaluative realism, present the intuitive case against it, and offer two considerations to support it further: one concerning the internalist connection between values and motivation, and the other concerning the intuitibve causal inefficacy of evaluative properties. The considerations ultimately rely on the former intuitions themselves, but are not devoid of interest, as they might make one revise what one took to be his own realistic supporting intuitions, if such one had.
Outside of philosophy, ‘intuition’ means something like ‘knowing without knowing how you know’. Intuition in this broad sense is an important epistemological category. I distinguish intuition from perception and perception from perceptual experience, in order to discuss the distinctive psychological and epistemological status of evaluative property attributions. Although it is doubtful that we perceptually experience many evaluative properties and also somewhat unlikely that we perceive many evaluative properties, it is highly plausible that we intuit many instances of (...)evaluative properties as such. The resulting epistemological status of evaluative property attributions is very much like it would be if we literally perceived such properties. (shrink)
In this paper, Wittgenstein's philosophical approach and remarks are used to highlight features of pride that are not represented in contemporary psychological theories. Wittgenstein's scattered philosophical and autobiographical remarks on pride are arranged in order to engage with aspects of pride (e.g., as a self-conscious emotion) that can appear to have only empirical answers. Important themes to emerge in the resulting surview include the temptation to talk of pride as having or being a structure, the role of personal context in (...) understanding intense emotions, the difficulty of finding a referent for proud feelings, choices of words to convey or capture feelings, the possibility of further descriptions of one's inner experiences, bodily and immediate features of the experience of pride, and the need to reconcile occasional immediate bodily and behavioural manifestations of pride with the popular view of pride as a “thoughtful” emotion. The results suggest that new perspectives can emerge through assembling reminders of the everyday use of a concept and engaging with existing research. (shrink)
In constructing semantic theories of normative and evaluative terms, philosophers have commonly deployed a certain type of disagreement -based argument. The premise of the argument observes the possibility of genuine disagreement between users of a certain normative or evaluative term, while the conclusion of the argument is that, however differently those speakers employ the term, they must mean the same thing by it. After all, if they did not, then they would not really disagree. We argue that in (...) many of the cases in which this argument is deployed, the conclusion not only fails to follow from the premises, but is very likely false. Disagreements between speakers who do not mean the same things by their words are common, genuine, and not easily distinguished from ordinary disagreements over the truth of literally expressed content. We make this case by developing the notion of a metalinguistic negotiation, an exchange in which speakers tacitly negotiate the proper deployment of some linguistic expression in a context. Metalinguistic negotiations express disagreements over information that is conveyed pragmatically and about what concepts should be deployed in the context at hand. We argue that neither of these features poses any obstacle to metalinguistic negotiations serving to express genuine, substantive disagreements that can be well worth engaging in. Contrary to what has been widely assumed in the literature, many normative and evaluative disputes—among ordinary speakers and even among philosophers themselves—may be of exactly this type, a conclusion with important consequences for both the subject matter and the methodology of metanormative theory. (shrink)
Ethical thought is articulated around normative concepts. Standard examples of normative concepts are good, reason, right, ought, and obligatory. Theorists often treat the normative as an undifferentiated domain. Even so, it is common to distinguish between two kinds of normative concepts: evaluative or axiological concepts, such as good, and deontic concepts, such as ought. This encyclopedia entry discusses the many differences between the two kinds of concepts.
The phenomenology of emotions has traditionally been understood in terms of bodily sensations they involve. This is a mistake. We should instead understand their phenomenology in terms of their distinctively evaluative intentionality. Emotions are essentially affective modes of response to the ways our circumstances come to matter to us, and so they are ways of being pleased or pained by those circumstances. Making sense of the intentionality and phenomenology of emotions in this way requires rejecting traditional understandings of intentionality (...) and so coming to see emotions as a distinctive and irreducible class of mental states lying at the intersection of intentionality, phenomenology, and motivation. (shrink)
The current use of citation-based metrics to evaluate the research output of individual researchers is highly discriminatory because they are uniformly applied to authors of single-author articles as well as contributors of multi-author papers. In the latter case, these quantitative measures are counted, as if each contributor were the single author of the full article. In this way, each and every contributor is assigned the full impact-factor score and all the citations that the article has received. This has a multiplication (...) effect on each contributor's citation-based evaluative metrics of multi-author articles, because the more contributors an article has, the more undeserved credit is assigned to each of them. In this paper, I argue that this unfair system could be made fairer by requesting the contributors of multi-author articles to describe the nature of their contribution, and to assign a numerical value to their degree of relative contribution. In this way, we could create a contribution-specific index of each contributor for each citation metric. This would be a strong disincentive against honorary authorship and publication cartels, because it would transform the current win-win strategy of accepting honorary authors in the byline into a zero-sum game for each contributor. (shrink)
There is good evidence that, in general, autonomic conditioning in humans occurs only when subjects can verbalize the contingencies of conditioning. However, one form of conditioning, evaluative conditioning (EC), seems exceptional in that a growing body of evidence suggests that it can occur without conscious contingency awareness. As such, EC offers a unique insight into what role contingency awareness might play in associative learning. Despite this evidence, there are reasons to doubt that evaluative conditioning can occur without conscious (...) awareness. This paper aims to critically review the EC literature and to draw some parallels to what is known about autonomic conditioning. In doing so, some important general issues about measuring contingency awareness are raised. These issues are illustrated with a brief report of an experiment in which a sensitive measure of contingency awareness is compared against a commonly used measure. (shrink)
Following Meinong, many philosophers have been attracted by the view that emotions have intrinsically evaluative correctness conditions. On one version of this view, emotions have evaluative contents. On another version, emotions are evaluative attitudes; they are evaluative at the level of intentional mode rather than content. We raise objections against the latter version, showing that the only two ways of implementing it are hopeless. Either emotions are manifestly evaluative or they are not. In the former (...) case, the Attitudinal View threatens to collapse into the Perception View or any other view according to which emotions are evaluative at the level of content. In the latter case, the Attitudinal View does not stand up to an obvious alternative, namely that emotions can only be assessed with respect to extrinsic norms or conditions of correctness. (shrink)
This article examines the evaluative nature of the folk concepts of weakness and strength of will and hypothesizes that their evaluative nature is strongly connected to the folk concepts of blame and credit. We probed how people apply the concepts of weakness and strength of will to prototypical and non-prototypical scenarios. While regarding prototypical scenarios the great majority applied these concepts according to the predictions following from traditional philosophical analyses. When presented with non-prototypical scenarios, people were divided. Some, (...) against traditional analyses, did not apply these concepts, which we explain in terms of a clash of evaluations involving different sorts of blame and credit. Others applied them according to traditional analyses, which we explain in terms of a disposition to be reflective and clearly set apart the different sorts of blame and credit involved. Still others applied them in an inverse way, seemingly bypassing the traditional components resolution and be.. (shrink)
A fiction may prescribe imagining that a pig can talk or tell the future. A fiction may prescribe imagining that torturing innocent persons is a good thing. We generally comply with imaginative prescriptions like the former, but not always with prescriptions like the latter: we imagine non-evaluative fictions without difficulty but sometimes resist imagining value-rich fictions. Thus arises the puzzle of imaginative resistance. Most analyses of the phenomenon focus on the content of the relevant imaginings. The present analysis focuses (...) instead on the character of certain kinds of imaginings, arguing that we resist in such cases given the rich evaluative character of the imaginings prescribed, and the agent-dependent constraints on imagining in such ways. (shrink)
This paper presents a new solution to the problems for orthodox decision theory posed by the Pasadena game and its relatives. I argue that a key question raised by consideration of these gambles is whether evaluative compositionality (as I term it) is a requirement of rationality: is the value that an ideally rational agent places on a gamble determined by the values that she places on its possible outcomes, together with their mode of composition into the gamble (i.e. the (...) probabilities assigned to them)? The paper first outlines a certain simple response to the Pasadena game and identifies two problems with this response, the second of which is that it leads to a wholesale violation of evaluative compositionality. I then argue that rationality does not require decision makers to factor in outcomes of arbitrarily low probability. A method for making decisions which flows from this basic idea is then developed, and it is shown that this decision method (Truncation) leads to a limited — as opposed to wholesale — violation of evaluative compositionality. The paper then argues that the truncation method yields solutions to the problems posed by the Pasadena game and its relatives that are both attractive in themselves and superior to those yielded by alternative proposals in the literature. (shrink)
The literature of bioethics suffers from two serious problems. (1) Most authors are unable to take seriously both the rights of the great apes and of severely disabled human infants. Rationalism—moral status rests on rational capacities—wrongly assigns a higher moral status to the great apes than to all severely disabled human infants with less rational capacities than the great apes. Anthropocentrism—moral status depends on membership in the human species—falsely grants all humans a higher moral status than the great apes. Animalism—moral (...) status is dependent on the ability to suffer—mistakenly equates the moral status of humans and most animals. (2) The concept person is widely used for justificatory purposes, but it seems that it cannot play such a role. It seems that it is either redundant or unable to play any justificatory role. I argue that we can solve the second problem by understanding person as a thick evaluative concept. This then enables us to justify assigning a higher moral status to the great apes than to simple animals: the great apes are persons. To solve the first problem, I argue that certain severely disabled infants have a higher moral status than the great apes because they are dependent upon human relationships for their well-being. Only very limited abilities are required for such relationships, and the question who is capable of them must be based on thick evaluative concepts. Thus, it turns out that to make progress in bioethics we must assign thick evaluative concepts a central role. (shrink)
Three experiments are reported that address the issue of awareness in evaluative learning in two different sensory modalities: visual and haptic. Attempts were made to manipulate the degree of awareness through a reduction technique (by use of a distractor task in Experiments 1 and 2 and by subliminally presenting affective stimuli in Experiment 3) and an induction technique (by unveiling the evaluative learning effect and requiring participants to try to discount the influence of the affective stimuli). The results (...) indicate overall that evaluative learning was successful in the awareness-reduction groups but not in the awareness-induction groups. Moreover, an effect in the opposite direction to that normally observed in evaluative learning emerged in participants aware of the stimulus contingencies. In addition, individual differences in psychological reactance were found to be implicated in the strength and direction of the effect. It is argued that these results pose serious problems for the contention that awareness is necessary for evaluative learning. (shrink)
We respond to Conor McHugh's claim that an evaluative account of the normative relation between belief and truth is preferable to a prescriptive account. We claim that his arguments fail to establish this. We then draw a more general sceptical conclusion: we take our arguments to put pressure on any attempt to show that an evaluative account will fare better than a prescriptive account. We briefly express scepticism about whether McHugh's more recent ‘fitting attitude’ account fares better.
Rutherford and Lindell (2011) review an extensive literature on lateralization of emotion. As they note, an important issue surrounding this question is the nature of emotion, which bears on what, precisely, is lateralized. The present comments are intended to broaden the context of the review, by considering lateralization from the standpoint of a bivariate model of evaluative processes and a neuroevolutionary perspective.
In this paper I look at attempts to develop forms of consequentialism which do not have a feature considered problematic in Direct Consequentialist theories (that is, those consequentialist theories that apply the criterion of rightness directly in the evaluation of any set of options). The problematic feature in question (which I refer to as ‘evaluative conflict’) is the possibility that, for example, a right motive might lead an agent to perform a wrong act. Theories aiming to avoid this phenomenon (...) must argue that causal relationship entails motives and acts (for example) having the same moral status. I argue that attempts to ensure such ‘evaluative consistency’ are themselves deeply problematic, and that we must therefore accept evaluative conflict. (shrink)
Evaluative learning refers to the change in the affective evaluation of a previously neutral stimulus that occurs after the stimulus has been associated with a second, positive or negative, affective stimulus . Four experiments are reported in which the AS was presented very briefly. Significant evaluative learning was observed in participants who did not notice the presentation of the affective stimuli or could not discriminate between the briefly presented positive and negative ASi when asked to do so . (...) In two other experiments , no significant learning effect was obtained. A meta-analysis performed on the present and previously reported results gave evidence for a small, though statistically reliable evaluative learning effect when ASi are presented “subliminally.” This finding supports the hypothesis that evaluative associations can be learned implicitly. (shrink)
In her commentary of Field (1999), Hammerl (1999) has drawn attention to several interesting points concerning the issue of contingency awareness in evaluative conditioning. First, she comments on several contentious issues arising from Field's review of the evaluative conditioning literature, second she critiques the data from his pilot study and finally she argues the case that EC is a distinct form of conditioning that can occur in the absence of contingency awareness. With reference to these criticisms, this reply (...) attempts to address Hammerl's comments by exploring the issues of how awareness is defined, how it is best measured, and whether it is reasonable to believe that EC uniformly occurs in the absence of contingency awareness. The article concludes that the available evidence supports Field's proposition that EC is, in fact, Pavlovian learning. (shrink)
The present ERP study investigated effects of subliminal emotional words on preference judgments about subsequent visual target stimuli . Each target was preceded by a masked 17-ms emotional adjective. Four classes of prime words were distinguished according to the combinations of positive/negative valence and high/low arousal. Targets were liked significantly more after positive-arousing primes , relative to negative-arousing , positive-nonarousing , and negative-nonarousing primes . In the target ERP, amplitude of right-hemisphere positive slow wave was increased after positive-arousing compared to (...) negative-arousing primes. Evaluative priming effects on judgments and ERPs were more pronounced in high state-anxious participants. The results suggest that there is indeed affective/semantic processing of unconscious words, evaluative priming operates relatively late during target processing, to be effective, prime words need to score high on the arousal dimension, and individual differences in state anxiety modulate the susceptibility to subliminal evaluative priming. (shrink)
In this article I address the tension between evaluative surveillance and privacy against the backdrop of the current explosion of information technology. More specifically, and after a brief analysis of privacy rights, I argue that knowledge of the different kinds ofsurveillance used at any given company should be made explicit to the employees. Moreover, there will be certain kinds of evaluativemonitoring that violate privacy rights and should not be used in most cases.
This paper assesses Michael Brady’s claim that the ‘capture and consumption of attention’ in an emotion facilitates evaluative understanding. It argues that emotional attention is epistemically deleterious on its own, even though it can be beneficial in conjunction with the right epistemic skills and motivations. The paper considers Sartre’s and Solomon’s claim that emotions have purposes, respectively, to circumvent difficulty or maximize self-esteem. While this appeal to purposes is problematic, it suggests a promising alternative conception of how emotions can (...) be teleological. The fact that emotional attention manifests dispositions, which have been habituated by repeated association with pleasure or relief, explains how the emotion can acquire the function of producing pleasure or relief. Hence, the emotion can have ‘non-cognitive function,’ in which its patterns of attention reliably produce beliefs that disregard or distort the truth. Not only is non-cognitive function the default condition of emotion prior to any training, but even those who have successfully trained their emotions often revert back to non-cognitive function when faced with trauma or stress. (shrink)
Linguistic evaluation has become an important area of inquiry in recent years. In the traditions of, e.g., lexical semantics, phraseology, corpus linguistics, and interactional linguistics, a large inventory of linguistic means have been identified by which speakers can express evaluative meanings. However, the class of German sentential idioms, e.g., Das kannst du dir in die Haare schmieren , has not gained much attention. This paper explores how the evaluative meaning of German sentential idioms is constructed syntactically, semantically, and (...) pragmatically. In particular, it is investigated how the meaning of these idioms interacts with the context in which they are used. A context model of evaluation is developed in which the cognitive category of cause plays a central role. The model is applied to contextualized examples, the findings supporting the hypothesis that cause is one of the core categories of evaluation. (shrink)
We argue that the effects of evaluative learning may occur (a) without conscious perception of the affective stimuli, (b) without awareness of the stimulus contingencies, and (c) without any awareness that learning has occurred at all. Whether the three experiments reported in our target article provide conclusive evidence for either or any of these assertions is discussed in the commentaries of De Houwer and Field. We respond with the argument that when considered alongside other studies carried out over the (...) past few decades, our experiments provide compelling evidence for a theory that posits a dissociation between evaluative learning and contingency awareness. (shrink)
Hobbes’s interpreters have struggled to find a plausible semantics for evaluative language in his writings. I argue that this search is misguided. Hobbes offers neither an account of the reference of evaluative terms nor a theory of the truth-conditions for evaluative statements. Rather, he sees evaluative language simply as having the non-representational function of prescribing actions and practical attitudes, its superficially representational appearance notwithstanding. I marshal the evidence for this prescriptivist reading of Hobbes on evaluative (...) language and show how it sidesteps various textual and philosophical problems that bedevil the traditional interpretations. (shrink)
We are really just at the beginning of analysing the connection between ethics, border management and migration policies. In this framework of the debate, I would like to propose a line of analysis centred, not so much what States do in the area of migration policies but rather theorize about the behaviour toward the demand for entry by people from other States. That is, how the States behave rather than what the States do in migration policies. This analysis implies entering (...) into the field of applied ethics and taking a contextual approach. The construction of an ethical framework for the evaluation of decision-making represents a justified task in the current context of migration policies in Europe, and can contribute to the incipient debate on the Ethics of migration.This article follows five sections. In the first section the debate on the Ethics of Migration especially that concerned with the normative debate on the control of borders is introduced. In the second section, the need for using an applied ethic for analysing migration policies is justified, and, in the third section, an "evaluative ethical framework" is finally proposed. In section four, this framework and the policy-maker's information resources are presented, and in section five, the resulting ethical approaches and orientations that follows are defended. Finally, in the concluding section, the article shows the different applications of the proposed framework, viable in both the area of public policy analysis and for empirical research. (shrink)
In this contribution the author develops an argumentation model for the reconstruction of weighing and balancing on the basis of teleological-evaluative considerations. The model is intended as a heuristic and critical tool for the rational reconstruction of the justification of judicial decisions. From the perspective of a rational discussion, it makes explicit the choices underlying the weighing and balancing on the basis of goals and values so that they can be made explicit and submitted to rational critique.
Fulcher and Hammerl's (2001) important exploration of the role of contingency awareness in evaluative conditioning (EC) raises a lot of issues for discussion: (1) what boundaries, if any, exist between EC and affective learning paradigms?; (2) if EC does occur without awareness does this mean it is nonpropositional learning?; (3) is EC driven by stimulus-response (S-R), rather than stimulus-stimulus (S-S), associations and if so should it then surprise us that contingency awareness is not important?; and (4) if S-R associations (...) are at the heart of EC, should we automatically assume EC is part of a different learning mechanism to autonomic Pavlovian conditioning (Field, 2000a, 2000b)? This article, after a critical review of Fulcher and Hammerl's work, discusses these issues with reference to what can be realistically inferred about the mechanisms underlying EC. (shrink)
The research explored the effect of teachers’ evaluative feedback on students’ perception of ability. The subjects were 758 Chinese students from elementary schools, high schools, and a university in Hong Kong. Subjects rated ability and effort of two hypothetical students who achieved identical results in a mathematics test but received different feedback from the teacher. They also rated the teacher's perception of their own and their friends’ ability and effort in a similar situation after a real mathematics test. The (...) results of this study support previous findings which indicate that ability perception is influenced by cultural and contextual variables. Contrary to the findings with Western students, ability and effort were positively correlated. The importance of effort among the Chinese students appears to mitigate the effects of teachers’ feedback on students’ ability. Age‐related differences were also observed. The results are discussed in terms of sociocultural background of the subjects. (shrink)
Cognitive agents form beliefs representing the world, evaluate the world as represented, form plans for making the world more to their liking, and perform actions executing the plans. Then the cycle repeats. This is the doxastic-conative loop, diagrammed in figure one.1 Both human beings and the autonomous rational agents envisaged in AI are cognitive agents in this sense. The cognition of a cognitive agent can be subdivided into two parts. Epistemic cognition is that kind of cognition responsible for producing and (...) maintaining beliefs. Practical cognition evaluates the world, adopts plans, and initiates action. There is a massive literature both in philosophy and artificial intelligence concerning various aspects of epistemic cognition, and large parts of it are well understood. Practical cognition is less well understood. We can usefully divide practical cognition into five parts: (1) the evaluation of the world as represented by the agent’s beliefs, (2) the adoption of goals for changing it, (3) the construction of plans for achieving goals, (4) the adoption of plans, and (5) the execution of plans. There is a substantial literature in AI concerning the construction and execution of plans, and I will say nothing further about those topics here. This paper will focus on the evaluative aspects of practical cognition. Evaluation plays an essential role in both goal selection and plan adoption. My concern here is the investigation of evaluation as a cognitive enterprise performed by cognitive agents. I am interested both in how it is performed in human beings and how it might be performed in artificial rational agents. (shrink)
A central goal in regulating direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals is to ensure that explicit drug claims are truthful. Yet imagery can also alter viewer attitudes, and the degree to which this occurs in DTCA is uncertain. Addressing this data gap, we provide evidence that positive feelings produced by images can promote favourable beliefs about pharmaceuticals. We had participants view a fictitious anti-influenza drug paired with unrelated images that elicited either positive, neutral or negative feelings. Participants who viewed positive images (...) rated the influenza drug as significantly more effective, safe, and beneficial than did participants who viewed negative images. This effect, known as evaluative conditioning, is well described in experimental social psychology but has not previously been shown with pharmaceuticals. We discuss how evaluative conditioning in DTCA may compromise viewer autonomy, and canvass possible regulatory responses. (shrink)
The phrase ‘evaluative inference’ was used by Toulmin for ‘that form of inference by which we pass from factual reasons to an ethical conclusion’; and the phrase has been attacked by Hare in his review of Toulmin and in his book . I shall try to dig out some of the questions at issue in that discussion, but to do so without the help of this technical term, or of any other that I can avoid.
Evaluative sentences (moral judgments, expressions of taste, epistemic modals) are relative to the speaker's standards. Lately, a phenomenon has challenged the traditional explanation of this relativity: whenever two speakers disagree over them they contradict each other without being at fault. Hence, it is thought that the correction of the assertions involved must be relative to an unprivileged standard not necessarily the speaker's. I will claim instead that so far, neither this nor any other proposal has provided an explanation of (...) the phenomenon. I will point out several problems presented by them and I will hint to how this phenomenon could be explained by making minor adjustments to our semantic theory. Sentenças avaliativas (julgamentos morais, expressões de gosto, modos epistêmicos) são relativas aos padrões do falante. Recentemente, um fenômeno desafiou a explicação tradicional dessa relatividade: sempre que dois falantes discordam entre si, eles contradizem um ao outro sem estarem errados. Por isso, pensa-se que a correção das asserções envolvidas deve ser relacionada a um padrão desprovido de privilégio e não necessariamente ao padrão do falante. Eu sustentarei, ao contrário, que até agora nem esta nem alguma outra proposta forneceu uma explicação do fenômeno. Eu assinalarei diversos problemas apresentados por essas propostas e sugerirei o modo como este fenômeno poderia ser explicado ao fazer pequenos ajustes em nossa teoria semântica. (shrink)
There is a crisis of valuation practices in the current academic life sciences, triggered by unsustainable growth and “hyper-competition.” Quantitative metrics in evaluating researchers are seen as replacing deeper considerations of the quality and novelty of work, as well as substantive care for the societal implications of research. Junior researchers are frequently mentioned as those most strongly affected by these dynamics. However, their own perceptions of these issues are much less frequently considered. This paper aims at contributing to a better (...) understanding of the interplay between how research is valued and how young researchers learn to live, work and produce knowledge within academia. We thus analyze how PhD students and postdocs in the Austrian life sciences ascribe worth to people, objects and practices as they talk about their own present and future lives in research. We draw on literature from the field of valuation studies and its interest in how actors refer to different forms of valuation to account for their actions. We explore how young researchers are socialized into different valuation practices in different stages of their growing into science. Introducing the concept of “regimes of valuation” we show that PhD students relate to a wider evaluative repertoire while postdocs base their decisions on one dominant regime of valuing research. In conclusion, we discuss the implications of these findings for the epistemic and social development of the life sciences, and for other scientific fields. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum subscribes to the view that our identity is an evaluative question determined by our common, deeply held beliefs about what is worthwhile in human life. In so doing, she asserts that for an account of ethics to have “philosophical power” it needs to be grounded in an account of human nature that is both evaluative and internal. I focus on Nussbaum's claim that personal identity has to include the necessary features of practical rationality and sociability. Although (...) Nussbaum puts forward self-validating arguments to prove that we cannot – on pain of pragmatic in consistency – dispute that practical rationality and sociability are necessary features of human life, it is my claim that her account is flawed. The nature of the relationship between ethics and human nature is the broader context to such debates. This paper raises questions regarding on the one hand, whether it is possible to found ethics in human nature and, on the other, what we are to make of accounts that turn on the assumption that identity is ethical, not meta physical. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.24(2) 2005: 87-96. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue that evaluative adjectives, such as good, bad, clever and skilful, should be analysed as one-place predicates in logical translation. This approach, which is basically the traditional logical treatment of ‘absolute’ adjectives, is to be contrasted with the approach in Montague (1974a) and Parsons (1972), wherein all adjectives are translated as two-place predicates, i.e. as semantic attributives. The move away from the Montague-Parsons analysis is not new: Bartsch (1972. 1975), McConnell-Ginet (1973), Kamp (1975), Siegel (...) (1976a, 1976b, 1979), Keenan &. Faltz (1978) and Klein (1980) have similarly advocated one-place predicate status, at least for fairly straightforward qualities (e.g. red, carnivorous, stony,) and even for degree adjectives (e.g. tall, short, heavy and old). Evaluatives, however, remain troublesome: Kamp concluded that their status was uncertain, and Siegel classified them as two-place predicates after much argument. My remarks are directed primarily against Siegel's analysis; I intend to show that there are syntactic tests, some suggested by Siegel herself, which argue persuasively that evaluative adjectives should be interpreted as one-place predicates. (shrink)
Questions concerning the aims and aspirations, criteria of success and even proper delineation of the subject matter of theories of law have given rise to some of the most intractable and contentious debates in contemporary legal philosophy. In this article, I outline my vision of the remit and character of legal philosophy, with particular emphasis on the methodological approach with which I am most concerned in my own work, and which I refer to here as ‘indirectly evaluative legal philosophy’. (...) I do so partly in response to some vehement criticisms of, and, in my view, significant mischaracterisations of, IELP and cognate approaches to theorising about law, which feature in some recent jurisprudential debates. My position supports a pluralistic methodological outlook which emphasises disciplinary and sub-disciplinary complementarity as an alternative to the febrile adversarialism sometimes afflicting our discipline. For, in my view, ours is a broad church, and all theoretical accounts able to illu.. (shrink)
Thought Theory seems to provide an answer to the paradox of fiction which has the ontological merits of current pretence accounts without, however, assuming mere pretence emotions. This article will question whether present formulations of TT live up to what they promise. Whenever its current versions try to include evaluative beliefs in a TT framework in order to comply with a cognitivist account of emotions, they either stop being a genuine thought theory or endorse the irrationalism of fictional emotions. (...) This unfortunate outcome can be prevented by shifting the focus to thoughts, and specifically to the genetic dynamics of how we come to think of the objects in question. This is at least what we can learn from Edmund Husserl, who developed a still underestimated account according to which it is possible to have the belief that x merits evaluation as appearing emotion-worthy without this belief implying that x merits being believed to exist. (shrink)