In recent years, numerous studies have tried to highlight, from a naturalistic point of view, the apparent mysteries of consciousness. Many authors concentrated their efforts on explaining the phylogenetic origins of consciousness. Paradoxically, comments on the ontogenesis of consciousness are almost nonexistent. By crossing the results of psychology of development with a philosophical analysis, this paper aims to make up for this omission. After having characterized the different conceptual aspects of consciousness, we combine these, with observations made by developmental psychologists, (...) to trace the empirical development of consciousness during the first months of life. This combination leads to a theoretical proposal: the intentional characteristics of consciousness, namely, aboutness and purposefulness, depend on the phenomenal properties of conscious states. From this perspective, the phenomenal aspect of conscious states (the "what it is like" effect) is therefore far from being an epiphenomenon. (shrink)
The development of nuclear energy technologies in the second half of the 20th century came with great hopes of rebuilding nations recovering from the devasta-tion of the Second World War or recently released from colonial rule. In coun-tries like France, India, the USA, Canada, Russia, and the United Kingdom, nuclear energy became the symbol of development towards a modern and technologically advanced future. However, after more than six decades of experi-ence with nuclear energy production, and in the aftermath of the (...) Fukushima nuclear disaster, it is safe to say that nuclear energy production is not without its problems.Some of these problems have their origins in the very materiality of the technolo-gies involved. For example, not only does the use of highly radioactive materials give rise to risks for the current generation (e.g., in the potential for disaster when reactors melt down) but high-level radioactive waste from nuclear energy production presents a serious intergenerational problem for which an acceptable final solution or its implementation remains elusive. Moreover, nuclear energy technologies have specific social and political consequences. For example, they have been said to be authoritarian technologies (Winner, 1980), requiring cen-tralized authority, secrecy, and technocratic decision-making. While some of these problems could have been foreseen before nuclear energy technologies were introduced, others only arose after these technologies were already integrated into the social and infrastructural fabric of our lives. Addition-ally, new technologies (e.g., Generation III, III+ and IV reactors) are still being developed, bringing with them new and uncertain hazards and risks. Ignorance and uncertainty about the possible deleterious effects of introducing a new technology are inevitable, especially if the technology is complex, large time-scales are involved, or risks depend on social or political factors unforeseen in the design stage. However, this should not deter us from developing and intro-ducing new technologies. Rather, it should motivate us to organize these ‘exper-iments’ with new technologies in society in such a way that we can learn about their possible hazards and risks as effectively and responsibly as possible (van de Poel, 2011, 2015). In this way, it is possible to minimize risks and avoid unwant-ed moral, social or political developments. However, organizing such experi-ments responsibly also means that one could come to the conclusion that continuing an experiment is no longer responsible or desirable. Should we be prepared for such a scenario, and if so, how could we do that? One possible strategy to tackle this issue is that the technology and its introduction should be reversible. The aim of this thesis is to further explore this strategy by answering the following main research question (RQ) and accompanying subquestions (SQ):RQ: What are the implications of reversibility for the responsible develop-ment and implementation of nuclear energy technologies?SQ1: Under what conditions can nuclear energy technologies be considered reversible?SQ2: Why should nuclear energy technologies be reversible?SQ3: If so, how could the reversibility of nuclear energy technologies be achieved?After the introductory chapter 1, the chapters that form the main body of this dissertation each provide a distinct contribution to answering the three subques-tions and, by extension, the main research question. Guided by three historical case studies of nuclear energy technology development (i.e., India, France and the USA), chapter 2 answers the first subquestion by formulating the two condi-tions under which it can be considered reversible, i.e., 1) the ability to stop the further development and deployment of a that technology in society, and 2) the ability to undo the undesirable outcomes (material, institutional or symbolic) of the development and deployment of the technology. Chapter 3 subsequently tackles the second subquestion by establishing the general desirability of technological reversibility by virtue of its relation to responsibility in Emmanuel Levinas’ ethical phenomenology. It argues that technology development is a legitimate response to responsibility but inevitably falls short of the responsibility that inspires it, incessantly calling for technological and political change in the process. Having thus argued that nuclear energy technologies should ideally be reversible, chap-ters 4 and 5 work towards specific strategies to achieve technological reversibil-ity. Chapter 4 first investigates the processes that make it difficult to stop the further development and implementation of a nuclear energy technology in society, thus provid-ing input on how to fulfill the first condition for the reversibility of nuclear energy technologies. To do so, it presents a phenomenological perspective on technology and its adoption based on the work of Alfred Schutz. It also explores different ways in which technology adoption drives the processes of path depend-ence towards technological lock-in. Chapter 5 examines the history of geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the USA. It identifies a number of concrete policy pitfalls that could lead to lock-in and that should consequently be avoided. It also presents a number of general design strategies that could facilitate the undoing of undesirable consequences of a technology, thus providing input on how to fulfill the second condition for the reversibility of nuclear energy technol-ogies.Chapter 6 summarizes the central findings of the thesis and explains how these help to answer the research questions. On top of this, it reflects on a number of complications connected to reversibility considerations. Based on this, it is concluded that the question of irreversibility and reversibility is context- and technology-specific and a matter of degree. The chapter concludes with a reflec-tion on generalizations and limitations of the results. Finally, chapter 7 discusses the implications of this dissertation’s results for responsibly experimenting with nuclear energy technologies in society. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that physical laws have a unique modal status known as nomic necessity which is weaker than metaphysical necessity. This orthodox view has come into question in the past few decades. In particular, the metaphysical view known as essentialism has provided an argument that the laws of nature are necessary in the strongest possible sense. It seems obvious to many that at least some essentialist arguments in favor of the necessity of scientific claims are going to be sound. (...) For example, the view that claims like "water is H2O" are necessary has itself 2 become an orthodox view. However, the question of whether laws, like the law of conservation of energy, or the law of gravity, are necessary is far more contentious. Philosophers divide roughly into two camps, law necessitarians1 who hold that the laws are necessary in the strongest sense and contingency theorists who hold that they are at least in some sense contingent. One argument for the necessitarian position is via an essentialist theory of the transworld identity of properties. In this paper I defend such a theory of the identity of properties and its necessitarian consequences from one major criticism. To focus the paper, I center the discussion on a single critic, E. J. Lowe. In his book, The Four Category Ontology, he offers a criticism of the essentialist argument for necessitarianism via an analogy with other forms of transworld identity and intuitions about the contingency of the physical constants2. I undermine the usefulness of Lowe's analogy by examining the purposes of attributions of properties. I also show that the essentialist's position can allow it to accommodate the intuitions of contingency in a way that fits best with the purpose behind property attributions. (shrink)
How does metaphysical grounding interact with the truth-functions? I argue that the answer varies according to whether one has a worldly conception or a conceptual conception of grounding. I then put forward a logic of worldly grounding and give it an adequate semantic characterisation.
Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently (...) plausible principles governing grounding, essence, and identity taken individually, and illuminates how the three interact. We also argue that the account compares favorably to an alternative unification of grounding and essence recently proposed by Kit Fine. (shrink)
When thinking about the notion of essence or of an essential feature, philosophers typically focus on what I will call the notion of objectual essence. The main aim of this paper is to argue that beside this familiar notion stands another one, the notion of generic essence, which contrary to appearance cannot be understood in terms of the familiar notion, and which also fails to be correctly characterized by certain other accounts which naturally come to mind as well. Some of (...) my objections to these accounts are similar to some of Kit Fine’s compelling objections to the standard modal account of (objectual) essence (Fine 1994). In the light of these objections, Fine advances the view that it is metaphysical necessity which has to be understood in terms of essence, rather than the other way around, and takes essence to be unanalyzable. When formulatinghis view, Fine had only objectual essence in mind (or had both concepts in mind, but assumed that the generic is a special case of the objectual), and for that reason, I will argue, his account fails. I will suggest that Fineans should modify their view, and take it that metaphysical necessity is to be understood in terms of the two notions of essence—a view I myself find appealing. Finally, I will end by suggesting a further move which reduces the objectual to the generic, making metaphysical necessity reducible to generic essence alone—a move with which I myself have some sympathy. (shrink)
In recent years CL diagrams inspired by Lange’s Cubus Logicus have been used in various contexts of diagrammatic reasoning. However, whether CL diagrams can also be used as a formal system seemed questionable. We present a CL diagram as a formal system, which is a fragment of propositional logic. Syntax and semantics are presented separately and a variant of bitstring semantics is applied to prove soundness and completeness of the system.
An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric ...
This monograph is a detailed study, and systematic defence, of the Growing Block Theory of time (GBT), first conceived by C.D. Broad. The book offers a coherent, logically perspicuous and ideologically lean formulation of GBT, defends it against the most notorious objections to be found in the extant philosophical literature, and shows how it can be derived from a more general theory, consistent with relativistic spacetime, on the pre-relativistic assumption of an absolute and total temporal order. -/- The authors devise (...) axiomatizations of GBT and its competitors which, against the backdrop of a shared quantified tense logic, significantly improves the prospects of their comparative assessment. Importantly, neither of these axiomatizations involves commitment to properties of presentness, pastness or futurity. The authors proceed to address, and defuse, a number of objections that have been marshaled against GBT, including the so-called epistemic objection according to which the theory invites skepticism about our temporal location. The challenge posed by relativistic physics is met head-on, by replacing claims about temporal variation by claims about variation across spacetime. -/- The book aims to achieve the greatest possible rigor. The background logic is set out in detail, as are the principles governing the notions of precedence and temporal location. The authors likewise devise a novel spacetime logic suited for the articulation, and comparative assessment, of relativistic theories of time. The book comes with three technical appendices which include soundness and completeness proofs for the systems corresponding to GBT and its competitors, in both their pre-relativistic and relativistic forms. -/- The book is primarily directed at researchers and graduate students working on the philosophy of time or temporal logic, but is of interest to metaphysicians and philosophical logicians more generally. (shrink)
In the year 1714, Johann Christian Lange published a baroque textbook about a logic machine, supposed to simulate human cognitive abilities such as perception, judgement, and reasoning. From today’s perspective, it can be argued that this blueprint is based on an inference engine applied to a strict ontology which serves as a knowledge base. In this paper, I will first introduce Lange’s approach in the period of baroque logic and then present a diagrammatic modernization of Lange’s principles, entitled Calculus CL. (...) Finally, I would like to discuss the possibilities of how to apply CL to modern cases of concern by using an example from epidemiology. (shrink)
Some of the most eminent and enduring philosophical questions concern matters of priority: what is prior to what? What 'grounds' what? Is, for instance, matter prior to mind? Recently, a vivid debate has arisen about how such questions have to be understood. Can the relevant notion or notions of priority be spelled out? And how do they relate to other metaphysical notions, such as modality, truth-making or essence? This volume of new essays, by leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, is the (...) first to address and investigate the metaphysical idea that certain facts are grounded in other facts. An introduction introduces and surveys the debate, examining its history as well as its central systematic aspects. The volume will be of wide interest to students and scholars of metaphysics. (shrink)
Most traditional accounts of Aristotle's theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle's view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle's account of practical reason provides an alternative (...) to theories of impartial reason. (shrink)
It is often claimed that emotions are linked to formal objects. But what are formal objects? What roles do they play? According to some philosophers, formal objects are axiological properties which individuate emotions, make them intelligible and give their correctness conditions. In this paper, I evaluate these claims in order to answer the above questions. I first give reasons to doubt the thesis that formal objects individuate emotions. Second, I distinguish different ways in which emotions are intelligible and argue that (...) philosophers are wrong in claiming that emotions only make sense when they are based on prior sources of axiological information. Third, I investigate how issues of intelligibility connect with the correctness conditions of emotions. I defend a theory according to which emotions do not respond to axiological information, but to non-axiological reasons. According to this theory, we can allocate fundamental roles to the formal objects of emotions while dispensing with the problematic features of other theories. (shrink)
The purpose of the book is to clarify the notion of existential dependence and cognate notions, such as supervenience and the notion of an internal relation. I defend the view that such notions are best understood in terms of the concept of metaphysical grounding, i.e. the concept of one fact obtaining in virtue of other facts, where ‘in virtue of’ has a distinctively metaphysical meaning.
We extend some of the classical connections between automata and logic due to Büchi  and McNaughton and Papert  to languages of finitely varying functions or “signals”. In particular, we introduce a natural class of automata for generating finitely varying functions called ’s, and show that it coincides in terms of language definability with a natural monadic second-order logic interpreted over finitely varying functions Rabinovich . We also identify a “counter-free” subclass of ’s which characterise the first-order definable languages (...) of finitely varying functions. Our proofs mainly factor through the classical results for word languages. These results have applications in automata characterisations for continuously interpreted real-time logics like Metric Temporal Logic Chevalier et al.  and . (shrink)
In recent years, Nietzsche’s views on science attracted a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Overall, his attitude towards science tends to be one of suspicion, or ambivalence at least. My article addresses the “Nietzsche and science” theme from a slightly different perspective, raising a somewhat different type of question, more pragmatic if you like, namely: how to be a Nietzschean philosopher of science today? What would the methodological contours of a Nietzschean approach to present-day research areas amount to? In other (...) words, my paper reflects a shift of focus from author studies to extrapolation. The design of my article is as follows. I will start with the question to what extent Friedrich Nietzsche managed to familiarise himself with the natural sciences of his epoch. Subsequently, I will outline some basic methodological and conceptual ingredients of Nietzsche’s philosophy of science, focussing on core issues such as “genealogy”, “interpretation”, “enhancement” and “truth”. Next, I will elucidate Nietzsche’s genealogical methodology with the help of three case studies taken from Nietzsche’s writings and dealing with physiology, astronomy and neuro-psychology respectively. Finally, I will present the methodological contours of a Nietzschean understanding of contemporary technoscience. (shrink)
In this chapter, we first introduce the idea that emotions are evaluations. Next, we explore two approaches attempting to account for this idea in terms of attitudes that are alleged to become emotional when taking evaluative contents. According to the first approach, emotions are evaluative judgments. According to the second, emotions are perceptual experiences of evaluative properties. We explain why this theory remains unsatisfactory insofar as it shares with the evaluative judgement theory the idea that emotions are evaluations in virtue (...) of their contents. We then outline an alternative � the attitudinal theory of emotions. It parts with current theorizing about the emotions in elucidating the fact that emotions are evaluations not in terms of what they represent, but in terms of the attitude subjects take towards what they represent. We explore what sorts of attitudes emotions are and claim that they are felt bodily attitudes. (shrink)
The connection between shame, guilt and morality is the topic of many recent debates. A broad tendency consists in attributing a higher moral status and a greater moral relevance to guilt, a claim motivated by arguments that tap into various areas of morality and moral psychology. The Pro-social Argument has it that guilt is, contrary to shame, morally good since it promotes pro-social behaviour. Three other arguments claim that only guilt has the requisite connection to central moral concepts: the Responsibility (...) Argument appeals to the ties between guilt and responsibility, the Autonomy Argument to the heteronomy of shame and the Social Argument to shame's link with reputation. In this paper, we scrutinize these arguments and argue that they cannot support the conclusion that they try to establish. We conclude that a narrow focus on particular criteria and a misconception of shame and guilt have obscured the important roles shame plays in our moral lives. (shrink)
The emotions are at the centre of our lives and, for better or worse, imbue them with much of their significance. The philosophical problems stirred up by the existence of the emotions, over which many great philosophers of the past have laboured, revolve around attempts to understand what this significance amounts to. Are emotions feelings, thoughts, or experiences? If they are experiences, what are they experiences of? Are emotions rational? In what sense do emotions give meaning to what surrounds us? (...) -/- The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction introduces and explores these questions in a clear and accessible way. The authors discuss the following key topics: -/- the diversity and unity of the emotions the relations between emotion, belief and desire the nature of values the relations between emotions and perceptions emotions viewed as evaluative attitudes the link between emotions and evaluative knowledge the nature of moods, sentiments, and character traits. -/- Including chapter summaries and guides to further reading, The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal starting point for any philosopher or student studying the emotions. It will also be of interest to those in related disciplines such as psychology and the social sciences. (shrink)
“Because those who come after us may not be like us, or because those like us may not come after us, or because after a time there may be none to come after us, mankind must now set to work to insure that those who come after us will be more unlike us. In this there is at work the modern intellect’s penchant for species suicide.” With these words Paul Ramsey brings to a conclusion his provocative and surprising study of (...) the problems we are encountering – and will encounter – as scientific advances make the genetic control of man a real possibility. Now, increased knowledge of chromosome structure has taken the alteration of the human race out of the realm of science fiction and placed it in the hands of laboratory scientists. Ramsey sees this advance in science and technology as a mixed blessing. He examines the ramifications of genetic control, not only the now common measures of birth control and artificial insemination, but also the effect on the genetic pool of the increasing numbers of genetically poor individuals. His concern for humanistic values informs each argument as he tackles such issues as asexual reproduction of men, frozen semen banks, and the breeding of human beings for special purposes. No less than the future of man as we know him hangs on these issues. One must pay particular attention to this book. (shrink)
Grounding is a hyperintensional notion: necessarily equivalent sentences need not be equivalent from a ground-theoretic perspective. How fine-grained, exactly, is grounding? There is a striking lack of consensus on this question. In this chapter, I try to systematize and review the main options that have been put forward in the literature. For reasons that have to do with both naturalness and convenience, I for the most part take the question to be about what is sometimes called, following Kit Fine’s (2012a) (...) terminology, strict full grounding, and I take for granted a conception of grounding as a relation that is many-to-one and non-factive. I discuss the consequences of making alternative assumptions only in the very last section. (shrink)
'Ontological dependence' is a term of philosophical jargon which stands for a rich family of properties and relations, often taken to be among the most fundamental ontological properties and relations. Notions of ontological dependence are usually thought of as 'carving reality at its ontological joints', and as marking certain forms of ontological 'non-self-sufficiency'. The use of notions of dependence goes back as far as Aristotle's characterization of substances, and these notions are still widely used to characterize other concepts and to (...) formulate metaphysical claims. This paper first gives an overview of the varieties of these notions, and then discusses some of their main applications. (shrink)
In the third of his Logical Investigations, Husserl draws an important distinction between two kinds of parts: the dependent parts like the redness of a visual datum or the squareness of a given picture, and the independent parts like the head of a horse or a brick in a wall. On his view, the distinction is to be understood in terms of a more fundamental notion, the notion of foundation. This paper is an attempt at clarifying that notion. Such attempts (...) have already been undertaken by Peter Simons and Kit Fine, and the paper also contains elements of comparison of our three sets of views. (shrink)
I identify a notion of logical grounding, clarify it, and show how it can be used (i) to characterise various consequence relations, and (ii) to give a precise syntactic account of the notion of “groundedness” at work in the literature on the paradoxes of truth.
Mente y mundo es un ensayo filosófico en el que se da respuesta al viejo problema de cómo se vinculan el lenguaje y el pensamiento con el mundo, pero desde una perspectiva enteramente nueva: la que en la actualidad nos proporcionan la psicología cognitiva y la neurología.
This paper suggests that the enactive approach to ethics could benefit from engaging a dialogue with the phenomenology of Emmanuel Levinas, a philosopher who has given ethics a decisive role in the understanding of our social life. Taking the enactive approach of Colombetti and Torrance as a starting point, we show how Levinas’ philosophy, with the key notions of face, otherness, and responsibility among others can complement and enrich the enactive view of ethics. Specifically, we argue that Levinas can provide, (...) on the one hand, a phenomenological characterisation of ethics itself, of its nature and fundamental meaning, and on the other, an account of how sociality, affectivity and embodiment, as presented in Colombetti and Torrance’s work, combine to bring about the ethical experience. However, we also point out that introducing Levinas to the enactive approach could be challenging. It is not obvious how sense-making and value-making, as centred on the precariousness and potential death of the subject, would account for the ethical experience as grounded on the precariousness and potential death of the other. (shrink)
Naturalizzazione, mente e conoscenza - A controversial issue regarding Quine’s naturalised epistemology is that it may involve some form of reductionism. This article focuses on one of these forms, analysing the interplay of his philosophy of mind and epistemology. It aims to show that if we take into proper consideration the way in which the version of anomalous monism embraced affects his conception of mental states like sensations and propositional attitudes, Quine’s philosophy of mind should be regarded as anti-reductionist. Through (...) a discussion of his theory of perception, I try to argue that what is entailed by it is, in a sense only partially accepted by Quine himself, that neither perception nor observational language can be strictly reduced to their stimulatory conditions. By pointing out the relevance that Quine attributes to the mechanism of empathy as a means for ascribing propositional attitudes, a further interesting argument is provided to underline that, within a naturalized epistemology, there is room for a non-reductive description of mind in some ways close to the results of the hermeneutic tradition. (shrink)
The most salient aspect of memory is its role in preserving previously acquired information so as to make it available for further activities. Anna realizes that something is amiss in a book on Roman history because she learned and remembers that Caesar was murdered. Max turned up at the party and distinctively remembers where he was seated, so he easily gets his hands on his lost cell phone. The fact that information is not gained anew distinguishes memory from perception. The (...) fact that information is preserved distinguishes memory from imagination. But how do acquisition and retrieval of information contribute to the phenomenology of memory?The exclusive aim of this chapter is to sketch a map of the phenomenology of memory. It is structured as follows. In section 1, I introduce the contrast between content (what is remembered) and psychological attitude (remembering). This distinction will be helpful in disentangling issues in the phenomenology of memory. Section 2 is devoted to the contribution of memory content to phenomenology, section 3 to the contribution of the attitude of remembering. (shrink)
I offer and defend an account of real definitions. I put forward two versions of the account, one formulated in terms of the notion of generalised identity and of a suitable notion of grounding, and the other one formulated in terms of the former notion and of a suitable notion of comparative joint-carvingness. Given a plausible assumption, and turn out to be equivalent. I give a sketch of a unified account of the three notions involved in and from which the (...) assumption can be derived. (shrink)
Qual è il rapporto tra la mente cosciente e la natura? A tale questione fondamentale si può rispondere in modi molto diversi, a seconda di come si concepiscono sia la mente che la natura. Questo lavoro offre una risposta originale, integrando la fenomenologia husserliana e la concezione enattiva all’interno di una prospettiva unitaria chiamata fenomenologia enattiva. Nel percorso qui sviluppato, il lettore troverà un’analisi ricca e aggiornata di alcune tra le questioni più dibattute nella filosofia della mente e nelle scienze (...) cognitive contemporanee: il “problema difficile” della coscienza e il suo rapporto con l’intenzionalità, lo statuto epistemologico e ontologico delle qualità sensibili, la filosofia del colore, il dibattito sulla cognizione incorporata (embodiment) e l’approccio fenomenologico allo studio del mentale. L’autore sviluppa infine una proposta generale che si articola in una metafisica monistico-neutrale, processuale e relazionale della natura e della coscienza. (shrink)
Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
Acclaimed theorist and social scientist Donna Jeanne Haraway uses the work of pioneering developmental biologists Ross G. Harrison, Joseph Needham, and Paul Weiss as a springboard for a discussion about a shift in developmental biology from a vitalism-mechanism framework to organicism. The book deftly interweaves Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigm change into this wide-ranging analysis, emphasizing the role of model, analogy, and metaphor in the paradigm and arguing that any truly useful theoretical system in biology must have a central metaphor.
Pre-theoretically, it seems obvious that there are deep and multifarious relations between memory and emotions. On the one hand, a large chunk of our affective lives concerns the good and bad events that happened to us and that we preserve in memory. This is one amongst the many ways in which memory is relevant to the nature and causation of emotions. What does recent research teach us about these relations? § 1 surveys some key issues in this regard. On the (...) other hand, which events we happen to preserve in memory very much depends on how we affectively reacted to them when they took place. Emotions are relevant to the nature and causation of memory in this and many other ways. Key issues regarding these relations are surveyed in § 2. (shrink)
Scientists have rules pertaining to data fabrication and falsification that are enforced with significant punishments, such as loss of funding, termination of employment, or imprisonment. These rules pertain to data that describe observable and unobservable entities. In this commentary I argue that scientists would not adopt rules that impose harsh penalties on researchers for data fabrication or falsification unless they believed that an aim of scientific research is to develop true theories and hypotheses about entities that exist, including unobservable ones. (...) This argument presents a challenge for constructive empiricists, such as van Fraassen. Constructive empiricists need to be able to explain why rules pertaining to data fabrication and falsification do not threaten their philosophy of science. (shrink)
We argue that the main objections against two central tenets of a Jamesian account of the emotions, i.e. that (1) different types of emotions are associated with specific types of bodily feelings (Specificity), and that (2) emotions are constituted by patterns of bodily feeling (Constitution), do not succeed. In the first part, we argue that several reasons adduced against Specifity, including one inspired by Schachter and Singer’s work, are unconvincing. In the second part, we argue that Constitution, too, can withstand (...) most of the objections raised against it, including the objection that bodily feelings cannot account for the outward-looking and evaluative nature of emotions. In both sections, we argue that the kinds of felt bodily changes posited by a Jamesian account of emotions are best understood in terms of felt states of action-readiness. (shrink)
Psychologists have emphasized children's acquisition of information through firsthand observation. However, many beliefs are acquired from others' testimony. In two experiments, most 4yearolds displayed sceptical trust in testimony. Having heard informants' accurate or inaccurate testimony, they anticipated that informants would continue to display such differential accuracy and they trusted the hitherto reliable informant. Yet they ignored the testimony of the reliable informant if it conflicted with what they themselves had seen. By contrast, threeyearolds were less selective in trusting a reliable (...) informant. Thus, young children check testimony against their own experience and increasingly recognise that some informants are more trustworthy than others. (shrink)
Say that two sentences are factually equivalent when they describe the same facts or situations, understood as worldly items, i.e. as bits of reality rather than as representations of reality. The notion of factual equivalence is certainly of central interest to philosophical semantics, but it plays a role in a much wider range of philosophical areas. What is the logic of factual equivalence? This paper attempts to give a partial answer to this question, by providing an answer the following, more (...) specific question: Given a standard propositional language with negation, conjunction and disjunction as primitive operators, which sentences of the language should be taken to be factually equivalent by virtue of their logical form? The system for factual equivalence advocated in this paper is a proper fragment of the first-degree system for the logic of analytic equivalence put forward in the late seventies by R. B. Angell. I provide the system with two semantics, both formulated in terms of the notion of a situation’s being fittingly described by a linguistic item. In the final part of the paper I argue, contra a view I defended in my “Grounding and Truth-Functions”, that the logic for factual equivalence I advocate here should be preferred to Angell’s logic if one wishes to follow the general conception of the relationships between factual equivalence and the notion of grounding put forward in the 2010 paper. (shrink)
In his influential paper ‘‘Essence and Modality’’, Kit Fine argues that no account of essence framed in terms of metaphysical necessity is possible, and that it is rather metaphysical necessity which is to be understood in terms of essence. On his account, the concept of essence is primitive, and for a proposition to be metaphysically necessary is for it to be true in virtue of the nature of all things. Fine also proposes a reduction of conceptual and logical necessity in (...) the same vein: a conceptual necessity is a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all concepts, and a logical necessity a proposition true in virtue of the nature of all logical concepts. I argue that the plausibility of Fine's view crucially requires that certain apparent explanatory links between essentialist facts be admitted and accounted for, and I make a suggestion about how this can be done. I then argue against the reductions of conceptual and logical necessity proposed by Fine and suggest alternative reductions, which remain nevertheless Finean in spirit. (shrink)
The paper outlines the advantages and limits of the so-called ‘Calculus CL’ in the field of ontology engineering and automated theorem proving. CL is a diagram type that combines features of tree, Euler-type, Venn-type diagrams and squares of opposition. Due to the simple taxonomical structures and intuitive rules of CL, it is easy to edit ontologies and to prove inferences.
There is a growing literature in neuroethics dealing with the problem of cognitive neuroenhancement for healthy adults. However, discussions on this topic have tended to focus on abstract theoretical positions while concrete policy proposals and detailed models are scarce. Furthermore, discussions tend to rely solely on data from the US, while international perspectives are mostly neglected. Therefore, there is a need for a volume that deals with cognitive enhancement comprehensively in three important ways: a) with conceptual implications stemming from different (...) points of view; b) with ethical, social and legal perspectives that would not be limited to one part of the world but reflect on the current situation in countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America; and c) with discussions of concrete law and policy options. Contributors for the conceptual implications section will elaborate an important general issue (e.g. ethical acceptability of direct-to-consumer-marketing in case of cognitive enhancement drugs). Contributors for international perspectives section will provide a clear discussion on normative issues and cultural values, along with an analysis of empirical data on public attitudes on cognitive enhancement and/or prevalence (specific to the country in question). Contributors for law and policy section will offer a justification for the general policy type they argue for (1. prohibition, 2. discourage use, 3. laissez-faire, 4. encourage use, and 5. mandatory use) in the case of specific cognitive enhancement measure. Furthermore, they would evaluate the possible impact of a detailed regulatory model on consumption and demand, fairness in competitive settings and the social pressure to enhance. (shrink)