Distinguished contributors take up eminent scholar Daniel R. Schwarz’s reading of modern fiction and poetry as mediating between human desire and human action. The essayists follow Schwarz’s advice, “always the text, always historicize,” thus making this book relevant to current debates about the relationships between literature, ethics, aesthetics, and historical contexts.
Magnetism in meta-semantics is the view that the meaning of our words is determined in part by their use and in part by the objective naturalness of candidate meanings. This hypothesis is commonly attributed to David Lewis, and has been put to philosophical work by Brian Weatherson, Ted Sider and others. I argue that there is no evidence that Lewis ever endorsed the view, and that his actual account of language reveals good reasons against it.
According to the classical quantificational analysis of modals, an agent has the ability to perform an act iff relevant facts about the agent and her environment are compatible with her performing the act. The analysis faces a number of problems, many of which can be traced to the fact that it takes even accidental performance of an act as proof of the relevant ability. I argue that ability statements are systematically ambiguous: on one reading, accidental performance really is enough; on (...) another, more is required. The stronger notion of ability plays a central role in normative contexts. Both readings, I argue, can be captured within the classical quantificational framework, provided we allow conversational context to impose restrictions not just on the “accessible worlds”, but also on what counts as a performance of the relevant act among these worlds. (shrink)
I defend a general rule for updating beliefs that takes into account both the impact of new evidence and changes in the subject’s location. The rule combines standard conditioning with a shifting operation that moves the center of each doxastic possibility forward to the next point where information arrives. I show that well-known arguments for conditioning lead to this combination when centered information is taken into account. I also discuss how my proposal relates to other recent proposals, what results it (...) delivers for puzzles like the Sleeping Beauty problem, and whether there are diachronic constraints on rational belief at all. (shrink)
Our senses provide us with information about the world, but what exactly do they tell us? I argue that in order to optimally respond to sensory stimulations, an agent’s doxastic space may have an extra, “imaginary” dimension of possibility; perceptual experiences confer certainty on propositions in this dimension. To some extent, the resulting picture vindicates the old-fashioned empiricist idea that all empirical knowledge is based on a solid foundation of sense-datum propositions, but it avoids most of the problems traditionally associated (...) with that idea. The proposal might also explain why experiences appear to have a non-physical phenomenal character, even if the world is entirely physical. (shrink)
Some cognitive processes appear to have “phenomenal” properties that are directly revealed to the subject and not determined by physical properties. I suggest that the source of this appearance is the method by which our brain processes sensory information. The appearance is an illusion. Nonetheless, we are not mistaken when we judge that people sometimes fee lpain.
It is commonly argued that natural language has the expressive power of quantifying over intensional entities, such as times, worlds, or situations. A standard way of modelling this assumes that there are unpronounced but syntactically represented variables of the corresponding type. Not all that much as has been said, however, about the exact syntactic location of these variables. Meanwhile, recent work has highlighted a number of problems that arise because the interpretive options for situation pronouns seem to be subject to (...) various restrictions. This paper is primarily concerned with situation pronouns inside of determiner phrases, arguing that they are introduced as arguments of (certain) determiners. Verbal predicates, on the other hand, are assumed to not combine with a situation pronoun. The various restrictions on their interpretation are shown to fall out from the semantic system that is developed based on that view. Further support for such an account comes from situation semantic analyses of donkey sentences as well as data on the temporal interpretation of nominal predicates. Its ability to account for this full range of data in a unified manner is shown to set it apart from previous proposals. The paper closes with an outlook on further extensions, including an account of quantifier domain restriction based on situation pronouns. (shrink)
In this research, we examine the relationship between employee psychological entitlement and employee willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior. We hypothesize that a high level of PE—the belief that one should receive desirable treatment irrespective of whether it is deserved—will increase the prevalence of this particular type of unethical behavior. We argue that, driven by self-interest and the desire to look good in the eyes of others, highly entitled employees may be more willing to engage in UPB when their (...) personal goals are aligned with those of their organizations. Support for this proposition was found in Study 1, which demonstrates that organizational identification accentuates the link between PE and the willingness to engage in UPB. Study 2 builds on these findings by examining a number of mediating variables that shed light on why PE leads to a greater willingness among employees to engage in UPB. Furthermore, we explored the differential effects of PE on UPB compared to counterproductive work behavior. We found support for our moderated mediation model, which shows that status striving and moral disengagement fully mediate the link between PE and UPB. PE was also linked to CWB and was fully mediated by perceptions of organizational justice and moral disengagement. (shrink)
When an agent undergoes fission, how should the beliefs of the fission results relate to the pre-fission beliefs? This question is important for the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics, but it is of independent philosophical interest. Among other things, fission scenarios demonstrate that ‘self-locating’ information can affect the probability of uncentred propositions even if an agent has no essentially self-locating uncertainty. I present a general update rule for centred beliefs that gives sensible verdicts in cases of fission, without relying on (...) controversial metaphysical or linguistic assumptions. The rule is supported by the same considerations that support standard conditioning in the traditional framework of uncentred propositions. (shrink)
Artificial Intelligence as a buzzword and a technological development is presently cast as the ultimate ‘game changer’ for economy and society; a technology of which we cannot be the master, but which nonetheless will have a pervasive influence on human life. The fast pace with which the multi-billion dollar AI industry advances toward the creation of human-level intelligence is accompanied by an increasingly exaggerated chorus of the ‘incredible miracle’, or the ‘incredible horror’, intelligent machines will constitute for humanity, as the (...) human is gradually replaced by a technologically superior proxy, destined to be configured as a functional component at best, a relic at worst. More than half a century ago, Günther Anders sketched out this path toward technological obsolescence, and his work on ‘Promethean shame’ and ‘Promethean discrepancy’ provides an invaluable means with which to recognise and understand the relationship of the modern human to his/her technological products. In this article, I draw on Anders’s writings to unpack and unsettle contemporary narratives of our relation to AI, with a view toward refocusing attention on the responsibilities we bear in producing such immersive technologies. With Anders, I suggest that we must exercise and develop moral imagination so that the human capacity for moral responsibility does not atrophy in our technologically mediated future. (shrink)
There seem to be two ways of supposing a proposition: supposing “indicatively” that Shakespeare didn’t write Hamlet, it is likely that someone else did; supposing “subjunctively” that Shakespeare hadn’t written Hamlet, it is likely that nobody would have written the play. Let P be the probability of B on the subjunctive supposition that A. Is P equal to the probability of the corresponding counterfactual, A □→B? I review recent triviality arguments against this hypothesis and argue that they do not succeed. (...) On the other hand, I argue that even if we can equate P with P, we still need an account of how subjunctive conditional probabilities are related to unconditional probabilities. The triviality arguments reveal that the connection is not as straightforward as one might have hoped. (shrink)
Ce texte a paru initialement dans ANNALES ESC. Vol. 13, n° 4, oct.-déc. 1958, p. 725-753, puis a été réédité dans Écrits sur l'histoire, Paris, Flammarion, 1969. p. 44-83. Il est également disponible, mais dans une version assez fautive, ici. Il y a crise générale des sciences de l'homme : elles sont toutes accablées sous leurs propres progrès, ne serait-ce qu'en raison de l'accumulation des connaissances nouvelles et de la nécessité d'un travail collectif, dont l'organisation intelligente reste à mettre (...) (...) - Histoire – Nouvel article. (shrink)
Counterpart theory is often advertised by its track record at solving metaphysical puzzles. Here I focus on puzzles of occasional identity, wherein distinct individuals at one world or time appear to be identical at another world or time. To solve these puzzles, the usual interpretation rules of counterpart theory must be extended beyond the simple language of quantified modal logic. I present a more comprehensive semantics that allows talking about specific times and worlds, that takes into account the multiplicity and (...) sortal-dependence of counterpart relations, and that does not require names to denote actual or present individuals. In addition, the semantics I defend does not identify ordinary individuals with world-bound or time-bound stages and thereby avoids the most controversial aspect of counterpart theory. Humphrey’s counterpart at other worlds or times is none other than Humphrey himself. (shrink)
Possible-worlds accounts of mental or linguistic content are often criticized for being too coarse-grained. To make room for more fine-grained distinctions among contents, several authors have recently proposed extending the space of possible worlds by "impossible worlds". We argue that this strategy comes with serious costs: we would effectively have to abandon most of the features that make the possible-worlds framework attractive. More generally, we argue that while there are intuitive and theoretical considerations against overly coarse-grained notions of content, the (...) same kinds of considerations also prohibit an overly fine-grained individuation of content. An adequate notion of content, it seems, should have intermediate granularity. However, it is hard to construe a notion of content that meets these demands. Any notion of content, we suggest, must be either implausibly coarse-grained or implausibly fine-grained (or both). (shrink)
Several authors have hailed intuition as one of the defining features of expertise. In particular, while disagreeing on almost anything that touches on human cognition and artificial intelligence, Hubert Dreyfus and Herbert Simon agreed on this point. However, the highly influential theories of intuition they proposed differed in major ways, especially with respect to the role given to search and as to whether intuition is holistic or analytic. Both theories suffer from empirical weaknesses. In this paper, we show how, with (...) some additions, a recent theory of expert memory (the template theory) offers a coherent and wide-ranging explanation of intuition in expert behaviour. It is shown that the theory accounts for the key features of intuition: it explains the rapid onset of intuition and its perceptual nature, provides mechanisms for learning, incorporates processes showing how perception is linked to action and emotion, and how experts capture the entirety of a situation. In doing so, the new theory addresses the issues problematic for Dreyfus’s and Simon’s theories. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
While the link between servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior has been established, the individual-level mechanisms underlying this relationship and its boundary conditions remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the salience of the mediating mechanisms of leader–member exchange and psychological empowerment in explaining the process by which servant leaders elicit discretionary OCB among followers. We also examine the role of followers’ proactive personality in moderating the indirect effects of servant leadership on OCB through LMX and psychological empowerment. Analysis (...) of survey data collected from 446 supervisor–subordinate dyads in a large Chinese state-owned enterprise suggests that while servant leadership is positively related to subordinate OCB through LMX, psychological empowerment does not explain any additional variance in OCB above that accounted for by LMX. Moderated mediation tests confirm the moderating effect of proactive personality through LMX. By providing a nuanced understanding of how and when servant leadership leads followers to go above and beyond their job role, our study assists organizations in deciding how to develop and utilize servant leaders in their organizations. (shrink)
It is widely held that if an object a is identical (or non-identical) to an object b, then it is necessary that a is identical (non-identical) to b. This view is supported an argument from Leibniz's Law and a popular conception of de re modality. On the other hand, there are good reasons to allow for contingent identity. Various alternative accounts of de re modality have been developed to achieve this kind of generality, and to explain what is wrong with (...) the argument from Leibniz's Law. (shrink)
This paper presents three experimental studies investigating the processing of presupposed content. The first two experiments employ the German additive particle auch ‘too’, and the third uses English also. In experiment 1, participants were given a questionnaire containing biclausal, ambiguous sentences containing auch. The presupposition introduced by auch was only satisfied on one of the two readings, which corresponded to a syntactically dispreferred parse of the sentence. The prospect of having the auch presupposition satisfied made participants choose this syntactically dispreferred (...) reading more frequently than in a control condition. Experiment 2 used the self-paced reading paradigm and compared the reading times on clauses containing auch, which differed in whether the presupposition of auch was satisfied or not. Participants read the clause more slowly when the presupposition was not satisfied. Experiment 3 followed up a number of issues that arose from experiment 2 and confirmed the results found there. These studies show that presuppositions play an important role in online sentence comprehension and affect the choice of syntactic analysis. Some theoretical implications of these findings for the semantic analysis of auch / also and dynamic accounts of presuppositions as well as for theories of semantic processing are discussed. (shrink)
Periodic tables (PTs) are the ‘ultimate paper tools’ of general and inorganic chemistry. There are three fields of open questions concerning the relation between PTs and physics: (i) the relation between the chemical facts and the concept of a periodic system (PS) of chemical elements (CEs) as represented by PTs; (ii) the internal structure of the PS; (iii)␣The relation between the PS and atomistic quantum chemistry. The main open questions refer to (i). The fuzziness of the concepts of chemical properties (...) and of chemical similarities of the CE and their compounds guarantees the autonomy of chemistry. We distinguish between CEs, Elemental Stuffs and Elemental Atoms. We comment on the basic properties of the basic elements. Concerning (ii), two sharp physical numbers (nuclear charge and number of valence electrons) and two coarse fuzzy ranges (ranges of energies and of spatial extensions of the atomic orbitals, AOs) characterize the atoms of the CEs and determine the two-dimensional structure of the PS. Concerning (iii), some relevant ‘facts’ about and from quantum chemistry are reviewed and compared with common ‘textbook facts’. What counts in chemistry is the whole set of nondiffuse orbitals in low-energy average configurations of chemically bonded atoms. Decisive for the periodicity are the energy gaps between the core and valence shells. Diffuse Rydberg orbitals and minute spin–orbit splittings are important in spectroscopy and for philosophers, but less so in chemical science and for the PS. (shrink)
What are the objects of knowledge, belief, probability, apriority or analyticity? For at least some of these properties, it seems plausible that the objects are sentences, or sentence-like entities. However, results from mathematical logic indicate that sentential properties are subject to severe formal limitations. After surveying these results, I argue that they are more problematic than often assumed, that they can be avoided by taking the objects of the relevant property to be coarse-grained (“sets of worlds”) propositions, and that all (...) this has little to do with the choice between operators and predicates. (shrink)
Roberto Schwarz’s 1966 reading reveals the social content of a famously elusive text by Franz Kafka, and hints at its hidden affinities with both the historical moment of Schwarz’s reading and with our own present.
For nearly 70 years, studies have shown large sex differences in human mate selection preferences. However, most of the studies were restricted to a limited set of mate selection criteria and to college students, and neglecting relationship status. In this study, 21,245 heterosexual participants between 18 and 65 years of age (mean age 41) who at the time were not involved in a close relationship rated the importance of 82 mate selection criteria adapted from previous studies, reported age ranges for (...) the oldest and youngest partner that they would find acceptable, and responded to 10 yes/no questions about a potential marriage partner. For nearly all mate selection criteria, women were found to be the more demanding sex, although men placed consistently more value on the physical attractiveness of a potential partner than women. Also, the effects of the participants’ age and level of education were nearly negligible. These results demonstrate the robustness of sex differences in mate selection criteria across a substantial age range. (shrink)
I argue that none of the usual interpretations of probability provide an adequate interpretation of probabilistic theories in science. Assuming that the aim of such theories is to capture noisy relationships in the world, I suggest that we do not have to give them classical truth-conditional content at all: their probabilities can remain uninterpreted. Indirectly, this account turns out to explain what is right about the frequency interpretation, the best-systems interpretation, and the epistemic interpretation.
This paper presents three experimental studies investigating the processing of presupposed content. The first two experiments employ the German additive particle auch ‘too’, and the third uses English also. In experiment 1, participants were given a questionnaire containing biclausal, ambiguous sentences containing auch. The presupposition introduced by auch was only satisfied on one of the two readings, which corresponded to a syntactically dispreferred parse of the sentence. The prospect of having the auch presupposition satisfied made participants choose this syntactically dispreferred (...) reading more frequently than in a control condition. Experiment 2 used the self-paced reading paradigm and compared the reading times on clauses containing auch, which differed in whether the presupposition of auch was satisfied or not. Participants read the clause more slowly when the presupposition was not satisfied. Experiment 3 followed up a number of issues that arose from experiment 2 and confirmed the results found there. These studies show that presuppositions play an important role in online sentence comprehension and affect the choice of syntactic analysis. Some theoretical implications of these findings for the semantic analysis of auch/also and dynamic accounts of presuppositions as well as for theories of semantic processing are discussed. (shrink)
In several papers, Hubert Dreyfus has used chess as a paradigmatic example of how experts act intuitively, rarely using deliberation when selecting actions, while individuals that are only competent rely on analytic and deliberative thought. By contrast, Montero and Evans (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10:175–194, 2011 ) argue that intuitive aspects of chess are actually rational, in the sense that actions can be justified. In this paper, I show that both Dreyfus’s and Montero and Evans’s views are too extreme, (...) and that expertise in chess, and presumably in other domains, depends on a combination of intuitive thinking and deliberative search, both mediated by perceptual processes. There is more to expertise than just rational thought. I further contend that both sides ignore emotions, which are important in acquiring and maintaining expertise. Finally, I argue that experimental data and first-person data, which are sometimes presented as irreconcilable in the phenomenology literature, actually lead to similar conclusions. (shrink)