New methods to analyse social media data provide a powerful way to know publics and capture what they say and do. At the same time, access to these methods is uneven, with corporations and governments tending to have best access to relevant data and analytics tools. Critics raise a number of concerns about the implications dominant uses of data mining and analytics may have for the public: they result in less privacy, more surveillance and social discrimination, and they provide new (...) ways of controlling how publics come to be represented and so understood. In this paper, we consider if a different relationship between the public and data mining might be established, one in which publics might be said to have greater agency and reflexivity vis-à-vis data power. Drawing on growing calls for alternative data regimes and practices, we argue that to enable this different relationship, data mining and analytics need to be democratised in three ways: they should be subject to greater public supervision and regulation, available and accessible to all, and used to create not simply known but reflexive, active and knowing publics. We therefore imagine conditions in which data mining is not just used as a way to know publics, but can become a means for publics to know themselves. (shrink)
Sarah Moss argues that in addition to full beliefs, credences can constitute knowledge. She introduces the notion of probabilistic content and shows how it plays a central role not only in epistemology, but in the philosophy of mind and language. Just you can believe and assert propositions, you can believe and assert probabilistic contents.
Pt. I. The apparent good. Evaluative cognition -- Perceiving the good -- Phantasia and the apparent good -- pt. II. The apparent good and non-rational motivation. Passions and the apparent good -- Akrasia and the apparent good -- pt. III. The apparent good and rational motivation. Phantasia and deliberation -- Happiness, virtue, and the apparent good -- Practical induction -- Conclusion : Aristotle's practical empiricism.
This paper motivates and develops a novel semantics for several epistemic expressions, including possibility modals and indicative conditionals. The semantics I defend constitutes an alternative to standard truth conditional theories, as it assigns sets of probability spaces as sentential semantic values. I argue that what my theory lacks in conservatism is made up for by its strength. In particular, my semantics accounts for the distinctive behavior of nested epistemic modals, indicative conditionals embedded under probability operators, and instances of constructive dilemma (...) containing epistemic vocabulary. (shrink)
This paper argues that just as full beliefs can constitute knowledge, so can properties of your credence distribution. The resulting notion of probabilistic knowledge helps us give a natural account of knowledge ascriptions embedding language of subjective uncertainty, and a simple diagnosis of probabilistic analogs of Gettier cases. Just like propositional knowledge, probabilistic knowledge is factive, safe, and sensitive. And it helps us build knowledge-based norms of action without accepting implausible semantic assumptions or endorsing the claim that knowledge is interest-relative.
This paper defines and defends time-slice epistemology, according to which there are no essentially diachronic norms of rationality. First I motivate and distinguish two notions of time-slice epistemology. Then I defend time-slice theories of action under indeterminacy, i.e. theories about how you should act when the outcome of your decision depends on some indeterminate claim. I raise objections to a theory of action under indeterminacy recently defended by Robbie Williams, and I propose some alternative theories in its place. Throughout this (...) discussion, I defend a more general moral about action under indeterminacy, namely that time-slice theories are supported by strong analogies with ethical theories. In particular, our understanding of agents torn between interpretations of a decision situation should be guided by our theories of agents torn between incommensurable values. (shrink)
Recently many have argued that agents must sometimes have credences that are imprecise, represented by a set of probability measures. But opponents claim that fans of imprecise credences cannot provide a decision theory that protects agents who follow it from foregoing sure money. In particular, agents with imprecise credences appear doomed to act irrationally in diachronic cases, where they are called to make decisions at earlier and later times. I respond to this claim on behalf of imprecise credence fans. Once (...) we appreciate the complexity of our intuitions about rational decision making, we can see that diachronic cases are in fact evidence for the essential claims motivating imprecise credence models. I argue that our decision theory for imprecise agents should mirror our decision theory for agents in moral dilemmas, and I develop permissive norms that explain our intuitions about both sorts of agents. (shrink)
Recently, von Fintel (2001) and Gillies (2007) have argued that certain sequences of counterfactuals, namely reverse Sobel sequences, should motivate us to abandon standard truth conditional theories of counterfactuals for dynamic semantic theories. I argue that we can give a pragmatic account of our judgments about counterfactuals without giving up the standard semantics. In particular, I introduce a pragmatic principle governing assertability, and I use this principle to explain a variety of subtle data concerning reverse Sobel sequences.
did plato and aristotle have anything to say about belief? The answer to this question might seem blindingly obvious: of course they did. Plato distinguishes belief from knowledge in the Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the Posterior Analytics. Plato distinguishes belief from perception in the Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the De anima. They talk about the distinction between true and false beliefs, and the ways in which belief can mislead and the ways in which (...) it can steer us aright. Indeed, they make belief a central component of their epistemologies.The view underlying these claims—one so widespread these days as to remain largely unquestioned—is that when Plato and Aristotle talk... (shrink)
Traditional procedures for rational updating fail when it comes to self-locating opinions, such as your credences about where you are and what time it is. This paper develops an updating procedure for rational agents with self-locating beliefs. In short, I argue that rational updating can be factored into two steps. The first step uses information you recall from your previous self to form a hypothetical credence distribution, and the second step changes this hypothetical distribution to reflect information you have genuinely (...) learned as time has passed. While the second step resembles traditional procedures of updating by conditionalization, the first is best understood by analogy to traditional models of how agents transmit self-locating opinions through ordinary interpersonal communication. (shrink)
This paper defends an account of full belief, including an account of its relationship to credence. Along the way, I address several familiar and difficult questions about belief. Does fully believing a proposition require having maximal confidence in it? Are rational beliefs closed under entailment, or does the preface paradox show that rational agents can believe inconsistent propositions? Does whether you believe a proposition depend partly on your practical interests? My account of belief resolves the tension between conflicting answers to (...) these questions that have been defended in the literature. In addition, my account complements fruitful probabilistic theories of assertion and knowledge. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that when we assign different credences to a proposition, a perfect compromise between our opinions simply ‘splits the difference’ between our credences. I introduce and defend an alternative account, namely that a perfect compromise maximizes the average of the expected epistemic values that we each assign to alternative credences in the disputed proposition. I compare the compromise strategy I introduce with the traditional strategy of compromising by splitting the difference, and I argue that my strategy is (...) a reasonable characterization of epistemic compromise. (shrink)
Something Aristotle calls ‘right logos’ plays a crucial role in his theory of virtue. But the meaning of ‘logos’ in this context is notoriously contested. I argue against the standard translation ‘reason’, and—drawing on parallels with Plato’s work, especially the Laws—in favor of its being used to denote what transforms an inferior epistemic state into a superior one: an explanatory account. Thus Aristotelian phronēsis, like his and Plato’s technē and epistēmē, is a matter of grasping explanatory accounts: in this case, (...) accounts that identify the right action and say why it is right. Arguably, Aristotelian rationality is a matter of being able to grasp accounts in general. (shrink)
This chapter defines and defends time-slice epistemology, according to which there are no essentially diachronic norms of rationality. The chapter begins by distinguishing two notions of time-slice epistemology, and ends by defending time-slice theories of action under indeterminacy, i.e. theories about how you should act when the outcome of your decision depends on some indeterminate claim. In a recent chapter, J. Robert G. Williams defends a theory of action under indeterminacy which is subject to several objections. An alternative theory is (...) proposed in its place. The resulting discussion highlights a more general moral about action under indeterminacy, namely that time-slice theories are supported by strong analogies with ethical theories. In particular, our understanding of agents torn between interpretations of a decision situation should be guided by our theories of agents torn between incommensurable values. (shrink)
Aristotle repeatedly claims that character-virtue “makes the goal right“, while Phronesis is responsible for working out how to achieve the goal. Many argue that these claims are misleading: it must be intellect that tells us what ends to pursue. I argue that Aristotle means just what he seems to say: despite putative textual evidence to the contrary, virtue is (a) a wholly non-intellectual state, and (b) responsible for literally supplying the contents of our goals. Furthermore, there are no good textual (...) or philosophical reasons to reject this straightforward interpretation. Contrary to widespread opinion, Aristotle does not characterize Phronesis as supplying ends. Instead, its ethical import lies wholly in its ability to “determine the mean“. Moreover, because character involves non-rational cognition of the end as good, Aristotle can restrict practical intellect to deliberation without abandoning his anti-Humean view that we desire our ends because we find them good. (shrink)
de Anima III.10 characterizes akrasia as a conflict between phantasia (“imagination”) on one side and rational cognition on the other: the akratic agent is torn between an appetite for what appears good to her phantasia and a rational desire for what her intellect believes good. This entails that akrasia is parallel to certain cases of perceptual illusion. Drawing on Aristotle's discussion of such cases in the de Anima and de Insomniis , I use this parallel to illuminate the difficult discussion (...) of akrasia in Nicomachean Ethics VII.3, arguing that its account of akrasia as involving ignorance is compatible with, and in fact crucially supplements, the more straightforward account we find elsewhere in the corpus of akrasia as a struggle between desires. (shrink)
It is commonly held that Wittgenstein abandoned the Tractatus largely because of a problem concerning color incompatibility. My aim is to solve this problem on Wittgenstein’s behalf. First I introduce the central program of the Tractatus (§1) and the color incompatibility problem (§2). Then I solve the problem without abandoning any Tractarian ideas (§3), and show that given certain weak assumptions, the central program of the Tractatus can in fact be accomplished (§4). I conclude by distinguishing my system of analysis (...) from others and by explaining the historical underpinnings of my understanding of the nature of elementary propositions (§5). (shrink)
Interventions that are designed to stem plagiarism do not always override the motivation of individuals to cheat and, therefore, may not diminish misconduct. To inform more effective approaches, we conducted a systematic review to clarify the psychological causes of plagiarism. This review of 83 empirical papers showed that a specific blend of circumstances may foster plagiarism: an emphasis on competition and success rather than development and cooperation coupled with impaired resilience, limited confidence, impulsive tendencies, and biased cognitions. Fortunately, whenever students (...) feel their life and studies align to their future aspirations, many of these circumstances tend to dissipate. (shrink)
This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...) for my derivation by refuting a subjunctive triviality result modeled on (Lewis 1976). I conclude that the debate over the correct theory of subjunctive conditionals requires settling meta-philosophical questions about the relative value of various virtues of first-order theories of subjunctive conditionals. (shrink)
Plato links pleasure with illusion, and this link explains his rejection of the view that all desires are rational desires for the good. The Protagoras and Gorgias show connections between pleasure and illusion; the Republic develops these into a psychological theory. One part of the soul is not only prone to illusions, but also incapable of the kind of reasoning that can dispel them. Pleasure appears good; therefore this part of the soul (the appetitive part) desires pleasures qua good but (...) ignores reasoning about what is really good. Hence the new moral psychology of the Republic: not all desires are rational, and thus virtue depends on bringing one's non-rational desires under the control of reason. (shrink)
I demonstrate that the theory of persistence defended in Sider  does not accommodate our intuitions about counting sentences. I develop two theories that improve on Sider's: a contextualist theory and an error theory. I argue that the latter is stronger, simpler, and better fitted to some important ordinary language judgments than rival four-dimensionalist theories of persistence.
Achieving social equality has been an important aim of modern democratic societies. Yet the process has engendered debate about the nature of equality and the consequences of its application. Why is equality valuable? What kind of equality should be aimed for? When is inequality justified? Should a principle of equality apply globally? The book assesses and links the different dimensions of equality and asks whether recent writing on the topic has the philosophical substance and political force traditionally associated with egalitarian (...) thought. (shrink)
This is a ground-breaking study of the way educated people were trained to think in Renaissance Europe. As Ann Moss demonstrates, the commonplace-book of quotations which every schoolboy of the period was taught to use opens a window on to the manner in which attitudes were structured, a moral consensus was established, and styles of writing evolved. Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought is much more than an account of humanist classroom practice: it is a major work (...) of cultural history. (shrink)
The problem of personal identity is often said to be one of accounting for what it is that gives persons their identity over time. However, once the problem has been construed in these terms, it is plain that too much has already been assumed. For what has been assumed is just that persons do have an identity. A new interpretation of Hume's no-self theory is put forward by arguing for an eliminative rather than a reductive view of personal identity, and (...) by approaching the problem in terms of phenomenology, Buddhist psychology, and the idea of a constructed self-image. (shrink)
The existence claim of a "genetic program" encoded in the DNA molecule which controls biological processes such as development has been examined. Sources of belief in such an entity are found in the rhetoric of Mendelian genetics, in the informationist speculations of Schrodinger and Delbruck, and in the instrumental efficacy found in the use of certain viral, and molecular genetic techniques. In examining specific research models, it is found that attempts at tracking the source of biological control always leads back (...) to the complex state of a cell as a whole, the organizational structure of which is not itself encoded in the DNA. It is argued that the "genetic program" is not an existing biological entity and its philosophical and heuristic status is challenged. (shrink)
In the western healthcare, shared decision making has become the orthodox approach to making healthcare choices as a way of promoting patient autonomy. Despite the fact that the autonomy paradigm is poorly suited to paediatric decision making, such an approach is enshrined in English common law. When reaching moral decisions, for instance when it is unclear whether treatment or non-treatment will serve a child’s best interests, shared decision making is particularly questionable because agreement does not ensure moral validity. With reference (...) to current common law and focusing on intensive care practice, this paper investigates what claims shared decision making may have to legitimacy in a paediatric intensive care setting. Drawing on key texts, I suggest these identify advantages to parents and clinicians but not to the child who is the subject of the decision. Without evidence that shared decision making increases the quality of the decision that is being made, it appears that a focus on the shared nature of a decision does not cohere with the principle that the best interests of the child should remain paramount. In the face of significant pressures toward the displacement of the child’s interests in a shared decision, advantages of a shared decision to decisional quality require elucidation. Although a number of arguments of this nature may have potential, should no such advantages be demonstrable we have cause to revise our commitment to either shared decision making or the paramountcy of the child in these circumstances. (shrink)
This paper obtains the weak completeness and decidability results for standard systems of modal logic using models built from formulas themselves. This line of work began with Fine (Notre Dame J. Form. Log. 16:229-237, 1975). There are two ways in which our work advances on that paper: First, the definition of our models is mainly based on the relation Kozen and Parikh used in their proof of the completeness of PDL, see (Theor. Comp. Sci. 113-118, 1981). The point is to (...) develop a general model-construction method based on this definition. We do this and thereby obtain the completeness of most of the standard modal systems, and in addition apply the method to some other systems of interest. None of the results use filtration, but in our final section we explore the connection. (shrink)
We develop and test a trickle-down model of how authentic leadership at the department level flows down the organizational hierarchy to encourage team leader authentic leadership and consequently, promotes team and individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Analyses of multi-level and multi-source data collected from a total of 487 employees comprising 122 teams, 47 departments, and 4 different working areas of a major public sector organization in Taiwan show that team leaders’ authentic leadership mediates the relationship between departmental authentic leadership and individual-level (...) leader–member exchange. We also found that intra-team trust completely mediates the influence of team authentic leadership on both team helping behavior and individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Finally, the results reveal that self-concordance mediates the influence of team authentic leadership on individual-level supervisor helping behavior as well as the influence of individual-level LMX on individual-level supervisor-directed helping behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
As everybody knows, advances in medicine and medical technology have brought enormous benefits to, and created vexing choices for, us all – choices that can, and occasionally do, test the very limits of thinking itself. As everyone also knows, we live in the age of consultants, i.e., of professional experts who are ready, willing, and able to give us advice on any and every conceivable question. One such consultant is the medical ethics consultant, or the medical ethicist who consults.Medical ethics (...) consultants involve themselves in just about every aspect of health care decision making. They help legislators and judges determine law, hospitals formulate policies, medical schools develop curricula, etc. In addition to educating physicians, nurses, and lawyers, amongst others, including medical, nursing, and law students, they participate in clinical decision making at the bedside. (shrink)
Desire is a central concept in Aristotle's ethical and psychological works, but he does not provide us with a systematic treatment of the notion itself. This book reconstructs the account of desire latent in his various scattered remarks on the subject and analyses its role in his moral psychology. Topics include: the range of states that Aristotle counts as desires ; objects of desire and the relation between desires and envisaging prospects; desire and the good; Aristotle's three species of desire: (...) epithumia, thumos and boulêsis ; Aristotle's division of desires into rational and non-rational; Aristotle and some current views on desire; and the role of desire in Aristotle's moral psychology. The book will be of relevance to anyone interested in Aristotle's ethics or psychology. (shrink)
Whether ethics is too important to be left to the experts or so important that it must be is an age-old question. The emergence of clinical ethicists raises it again, as a question about professionalism. What role clinical ethicists should play in healthcare decision making – teacher, mediator, or consultant – is a question that has generated considerable debate but no consensus.
_Beyond Solidarity_ is an impassioned argument for a sharable morality in a world increasingly fractured along lines of difference. Giles Gunn asks how human solidarity can be reconceived when its expressions have become increasingly exceptionalist and outmoded, and when the pressures of globalization divide as much as they unify. He finds the terms for answering these questions in a more inclusive, cosmopolitan pragmatism—one willing to explore fundamental values without recourse to absolutist arguments. Drawing on the work of William and (...) Henry James, John Dewey, Primo Levi, Richard Rorty, and many others, as well as postcolonial writing, Jewish literature of the Holocaust, and the cultural and religious experience of African Americans in slavery, Gunn points pragmatism in a transnational direction and shows how it can better account for the consequences of diversity. _Beyond Solidarity_, then, is a study of the difference that difference makes in a globalized world. (shrink)