The greatest challenge for Cultural Selection Theory, which holds that Darwinian natural selection contributes to cultural evolution, lies is the paucity of evidence for structural mechanisms in cultural systems that are sufficient for adaptation by natural selection. In part, clarification is required with respect to the interaction between cultural systems and their purported selective environments. Edmonds, Hull, and others have argued that Cultural Selection Theory requires simple, conclusive, unambiguous case studies in order to meet this challenge. To this end, I (...) am employing the songs of the Rufous-collared Sparrow, which seem to exhibit cultural adaptations that minimize signal degradation relative to local environments (Handford, et al.). Specifically, the more forested the habitat, the more the tail end of the song resembles a whistle rather than a trill; yet, variation in song is uncorrelated with genetic variation. I explore the mechanisms responsible for these putative acoustic adaptations through a series of computer simulations. I modify the framework of Alexander and Skyrms’ ‘Bargaining with Neighbours’: this dynamic evolutionary game theoretic framework is well-suited for my investigation because the local interactions between agents provide a basis for modeling song transmission from adults to fledglings. In the simplest version of the model, each bird adopts one of two song types – trill or whistle – and sings that song type for the duration of its life. These song strategies are communicated to other birds in neighboring territories, which are arranged as a grid composed of two acoustic habitats (forest and field). Birds have a set probability of dying in each year, and deceased birds are succeeded by fledglings. The likelihood that a fledgling adopts a particular song type depends on (i) the popularity of a particular song-type among neighboring birds and (ii) the relative ‘audibility’ of each signal, which is a joint function of the habitat and song type of the signaling bird. The main point of this research is not to test this model, but to demonstrate that models of this type have the resources to meet the outstanding challenges in Cultural Selection Theory. The benefits of this research are threefold. First, it will lend much needed empirical support to Cultural Selection Theory by clarifying the nature of the interaction between culture and environment. Second, it will support Alexander and Skyrms’ work by providing a set of empirically testable consequences for their model. Finally, it will contribute to evolutionary theory by clarifying the scope and limits of adaptation by natural selection. (shrink)
In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
Gillian Brock develops a model of global justice that takes seriously the moral equality of all human beings notwithstanding their legitimate diverse identifications and affiliations. She addresses concerns about implementing global justice, showing how we can move from theory to feasible public policy that makes progress toward global justice.
The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence. Synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean. Analytic sentences - like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides - are different. They are true in virtue of meaning, so no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. -/- (...) This distinction seems powerful because analytic sentences seem to be knowable in a special way. One can know that all bachelors are unmarried, for example, just by thinking about what it means. But many twentieth-century philosophers, with Quine in the lead, argued that there were no analytic sentences, that the idea of analyticity didn't even make sense, and that the analytic/synthetic distinction was therefore an illusion. Others couldn't see how there could fail to be a distinction, however ingenious the arguments of Quine and his supporters. -/- But since the heyday of the debate, things have changed in the philosophy of language. Tools have been refined, confusions cleared up, and most significantly, many philosophers now accept a view of language - semantic externalism - on which it is possible to see how the distinction could fail. One might be tempted to think that ultimately the distinction has fallen for reasons other than those proposed in the original debate. -/- In Truth in Virtue of Meaning, Gillian Russell argues that it hasn't. Using the tools of contemporary philosophy of language, she outlines a view of analytic sentences which is compatible with semantic externalism and defends that view against the old Quinean arguments. She then goes on to draw out the surprising epistemological consequences of her approach. (shrink)
As global business operations expand, managers need more knowledge of foreign cultures, in particular, information on the ethics of doing business across borders. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to share the Islamic perspective on business ethics, little known in the west, which may stimulate further thinking and debate on the relationships between ethics and business, and to provide some knowledge of Islamic philosophy in order to help managers do business in Muslim cultures. The case of Egypt illustrates some (...) divergence between Islamic philosophy and practice in economic life. The paper concludes with managerial implications and suggestions for further research. (shrink)
Socioeconomic differences in behaviour are pervasive and well documented, but their causes are not yet well understood. Here, we make the case that a cluster of behaviours is associated with lower socioeconomic status, which we call “the behavioural constellation of deprivation.” We propose that the relatively limited control associated with lower SES curtails the extent to which people can expect to realise deferred rewards, leading to more present-oriented behaviour in a range of domains. We illustrate this idea using the specific (...) factor of extrinsic mortality risk, an important factor in evolutionary theoretical models. We emphasise the idea that the present-oriented behaviours of the constellation are a contextually appropriate response to structural and ecological factors rather than a pathology or a failure of willpower. We highlight some principles from evolutionary theoretical models that can deepen our understanding of how socioeconomic inequalities can become amplified and embedded. These principles are that small initial disparities can lead to larger eventual inequalities, feedback loops can embed early-life circumstances, constraints can breed further constraints, and feedback loops can operate over generations. We discuss some of the mechanisms by which SES may influence behaviour. We then review how the contextually appropriate response perspective that we have outlined fits with other findings about control and temporal discounting. Finally, we discuss the implications of this interpretation for research and policy. (shrink)
Many of the most skilled and educated citizens of developing countries choose to emigrate. How may those societies respond to these facts? May they ever legitimately prevent the emigration of their citizens? Gillian Brock and Michael Blake debate these questions, and offer distinct arguments about the morality of emigration.
In Mourning Becomes the Law, Gillian Rose takes us beyond the impasse of post-modernism or 'despairing rationalism withour reason'. Arguing that the post-modern search for a 'new ethics' and ironic philosophy are incoherent, she breathes new life into the debates concerning power and domination, transcendence and eternity. Mourning Becomes the Law is the philosophical counterpart to Gillian Rose's highly acclaimed memoir Love's Work. She extends similar clarity and insight to discussions of architecture, cinema, painting and poetry, through which (...) relations between the formation of the individual and the theory of justice are connected. At the heart of this reconnection lies a reflection on the significance of the Holocaust and Judaism. Mourning Becomes the Law reinvents the classical analogy of the soul, the city and the sacred. It returns philosophy, Nietzsche's 'bestowing virtue', to the pulse of our intellectual and political culture. (shrink)
This paper is about the putative theoretical virtue of strength, as it might be used in abductive arguments to the correct logic in the epistemology of logic. It argues for three theses. The first is that the well-defined property of logical strength is neither a virtue nor a vice, so that logically weaker theories are not—all other things being equal—worse or better theories than logically stronger ones. The second thesis is that logical strength does not entail the looser characteristic of (...) scientific strength, and the third is that many modern logics are on a par—or can be made to be on a par—with respect to scientific strength. (shrink)
Take a correct sequent of formal logic, perhaps a simple logical truth, like the law of excluded middle, or something with premises, like disjunctive syllogism, but basically a claim of the form \.Γ can be empty. If you don’t like my examples, feel free to choose your own, everything I have to say should apply to those as well. Such a sequent attributes the properties of logical truth or logical consequence to a schematic sentence or argument. This paper aims to (...) answer the question of how beliefs in such attributions are justified, on both its descriptive and normative interpretations; I aim to say when we generally take ourselves to be justified in forming such beliefs, and to make it plausible that beliefs formed this way really are justified.We can ask such questions about many domains but there are special difficulties for answering them in logic. Some of the difficulties stem from the fact that logic is thought t.. (shrink)
Recent work on analyticity distinguishes two kinds, metaphysical and epistemic. This paper argues that the distinction allows for a new view in the philosophy of logic according to which the claims of logic are metaphysically analytic and have distinctive modal profiles, even though their epistemology is holist and in many ways rather Quinean. It is argued that such a view combines some of the more attractive aspects of the Carnapian and Quinean approaches to logic, whilst avoiding some famous problems.
This study investigated the extent to which people interpret real-life moral dilemmas in terms of an internal moral orientation, as Gilligan (1982, 1988) has suggested, or in terms of the content of the dilemma, as Wark and Krebs (1996, 1997) have reported. Thirty women and 30 men listed the issues they saw in descriptions of real-life prosocial, antisocial and social pressure types of moral dilemma. Results revealed that Gilligan's model underestimates the influence of dilemma content. Moral dilemmas differed in the (...) extent to which they were viewed in terms of the same issues by different participants. There was relatively little within-person consistency in moral orientation. There were four gender differences. Compared to men, women rated social pressure dilemmas as involving more care-orientated issues, and prosocial dilemmas as more significant. Compared to women, men viewed all dilemmas as involving more justice-based issues, and reported experiencing more antisocial dilemmas. (shrink)
Between Feminism and Materialism is a bold attempt to make sense of the relationship between feminist theory and capitalism. Addressing a number of philosophical problems that have engaged feminists over the last few decades--universals and reason, nature and essentialism, identity and non-identity, sex and gender, power and patriarchy, local and global--this innovative book breaks through feminist waves and explains the paradoxes of feminist theory by demonstrating the on-going relevance of dialectics and the concepts of exploitation, ideology, and reification. Drawing on (...) first, second, and third "waves" of feminist theory, this exciting combination of existentialism, phenomenology, and critical theory delivers a proactive feminism ready to respond to the challenges presented by our thoroughly modern times. (shrink)
This paper examines beliefs about four aspects of ethical leadership – Character/Integrity, Altruism, Collective Motivation and Encouragement – in Germany and the United States using data from Project GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) and a supplemental analysis. Within the context of a push toward convergence driven by the demands of globalization and the pull toward divergence underpinned by different cultural values and philosophies in the two countries, we focus on two questions: Do middle managers from the United States (...) and Germany differ in their beliefs about ethical leadership? And, do individuals from these two countries attribute different characteristics to ethical leaders? Results provide evidence that while German and US middle managers, on average, differed in the degree of endorsement for each aspect, they each endorsed Character/Integrity, Collective Motivation and Encouragement as important for effective leadership and had a more neutral view of the importance of Altruism . The findings are reviewed within the social-cultural context of each country. (shrink)
This book fundamentally challenges the radical credentials of post-structuralism. Though Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze claim to have 'deconstructed' metaphysics, their work has much in common with previous attempts to 'end' the metaphysical tradition, from Kant to Nietzshe and Heidegger, and by sociology in general. Gillian Rose shows that this anti-metaphysical writing always appears in historically specific jurisprudential terms, which themselves found and recapitulate metaphysical categories. She reconsiders post-structuralism in this light and assesses the relationship between deconstruction and the earlier (...) structuralism of Saussure and Levi-Strauss. She argues in conclusion that the choice between post-structuralist nihilism and Hegelian and Marxist dialectic is spurious. (shrink)
Logical monists and pluralists disagree about how many correct logics there are; the monists say there is just one, the pluralists that there are more. Could it turn out that both are wrong, and that there is no logic at all?
Two critiques of simple adaptationism are distinguished: anti-adaptationism and extended adaptationism. Adaptationists and anti-adaptationists share the presumption that an evolutionary explanation should identify the dominant simple cause of the evolutionary outcome to be explained. A consideration of extended-adaptationist models such as coevolution, niche construction and extended phenotypes reveals the inappropriateness of this presumption in explaining the evolution of certain important kinds of features—those that play particular roles in the regulation of organic processes, especially behavior. These biological or behavioral ‘levers’ are (...) distinctively available for adaptation and exaptation by their possessors and for co-optation by other organisms. As a result they are likely to result from a distinctive and complex type of evolutionary process that conforms neither to simple adaptationist nor to anti-adaptationist styles of explanation. Many of the human features whose evolutionary explanation is most controversial belong to this category, including the female orgasm. (shrink)
This article focuses on the experiences of becoming and being mothers for lesbian co-parents who have children via donor insemination. Rather than the presence of children incorporating lesbians into the mainstream as “honorary heterosexuals,” the author argues that lesbian parenting represents a radical and radicalizing challenge to heterosexual norms that govern parenting roles and identities. It undermines traditional notions of the family and the heterosexual monopoly of reproduction. The same-sex context together with successful collaboration with donors supports the refashioning of (...) kinship relationships. An attentiveness to the gender dynamics of sexuality illuminates further contestations. The author argues that their structural similarities as women place them in contradiction with dominant gender practices enacted in heterosexual relationships. This facilitates the evaluation and negotiation of more egalitarian approaches to work and parenting, and through their operationalization, much of the logic supporting conventional divisions of labor is undermined. (shrink)
This is a paper about the constituents of arguments. It argues that several different kinds of truth-bearer may be taken to compose arguments, but that none of the obvious candidates—sentences, propositions, sentence/truth-value pairs etc.—make sense of logic as it is actually practiced. The paper goes on to argue that by answering the question in different ways, we can generate different logics, thus ensuring a kind of logical pluralism that is different from that of J. Beall and Greg Restall.
This book asks whether evolution can help us to understand human behaviour and explores diverse evolutionary methods and arguments. It provides a short, readable introduction to the science behind the works of Dawkins, Dennett, Wilson and Pinker. It is widely used in undergraduate courses around the world.
In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted (...) a profound wrong that demanded remedy by the courts. Soon thereafter, the NhRP filed habeas corpus petitions on behalf of Kiko, another chimpanzee housed alone in Niagara Falls, and Hercules and Leo, two chimpanzees held in research facilities at Stony Brook University. Thus began the legal struggle to move these chimpanzees from captivity to a sanctuary, an effort that has led the NhRP to argue in multiple courts before multiple judges. The central point of contention has been whether Tommy, Kiko, Hercules, and Leo have legal rights. To date, no judge has been willing to issue a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf. Such a ruling would mean that these chimpanzees have rights that confinement might violate. Instead, the judges have argued that chimpanzees cannot be bearers of legal rights because they are not, and cannot be persons. In this book we argue that chimpanzees are persons because they are autonomous. (shrink)
Egypt, a less affluent, predominantly Muslim country, suffers from numerous forms of environmental pollution, some severe. This study investigates pro-environmental behaviors of citizens in Cairo, Egypt’s largest metropolis, and studies the relationship between pro-environmental behavior and demographic variables, beliefs, values, and religiosity. Analysis shows that three types of pro-environmental behavior are present: Public Sphere, Private Sphere, and Activist Behavior, with the latter occurring less frequently. Importantly, the study identifies an ecocentric value among respondents which is correlated with Public Sphere Behavior. (...) It also confirms earlier research that characterized Egyptians’ perceptions of the environment as being set in the context of health and cleanliness. Religious teachings and religiosity are shown to be associated with pro-environmental behavior, thus lending support to the presence of an Islamic environmental ethic. (shrink)
Why is it important for people to agree on and articulate shared reasons for just laws, rather than whatever reasons they personally find compelling? What, if any, practical role does public reason play in liberal democratic politics? We argue that the practical role of public reason can be better appreciated by examining the confluence of normative and positive political theory; the former represented here by liberal social contract theory of John Rawls and others, and the latter by rational choice or (...) game theory. Citizens in a diverse society face a practical as well as a moral problem. How can they have confidence that others will reciprocate their commitment to supporting governing principles that depart from their own ideal conceptions of truth and value in order to be reasonable to all? Citizens face a practical problem of mutual assurance that public reason helps them solve, and solve as a matter of common knowledge. The solution, on both views, requires citizens’ reciprocal commitment to basing law on a system of shared reasons. Both views place public reason at the core of liberal democratic politics in conditions of diversity, and for quite similar reasons. Our argument illustrates the complementary roles of positive and values-based analysis in constitutional design. (shrink)
The prevalence of academic dishonesty is a matter of considerable concern for institutions of higher education everywhere. We explored students’ perceptions of academic dishonesty using Q methodology, which provides insights that are different from those obtained through surveys or interviews. South African students ranked 48 statements, giving reasons why students cheat, on an 11-column grid, anchored by strongly agree and strongly disagree. Q factor analysis was used to identify groups of individuals who share the same perspective. The three perspectives that (...) emerged viewed academic dishonesty as moral transgressions, pressure transgressions, or confused transgressions. These suggest different approaches to addressing the issue. (shrink)
Facial appearance changes with age and health affecting skin color as well as facial and head hair. Yet somehow the brain is able to see past shared structure and dynamic deformations to focus on subtle details that distinguish one face from another. This article argues that the brain takes an efficient approach to this problem using prior knowledge about the structure of faces in its analysis. It employs intrinsic norms to focus on subtle variations in the shared face configuration that (...) differentiate one face from another. The study reviews evidence that the brain uses multiple norms to extract face identity that these norms are shaped by visual experience, and that norm-based coding is well-suited to meeting the challenges of image-based face perception mentioned above. By encoding faces with reference to stored perceptual norms the visual system can focus on what is unique to each individual, allowing for the discrimination of thousands of faces despite their similarity. (shrink)
Is it harder to acquire knowledge about things that really matter to us than it is to acquire knowledge about things we don't much care about? Jason Stanley 2005 argues that whether or not the relational predicate 'knows that' holds between an agent and a proposition can depend on the practical interests of the agent: the more it matters to a person whether p is the case, the more justification is required before she counts as knowing that p. The evidence (...) for Stanley's thesis includes a number of intuitive judgments about examples. In this paper we provide parallel examples for which Stanley's thesis requires unwelcome knowledge-attributions, and argue that this is possible because his thesis conflicts with familiar and plausible principles about knowledge. (shrink)
Once a standard tool in the epistemologist’s kit, the analytic/synthetic distinction was challenged by Quine and others in the mid-twentieth century and remains controversial today. But although the work of a lot contemporary philosophers touches on this distinction – in the sense that it either has consequences for it, or it assumes results about it – few have really focussed on it recently. This has the consequence that a lot has happened that should affect our view of the analytic/synthetic distinction, (...) while little has been done to work out exactly what the effects are. All these features together make the topic ideal for either a survey or research seminar at the graduate level: it can provide an organising theme which justifies a spectrum of classic readings from Locke to Williamson, passing though Kant, Frege, Carnap, Quine and Kripke on the way, but it could also provide an excuse for a much more narrowly construed research seminar which studies the consequences of really contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics for the distinction. (shrink)
: This paper examines the nature of the harm-benefit tradeoff in early clinical research for interventions that involve remote possibility of direct benefit and likelihood of direct harms to research participants with fatal prognoses, by drawing on the example of gene transfer trials for glioblastoma multiforme. We argue that the appeal made by the component approach to clinical equipoise fails to account fully for the nature of the harm-benefit tradeoff—individual harm for social benefit—that would be required to justify such research. (...) An analysis of what we label "collateral affective benefits," such as the experience of hope or exercise of altruism, shows that the existence of these motivations reinforces rather than mitigates the necessity of justification by reference to social benefit. Evaluations of social benefit must be taken seriously in the research ethics review process to avoid the exploitation of research participants' motivations of hope or altruism and to avoid the possibility of inadvertent exploitation of high-risk research participants and the harms that would associate with such exploitation. (shrink)
David Miller offers us a sophisticated account of how we can reconcile global obligations and duties to co?nationals. In this article I focus on four weaknesses with his account such as the following two. First, there remains considerable unclarity about the strength of the positive duties we have to non?nationals and how these measure up relative to other positive duties, such as the ones Miller believes we have to co?nationals to implement civil, political, or social rights. Second, just how responsibilities (...) for enacting our global commitments will be assigned still needs further development. A unifying theme of my criticisms concerns Miller?s account of how we are to mediate responsibilities to fellow?nationals and the partiality we may defensibly show co?nationals. In the final section I sketch an alternative way of conceptualizing our duties to fellow?nationals and duties to non?nationals, which can give more systematic advice about the partiality we may defensibly show co?nationals. (shrink)
I examine how reforming our international tax regime could be an important vehicle by which we can begin to realize global justice. For instance, eliminating tax havens, tax evasion, and transfer pricing schemes are all important to ensure accountability and to support democracies. I argue that the proposals concerning taxation reform are likely to be more effective in tackling global poverty than Thomas Pogge's global resources dividend because they target some of the central issues more effectively. I also discuss many (...) particular proposals for global taxes that have already been floated and implementation prospects and successes. (shrink)
In a period of rapid internationalization of trade and increased labor mobility, is it relevant for nations to think about their moral obligations to others? Do national boundaries have fundamental moral significance, or do we have moral obligations to foreigners that are equal to our obligations to our compatriots? The latter position is known as cosmopolitanism, and this volume brings together a number of distinguished political philosophers and theorists to explore cosmopolitanism: what it consists in, and the positive case which (...) can be made for it. Their essays provide a comprehensive overview of both the current state of the debate and the alternative visions of cosmopolitanism with which we can move forward, and they will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, political theory, and law. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the idea ‘becoming-woman’ is an attempt to transform embodied experience but, because it is unable to concern itself with mechanisms, structures and processes of sexual differentiation, fails in this task. In the first section I elaborate the relationship between becoming-woman and Deleuze's ‘superior’ or ‘transcendental’ empiricism and suggest that problems can be traced back to an underlying Humean empiricism. Along with Hume, Deleuze, it seems, presumes a bundle model of the object which dissolves things (...) into episodic objects of perception and leaves the subject unable to distinguish between fanciful objects, erroneous perception and any other thing. The empiricist ontology thus has consequences for epistemology and leaves us unable to question the conservative tendencies of common sense. As an alternative to transcendental empiricism, the second section considers how transcendental realism, with its ontological commitment to the mind-independent character of things, may provide a more fruitful and productive line of enquiry. Given that there is such a choice, in the third section I speculate as to the specific desires that drive such philosophical abstraction; abstraction which culminates in the non sex-specific figure becoming-woman whilst disguising the mind-independent character of the mechanisms, structures and objects that affect the subject. So I conclude that, despite all appearances of radicalism, the philosophical model ‘becoming-woman’ – aligned as it is with schizo-processes and the philosophical loss of mind-independent things – is more of the same and sexual difference remains a hidden term. Due to this, I believe that feminists should view it with suspicion. (shrink)
Gillian Rose was a philosopher, social theorist, memoirist, and Jewish convert to Christianity who died an untimely death in 1995. She offers a novel account of faith, which grows out of her Hegelian philosophical background inflected by her reading of Kierkegaard and her rediscovered Jewish heritage. For Rose, faith is a mode of social practice. Rose's conception of faith is here reconstructed by translating her obscure jurisprudential idiom into the language of social practices and norms. The conception of secular (...) faith developed by Rose is shown to have implications for contemporary discussions of ethics and politics. The contemporary relevance of Rose's work is made clear through comparison with recent work by Robert Brandom, Robert Adams, and Patrick Deneen. (shrink)