Minimalism is currently the received deflationary theory of truth. On minimalism, truth is a transparent concept and a deflated property of truth bearers. In this paper, I situate minimalism within current deflationary debate about truth by contrasting it with its main alternative―the redundancy theory of truth. I also outline three of the primary challenges facing minimalism, its formulation, explanatory adequacy and stability, and draw some lessons for the soundness of its conception of truth.
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified (or absolutely warranted), i.e., justified to a degree that entails their truth and precludes their falsity. Though rationalist infallibilism is indisputably running its course, adherence to at least one of the two species of infallible a priori justification refuses to disappear from mainstream epistemology. Among others, Putnam (1978) still professes the a priori infallibility of some category (i) propositions, while Burge (...) (1986, 1988, 1996) and Lewis (1996) have recently affirmed the a priori infallibility of some category (ii) propositions. In this paper, I take aim at rationalist infallibilism by calling into question the a priori infallibility of both analytic and synthetic propositions. The upshot will be twofold: first, rationalist infallibilism unsurprisingly emerges as a defective epistemological doctrine, and second, more importantly, the case for the a priori infallibility of one or both categories of propositions turns out to lack cogency. (shrink)
While education in ethics and the responsible conduct of research is widely acknowledged as an essential component of graduate education, particularly in the STEM disciplines, little consensus exists on how best to accomplish this goal. Recent years have witnessed a turn toward the use of games in this context. Drawing from two NSF-funded grants, this paper takes a critical look at the use of games in ethics and RCR education. It does so by: setting the development of research and engineering (...) ethics games in wider historical and theoretical contexts, which highlights their promise to solve important pedagogical problems; reporting on some initial results from our own efforts to develop a game; and reflecting on the challenges that arise in using games for ethics education. In our discussion of the challenges, we draw out lessons to improve this nascent approach to ethics education in the STEM disciplines. (shrink)
The weak deflationist about truth is committed to two theses: one conceptual, the other ontological. On the conceptual thesis (what might be called a ‘triviality thesis’), the content of the truth predicate is exhausted by its involvement in some version of the ‘truth-schema’. On the ontological thesis, truth is a deflated property of truth bearers. In this paper, I focus on weak deflationism’s ontological thesis, arguing that it generates an instability in its view of truth: the view threatens to collapse (...) into either that of strong deflationism (i.e., truth is not a property) or that of some form of inflationism (i.e., truth is a substantial property). The instability objection to weak deflationism is sketched by way of a truth-property ascription dilemma, the two horns of which its proponent is at pains to circumvent. (shrink)
The final shape of the "Internet of Things" ubiquitous computing promises relies on a cybernetic system of inputs , computation or decision making , and outputs . My interest in this paper lies in the computational intelligences that suture these positions together, and how positioning these intelligences as autonomous agents extends the dialogue between human-users and ubiquitous computing technology. Drawing specifically on the scenarios surrounding the employment of ubiquitous computing within aged care, I argue that agency is something that cannot (...) be traded without serious consideration of the associated ethics. (shrink)
The superassertability theory of truth, inspired by Crispin Wright (1992, 2003), holds that a statement is true if and only if it is superassertable in the following sense: it possesses warrant that cannot be defeated by any improvement of our information. While initially promising, the superassertability theory of truth is vulnerable to a persistent difficulty highlighted by James Van Cleve (1996) and Terrence Horgan (1995) but not properly fleshed out: it is formally illegitimate in a similar sense that unsophisticated epistemic (...) theories of truth are widely acknowledged to be. Sustained analysis reveals that the unrestricted formal legitimacy argument is firmly grounded in first person conceivability evidence. (shrink)
According to Field’s influential incompleteness objection, Tarski’s semantic theory of truth is unsatisfactory since the definition that forms its basis is incomplete in two distinct senses: (1) it is physicalistically inadequate, and for this reason, (2) it is conceptually deficient. In this paper, I defend the semantic theory of truth against the incompleteness objection by conceding (1) but rejecting (2). After arguing that Davidson and McDowell’s reply to the incompleteness objection fails to pass muster, I argue that, within the constraints (...) of a non-reductive physicalism and a holism concerning the concepts of truth, reference and meaning, conceding Field’s physicalistic inadequacy conclusion while rejecting his conceptual deficiency conclusion is a promising reply to the incompleteness objection. (shrink)
Compiled by an archaeologist and philosopher of science, Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science supplements current literature in the history and philosophy of science with essays approaching the traditional problems of the field from new perspectives and highlighting disciplines usually overlooked by the canon. William H. Krieger brings together scientists from a number of disciplines to answer these questions and more in a volume appropriate for both students and academics in the field.
Responding to a major pandemic and planning for allocation of scarce resources under crisis standards of care requires coordination and cooperation across federal, state and local governments in tandem with the larger societal infrastructure. Maryland remains one of the few states with no state-endorsed ASR plan, despite having a plan published in 2017 that was informed by public forums across the state. In this article, we review strengths and weaknesses of Maryland’s response to COVID-19 and the role of the Maryland (...) Healthcare Ethics Committee Network in bridging gaps in the state’s response to prepare health care facilities for potential implementation of ASR plans. Identified “lessons learned” include: Deliberative Democracy Provided a Strong Foundation for Maryland’s ASR Framework; Community Consensus is Informative, Not Normative; Hearing Community Voices Has Inherent Value; Lack of Transparency & Political Leadership Gaps Generate a Fragmented Response; Pandemic Politics Requires Diplomacy & Persistence; Strong Leadership is Needed to Avoid Implementing ASR … And to Plan for ASR; An Effective Pandemic Response Requires Coordination and Information-Sharing Beyond the Acute Care Hospital; and The Ability to Correct Course is Crucial: Reconsidering No-visitor Policies. (shrink)
The Samenleving and Bedrijf (S&B) network of Dutch organizations seeks to embed corporate social responsibility (CSR) within business practices but faces challenges with regard to how to do so across various organizational practices, processes, and policies. The integration of CSR demands cultural change driven by senior management and other change agents, who push CSR principles throughout the organization. This study examines the change processes that S&B member organizations have initiated, with a particular focus on the role of high potentials—those persons (...) who have been selected for the fast track into senior management. Interviews with nine S&B organizations document their levels of CSR integration and implementation, the role of senior managers, and the effects of high potentials’ competencies on the realignment process. High potentials have the ability and opportunity to act as CSR change agents, but organizations’ expectations of their purposes as future senior managers prevented them from doing so. In the existing organizational cultures, leadership focused on economic success, and the CSR implementation process had just initiated. Therefore, a measure of CSR embeddedness might refer to the performance measurement and expectations of high potentials as potential CSR change agents. (shrink)
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified, i.e., justified in a way that is truth-entailing. In this paper, I examine the second thesis of rationalist infallibilism, what might be called ‘synthetic a priori infallibilism’. Exploring the seemingly only potentially plausible species of synthetic a priori infallibility, I reject the infallible justification of so-called self-justifying propositions.
Linguistic competence, in general terms, involves the ability to learn, understand, and speak a language. The nativist view in the philosophy of linguistics holds that the principal foundation of linguistic competence is an innate faculty of linguistic cognition. In this paper, close scrutiny is given to nativism's fundamental commitments in the area of metaphysics. In the course of this exploration it is argued that any minimally defensible variety of nativism is, for better or worse, married to two theses: linguistic competence (...) is grounded in a faculty of linguistic cognition that is (i) embodied and (ii) whose operating rules are represented in the brains of human language users. (shrink)
We (your guest editors) have established a productive professional and personal relationship through discussions of the role of experience and, in particular, basic learning processes in shaping sexuality in humans and animals. We are grateful to Harold Mouras as well as our contributors for allowing us to organize this special issue of Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology , which highlights what we believe to be an underrepresented perspective in the scientific study of sexual behavior and psychology. Craig (1912, 1918) suggested, and (...) Zitovitch (as cited by Pavlov, 1928) as well as - more recently - Hall, Arnold and Myers (2000) have demonstrated that behaviors as straightforward as approaching food, and water require learning. Surely (human) sexuality, for which the approach is even more complicated, is shaped by experience. We offer nine papers from leading researchers in the field that we hope will inspire divergent thinking and scholarship regarding the evolution and development of sexual preferences in both humans and animals. (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17415 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17415. (shrink)
The virtues have long played a central role in Christian moral teaching. Not surprisingly, over the centuries theologians have produced a number of interesting versions of virtue ethics. In spite of the fact that they hearken back to and are profoundly shaped by a shared set of canonical texts, theological commitments, and ritual observances, many of these versions of virtue ethics differ quite markedly from one another. The perfectionism of Wesley’s A Plain Account of Christian Perfection is as different from (...) the agapism of Edwards’ The Nature of True Virtue as it is like it. And neither of them could easily be confused with the natural law theory that Thomas Aquinas develops in the Summa Theologica. Given the length, breadth, and sophistication of this tradition, Christian moral theology offers a wealth of resources for contemporary virtue ethicists, whether or not those ethicists are working within a Christian theological framework. This chapter will highlight four strands within recent theologically-informed work on virtue ethics, each of which is directly relevant to current controversies in both moral theology and moral philosophy. (shrink)
Buben undertakes the ambitious project of providing "a compelling framework for understanding the ways in which philosophy has discussed death". This is a tall order for 136 pages of text, all the more so since he argues that the thinkers of western philosophy before Kierkegaard's and Heidegger's innovative existential philosophy of death can be broadly categorized into a Platonic strain, and an Epicurean strain. The Platonic strain suggests that death should not be feared, as the soul will survive the death (...) of the body. Thinkers such as the Apostle Paul, Plotinus, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, and Pascal are briefly discussed as examples. Membership in the Epicurean strain is marked by the conviction... (shrink)
Most contemporary variants of virtue ethics have a neo-Aristotelian timbre. However, standing alongside the neo-Aristotelians are a number of others playing similar tunes on different instruments. This chapter highlights the four most important virtue ethical alternatives to the dominant neo-Aristotelian chorus. These are Michael Slote’s agent-based approach, Linda Zagzebski’s exemplarism, Christine Swanton’s target-centered theory, and Robert Merrihew Adams’s neo-Platonic account. What these four approaches showcase is the range of possible theoretical structures available to virtue ethicists. A virtue ethicist might attempt (...) to define other normative qualities like goodness or rightness in terms of virtuous traits. But she need not. Instead, she might develop a theory in which virtue is fundamental but other normative qualities obey a logic that is at least partially independent of virtue. This chapter draws attention to an exciting range of possibilities for virtue ethics that both critics and advocates alike will want to explore. (shrink)
What is the relationship between ambition and love? While discussions of happiness often mention romances, friendships, aspirations, and achievements, the relationship between these features is seldom discussed. This paper aims to fill that gap. It begins with a suggestive remark made by La Rochefoucauld and repeated by Adam Smith: ‘Love often leads on to ambition, but seldom does one return from ambition to love.’ To explain what accounts for such a pattern, I introduce a distinction between stage-setting emotions and (...) master emotions, which is useful for illuminating relationships between a number of emotions, including ambition and love. Drawing on things Smith says elsewhere in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, I conclude by highlighting one way the pattern might be reversed and ambition might lead to love. (shrink)
This article proposes to take seriously Lord Hoffmann's influential restatement of the rules of contractual interpretation. Consequently, it seeks to investigate the ‘common sense principles by which any serious utterance would be interpreted in ordinary life’, with the aid of theoretical insights from psycholinguistics, pragmatics and the philosophy of language. Such an investigation provides a principled explanation for some of the key features of our legal rules of interpretation, such as the objective principle and the importance of the factual (...) matrix and the parties' reasonable expectations. It is shown that the intended meaning of a contractual document goes far beyond the ordinary linguistic meaning of the document, and even far beyond the information that crossed the drafter's mind. The common sense principles are then used to explain some key cases on the interpretation of contracts. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac. -- 1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation -- 2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann. -- 3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann -- 4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann -- 5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann -- 6. Ockham's Razor (...) and Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann, Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter -- 7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann -- 8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann -- 9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf -- 10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann -- 11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry -- 13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann -- 14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann -- 17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann -- 18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann, -- Part 3: Art and Science -- 19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann -- 20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann -- 21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 4 Chemical Education -- 22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann -- 23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola -- 24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire -- Part 5 Ethics in Science -- 25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann -- 26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann -- 27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann -- 28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann -- Index. (shrink)
In this book Tobias Hoffmann studies the medieval free will debate during its liveliest period, from the 1220s to the 1320s, and clarifies its background in Aristotle, Augustine, and earlier medieval thinkers. Among the wide range of authors he examines are not only well-known thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham, but also a number of authors who were just as important in their time and deserve to be rediscovered today. To shed further light on (...) their theories of free will, Hoffmann also explores their competing philosophical explanations of the fall of the angels, that is, the hypothesis of an evil choice made by rational beings under optimal psychological conditions. As he shows, this test case imposed limits on tracing free choices to cognition. His book provides a comprehensive account of a debate that was central to medieval philosophy and continues to occupy philosophers today. (shrink)
This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
A collection, edited by David Bain, Michael Brady, and Jennifer Corns, originating in our Value of Suffering Project. Table of Contents: Michael Wheeler - ‘How should affective phenomena be studied?’; Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni – ‘Pleasures, unpleasures, and emotions’; Hilla Jacobson – ‘The attitudinal representational theory of painfulness fleshed out’; Tim Schroeder – ‘What we represent when we represent the badness of getting hurt’; Hagit Benbaji – ‘A defence of the inner view of pain’; Olivier Massin – ‘Suffering pain’; (...) Frederique de Vignemont – ‘The value of threat’; Colin Leach – ‘Bad feelings can be good and good feelings can be bad’; Tasia Scrutton – ‘Mental suffering and the experience of beauty’; Brock Bastian – ‘From suffering to satisfaction: why we need pain to feel pleasure’; Marilyn McCord Adams – ‘Pain and moral agency’; Jennifer Corns – ‘Hedonic rationality’; Jonathan Cohen & Matthew Fulkerson – ‘Suffering and rationality’; Tom McClelland – ‘Suffering invites understanding’; Michael Brady – ‘Suffering as a virtue’; Glen Pettigrove TBA. Further authors TBA. (shrink)
Renowned scholar Robert Adams explores the relation between religion and ethics through a comprehensive philosophical account of a theistically-based framework for ethics. Adams' framework begins with the good rather than the right, and with excellence rather than usefulness. He argues that loving the excellent, of which adoring God is a clear example, is the most fundamental aspect of a life well lived. Developing his original and detailed theory, Adams contends that devotion, the sacred, grace, martyrdom, worship, vocation, faith, and other (...) concepts drawn from religious ethics have been sorely overlooked in moral philosophy and can enrich the texture of ethical thought. (shrink)
Adam Świeżyński | : The experience of loneliness is usually seen as a negative aspect of human existence and something to overcome. However, it is worth trying to break free, if only on a trial basis, from the established traditional perception of loneliness, and strive to reduce it immediately from being one of the main sources of human affliction and to rethink its importance in human life. In order to do this, we must first consider the question of the (...) essence of loneliness, and then examine the question of its axiological status, i.e. its value. The ontological dimension and the axiological dimension of the issue should include the opportunity to construct the concept of human loneliness, by taking into account its internal and external aspect. The purpose of this paper is to propose an outline concept of loneliness, which, on the basis of findings on its essence, seeks to determine its axiological nature. The designated point of departure is the biblical image of human loneliness presented in Genesis. | : L’expérience de la solitude est souvent perçue comme un aspect négatif de l’existence humaine, nécessitant d’être surmonté. Il convient cependant d’essayer de se libérer de cette perception figée de la solitude, selon laquelle celle-ci est réduite immédiatement à l’une des sources fondamentales du malheur humain, et d’essayer de revisiter le sens qu’elle a l’égard de la vie humaine. Pour ceci, il est nécessaire dans un premier lieu de considérer l’être de la solitude pour ensuite analyser son statut axiologique. La dimension axiologique et ontologique de la question évoquée devraient ensemble permettre de construire une conception de la solitude considérant sont aspect extérieur et intérieur. L’objet de cet écrit est de proposer une esquisse de la conception de la solitude qui en partant des précisions sur son être a pour objectif de définir son caractère axiologique. L’image de la solitude humaine telle que présentée dans la Genèse sera prise comme point de départ. (shrink)
Leonidas Montes presents a new reading of Adam Smith's legacy. The classical influences, the meaning of some key concepts, and what other authors were saying at the time, are fundamental to understand what Smith really said. Starting with the famous Das Adam Smith Problem, Montes investigates the causes and the context of the Problem, and proposes the importance of the moral triad of the supposed impartial spectator, propriety and self-command for understanding Smith's broad concept of sympathy. Smith's virtues (...) are fundamental to his moral thought, and the nature of the meaning of self-command and propriety have important philosophical implications, reflecting the relevance of moral autonomy in Smith's thought. The concluding chapter gives an example of the mistake of simply looking at a problem through the eyes of today. It questions the popular version of Smith as a forerunner or founder of general economic equilibrium theory by investigating the real nature of Smith's Newtonianism. (shrink)
Alston's perceptual account of mystical experience fails to show how it is that the sort of predicates that are used to describe God in these experiences could be derived from perception, even though the ascription of matched predicates in the natural order are not derived in the manner Alston has in mind. In contrast, if one looks to research on shared attention between individuals as mediated by mirror neurons, then one can give a perceptual account of mystical experience which draws (...) a tighter connection between what is reported in mystical reports and the most similar reports in the natural order. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The philosophical literature on forgiveness has ignored a distinction that has a profound bearing on when we should forgive, namely, the distinction between attitudes and practices. Most of the literature focuses on the attitudes called for in the aftermath of wrongdoing. And it attempts to derive the ethics of forgiving directly from the ethical profile of those attitudes. However, attitudes underdetermine what one ought to do. I argue that assessing what we should do also requires us to consider practices. (...) Although I focus on forgiveness, the argument generalizes to other areas. Taking the distinction between attitudes and practices seriously will change the way we approach not only the question, ‘When should one forgive?’ but also, for example, ‘When should one be grateful?’ ‘When should one blame?’ ‘When should one honour?’ or any other activity that includes an attitude as a defining feature. (shrink)
Many favor representationalism about color experience. To a first approximation, this view holds that experiencing is like believing. In particular, like believing, experiencing is a matter of representing the world to be a certain way. Once you view color experience along these lines, you face a big question: do our color experiences represent the world as it really is? For instance, suppose you see a tomato. Representationalists claim that having an experience with this sensory character is necessarily connected with representing (...) a distinctive quality as pervading a round area out there in external space. Let us call it “sensible redness” to highlight the fact that the representation of this property is necessarily connected with the sensory character of the experience. Is this property, sensible redness, really co-instantiated with roundness out there in the space before you? (shrink)
What is forgiveness? When is it appropriate? Is it to be earned or can it be freely given? Is it a passion we cannot control, or something we choose to do? Glen Pettigrove explores the relationship between forgiving, understanding, and loving. He examines the significance of character for the debate, and revives the long-neglected virtue of grace.
In addition to being uncertain about what the world is like, one can also be uncertain about one’s own spatial or temporal location in the world. My aim is to pose a problem arising from the interaction between these two sorts of uncertainty, solve the problem, and draw two lessons from the solution.
Robert Merrihew Adams has been a leader in renewing philosophical respect for the idea that moral obligation may be founded on the commands of God. This collection of Adams' essays, two of which are previously unpublished, draws from his extensive writings on philosophical theology that discuss metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues surrounding the concept of God--whether God exists or not, what God is or would be like, and how we ought to relate ourselves to such a being. Adams studies the (...) relation between religion and ethics, delving into an analysis of moral arguments for theistic belief. In several essays, he applies contemporary studies in the metaphysics of individuality, possibility and necessity, and counterfactual conditionals to issues surrounding the existence of God and problems of evil. (shrink)
The “puzzle of the unmarked clock” derives from a conflict between the following: (1) a plausible principle of epistemic modesty, and (2) “Rational Reflection”, a principle saying how one’s beliefs about what it is rational to believe constrain the rest of one’s beliefs. An independently motivated improvement to Rational Reflection preserves its spirit while resolving the conflict.
This is a chapter from my forthcoming book Perception (Routledge). I explain the physical state view of sensory experience (Papineau, McLaughlin, others). I criticize an argument against it based on the "transparency observation". Then I develop two alternative arguments against it. The first is a Leibniz's Law argument based on the essentially externally directed character of some experiences. The second concerns "brains in vats". Finally I consider a recent response due to David Papineau, which involves rejecting essential external directedness.
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