The practice of appealing to esoteric intuitions, long standard in analytic philosophy, has recently fallen on hard times. Various recent empirical results have suggested that philosophers are not currently able to distinguish good intuitions from bad. This paper evaluates one possible type of approach to this problematic methodological situation: calibration. Both critiquing and building on an argument from Robert Cummins, the paper explores what possible avenues may exist for the calibration of philosophical intuitions. It is argued that no good options (...) are currently available, but leaves open the real possibility of such a calibration in the future. (shrink)
Most academic efforts to understand morality and ideology come from theorists who limit the domain of morality to issues related to harm and fairness. For such theorists, conservative beliefs are puzzles requiring non-moral explanations. In contrast, we present moral foundations theory, which broadens the moral domain to match the anthropological literature on morality. We extend the theory by integrating it with a review of the sociological constructs of community, authority, and sacredness, as formulated by Emile Durkheim and others. We present (...) data supporting the theory, which also shows that liberals misunderstand the explicit moral concerns of conservatives more than conservatives misunderstand liberals. We suggest that what liberals see as a non-moral motivation for system justification may be better described as a moral motivation to protect society, groups, and the structures and constraints that are often (though not always) beneficial for individuals. Finally, we outline the possible benefits of a moral foundations perspective for System Justification Theory, including better understandings of 1) why the system-justifying motive is palliative despite some harmful effects, 2) possible evolutionary origins of the motive, and 3) the values and worldviews of conservatives in general. (shrink)
The whole of our human experience is determined by certain material conditions which cannot themselves be a part of that experience. In particular there exist objects, inaccessible to our senses, which nevertheless interact with ourselves to produce that experience. But the selves which are so affected by these objects outside our experience, and the internal mechanisms which somehow construct that experience, are also just such material conditions of, and not parts of, that experience. We might describe this appeal to material (...) conditions of experience in Kant's technical terms as the ‘intelligible’ or even ‘transcendental’ background to our empirical experience. In its attempt to provide some explanation, in terms of things in themselves, of empirical objects it forms a central part of what Adickes called Kant's ‘double affection’ theory. (shrink)
It is argued that core areas of philosophy can benefit from reflection on cross-disciplinary research (CDR). We start by giving a brief account of CDR, describing its variability and some of the ways in which philosophers can interact with it. We then provide an argument in principle for the conclusion that CDR is philosophically fecund, arguing that since CDR highlights fundamental differences among disciplinary research worldviews, it can be used to motivate new philosophical problems and supply new insights into old (...) problems. We close by providing an argument by example that uses the epistemology of peer disagreement to establish the potential of CDR for core philosophical areas. With this argument, we aim to demonstrate how the complex research contexts that CDR affords can point the way toward important avenues of epistemological research by highlighting potential limitations of key epistemological components, such as peerage and uniqueness. (shrink)
Aristotle's use of the phrase τὰ καλούμενα στοιχεȋα is usually taken as evidence that he does not really think that the things to which this phrase refers, namely, fire, air, water, and earth, are genuine elements. In this paper I question the linguistic and textual grounds for taking the phrase τὰ καλούμενα στοιχεȋα in this way. I offer a detailed examination of the significance of the phrase, and in particular I compare Aristotle's general use of the Greek participle καλούμενος (-η, (...) -ον) in other contexts. I conclude that his use of the phrase τὰ καλούμενα στοιχεȋα does not carry ironical or sceptical connotations, and that it ought to be understood as a neutral report of a contemporary opinion that the elements of bodies are fire, air, water, and earth. I leave aside the question as to whether or not Aristotle himself endorses this opinion. (shrink)
This paper is about the phenomenon known as Neg-Raising. All previous analyses of Neg-Raising fall into one of two categories: syntactic and semantic/pragmatic. The syntactic approach derives the unexpected interpretation of Neg-Raising expressions from a Neg movement operation in the syntax while the semantic/pragmatic approach derives it as an inference attributed to an excluded middle associated with Neg-Raising predicates. In this squib, I discuss a collection of novel and known data, which I argue indicate that both a Neg movement operation (...) as well as an excluded middle are necessary to account for the full range of data. I propose that Neg-Raising is an intrinsically semantic/pragmatic phenomenon and that the Neg movement operation is conditioned by the presence of an excluded middle. I offer a generalization that takes a step towards understanding this mysterious dependency. (shrink)
Standard philosophical methodology which proceeds by appeal to intuitions accessible "from the armchair" has come under criticism on the basis of empirical work indicating unanticipated variability of such intuitions. Loose constitutivity---the idea that intuitions are partly, but not strictly, constitutive of the concepts that appear in them---offers an interesting line of response to this empirical challenge. On a loose constitutivist view, it is unlikely that our intuitions are incorrect across the board, since they partly fix the facts in question. But (...) we argue that this ratification of intuitions is at best rough and generic, and can only do the required methodological work if it operates in conjunction with some sort of further criteria of theory selection. We consider two that we find in the literature: naturalness (Brian Weatherson, borrowing from Lewis) and charity (Henry Jackman, borrowing from Davidson). At the end of the day, neither provides the armchair philosopher complete shelter from extra-armchair inquiry. (shrink)
My discussion in this paper is divided into three parts. In section I, I discuss some fairly familiar lines of approach to the question how moral considerations may be shown to have rational appeal. In section II, I suggest how our existence as constituents in collective entities might also influence our practical thinking. In section III, I entertain the idea that identification with collectives might displace moral thinking to some degree, and I offer Marx's class theory as a sample of (...) collective identification for the purposes of practical deliberation. (shrink)
[Michael Friedman] This paper considers the extent to which Kant's vision of a distinctively 'transcendental' task for philosophy is essentially tied to his views on the foundations of the mathematical and physical sciences. Contemporary philosophers with broadly Kantian sympathies have attempted to reinterpret his project so as to isolate a more general philosophical core not so closely tied to the details of now outmoded mathematical-physical theories (Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics). I consider two such attempts, those of Strawson and McDowell, (...) and argue that they fundamentally distort the original Kantian impulse. I then consider Buchdahl's attempt to preserve the link between Kantian philosophy and the sciences while simultaneously generalizing Kant's doctrines in light of later scientific developments. I argue that Buchdahl's view, while not adequate as in interpretation of Kant in his own eighteenth century context, is nonetheless suggestive of an historicized and relativized revision of Kantianism that can do justice to both Kant's original philosophical impulse and the radical changes in the sciences that have occurred since Kant's day. /// [Graham Bird] Michael Friedman criticises some recent accounts of Kant which 'detach' his transcendental principles from the sciences, and do so in order to evade naturalism. I argue that Friedman's rejection of that 'detachment' is ambiguous. In its strong form, which I claim Kant rejects, the principles of Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics are represented as transcendental principles. In its weak form, which I believe Kant accepts, it treats those latter principles as higher order conditions of the possibility of both science and ordinary experience. I argue also that the appeal to naturalism is unhelpful because that doctrine is seriously unclear, and because the accounts Friedman criticises are open to objections independent of any appeal to naturalism. (shrink)
In this article we argue that philosophy can facilitate improvement in cross-disciplinary science. In particular, we discuss in detail the Toolbox Project, an effort in applied epistemology that deploys philosophical analysis for the purpose of enhancing collaborative, cross-disciplinary scientific research through improvements in cross-disciplinary communication. We begin by sketching the scientific context within which the Toolbox Project operates, a context that features a growing interest in and commitment to cross-disciplinary research (CDR). We then develop an argument for the leading idea (...) behind this effort, namely, that philosophical dialogue can improve cross-disciplinary science by effecting epistemic changes that lead to better group communication. On the heels of this argument, we describe our approach and its output; in particular, we emphasize the Toolbox instrument that generates philosophical dialogue and the Toolbox workshop in which that dialogue takes place. Together, these constitute a philosophical intervention into the life of CDR teams. We conclude by considering the philosophical implications of this intervention. (shrink)
"Let's go inside nature," says my host, ecophilosopher Nils Faarlund, as we walk out of his small wooden cabin and into the Norwegian countryside. Faarlund is fond of such novel turns of phrase. As we enjoy local strawberries, Faarlund muses on how our everyday language both shapes and reflects our perceptions of the world. Recognizing the power of words, he is extremely careful about the language he uses. For instance, he avoids the term "environmental philosopher" because the word "environment" already (...) puts the speaker on the fringes, looking out at her surroundings rather than seeing them as her home, as the eco- in ecophilosopher suggests. By talking about nature in both careful and novel ways, Faarlund .. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy is often regarded as a category mistake. Even those who reject that view typically see it as irrelevant to standard philosophical projects. We argue that neither of these claims can be sustained and illustrate our view with a sketch of the rich interconnections with philosophy of science.Keywords: Science; Philosophy; Experimental Philosophy.
The One remains, the many change and pass; Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly; Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, Stains the white radiance of Eternity, Until Death tramples it to fragments. At its widest, ‘pluralism’ signifies simply the variety of life, the teeming multitude of forms and entities, the many different properties that living beings manifest. Life is not everywhere the same but impressively differentiated, and without it eternity would be all of a piece, uniform. That is (...) enough for life to stain the white radiance of eternity. But within the multiplicity of specifically human life there are not merely differences. There are tensions, oppositions, conflicts. In contemporary philosophical debate ‘pluralism’ then comes to signify one problematic aspect of this. Groups of people have perhaps always subscribed to very different values, and in consequence favoured very different forms of behaviour from one another, at least on a global scale. But the groups are no longer geographically separated: we live in distinct but overlapping cultures, and get in one another's way to a far greater extent than previously. Shelley's ordered image of the dome may then seem inappropriate, and it may seem unnecessary for death to trample it to fragments. Life is already fragmented, and the practical problem facing us as living creatures is to go beyond the fragments, to achieve at least a modus vivendi in the light of all our differences and incompatibilities even if not the orderliness and cohesion of a dome. Somehow, we have to live together. That is a practical problem which confronts us at every level, as members of families, neighbourhoods, departments, countries and increasingly simply as members of a world-wide human race. (shrink)
: In this brief commentary, we reflect on the recent study by Siminoff, Burant, and Youngner of public attitudes toward "brain death" and organ donation, focusing on the implications of their findings for the rules governing from whom organs can be obtained. Although the data suggest that many seem to view "brain death" as "as good as dead" rather than "dead" (calling the dead donor rule into question), we find that the study most clearly demonstrates that understanding an individual's definition (...) of death is neither a straightforward task nor a good predictor of views about donation. Reflecting on the implications for ongoing debates over the dead donor rule, we suggest that perhaps it is not a change in policy that is warranted, but rather a change in the priorities that have garnered such intense focus on this issue within the field of bioethics. (shrink)
This monograph reappraises the role of Bertrand Russell's philosophical works in establishing the analytical tradition in philosophy. It's main aims are to: * improve our understanding of the history of analytical philosophy * engage in the important disputes surrounding the interpretation of Russell's philosophy * make a contribution to central issues in current analytical philosophy. Drawing extensively from Russell's less well known and unpublished works, this book is a welcome addition to the literature and will undoubtedly find a place on (...) the bookshelves of philosophers around the world. (shrink)
Mayo Clinic is recognized as a worldwide leader in innovative, high-quality health care. However, the Catholic mission and ideals from which this organization was formed are not widely recognized or known. From partnership with the Sisters of St. Francis in 1883, through restructuring of the Sponsorship Agreement in 1986 and current advancements, this Catholic mission remains vital today at Saint Marys Hospital. This manuscript explores the evolution and growth of sponsorship at Mayo Clinic, defined as “a collaboration between the Sisters (...) of St. Francis and Mayo Clinic to preserve and promote key values that the founding Franciscan sisters and Mayo physicians embrace as basic to their mission, and to assure the Catholic identity of Saint Marys Hospital.” Historical context will be used to frame the evolution and preservation of Catholic identity at Saint Marys Hospital; and the shift from a “sponsorship-by-governance” to a “sponsorship-by-influence” model will be highlighted. Lastly, using the externally-developed Catholic Identity Matrix (developed by Ascension Health and the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota), specific examples of Catholic identity will be explored in this joint venture of Catholic health care institution and a secular, nonprofit corporation (Mayo Clinic). (shrink)
Few areas of scientific investigation have spawned more alternative approaches than animal behavior: comparative psychology, ethology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, behavioral endocrinology, behavioral neuroscience, neuroethology, behavioral genetics, cognitive ethology, developmental psychobiology---the list goes on. Add in the behavioral sciences focused on the human animal, and you can continue the list with ethnography, biological anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology (cognitive, social, developmental, evolutionary, etc.), and even that dismal science, economics. Clearly, no reasonable-length chapter can do justice to such a varied collection. We (...) have opted therefore to focus on three of these subdisciplines and to provide a somewhat historical tour of them, mentioning along the way the philosophical points that are of particular interest to us, but allowing the development of these points to be limited only by the imaginations of our readers. For readers seeking a more-traditional historical survey, see Dewsbury (1984a, b) and Burghardt (1985a). Our chosen brief is to write about comparative psychology, ethology, and cognitive ethology, although other approaches, especially neuroscience, will be mentioned where appropriate. These sciences are philosophically significant because they are enmeshed in ancient philosophical questions about the nature of mind and purposeful action and about the differences between humans and other animals. These sciences are also clustered because of their attention to mechanistic explanations of individual animal behavior as opposed to attempting to capture regularities at a population level, such as the game-theoretic strategic models popular among behavioral ecologists. (shrink)
Graham Priest presents a ground-breaking account of the semantics of intentional language--verbs such as "believes," "fears," "seeks," or "imagines." Towards Non-Being proceeds in terms of objects that may be either existent or non-existent, at worlds that may be either possible or impossible. The book will be of central interest to anyone who is concerned with intentionality in the philosophy of mind or philosophy of language, the metaphysics of existence and identity, the philosophy of fiction, the philosophy of mathematics, or (...) cognitive representation in AI. (shrink)
Meeting grand challenges requires responses that constructively combine multiple forms of expertise, both academic and non-academic; that is, it requires cross-disciplinary integration. But just what is cross-disciplinary integration? In this paper, we supply a preliminary answer by reviewing prominent accounts of cross-disciplinary integration from two literatures that are rarely brought together: cross-disciplinarity and philosophy of biology. Reflecting on similarities and differences in these accounts, we develop a framework that integrates their insights—integration as a generic combination process the details of which (...) are determined by the specific contexts in which particular integrations occur. One such context is cross-disciplinary research, which yields cross-disciplinary integration. We close by reflecting on the potential applicability of this framework to research efforts aimed at meeting grand challenges. (shrink)
McDowell's Mind and World is a commentary on a traditional, dualist, epistemology which puzzles over, and offers accounts of, a fundamental division between mental, subjective items, and nonmental, objective items in experience. The principal responses to that tradition which McDowell considers are those of Davidson's coherentism, Evans's form of realism, and Kant; but it is Kant's famous B75 text which occupies centre stage: ‘Gedanken ohne Inhalt sind leer; Anschauungen ohne Begriffe sind blind’.
Graham Priest presents an original exploration of questions concerning the one and the many. He covers a wide range of issues in metaphysics--unity, identity, grounding, mereology, universals, being, intentionality and nothingness--and draws on Western and Asian philosophy as well as paraconsistent logic to offer a radically new treatment of unity.
One of the key questions to have exercised green political theorists in recent years concerns the relationship of the environment 'agenda' and democracy. Both environmentalists and democrats have a tendency to think of each other as natural bedfellows but in fact there is little theoretical or practical reason why they should be. Indeed some theorists have argued that the environmental movement has grown from fundamentally authoritarian roots and it is arguable that the only really effective way of implementing environmental politics (...) is by imposing them in an authoritarian manner. This book deals with the tensions between democracy and environmentalism from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives. (shrink)