Louis Charland has argued that the Cluster B personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, are primarily moral rather than clinical conditions. Part of his argument stems from reflections on effective treatment of borderline personality disorder. In the argument from treatment, he claims that successful treatment of all Cluster B personality disorders requires a positive change in a patient’s moral character. Based on this claim, he concludes (1) that these disorders are, at root, deficits in moral character, and (2) that effective (...) treatment of these disorders requires a sort of moral education rather than clinical intervention. In this paper, I evaluate the argument from treatment through a critical analysis of two psychotherapeutic interventions that have shown recent effectiveness against borderline personality disorder. I suggest that both Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Mentalization-Based Treatment indicate that borderline personality disorder is, at root, a deficit in non-moral cognitive and emotional capacities. I suggest that these non-moral deficits obscure the expression of an otherwise intact moral character. In light of this, I conclude that effective treatment of borderline personality disorder requires primarily clinical intervention rather than moral edification. (shrink)
Mystics have always claimed that a very significant kind of self-perception is possible, at the end of certain spiritual disciplines. The self that is then supposed to be known is a unity, identical from one experience to the next, and not to be identified with any particular experiences, such as impressions or ideas, which the self has. In short, mystical testimony supports something like a theory of the essential self as simple and unchanging.
Since the late nineteenth century, studies of mysticism have presented us with two contrasting conclusions. The first is that mystics all over the world report basically the same experience, and the second is that there are great differences among the reports, and possibly among the experiences. On the positive side there are such works as Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy , with its claim that all mystics say that all beings are manifestations of a Divine Ground, that men learn of this (...) by direct intuition, that men have two natures, one phenomenal and one eternal, and that identification with his eternal nature is the purpose of man. Walter Stace supports this view, in a modified way, with his observation that, while each mystic seems to advance a peculiar explanation of his experience, their statements collectively exhibit strong similarities. Mystics commonly report a consciousness of unity, carrying with it feelings of objectivity, blessedness, and holiness. They describe their experience in paradoxical language, and say that ultimately it is ineffable. These twentieth-century observations are repetitions of those of William James, so that this basic point has become a cliché, and, as R. C. Zaehner says, ‘We have been told ad nauseum that mysticism is the highest expression of religion and that it appears in all ages and in all places in a more or less identical form, often in a religious milieu that would seem to be the reverse of propitious.’. (shrink)
Summarya) Bell tries to formulate more explicitly a notion of “local causality”: correlations between physical events in different space‐time regions should be explicable in terms of physical events in the overlap of the backward light cones. It is shown that ordinary relativistic quantum field theory is not locally causal in this sense, and cannot be embedded in a locally causal theory.b) Clauser, Home and Shimony criticize several steps in Bell's argument that any theory of local “beables” is incompatible with quantum (...) mechanics. It is contended that the Clauser‐Horne derivation of a Bell‐type inequality circumvents his weak steps. The Clauser‐Horne derivation must assume that there are no undetected correlations between choices of controllable variables in two space‐like separated regions. Methodological considerations support this assumption.c) In response to criticism by Shimony, Home, and Clauser, Bell tries to clarify the argument of “The theory of local beables”, and to defend as permissible the hypothesis of free variables.d) Bell's reply to an earlier criticism by Shimony, Clauser, and Home is answered. The convergence of Bell's position towards theirs is noted. (shrink)
Recent studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging of patients in a vegetative state have raised the possibility that such patients retain some degree of consciousness. In this paper, the ethical implications of such findings are outlined, in particular in relation to decisions about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. It is sometimes assumed that if there is evidence of consciousness, treatment should not be withdrawn. But, paradoxically, the discovery of consciousness in very severely brain-damaged patients may provide more reason to let them die. (...) Although functional neuroimaging is likely to play an increasing role in the assessment of patients in a vegetative state, caution is needed in the interpretation of neuroimaging findings. (shrink)
Many philosophers of science follow Hempel in embracing both substantive and methodological anti-psychologism regarding the study of explanation. The former thesis denies that explanations are constituted by psychological events, and the latter denies that psychological research can contribute much to the philosophical investigation of the nature of explanation. Substantive anti-psychologism is commonly defended by citing cases, such as hyper-complex descriptions or vast computer simulations, which are reputedly generally agreed to constitute explanations but which defy human comprehension and, as a result, (...) fail to engender any relevant psychological events. It is commonly held that the truth of the substantive thesis would lend support to the methodological thesis. However, the standard argument for the substantive thesis presumes that philosophers’ own judgments about the aforementioned cases issues from mastery of the lay or scientific norms regarding the use of ‘explanation.’ Here we challenge this presumption with a series of experiments indicating that both lay and scientific populations require of explanations that they actually render their targets intelligible. This research not only undermines a standard line of argument for substantive anti-psychologism, it demonstrates the utility of psychological research methods for answering meta-questions about the norms regarding the use of ‘explanation.’. (shrink)
We propose a Bayesian framework for the attribution of knowledge, and apply this framework to generate novel predictions about knowledge attribution for different types of “Gettier cases”, in which an agent is led to a justified true belief yet has made erroneous assumptions. We tested these predictions using a paradigm based on semantic integration. We coded the frequencies with which participants falsely recalled the word “thought” as “knew” (or a near synonym), yielding an implicit measure of conceptual activation. Our experiments (...) confirmed the predictions of our Bayesian account of knowledge attribution across three experiments. We found that Gettier cases due to counterfeit objects were not treated as knowledge (Experiment 1), but those due to intentionally-replaced evidence were (Experiment 2). Our findings are not well explained by an alternative account focused only on luck, because accidentally-replaced evidence activated the knowledge concept more strongly than did similar false belief cases (Experiment 3). We observed a consistent pattern of results across a number of different vignettes that varied the quality and type of evidence available to agents, the relative stakes involved, and surface details of content. Accordingly, the present findings establish basic phenomena surrounding people’s knowledge attributions in Gettier cases, and provide explanations of these phenomena within a Bayesian framework. (shrink)
Moral psychologists have shown that people’s past moral experiences can affect their subsequent moral decisions. One prominent finding in this line of research is that when people make a judgment about the Trolley dilemma after considering the Footbridge dilemma, they are significantly less likely to decide it is acceptable to redirect a train to save five people. Additionally, this ordering effect is asymmetrical, as making a judgment about the Trolley dilemma has little to no effect on people’s judgments about the (...) Footbridge dilemma. We argue that this asymmetry is the result of a difference in how each dilemma affects people’s beliefs about the importance of saving lives. In two experiments, we show that considering the Footbridge dilemma disconfirms these beliefs, while considering the Trolley dilemma does not significantly affect them. Consistent with predictions of sequential learning models, our findings offer a clear and parsimonious account of the asymmetry in the ordering effect. (shrink)
An emerging trend in cognitive science is to explore central epistemological questions using psychological methods. Early work in this growing area of research has revealed that epistemologists’ theories of knowledge diverge in various ways from the ways in which ordinary people think of knowledge. Reflecting the practices of epistemology as a whole, the vast majority of these studies have focused on the concept of propositional knowledge, or knowledge-that. Many philosophers, however, have argued that knowing how to do something is importantly (...) different from knowing that something is the case. Hence, in this paper we turn our attention to people’s concept of knowledge-how. We present data from two experiments that employed a sentence recognition task as an implicit measure of conceptual activation. The data from this implicit measure suggest that, contrary to prominent intellectualist theories of know-how, according to which know-how is a species of propositional knowledge, people’s concept of know-how more closely aligns with anti-intellectualism, the view that knowing how to perform some task consists in having the appropriate skills or abilities. (shrink)
One widely-endorsed argument in the experimental philosophy literature maintains that intuitive judgments are unreliable because they are influenced by the order in which thought experiments prompting those judgments are presented. Here, we explicitly state this argument from ordering effects and show that any plausible understanding of the argument leads to an untenable conclusion. First, we show that the normative principle is ambiguous. On one reading of the principle, the empirical observation is well-supported, but the normative principle is false. On the (...) other reading, the empirical observation has only weak support, and the normative principle, if correct, would impugn the reliability of deliberative reasoning, testimony, memory, and perception, since judgments in all these areas are sensitive to ordering in the relevant sense. We then reflect on what goes wrong with the argument. (shrink)
Many philosophers of science believe that empirical psychology can contribute little to the philosophical investigation of explanations. They take this to be shown by the fact that certain explanations fail to elicit any relevant psychological events (e.g., familiarity, insight, intelligibility, etc.). We report results from a study suggesting that, at least among those with extensive science training, a capacity to render an event intelligible is considered a requirement for explanation. We also investigate for whom explanations must be capable of rendering (...) events intelligible and whether or not accuracy is also viewed as a requirement. (shrink)
Scholars suggest that evolutionary psychology may provide a foundation for assumptions regarding human values. I explore this suggestion by developing two arguments regarding the permissiveness of norms regulating male and female sexual activity. The first relies on the standard rational choice assumption that people value resources, and the second relies on an assumption suggested by evolutionary psychology that actors value seeing their children successfully reach adulthood. These two assumptions produce contrasting predictions regarding sex norms. I describe the implications of these (...) predictions for explaining cross-cultural variation and present evidence that supports the evolutionary psychology-based predictions in this context. I also suggest implications of the two approaches for explaining norms cross-nationally and within the United States. The article provides support for the utility of evolutionary psychology in developing assumptions about values. (shrink)
A generic non-conservative force, applied to an interferometer particle for a period in the past and then turned off, leaves stationary phase and fringe shifts in the now force-free interferometer. Both Aharonov-Bohm and Aharonov-Casher topological phase and fringe shifts can be created in this way. The specific sources of the non-conservative forces behind Aharonov-Bohm and Aharonov-Casher stationary fringe shifts are, respectively, Faraday induction fields and Maxwell displacement currents, now off.
Working in a freely falling frame and starting from the de Broglie and Einstein relations, we calculate the relative phase of monoenergetic Schrödinger radiation in an interferometer at rest in a gravity field.
What kind of evidence will lead people to revise their moral beliefs? Moral beliefs are often strongly held convictions, and existing research has shown that morality is rooted in emotion and socialization rather than deliberative reasoning. In addition, more general issues—such as confirmation bias—further impede coherent belief revision. Here, we explored a unique means for inducing belief revision. In two experiments, participants considered a moral dilemma in which an overwhelming majority of people judged that it was inappropriate to take action (...) to maximize utility. Their judgments contradicted a utilitarian principle they otherwise strongly endorsed. Exposure to this scenario led participants to revise their belief in the utilitarian principle, and this revision persisted over several hours. This method provides a new avenue for inducing belief revision. (shrink)
In Property Rights and Poverty, / argued that seventeenth? to mid?nineteenth?century liberal theories of the natural right to property included both the ability to exclude others from resources lawfully acquired and the ability to claim as property the resources necessary for life and livelihood. Virtually every defense of the right to exclude written during this period carried limits which allowed and even required the government to enforce the rights of those without resources to the property of others. But although Locke, (...) among others, was a theorist of welfare rights, it is a mistake to describe him as a radical, as Richard Ashcraft does, which identifies Locke's purposes too closely with the legitimately radical theorists of the early nineteenth century who were deeply influenced by his work. (shrink)
This paper maintains that, for all his ethical interests, his philosophical and theological essays, political treatises and linguistic studies, Dante was primarily a poet; a poet who, moreover, believed that poetry could change the world, and that the Comedy must be read, first, as a poem. This is not a trivial point, because the Comedy remains a text that is endlessly fascinating to philosophers and theologians as well as moralists who read it for its philosophy, theology and ethics and who (...) sometimes fail to see that a poet's imagination, even one as egregiously rational as Dante's, is synthetic rather than analytic. This paper offers an examination of the moral universe of the Comedy, paying particular attention to his presentation of the virtues. It endeavours to show how Dante's entry into the moral universe is by way of beauty through the operation of love, and considers how, for Dante, the inevitability of beauty, when properly understood, opens out on to truth and goodness, which, in turn, fold back upon beauty as the Beatific Vision is reached. (shrink)
In the course of supporting his larger thesis about mysticism, Steven Katz argues that, ‘Every religious community and every mystical movement within each community has a “model” or “models” of the ideal practitioner of the religious life.' Among thirteen functions of such models he mentions three that partially overlap. He says that these model lives set standards of perfection to measure believers' actions, they are perfect examples of what it is to be a human being, and they are moral paradigms. (...) Katz mentions various saints, sages, and other exemplary figures, and sums up with the claim that in the Christian tradition the function of ‘ models’ is expressed in Thomas à Kempis' The Imitation of Christ . Taking all of this together, one could conclude that he intends to say that every religious tradition contains accounts of morally perfect persons who are examples to be imitated. (shrink)
A brief poll of my scientific colleagues confirmed that, to a person, they regard addiction as a disease, whereas most non-science acquaintances consider it to be a failure of willpower. Reconciliation of these polarized views seems difficult and rather than finding a middle path, such as suggested by Foddy and Savulescu. I am an entrenched supporter of the view that addiction can be a disease. I first should declare my position as a card-carrying biologist, holding the view that behavior emanates (...) from the brain and, accordingly, that behavior and emotions result from brain function. This brain function also produces addiction and related behaviors, whereas Foddy and Savulescu seem to credit humans with a greater capacity to choose than biological evidence suggests. The second problem relates to definitions of disease: I argue that there are at least three ways addiction might be considered a disease. 1.? ? ? Addiction is a disease because it results in pathology. For example, hypertension is a disease. Hypertension per se does not cause dysfunction, but leads to pathologically definable conditions such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Smoking, like hypertension, can result in pathologies such as emphysema and cancer. The problem is not smoking per se, or even addiction to nicotine, rather it is the consequent diseases caused by tobacco. Nevertheless, if hypertension is a disease, so is smoking. The question of “choosing‘ to persist with smoking has no bearing on whether it is disease. Whether a person chooses to care for their hypertension or ignore it does not alter the fact that they have hypertension; it is still a disease and it will still harm them. Whether addiction affects the capacity to choose is not relevant because it does not alter the fact that smoking causes pathology and hence is a disease. 2.? ? ? Foddy and Savulescu argue that addiction leaves no tell-tale pathology to set it aside from. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to examine the importance that real patients attach to their right to withdraw from an on-going feasibility randomised trial (RCT) evaluating types and timings of breast reconstruction (two parallel trials) following mastectomy for breast cancer. Our results show that, while some respondents appreciated that exercising the right to withdraw would defeat the scientific objective of the trial, some patients with a surgical preference consented only given the knowledge they could withdraw if they were not (...) allocated to their preferred treatment. (shrink)
While legal scholars increasingly recognize that norms as well as law influence social behavior, the nature of these effects is not well understood. A key question concerns the content of norms. Specifically, do they reflect individual interest or do they enhance group welfare? In this paper I describe two general kinds of arguments that support these different views. I then develop predictions about the content of a particular type of norm—controller selection rules. These hypotheses are tested in an experimental setting (...) in which individuals interact with each other over networked computers. The findings are consistent with group welfare explanations. That is, they suggest that norms constrain actions that create negative externalities, and that these norms are stronger in more cohesive groups. They also suggest, however, that such norms may not necessarily produce pro-social behavior. (shrink)