Determinism is a spectre that has haunted our scientifically-oriented culture from the beginning. I happen to think that it is literally a ‘spectre’, a trick of the vision, an appearance with an internal cause only, and that it is no more than the ghost of our own conceptual determinations projected outward into a world in which it has no place and no proper being. From one point of view it is no more than an alienated fantasy involving a number of (...) incoherent assumptions. Of these, one of the most important, and one of the most deeply eroded by much contemporary work, is the assumption that science and scientific understanding is a potentially completable system. From another point of view, however, the deterministic picture seems an inevitable product of scientific activity. (shrink)
There are two main claims that Bradley makes concerning negative judgment in the Principles of Logic : Negative judgment ‘stands at a different level of reflection’ from affirmative judgment. Negative judgment ‘presupposes a positive ground’. I will consider what Bradley means by these claims, and draw comparisons with Wittgenstein's views on negation as they developed between the Tractatus and the Philosophical Remarks.
Evolutionary debunking arguments are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of evaluative beliefs to undermine their justification. This paper aims to clarify the premises and presuppositions of EDAs—a form of argument that is increasingly put to use in normative ethics. I argue that such arguments face serious obstacles. It is often overlooked, for example, that they presuppose the truth of metaethical objectivism. More importantly, even if objectivism is assumed, the use of EDAs in normative ethics is incompatible with a (...) parallel and more sweeping global evolutionary debunking argument that has been discussed in recent metaethics. After examining several ways of responding to this global debunking argument, I end by arguing that even if we could resist it, this would still not rehabilitate the current targeted use of EDAs in normative ethics given that, if EDAs work at all, they will in any case lead to a truly radical revision of our evaluative outlook. (shrink)
Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, (...) Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more, including: Are pleasure and pain the only things that affect well-being? Is desire-fulfilment the only thing that makes our lives go well? Can something be good for someone who does not desire it? Is well-being fundamentally connected to a distinctive human nature? Is happiness all that makes our lives go well? Is death necessarily bad for us? How is the well-being of a whole life related to well-being at particular times? Also included is a glossary of key terms, and annotated further reading and study and comprehension questions follow each chapter, making _The Philosophy of Well-Being_ essential reading for students in ethics and political philosophy, and also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology. (shrink)
So-called theories of well-being (prudential value, welfare) are under-represented in discussions of well-being. I do four things in this article to redress this. First, I develop a new taxonomy of theories of well-being, one that divides theories in a more subtle and illuminating way. Second, I use this taxonomy to undermine some misconceptions that have made people reluctant to hold objective-list theories. Third, I provide a new objective-list theory and show that it captures a powerful motivation for the main competitor (...) theory of well-being (the desire-fulfilment theory). Fourth, I try to defuse the worry that objective-list theories are problematically arbitrary and show how the theory can and should be developed. (shrink)
El filósofo francés Alain Guy (La Rochelle, 1918 - Narbonne, 1998) dedicó por entero su vida al estudio de la filosofía española e hispanoamericana, dándola a conocer no sólo en el extranjero sino también en nuestro país.
Neuroimaging studies on moral decision-making have thus far largely focused on differences between moral judgments with opposing utilitarian (well-being maximizing) and deontological (duty-based) content. However, these studies have investigated moral dilemmas involving extreme situations, and did not control for two distinct dimensions of moral judgment: whether or not it is intuitive (immediately compelling to most people) and whether it is utilitarian or deontological in content. By contrasting dilemmas where utilitarian judgments are counterintuitive with dilemmas in which they are intuitive, we (...) were able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of intuitive and counterintuitive judgments across a range of moral situations. Irrespective of content (utilitarian/deontological), counterintuitive moral judgments were associated with greater difficulty and with activation in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, suggesting that such judgments may involve emotional conflict; intuitive judgments were linked to activation in the visual and premotor cortex. In addition, we obtained evidence that neural differences in moral judgment in such dilemmas are largely due to whether they are intuitive and not, as previously assumed, to differences between utilitarian and deontological judgments. Our findings therefore do not support theories that have generally associated utilitarian and deontological judgments with distinct neural systems. (shrink)
This article traces a growing interest among epistemologists in the intellectuals of epistemic virtues. These are cognitive dispositions exercised in the formation of beliefs. Attempts to give intellectual virtues a central normative and/or explanatory role in epistemology occur together with renewed interest in the ethics/epistemology analogy, and in the role of intellectual virtue in Aristotle's epistemology. The central distinction drawn here is between two opposed forms of virtue epistemology, virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism. The article develops the shared and distinctive (...) claims made by contemporary proponents of each form, in their respective treatments of knowledge and justification. (shrink)
Neuroscience and psychology have recently turned their attention to the study of the subpersonal underpinnings of moral judgment. In this article we critically examine an influential strand of research originating in Greene's neuroimaging studies of ‘utilitarian’ and ‘non-utilitarian’ moral judgement. We argue that given that the explananda of this research are specific personal-level states—moral judgments with certain propositional contents—its methodology has to be sensitive to criteria for ascribing states with such contents to subjects. We argue that current research has often (...) failed to meet this constraint by failing to correctly ‘fix’ key aspects of moral judgment, criticism we support by detailed examples from the scientific literature. (shrink)
In the early years of this century the debate as to the nature of judgment was a central issue dividing British philosophers. What a philosopher said about judgment was not independent of what he said about perception, the distinction between the a priori and empirical, the distinction between external and internal relations, the nature of inference, truth, universals, language, the reality of the self and so on.
According to Joshua Greene’s influential dual process model of moral judgment, different modes of processing are associated with distinct moral outputs: automatic processing with deontological judgment, and controlled processing with utilitarian judgment. This paper aims to clarify and assess Greene’s model. I argue that the proposed tie between process and content is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence, and that the supposed evidence for controlled processing in utilitarian judgment is actually likely to reflect generic deliberation which, ironically, is incompatible (...) with a utilitarian outlook. This alternative proposal is further supported by the results of a recent neuroimaging study we have done. (shrink)
Philosophers and social scientists will welcome this highly original discussion of Max Weber's analysis of the objectivity of social science. Guy Oakes traces the vital connection between Weber's methodology and the work of philosopher Heinrich Rickert, reconstructing Rickert's notoriously difficult concepts in order to isolate the important, and until now poorly understood, roots of problems in Weber's own work.Guy Oakes teaches social philosophy at Monmouth College and sociology at the New School for Social Research.
Recent evidence from cognitive neuroscience suggests that certain cognitive processes employ perceptual representations. Inspired by this evidence, a few researchers have proposed that cognition is inherently perceptual. They have developed an innovative theoretical approach that rests on the notion of perceptual simulation and marshaled several general arguments supporting the centrality of perceptual representations to concepts. In this article, I identify a number of weaknesses in these arguments and defend a multiple semantic code approach that posits both perceptual and non-perceptual representations.
This article draws attention to several common mistakes in thinking about biomedical enhancement, mistakes that are made even by some supporters of enhancement. We illustrate these mistakes by examining objections that John Harris has recently raised against the use of pharmacological interventions to directly modulate moral decision-making. We then apply these lessons to other influential figures in the debate about enhancement. One upshot of our argument is that many considerations presented as powerful objections to enhancement are really strong considerations in (...) favour of biomedical enhancement, just in a different direction. Another upshot is that it is unfortunate that much of the current debate focuses on interventions that will radically transform normal human capacities. Such interventions are unlikely to be available in the near future, and may not even be feasible. But our argument shows that the enhancement project can still have a radical impact on human life even if biomedical enhancement operated entirely within the normal human range. (shrink)
Whether God exists is a metaphysical question. But there is also a neglected evaluative question about God’s existence: Should we want God to exist? Very many, including many atheists and agnostics, appear to think we should. Theists claim that if God didn’t exist things would be far worse, and many atheists agree; they regret God’s inexistence. Some remarks by Thomas Nagel suggest an opposing view: that we should want God not to exist. I call this view anti-theism. I explain how (...) such view can be coherent, and why it might be correct. Anti-theism must be distinguished from the argument from evil or the denial of God’s goodness; it is a claim about the goodness of God’s existence. Anti-theists must claim that it’s a logical consequence of God’s existence that things are worse in certain respects. The problem is that God’s existence would also make things better in many ways. Given that God’s existence is likely to be impersonally better overall, anti-theists face a challenge similar to that facing nonconsequentialists. I explore two ways of meeting this challenge. (shrink)
In this article, we present a dialogical approach to empirical ethics, based upon hermeneutic ethics and responsive evaluation. Hermeneutic ethics regards experience as the concrete source of moral wisdom. In order to gain a good understanding of moral issues, concrete detailed experiences and perspectives need to be exchanged. Within hermeneutic ethics dialogue is seen as a vehicle for moral learning and developing normative conclusions. Dialogue stands for a specific view on moral epistemology and methodological criteria for moral inquiry. Responsive evaluation (...) involves a structured way of setting up dialogical learning processes, by eliciting stories of participants, exchanging experiences in (homogeneous and heterogeneous) groups and drawing normative conclusions for practice. By combining these traditions we develop both a theoretical and a practical approach to empirical ethics, in which ethical issues are addressed and shaped together with stakeholders in practice. Stakeholders' experiences are not only used as a source for reflection by the ethicist; stakeholders are involved in the process of reflection and analysis, which takes place in a dialogue between participants in practice, facilitated by the ethicist. This dialogical approach to empirical ethics may give rise to questions such as: What contribution does the ethicist make? What role does ethical theory play? What is the relationship between empirical research and ethical theory in the dialogical process? In this article, these questions will be addressed by reflecting upon a project in empirical ethics that was set up in a dialogical way. The aim of this project was to develop and implement normative guidelines with and within practice, in order to improve the practice concerning coercion and compulsion in psychiatry. (shrink)
A growing number of philosophers are concerned with the epistemic status of culturally nurtured beliefs, beliefs found especially in domains of morals, politics, philosophy, and religion. Plausibly, worries about the deep impact of cultural contingencies on beliefs in these domains of controversial views is a question about well-foundedness: Does it defeat well-foundedness if the agent is rationally convinced that she would take her own reasons for belief as insufficiently well-founded, or would take her own belief as biased, had she been (...) nurtured in a different psychographic community? This chapter will examine the proper scope and force of this epistemic location problem. It sketches an account of well and ill-founded nurtured belief based upon the many markers of doxastic strategies exhibiting low to high degrees of inductive risk: the moral and epistemic risk of ‘getting it wrong’ in an inductive context of inquiry. (shrink)
Neuroimaging studies of brain-damaged patients diagnosed as in the vegetative state suggest that the patients might be conscious. This might seem to raise no new ethical questions given that in related disputes both sides agree that evidence for consciousness gives strong reason to preserve life. We question this assumption. We clarify the widely held but obscure principle that consciousness is morally significant. It is hard to apply this principle to difficult cases given that philosophers of mind distinguish between a range (...) of notions of consciousness and that is unclear which of these is assumed by the principle. We suggest that the morally relevant notion is that of phenomenal consciousness and then use our analysis to interpret cases of brain damage. We argue that enjoyment of consciousness might actually give stronger moral reasons not to preserve a patient's life and, indeed, that these might be stronger when patients retain significant cognitive function. (shrink)
In 1907, Alfred Stieglitz took what was to become one of his signature photographs, The Steerage. Stieglitz stood at the rear of the ocean liner Kaiser Wilhelm II and photographed the decks, ﬁrst-class passengers above and steerage passengers below, carefully exposing the ﬁlm to their reﬂected light. Later, in the darkroom, Stieglitz developed this ﬁlm and made a number of prints from the resulting negative. The photograph is a familiar one, an enduring piece of social commentary, but what exactly is (...) The Steerage which Stieglitz has given us? It is clearer what The Steerage is not. It is distinct from each of its prints and from its negative. These may be dusty or torn without The Steerage being so, and any one of these could be destroyed without thereby destroying The Steerage itself. Nor is The Steerage the set of its prints. The set could not have had diﬀerent members, while The Steerage could have had more, fewer, or diﬀerent prints.1 Similar reasoning rules out the mereological sum of parts of its actual prints, for The Steerage’s prints might not have comprised just these parts. We are left with a puzzle, what sort of thing is a photograph? This puzzle is not unique to photography. Similar reasoning generates an analogous puzzle for any repeatable work of art. Novels, poems, plays, symphonies, songs, and the rest share an ontological predicament and create a 1 general puzzle concerning the ontological status of repeatable works of art. It is widely held that the puzzle has an equally general solution, one which I will argue fails for systematic reasons. Although my target here is the supposed solution to the general problem, photography will remain the central case under scrutiny. I oﬀer it as a model for our thinking about the wider class in order to reap the beneﬁts of thinking in terms of concrete cases. Although this risks a trade-oﬀ with the generality of my conclusions—there are important diﬀerences of detail between the cases—I hope it is clear that the considerations I appeal to in photography are not idiosyncratic but shared by the wider class.. (shrink)
This is a unique collection of new and recently-published articles which debate the merits of virtue-theoretic approaches to the core epistemological issues of knowledge and justified belief. The readings all contribute to our understanding of the relative importance, for a theory of justified belief, of the reliability of our cognitive faculties and of the individuals responsibility in gathering and weighing evidence. Highlights of the readings include direct exchanges between leading exponents of this approach and their critics.
The universe that surrounds us is vast, and we are so very small. When we reflect on the vastness of the universe, our humdrum cosmic location, and the inevitable future demise of humanity, our lives can seem utterly insignificant. Many philosophers assume that such worries about our significance reflect a banal metaethical confusion. They dismiss the very idea of cosmic significance. This, I argue, is a mistake. Worries about cosmic insignificance do not express metaethical worries about objectivity or nihilism, and (...) we can make good sense of the idea of cosmic significance and its absence. It is also possible to explain why the vastness of the universe can make us feel insignificant. This impression does turn out to be mistaken, but not for the reasons typically assumed. In fact, we might be of immense cosmic significance—though we cannot, at this point, tell whether this is the case. (shrink)
The concept of well-being is one of the oldest and most important topics in philosophy and ethics, going back to ancient Greek philosophy and Aristotle. Following the boom in happiness studies in the last few years it has moved to centre stage, grabbing media headlines and the attention of scientists, psychologists and economists. Yet little is actually known about well-being and it is an idea often poorly articulated. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being provides a comprehensive, outstanding guide and (...) reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising over forty chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into six parts: well-being in the history of philosophy current theories of well-being, including hedonism, and perfectionism examples of well-being and its opposites, including friendship and virtue and pain and death theoretical issues such as well-being and value, harm, identity and well-being and children well-being in moral and political philosophy well-being and related subjects including law, economics, and medicine. Essential reading for students and researchers in ethics and political philosophy, it will also be an invaluable resource for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology. (shrink)
Ethical theory often starts with our intuitions about particular cases and tries to uncover the principles that are implicit in them; work on the ‘trolley problem’ is a paradigmatic example of this approach. But ethicists are no longer the only ones chasing trolleys. In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have also turned to study our moral intuitions and what underlies them. The relation between these two inquiries, which investigate similar examples and intuitions, and sometimes produce parallel results, is puzzling. Does (...) it matter to ethics whether its armchair conclusions match the psychologists’ findings? I argue that reflection on this question exposes psychological presuppositions implicit in armchair ethical theorising. When these presuppositions are made explicit, it becomes clear that empirical evidence can (and should) play a positive role in ethical theorising. Unlike recent assaults on the armchair, the argument I develop is not driven by a naturalist agenda, or meant to cast doubt on the reliability of our moral intuitions; on the contrary, it is even compatible with non-naturalism, and takes the reliability of intuition as its premise. The argument is rather that if our moral intuitions are reliable, then psychological evidence should play a surprisingly significant role in the justification of moral principles. (shrink)
Is linguistic understanding a form of knowledge? I clarify the question and then consider two natural forms a positive answer might take. I argue that, although some recent arguments fail to decide the issue, neither positive answer should be accepted. The aim is not yet to foreclose on the view that linguistic understanding is a form of knowledge, but to develop desiderata on a satisfactory successor to the two natural views rejected here.
THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...) Feldman (§7). I then (§8) reply to an imagined objector who claims that the Locative Analysis generates implausible results with respect to punishment, virtue and agent-centered duties. (shrink)
Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer argue that evolutionary considerations can resolve Sidgwick’s dualism of practical reason because such considerations debunk moral views that give weight to self-interested or partial considerations but cannot threaten the principle of universal benevolence. I argue that even if we grant these claims, this appeal to evolution is ultimately self-defeating. De Lazari-Radek and Singer face a dilemma. Either their evolutionary argument against partial morality succeeds, but then we need to also give up our conviction that (...) suffering is bad; or there is a way to defend this conviction, but then their argument against partiality fails. Utilitarians, I suggest, should resist the temptation to appeal to evolutionary debunking arguments. (shrink)
Many believe that severe intellectual impairment, blindness or dying young amount to serious harm and disadvantage. It is also increasingly denied that it matters, from a moral point of view, whether something is biologically normal to humans. We show that these two claims are in serious tension. It is hard explain how, if we do not ascribe some deep moral significance to human nature or biological normality, we could distinguish severe intellectual impairment or blindness from the vast list of seemingly (...) innocent ways in which we fail to have as much wellbeing as we could, such not having super-intelligence, or not living to 130. We consider a range of attempts to draw this intuitive normative distinction without appealing to normality. These, we argue, all fail. But this doesn't mean that we cannot draw this distinction or that we must, implausibly, conclude that biological normality does possess an inherent moral importance. We argue that, despite appearances, it is not biological normality but rather statistical normality that, although lacking any intrinsic moral significance, nevertheless makes an important moral difference in ways that explain and largely justify the intuitive distinction. (shrink)
Saul Kripke has claimed that there are necessary connections between material things and their material origins. The usual defences of such necessity of origin theses appeal to either a sufficiency of origin principle or a branching-times model of necessity. In this paper we offer a different defence. Our argument proceeds from more modest ‘independence principles’, which govern the processes by which material objects are produced. Independence principles are motivated, in turn, by appeal to a plausible metaphysical principle governing such processes, (...) their invulnerability to non-local prevention. We outline the new argument, and distinguish it from both of the usual defences. (shrink)
It is widely held that it is only contingent that the sensation of pain is disliked, and that when pain is not disliked, it is not intrinsically bad. This conjunction of claims has often been taken to support a subjectivist view of pain’s badness on which pain is bad simply because it is the object of a negative attitude and not because of what it feels like. In this paper, I argue that accepting this conjunction of claims does not commit (...) us to this subjectivist view. They are compatible with an objectivist view of pain’s badness, and with thinking that this badness is due to its phenomenal quality. Indeed, I argue that once the full range of options is in view, the most plausible account of pain is incompatible with subjectivism about value. (shrink)
While all agree that score compliance in performance is valuable, the source of this value is unclear. Questions about what authenticity requires crowd out questions about our reasons to be compliant in the first place, perhaps because they seem trivial or uninteresting. I argue that such reasons cannot be understood as ordinary aesthetic, instrumental, epistemic, or moral reasons. Instead, we treat considerations of score compliance as having a kind of final value, one which requires further explanation. Taking as a model (...) the Humean account of fidelity as an artificial virtue, I sketch a practice-theoretic account of the nature and source of such reasons, one on which we can say that they are, after all, aesthetic, but only indirectly so. (shrink)
Abstract Do the central aims of epistemology, like those of moral philosophy, require that we designate some important place for those concepts located between the thin-normative and the non-normative? Put another way, does epistemology need "thick" evaluative concepts and with what do they contrast? There are inveterate traditions in analytic epistemology which, having legitimized a certain way of viewing the nature and scope of epistemology's subject matter, give this question a negative verdict; further, they have carried with them a tacit (...) commitment to what we argue to be an epistemic analogue of the reductionistic centralist thesis which Bernard Williams, in our view, successfully repudiates in ethics. In this essay, we challenge the epistemic analogue of the traditional but mistaken thesis. In offering an alternative to it which provides a comfortable home for the epistemic normativity which attends thick evaluative concepts, we align ourselves with what has been recently called the Value Turn in epistemology. From this perspective, we defend that, contrary to tradition, as influenced by centralist assumptions, epistemology does need thick evaluative concepts. Further, the sort of theories that will be able to give thick evaluative concepts an irreducible role in both belief and agent evaluation are adequately social epistemologies. What loosely refer to as second-wave of virtue epistemology is the widespread interest to provide a comfortable home for the role of thick normativity, as it is connected both with epistemic evaluation, and guidance. We recognize that, in breaking from centralism, there is a worry that a resulting anti-centralist theory will be reductionistic in the other direction, making the thick primary. We contend however that second-wave virtue epistemologies take different sources of social and epistemic value into account; they seek the 'right thickness' to ride with conception of epistemology and a field which due in part to virtue theory's resurgence, is today normative, diverse and expansive than was the traditional set of problems from which it emerged. (shrink)
Several authors have suggested that we cannot fully grapple with the ethics of human enhancement unless we address neglected questions about our place in the world, questions that verge on theology but can be pursued independently of religion. A prominent example is Michael Sandel, who argues that the deepest objection to enhancement is that it expresses a Promethean drive to mastery which deprives us of openness to the unbidden and leaves us with nothing to affirm outside our own wills. Sandel's (...) argument against enhancement has been criticized, but his claims about mastery and the unbidden, and their relation to religion, have not yet received sufficient attention. I argue that Sandel misunderstands the notions of mastery and the unbidden and their significance. Once these notions are properly understood, they have surprising implications. It turns out that the value of openness to the unbidden is not just independent of theism, as Sandel claims, but is in fact not even fully compatible with it. But in any case that value cannot support Sandel's objection to enhancement. This is because it is not enhancement but certain forms of opposition to enhancement that are most likely to express a pernicious drive to mastery. (shrink)
We read with interest the extended essay published from Riisfeldt and are encouraged by an empirical ethics article which attempts to ground theory and its claims in the real world. However, such attempts also have real-world consequences. We are concerned to read the paper’s conclusion that clinical evidence weakens the distinction between euthanasia and normal palliative care prescribing. This is important. Globally, the most significant barrier to adequate symptom control in people with life-limiting illness is poor access to opioid analgesia. (...) Opiophobia makes clinicians reluctant to prescribe and their patients reluctant to take opioids that might provide significant improvements in quality of life. We argue that the evidence base for the safety of opioid prescribing is broader than that presented, restricting the search to palliative care literature produces significant bias as safety experience and literature for opioids and sedatives exists in many fields. This is not acknowledged in the synthesis presented. By considering additional evidence, we reject the need for agnosticism and reaffirm that palliative opioid prescribing is safe. Second, palliative sedation in a clinical context is a poorly defined concept covering multiple interventions and treatment intentions. We detail these and show that continuous deep palliative sedation is a specific practice that remains controversial globally and is not considered routine practice. Rejecting agnosticism towards opioids and excluding CDPS from the definition of routine care allows the rejection of Riisfeldt’s headline conclusion. On these grounds, we reaffirm the important distinction between palliative care prescribing and euthanasia in practice. (shrink)
Are there distinctively second-personal thoughts? I clarify the question and present considerations in favour of a view on which some second-personal thoughts are distinctive. Specifically, I suggest that some second-personal thoughts are distinctive in also being first-personal thoughts. Thus, second-personal thinking provides a way of sharing another person's first-personal thoughts.
When is an artwork complete? Most hold that the correct answer to this question is psychological in nature. A work is said to be complete just in case the artist regards it as complete or is appropriately disposed to act as if he or she did. Even though this view seems strongly supported by metaphysical, epistemological, and normative considerations, this article argues that such psychologism about completeness is mistaken, fundamentally, because it cannot make sense of the artist's own perspective on (...) his or her work. For the artist, the question is not about his or her own psychology, but about the character of the work and the context in which he or she works. A nonpsychological account of completeness, on which completeness is a question of whether the work satisfies the conditions implicit in the artist's plan, avoids this problem and is equally or better able to explain the metaphysical, epistemic, and normative phenomena which appeared to support psychologism. (shrink)
A study is reported testing two hypotheses about a close parallel relation between indicative conditionals, if A then B, and conditional bets, I bet you that if A then B. The first is that both the indicative conditional and the conditional bet are related to the conditional probability, P(B|A). The second is that de Finetti's three-valued truth table has psychological reality for both types of conditional – true, false, or void for indicative conditionals and win, lose or void for conditional (...) bets. The participants were presented with an array of chips in two different colours and two different shapes, and an indicative conditional or a conditional bet about a random chip. They had to make judgments in two conditions: either about the chances of making the indicative conditional true or false or about the chances of winning or losing the conditional bet. The observed distributions of responses in the two conditions were generally related to the conditional probability, supporting the first hypothesis. In addition, a majority of participants in further conditions chose the third option, “void”, when the antecedent of the conditional was false, supporting the second hypothesis. (shrink)
A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’ (2004, henceforth ‘NR’), we offered an argument for the thesis that there are necessary connections between material things and their material origins. Much of the philosophical interest lay in our claim that the argument did not depend on so-called sufficiency principles for crossworld identity. It has been the verdict of much recent work on the necessity of origin that valid arguments for the thesis require some such sufficiency principle as a premise but (...) that such principles are deeply problematic.1 Finding an argument free of such principles would advance both our understanding and the plausibility of that thesis. These claims are now the subject of a pair of insightful critiques by Teresa Robertson and Graeme Forbes (2006, henceforth ‘RF’) and by Ross Cameron and Sonia Roca (2006, henceforth ‘CR’), and we welcome the opportunity to clarify and improve our account of the matter. (shrink)