A fundamental assumption of theories of decision-making is that we detect mismatches between intention and outcome, adjust our behavior in the face of error, and adapt to changing circumstances. Is this always the case? We investigated the relation between intention, choice, and introspection. Participants made choices between presented face pairs on the basis of attractiveness, while we covertly manipulated the relationship between choice and outcome that they experienced. Participants failed to notice conspicuous mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome (...) they were presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. We call this effect choice blindness. (shrink)
Structural equations have become increasingly popular in recent years as tools for understanding causation. But standard structural equations approaches to causation face deep problems. The most philosophically interesting of these consists in their failure to incorporate a distinction between default states of an object or system, and deviations therefrom. Exploring this problem, and how to fix it, helps to illuminate the central role this distinction plays in our causal thinking.
There is currently little empirical information about attitudes towards cognitive enhancement - the use of pharmaceutical drugs to enhance normal brain functioning. It is claimed this behaviour most commonly occurs in students to aid studying. We undertook a qualitative assessment of attitudes towards cognitive enhancement by conducting 19 semi-structured interviews with Australian university students. Most students considered cognitive enhancement to be unacceptable, in part because they believed it to be unethical but there was a lack of consensus on whether it (...) was similar or different to steroid use in sport. There was support for awareness campaigns and monitoring of cognitive enhancement use of pharmaceutical drugs. An understanding of student attitudes towards cognitive enhancement is important in formulating future policy. (shrink)
David Lewis's influential work on the epistemology and metaphysics of objective chance has convinced many philosophers of the central importance of the following two claims: First, it is a serious cost of reductionist positions about chance (such as that occupied by Lewis) that they are, apparently, forced to modify the Principal Principle--the central principle relating objective chance to rational subjective probability--in order to avoid contradiction. Second, it is a perhaps more serious cost of the rival non-reductionist position that, unlike reductionism, (...) it can give no coherent explanation for why the Principal Principle should hold. I argue that both of these claims are fundamentally mistaken. (shrink)
One philosophical approach to causation sees counterfactual dependence as the key to the explanation of causal facts: for example, events c (the cause) and e (the effect) both occur, but had c not occurred, e would not have occurred either. The counterfactual analysis of causation became a focus of philosophical debate after the 1973 publication of the late David Lewis's groundbreaking paper, "Causation," which argues against the previously accepted "regularity" analysis and in favor of what he called the "promising alternative" (...) of the counterfactual analysis. Thirty years after Lewis's paper, this book brings together some of the most important recent work connecting--or, in some cases, disputing the connection between--counterfactuals and causation, including the complete version of Lewis's Whitehead lectures, "Causation as Influence," a major reworking of his original paper. Also included is a more recent essay by Lewis, "Void and Object," on causation by omission. Several of the essays first appeared in a special issue of the Journal of Philosophy, but most, including the unabridged version of "Causation as Influence," are published for the first time or in updated forms.Other topics considered include the "trumping" of one event over another in determining causation; de facto dependence; challenges to the transitivity of causation; the possibility that entities other than events are the fundamental causal relata; the distinction between dependence and production in accounts of causation; the distinction between causation and causal explanation; the context-dependence of causation; probabilistic analyses of causation; and a singularist theory of causation. (shrink)
We show that if N and M are transitive models of ZFA such that N M, N and M have the same kernel and same set of atoms, and M AC, then N is a Fraenkel-Mostowski-Specker (FMS) submodel of M if and only if M is a generic extension of N by some almost homogeneous notion of forcing. We also develop a slightly modified notion of FMS submodels to characterize the case where M is a generic extension of N not (...) necessarily by an almost homogeneous notion of forcing. (shrink)
Many bodily sensations are connected quite closely with specific actions: itches with scratching, for example, and hunger with eating. Indeed, these connections have the feel of conceptual connections. With the exception of D. M. Armstrong, philosophers have largely neglected this aspect of bodily sensations. In this paper, I propose a theory of bodily sensations that explains these connections. The theory ascribes intentional content to bodily sensations but not, strictly speaking, representational content. Rather, the content of these sensations is an imperative: (...) in the case of itches, 'Scratch!' The view avoids non-intentional qualia and hence accords with what could be called, generalizing Lycan slightly, the 'hegemony of intentionality'. (shrink)
Every day, thousands of polls, surveys, and rating scales are employed to elicit the attitudes of humankind. Given the ubiquitous use of these instruments, it seems we ought to have firm answers to what is measured by them, but unfortunately we do not. To help remedy this situation, we present a novel approach to investigate the nature of attitudes. We created a self-transforming paper survey of moral opinions, covering both foundational principles, and current dilemmas hotly debated in the media. This (...) survey used a magic trick to expose participants to a reversal of their previously stated attitudes, allowing us to record whether they were prepared to endorse and argue for the opposite view of what they had stated only moments ago. The result showed that the majority of the reversals remained undetected, and a full 69% of the participants failed to detect at least one of two changes. In addition, participants often constructed coherent and unequivocal arguments supporting the opposite of their original position. These results suggest a dramatic potential for flexibility in our moral attitudes, and indicates a clear role for self-attribution and post-hoc rationalization in attitude formation and change. (shrink)
One of the most basic functions of human language is to convey who did what to whom. In the world's languages, the order of these three constituents (subject [S], verb [V], and object [O]) is uneven, with SOV and SVO being most common. Recent experiments using experimentally elicited pantomime provide a possible explanation of the prevalence of SOV, but extant explanations for the prevalence of SVO could benefit from further empirical support. Here, we test whether SVO might emerge because (a) (...) SOV is not well suited for describing reversible events (a woman pushing a boy) and (b) pressures to be efficient and mention subjects before objects conspire to rule out many other alternatives. We tested this by asking participants to describe reversible and non-reversible events in pantomime, and we instructed some participants to be consistent in the form of their gestures and to teach them to the experimenter. These manipulations led to the emergence of SVO in speakers of both English (SVO) and Turkish (SOV). (shrink)
‘Interactional expertise’ is developed through linguistic interaction without full scale practical immersion in a culture. Interactional expertise is the medium of communication in peer review in science, in review committees, and in interdisciplinary projects. It is also the medium of specialist journalists and of interpretative methods in the social sciences. We describe imitation game experiments designed to make concrete the idea of interactional expertise. The experiments show that the linguistic performance of those well socialized in the language of a specialist (...) group is indistinguishable from those with full blown practical socialization but distinguishable from those who are not well socialized. The imitation game can also be used to indicate whether an individual can enter an esoteric domain and master the interactional expertise, a skill required by interpretative sociologists of science, anthropologists, ethnographers, and the like.Keywords: Expertise; Interactional expertise; Imitation game; Turing test; Colour blindness; Interpretative methods. (shrink)
What is it about serial killers that grips our imaginations? They populate some of our most important literature and art, and to this day, Jack the Ripper intrigues us. In this paper, we examine this phenomenon, exploring the idea that serial killers in part represent something in us that, if not good, is at least admirable. To get at this, we have to peel off layers of other causes of our attraction, for our attraction to serial killing is complex (it (...) mixes with repulsion, too). For example, part of the attraction is curiosity associated with the pragmatic desire to understand serial killers. Another part is the allure of safe violence, the very same allure that causes us to slow down to look at traffic accidents and that makes movies like Saw box office gold. Once we are through the initial layers of attraction, we expose the one we are interested in. Humans are not really Homo sapiens (the wise human), but rather Homo oboediens (the rule‐following human), and these rules can become oppressive. Serial killers, properly sanitized, show us something, albeit in a twisted way, that we long for – a life unfettered by rules, a life where we can do exactly what we want. We close by noting the paradox that an actual serial killer is not free at all. (shrink)
The essays in this book exhibit a commendably high level of scholarship. They are written by an accomplished group of thinkers (some of them well-known and well-established and some of them relatively new and worth keeping in view). All the essays are new to this book (except the two on rights). The book is well produced (I noted only a dropped note superscript in Gaus’s chapter and a missing ‘not’ on p.
Addiction is increasingly described as a “chronic and relapsing brain disease”. The potential impact of the brain disease model on the treatment of addiction or addicted individuals’ treatment behaviour remains uncertain. We conducted a qualitative study to examine: (i) the extent to which leading Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians accept the brain disease view of addiction; and (ii) their views on the likely impacts of this view on addicted individuals’ beliefs and behaviour. Thirty-one Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians (10 females (...) and 21 males; 16 with clinical experience and 15 with no clinical experience) took part in 1 h semi-structured interviews. Most addiction neuroscientists and clinicians did not uncritically support the use of brain disease model of addiction. Most were cautious about the potential for adverse impacts on individuals’ recovery and motivation to enter treatment. While some recognised the possibility that the brain disease model of addiction may provide a rationale for addicted persons to seek treatment and motivate behaviour change, Australian addiction neuroscientist and clinicians do not assume that messages about “diseased brains” will always lead to increased treatment-seeking and reduced drug use. Research is needed on how neuroscience research could be used in ways that optimise positive outcomes for addicted persons. (shrink)
Neuroscience research has improved our understanding of the long term consequences of sports-related concussion, but ethical issues related to the prevention and management of concussion are an underdeveloped area of inquiry. This article exposes several examples of conflicts of interest that have arisen and been tolerated in the management of concussion in sport (particularly professional football codes) regarding the use of computerized neuropsychological (NP) tests for diagnosing concussion. Part 1 outlines how the recommendations of a series of global protocols for (...) dealing with sports-related concussions (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Consensus Statements on Concussion in Sport) have endorsed the use of NP testing. The development of these protocols has involved experts who have links with companies that sell computerised NP tests for concussion management. Part 2 describes how some professional football leagues—in particular the National Football League (NFL), the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL)—have mandated specific NP testing products. They have done so on the basis of these international guidelines and by engaging experts who have conflicts of interest with NP testing companies. These decisions have also been taken despite evidence that casts doubt on the reliability and validity of NP tests when used in these ways. (shrink)
In recent years, a number of realist thinkers have charged much contemporary political theory with being idealistic and moralistic. While the basic features of the realist counter-movement are reasonably well understood, realism is still considered a critical, primarily negative creed which fails to offer a positive, alternative way of thinking normatively about politics. Aiming to counteract this general perception, in this article I draw on Bernard Williams’s claims about how to construct a politically coherent conception of liberty from the non-political (...) value of freedom. I do this because Williams’s argument provides an illuminating example of the distinctive nature of realist political thinking and its attractions. I argue that Williams’s account of realist political thinking challenges the orthodox moralist claim that normative political arguments must be guided by an ideal ethical theory. I then spell out the repercussions Williams’s claims about the significance of political opposition and non-mor... (shrink)
The legacy of Nisbett and Wilson’s classic article, Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes , is mixed. It is perhaps the most cited article in the recent history of consciousness studies, yet no empirical research program currently exists that continues the work presented in the article. To remedy this, we have introduced an experimental paradigm we call choice blindness [Johansson, P., Hall, L., Sikström, S., & Olsson, A. . Failure to detect mismatches between intention and (...) outcome in a simple decision task. Science, 310, 116–119.]. In the choice blindness paradigm participants fail to notice mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome they are presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. In this article, we use word-frequency and latent semantic analysis to investigate a corpus of introspective reports collected within the choice blindness paradigm. We contrast the introspective reasons given in non-manipulated vs. manipulated trials, but find very few differences between these two groups of reports. (shrink)
The United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights engenders important state commitments to respect, fulfill, and protect a broad range of socio-economic rights. In 2010, a milestone was reached when the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation. However, water plays an important role in realizing other human rights such as the right to food and livelihoods, and in realizing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. (...) These broader water-related rights have been recognized but have not yet been operationalized. This paper unravels these broader water-related rights in a more holistic interpretation of existing international human rights law. By focusing on an emerging approach to water services provision—known as ‘domestic-plus’ services—the paper argues how this approach operationalizes a comprehensive range of socio-economic rights in rural and peri-urban areas. Domestic-plus services provide water for domestic and productive uses around homesteads, which challenges the widespread practice in the public sector of planning and designing water infrastructure for a single-use. Evidence is presented to show that people in rural communities are already using their water supplies planned for domestic uses to support a wide range of productive activities. Domestic-plus services recognize and plan for these multiple-uses, while respecting the priority for clean and safe drinking water. The paper concludes that domestic-plus services operationalize the obligation to progressively fulfill a comprehensive range of indivisible socio-economic rights in rural and peri-urban areas. (shrink)
Composed more than 2,000 years ago during a turbulent period of Chinese history, the Dao de jing set forth an alternative vision of reality in a world torn apart by violence and betrayal. Daoism, as this subtle but enduring philosophy came to be known, offers a comprehensive view of experience grounded in a full understanding of the wonders hidden in the ordinary. Now in this luminous new translation, based on the recently discovered ancient bamboo scrolls, China scholars Roger T. Ames (...) and David L. Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the Dao de jing into our contemporary world. Though attributed to Laozi, “the Old Master,” the Dao de jing is, in fact, of unknown authorship and may well have originated in an oral tradition four hundred years before the time of Christ. Eschewing philosophical dogma, the Dao de jing set forth a series of maxims that outlined a new perspective on reality and invited readers to embark on a regimen of self-cultivation. In the Daoist world view, each particular element in our experience sends out an endless series of ripples throughout the cosmos. The unstated goal of the Dao de jing is self-transformation–the attainment of personal excellence that flows from the world and back into it. Responding to the teachings of Confucius, the Dao de jing revitalizes moral behavior by recommending a spontaneity made possible by the cultivated “habits” of the individual. In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. The book’s extensive introduction is a model of accessible scholarship in which Ames and Hall consider the origin of the text, place the emergence of Daoist philosophy in its historical and political context, and outline its central tenets. The Dao de jing is a work of timeless wisdom and beauty, as vital today as it was in ancient China. This new version will stand as both a compelling introduction to the complexities of Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation. (shrink)
Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof, and Murali Ramachandran (1996) have proposed a new counterfactual analysis of causation. We argue that this – the PCA-analysis – is incorrect. In section 1, we explain David Lewis’s ﬁrst counterfactual analysis of causation, and a problem that led him to propose a second. In section 2 we explain the PCA-analysis, advertised as an improvement on Lewis’s later account. We then give counterexamples to the necessity (section 3) and sufﬁciency (section 4) of the PCA-analysis.
This book explores the making of health care rationing decisions through the analysis of three alternative decision makers: patients paying out of pocket; officials setting limits on treatments and coverage; and physicians at the bedside. Hall develops this analysis along three dimensions: political economics, ethics, and law. The economic dimension addresses the practical feasibility of each method. The ethical dimension discusses the moral aspects of these methods, while the legal dimension traces the most recent developments in jurisprudence and health law.
Debates about the ethical and social implications of research that aims to extend human longevity by intervening in the ageing process have paid little attention to the attitudes of members of the general public. In the absence of empirical evidence, conflicting assumptions have been made about likely public attitudes towards life-extension. In light of recent calls for greater public involvement in such discussions, this target article presents findings from focus groups and individual interviews which investigated whether members of the general (...) public identify ethical issues surrounding life-extension, and if so, what these ethical issues are? In this study, while some participants were concerned primarily with the likely personal consequences of life-extension, for others the question of whether or not to pursue interventions to extend longevity, and how they should be implemented, clearly raised important ethical issues, many of which have been prominent in debates among bioethicists. (shrink)
The emergence of private authority has become a feature of the post-Cold War world. The contributors to this volume examine the implications of this erosion of the power of the state for global governance. They analyse actors as diverse as financial institutions, multinational corporations, religious terrorists and organised criminals. The themes of the book relate directly to debates concerning globalization and the role of international law, and will be of interest to scholars and students of international relations, politics, sociology and (...) law. (shrink)
Political realists complain that much contemporary political philosophy is insufficiently attentive to various facts about politics yet some political philosophers insist that any critique of normative claims on grounds of unrealism is misplaced. In this paper I focus on the methodological position G.A. Cohen champions in order assess the extent to which this retort succeeds in nullifying the realist critique of contemporary political philosophy. I argue that Cohen’s work does not succeed in doing so because the political principles that we (...) are prepared to endorse are hostage to various fact-sensitive judgements about how they apply to the political domain. I then argue that this discredits various philosophical approaches to political theorising which begin by utilising non-political thought-experiments, such as Cohen’s own Why Not Socialism? (shrink)
In order to make scientific results relevant to practical decision making, it is often necessary to transfer a result obtained in one set of circumstances—an animal model, a computer simulation, an economic experiment—to another that may differ in relevant respects—for example, to humans, the global climate, or an auction. Such inferences, which we can call extrapolations, are a type of argument by analogy. This essay sketches a new approach to analogical inference that utilizes chain graphs, which resemble directed acyclic graphs (...) (DAGs) except in allowing that nodes may be connected by lines as well as arrows. This chain graph approach generalizes the account of extrapolation I provided in my (2008) book and leads to new insights that integrate the contributions of the other participants of this symposium. More specifically, this approach explicates the role of “fingerprints,” or distinctive markers, as a strategy for avoiding an underdetermination problem having to do with spurious analogies. Moreover, it shows how the extrapolator’s circle, one of the central challenges for extrapolation highlighted in my book, is closely tied to distinctive markers and the Markov condition as it applies to chain graphs. Finally, the approach suggests additional ways in which investigations of a model can provide information about a target that are illustrated by examples concerning nanomaterials in sunscreens and Wendy Parker’s discussion of fingerprints in climate science. (shrink)
The ‘Principal Principle’ states, roughly, that one's subjective probability for a proposition should conform to one's beliefs about that proposition's objective chance of coming true. David Lewis has argued (i) that this principle provides the defining role for chance; (ii) that it conflicts with his reductionist thesis of Humean supervenience, and so must be replaced by an amended version that avoids the conflict; hence (iii) that nothing perfectly deserves the name ‘chance’, although something can come close enough by playing the (...) role picked out by the amended principle. We show that in fact there must be ‘chances’ that perfectly play what Lewis takes to be the defining role. But this is not the happy conclusion it might seem, since these ‘chances’ behave too strangely to deserve the name. The lesson is simple: much more than the Principal Principle—more to the point, much more than the connection between chance and credence—informs our understanding of objective chance. 1 Introduction 2 Preliminaries 3 Undermining futures and the New Principle 4 The Old Principle rescued? 5 The New Bug 6 Conclusion. (shrink)