The revised Robertson's test theory of special relativity (SR) has been constructed upon a family of sets of passive coordinate transformations in flat space-time [J. G. Vargas and D. G. Torr,Found. Phys., 16, 1089 (1986)]. In the same paper, it has also been shown that the boosts depend in general on the velocities of the two frames involved and not only on their relative velocity. The only exception to this is SR, if one has previously used an appropriate constraint (...) to remove the other relativities—like Galilean relativity—from the family.In this paper we look at these coordinate transformations in the only way there is to do so, namely as transformations in a seven-dimensional “Cartan Space” (Cartan first considered this in his dealings with Newtonian kinematics). In this space, the boosts only depend on the relative velocity of the frames. The passive coordinate transformations in each set are shown to have a nonlinear group structure isomorphic to that of the Poincaré group.The existence of a preferred frame, except in SR, makes the active transformations inequivalent to the passive ones. It is shown that the composite active-passive transformations act on a ten-dimensional space and that each member set of the family also has a group structure. As a result, one ends up with a family of mutually isomorphic 9-parameter (homogeneous) supergroups and a family of mutually isomorphic (9 + 4)-parameter (inhomogeneous) supergroups. The presence of extra parameters could be looked upon as “internal” degrees of freedom, which are, however, an offshoot of the Robertson space-time. (shrink)
In a recent paper [J. G. Vargas and D. G. Torr, Found. Phys. 27, 599 (1997)], we have shown that a subset of the differential invariants that define teleparallel connections in spacetime generates a teleparallel Kaluza-Klein space (KKS) endowed with a very rich Clifford structure. A canonical Dirac equation hidden in this structure might be uncovered with the help of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in KKS. To bridge the gap to such a calculus from the existing Riemannian Kähler calculus (...) in spacetime, we commence the construction of a teleparallel Kähler calculus in spacetime. In the process, we notice: (a) Unknown to him, one of Einstein's equations in his attempt at unification with teleparallelism states that the interior covariant derivative of the torsion is zero. (b) A mechanism exists in the tangent bundle of teleparallel spaces for producing confinement (in the applicable cases, one would have to show why nonconfinement also occurs, rather than the other way around). (c) When the torsion is not zero, the interior covariant derivative in the sense of Kähler, δF, does not coincide with *d*F. The system (dF = 0, δF = j) rather than (dF = 0, *d*F = j) should then be used for generalizations of Maxwell's electrodynamics. (shrink)
It has recently been shown by Vargas, (4) that the passive coordinate transformations that enter the Robertson test theory of special relativity have to be considered as coordinate transformations in a seven-dimensional space with degenerate metric. It has also been shown by Vargas that the corresponding active coordinate transformations are not equal in general to the passive ones and that the composite active-passive transformations act on a space whose number of dimensions is ten (one-particle case) or larger (more (...) than one particle).In this paper, two different (families of) electrodynamics are constructed in ten-dimensional space upon the coordinate free form of the Maxwell and Lorentz equations. The two possibilities arise from the two different assumptions that one can naturally make with respect to the acceleration fields of charges, when these fields are related to their relativistic counterparts. Both theories present unattractive features, which indicates that the Maxwell-Lorentz framework is unsuitable for the construction of an electrodynamics for the Robertson test theory of the Lorentz transformations. It is argued that this construction would first require the formulation of Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics in the form of a connection in Finsler space. If such formulation is possible, the sought generalization would consist in simply changing bases in the tangent spaces of the manifold that supports the connection. In addition, the number of dimensions of the space of the Robertson transformations would be ten, but not greater than ten. (shrink)
A connection viewed from the perspective of integration has the Bianchi identities as constraints. It is shown that the removal of these constraints admits a natural solution on manifolds endowed with a metric and teleparallelism. In the process, the equations of structure and the Bianchi identities take standard forms of field equations and conservation laws.The Levi-Civita (part of the) connection ends up as the potential for the gravity sector, where the source is geometric and tensorial and contains an explicit gravitational (...) contribution.Nonlinear field equations for the torsion result. In a “low-energy” approximation (linearity andlow energy-momentumtransfer), the postulate that only charge and velocities contribute to the source transforms these equations into the Maxwell system. Moreover, the affine geodesics become the equations of motion of special relativity with Lorentz force in the same approximation [J. G. Vargas,Found. Phys. 21, 379 (1991)]. The field equations for the torsion must then be viewed as applying to an electromagnetic/strong interaction.A classical unified theory thus arises where the underlying geometry confers their contrasting characters to Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics and to an Einstein's-like theory of gravity. The highly compact field equations must, however, be developed in phase-spacetime, since the connection is velocity-dependent, i.e., Finsler-like.Further opportunities for similarities with present-day physics are discussed: (a) teleparallelism allows for the formulation of the torsion sector of the theory as a flat space theory with concomitant point-dependent transformations; (b) spinors should replace Lorentz frames in their role as the subjects to which the connection refers; (c) the Dirac equation consistent with the frame bundle for a velocity-dependent metric with Lorentz signature generates a weak-like interaction in the torsion sector. (shrink)
Part I: Building blocks. 1. Folk convictions -- 2. Doubts about libertarianism -- 3. Nihilism and revisionism -- 4. Building a better theory -- Part II. A theory of moral responsibility. 5. The primacy of reasons -- 6. Justifying the practice -- 7. Responsible agency -- 8. Blame and desert -- 9. History and manipulation --10. Some conclusions.
We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of self-control (...) explain culpability for unwitting omissions. (shrink)
Revisionism in the theory of moral responsibility is the idea that some aspect of responsibility practices, attitudes, or concept is in need of revision. While the increased frequency of revisionist language in the literature on free will and moral responsibility is striking, what discussion there has been of revisionism about responsibility and free will tends to be critical. In this paper, I argue that at least one species of revisionism, moderate revisionism, is considerably more sophisticated and defensible than critics have (...) realized. I go on to argue for the advantages of moderate revisionist theories over standard compatibilist and incompatibilist theories. (shrink)
Many prominent theories of moral responsibility rely on the notion of “tracing,” the idea that responsibility for an outcome can be located in (i.e., “traced back to”) some prior moment of control, perhaps significantly antecedent to the proximate sources of a considered action. In this article, I show how there is a problem for theories that rely on tracing. The problem is connected to the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. Many prima facie good candidate cases for tracing analyses appear to (...) violate the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. So, either we need to dispense with tracing approaches or we must refine our understanding of the knowledge condition or we are responsible less frequently than we suppose. (shrink)
The risk that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals (DTCA) may increase inappropriate medicine use is well recognized. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration addresses this concern by subjecting DTCA content to strict scrutiny. Its strictures are, however, heavily focused on the explicit claims made in commercials, what we term their ?propositional content.? Yet research in social psychology suggests advertising employs techniques to influence viewers via nonpropositional content, for example, images and music. We argue that one such technique, evaluative conditioning, is (...) operative in DTCA. We further argue that evaluative conditioning fosters unjustified beliefs about drug safety and efficacy, antagonising the autonomy of viewers? choices about advertised medicines. We conclude that current guidelines are deficient in failing to account for evaluative conditioning, and that more research and debate are needed to determine the permissibility of this and other forms of nonpropositional persuasion. (shrink)
This article summarizes the moderate revisionist position I put forth in Four Views on Free Will and responds to objections to it from Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, Derk Pereboom, and Michael McKenna. Among the principle topics of the article are (1) motivations for revisionism, what it is, and how it is different from compatibilism and hard incompatibilism, (2) an objection to the distinctiveness of semicompatibilism against conventional forms of compatibilism, and (3) whether moderate revisionism is committed to realism about (...) moral responsibility. (shrink)
Many prominent accounts of free will and moral responsibility make use of the idea that agents can be responsive to reasons. Call such theories Reasons accounts. In what follows, I consider the tenability of Reasons accounts in light of situationist social psychology and, to a lesser extent, the automaticity literature. In the ﬁrst half of this chapter, I argue that Reasons accounts are genuinely threatened by contemporary psychology. In the second half of the paper I consider whether such threats can (...) be met, and at what cost. Ultimately, I argue that Reasons accounts can abandon some familiar assumptions, and that doing so permits us to build a more empirically plausible picture of our agency. (shrink)
In recent years, reﬂection on the relationship between individual moral responsibility and determinism has undergone a remarkable renaissance. Incompatibilists, those who believe moral responsibility is incompatible with determinism, have offered powerful new arguments in support of their views. Compatibilists, those who think moral responsibility is compatible with determinism, have responded with ingenious counterexamples and alternative accounts of responsibility. Despite the admirable elevation of complexity and subtlety within both camps, the trajectory of the literature is somewhat discouraging. Every dialectical stalemate between (...) incompatibilists and compatibilists seems to be superseded by a similar though often more subtle stalemate.1 The stalemates have two sources. On the one hand, incompatibilists again and again ﬁnd powerful intuitive support from our folk concept. On the other hand, compatibilists seem right to insist that even if determinism were true, this would not mitigate our need for a concept of responsibility. (shrink)
In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency – that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes – is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents must have (...) particular sorts of histories, others have argued that no such history is required. Resolution of this contentious issue is connected to a wide range of concerns, including the significance and culpability of different forms of manipulation, the plausibility of important incompatibilist criticisms of compatibilism, and of course, a satisfactory account of moral responsibility. As it turns out, history matters sometimes, but less frequently than we might think. (shrink)
This article summarizes and extends the moderate revisionist position I put forth in Four Views on Free Will and responds to objections to it from Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, Derk Pereboom, and Michael McKenna. Among the principle topics of the article are (1) motivations for revisionism, what it is, and how it is different from compatibilism and hard incompatibilism, (2) an objection to libertarianism based on the moral costs of its current epistemic status, (3) an objection to the distinctiveness (...) of semicompatibilism against conventional forms of compatibilism and (4) whether moderate revisionism is committed to realism about moral responsibility. (shrink)
As far as we are aware, this study presents the first comparative analysis of the stock picking and market timing abilities of managers of conventional and socially responsible (SR) pension funds, and of their use of superior information. For the United Kingdom, the results obtained show a slight stock picking ability on the part of SR pension fund managers (although it disappears if multifactorial models are considered), and a negative market timing ability on the part of both SR and conventional (...) pension fund managers (these results hold for multifactorial models controlled by home bias). In relation to the management styles, both conventional and SR pension funds usually invest in small cap and growth values, although it is the SR pension funds that are the most exposed to these styles. We also observed that, while conventional pension fund managers make certain use of superior information to follow stock picking strategies, managers of SR pension funds use superior information to follow market timing strategies. (shrink)
The Luck Problem has existed in one form or another since David Hume, at least. It is perhaps as old as Stoic objections to the Epicurean swerve. Although the general issue admits of different formulations with subtly different emphases, the characterization of it that will serve as my target focuses on “cross-worlds” luck, a kind of luck that arises when the decision-making of agents is indeterministic.
I discuss experimental work by Nichols, and Nichols and Knobe, with respect to the philosophical problems of free will and moral responsibility. I mention some methodological concerns about the work, but focus principally on the philosophical implications of the work. The experimental results seem to show that in particular, concrete cases we are more willing to attribute responsibility than in cases described abstractly or in general terms. I argue that their results suggest a deep problem for traditional accounts of compatibilism, (...) and that they may cast some light on the literature surrounding Frankfurt cases. I also suggest a way in which mature philosophical convictions about free will may reflect a contingent process of refining and defending either of two competing strands of intuitions, and suggest that this may partly explain the persistence of philosophical debates about free will. (shrink)
This article analyzes the financial performance and managerial abilities of a sample of US and European socially responsible (SR) mutual funds. The period analyzed commences from January 1994 and concludes in January 2013 and yields 18 US and 89 European green funds. The results obtained for green fund managers are compared with those achieved for conventional and other forms of SR mutual fund managers. We control for the mutual fund investment objective (distinguishing between domestic and global portfolios) and for the (...) effect of crisis market periods. For US SR funds, partitioning the data into crisis and normal periods reveals that SR funds obtain statistically insignificant performance in crisis periods but underperform relative to the market in normal periods. Furthermore, the findings indicate that green funds do not perform worse than other forms of SR mutual funds. For European SR funds partitioning the data into crisis and normal periods reveals that SR funds obtain statistically insignificant performance irrespective of market conditions. Similar to the US findings, green Europe SR funds do not perform worse than other forms of SR mutual funds. Managerial abilities are not evident in the findings though unsuccessful timing of the market is revealed for both Europe and US global green funds. When analyzing managerial abilities in crisis and non-crisis market periods, US green fund managers achieve better results in crisis market periods and the opposite occurs for green fund managers in European market. (shrink)
This paper outlines one way of thinking about the problem of free will, some general reasons for dissatisfactions with traditional approaches to solving it, and some considerations in favor of pursuing a broadly revisionist solution to it. If you are looking for a student-friendly introduction to revisionist theorizing about free will, this is probably the thing to look at.
In this paper I criticize libertarianism and skepticism about free will. The criticism of libertarianism takes some steps towards filling in an argument that is often mentioned but seldom developed in any detail, the argument that libertarianism is a scientifically implausible view. I say "take some steps" because I think the considerations I muster (at most) favor a less ambitious relative of that argument. The less ambitious claim I hope to motivate is that there is little reason to believe that (...) extant libertarian accounts satisfy a standard of naturalistic plausibility, even if they do satisfy a standard of naturalistic compatibility. The argument against skepticism about free will tries to show (1) perhaps the most prominent form of skeptical argument against the existence of free will does not work, and (2) there is a good general argument against skepticism about free will. (shrink)
The idea of moral responsibility is central to a wide range of our moral, social, and legal practices, and it underpins our basic notion of culpability. Yet the idea of moral responsibility is increasingly viewed with skepticism by researchers and scholars in psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and the law. Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility responds to these challenges, offering a new account of the justification of our practices and judgments of moral responsibility. Three distinctive ideas shape the account. (...) The first is the agency cultivation model, which holds that a system of responsibility practices can derive its justification from the way it supports our agency. The second idea, circumstantialism, is a new way of thinking about agential capacities. This is the view that the capacities required for moral responsibility are functions of agents in circumstances, rather than basic features of agents considered in themselves. The third idea is revisionism, or the idea that a satisfactory theory of moral responsibility will conflict with some aspects of ordinary commitments about freedom and moral responsibility. (shrink)
The present chapter is concerned with revisionism about free will. It begins by offering a new characterization of revisionist accounts and the way such accounts fit (or do not) in the familiar framework of compatibilism and incompatibilism. It then traces some of the recent history of the development of revisionist accounts, and concludes by remarking on some challenges for them.
I examine the extent to which Dennett’s account in Freedom Evolves might be construed as revisionist about free will or should instead be understood as a more traditional kind of compatibilism. I also consider Dennett’s views about philosophical work on free agency and its relationship to scientiﬁc inquiry, and I argue that extant philosophical work is more relevant to scientiﬁc inquiry than Dennett’s remarks may suggest.
Both legal and moral theorists have offered broadly “communicative” theories of criminal and moral responsibility. According to such accounts, we can understand the nature of responsibility by appealing to the idea that responsibility practices are in some fundamental sense expressive, discursive, or communicative. In this essay, I consider a variety of issues in connections with this family of views, including its relationship to free will, the theory of exemptions, and potential alternatives to the communicative model. Focusing on Michael McKenna’s Conversation (...) and Responsibility, I argue that communicative accounts, and the conversational model in particular, direct our attention to important and under-appreciated elements of our responsibility practices. However, rather than focusing on a model of conversation-as-address, as McKenna does, we do better to regard gossip as the paradigmatic conversational form that captures the main features of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In this study, we analyze the financial performance and the managerial abilities of religious mutual fund managers, implementing a comparative analysis with conventional mutual funds. We use a broad sample, free of survivorship bias, of religious equity mutual funds from the US market, for the period from January 1994 to September 2010. We build a matched-pair conventional sample in order to compare the results obtained for both kinds of mutual fund managers. We analyze stock-picking and market timing abilities, topics widely (...) neglected for the specific case of religious mutual fund managers. We also study style timing abilities. As far as we are aware, this aspect has not been studied previously for religious mutual fund managers. Our results indicate that religious mutual fund managers underperform both the market and their conventional counterparts. This result is driven by negative stock-picking ability which could be generated by excluding “Sin” stocks from their portfolios. Moreover, they are not able to time the market or any of the following styles: size, book-to-market, and momentum. (shrink)
Consider the following claim: “If an agent comes to be bad through a process that entirely bypasses her ability to appreciate and to respond to reasons, including moral reasons, she is not a responsible agent at all” (Levy 2007). Psychopathy is a wonderful example here, since there’s reason to think it has a strong genetic component. But why should we accept this claim that we have to absolve those who are born irrevocably bad?
I’ve been told that in the good old days of the 1970s, when Quine’s desert landscapes were regarded as ideal real estate and David Lewis and John Rawls had not yet left a legion of inﬂuential students rewriting the terrain of metaphysics and ethics respectively, compatibilism was still compatibilism about free will. And, of course, incompatibilism was still incompatibilism about free will. That is, compatibilism was the view that free will was compatible with determinism. Incompatibilism was the view that free (...) will was incompatible with determinism.1 What philosophers argued about was whether free will was compatible with determinism. Mostly, this was an argument about how to understand claims that one could do otherwise. You needn’t have bothered to talk about moral responsibility, because it was just obvious that you couldn’t have moral responsibility without free will. The literature was a temple of clarity. Then, somehow, things began to go horribly wrong. To be sure, there had been some activity in the 1960s that would have struck some observers as ominous. Still, it was not until the 1980s that those initial warning signs gave way to real trouble. The meanings of terms twisted. (shrink)
Resumen: El artículo realiza una precisión conceptual respecto a la idea de diferencia trabajada por algunos autores ligados al "pensamiento de la diferencia". Estas diferentes diferencias constituirán una trama en donde cada una se mostrará en su irreductibilidad y constitutiva vinculación a las otras; unas diferencias convergerán con otras o simplemente las desplazarán. La hipótesis es que la diferencia ontológica, la diferrance, la diferencia pura, la diferencia de los cuerpos y la diferencia colonial muestran que el problema de la diferencia, (...) llevado a ámbitos concretos como diferencias de género, diferencias étnicas, etc., ha de ser siempre trabajado desde el carácter irreductiblemente plural de la diferencia.: This article presents the idea of "difference" as discussed by some authors linked "difference thinking". These different differences constitute a drama where each one will be displayed in its irreducibility and its constitutive relationship to the others; some differences will converge with others or simply displace them. Ontological difference, difference, pure difference, the difference of bodies, and colonial difference, show that the problem of difference, when brought into specific areas such as gender, ethnicity, etc., must always be approached from the irreducibly plural nature of difference. (shrink)
Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility argues that the normative basis of moral responsibility is anchored in the effects of responsibility practices. Further, the capacities required for moral responsibility are socially scaffolded. This article considers criticisms of this account that have been recently raised by John Doris, Victoria McGeer, and Michael Robinson. Robinson argues against Building Better Beings’s rejection of libertarianism about free will, and the account of desert at stake in the theory. considers methodological questions that arise (...) from the account of desert, providing some additional resources for thinking about these issues within the framework of the account. McGeer objects to the particular mode of justification used to motivate the prescriptive aspect of the account. This article presents replies to each of these lines of response. (shrink)
A central goal in regulating direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals is to ensure that explicit drug claims are truthful. Yet imagery can also alter viewer attitudes, and the degree to which this occurs in DTCA is uncertain. Addressing this data gap, we provide evidence that positive feelings produced by images can promote favourable beliefs about pharmaceuticals. We had participants view a fictitious anti-influenza drug paired with unrelated images that elicited either positive, neutral or negative feelings. Participants who viewed positive images (...) rated the influenza drug as significantly more effective, safe, and beneficial than did participants who viewed negative images. This effect, known as evaluative conditioning, is well described in experimental social psychology but has not previously been shown with pharmaceuticals. We discuss how evaluative conditioning in DTCA may compromise viewer autonomy, and canvass possible regulatory responses. (shrink)
Proponents of the philosophy of liberation generally counsel that various forms of liberation in at least the Americas requires that we should fight Eurocentrism and resist the ontology and conceptual framework of Europe. However, most of the work done in this tradition relies heavily on the terminology and theoretical apparatus of various strands of European philosophy. The apparent disconnect between the aims and methods (or if you like, the theory and practice) has given rise to a criticism I call The (...) Eurocentrism Problem. I argue that the Eurocentrism Problem has not received an adequate reply, and that it reflects a number of underlying flaws in the philosophical program of the philosophy of liberation. These problems can largely be avoided if we significantly recast the philosophy of liberation, eliminating its reliance on the conceptual foundations provided by Levinas, Heidegger, and so on. (shrink)
Este artículo indaga en la concepción de Naturaleza del filósofo F. Nietzsche (1844-1900). Tal concepción nace en diálogo crítico con la filosofía de la época, en especial aquella que va desde el criticismo de Kant al idealismo absoluto de Hegel y que atraviesa todo un modo de ser y de comprender el mundo, Modernidad. Deallí se levanta la figura del dios griego Dioniso, como una imagen que expresa ese rasgo instantáneo de Naturalezaque se muestra plenamente como cuerpo. This article explores (...) the conception of Nature of the philosopher F. Nietzsche (1844-1900). Such a concept was born in critical dialogue with the philosophy of the era, especially that one which goes from Kant’s criticism to Hegel’s absolute idealism and that considers a whole way of being and understanding the world, i.e. the Modernity. From here, the figure of the Greek god Dionysus arises as an image that expresses the instant trait of nature showing itself as a body. (shrink)
This is an essay on philosophical methodology, the disciplinary prejudices of the Anglophone philosophical world, and how these things interact with some aspects of the content and form of Latin American philosophy to preclude the latter's integration with mainstream Anglophone philosophical work. Among the topics discussed of interest to analytic philosophers: metaphilosophy, the status hierarchy of philosophical subfields, experimental philosophy, and patterns of openness and exclusion in philosophy. Among the topics of interest to philosophers interested in Latin American philosophy and (...) comparative philosophy: the nature of disputes about the existence of Latin American philosophy, the significance of this genre of writing, how contributions to it can proceed, and why metaphilosophical concerns in Latin America are problematic for the prospects for integration with the Anglophone philosophical world. (shrink)