The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
Classical logic has been attacked by adherents of rival, anti-realist logical systems: Ian Rumfitt comes to its defence. He considers the nature of logic, and how to arbitrate between different logics. He argues that classical logic may dispense with the principle of bivalence, and may thus be liberated from the dead hand of classical semantics.
In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and this often owes to gaps in collective hermeneutical resources. We then argue (...) that epistemic injustice arises in part owing to the epistemic privilege enjoyed by the practitioners and institutions of contemporary healthcare services—the former owing to their training, expertise, and third-person psychology, and the latter owing to their implicit privileging of certain styles of articulating and evidencing testimonies in ways that marginalise ill persons. We suggest that a phenomenological toolkit may be part of an effort to ameliorate epistemic injustice. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
In days past, epistemologists expended a good deal of effort trying to analyze the basing relation—the relation between a belief and its basis. No satisfying account was offered, and the project was largely abandoned. Younger epistemologists, however, have begun to yearn for an adequate theory of basing. I aim to deliver one. After establishing some data and arguing that traditional accounts of basing are unsatisfying, I introduce a novel theory of the basing relation: the dispositional theory. It begins with the (...) pedestrian observation that beliefs stand or fall with their bases. The theory I offer is an elucidation and refinement of this thought. (shrink)
Introduction -- Evidence from children -- Evidence form infants and non-human animals -- Evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology -- Evidence from adults -- The cognitive basis of mindreading -- Elaborating and applying the theory.
Many people report that reading first-person narratives of the experience of illness can be morally instructive or educative. But although they are ubiquitous and typically sincere, the precise nature of such educative experiences is puzzling—for those narratives typically lack the features that modern philosophers regard as constitutive of moral reason. I argue that such puzzlement should disappear, and the morally educative power of illness narratives explained, if one distinguishes two different styles of moral reason: an inferentialist style that generates the (...) puzzlement and an alternative exemplarist style that offers a compelling explanation of the morally educative power of pathographic literature. (shrink)
Philosophers have lately seized upon Sperling's partial report technique and subsequent work on iconic memory in support of controversial claims about perceptual experience, in particular that phenomenology overflows cognitive access. Drawing on mounting evidence concerning postdictive perception, I offer an interpretation of Sperling's data in terms of cue-sensitive experience which fails to support any such claims. Arguments for overflow based on change-detection paradigms (e.g. Landman et al., 2003; Sligte et al., 2008) cannot be blocked in this way. However, such paradigms (...) are fundamentally different from Sperling's and, for rather different reasons, equally fail to establish controversial claims about perceptual experience. (shrink)
From the time of its clearest origins with Pascal, the theory of probabilities seemed to offer means by which the study of human affairs might be reduced to the same kind of mathematical discipline that was already being achieved in the study of nature. Condorcet is to a great extent merely representative of the philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who were led on by the prospect of developing moral and political sciences on the pattern of the natural sciences, (...) specifically physics. The development of economics and the social sciences, from the eighteenth century onwards, may be said in part to have fulfilled and in a manner to have perpetuated these ambitions. In so far as the new sciences have been susceptible of mathematical treatment, this has not been confined to the calculus of probabilities. But there is a temptation at every stage to ascribe fundamental significance and universal applicability to each latest mathematical device that is strikingly useful or illuminating on its first introduction. It is the theory of games that enjoys this position at present, and shapes the common contemporary conception of the very same problems that preoccupied Condorcet. (shrink)
Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...) philosophical. It explains how standard arguments for unconscious perception rely on contentious background assumptions concerning the relation between ordinary perception and the explanatory constructs of scientific psychology. Part Two, in contrast, offers detailed engagement with relevant empirical work. It exposes how, even setting aside the concerns identified in Part One, a dilemma confronts the believer in unconscious perception. This dilemma arises because ordinary perception is an individual-level state or occurrence, yet criteria sufficiently stringent to guarantee that a putatively perceptual state is unconscious vitiate the grounds for its attribution to the individual. The dilemma foments a hypothesis, namely that the conditions for genuine, individual-level perception are sufficient conditions for perceptual consciousness. The viability of this hypothesis should unnerve anyone who thinks unconscious perception is simply an empirical given. (shrink)
I reject both (a) inevitabilism about the historical development of the sciences and (b) what Ian Hacking calls the "put up or shut up" argument against those who make contingentist claims. Each position is guilty of a lack of humility about our epistemic capacities.
Block () highlights two experimental studies of neglect patients which, he contends, provide ‘dramatic evidence’ for unconscious seeing. In Block's hands this is the highly non-trivial thesis that seeing of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur outside of phenomenal consciousness. Block's case for it provides an excellent opportunity to consider a large body of research on clinical syndromes widely held to evidence unconscious perception. I begin by considering in detail the two studies of neglect to which (...) Block appeals. I show why their interpretation as evidence of unconscious seeing faces a series of local difficulties. I then explain how, even bracketing these issues, a long-standing but overlooked problem concerning our criterion for consciousness problematizes the appeal to both studies. I explain why this problem is especially pressing for Block given his view that phenomenal consciousness overflows access consciousness. I further show that it is epidemic—not only affecting all report-based studies of unconscious seeing in neglect, but also analogous studies of the condition most often alleged to show unconscious seeing, namely blindsight. (shrink)
A growing number of authors defend putative examples of knowledge from falsehood (KFF), inferential knowledge based in a critical or essential way on false premises, and they argue that KFF has important implications for many areas of epistemology (whether evidence can be false, the Gettier debate, defeasibility theories of knowledge, etc.). I argue, however, that there is no KFF, because in any supposed example either the falsehood does not contribute to the knowledge or the subject lacks knowledge. In particular, I (...) show that if the subject actually has knowledge in putative KFF cases, then there is always a veridical evidential path meeting the basing conditions that accounts for her knowledge; if there is no such path, then the subject is in a type of Gettier case. All the recent arguments that rely on KFF are therefore based on a mistake. (shrink)
The _Mozi_ is a key philosophical work written by a major social and political thinker of the fifth century B.C.E. It is one of the few texts to survive the Warring States period and is crucial to understanding the origins of Chinese philosophy and two other foundational works, the _Mengzi_ and the _Xunzi_. Ian Johnston provides an English translation of the entire _Mozi_, as well as the first bilingual edition in any European language to be published in the West. His (...) careful translation reasserts the significance of the text's central doctrines, and his annotations and contextual explanations add vivid historical and interpretive dimensions. Part 1 of the _Mozi_ is called the "Epitomes" and contains seven short essays on the elements of Mohist doctrine. Part 2, the "Core Doctrines," establishes the ten central tenets of Mo Zi's ethical, social, and political philosophy, while articulating his opposition to Confucianism. Part 3, the "Canons and Explanations," comprises observations on logic, language, disputation, ethics, science, and other matters, written particularly in defense of Mohism. Part 4, the "Dialogues," presents lively conversations between Master Mo and various disciples, philosophical opponents, and potential patrons. Part 5, the "Defense Chapters," details the principles and practices of defensive warfare, a subject on which Master Mo was an acknowledged authority. Now available to English-speaking readers of all backgrounds, the Mozi is a rich and varied text, and this bilingual edition provides an excellent tool for learning classical Chinese. (shrink)
Philosophers have long struggled to understand our perceptual experience of temporal properties such as succession, persistence and change. Indeed, strikingly, a number have felt compelled to deny that we enjoy such experience. Philosophical puzzlement arises as a consequence of assuming that, if one experiences succession or temporal structure at all, then one experiences it at a moment. The two leading types of theory of temporal awareness—specious present theories and memory theories—are best understood as attempts to explain how temporal awareness is (...) possible within the constraints of this principle. I argue that the principle is false. Neither theory of temporal awareness can be made workable unless it is rejected. Our experience of temporal phenomena cannot be understood if we attempt to break experience down into instantaneous slices. In order to understand the perception of temporal properties we must look beyond the instant. (shrink)
It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourse and theorizing. Yet their meaning has been surprisingly neglected by political philosophers until now. Ian Carter provides the first systematic account of the nature and importance of our judgements about degrees (...) of freedom. He begins with an analysis of the normative assumptions behind the claim that individuals are entitled to a measure of freedom, and then goes on to ask whether it is indeed conceptually possible to measure freedom. Adopting a coherentist approach, the author argues for a conception of freedom that not only reflects commonly held intuitions about who is freer than who but is also compatible with a liberal or freedom-based theory of justice. (shrink)
A familiar and enduring controversy surrounds the question of whether our phenomenal experience “overflows” availability to cognition: do we consciously see more than we can remember and report? Both sides to this debate have long sought to move beyond naïve appeals to introspection by providing empirical evidence for or against overflow. Recently, two notable studies—Bronfman, Brezis, Jacobson, and Usher and Vandenbroucke, Sligte, Fahrenfort, Ambroziak, and Lamme —have purported to provide compelling evidence in favor of overflow. Here I explain why the (...) data from both studies are wholly consistent with a “no overflow” interpretation. Importantly, when framed purely in representational or informational terms, this “no overflow” interpretation agrees with the interpretations respectively offered by both Bronfman et al. and Vandenbroucke et al.. The difference only emerges when additional assumptions are made concerning which representations correspond to elements in consc.. (shrink)
How must experience of time be structured in time? In particular, does the following principle, which I will call inheritance, hold: for any temporal property apparently presented in perceptual experience, experience itself has that same temporal property. For instance, if I hear Paul McCartney singing ‘Hey Jude’, must my auditory experience of the ‘Hey’ itself precede my auditory experience of the ‘Jude’, or can the temporal order of these experiences come apart from the order the words are experienced as having? (...) A number of recent authors (Phillips Experience and Time, ‘The Temporal Structure of Experience’, Soteriou ‘Perceiving Events’, Hoerl ‘“A Succession of Feelings, in and of Itself, is Not a Feeling of Succession”’, Rashbrook) claim, to paraphrase Martin (399), that inheritance best characterises how our temporal experience seems to initial reflective intuition. For this reason, Phillips takes the principle to form part of our naïve view of temporal experience. An opposing group of theorists object that inheritance is subject to empirical counter-example. This article surveys such challenges. Section 2 considers Grush's case against inheritance based on postdiction. Section 3 examines Watzl's anti-inheritance argument based on silencing effects. Finally, Section 4 explores a number of alleged counter-examples proposed by Lee (‘Temporal Experience and the Temporal Structure of Experience’). Section 1 provides essential background to the debate. (shrink)
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to demarcate (...) the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
I introduce the concept pathophobia, to capture the range of morally objectionable forms of treatment to which somatically ill persons are subjected. After distinguishing this concept from sanism and ableism, I argue that the moral wrongs of pathophobia are best analysed using a framework of vice ethics. To that end I describe five clusters of pathophobic vices and failings, illustrating each with examples from three influential illness narratives.
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
This article offers two arguments for the conclusion that we should refuse on moral grounds to establish a human presence on the surface of Mars. The first argument appeals to a principle constraining the use of invasive or destructive techniques of scientific investigation. The second appeals to a principle governing appropriate human behavior in wilderness. These arguments are prefaced by two preliminary sections. The first preliminary section argues that authors working in space ethics have good reason to shift their focus (...) away from theory-based arguments in favor of arguments that develop in terms of pretheoretic beliefs. The second argues that of the popular justifications for sending humans to Mars only appeals to scientific curiosity can survive reflective scrutiny. (shrink)
It is obvious both that some changes are too small for us to perceive and that we can perceive constant motion. Yet according to Fara, these two facts are in conflict, and one must be rejected. I show that conflict arises only from accepting a `zoëtrope conception' of change experience, according to which change experience is analysed in terms of a series of very short-lived sensory atoms, each lacking in dynamic content. On pain of denying the phenomenologically obvious, we must (...) reject the zoëtrope conception. I offer an alternative account, according to which the dynamic content of our experience at short timescales is metaphysically dependent on the content of experience over longer timescales. Moreover, at short timescales such content is purely determinable. (shrink)
Why save endangered species without clear aesthetic, economic, or ecosystemic value? This book takes on this challenging question through an account of the intrinsic goods of species. Ian A. Smith argues that a species’ intrinsic value stems from its ability to flourish—its organisms continuing to reproduce successfully and it avoiding extinction—which helps to demonstrate a further claim, that humans ought to preserve species that we have endangered. He shows our need to exercise humility in our relations with endangered species through (...) the preservation of their intrinsic goods, which in turn rectifies our degradation of their importance. Unique in its appeal to virtue ethics and to species concepts, _The Intrinsic Value of Endangered Species_ is an important resource for scholars working in environmental ethics and the philosophy of biology. (shrink)
Why are some people more mentally able than others? In an authoritative, critical and intergrated series of review essays Professor Ian Deary inquires after the cognitive and biological foundations of human mental ability differences. Many accounts of intelligence have examined the structure and number of human mental ability differences and whether they can predict sucess in education,work and social life. Few books have taken psychometric intelligence differences as a starting point and brought together the reductionistic attempts to explain them.New to (...) the highly acclaimed Oxford Psychology Series, Looking Down on Human Intelligence appraises the search for the origins of psychometric intelligence differences in terms of brain function parameters. The book provides an original and thought provoking guide to ancient and modern research on one of the most compelling questions in human psychology. (shrink)
Introductions to the theory of knowledge are plentiful, but none introduce students to the most recent debates that exercise contemporary philosophers. Ian Evans and Nicholas D. Smith aim to change that. Their book guides the reader through the standard theories of knowledge while simultaneously using these as a springboard to introduce current debates. Each chapter concludes with a “Current Trends” section pointing the reader to the best literature dominating current philosophical discussion. These include: the puzzle of reasonable disagreement; the so-called (...) “problem of easy knowledge”; the intellectual virtues; and new theories in the philosophy of language relating to knowledge. Chapters include discussions of skepticism, the truth condition, belief and acceptance, justification, internalism versus externalism, epistemic evaluation, and epistemic contextualism. Evans and Smith do not merely offer a review of existing theories and debates; they also offer a novel theory that takes seriously the claim that knowledge is not unique to humans. Surveying current scientific literature in animal ethology, they discover surprising sophistication and diversity in non-human cognition. In their final analysis the authors provide a unified account of knowledge that manages to respect and explain this diversity. They argue that animals know when they make appropriate use of the cognitive processes available to animals of that kind, in environments within which those processes are veridically well-adapted. _Knowledge_ is a lively and accessible volume, ideal for undergraduate and post-graduate students. It is also set to spark debate among scholars for its novel approaches to traditional topics and its thoroughgoing commitment to naturalism. (shrink)
Humanity has sat at the center of philosophical thinking for too long. The recent advent of environmental philosophy and posthuman studies has widened our scope of inquiry to include ecosystems, animals, and artificial intelligence. Yet the vast majority of the stuff in our universe, and even in our lives, remains beyond serious philosophical concern. In _Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing_, Ian Bogost develops an object-oriented ontology that puts things at the center of being—a philosophy in (...) which nothing exists any more or less than anything else, in which humans are elements but not the sole or even primary elements of philosophical interest. And unlike experimental phenomenology or the philosophy of technology, Bogost’s alien phenomenology takes for granted that _all_ beings interact with and perceive one another. This experience, however, withdraws from human comprehension and becomes accessible only through a speculative philosophy based on metaphor. Providing a new approach for understanding the experience of things _as_ things, Bogost also calls on philosophers to rethink their craft. Drawing on his own background as a videogame designer, Bogost encourages professional thinkers to become makers as well, engineers who construct things as much as they think and write about them. (shrink)
A critique of Cora Diamond's influential approach to reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus. According to Diamond, the Tractatus contains no substantive philosophical theses, but is rather merely an especially subtle and sophisticated exercise in the unmasking of nonsense. I argue that no remotely convincing case for this interpretive thesis has yet been made--either by Diamond herself, or by the numerous defenders of this so-called "resolute" reading (so-called by those who wish to style themselves as resolute; their opponents tend to reject this characterization (...) as tendentious and rhetorically self-serving). Having critically scrutinized the arguments that have been offered in favor of the resolute reading, I proceed to amass evidence suggesting that, on the contrary, Wittgenstein advanced, and indeed took himself to have advanced, a host of substantive philosophical theses even in the (so-called) "body" of the Tractatus. I argue that resolute readers of the Tractatus have not begun to offer a plausible explanation of these problematic texts, and that the "frame/body" distinction alleged by resolute readers does not stand up to critical scrutiny. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed that in his 1912 work, "The Problems of Philosophy" (POP), and possibly as early as “on Denoting”, Russell conceives of the mind's acquaintance with sense-data as providing an indubitable or certain foundation for empirical knowledge. However, although he does say things suggestive of this view in certain of his 1914 works, Russell also makes remarks in POP that conflict with any such broadly "Cartesian" interpretation of this work. This paper attempts to resolve this apparent tension, while (...) also offering a close examination of Russell's views on the nature of acquaintance and their relationship to certain ideas in William James. (shrink)
A wealth of cases – most notably blindsight and priming under inattention or suppression – have convinced philosophers and scientists alike that perception occurs outside awareness. In recent work, I dispute this consensus, arguing that any putative case of unconscious perception faces a dilemma. The dilemma divides over how absence of awareness is established. If subjective reports are used, we face the problem of the criterion: the concern that such reports underestimate conscious experience. If objective measures are used, we face (...) the problem of attribution: the concern that the case does not involve genuine individual-level perception. Quilty-Dunn presents an apparently compelling example of unconscious perception due to Mitroff et al. which, he contends, evades this dilemma. The case is fascinating. However, as I here argue, it does not escape the dilemma’s clutches. (shrink)
This monograph presents a synthesis and reconstruction of Rudolf Arnheim’s theory of media. Combining both Arnheim’s well-known writings on film and radio with his later work on the psychology of art, the author presents a coherent approach to the problem of the nature of a medium, space and time, and the differentia between different media. The latent ontological commitments of Arnheim’s theories is drawn out by affirming Arnheim’s membership in the Brentano school of Austrian philosophy, which allows his theories to (...) be clarified and strengthened, particularly with the metaphysical writings of Roman Ingarden. The resulting theory is relational, portraying essential medial differences with neutral criteria and allowing for a rigorous definition of a medium. The way in which a medium is based on the inherent dispositions of medial materials creates a highly appealing theory that is determinate without being deterministic. The theory is thus highly timely as people in media studies seek to address the determinate nature of media after the post-medium condition. The book will appeal to researchers and graduate students in cultural and media studies as well as architecture and design. (shrink)