This essay links Jean-Luc Marion's phenomenology of fine art to his description of Christian love. It does so by carefully showing how Marion's overall project is closely related to Kant's well-known account of the relationship between aesthetics and morality. While Kant and Marion both believe that aesthetic experience can lay the groundwork for moral action, their contrasting views of morality lead them to very different articulations of such a relationship. While Kant sees encounters with fine art as preparing individuals for (...) the particular kinds of disinterested judgments characteristic of moral decision-making, Marion sees artwork as preparing the subject for the openness toward intuitive excess that is necessary for love. (shrink)
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)
In this unconventional article, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Rosalind Gill and Catherine Rottenberg conduct a three-way ‘conversation’ in which they all take turns outlining how they understand the relationship among postfeminism, popular feminism and neoliberal feminism. It begins with a short introduction, and then Ros, Sarah and Catherine each define the term they have become associated with. This is followed by another round in which they discuss the overlaps, similarities and disjunctures among the terms, and the article ends with how each (...) one understands the current mediated feminist landscape. (shrink)
This collection of essays and interviews, some previously unpublished and almost all of which appear in English for the first time, encompasses the political and ethical thinking of Jacques Derrida over thirty years. Passionate, rigorous, beautifully argued, wide-ranging, the texts shed an entirely new light on his work and will be welcomed by scholars in many disciplines--politics, philosophy, history, cultural studies, literature, and a range of interdisciplinary programs. Derrida's arguments vary in their responsiveness to given political questions--sometimes they are vivid (...) polemics on behalf of a position or figure, sometimes they are reflective analyses of a philosophical problem. They are united by the recurrent question of political decision or responsibility and the insistence that the apparent simplicity or programmatic character of political decision is in fact a profound avoidance of the political. This volume testifies to the possibility and the necessity of a philosophical politics. Negotiations assembles some of the most telling examples of the intrinsic relationship, so often affirmed by Derrida in more abstract philosophical terms, between deconstructive reading practices and what is called the "political"--more precisely, politics in an almost down-to-earth, pragmatic, and commonsense use of the word. Among the many subjects covered in the book are: the death penalty in the United States, the civil war in Algeria, globalization and cosmopolitanism, the American Declaration of Independence, Jean-Paul Sartre, the value of objectivity, politics and friendship, and the relationship between deconstruction and actuality. (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)
Was there an Enlightenment in Ireland? Was there even a distinctively Irish Enlightenment? Few scholars have bothered even to pose this question. Historians of Ireland during the era of Protestant Ascendancy have tended to be all-rounders rather than specialists; their traditional preoccupations are constitutional clashes between London and Dublin, religious conflict, agrarian unrest and popular politicization. With few exceptions there has been no tradition of intellectual history, and little interest in the methodological debates associated with the rise of the “Cambridge (...) school”. Most advances in our understanding of Irish philosophical writing have consequently originated outside Ireland's history departments. One by-product of recent work on the Scottish Enlightenment has been the rediscovery of the “Molesworth Circle” by two scholars engaged in a painstaking reconstruction of Francis Hutcheson's early career in Dublin. At the other end of the century, meanwhile, some of the most exciting and ambitious attempts to conceptualize the republicanism of the United Irishmen have come from a leading historian of revolutionary France, James Livesey. His previous research on the “commercial republicanism” of Montesquieu, Adam Ferguson and Brissot has suggested a new framework for understanding Irish radicals such as Wolfe Tone, Thomas Addis Emmet and, in particular, Arthur O'Connor. (shrink)
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)
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.
Luck permeates our lives, and this raises a number of pressing questions: What is luck? When we attribute luck to people, circumstances, or events, what are we attributing? Do we have any obligations to mitigate the harms done to people who are less fortunate? And to what extent is deserving praise or blame a ected by good or bad luck? Although acquiring a true belief by an uneducated guess involves a kind of luck that precludes knowledge, does all luck undermine (...) knowledge? And how accurate are our luck attributions anyway? The academic literature has seen growing, interdisciplinary interest in luck, and this volume brings together and explains the most important areas of this research. It consists of 39 newly commissioned chapters, written by an internationally acclaimed team of philosophers and psychologists, for a readership of students and researchers. Its coverage is divided into six sections: (i) The History of Luck, (ii) The Nature of Luck, (iii) Moral Luck, (iv) Epistemic Luck, (v) The Psychology of Luck, and (vi) Future Research. The chapters in these sections cover a wide range of topics, from the problem of moral luck, to anti-luck epistemology, to the relationship between luck attributions and cognitive biases, to meta-questions regarding the nature of luck itself, to a range of other theoretical and empirical questions currently being investigated by ethicists, epistemologists, and psychologists. By bringing this research together, the Handbook serves as both a touchstone for understanding the relevant issues and a first port of call for future philosophical and psychological research on luck. (shrink)
Experimental induction of sad mood states is a mainstay of laboratory research on affect and cognition, mood regulation, and mood disorders. Typically, the success of such mood manipulations is reported as a statistically significant pre- to post-induction change in the self-rated intensity of the target affect. The present commentary was motivated by an unexpected finding in one of our studies concerning the response rate to a well-validated sad mood induction. Using the customary statistical approach, we found a significant mean increase (...) in self-rated sadness intensity with a moderate effect size, verifying the “success” of the mood induction. However, that “success” masked that, between one-fifth and about one-third of our samples reported absolutely no sadness in response to the mood induction procedure. We consider implications of our experience for emotion research by commenting upon the typically overlooked phenomenon of nonresponse, suggesting changes in reporting practices regarding mood induction success, and outlining future directions to help scientists determine why some subjects do not respond to experimental mood induction. (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)
In what sense are persons equal, such that it is appropriate to treat them as equals? This difficult question has been strangely neglected by political philosophers. A plausible answer can be found by adopting a particular interpretation of the idea of respect. Central to this interpretation is the thought that in order to respect persons we need to treat them as ‘opaque', paying attention only to their outward features as agents. This proposed basis of equality has important implications for the (...) currency of egalitarian justice, ruling out a number of the equalizanda favored by contemporary egalitarians. (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)
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)
Two intellectual vices seem to always tempt us: arrogance and diffidence. Regarding the former, the world is permeated by dogmatism and table-thumping close-mindedness. From politics, to religion, to simple matters of taste, zealots and ideologues all too often define our disagreements, often making debate and dialogue completely intractable. But to the other extreme, given a world with so much pluralism and heated disagreement, intellectual apathy and a prevailing agnosticism can be simply all too alluring. So the need for intellectual humility, (...) open-mindedness, and a careful, humble commitment to the truth are apparent. In this book, Dr Church and Dr Samuelson explicate a robust and vibrant account of the philosophy and science of this most valuable virtue, and they highlight how it can be best applied and personally developed. (shrink)
How do we know when one person or society is 'freer' than another? Can freedom be measured? Is more freedom better than less? This book provides the first full-length treatment of these fundamental yet neglected issues, throwing new light both on the notion of freedom and on contemporary liberalism.
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)
This paper will be broken down into four sections. In §1, I try to assuage a worry that intellectual humility is not really an intellectual virtue. In §2, we will consider the two dominant accounts of intellectual humility in the philosophical literature—the low concern for status account the limitations-owing account—and I will argue that both accounts face serious worries. Then in §3, I will unpack my own view, the doxastic account of intellectual humility, as a viable alternative and potentially a (...) better starting place for thinking about this virtue. And I’ll conclude in §4 by trying to defend the doxastic account against some possible objections. (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)
The idea of elegance in science is not necessarily a familiar one, but it is an important one. The use of the term is perhaps most clear-cut in mathematics - the elegant proof - and this is where Ian Glynn begins his exploration. Scientists often share a sense of admiration and excitement on hearing of an elegant solution to a problem, an elegant theory, or an elegant experiment. The idea of elegance may seem strange in a field of endeavour that (...) prides itself in its objectivity, but only if science is regarded as a dull, dry activity of counting and measuring. It is, of course, far more than that, and elegance is a fundamental aspect of the beauty and imagination involved in scientific activity. Ian Glynn, a distinguished scientist, selects historical examples from a range of sciences to draw out the principles of science, including Kepler's Laws, the experiments that demonstrated the nature of heat, and the action of nerves, and of course the several extraordinary episodes that led to Watson and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA. With a highly readable selection of inspiring episodes highlighting the role of beauty and simplicity in the sciences, the book also relates to important philosophical issues of inference, and Glynn ends by warning us not to rely on beauty and simplicity alone - even the most elegant explanation can be wrong. (shrink)
A prominent tradition in Nietzsche scholarship reads his views about will to power as a psychological thesis and his claims about the value of power as an attempt to derive normativity from psychological necessity. This article shows that these interpretations have failed to articulate a cogent reading faithful to Nietzsche’s texts, and so casts doubt on such an approach. My argument bears not only on how we read Nietzsche, but also on the viability of one recent constitutivist reading. After presenting (...) these critical arguments, I consider an original interpretation of will to power in terms of the motivation to grow. This revised interpretation, however, still fails to support the tradition’s derivation of normativity. Thus, I conclude we should look elsewhere for Nietzsche’s normative argument. (shrink)
In recent years quantum probability models have been used to explain many aspects of human decision making, and as such quantum models have been considered a viable alternative to Bayesian models based on classical probability. One criticism that is often leveled at both kinds of models is that they lack a clear interpretation in terms of psychological mechanisms. In this paper we discuss the mechanistic underpinnings of a quantum walk model of human decision making and response time. The quantum walk (...) model is compared to standard sequential sampling models, and the architectural assumptions of both are considered. In particular, we show that the quantum model has a natural interpretation in terms of a cognitive architecture that is both massively parallel and involves both co-operative and competitive interactions between units. Additionally, we introduce a family of models that includes aspects of the classical and quantum walk models. (shrink)
A great achievement makes one’s life go better independently of its results, but what makes an achievement great? A simple answer is—its difficulty. I defend this view against recent, pressing objections by interpreting difficulty in terms of competitiveness. Difficulty is determined not by how hard the agent worked for the end but by how hard others would need to do in order to compete. Successfully reaching a goal is a valuable achievement because it is difficult, and it is difficult because (...) it is competitive. Hence, both virtuosic performances and lucky successes can be valuable achievements. (shrink)
In this paper I add credence to Linda Zagzebski's (1994) diagnosis of Gettier problems (and the current trend to abandon the standard analysis) by analyzing the nature of luck. It is widely accepted that the lesson to be learned from Gettier problems is that knowledge is incompatible with luck or at least a certain species thereof. As such, understanding the nature of luck is central to understanding the Gettier problem. Thanks by and large to Duncan Pritchard's seminal work, Epistemic Luck, (...) a great deal of literature has been developed recently concerning the nature of luck and anti-luck epistemology. The literature, however, has yet to explore the very intuitive idea that luck comes in degrees. I propose that once luck is recognized to admit degrees even the slightest non-zero degree (of the relevant sort) precludes knowledge. Connecting this to Zagzebski's thesis, I propose that a given theory of warrant must guarantee truth in order to avoid Gettier counterexamples (or subsequently deny that warrant bears any relationship to the truth whatsoever), simply because a sufficient standard analysis of knowledge cannot allow for knowledge that is even marginally lucky. (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)
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.
The meaning of elegance -- Celestial mechanics : the route to Newton -- Bringing the heavens down to earth -- So what is heat? -- Elegance and electricity -- Throwing light on light : with the story of Thomas Young -- How do nerves work? -- Information handling in the brain -- The genetic code -- Epilogue : a cautionary tale.
I use Ian Hacking 's views to explore ways of classifying people, exploiting his distinction between indifferent kinds and interactive kinds, and his accounts of how we 'make up' people. The natural kind/essentialist approach to indifferent kinds is explored in some depth. I relate this to debates in psychiatry about the existence of mental illness, and to educational controversies about the credentials of learner classifications such as 'dyslexic'. Claims about the 'existence' of learning disabilities cannot be given a clear, simple (...) and unambiguous interpretation. In particular I show that science cannot deliver a definitive taxonomy of learner categories, and that this has important implications for teachers and policy makers. (shrink)
Capability theorists have suggested different, sometimes incompatible, ways in which their approach takes account of the value of freedom, each of which implies a different kind of normative relation between functionings and capabilities. This paper examines three possible accounts of the normative relation between functionings and capabilities, and the implications of each of these accounts in terms of degrees of paternalism. The way in which capability theorists apparently oscillate between these different accounts is shown to rest on an apparent tension (...) between anti-paternalism and anti-fetishism. The paper then advances a fourth account, which incorporates a concern with the content-independent or ‘non-specific’ value of freedom. Only the fourth account would remove all traces of paternalism from the capability approach. Whatever reasons advocates of the capability approach might have had for rejecting this fourth account, those reasons are not internal to the capability approach itself. (shrink)
We critique two popular philosophical definitions of intellectual humility: the “low concern for status” and the “limitations-owning.” accounts. Based upon our analysis, we offer an alternative working definition of intellectual humility: the virtue of accurately tracking what one could non-culpably take to be the positive epistemic status of one’s own beliefs. We regard this view of intellectual humility both as a virtuous mean between intellectual arrogance and diffidence and as having advantages over other recent conceptions of intellectual humility. After defending (...) this view, we sketch remaining questions and issues that may bear upon the psychological treatment of intellectual humility such as whether evidence will help determine how this construct relates to general social humility on the one hand, and intellectual traits such as open-mindedness, curiosity, and honesty on the other. (shrink)