In this paper an attempt is made to present Skolem's argument, for the relativity of some set-theoretical notions as a sensible one. Skolem's critique of set theory is seen as part of a larger argument to the effect that no conclusive evidence has been given for the existence of uncountable sets. Some replies to Skolem are discussed and are shown not to affect Skolem's position, since they all presuppose the existence of uncountable sets. The paper ends with an assessment of (...) the assumptions on which Skolem's argument rests from a present-day perspective. (shrink)
[Michael Tye] Externalism about thought contents has received enormous attention in the philosophical literature over the past fifteen years or so, and it is now the established view. There has been very little discussion, however, of whether memory contents are themselves susceptible to an externalist treatment. In this paper, I argue that anyone who is sympathetic to Twin Earth thought experiments for externalism with respect to certain thoughts should endorse externalism with respect to certain memories. /// [Jane Heal] Tye (...) claims that an externalist should say that memory content invoking natural kind concepts floats free of the setting where the memory is laid down and is at later times determined by the context in which the memory is revived. His argument assumes the existence of 'slow switching' of the meaning of natural kind terms when a person is transported from Earth to Twin Earth. But proper understanding of natural kind terms suggests that slow switching (contrary to what is often presupposed) is likely never to be completed. Hence the situation of a person unknowingly transported to Twin Earth is not that his memories switch content but rather that he gets two natural kinds confused. (shrink)
Can we understand other minds ‘from the inside’? What would this mean? There is an attraction which many have felt in the idea that creatures with minds, people , invite a kind of understanding which inanimate objects such as rocks, plants and machines, do not invite and that it is appropriate to seek to understand them ‘from the inside’. What I hope to do in this paper is to introduce and defend one version of the so-called ‘simulation’ approach to our (...) grasp and use of psychological concepts, a version which gives central importance to the idea of shared rationality, and in so doing to tease out and defend one strand in the complex of ideas which finds expression in this mysterious phrase. (shrink)
In _Vibrant Matter_ the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we (...) to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the_ _effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper I undertake an in-depth examination of an oft mentioned but rarely expounded upon state: suspended judgment. While traditional epistemology is sometimes characterized as presenting a “yes or no” picture of its central attitudes, in fact many of these epistemologists want to say that there is a third option: subjects can also suspend judgment. Discussions of suspension are mostly brief and have been less than clear on a number of issues, in particular whether this third option should (...) be thought of as an attitude or not. In this paper I argue that suspended judgment is (or at least involves) a genuine attitude. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9753-y Authors Jane Friedman, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3UJ UK Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116. (shrink)
In this paper I look at belief and degrees of belief through the lens of inquiry. I argue that belief and degrees of belief play different roles in inquiry. In particular I argue that belief is a “settling” attitude in a way that degrees of belief are not. Along the way I say more about what inquiring amounts to, argue for a central norm of inquiry connecting inquiry and belief and say more about just what it means to have an (...) inquiry or question settled. (shrink)
Recent philosophy of mind has had a mistaken conception of the nature of psychological concepts. It has assumed too much similarity between psychological judgments and those of natural science and has thus overlooked the fact that other people are not just objects whose thoughts we may try to predict and control but fellow creatures with whom we talk and co-operate. In this collection of essays, Jane Heal argues that central to our ability to arrive at views about others' thoughts (...) is not knowledge of some theory of the mind but rather an ability to imagine alternative worlds and how things appear from another person's point of view. She then applies this view to questions of how we represent others' thoughts, the shape of psychological concepts, the nature of rationality and the possibility of first person authority. This book should appeal to students and professionals in philosophy of mind and language. (shrink)
Call the norms of inquiry zetetic norms. How are zetetic norms related to epistemic norms? At first glance, they seem quite closely connected. Aren't epistemic norms norms that bind inquirers qua inquirers? And isn't epistemology the place to look for a normative theory of inquiry? While much of this thought seems right, this paper argues that the relationship between the epistemic and the zetetic is not as harmonious as one might have thought and liked. In particular, this paper argues that (...) some familiar contemporary epistemic norms are in tension with, and even in conflict with, central zetetic norms. (shrink)
In this essay, I offer an epistemological accounting of Pauli Murray’s idea of Jane Crow dynamics. Jane Crow, in my estimation, refers to clashing supremacy systems that provide targets for subordination while removing grounds to demand recourse for said subordination. As a description of an oppressive state, it is an idea of subordination with an epistemological engine. Here, I offer an epistemological reading of Jane Crow dynamics by theorizing three imbricated conditions for Jane Crow, i.e. the (...) occupation of negative, socio-epistemic space, reduced epistemic confidence, and heightened epistemic disavowal. To this end, Jane Crow seems to require routine epistemic failings. In the end, I propose that an epistemological narrative of Jane Crow may also shed light on why invisibility frames figure so prominently in US Black feminist thought. (shrink)
Philosophers and psychologists have often maintained that in order to attribute mental states to other people one must have a ‘theory of mind’. This theory facilitates our grasp of other people’s mental states. Debate has then focussed on the form this theory should take. Recently a new approach has been suggested, which I call the ‘Direct Perception approach to social cognition’. This approach maintains that we can directly perceive other people’s mental states. It opposes traditional views on two counts: by (...) claiming that mental states are observable and by claiming that we can attribute them to others without the need for a theory of mind. This paper argues that there are two readings of the direct perception claims: a strong and a weak one. The Theory-theory is compatible with the weak version but not the strong one. The paper argues that the strong version of direct perception is untenable, drawing on evidence from the mirror neuron literature and arguments from the philosophy of science and perception to support this claim. It suggests that one traditional ‘theory of mind’ view, the ‘Theory-theory’ view, is compatible with the claim that mental states are observable, and concludes that direct perception views do not offer a viable alternative to theory of mind approaches to social cognition. (shrink)
There has been much discussion about whether traditional epistemology's doxastic attitudes are reducible to degrees of belief. In this paper I argue that what I call the Straightforward Reduction - the reduction of all three of believing p, disbelieving p, and suspending judgment about p, not-p to precise degrees of belief for p and not-p that ought to obey the standard axioms of the probability calculus - cannot succeed. By focusing on suspension of judgment (agnosticism) rather than belief, we can (...) see why the Straightforward Reduction is bound to fail. I argue that, in general, suspending about p is not just a matter of having some specified standard credence for p, and in the end I suggest some ways to extend the arguments that will put pressure on other credence-theoretic accounts of belief and suspension of judgment as well. (shrink)
This paper argues that the activist, feminist and pragmatist Jane Addams was an experimental philosopher. To defend this claim, I argue for capacious notions of both philosophical pragmatism and experimental philosophy. I begin in Section 2 with a new defence of Rose and Danks’ [‘In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy’. Metaphilosophy 44, no. 4 : 512–32] argument in favour of a broad conception of experimental philosophy. Koopman [‘Pragmatist Resources for Experimental Philosophy: Inquiry in Place of Intuition’. (...) Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26, no. 1 : 1–24] argues that many twentieth-century American pragmatists can make important contributions to contemporary experimental philosophy. In Section 3, I argue that while this may be true, it is also true that under the broad conception, many of the pragmatists just were experimental philosophers. In Section 4, I argue that as a pragmatist philosopher in her own right, Jane... (shrink)
Drawing on recent advances in analytic epistemology, feminist scholarship, and philosophy of science, Jane Duran's Toward a Feminist Epistemology is the first book that spells out in the detail required by a supportable epistemology what a feminist theory of knowledge would entail.
In this book Jane Kneller focuses on the role of imagination as a creative power in Kant's aesthetics and in his overall philosophical enterprise. She analyzes Kant's account of imaginative freedom and the relation between imaginative free play and human social and moral development, showing various ways in which his aesthetics of disinterested reflection produce moral interests. She situates these aspects of his aesthetic theory within the context of German aesthetics of the eighteenth century, arguing that Kant's contribution is (...) a bridge between early theories of aesthetic moral education and the early Romanticism of the last decade of that century. In so doing, her book brings the two most important German philosophers of Enlightenment and Romanticism, Kant and Novalis, into dialogue. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in both Kant studies and German philosophy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate the locus of believability effects in syllogistic reasoning. We identify three points in the reasoning process at which such effects could occur: the initial interpretation of premises, the examination of alternative representations of them (in all of which any valid conclusion must be true), and the “filtering” of putative conclusions. The effect of beliefs at the first of these loci is well established. In this paper we report three experiments that examine whether beliefs have an (...) effect at the other two loci. In experiments 1 and 2 subjects drew their own conclusions from syllogisms that suggested believable or unbelievable ones. In the third experiment they evaluated conclusions that were presented to them. The data show that beliefs both affect the examination of alternative models and act as a filter on putative conclusions. We conclude by showing how some types of problem and some problem contents make the existence of alternative models more obvious than others. (shrink)
Firms and industries increasingly subscribe to voluntary codes of conduct. These self-regulatory governance systems can be effectivein establishing a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. However, these codes can also be largely symbolic, reactive measures to quell public criticism. Cross-sector alliances (between for-profit and nonprofit actors) present a learning platform for infusing participants with greater incentives to be socially responsible. They can provide multinationals new capabilities that allow them to more closely ally social responsibility with economic performance. This paper examines (...) learning facilitators in cross-sector alliances that enrich corporate understanding of stakeholder concerns. It suggests that these organizational learning experiments can translate into globally responsible practices and processes that improve the content and effectiveness of voluntary corporate codes. (shrink)
A high profile context in which physics and biology meet today is in the new field of systems biology. Systems biology is a fascinating subject for sociological investigation because the demands of interdisciplinary collaboration have brought epistemological issues and debates front and centre in discussions amongst systems biologists in conference settings, in publications, and in laboratory coffee rooms. One could argue that systems biologists are conducting their own philosophy of science. This paper explores the epistemic aspirations of the field by (...) drawing on interviews with scientists working in systems biology, attendance at systems biology conferences and workshops, and visits to systems biology laboratories. It examines the discourses of systems biologists, looking at how they position their work in relation to previous types of biological inquiry, particularly molecular biology. For example, they raise the issue of reductionism to distinguish systems biology from molecular biology. This comparison with molecular biology leads to discussions about the goals and aspirations of systems biology, including epistemic commitments to quantification, rigor and predictability. Some systems biologists aspire to make biology more similar to physics and engineering by making living systems calculable, modelable and ultimately predictable—a research programme that is perhaps taken to its most extreme form in systems biology’s sister discipline: synthetic biology. Other systems biologists, however, do not think that the standards of the physical sciences are the standards by which we should measure the achievements of systems biology, and doubt whether such standards will ever be applicable to ‘dirty, unruly living systems’. This paper explores these epistemic tensions and reflects on their sociological dimensions and their consequences for future work in the life sciences. (shrink)
The author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities looks at business fraud and criminal enterprise, overextended government farm subsidies and zealous transit police, to show what happens when the moral systems of commerce collide with those of politics.
This comprehensive encyclopedia entry discusses the life and works of Jane Addams (1860-1935) who influenced contemporaries John Dewey, William James, and George Herbert Mead. Although not traditionally categorized as a philosopher, Addams was a prolific writer who developed a social philosophy of attentiveness and sympathetic knowledge that prefigures contemporary feminist care ethics.
We are social primates, for whom language-mediated co-operative thinking (‘co-cognition’) is a central element of our shared life. Psychological concepts may be illuminated by appreciating their role in enriching and improving such co-cognition — a role which is importantly different from that of enabling detailed prediction and control of thoughts and behaviour. This account of the nature of psychological concepts (‘co-cognitivism’) has social anti-individualism about thought content as a natural corollary. The combination of co-cognitivism and anti-individualism further suggests that, in (...) addition to the familiar first person authority with which we ascribe thoughts to ourselves, there may also be something deserving the name ‘second person authority’. (shrink)
Calls for the “translation” of research from bench to bedside are increasingly demanding. What is translation, and why does it matter? We sketch the recent history of outcome-oriented translational research in the United States, with a particular focus on the Roadmap Initiative of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD). Our main example of contemporary translational research is stem cell research, which has superseded genomics as the translational object of choice. We explore the nature of and obstacles to translational research (...) and assess the ethical and biomedical challenges of embracing a translational ethos. (shrink)
Changing the Educational Landscape is a collection of the best-known and best-loved essays by the renowned feminist philosopher of education, Jane Roland Martin. The volume charts the remarkable intellectual development of a thinker who has travelled distinctively across a changing educational landscape. Trained as an analytic philosopher at a time before women or feminist ideas were welcome in the field, Martin brought a philosopher's detached perspective to her earliest efforts to reconstitute the curriculum. Her later essays on women and (...) gender showcase the tremendous intellectual energy generated by her embrace of feminist theory and highlight her sparkling contribution to the field. Among the many issues Martin explores in Changing the Educational Landscape are the contradictions and challenges posed by the very subject of women's education, how the presence of women necessitates a transformation of educational interpretations and ideals, and the work that remains to be done if a secure place for women within the educational realm is to be ensured. The essays offer a compelling portrait of Martin's intellectual journey as a feminist and educational thinker and document thoroughly her critiques of standard accounts of curriculum and her remapping of the field. The volume is introduced by the author, wherein she reflects on her work, criticisms that have been levelled at particular essays, and the educational, feminist, and philosophical context into which her writing fits and to which it responds. (shrink)