This paper examines and compares the ways in which intentions of the singular kind and the plural kind are subjective. Are intentions of the plural kind ours in the same way intentions of the singular kind are mine? Starting with the singular case, it is argued that “I intend” is subjective in virtue of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is special in that it is self-identifying, self-validating, self-committing, and self-authorizing. Moving to the plural form, it is argued that in spite of apparent differences, (...) attitudes of the form “we intend” are subjective in the same way. The self-knowledge at work here is plural rather than singular. This supports a plural subject account of collective intentionality. It is argued that the worries sometimes raised in the literature against the metaphysical “spookiness” of plural subjects are due to a fundamental misconception of the way in which attitudes of either kind –singular and plural – are subjective. (shrink)
Egoism and altruism are unequal contenders in the explanation of human behaviour. While egoism tends to be viewed as natural and unproblematic, altruism has always been treated with suspicion, and it has often been argued that apparent cases of altruistic behaviour might really just be some special form of egoism. The reason for this is that egoism fits into our usual theoretical views of human behaviour in a way that altruism does not. This is true on the biological level, where (...) an evolutionary account seems to favour egoism, as well as on the psychological level, where an account of self-interested motivation is deeply rooted in folk psychology and in the economic model of human behaviour. While altruism has started to receive increasing support in both biological and psychological debates over the last decades, this paper focuses on yet another level, where egoism is still widely taken for granted. Philosophical egoism is the view that, on the ultimate level of intentional explanation, all action is motivated by one of the agent's desires. This view is supported by the standard notion that for a complex of behaviour to be an action, there has to be a way to account for that behaviour in terms of the agent's own pro-attitudes. Psychological altruists, it is claimed, are philosophical egoists in that they are motivated by desires that have the other's benefit rather than the agent's own for its ultimate object. This paper casts doubt on this thesis, arguing that empathetic agents act on other people's pro-attitudes in very much the same way as agents usually act on their own, and that while other-directed desires do play an important role in many cases of psychologically altruistic action, they are not necessary in explanations of some of the most basic and most pervasive types of human altruistic behaviour. The paper concludes with the claim that philosophical egoism is really a cultural value rather than a conceptual feature of action. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish three claims, which I label individual intentional autonomy, individual intentional autarky, and intentional individualism. The autonomy claim is that under normal circumstances, each individual's behavior has to be interpreted as his or her own action. The autarky claim is that the intentional interpretation of an individual's behavior has to bottom out in that individual's own volitions, or pro-attitudes. The individualism claim is weaker, arguing that any interpretation of an individual's behavior has to be given in (...) terms of individual intentional states. I argue that individual intentional autonomy implies neither individual intentional autarky, nor intentional individualism, with which it is usually lumped together. I further argue that this insight is the key to an adequate view of an important class of actions, i.e., plural actions. Key Words: joint action shared intentions methodological individualism intentional interpretation collective agents influence autonomy. (shrink)
Chords are not pure sets of tones or notes. They are mainly characterized by their matrices. A chord matrix is the pattern of all the lengths of intervals given without further context. Chords are well-structured invariants. They show their inner logical form. This opens up the possibility to develop a molecular logic of chords. Chords are our primitive, but, nevertheless, already interrelated expressions. The logical space of internal harmony is our well-known chromatic scale represented by an infinite line of integers. (...) Internal harmony is nothing more than the pure interrelatedness of two or more chords. We consider three cases: chords inferentially related to subchords, pairs of chords in the space of major–minor tonality and arbitrary chords as arguments of unary chord operators in relation to their outputs. One interesting result is that chord negation transforms any pure major chord into its pure minor chord and vice versa. Another one is the fact that the negation of chords with symmetric matrices does not change anything. A molecular logic of chords is mainly characterized by combining general rules for chord operators with the inner logical form of their arguments. (shrink)
The specter of the ‘group mind’ or ‘collective subject’ plays a crucial and fateful role in the current debate on collective intentionality. Fear of the group mind is one important reason why philosophers of collective intentionality resort to individualism. It is argued here that this measure taken against the group mind is as unnecessary as it is detrimental to our understanding of what it means to share an intention. A non-individualistic concept of shared intentionality does not necessarily have to get (...) stuck with some collectivist super-agent. Rather, the specter of the group mind arises from a deep-seated ‘Cartesian’ preconception concerning intentionality, which we should try to overcome. *I am greatly indebted to Raimo Tuomela for his comments. Also, I wish to thank Michael Bratman, Fabienne Peter, Richard Raatzsch and Katrin Meyer. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose an existentialist-phenomenological model that conceives of mental illness through the terminology of Heidegger’s Being and Time. In particular, the concepts of existentiality, disturbance and the relation between ‘being-with’ and ‘the one’, will be implemented in order to reconstruct the experience of mental illness. The proposed model understands mental illness as a disturbance of a person’s existentiality. More precisely, mental illness is conceptualized as the disturbance of a person’s existential structure, the process of which leads to (...) a becoming explicit of the otherwise implicit dynamical structure that constitutes a person’s experience. In particular, the existential component of ‘being-with’ comes to play a central role in the disturbance of existentiality, thus, I will claim, that it enables a person’s structure of experience to be ‘open for normativity’. By adopting a pragmatist stance on Heideggerian phenomenology, the suggested model proves compatible with naturalist and normativist theories of mental illness while still offering a phenomenological description of the phenomenon. (shrink)
Ingolf U. Dalferth studies the complexity of this procedure in three thought processes which deal with the central concepts in the Christian understanding of malum as privation (a lack of good), as evil-doing and as a lack of faith.
How cool is the philosophy of religion? Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 3-19 DOI 10.1007/s11153-011-9330-5 Authors John Churchill, Phi Beta Kappa National Office, Washington, DC, USA Ingolf Dalferth, Institute of Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion, University of Zurich, Kirchgasse 9, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland Patrick Horn, Claremont Graduate Center, Claremont, CA, USA Jeffery Willetts, Leland School of Ministries, Richmond, VA, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047 Journal Volume Volume 71 Journal (...) Issue Volume 71, Number 1. (shrink)
Edward Feser defends the ‘Aristotelian proof’ for the existence of God, which reasons that the only adequate explanation of the existence of change is in terms of an unchangeable, purely actual being. His argument, however, relies on the falsity of the Existential Inertia Thesis, according to which concrete objects tend to persist in existence without requiring an existential sustaining cause. In this article, I first characterize the dialectical context of Feser’s Aristotelian proof, paying special attention to EIT and its rival (...) thesis—the Existential Expiration Thesis. Next, I provide a more precise characterization of EIT, after which I outline two metaphysical accounts of existential inertia. I then develop new lines of reasoning in favor of EIT that appeal to the theoretical virtues of explanatory power and simplicity. Finally, I address the predominant criticisms of EIT in the literature. (shrink)
This edited volume offers a new approach to understanding social conventions by way of Martin Heidegger. It connects the philosopher's conceptions of the anyone, everydayness, and authenticity with an analysis and critique of social normativity. Heidegger’s account of the anyone is ambiguous. Some see it as a good description of human sociality, others think of it as an important critique of modern mass society. This volume seeks to understand this ambiguity as reflecting the tension between the constitutive function of conventions (...) for human action and the critical aspects of conformism. It argues that Heidegger’s anyone should neither be reduced to its pejorative nor its constitutive dimension. Rather, the concept could show how power and norms function. This volume would be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy and the social sciences who wish to investigate the social applications of the works of Martin Heidegger. (shrink)
It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants (other labels sometimes used are “sense of community,” “communal awareness,” “shared point of view,” or “we-perspective”). While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. This paper states (and argues for) the following five claims: (1) (...) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case. (shrink)
The rapid expansion of research on Brain-Computer Interfaces is not only due to the promising solutions offered for persons with physical impairments. There is also a heightened need for understanding BCIs due to the challenges regarding ethics presented by new technology, especially in its impact on the relationship between man and machine. Here we endeavor to present a scoping review of current studies in the field to gain insight into the complexity of BCI use. By examining studies related to BCIs (...) that employ social research methods, we seek to demonstrate the multitude of approaches and concerns from various angles in considering the social and human impact of BCI technology. For this scoping review of research on BCIs’ social and ethical implications, we systematically analyzed six databases, encompassing the fields of medicine, psychology, and the social sciences, in order to identify empirical studies on BCIs. The search yielded 73 publications that employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Of the 73 publications, 71 studies address the user perspective. Some studies extend to consideration of other BCI stakeholders such as medical technology experts, caregivers, or health care professionals. The majority of the studies employ quantitative methods. Recurring themes across the studies examined were general user opinion towards BCI, central technical or social issues reported, requests/demands made by users of the technology, the potential/future of BCIs, and ethical aspects of BCIs. Our findings indicate that while technical aspects of BCIs such as usability or feasibility are being studied extensively, comparatively little in-depth research has been done on the self-image and self-experience of the BCI user. In general there is also a lack of focus or examination of the caregiver’s perspective. (shrink)
ABSTRACTResearch about the structure of character has largely assessed purported universal attributes. However, character develops within specific social, cultural and institutional contexts. As part of the first wave of a longitudinal study of character development among cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, an institution with a core mission to develop leaders of character, we examined the factor structure of a set of 15 character attributes of specific relevance to the West Point context. Data were derived from (...) self-report surveys completed in spring 2017. Results of exploratory factor analysis identified a 4-factor structure of character: Relational, Commitment, Honor and Machiavellian and a confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for the validity and measurement equivalence of the factors. We discuss implications for promoting and assessing character within the context of USMA and other institutions seeking to develop leaders of character. (shrink)
Schmid divides the book into five main discussions: the historical background of the dialogue; the relation of form and content in a Platonic dialogue and specific structural and aesthetic features of the Laches; the first half of the ...
The focus on animal welfare in society has increased during the last 50 years. Animal welfare legislation and private standards have developed, and today many farmers within animal production have both governmental legislation and private standards to comply with. In this paper intentions and values are described that were expressed in 14 animal welfare legislation and standards in four European countries; Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. It is also discussed if the legislation and standards actually accomplish what they, in (...) their overall description and ethics, claimed to do, i.e. if this is followed up by relevant paragraphs in the actual body of the text in the legislation and standards respectively. The method used was an on-line questionnaire from the EconWelfare research project and text analyses. This study shows that the ethical values within a set of legislation or private standards are not always consistently implemented, and it is not always possible to follow a thread between the intentions mentioned initially and the actual details of the legislation or standard. Since values will differ so will also the animal welfare levels and the implications of similar concepts in the regulations. In general, the regulations described were not based on animal welfare considerations only, but also other aspects, such as food safety, meat quality, environmental aspects and socio-economic aspects were taken into account. This is understandable, but creates a gap between explicit and implicit values, which we argue, can be overcome if such considerations are made more transparent to the citizens/consumers. (shrink)
In the Philosophy of Sport literature, play has been widely conceived, in whole or part, as an autotelic activity; that is, an activity pursued for intrinsic factors. I examine several versions of the conception of play as an autotelic activity. Given these different accounts, I raise the question whether the concept of autotelic play is tenable. I examine three possibilities: (i) accept the concept of autotelic play and reject the possibility of satisfying the conditions for play activities; (ii) accept the (...) concept and acknowledge that play refers to a range of activities ranging from the purely autotelic to something less; and, (iii) reject the definition of play as an autotelic activity and redefine play. I argue that the third option is the best avenue for constructing a viable account of play. In defending this third option, I argue that play activities are value laden, that the value of play is an empirical matter, and that the effect of motivating reasons on behavior is the basis for determining which motivating reasons count as intrinsic or extrinsic. I conclude that the weight of the arguments suggest we would be well-served to redefine and move beyond the notion of autotelic play. (shrink)
Under normal circumstances, saying that you have a thought, a belief, a desire, or an intention differs from saying that somebody (who happens to be you) has that attitude. The former statement comes with some form of first person authority and constitutes commitments that are not involved in the latter case. Speaking with first person authority, and thereby publicly committing oneself, is a practice that plays an important role in our communication and in our understanding of what it means to (...) be a person. In their Group Agency, Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that some corporations are agents with attitudes of their own, and they claim that they are persons. The question on which this paper is focused is: Can corporations (groups with attitudes and the capacity for linguistic communication) participate in this practice, that is, can they express their attitudes with first person authority, and thereby enter first person commitments? The first section of the paper gives a rough (and, I hope, ecumenical) account of some features of first person authority and commitment. The second section examines if and how this account of first person authority carries over to corporations. It is argued that the possibility for groups to express their attitudes with straightforward first person authority, and thus to enter first person commitments, are extremely limited. The third part of the paper argues that while under normal circumstances, a member’s expression of her group’s attitudes in first person plural terms does not constitute straightforward first person authority, it does come with something resembling some aspects of the first-personal commitments encountered in the singular case. (shrink)
Abstract The specter of the ?group mind? or ?collective subject? plays a crucial and fateful role in the current debate on collective intentionality. Fear of the group mind is one important reason why philosophers of collective intentionality resort to individualism. It is argued here that this measure taken against the group mind is as unnecessary as it is detrimental to our understanding of what it means to share an intention. A non-individualistic concept of shared intentionality does not necessarily have to (...) get stuck with some collectivist super-agent. Rather, the specter of the group mind arises from a deep-seated ?Cartesian? preconception concerning intentionality, which we should try to overcome. *I am greatly indebted to Raimo Tuomela for his comments. Also, I wish to thank Michael Bratman, Fabienne Peter, Richard Raatzsch and Katrin Meyer. (shrink)
This article focuses on a part of the “nuclear condition” that is often overlooked in philosophical discussions: that of materiality. Connecting the spheres of nuclear weapons, and of nuclear power generation, are the materials that bombs and electricity can be made of, and the machines that produce either enriched uranium or plutonium. We now have evidence of just how fragile the machines and devices were that sustained the nuclear age, but also how tenuous and artificial the boundary is that we (...) assume between “peaceful” and “military” purposes. And yet, each new “nuclear deal” affirms this boundary, and the possibility of its existence. While the community of scholars and policymakers who prioritize nuclear security strive to label as many steps of the process as “special,” and therefore subject to inspection, accounting, and international control, multinational power companies and national nuclear industries promote “technical fixes” for lingering safety concerns, and advance the opposite strategy: to “normalize” many processes to the point of including severe accident response into the industry’s business-as-usual. The article argues that different kinds of “nuclearities” have increasingly become accepted as “normal”: on one hand, international diplomacy that foregrounds legal and regulatory strategies to nip potential nuclear weapons programs in the bud, and on the other, national nuclear power programs growing their fleets and attempting to expand their market reach. By accepting the divide between the “security community” and the “safety community” as the new “nuclear normalcy,” the shared nuclear materiality threatens to slip out of view, or at the very least, out of focus. (shrink)
Professor Mitchell's strategy for answering the question before us appears to be straightforward. Part, at least, of saying that the concepts of sin and moral wrongdoing belong to different vocabularies is that they are intensionally different. But this does not exclude their being related. Taken as concepts in extension there appear to be five possible relations between sin and moral wrongdoing not all of which Mitchell considers.
Schmid analyzes the historical and recent controversies over language in the U.S., comparing it to two official multilingual societies: Canada and Switzerland. She also examines how people of different language communities co-exist in, or are divided by, a political community.
This chapter briefly summarises work by four key figures in the phenomenological philosophy of science: Edmund Husserl; Martin Heidegger; Patrick Heelan; and Joseph J. Kockelmans. In addition, some comparison is made with well-known figures in mainstream philosophy of science, and suggestions are given for further readings in the phenomenological philosophy of science.
The paper discusses the problem of self-sacrifice as posed by Derrida in Foi et Savior and by Schiller in the Theosophie des Julius. Whereas Derrida understands self-sacrifice as an act of violence against oneself in order not to subject others to violence, Schiller rightly insists that one must distinguish between egotistical and altruistic self-sacrifice. But even this doesn’t go far enough: Altruistic self-sacrifice is different from suffering death as the consequence of an entirely unselfish love. Whoever loses his life out (...) of love does not give it up for others, whether selfishly or unselfishly. He loves the other—to death. Such a death is not a (self-)sacrifice. It results from a passion of love, not an act of violence against oneself. (shrink)