Philosophers have long been fascinated by the stream of consciousness––thoughts, images, and bits of inner speech that dance across the inner stage. Yet for centuries, such “mind-wandering” was deemed private and thus resistant to empirical investigation. Recent developments in psychology and neuroscience have reinvigorated scientific interest in the stream of thought, leading some researchers to dub this “the era of the wandering mind”. Despite this flurry of progress, scientists have stressed that mind-wandering research requires firmer philosophical foundations. The time is (...) therefore ripe for the philosophy of mind-wandering. Our review begins with a foundational question: what is mind-wandering? We then investigate the significance of mind-wandering for general philosophical topics, namely mental action, introspection, and the norms of thinking and attention. (shrink)
Although mind-wandering occupies up to half of our waking thoughts, it is seldom discussed in philosophy. My paper brings these neglected thoughts into focus. I propose that mind-wandering is unguided attention. Guidance in my sense concerns how attention is monitored and regulated as it unfolds over time. Roughly speaking, someone’s attention is guided if she would feel pulled back, were she distracted from her current focus. Because our wandering thoughts drift unchecked from topic to topic, they are unguided. One motivation (...) for my theory is what I call the “Puzzle of the Purposeful Wanderer”. On the one hand, mind-wandering seems essentially purposeless; almost by definition, it contrasts with goal-directed cognition. On the other hand, empirical evidence suggests that our minds frequently wander to our goals. My solution to the puzzle is this: mind-wandering is purposeless in one way—it is unguided—but purposeful in another—it is frequently caused, and thus motivated, by our goals. Another motivation for my theory is to distinguish mind-wandering from two antithetical forms of cognition: absorption and rumination. Surprisingly, previous theories cannot capture these distinctions. I can: on my view, absorption and rumination are guided, whereas mind-wandering is not. My paper has four parts. Section 1 spells out the puzzle. Sections 2 and 3 explicate two extant views of mind-wandering—the first held by most cognitive scientists, the second by Thomas Metzinger. Section 4 uses the limitations of these theories to motivate my own: mind-wandering is unguided attention. (shrink)
Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. (...) Mind-wandering is a case study that allows us to tease apart two causes of mental action––guidance and motivation. Second, its experiential character. Goals are rarely the objects of awareness; rather, goals are “phenomenological frames” that carve experience into felt distractions and relevant information. Third, its scope. Intentional mind-wandering is a limit case of action where one actively cultivates passivity. Fourth, my theory offers a novel response to mental action skeptics like Strawson. (shrink)
Attribution theorists assume that character information informs judgments of blame. But there is disagreement over why. One camp holds that character information is a fundamental determinant of blame. Another camp holds that character information merely provides evidence about the mental states and processes that determine responsibility. We argue for a two-channel view, where character simultaneously has fundamental and evidential effects on blame. In two large factorial studies (n = 495), participants rate whether someone is blameworthy when he makes a mistake (...) (burns a cake or misses a bus stop). Although mental state inferences predict blame judgments, character information does not. Using mediation analyses, we find that character information influences responsibility via two channels (Studies 3–4; n = 447), which are sensitive to different kinds of information (Study 5; n = 149). On the one hand, forgetfulness increases judgments of responsibility, because mental lapses manifest an objectionable character flaw. On the other hand, forgetfulness decreases judgments of state control, which in turn decreases responsibility judgments. These two channels cancel out, which is why we find no aggregate effect of forgetfulness on responsibility. Our results challenge several fundamental assumptions about the role of character information in moral judgment, including that good character typically mitigates blame. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been fascinated by the stream of consciousness – thoughts, images, and bits of inner speech that dance across the inner stage. Yet for centuries, such ‘mind‐wandering' was deemed private and thus resistant to empirical investigation. Recent developments in psychology and neuroscience have reinvigorated scientific interest in the stream of thought. Despite this flurry of progress, scientists have stressed that mind‐wandering research requires firmer philosophical foundations. The time is therefore ripe for the philosophy of mind‐wandering. Our review begins (...) with a foundational question: What is mind‐wandering? We then investigate the significance of mind‐wandering for general philosophical topics, namely, mental action, introspection, and the norms of thinking and attention. (shrink)
Judgments of blame for others are typically sensitive to what an agent knows and desires. However, when people act negligently, they do not know what they are doing and do not desire the outcomes of their negligence. How, then, do people attribute blame for negligent wrongdoing? We propose that people attribute blame for negligent wrongdoing based on perceived mental control, or the degree to which an agent guides their thoughts and attention over time. To acquire information about others’ mental control, (...) people self-project their own perceived mental control to anchor third-personal judgments about mental control and concomitant responsibility for negligent wrongdoing. In four experiments (N = 841), we tested whether perceptions of mental control drive third-personal judgments of blame for negligent wrongdoing. Study 1 showed that the ease with which people can counterfactually imagine an individual being non-negligent mediated the relationship between judgments of control and blame. Studies 2a and 2b indicated that perceived mental control has a strong effect on judgments of blame for negligent wrongdoing and that first-personal judgments of mental control are moderately correlated with third-personal judgments of blame for negligent wrongdoing. Finally, we used an autobiographical memory manipulation in Study 3 to make personal episodes of forgetfulness salient. Participants for whom past personal episodes of forgetfulness were made salient judged negligent wrongdoers less harshly compared to a control group for whom past episodes of negligence were not salient. Collectively, these findings suggest that first-personal judgments of mental control drive third-personal judgments of blame for negligent wrongdoing and indicate a novel role for counterfactual thinking in the attribution of responsibility. (shrink)
The science of mind wandering has rapidly expanded over the past 20 years. During this boom, mind wandering researchers have relied on self-report methods, where participants rate whether their minds were wandering. This is not an historical quirk. Rather, we argue that self-report is indispensable for researchers who study passive phenomena like mind wandering. We consider purportedly “objective” methods that measure mind wandering with eye tracking and machine learning. These measures are validated in terms of how well they predict self-reports, (...) which means that purportedly objective measures of mind wandering retain a subjective core. Mind wandering science cannot break from the cycle of self-report. Skeptics about self-report might conclude that mind wandering science has methodological foundations of sand. We take a rather more optimistic view. We present empirical and philosophical reasons to be confident in self-reports about mind wandering. Empirically, these self-reports are remarkably consistent in their contents and behavioral and neural correlates. Philosophically, self-reports are consistent with our best theories about the function of mind wandering. We argue that this triangulation gives us reason to trust both theory and method. (shrink)
Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behaviour? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask the following: what ingredient of active, goal-directed, thought is missing in mind-wandering? I answer that guidance is the missing ingredient that separates mind-wandering and directed thinking. I define mind-wandering as unguided attention. Roughly speaking, attention is guided when you would feel pulled back, were you distracted. In contrast, a wandering attention (...) drifts from topic to topic unchecked. From my discussion of mind-wandering, I extract general lessons about the causal basis, experiential character, and limits of mental action. Mind-wandering is a case study that allows us to tease apart two causal bases of mental action––guidance and motivation––that often track together and are thus easy to conflate. The contrast between mind-wandering and active thinking also sheds light on how goals are experienced during mental action. Goals are rarely the objects of awareness; rather, goals are “phenomenological frames” that carve experience into felt distractions (which we are guided away from) and relevant information (which we are guided towards). Finally, I account for a limit-case of mental action that psychologists call “intentional mind-wandering”. (shrink)
Philosophers, psychologists, and economists have reached the consensus that one can use two different kinds of regulation to achieve self-control. Synchronic regulation uses willpower to resist current temptation. Diachronic regulation implements a plan to avoid future temptation. Yet this consensus may rest on contaminated intuitions. Specifically, agents typically use willpower (synchronic regulation) to achieve their plans to avoid temptation (diachronic regulation). So even if cases of diachronic regulation seem to involve self-control, this may be because they are contaminated by synchronic (...) regulation. We therefore developed a novel multifactorial method to disentangle synchronic and diachronic regulation. Using this method, we find that ordinary usage assumes that only synchronic––not diachronic––regulation counts as self-control. We find this pattern across four experiments involving different kinds of temptation, as well as a paradigmatic case of diachronic regulation based on the classic story of Odysseus and the Sirens. Our final experiment finds that self-control in a diachronic case depends on whether the agent uses synchronic regulation at two moments: when she (1) initiates and (2) follows-through on a plan to resist temptation. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that synchronic regulation is the sole difference maker in the folk concept of self-control. (shrink)
Although mind-wandering research is rapidly progressing, stark disagreements are emerging about what the term “mind-wandering” means. Four prominent views define mind-wandering as 1) task-unrelated thought, 2) stimulus-independent thought, 3) unintentional thought, or 4) dynamically unguided thought. Although theorists claim to capture the ordinary understanding of mind-wandering, no systematic studies have assessed these claims. Two large factorial studies present participants (n=545) with vignettes that describe someone’s thoughts and ask whether her mind was wandering, while systematically manipulating features relevant to the four (...) major accounts of mind-wandering. Dynamics explains between four and twenty times more variance in participants’ mind-wandering judgments than other features. Our third study (n=153) tests and supports a unique prediction of the dynamic framework—obsessive rumination contrasts with mind-wandering. Our final study (n=277) used vignettes that resemble mind-wandering experiments. Dynamics had significant and large effects, while task-unrelatedness was insignificant. These results strongly align with the dynamic conception of mind-wandering. (shrink)
Can we be responsible for our attention? Can attention be epistemically good or bad? Siegel tackles these under‐explored questions in “Selection Effects”, a pathbreaking chapter of The Rationality of Perception. In this chapter, Siegel develops one of the first philosophical accounts of attention norms. Her account is inferential: patterns of attention are often controlled by inferences and therefore subject to rational epistemic norms that govern any other form of inference. Although Siegel’s account is explanatorily powerful, it cannot capture a core (...) attention norm in cognitive science: one should balance between exploratory and exploitative attention. For central cases of exploratory attention such as mind‐wandering, child‐like, and creative thinking are non‐inferential. Siegel’s view classifies them as “normative freebies” that are not subject to epistemic evaluation. We’re therefore left with a disjunctive conclusion: either Siegel’s inferentialist theory of attention norms is incomplete or cognitive scientists are wrong about the norms that govern attention. (shrink)
Although mind‐wandering research is rapidly progressing, stark disagreements are emerging about what the term “mind‐wandering” means. Four prominent views define mind‐wandering as (a) task‐unrelated thought, (b) stimulus‐independent thought, (c) unintentional thought, or (d) dynamically unguided thought. Although theorists claim to capture the ordinary understanding of mind‐wandering, no systematic studies have assessed these claims. Two large factorial studies present participants (N = 545) with vignettes that describe someone's thoughts and ask whether her mind was wandering, while systematically manipulating features relevant to (...) the four major accounts of mind‐wandering. Dynamics explains between four and 40 times more variance in participants' mind‐wandering judgments than other features. Our third study (N = 153) tests and supports a unique prediction of the dynamic framework—obsessive rumination contrasts with mind‐wandering. Our final study (N = 277) used vignettes that resemble mind‐wandering experiments. Dynamics had significant and large effects, while task‐unrelatedness was nonsignificant. These results strongly suggest that the central feature of mind‐wandering is its dynamics. (shrink)
In practice, scientists must convey data in a “representational style”. Various authors seek to explain the epistemic role of scientific visual representation in terms of formal conventions. Goodman also tends to dismiss the epistemic relevance of human cognition. My position is that visual conventions are nonarbitrary, in that they play to scientists’ cognitive abilities and limitations. My account draws on Perini's formal analysis, scientific case studies, and empirical literature on global pattern detection in neurotypicals, autistics, and dyslexics.
A central feature of our waking mental experience is that our attention naturally toggles back and forth between “external” and “internal” stimuli. In the midst of an externally demanding task, attention can involuntarily shift internally with no clear reason how or why thoughts momentarily shifted inward. In the case of external attention, we are typically exploring and encoding aspects of our external world, whereas internal attention often involves searching for and retrieving potentially relevant information from our memory networks. Cognitive science (...) has traditionally focused on understanding forms of internal and external attention separately, leaving a mystery about what sparks the seemingly automatic shifts between the two. Specifically, what shifts attentional focus from being outward‐directed to being inward‐directed? We present a candidate mechanism: Familiarity‐detection. (shrink)
We present a family of counter-examples to David Christensen's Independence Criterion, which is central to the epistemology of disagreement. Roughly, independence requires that, when you assess whether to revise your credence in P upon discovering that someone disagrees with you, you shouldn't rely on the reasoning that lead you to your initial credence in P. To do so would beg the question against your interlocutor. Our counter-examples involve questions where, in the course of your reasoning, you almost fall for an (...) easy-to-miss trick. We argue that you can use the step in your reasoning where you caught the trick as evidence that someone of your general competence level likely fell for it. Our cases show that it's permissible to use your reasoning about disputed matters to disregard an interlocutor's disagreement, so long as that reasoning is embedded in the right sort of explanation of why she finds the disputed conclusion plausible, even though it's false. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, ZacharyIrving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: What can Indian philosophy tell us about how we perceive the world?
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, ZacharyIrving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: Can meditation give us moral knowledge?
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, ZacharyIrving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: How can we train our attention, and what are the benefits of doing so?
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, ZacharyIrving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This part of the report explores the question: How does the understanding of attention in Indian philosophy bear on contemporary western debates?
This report highlights and explores five questions that arose from the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, September 21st to 22nd, 2013: 1. How does the understanding of attention in Indian philosophy bear on contemporary western debates? 2. How can we train our attention, and what are the benefits of doing so? 3. Can meditation give us moral knowledge? 4. What can Indian philosophy tell us about how we perceive the world? 5. Are there cross-cultural (...) philosophical themes? (shrink)
Our paper serves as an introduction to a budding field: the philosophy of mind-wandering. We begin with a philosophical critique of the standard psychological definitions of mind-wandering as task-unrelated or stimulus-independent. Although these definitions have helped bring mind-wandering research onto centre stage in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, they have substantial limitations that researchers must overcome to move forward. Specifically, the standard definitions do not account for (i) the dynamics of mind wandering, (ii) task-unrelated thought that does not qualify as mind-wandering, (...) and (iii) the ways that mind-wandering can be task-related. We then survey three philosophical accounts that improve upon the current psychological definitions. We first present our account of mind-wandering as “unguided thinking”. Next we review Thomas Metzinger’s view that mind-wandering can be defined as thought lacking meta-awareness and cognitive agency, as well as Peter Carruthers’s and Fabian Dorsch’s definitions of mind-wandering as disunified thinking. We argue that these latter views are inadequate, and we show that our definition of mind-wandering as unguided thinking is not only conceptually and phenomenologically precise but also can be operationalized in a principled way for empirical research. (shrink)
An often-overlooked characteristic of the human mind is its propensity to wander. Despite growing interest in the science of mind-wandering, most studies operationalize mind-wandering by its task-unrelated contents. But these contents may be orthogonal to the processes that determine how thoughts unfold over time, remaining stable or wandering from one topic to another. In this chapter, we emphasize the importance of incorporating such processes into current definitions of mind-wandering, and propose that mind-wandering and other forms of spontaneous thought (such as (...) dreaming and creativity) are mental states that arise and transition relatively freely due to an absence of constraints on cognition. We review existing psychological, philosophical and neuroscientific research on spontaneous thought through the lens of this framework, and call for additional research into the dynamic properties of the mind and brain. (shrink)
Most research on mind-wandering has characterized it as a mental state with contents that are task unrelated or stimulus independent. However, the dynamics of mind-wandering—how mental states change over time—have remained largely neglected. Here, we introduce a dynamic framework for understanding mind-wandering and its relationship to the recruitment of large-scale brain networks. We propose that mind-wandering is best understood as a member of a family of spontaneous-thought phenomena that also includes creative thought and dreaming. This dynamic framework can shed new (...) light on mental disorders that are marked by alterations in spontaneous thought, including depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, ZacharyIrving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: Are there cross-cultural philosophical themes?
In this volume, a distinguished philosopher and moral rights theorist examines important changes that have occurred in our thinking about rights since first mention of them was made in early modern times. His inquiry is framed by an opening question and a concluding response. The question is whether the Greeks had any conception of a moral right. Some argue that they did not, on the ground that they had no word for a right. Others claim that they did, since they (...) employed certain locutions, the equivalents of which in our language are tied to some notion of a moral right. Professor Melden reviews in detail some of the most important historical conceptions of rights and examines serious questions raised by the fact that there have been striking changes in our thinking about rights. His discussion elucidates the place of moral rights in the broader network of moral concepts, along with the role they should play in our moral lives. Among the fundamental issues raised and discussed are those concerning the ways in which we are to understand various sorts of rights, the relation of special moral rights to our basic human rights, the now familiar claim that there are animal rights, the nature of moral progress, and the dream of a moral science. (shrink)
One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation is to be found in Works of Love . Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in Works of Love , there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not (...) the latter, is committed to the claim that, necessarily, p is morally obligatory only if God commands that p. (shrink)
We investigate the causal uncertainty surrounding the flash crash in the U.S. Treasury bond market on October 15, 2014, and the unresolved concern that no clear link has been identified between the start of the flash crash at 9:33 and the opening of the U.S. equity market at 9:30. We consider the contributory effect of mini flash crashes in equity markets, and find that the number of equity mini flash crashes in the three-minute window between market open and the Treasury (...) Flash Crash was 2.6 times larger than the number experienced in any other three-minute window in the prior ten weekdays. We argue that (a) this statistically significant finding suggests that mini flash crashes in equity markets both predicted and contributed to the October 2014 U.S. Treasury Bond Flash Crash, and (b) mini-flash crashes are important phenomena with negative externalities that deserve much greater scholarly attention. (shrink)
In the heart of southeast Texas, an industrial powerhouse often referred to as the 'Golden Triangle', the oil refineries and petrochemical plants stand as stalwart testaments to the region's economic evolution. Interestingly, before the discovery of oil at Spindletop, the lumber and cattle industries powered this region's economy. A profound shift occurred when the Lucas Gusher, a fountain of oil spurting thousands of feet into the air, struck the lands of Spindletop Hill on January 10, 1901. This remarkable discovery of (...) the Spindletop oilfield on a slat dome formation south of Beaumont, Texas, marked the birth of the modern petroleum industry and fundamentally transformed the region's geopolitical, economic, and cultural landscapes. People from all over the country relocated to Gladys City and Beaumont in search of work and new opportunities, creating a boomtown as the town's population swelled from 10,000 to 50,000. The newfound urbanization brought by the oil industry transformed the town and the surrounding areas, creating a ripple effect across the region that would be felt for generations to come. The surge in oil-driven economic activity transmuted the region into a vibrant nexus of commerce, with the oil industry emerging as a critical architect of growth and advancement. This newfound affluence incited by the petroleum sector ushered in an era of economic diversification, laying the groundwork for industrialization’s further evolution. The Spindletop Oil Fields not only underscored the United States’ ascent as the foremost petroleum-producing nation but also signaled the nation’s initiation into the Petroleum Age. It was Spindletop that solidified its position as America’s first significant oil field, becoming an enduring symbol of its industrial might. By 1985, over 153,000,000 barrels of oil had been produced and extracted from the Spindletop oil fields, underscoring the magnitude of this extraordinary resource. (shrink)
The Politics of Constructionism presents a broadranging and critical overview of the many themes of social constructionism and its relevance to contemporary social and political issues. Clearly structured and bringing together leading international contributors from across the social sciences, it offers an invaluable may through this rich body of literature. Major questions and topics explored in its critique and application of constructionist ideas include the theory and practice of scientific method, the development of social and political policy, the use of (...) social science statistical methods, self-identity and the politics of collective identities, and technological advances in reproductive medicine. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, politics, philosophy, cultural, gender, and social studies, The Politics of Constructionism links the discourse of constructionism to the wider social and political world and offers much to suggest that, contrary to the final impoverishment claimed by some of postmodernism, social science is witnessing the beginning of a new enrichment. It will be essential reading for all students and academics interested in social constructionism and contemporary issues and debates across the social sciences. (shrink)
The field of `science and religion' is exploding in popularity among both academics and the reading public. This is a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to the debate, written by the leading experts yet accessible to the general reader.
In this paper, I attempt to consider Jewish philosophy in opposition to the anti-ocularcentrism that defined the German Jewish philosophical tradition after Kant, namely the idea that Judaism—or at least its philosophical expression in Maimonidean philosophy—is aniconic and cognitively abstract. I do so by attempting to rethink the epistemic-veridical place of the imagination and visual experience in the Guide of the Perplexed . Once the imagination has been disciplined by reason, is there any cognitive status to an image or sound (...) that the eye or the ear perceives, and to that mental faculty that combines and recombines such impressions? Is the sight or sound of revelation a hallucination or just a mere figure of speech? Does it bear any relation to a spiritual reality external to the human mind and finite physical existence? To address these questions I explore the visual images, both iconic and aniconic-abstract, that distinguish the Guide . There is no getting past the visual imagination, although I am not sure Maimonides would have recognized it as such. Even when he leaves behind figurative visual cues such as the false image-work of the undisciplined imagination or the appearance of angels and images of God found in lower grades of prophecy, he turns to another visual register, namely the “abstract art“ of pure, dazzling light. In regard to these questions, Maimonides was more Greek than German, ascribing, cautiously, penultimate cognitive status to the visual imagination. (shrink)
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany examines the dual transformation of institutions and ideas that led to the emergence of theology as science, the paradigmatic project of modern theology associated with Friedrich Schleiermacher. Beginning with earlier educational reforms across central Europe and especially following the upheavals of the Napoleonic period, an impressive list of provocateurs, iconoclasts, and guardians of the old faith all confronted the nature of the university, the organization of knowledge, and the unity of theology's various parts, (...) quandaries which together bore the collective name of 'theological encyclopedia'. Schleiermacher's remarkably influential programme pioneered the structure and content of the theological curriculum and laid the groundwork for theology's historicization. Zachary Purvis offers a comprehensive investigation of Schleiermacher's programme through the era's two predominant schools: speculative theology and mediating theology. Purvis highlights that the endeavour ultimately collapsed in the context of Wilhelmine Germany and the Weimar Republic, beset by the rise of religious studies, radical disciplinary specialization, a crisis of historicism, and the attacks of dialectical theology. In short, the project represented university theology par excellence. Engaging in detail with these developments, Purvis weaves the story of modern university theology into the broader tapestry of German and European intellectual culture, with periodic comparisons to other national contexts. In doing so, he Purvis presents a substantially new way to understand the relationship between theology and the university, both in nineteenth-century Germany and, indeed, beyond. (shrink)
Normativists about belief hold that belief formation is essentially rule- or norm-guided. On this view, certain norms are constitutive of or essential to belief in such a way that no mental state not guided by those norms counts as a belief, properly construed. In recent influential work, Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss develop novel arguments against normativism. According to their regress of motivations argument, not all belief formation can be rule- or norm-guided, on pain of a vicious infinite regress. I (...) argue that the regress of motivations argument is unsuccessful: an appeal to the notion of blind rule-following, drawn from a plausible interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule-following, stops the regress of motivations in its tracks. (shrink)
... Press for their editorial perspicacity, to the National Institutes of Health for the partial financial support they gave me while I was writing some of the chapters, and to Donald Michie for suggesting the title Good Thinking.
A number of thinkers have been wondering about the moral obligations humans have, or will have, to intelligent technologies. An underlying assumption is that “moral machines” are decades in the offing, and thus we have no pressing obligations now. But, in the context of technology, we are yet to consider that we might owe moral consideration to something that is not a member of the moral community but eventually will be as an outcome of human action. Do we have current (...) actual obligations to technologies that do not currently exist? If there are obligations to currently non-existing technologies, we must confront what might be called the Non-Identical Machines Problem. Can we harm or benefit an entity by making it one way rather than another? This paper presents the problem and argues that it is more challenging than the standard Non-Identity Problem. (shrink)
"This collection is the first book-length examination of the various epistemological issues underlying legal trials. Trials are, among other things, centrally concerned with determining truth: whether a criminal defendant has in fact culpably committed the act of which they are accused, or whether a civil defendant is in fact responsible for the damages alleged by the plaintiff. But are trials truth-conducive? Assessing the value of trials as truth-seeking endeavors requires that we consider a host of underlying social epistemological questions. The (...) contributors to this volume address a number of these pressing questions, including but not limited to the following: How much credence should they give to eyewitness testimony? How should we balance the relative epistemic value of testimony offered by defense witnesses and prosecution witnesses? Are juries an effective means of arriving at justified beliefs about a defendant's guilt or innocence? When, if ever, is statistical information about a defendant's character relevant? What degree of certainty should we require to support a verdict of 'guilty'? How should standards of proof be interpreted for allegations that contain numerous discrete components? The Social Epistemology of Legal Trials will be of interest to scholars and upper-level students working on issues at the intersection of epistemology and philosophy of law"--. (shrink)
By recovering the dependent, often enslaved, laborers who helped to make European medicines commercially available in the New England colonies, this article offers a new history of early American pharmaceutical knowledge and production. It does so by considering the life and labor of an unnamed, enslaved assistant who was said to make tinctures, elixirs, and other common remedies in a 1758 letter between two business partners, Silvester Gardiner, a successful surgeon and apothecary in Boston, Massachusetts, and William Jepson, his former (...) apprentice, in Hartford, Connecticut. Using strategies from slavery and critical archive studies, as well as from social history and the history of medicine, this article emphasizes the materiality and embodiment of pharmaceutical production and follows fragmentary evidence beyond the business archive to reverse the systemic erasure of enslaved and indentured laborers from the records of eighteenth-century manufacturers of medicines. The medicine trades of men like Gardiner and Jepson appear more reliant upon dependent laborers – named and unnamed – who not only performed rote tasks but brought their experience and judgment to their labors as well. Their contributions could be obviously medical (preparing remedies) or more ambiguous (stoking fires, shipping goods), but these actions together constituted early modern pharmacy, enabled the expansion of the transatlantic medicine trade, and laid the foundations for the more self-sufficient and industrialized pharmacy that developed in the nineteenth century. Centering the skill and knowledge among subordinated laborers in one facet of an emergent transatlantic care economy affirms the entanglement of slavery and science and underscores the necessity of asking new questions of old sources. (shrink)
For more than six decades, and for thousands of students, Introduction to Logic has been the gold standard in introductory logic texts. In this 15th Edition, Carl Cohen and Victor Rodych update Irving M. Copi's classic text, improving on its many strengths and introducing new and helpful material that will greatly assist both students and instructors.