This essay attempts to develop a psychologically informed semantics of perception reports, whose predictions match with the linguistic data. As suggested by the quotation from Miller and Johnson-Laird, we take a hallmark of perception to be its fallible nature; the resulting semantics thus necessarily differs from situation semantics. On the psychological side, our main inspiration is Marr's (1982) theory of vision, which can easily accomodate fallible perception. In Marr's theory, vision is a multi-layered process. The different layers have filters of (...) different gradation, which makes vision at each of them approximate. On the logical side, our task is therefore twofold • to formalise the layers and the ways in which they may refine each other, and • to develop logical means to let description vary with such degrees of refinement. The first task is formalised by means of an inverse systems of first order models, with reality appearing as its inverse limit. The second task is formalised by means of so-called conditional quantifiers, a new form of generalised quantification which can best be described as resource bounded quantification. We show that the logic provides for a semantics and pragmatics of direct perception reports. In particular, direct perception reports have a possibly nonveridical, approximative semantics, which becomes veridical only by virtue of our pragmatic expectation that what is perceived would continue to be the case, were we to perceive more accurately. It is a general feature of resource bounded logics that the underlying logics are weak, but that stronger principles can be obtained pragmatically, by strengthening the resource. For the logic of vision this feature is clarified by showing how changes in the resource capture different notions of partiality, and by studying how the perception verb interacts with connectives and quantifiers in different visual contexts. The inference Veridicality, which is now viewed rather as a nonmonotonic inference, is also studied in depth. We end with an attempt to buttress the proposed model by comparing it with suggestions put forward in Cognitive or Conceptual Semantics, in the literature on evidentials, and in Husserl's philosophy of perception. (shrink)
After a brief biography of Jaap van Brakel we set out his appropriation and use of the distinction between the manifest image and the scientific image of the world. In a certain sense van Brakel gives priority to the manifest image as the ultimate source of meaning in chemical discourses. He does not take sides in the debate about nominal and real essences, twin earths and so, but presents a compromise. As an active practitioner of the chemical arts (...) he emphasises the indispensability of models as a main tool for chemical thinking. We then turn to van Brakel’s interest in forging an intercultural point of view in which philosophy of chemistry plays an important part. (shrink)
This paper is on the update semantics for might of Veltman. Threeconsequence relations are introduced and studied in an abstract setting.Next we present sequent-style systems for each of the consequence relations.We show the logics to be complete and decidable. The paper ends with asyntactic cut elimination result.
avant propos This paper is basically Keenan (1992) augmented by some new types of properly polyadic quantification in natural language drawn from Moltmann (1992), Nam (1991) and Srivastav (1990). In addition I would draw the reader's attention to recent mathematical studies of polyadic quantiicationz Ben-Shalom (1992), Spaan (1992) and Westerstahl (1992). The first and third of these extend and generalize (in some cases considerably) the techniques and results in Keenan (1992). Finally I would like to acknowledge the stimulating and constructive (...) discussions ofthe earlier paper with many scholars, notably Dorit Ben-Shalom, Jaap van der Does, Hans Kamp, Uwe Mormich, Arnim von Stechow, Mats Rooth, and Ede Zimmermann. And I repeat here the acknowledgment in the earlier paper to Jim Lambek, Ed Stabler and two anonymous referees for Linguistics and Philosophy (the latter responsible for substantial improvements in the proofs - see footnote 10). (shrink)
This essay attempts to develop a psychologically informed semantics of perception reports, whose predictions match with the linguistic data. As suggested by the quotation from Miller and Johnson-Laird, we take a hallmark of perception to be its fallible nature; the resulting semantics thus necessarily differs from situation semantics. On the psychological side, our main inspiration is Marr's (1982) theory of vision, which can easily accomodate fallible perception. In Marr's theory, vision is a multi-layered process. The different layers have filters of (...) different gradation, which makes vision at each of them approximate. On the logical side, our task is therefore twofold - to formalise the layers and the ways in which they may refine each other, and. (shrink)
This paper is on the update semantics for might of Veltman. Threeconsequence relations are introduced and studied in an abstract setting.Next we present sequent-style systems for each of the consequence relations.We show the logics to be complete and decidable. The paper ends with asyntactic cut elimination result.
This note is on cautious cut elimination for one of Veitman's might logics. Syntactically, the logic is presented as an extension of a sequent system for classical proposition logic . I show that this extension preserves the completeness and decidability of CPL. The proof has cautious cut elimination as a corollary. I also give a rather general syntactic proof of cautious cut elimination. It states that any ‘base’ logic which has a reflexive, monotone consequence relation that allows cautious cut to (...) be eliminated preserves cautious cut elimination when extended to a might logic. (shrink)
Information is a basic structure of the world, while computation is a process of the dynamic change of information. This book provides a cutting-edge view of world's leading authorities in fields where information and computation play a central role. It sketches the contours of the future landscape for the development of our understanding of information and computation, their mutual relationship and the role in cognition, informatics, biology, artificial intelligence, and information technology. -/- This book is an utterly enjoyable and engaging (...) read which gives readers an opportunity to understand and relate phenomena seemingly unrelated in a completely new light — especially the connections between information, computation, cognition and life. -/- Contents: Cybersemiotics and the Question of Knowledge (Søren Brier) Information Dynamics in a Categorical Setting (Mark Burgin) Mathematics as a Biological Process (G J Chaitin) Information, Causation and Computation (John Collier) From Descartes to Turing: The Computational Content of Supervenience (S Barry Cooper) A Dialogue Concerning Two World Systems: Info-Computational vs Mechanistic (Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic & Vincent C Müller) Does Computing Embrace Self-Organization? (Wolfgang Hofkirchner) Analysis of Information and Computation in Physics Explains Cognitive Paradigms: From Full Cognition to Laplace Determinism to Statistical Determinism to Modern Approach (Vladik Kreinovich, Roberto Araiza & Juan Ferret) Bodies — Both Informed and Transformed Embodied Computation and Information Processing (Bruce J MacLennan) Computation on Information, Meaning and Representations: An Evolutionary Approach (Christophe Menant) Interior Grounding, Reflection, and Self-Consciousness (Marvin Minsky) A Molecular Dynamic Network: Minimal Properties and Evolutionary Implications (Walter Riofrio) Super-recursive Features of Evolutionary Processes and the Models for Computational Evolution (Darko Roglic) Towards a Modeling View of Computing (Oron Shagrir) What's Information, for an Organism or Intelligent Machine? How can a Machine or Organism Mean? (Aaron Sloman) Inconsistent Knowledge as a Natural Phenomenon: The Ranking of Reasonable Inferences as a Computational Approach to Naturally Inconsistent (Legal) Theories (Kees (CNJ) de Vey Mestdagh & Jaap Henk (JH) Hoepman) On the Algorithmic Nature of the World (Hector Zenil & Jean-Paul Delahaye) . (shrink)
Dutch: Bij alle aandacht die er op dit moment is voor de aard van zingevingsvragen is de analogie tussen de betekenis van taal enerzijds en leven en werkelijkheid anderzijds wel opgemerkt, maar nog nergens uitvoerig doorgelicht. Marcel Sarot voorziet in dit gemis door een zorgvuldige analyse van de structurele overeenkomsten tussen verschillende theorieën over beide vormen van betekenis. Vervolgens past hij de gemaakte onderscheidingen toe in een weerlegging van de argumenten tegen de theïstische vorm van zingeving van Elmar D. Klemke (...) en Jaap van Heerden. -/- English: The question of the meaning of life is the subject of a lively scholarly debate both in the Netherlands and abroad. I concentrate on an aspect of this question that has often been mentioned but is still waiting for a careful treatment: the analogy between linguistic meaning and the meaning of life. With respect to linguistic meaning, I distinguish between two types of theories of meaning. According to the first type of theory words are names for concepts and hence also for the structural divisions of reality to which our concepts correspond, and the meaning of a word is the concept (or thing or class of things) to which it refers. According to the second type of theory, words are tools which we use to exercise conceptual skills, and the meaning of a word is the conceptual skill exercised with that word. Corresponding to these theories of linguistic meaning, I distinguish between two types of theories of the meaning of life. According to the first type of theory, externalism, the meaning of life is determined by its relation ("reference") to a transcendent primary determinant of meaning; it is therefore independent of the "use" we make of it. According to the second type of theory, internalism, the meaning of life is determined by the use we make of it: life cannot acquire meaning without our giving meaning to it. Just as the theory which construes words as tools does not imply that we cannot use words to refer to extra-linguistic objects, internalism does not imply that reality does not provide objective grounds upon which to build our meaning. Subjective internalists argue that there is no such ground and that man has to create his own meaning ex nihilo, but objective internalists, most theists among them, argue that there are such grounds. Finally I employ the distinctions made above in a counter-argument against the anti-theistic arguments of two subjective internalists, Jaap van Heerden and Elmar D. Klemke. I show that they mistakenly suppose that the theistic alternative has to be construed along externalist lines, whereas theists themselves construe their theory of meaning along objective internalist lines, which renders it much more plausible. (shrink)
This paper explores the level of obligation called for by Milton Friedman’s classic essay “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits.” Several scholars have argued that Friedman asserts that businesses have no or minimal social duties beyond compliance with the law. This paper argues that this reading of Friedman does not give adequate weight to some claims that he makes and to their logical extensions. Throughout his article, Friedman emphasizes the values of freedom, respect for law, and (...) duty. The principle that a business professional should not infringe upon the liberty of other members of society can be used by business ethicists to ground a vigorous line of ethical analysis. Any practice, which has a negative externality that requires another party to take a significant loss without consent or compensation, can be seen as unethical. With Friedman’s framework, we can see how ethics can be seen as arising from the nature of business practice itself. Business involves an ethics in which we consider, work with, and respect strangers who are outside of traditional in-groups. (shrink)
forthcoming in reisner and steglich-peterson, eds., Reasons for Belief If I believe, for no good reason, that P and I infer (correctly) from this that Q, I don’t think we want to say that I ‘have’ P as evidence for Q. Only things that I believe (or could believe) rationally, or perhaps, with justification, count as part of the evidence that I have. It seems to me that this is a good reason to include an epistemic acceptability constraint on evidence (...) possessed…1 It is a truism that adopting an unjustified belief does not put you in a better evidential position with respect to believing its consequences. This truism has led many philosophers to assume that there must, at a minimum, be a justification condition (and perhaps even a knowledge condition) on what it takes to count as having evidence. This is the best (or only) possible explanation of the truism, these philosophers have believed. This paper explores an alternative explanation for the truism. According to the alternative explanation that I will offer, unjustified beliefs do not put you in a better evidential position with respect to believing their consequences because any evidence you have in virtue of having an unjustified belief is guaranteed to be defeated. Since the lack of justification for a belief guarantees its defeat, I will suggest, we don't need to postulate a special justification condition (much less a knowledge condition) on what it takes to count as having evidence. Why is this important? It is important because the assumption that there must be a justification condition (or perhaps a knowledge condition) on what it takes to count as having evidence places a high bar on what it takes to have evidence - such a high bar that it is difficult to see how this bar could be met in the case of basic, perceptually justified beliefs. As a result, the high bar set by this condition plays a fundamental role, I will claim, in central features of a core dialectic from the epistemology of basic perceptual belief which plays a central role in the debates between internalism and externalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and rationalism and empiricism.. (shrink)
Recent empirical research seems to show that emotions play a substantial role in moral judgment. Perhaps the most important line of support for this claim focuses on disgust. A number of philosophers and scientists argue that there is adequate evidence showing that disgust significantly influences various moral judgments. And this has been used to support or undermine a range of philosophical theories, such as sentimentalism and deontology. I argue that the existing evidence does not support such arguments. At best (...) it suggests something rather different: that moral judgment can have a minor emotive function, in addition to a substantially descriptive one. (shrink)
Review of extant research on the corporate environmental performance (CEP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) link generally demonstrates a positive relationship. However, some arguments and empirical results have demonstrated otherwise. As a result, researchers have called for a contingency approach to this research stream, which moves beyond the basic question “does it pay to be green?” and instead asks “when does it pay to be green?” In answering this call, we provide a meta-analytic review of CEP–CFP literature in (...) which we identify potential moderators to the CEP–CFP relationship including environmental performance type (e.g., reactive vs. proactive performance), firm characteristics (e.g., large vs. small firms), and methodological issues (e.g., self-report measures). By analyzing these contingencies, this study attempts to provide a basis on which to draw conclusions regarding some inconsistencies and debates in the CEP–CFP research. Some of the results of the moderator analysis suggest that small firms benefit from environmental performance as much or more than large firms, US firms seem to benefit more than international counterparts, and environmental performance seems to have the strongest influence on market-measures of financial performance. (shrink)
This article explores the controversial practice of transnational gestational surrogacy and poses a provocative question: Does it have to be exploitative? Various existing models of exploitation are considered and a novel exploitation-evaluation heuristic is introduced to assist in the analysis of the potentially exploitative dimensions/elements of complex health-related practices. On the basis of application of the heuristic, I conclude that transnational gestational surrogacy, as currently practiced in low-income country settings , is exploitative of surrogate women. Arising out of consideration (...) of the heuristic's exploitation conditions, a set of public education and enabled choice, enhanced protections, and empowerment reforms to transnational gestational surrogacy practice is proposed that, if incorporated into a national regulatory framework and actualized within a low income country, could possibly render such practice nonexploitative. (shrink)
Consequentialists typically think that the moral quality of one's conduct depends on the difference one makes. But consequentialists may also think that even if one is not making a difference, the moral quality of one's conduct can still be affected by whether one is participating in an endeavour that does make a difference. Derek Parfit discusses this issue – the moral significance of what I call ‘participation’ – in the chapter of Reasons and Persons that he devotes to what (...) he calls ‘moral mathematics’. In my paper, I expose an inconsistency in Parfit's discussion of moral mathematics by showing how it gives conflicting answers to the question of whether participation matters. I conclude by showing how an appreciation of Parfit's error sheds some light on consequentialist thought generally, and on the debate between act- and rule-consequentialists specifically. (shrink)
In a series of recent works, Kit Fine (2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege's puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege's puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, we (...) argue, that that the semantics is compositional. We then examine the deep consequences of this result for Fine's proposed solution to Frege's puzzle. We argue that Fine has mis-diagnosed his own solution--his attempted solution does not deny compositionality. The correct characterization of Fine's solution fits him more comfortably among familiar solutions to the puzzle. (shrink)
Does perceptual consciousness require cognitive access? Ned Block argues it does not. Central to his case are visual memory experiments that employ post-stimulus cueing—in particular, Sperling’s classic partial report studies, change-detection work by Lamme and colleagues, and a recent paper by Bronfman and colleagues that exploits our perception of ‘gist’ properties. We argue contra Block that these experiments do not support his claim. Our reinterpretations differ from previous critics’ in challenging as well a longstanding and common view of (...) visual memory as involving declining capacity across a series of stores. We conclude by discussing the relation of probabilistic perceptual representations and phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
Critics of functionalism about the mind often rely on the intuition that collectivities cannot be conscious in motivating their positions. In this paper, we consider the merits of appealing to the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity. We demonstrate that collective mentality is not an affront to commonsense, and we report evidence that demonstrates that the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity is, to some extent, culturally specific rather (...) than universally held. This being the case, we argue that mere appeal to the intuitive implausibility of collective consciousness does not offer any genuine insight into the nature of mentality in general, nor the nature of consciousness in particular. (shrink)
The essentially comparative conception of value entails that the value of a state of affairs does not depend solely upon features intrinsic to the state of affairs, but also upon extrinsic features, such as the set of feasible alternatives. It has been argued that this conception of value gives us reason to abandon the transitivity of the better than relation. This paper shows that the support for intransitivity derived from this conception of value is very limited. On its most (...) plausible interpretations, it merely provides a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for intransitivity. It is further argued that the essentially comparative conception of value appears to support a disjunctive conclusion: there is incommensurability of value or betterness is not transitive. Of these two alternatives, incommensurability is preferable, because it is far less threatening to our other axiological commitments. (shrink)
According to the Ought-Implies-Can principle (OIC), an agent ought to perform a certain action only if the agent can perform that action. Proponents of OIC interpret this supposed implication in several ways. Some argue that the implication in question is a logical one, namely, entailment. Some think that the relation between ‘ought’ and ‘can’ is a relation of presupposition. Still others argue that ‘ought’ conversationally implicates ‘can’. Opponents of OIC offer a variety of counterexamples in an attempt to show that (...) there are cases in which an agent ought to perform a certain action even though she cannot perform that action. Such counterexamples often involve either culpable or nonculpable inability. In cases of culpable inability, the agent renders herself unable to fulfill an obligation. For example, a student is unable to submit a paper on the due date because she procrastinated until it became too late to write a paper by the assigned deadline. In cases of non-culpable inability, the agent somehow becomes unable to fulfill an obligation, through no fault of her own. For example, an agent becomes unable to pay back a loan to a bank because she was robbed on her way to the bank. This paper attempts to offer counterexamples to OIC of a sort different from the one discussed by opponents of OIC so far. If these counterexamples are correct, then they seem to suggest that there are cases in which an agent has an obligation to perform an action even though she may not be able to perform that action, and thus OIC is false. In other words, ‘ought’ does not imply ‘can’. (shrink)
A relatively new debate in ethics concerns the relationship between one's present obligations and how one would act in the future. One popular view is actualism, which holds that what an agent would do in the future affects her present obligations. Agent's future behavior is held fixed and the agent's present obligations are determined by what would be best to do now in light of how the agent would act in the future. Doug Portmore defends a new view he calls (...) moral securitism, which is supposed to avoid the problems associated with actualism. On this account, what an agent would do in the future is treated as fixed iff that agent's future actions are not currently under the agent's present deliberative control. φ-ing is under an agent's present deliberative control iff whether the agent φ's depends upon the immediate outcome of the agent's present deliberations. I argue that moral securitism falls prey to two of the same serious problems that actualism does: it lets agents avoid incurring moral obligations because they have rotten moral dispositions and entails that agents ought to perform truly terribly acts. After providing a few standard counter-examples to actualism to show how it is plagued with these two problems, I offer my own example which demonstrates that moral securitism is subject to a version of these same two problems. I then review Portmore's response to my objection, arguing that it fails. I end the paper by offering a tentative revision of moral securitism that would allow it to avoid the aforementioned problems. (shrink)
Studies of normal individuals reveal an asymmetry in the folk concept of intentional action: an action is more likely to be thought of as intentional when it is morally bad than when it is morally good. One interpretation of these results comes from the hypothesis that emotion plays a critical mediating role in the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status. According to this hypothesis, the negative emotional response triggered by a morally bad action drives the attribution (...) of intent to the actor, or the judgment that the actor acted intentionally. We test this hypothesis by presenting cases of morally bad and morally good action to seven individuals with deficits in emotional processing resulting from damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC). If normal emotional processing is necessary for the observed asymmetry, then individuals with VMPC lesions should show no asymmetry. Our results provide no support for this hypothesis: like normal individuals, those with VMPC lesions showed the same asymmetry, tending to judge that an action was intentional when it was morally bad but not when it was morally good. Based on this finding, we suggest that normal emotional processing is not responsible for the observed asymmetry of intentional attributions and thus does not mediate the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status. (shrink)
Non-moral ignorance can exculpate: if Anne spoons cyanide into Bill's coffee, but thinks she is spooning sugar, then Anne may be blameless for poisoning Bill. Gideon Rosen argues that moral ignorance can also exculpate: if one does not believe that one's action is wrong, and one has not mismanaged one's beliefs, then one is blameless for acting wrongly. On his view, many apparently blameworthy actions are blameless. I discuss several objections to Rosen. I then propose an alternative view on (...) which many agents who act wrongly are blameworthy despite believing they are acting morally permissibly, and despite not having mismanaged their moral beliefs.1. (shrink)
What does vision represent? What does hearing represent? Smell? Touch? Competing answers to each of these questions have been defended. The present paper argues that the issue of what taste represents is categorically more complicated. In particular, it raises two very difficult dilemmas.
An individual has a theory of mind if he imputes mental states to himself and others. A system of inferences of this kind is properly viewed as a theory because such states are not directly observable, and the system can be used to make predictions about the behavior of others. As to the mental states the chimpanzee may infer, consider those inferred by our own species, for example, purpose or intention, as well as knowledge, belief, thinking, doubt, guessing, pretending, liking, (...) and so forth. To determine whether or not the chimpanzee infers states of this kind, we showed an adult chimpanzee a series of videotaped scenes of a human actor struggling with a variety of problems. Some problems were simple, involving inaccessible food as in the original Kohler problems; others were more complex, involving an actor unable to extricate himself from a locked cage, shivering because of a malfunctioning heater, or unable to play a phonograph because it was unplugged. With each videotape the chimpanzee was given several photographs, one a solution to the problem, such as a stick for the inaccessible bananas, a key for the locked up actor, a lit wick for the malfunctioning heater. The chimpanzee's consistent choice of the correct photographs can be understood by assuming that the animal recognized the videotape as representing a problem, understood the actor's purpose, and chose alternatives compatible with that purpose. (shrink)
The aim of this article is twofold. First, it is argued that while the principle of ‘ought implies can’ is certainly plausible in some form, it is tempting to misconstrue it, and that this has happened in the way it has been taken up in some of the current literature. Second, Kant's understanding of the principle is considered. Here it is argued that these problematic conceptions put the principle to work in a way that Kant does not, so that (...) there is an important divergence here which can easily be overlooked. (shrink)
In this Article, I will argue that a person may be deserving of criminal punishment even in certain situations where she is not necessarily morally responsible for her criminal act. What these situations share in common are two things: the psychological factors that motivate the individual’s behavior are environmentally determined and her crime is serious, making her less eligible for sympathy and therefore less likely to be acquitted. -/- To get to this conclusion, I will proceed in four steps. In (...) Part II, I will offer the first two of these steps. First, I will argue that our foundational assumption that moral responsibility is necessary for just blame and punishment is not self-evident and is actually rather difficult to explain and justify. Second, I will offer an explanation and justification that appeals to our moral psychology. Specifically, I will argue that we subscribe to this assumption ultimately because we sympathize with agents who lack responsibility for their actions. -/- Third, in Part IV, I aim to show that even if moral responsibility is not conceptually — only “emotionally” — necessary for just blame and punishment, the traditionally recognized criminal excuses are not at risk because, contrary to popular wisdom, they do not really rely on this assumption to begin with. Instead, they stand less for the metaphysical proposition that we should refrain from blaming and punishing the non-responsible and more for the normative/ethical proposition that we should refrain from blaming and punishing those whom we cannot reasonably expect to have acted better. I will further argue that the latter proposition does not necessarily reduce to the former. -/- Fourth, once I have defended my account of the excuses, I will question in Parts V and VI the increasingly popular notion that we should add certain conditions or circumstances to the list of recognized excuses. I will focus on one in particular — the psychological theory of “situationism” — and will argue that, despite its initial plausibility, it should be kept off the list. While situationism arguably does negate moral responsibility, it does not negate criminal responsibility. -/- Of course, this is a controversial point. Criminal responsibility is almost universally thought to require moral responsibility. But in a previous article, "Dangerous Psychopaths: Criminally Responsible But Not Morally Responsible, Subject to Criminal Punishment And to Preventive Detention," 48 San Diego L. Rev. 1299, I used personality psychology to drive a wedge between the two. In this article, I will use the opposite end of the psychological spectrum — social psychology — to drive the same important wedge. (shrink)
Some philosophers think that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons, or alternatively in responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. This paper considers various possible interpretations of ‘responding correctly to reasons’ and of ‘responding correctly to beliefs about reasons’, and concludes that rationality consists in neither, under any interpretation. It recognizes that, under some interpretations, rationality does entail responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. That is: necessarily, if you are rational you respond correctly to your beliefs about reasons.
Many natural scientists explain the evolutionary origin of morality by documenting altruistic behaviour in our nearest nonhuman relatives. Christine Korsgaard has criticized such attempts on the premise that they do not put enough effort in explaining the capacity to be motivated by normative thoughts. She speculates that normative motivation may have originated with the internalization of the dominance instincts. In this article I will challenge the dominance hierarchy hypothesis by arguing that a proper investigation into how and when dominance inhibits (...) behaviour does not seem to reveal a minimal normative dimension. (shrink)
Does a commitment to mereological universalism automatically bring along a commitment to the controversial doctrine of mereological extensionalism—the view that objects with the same proper parts are identical? A recent argument suggests the answer is ‘yes’. This paper attempts a systematic response to the argument, considering nearly every available line of reply. It argues that only one approach—the mutual parts view—can yield a viable mereology where universalism does not entail extensionalism.
The familiar complaint that some ambitious proposal is infeasible naturally invites the following response: Once upon a time, the abolition of slavery and the enfranchisement of women seemed infeasible, yet these things were actually achieved. Presumably, then, many of those things that seem infeasible in our own time may well be achieved too and, thus, turn out to have been perfectly feasible after all. The Appeal to History, as we call it, is a bad argument. It is not true that (...) if some desirable state of affairs was actually achieved, then it was feasible that it was achieved. “Actual” does not imply “feasible,” as we put it. Here is our objection. “Feasible” implies “not counterfactually fluky.” But “actual” does not imply “not counterfactually fluky.” So, “actual” does not imply “feasible.” While something like the Flukiness Objection is sometimes hinted at in the context of the related literature on abilities, it has not been developed in any detail, and both premises are inadequately motivated. We offer a novel articulation of the Flukiness Objection that is both more precise and better motivated. Our conclusions have important implications, not only for the admissible use of history in normative argument, but also by potentially circumscribing the normative claims that are applicable to us. (shrink)
There is a long tradition in philosophy of using a priori methods to draw conclusions about what is possible and what is necessary, and often in turn to draw conclusions about matters of substantive metaphysics. Arguments like this typically have three steps: first an epistemic claim , from there to a modal claim , and from there to a metaphysical claim.
The standard view in epistemology is that propositional knowledge entails belief. Positive arguments are seldom given for this entailment thesis, however; instead, its truth is typically assumed. Against the entailment thesis, Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (Noûs, forthcoming) report that a non-trivial percentage of people think that there can be propositional knowledge without belief. In this paper, we add further fuel to the fire, presenting the results of four new studies. Based on our results, we argue that the entailment thesis does (...) not deserve the default status that it is typically granted. We conclude by considering the alternative account of knowledge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel propose to explain their results, arguing that it does not explain ours. In its place we offer a different explanation of both sets of findings—the conviction account, according to which belief, but not knowledge, requires mental assent. (shrink)
There has been some theoretical and empirical debate that the positive relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and firm financial performance (FFP) is spurious and in fact caused by a third factor, namely large firm size. This study examines this question by integrating three meta-analyses of more than two decades of research on (1) CSP and FFP, (2) firm size and CSP, and (3) firm size and FFP into one path-analytic model. The present study does not confirm size as (...) a third factor which would confound the relationship between CSP and FFP. That is, even if firm size is controlled for across studies (comprising, on average, over 15 000 observations), CSP and FFP remain positively correlated, showing a "true-score" corrected path coefficient p of 0.37. (shrink)
Erratum to: What Happens in the Lab Does Not Stay in the Lab: Applying Midstream Modulation to Enhance Critical Reflection in the Laboratory Content Type Journal Article Category Erratum Pages 789-789 DOI 10.1007/s11948-011-9334-7 Authors Daan Schuurbiers, Centre for Society and Genomics, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands Journal Science and Engineering Ethics Online ISSN 1471-5546 Print ISSN 1353-3452 Journal Volume Volume 17 Journal Issue Volume 17, Number 4.
Homotopy Type Theory is a putative new foundation for mathematics grounded in constructive intensional type theory that offers an alternative to the foundations provided by ZFC set theory and category theory. This article explains and motivates an account of how to define, justify, and think about HoTT in a way that is self-contained, and argues that, so construed, it is a candidate for being an autonomous foundation for mathematics. We first consider various questions that a foundation for mathematics might be (...) expected to answer, and find that many of them are not answered by the standard formulation of HoTT as presented in the ‘HoTT Book’. More importantly, the presentation of HoTT given in the HoTT Book is not autonomous since it explicitly depends upon other fields of mathematics, in particular homotopy theory. We give an alternative presentation of HoTT that does not depend upon ideas from other parts of mathematics, and in particular makes no reference to homotopy theory, and argue that it is a candidate autonomous foundation for mathematics. Our elaboration of HoTT is based on a new interpretation of types as mathematical concepts, which accords with the intensional nature of the type theory. 1 Introduction2 What Is a Foundation for Mathematics?2.1 A characterization of a foundation for mathematics2.2 Autonomy3 The Basic Features of Homotopy Type Theory3.1 The rules3.2 The basic ways to construct types3.3 Types as propositions and propositions as types3.4 Identity3.5 The homotopy interpretation4 Autonomy of the Standard Presentation?5 The Interpretation of Tokens and Types5.1 Tokens as mathematical objects?5.2 Tokens and types as concepts6 Justifying the Elimination Rule for Identity7 The Foundations of Homotopy Type Theory without Homotopy7.1 Framework7.2 Semantics7.3 Metaphysics7.4 Epistemology7.5 Methodology8 Possible Objections to this Account8.1 A constructive foundation for mathematics?8.2 What are concepts?8.3 Isn’t this just Brouwerian intuitionism?8.4 Duplicated objects8.5 Intensionality and substitution salva veritate9 Conclusion9.1 Advantages of this foundation. (shrink)
The recent rise in ethical consumerism has seen increasing numbers of corporate brands project a socially responsible and ethical image. But does having a corporate brand that is perceived to be ethical have any influence on outcome variables of interest for its product brands? This study analyzes the relationship between perceived ethicality at a corporate level, and brand trust, brand affect and brand loyalty at a product level. A theoretical framework with hypothesized relationships is developed and tested in order (...) to answer the research question. Data have been collected for 45 product categories in the fast moving consumer goods sector using a panel of 4,027 Spanish consumers. The proposed relationships are tested using structural equations modeling. The results suggest there is a positive relationship between perceived ethicality of a brand and both brand trust and brand affect. Brand affect also positively influences brand trust. Further, brand trust and brand affect both show a positive relation with brand loyalty. The managerial and academic implications of the results are discussed. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that morality does not demand that we do our very best, but our most significant moral traditions do not easily accommodate this intuition. I will argue that the underlying problem is not specific to any particular tradition. Rather, it will be difficult for any moral theory to account for binary moral concepts like permissible/impermissible while also accounting for scalar moral concepts like better/worse. If only the best is considered permissible, morality will seem either unreasonably demanding (...) or implausibly minimal. But if we draw a line of duty below the optimal, then we must explain how the act that is worse is nonetheless permissible. Some have tried to explain this by appealing to non-moral considerations, and others have appealed to agent-relative moral considerations. I argue that no such approach will work. We should instead exploit the distinction between reasons for performing an act and reasons for holding someone accountable for an act’s performance. This approach will also help to clear up a confusion regarding the notion of a moral demand. (shrink)
In the eighth chapter of the Bodhicaryāvatāra, the Buddhist philosopher Śāntideva has often been interpreted as offering an argument that accepting the ultimate nonexistence of the self (anātman) rationally entails a commitment to altruism, the view that one should care equally for self and others. In this essay, I consider reconstructions of Śāntideva’s argument by contemporary scholars Paul Williams, Mark Siderits and John Pettit. I argue that all of these various reconfigurations of the argument fail to be convincing. This suggests (...) that, for Madhyamaka Buddhists, an understanding of anātman does not entail acceptance of the Bodhisattva path, but rather is instrumental to achieving it. Second, it suggests the possibility that in these verses, Śāntideva was offering meditational techniques, rather than making an argument for altruism from the premise of anātman. (shrink)