Contemporary conversations about religion and culture are framed by two reductive definitions of secularity. In one, multiple faiths and nonfaiths coexist free from a dominant belief in God. In the other, we deny the sacred altogether and exclude religion from rational thought and behavior. But is there a third way for those who wish to rediscover the sacred in a skeptical society? What kind of faith, if any, can be proclaimed after the ravages of the Holocaust and the many religion-based (...) terrors since? Richard Kearney explores these questions with a host of philosophers known for their inclusive, forward-thinking work on the intersection of secularism, politics, and religion. An interreligious dialogue that refuses to paper over religious difference, these conversations locate the sacred within secular society and affirm a positive role for religion in human reflection and action. Drawing on his own philosophical formulations, literary analysis, and personal interreligious experiences, Kearney develops through these engagements a basic gesture of hospitality for approaching the question of God. His work facilitates a fresh encounter with our best-known voices in continental philosophy and their views on issues of importance to all spiritually minded individuals and skeptics: how to reconcile God's goodness with human evil, how to believe in both God and natural science, how to talk about God without indulging in fundamentalist rhetoric, and how to balance God's sovereignty with God's love. (shrink)
Table of Contents Perspectives on Animal Cognition Chapter 1 The Myth of Anthropomorphism John Andrew Fisher Chapter 2 Gendered Knowledge? Examining Influences on Scientific and Ethological Inquiries Lori Gruen Chapter 3 Interpretive Cognitive Ethology Hugh Wilder Chapter 4 Concept Attribution in Nonhuman Animals: Theoretical and Methodological Problems in Ascribing Complex Mental Processes Colin Allen and Marc Hauser Cognitive and Evolutionary Explanations Chapter 5 On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology Dale Jamieson and Marc Bekoff Chapter 6 Aspects of the (...) Cognitive Ethology of an Injury-Feigning Bird, The Piping Plover Carolyn Ristau Chapter 7 Tradition in Animals: Field Observations and Laboratory Analysis Bennett G. Galef Chapter 8 The Study of Adaptation Randy Thornhill Chapter 9 The Units of Behavior in Evolutionary Explanations Sandra D. Mitchell Chapter 10 Levels of Analysis and the Functional Significance of Helping Behavior Walter D. Koenig and Ron Mumme Recognition, Choice, Vigilance, and Play Chapter 11 The Ubiquitous Concept of Recognition with Special Reference to Kin Andrew R. Blaustein and Richard H. Porter Chapter 12 Do Animals Choose Habitats? Michael Rosenzweig Chapter 13 The Influence of Models on the Interpretation of Vigilance Steven L. Lima Chapter 14 Is There an Evolutionary Biology of Play? Alex Rosenberg Chapter 15 Intentionality, Social Play, and Definition Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff Communication and Language Chapter 16 Communication and Expectations: A Social Process and the Cognitive Operation It Depends upon and Influences W. John Smith Chapter 17 Animal Communication and Social Evolution Michael Philips and Steven Austad Chapter 18 Animal Language: Methodological and Interpretive Issues Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Karen E. Brakke Chapter 19 Knowledge Acquisition and Asymmetry between Language Comprehension and Production: Dolphins and Apes as General Models for Animals Louis M. Herman and Palmer Morrel-Samuels Animal Minds Chapter 20 Evolution and Psychological Unity Roger Crisp Chapter 21 The Mental Lives of Nonhuman Animals John Dupré Chapter 22 Inside the Mind of a Monkey Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney Chapter 23 Science and Our Inner Lives: Birds of Prey, Bats, and the Common Bi-ped Kathleen Akins Chapter 24 Afterword: Ethics and the Study of Animal Cognition. (shrink)
My goal in this paper is to shed light on how moral progress actually occurs. I begin by restating a conception of moral progress that I set out in previous work, the “Naïve Conception,” and explain how it comports with various normative and metaethical views. I go on to develop an index of moral progress and show how judgments about moral progress can be made. I then discuss an example of moral progress from the past—the British abolition of the Atlantic (...) slave trade—with a view to what can be learned from this for a contemporary struggle for moral progress: the movement to decarbonize the global economy. I close with some thoughts about how moral progress actually occurs. (shrink)
My question, which is central to the business of moral philosophy, is implicitly addressed by many philosophers, yet explicitly addressed by only a few. In this paper I address the question head-on, and propose a qualified affirmative answer.
In 1963 Niko Tinbergen published a paper, "On Aims and Methods of Ethology," dedicated to his friend Konrad Lorenz. Here Tinbergen defines ethology as "the biological study of behavior," and seeks to demonstrate "the close affinity between Ethology and the rest of Biology." Tinbergen identifies four major areas of ethology: causation, survival value, evolution, and ontogeny. Our goal is to attempt for cognitive ethology what Tinbergen succeeded in doing for ethology: to clarify its aims and methods, to distinguish some of (...) its varieties, and to defend the fruitfulness of the research strategies that it has spawned. (shrink)
Advanced AI systems are rapidly making their way into medical research and practice, and, arguably, it is only a matter of time before they will surpass human practitioners in terms of accuracy, reliability, and knowledge. If this is true, practitioners will have a prima facie epistemic and professional obligation to align their medical verdicts with those of advanced AI systems. However, in light of their complexity, these AI systems will often function as black boxes: the details of their contents, calculations, (...) and procedures cannot be meaningfully understood by human practitioners. When AI systems reach this level of complexity, we can also speak of black-box medicine. In this paper, we want to argue that black-box medicine conflicts with core ideals of patient-centered medicine. In particular, we claim, black-box medicine is not conducive for supporting informed decision-making based on shared information, shared deliberation, and shared mind between practitioner and patient. (shrink)
The traditional Lewis–Stalnaker semantics treats all counterfactuals with an impossible antecedent as trivially or vacuously true. Many have regarded this as a serious defect of the semantics. For intuitively, it seems, counterfactuals with impossible antecedents—counterpossibles—can be non-trivially true and non-trivially false. Whereas the counterpossible "If Hobbes had squared the circle, then the mathematical community at the time would have been surprised" seems true, "If Hobbes had squared the circle, then sick children in the mountains of Afghanistan at the time would (...) have been thrilled" seems false. Many have proposed to extend the Lewis–Stalnaker semantics with impossible worlds to make room for a non-trivial or non-vacuous treatment of counterpossibles. Roughly, on the extended Lewis–Stalnaker semantics, we evaluate a counterfactual of the form "If A had been true, then C would have been true" by going to closest world—whether possible or impossible—in which A is true and check whether C is also true in that world. If the answer is "yes", the counterfactual is true; otherwise it is false. Since there are impossible worlds in which the mathematically impossible happens, there are impossible worlds in which Hobbes manages to square the circle. And intuitively, in the closest such impossible worlds, sick children in the mountains of Afghanistan are not thrilled—they remain sick and unmoved by the mathematical developments in Europe. If so, the counterpossible "If Hobbes had squared the circle, then sick children in the mountains of Afghanistan at the time would have been thrilled" comes out false, as desired. In this paper, I will critically investigate the extended Lewis–Stalnaker semantics for counterpossibles. I will argue that the standard version of the extended semantics, in which impossible worlds correspond to maximal, logically inconsistent entities, fails to give the correct semantic verdicts for many counterpossibles. In light of the negative arguments, I will then outline a new version of the extended Lewis–Stalnaker semantics that can avoid these problems. (shrink)
This article argues that positive perceptions of American westward expansion played a major role both for the domestic German debate about the necessity of overseas expansion and for concrete German colonial policies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During and after the uprising against colonial rule of the two main indigenous peoples, the Herero and the Nama, of German South-West Africa, colonial administrators actively researched the history of the American frontier and American Indian policies in order to learn (...) how best to “handle” the colony's peoples. There exists a substantial literature on the allegedly exceptional enchantment of Germans with American Indians. Yet this article shows that negative views of Amerindians also influenced and shaped the opinions and actions of German colonizers. Because of its focus on the importance of the United States for German discussions about colonial expansion, this article also explores the role German liberals played in the German colonial project. Ultimately, the United States as a “model empire” was especially attractive for Germans with liberal and progressive political convictions. The westward advancement of the American frontier went hand in hand with a variety of policies towards Native Americans, including measures of expulsion and extinction. German liberals accepted American expansionism as normative and were therefore willing to advocate, or at least tolerate, similar policies in the German colonies. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt collects thirty original chapters on the diverse oeuvre of one of the most controversial thinkers of the twentieth century. Carl Schmitt was a German theorist whose anti-liberalism continues to inspire scholars and practitioners on both the Left and the Right. Despite Schmitt's rabid anti-semitism and partisan legal practice in Nazi Germany, the appeal of his trenchant critiques of, among other things, aestheticism, representative democracy, and international law as well as of his theoretical justifications of (...) dictatorship and rule by exception is undiminished. Uniquely located at the intersection of law, the social sciences, and the humanities, this volume brings together sophisticated yet accessible interpretations of Schmitt's sprawling thought and complicated biography. The contributors hail from diverse disciplines, including art, law, literature, philosophy, political science, and history. In addition to opening up exciting new avenues of research, The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt provides the intellectual foundations for an improved understanding of the political, legal, and cultural thought of this most infamous of German theorists. A substantial introduction places the trinity of Schmitt's thought in a broad context. (shrink)
Possible-worlds accounts of mental or linguistic content are often criticized for being too coarse-grained. To make room for more fine-grained distinctions among contents, several authors have recently proposed extending the space of possible worlds by "impossible worlds". We argue that this strategy comes with serious costs: we would effectively have to abandon most of the features that make the possible-worlds framework attractive. More generally, we argue that while there are intuitive and theoretical considerations against overly coarse-grained notions of content, the (...) same kinds of considerations also prohibit an overly fine-grained individuation of content. An adequate notion of content, it seems, should have intermediate granularity. However, it is hard to construe a notion of content that meets these demands. Any notion of content, we suggest, must be either implausibly coarse-grained or implausibly fine-grained (or both). (shrink)
From the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference there was a concerted international effort to stop climate change. This book is about what climate change is, why we failed to stop it, and why it still matters what we do.
Hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, a behaviour that is intrinsic to our daily lives. As humans, we decipher the meaning of newspaper articles, books, legal matters, religious texts, political speeches, emails, and even dinner conversations every day. But how is knowledge mediated through these forms? What constitutes the process of interpretation? And how do we draw meaning from the world around us so that we might understand our position in it? In this Very Short Introduction (...) Jens Zimmermann traces the history of hermeneutic theory, setting out its key elements, and demonstrating how they can be applied to a broad range of disciplines: theology; literature; law; and natural and social sciences. Demonstrating the longstanding and wide-ranging necessity of interpretation, Zimmermann reveals its significance in our current social and political landscape. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate whether we can use a world-involving framework to model the epistemic states of non-ideal agents. The standard possible-world framework falters in this respect because of a commitment to logical omniscience. A familiar attempt to overcome this problem centers around the use of impossible worlds where the truths of logic can be false. As we shall see, if we admit impossible worlds where “anything goes” in modal space, it is easy to model extremely non-ideal agents that (...) are incapable of performing even the most elementary logical deductions. A much harder, and considerably less investigated challenge is to ensure that the resulting modal space can also be used to model moderately ideal agents that are not logically omniscient but nevertheless logically competent. Intuitively, while such agents may fail to rule out subtly impossible worlds that verify complex logical falsehoods, they are nevertheless able to rule out blatantly impossible worlds that verify obvious logical falsehoods. To model moderately ideal agents, I argue, the job is to construct a modal space that contains only possible and non-trivially impossible worlds where it is not the case that “anything goes”. But I prove that it is impossible to develop an impossible-world framework that can do this job and that satisfies certain standard conditions. Effectively, I show that attempts to model moderately ideal agents in a world-involving framework collapse to modeling either logical omniscient agents, or extremely non-ideal agents. (shrink)
What happens when human beings fail to do as reason bids? This book is an attempt to address this age-old question within Kant’s mature practical philosophy, i.e. the practical philosophy that emerged with the watershed discovery of autonomy in the mid-1780s. As always, Kant is good for a surprise. There is, it is argued, not one answer but two: he advocates Socratic intellectualism in the realm of prudence whilst defending an anti-intellectualist or volitional account of immoral action. This ‘hybrid’ theory (...) of practical failure is more than a philosophical curiosity. There are ramifications for Kant’s theory of practical reason as a whole. In particular, the hybrid account emphasizes the divide between pure and empirical practical rationality to the extent that the latter, while containing practically relevant propositions, no longer counts as a branch of practical reason at all. Hypothetical and categorical imperatives exemplify two entirely distinct kinds of normativity. In fact, the dichotomy between pure and empirical determining grounds of the will goes hand in hand with many other dualisms and dichotomies that, whether we like them or not, continue to define Kant’s mature ethical thought. (shrink)
Jamieson, Hangen, Lee, and Yaeager present their empirical findings as evidence for the effects of reappraising arousal on affective responses. This comment highlights the important contribution of the research by Jamieson and colleagues, but offers alternative ways of conceptualizing it.
What is the relationship between the world and logic, between intuition and language, between objects and their quantitative determinations? Rationalists, on the one hand, hold that the world is structured in a rational way. Representationalists, on the other hand, assume that language, logic, and mathematics are only the means to order and describe the intuitively given world. In World and Logic, Jens Lemanski takes up three surprising arguments from Arthur Schopenhauer’s hitherto undiscovered Berlin Lectures, which concern the philosophy of language, (...) logic, and mathematics. Based on these arguments, Lemanski develops a new position entitled ‘rational representationalism’: the world is always structured by human beings according to linguistic, logical, and mathematical principles, but the basic vocabulary of these structural descriptions already contains metaphors taken from the world around us. (shrink)
It has recently been argued that a sensitivity theory of knowledge cannot account for intuitively appealing instances of higher-order knowledge. In this paper, we argue that it can once careful attention is paid to the methods or processes by which we typically form higher-order beliefs. We base our argument on what we take to be a well-motivated and commonsensical view on how higher-order knowledge is typically acquired, and we show how higher-order knowledge is possible in a sensitivity theory once this (...) view is adopted. (shrink)
What kind of political order would there be in the absence of the state? Jens Bartelson argues that we are currently unable to imagine what might lurk 'beyond', because our basic concepts of political order are conditioned by our experience of statehood. In this study, he investigates the concept of the state historically as well as philosophically, considering a range of thinkers and theories. He also considers the vexed issue of authority: modern political discourse questions the form and content of (...) authority, but makes it all but impossible to talk about the foundations of authority. Largely due to the existing practices of political and scientific criticism, authority appears to be unquestionable. Bartelson's wide-ranging and readable discussion of the suppositions and presuppositions of statehood will be of interest to scholars and upper-level students of political theory and social theory, and philosophy of social science. (shrink)
Throughout the history of Western political thought, the creation of a world community has been seen as a way of overcoming discord between political communities without imposing sovereign authority from above. Jens Bartelson argues that a paradox lies at the centre of discussions of world community. The very same division of mankind into distinct peoples living in different places which makes the idea of a world community morally compelling has also been the main obstacle to its successful realization. His book (...) offers a philosophical and historical analysis of the idea of world community by exploring the relationship between theories of world community and changing cosmological beliefs from the late Middle Ages to the present. (shrink)
IntroductionIf we were to identify the beginning of the study of visual argumentation, we would have to choose 1996 as the starting point. This was the year that Leo Groarke published “Logic, art and argument” in Informal logic, and it was the year that he and David Birdsell co-edited a special double issue of Argumentation and Advocacy on visual argumentation . Among other papers, the issue included Anthony Blair’s “The possibility and actuality of visual arguments”. It was also the year (...) that Gail J. Chryslee, Sonja K. Foss and Arthur L. Ranney published their short text on “The construction of claims in visual argumentation” , stating that even though theorists may know a great deal about the process of argumentation, “virtually none of this knowledge is applicable to visual argumentation […] because of the properties that distinguish visual imagery from discursive symbols” .Texts on visual rhetoric have been written as far back as the early 1980s, .. (shrink)
The contrast typically made between utilitarianism and virtue theory is overdrawn. Utilitarianism is a universal emulator: it implies that we should lie, cheat, steal, even appropriate Aristotle, when that is what brings about the best outcomes. In some cases and in some worlds it is best for us to focus as precisely as possible on individual acts. In other cases and worlds it is best for us to be concerned with character traits. Global environmental change leads to concerns about character (...) because the best results will be produced by generally uncoupling my behavior from that of others. Thus, in this case and in this world, utilitarians should be virtue theorists. (shrink)
When a proposition might be the case, for all an agent knows, we can say that the proposition is epistemically possible for the agent. In the standard possible worlds framework, we analyze modal claims using quantification over possible worlds. It is natural to expect that something similar can be done for modal claims involving epistemic possibility. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the prospects of constructing a space of worlds—epistemic space—that allows us to model what is epistemically (...) possible for ordinary, non-ideally rational agents like you and me. I will argue that the prospects look dim for successfully constructing such a space. In turn, this will make a case for the claim that we cannot use the standard possible worlds framework to model what is epistemically possible for ordinary agents. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of essays in appreciation, analysis and honor of Paul Ziff, one of the leading American philosophers of the post-World War II period. The essays address questions that loomed large in Ziff's own work. Essays by Zeno Vendler, Jay Rosenberg, and Tom Patton address topics in philosophy of language: understanding, misunderstanding, rules, regularities, and proper names. Michael Resnik examines the nature of numbers, Rita Nolan addresses `mutant predicates', and Peter Alexander discusses microscopes and corpuscles. Douglas C. (...) Long ruminates on Ziff's claim that machines can neither think nor feel. The essays of Dale Jamieson, Bill E. Lawson, Douglas Dempster, and Joseph Ullian address various questions in aesthetics: aesthetic appreciation and morality, expression, the scope of appreciation, and the aesthetics of sport. In the spirit of Ziff, Douglas Stalker criticizes some of the `mush' that looms large in our intellectual lives. The volume begins with a reminiscence by Paul Benacerraf, and ends with selections from an unpublished volume of plays by Paul Ziff. The volume should appeal to anyone whose work has been influenced by Ziff, or is interested in central philosophical problems concerning language, mind, and art. (shrink)