Book synopsis: How is our conception of what there is affected by our counting ourselves as inhabitants of the natural world? How do our actions fit into a world that is altered through our agency? And how do we accommodate our understanding of one another as fellow subjects of experience—as beings with thoughts and wants and hopes and fears? These questions provide the impetus for the detailed discussions of ontology, human agency, and everyday psychological explanation presented in this book. The (...) answers offer a distinctive view of questions about “the mind’s place in nature,” and they argue for a particular position in philosophy of mind: naive naturalism. This position opposes the whole drift of the last thirty or forty years’ philosophy of mind in the English-speaking world. Jennifer Hornsby sets naive naturalism against dualism, but without advancing the claims of “materialism,” “physicalism,” or “naturalism” as these have come to be known. She shows how we can, and why we should, abandon the view that thoughts and actions, to be seen as real, must be subject to scientific explanation. (shrink)
Testimony is an invaluable source of knowledge. We rely on the reports of those around us for everything from the ingredients in our food and medicine to the identity of our family members. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the epistemology of testimony. Despite the multitude of views offered, a single thesis is nearly universally accepted: testimonial knowledge is acquired through the process of transmission from speaker to hearer. In this book, Jennifer Lackey shows that this (...) thesis is false and, hence, that the literature on testimony has been shaped at its core by a view that is fundamentally misguided. She then defends a detailed alternative to this conception of testimony: whereas the views currently dominant focus on the epistemic status of what speakers believe, Lackey advances a theory that instead centers on what speakers say. The upshot is that, strictly speaking, we do not learn from one another's beliefs - we learn from one another's words. Once this shift in focus is in place, Lackey goes on to argue that, though positive reasons are necessary for testimonial knowledge, testimony itself is an irreducible epistemic source. This leads to the development of a theory that gives proper credence to testimony's epistemologically dual nature: both the speaker and the hearer must make a positive epistemic contribution to testimonial knowledge. The resulting view not only reveals that testimony has the capacity to generate knowledge, but it also gives appropriate weight to our nature as both socially indebted and individually rational creatures. The approach found in this book will, then, represent a radical departure from the views currently dominating the epistemology of testimony, and thus is intended to reshape our understanding of the deep and ubiquitous reliance we have on the testimony of those around us. (shrink)
This is a conversation held at the book launch for Christopher Insole’s Kant and the Divine: From Contemplation to the Moral Law, hosted jointly, in November 2020, by the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, and the Australian Catholic University. The conversation covers the claim made by Insole that Kant believes in God, but is not a Christian, the way in which reason itself is divine for Kant, and the suggestion that reading Kant can open up new possibilities for dialogue (...) between Christian thinkers and contemporary forms of secular religiosity. (shrink)
Testimony is a crucial source of knowledge: we are to a large extent reliant upon what others tell us. It has been the subject of much recent interest in epistemology, and this volume collects twelve original essays on the topic by some of the world's leading philosophers. It will be the starting point for future research in this fertile field. Contributors include Robert Audi, C. A. J. Coady, Elizabeth Fricker, Richard Fumerton, Sanford C. Goldberg, Peter Graham, Jennifer Lackey, Keith (...) Lehrer, Richard Moran, Frederick F. Schmitt, Ernest Sosa, and James Van Cleve. (shrink)
In the philosophical literature on mental states, the paradigmatic examples of mental states are beliefs, desires, intentions, and phenomenal states such as being in pain. The corresponding list in the psychological literature on mental state attribution includes one further member: the state of knowledge. This article examines the reasons why developmental, comparative and social psychologists have classified knowledge as a mental state, while most recent philosophers--with the notable exception of Timothy Williamson-- have not. The disagreement is traced back to a (...) difference in how each side understands the relationship between the concepts of knowledge and belief, concepts which are understood in both disciplines to be closely linked. Psychologists and philosophers other than Williamson have generally have disagreed about which of the pair is prior and which is derivative. The rival claims of priority are examined both in the light of philosophical arguments by Williamson and others, and in the light of empirical work on mental state attribution. (shrink)
Human beings naturally desire knowledge. But what is knowledge? Is it the same as having an opinion? Highlighting the major developments in the theory of knowledge from Ancient Greece to the present day, Jennifer Nagel uses a number of simple everyday examples to explore the key themes and current debates of epistemology.
A widely accepted view in recent work in epistemology is that knowledge is a cognitive achievement that is properly creditable to those subjects who possess it. More precisely, according to the Credit View of Knowledge, if S knows that p, then S deserves credit for truly believing that p. In spite of its intuitive appeal and explanatory power, I have elsewhere argued that the Credit View is false. Various responses have been offered to my argument and I here consider each (...) of these objections in turn. I show that none succeeds in undermining my argument and, thus, my original conclusion stands—the Credit View of Knowledge is false. (shrink)
Hurley’s is a difficult book to work through—partly because of its length and the complexity of its arguments, but also because each of the ten essays of which it is composed has a rather different starting point and focus, and because few of her arguments achieve real closure. Essay 2 discusses competing interpretations of Kant, essay 4 articulates nonconceptual forms of self-consciousness, essay 5 offers fresh interpretations of commissurotomy patients’ behavior, essay 6 develops an objection to Wittgenstein on rule following, (...) essay 8 attacks an alleged assumption of externalism, and chapter 10 explores the possibility of combining a “motor theory” and a “control theory” of perception. This is a very rich brew, and at least half the challenge this book presents consists in discerning its central argument and conclusion with enough precision to bring criticism to bear. (shrink)
Upward mobility through the path of higher education has been an article of faith for generations of working-class, low-income, and immigrant college students. While we know this path usually entails financial sacrifices and hard work, very little attention has been paid to the deep personal compromises such students have to make as they enter worlds vastly different from their own. Measuring the true cost of higher education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, Moving Up without Losing Your Way looks at the (...) ethical dilemmas of upward mobility—the broken ties with family and friends, the severed connections with former communities, and the loss of identity—faced by students as they strive to earn a successful place in society. -/- Drawing upon philosophy, social science, personal stories, and interviews, Jennifer Morton reframes the college experience, factoring in not just educational and career opportunities but also essential relationships with family, friends, and community. Finding that student strivers tend to give up the latter for the former, negating their sense of self, Morton seeks to reverse this course. She urges educators to empower students with a new narrative of upward mobility—one that honestly situates ethical costs in historical, social, and economic contexts and that allows students to make informed decisions for themselves. -/- A powerful work with practical implications, Moving Up without Losing Your Way paves a hopeful road so that students might achieve social mobility while retaining their best selves. (shrink)
This book presents an events-based view of human action somewhat different from that of what is known as "standard story". A thesis about trying-to-do-something is distinguished from various volitionist theses. It is argued then that given a correct conception of action's antecedents, actions will be identified not with bodily movements but with causes of such movements.
Jennifer Church presents a new account of perception, which shows how imagining alternative perspectives and possibilities plays a key role in creating and validating experiences of self-evident objectivity. She explores the nature of moral perception and aesthetic perception, and argues that perception can be both literal and substantive.
The paper proposes a minimal definition of dreaming in terms of immersive spatiotemporal hallucination (ISTH) occurring in sleep or during sleep–wake transitions and under the assumption of reportability. I take these conditions to be both necessary and sufficient for dreaming to arise. While empirical research results may, in the future, allow for an extension of the concept of dreaming beyond sleep and possibly even independently of reportability, ISTH is part of any possible extension of this definition and thus is a (...) constitutive condition of dreaming. I also argue that the proposed ISTH model of dreaming, in conjunction with considerations on the epistemic relationship between dreaming and dream reports, raises important questions about the extent to which dreams typically involve a detailed body representation—an assumption that plays an important role in philosophical work on dreaming. As a commonly accepted definition of dreaming is lacking in current dream research, the ISTH model, which integrates conceptual analysis and epistemological considerations with results from empirical research, is an important contribution to this field. By linking dreaming to felt presence, full-body illusions, and autoscopic phenomena such as out-of-body experiences in wakefulness and in the hypnagogic state, the ISTH model of dreaming also helps integrate dream research, both theoretically and experimentally, with the study of other altered states of consciousness involving hallucinations. It makes straightforward and investigable predictions by claiming that all of these experiences have amodal spatiotemporal hallucinations as their common denominator. Finally, it is theoretically relevant for the philosophical discussion on minimal phenomenal selfhood. (shrink)
Delusions play a fundamental role in the history of psychology, philosophy and culture, dividing not only the mad from the sane but reason from unreason. Yet the very nature and extent of delusions are poorly understood. What are delusions? How do they differ from everyday errors or mistaken beliefs? Are they scientific categories? In this superb, panoramic investigation of delusion Jennifer Radden explores these questions and more, unravelling a fascinating story that ranges from Descartes’s demon to famous first-hand accounts (...) of delusion, such as Daniel Schreber’s Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Radden places delusion in both a clinical and cultural context and explores a fascinating range of themes: delusions as both individually and collectively held, including the phenomenon of folies á deux ; spiritual and religious delusions, in particular what distinguishes normal religious belief from delusions with religious themes; how we assess those suffering from delusion from a moral standpoint; and how we are to interpret violent actions when they are the result of delusional thinking. As well as more common delusions, such as those of grandeur, she also discusses some of the most interesting and perplexing forms of clinical delusion, such as Cotard and Capgras. (shrink)
A disjunctivist conception of acting for reasons is introduced by way of showing that a view of acting for reasons must give a place to knowledge. Two principal claims are made. 1. This conception has a rôle analogous to that of the disjunctive conception that John McDowell recommends in thinking about perception; and when the two disjunctivist conceptions are treated as counterparts, they can be shown to have work to do in combination. 2. This conception of acting for reasons safeguards (...) the connection between considerations that move us to act in particular ways and considerations that favour our acting in particular ways. (shrink)
Literary beauty was once understood as intertwining sensations and ideas, and thus as providing subjective and objective reasons for literary appreciation. However, as theory and philosophy developed, the inevitable claims and counterclaims led to the view that subjective experience was not a reliable guide to literary merit. Literary theory then replaced aesthetics as did philosophy’s focus on literary truth. Along with the demise of the relevance of sensations, literary form also took a back seat. This suggested to some that either (...) literature communicated truth like any other literal form of communication or it was a mere diversion: a springboard to harmless reverie or daydreaming. Neither response satisfactorily captured what was distinctive about literature: the love readers can have for literary texts and the edification or insight claimed of works within each culture’s respective catalogue of classics. However, a concept of literary beauty has again become viable due to developments in theories of pleasure and imagination. If the defining aspect of literature is the imaginative engagement it occasions, and if this imagining is constrained by plausibility and endorsed as effective relative to our goals, ideals, and interests, then literature is not reduced to either mere fact or wish fulfillment. An account of literary beauty is available which defines literature accordingly and explains how subjective and objective reasons for appreciation intertwine to evoke pleasure and insight. (shrink)
There is no conservative thought in America, only “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas,” wrote Lionel Trilling in 1950, thus providing a generation of historians with a convenient set piece to demonstrate the inadequacies of mid-century liberalism and its blindness to the nascent conservative intellectual movement gathering strength and purpose just as Trilling wrote. Two excellent new books about American intellectual history cast this quote in yet another light. Patrick Allitt's The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History (...) carefully documents a centuries-long tradition of conservative thought in America, from the founding era through the end of the twentieth century. In The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism, Michael Kimmage asserts that Trilling himself be considered a source of conservative ideas in postwar America. Taken together, the books by Allitt and Kimmage indicate that a new cycle of writing about conservative thought has reached full flower. For far too long, the field of conservative intellectual history has been dominated by the figure of George Nash, author of the classic 1976 The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945. These books provide an updated and more critically sophisticated way to examine the terrain Nash strode alone for so long. More significantly, they indicate that intellectual historians are ready to consider conservatism in dialogue with liberalism, bringing new balance to the study of American ideas. Furthermore, both books, Kimmage's in particular, suggest that some of what we are calling conservative and liberal might be flying under the wrong flag. The key to sorting out the confusion will be drawing a more careful distinction between conservatism as a “movement” and as a body of ideas, and looking at both conservatisms as part of a typically American response to historical change, rather than as an exotic and abberant specimen. (shrink)
In this paper, I provide the framework for an account of group assertion. On my view, there are two kinds of group assertion, coordinated and authority-based, with authority-based group assertion being the core notion. I argue against a deflationary view, according to which a group’s asserting is understood in terms of individual assertions, by showing that a group can assert a proposition even when no individual does. Instead, I argue on behalf of an inflationary view, according to which it is (...) the group itself that asserts, a conclusion supported by the fact that paradigmatic features of assertion apply only at the level of the group. A central virtue of my account is that it appreciates the important relationship that exists between most groups and their spokespersons, as well as the consequences that follow from this relationship. My view, thus, provides the framework for distinguishing when responsibility for an assertion lies at the collective level, and when it should be shouldered by an individual simply speaking for herself. (shrink)
In this article I explore various facets of Nozick’s famous thought experiment involving the experience machine. Nozick’s original target is hedonism—the view that the only intrinsic prudential value is pleasure. But the argument, if successful, undermines any experientialist theory, i.e. any theory that limits intrinsic prudential value to mental states. I first highlight problems arising from the way Nozick sets up the thought experiment. He asks us to imagine choosing whether or not to enter the machine and uses our choice (...) (or rather the choice he assumes most people will have) as evidence against experientialist theories. But for this strategy to succeed it must be possible to distinguish between self-interested and non-self-interested reasons for declining to enter the machine, and there is no obvious way to do this without begging the question against the hedonist. In successive sections I then (a) consider a common misconception of Nozick’s conclusion (that he thinks machine life is the worst life), (b) consider different intuitions about what is important to well-being but missing from machine life, and finally (c) explain what “the experience requirement” is, and describe its relationship to debates about experientialist theories. (shrink)
In Moody Minds Distempered philosopher Jennifer Radden assembles several decades of her research on melancholy and depression. The chapters are ordered into three categories: those about intellectual and medical history of melancholy and depression; those that emphasize aspects of the moral, psychological and medical features of these concepts; and finally, those that explore the sad and apprehensive mood states long associated with melancholy and depressive subjectivity. A newly written introduction maps the conceptual landscape, and draws out the analytic and (...) thematic interconnections between the chapters. Radden emphasizes and develops several new themes: the implications, theoretical phenomenological and moral, of recognizing melancholy and depressive states as mood states; questions of method, as they affect how we understand and characterize claims about melancholy and depression; and the persistence and force of cultural tropes linking such states to brilliance, creativity, and sagacity. Insights from literature and the history of medicine, psychology, and psychiatry are woven together with those from the more recent disciplines of feminist theory and cultural studies. This is interdisciplinary writing at its best-part analytic philosophy, and part history of ideas. (shrink)
We often talk about knowledge being transmitted via testimony. This suggests a picture of testimony with striking similarities to memory. For instance, it is often assumed that neither is a generative source of knowledge: while the former transmits knowledge from one speaker to another, the latter preserves beliefs from one time to another. These considerations give rise to a stronger and a weaker thesis regarding the transmission of testimonial knowledge. The stronger thesis is that each speaker in a chain of (...) testimonial transmission must know that p in order to pass this knowledge to a hearer. The weaker thesis is that at least the first speaker must know that p in order for any hearer in the chain to come to know that p via testimony. I argue that both theses are false, and hence testimony, unlike memory, can be a generative source of knowledge. (shrink)
Spanning 24 centuries, this anthology collects over thirty selections of important Western writing about melancholy and its related conditions by philosophers, doctors, religious and literary figures, and modern psychologists. Truly interdisciplinary, it is the first such anthology. As it traces Western attitudes, it reveals a conversation across centuries and continents as the authors interpret, respond, and build on each other's work. Editor Jennifer Radden provides an extensive, in-depth introduction that draws links and parallels between the selections, and reveals the (...) ambiguous relationship between these historical accounts of melancholy and today's psychiatric views on depression. This important new collection is also beautifully illustrated with depictions of melancholy from Western fine art. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the relationship between bodily experiences in dreams and the sleeping, physical body. I question the popular view that dreaming is a naturally and frequently occurring real-world example of cranial envatment. This view states that dreams are functionally disembodied states: in a majority of dreams, phenomenal experience, including the phenomenology of embodied selfhood, unfolds completely independently of external and peripheral stimuli and outward movement. I advance an alternative and more empirically plausible view of dreams as weakly (...) phenomenally-functionally embodied states. The view predicts that bodily experiences in dreams can be placed on a continuum with bodily illusions in wakefulness. It also acknowledges that there is a high degree of variation across dreams and different sleep stages in the degree of causal coupling between dream imagery, sensory input, and outward motor activity. Furthermore, I use the example of movement sensations in dreams and their relation to outward muscular activity to develop a predictive processing account. I propose that movement sensations in dreams are associated with a basic and developmentally early kind of bodily self-sampling. This account, which affords a central role to active inference, can then be broadened to explain other aspects of self- and world-simulation in dreams. Dreams are world-simulations centered on the self, and important aspects of both self- and world-simulation in dreams are closely linked to bodily self-sampling, including muscular activity, illusory own-body perception, and vestibular orienting in sleep. This is consistent with cognitive accounts of dream generation, in which long-term beliefs and expectations, as well as waking concerns and memories play an important role. What I add to this picture is an emphasis on the real-body basis of dream imagery. This offers a novel perspective on the formation of dream imagery and suggests new lines of research. (shrink)
Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...) that people have introspective awareness of this stability, providing a promising means by which to assess the epistemic value of our intuitions. (shrink)
Many are reluctant to accept primitive modality into their fundamental picture of the world. The worry often traces to this thought: we shouldn't adopt any more primitive - that is, unexplained - notions than we need in order to explain all the features of the world, and primitive modal notions are not needed. I examine one prominent rival to modal primitivism, combinatorialism, and show that in order to account for all the modal features of the world the combinatorialist must adopt (...) two additional primitive notions. My own modal primitivist view takes as primitive the notion of incompatibility between properties or relations. I show how the non-modal notions that the combinatorialist must adopt as primitive may be analyzed using my notion. The upshot is that with respect to the number of primitive notions, my modal primitivist theory comes out ahead. (shrink)
Though pain scientists now understand pain to be a complex experience typically composed of sensation, emotion, cognition, and motivational responses, many philosophers maintain that pain is adequately characterized by one privileged aspect of this complexity. Philosophically dominant unitary accounts of pain as a sensation or perception are here evaluated by their ability to explain actual cases—and found wanting. Further, it is argued that no forthcoming unitary characterization of pain is likely to succeed. Instead, I contend that both the motivating intuitions (...) behind unitary accounts and the wide range of pain phenomena are best accommodated by a componential view of pain that does not privilege any single component as necessary or sufficient. (shrink)
In this paper, I critically examine the two dominant views of the concept of luck in the current literature: lack of control accounts and modal accounts. In particular, I argue that the conditions proposed by such views—that is, a lack of control and the absence of counterfactual robustness—are neither necessary nor sufficient for an event's being lucky. Hence, I conclude that the two main accounts in the current literature both fail to capture what is distinctive of, and central to, the (...) concept of luck. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have long recognized that in opaque contexts, such as those involving propositional attitude reports, substitution of co-referring names may not preserve truth value. For example, the name ‘Clark Kent’ cannot be substituted for ‘Superman’ in a context like:1. Lois believes that Superman can flywithout a change in truth value. In an earlier paper, Jennifer Saul demonstrated that substitution failure could also occur in ‘simple sentences’ where none of the ordinary opacity-producing conditions existed, such as:2. Superman leaps (...) more tall buildings than Clark Kent does.Accounts focusing on opacity were unable to explain our ‘anti-substitution intuitions’ in such cases.In Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions, Saul extends her earlier work. She provides a comprehensive presentation and criticism of recent accounts of simple sentence substitution failure, and proposes a new approach drawing on psychological evidence about cognitive processing. Saul's purpose is not merely to solve the substitution puzzle cases, but to make …. (shrink)
No concept is more important for clear thinking about medical ethics than the concept of well-being or (what I take to be the same thing) the concept of what’s good for a person. Yet for a variety of reasons medical ethicists have generally had little to say about this notion. Medical ethics education, and bioethics more generally, would be better if people learned to think about welfare in a more substantial and structured way. Philosophers would typically approach such a problem (...) by teaching theories of well-being, in particular the “big three”: hedonism, desire satisfactionism, and objective list theories. I argue, however, that these theories are not helpful in the context of practical ethics. I develop an alternative approach to thinking about welfare in practical ethical contexts. It is philosophically informed yet avoids discussion of the “big three” theories. I call it the “theory- without-theories” approach. It has two elements. First is a focus on examining important and relatively uncontroversial constituents of welfare. These elements can be introduced and their nature questioned and probed without invoking general theories. The second key element is a framework for thinking about choice in relation to welfare, a framework that I refer to as “the mild objectivity framework.” I aim to convince readers, first, that the standard philosophical approach will not work in the practical context, and second, that the theory-without- theories approach will. (shrink)
Philosophers concerned with what would be good for a person sometimes consider a person’s past desires. Indeed, some theorists have argued by appeal to past desires that it is in the best interests of certain dementia patients to die. I reject this conclusion. I consider three different ways one might appeal to a person’s past desires in arguing for conclusions about the good of such patients, finding flaws with each. Of the views I reject, the most interesting one is the (...) view that prudential value is, at least partly, concerned with the shape of a life as a whole. (shrink)
This book was inspired originally by the debates at the turn of the century about placebo controlled trials of antiretrovirals in HIV positive pregnant women in developing countries. Moving forward from this one limited example, the book includes several additional controversial cases of clinical research conducted in developing countries, and asks probing philosophical questions about the ethics of such trials. All clinical research by its very nature uses people to acquire generalizable knowledge to help future people. But what sorts of (...) "use" are morally permissible? What is it to exploit people? Suppose that a trial conducted in a developing country would not be ethically permissible in the developed world. Can we automatically conclude from this that the trial is unethical, that some sort of morally problematic double standard is in operation? Or might the differences in the two settings justify differences in trial design? This collection of philosophical essays examines these important questions about what exploitation is and when clinical research counts as exploitative. -/- "This is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the ethics of research with human subjects and a fine example of what bioethics can offer at its best. Anyone with a serious interest in these issues will need to read this book from start to finish." -Daniel Wikler, Harvard School of Public Health "This book contributes significantly to the literature on exploitation in clinical research conducted in the developing world."--Patricia Marshall, Case Western Reserve University . (shrink)
While much of our knowledge relies on testimony or the words of others, until recently few philosophers had much to say about the nature of testimony or how we learn from another's words, but testimony has now become a popular topic. Jennifer Lackey's Learning from Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge is a useful and intelligent guide, a well informed and appreciative but critical and provocative commentary on a large and growing body of literature.According to Lackey, most of (...) the literature assumes that testimony can spread but not create knowledge, much as memory can be a reminder of old but not a source of new truth. Lackey maintains that the assumption is mistaken and offers an account of testimony, according to which, testimony can give rise to new knowledge as well as transmit old truths from one person to another.In her introduction, Lackey characterizes what she calls the belief view of testimony and suggests that this view dominates today's literature. On the belief view, testimony is a vehicle for expressing belief, and when I tell you that p, I express my belief that p with the intention …. (shrink)
We often talk about groups believing, knowing, and testifying. Epistemic claims of this sort are of significant consequence, given that they bear on the moral and legal responsibilities of collective entities. A team of leading experts in the field present new, cutting edge theories, insights, and approaches in collective epistemology.
True to his longstanding bias against grand unifying theories, Hacking chooses to pursue these questions by focusing on a specific case of memory-thinking: the history of multiple personality. His excavation of the contemporary terrain leads him, however, to the surprisingly grand conclusion that the various sciences of memory—including neurological studies of localization, experimental studies of recall, and studies in the psychodynamics of memory—all emerged in connection with attempts to “scientize the soul,” as a result of which spiritual battles have been (...) recast as scientific controversies “where we suppose there is such a thing as knowledge to be had”. (shrink)
During this period, when disciples were growing in number, a grievance arose on the part of those who spoke Greek, against those who spoke the language of the Jews; they complained that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution. When Americans think of ethnic conflict, conflict between blacks and whites comes to mind most immediately. Yet ethnic conflict is pervasive around the world. Azerbijanis and Turks in the Soviet Union; Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; Arabs and Jews (...) in the Middle East; Maoris and English settlers in New Zealand; Muslims and Hindus in India and Pakistan; French and English speakers in Quebec; Africans, Afrikaaners, and mixed-race people in South Africa, in addition to the tribal warfare among the Africans themselves: these are just a few of the more obvious conflicts currently in the news. We observe an even more dizzying array of ethnic conflicts if we look back just a few years. Japanese and Koreans; Mongols and Chinese; Serbs and Croats; Christians and Buddhists in Viet Nam: these ancient antagonisms are not immediately in the news, but they could erupt at any time. And the history of the early Christian Church recounted in the Acts of the Apostles reminds us that suspicion among ethnic groups is not a modern phenomenon; rather, it is ancient. The present paper seeks to address the problem of ethnic conflict in modern western democracies. How can our tools and traditions of participatory governments, relatively free markets, and the common law contribute to some resolution of the ancient problems that we find within our midst? In particular, I want to focus here on the question of ethnic integration. (shrink)
In Kant’s Organicism, Jennifer Mensch draws a crucial link between these spheres by showing how the concept of epigenesis—a radical theory of biological formation—lies at the heart of Kant’s conception of reason.
The question that will be the focus of this paper is this: what is the significance of disagreement between those who are epistemic peers? There are two answers to this question found in the recent literature. On the one hand, there are those who hold that one can continue to rationally believe that p despite the fact that one’s epistemic peer explicitly believes that not-p. I shall call those who hold this view nonconformists. In contrast, there are those who hold (...) that one cannot continue to rationally believe that p when one is faced with an epistemic peer who explicitly believes that not-p. I shall call those who hold this view conformists. Inthis paper, I shall argue that neither nonconformism nor conformism provides a plausible account of the epistemic significance of peer disagreement. I shall then develop my justificationist account of peer disagreement’s epistemic significance. Whereas current views maintain that disagreement, by itself, either simply does or does not possess epistemic power, my account holds that its epistemic power, or lack thereof, is explainable in terms of its interaction with other features,particularly the degree of justified confidence with which the belief in question is held and the presence of information that one possesses about one’s own epistemic situation. (shrink)
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