While separate pieces of research found parents offer toddlers cues to express that they are joking and pretending, and that toddlers and preschoolers understand intentions to joke and pretend, it is not yet clear whether parents and toddlers consider joking and pretending to be distinct concepts. This is important as distinguishing these two forms of non-literal acts could open a gateway to understanding the complexities of the non-literal world, as well as the complexities of intentions in general. Two studies found (...) parents offer explicit cues to help 16- to 24-month-olds distinguish pretending and joking. Across an action play study and a verbal play study parents showed more disbelief and less belief through their actions and language when joking versus pretending. Similarly, toddlers showed less belief through their actions, and older toddlers showed less belief through their language. Toddlers' disbelief could be accounted for by their response to parents' language and actions. Thus, these studies reveal a mechanism by which toddlers learn to distinguish joking and pretending. Parents offer explicit cues to distinguish these intentions, and toddlers use these cues to guide their own behaviors, which in turn allows toddlers to distinguish these intentional contexts. (shrink)
Children often refer to things ambiguously but learn not to from responding to clarification requests. We review and explore this learning process here. In Study 1, eighty-four 2- and 4-year-olds were tested for their ability to request stickers from either (a) a small array with one dissimilar distracter or (b) a large array containing similar distracters. When children made ambiguous requests, they received either general feedback or specific questions about which of two options they wanted. With training, children learned to (...) produce more complex object descriptions and did so faster in the specific feedback condition. They also tended to provide more information when requesting stickers from large arrays. In Study 2, we varied only distracter similarity during training and then varied array size in a generalization test. Children found it harder to learn in this case. In the generalization test, 4-year-olds were more likely to provide information (a) when it was needed because distracters were similar to the target and (b) when the array size was greater (regardless of need for information). We discuss how clear cues to potential ambiguity are needed for children to learn to tailor their referring expression to context and how several cues of heuristic value (e.g., more distracters > say more) can promote the efficiency of communication while language is developing. Finally, we consider whether it would be worthwhile drawing on the human learning process when developing algorithms for the production of referring expressions. (shrink)
Bruce Janz, Jessica Locke, and Cynthia Willett interact in this exchange with different aspects of Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad’s book Human Being, Bodily Being. Through “constructive inter-cultural thinking”, they seek to engage with Ram-Prasad’s “lower-case p” phenomenology, which exemplifies “how to think otherwise about the nature and role of bodiliness in human experience”. This exchange, which includes Ram-Prasad’s reply to their interventions, pushes the reader to reflect more about different aspects of bodiliness.
Jessica Flanigan defends patients' rights of self-medication on the grounds that same moral reasons against medical paternalism in clinical contexts are also reasons against paternalistic pharmaceutical policies, including prohibitive approval processes and prescription requirements.
Technologies to rapidly alert people when they have been in contact with someone carrying the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are part of a strategy to bring the pandemic under control. Currently, at least 47 contact-tracing apps are available globally. They are already in use in Australia, South Korea and Singapore, for instance. And many other governments are testing or considering them. Here we set out 16 questions to assess whether — and to what extent — a contact-tracing app is ethically justifiable.
Both the special sciences and ordinary experience suggest that there are metaphysically emergent entities and features: macroscopic goings-on (including mountains, trees, humans, and sculptures, and their characteristic properties) which depend on, yet are distinct from and distinctively efficacious with respect to, lower-level physical configurations and features. These appearances give rise to two key questions. First, what is metaphysical emergence, more precisely? Second, is there any metaphysical emergence, in principle and moreover in fact? Metaphysical Emergence provides clear and systematic answers to (...) these questions. Wilson argues that there are two, and only two, forms of metaphysical emergence of the sort seemingly at issue in the target cases: 'Weak' emergence, whereby a dependent feature has a proper subset of the powers of the feature upon it depends, and 'Strong' emergence, whereby a dependent feature has a power not had by the feature upon which it depends. Weak emergence unifies and illuminates seemingly diverse accounts of non-reductive physicalism; Strong emergence does the same as regards seemingly diverse anti-physicalist views positing fundamental novelty at higher levels of compositional complexity. After defending the in-principle viability of each form of emergence, Wilson considers whether complex systems, ordinary objects, consciousness, and free will are actually metaphysically emergent. She argues that Weak emergence is quite common, and that there is Strong emergence in the important case of free will. (shrink)
It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation— ‘Grounding’—is ultimately at issue in contexts in which some goings-on are said to hold ‘in virtue of’’, be ‘metaphysically dependent on’, or be ‘nothing over and above’ some others. Grounding is supposed to do good work in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether (...) Grounded goings-on exist, whether they are reducible to or rather distinct from Grounding goings-on, whether they are efficacious, and so on; but in the absence of answers to such basic questions, we are not in position to assess the associated claim or theses concerning metaphysical dependence. There is no avoiding appeal to the specific metaphysical relations typically at issue in investigations into dependence—for example, type or token identity, functional realization, classical mereological parthood, the set membership relation, the proper subset relation, the determinable/determinate relation, and so on—which are capable of answering these questions. But, I argue, once the specific relations are on the scene, there is no need for Grounding. (shrink)
Pt. I. The apparent good. Evaluative cognition -- Perceiving the good -- Phantasia and the apparent good -- pt. II. The apparent good and non-rational motivation. Passions and the apparent good -- Akrasia and the apparent good -- pt. III. The apparent good and rational motivation. Phantasia and deliberation -- Happiness, virtue, and the apparent good -- Practical induction -- Conclusion : Aristotle's practical empiricism.
In this "for and against" book, ethicists Lori Watson and Jessica Flanigan debate the criminalization of sex work. Watson argues for a sex equality approach to prostitution in which buyers are criminalized and sellers are decriminalized, known as the Nordic Model. Flanigan argues that sex work should be fully decriminalized because decriminalization ensures respect for sex workers' and clients' rights, and is more effective than alternative policies.
Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food (...) when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With _Wild Justice_ Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, _Wild Justice_ offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. (shrink)
An approach to explaining the nature and source of logic and its laws with a rich historical tradition takes the laws of logic to be laws of thought. This view seems intuitively compelling, after all, logic seems to be intimately related with how we think. But how exactly should we understand it? And what arguments can we give in favour? I will propose one line of argument for the claim that the laws of logic are laws of thought. I will (...) motivate the claim that there is a certain phenomenon, namely, that there are logical principles which are immune to rational doubt. I will then give an argument to the best explanation; I will argue that the best explanation of this phenomenon is to take the laws of logic to be constitutive-normative laws of thought. The proposal, and some responses to potential objections, will have a notably Kantian flavour. (shrink)
Motivated by the seeming structure of the sciences, metaphysical emergence combines broadly synchronic dependence coupled with some degree of ontological and causal autonomy. Reflecting the diverse, frequently incompatible interpretations of the notions of dependence and autonomy, however, accounts of emergence diverge into a bewildering variety. Here I argue that much of this apparent diversity is superficial. I first argue, by attention to the problem of higher-level causation, that two and only two strategies for addressing this problem accommodate the genuine emergence (...) of special science entities. These strategies in turn suggest two distinct schema for metaphysical emergence---'Weak' and 'Strong' emergence, respectively. Each schema imposes a condition on the powers of entities taken to be emergent: Strong emergence requires that higher-level features have more token powers than their dependence base features, whereas Weak emergence requires that higher-level features have a proper subset of the token powers of their dependence base features. Importantly, the notion of “power” at issue here is metaphysically neutral, primarily reﬂecting commitment just to the plausible thesis that what causes an entity may bring about are associated with how the entity is---that is, with its features. (shrink)
Since antiquity, philosophers and engineers have tried to take life’s measure by reproducing it. Aiming to reenact Creation, at least in part, these experimenters have hoped to understand the links between body and spirit, matter and mind, mechanism and consciousness. Genesis Redux examines moments from this centuries-long experimental tradition: efforts to simulate life in machinery, to synthesize life out of material parts, and to understand living beings by comparison with inanimate mechanisms. Jessica Riskin collects seventeen essays from distinguished scholars (...) in several fields. These studies offer an unexpected and far-reaching result: attempts to create artificial life have rarely been driven by an impulse to reduce life and mind to machinery. On the contrary, designers of synthetic creatures have generally assumed a role for something nonmechanical. The history of artificial life is thus also a history of theories of soul and intellect. Taking a historical approach to a modern quandary, Genesis Redux is essential reading for historians and philosophers of science and technology, scientists and engineers working in artificial life and intelligence, and anyone engaged in evaluating these world-changing projects. (shrink)
This chapter explores the prospects for justifying the somewhat widespread, somewhat firmly held sense that there is some moral advantage to untruthfully implicating over lying. I call this the "Difference Intuition." I define lying in terms of asserting, but remain open about what precise definition best captures our ordinary notion. I define implicating as one way of meaning something without asserting it. I narrow down the kind of untruthful implicating that should be compared with lying for purposes of evaluating whether (...) there is a moral difference between them. Just as lying requires a robust form of assertion, so the kind of untruthful implicating to be compared with lying requires a robust form of implicating. Next, I set out various ways of sharpening the Difference Intuition and survey a range of approaches to justifying one class of sharpenings. I finish by sketching an approach to justifying an alternative sharpening of the Difference Intuition, which is inspired by John Stuart Mill's discussion of lying. (shrink)
The debate about the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence dates from the 1960s :741–742, 1960; Wiener in Cybernetics: or control and communication in the animal and the machine, MIT Press, New York, 1961). However, in recent years symbolic AI has been complemented and sometimes replaced by Neural Networks and Machine Learning techniques. This has vastly increased its potential utility and impact on society, with the consequence that the ethical debate has gone mainstream. Such a debate has primarily focused on principles—the (...) ‘what’ of AI ethics —rather than on practices, the ‘how.’ Awareness of the potential issues is increasing at a fast rate, but the AI community’s ability to take action to mitigate the associated risks is still at its infancy. Our intention in presenting this research is to contribute to closing the gap between principles and practices by constructing a typology that may help practically-minded developers apply ethics at each stage of the Machine Learning development pipeline, and to signal to researchers where further work is needed. The focus is exclusively on Machine Learning, but it is hoped that the results of this research may be easily applicable to other branches of AI. The article outlines the research method for creating this typology, the initial findings, and provides a summary of future research needs. (shrink)
Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food (...) when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With Wild Justice Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, Wild Justice offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. (shrink)
Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant utilization (...) of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing other as a mental repository fo unwanted characteristics cast from the self. Jessica benjamin shows the implications of this dual relationship for male/female hierarchy and offers a possibility for balancing the two. This book continues the author's well-known explorations of the themes of intersubjectivity and gender, taking up issues at the forefront of contemporary debates in feminist theory and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
Introduction : reading Nietzsche skeptically -- Nietzsche and the Pyrrhonian tradition -- Skepticism in Nietzsche's early work : the case of "on truth and lie" -- The question of Nietzsche's "naturalism" -- Perspectivism and Ephexis in interpretation -- Skepticism and health -- Skepticism as immoralism.
Typically, fair machine learning research focuses on a single decision maker and assumes that the underlying population is stationary. However, many of the critical domains motivating this work are characterized by competitive marketplaces with many decision makers. Realistically, we might expect only a subset of them to adopt any non-compulsory fairness-conscious policy, a situation that political philosophers call partial compliance. This possibility raises important questions: how does partial compliance and the consequent strategic behavior of decision subjects affect the allocation outcomes? (...) If k% of employers were to voluntarily adopt a fairness-promoting intervention, should we expect k% progress (in aggregate) towards the benefits of universal adoption, or will the dynamics of partial compliance wash out the hoped-for benefits? How might adopting a global (versus local) perspective impact the conclusions of an auditor? In this paper, we propose a simple model of an employment market, leveraging simulation as a tool to explore the impact of both interaction effects and incentive effects on outcomes and auditing metrics. Our key findings are that at equilibrium: (1) partial compliance by k% of employers can result in far less than proportional (k%) progress towards the full compliance outcomes; (2) the gap is more severe when fair employers match global (vs local) statistics; (3) choices of local vs global statistics can paint dramatically different pictures of the performance vis-a-vis fairness desiderata of compliant versus non-compliant employers; (4) partial compliance based on local parity measures can induce extreme segregation. Finally, we discuss implications for auditors and insights concerning the design of regulatory frameworks. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers commonly suppose that any fundamental entities there may be are maximally determinate. More generally, they commonly suppose that, whether or not there are fundamental entities, any determinable entities there may be are grounded in, hence less fundamental than, more determinate entities. So, for example, Armstrong takes the physical objects constituting the presumed fundamental base to be “determinate in all respects” (1961, 59), and Lewis takes the properties characterizing things “completely and without redundancy” to be “highly specific” (1986, 60). (...) Here I look at the usually cited reasons for these suppositions as directed against the case of determinable properties, in particular, and argue that none is compelling (Sections 1 to 3). The discussion in Section 3 moreover identifies positive reason for taking some determinable properties to be part of a fundamental (or relatively fundamental) base. I close (Section 4) by noting certain questions arising from the possibility of fundamental determinables, as directions for future research. (shrink)
Knowledge ascriptions are a central topic of research in both philosophy and science. In this collection of new essays on knowledge ascriptions, world class philosophers offer novel approaches to this long standing topic.
Immanuel Kant’s notion of weakness or frailty warrants more attention, for it reveals much about his theory of motivation and general metaphysics of mind. As the first and least severe of the three grades of evil, frailty captures those cases where an agent fails to act on their avowed recognition that the moral law is the only legitimate determining ground of the will. The possibility of such cases raises many important questions that have yet to be settled by interpreters. Most (...) importantly, should we account for the failures of weakness by appealing to the activity of reason or sensibility? I will discuss this question in light of a tendency to adopt an overly dualistic reading of Kant’s moral psychology. Focusing on Kant’s remarks on weakness from the Religion and the Metaphysics of Morals, I argue that we should understand weakness as arising from the unique difficulties of sense-dependent judgment, rather than from self-deception, flagging commitment, or overwhelming desire. The resulting account offers a unified moral psychology capable of accommodating the many features of weakness that are difficult to reconcile on other readings. (shrink)
As the range of potential uses for Artificial Intelligence (AI), in particular machine learning (ML), has increased, so has awareness of the associated ethical issues. This increased awareness has led to the realisation that existing legislation and regulation provides insufficient protection to individuals, groups, society, and the environment from AI harms. In response to this realisation, there has been a proliferation of principle-based ethics codes, guidelines and frameworks. However, it has become increasingly clear that a significant gap exists between the (...) theory of AI ethics principles and the practical design of AI systems. In previous work , we analysed whether it is possible to close this gap between the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of AI ethics through the use of tools and methods designed to help AI developers, engineers, and designers translate principles into practice. We concluded that this method of closure is currently ineffective as almost all existing translational tools and methods are either too flexible (and thus vulnerable to ethics washing) or too strict (unresponsive to context). This raised the question: if, even with technical guidance, AI ethics is challenging to embed in the process of algorithmic design, is the entire pro-ethical design endeavour rendered futile? And, if no, then how can AI ethics be made useful for AI practitioners? This is the question we seek to address here by exploring why principles and technical translational tools are still needed even if they are limited, and how these limitations can be potentially overcome by providing theoretical grounding of a concept that has been termed ‘Ethics as a Service’. (shrink)
To what degree has biology influenced and shaped the development of moral systems? One way to determine the extent to which human moral systems might be the product of natural selection is to explore behaviour in other species that is analogous and perhaps homologous to our own. Many non-human primates, for example, have similar methods to humans for resolving, managing, and preventing conflicts of interests within their groups. Such methods, which include reciprocity and food sharing, reconciliation, consolation, conflict intervention, and (...) mediation, are the very building blocks of moral systems in that they are based on and facilitate cohesion among individuals and reflect a concerted effort by community members to find shared solutions to social conflict. Furthermore, these methods of resource distribution and conflict resolution often require or make use of capacities for empathy, sympathy, and sometimes even community concern. Non-human primates in societies in which such mechanisms are present may not be exactly moral beings, but they do show signs of a sense of social regularity that -- just like the norms and rules underlying human moral conduct -- promotes a mutually satisfactory modus vivendi. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive discussion of determinables, determinates, and their relation ('determination', for short), covering the historical development of these notions, the theoretical options for understanding them, and certain of their contemporary applications.
Hume's Dictum (HD) says, roughly and typically, that there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed, entities. HD plays an influential role in metaphysical debate, both in constructing theories and in assessing them. One should ask of such an influential thesis: why believe it? Proponents do not accept Hume's arguments for his dictum, nor do they provide their own; however, some have suggested either that HD is analytic or that it is synthetic a priori (that is: motivated by (...) intuitions we have no good reason to question). Here I explore whether belief in HD is directly justified on either grounds. I motivate and present more formal characterizations of HD; I show that there are good prima facie cases to be made for HD's being analytic and for its being synthetic a priori; I argue that each of the prima facie cases fails, some things considered. I close by offering two suggestions for how belief in HD might be indirectly justified on argumentative grounds. (shrink)
This paper explores the various ways Aristotle refers to and employs “heat and cold” in his embryology. In my view, scholars are too quick to assume that references to heat and cold are references to matter or an animal’s material nature. More commonly, I argue, Aristotle refers to heat and cold as the “tools” of soul. As I understand it, Aristotle is thinking of heat and cold in many contexts as auxiliary causes by which soul activities (primarily “concoction”) are carried (...) out. This, as I argue, is what it means to call them “tools” of soul. An upshot of this investigation is the fuller picture of Aristotle’s conception of efficient causation it provides in general, and the better understanding of the efficient causal operation of an organism’s nature or soul it provides in particular. (shrink)
I årtusenden har människan försökt definiera livet – hur levande djur och växter skiljer sig från död materia. Problemet är dock att livet är mångfacetterat, och varje regel har sitt undantag. Vi försöker möta kommande utmaningar med nya livsformer, genom att lyfta fram en ny definition av liv.
Richard Janko's acclaimed translation of Aristotle's _Poetics_ is accompanied by the most comprehensive commentary available in English that does not presume knowledge of the original Greek. Two other unique features are Janko's translations with notes of both the _Tractatus Coislinianus_, which is argued to be a summary of the lost second book of the Poetics, and fragments of Aristotle’s dialogue On Poets, including recently discovered texts about catharsis, which appear in English for the first time.
Grounding, understood as a primitive posit operative in contexts where metaphysical dependence is at issue, is not able on its own to do any substantive work in characterizing or illuminating metaphysical dependence---or so I argue in 'No Work for a Theory of Grounding' (Inquiry, 2014). Such illumination rather requires appeal to specific metaphysical relations---type or token identity, functional realization, the determinable-determinate relation, the mereological part-whole relation, and so on---of the sort typically at issue in these contexts. In that case, why (...) posit 'big-G' Grounding in addition to the 'small-g' grounding relations already in the metaphysician's toolkit? The best reasons for doing so stem from the Unity argument, according to which the further posit of Grounding is motivated as an apt unifier of the specific relations, and the Priority argument, according to which Grounding is needed in order to fix the direction of priority of the specific relations. I previously considered versions of these arguments, and argued that they did not succeed; in two papers, however, Jonathan Schaffer aims to develop a better version of the Unity argument, and offers certain objections to my reasons for rejecting the Priority argument. Here I consider these new arguments for Grounding. (shrink)
According to received wisdom, Kant takes the laws of logic to be normative laws of thought. This has been challenged by Tolley (2006). In this paper, I defend the received wisdom, but with an important modification: Kant's logical laws are constitutive norms for thought. The laws of logic do tell us what thinking is, not because all thoughts are in conformity with logical laws, but because all thoughts are, by nature, subject to the standard of logic.
Recently scholars have been claiming that Aristotle’s biological explanations treat “facts about matter”—facts such as the degree of heat or amount of fluidity in an organism’s material constitution—as explanatorily basic or “primitive.” That is, these facts about matter are taken to be unexplained, brute facts about organisms, rather than ones that are explained by the organism’s form or essence, as we would have expected from Aristotle’s general commitment to the causal and explanatory priority of form over matter. In this paper, (...) I present three considerations for rejecting the view that facts about matter are primitive. First, there is evidence that those putative unexplained facts about degrees of heat, dryness, fluidity, etc. are, in fact, explained. Second, there are certain cases, such as human intelligence, where it would be quite implausible to consider the explanation in terms of degrees of heat to be starting from what Aristotle considers primitive facts. Third, the idea that facts about matter are as explanatorily primitive as facts about form requires a particular conception of the causal processes that the explanations mirror. But this conception of the causal processes conflicts with the way Aristotle characterizes them in Generation of Animals. There, heat is not treated as a causal factor that works “independently” of soul. In my view, these three considerations provide compelling reason to reject the claim that Aristotle’s biology treats facts about matter as primitive. (shrink)
It has been suggested that to overcome the challenges facing the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) of an ageing population and reduced available funding, the NHS should be transformed into a more informationally mature and heterogeneous organisation, reliant on data-based and algorithmically-driven interactions between human, artificial, and hybrid (semi-artificial) agents. This transformation process would offer significant benefit to patients, clinicians, and the overall system, but it would also rely on a fundamental transformation of the healthcare system in a way that (...) poses significant governance challenges. In this article, we argue that a fruitful way to overcome these challenges is by adopting a pro-ethical approach to design that analyses the system as a whole, keeps society-in-the-loop throughout the process, and distributes responsibility evenly across all nodes in the system. (shrink)
Increased technological and pharmacological interventions in patient care when patient outcomes are uncertain have been linked to the escalation in moral and ethical dilemmas experienced by health care providers in acute care settings. Health care research has shown that facilities that are able to attract and retain nursing staff in a competitive environment and provide high quality care have the capacity for nurses to process and resolve moral and ethical dilemmas. This article reports on the findings of a systematic review (...) of the empirical literature (1980 — February 2007) on the effects of unresolved moral distress and poor ethical climate on nurse turnover. Articles were sought to answer the review question: Does unresolved moral distress and a poor organizational ethical climate increase nurse turnover? Nine articles met the criteria of the review process. Although the prevailing sentiment was that poor ethical climate and moral distress caused staff turnover, definitive answers to the review question remain elusive because there are limited data that confidently support this statement. (shrink)
The thesis that in order to genuinely think about a particular object one must be (in some sense) acquainted with that object has been thoroughly explored since it was put forward by Bertrand Russell. Recently, the thesis has come in for mounting criticism. The aim of this paper is to point out that neither the exploration nor the criticism have been sensitive to the fact that the thesis can be interpreted in two different ways, yielding two different principles of acquaintance. (...) One principle uses the notion of content in distinguishing genuine thinking-about things from a merely derivative kind of thinking-about things. The other principle is quiet about content, focusing instead on a distinction between satisfactional and non-satisfactional means of bringing things into thought. Most work has focused on the first, content-based principle of acquaintance. But criticisms of this principle do not apply straightforwardly to the non-content-based principle. I shall argue that the latter principle merits independent assessment as part of the broader effort to account for genuine thinking about particular objects. In the final section of the paper, I will sketch a roadmap for this assessment. (shrink)
Here I compare two accounts of metaphysical indeterminacy (MI): first, the 'meta-level' approach described by Elizabeth Barnes and Ross Cameron in the companion to this paper, on which every state of affairs (SOA) is itself precise/determinate, and MI is a matter of its being indeterminate which determinate SOA obtains; second, my preferred 'object-level' determinable-based approach, on which MI is a matter of its being determinate---or just plain true---that an indeterminate SOA obtains, where an indeterminate SOA is one whose constitutive object (...) has a determinable property, but no unique determinate of that determinable. In S1, I first note an important difference between our accounts, concerning whether MI is taken to induce propositional indeterminacy; in S2, I highlight and defend certain advantages of my account; in S3, I address certain of Barnes and Cameron's objections to my account. (shrink)
Standard evolutionary explanations seem unable to account for inclusivist shifts that expand the circle of moral concern beyond strategically relevant cooperators. Recently, Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell have argued that this shows that that evolutionary conservatism – the view that our inherited psychology imposes significant feasibility constraints on how much inclusivist moral progress can be achieved – is unjustified. Secondly, they hold that inclusivist gains can be sustained, and exclusivist tendencies curbed, under certain favorable socio-economic conditions. I argue that Buchanan (...) and Powell concede too much to the evolutionary conservative, because their second point shows that conservatives are right about the first: inclusivist shifts are unrealistic where it matters most, namely under harsh social, political and economic conditions. I suggest two promising strategies for solving this problem. One is to focus on different forms of moral progress to secure the same moral gains. The other is to look beyond possible extensions of our psychological capacities altogether, by providing institutional support that renders them irrelevant. We should bypass, rather than further stretch, the constraints of our evolved psychology to make moral progress possible. (shrink)
did plato and aristotle have anything to say about belief? The answer to this question might seem blindingly obvious: of course they did. Plato distinguishes belief from knowledge in the Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the Posterior Analytics. Plato distinguishes belief from perception in the Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the De anima. They talk about the distinction between true and false beliefs, and the ways in which belief can mislead and the ways in which (...) it can steer us aright. Indeed, they make belief a central component of their epistemologies.The view underlying these claims—one so widespread these days as to remain largely unquestioned—is that when Plato and Aristotle talk... (shrink)
This argues for a reading of PA I.1, 639b11-640a9 as a continuous argument, which I divide into 3 main sections. Aristotle’s point in the first section is that teleological explanations should precede non-teleological explanations in the order of exposition. His reasoning is that the ends cited in teleological explanations are definitions, and definitions—which are not subject to further explanation—are appropriate starting points, insofar as they prevent explanations from going on ad infinitum. Moreover, I argue that Aristotle proceeds in the following (...) two sections to criticize certain non-teleological accounts offered by his predecessors on the grounds that they are explanatorily defective: I take Aristotle’s complaints to be that those accounts—unlike teleological explanations—neither begin from appropriate starting points nor entail the phenomena that they purport to explain. Along the way, I am defending an alternative way of understanding what "hypothetical necessity" refers to, for Aristotle. Comments are welcome! (shrink)
This chapter investigates the conflict between thought and speech that is inherent in lying. This is the conflict of saying what you think is false. The chapter shows how stubbornly saying what you think is false resists analysis. In traditional analyses of lying, saying what you think is false is analyzed in terms of saying something and believing that it is false. But standard cases of unconscious or divided belief challenge these analyses. Classic puzzles about belief from Gottlob Frege and (...) Saul Kripke show that suggested amendments involving assent instead of belief do not fare better. I argue that attempts to save these analyses by appeal to guises or Fregean modes of presentation will also run into trouble. I then consider alternative approaches to untruthfulness that focus on (a) expectations for one’s act of saying/asserting and (b) the intentions involved in one’s act of saying/asserting. Here I introduce two new kinds of case, which I call “truth serum” and “liar serum” cases. Consideration of these cases reveals structural problems with intention- and expectation-based approaches as well. Taken together, the string of cases presented suggests that saying what you think is false, or being untruthful, is no less difficult and interesting a subject for analysis than lying itself. Tackling the question of what it is to say what you think is false illuminates ways in which the study of lying is intertwined with fundamental issues in the nature of intentional action. (shrink)
Despite his awareness that organisms are well suited to the habitats they are typically found in, Aristotle nowhere tries to explain this. It is unlikely that he thinks this “fit” (as I call it) between organisms and their habitats is simply a lucky coincidence, given how vehemently he rejects that as an explanation of the fit between organisms’ various body parts. But it is quite puzzling that Aristotle never explicitly addresses this, since it is a question that seemed so pressing (...) to later philosophers and biologists such as Darwin. In this paper I offer a solution to that puzzle. As I argue, the type of habitat an organism lives in is partly constitutive of its essence or nature. The reason Aristotle does not ask, for instance, why marsh-dweller birds live in marshes, is that it is simply constitutive of their nature that they do so. Given that habitat is built into a kind’s essence, the answer to such a question is obvious and the question would have seemed to him trivial. By attending to the details of his biological treatises, I show that Aristotle’s conception of a living being’s essence is much more nuanced than one can glean from his discussions in the Physics and Metaphysics alone. (shrink)