Open-mindedness is widely regarded as an epistemic virtue and, more recently, a moral one: its exercise is supposed to be conducive not only to the acquisition of epistemic goods such as truth, knowledge, and understanding, but also to the development of moral goods such as the promotion of social cohesion and the fostering of people’s respect and care for one another. This glossy view of open-mindedness, however, has come under challenge. Critics have argued that adopting a default stance of openness (...) can be detrimental to our epistemic and moral selves, especially in today’s world where fake news, attacks on the idea of truth, and blatant lies abound. The articles in this symposium by Howard Curzer and Jessica Gottlieb and by Matt Ferkany represent some of these challenges. Concerned with the question of when it is safe to exercise open-mindedness, both seek to identify the potential hazards that may arise as a result being open-minded and to propose ways to curtail those hazards. In this paper, I will assess each of their arguments in turn. (shrink)
Open-mindedness is generally regarded as an intellectual virtue because its exercise reliably leads to truth. However, some theorists have argued that open-mindedness’s truth-conduciveness is highly contingent, pointing out that it is either not truth-conducive at all under certain scenarios or no better than dogmatism or credulity in others. Given such shaky ties to truth, it would appear that the status of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue is in jeopardy. In this paper, I propose to defend open-mindedness against these challenges. In (...) particular, I show that the challenges are ill-founded because they misconstrue the nature of open-mindedness and fail to consider the requisite conditions of its application. With a proper understanding of open-mindedness and of its requirements, it is clear that recourse to it is indeed truth-conducive. (shrink)
This study examines the impact of attitude toward piracy on intention to buy pirated CDs using Chinese samples. Attitude toward piracy is measured by a multi-item scale that has been shown to have a consistent factor structure with four distinct components, namely, social cost of piracy, anti-big business attitude, social benefit of dissemination, and ethical belief. Our findings reveal that social benefit of dissemination and anti-big business attitude have a positive relationship with intention to buy pirated CDs while social cost (...) of piracy and ethical belief have a negative relationship. Among these components, ethical belief tends to most strongly predict intention to buy pirated CDs. Demographic variables such as gender and age also help explain the respondents' intention to buy pirated CDs. In addition, those respondents with experience of buying pirated CDs would tend to be more likely to buy pirated CDs than those without such experience. The results are discussed with a view to helping copyright businesses to effectively suppress piracy, and directions for future research are suggested. (shrink)
This paper challenges T. S. Gendler's notion of aliefs, a novel kind of mental state which she introduces to explain a wide variety of belief-discordant behaviors. In particular, I argue that many of the cases which she uses to motivate such a mental state can be fully explained by accounts that make use only of commonplace attitudes such as beliefs and desires.
In this paper, I argue that recent discussions of culprit-based epistemic injustices can be framed around the intellectual character virtue of open-mindedness. In particular, these injustices occur because the people who commit them are closed-minded in some respect; the injustices can therefore be remedied through the cultivation of the virtue of open-mindedness. Describing epistemic injustices this way has two explanatory benefits: it yields a more parsimonious account of the phenomenon of epistemic injustice and it provides the underpinning of a virtue-theoretical (...) structure by which to explain what it is that perpetrators are culpable for and how virtues can have normative explanatory power. (shrink)
Open-mindedness is an under-explored topic in virtue epistemology, despite its assumed importance for the field. Questions about it abound and need to be answered. For example, what sort of intellectual activities are central to it? Can one be open-minded about one's firmly held beliefs? Why should we strive to be open-minded? This paper aims to shed light on these and other pertinent issues. In particular, it proposes a view that construes open-mindedness as engagement, that is, a willingness to entertain novel (...) ideas in one's cognitive space and to accord them serious consideration. (shrink)
This paper proposes to examine Daniel Cohen’s recent attempt to apply virtues to argumentation theory, with special attention given to his explication of how open-mindedness can be regarded as an argumentational or critical virtue. It is argued that his analysis involves a contentious claim about open-mindedness as an epistemic virtue, which generates a tension for agents who are simultaneously both an arguer and a knower (or who strive to be both). I contend that this tension can be eased or resolved (...) by clarifying the nature of open-mindedness and by construing open-mindedness in terms of its function. Specifically, a willingness to take a novel viewpoint seriously is sufficient for making open-mindedness both an epistemic and a critical virtue. (shrink)
Virtue ethics is regarded as the key in search of moral excellence among corporations. Yet, there are limited works to empirically investigate what virtuous character morally good corporations is expected to exhibit in the course of business from the perspective of customers. To fill this gap, we argue that customers are to evaluate firm’s virtuous character using Confucian cardinal virtues and perceived virtuousness determines customer loyalty. We test this argument using a sample of 276 Hong Kong Chinese. The result suggests (...) that a corporation not only has to offer a good value and high quality to customers but also needs to develop and acquire virtuous character in retaining customer loyalty. Firm has to embrace ren, yi, and li as the primary business goal. In fact, they are not the means but the end in themselves. The continuous pursuit of these cardinal virtues at the firm level not only establishes proper corporate values but also enables a firm to act morally in the course of business. Such kind of firm is known as junzi corporation. (shrink)
The heated rhetoric surroundingdigital copyright in general, and peer-to-peerfile sharing in particular, has inspired greatconfusion about what the copyright law does anddoes not prohibit. Most of the key legalquestions are still unsettled, in part becausecopyright defendants have run out of money andgone out of business before their cases couldgo to trial. In that vacuum, some copyrightowners are claiming that their preferred rulesof conduct are well-established legalrequirements. But those claims are strategic;those rules have never been endorsed by thecourts. They are made-up (...) rules. There's adifference between our obligation to followreal rules, and our obligation to followmade-up ones. There may be an ethicalobligation to follow real rules, even when theyseem unreasonable. But we don't have anyethical obligation to follow made-up ones. Indeed, in this context, we may have an ethicalobligation to resist them. Some copyrightowners believe the law ought to enable them tocontrol essentially all significant uses oftheir works. The law has never said that, butit gets closer and closer every day. If webehave as though the made-up rules wereactually the law, we will make that day comemuch sooner. (shrink)
Conceptual atomism is the view according to which most lexical concepts lack ‘internal’ or constituent structure. To date, it has not received much attention from philosophers and psychologists. A centralreason is that it is thought to be an implausible theory of concepts, resulting in untenable implications. The main objective of this paper is to present conceptual atomism as a viable alternative, with a view toachieving two aims: the first, to characterize and to elucidate conceptual atomism; and the second, to dispel (...) some misconceptions associated with it. My aim is to show that the prospect of conceptualatomism is a promising one. (shrink)
In this paper, I present an alternative argument for Jerry Fodor's recent conclusion that there are currently no tenable theories of concepts in the cognitive sciences and in the philosophy of mind. Briefly, my approach focuses on the 'theory-theory' of concepts. I argue that the two ways in which cognitive psychologists have formulated this theory lead to serious difficulties, and that there cannot be, in principle, a third way in which it can be reformulated. Insofar as the 'theory-theory' is supposed (...) to replace, and to rectify the problems of, the earlier 'classical' and 'probabilistic' theories, its failure confirms Fodor's original observation. Since my critique does not rest on controversial philosophical assumptions and is readily available from within the cognitive sciences, it is a stronger argument than Fodor's. (shrink)
Concept Pluralism and Concept Eliminativism are two positions recently proposed in the philosophy and the psychology of concepts. Both of these theories are motivated by the view that all current theories of concepts are empirically and methodologically inadequate and hold in common the assumption that for any category that can be represented in thought, a person can possess multiple, distinct concepts of it. In this paper, I will challenge these in light of a third theory, Conceptual Atomism, which addresses and (...) dispels the contentious issues. In particular, I contend that Conceptual Atomism, when properly understood, is empirically adequate and can overcome difficulties that plague Pluralism and Eliminativism. (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.
This note responds to criticism put forth by Jessica Keiser against a theory of lying as Stalnakerian assertion. According to this account, to lie is to say something one believes to be false and thereby propose that it become common ground. Keiser objects that this view wrongly counts particular kinds of non-literal speech as instances of lying. In particular, Keiser argues that the view invariably counts metaphors and certain uses of definite descriptions as lies. It is argued here that (...) both these claims are false. (shrink)
During the last decade Jessica Brown has been one of the main participants in the on-going debate over the compatibility of anti-individualism and self-knowledge. It is therefore of great interest that she is now publishing a book examining the various epistemological consequences of anti-individualism. The book is divided into three sections. The first discusses the question of whether a subject can have privileged access to her own thoughts, even if the content of her thoughts is construed anti-individualistically. This section (...) contains a detailed and useful discussion not only of how we are to understand privileged access, but also of epistemological issues of more general import, such as the connection between knowledge and reliability. The second section focuses on various aspects of the problem of anti-individualism and reasoning, including an extensive discussion of the relation between anti-individualism and a Fregean account of content. The final section discusses the so-called reductio argument against compatibilism (i.e. the view that anti-individualism is compatible with a priori knowledge of one’s own thoughts), according to which compatibilism implies that we can have a priori knowledge of certain facts about the world that, intuitively, are not knowable that way. The book is very clearly written and structured. Readers unfamiliar with the debate will get a good sense of its broad contours and the various positions taken. Brown starts out by distinguishing different forms of anti-individualism. This is very helpful since it is quite clear that the term has come to be rather carelessly used, as if it referred to one particular thesis, whereas in fact a number of loosely related positions are labeled ‘antiindividualist’. At the outset she distinguishes three familiar anti-individualist theses: natural kind anti-individualism, social anti-individualism, and singular anti-individualism. These.. (shrink)
According to David Lewis’s Modal Realism, other possible worlds really exist as concrete, spatiotemporal systems, and every way that a world could be is a way that some world is. To establish this plenitude of concrete possible worlds, Lewis presents his ‘principle of recombination,’ which is meant to guarantee that there exists a possible world, or part of a possible world, for every possibility. Jessica Wilson has recently argued that Lewis’s principle of recombination fails to generate enough worlds to (...) account for the plenitude of possibilities. Namely, Wilson argues that the principle of recombination cannot account for the possibility of spatially overlapping but distinct fundamental entities, as well as certain macroscopic entities. In this paper, I will defend Lewis’s principle of recombination against these charges, arguing that Wilson’s objections overlook features of Lewisian metaphysics that can solve the problems at hand. (shrink)
The theory of punctuated equilibrium holds that long periods of morphological stasis in fossil lineages are interrupted by bursts of geologically rapid evolutionary change. Philip Kitcher’s long and distinguished career is not directly analogous to this pattern, but his philosophy exhibits stasis and change. He has both maintained a position or line of argument consistently and shifted significantly in his views. These evolutionary patterns are on display in the volume co-edited by Mark Couch and Jessica Pfeifer, both of whom (...) were advised by Kitcher though at different institutions. The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher consists of an introduction plus 11 chapters devoted to central themes in Kitcher’s oeuvre. In each chapter, distinguished colleagues offer sustained engagement with one theme followed by a succinct and magnanimous response from Kitcher. The format is illuminating and helps display the complex evolutionary dynamics in the thought of an eminent contemporary philosopher. (shrink)
Jessica Wiskus’s book The Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature, and Music is a fascinating study of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy inrelation to the artistic expression of Mallarmé, Cézanne, Proust, and Debussy. By invoking examples from across the arts and citations from across Merleau-Ponty’soeuvre, Wiskus provides us with a style for reading some of Merleau-Ponty’s difficult late concepts, including noncoincidence, institution, essence, and transcendence.In this review, we explore some of the key concepts and insights of Wiskus’s rich, interdisciplinary book and offer (...) some places where the depth that it opens up perhapsinvites further exploration. (shrink)
In Categorisation in Indian Philosophy: Thinking Inside the Box, Jessica Frazier has brought together an impressive array of scholars who have contributed nine essays, plus an introductory and concluding chapter, both written by her, which collectively provide a most fruitful perspective for examining classical South Asian traditions of thought. Creating categorial frameworks was certainly a prolific activity among the ancient and medieval authors of the darśanas, and indeed these authors drew heavily from pre-scholastic texts and language to build their (...) systems. Frazier in her concluding chapter gives a helpful synopsis of the various roles played by categories in Indian philosophies, classifying them as.. (shrink)
To the Editor: The sensitive discussion by Courtney Campbell and Jessica Cox on hospice care and physician-assisted death (“Hospice and Physician-Assisted Death: Collaboration, Compliance, and Complicity,” September-October 2010) is a model blend of ethical analysis, empirical study, and policy assessment in bioethics. The legalization of physician aid in dying has raised important ethical issues for hospice that go to the broader question of its evolving mission and its place in the landscape of end-of-life care in our society. Hospice began, (...) one might say, as a philosophy of care of the dying that formed a countercultural movement. It offered a systematic and holistic approach to care involving not .. (shrink)
Developing Global Health Programming: A Guidebook for Medical and Professional Schools , edited by Jessica Evert, Paul Drain, and Thomas Hall, is reviewed. In spite of some editorial shortcomings, the book is a terrific aggregation of resources and reflections on the state of global health education that leaves readers with a multitude of useful and diverse tools, as well as directions about where to find additional ones.