This essay explores the epistemological significance of the kinds of beliefs that grow out of traumatic experiences, such as the rape survivor's belief that she is never safe. On current theories of justification, beliefs like this one are generally dismissed due to either insufficient evidence or insufficient propositional content. Here, Freedman distinguishes two discrete sides of the aftermath of psychic trauma, the shattered self and the shattered worldview. This move enables us to see these beliefs as beliefs; in other (...) words, as having cognitive content. Freedman argues that what we then need is a theory of justification that allows us to handpick reliable sources of information on sexual violence, and give credibility where deemed appropriate. She advances a mix of reliabilism and coherentism that privileges feminism. On this account, the evidence for the class of beliefs in question will depend on an act of sexual violence (or testimony, or statistics) to the extent that the act is a reliable indication of the prevalence of sexual violence against women. (shrink)
There have been many efforts to infer causation from association byusing statistical models. Algorithms for automating this processare a more recent innovation. In Humphreys and Freedman[(1996) British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47, 113–123] we showed that one such approach, by Spirtes et al., was fatally flawed. Here we put our arguments in a broader context and reply to Korb and Wallace [(1997) British Journal for thePhilosophy of Science 48, 543–553] and to Spirtes et al.[(1997) British Journal for (...) the Philosophy of Science 48, 555–568]. Their arguments leave our position unchanged: claims to have developed a rigorous engine for inferring causation from association are premature at best, the theorems have no implications for samples of any realistic size, and the examples used to illustrate the algorithms are indicative of failure rather than success. The gap between association and causation has yet to be bridged. (shrink)
In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. _One Hour in Paris_ takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, then from a trauma center in Toronto to a rape clinic in (...) Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault and when many women are still ashamed to come forward, Freedman’s book is a moving and essential look at how survivors cope and persevere. At once deeply intimate and terrifyingly universal, _One Hour in Paris _weaves together Freedman’s personal experience with the latest philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological insights on what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. Using her background as a philosopher, she looks at the history of psychological trauma and draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to show how recovery from horrific experiences is possible. Through frank discussions of sex and intimacy, she explores the consequences of sexual violence for love and relationships, and she illustrates the steep personal cost of sexual violence and the obstacles faced by individual survivors in its aftermath. Freedman’s book is an urgent call to face this fundamental social problem head-on, arguing that we cannot continue to ignore the fact that sexual violence against women is rooted in gender inequalities that exist worldwide—and must be addressed. _One Hour in Paris_ is essential reading for survivors of sexual violence as well as an invaluable resource for therapists, mental health professionals, and family members and friends of victims. (shrink)
The authors find it more useful to payattention to relationships than to boundaries.By focusing attention on bounded, individualpsychological issues, the metaphor ofboundaries can distract helping professionalsfrom thinking about inequities of power. Itoversimplifies a complex issue, inviting us toignore discourses around gender, race, class,culture, and the like that support injustice,abuse, and exploitation. Making boundaries acentral metaphor for ethical practice can keepus from critically examining the effects ofdistance, withdrawal, and non-participation.The authors describe how it is possible toexamine the practical, moral, and ethicaleffects (...) of our participation in relationshipsby focusing on just relationships rather thanon boundaries. They give illustrations andclinical examples of relationally-focusedethical practices that derive from a narrativeapproach to therapy. (shrink)
This experiment investigated the effect of format (line vs. bar), viewers’ familiarity with variables, and viewers’ graphicacy (graphical literacy) skills on the comprehension of multivariate (three variable) data presented in graphs. Fifty-five undergraduates provided written descriptions of data for a set of 14 line or bar graphs, half of which depicted variables familiar to the population and half of which depicted variables unfamiliar to the population. Participants then took a test of graphicacy skills. As predicted, the format influenced viewers’ interpretations (...) of data. Specifically, viewers were more likely to describe x–y interactions when viewing line graphs than when viewing bar graphs, and they were more likely to describe main effects and “z–y” (the variable in the legend) interactions when viewing bar graphs than when viewing line graphs. Familiarity of data presented and individuals’ graphicacy skills interacted with the influence of graph format. Specifically, viewers were most likely to generate inferences only when they had high graphicacy skills, the data were familiar and thus the information inferred was expected, and the format supported those inferences. Implications for multivariate data display are discussed. (shrink)
Duty and Healing positions ethical issues commonly encountered in clinical situations within Jewish law. The concept of duty is significant in exploring bioethical issues, and this book presents an authentic and non-parochial Jewish approach to bioethics, while it includes critiques of both current secular and Jewish literatures. Among the issues the book explores are the role of family in medical decision-making, the question of informed consent as a personal religious duty, and the responsibilities of caretakers. The exploration of contemporary ethical (...) problems in healthcare through the lens of traditional sources in Jewish law is an indispensable guide of moral knowledge. (shrink)
Helen Longino argues that the way to ensure scientific knowledge is objective is to have a diversity of scientific investigators. This is the best example of recent feminist arguments which hold that the real value of diversity is epistemic, and not political, but it only partly succeeds. In the end, Longino's objectivity amounts to intersubjective agreement about contextually based standards, and while her account gives us a good reason for wanting diversity in our scientific communities, this reason turns out to (...) be political. (shrink)
In this paper, I give an answer to the central epistemic question regarding the normative requirements for beliefs based on testimony. My suggestion here is that our best strategy for coming up with the conditions for justification is to look at cases where the adoption of the belief matters to the person considering it. This leads me to develop, in Part One of the paper, an interest-relative theory of justification, according to which our justification for a proposition p depends on (...) our evidence in favour of p in proportion to our interest in p, as signalled by the epistemic risk we take in believing that p is true. In Part Two, I argue that this theory shows that the reductivist view offers a better normative account for the epistemic status of beliefs based on testimony than the credulist one, but it is inaptly named; the view I develop here is better conceived of as The Dependence Account. (shrink)
Criticisms have been made against international laws and conventions on asylum and refugees, arguing that these have been based on a male model of definition, which have ignored women’s persecutions. This article will argue that recent developments in European asylum policy have the potential to deepen this discrimination and to further reduce the rights of female asylum seekers. Although there have been some positive developments in jurisprudence that have recognised that gender-specific persecution may be the basis for granting asylum, these (...) advances remain relatively sporadic and are undermined by the operation of random and discretionary exercises of power by bureaucrats and decision makers in many cases. Further, although new developments in asylum policy are in theory “gender neutral,” differences in the material circumstances of men and women who arrive to seek asylum may mean in effect that the implications of these policies are deeply gendered. (shrink)
Bub's criticism of Bell's locality postulate is discussed. The locality postulate is explained, and it is shown that Bub is in fact arguing against a class of theories which are subject to stronger restrictions than this postulate, and therefore his “refutation” of the latter is misleading.
Cheryl Misak argues that since disquotationalism cannot distinguish between different kinds of declarative sentences it cannot make sense of the disciplined nature of moral discourse. This apparent weakness is overcome by her pragmatist theory of truth, which reinflates truth by linking it to our everyday practices of justification and verification. In this paper I argue that the criticism that a deflated notion of truth cannot capture our justificatory practices has no purchase with someone who has no such aspirations for the (...) truth predicate, and I go on to argue that this points to a more serious problem with Misak’s pragmatist theory of truth, namely her desire to explicate justification in terms of truth. The burden of making sense of debates in the moral realm lies not with the truth theorist, but elsewhere. Misak is right that moral claims demand greater justification than certain other sorts of declarative sentences, but the best explanation for this is the nature of the subject matter introduced by a claim to which the predicate ‘true’ is then applied. (shrink)
After sketching the conflict between objectivists and subjectivists on the foundations of statistics, this paper discusses an issue facing statisticians of both schools, namely, model validation. Statistical models originate in the study of games of chance, and have been successfully applied in the physical and life sciences. However, there are basic problems in applying the models to social phenomena; some of the difficulties will be pointed out. Hooke's law will be contrasted with regression models for salary discrimination, the latter being (...) a fairly typical application in the social sciences. (shrink)
In summary, the usual elements of a typical health care ethics consultation note might reasonably accommodate the needs and expectations of relevant parties, and would therefore include: 1. identification of the relevant ethical issues, questions, or dilemmas; 2. reference to any relevant facts--medical, nursing, social, psychological, spiritual, legal, political, etc.; 3. a prioritized list of recommendations to improve coordinated care; 4. a clear and concise articulation of relevant arguments, wtih specific reference to the list of recommendations as well as to (...) the institution's overall ethos; 5. a contextual statement, identifying the perceived degree of consensus or support for the recommendations and conclusions, as well as any inherent agendas. (shrink)
Doppelt (1986,1990), Siegel (1990), and Rosenberg (1996) argue that the pivotal feature of Laudan's normative naturalism, namely his axiology, lacks a naturalistic foundation. In this paper I show that this objection turns on a misunderstanding of Laudan's use of the term 'naturalism'. Specifically, I argue that there are two important senses of naturalism running through Laudan's work. Once these two strands are made explicit, the objection raised by Doppelt and others simply disappears.
Looking at specific populations of knowers reveals that the presumption of sameness within knowledge communities can lead to a number of epistemological oversights. A good example of this is found in the case of survivors of sexual violence. In this paper I argue that this case study offers a new perspective on the debate between the epistemic internalist and externalist by providing us with a fresh insight into the complicated psychological dimensions of belief formation and the implications that this has (...) for an epistemology that demands reasons that are first-person accessible. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against what I call ‘strict evidentialism’, the view that evidence is the sole factor for determining the normative status of beliefs. I argue that strict evidentialism fails to capture the uniquely subjective standpoint of believers and as a result it fails to provide us with the tools necessary to apply its own epistemic norms. In its place I develop an interest-relative theory of justification which I call quasi-evidentialism, according to which S has a justified belief (...) that P at time t if and only if S’s evidence at time t supports P in proportion to S’s interest in P. I take interests as fixed and argue that adjusting our confidence in a proposition in the right way, given our interests, is fine-tuned through the exercise of intellectual virtue, in particular the virtue of epistemic conscientiousness. This theory refocuses epistemic responsibility in the subject and by locating agency in the cultivation of epistemic virtue it also provides a handy solution to the problem of doxastic voluntarism, insofar as the development of our epistemic virtue guides our responsiveness to reason. (shrink)
This research concerns accountability by the U.S. electric utility industry for the financial impacts of cap-and-trade emissions allowance activity. We report findings from an extensive examination of disclosure practices for more than 100 facilities that were required to curb pollutant discharges and participate in a government-mandated program of emission allowance distribution and trading.
A series of studies investigated the capacity of children between the ages of 7 and 12 to give free and informed consent to participation in psychological research. Children were reasonably accurate in describing the purpose of studies, but many did not understand the possible benefits or especially the possible risks of participating. In several studies children's consent was not affected by the knowledge that their parents had given their permission or by the parents saying that they would not be upset (...) if the children refused. In contrast, other studies found that children were much more likely to stop their participation if the experimenter said explicitly that she would not be upset if they stopped. We suggest that experimenters should pay more attention to describing the possible risks and benefits of participation in research, and that they should also make it clearer to children that they are free to stop once they have begun. (shrink)
In previous work, I defended Larry Laudan against the criticism that the axiological component of his normative naturalism lacks a naturalistic justification. I argued that this criticism depends on an equivocation over the term 'naturalism' and that it begs the question against what we are entitled to include in our concept of nature. In this paper, I generalize that argument and explore its implications for Laudan and other proponents of epistemic naturalism. Here, I argue that a commitment to naturalism in (...) the methods and aims of science inevitably entails a kind of epistemic relativism. However, I argue that this should not be interpreted as a reductio of naturalism, since the admission of contextually based standards and aims of science does not result in quietism when it comes to important questions concerning scientific rationality. (shrink)
During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, physics was regularly taught as part of instruction in philosophy and the arts at Central European schools and universities. However, physics did not have a special or privileged status within that instruction. Three general indicators of this lack of special status are suggested in this article. First, teachers of physics usually were paid less than teachers of most other university-level subject-matters. Second, very few Central European academics during this period appear to have made (...) a career out of teaching physics. And third, Reformation Era schools and universities in Central Europe emphasized language instruction; such instruction not only was instrumental in promoting the confessional-i.e., Calvinist, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic-agendas of those same schools and universities, but also helped to prepare students for service in nascent but growing state governments. (shrink)