Introduction: the road ahead -- Pt. I. Envisioning a just place -- 1. Why jewish social justice? -- 2. Place matters -- 3. The ideal city -- Pt. II. Principles and practice of social justice -- 4. Storytelling for social justice -- 5. Creating an integrated Jewish life -- 6. Partnerships and power -- 7. Sacred words: engaging with text and tradition -- Pt. III. Taking action -- 8. Direct service -- 9. Giving and investing money -- 10. Advocacy -- (...) 11. Community organizing -- Conclusion: where justice dwells. (shrink)
Jill North offers answers to questions at the heart of the project of interpreting physics. How do we figure out the nature of the world from a mathematically formulated theory? What do we infer about the world when a physical theory can be mathematically formulated in different ways? The notion of structure is crucial to North's answers.
We are used to talking about the “structure” posited by a given theory of physics, such as the spacetime structure of relativity. What is “structure”? What does the mathematical structure used to formulate a theory tell us about the physical world according to the theory? What if there are different mathematical formulations of a given theory? Do different formulations posit different structures, or are they merely notational variants? I consider the case of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical mechanics. I argue that, (...) contrary to standard wisdom, these are not genuinely equivalent theories: they differ in statespace structure. I suggest that we should be realists about statespace structure. (shrink)
Medical nihilism is the view that we should have little confidence in the effectiveness of medical interventions. Jacob Stegenga argues persuasively that this is how we should see modern medicine, and suggests that medical research must be modified, clinical practice should be less aggressive, and regulatory standards should be enhanced.
I argue that the fundamental space of a quantum mechanical world is the wavefunction's space. I argue for this using some very general principles that guide our inferences to the fundamental nature of a world, for any fundamental physical theory. I suggest that ordinary three-dimensional space exists in such a world, but is non-fundamental; it emerges from the fundamental space of the wavefunction.
This paper is about the role of interpersonal comparisons in Harsanyi's aggregation theorem. Harsanyi interpreted his theorem to show that a broadly utilitarian theory of distribution must be true even if there are no interpersonal comparisons of well-being. How is this possible? The orthodox view is that it is not. Some argue that the interpersonal comparability of well-being is hidden in Harsanyi's premises. Others argue that it is a surprising conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem, which is not presupposed by any one (...) of the premises. I argue instead that Harsanyi was right: his theorem and its weighted-utilitarian conclusion do not require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. The key to making sense of this possibility is to treat Harsanyi's weights as dimensional constants rather than dimensionless numbers. (shrink)
We should see the debate over the existence of spacetime as a debate about the fundamentality of spatiotemporal structure to the physical world. This is a non-traditional conception of the debate, which captures the spirit of the traditional one. At the same time, it clarifies the point of contention between opposing views and offsets worries that the dispute is stagnant or non-substantive. It also unearths a novel argument for substantivalism, given current physics. Even so, that conclusion can be overridden by (...) future physics. I conclude that this debate is a substantive one, which the substantivalist is currently winning. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Malament (2004) employs a time reversal transformation that differs from the standard one, without explicitly arguing for it. This is a new and important understanding of time reversal that deserves arguing for in its own right. I argue that it improves upon the standard one. Recent discussion has focused on whether velocities should undergo a time reversal operation. I address a prior question: What is the proper notion of time reversal? This is important, for it will (...) affect our conclusion as to whether our best theories are time-reversal symmetric, and hence whether our spacetime is temporally oriented. *Received February 2007; revised March 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Yale University, P.O. Box 208306, New Haven, CT 06520-8306; e-mail: jill[email protected] (shrink)
In this introductory textbook to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Jill Vance Buroker explains the role of this first Critique in Kant's Critical project and offers a line-by-line reading of the major arguments in the text. She situates Kant's views in relation both to his predecessors and to contemporary debates, explaining his Critical philosophy as a response to the failure of rationalism and the challenge of skepticism. Paying special attention to Kant's notoriously difficult vocabulary, she explains the strengths and (...) weaknesses of his arguments, while leaving the final assessment up to the reader. Intended to be read alongside the Critique, this guide is accessible to readers with little background in the history of philosophy, but should also be a valuable resource for more advanced students. (shrink)
Or better: time asymmetry in thermodynamics. Better still: time asymmetry in thermodynamic phenomena. “Time in thermodynamics” misleadingly suggests that thermodynamics will tell us about the fundamental nature of time. But we don’t think that thermodynamics is a fundamental theory. It is a theory of macroscopic behavior, often called a “phenomenological science.” And to the extent that physics can tell us about the fundamental features of the world, including such things as the nature of time, we generally think that only fundamental (...) physics can. On its own, a science like thermodynamics won’t be able to tell us about time per se. But the theory will have much to say about everyday processes that occur in time; and in particular, the apparent asymmetry of those processes. The pressing question of time in the context of thermodynamics is about the asymmetry of things in time, not the asymmetry of time, to paraphrase Price ( , ). I use the title anyway, to underscore what is, to my mind, the centrality of thermodynamics to any discussion of the nature of time and our experience in it. The two issues—the temporal features of processes in time, and the intrinsic structure of time itself—are related. Indeed, it is in part this relation that makes the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics so interesting. This, plus the fact that thermodynamics describes a surprisingly wide range of our ordinary experience. We’ll return to this. First, we need to get the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics out on the table. (shrink)
We often use symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject that principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning in general. I argue that a priori (...) symmetries need never constrain our probability attributions, even when it comes to our initial credences. (shrink)
The concept of meaningful work has recently received increased attention in philosophy and other disciplines. However, the impact of the increasing robotization of the workplace on meaningful work has received very little attention so far. Doing work that is meaningful leads to higher job satisfaction and increased worker well-being, and some argue for a right to access to meaningful work. In this paper, we therefore address the impact of robotization on meaningful work. We do so by identifying five key aspects (...) of meaningful work: pursuing a purpose, social relationships, exercising skills and self-development, self-esteem and recognition, and autonomy. For each aspect, we analyze how the introduction of robots into the workplace may diminish or enhance the meaningfulness of work. We also identify a few ethical issues that emerge from our analysis. We conclude that robotization of the workplace can have both significant negative and positive effects on meaningful work. Our findings about ways in which robotization of the workplace can be a threat or opportunity for meaningful work can serve as the basis for ethical arguments for how to—and how not to—implement robots into workplaces. (shrink)
Robustness is a common platitude: hypotheses are better supported with evidence generated by multiple techniques that rely on different background assumptions. Robustness has been put to numerous epistemic tasks, including the demarcation of artifacts from real entities, countering the “experimenter’s regress,” and resolving evidential discordance. Despite the frequency of appeals to robustness, the notion itself has received scant critique. Arguments based on robustness can give incorrect conclusions. More worrying is that although robustness may be valuable in ideal evidential circumstances (i.e., (...) when evidence is concordant), often when a variety of evidence is available from multiple techniques, the evidence is discordant. †To contact the author, please write to: Jacob Stegenga, Department of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Ethical loneliness is the experience of being abandoned by humanity, compounded by the cruelty of wrongs not being heard. It is the result of multiple lapses on the part of human beings and political institutions that, in failing to listen well to survivors, deny them redress by negating their testimony and thwarting their claims for justice. Jill Stauffer examines the root causes of ethical loneliness and how those in power revise history to serve their own ends rather than the (...) needs of the abandoned. Out of this discussion, difficult truths about the desire and potential for political forgiveness, transitional justice, and political reconciliation emerge. Moving beyond a singular focus on truth commissions and legal trials, she considers more closely what is lost in the wake of oppression and violence, how selves and worlds are built and demolished, and who is responsible for re-creating lives after they are destroyed. Stauffer boldly argues that rebuilding worlds and just institutions after violence is a broad obligation and that those who care about justice must first confront their own assumptions about autonomy, liberty, and responsibility before an effective response to violence can take place. In building her claims, Stauffer draws on the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Améry, Eve Sedgwick, and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as concrete cases of justice and injustice across the world. (shrink)
According to Rosenthal's higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, one is in a conscious mental state if and only if one is aware of oneself as being in that state via a suitable HOT. Several critics have argued that the possibility of so-called targetless HOTs?that is, HOTs that represent one as being in a state that does not exist?undermines the theory. Recently, Wilberg (2010) has argued that HOT theory can offer a straightforward account of such cases: since consciousness is a (...) property of mental state tokens, and since there are no states to exhibit consciousness, one is not in conscious states in virtue of targetless HOTs. In this paper, I argue that Wilberg's account is problematic and that Rosenthal's version of HOT theory, according to which a suitable HOT is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness, is to be preferred to Wilberg's account. I then argue that Rosenthal's account can comfortably accommodate targetless HOTs because consciousness is best understood as a property of individuals, not a property of states. (shrink)
According to an influential view, one function of mirror neurons (MNs), first discovered in the brain of monkeys, is to underlie third-person mindreading. This view relies on two assumptions: the activity of MNs in an observer’s brain matches (simulates or resonates with) that of MNs in an agent’s brain and this resonance process retrodictively generates a representation of the agent’s intention from a perception of her movement. In this paper, I criticize both assumptions and I argue instead that the activity (...) of MNs in an observer’s brain is enhanced by a prior representation of the agent’s intention and that their task is to predictively compute the best motor command suitable to satisfy the agent’s intention. (shrink)
Philosophers have committed sins while studying science, it is said – philosophy of science focused on physics to the detriment of biology, reconstructed idealizations of scientific episodes rather than attending to historical details, and focused on theories and concepts to the detriment of experiments. Recent generations of philosophers of science have tried to atone for these sins, and by the 1980s the exculpation was in full swing. Marcel Weber’s Philosophy of Experimental Biology is a zenith mea culpa for philosophy of (...) science: it carefully describes several historical examples from twentieth century biology to address both ‘old’ philosophical topics, like reductionism, inference, and realism, and ‘new’ topics, like discovery, models, and norms. Biology, experiments, history – at last, philosophy of science, free of sin. (shrink)
Using a Solomon four-group design, we investigate the effect of a case-based critical thinking intervention on students’ critical thinking skills. We randomly assign 31 sessions of business classes to four groups and collect data from three sources: in-class performance, university records, and Internet surveys. Our 2 × 2 ANOVA results showed no significant between-subjects differences. Contrary to our expectations, students improve their critical thinking skills, with or without the intervention. Female and Caucasian students improve their critical thinking skills, but males (...) and non-Caucasian do not. Positive performance goals and negative mastery goals enhance and decrease improvements of their CTA scores, respectively. ACT and age are related to pre- and post-test. Gender is related to pre-test. GPA is related to post-test. Results shed light on the Pygmalion effect, the Galatea effect, ability, motivation, and opportunity as signals for human capital, and business ethics. (shrink)
In the present interview, Jacob Rogozinski elucidates the main concepts and theses he developed in his latest book dedicated to the issue of modern jihadism. On this occasion, he explains his disagreements with other philosophical (Badiou, Baudrillard, Žižek) and anthropological (Girard) accounts of Islamic terrorism. Rogozinski also explains that although jihadism betrays Islam, it nonetheless has everything to do with Islam. Eventually, he describes his own philosophical journey which led him from a phenomenological study of the ego and the flesh (...) to the study of past (witch-hunts, French Reign of Terror) and contemporary (jihadism) terror apparatuses. (shrink)
This book analyzes contemporary visual art produced in the context of conflict and trauma from a range of countries, including Colombia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Australia. It focuses on what makes visual language unique, arguing that the "affective" quality of art contributes to a new understanding of the experience of trauma and loss. By extending the concept of empathy, it also demonstrates how we might, through art, make connections with people in different parts of the world whose experiences differ (...) from our own. The book makes a distinct contribution to trauma studies, which has tended to concentrate on literary forms of expression. It also offers a sophisticated theoretical analysis of the operations of art, drawing on philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze, but setting this within a postcolonial framework. _Empathic Vision_ will appeal to anyone interested in the role of culture in post-September 11 global politics. (shrink)
Huw Price argues that there are two conceptions of the puzzle of the time-asymmetry of thermodynamics. He thinks this puzzle has remained unsolved for so long partly due to a misunderstanding about which of these conceptions is the right one and what form a solution ought to take. I argue that it is Price’s understanding of the problem which is mistaken. Further, it is on the basis of this and other misunderstandings that he disparages a type of account which does, (...) in fact, hold promise of a solution. (shrink)
We address a long-standing debate over whether classical magnetic forces can do work, ultimately answering the question in the affirmative. In detail, we couple a classical particle with intrinsic spin and elementary dipole moments to the electromagnetic field, derive the appropriate generalization of the Lorentz force law, show that the particle’s dipole moments must be collinear with its spin axis, and argue that the magnetic field does mechanical work on the particle’s elementary magnetic dipole moment. As consistency checks, we calculate (...) the overall system’s energy-momentum and angular momentum, and show that their local conservation equations lead to the same force law and therefore the same conclusions about magnetic forces and work. We also compute the system’s Belinfante–Rosenfeld energy–momentum tensor. (shrink)
This is a collection of thirteen new philosophical essays exploring the inequities in our contemporary food system. The book addresses topics including food and property, food insecurity, food deserts, food sovereignty, the gendered aspects of food injustice, food and race, and locavorism.
This highly original interpretation of Paul by the Jewish philosopher of religion Jacob Taubes was presented in a number of lectures held in Heidelberg toward the end of his life, and was regarded by him as his “spiritual testament.” ...
Phase I clinical trials are the first stage of testing new pharmaceuticals in humans. The majority of these studies are conducted under controlled, inpatient conditions using healthy volunteers who are paid for their participation. This article draws on an ethnographic study of six phase I clinics in the United States, including 268 semistructured interviews with research staff and healthy volunteers. In it, I argue that an institutional banalization of risk structures the perceptions of research staff and healthy volunteers participating in (...) the studies. For research staff, there are three mechanisms by which risk becomes banal: a perceived homogeneity of studies, Fordist work regimes, and data-centric discourse. For healthy volunteers, repeat study participation contributes to the institutional banalization of risk both through the process of desensitization to risk and the formation of trust in the clinics. I argue that the institutional banalization of risk also renders invisible ethical concerns about exploitation of underprivileged groups in pharmaceutical research. (shrink)
In the twenty interviews collected in this volume, seventeen of which appear in English for the first time, Levinas sets forth the central features of his ethical philosophy and discusses biographical matters not available elsewhere.
Whether intended or not, conceptions of informed consent are often rooted in archetypal notions of the researcher and prospective study participant. The former is assumed problematically to be a disinterested yet humanitarian individual who is well trained to conduct robust science. The latter is often characterized as being motivated by some altruistic notions about the contribution to science and society they are making even as they seek some personal benefit from the research. Cast in a dyad, the researcher has the (...) responsibility to inform the participant thoroughly about the purpose of the research, the risks and benefits of participation, and any alternatives to research available, as well as the .. (shrink)
Science and technology are so intertwined that technoscience has been argued to more accurately reflect the progress of science and its impact on society, and most socioscientific issues require technoscientific reasoning. Education policy documents have long noted that the general public lacks sufficient understanding of science and technology necessary for informed decision-making regarding socioscientific/technological issues. The science–technology–society movement and scholarship addressing socioscientific issues in science education reflect efforts in the science education community to promote more informed decision-making regarding such issues. (...) Now Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics education has emerged as a major reform movement impacting science education. STEM education efforts emphasize literacy across the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but with rare exceptions, treat issues of technology superficially and uncritically. Informed decision-making regarding many personal and societal issues requires technological literacy beyond merely becoming an enthusiastic designer or skilled user of technology, but the science education community has given little attention to what such literacy entails. Here, we present results of an extensive review of the literature regarding the nature of technology in order to identify key issues among scholars who study technology. We then provide predominant perspectives among those scholars and suggest which identified NOT issues are most essential to address as part of STEM education efforts that seek to promote informed personal and societal decision-making. (shrink)
Disappointed by the indifferent reception of his 1739 Treatise of Human Nature, particularly in view of his commitment to vividness and convincingness as epistemological criteria, Hume recast crucial arguments from his Treatise in “The Epicurean,” “The Stoic,” “The Platonist,” and “The Sceptic,” four pieces from his 1741–2 Essays Moral and Political. Locating these texts within both the dialogue and essay genres, I demonstrate how Hume continues the project of the Treatise by showing, rather than telling, his views: he blends rhetoric (...) and reasoned argument to show that they are in many cases indistinguishable; he depicts his speakers' conclusions as consequences of their personalities to show his skepticism about human freedom; and he concludes, in a moment strongly reminiscent of the famous end of Book I of the Treatise, by showing the limits of philosophy itself. (shrink)
Throughout an illustrious career of teaching and writing that spans five decades, philosopher Needleman has always tackled the "big questions" of life. In this collection of six feature interviews that began in the 1980s, Miller and Needleman discuss "Making Sense of Mysticism, The Secrets of Time and Love, The Meanings of Money, Searching for the Soul of America, Meeting God without Religion, " and "The Need for Philosophy.".
I discuss the nature of the puzzle about the time‐asymmetry of radiation and argue that its most common formulation is flawed. As a result, many proposed solutions fail to solve the real problem. I discuss a recent proposal of Mathias Frisch as an example of the tendency to address the wrong problem. I go on to suggest that the asymmetry of radiation, like the asymmetry of thermodynamics, results from the initial state of the universe.
Is it a requirement of justice to democratize private companies? This question has received renewed attention in the wake of the financial crisis, as part of a larger debate about the role of companies in society. In this article, we discuss three principled arguments for workplace democracy and show that these arguments fail to establish that all workplaces ought to be democratized. We do, however, argue that republican-minded workers must have a fair opportunity to work in a democratic company. Under (...) current conditions, this means that a liberal order must actively promote workplace democracy. (shrink)
There has been a massive advocacy movement over the last 15 years that has sought to advance the case of religion into view of decision-makers in the international development sector. This advocacy effort has been dispersed and not centrally organised, and is made up of the efforts of multiple development actors, religious institutions, researchers and others. This article shows how this advocacy approach has been highly successful in increasing acceptance of the fact that religion is relevant to development, and religious (...) communities and institutions make contributions to the development effort - and this acceptance can now be seen at the highest levels. However, the article highlights several challenges that have come with this advocacy approach. It therefore supports urgent reflection on the direction of this advocacy going forward and suggests that major and uncomfortable adaptations might now be required. (shrink)