Principles can seem as entrenched in moral experience as Kant thinks space, time, and the categories are in human experience of the world. However not all cultures have such a view. Classical Indian and Chinese philosophies treat modification of the self as central to ethics. Decisions in particular cases and underlying principles are much less discussed. Ethics needs comparative philosophy in order not to be narrow in its concerns. A broader view can give weight to how people sometimes can change (...) who they are, in order to lead better lives. (shrink)
During the first two decades of the Cold War, a new kind of academic figure became prominent in American public life: the credentialed social scientist or expert in the sciences of administration who was also, to use the parlance of the time, a “man of affairs.” Some were academic high-fliers conscripted into government roles in which their intellectual and organizational talents could be exploited. McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow, and Robert McNamara are the archetypes of such persons. An overlapping group of (...) scholars became policymakers and political advisers on issues ranging from social welfare provision to nation-building in emerging postcolonial states. Many of these men—and almost without exception they were men—were also consummate operators within the patronage system that grew up around American universities after World War II. Postwar leaders of the social and administrative sciences such as Talcott Parsons and Herbert Simon were skilled scientific brokers of just this sort: good “committee men,” grant-getters, proponents of interdisciplinary inquiry, and institution-builders. This hard-nosed, suit-wearing, business-like persona was connected to new, technologically refined forms of social science. No longer sage-like social philosophers or hardscrabble, number-crunching empiricists, academic human scientists portrayed themselves as possessors of tools and programs designed for precision social engineering. Antediluvian “social science” was eschewed in favour of mathematical, behavioural, and systems-based approaches to “human relations” such as operations research, behavioral science, game theory, systems theory, and cognitive science. (shrink)
Many would consider the lengthening debate between moral realists and anti-realists to be draw-ish. Plainly new approaches are needed. Or might the issue, which most broadly concerns realism in relation to normative judgments, be broken down into parts or sectors? Physicists have been saying, in relation to a similarly longstanding debate, that light in some respects behaves like waves and in some respects like particles. Might realism be more plausible in relation to some kinds of normative judgments than others?
Joel Feinberg was a brilliant philosopher whose work in social and moral philosophy is a legacy of excellent, even stunning achievement. Perhaps his most memorable achievement is his four-volume treatise on The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law, and perhaps the most striking jewel in this crowning achievement is his passionate and deeply insightful treatment of paternalism.1 Feinberg opposes Legal Paternalism, the doctrine that “it is always a good reason in support of a [criminal law] prohibition that it is necessary (...) to prevent harm (physical, psychological, or economic) to the actor himself.” Against this doctrine Feinberg asserts that when an agent’s sufficiently voluntary choice causes harm to herself or risk of harm to herself, this category of harm-to-self is never a good reason in support of criminal law prohibition of that type of conduct. (shrink)
Much recent work on empathy in philosophy of mind and cognitive science has been guided by the assumption that minds are composed of intracranial phenomena, perceptually inaccessible and thus unobservable to everyone but their owners. I challenge this claim. I defend the view that at least some mental states and processes—or at least some parts of some mental states and processes—are at times visible, capable of being directly perceived by others. I further argue that, despite its initial implausibility, this view (...) receives robust support from several strands of empirical research. (shrink)
Until recently, philosophers and psychologists conceived of emotions as brain- and body-bound affairs. But researchers have started to challenge this internalist and individualist orthodoxy. A rapidly growing body of work suggests that some emotions incorporate external resources and thus extend beyond the neurophysiological confines of organisms; some even argue that emotions can be socially extended and shared by multiple agents. Call this the extended emotions thesis. In this article, we consider different ways of understanding ExE in philosophy, psychology, and the (...) cognitive sciences. First, we outline the background of the debate and discuss different argumentative strategies for ExE. In particular, we distinguish ExE from cognate but more moderate claims about the embodied and situated nature of cognition and emotion. We then dwell upon two dimensions of ExE: emotions extended by material culture and by the social factors. We conclude by defending ExE against some objections and point to desiderata for future research. (shrink)
The problem of other minds has a distinguished philosophical history stretching back more than two hundred years. Taken at face value, it is an epistemological question: it concerns how we can have knowledge of, or at least justified belief in, the existence of minds other than our own. In recent decades, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and primatologists have debated a related question: how we actually go about attributing mental states to others (regardless of whether we ever achieve knowledge or rational (...) justification in this domain). Until the mid-nineties, the latter debate – which sometimes goes under the name of the “mindreading” debate – was characterized by a fairly clear-cut opposition between two theoretical outlooks: “theory-theory” (TT) and “simulation theory” (ST). Theory-theorists typically argued that we attribute mental states to others on the basis of a “theory of mind” that is either constructed in early infancy and subsequently revised and modified (Gopnik 1996), or else is the result of maturation of innate mindreading “modules” (Baron-Cohen 1995). (shrink)
Supererogation and rules -- Problematic responsibility in law and morals -- On being "morally speaking a murderer" -- Justice and personal desert -- The expressive function of punishment -- Action and responsibility -- Causing voluntary actions -- Sua culpa -- Collective responsibility -- Crime, clutchability, and individuated treatment -- What is so special about mental illness?
In this volume, Feinberg focuses on the meanings of "interest," the relationship between interests and wants, and the distinction between want-regarding and ideal-regarding analyses on interest and hard cases for the applications of the concept of harm. Examples of the "hard cases" are harm to character, vicarious harm, and prenatal and posthumous harm. Feinberg also discusses the relationship between harm and rights, the concept of a victim, and the distinctions of various quantitative dimensions of harm, consent, and offense, including the (...) magnitude, probability, risk, and "importance" of harm. (shrink)
In “The Child’s Relations with Others,” Merleau-Ponty argues that certain early experiences are jointly owned in that they are numerically single experiences that are nevertheless given to more than one subject (e.g., the infant and caregiver). Call this the “joint ownership thesis” (JT). Drawing upon both Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological analysis, as well as studies of exogenous attention and mutual affect regulation in developmental psychology, I motivate the plausibility of JT. I argue that the phenomenological structure of some early infant–caregiver dyadic exchanges (...) is best described as involving joint subjects. From birth, some experiences are constitutively social in that certain phenomenal states, such as the positive emotions that arise within these early exchanges, are jointly owned. Along the way, I consider a possible objection. I conclude by considering the explanatory significance of adopting JT. (shrink)
I defend a model of the musically extended mind. I consider how acts of “musicking” grant access to novel emotional experiences otherwise inaccessible. First, I discuss the idea of “musical affordances” and specify both what musical affordances are and how they invite different forms of entrainment. Next, I argue that musical affordances – via soliciting different forms of entrainment – enhance the functionality of various endogenous, emotiongranting regulative processes, drawing novel experiences out of us with an expanded complexity and phenomenal (...) character. I argue that music therefore ought to be thought of as part of the vehicle needed to realize these emotional experiences. I appeal to different sources of empirical work to develop this idea. (shrink)
The multiverse view in set theory, introduced and argued for in this article, is the view that there are many distinct concepts of set, each instantiated in a corresponding set-theoretic universe. The universe view, in contrast, asserts that there is an absolute background set concept, with a corresponding absolute set-theoretic universe in which every set-theoretic question has a definite answer. The multiverse position, I argue, explains our experience with the enormous range of set-theoretic possibilities, a phenomenon that challenges the universe (...) view. In particular, I argue that the continuum hypothesis is settled on the multiverse view by our extensive knowledge about how it behaves in the multiverse, and as a result it can no longer be settled in the manner formerly hoped for. (shrink)
The extended mind thesis (EM) asserts that some cognitive processes are (partially) composed of actions consisting of the manipulation and exploitation of environmental structures. Might some processes at the root of social cognition have a similarly extended structure? In this paper, I argue that social cognition is fundamentally an interactive form of space management—the negotiation and management of ‘‘we-space”—and that some of the expressive actions involved in the negotiation and management of we-space (gesture, touch, facial and whole-body expressions) drive basic (...) processes of interpersonal understanding and thus do genuine social-cognitive work. Social interaction is a kind of extended social cognition, driven and at least partially constituted by environmental (non-neural) scaffolding. Challenging the Theory of Mind paradigm, I draw upon research from gesture studies, developmental psychology, and work on Moebius Syndrome to support this thesis. (shrink)
I defend a perceptual account of face-to-face mindreading. I begin by proposing a phenomenological constraint on our visual awareness of others' emotional expressions. I argue that to meet this constraint we require a distinction between the basic and non-basic ways people, and other things, look. I offer and defend just such an account.
The final volume of Feinberg's four-volume work, The Moral Limits of Criminal Law examines the philosophical basis for the criminalization of so-called "victimless crimes" such as ticket scalping, blackmail, consented-to exploitation of others, commercial fortune telling, and consensual sexual relations.
I offer a preliminary defense of the hypothesis of extended emotions (HEE). After discussing some taxonomic considerations, I specify two ways of parsing HEE: the hypothesis of bodily extended emotions (HEBE), and the hypothesis of environmentally extended emotions (HEEE). I argue that, while both HEBE and HEEE are empirically plausible, only HEEE covers instances of genuinely extended emotions. After introducing some further distinctions, I support one form of HEEE by appealing to different streams of empirical research—particularly work on music and (...) emotion regulation. However, I register skepticism about a second and more radical form of HEEE. (shrink)
This paper is an exploration of how we do things with music—that is, the way that we use music as an esthetic technology to enact micro-practices of emotion regulation, communicative expression, identity construction, and interpersonal coordination that drive core aspects of our emotional and social existence. The main thesis is: from birth, music is directly perceived as an affordance-laden structure. Music, I argue, affords a sonic world, an exploratory space or nested acoustic environment that further affords possibilities for, among other (...) things, (1) emotion regulation and (2) social coordination. When we do things with music, we are engaged in the work of creating and cultivating the self, as well as creating and cultivating a shared world that we inhabit with others. I develop this thesis by first introducing the notion of a musical affordance . Next, I look at how emotional affordances in music are exploited to construct and regulate emotions. I summon empirical research on neonate music therapy to argue that this is something we emerge from the womb knowing how to do. I then look at social affordances in music, arguing that joint attention to social affordances in music alters how music is both perceived and appropriated by joint attenders within social listening contexts. In support, I describe the experience of listening to and engaging with music in a live concert setting. Thinking of music as an affordance-laden structure thus reaffirms the crucial role that music plays in constructing and regulating emotional and social experiences in everyday life. (shrink)
One of liberalism’s core commitments is to safeguarding individuals’ autonomy. And a central aspect of liberal social justice is the commitment to protecting the vulnerable. Taken together, and combined with an understanding of autonomy as an acquired set of capacities to lead one’s own life, these commitments suggest that liberal societies should be especially concerned to address vulnerabilities of individuals regarding the development and maintenance of their autonomy. In this chapter, we develop an account of what it would mean for (...) a society to take seriously the obligation to reduce individuals’ autonomy-related vulnerabilities to an acceptable minimum. In particular, we argue that standard liberal accounts underestimate the scope of this obligation because they fail to appreciate various threats to autonomy. (shrink)
The principle of legal paternalism justifies state coercion to protect individuals from self-inflicted harm, or in its extreme version, to guide them, whether they like it or not, toward their own good. Parents can be expected to justify their interference in the lives of their children on the ground that “daddy knows best.” legal paternalism seems to imply that since the state often can know the interests of individual citizens better than the citizens know them themselves, it stands as a (...) permanent guardian of those interests in loco parentis. Put in this blunt way, paternalism seems a preposterous doctrine. If adults are treated as children they will come in time to be like children. Deprived of the right to choose for themselves, they will soon lose the power of rational judgment and decision. Even children, after a certain point, had better not be “treated as children,” else they will never acquire the outlook and capability of responsible adults. (shrink)
I consider the developmental origins of the socially extended mind. First, I argue that, from birth, the physical interventions caregivers use to regulate infant attention and emotion (gestures, facial expressions, direction of gaze, body orientation, patterns of touch and vocalization, etc.) are part of the infant’s socially extended mind; they are external mechanisms that enable the infant to do things she could not otherwise do, cognitively speaking. Second, I argue that these physical interventions encode the norms, values, and patterned practices (...) distinctive of their specific sociocultural milieu. Accordingly, not only do they enhance and extend the infant’s cognitive competence. They also entrain the infant to think and act in culturally appropriate ways. These physical interventions are thus arguably the earliest examples of social practices that scaffold the infant’s cognitive development and shape the development of their cultural education. (shrink)
I shall be concerned in this paper with some philosophical puzzles raised by so-called “wrongful life” suits. These legal actions are obviously of great interest to lawyers and physicians, but philosophers might have a kind of professional interest in them too, since in a remarkably large number of them, judges have complained that the issues are too abstruse for the courts and belong more properly to philosophers and theologians. The issues that elicit this judicial frustration are those that require the (...) application to border-line cases of such philosophically interesting concepts as acting, causing, and the one that especially interests me, harming. I first became interested in the concept of harming in my work on the moral limits of the criminal law, where I had to come to terms with John Stuart Mill's famous “harm principle”–the principle that it is always a good reason in support of a criminal prohibition, indeed, the only legitimate reason, that it will prevent harm to persons other than the actor. I could not very well criticize that principle until I decided what the word “harm” must mean in its formulation. I gave what I took to be the requisite analysis of harm in my book Harm to Others. Here I wish to improve that analysis, examine its implications for civil as well as criminal liability, and test it on conceptually hard cases, especially cases of prenatal harming, that is, cases in which the wrongful causative conduct occurs before the victim's birth, and the harmed state that is its upshot consists in being born in an impaired condition. (shrink)
In an attempt to bridge the vast divide between classical Asian thought and contemporary Western philosophy, Joel J. Kupperman finds that the two traditions do not, by and large, supply different answers to the same questions. Rather, each tradition is searching for answers to their own set of questions--mapping out distinct philosophical investigations. In this groundbreaking book, Kupperman argues that the foundational Indian and Chinese texts include lines of thought that can enrich current philosophical practice, and in some cases provide (...) uniquely sophisticated insights. Special attention is given to the ethical issues of formation and fluidity of self, the nature and possibilities of choice, the compartmentalization of life implicit in some ethical systems, the variations of ethical demands from person to person, and the nature of philosophy itself as a communicative activity. This study will provide a wealth of information for philosophers seeking a closer knowledge of Asian philosophy and general readers with an interest in Eastern thought. (shrink)
This collection concludes with two essays dealing with concepts used in appraising the whole of a person's life: absurdity and self-fulfillment, and their interplay.Dealing with a diverse set of problems in practical and theoretical ethics, ...
We often speak of a person's character--good or bad, strong or weak--and think of it as a guide to how that person will behave in a given situation. Oddly, however, philosophers writing about ethics have had virtually nothing to say about the role of character in ethical behavior. What is character? How does it relate to having a self, or to the process of moral decision? Are we responsible for our characters? Character answers these questions, and goes on to examine (...) the place of character in ethical philosophy. Both the Kantian and utilitarian traditions, Kupperman argues, have largely ignored the ways in which decisions are integrated over time, and instead provide a "snapshot" model of moral decision. Kupperman demonstrates the deficiencies of a number of classic and contemporary ethical theories that do not take account of the idea of character, and offers his own character-based theory. Along the way he touches on such subjects as personal identity, the importance of happiness, moral education, and the definition of a valuable life. (shrink)
Gilbert Harman has argued that it does not make sense to ascribe character traits to people. The notion of morally virtuous character becomes particularly suspect. How plausible this is depends on how broad character traits would have to be. Views of character as entirely invariant behavioural tendencies offer a soft target. This paper explores a view that is a less easy target: character traits as specific to kinds of situation, and as involving probabilities or real possibilities. Such ascriptions are not (...) undermined by Harman's arguments, and it remains plausible that the agent's character often is indispensable in explanation of behaviour. Character is indispensable also as processes of control that impose reliability where it really matters. (shrink)
I argue for an enactive account of musical experience — that is, the experience of listening ‘deeply’(i.e., sensitively and understandingly) to a piece of music. The guiding question is: what do we do when we listen ‘deeply’to music? I argue that these music listening episodes are, in fact, doings. They are instances of active perceiving, robust sensorimotor engagements with and manipulations of sonic structures within musical pieces. Music is thus experiential art, and in Nietzsche’s words, ‘we listen to music with (...) our muscles’. This paper attempts to explicate and defend this claim. First, I discuss enactive approaches to consciousness and cognition generally. Next, I apply an enactive model of perceptual consciousness to the experience of listening to music. To clarify what is at stake, I use Peter Kivy’s ‘enhanced formalism’ as a philosophical foil. I then look at how the animate body shapes musical experience. (shrink)
Is there anything peculiarly "photographic" about photography—something which sets it apart from all other ways of making pictures? If there is, how important is it to our understanding of photographs? Are photographs so unlike other sorts of pictures as to require unique methods of interpretation and standards of evaluation? These questions may sound artificial, made up especially for the purpose of theorizing. But they have in fact been asked and answered not only by critics and photographers but by laymen. Furthermore, (...) for most of this century the majority of critics and laymen alike have tended to answer these questions in the same way: that photographs and paintings differ in an important way and require different methods in interpretation precisely because photographs and paintings come into being in different ways. These answers are interesting because, even within the rather restricted classes of critics, photographers, and theorists, they are held in common by a wide variety of people who otherwise disagree strongly with each other—by people who think that photographs are inferior to paintings and people who believe they are superior; by people who think that photographs ought to be "objective" and those who believe they should be "subjective"; by those who believe that it is impossible for photographers to "create" anything and by those who believe that they should at least try. Joel Snyder teaches criticism and history of photography at the University of Chicago and is presently compiling a book of his own photographs. His contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Picturing Vision" and "Reflexions on Las Meninas: Paradox Lost", written with Ted Cohen in the Winter 1980 issue. Neil Walsh Allen produces educational audio-visual materials and has designed eight permanent exhibits on the history and applications of photography for the Smithsonian Institution. (shrink)
The lottery preparation, a new general kind of Laver preparation, works uniformly with supercompact cardinals, strongly compact cardinals, strong cardinals, measurable cardinals, or what have you. And like the Laver preparation, the lottery preparation makes these cardinals indestructible by various kinds of further forcing. A supercompact cardinal κ, for example, becomes fully indestructible by <κ-directed closed forcing; a strong cardinal κ becomes indestructible by κ-strategically closed forcing; and a strongly compact cardinal κ becomes indestructible by, among others, the forcing to (...) add a Cohen subset to κ, the forcing to shoot a club Cκ avoiding the measurable cardinals and the forcing to add various long Prikry sequences. The lottery preparation works best when performed after fast function forcing, which adds a new completely general kind of Laver function for any large cardinal, thereby freeing the Laver function concept from the supercompact cardinal context. (shrink)
The extended mind thesis claims that mental states need not be confined to the brain or even the biological borders of the subject. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have in recent years debated the plausibility of this thesis, growing an immense body of literature. Yet despite its many supporters, there have been relatively few attempts to apply the thesis to religious studies, particularly studies of religious cognition. In this essay, I indicate how various dimensions of religious cognition might be thought of (...) as extended. In particular, I focus on the mutually-supporting relationship between religious cognition and material culture: the many things we use to organize and enact our religious practices and beliefs, from relics and rituals to songs and holy spaces. As we’ll see, taking the extended mind thesis seriously suggests that an investigation of religious material culture is, simultaneously, an investigation of religious cognition. (shrink)