Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
Kant wants to show that freedom is possible in the face of natural necessity. Transcendental idealism is his solution, which locates freedom outside of nature. I accept that this makes freedom possible, but object that it precludes the recognition of other rational agents. In making this case, I trace some of the history of Kant’s thoughts on freedom. In several of his earlier works, he argues that we are aware of our own activity. He later abandons this approach, as he (...) worries that any awareness of our activity involves access to the noumenal, and thereby conflicts with the epistemic limits of transcendental idealism. In its place, from the second Critique onwards, Kant argues that we are conscious of the moral law, which tells me that I ought to do something, thus revealing that I can. This is the only proof of freedom consistent with transcendental idealism, but I argue that such an exclusively first-personal approach precludes the recognition of other rational agents. I conclu.. (shrink)
There are many cases in which, by making some great sacrifice, you could bring about either a good outcome or a very good outcome. In some of these cases, it seems wrong for you to bring about the good outcome, since you could bring about the very good outcome with no additional sacrifice. It also seems permissible for you not to make the sacrifice, and bring about neither outcome. But together, these claims seem to imply that you ought to bring (...) about neither outcome rather than the good outcome. And that seems very counterintuitive. In this paper, I develop this problem, propose a solution, and then draw out some implications both for how we should understand supererogation and for how we should approach charitable giving. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Shagrir and Sprevak explore the apparent necessity of representation for the individuation of digits in computational systems.1 1 I will first offer a response to Sprevak’s argument that does not mention Shagrir’s original formulation, which was more complex. I then extend my initial response to cover Shagrir’s argument, thus demonstrating that it is possible to individuate digits in non-representational computing mechanisms. I also consider the implications that the non-representational individuation of digits would have for the broader theory of computing (...) mechanisms. 1 The Received View: No Computation without Representation 2 Computing Mechanisms and Functional Individuation 3 Against Computational Externalism 4 Implications for the Mechanistic Account. (shrink)
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a headache rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. They therefore accept a partially aggregative moral view. Patrick Tomlin has recently argued that the most promising partially aggregative views in the literature have implausible implications in certain cases in which there are additions or subtractions to (...) the groups of people that we can save. Several philosophers have begun responding to this argument by developing partially aggregative views that avoid the relevant implications. In this paper, I extend Tomlin’s argument to create a dilemma that no partially aggregative view can avoid. I conclude that we should accept a fully aggregative moral view. (shrink)
Several philosophers have defended versions of Minimax Complaint, or MC. According to MC, other things equal, we should act in the way that minimises the strongest individual complaint. In this paper, I argue that MC must be rejected because it has implausible implications in certain cases involving risk. In these cases, we can apply MC either ex ante, by focusing on the complaints that could be made based on the prospects that an act gives to people, or ex post, by (...) focusing on the complaints that could be made based on the actual results that an act has for people. I argue that MC has implausible implications either way. I then defend a view on which, other things equal, we should act in the way that minimizes the sum of complaints. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to begin developing a version of Gualtiero Piccinini’s mechanistic account of computation that does not need to appeal to any notion of proper functions. The motivation for doing so is a general concern about the role played by proper functions in Piccinini’s account, which will be evaluated in the first part of the paper. I will then propose a potential alternative approach, where computing mechanisms are understood in terms of Carl Craver’s perspectival account of (...) mechanistic functions. According to this approach, the mechanistic function of ‘performing a computation’ can only be attributed relative to an explanatory perspective, but such attributions are nonetheless constrained by the underlying physical structure of the system in question, thus avoiding unlimited pancomputationalism. If successful, this approach would carry with it fewer controversial assumptions than Piccinini’s original account, which requires a robust understanding of proper functions. Insofar as there are outstanding concerns about the status of proper functions, this approach would therefore be more generally acceptable. (shrink)
In this paper, we draw attention to several important tensions between Kant’s account of moral education and his commitment to transcendental idealism. Our main claim is that, in locating freedom outside of space and time, transcendental idealism makes it difficult for Kant to both provide an explanation of how moral education occurs, but also to confirm that his own account actually works. Having laid out these problems, we then offer a response on Kant’s behalf. We argue that, while it might (...) look like Kant has to abandon his commitment to either moral education or transcendental idealism, there is a way in which he can maintain both. (shrink)
Whilst much has been said about the implications of predictive processing for our scientific understanding of cognition, there has been comparatively little discussion of how this new paradigm fits with our everyday understanding of the mind, i.e. folk psychology. This paper aims to assess the relationship between folk psychology and predictive processing, which will first require making a distinction between two ways of understanding folk psychology: as propositional attitude psychology and as a broader folk psychological discourse. It will be argued (...) that folk psychology in this broader sense is compatible with predictive processing, despite the fact that there is an apparent incompatibility between predictive processing and a literalist interpretation of propositional attitude psychology. The distinction between these two kinds of folk psychology allows us to accept that our scientific usage of folk concepts requires revision, whilst rejecting the suggestion that we should eliminate folk psychology entirely. (shrink)
Religion is an important element of end-of-life care on the paediatric intensive care unit with religious belief providing support for many families and for some staff. However, religious claims used by families to challenge cessation of aggressive therapies considered futile and burdensome by a wide range of medical and lay people can cause considerable problems and be very difficult to resolve. While it is vital to support families in such difficult times, we are increasingly concerned that deeply held belief in (...) religion can lead to children being potentially subjected to burdensome care in expectation of ‘miraculous’ intervention. We reviewed cases involving end-of-life decisions over a 3-year period. In 186 of 203 cases in which withdrawal or limitation of invasive therapy was recommended, agreement was achieved. However, in the 17 remaining cases extended discussions with medical teams and local support mechanisms did not lead to resolution. Of these cases, 11 (65%) involved explicit religious claims that intensive care should not be stopped due to expectation of divine intervention and complete cure together with conviction that overly pessimistic medical predictions were wrong. The distribution of the religions included Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic groups. Five of the 11 cases were resolved after meeting religious community leaders; one child had intensive care withdrawn following a High Court order, and in the remaining five, all Christian, no resolution was possible due to expressed expectations that a ‘miracle’ would happen. (shrink)
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a migraine rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer “yes” and “no,” respectively. The aim of partially aggregative moral views is to capture and justify combinations of intuitions like these. In this article, I develop a risk-based reductio argument that shows that there can be no adequate partially aggregative view. (...) I then argue that the only plausible response to this reductio is to accept a fully aggregative view. (shrink)
Policymakers who seek to make scientifically informed decisions are constantly confronted by scientific uncertainty and expert disagreement. This thesis asks: how can policymakers rationally respond to expert disagreement and scientific uncertainty? This is a work of non-ideal theory, which applies formal philosophical tools developed by ideal theorists to more realistic cases of policymaking under scientific uncertainty. I start with Bayesian approaches to expert testimony and the problem of expert disagreement, arguing that two popular approaches— supra-Bayesianism and the standard model of (...) expert deference—are insufficient. I develop a novel model of expert deference and show how it can deal with many of these problems raised for them. I then turn to opinion pooling, a popular method for dealing with disagreement. I show that various theoretical motivations for pooling functions are irrelevant to realistic policymaking cases. This leads to a cautious recommendation of linear pooling. However, I then show that any pooling method relies on value judgements, that are hidden in the selection of the scoring rule. My focus then narrows to a more specific case of scientific uncertainty: multiple models of the same system. I introduce a particular case study involving hurricane models developed to support insurance decision-making. I recapitulate my analysis of opinion pooling in the context of model ensembles, confirming that my hesitations apply. This motivates a shift of perspective, to viewing the problem as a decision theoretic one. I rework a recently developed ambiguity theory, called the confidence approach, to take input from model ensembles. I show how it facilitates the resolution of the policymaker’s problem in a way that avoids the issues encountered in previous chapters. This concludes my main study of the problem of expert disagreement. In the final chapter, I turn to methodological reflection. I argue that philosophers who employ the mathematical methods of the prior chapters are modelling. Employing results from the philosophy of scientific models, I develop the theory of normative modelling. I argue that it has important methodological conclusions for the practice of formal epistemology, ruling out popular moves such as searching for counterexamples. (shrink)
How we understand, protect, and discharge our rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democratic society committed to the principle of political equality is intimately connected to the standards and behaviour of our media in general, and our news media in particular. However, the media does not just stand between the citizenry and their leaders, or indeed between citizens and each other. The media is often the site where individuals attempt to realise some of the most fundamental democratic liberties, including (...) the right to free speech. -/- Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy explores the conflict between the rights that people exercise in, and through, the modern media and the responsibilities that accrue on account of its awesome and increasing power. The individual chapters—written by leading scholars from the US, UK, and Australia—address several recent events and controversial developments in the media, including Brexit, the rise of Trump, Lynton Crosby, Charlie Hebdo, dog-whistle politics, fake news, and political correctness. This much-needed philosophical treatment is a welcome addition to the recent literature in media ethics. It will be of interest to scholars across political and social philosophy, applied ethics, media and communication studies, and political science who are interested in the important issues surrounding the media and free speech and democracy. (shrink)
The indispensability argument is a method for showing that abstract mathematical objects exist. Various versions of this argument have been proposed. Lately, commentators seem to have agreed that a holistic indispensability argument will not work, and that an explanatory indispensability argument is the best candidate. In this paper I argue that the dominant reasons for rejecting the holistic indispensability argument are mistaken. This is largely due to an overestimation of the consequences that follow from evidential holism. Nevertheless, the holistic indispensability (...) argument should be rejected, but for a different reason —in order that an indispensability argument relying on holism can work, it must invoke an unmotivated version of evidential holism. Such an argument will be unsound. Correcting the argument with a proper construal of evidential holism means that it can no longer deliver mathematical Platonism as a conclusion: such an argument for Platonism will be invalid. I then show how the reasons for rejecting the holistic indispensability argument importantly constrain what kind of account of explanation will be permissible in explanatory versions. (shrink)
One of the central issues dividing proponents of metaphysical interpretations of transcendental idealism concerns Kant’s views on the distinctness of things in themselves and appearances. Proponents of metaphysical one-object interpretations claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of one-object grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata are different aspects of the same object. Proponents of metaphysical two-object interpretations, by contrast, claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of two-object (...) grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata involve distinct objects. By way of investigating Kant’s overarching account of grounding, I will argue that the most plausible metaphysical interpretation of transcendental idealism is one on which we can know that there are things in themselves grounding appearances, but not which specific kind of one- or two-object grounding relation obtain between them. Our ignorance of things in themselves therefore extends to their distinctness from appearances — pace both metaphysical one-object interpretations and metaphysical two-object interpretations. (shrink)
This paper addresses arguments that “separability” is an assumption of Bell’s theorem, and that abandoning this assumption in our interpretation of quantum mechanics (a position sometimes referred to as “holism”) will allow us to restore a satisfying locality principle. Separability here means that all events associated to the union of some set of disjoint regions are combinations of events associated to each region taken separately.In this article, it is shown that: (a) localised events can be consistently defined without implying separability; (...) (b) the definition of Bell’s locality condition does not rely on separability in any way; (c) the proof of Bell’s theorem does not use separability as an assumption. If, inspired by considerations of non-separability, the assumptions of Bell’s theorem are weakened, what remains no longer embodies the locality principle. Teller’s argument for “relational holism” and Howard’s arguments concerning separability are criticised in the light of these results. Howard’s claim that Einstein grounded his arguments on the incompleteness of QM with a separability assumption is also challenged. Instead, Einstein is better interpreted as referring merely to the existence of localised events. Finally, it is argued that Bell rejected the idea that separability is an assumption of his theorem. (shrink)
I propose we abandon the unit concept of "the evolutionary synthesis". There was much more to evolutionary studies in the 1920s and 1930s than is suggested in our commonplace narratives of this object in history. Instead, four organising threads capture much of evolutionary studies at this time. First, the nature of species and the process of speciation were dominating, unifying subjects. Second, research into these subjects developed along four main lines, or problem complexes: variation, divergence, isolation, and selection. Some calls (...) for 'synthesis' focused on these problem complexes (sometimes on one of these; other times, all). In these calls, comprehensive and pluralist compendia of plausibly relevant elements were preferred over reaching consensus about the value of particular formulae. Third, increasing confidence in the study of common problems coincided with methodological and epistemic changes associated with experimental taxonomy. Finally, the surge of interest in species problems and speciation in the 1930s is intimately tied to larger trends, especially a shifting balance in the life sciences towards process-based biologies and away from object-based naturalist disciplines. Advocates of synthesis in evolution supported, and were adapting to, these larger trends. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 27 This is an explication and defense of P. F. Strawson’s naturalist theory of free will and moral responsibility. I respond to a set of criticisms of the view by free will skeptics, compatibilists, and libertarians who adopt the _core assumption_: Strawson thinks that our reactive attitudes provide the basis for a rational justification of our blaming and praising practices. My primary aim is to explain and defend Strawson’s naturalism in light of criticisms based on the (...) core assumption. Strawson’s critiques of incompatibilism and free will skepticism are not intended to provide rational justifications for either compatibilism or the claim that some persons have free will. Hence, the charge that Strawson’s “arguments” are faulty is misplaced. The core assumption resting behind such critiques is mistaken. (shrink)
Many of us believe that exploitation is wrong, and that it is wrong even when, because the exploited would otherwise suffer, they consent to the exploitation. Does it follow that we should leave people to suffer rather than exploit them? This conclusion might seem difficult to accept, but avoiding it seems to require accepting a counterintuitively demanding view about our obligations to vulnerable people. In this paper, I offer a new solution to this problem.
This paper offers directions for the continuing dialogue between business ethicists and environmental philosophers. I argue that a theory of corporate social responsibility must be consistent with, if not derived from, a model of sustainable economics rather than the prevailing neoclassical model of market economics. I use environmental examples to critique both classical and neoclassical models of corporate social responsibility and sketch the alternative model of sustainable development. After describing some implications of this model at the level of individual firms (...) and industries, I offer an ethical justification of the sustainability alternative that is derived from the same values that underlie traditional market economics. (shrink)
Many of us experience the activities which fill our everyday lives as meaningful, and to do so we must (and do) hold them to be important. However, reflection undercuts this confidence: our activities are aimed at ends which are arbitrary, in that we have reason to regard our taking them so seriously as lacking justification; they are comparatively insignificant; and they leave little of any real permanence. Even though we take our activities seriously, and our everyday lives to be important, (...) on reflection they seem less meaningful than we suppose. Thomas Nagel claims that this discrepancy is inevitable, and thus that our lives are absurd and to be approached with irony. The aim of this paper is to explore whether it is inevitable, and in particular to examine recent formulations (of Peter Singer, Robert Nozick, and others) of the old idea that we can transcend this absurdity by forming attachments less susceptible to being undercut. (shrink)
This paper is an examination of evidential holism, a prominent position in epistemology and the philosophy of science which claims that experiments only ever confirm or refute entire theories. The position is historically associated with W.V. Quine, and it is at once both popular and notorious, as well as being largely under-described. But even though there’s no univocal statement of what holism is or what it does, philosophers have nevertheless made substantial assumptions about its content and its truth. Moreover they (...) have drawn controversial and important conclusions from these assumptions. In this paper I distinguish three types of evidential holism and argue that the most oft-cited and controversial thesis is entirely unmotivated. The other two theses are much overlooked, but are well-motivated and free from controversial implications. (shrink)
Internalism in epistemology is the view that all the factors relevant to the justification of a belief are importantly internal to the believer, while externalism is the view that at least some of those factors are external. This extremely modest first approximation cries out for refinement (which we undertake below), but is enough to orient us in the right direction, namely that the debate between internalism and externalism is bound up with the controversy over the correct account of the distinction (...) between justified beliefs and unjustified beliefs.1 Understanding that distinction has occasionally been obscured by attention to the analysis of knowledge and to the Gettier problem, but our view is that these problems, while interesting, should not completely seduce philosophers away from central questions about epistemic justification. A plausible starting point in the discussion of justification is that the distinction between justified beliefs and unjustified beliefs is not the same as the distinction between true beliefs and false beliefs. This follows from the mundane observation that it is possible to rationally believe.. (shrink)
Since the publication of David Lewis’ Counterfactuals, the standard line on subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents (or counterpossibles) has been that they are vacuously true. That is, a conditional of the form ‘If p were the case, q would be the case’ is trivially true whenever the antecedent, p, is impossible. The primary justification is that Lewis’ semantics best approximates the English subjunctive conditional, and that a vacuous treatment of counterpossibles is a consequence of that very elegant theory. Another justification (...) derives from the classical lore than if an impossibility were true, then anything goes. In this paper we defend non-vacuism, the view that counterpossibles are sometimes non-vacuously true and sometimes non-vacuously false. We do so while retaining a Lewisian semantics, which is to say, the approach we favor does not require us to abandon classical logic or a similarity semantics. It does however require us to countenance impossible worlds. An impossible worlds treatment of counterpossibles is suggested (but not defended) by Lewis (Counterfactuals. Blackwell, Oxford, 1973), and developed by Nolan (Notre Dame J Formal Logic 38:325–527, 1997), Kment (Mind 115:261–310, 2006a: Philos Perspect 20:237–302, 2006b), and Vander Laan (In: Jackson F, Priest G (eds) Lewisian themes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004). We follow this tradition, and develop an account of comparative similarity for impossible worlds. (shrink)
Physical Computation is the summation of Piccinini’s work on computation and mechanistic explanation over the past decade. It draws together material from papers published during that time, but also provides additional clarifications and restructuring that make this the definitive presentation of his mechanistic account of physical computation. This review will first give a brief summary of the account that Piccinini defends, followed by a chapter-by-chapter overview of the book, before finally discussing one aspect of the account in more critical detail.
This paper lays out two recent accounts of Hegel’s practical philosophy in order to present a challenge. According to Robert Stern and Mark Alznauer, Hegel attempts to ground our ethical practices in ontological norms. I argue that we cannot ground our ethical practices in this way. However, I also contend that Stern’s and Alznauer’s conception of reality as both conceptual and normative can still play a useful role in practical philosophy, namely, to help defuse a sceptical worry about a threat (...) to ethics. (shrink)
Mechanistic explanation involves the attribution of functions to both mechanisms and their component parts, and function attribution plays a central role in the individuation of mechanisms. Our aim in this paper is to investigate the impact of a perspectival view of function attribution for the broader mechanist project, and specifically for realism about mechanistic hierarchies. We argue that, contrary to the claims of function perspectivalists such as Craver, one cannot endorse both function perspectivalism and mechanistic hierarchy realism: if functions are (...) perspectival, then so are the levels of a mechanistic hierarchy. We illustrate this argument with an example from recent neuroscience, where the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon of ephaptic coupling cross-cuts the more familiar mechanism for synaptic firing. Finally, we consider what kind of structure there is left to be realist about for the function perspectivalist. (shrink)
Corporate philanthropy describes the action when a corporation voluntarily donates a portion of its resources to a societal cause. Although the thought of philanthropy invokes feelings of altruism, there are many objectives for corporate giving beyond altruism. Meeting strategic corporate objectives can be an important if not primary goal of philanthropy. The purpose of this paper is to share insights from a strategic corporate philanthropic initiative aimed at increasing the pool of frontline customer contact employees who are performance-ready, while supporting (...) curriculum development and infrastructure improvement for selected university business programs, creating a win-win situation for the company and the universities. This paper will address three objectives. First, we will examine the evolution of strategic philanthropy from the traditional view to its current position as a strategic option. Second, we will address the recruitment of front line talent needs (customer facing jobs in sales, customer service, and marketing) based on the profit maximization model of strategic philanthropy. Finally, we will offer conclusions and issues for future research. (shrink)
Concussive injuries to the head and brain are relatively common in the National Football League. This is not news, since the issue has been covered in many articles in the popular press and many news specials on television. As an NFL offensive lineman for 13 years, I suffered a huge number of hits to the head — an estimated 215,000 at least. Nevertheless, I have fared better than many of the players of my era: many suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. (...) For example, some of my fellow Hall of Fame players from that era, Mike Webster, Jim Ringo, John Mackey, and Joe Perry, all suffered from CTE and all are now deceased. I count myself lucky that the main malady affecting me after those many blows to the head is a 60% hearing loss in my left ear — probably due to undiagnosed concussions and particularly to thousands of head slaps by defensive players, whose first hit after the snap was often a right-handed blow to the helmet's open hole over my left ear. (shrink)
Kant views every human action as either entirely determined by natural necessity or entirely free. In viewing human action this way, it is unclear how he can account for degrees of responsibility. In this article, I consider three recent attempts to accommodate degrees of responsibility within Kant's framework, but argue that none of them are satisfying. In the end, I claim that transcendental idealism constrains Kant such that he cannot provide an adequate account of degrees of responsibility.
Intellectual and professional reforms in evolutionary studies between 1935 and 1950 included substantial expansion, diversification, and realignment of community infrastructure. Theodosius Dobzhansky, Julian Huxley and Alfred Emerson organized the Society for the Study of Speciation at the 1939 AAAS Columbus meeting as one response to concerns about ‘isolation’ and ‘lack of contact’ among speciation workers worried about ‘dispersed’ and ‘scattered’ resources in this newly robust ‘borderline’ domain. Simply constructed, the SSS sought neither the radical reorganization of specialities nor the creation (...) of some new discipline. Instead, it was designed to facilitate: to simplify exchange of information and to provide a minimally invasive avenue for connecting disparate researchers. Emerson served as SSS secretary and was its principal agent. After publishing one block of publications, however, the SSS became ‘quiescent’. Anxious to promote his own agenda, Ernst Mayr tried to manoeuvre around Emerson in an effort to revitalize the project. After meeting impediments, he moved his efforts elsewhere. The SSS was too short-lived to merit a claim for major impact within the community; however, it reveals important features of community activity during the synthesis period and stands in contrast to later efforts by George Simpson, Dobzhansky, and Mayr. (shrink)
Many philosophers contend that selfhood involves a uniquely first-personal experiential dimension, which precedes any form of socially dependent selfhood. In this paper, I do not wish to deny the notion of such a “minimal” experiential dimension as encapsulating the very givenness of experience as for a certain subject, such that experiences are accessible to this subject in a way that they are not for others. However, I do wish to deny any temptation to view minimal experiential selfhood as ontogenetically more (...) primitive than socially constituted selfhood. That is, the ‘thinnest’ construal of minimal experiential selfhood fails to properly account for characteristics that are essential to human selfhood; namely, the intimate, embodied interactions that unfold at the incipient moments of human life. I argue that taking the ontogenesis of embodied human existence seriously involves accepting the de facto equiprimordiality of minimal experientialiasm with a ‘minimal’ form of relational selfhood, i.e. the co-constitution of experience through engagements with others. (shrink)
In their attempt to provide a reason to be moral, contractarians such as David Gauthier are concerned with situations allowing a group of agents the chance of mutual benefit, so long as at least some of them are prepared to constrain their maximising behaviour. But what justifies this constraint? Gauthier argues that it could be rational (because maximising) to intend to constrain one's behaviour, and in certain circumstances to act on this intention. The purpose of this paper is to examine (...) the conditions under which it is rational to form, and to act on, intentions. I introduce and examine in detail what Gauthier has to say on these issues, argue that it suffers from various problems, and propose an alternative account which I claim avoids them. (shrink)
Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of History is regarded as the best introduction to the fundamental themes in his philosophy. In this accessible guidebook, Joseph McCarney introduces and assesses Hegel's life and background to the Lectures , examines key elements of Hegel's theory of history and its place within his philosophy as a whole, discusses the reception and criticism of the theory, and explores the present condition and future prospects of Hegelian philosophy of history.
What is the simulation theory? Arguments for simulation theory Simulation theory versus theory theory Simulation theory and cognitive science Versions of simulation theory A possible test of the simulation theory.
The 2014 Umbrella Movement was one of the most significant social and political events in recent Hong Kong history. This paper offers some initial reflections on the connections between the movement and broader issues related to civic education, critical thinking, and theories of education. First, it is suggested that the movement closely resembles a form of civic education known as ‘action civics,’ offering an alternative pedagogy that might encourage more authentic civic participation. Second, the movement raises questions about how the (...) teaching of critical thinking can be made more practically relevant to modern citizenship. Third, the deep political polarization associated with the movement indicates that civic education and critical thinking training need to pay attention to cognitive biases that affect political ideology. Finally, the Umbrella Movement reflects the failure of democratization in Hong Kong and coincides with increasing political pressures on the local education system. We discuss how political reality connects to issues about democratic education, critical pedagogy, and the idea of political neutrality in education. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Kyselo argues that an enactive approach to selfhood can overcome ‘the body-social problem’: “the question for philosophy of cognitive science about how bodily and social aspects figure in the individuation of the human individual self” ). Kyselo’s claim is that we should conceive of the human self as a socially enacted phenomenon that is bodily mediated. Whilst there is much to be praised about this claim, I will demonstrate in this paper that such a conception of (...) self ultimately leads to a strained interpretation of how bodily and social processes are related. To this end, I will begin the paper by elucidating the body-social problem as it appears in modern cognitive science and then expounding Kyselo’s solution, which relies on a novel interpretation of Jonas’s concept of needful freedom. In response to this solution, I will highlight two problems which Kyselo’s account cannot overcome in its current state. I will argue that a more satisfactory solution to the body-social problem involves a re-conception of the human body as irrevocably socially constituted and the human social world as irrevocably bodily constituted. On this view, even the most minimal sense of selfhood cannot privilege either bodily or social processes; instead, the two are ontologically entwined such that humans are biosocial selves. (shrink)
Lewis/Stalnaker semantics has it that all counterpossibles (i.e., counterfactual conditionals with impossible antecedents) are vacuously true. Non-vacuism, by contrast, says the truth-values of counterpossibles are affected by the truth-values of the consequents. Some counterpossibles are true, some false. Williamson objects to non-vacuism. He asks us to consider someone who answered ‘11’ to ‘What is 5 + 7?’ but who mistakenly believes that he answered ‘13’. For the non-vacuist, (1) is false, (2) true: (1) If 5 + 7 were 13, x (...) would have got that sum right (2) If 5 + 7 were 13, x would have got that sum wrong Williamson is not persuaded by the initial intuitiveness of such examples: ... they tend to fall apart when thought through. For example, if 5 + 7 were 13 then 5 + 6 would be 12, and so (by another eleven steps) 0 would be 1, so if the number of right answers I gave were 0, the number of right answers I gave would be 1. (2006) That’s the whole argument—much of it implicit. Alan Baker’s critique (2007) of Brogaard and Salerno (2007) prompts us to say something less abbreviated about a less abbreviated form of Wiliamson’s argument. Then we further develop our (2007) counterfactual analysis of essense. (shrink)