This book introduces the critical concepts and debates that are shaping the emerging field of game studies. Exploring games in the context of cultural studies and media studies, it analyses computer games as the most popular contemporary form of new media production and consumption. The book: Argues for the centrality of play in redefining reading, consuming and creating culture Offers detailed research into the political economy of games to generate a model of new media production Examines the dynamics of power (...) in relation to both the production and consumption of computer games This is key reading for students, academics and industry practitioners in the fields of cultural studies, new media, media studies and game studies, as well as human-computer interaction and cyberculture. (shrink)
In arguments in support of capitalism, the following propositions are sometimes advanced or presupposed: the best life for the individual is one of consumption, understood in a broad sense that includes aesthetic pleasures and entertainment as well as consumption of goods in the ordinary sense; consumption is to be valued because it promotes happiness or welfare, which is the ultimate good; since there are not enough opportunities for consumption to provide satiation for everybody, some principles of distributive justice must be (...) chosen to decide who gets what; the total to be distributed has first to be produced. What is produced depends, among other things, on the motivation and information of the producers. The theory of justice must take account of the fact that different principles of distribution have different effects on motivation and information; economic theory tells us that the motivational and informational consequences of private ownership of the means of production are superior to those of the various forms of collective ownerships. In the traditional controversy over the relative merits of capitalism and economic systems, the focus has been on proposition. In this paper, I consider instead propositions and. Before one can even begin to discuss how values are to be allocated, one must consider what they are – what it is that ought to be valued. I shall argue that at the center of Marxism is a specific conception of the good life as one of active self-realization, rather than passive consumption. (shrink)
Technical change, defined as the manufacture and modification of tools, is generally thought to have played an important role in the evolution of intelligent life on earth, comparable to that of language. In this volume, first published in 1983, Jon Elster approaches the study of technical change from an epistemological perspective. He first sets out the main methods of scientific explanation and then applies those methods to some of the central theories of technical change. In particular, Elster considers neoclassical, evolutionary, (...) and Marxist theories, whilst also devoting a chapter to Joseph Schumpeter's influential theory. (shrink)
At least since the French moralists—Montaigne, Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère—it has been a commonplace that people can fool themselves as well as others about their beliefs and motivations. In this article, I consider some mechanisms of transmutation and misrepresentation, and their impact on behavior. I argue that deception and self-deception are not merely ex post rationalizations of behavior whose real motive and explanation are found elsewhere, but that they have independent causal and explanatory power. If people, that is, did (...) not fool themselves or others about why they do what they do they would act differently. The reason is that deception and self-deception take place under constraints that prevent us from offering totally opportunistic or self-serving rationalizations of what we do. There is a consistency constraint that is induced by the costs of being seen as offering inconsistent justifications for one's behavior, and an imperfection constraint diat is induced by the costs of being seen as offering justifications that are too blatantly self-serving. (shrink)
The publication of Form and Object: A Treatise on Things by Tristan Garcia, Prix de Flore-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist, and screenwriter is a genuine event in the history of philosophy. Situating this event within classical, modern, and contemporary dialectical space, Jon Cogburn evaluates Garcia's metaphysics, differential ontology, and militant anti-reductionism through a series of seemingly incompatible oppositions concerning: substance and process, analysis and dialectic, simple and whole, and discovery and creation. Cogburn also includes a critical assessment of the consequences of (...) Garcia's philosophy, the various unresolved problems in his treatise, and the future prospects of speculative metaphysics. (shrink)
A critical introduction to Marx's social, political and economic thought that stresses the relevance and importance of many of the philosopher's theories. It can be considered a standard basic reference work for the study of Marx in conjunction with the author's companion selection of Marx's writings, Karl Marx: A Reader.
When a proposition is established, it can be taken as evidence for other propositions. Can the Bayesian theory of rational belief and action provide an account of establishing? I argue that it can, but only if the Bayesian is willing to endorse objective constraints on both probabilities and utilities, and willing to deny that it is rationally permissible to defer wholesale to expert opinion. I develop a new account of deference that accommodates this latter requirement.
This book offers a bold and controversial new thesis regarding the nature of prejudice. The authors' central claim is that prejudice is not simply learned, rather it is predisposed in all human beings and is thus the foundation for ethical valuation. They aim to destroy the illusion that prejudice is merely the result of learned beliefs, socially conditioned attitudes, or pathological states of development. Contrary to traditional accounts, prejudice itself is not a negative attribute of human nature, rather it is (...) the necessary precondition for the self and civilization to emerge. Defined as the preferential self-expression of valuation, prejudice gives rise to greater existential complexities and novelties that elevate selfhood and society to higher states of ethical realization. Rather than offer another contribution that highlights the destructive nature of prejudice, Mills and Polanowski address the ontological, psychological, and dialectical origins of prejudice as it manifests itself in the process of selfhood and culture. They provide an original conceptualization of the phenomenology of prejudice and its dialectical instantiation in the ontology of the individual, worldhood, and the very structures of subjectivity. As a unique synthesis of psychoanalysis, Hegelian idealism, Heideggerian existential ontology, and Whiteheadian process philosophy, prejudice is the indispensable ground for humanity to actualize its highest potentiality-for-Being. The striking result is (1) a revolutionary theory of human nature, (2) a new ethical system, and (3) the elevation of dialectical ethics to the domain of metaphysics. (shrink)
Charles Peirce incorporates modality into his Existential Graphs by introducing the broken cut for possible falsity. Although it can be adapted to various modern modal logics, Zeman demonstrates that making no other changes results in a version that he calls Gamma-MR, an implementation of Jan Łukasiewicz's four-valued Ł-modal system. It disallows the assertion of necessity, reflecting a denial of determinism, and has theorems involving possibility that seem counterintuitive at first glance. However, the latter is a misconception that arises from overlooking (...) the distinction between the intermediate truth values that are assigned to possibly true propositions as either X-contingent or Y-contingent. Any two propositions having the same ITV are possible together, while any two propositions having different ITVs, including those that are each other's negation, are possible individually yet not possible together. Porte shows that Ł-modal can be translated into classical logic by defining a constant for each ITV such that its implication of another proposition asserts the latter's possibility, while its conjunction with another proposition asserts the latter's necessity. These are expressed in the Alpha part of EG without broken cuts, simplifying derivations and shedding further light on Łukasiewicz's system, as long as graphs including either of the constants are properly interpreted. Ł-modal and Gamma-MR thus capture the two-sided nature of possibility as the limit between truth and falsity in Peirce's triadic conception. (shrink)
Reading fiction from high and low culture together, Fiction, Crime, and Empire skillfully sheds light on how crime fiction responded to the British and American experiences of empire, and how forms such as the detective novel, spy thrillers, and conspiracy fiction articulate powerful cultural responses to imperialism. Poe's Dupin stories, for example, are seen as embodying a highly critical vision of the social forces that were then transforming the United States into a modern, democratic industrialized nation; a century later, Le (...) Carré employs the conventions of espionage fiction to critique the exhausted and morally compromised values of British imperialism. By exploring these works through the organizing figure of crime during and after the age of high imperialism, Thompson challenges and modifies commonplace definitions of modernism, postmodernism, and popular or mass culture. (shrink)
How can _Wii Sports_ teach us about metaphysics? Can playing _World of Warcraft_ lead to greater self-consciousness? How can we learn about aesthetics, ethics and divine attributes from _Zork_, _Grand Theft Auto_, and _Civilization_? A variety of increasingly sophisticated video games are rapidly overtaking books, films, and television as America's most popular form of media entertainment. It is estimated that by 2011 over 30 percent of US households will own a Wii console - about the same percentage that owned a (...) television in 1953. In _Philosophy Through Video Games, _Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox - philosophers with game industry experience - investigate the aesthetic appeal of video games, their effect on our morals, the insights they give us into our understanding of perceptual knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, and the very meaning of life itself, arguing that video games are popular precisely because they engage with longstanding philosophical problems. Topics covered include: * The Problem of the External World * Dualism and Personal Identity * Artificial and Human Intelligence in the Philosophy of Mind * The Idea of Interactive Art * The Moral Effects of Video Games * Games and God's Goodness Games discussed include: _Madden Football_, _Wii Sports_, _Guitar Hero_, _World of Warcraft_, _Sims Online_, _Second Life_, _Baldur's Gate_, _Knights of the Old Republic_, _Elder Scrolls_, _Zork_, _EverQuest_ _Doom_, _Halo 2_, _Grand Theft Auto_, _Civilization_, _Mortal Kombat_, _Rome: Total War_, _Black and White_, _Aidyn Chronicles_. (shrink)
The detailed analysis of a particular quasi-historical numerical example is used to illustrate the way in which a Bayesian personalist approach to scientific inference resolves the Duhemian problem of which of a conjunction of hypotheses to reject when they jointly yield a prediction which is refuted. Numbers intended to be approximately historically accurate for my example show, in agreement with the views of Lakatos, that a refutation need have astonishingly little effect on a scientist's confidence in the ‘hard core’ of (...) a successful research programme even when a comparable confirmation would greatly enhance that confidence. Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis. (shrink)
Modern philosophy recognizes two major ethical theories: deontology, which encourages adherence to rules and fulfillment of duties or obligations; and consequentialism, which evaluates morally significant actions strictly on the basis of their actual or anticipated outcomes. Both involve the systematic application of universal abstract principles, reflecting the culturally dominant paradigm of technical rationality. Professional societies promulgate codes of ethics with which engineers are expected to comply, while courts and the public generally assign liability to engineers primarily in accordance with the (...) results of their work, whether intended or unintended. A third option, prominent in ancient philosophy, has reemerged recently: virtue ethics, which recognizes that sensitivity to context and practical judgment are indispensable in particular concrete situations, and therefore rightly focuses on the person who acts, rather than the action itself. Beneficial character traits—i.e., virtues—are identified within a specific social practice in light of the internal goods that are unique to it. This paper proposes a comprehensive framework for implementing virtue ethics within engineering. (shrink)
Sour Grapes aims to subvert orthodox theories of rational choice through the study of forms of irrationality. Dr Elster begins with an analysis of the notation of rationality, to provide the background and terms for the subsequent discussions, which cover irrational behaviour, irrational desires and irrational belief. These essays continue and complement the arguments of Jon Elster's earlier book, Ulysses and the Sirens. That was published to wide acclaim, and Dr Elster shows the same versatility here in drawing on philosophy, (...) political and social theory, decision-theory, economics and psychology, as well as history and literature. (shrink)
Jon Elster has written a comprehensive, wide-ranging book on the emotions in which he considers the full range of theoretical approaches. Drawing on history, literature, philosophy and psychology, Elster presents a complete account of the role of the emotions in human behaviour. While acknowledging the importance of neurophysiology and laboratory experiment for the study of emotions, Elster argues that the serious student of the emotions can learn more from the great thinkers and writers of the past, from Aristotle to Jane (...) Austen. He attaches particular importance to the work of the French moralists, notably La Rochefoucauld, who demonstrated the way esteem and self-esteem shape human motivation. The book also maintains a running dialogue with economists and rational-choice theorists. Combining methodological and theoretical arguments with empirical case-studies and written with Elster's customary verve and economy, this book has great cross-disciplinary appeal. (shrink)
Objective Bayesianism is a methodological theory that is currently applied in statistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, physics and other sciences. This book develops the formal and philosophical foundations of the theory, at a level accessible to a graduate student with some familiarity with mathematical notation.
Logic is a field studied mainly by researchers and students of philosophy, mathematics and computing. Inductive logic seeks to determine the extent to which the premises of an argument entail its conclusion, aiming to provide a theory of how one should reason in the face of uncertainty. It has applications to decision making and artificial intelligence, as well as how scientists should reason when not in possession of the full facts. In this work, Jon Williamson embarks on a quest to (...) find a general, reasonable, applicable inductive logic (GRAIL), all the while examining why pioneers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Rudolf Carnap did not entirely succeed in this task. (shrink)
The Problem of Iterated Ground is to explain what grounds truths about ground: if Γ grounds φ, what grounds that Γ grounds φ? This paper develops a novel solution to this problem. The basic idea is to connect ground to explanatory arguments. By developing a rigorous account of explanatory arguments we can equip operators for factive and non-factive ground with natural introduction and elimination rules. A satisfactory account of iterated ground falls directly out of the resulting logic: non- factive grounding (...) claims, if true, are zero-grounded in the sense of Fine. (shrink)
This book is an expanded and revised edition of the author's critically acclaimed volume Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. In twenty-six succinct chapters, Jon Elster provides an account of the nature of explanation in the social sciences. He offers an overview of key explanatory mechanisms in the social sciences, relying on hundreds of examples and drawing on a large variety of sources - psychology, behavioral economics, biology, political science, historical writings, philosophy and fiction. Written in accessible and jargon-free (...) language, Elster aims at accuracy and clarity while eschewing formal models. In a provocative conclusion, Elster defends the centrality of qualitative social sciences in a two-front war against soft and hard forms of obscurantism. (shrink)
Drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, decision-theory, economics, psychology, history and literature, Jon Elster's classic book Sour Grapes continues and complements the arguments of his acclaimed earlier book, Ulysses and the Sirens. Elster begins with an analysis of the notation of rationality, before tackling the notions of irrational behavior, desires and belief with highly sophisticated arguments that subvert the orthodox theories of rational choice. Presented in a fresh series livery and with a specially commissioned preface written by Richard Holton, (...) illuminating its continuing importance to philosophical enquiry, Sour Grapes has been revived for a new generation of readers. (shrink)
This article examines the theoretical implications of the changing relationships between NGOs and businesses that have emerged as a response to the evolving agenda around CSR and sustainable development. In particular, it focuses upon examining whether greater engagement from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in this area reflects a process of appropriation and co-optation of protest by the business community. To examine this process, the article considers two forms of appropriation—appropriation of language and appropriation via participation—as a basis for discussion. While co-optation (...) pressures are identified within both areas, the article argues that co-optation is identified almost as an inevitable outcome of engagement without significant consideration of the ability of movements to identify and respond to these processes. In identifying an alternative approach, the article utilises Mouffe’s framework of agonistic pluralism. Mouffe’s framework, it is argued, provides an understanding of the way in which agonistic relationships are emerging between NGOs and businesses while highlighting the continuance of conflict between parties struggling to influence the contested interpretations of responsible business. (shrink)
Campaigning activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have increased public awareness and concern regarding the alleged unethical and environmentally damaging practices of many major multinational companies. Companies have responded by developing corporate social responsibility strategies to demonstrate their commitment to both the societies within which they function and to the protection of the natural environment. This has often involved a move towards greater transparency in company practice and a desire to engage with stakeholders, often including many of the campaign organisations that (...) have been at the forefront of the criticisms of their activity. This article examines the ways in which stakeholder dialogue has impacted upon the relationships between NGOs and businesses. In doing so, it contributes to the call for more ‘stakeholder-focused’ research in this field (Frooman in Acad Manag Rev 24(2): 191–205, 1999; Steurer in Bus Strategy Environ 15: 15–69 2006). By adopting a stakeholder lens, and focusing more heavily upon the impact on one particular stakeholder community (NGOs) and looking in depth at one form of engagement (stakeholder dialogue), this article examines how experiences of dialogue are strategically transforming interactions between businesses and NGOs. It shows how experiences of stakeholder dialogue have led to transformations in the drivers for engagement, transformations in the processes of engagement and transformations in the terms of engagement. Examining these areas of transformation, the article argues, reveals the interactions at play in framing and shaping the evolving relationships between business and its stakeholders. (shrink)
The Language of First-Order Logic is a complete introduction to first-order symbolic logic, consisting of a computer program and a text. The program, an aid to learning and using symbolic notation, allows one to construct symbolic sentences and possible worlds, and verify that a sentence is well formed. The truth or falsity of a sentence can be determined by playing a deductive game with the computer.
This 1989 book is intended as an introductory survey of the philosophy of the social sciences. It is essentially a work of exposition which offers a toolbox of mechanisms - nuts and bolts, cogs and wheels - that can be used to explain complex social phenomena. Within a brief compass, Jon Elster covers a vast range of topics. His point of departure is the conflict we all face between our desires and our opportunities. How can rational choice theory help us (...) understand our motivation and behaviour? More significantly, what happens when the theory breaks down but we still cleave to a belief in the power of the rational? Elster describes the fascinating range of forms of irrationality - wishful thinking, the phenomenon of sour grapes, discounting the future in noncooperative behaviour. This is a remarkably lucid and comprehensive introduction to the social sciences for students of political science, philosophy, sociology and economics. (shrink)
I discuss three recent counterexamples to the transitivity of grounding due to Jonathan Schaffer. I argue that the counterexamples don’t work and draw some conclusions about the relationship between grounding and explanation.
It is argued in this paper that the valid argument forms coming under the general heading of Demonstrative Induction have played a highly significant role in the history of theoretical physics. This situation was thoroughly appreciated by several earlier philosophers of science and deserves to be more widely known and understood.
In this paper, I link philosophical discussion of policies for trans inclusion or exclusion, to a method of policy making. I address the relationship between concerns about safety, fairness, and inclusion in policy making about the inclusion of transwomen athletes into women’s sport. I argue for an approach based on lexical priority rather than simple ‘balancing’, considering the different values in a specific order. I present justifying reasons for this approach and this lexical order, based on the special obligations of (...) International Federations such as World Rugby. As a result, I provide a justificatory framework for the WR Guidelines that exclude transwomen from the women’s game in WR competitions. Finally, I give an account of a maximally safe, maximally fair and maximally inclusive form of sex categorisation in sport. (shrink)
The representation of Neg-Raising in the grammar is a matter of controversy. I provide evidence for representing Neg-Raising as a kind of presupposition associated with certain predicates by providing a detailed analysis of NPI-licensing in Neg-Raising contexts. Specific features of presupposition projection are used to explain the licensing of strict NPIs under Neg-Raising predicates. Discussion centers around the analysis of a licensing asymmetry noted in Horn (1971, Negative transportation: Unsafe at any speed? In CLS 7 (pp. 120–133)).Having provided this analysis, (...) I go on to discuss its implications for the theory of NPI-licensing more generally. In particular, I discuss how the present proposal reflects on von Fintel’s (1999, Journal of Semantics, 16, 97–148) proposal to use Strawson downward entailment in the statement of NPI-licensing principles. (shrink)
This is the first major study of Michel Foucault as a political thinker. Written in clear prose, Foucault and the Political explores the ramifications for political theory of the whole range of Foucault's writing, including materials only recently made available. Jon Simons argues that Foucault's work is animated by a tension between his presentation of modern life as "unbearably heavy" and his temptation to escape its limitations by aiming for "unbearable lightness." Through expositions of Foucault's ideas on power/knowledge, subjectification, governmentality, (...) political rationality and the aesthetics of existence, Simons demonstrates how Foucault resists both extremes. Foucault's thought entails an ethic of permanent resistance, best embodied in radical democracy. Simons relates Foucault's work both to contemporary political thinkers, such as Michael Walzer, Charles Taylor and Jurgen Habermas, as well as to scholars challenging conventional political categories, especially feminist and gay theorists such as Judith Butler. (shrink)
This paper proposes that both weak and strong NPIs in English are sensitive to the downward entailingness of their licensers. It is also proposed, however, that these two types of NPIs pay attention to different aspects of the meaning of their environment. As observed by von Fintel and Chierchia, weak NPIs do not attend to the scalar implicatures of presuppositions of their licensers. Strong NPIs see both the truth-conditional and non-truth-conditional (scalar implications, presuppositions) meaning of their licensers. This theory accounts (...) for the puzzling inability, noted by Rullmann and Gajewski, of Strawson anti-additive operators to license strong NPIs, as well as for the effects of Zwarts’s hierarchy of negative strength. Additional issues concerning comparative quantifiers, few, and proportional quantifiers are addressed. (shrink)
Most authors on metaphysical grounding have taken full grounding to be an internal relation in the sense that it's necessary that if the grounds and the grounded both obtain, then the grounds ground the grounded. The negative part of this essay exploits empirical and provably nonparadoxical self-reference to prove conclusively that even immediate full grounding isn't an internal relation in this sense. The positive, second part of this essay uses the notion of a “completely satisfactory explanation” to shed light on (...) the logic of ground in the presence of self-reference. This allows us to develop a satisfactory logic of ground and recover a sense in which grounding is still an internal relation. (shrink)
The question Jon Elster addresses in this challenging book is what binds societies together and prevents them from disintegrating into chaos and war. He analyses two concepts of social order: stable, predictable patterns of behaviour, and co-operative behaviour. The book examines various aspects of collective action and bargaining from the perspective of rational-choice theory and the theory of social norms. It is a fundamental assumption of the book that social norms provide an important kind of motivation for action that is (...) irreducible to rationality. The book represents a major statement by Elster, which will be of particular interest to political scientists, political philosophers, sociologists, and economists. (shrink)