There is a thinking animal in your chair and you are the only thinking thing in your chair; therefore, you are an animal. So goes the main argument for animalism, the Thinking Animal Argument. But notice that there are many other things that might do our thinking: heads, brains, upper halves, left-hand complements, right-hand complements, and any other object that has our brain as a part. The abundance of candidates for the things that do our thinking is known as the (...) Thinking Parts Problem. Animalists who endorse the Thinking Animal Argument must solve this problem by giving reasons for privileging the animal over its rivals. In order to meet this challenge, some animalists have argued that the best solution is a biological minimalist one. In what follows, I argue that every extant biological minimalist solution to the Thinking Parts Problem fails. (shrink)
One issue in the debate about faith concerns the stance a religious person is committed to take on “God exists.” I argue that this stance is best understood as an assumption that God exists for the purpose of pursuing a good relationship with God. The notion of an “assumption for practical purpose” is distinguished from notions such as “belief” and “hope.” This stance is contrasted with others found in discussions of faith, and its ramifications for the problem of whether it (...) is rational to have faith are discussed. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin was a central figure in twentieth-century political thought. This volume highlights Berlin's significance for contemporary readers, covering not only his writings on liberty and liberalism, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, Russian thinkers and pluralism, but also the implications of his thought for political theory, history, and the social sciences, as well as the ethical challenges confronting political actors, and the nature and importance of practical judgment for politics and scholarship. His name and work are inseparable from the revival of (...) political philosophy and the analysis of political extremism and defense of democratic liberalism following World War II. Berlin was primarily an essayist who spoke through commentary on other authors and, while his own commitments and allegiances are clear enough, much in his thought remains controversial. Berlin's work constitutes an unsystematic and incomplete, but nevertheless sweeping and profound, defense of political, ethical, and intellectual humanism in an anti-humanistic age. (shrink)
The papers published in this issue of the EJPT discuss facets of the work of Isaiah Berlin from different perspectives and making use of varying intellectual approaches. At the same time, they focus attention on a few, central themes of Berlin's work: his complex relationship to liberalism and nationalism, his theories of liberty and value pluralism, and his perception and uses of the history of ideas. Consideration of the differences and overlap between these articles presents an occasion to take stock (...) of Berlin's work as a whole; and a critical response to the interpretations and criticisms of Berlin presented here afford an opportunity to re-evaluate, criticize and defend central aspects of Berlin's intellectual position. This article goes beyond summary to present a critical, interpretive adjudication between the claims of Berlin's work, and the interpretations of that work presented in the other articles in this issue. Drawing on each of these, I present an interpretation of Berlin's contributions to thinking about the Enlightenment, nationalism and cultural pluralism, utopianism and political ethics, liberty, and value pluralism; I also consider the difficulties of interpreting Berlin's work, and applying his ideas today. (shrink)
Many philosophers who do not analyze laws of nature as the axioms and theorems of the best deductive systems nevertheless believe that membership in those systems is evidence for being a law. This raises the question, “If the best systems analysis fails, what explains the fact that being a member of the best systems is evidence for being a law?” In this essay I answer this question on behalf of Leibniz. I argue that although Leibniz’s philosophy of laws is inconsistent (...) with the best systems analysis, his philosophy of nature’s perfection enables him to explain why membership in the best systems is evidence for being a law of nature. (shrink)
Necessary Existence breaks ground on one of the deepest questions anyone ever asks: why is there anything? Pruss and Rasmussen present an original defence of the hypothesis that there is a necessarily existing being capable of providing an ultimate foundation for the existence of all things.
A detailed study of Isaiah Berlin: historian, philosopher, and political theorist. Situates his evolving ideas in the context of British society and world politics. Offers a new interpretation of Berlin's influential writings on liberty and his debts to philosophy, and makes clear his relationship to the political debates of his times.
Those most intimate with the works of H. Richard Niebuhr, who return to them time after time for theological and ethical sustenance, know that they exemplify a more interesting thinker than his brother, Reinhold. Of course, Reinhold was and remains the more public figure, read seriously in his time by politicians and theologians, celebrated by our current president, and enjoying renewed scholarly interest resulting in new editions of out-of-print works and a number of critical studies. Meanwhile, H. Richard continues to (...) exert decisive influence on American Protestant thought. Such diverse thinkers as Paul Ramsey, James Gustafson, Stanley Hauerwas, William Schweiker, Kathryn Tanner, Gordon Kaufman, Emilie Townes .. (shrink)
This article argues that only a developmental approach-one that views Derrida's 1967 work on Husserl, La Voix et la phénomène, in light of Derrida's three earlier encounters with Husserl's work and recognizes significant differences among them-is able to resolve the bitter controversy that has lately surrounded Derrida's Husserl interpretation. After first reviewing the impasse reached in these debates, the need for "a new hermeneutics of deconstruction" is set out, and, then, the reasons why strong development has been rejected internal to (...) Derrida's corpus are discussed. After this, in a discussion of interest with respect to Husserl's own late teachings, as well as Derrida's standpoint, this article focuses on Derrida's 1962 "Introduction to Husserl's Origin." Against the prevailing interpretation, an argument is made showing that Derrida is much closer to Husserl's own positions than has been suspected, most importantly, in section VII of the "Introduction" where the theme of writing is first introduced. Thanks to this, that significant development in Derrida's thought does take place between 1962 and 1967 is demonstrated-and the present piece concludes by providing a brief sketch of the development of deconstruction overall as it came about through Derrida's repeated encounters with Husserlian phenomenology in the years 1954–67. (shrink)
The paper has two major parts. The first part articulates a working definition of what is a traditional religious Jew. This includes a discussion of whether it is necessary to have certain beliefs in order to be a religious Jew. Given the definition in the first part, the second part argues that it is rationally defensible for some persons to be traditional religious Jews. Included is a discussion of the notion of rational defensibility. The paper closes by discussing whether different (...) religions can be rationally defensible for different persons. (shrink)
The present study investigates the importance of emotional disclosure and vulnerability in the production of hegemonic masculinities. Of particular interest is the role that silence and invisibility play in how men talk about recent stressful life events. One-on-one interviews with men who experienced a stressful life event in the past year illustrate how men often talk about these events in simultaneously visible and invisible ways. We use the term “cloudy visibility” to describe this engagement, identified both in terms of what (...) men articulate in relation to their past stressful experiences and how they articulate these experiences within the present moment of the interview. The conversational consequences of these linguistic devices are analyzed to illustrate how men obscure their inner emotional lives, thus reproducing hegemonic masculine ideals of staying strong and stoic in the face of adversity, while they also seek to make aspects of their inner lives seen and heard to an interviewer. (shrink)
Placing politics in an ecological perspective that discerns an inextricable connection between human political agency and the forces of nonhuman nature would seem to be a difficult task. While we have grown accustomed to understanding our personal capacities for thought and action as well as the shape of our intimate relations as aspects of our natural inheritance, our political life and reflection remain rife with human exceptionalism. We understand animals to have rudimentary reasoning skills and physical capabilities incredible to us. (...) We also understand some animals gather in social groupings held together by mutual dependence for fulfilling affective needs. But it is difficult to imagine that animals have .. (shrink)
Many have attempted to respond to arguments for the incompatibility of freedom with divine foreknowledge by claiming that God’s beliefs about the future are explained by what the world is like at that future time. We argue that this response adequately advances the discussion only if the theist is able to articulate a model of foreknowledge that is both clearly possible and compatible with freedom. We investigate various models the theist might articulate and argue that all of these models fail.
Counterfactuals of creaturely freedom (CCFs) are notoriously puzzling. One puzzle has to do with truth-making: we wonder how any CCFs could be true prior to the existence of all creatures. Another, less addressed puzzle has to do with truth-explaining: what antecedent conditions or facts might explain a given CCF? The usual answer to the ‘explanation’ question is that true CCFs are brute: nothing explains them. We motivate an alternative answer by arguing that there can be an explanation of CCFs if (...) there can be an explanation of free actions. Our argument reveals that theoretical frameworks, such as Molinism, that make use of CCFs do not automatically carry an explanatory cost. (shrink)
Gilead et al.'s theory presupposes that traversing temporal, spatial, social, and hypothetical distances are largely interchangeable acts of mental travel that co-occur in human ontogeny. Yet, this claim is at odds with recent developmental data suggesting that children's reasoning is differentially affected by the dimension which they must traverse, and that different representational abilities underlie travel across different dimensions.
Shepard has argued that a universal law should govern generalization across different domains of perception and cognition, as well as across organisms from different species or even different planets. Starting with some basic assumptions about natural kinds, he derived an exponential decay function as the form of the universal generalization gradient, which accords strikingly well with a wide range of empirical data. However, his original formulation applied only to the ideal case of generalization from a single encountered stimulus to a (...) single novel stimulus, and for stimuli that can be represented as points in a continuous metric psychological space. Here we recast Shepard's theory in a more general Bayesian framework and show how this naturally extends his approach to the more realistic situation of generalizing from multiple consequential stimuli with arbitrary representational structure. Our framework also subsumes a version of Tversky's set-theoretic model of similarity, which is conventionally thought of as the primary alternative to Shepard's continuous metric space model of similarity and generalization. This unification allows us not only to draw deep parallels between the set-theoretic and spatial approaches, but also to significantly advance the explanatory power of set-theoretic models. Key Words: additive clustering; Bayesian inference; categorization; concept learning; contrast model; features; generalization; psychological space; similarity. (shrink)
In a pioneering book, Philosophy of Microbiology, Maureen O’Malley argues for the philosophical importance of microbes through an examination of their impact on ecosystems, evolution, biological classification, collaborative behavior, and multicellular organisms. She identifies many understudied conceptual issues in the study of microbes. If philosophers follow her lead, the philosophy of biology will be expanded and enriched.
Human sleeping arrangements have evolved over time and differ across cultures. The majority of adults share their bed at one time or another with a partner or child, and many also sleep with pets. In fact, around half of dog and cat owners report sharing a bed or bedroom with their pet. However, interspecies co-sleeping has been trivialized in the literature relative to interpersonal or human-human co-sleeping, receiving little attention from an interdisciplinary psychological perspective. In this paper, we provide a (...) historical outline of the “civilizing process” that has led to current sociocultural conceptions of sleep as an individual, private function crucial for the functioning of society and the health of individuals. We identify similar historical processes at work in the formation of contemporary constructions of socially normative sleeping arrangements for humans and animals. Importantly, since previous examinations of co-sleeping practices have anthropocentrically framed this topic, the result is an incomplete understanding of co-sleeping practices. By using dogs as an exemplar of human-animal co-sleeping, and comparing human-canine sleeping with adult-child co-sleeping, we determine that both forms of co-sleeping share common factors for establishment and maintenance, and often result in similar benefits and drawbacks. We propose that human-animal and adult-child co-sleeping should be approached as legitimate and socially relevant forms of co-sleeping, and we recommend that co-sleeping be approached broadly as a social practice involving relations with humans and other animals. Because our proposition is speculative and derived from canine-centric data, we recommend ongoing theoretical refinement grounded in empirical research addressing co-sleeping between humans and multiple animal species. (shrink)
BackgroundThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration traditionally has kept confidential significant amounts of information relevant to the approval or non-approval of specific drugs, devices, and biologics and about the regulatory status of such medical products in FDA’s pipeline.ObjectiveTo develop practical recommendations for FDA to improve its transparency to the public that FDA could implement by rulemaking or other regulatory processes without further congressional authorization. These recommendations would build on the work of FDA’s Transparency Task Force in 2010.MethodsIn 2016-2017, we convened (...) a team of academic faculty from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Yale Medical School, Yale Law School, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to develop recommendations through an iterative process of reviewing FDA’s practices, considering the legal and policy constraints on FDA in expanding transparency, and obtaining insights from independent observers of FDA.ResultsThe team developed 18 specific recommendations for improving FDA’s transparency to the public. FDA could adopt all these recommendations without further congressional action.FundingThe development of the Blueprint for Transparency at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Setting specific, challenging goals motivates employees to exert greater effort in their jobs. However, goal-setting may have unintended consequences of also motivating unethical behavior. The present study explores these consequences in the context of other features of goal-setting in organizations, how goals are framed and rewarded, to determine the tradeoff between performance and ethical behavior. Undergraduate students were incentivized to complete math problems using different outcome frames and incentive structures and were also provided an opportunity to cheat. Findings demonstrate (...) that when goals rewarded with piece-rate incentives are framed as a loss, performance increased, though cheating behavior increased as well. (shrink)