This article aims to provide a philosophical elucidation of the concept of divine identity proposed by Richard Bauckham. To achieve this end, an original interpretation of the concept is formulated within the neo-Aristotelian essentialism of Kit Fine, which will ultimately enable the notion to be elucidated in a clear and consistent manner and free it from the shackles of ambiguity which has seemingly held it at bay.
This article aims to provide an explication of the Christian doctrine of eternal generation. A model of the doctrine is formulated within the ground-theoretic framework of Jonathan Schaffer and E. Jonathan Lowe, which enables it to be explicated clearly and consistently, and two often raised objections against the doctrine can be successfully answered.
This article aims to provide an a posteriori argument from love for the Trinity. A reformulation of the argument from love is made by proposing a novel version of the argument that is situated within an objective, empirical, natural theological framework. Reformulating the argument in this specific manner will enable it to ward of an important objection that is often raised against it, and ultimately render this argument of great use in establishing the necessity of the Trinity.
This article seeks to provide a response to the Aloneness Argument Against Classical Theism proposed by Joseph C. Schmid and Ryan T. Mullins. This response focuses on showing the unsoundness of the argument once the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity is reformulated within the essentialist aspectival framework provided by the Aspectival Account. Formulating a response to this argument will thus also serve the further purpose of providing an extension of the Aspectival Account and a needed revision of the Doctrine of Divine (...) Simplicity, which can aid others in their quest to further clarify the nature of this doctrine. (shrink)
This article criticizes Mathias Risse and Richard Zeckhauser's recent utilitarian defense of racial profiling. I use a novel thought-experiment to argue that even if a negative phenomenon could be reduced by profiling members of certain groups who happen to be disproportionately associated with it, the practice can be implausible. Specifically, I explore the possibility that in a given society, platinum blondes have a higher per capita incidence of a serious sexually transmitted disease, D. And I argue that doctors and health (...) officials in the society would not be justified in profiling such blondes, given that there is nothing about being a platinum blonde that causes one to have D. (shrink)
Urban religion, often visible in the work of faith-based organisations which consciously aim at unshackling the debilitating realities of urban marginalised communities, needs to be consciously inclusive in all its endeavours. In particular, this is crucial for actions such as those of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation that consciously seeks the peace of the city beyond the mere absence of conflict. This inclusivity requires a sensitive, creative, but also mutually transformative dialogue. This article aims at bringing into dialogue what biblical scholar (...) Gerald West, in his proposal for contextual Bible Study, calls ‘trained’ readers of the Bible with what he calls ‘ordinary’ readers, who are homeless in the City of Tshwane. This methodology leads to a mutually transformative encounter in the common search for peace but also to appreciating the calling of urban religious communities in South Africa. It aims to make a contribution towards an inclusive and mutually transformative dialogue in order to contribute to the quest of urban religious communities to unshackle the marginalisation, whether it be in their consciousness or their environment. (shrink)
For decades the study of social perception was largely compartmentalized by type of social cue: race, gender, emotion, eye gaze, body language, facial expression etc. This was partly due to good scientific practice, and partly due to assumptions that each type of social cue was functionally distinct from others. Herein, we present a functional forecast approach to understanding compound social cue processing that emphasizes the importance of shared social affordances across various cues. We review the traditional theories of emotion and (...) face processing that argued for dissociable and noninteracting pathways, as well as more recent evidence for combinatorial processing of social cues. We argue here that early, and presumably reflexive, visual integration of such cues is necessary for adaptive behavioral responding to others. In support of this claim, we review contemporary work that reveals a flexible visual system, one that readily incorporates meaningful contextual influences in even nonsocial visual processing, thereby establishing the functional and neuroanatomical bases necessary for compound social cue integration. Finally, we explicate three likely mechanisms driving such integration. Together, this work implicates a role for cognitive penetrability in visual perceptual abilities that have often been ascribed to direct encapsulated perceptual processes. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy uses experimental research methods from psychology and cognitive science in order to investigate both philosophical and metaphilosophical questions. It explores philosophical questions about the nature of the psychological world - the very structure or meaning of our concepts of things, and about the nature of the non-psychological world - the things themselves. It also explores metaphilosophical questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry and its proper methodology. This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, (...) focusing on the relationship between experimental philosophy and the aims and methods of more traditional analytic philosophy. Special attention is paid to carefully examining experimental philosophy's quite different philosophical programs, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the different kinds of contributions that they can make to our philosophical understanding. Clear and accessible throughout, it situates experimental philosophy within both a contemporary and historical context, explains its aims and methods, examines and critically evaluates its most significant claims and arguments, and engages with its critics. (shrink)
The human face conveys a myriad of social meanings within an overlapping array of features. Herein, we examine such features within the context of gender-emotion stereotypes. First we detail the pervasive set of gender-emotion expectations known to exist. We then review new research revealing that gender cues and emotion expression often share physical properties that represent a confound of overlapping features characteristic of low versus high facial maturity/dominance. As such, gender-related facial appearance and facial expression of emotions often share social (...) meaning and physical resemblance. Thus, stereotypic and phenotypic information conveyed by the face are intertwined—sometimes confounded, sometimes clashing. We discuss implications of this work for gender-emotion stereotypes, as well as for emotion and face processing more generally. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimental philosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views concerning the relationship that (...) holds between experimental philosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimental philosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimental philosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Urban youth marginalisation became a key consideration in scholarly and policy literature in the 1990s. This entailed a shift from an emphasis on youth in relation to activism in the struggle to overcome colonial racism - popularly known as 'the struggle against apartheid' - to an emphasis on youth as the object of social inquiry and social welfare programmes. Irrespective of how we evaluate this shift, the question in this article is how urban faith communities and youth ministry research are (...) to respond to the agency of youth as dialogue partners - with a focus on social cohesion. This article explores this shift in scholarship on urban youth movements, especially for the period since 1994. It draws from the perspectives of my recent doctoral studies in constructing a creative dialogue with youth movements. The ultimate aim of this article is to provide a grounded basis for constructing a methodology for a postcolonial urban theology. In addition, it aims to inform the ongoing Youth at the Margins comparative study on the contribution of faith-based organisations to social cohesion in South Africa and Nordic Europe, with the Riverlea community, in Johannesburg, as one of the case studies. (shrink)
Substance has been a leading idea in the history of Western philosophy. _Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz_ explain the nature and existence of individual substances, including both living things and inanimate objects. Specifically written for students new to this important and often complex subject, _Substance_ provides both the historical and contemporary overview of the debate. Great Philosophers of the past, such as Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Locke, and Berkeley were profoundly interested in the concept of substance. And, the authors (...) argue, a belief in the existence of substances is an integral part of our everyday world view. But what constitutes substance? Was Aristotle right to suggest that artefacts like tables and ships don't really exist? _Substance: Its Nature and Existence_ is one of the first non-technical, accessible guides to this central problem and will be of great use to students of metaphysics and philosophy. (shrink)
This book argues that this powerful technique permits the social sciences to meet an explanation, in which one 'grows' the phenomenon of interest in an artificial society of interacting agents: heterogeneous, boundedly rational actors.
Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
Case reports about patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for various motor and psychiatric disorders - including Parkinson’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Treatment Resistant Depression - have sparked a vast literature in neuroethics. Questions about whether and how DBS changes the self have been at the fore. The present chapter brings these neuroethical debates into conversation with recent research in moral psychology. We begin in Section 1 by reviewing the recent clinical literature on DBS. In Section 2, we consider (...) whether DBS poses a threat to personal identity. In Section 3 we argue for engagement with recent empirical work examining judgements of when identity changes. We conclude in Section 4 by highlighting a range of ethical issues raised by DBS, including various cross-cultural considerations. (shrink)
It seems obvious that phenomenally conscious experience is something of great value, and that this value maps onto a range of important ethical issues. For example, claims about the value of life for those in a permanent vegetative state, debates about treatment and study of disorders of consciousness, controversies about end-of-life care for those with advanced dementia, and arguments about the moral status of embryos, fetuses, and non-human animals arguably turn on the moral significance of various facts about consciousness. However, (...) though work has been done on the moral significance of elements of consciousness, such as pain and pleasure, little explicit attention has been devoted to the ethical significance of consciousness. In this book Joshua Shepherd presents a systematic account of the value present within conscious experience. This account emphasizes not only the nature of consciousness, but the importance of items within experience such as affect, valence, and the complex overall shape of particular valuable experiences. Shepherd also relates this account to difficult cases involving non-humans and those with disorders of consciousness, arguing that the value of consciousness influences and partially explains the degree of moral status a being possesses, without fully determining it. The upshot is a deeper understanding of both the moral importance of phenomenal consciousness and its relations to moral status. This book will be of great interest to philosophers and students of ethics, bioethics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind and cognitive science. (shrink)
In recent years the resource-based view of the firm has made significant headway in explaining differences in interfirm performance. However, this perspective has not considered the social and ethical dimensions of organizational resources. This paper seeks to provide such an integration. Using Kuhn's three stage model of adaptive behavior, the resource worthiness of stakeholder management, business ethics, and issues management are explored. The paper concludes by drawing on prospect theory to understand the reasons for this conceptual lacuna.
People sometimes try to call others’ beliefs into question by pointing out the contingent causal origins of those beliefs. The significance of such ‘Etiological Challenges’ is a topic that has started attracting attention in epistemology. Current work on this topic aims to show that Etiological Challenges are, at most, only indirectly epistemically significant, insofar as they bring other generic epistemic considerations to the agent’s attention. Against this approach, we argue that Etiological Challenges are epistemically significant in a more direct and (...) more distinctive way. An Etiological Challenge prompts the agent to assess whether her beliefs result from practices of indoctrination, and whether she should reduce confidence in those beliefs, given the anti-reliability of indoctrination as a method of belief-acquisition. Our analysis also draws attention to some of the ways in which epistemic concerns interact with political issues—e.g. relating to epistemic injustice, identity-based discrimination, and segregation—when we’re thinking about the contingent causal origins of our beliefs. (shrink)
Advocates of the use of intuitions in philosophy argue that they are treated as evidence because they are evidential. Their opponents agree that they are treated as evidence, but argue that they should not be so used, since they are the wrong kinds of things. In contrast to both, we argue that, despite appearances, intuitions are not treated as evidence in philosophy whether or not they should be. Our positive account is that intuitions are a subclass of inclinations to believe. (...) Our thesis explains why intuitions play a role in persuasion and inquiry, without conceding that they are evidential. The account also makes predictions about the structure of intuitions that are confirmed by independent arguments. (shrink)
Higher-order defeat occurs when one loses justification for one's beliefs as a result of receiving evidence that those beliefs resulted from a cognitive malfunction. Several philosophers have identified features of higher-order defeat that distinguish it from familiar types of defeat. If higher-order defeat has these features, they are data an account of rational belief must capture. In this article, I identify a new distinguishing feature of higher-order defeat, and I argue that on its own, and in conjunction with the other (...) distinguishing features, it favors an account of higher-order defeat grounded in non-evidential, ‘state-given reasons’ for belief. (shrink)
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? (...) class='Hi'>Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe. (shrink)
A singular thought about an object o is one that is directly about o in a characteristic way—grasp of that thought requires having some special epistemic relation to the object o, and the thought is ontologically dependent on o. One account of the nature of singular thought exploits a Russellian Structured Account of Propositions, according to which contents are represented by means of structured n-tuples of objects, properties, and functions. A proposition is singular, according to this framework, if and only (...) if it contains an object as a constituent. One advantage of the framework of Russellian Structured propositions is that it promises to provide a metaphysical basis for the notion of a singular thought about an object, grounding it in terms of constituency. In this paper, we argue that the attempt to ground the peculiar features of singular thoughts in terms of metaphysical constituency fails, and draw some consequences of our discussion for other debates. (shrink)
The Fallibility Norm—the claim that we ought to take our fallibility into account when managing our beliefs—appears to conflict with several other compelling epistemic norms. To shed light on these apparent conflicts, I distinguish two kinds of norms: norms of perfection and norms of compensation. Roughly, norms of perfection tell us how agents ought to behave if they’re to be perfect; norms of compensation tell us how imperfect agents ought to behave in order to compensate for their imperfections. I argue (...) that the Fallibility Norm is a norm of compensation, and that thinking of it like this helps us make progress in debates surrounding disagreement, higher-order evidence, and coherence. (shrink)
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)
Mill defines utilitarianism as the combination of a “theory of life” and a moral claim: only pleasure and freedom from pain are desirable as ends, and the promotion of happiness is the sole goal of moral action. So defined, utilitarianism is open to ad hominem pessimistic objection: a “theory of life” which entails the impossibility of happiness fits poorly with a morality centered on its promotion. The first two challenges Mill confronts in Utilitarianism share this pessimistic structure. Interestingly, however, these (...) challenges paint inverted pictures of the best utilitarian life: one suggests this life is satisfying but ignoble, the other that it is noble but unsatisfying. I explain Mill's treatment of both challenges as genuinely pessimistic interpretations of utilitarianism's “theory of life.” Read through the lens of Mill's engagement with pessimism, these challenges point to distinctive conceptions of dignity and satisfaction that play a significant role in Mill's ethics. (shrink)
Reduction between theories in physics is often approached as an a priori relation in the sense that reduction is often taken to depend only on a comparison of the mathematical structures of two theories. I argue that such approaches fail to capture one crucial sense of “reduction,” whereby one theory encompasses the set of real behaviors that are well-modeled by the other. Reduction in this sense depends not only on the mathematical structures of the theories, but also on empirical facts (...) about where our theories succeed at describing real systems, and is therefore an a posteriori relation. (shrink)
Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...) in knowledge attribution. (shrink)
The correspondence theory of truth is a precise and innovative account of how the truth of a proposition depends upon that proposition's connection to a piece of reality. Joshua Rasmussen refines and defends the correspondence theory of truth, proposing new accounts of facts, propositions, and the correspondence between them. With these theories in hand, he then offers original solutions to the toughest objections facing correspondence theorists. Addressing the Problem of Funny Facts, Liar Paradoxes, and traditional epistemological questions concerning how (...) our minds can access reality, he challenges recent objections, and defends what has traditionally been the most popular theory of truth. Written with clarity, precision, and sensitivity to a range of philosophical backgrounds, his book will appeal to advanced students and scholars seeking a deeper understanding of the relationship between truth and reality. (shrink)
Some argue that same-sex marriage is not an equal rights issue because, where same-sex marriage is illegal, heterosexuals and homosexuals have the exact same right to marry—i.e., the right to marry one adult of the opposite sex. I dispute this argument by pointing out that while societies that prohibit same-sex marriage equally permit individual heterosexuals and homosexuals to marry one adult of the opposite sex, same-sex couples in such societies are denied an important right that opposite-sex couples enjoy—i.e., the right (...) to marry. I argue that the right to marry is fundamentally, not an individual right, but a couple’s collective right, analogous to assembly rights. (shrink)
Drawing on the writings of the Jewish thinker, Abraham Joshua Heschel, I defend a partial response to the problem of divine hiddenness. A Jewish approach to divine love includes the thought that God desires meaningful relationship not only with individual persons, but also with communities of persons. In combination with John Schellenberg’s account of divine love, the admission of God’s desire for such relationships makes possible that a person may fail to believe that God exists not because of any (...) individual failing, but because the individual is a member of a larger community that itself is culpable. (shrink)
Originally published in 1937, this book began as a doctoral dissertation by Reginald Witt on the subject of the Didaskalikos and its often overlooked author Albinus. Witt looks at the philosophical text with an eye to its setting within the various strains of Platonism and other relevant schools of ancient philosophy. This text will be of value to anyone with an interest in Middle- and Neoplatonism and in the writings of Albinus.
The last 15 years or so has seen the development of a fascinating new area of cognitive science: the cognitive science of religion (CSR). Scientists in this field aim to explain religious beliefs and various other religious human activities by appeal to basic cognitive structures that all humans possess. The CSR scientific theories raise an interesting philosophical question: do they somehow show that religious belief, more specifically belief in a god of some kind, is irrational? In this paper I investigate (...) this question and argue that CSR does not show that belief in god is irrational. (shrink)
I show explicitly how concerns about wave function collapse and ontology can be decoupled from the bulk of technical analysis necessary to recover localized, approximately Newtonian trajectories from quantum theory. In doing so, I demonstrate that the account of classical behavior provided by decoherence theory can be straightforwardly tailored to give accounts of classical behavior on multiple interpretations of quantum theory, including the Everett, de Broglie-Bohm and GRW interpretations. I further show that this interpretation-neutral, decoherence-based account conforms to a general (...) view of inter-theoretic reduction in physics that I have elaborated elsewhere, which differs from the oversimplified and often ambiguous picture that treats reduction simply as a matter of taking limits. This interpretation-neutral account rests on a general three-pronged strategy for reduction between quantum and classical theories that combines decoherence, an appropriate form of Ehrenfest's Theorem, and a decoherence-compatible mechanism for collapse. It also incorporates a novel argument as to why branch-relative trajectories should be approximately Newtonian, which is based on a little-discussed extension of Ehrenfest's Theorem to open systems, rather than on the more commonly cited but less germane closed-systems version. In the Conclusion, I briefly suggest how the strategy for quantum-classical reduction described here might be extended to reduction between other classical and quantum theories, including classical and quantum field theory and classical and quantum gravity. (shrink)
Many of us are unmoved when it is objected that some morally or intellectually suspect source agrees with our belief. While we may tend to find this kind of guilt by epistemic association unproblematic, I argue that this tendency is a mistake. We sometimes face what I call the problem of unwelcome epistemic company. This is the problem of encountering agreement about the content your belief from a source whose faults give you reason to worry about the belief’s truth, normative (...) status, etiology, or implications. On the basis of an array of cases, I elaborate four distinct kinds of problems that unwelcome epistemic company poses. Two of these are distinctly epistemic, and two are moral. I canvass possible responses, ranging from stubbornness to an epistemic prudishness that avoids unwelcome company at all costs. Finally, I offer preliminary lessons of the problem and distinguish it from the problem of peer disagreement. (shrink)
How do individuals respond when they perceive that their family business has been built upon unethical business conduct? Drawing on an expanded version of Hirschman’s typology of generic responses to declining situations (Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1970), which includes responses of Exit, Voice, Loyalty, and Neglect, we offer a model that predicts probability of intended response behavior as a function of normative obligation (i.e., what one perceives ought (...) to be done), managerial discretion (i.e., what one perceives can be done), and successor commitment to the firm. The model is tested on 124 business school students exposed to a scenario depicting an inherited ethical dilemma occurring in a family business from Arthur Miller’s play All My Sons, and shows support for elements of the proposed framework. Most notable is a significant negative relationship between normative firm-directed commitment and the response of Neglect. (shrink)
A recent systematic review of Machine Learning (ML) approaches to health data, containing over 100 studies, found that the most investigated problem was mental health (Yin et al., 2019). Relatedly, recent estimates suggest that between 165,000 and 325,000 health and wellness apps are now commercially available, with over 10,000 of those designed specifically for mental health (Carlo et al., 2019). In light of these trends, the present chapter has three aims: (1) provide an informative overview of some of the recent (...) work taking place at the intersection of text mining and mental health so that we can (2) highlight and analyze several pressing ethical issues that are arising in this rapidly growing field and (3) suggest productive directions for how these issues might be better addressed within future interdisciplinary work to ensure the responsible development of text mining approaches in psychology generally, and in mental health fields, specifically. In Section 1, we review some of the recent literature on text-mining and mental health in the contexts of traditional experimental settings, social media, and research involving electronic health records. Then, in Section 2, we introduce and discuss ethical concerns that arise before, during, and after research is conducted. Finally, in Section 3, we offer several suggestions about how ethical oversight of text-mining research might be improved to be more responsive to the concerns mapped out in Section 2. (shrink)
In a previous volume of Ethical Theory & Moral Practice, Melis Erdur defends the provocative claim that postulating a stance-independent ground for morality constitutes a substantive moral mistake that is isomorphic to the substantive moral mistake that many realists attribute to antirealists. In this discussion paper I reconstruct Erdur’s argument and raise two objections to the general framework in which it arises. I close by explaining why rejecting Erdur’s approach doesn’t preclude normative criticism of metaethical theories.