It is widely held by philosophers not only that there is a causal condition on perception but also that the causal condition is a conceptual truth about perception. One influential line of argument for this claim is based on intuitive responses to a style of thought experiment popularized by Grice. Given the significance of these thought experiments to the literature, it is important to see whether the folk in fact respond to these cases in the way that philosophers assume they (...) should. We test folk intuitions regarding the causal theory of perception by asking our participants to what extent they agree that they would ‘see’ an object in various Gricean scenarios. We find that the intuitions of the folk do not strongly support the causal condition; they at most strongly support a ‘no blocker’ condition. We argue that this is problematic for the claim that the causal condition is a conceptual truth. (shrink)
Locke Defines Knowledge at the beginning of Book IV of the Essay concerning Human Understanding as “the perception of the connexion and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our Ideas” (E IV.i.2).1 So defined, knowledge varies along two dimensions. On the one hand, there are four “sorts” of knowledge: of identity or diversity; relation; co-existence or necessary connection; and real existence. On the other hand, there are three “degrees” of knowledge: intuitive knowledge, which consists in the “immediate” perception (...) of agreement or disagreement between ideas (E IV.ii.1); demonstrative knowledge, which consists in the perception of agreement or disagreement by way of intermediate (or intervening) .. (shrink)
This paper presents an ‘over-representational’ account of blurred visual experiences. The basic idea is that blurred experiences provide too much, inconsistent, information about objects’ spatial boundaries, by representing them as simultaneously located at multiple locations. This account attempts to avoid problems with alternative accounts of blurred experience, according to which blur is a property of a visual field, a way of perceiving, a form of mis-representation, and a form of under-representation.
Inter-species variation in colour perception poses a serious problem for the view that colours are mind-independent properties. Given that colour perception varies so drastically across species, which species perceives colours as they really are? In this paper, I argue that all do. Specifically, I argue that members of different species perceive properties that are determinates of different, mutually compatible, determinables. This is an instance of a general selectionist strategy for dealing with cases of perceptual variation. According to selectionist views, objects (...) simultaneously instantiate a plurality of colours, all of them genuinely mind-independent, and subjects select from amongst this plurality which colours they perceive. I contrast selectionist views with relationalist views that deny the mind-independence of colour, and consider some general objections to this strategy. (shrink)
The view that the mind-dependence of colour is implicit in our ordinary thinking has a distinguished history. With its origins in Berkeley, the view has proved especially popular amongst so-called ‘Oxford’ philosophers, proponents including Cook Wilson (1904: 773-4), Pritchard (1909: 86-7), Ryle (1949: 209), Kneale (1950: 123) and McDowell (1985: 112). Gareth Evans’s discussion of secondary qualities in “Things Without the Mind” is representative of this tradition. It is his version of the view that I consider in this paper.
Colours appear to instantiate a number of structural properties: for instance, they stand in distinctive relations of similarity and difference, and admit of a fundamental distinction into unique and binary. Accounting for these structural properties is often taken to present a serious problem for physicalist theories of colour. This paper argues that a prominent attempt by Byrne and Hilbert to account for the structural properties of the colours, consistent with the claim that colours are types of surface spectral reflectance, is (...) unsuccessful. Instead, it is suggested that a better account of the structural properties of the colours is provided by a form of non-reductive physicalism about colour: a naïve realist theory of colour, according to which colours are superficial mind-independent properties. (shrink)
What is the relationship between being coloured and looking coloured? According to Alva Noë, to be coloured is to manifest a pattern of apparent colours as the perceptual conditions vary. I argue that Noë’s ‘phenomenal objectivism’ faces similar objections to attempts by traditional dispositionalist theories of colour to account for being coloured in terms of looking coloured. Instead, I suggest that to be coloured is to look coloured in a ‘non-perspectival’ sense, where non-perspectival looks transcend specific perceptual conditions.
According to naïve realist (or primitivist) theories of colour, colours are sui generis mind-independent properties. The question that I consider in this paper is the relationship of naïve realism to what Mark Johnston calls Revelation, the thesis that the essential nature of colour is fully revealed in a standard visual experience. In the first part of the paper, I argue that if naïve realism is true, then Revelation is false. In the second part of the paper, I defend naïve realism (...) against a number of objections. (shrink)
Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is compared with Descartes’s argument (in the Principles of Philosophy) for the distinction between mechanical modifications and sensible qualities. I argue that following Descartes, Locke’s argument for the primary-secondary quality distinction is an essentially a priori argument, based on our conception of substance, and the constraints on intelligible bodily interaction that this conception of substance sets.
Variations in colour perception have featured prominently in recent attempts to argue against the view that colours are objective mind-independent properties of the perceptual environment. My aim in this paper is to defend the view that colours are mind-independent properties in response to worries arising from one type of empirically documented case of perceptual variation: variation in the perception of the «unique hues». §1 sets out the challenge raised by variation in the perception of the unique hues. I argue in (...) §2 that the empirical findings are less dramatic than they might initially appear, and in §3 that accounting for the inter-personal differences is consistent with the view that colours are mind-independent properties that normal subjects veridically perceive, at least roughly speaking. (shrink)
What are hallucinations? A common view in the philosophical literature is that hallucinations are degenerate kinds of perceptual experience. I argue instead that hallucinations are degenerate kinds of sensory imagination. As well as providing a good account of many actual cases of hallucination, the view that hallucination is a kind of imagination represents a promising account of hallucination from the perspective of a disjunctivist theory of perception like naïve realism. This is because it provides a way of giving a positive (...) characterisation of hallucination—rather than characterising hallucinations in negative, relational, terms as mental events that are subjectively indistinguishable from veridical perceptual experiences. (shrink)
The history of human subjects research and controversial procedures in relation to it has helped form the field of bioethics. Ethically questionable elements may be identified during research design, research implementation, management at the study site, or actions by a study’s investigator or other staff. Post-approval monitoring (PAM) may prevent violations from occurring or enable their identification at an early stage. In U.S.-initiated human subjects research taking place in resource-constrained countries with limited development of research regulatory structures, arranging a site (...) visit from a U.S. research ethics committee (REC) becomes difficult, thus creating a potential barrier to regulatory oversight by the parent REC. However, this barrier may be overcome through the use of digital technologies, since much of the world has at least remote access to the Internet. Empirical research is needed to pilot test the use of these technologies for research oversight to ensure the protection of human subjects taking part in research worldwide. (shrink)
Objects appear different as the illumination under which they are perceived varies. This fact is sometimes thought to pose a problem for the view that colours are mind-independent properties: if a coloured object appears different under different illuminations, then under which illumination does the object appear the colour it really is? I argue that given the nature of natural daylight, and certain plausible assumptions about the nature of the colours it illuminates, there is a non-arbitrary reason to suppose that it (...) is under natural daylight that we are able to perceive the real colours of objects. (shrink)
According to Locke, what are ideas? I argue that Locke does not give an account of the nature of ideas. In the Essay, the question is simply set to one side, as recommended by the “Historical, plain Method” that Locke employs. This is exemplified by his characterization of ‘ideas’ in E I.i.8, and the discussion of the inverted spectrum hypothesis in E II.xxxii. In this respect, Locke’s attitude towards the nature of ideas in the Essay is reminiscent of Boyle’s diffident (...) attitude the nature of matter. In posthumously published work, however, Locke suggests that the enquiry into the nature of ideas is one of the things that the enquiry into the extent of human knowledge undertaken in the Essay actually shows to lie beyond the “compass of human understanding”. In this respect, Locke’s attitude towards the nature of ideas is reminiscent of Sydenham’s attitude towards the nature of diseases. (shrink)
Ralph Cudworth (1617–1688) is a member of the group of philosophers and theologians commonly called ‘the Cambridge Platonists’. Although not part of the canon of great early modern philosophers, Cudworth’s work is of more than merely passing interest. Cudworth was an influential philosopher in the early modern period both for his criticisms of contemporaries like Hobbes, Descartes, and Spinoza, and for his own distinctive philosophical views. This entry focusses on Cudworth’s views on mind and body, considering both his criticisms of (...) contemporaries’ theories of mind and body, and outlining his alternative form of dualism in which plastic nature plays a central role. (shrink)
This paper considers two accounts of the way that colours are represented in perception, thought, and language that are consistent with relationalist theories of colour: Jonathan Cohen’s contextualist semantics for colour ascriptions, and Andy Egan’s suggestion that colour ascriptions have self-locating contents. I argue that colours are not represented in perception, thought, or language as mind-dependent relational properties.
A collection of new essays on causation in the period from Galileo to Lady Mary Shepherd (roughly 1600-1850). Contributors: David Wootton, Tad Schmaltz, William Eaton and Robert Higgerson, Eric Schliesser, Pauline Phemister, Timothy Stanton, Peter Millican, Constantine Sandis, Boris Hennig, Angela Breitenbach, Stathis Psillos, and Martha Brandt Bolton.
In addressing the metaphysical question of what colours are, a consideration that is commonly appealed to is how colours are represented—typically in perceptual experiences, but also in beliefs and linguistic utterances. Although representations need not accurately reflect the nature of what they represent—indeed, they need not represent anything that actually exists at all—the way colours are represented is often taken to provide at least a defeasible guide to the metaphysics: all else being equal, it seems we should prefer a theory (...) of what colours that is consistent with the way that they appear; otherwise, our theory of the nature of colour entails a potentially unattractive error theory about ordinary colour ascriptions. (shrink)
The increasing availability of DNA-based diagnostic tests has raised issues about whether these should be applied to the population at large in order to identify, treat or prevent a range of diseases. DNA tests raise concerns in the community for several reasons. There is the possibility of stigmatisation and discrimination between those who test positive and those who don't. High-risk individuals may be identified for whom no proven effective intervention is possible, or conversely may test "positive" for a disease that (...) does not eventuate. Controversy concerning prenatal diagnosis and termination of affected pregnancies may arise. Haemochromatosis, however, is a disease that is not only treatable but also preventable if those at high risk are identified presymptomatically. This paper will identify and discuss key issues regarding DNA-based population screening for haemochromatosis, and argue that population-based genetic screening for haemochromatosis should be supported when a number of contentious issues are addressed. In the context of a health system with limited resources haemochromatosis is the paradigm of a disorder where there is an ethical and clinical imperative to encourage presymptomatic DNA testing for all in ethnically relevant communities. (shrink)
What, according to Locke, are ideas? I argue that Locke does not give an account of the nature of ideas. In the Essay, the question is simply set to one side, as recommended by the “Historical, plain Method” that Locke employs. This is exemplified by his characterization of ‘ideas’ in E I.i.8, and the discussion of the inverted spectrum hypothesis in E II.xxxii. In this respect, Locke's attitude towards the nature of ideas in the Essay is reminiscent of Boyle's diffident (...) attitude towards the nature of matter. In posthumously published work, however, Locke suggests that the enquiry into the nature of ideas is one of the things that the enquiry into the extent of human knowledge undertaken in the Essay actually shows to lie beyond the “compass of human understanding”. In this respect, Locke's attitude towards the nature of ideas is reminiscent of Sydenham's attitude towards the nature of diseases. (shrink)
Health systems research is widely identified as an indispensable means to achieve the goal of health equity between and within countries. Numerous health systems research consortia comprised of institutions from high-income countries and low and middle-income countries are currently undertaking programs of research in LMICs. These partnerships differ from collaborations that carry out single projects in the multiplicity of their goals, scope of their activities, and nature of their management. Recent conceptual work has explored what features might be necessary for (...) health systems research consortia and their research programs to promote health equity. Identified features include selecting research priorities that focus on improving access to high-quality health services and/or financial protection for disadvantaged populations in LMICs and conducting research capacity strengthening that promotes the independent conduct of health systems research in LMICs. Yet, there has been no attempt to investigate whether existing consortia have such characteristics. This paper describes the results of a survey undertaken with health systems research consortia leaders worldwide to assess how consistent current practice is with the proposed ethical guidance. The findings suggest that consortia may be fairly well organised to promote health equity, but have scope for improvement, particularly in terms of achieving inclusive priority-setting. (shrink)
Focusing on the analysis of Athens' relations with both Greeks and non-Greeks as recorded in extant fourth-century decrees, this paper challenges the applicability of the notion of Greek/barbarian antithesis to the interpretation of formal diplomatic exchanges between Athens and the non-Greek states. A comparison of the types of decrees and honors reveals a remarkable uniformity in the forms of Athens' foreign relations irrespective of the ethnicity of honorands. The distribution of honors among individuals and groups of recipients within single decrees (...) further demonstrates that the Athenian honorific system typically elevated individuals over communities they represented, suggesting that political differences between Athens and non-Greek states did not adversely influence the methods of exchanges between them. Apart from the provisions contained in the decrees, this paper also considers their function within the city as monuments that attest to the important place of philobarbaric discourse and practice in fourth-century Athens. (shrink)
This volume brings together a collection of new essays by leading scholars on the subject of causation in the early modern period, from Descartes to Lady Mary Shepherd. Aimed at researchers, graduate students and advanced undergraduates, the volume advances the understanding of early modern discussions of causation, and situates these discussions in the wider context of early modern philosophy and science. Specifically, the volume contains essays on key early modern thinkers, such as Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant. It also (...) contains essays that examine the important contributions to the causation debate of less widely discussed figures, including Louis la Forge, Thomas Brown and Lady Mary Shepherd. (shrink)
This article reviews Charles Danten’s Slaves of Our Affection: the Myth of the Happy Pet, outlining and evaluating Danten’s arguments for the abolition of the pet trade. The review delineates Danten’s main points; that the commodification of companion animals is antithetical to their welfare, that veterinarians, pet food manufacturers and breeders serve the dictates of the economic bottom line rather than the interests of animals, and that the majority of pet owners, while well-intentioned, are ill-equipped to meet the physiological and (...) psychological needs of their animal companions. The reviewer asserts that Danten’s arguments are generally successful, but suggests that the text might have benefited had the author engaged more with the work of other animal ethicists, particularly when making potentially controversial claims about the moral acceptability of euthanizing healthy, but unwanted, animals. (shrink)