A review of empirical and theoretical work on reasoning and linguistic inference, which will be a useful introduction to the subject for students of language and thought. The book focuses on the relationship between what people do and what people are supposed to do when making inferences.
We propose that the pragmatic factors that mediate everyday deduction, such as alternative and disabling conditions (e.g. Cummins et al., 1991) and additional requirements (Byrne, 1989) exert their effects on specific inferences because of their perceived relevance to more general principles, which we term SuperPs. Support for this proposal was found first in two causal inference experiments, in which it was shown that specific inferences were mediated by factors that are relevant to a more general principle, while the same inferences (...) were unaffected by factors not relevant to the general principle. These results were extended to deontic inferences in two further experiments. Taken together, these findings show that unstated superordinate principles play a significant role in certain types of reasoning. Questions raised by the findings for the main theoretical approaches are discussed. (shrink)
Secularization theory is one of those intellectual products that determine the understanding of religion, its status in society, and the changes that take place between faith and unbelief, between church and state, for quite some time. Constituted in the United States in the mid-twentieth century, this theory has found many followers both in America and in Europe, even in the USSR. Its validity and integrity, evidentiality and obviousness did not cause any doubt either to scholars or to religious and statesmen. (...) It was clear that society is liberated from the influence of religion and the church, is rapidly secularized, which will inevitably lead to the transformation of religion into a marginal phenomenon, and eventually - to its extinction. But the predictions that were made with unqualified certainty did not come true, as the development of the religious environment at the end of the XX and the beginning of the XXI century showed. Not only has religion not lost its significance for the modern man, but he is also actively returning to the public sphere. In line with such objective changes, secularization theory undergoes significant transformations, evolving from a monopoly that it has had for almost half a century, to a crisis, and eventually to its antipode, a theory of desecularization. (shrink)
It has been debated what implications multiple realizability has for reductionism. I claim that more explicit attention needs to be paid to the distinction between multiple realizations of kinds and diverse implementations of laws. In this paper, I distinguish two different theses on the relations between multiple realization and diverse implementation: one thesis states that multiple realizations imply diverse implementations and the other states the converse. I claim that although antireductionism might turn out to be false if the first thesis (...) is accepted, this "realization-based" antireductionism is not the only option for antireductionism. For the antireductionists who accept the second thesis, multiple realizations only provide evidence for diverse implementations. I defend this "implementation-based" antireductionism again Shapiro's dilemma. I argue that one horn of the dilemma does not pose any problem and that the other horn simply begs the question. (shrink)
This commentary focuses on the implications of practical reasoning research for the view of rationality in Stanovich & West's target article. Practical reasoning does not correlate with intelligence or other reasoning tasks. Explanation in decision making terms raises the issue of dilemmas, making it hard to specify the correct norm, when an action can satisfy or conflict with two equally justifiable goals.
Despite the wide and daunting array of cross-cultural obstacles that the formulation of a global policy on advance directives will clearly pose, the need is equally evident. Specifically, the expansion of medical services driven by medical tourism, just to name one important example, makes this issue urgently relevant. While ensuring consistency across national borders, a global policy will have the additional and perhaps even more important effect of increasing the use of advance directives in clinical settings and enhancing their effectiveness (...) within each country, regardless of where that country's state of the law currently stands. One cross-cultural issue that may represent a major obstacle in formulating, let alone applying, a global policy is whether patient autonomy as the underlying principle for the use of advance directives is a universal norm or a construct of western traditions that must be reconciled with alternative value systems that may place lesser significance on individual choice. A global policy, at a minimum, must emphasize respect for patient autonomy, provision of medical information, limits to the obligations for physicians, and portability. And though the development of a global policy will be no easy task, active engagement in close collaboration with the World Health Organization can make it possible. (shrink)
In this article, the relevance of justice in care is discussed, with special regard to long-term care. After a short introduction laying out the conceptual framework of justice and care, followed by an exploration of some special challenges within long-term care, this article consists of two main parts. The first part deals with justice as a general (secular) philosophical phenomenon and draws especially upon principles of justice as developed by John Rawls. Both the principle of fair equality of opportunity and (...) the difference principle, according to which an unequal treatment may be justified, provided that those “worst off” benefit mostly and are relevant within the field of care. The feminist debate about an ethics of care is also considered since its more recent contributions offer interesting attempts to mediate between justice and care. The second part of the article introduces a Christian perspective on justice, with relevance for (long-term) care. From a Christian point of view, one will even more strongly than Rawls argue for a conception of justice, which gives priority to those worst off. It is also argued that justice and care converge in the practice of diakonia. Diakonia, in many traditions synonymous with the caring dimension of the church, always had a special focus on long-term care. In this kind of church-based practice, justice and care are reconciled. (shrink)