The disagreement between philosophers about the scientific worth of the evolutionary behavioral sciences (evolutionary psychology, human behavioral ecology, etc.) is in part due to the fact that critics and advocates of these sciences characterize them very differently. In this article, by analyzing quantitatively the citations made in the articles published in Evolution & Human Behavior between January 2000 and December 2002, we provide some evidence that undermines the characterization of the evolutionary behavioral sciences put forward by their critics.
Business ethics has become a very important concern in global business and understanding the effects of various factors on ethical judgments continues to attract research and practitioner attention. Using the Multidimensional Ethics Scale with its five generally accepted philosophical constructs, and vignettes developed by Cohen et al., current study investigates the relationship between cultural values, personality, religiosity and the ethical sensitivity of business students. We focus on a rapidly emerging country, Turkey, whose economic environment is similar to that of (...) the most Western nations but with a significantly different background and cultural values. Data for the study is collected from a major university in the southeastern Turkey. Although some significant relationships are identified between ethical sensitivity and cultural values and personality, our study findings confirm that MES dimensions had the highest influence on ethical sensitivity levels of business students. (shrink)
This is the second of three volumes of posthumously collected writings of G. A. Cohen, who was one of the leading, and most progressive, figures in contemporary political philosophy. This volume brings together some of Cohen's most personal philosophical and nonphilosophical essays, many of them previously unpublished. Rich in first-person narration, insight, and humor, these pieces vividly demonstrate why Thomas Nagel described Cohen as a "wonderful raconteur." The nonphilosophical highlight of the book is Cohen's remarkable account (...) of his first trip to India, which includes unforgettable vignettes of encounters with strangers and reflections on poverty and begging. Other biographical pieces include his valedictory lecture at Oxford, in which he describes his philosophical development and offers his impressions of other philosophers, and "Isaiah's Marx, and Mine," a tribute to his mentor Isaiah Berlin. Other essays address such topics as the truth in "small-c conservatism," who can and can't condemn terrorists, and the essence of bullshit. A recurring theme is finding completion in relation to the world of other human beings. Engaging, perceptive, and empathetic, these writings reveal a more personal side of one of the most influential philosophers of our time. (shrink)
I want to suggest a point in metaphor which is independent of the question of its cognitivity and which has nothing to do with its aesthetical character. I think of this point as the achievement of intimacy. There is a unique way in which the maker and the appreciator of a metaphor are drawn closer to one another. Three aspects are involved: the speaker issues a kind of concealed invitation; the hearer expends a special effort to accept the invitation; and (...) this transaction constitutes the acknowledgement of a community. All three are involved in any communication, but in ordinary literal discourse their involvement is so persuasive and routine that they go unremarked. The use of metaphor throws them into relief, and there is a point in that. An appreciator of a metaphor must do two things: he must realize that the expression is a metaphor, and he must figure out the point of the expression. His former accomplishment induces him to undertake the latter. Realizing the metaphorical character of an expression is often easy enough; it requires only the assumption that the speaker is not simply speaking absurdly or uttering a patent falsehood. But it can be a more formidable task: not every figurative expression which can survive a literal reading is a mere play on words. Ted Cohen is chairman of the department of philosophy at the University of Chicago. He has written on language, aesthetics, and taste and has coedited a collection entitled Essays on Kant's Aesthetics. His contribution to Critical Inquiry, "Reflexions on Las Meninas: Paradox Lost", was written with Joel Snyder in the Winter 1980 issue. (shrink)
Sovereignty and the sovereign state are often seen as anachronisms; Globalization and Sovereignty challenges this view. Jean L. Cohen analyzes the new sovereignty regime emergent since the 1990s evidenced by the discourses and practice of human rights, humanitarian intervention, transformative occupation, and the UN targeted sanctions regime that blacklists alleged terrorists. Presenting a systematic theory of sovereignty and its transformation in international law and politics, Cohen argues for the continued importance of sovereign equality. She offers a theory of (...) a dualistic world order comprised of an international society of states, and a global political community in which human rights and global governance institutions affect the law, policies, and political culture of sovereign states. She advocates the constitutionalization of these institutions, within the framework of constitutional pluralism. This book will appeal to students of international political theory and law, political scientists, sociologists, legal historians, and theorists of constitutionalism. (shrink)
The first major work in the history of philosophy to bear the title "Metaphysics" was the treatise by Aristotle that we have come to know by that name. But Aristotle himself did not use that title or even describe his field of study as 'metaphysics'; the name was evidently coined by the first century C.E. editor who assembled the treatise we know as Aristotle's Metaphysics out of various smaller selections of Aristotle's works. The title 'metaphysics' -- literally, 'after the Physics' (...) -- very likely indicated the place the topics discussed therein were intended to occupy in the philosophical curriculum. They were to be studied after the treatises dealing with nature (ta phusika). In this entry, we discuss the ideas that are developed in Aristotle's treatise. (shrink)
The nonidentity problem is a deep puzzle challenging the moral intuition that what is bad must be bad for someone. The first part of the paper constructs a new theory of harming, whereas the second part builds on the conclusions of the first to offer a new solution to the NIP. The first part discusses the neglected question of when a burden inflicted in the context of overall benefitting can be discretized as a separate entity—only when it can, is it (...) possible to identify the burden as harm, and only then is it possible to harm in bringing into overall good existence. The second part explains how, in those cases where creating is indeed harming, we can use the logic of concept expansion to construct a concept of wronging that applies to creation cases. (shrink)
If updating with E has the same result across all epistemically possible worlds, then the agent has no uncertainty as to the behavior of the update, and we may call it a transparent update. If an agent is uncertain about the behavior of an update, we may call it opaque. In order to model the uncertainty an agent has about the result of an update, the same update must behave differently across different possible worlds. In this paper, I study opaque (...) updates using a simple system of dynamic epistemic logic suitably modified for that purpose. The paper highlights the connection between opaque updates and the dynamic-epistemic principles Perfect-Recall and No-Miracles. I argue that opaque updates are central to contemporary discussions in epistemology, in particular to externalist theories of knowledge and to the related problem of epistemic bootstrapping, or easy knowledge. Opaque updates allow us to explicitly investigate a dynamic form of uncertainty, using simple and precise logical tools. (shrink)
In Bertrand Russell's 1903 Principles of Mathematics, he offers an apparently devastating criticism of the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen's Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History (PIM). Russell's criticism is motivated by his concern that Cohen's account of the foundations of calculus saddles mathematics with the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum, and thus threatens the very idea of mathematical truth. This paper defends Cohen against that objection of Russell's, and argues that properly understood, Cohen's views (...) of limits and infinitesimals do not entail the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. Essential to that defense is an interpretation, developed in the paper, of Cohen's positions in the PIM as deeply rationalist. The interest in developing this interpretation is not just that it reveals how Cohen's views in the PIM avoid the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. It also reveals some of what is at stake, both historically and philosophically, in Russell's criticism of Cohen. (shrink)
Johnathan Cohen's book provides a lucid and penetrating treatment of the fundamental issues of contemporary analytical philosophy. This field now spans a greater variety of topics and divergence of opinion than fifty years ago, and Cohen's book addresses the presuppositions implicit to it and the patterns of reasoning on which it relies.
In this incisive new book one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied, at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? And (...) should statements and assertions be presumed to express what their authors believe or what they accept? Does such a distinction between belief and acceptance help to resolve the paradoxes of self-deception and akrasia? Must people be taken to believe everything entailed by what they believe, or merely to accept everything entailed by what they accept? Through a systematic examination of these problems, the author sheds new light on issues of crucial importance in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. (shrink)
The book was planned and written as a single, sustained argument. But earlier versions of a few parts of it have appeared separately. The object of this book is both to establish the existence of the paradoxes, and also to describe a non-Pascalian concept of probability in terms of which one can analyse the structure of forensic proof without giving rise to such typical signs of theoretical misfit. Neither the complementational principle for negation nor the multiplicative principle for conjunction applies (...) to the central core of any forensic proof in the Anglo-American legal system. There are four parts included in this book. Accordingly, these parts have been written in such a way that they may be read in different orders by different kinds of reader. (shrink)
The term “principle of sufficient reason” was coined by Leibniz, and he is often regarded as its paradigmatic proponent. But as Leibniz himself often insisted, he was by no means the first philosopher to appeal to the idea that everything must have a reason. Histories of the principle attribute versions of it to various ancient authors. A few of these studies include—or at least do not exclude—medieval philosophers; one finds the PSR in Abelard, another finds it in Aquinas. And while (...) Leibniz retains pride of place in these histories, Spinoza is sometimes said to precede him “in appreciating the importance of the Principle and placing it at the center of his philosophical system.” In this paper, the author argues that the same should be said of the Islamic philosopher Avicenna. Writing 600 years before his early modern counterparts, Avicenna routinely and consistently appeals to the PSR in generating his metaphysical system. The paper aims first to establish that Avicenna deserves a position of prominence in histories of the PSR, and then to consider how he addresses certain challenges to the PSR, especially the threat posed by necessitarianism. (shrink)
We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘ theory of mind ’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘ theory ’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer (...) and Perner’s puppet play paradigm. Normal children and those with Down’s syndrome were used as controls for a group of autistic children. Even though the mental age of the autistic children was higher than that of the controls, they alone failed to impute beliefs to others. Thus the dysfunction we have postulated and demonstrated is independent of mental retardation and specific to autism. (shrink)
: Few texts summarize and at the same time compound the challenges of their author's philosophy so sharply as Hermann Cohen's Das Prinzip der Infinitesimalmethode und seine Geschichte (1883). The book's meaning and style are greatly illuminated by placing it in the scientific, political, and academic context of late-nineteenth century Germany. As this context changed, so did both the reception of the philosophy of the infinitesimal and of the Marburg school more generally. A study of this transformation casts significant (...) light on the political relevance of the philosophy of science in theWilhelmine era. As a means of following this development across time, Cohen's text is read through its changing reception in the philosophy of his closest disciple, Ernst Cassirer. (shrink)
Cohen seeks to rescue the concept of justice from those, among whom he includes Rawls, who think that correct fundamental moral principles are fact-sensitive. Cohen argues instead that any fundamental principles of justice, and fundamental moral principles generally, are fact-insensitive and that any fact-sensitive principles can be traced back to fact-insensitive ones. This paper seeks to clarify the nature of Cohen's argument, and the kind of fact-insensitivity he has in mind. In particular, it distinguishes between internal and (...) external fact-sensitivity – that is, whether facts are referenced in the content of the principle, or must otherwise be the case in order for the principle to apply at all. Cohen himself seems likely to endorse internally fact-sensitive fundamental principles. This leads to a discussion of Cohen's Platonism about moral principles and the extent to which his arguments cover all its rivals. 1. (shrink)
Color provides an instance of a general puzzle about how to reconcile the picture of the world given to us by our ordinary experience with the picture of the world given to us by our best theoretical accounts. The Red and the Real offers a new approach to such longstanding philosophical puzzles about what colors are and how they fit into nature. It is responsive to a broad range of constraints --- both the ordinary constraints of color experience and the (...) more theoretical constraints of color science, psychology, semantics, and ontology. (shrink)
Some ways of defending inequality against the charge that it is unjust require premises that egalitarians find easy to dismiss—statements, for example, about the contrasting deserts and/or entitlements of unequally placed people. But a defense of inequality suggested by John Rawls and elaborated by Brian Barry has often proved irresistible even to people of egalitarian outlook. The persuasive power of this defense of inequality has helped to drive authentic egalitarianism, of an old-fashioned, uncompromising kind, out of contemporary political philosophy. The (...) present essay is part of an attempt to bring it back in. (shrink)
1. The present paper is a continuation of my “Self-Ownership, World Ownership, and Equality,” which began with a description of the political philosophy of Robert Nozick. I contended in that essay that the foundational claim of Nozick's philosophy is the thesis of self-ownership, which says that each person is the morally rightful owner of his own person and powers, and, consequently, that each is free to use those powers as he wishes, provided that he does not deploy them aggressively against (...) others. To be sure, he may not harm others, and he may, if necessary, be forced not to harm them, but he should never be forced to help them, as people are in fact forced to help others, according to Nozick, by redistributive taxation. (shrink)
In an intriguing essay, G. A. Cohen has defended a conservative bias in favour of existing value. In this paper, we consider whether Cohen’s conservatism raises a new challenge to the use of human enhancement technologies. We develop some of Cohen’s suggestive remarks into a new line of argument against human enhancement that, we believe, is in several ways superior to existing objections. However, we shall argue that on closer inspection, Cohen’s conservatism fails to offer grounds (...) for a strong sweeping objection to enhancement, and may even offer positive support for forms of enhancement that preserve valuable features of human beings. Nevertheless, we concede that Cohen’s arguments may suggest some plausible and important constraints on the modality of legitimate and desirable enhancements. (shrink)
The neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen is famously anti-empiricist in that he denies that sensations can make a definable contribution to knowledge. However, in the second edition of Kant’s Theory of Experience (1885), Cohen considers a proposition that contrasts with both his other work and that of his followers: a Kantian who studies scientific claims to truth—and the grounds on which they are made—cannot limit himself to studying mathematics and logical principles, but needs to also investigate underlying presuppositions about the (...) empirical element of science. Due to his subjectivist approach, Cohen argues, Kant not only failed to explain how scientific observation and experiments are possible, but also misconceived the role of the ideas, particularly the idea of a system of nature. (shrink)
Two new philosophical problems surrounding the gradation of certainty began to emerge in the 17th century and are still very much alive today. One is concerned with the evaluation of inductive reasoning, whether in science, jurisprudence, or elsewhere; the other with the interpretation of the mathematical calculus of change. This book, aimed at non-specialists, investigates both problems and the extent to which they are connected. Cohen demonstrates the diversity of logical structures that are available for judgements of probability, and (...) explores the rationale for their appropriateness in different contexts of application. Thus his study deals with the complexity of the underlying philosophical issues without simply cataloging alternative conceptions or espousing a particular "favorite" theory. (shrink)
Are colors relational or non-relational properties of their bearers? Is red a property that is instantiated by all and only the objects with a certain intrinsic (/non-relational) nature? Or does an object with a particular intrinsic (/non-relational) nature count as red only in virtue of standing in certain relations - for example, only when it looks a certain way to a certain perceiver, or only in certain circumstances of observation? In this paper I shall argue for the view that color (...) properties are relational (henceforth, relationalism), and against the view that colors are not relational (henceforth, anti- or non-relationalism). (shrink)
Tzelgov and colleagues [Tzelgov, J., Meyer, J., and Henik, A. . Automatic and intentional processing of numerical information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 18, 166–179.], offered the existence of the laterality effect as a post-hoc explanation for their results. According to this effect, numbers are classified automatically as small/large versus a standard point under autonomous processing of numerical information. However, the genuinity of the laterality effect was never examined, or was confounded with the numerical distance effect. In (...) the current study, I controlled the numerical distance effect and observed that the laterality effect does exist, and affects the processing of automatic numerical information. The current results suggest that the laterality effect should be taken into account when using paradigms that require automatic numerical processing such as Stroop-like or priming tasks. (shrink)
This exploration of a notorious mathematical problem is the work of the man who discovered the solution. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, it employs intuitive explanations as well as detailed mathematical proofs in a self-contained treatment. This unique text and reference is suitable for students and professionals. 1966 edition. Copyright renewed 1994.
Although ethical leadership by formal nurse leaders is critical to enhancing ethical health-care practice, research has shown that many nurses feel unsupported by their leaders. In this article, we consider the limited attention directed toward ethical leadership of formal nurse leaders and how our own research on ethical nurse leadership compares to other research in this field. In searching Nursing Ethics since its inception 20 years ago, we found only a dozen articles that directly addressed this topic. We then reviewed (...) nurses’ professional codes of ethics in Canada and found significant retractions of ethical guidelines for formal nurse leaders’ ethical responsibilities over the past decade. We began to seek explanations of why this is so and offer some recommendations for the study and enhancement of ethics for formal nurse leadership. (shrink)
Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...) of novel MRL theories, some of which solve problems the original MRL theory could not. Hence we conceive of the paper as moving toward a better Best System theory of laws. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that standards, which are typically social in nature, play a role in determining whether a subject has knowledge. While the argument focuses on standards that pertain to reasoning, I also consider whether there are similar standards for memory and perception.Ultimately, I argue that the standards are context sensitive and, as such, we must view attributions of knowledge as indexical. I exploit similarities between this view and a version of the relevant alternatives reply to skepticism in (...) order to defend this reply against the objection that it is ad hoc. (shrink)
This paper assesses G. A. Cohen's critique of Rawlsian special incentives. Two arguments are identified and criticized: an argument that the difference principle does not justify incentives because of a limitation on an agent's prerogative to depart from a direct promotion of the interests of the worst off, and an argument that justice is limited in its scope. The first argument is evaluated and defended from the criticism that once Cohen has conceded some ethically grounded special incentives he (...) cannot sustain his critique of special incentives. But it is finally rejected as a subtle form of an unreasonably demanding moral rigorism. The second argument is interpreted as the more plausible of Cohen's claims. It has, however, to be defended via two subsidiary theses: the claim that Rawls endorses a moral division of labour and that this in turn grounds a further commitment to moral dualism as opposed to moral monism. This argument is assessed and rejected. Neither the moral division of labour nor moral monism supports the claim that in applying the principles of justice to a basic structure one does not thereby apply them to the individuals constrained to act within that structure in the marketing of their labour. Nor is it plausible to identify local aspects of social relations where the principles of justice are suspended. Such principles are presupposed, for example in market relations or the family, but limitation in scope of direct application does not limit the scope of justification. That scope extends at least as far as individual decisions to market one's labour. The latter are made fair in the only possible way they could be made fair. Rawls's commitment to the revisionary socialism of James Meade illustrates this point. It is concluded that no version of Cohen's critique succeeds. However, Cohen's critique identifies the most plausible version of Rawls's egalitarianism. (shrink)
Why do children with autism have such trouble developing normal social understanding of other people's feelings? This new edition updates the field by linking autism research to the newest methods for studying the brain.
An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...) of our preferred view of laws, an elaboration of the MRL view that we call the Better Best System (BBS) theory. BBS offers a picture on which, although all events supervene on a fundamental level, there is no one unique locus of projectibility; rather there are a large number of loci corresponding to the different areas (ecology, economics, solid-state chemistry, etc.) in which there are simple and strong generalizations to be made. While we expect that some amount of conspiracy-fear-inducing special science projectibility is inevitable given BBS, we'll argue that this is unobjectionable. It follows from BBS that the laws of any particular special or fundamental science amount to a proper subset of the laws. From this vantage point, the existence of projectible special science generalizations not guaranteed by the fundamental laws is not an occasion for conspiracy fantasies, but a predictable fact of life in a complex world. (shrink)
The concept of efficient causation originates with Aristotle, who states that the types of cause include ‘the primary source of the change or rest’. For Medieval Aristotelians, the scope of efficient causality includes creative acts. The Islamic philosopher Avicenna is an important contributor to this conceptual change. In his Metaphysics, Avicenna defines the efficient cause or agent as that which gives being to something distinct from itself. As previous studies of Avicenna's ‘metaphysical’ conception of the efficient cause attest, it takes (...) God as a model agent. This essay considers whether Avicenna's ‘metaphysical’ conception of the efficient cause applies to natural agents. It ultimately argues that Avicenna offers a unified view of the efficient cause, which includes both divine and natural agents. On this view, an efficient cause gives being to another and is simultaneous with its effect. While Avicenna's defence of this view is an important chapter in the history of the concept of the efficient cause, it is also of interest in its own right. By appeal to a version of the principle of sufficient reason, it challenges a widespread view that causes are temporally prior to their effects. (shrink)
‘No matter what the grievance, and I'm sure that the Palestinians have some legitimate grievances, nothing can justify the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians. If they were attacking our soldiers it would be a different matter.’.
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