The article presents a particular case of undergraduate students working on subprojects within the framework of their supervisors' (the authors') research project during Autumn Semester 2012 and Spring Semester 2013. The article's purpose is to show that an institutionalized focus on students as "research learners" rather than merely curriculum learners proves productive for both research and teaching. We describe the specific university learning context and the particular organization of undergraduate students' supervision and assistantships. The case builds on and further enhances (...) a well-established and proven university model of participant-directed, problem-oriented project work. We explore students' and researchers' experiences of being part of the collaboration, focusing on learning potentials and dilemmas associated with the multiple roles of researcher and student that characterized this particular intertwined research and education arrangement. We show that the connection to the research project assisted students to orientate, learn, and contribute in relation to empirical and theoretical aspects of research and supported the development of broad perspectives and deep analysis. (shrink)
Previous research in Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) suggests that a main aim of explainability approaches is to satisfy specific interests, goals, expectations, needs, and demands regarding artificial systems (we call these “stakeholders' desiderata”) in a variety of contexts. However, the literature on XAI is vast, spreads out across multiple largely disconnected disciplines, and it often remains unclear how explainability approaches are supposed to achieve the goal of satisfying stakeholders' desiderata. This paper discusses the main classes of stakeholders calling for explainability (...) of artificial systems and reviews their desiderata. We provide a model that explicitly spells out the main concepts and relations necessary to consider and investigate when evaluating, adjusting, choosing, and developing explainability approaches that aim to satisfy stakeholders' desiderata. This model can serve researchers from the variety of different disciplines involved in XAI as a common ground. It emphasizes where there is interdisciplinary potential in the evaluation and the development of explainability approaches. (shrink)
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of (...) Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons, closeness in the Commons and the necessity of reforming the Commons, said Mr. Spenlow solemnly, in conclusion; but when the price of wheat per bushel had been the highest, the Commons had been the busiest; and a man might lay his hand upon his heart, and say this to the whole world, – ‘Touch the Commons, and down comes the country!’.
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
Philosophical logicians proposing theories of rational belief revision have had little to say about whether their proposals assist or impede the agent's ability to reliably arrive at the truth as his beliefs change through time. On the other hand, reliability is the central concern of formal learning theory. In this paper we investigate the belief revision theory of Alchourron, Gardenfors and Makinson from a learning theoretic point of view.
J. S. Mill's role as a transitional figure between classical and egalitarian liberalism can be partly explained by developments in his often unappreciated economic views. Specifically, I argue that Mill's separation of economic production and distribution had an important effect on his political theory. Mill made two distinctions between economic production and the distribution of wealth. I argue that these separations helped lead Mill to abandon the wages-fund doctrine and adopt a more favorable view of organized labor. I also show (...) how Mill's developments impacted later philosophers, economists, and historians. Understanding the relationship between Mill's political theory and economic theory does not only matter for Mill scholarship, however. Contemporary philosophers often ignore the economic views of their predecessors. I argue that paying insufficient attention to historical political philosophers' economic ideas obscures significant motivations for their political views. (shrink)
Kevin Scharp proposes an original theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. He argues that truth is best understood as an inconsistent concept, and proposes a detailed theory of inconsistent concepts that can be applied to the case of truth. Truth also happens to be a useful concept, but its inconsistency inhibits its utility; as such, it should be replaced with consistent concepts that (...) can do truth's job without giving rise to paradoxes. To this end, Scharp offers a pair of replacements, which he dubs ascending truth and descending truth, along with an axiomatic theory of them and a new kind of possible-worlds semantics for this theory. He goes to develop Davidson's idea that truth is best understood as the core of a measurement system for rational phenomena, and offers a semantic theory that treats truth predicates as assessment-sensitive and solves the problems posed by the liar and other paradoxes. (shrink)
The latest attempt by a determined, well-resourced lobby to introduce a law to permit assisted suicide/euthanasia in the UK was announced 15 May 2013 in the House of Lords. There are many dangerous facets to their arguments, not least of which is the rôle they cast for doctors in this debate. Rush Rhees' remarks on the topic display a depth that is lacking in the current debate in the public square, which needs to be lifted from its current low level. (...) I try to show inter alia why the question of who is ‘qualified to speak’ in this deep moral dilemma is important ; why resistance is vital against a law, which must be general, permitting assisted suicide/euthanasia ; how one group of people judging another group of people as candidates for elimination, is based on the false notion that a disabled life is ‘not worth living’; that so many of the deep moral questions raised by assisted suicide/euthanasia are not even considered in the contemporary impoverished public debate. (shrink)
Niche construction is the process whereby organisms, through their activities and choices, modify their own and each other’s niches. By transforming natural-selection pressures, niche construction generates feedback in evolution at various different levels. Niche-constructing species play important ecological roles by creating habitats and resources used by other species and thereby affecting the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems—a process often referred to as “ecosystem engineering.” An important emphasis of niche construction theory is that acquired characters play an evolutionary role (...) through transforming selective environments. This is particularly relevant to human evolution, where our species has engaged in extensive environmental modification through cultural practices. Humans can construct developmental environments that feed back to affect how individuals learn and develop and the diseases to which they are exposed. Here we provide an introduction to NCT and illustrate some of its more important implications for the human sciences. (shrink)
Disorder and suffering are increasing significantly in our society. Violent crime, unemployment, escape through drug-taking are all on the increase. It is apparent, also, that much of this disorder and suffering, and the anxiety it fosters, is rooted in science and its technological off-spring. The un-employment produced by a micro-technology is only one small example. It is also apparent that one of the principal foundation stones for the scientific enterprise was Christianity.
The role of values in scientific research has become an important topic of discussion in both scholarly and popular debates. Pundits across the political spectrum worry that research on topics like climate change, evolutionary theory, vaccine safety, and genetically modified foods has become overly politicized. At the same time, it is clear that values play an important role in science by limiting unethical forms of research and by deciding what areas of research have the greatest relevance for society. Deciding how (...) to distinguish legitimate and illegitimate influences of values in scientific research is a matter of vital importance.Recently, philosophers of science have written a great deal on this topic, but most of their work has been directed toward a scholarly audience. This book makes the contemporary philosophical literature on science and values accessible to a wide readership. It examines case studies from a variety of research areas, including climate science, anthropology, chemical risk assessment, ecology, neurobiology, biomedical research, and agriculture. These cases show that values have necessary roles to play in identifying research topics, choosing research questions, determining the aims of inquiry, responding to uncertainty, and deciding how to communicate information. Kevin Elliott focuses not just on describing roles for values but also on determining when their influences are actually appropriate. He emphasizes several conditions for incorporating values in a legitimate fashion, and highlights multiple strategies for fostering engagement between stakeholders so that value influences can be subjected to careful and critical scrutiny. (shrink)
This book is presumably a collection of essays delivered at a conference, though it's hard to say. There is no cover description and the editors' introduction, where this information might have been found, is missing from the volume (at least from my copy) in spite of being listed in the table of contents. A curious editorial slip. In fact, from an editorial perspective this book is a disaster. Not only is the format reminiscent of those camera ready volumes that jammed (...) our libraries in the late Eighties, when word processors began to spread and people started using them to produce entire books without knowing how to handle line spacing and hyphenation -- not to mention orphans and widows, footnotes, tabs, apostrophes, etc. There are also lots of typos, English infelicities, punctuation disorders. Obviously nobody checked the page proofs. There are even formulas that were not properly converted from the original files and have been printed with the infamous boxes in place of the logical symbols. Publishing academic books in analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly difficult and not every publisher can afford serious copy editing. But charging 74 euros for such a poorly manufactured item is appalling. (shrink)
Gordon Kaufman is a theologian who wrestles with essential theological issues. In a recent amplification of his position, An Essay on Theological Method , 1 he makes an honest attempt to describe the method by which a self-critical theologian might work. This paper sets out a critique of the method Kaufman proposes and from that delineates a path which theologians might choose to follow.
There is growing interest in understanding and eliciting division of labor within groups of scientists. This paper illustrates the need for this division of labor through a historical example, and a formal model is presented to better analyze situations of this type. Analysis of this model reveals that a division of labor can be maintained in two different ways: by limiting information or by endowing the scientists with extreme beliefs. If both features are present however, cognitive diversity is maintained indefinitely, (...) and as a result agents fail to converge to the truth. Beyond the mechanisms for creating diversity suggested here, this shows that the real epistemic goal is not diversity but transient diversity. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that there exist distinctive obstacles to relying on moral testimony. In this paper, I criticize previous attempts to identify these obstacles and offer a new theory. I argue that the problems associated with moral deference can't be explained in terms of the value of moral understanding, nor in terms of aretaic considerations related to subjective integration. Instead, our uneasiness with moral testimony is best explained by our attachment to an ideal of authenticity that places special demands on (...) our moral beliefs. (shrink)
This book is a tribute to Kevin Kelly, who has been one of the most influential British theologians for a number of decades. On its own merits, however, it is groundbreaking collection of essays on key themes, issues and concepts in contemporary moral theology and Christian ethics. The focus is on perspectives to inform moral debate and discernment in the future. The main themes covered are shown in the list of contents below. Several of the of the contributors are (...) from the United States, three others live and work in Continental Europe and the rest are from various parts of the British Isles. Many of the authors are among the best known in their fields on both sides of the Atlantic. (shrink)
It has been argued that evolutionary considerations favour utilitarianism by selectively debunking its competitors. However, evolutionary considerations also seem to undermine the practical significance of utilitarianism, since commonsense beliefs about well-being seem like prime candidates for evolutionary debunking. We argue that the practical significance of utilitarianism is not undermined in this way if we understand the requirements of practical rationality as sensitive to normative uncertainty. We consider the view that rational decision-making under normative uncertainty requires maximizing expected choice-worthiness, as well (...) as the possibility that different theories’ choice-worthiness rankings are not all interval-scale measurable or intertheoretically comparable. Finally, we suggest how evolutionary considerations may increase the practical significance of utilitarianism even if belief in utilitarianism is debunked by evolutionary considerations, so long as belief in competing theories is undermined to an even greater extent. (shrink)
Platonic Patterns is a reprint collection of many of Holger Thesleff's studies in Plato—spanning from 1967 to 2003. It includes three books, four articles and a new introduction by the author, which sets the general outline of his interpretation of Plato. Whereas much of the scholarship on Plato has tended to operate within the frame of one language and/or a single school of thought, Thesleff constructively combines several discoveries and theories of various scholars with his own research, focusing on (...) how Plato can be understood in his own context. The work represents small but significant breakthroughs in research on Plato from an internationally inclusive standpoint. Having previously been published mainly in Finland by scholarly societies, availability outside the Nordic countries has, up until now, been minimal. Thesleff employs his singular expertise of Greek language and literature to make innovative contributions to the study and interpretation of Plato. He thematically stresses the significance of the less overt elements found in Plato's dialogues, such as Plato's use of humor and his linguistic expression, while taking into account the chronology and/or the intended audience. (shrink)
Upon discovering that certain beliefs we hold are contingent on arbitrary features of our background, we often feel uneasy. I defend the proposal that if such cases of contingency anxiety involve defeaters, this is because of the epistemic significance of disagreement. I note two hurdles to our accepting this Disagreement Hypothesis. Firstly, some cases of contingency anxiety apparently involve no disagreement. Secondly, the proposal may seem to make our awareness of the influence of arbitrary background factors irrelevant in determining whether (...) to revise our beliefs. I show that each of these problems can be successfully accommodated by the Disagreement Hypothesis. (shrink)
Many moral philosophers accept the Debunking Thesis, according to which facts about natural selection provide debunking explanations for certain of our moral beliefs. I argue that philosophers who accept the Debunking Thesis beg important questions in the philosophy of biology. They assume that past selection can explain why you or I hold certain of the moral beliefs we do. A position advanced by many prominent philosophers of biology implies that this assumption is false. According to the Negative View, natural selection (...) cannot explain the traits of individuals. Hence, facts about past selection cannot provide debunking explanations for any of our moral beliefs. The aim of this paper is to explore the conflict between the Debunking Thesis and the Negative View. (shrink)
Increasingly, epistemologists are becoming interested in social structures and their effect on epistemic enterprises, but little attention has been paid to the proper distribution of experimental results among scientists. This paper will analyze a model first suggested by two economists, which nicely captures one type of learning situation faced by scientists. The results of a computer simulation study of this model provide two interesting conclusions. First, in some contexts, a community of scientists is, as a whole, more reliable when its (...) members are less aware of their colleagues' experimental results. Second, there is a robust tradeoff between the reliability of a community and the speed with which it reaches a correct conclusion. ‡The author would like to thank Brian Skyrms, Kyle Stanford, Jeffrey Barrett, Bruce Glymour, and the participants in the Social Dynamics Seminar at University of California–Irvine for their helpful comments. Generous financial support was provided by the School of Social Science and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UCI. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Baker Hall 135, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; e-mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Many everyday actions have major but unforeseeable long-term consequences. Some argue that this fact poses a serious problem for consequentialist moral theories. We argue that the problem for non-consequentialists is greater still. Standard non-consequentialist constraints on doing harm combined with the long-run impacts of everyday actions entail, absurdly, that we should try to do as little as possible. We call this the Paralysis Argument. After laying out the argument, we consider and respond to a number of objections. We then suggest (...) what we believe is the most promising response: to accept, in practice, a highly demanding morality of beneficence with a long-term focus. (shrink)
This paper tries to explain why racial profiling involves a serious injustice and to do so in a way that avoids the problems of existing philosophical accounts. An initially plausible view maintains that racial profiling is pro tanto wrong in and of itself by violating a constraint on fair treatment that is generally violated by acts of statistical discrimination based on ascribed characteristics. However, consideration of other cases involving statistical discrimination suggests that violating a constraint of this kind may not (...) be an especially serious wrong in and of itself. To fully capture the significant wrong that occurs when racial profiling is targeted at black Americans or other similarly situated groups, it is argued that we should appeal to the idea that this basic injustice is exacerbated when it forms part of a larger pattern of similar actions that collectively realize a state of cumulative injustice. (shrink)
In the eyes of many, liberalism requires the aggressive secularization of social institutions, especially public media and public schools. The unfortunate result is that many Americans have become alienated from the liberal tradition because they believe it threatens their most sacred forms of life. This was not always the case: in American history, the relation between liberalism and religion has often been one of mutual respect and support. In Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation , Kevin Vallier attempts (...) to reestablish mutual respect by developing a liberal political theory that avoids the standard liberal hostility to religious voices in public life. He claims that the dominant form of academic liberalism, public reason liberalism, is far friendlier to religious influences in public life than either its proponents or detractors suppose. The best interpretation of public reason, convergence liberalism, rejects the much-derided "privatization" of religious belief, instead viewing religious contributions to politics as a resource for liberal political institutions. Many books reject privatization, Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation is unique in doing so on liberal grounds. (shrink)
Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.
I argue that many of the priority rankings that have been proposed by effective altruists seem to be in tension with apparently reasonable assumptions about the rational pursuit of our aims in the face of uncertainty. The particular issue on which I focus arises from recognition of the overwhelming importance and inscrutability of the indirect effects of our actions, conjoined with the plausibility of a permissive decision principle governing cases of deep uncertainty, known as the maximality rule. I conclude that (...) we lack a compelling decision theory that is consistent with a longtermist perspective and does not downplay the depth of our uncertainty, while also supporting orthodox effective altruist conclusions about cause prioritization. (shrink)
This book aims to lay bare the logical foundations of tractable reasoning. It draws on Marvin Minsky's seminal work on frames, which has been highly influential in computer science and, to a lesser extent, in cognitive science. Only very few people have explored ideas about frames in logic, which is why the investigation in this book breaks new ground. The apparent intractability of dynamic, inferential reasoning is an unsolved problem in both cognitive science and logic-oriented artificial intelligence. By means of (...) a logical investigation of frames and frame concepts, Andreas devises a novel logic of tractable reasoning, called frame logic. Moreover, he devises a novel belief revision scheme, which is tractable for frame logic. These tractability results shed new light on our logical and cognitive means to carry out dynamic, inferential reasoning. Modularity remains central for tractability, and so the author sets forth a logical variant of the massive modularity hypothesis in cognitive science. (shrink)
In this paper, we analyse actual causation in terms of production. The latter concept is made precise by a strengthened Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals: \ iff, after suspending judgement about A and C, C is believed in the course of assuming A. This test allows us to verify or falsify that an event brings about another event. Complementing the concept of production by a weak condition of difference-making gives rise to a full-fledged analysis of causation.
It is well known that in Reformed circles there is significant doubt about the extent of the role natural theology might play in warranting Christian belief. I argue that even if we accept the core theological reservations and philosophical commitments shared by the likes of Karl Barth and Reformed epistemologists, there remains room for the arguments of natural theology to serve a vital, positive function. I offer a proposal for how we might think about the co-ordination of multiple sources of (...) warrant for Christian belief such that arguments function as catalysts to or extensions of the deliverances of faith. (shrink)