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)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis ought to serve as a reminder about the costs of failure to consider another long-term risk, climate change. For this reason, it is imperative to consider the merits of policies that may help to limit climate damages. This essay rebuts three common objections to carbon taxes: (1) that they do not change behaviour, (2) that they generate unfair burdens and increase inequality, and (3) that fundamental, systemic change is needed instead of carbon taxes. The (...) responses are (1) that there is both theoretical and empirical reason to think that carbon taxes do change behaviour, with larger taxes changing it to a greater extent; (2) that undistributed carbon taxes are regressive but distributing the tax receipts can alleviate that regressivity (and, in many cases, make the overall effect progressive); and (3) that while small changes for increasing democratic decision-making may be helpful, (fundamental) change takes time and the climate crisis requires urgent action. //// -/- La crise de lamaladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) devrait servir de rappel sur les coûts de la non-prise en compte d’un autre risque à long terme, les changements climatiques. Pour cette raison, il est impératif de considérer lesmérites des politiques susceptibles de contribuer à limiter les changements climatiques. Cet essai réfute trois objections courantes aux taxes sur le carbone : (1) qu’elles ne changent pas les comportements (2) qu’elles génèrent des charges injustes et augmentent les inégalités, et (3) qu’un changement fondamental et systémique est nécessaire au lieu de taxes sur le carbone. Les réponses sont (1) qu’il existe des raisons à la fois théoriques et empiriques de penser que les taxes sur le carbone modifient effectivement les comportements, et que des taxes plus élevées les modifient dans une plus grande mesure; (2) que les taxes sur le carbone non distribuées sont régressives,mais que la distribution des recettes fiscales peut atténuer cette régressivité (et, dans de nombreux cas, rendre l’effet global progressif); et (3) que, bien que de petits changements pour l’amélioration de la prise de décision démocratique peuvent être utiles, un changement (fondamental) prend du temps et la crise climatique exige une action urgente. (shrink)
[Article currently freely available to all at the DOI link below] A question arising from the COVID-19 crisis is whether the merits of cases for climate policies have been affected. This article focuses on carbon pricing, in the form of either carbon taxes or emissions trading. It discusses the extent to which relative costs and benefits of introducing carbon pricing may have changed in the context of COVID-19, during both the crisis and the recovery period to follow. In several ways, (...) the case for introducing a carbon price is stronger during the COVID-19 crisis than under normal conditions. Oil costs are lower than normal, so we would expect less harm to consumers compared to normal conditions. Governments have immediate need for diversified new revenue streams in light of both decreased tax receipts and greater use of social safety nets. Finally, supply and demand shocks have led to already destabilized supply-side activities, and carbon pricing would allow this destabilization to equilibrate around greener production for the long-term. The strengthening of the case for introducing carbon pricing now is highly relevant to discussions about recovery measures, especially in the context of policy announcements from the European Union and United States House of Representatives. Key Policy Insights: • Persistently low oil prices mean that consumers will face lower pain from carbon pricing than under normal conditions. • Many consumers are more price-sensitive during the COVID-19 context, which suggests that a greater relative burden from carbon prices would fall upon producers as opposed to consumers than under normal conditions. • Carbon prices in the COVID-19 context can introduce new revenue streams, assisting with fiscal holes or with other green priorities. • Carbon pricing would contribute to a more sustainable COVID-19 recovery period, since many of the costs of revamping supply chains are already being felt while idled labor capacity can be incorporated into firms with lower carbon-intensity. (shrink)
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.
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!’.
The bioethical principle of autonomy is problematic regarding the future of the embryo who lacks the ability to self-advocate but will develop this defining human capacity in time. Recent experiments explore the use of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats /Cas9 for germline engineering in the embryo, which alters future generations. The embryo’s inability to express an autonomous decision is an obvious bioethical challenge of germline engineering. The philosopher Joel Feinberg acknowledged that autonomy is developing in children. He advocated that (...) to reserve this future autonomy, parents should be guided to make ethical decisions that provide children with open futures. Here, Feinberg’s 1980 open future theory is extended to the human embryo in the context of CRISPR germline engineering. Although the embryo does not possess the autonomous decision-making capacity at the time of germline engineering, the parental decision to permanently change the unique genetic fabric of the embryo and subsequent generations disregards future autonomy. Therefore, germline engineering in many instances is objectionable considering Feinberg’s open future theory. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increased interest in the application of Aristotelian virtue to business ethics. The objective of this paper is to describe the moral and intellectual virtues defined by Aristotle and the types of pedagogy that might be used to integrate virtue ethics into the business curriculum. Virtues are acquired human qualities, the excellences of character, which enable a person to achieve the good life. In business, the virtues facilitate successful cooperation and enable the community to (...) achieve its collective goals. The cultivation of virtue in students requires imparting knowledge about virtue and training students to be virtuous. A variety of instructional techniques are discussed including using case studies, collaborative and cooperative learning, role-playing, and video presentations. Business educators should emphasize to students that virtue considerations apply both to possible actions they may take and to themselves as moral agents. Since faculty may be viewed as role models, it is especially important that they set proper standards of behavior for students to emulate. (shrink)
One of the mantras of progressive education is that genuine learning ought to be exciting and pleasurable, rather than joyless and painful. To a significant extent, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is associated with this mantra. In a theme of Emile that is often neglected in the educational literature, however, Rousseau stated that “to suffer is the first thing [Emile] ought to learn and the thing he will most need to know.” Through a discussion of Rousseau's argument for the importance of an education (...) in suffering, Avi Mintz contends that the reception of Rousseau by progressives suggests a detrimental misstep in the history of educational thought, a misstep that we should recognize and correct today. We ought to revive the progressive tradition of distinguishing the valuable educational pains from the harmful ones, even if we disagree with the particular types of pain that Rousseau identified as educationally valuable. (shrink)
When probability discounting (or probability weighting), one multiplies the value of an outcome by one's subjective probability that the outcome will obtain in decision-making. The broader import of defending probability discounting is to help justify cost-benefit analyses in contexts such as climate change. This chapter defends probability discounting under risk both negatively, from arguments by Simon Caney (2008, 2009), and with a new positive argument. First, in responding to Caney, I argue that small costs and benefits need to be evaluated, (...) and that viewing practices at the social level is too coarse-grained. Second, I argue for probability discounting, using a distinction between causal responsibility and moral responsibility. Moral responsibility can be cashed out in terms of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness, while causal responsibility obtains in full for any effect which is part of a causal chain linked to one's act. With this distinction in hand, unlike causal responsibility, moral responsibility can be seen as coming in degrees. My argument is, given that we can limit our deliberation and consideration to that which we are morally responsible for and that our moral responsibility for outcomes is limited by our subjective probabilities, our subjective probabilities can ground probability discounting. (shrink)
Utility discounting in intertemporal economic modelling has been viewed as problematic, both for descriptive and normative reasons. However, positive utility discount rates can be defended normatively; in particular, it is rational for future utility to be discounted to take into account model-independent outcomes when decision-making under risk. The resultant values will tend to be smaller than descriptive rates under most probability assignments. This also allows us to address some objections that intertemporal considerations will be overdemanding. A principle for utility discount (...) rates is suggested which is rooted in probability discounting. Utility discounting is defended against objections from Parfit (1984) and Broome (2005); Broome (2012). A sample utility discount rate is estimated. [Open access]. (shrink)
[Comment] Jonathan Herington argues that harms can occur whether or not there is actually a loss. He claims that subjectively or objectively merely being at risk of losing access to basic goods is sufficient for lowering that individual’s well-being for the value of ‘security’. I challenge whether losing access to basic goods is sufficient to justify the introduction of this value. I also point to some issues in his interpretation of IPCC risk categories and the social science research he relies (...) on. [Open access]. (shrink)
[Comment] Donald Trump’s executive order on energy limits the costs and benefits of carbon to domestic sources. The argument for this executive order is that carbon policies should not be singled out from other policies as globally inclusive. Two independent arguments are offered for adopting a global social cost of carbon. The first is based on reinforcing norms in the face of commons tragedies. The second is based on the limitations of consequentialist analyses. We can distinguish consequences for which probabilistic (...) indifference is appropriate. The mechanisms for global effects for carbon are well-understood, whereas most policy effects are primarily domestic. [Open access]. (shrink)
[Dissertation summary] When performing intertemporal cost-benefit analyses of policies, both in terms of climate change and other long-term problems, the discounting problem becomes critical. The question is how to weight intertemporal costs and benefits to generate present value equivalents. This thesis argues that those best placed to answer the discounting problem are domain experts, not moral philosophers or the public at large. It does this by arguing that the discounting problem is a special case of an interesting class of problems, (...) those which are both what I call morally complex and quantitative. [Open access]. (shrink)
For over fifty years, scholars have argued that a therapeutic ethos has begun to change how people think about themselves and others. There is also a growing concern that the therapeutic ethos has influenced educational theory and practice, perhaps to their detriment. This review article discusses three books, The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education (by Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes), Aristotle, Emotions, and Education (by Kristján Kristjánsson), and The Therapy of Education (by Paul Smeyers, Richard Smith and Paul Standish), that (...) point to the problematic assumptions and outcomes of therapeutic educational practices. The authors of the three books, however, disagree about whether a focus on emotions or therapy in education is necessarily an unwelcome intrusion into education. (shrink)
[Newspaper Op-Ed] Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying fall in oil prices, a carbon price would have been immediately painful for the countries that imposed it, but far better for everyone over the longer term. In this unprecedented moment, introducing a carbon price would be beneficial both now and for the future.
Scholars who have taken interest in Theaetetus' educational theme argue that Plato contrasts an inferior, even dangerous, sophistic education to a superior, philosophical, Socratic education. I explore the contrasting exhortations, methods, ideals and epistemological foundations of Socratic and Protagorean education and suggest that Socrates' treatment of Protagoras as educator is far less dismissive than others claim. Indeed, Plato, in Theaetetus, offers a qualified defence of both Socrates and Protagoras. Socrates and Protagoras each dwell in the middle ground between the extremes (...) presented in the dialogue's digression, which contrasts the life of the philosopher and the life of the courtroom orator. Both Socrates and Protagoras demonstrate a serious engagement with both politics and philosophy. Theodorus presents an educational option in which theory is divorced from politics while an ignoble sophistic education is presented as political but divorced from theory. Protagorean education, in Theaetetus, emerges as superior to a base sophistic education, though it remains inferior to Socratic education. (shrink)
The proverb “chalepa ta kala” is invoked in three dialogues in the Platonic corpus: Hippias Major, Cratylus and Republic. In this paper, I argue that the context in which the proverb arises reveals Socrates’ considerable pedagogical dexterity as he uses the proverb to rebuke his interlocutor in one dialogue but to encourage his interlocutors in another. In the third, he gauges his interlocutors’ mention of the proverb to be indicative of their preparedness for a more difficult philosophical trial. What emerges (...) in the study of these three Platonic dialogues is that Socrates believes that how he and others describe learning makes a tangible difference in philosophical investigation. (shrink)
In their influential book, The Child Centered School, Harold Rugg and Ann Schumaker wrote that, in traditional schools, students found “that behind each classroom door lurked a deceptive Pandora’s box of fears, restraints, and long, weary hours of suppression” (Rugg and Shumaker 1928, p. 4). The American child-centered, romantic progressives were known to quip that educators of the old, traditional education did not care what students were taught, as long as students didn’t like it. Isaac Kandel, the longtime critic of (...) child-centered progressivism, retorted that, for progressives, “it does not matter what a student studies, so long as he does like it” (Kandel 1943, p. 49). And so a debate took root about several fundamental educational questions: just how important is it that students enjoy themselves, that they are self-motivated, and that they are interested in what they were doing? What role is left for the curriculum, discipline, and students’ intellectual inheritance? So the debat. (shrink)
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.
Medical language frequently contains linguistic forms that serve to create a social distance between physicians and patients. This distance develops not only out of poor communication with the patient, but also, and more importantly, arises as the language that a physician uses comes to modulate his or her experience of the patient. It is suggested that some of the problem lies in the very nature of language itself, and that further fault can be found in the particular structures of Western (...) language. Unfortunately, however, medical language has adopted special forms and metaphors which further serve to create distance. (shrink)
This chapter lays out what we take to be the main types of justice and ethical challenges concerning those adverse effects of climate change leading to climate-related Loss and Damage (L&D). We argue that it is essential to clearly differentiate between the challenges concerning mitigation and adaptation and those ethical issues exclusively relevant for L&D in order to address the ethical aspects pertaining to L&D in international climate policy. First, we show that depending on how mitigation and adaptation are distinguished (...) from L&D, the primary focus of policy measures and their ethical implications will vary. Second, we distinguish between a distributive justice framework and a compensatory justice scheme for delivering L&D measures. Third, in order to understand the differentiated remedial responsibilities concerning L&D, we categorise the measures and policy approaches available. Fourth, depending on the kind of L&D and which remedies are possible, we explain the difference between remedial and outcome responsibilities of different actors. [Open access]. (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)
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)
We analyze the role of ethical values in the determination of the social cost of carbon, arguing that the familiar debate about discounting is too narrow. Other ethical issues are equally important to computing the social cost of carbon, and we highlight inequality, risk, and population ethics. Although the usual approach, in the economics of cost-benefit analysis for climate policy, is confined to a utilitarian axiology, the methodology of the social cost of carbon is rather flexible and can be expanded (...) to a broader set of social-welfare approaches. [Open access]. (shrink)
A realist theory of truth for a class of sentences holds that there are entities in virtue of which these sentences are true or false. We call such entities ‘truthmakers’ and contend that those for a wide range of sentences about the real world are moments (dependent particulars). Since moments are unfamiliar, we provide a definition and a brief philosophical history, anchoring them in our ontology by showing that they are objects of perception. The core of our theory is the (...) account of truthmaking for atomic sentences, in which we expose a pervasive ‘dogma of logical form’, which says that atomic sentences cannot have more than one truthmaker. In contrast to this, we uphold the mutual independence of logical and ontological complexity, and the authors outline formal principles of truthmaking taking account of both kinds of complexity. (shrink)
Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people's moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers' moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non-philosophers do indeed sometimes have (...) different moral intuitions, but challenging the notion that philosophers have better or more reliable intuitions. (shrink)
Of the dozens of purported solutions to the liar paradox published in the past fifty years, the vast majority are "traditional" in the sense that they reject one of the premises or inference rules that are used to derive the paradoxical conclusion. Over the years, however, several philosophers have developed an alternative to the traditional approaches; according to them, our very competence with the concept of truth leads us to accept that the reasoning used to derive the paradox is sound. (...) That is, our conceptual competence leads us into inconsistency. I call this alternative the inconsistency approach to the liar. Although this approach has many positive features, I argue that several of the well-developed versions of it that have appeared recently are unacceptable. In particular, they do not recognize that if truth is an inconsistent concept, then we should replace it with new concepts that do the work of truth without giving rise to paradoxes. I outline an inconsistency approach to the liar paradox that satisfies this condition. (shrink)