The effects of religion, population sub-division and geography on the prevalence of deaf-mutism were investigated using information collected in the 1921 Census of Punjab. The total sample size was 9·36 million, and comprised data on thirteen Hindu castes, seventeen Muslim biraderis and two Sikh castes. A two-way analysis of variance comparing males in Hindu castes in which consanguineous marriage was prohibited, with males in Muslim biraderis which favoured first cousin marriage, indicated major differences with respect to the patterns of deaf-mutism (...) within each religion. In the Muslim population 9·1% of the relative variation in the prevalence of deaf-mutism was inter-biraderi, 36·8% between geographical regions, and 48·8% an interaction between biraderi and region, whereas among Hindus 46·8% of the observed variation was inter-caste, 12·8% inter-region and 33·6% due to caste–region interaction. From a wider disease perspective the results obtained with the Hindu community indicate the significant genetic differentiation associated with caste endogamy. As the overwhelming majority of Hindu marriages continue to be within-caste, it can be predicted that similar levels of inter-caste differences in disease frequency currently exist. By comparison, the lower level of inter-biraderi variation among Muslims is probably indicative of the dissolution of pre-existing caste boundaries and the resultant gene pool mixing that followed the large-scale conversion of Hindus to Islam during Muslim rule in North India from the 13th to the 19th centuries. (shrink)
I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...) with a single fundamental category of intrinsic characters or qualities. We may describe the qualities as qualitative charactersor as modes, perhaps on the model of Aristotelian qualitative (nonsubstantial) kinds, and I will use the term “properties” interchangeably with “qualities”. The qualities are repeatable and reasonably sparse, although, as I discuss in section 2.6, there are empirical reasons that may suggest, depending on one’s preferred fundamental physical theory, that they include irreducibly intensive qualities. There are no uninstantiated qualities. I also assume that the fundamental qualitative natures are intrinsic, although physics may ultimately suggest that some of them are extrinsic. On my view, matter, concrete objects, abstract objects, and perhaps even spacetime are constructed from mereological fusions of qualities, so the world is simply a vast mixture of qualities, including polyadic properties (i.e., relations). This means that everything there is, including concrete objects like persons or stars, is a quality, a qualitative fusion, or a portion of the extended qualitative fusion that is the worldwhole. I call my view mereological bundle theory. (shrink)
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...) as landmarks. They clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency.The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...) exactly as it appears to us, even though spatiotemporal entities are not fundamental, means that a central premise of spatiotemporalism, that we may assume, given ordinary experience, that the world is fundamentally spatiotemporal, is false. (ii) Spatiotemporalism must be seen as a contingent, a posteriori physical truth. Finally, (iii) I argue that a metaphysically deeper conclusion follows from the debate over the nature of the fundamental space. The debate in physics over which sort of space is the fundamental space suggests that physicists have discovered that, even if a spacetime is an actual constituent of the world-space category, there is a world-space category that is more fundamental than the category of spacetime. (shrink)
Critics of contemporary metaphysics argue that it attempts to do the hard work of science from the ease of the armchair. Physics, not metaphysics, tells us about the fundamental facts of the world, and empirical psychology is best placed to reveal the content of our concepts about the world. Exploring and understanding the world through metaphysical reflection is obsolete. In this paper, I will show why this critique of metaphysics fails, arguing that metaphysical methods used to make claims about the (...) world are similar to scientific methods used to make claims about the world, but that the subjects of metaphysics are not the subjects of science. Those who argue that metaphysics uses a problematic methodology to make claims about subjects better covered by natural science get the situation exactly the wrong way around: metaphysics has a distinctive subject matter, not a distinctive methodology. The questions metaphysicians address are different from those of scientists, but the methods employed to develop and select theories are similar. In the first section of the paper, I will describe the sort of subject matter that metaphysics tends to engage with. In the second section of the paper, I will show how metaphysical theories are classes of models and discuss the roles of experience, common sense and thought experiments in the construction and evaluation of such models. Finally, in the last section I will discuss the way these methodological points help us to understand the metaphysical project. Getting the right account of the metaphysical method allows us to better understand the relationship between science and metaphysics, to explain why doing metaphysics successfully involves having a range of different theories, to understand the role of thought experiments involving fictional worlds, and to situate metaphysical realism in a scientifically realist context. (shrink)
This is a collection of essays on themes of legal philosophy which have all been generated or affected by Hart's work. The topics covered include legal theory, responsibility, and enforcement of morals, with contributions from Ronald Dworkin, Rolf Sartorius, Neil MacCormach, David Lyons, Kent Greenawalt, Michael Moore, Joseph Raz, and C.L. Ten, among others.
I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Once the associations (...) are developed, they are supported and maintained by our natural capacity for sympathy and by external elements in society, and provide motivation for the pursuit of utilitarian ends. Further, the additional support causes the associations to be strengthened to the extent that they come to be seen as ‘natural and necessary’, and as such are immune from the dissolving force of the intellect. (shrink)
How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
It seems natural to choose whether to have a child by reflecting on what it would be like to actually have a child. I argue that this natural approach fails. If you choose to become a parent, and your choice is based on projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. If you choose to remain childless, and your choice is based upon projections about what you think it (...) would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. This suggests we should reject our ordinary conception of how to make this life-changing decision, and raises general questions about how to rationally approach important life choices. (shrink)
In “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting,” I argue that, if you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, you cannot make this decision rationally—at least, not if your decision is based on what you think it would be like for you to become a parent. My argument hinges on the idea that becoming a parent is a transformative experience. This unique type of experience often transforms people in a deep and personal sense, and in the process, (...) changes their preferences. In section 1, I will explain transformative experience in terms of radical first-personal epistemic and self change. In section 2, I’ll explain the notion of subjective value that I use to develop the decision problem. In section 3, I will discuss the way we ordinarily combine our introspective assessments with testimony and evidence. In section 4, I will discuss the problems for rational decision-making. In section 5, I will explore the problem of first-personally transformed future selves. In section 6, I will engage with the main themes and arguments and ideas of the authors of the papers contributed to this volume. (shrink)
I address two related questions: first, what is the best theory of how objects have de re modal properties? Second, what is the best defence of essentialism given the variability of our modal intuitions? I critically discuss several theories of how objects have their de re modal properties and address the most threatening antiessentialist objection to essentialism: the variability of our modal intuitions. Drawing on linguistic treatments of vagueness and ambiguity, I show how essentialists can accommodate the variability of modal (...) intuitions while holding that objects have their modal properties independently of contexts. (shrink)
Recent work in philosophy could benefit from paying greater attention to empirical results from cognitive science involving judgments about the nature of our ordinary experience. This paper describes the way that experimental and theoretical results about the nature of ordinary judgments could—and should—inform certain sorts of enquiries in contemporary philosophy, using metaphysics as an exemplar, and hence defines a new way for experimental philosophy and cognitive science to contribute to traditional philosophical debates.
I summarize the main argument of Transformative Experience (OUP 2014). The book develops familiar examples from classical philosophical debates, as well as original examples, to argue that an agent’s decision to undergo a transformative experience—an experience constituted by radical personal and epistemic change for the agent—must either be authentic or irrational, but not both. The Precis of Transformative Experience walks the reader through the main ideas involved in epistemically and personally transformative experiences, the problems they pose for rational decision-making, and (...) discusses a number of key original examples of transformative experiences. (shrink)
The term fuzzy logic is used in this paper to describe an imprecise logical system, FL, in which the truth-values are fuzzy subsets of the unit interval with linguistic labels such as true, false, not true, very true, quite true, not very true and not very false, etc. The truth-value set, , of FL is assumed to be generated by a context-free grammar, with a semantic rule providing a means of computing the meaning of each linguistic truth-value in as a (...) fuzzy subset of [0, 1].Since is not closed under the operations of negation, conjunction, disjunction and implication, the result of an operation on truth-values in requires, in general, a linguistic approximation by a truth-value in . As a consequence, the truth tables and the rules of inference in fuzzy logic are (i) inexact and (ii) dependent on the meaning associated with the primary truth-value true as well as the modifiers very, quite, more or less, etc. (shrink)
The question I want to explore is whether experience supports an antireductionist ontology of time, that is, whether we should take it to support an ontology that includes a primitive, monadic property of nowness responsible for the special feel of events in the present, and a relation of passage that events instantiate in virtue of literally passing from the future, to the present, and then into the past.
This chapter offers an overview of the phenomenological approach to delusions, emphasizing what Karl Jaspers called the "true delusions" of schizophrenia. Phenomenological psychopathology focuses on the experience of delusions and the delusional world. Several features of this approach are surveyed, including emphasis on formal qualities of subjective life and questioning of standard assumptions about delusions as erroneous belief. The altered modalities of world-oriented and self-oriented experience that precede and ground delusions in schizophrenia, especially the experiences of revelation that Klaus Conrad (...) termed the outer and inner apophany, are then discussed. The chapter first considers the famous "delusional mood", then the role of ipseity-disturbance. In both cases it is explained how delusions can develop out of these distinctive alterations of perception and feeling. The classic question of the understandability or comprehensibility of schizophrenic delusion, together with the related issues of wish-fulfillment and rationalizing motives are then considered. The chapter addresses the crucial but neglected issue of the felt reality-status of delusions or the delusional world, discussing derealization, "double bookkeeping", and "double exposure". The chapter concludes by discussing delusions typically found in paranoid and affective psychoses, and monothematic delusions found in certain organic conditions. (shrink)
This chapter presents an opinionated account of how to understand the contributions of experience, especially with respect to the role of cognitive science, in developing and assessing metaphysical theories of reality. I develop a methodological basis for the idea that, independently of work in experimental philosophy focused on explications of concepts, contemporary metaphysical theories with a role for experiential evidence can be fruitfully connected to empirical work in psychology, especially cognitive science. My argument is not that cognitive science should replace (...) the metaphysician’s use of a priori theorizing and ordinary experience as a guide to metaphysical reality. Rather, we should enrich our perspective on a priori theorizing and ordinary experience as a guide to metaphysical reality by drawing on any relevant work in cognitive science. (shrink)
If an object has a property essentially, it has that property in every possible world according to which it exists.2 If an object has a property accidentally, it does not have that property in every possible world according to which it exists. Claims about an object’s essential or accidental properties are de re modal claims, and essential and accidental properties are de re modal properties. Take an object’s modal profile to specify its essential properties and the range of its accidental (...) properties. Note that “world” as I am using it is a term of art: a modal realist believes that there are many concrete worlds, while the actualist believes in only one concrete world, the actual world. The ersatzist is an actualist who takes nonactual possible worlds and their contents to be abstracta. Essentialism is the view that objects have properties essentially, but one should distinguish deep essentialism from shallow essentialism. Deep essentialists take the (nontrivial) essential properties of an object to determine its nature— such properties give sense to the idea that an object has a unique and distinctive character, and make it the case that an object has to be a certain way in order for it to be at all.3 As Stephen Yablo (1987, 297) describes it, the essence of a thing is “an assortment of properties in virtue of which it is the entity in question,” as well as “a measure of what is required for it to be that thing.” Intuitively, on the deep essentialist picture, an ordinary object has essential properties, and it must have its essential properties in order for it to exist. On this view, objects’ essential properties are absolute, i.e., are not determined by contexts of describing (or thinking, etc.) about the object, and truths about such properties are absolute truths.4 Shallow essentialists oppose deep essentialists: they reject the view that objects can be said to have essential properties independently of contexts of description or evaluation, and so substitute context-dependent truths for the deep essentialist’s context-independent ones.. (shrink)
Prof. Alberto Urquidez, in an important recent article that appears in different form in his book, Redefining Racism, offers an informed, sustained, careful, multi-pronged, and sometimes original critique of the volitional analysis of racism, which I have proposed in a series of articles over the past two dozen years. Here I expand and improve VAR’s analysis of paternalistic racists and their beliefs, clarify its ‘infection’-model’s explanation of racism’s spread and variety, and lay out what it is for something to be (...) ‘characteristically’ racist, an understanding that I then use to offer a unified account of the way in which both certain physical objects and certain abstract objects can properly be called racist. Identifying and engaging some presuppositions behind Urquidez’s social, political, and moral criticisms of VAR, I respond to complaints from him and others, showing that VAR’s content is neither politically conservative nor dependent on religious doctrine, and point out that race theory would in fact profit from taking more seriously and internalizing the Christian morality of most African-Americans. (shrink)
Clinically relevant attitudes and guidelines issued by a rational evidence based medicine (EBM) approach, integrate individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. Many surgeons, however, while considering the ultraliberal world they are practising in, and fearing that the primary goal of managed care in a market environment is reducing cost in order to make profit or decrease spending, remain suspicious of this kind of tentative protocol driven medicine when applied to surgical practice. If surgeons (...) want to develop a health policy agenda that emphasises patient care issues above providers’ or payers’ interests, they should also enhance education programmes, improve continuing objective assessment of the way surgery is performed, face moral issues raised by innovation, and assume an increased leadership role in sound critical evaluation of non-validated new techniques. They should no longer consider EBM as a weapon turned against the surgical profession, but rather see it as a tool that may provide some answers to chronically unresolved questions in the evolving art of surgery. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, composed before the author was twenty-eight years old, was published in 1739 and 1740. In revising the late L.A. Selby-Bigge's edition of Hume's Treatise Professor Nidditch corrected verbal errors and took account of Hume's manuscript amendments. He also supplied the text of theof the Treatise following the original 1740 edition and provided an apparatus of variant readings.
I argue that we can understand the de se by employing the subjective mode of presentation or, if one’s ontology permits it, by defending an abundant ontology of perspectival personal properties or facts. I do this in the context of a discussion of Cappelen and Dever’s recent criticisms of the de se. Then, I discuss the distinctive role of the first personal perspective in discussions about empathy, rational deference, and self-understanding, and develop a way to frame the problem of lacking (...) prospective access to your future self as a problem with your capacity to imaginatively empathize with your future selves. (shrink)
Contemporary social-scientific research seeks to identify specific causal mechanisms for outcomes of theoretical interest. Experiments that randomize populations to treatment and control conditions are the “gold standard” for causal inference. We identify, describe, and analyze the problem posed by transformative treatments. Such treatments radically change treated individuals in a way that creates a mismatch in populations, but this mismatch is not empirically detectable at the level of counterfactual dependence. In such cases, the identification of causal pathways is underdetermined in a (...) previously unrecognized way. Moreover, if the treatment is indeed transformative it breaks the inferential structure of the experimental design. Transformative treatments are not curiosities or “corner cases,” but are plausible mechanisms in a large class of events of theoretical interest, particularly ones where deliberate randomization is impractical and quasi-experimental designs are sought instead. They cast long-running debates about treatment and selection effects in a new light, and raise new methodological challenges. (shrink)