The traditional Christian view that God foreknows the future exclusively in terms of what will and will not come to pass is partially rooted in two ancient Hellenistic philosophical assumptions. Hellenistic philosophers universally assumed that propositions asserting ‘ x will occur’ contradict propositions asserting ‘ x will not occur’ and generally assumed that the gods lose significant providential advantage if they know the future partly as a domain of possibilities rather than exclusively in terms of what will and will not (...) occur. Both assumptions continue to influence people in the direction of the traditional understanding of God's knowledge of the future. In this essay I argue that the first assumption is unnecessary and the second largely misguided. (shrink)
Turning to such philosophers and writers as Jürgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Primo Levi, Giorgio Agamben, and Ariel Dorfman, Lara defines a reflexive relationship between an event, the narrative of the event, and the public reception of ...
In their responses to my article “Epistemically Pernicious Groups and the Groupstrapping Problem” (Boyd, 2018), Bert Baumgaertner (“Groupstrapping, Boostrapping, and Oops-strapping: A Reply to Boyd”) and C. Thi Nguyen (“Group-strapping, Bubble, or Echo Chamber?”) have raised interesting questions and opened lines of inquiry regarding my discussion of what I hope to be a way to help make sense of how members of groups can continue to hold beliefs that are greatly outweighed by countervailing evidence (e.g. antivaxxers, climate-change deniers, (...) etc.). Here I respond to these arguments and suggestions by providing three new reasons to believe that groupstrapping as I describe it occurs in epistemically pernicious groups. (shrink)
En este libro, la autora desarrolla su concepción del juicio reflexionante inspirada en Emmanuel Kant y en Hannah Arendt para concentrarse en cómo cierto tipo de narraciones modelan nuestras nociones de lo que consideramos moral. Lara nos ofrece distintas concepciones sobre el mal en su formulación histórica mediante los ejemplos de las tragedias griegas, las diferentes concepciones sobre el mal en la obra de Shakespeare, el uso literario de la metáfora en la obra de Joseph Conrad y en narraciones (...) fílmicas que describen la crueldad humana. Lara sugiere que el aprendizaje moral es un proceso en el que intervienen las instituciones sociales, la voluntad de los individuos y de las sociedades para comprometerse a un debate abierto y con ello modelar los juicios colectivos sobre el pasado. Lara enfatiza que el juicio reflexionante se da entre un evento, una narración de dicho evento y la recepción pública de dicha narrativa. En este libro se aportan importantes métodos para la comprensión del fenómeno moral del mal, porque introducen nuevas verdades desvelatorias acerca de eventos particulares que no pueden ser simplemente captados por medio de categorías conceptuales. Lara utiliza como fuentes a Jürgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Primo Levi, Giorgio Agamben y Ariel Dorfman para probar la conclusión de este tipo de narraciones: la acción (de crueldad) ata de manera definitiva al perpetrador con su víctima. (shrink)
Dissertação de Mestrado LARA, Marco Antonio de. Karma-yoga como ação moral ideal na Bhagavad-gita à luz da criteriologia künguiana. 2016. Dissertação, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Religião, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.
Men have been talking of death from time immemorial - sometimes sublimely in prose and poetry, in painting and sculpture and in music - till silence seemed to fall in the recent past. Now men are again talking about death - interminably but colloquially. They talk on television, on the radio, in books and in pamphlets. Dr Kenneth Boyd therefore finds it entirely timely to offer this historical sketch of attitudes to death. The earlier part of his paper covers (...) fairly familiar ground but his final and longest section on the work of a social historian, Philippe Ariès, may be new to many. Ariès is reinterpreting the long history of attitudes to death in a form which may well interest those who today are concerned with helping modern man to accept his own death - death which still, for most people, is the death of another, not of oneself. (shrink)
Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...) small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of economic and cultural conditions. We found, first, that the canonical model – based on self-interest – fails in all of the societies studied. Second, our data reveal substantially more behavioral variability across social groups than has been found in previous research. Third, group-level differences in economic organization and the structure of social interactions explain a substantial portion of the behavioral variation across societies: the higher the degree of market integration and the higher the payoffs to cooperation in everyday life, the greater the level of prosociality expressed in experimental games. Fourth, the available individual-level economic and demographic variables do not consistently explain game behavior, either within or across groups. Fifth, in many cases experimental play appears to reflect the common interactional patterns of everyday life. Key Words: altruism; cooperation; cross-cultural research; experimental economics; game theory; ultimatum game; public goods game; self-interest. (shrink)
In the last 60,000 years humans have expanded across the globe and now occupy a wider range than any other terrestrial species. Our ability to successfully adapt to such a diverse range of habitats is often explained in terms of our cognitive ability. Humans have relatively bigger brains and more computing power than other animals and this allows us to figure out how to live in a wide range of environments. Here we argue that humans may be smarter than other (...) creatures, but none of us is nearly smart enough to acquire all of the information necessary to survive in any single habitat. In even the simplest foraging societies, people depend on a vast array of tools, detailed bodies of local knowledge, and complex social arrangements, and often do not understand why these tools, beliefs, and behaviors are adaptive. We owe our success to our uniquely-developed ability to learn from others. This capacity enables humans to gradually accumulate information across generations, and develop well-adapted tools, beliefs, and practices that are too complex for any single individual to invent during their lifetime. (shrink)
If culture is defined as variation acquired and maintained by social learning, then culture is common in nature. However, cumulative cultural evolution resulting in behaviors that no individual could invent on their own is limited to humans, song birds, and perhaps chimpanzees. Circumstantial evidence suggests that cumulative cultural evolution requires the capacity for observational learning. Here, we analyze two models the evolution of psychological capacities that allow cumulative cultural evolution. Both models suggest that the conditions which allow the evolution of (...) such capacities when rare are much more stringent than the conditions which allow the maintenance of the capacities when common. This result follows from the fact that the assumed benefit of the capacities, cumulative cultural adaptation, cannot occur when the capacities are rare. These results suggest why such capacities may be rare in nature. (shrink)
Much existing literature in anthropology suggests that teaching is rare in non-Western societies, and that cultural transmission is mostly vertical (parent-to-offspring). However, applications of evolutionary theory to humans predict both teaching and non-vertical transmission of culturally learned skills, behaviors, and knowledge should be common cross-culturally. Here, we review this body of theory to derive predictions about when teaching and non-vertical transmission should be adaptive, and thus more likely to be observed empirically. Using three interviews conducted with rural Fijian populations, we (...) find that parents are more likely to teach than are other kin types, high-skill and highly valued domains are more likely to be taught, and oblique transmission is associated with high-skill domains, which are learned later in life. Finally, we conclude that the apparent conflict between theory and empirical evidence is due to a mismatch of theoretical hypotheses and empirical claims across disciplines, and we reconcile theory with the existing literature in light of our results. (shrink)
(i) Scientific realism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine about the existence and nature of the unobservables of science. (ii) There are good explanationist arguments for realism, most famously that from the success of science, provided abduction is allowed. Abduction seems to be on an equal footing, at least, with other ampliative methods of inference. (iii) We have no reason to believe a doctrine of empirical equivalence that would sustain the underdetermination argument against realism. (iv) The key to defending realism from (...) the pessimistic meta-induction is that we have greatly improved our capacity to understand the unobservable world over recent centuries. (shrink)
Formal models of cultural evolution analyze how cognitive processes combine with social interaction to generate the distributions and dynamics of ‘representations.’ Recently, cognitive anthropologists have criticized such models. They make three points: mental representations are non-discrete, cultural transmission is highly inaccurate, and mental representations are not replicated, but rather are ‘reconstructed’ through an inferential process that is strongly affected by cognitive ‘attractors.’ They argue that it follows from these three claims that: 1) models that assume replication or replicators are inappropriate, (...) 2) selective cultural learning cannot account for stable traditions, and 3) selective cultural learning cannot generate cumulative adaptation. Here we use three formal models to show that even if the premises of this critique are correct, the deductions that have been drawn from them are false. In the rst model, we assume continuously varying representations under the in uence of weak selective transmission and strong attractors. We show that if the attractors are suf ciently strong relative to selective forces, the continuous representation model reduces to the standard.. (shrink)
SummaryThis paper addresses the question of what scientific realism implies and what it does not when it is articulated so as to provide the best defense against plausible philosophical alternatives. A summary is presented of “abductive” arguments for scientific realism, and of the epistemological and semantic conceptions upon which they depend. Taking these arguments to be the best current defense of realism, it is inquired what, in the sense just mentioned, realism implies and what it does not. It is concluded (...) that realism implies the strong rejection of epistemological foundationalism, a non‐Humean conception of causation and of explanation, and a causal rather than conceptual account of the unity of natural definitions. It is denied that realism implies bivalence or the existence of one true theory, one preferred vocabulary or one distinctly privileged science. It is further denied that realism implies that there are no unrecognized conventional aspects to scientific theorizing and it is denied that realism implies that scientists routinely do good experimental metaphysics. (shrink)
Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in..
It is often argued that culture is adaptive because it allows people to acquire useful information without costly learning. In a recent paper Rogers analyzed a simple mathematical model that showed that this argument is wrong. Here we show that Rogers ' result is robust. As long as the only benefit of social learning is that imitators avoid learning costs, social learning does not increase average fitness. However, we also show that social learning can be adaptive if it makes individual (...) learning more accurate or less costly. (shrink)
A realistic and dialectical conception of the epistemology of science is advanced according to which the acquisition of instrumental knowledge is parasitic upon the acquisition, by successive approximation, of theoretical knowledge. This conception is extended to provide an epistemological characterization of reference and of natural kinds, and it is integrated into recent naturalistic treatments of knowledge. Implications for several current issues in the philosophy of science are explored.
0.0. Theistic Ethics as a Challenge and a Diagnostic Tool. Naturalistic conceptions in metaethics come in many varieties. Many philosophers who have sought to situate moral reasoning in a naturalistic metaphysical conception have thought it necessary to adopt non-cognitivist, prescriptivist, projectivist, relativist, or otherwise deflationary conceptions. Recently there has been a revival of interest in non-deflationary moral realist approaches to ethical naturalism. Many non-deflationary approaches have exploited the resources of non-empiricist “causal” or “naturalistic” conceptions of reference and of kind definitions (...) in service of the “naturalistic” metaphilosophical conception that substantive moral questions, and questions about the metaphysics of morals, are broadly a posteriori questions, somewhat analogous to scientific questions, and are not amenable to a priori resolution by “conceptual analysis.”. (shrink)
Ethics in nursing: continuity and change -- Cultural issues, methods and approaches to nursing ethics -- Nursing ethics: what do we mean by 'ethics'? -- Becoming a nurse and member of the profession -- Power and responsibility in nursing practice and management -- Professional responsibility and accountability in nursing -- Classical areas of controversy in nursing and biomedical ethics -- Direct responsibility in nurse/patient relationships -- Conflicting demands in nursing groups of patients -- Ethics in healthcare management: research, evaluation and (...) performance management -- The political ethics of healthcare: health policies and resource allocation -- Corporate ethics in healthcare: strategic planning and ethical policy development -- Making moral decisions and being able to justify our actions -- The relevance of moral theory: justifying our ethical policies. (shrink)
The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...) our social instincts. The complex societies of the past few thousand years can function only because cultural evolution has created effective “work-arounds” to manage such instincts. We describe a series of work-arounds and use the data on the relative effectiveness of WWII armies to test the work-around hypothesis. (shrink)
Much human adaptation depends on the gradual accumulation of culturally transmitted knowledge and technology. Recent models of this process predict that large, well-connected populations will have more diverse and complex tool kits than small, isolated populations. While several examples of the loss of technology in small populations are consistent with this prediction, it found no support in two systematic quantitative tests. Both studies were based on data from continental populations in which contact rates were not available, and therefore these studies (...) do not provide a test of the models. Here, we show that in Oceania, around the time of early European contact, islands with small populations had less complicated marine foraging technology. This ﬁnding suggests that explanations of existing cultural variation based on optimality models alone are incomplete because demography plays an important role in generating cumulative cultural adaptation. It also indicates that hominin populations with similar cognitive abilities may leave very different archaeological records, a conclusion that has important implications for our understanding of the origin of anatomically modern humans and their evolved psychology. (shrink)
This is an interpretation of the experiential/religious meaning of Japanese Shrine Shinto as taught us primarily by the priests at Tsubaki Grand Shrine, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture. As a heuristic device, we suggest lines of comparison between the thought and practice of the Tsubaki priests and two Western thinkers: the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and the French philosopher Georges Bataille. This in turn allows the construction of three interpretive categories that we believe illuminate both the Shintō worldview and Shintō ritual practice.
Most human populations are subdivided into ethnic groups which have self-ascribed membership and are marked by seemingly arbitrary traits such as distinctive styles of dress or speech. Existing explanations of ethnicity do not adequately explain the origin and maintenance of group marking. Here we develop a mathematical model which shows that groups distinguished by both differences in social norms and in arbitrary markers can emerge and remain stable despite significant mixing between them, if (1) people preferentially interact in mutually beneficial (...) social interaction with people who have the same marker as they do, and (2) they acquire their markers and social behaviors by imitating successful individuals. We also show that the propensity to interact with people with markers like oneself may be favored by natural selection under plausible conditions. (shrink)
Understanding cooperation and punishment in small-scale societies is crucial for explaining the origins of human cooperation. We studied warfare among the Turkana, a politically uncentralized, egalitarian, nomadic pastoral society in East Africa. Based on a representative sample of 88 recent raids, we show that the Turkana sustain costly cooperation in combat at a remarkably large scale, at least in part, through punishment of free-riders. Raiding parties comprised several hundred warriors and participants are not kin or day-to-day interactants. Warriors incur substantial (...) risk of death and produce collective beneﬁts. Cowardice and desertions occur. (shrink)
I argue here for a view I call epistemic separabilism , which states that there are two different ways we can be evaluated epistemically when we assert a proposition or treat a proposition as a reason for acting: one in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant epistemic norm, and another in terms of how epistemically well-positioned we are towards the fact that we have either adhered to or violated said norm. ES has been appealed to (...) most prominently in order to explain why epistemic evaluations that conflict with the knowledge norm of assertion and practical reasoning nevertheless seem correct. Opponents of such a view are committed to what I call epistemic monism , which states that there is only one way we can be properly evaluated as epistemically appropriate asserters and practical reasoners, namely in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant norm. Accepting ES over EM has two significant consequences: first, a “metaepistemological” consequence that the structure of normative epistemic evaluations parallels that found in other normative areas , and second, that the knowledge norms of assertion and practical reasoning are no worse off than any alternatives in terms of either explanatory power or simplicity. (shrink)
Most evolutionary analyses of animal communication suggest that low-cost signals can evolve only when both the signaller and the recipient rank outcomes in the same order. When there is a conflict of interest between sender and receiver, honest signals must be costly. However, recent work suggests that low-cost signals can be evolutionarily stable, even when the sender and the receiver rank outcomes in different orders, as long as the interest in achieving coordination is sufficiently great. In this paper, we extend (...) this body of work by analysing a game theory model that shows that low-cost signals can evolve when there are conflicts of interest and no interest in coordination, as long as individuals interact repeatedly. We also present an empirical example indicating that female rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, use honest, low-cost, vocal signals to facilitate interactions when conflicts of interest exist. (shrink)
The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...) our social instincts. The complex societies of the last few thousand years can function only because cultural evolution has created effective “work-arounds” to manage such instincts. We describe a series of work-arounds and use the data on the relative effectiveness of WWII armies to test the work-around hypothesis. (shrink)
3.0. Well-being as a Challenge to Naturalism. In Chapter Three Adams discusses and criticizes those accounts of a person’s well being which characterize it in terms of counterfactuals regarding her actual desires and preferences. These criticisms are important for the question of ethical naturalism because any plausible naturalist position will have to portray a person’s well-being as somehow or other supervening on features of her psychology and her environment. The sorts of analyses Adams criticizes are the most prominent analyses consistent (...) with this constraint, so it is important to see whether or not Adams’ criticisms of them undermine the prospects for ethical naturalism generally. (shrink)