Music can reduce stress and anxiety, enhance positive mood, and facilitate social bonding. However, little is known about the role of music and related personal or cultural variables in maintaining wellbeing during times of stress and social isolation as imposed by the COVID-19 crisis. In an online questionnaire, administered in 11 countries, participants rated the relevance of wellbeing goals during the pandemic, and the effectiveness of different activities in obtaining these goals. Music was found to be the most effective activity (...) for three out of five wellbeing goals: enjoyment, venting negative emotions, and self-connection. For diversion, music was equally good as entertainment, while it was second best to create a sense of togetherness, after socialization. This result was evident across different countries and gender, with minor effects of age on specific goals, and a clear effect of the importance of music in people's lives. Cultural effects were generally small and surfaced mainly in the use of music to obtain a sense of togetherness. Interestingly, culture moderated the use of negatively valenced and nostalgic music for those higher in distress. (shrink)
The development of highly humanoid sex robots is on the technological horizon. If sex robots are integrated into the legal community as “electronic persons”, the issue of sexual consent arises, which is essential for legally and morally permissible sexual relations between human persons. This paper explores whether it is conceivable, possible, and desirable that humanoid robots should be designed such that they are capable of consenting to sex. We consider reasons for giving both “no” and “yes” answers to these three (...) questions by examining the concept of consent in general, as well as critiques of its adequacy in the domain of sexual ethics; the relationship between consent and free will; and the relationship between consent and consciousness. Additionally we canvass the most influential existing literature on the ethics of sex with robots. (shrink)
"The work is on an important topic that has been oft debated but rarely systematically studied – the political, cultural, and moral effects of distant news coverage of suffering. [The book] is extremely well steeped in the relevant literature, including semiotics, discourse analysis, meda and social theory and makes a fresh methodological contribution by looking at the codes and formats of news about suffering. It has a fresh vision and answer to some of the stickiest moral and media problems of (...) our time … and deserves to find its place among important books about the moral aspects of media and society in our times." —John D. Peters, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor, University of Ohio This book is about the relationship between the spectators in countries of the west, and the distant sufferer on the television screen; the sufferer in Somalia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, but also from New York and Washington DC. How do we relate to television images of the distant sufferer? The question touches on the ethical role of the media in public life today. They address the issue of whether the media can cultivate a disposition of care for and engagement with the far away other; whether television can create a global public with a sense of social responsibility towards the distant sufferer. (shrink)
In 2010, pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. In the numerous media discussions that followed, Joyce’s ‘blown’ call was commonly referred to as ‘mistaken’, ‘wrong’, or otherwise erroneous. However, this use of language makes some not uncontroversial ontological assumptions. It claims that the fact that a runner is safe or out has nothing to do with the ruling of the (...) umpire himself, but rather with some state of the universe that does not depend on the umpire for its existence. In this paper, I recast the problem as a version of Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma and argue that the view implied by the above assertions is actually misguided. Instead, I hope to show that an alternative view – what I call ‘restricted umpire voluntarism’ – is actually more in line with the spirit of the game of baseball and is not as counterintuitive as it may appear.. (shrink)
Addiction appears to be a deeply moralized concept. To understand the entwinement of addiction and morality, we briefly discuss the disease model and its alternatives in order to address the following questions: Is the disease model the only path towards a ‘de-moralized’ discourse of addiction? While it is tempting to think that medical language surrounding addiction provides liberation from the moralized language, evidence suggests that this is not necessarily the case. On the other hand non-disease models of addiction may seem (...) to resuscitate problematic forms of the moralization of addiction, including, invoking blame, shame, and the wholesale rejection of addicts as people who have deep character flaws, while ignoring the complex biological and social context of addiction. This is also not necessarily the case. We argue that a deficit in reasons responsiveness as basis for attribution of moral responsibility can be realized by multiple different causes, disease being one, but it also seems likely that alternative accounts of addiction as developed by Flanagan, Lewis, and Levy, may also involve mechanisms, psychological, social, and neurobiological that can diminish reasons responsiveness. It thus seems to us that nondisease models of addiction do not necessarily involve moralization. Hence, a non-stigmatizing approach to recovery can be realized in ways that are consistent with both the disease model and alternative models of addiction. (shrink)
Machamer, Darden, and Craver argue that causal explanations explain effects by describing the operations of the mechanisms which produce them. One of this paper’s aims is to take advantage of neglected resources of Mechanism to rethink the traditional idea that actual or counterfactual natural regularities are essential to the distinction between causal and non-causal co-occurrences, and that generalizations describing natural regularities are essential components of causal explanations. I think that causal productivity and regularity are by no means the same thing, (...) and that the Regularists are mistaken about the roles generalizations play in causal explanation. Humean, logical empiricist, and other Regularist accounts of causal explanation have had the unfortunate effect of distracting philosophers’ from important non-explanatory scientific uses of laws and lesser generalizations which purport to describe natural regularities. My second aim is to characterize some of these uses, illustrating them with examples from neuroscientific research. (shrink)
Using Jim Woodward's Counterfactual Dependency account as an example, I argue that causal claims about indeterministic systems cannot be satisfactorily analysed as including counterfactual conditionals among their truth conditions because the counterfactuals such accounts must appeal to need not have truth values. Where this happens, counterfactual analyses transform true causal claims into expressions which are not true.
Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...) Starmans & Bloom (2018) suggests that this research program conflates personal identity with mere similarity. To address this criticism, we explore how loss of someone’s morality or memories influence perceptions of identity change, and perceptions of moral duties towards the target of the change. We present participants with a classic ‘body switch’ thought experiment and after assessing perceptions of identity persistence, we present a moral dilemma, asking participants to imagine that one of the patients must die (Study 1) or be left alone in a care home for the rest of their life (Study 2). Our results highlight the importance of the continuity of moral character, suggesting lay intuitions are tracking (something like) personal identity, not just mere similarity. (shrink)
This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
Moral bioenhancement, nudge-designed environments, and ambient persuasive technologies may help people behave more consistently with their deeply held moral convictions. Alternatively, they may aid people in overcoming cognitive and affective limitations that prevent them from appreciating a situation’s moral dimensions. Or they may simply make it easier for them to make the morally right choice by helping them to overcome sources of weakness of will. This paper makes two assumptions. First, technologies to improve people’s moral capacities are realizable. Second, such (...) technologies will actually help people get morality right and behave more consistently with whatever the ‘real’ right thing to do turns out to be. The paper then considers whether or not humanity loses anything valuable, particularly opportunities for moral progress, when being moral is made much easier by eliminating difficult moral deliberation and internal moral struggle. Ultimately, the worry that moral struggle has value as a catalyst for moral progress is rejected. Moral progress is understood here as the discovery and application of new values or sensitization to new sources of harm. (shrink)
Digital peddling of fake news is influential to persuasive political participation, with veritable social media platforms. Social media, with their instantaneous and widespread usage, have been exploited by ‘anonymous’ political influencers who fabricate and inundate internet community with unverified and false information. Using van Leeuwen’s Discourse Legitimation approach and insights from Discourse Analysis, this study analyses 120 purposively sampled fake news posts on Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter, shared during the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. WhatsApp allows for the easy and (...) fast sharing of fake news as it pulled the largest occurrence of legitimation strategies, followed by Facebook. Authorisation is the highest occurring legitimation strategy at 46.6% frequency; this is followed by Moralisation which has 27% and Rationalisation at 26.4%; while Mythopoesis did not feature at all in the sampled data, leaving it at 0%. In particular, expert and role model authority are most often deployed to validate fake news such as the demise and cloning of President Buhari, ruling party’s plan to rig and destabilise the 2019 election, massive corruption in the current administration and imminent ethnic violence. The study argues that these strategies are viable persuasive tools owing to their use of discourse markers like make-believe images, emotive language, appeal to emotions, rational conclusions, hateful comments, verbal indictment and coercive verbs. (shrink)
The conclusion of this paper will be that e-sports are not sports. I begin by offering a stipulation and a definition. I stipulate that what I have in mind, when thinking about the concept of sport, is ‘Olympic’ sport. And I define an Olympic Sport as an institutionalised, rule-governed contest of human physical skill. The justification for the stipulation lies partly in that it is uncontroversial. Whatever else people might think of as sport, no-one denies that Olympic Sport is sport. (...) This seeks to ensure that those who might wish to dispute my conclusion might stay with the argument at least for as long as possible. Secondly, the justification for the stipulation lies partly in its normativity—I have chosen an Olympic conception of sport just because it seems to me to offer some kind of desirable version of what sport is and might become. Thirdly, I give examples which show how prominent promoters of e-sports agree with my stipulation, as evidenced by their strenuous attempts to comply with it i... (shrink)
This paper suggests and discusses an answer to the following question: What distinguishes causal from non-causal or coincidental co-occurrences? The answer derives from Elizabeth Anscombe’s idea that causality is a highly abstract concept whose meaning derives from our understanding of specific causally productive activities, and from her rejection of the assumption that causality can be informatively understood in terms of actual or counterfactual regularities.Keywords: Elizabeth Anscombe; Causality; Explanation; Inhibition.
Donald Davidson finds folk-psychological explanations anomalous due to the open-ended and constitutive conception of rationality which they employ, and yet monist because they invoke an ontology of only physical events. An eliminative materialist who thinks that the beliefs and desires of folk-psychology are mere pre-scientific fictions cannot accept these claims, but he could accept anomalous monism construed as an analysis, merely, of the ideological and ontological presumptions of folk-psychology. Of course, eliminative materialism is itself only a guess, a marker for (...) material explanations we do not have, but it is made plausible by, inter alia, whatever difficulties we have in interpreting intentional folk-explanations realistically. And surely anomalous monism does require further explanation if it is to be accepted realistically and not dismissed as an analysis of a folk-idiom which is to be construed instrumentally at best. Some further explanation is needed of how beliefs, desires, etc. can form rational patterns which have ‘no echo in physical theory’ and yet those beliefs, desires etc. be physical events. To this end I propose to graft on to anomalous monism a modest version of functionalism. (shrink)
Scientists obtain a great deal of the evidence they use by observingnatural and experimentally generated objects and effects. Much of thestandard philosophical literature on this subject comes from20th century logical positivists and empiricists, theirfollowers, and critics who embraced their issues and accepted some oftheir assumptions even as they objected to specific views. Theirdiscussions of observational evidence tend to focus on epistemologicalquestions about its role in theory testing. This entry follows theirlead even though observational evidence also plays important andphilosophically interesting roles (...) in other areas including scientificdiscovery and the application of scientific theories to practicalproblems. (shrink)
Counterfactuals all the way down? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9437-9 Authors Jim Woodward, History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Barry Loewer, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA John W. Carroll, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA Marc Lange, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3125—Caldwell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125, USA Journal Metascience Online (...) ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
Empiricists claim that in accepting a scientific theory one should not commit oneself to claims about things that are not observable in the sense of registering on human perceptual systems (according to Van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism) or experimental equipment (according to what I call liberal empiricism ). They also claim scientific theories should be accepted or rejected on the basis of how well they save the phenomena in the sense delivering unified descriptions of natural regularities among things that meet their (...) conditions for observability. I argue that empiricism is both unfaithful to real world scientific practice, and epistemically imprudent, if not incoherent. To illuminate scientific practice and save regularity phenomena one must commit oneself to claims about causal mechanisms that can be detected from data, but do not register directly on human perceptual systems or experimental equipment. I conclude by suggesting that empiricists should relax their standards for acceptable beliefs. (shrink)
How best to introduce philosophical ideas? Is the best and only way by studying the history of philosophy and its rational arguments and discussions? But can literature, usually hived off from philosophy, be used instead and can this be as effective as rational argument? This paper explores these questions. First it considers a text which introduces philosophy through the analysis of literature, in particular James Joyce's 'Araby', arguing that the traditional analytic approach employed by the text, by concentrating on epistemology, (...) obscures other philosophical insights offered by Joyce. It then turns to French philosophy and literature and suggests that Sartre, Beauvoir and Camus by 'blurring' the analytic distinction between philosophy and literature have much to offer to the grasping and understanding of philosophical ideas and principles. (shrink)
This article argues for a task-based approach to identifying and individuating cognitive systems. The agent-based extended cognition approach faces a problem of cognitive bloat and has difficulty accommodating both sub-individual cognitive systems ("scaling down") and some supra-individual cognitive systems ("scaling up"). The standard distributed cognition approach can accommodate a wider variety of supra-individual systems but likewise has difficulties with sub-individual systems and faces the problem of cognitive bloat. We develop a task-based variant of distributed cognition designed to scale up and (...) down smoothly while providing a principled means of avoiding cognitive bloat. The advantages of the task-based approach are illustrated by means of two parallel case studies: re-representation in the human visual system and in a biomedical engineering laboratory. (shrink)
Some critics of sex-robots worry that their use might spread objectifying attitudes about sex, and common sense places a higher value on sex within love-relationships than on casual sex. If there could be mutual love between humans and sex-robots, this could help to ease the worries about objectifying attitudes. And mutual love between humans and sex-robots, if possible, could also help to make this sex more valuable. But is mutual love between humans and robots possible, or even conceivable? We discuss (...) three clusters of ideas and associations commonly discussed within the philosophy of love, and relate these to the topic of whether mutual love could be achieved between humans and sex-robots: (i) the idea of love as a “good match”; (ii) the idea of valuing each other in our distinctive particularity; and (iii) the idea of a steadfast commitment. We consider relations among these ideas and the sort of agency and free will that we attribute to human romantic partners. Our conclusion is that mutual love between humans and advanced sex-robots is not an altogether impossible proposition. However, it is unlikely that we will be able to create robots sophisticated enough to be able to participate in love-relationships anytime soon. -/- . (shrink)
In this chapter, we consider ethical and philosophical aspects of trust in the practice of medicine. We focus on trust within the patient-physician relationship, trust and professionalism, and trust in Western (allopathic) institutions of medicine and medical research. Philosophical approaches to trust contain important insights into medicine as an ethical and social practice. In what follows we explain several philosophical approaches and discuss their strengths and weaknesses in this context. We also highlight some relevant empirical work in the section on (...) trust in the institutions of medicine. It is hoped that the approaches discussed here can be extended to nursing and other topics in the philosophy of medicine. (shrink)
Some public health behavioral intervention research studies involve deception. A methodological imperative to minimize bias can be in conflict with the ethical principle of informed consent. As a case study, we examine the specific forms of deception used in three online randomized controlled trials evaluating brief alcohol interventions. We elaborate our own decision making about the use of deception in these trials, and present our ongoing findings and uncertainties. We discuss the value of the approach of pragmatism for examining these (...) kinds of ethical issues that can arise in research on public health interventions. (shrink)
Over the past decade, sequence learning has gradually become a central paradigm through which to study implicit learning. In this chapter, we start by briefly summarizing the results obtained with different variants of the sequence learning paradigm. We distinguish three subparadigms in terms of whether the stimulus material is generated either by following a fixed and repeating sequence (e.g., Nissen & Bullemer, 1987), by relying on a complex set of rules from which one can produce several alternative deterministic sequences (e.g., (...) Lewicki, Hill & Bizot, 1988; Stadler, 1989), or by following the output of a probabilistic set of rules such as instantiated by noisy finite-state grammars (Cleeremans & McClelland, 1991; Jiménez, Mendéz & Cleeremans, 1996). Next, we focus on the processes involved in sequence representation and acquisition. We suggest that the sensitivity to the sequential structure observed in the probabilistic subparadigm can only be a result of the acquisition of a representation of the statistical constraints of the material, and that this sensitivity emerges through the operation of mechanisms that are well instantiated by connectionist models such as the Simple Recurrent Network (Elman, 1990; Cleeremans, 1993b). We present new simulation work meant to explore to what extent the model can also account for specific data obtained in a paradigmatic instance of deterministic, rule-based sequence learning task: Lewicki et al. (1988)'s situation. Finally, we report on the results of an experiment that compares learning on otherwise similar deterministic and probabilistic structures, and we show that learning of both types of structures is equivalent only under conditions that maximally hinder explicit acquisition. Taken together, these simulation and experimental data lend support to the claim that implicit learning in all three sequence learning subparadigms can amount to a form of statistical sequence learning. They also suggest that distinguishing among several theories of sequence representation and acquisition may require us to analize the data in great detail. Hopefully, however, some truth can be found in such details.. (shrink)
In this essay, Jim Garrison explores the emerging scholarship establishing a Hegelian continuity in John Dewey’s thought from his earliest publications to the work published in the last decade of his life. The primary goals of this study are, first, to introduce this new scholarship to philosophers of education and, second, to extend this analysis to new domains, including Dewey’s theory of inquiry, universals, and creative action. Ultimately, Garrison’s analysis also refutes the traditional account that claims that William James converted (...) Dewey from Hegelian idealism, after which Charles Sanders Peirce inspired him to rebuild his instrumentalism along radically different lines. (shrink)
This paper offers an introduction to the philosophy and science of embodied learning, conceived as both the stabilizing and expansionary process that sustains order and novelty within learners’ worlds enacted through observing and describing. Embodied learning acknowledges stability and change as the purposeful conjoined characteristics that sustain learners. It is, in many respects, a composite theory that represents work from various disciplines. This ‘naturalized epistemology’ conceives a world of fact inevitably imbued with the values that our own structural histories guarantee (...) us observers, whether acknowledged or not within our reflective awareness. These values, however, are not simple sets of preferences, for they are constituted in our individual learning histories that, for good or bad, influence the course of future learning. This conservational element of our condition is only half the story, however. The more radical aspect resides in the expansionary capacity of embodied observers to change, to enact worlds that are not pre‐given but, rather, brought forth by learners as observers and describers. Furthermore, embodied learning seeks a grounding for understanding in the often‐unexplored epistemological terrain between positivist absolutism or its mirrored polar opposite, postmodern nihilism. Its epistemological stance derives from its ontology, which is grounded in the profound obviousness that ‘everything said is said by someone’. (shrink)
Recent developments in ethics and postmodemist epistemology have set the stage for a reconceptualization of environmental ethics. In this paper, I sketch a path for postmodemism which makes use of certain notions current in contemporary environmentalism. At the center of my thought is the idea of place: (1) place as the context of our lives and the setting in which ethical deliberation takes place; and (2)the epistemological function of place in the construction of our understandings of self, community, and world. (...) Central to these themes, in tum, are the related notions of myth, narrative, storied residence, and ethical vernacular. (shrink)
It is not clear to what the projects of creating an artificial intelligence (AI) that does ethics, is moral, or makes moral judgments amounts. In this paper we discuss some of the extant metaethical theories and debates in moral philosophy by which such projects should be informed, specifically focusing on the project of creating an AI that makes moral judgments. We argue that the scope and aims of that project depend a great deal on antecedent metaethical commitments. Metaethics, therefore, plays (...) the role of an Archimedean fulcrum in this context, very much like the Archimedean role that it is often taken to take in context of normative ethics (Dworkin 1996; Dreier 2002; Fantl 2006; Ehrenberg 2008). (shrink)
Do fetuses have a right to life in virtue of the fact that they are potential adult human beings? I take the claim that the fetus is a potential adult human being to come to this: if the fetus grows normally there will be an adult human animal that was once the fetus. Does this fact ground a claim to our care and protection? A great deal hangs on the answer to this question. The actual mental and physical capacities of (...) a human fetus are inferior to those of adult creatures generally thought to lack a serious right to life, and the mere fact that a fetus belongs to our species in particular seems morally irrelevant. Consequently, a strong fetal claim to protection rises or falls with the appeal to the fetus's potentiality, for nothing else can justify it. (shrink)
l examine the degree to which the so-called “deep ecology” movement embodies a feminist sensibility. In part one I take a brief look at the ambivalent attitude of “eco-feminism” toward deep ecology. In part two I show that this ambivalence sterns largely from the fact that deep ecology assimilates feminist insights to a basically masculine ethical orientation. In part three I discuss some of the ways in which deepecology theory might change if it adopted a fundamentally feminist ethical orientation.
Contextualists offer "high-low standards" practical cases to show that a variety of knowledge standards are in play in different ordinary contexts. These cases show nothing of the sort, I maintain. However Keith DeRose gives an ingenious argument that standards for knowledge do go up in high-stakes cases. According to the knowledge account of assertion (Kn), only knowledge warrants assertion. Kn combined with the context sensitivity of assertability yields contextualism about knowledge. But is Kn correct? I offer a rival account of (...) warranted assertion and argue that it beats Kn as a response to the "knowledge" version of Moore's Paradox. (shrink)
This paper notes how Jim influenced my own use of Foucault and also focuses on two of James Marshall's New Zealand oriented texts. In the first, Discipline and Punishment in New Zealand Education he provides a Foucauldian genealogy of New Zealand approaches to both punishment and discipline, in particular corporal punishment. The second, his 1996 book co‐written with Michael Peters, Individualism and Community: Education and Social Policy in the Postmodern Condition, analyses political philosophy and social and educational policy as New (...) Zealand changed from being a welfare state since the 1930s to a neoliberal one since the mid 1980s. Foucauldian understandings about power, bio‐power, governmentality, autonomy and subjectivity are brought to bear in their analysis. (shrink)