This article addresses the relationship between ontology and politics in Jean-Luc Nancy’s theory of democracy by probing the implications of his latest ontological innovation, the concept of struction. We argue that Nancy’s democracy is a mode of politics that makes the radical pluralism of struction legitimate, opening and guarding a political space for the coexistence of the incommensurable. From this perspective, and despite Nancy’s own skepticism about the concept of biopolitics, the notion of struction opens a pathway for theorizing democracy (...) in a biopolitical key as the regime of coexistence of radically incommensurable forms of life in the absence of any coordinating principle. We nonetheless take issue with Nancy’s prescription for democracy to remain devoid of any political affirmation of its own. Instead, we suggest that the prescriptive content of democracy consists in the affirmation of the contingency of all the forms of life that coexist in it, which implies their freedom, equality, and comm... (shrink)
The general question to be considered in this paper points to the nature of the world described by chemistry: what is macro-chemical ontology like? In particular, we want to identify the ontological categories that underlie chemical discourse and chemical practice. This is not an easy task, because modern Western metaphysics was strongly modeled by theoretical physics. For this reason, we attempt to answer our question by contrasting macro-chemical ontology with the mainstream ontology of physics and of traditional metaphysics. In particular, (...) we introduce the distinction between stuff-ontology, proper of chemistry, and individual-ontology, proper of physics. These two ontologies differ from each other in the basic categories of their own structures. On this basis, we characterize individual-ontology in such a way that the features of stuff-ontology will arise by contrast with it. (shrink)
We show that a new interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which the notion of event is defined without reference to measurement or observers, allows to construct a quantum general ontology based on systems, states and events. Unlike the Copenhagen interpretation, it does not resort to elements of a classical ontology. The quantum ontology in turn allows us to recognize that a typical behavior of quantum systems exhibits strong emergence and ontological non-reducibility. Such phenomena are not exceptional but natural, and are (...) rooted in the basic mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Under the influence of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, the theme of absolute alterity still dominates the thinking of the ethical in Continental philosophy. This article examines an alternative ethical démarche, Jean-Luc Nancy's ‘singular plurality’, which refuses to start with the opposition of same and other, arguing instead for a primacy of relation, the ‘in-common’ and the ‘with’. The article first distinguishes Nancy's ‘singular plural’ from other recent attempts to disengage ethical thinking from the Levinasian framework, before showing how Nancy (...) proceeds otherwise than in terms of sameness and alterity while still maintaining an ethical impetus. Foregrounding what is politically and philosophically at stake in the difference between Nancy and the Levinasian/Derridean model, the article concludes by considering how Nancy can be defended against critics who mistakenly argue that he discounts alterity. (shrink)
I investigate whether any plausible moral arguments can be made for ‘grandfathering’ emission rights (that is, for setting emission targets for developed countries in line with their present or past emission levels) on the basis of a Lockean theory of property rights.
Probabilistic models have much to offer to philosophy. We continually receive information from a variety of sources: from our senses, from witnesses, from scientific instruments. When considering whether we should believe this information, we assess whether the sources are independent, how reliable they are, and how plausible and coherent the information is. Bovens and Hartmann provide a systematic Bayesian account of these features of reasoning. Simple Bayesian Networks allow us to model alternative assumptions about the nature of the information sources. (...) Measurement of the coherence of information is a controversial matter: arguably, the more coherent a set of information is, the more confident we may be that its content is true, other things being equal. The authors offer a new treatment of coherence which respects this claim and shows its relevance to scientific theory choice. Bovens and Hartmann apply this methodology to a wide range of much discussed issues regarding evidence, testimony, scientific theories, and voting. Bayesian Epistemology is an essential tool for anyone working on probabilistic methods in philosophy, and has broad implications for many other disciplines. (shrink)
This article aims to explore the philosophical approach to faith after deconstruction as manifested in the work of Jean-Luc Marion and Jean-Luc Nancy. By taking the saturated phenomenon as its focus, the analysis seeks to demonstrate that whilst Marion’s thinking proves to be an innovative re-imagining of the possibilities of phenomenology, its problematic recourse to a supplementary hermeneutic means that saturation can never be adequately applied to faith without simultaneously compromising the excessive intuition upon which it relies. The article then (...) explores whether Nancy’s suggestion that saturation be re-framed as faith can offer a viable alternative approach. Whilst the post-phenomenological modality within which Nancy operates means it may be problematic to retain the term ‘saturation’ in the exact sense Marion gives it, it is argued that Nancy’s version of saturated faith allows us to approach the binary divide between philosophy and theology from a different direction, resulting in a vision of faith that cuts across theism and atheism, destabilising them from within. Although Nancy’s thought in this area certainly does nothing to respond to persistent questions surrounding the place of institutionalized religion within secular modernity, it nevertheless serves as a powerful tool for thinking the possibilities of faith in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Taking his critique of totalitarianizing conceptions of community as a starting point, this text examines Jean-Luc Nancy's work of an ‘ontology of plural singular being’ for its political implications. It argues that while at first this ontology seems to advocate a negative or an anti-politics only, it can also be read as a ‘theory of communicative praxis’ that suggests a certain ethos – in the form of a certain use of symbols that would render the ontological plurality of singulars perceptible (...) and practically effective. Finally, some recent texts by Nancy even sidestep the ontology of being-with and face the question of what politics, faced with demands of justice, could be and what a democratic politics could provide. Both of these aspects in Nancy's work, however, still remain to be spelled out more politically. (shrink)
Bayesian Coherence Theory of Justification or, for short, Bayesian Coherentism, is characterized by two theses, viz. (i) that our degree of confidence in the content of a set of propositions is positively affected by the coherence of the set, and (ii) that coherence can be characterized in probabilistic terms. There has been a longstanding question of how to construct a measure of coherence. We will show that Bayesian Coherentism cannot rest on a single measure of coherence, but requires a vector (...) whose components exhaustively characterize the coherence properties of the set. Our degree of confidence in the content of the information set is a function of the reliability of the sources and the components of the coherence vector. The components of this coherence vector are weakly but not strongly separable, which blocks the construction of a single coherence measure. (shrink)
: In this essay Samuel Rocha primarily addresses, and challenges, the modern conception of reason and the lowly place of intuition, feeling, and love in what has become traditional philosophy and education. Drawing upon the rich thought of William James and Jean‐Luc Marion, Rocha introduces the reader to a certain harmony between their ideas, most evident in their mutual appeal to philosophy to return to a broader understanding of reason that celebrates the role of intuition and, above all, love. Rocha (...) concludes by relating the philosophical critiques of modern rationalism offered by James and Marion to the current state of education, especially in the United States. (shrink)
This article proposes a number of models to examine through which mechanisms a population of autonomous agents could arrive at a repertoire of perceptually grounded categories that is sufficiently shared to allow successful communication. The models are inspired by the main approaches to human categorisation being discussed in the literature: nativism, empiricism, and culturalism. Colour is taken as a case study. Although we take no stance on which position is to be accepted as final truth with respect to human categorisation (...) and naming, we do point to theoretical constraints that make each position more or less likely and we make clear suggestions on what the best engineering solution would be. Specifically, we argue that the collective choice of a shared repertoire must integrate multiple constraints, including constraints coming from communication. Key Words: autonomous agents; colour categorisation; colour naming; connectionism; cultural evolution; genetic evolution; memes; origins of language; self-organisation; semiotic dynamics; symbol grounding. (shrink)
Many people believe that we have responsibility towards the distant future, but exactly how far this responsibility reaches and how we can find a reasonable ethical foundation for it has not been answered in any definitive manner. Future people have no power over us, they form no part of our moral community and it is unclear how we can represent them in a possible original position. All these problems can be circumvented when you take an impersonal decision criterion like maximizing (...) total or average utility. Such a sum-ranking criterion is neutral with respect to distance in time or space: my utility, my neighbour's and that of our descendants all carry the same weight. This makes future people an integral part of present decisions. Time-neutrality was defended by, among others, Sidgwick, Pigou and Ramsey. (shrink)
In “Judy Benjamin is a Sleeping Beauty” (2010) Bovens recognises a certain similarity between the Sleeping Beauty (SB) and the Judy Benjamin (JB). But he does not recognise the dissimilarity between underlying protocols (as spelled out in Shafer (1985). Protocols are expressed in conditional probability tables that spell out the probability of coming to learn various propositions conditional on the actual state of the world. The principle of total evidence requires that we not update on the content of the proposition (...) learned but rather on the fact that we learn the proposition in question. Now attention to protocols drives a wedge between the SB and the JB. We have shown that the solution to a close variant of the SB which involves a clear protocol is P*(Heads) = 1/3 and since Beauty’s has precisely the same information at her disposal in the original SB at the time that she is asked to state her credence for Heads, the same solution should hold. The solution to the JB, on the other hand, is dependent on Judy’s probability distribution over protocols. One reasonable protocol yields P(Red) = 1/2, but Judy could also defend alternative values or a range of values in the interval [1/3, 1/2] depending on her probability distribution over protocols. (shrink)
In the text I take a closer look at the political paradigm of self-sufficiency as outlined by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. The paradigm is at work in all traditional Western political views, ideologies and practices, and can be reduced to two schematic models of politics: that of the subject, and of the citizen. The models are seen by Nancy to be no longer relevant to the urgent demands of contemporary social and political reality; they are also held to be responsible (...) for contemporary problems and crises in, and of, democracy. Nancy tries to present an another approach to political practice and focuses on the issue of the tie as one that is not given in any substantial way but always remains to be tied, always to be decided and continually reshaped in a response to unforeseeable events. As a part of a sketch of a political philosophy of relation and non-self-sufficiency, Nancy discusses the issues of singularity, incommensurability, justice and “equaliberty”, and stresses the need for constant invention of new forms of a democratic politics. The latter is meant as a politics of “democracy to-come”, democracy that always remains in statu nascendi, in the process of eventual transformation.Key words NANCY, IDEOLOGY, POLITICS, EQUALIBERTY. (shrink)
In response to Germain argument that evolution by natural selection has a limited explanatory power in cancer, Lean and Plutynski have recently argued that many adaptations in cancer only make sense at the tumor level, and that cancer progression mirrors the major evolutionary transitions. While we agree that selection could potentially act at various levels of organization in cancers, we argue that tumor-level selection is unlikely to actually play a relevant role in our understanding of the somatic evolution of human (...) cancers. (shrink)
We show that it is not possible to extend the ranking of one-stage lotteries based on their weak-expectation to a reflexive and transitive relation on the collection of one- and two-stage lotteries that satisfies two basic axioms, the minimal value axiom and the reduction axiom. We propose an extension that satisfies only the first axiom. This ranking takes payoffs, their probabilities, and the tree structure into account.
A vital and underappreciated dimension of social interaction is the way individuals justify their actions to others, instinctively drawing on their experience to appeal to principles they hope will command respect. Individuals, however, often misread situations, and many disagreements can be explained by people appealing, knowingly and unknowingly, to different principles. On Justification is the first English translation of Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot's ambitious theoretical examination of these phenomena, a book that has already had a huge impact on French (...) sociology and is likely to have a similar influence in the English-speaking world. In this foundational work of post-Bourdieu sociology, the authors examine a wide range of situations where people justify their actions. The authors argue that justifications fall into six main logics exemplified by six authors: civic (Rousseau), market (Adam Smith), industrial (Saint-Simon), domestic (Bossuet), inspiration (Augustine), and fame (Hobbes). The authors show how these justifications conflict, as people compete to legitimize their views of a situation. On Justification is likely to spark important debates across the social sciences. (shrink)
This book is a rich collection of philosophical essays radically interrogating key notions and preoccupations of the phenomenological tradition. While using Heidegger’s Being and Time as its permanent point of reference and dispute, this collection also confronts other important philosophers, such as Kant, Nietzsche, and Derrida. The projects of these pivotal thinkers of finitude are relentlessly pushed to their extreme, with respect both to their unexpected horizons and to their as yet unexplored analytical potential. A Finite Thinking shows that, paradoxically, (...) where the thought of finitude comes into its own it frees itself, not only to reaffirm a certain transformed and transformative presence, but also for a non-religious reconsideration and reaffirmation of certain theologemes, as well as of the body, heart, and love. This book shows the literary dimension of philosophical discourse, providing important enabling ideas for scholars of literature, cultural theory, and philosophy. (shrink)
The Puzzle of the Hats is a betting arrangement which seems to show that a Dutch book can be made against a group of rational players with common priors who act in the common interest and have full trust in the other players’ rationality. But we show that appearances are misleading—no such Dutch book can be made. There are four morals. First, what can be learned from the puzzle is that there is a class of situations in which credences and (...) betting rates diverge. Second, there is an analogy between ways of dealing with situations of this kind and different policies for sequential choice. Third, there is an analogy with strategic voting, showing that the common interest is not always served by expressing how things seem to you in social decision-making. (shrink)
Examines the relationship between the question of God and the destiny of metaphysics. Concept of the end of metaphysics; Ambiguous relation between phenomenology and metaphysics; Return of special metaphysics in phenomenology; Phenomenological figure of God. Examines the relationship between the question of God and the destiny of metaphysics. Concept of the end of metaphysics; Ambiguous relation between phenomenology and metaphysics; Return of special metaphysics in phenomenology; Phenomenological figure of God.
In this paper, part of the ideas developed in Lewowicz (2000) will be reconsidered in the light of Pandora's Hope (1999a) - one of the latest publications of Bruno Latour. We will ponder the significance of these ideas and some of the incidental advances or retreats of the views of this author in the last 20 years. Although we still believe that, from the ontological point of view, Latour's philosophy is materialistic - then eliminativist - and not ontological relativist (...) (contrary to the opinion of his colleague philosophers), some of the symmetries developed in that text show outstanding ontological-epistemological and even methodological deficiencies which we try to show here; especially the symmetry between 'human and nonhuman actors' (Latour 1999a) and his very singular (but not without a fair amount of antecedents) concept of history of the things whose neologism is that of pragmatogony. Andrew Pickering (The mangle of practice, 1999a) proposed and developed the concept of temporary emergency. In view of this concept, he succeeds in criticising Latour's exact symmetries making use primarily of the concept of intentionality to account for the asymmetry (by no means radical, according to the latter) between 'the human and nonhuman collective'. In this paper we will try to reinforce (and inevitably to question) the notion of temporal emergency by giving it a less local aspect than the one given by this author. We will not only hold the asymmetry of certain dichotomies - presumably avoided by and avoidable according to Latour - but we will also claim the historical impossibility of such an avoidance: the concept of historialised emergency and not just temporalised, precludes this. It is concluded, firstly, that only an eliminativist materialism (within the range of materialisms) is able to avoid and even 'overcome' such pairs like nature/society and some of its derivatives like subject/object and individual/collective. Secondly, the decisive character of some dichotomies will be defended and lastly it will be attempted to account for the almost only ontological possibility of constructivism: the eliminativist materialism. (shrink)
Along with Husserl's Ideas and Heidegger's Being and Time, Being Given is one of the classic works of phenomenology in the twentieth century. Through readings of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, and twentieth-century French phenomenology (e.g., Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and Henry), it ventures a bold and decisive reappraisal of phenomenology and its possibilities. Its author's most original work to date, the book pushes phenomenology to its limits in an attempt to redefine and recover the phenomenological ideal, which the author argues has never (...) been realized in any of the historical phenomenologies. Against Husserl's reduction to consciousness and Heidegger's reduction to Dasein, the author proposes a third reduction to givenness, wherein phenomena appear unconditionally and show themselves from themselves at their own initiative. Being Given is the clearest, most systematic response to questions that have occupied its author for the better part of two decades. The book articulates a powerful set of concepts that should provoke new research in philosophy, religion, and art, as well as at the intersection of these disciplines. Some of the significant issues it treats include the phenomenological definition of the phenomenon, the redefinition of the gift in terms not of economy but of givenness, the nature of saturated phenomena, and the question “Who comes after the subject?” Throughout his consideration of these issues, the author carefully notes their significance for the increasingly popular fields of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Being Given is therefore indispensable reading for anyone interested in the question of the relation between the phenomenological and the theological in Marion and emergent French phenomenology. (shrink)
resumo: Este artigo pretende mostrar que sem a influência de uma filosofia construtivista que eu denomino boa, representada principalmente por Bruno Latour, a elucidação das substâncias químicas teria sido virtualmente impossível. Sem a noção de materiais “artefatuais” cunhada por eles, a Química Moderna seria impensável a partir dos metaparadigmas em uso no campo atual da história e da filosofia da ciência. A tese central que defendo aqui é a de que o construtivismo, tal como definido pelos antropológos da ciência, é (...) uma maneira disfarçada de colocar a histórica filosofia materialista na trilha da discussão histórica e filosófica das ciências e tecnologias e que isso restaura o papel desempenhado pelos materiais usados pelos cientistas para que sejam exatamente o que são. abstract: This paper aims to show that without the influence of a constructivist philosophy I call good, mainly represented by Bruno Latour, the ontological elucidation of the chemical substances would have been virtually impossible. Without the notion of artifactual materials given by them, would be Modern Chemistry unthinkable from the metaparadigms in use in the present field of history and philosophy of science. The central thesis I defended here is that constructivism as defined by the anthropologists of science is a disguised way of sliding historical materialist philosophy into the mainline of philosophical and historical discussion of the sciences and technologies and that those restore the role played by the materials used by sciences to be exactly what they are. (shrink)
The paper offers a modelling of the sense of justice as it is displayed in ordinary situated disputes. While this model accounts for a plurality of legitimate forms of evaluation which are used in the process of critique and justification, it escapes a relativism of values by demonstrating that all these forms satisfy a set of common requirements. The reasonable character of the everyday sense of justice is also anchored in a reality test involving the engagement of objects which qualify (...) for a certain form of evaluation. The paper discusses this model in relation to competing theories of justice, and models of social action and interaction. (shrink)
Ch. 1: Inadequate approaches to the question of God -- 1.1. Initial clarifications -- 1.2 Wholly unsystematic direct approaches -- 1.3. Semi-systematic indirect approaches -- 1.4. A wholly anti-systematic, anti-theoretical, and direct approach: Ludwig Wittgenstein -- 1.5. A characteristic example of a failed critique: Thomas Nagel's objections to God as "last point" -- Ch. 2. Heidegger's thinking of Being: the flawed development of a significant approach -- 2.1. Heidegger's failed and distorting interpretation and critique of the Christian metaphysics of Being (...) -- 2.2. Heidegger's four approaches to "retrieving" the "question of being" -- 2.3. What is unthought in Heidegger's thinking of Being I: Being-as-Ereignis -- 2.4. What is unthought in Heidegger's "thinking of Being" II: Being and being(s)- Ereignis and Ereignete(s) -- 2.5. The "overcoming [Überwinding] of metaphysics" as "transformational recovering [Verwindung]" of metaphysics and "the end of the history of Being" -- 2.6. The status of Heideggerian thinking I: thinking of Being as thinking within Ereignis, thinking that reaches its destination with Ereignis (Denken, das in das Ereignis einkehrt) -- 2.7. The status of Heideggerian thinking II: absolute claim, provisionality, the poverty of language, the language of thinking, the finitude of thinking -- 2.8. Heidegger's thinking and the topic "God" -- 2.9. Heidegger's "thinking": a fundamentally deficient and confused form of thinking -- Ch. 3:The structural-systematic approach to a theory of Being and God -- 3.1. The systematic context: the theoretical framework of the structural-systematic philosophy -- 3.2. The unrestricted universe of discourse as the universal dimension of primordial Being -- 3.3. Explication of the dimension of Being I: theory of Being as such -- 3.4. Explication of the dimension of Being II: theory of Being as a whole -- 3.5. Explication of the relation between absolutely necessary Being and the contingent dimension of Being as key to a conception of absolutely necessary Being as minded (as personal) -- 3.6. Absolutely necessary minded (personal) Being as creator of the world (as absolute creating) -- 3.7. The clarified relation between Being and God and the task of developing an integral theory about God -- Ch. 4: Critical examination of two counterpositions: Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion -- 4.1. Levinas's misguided conception of transcendence "beyond B/being" -- 4.2. Jean-Luc Marion's failed conception of "radical and non-metaphysical transcendence" and of "God without Being". (shrink)
In this paper, I challenge the long-established view that the term phlogiston fails to refer. After a close examination of the reference of phlogiston during Lavoisier’s Chemical Revolution, I show that it referred throughout to a natural substance, fire matter. I state that Lavoisier eliminated the term but not its referent, which he renamed caloric, and I claim that it is in the historical and cultural context of the Chemical Revolution that the Lavoisier’s intentions can be understood.
Jean Luc-Marion’s assertion that Heidegger has not sufficiently addressed the notion of gratitude and the Call is incorrect. Based on Heidegger’s discussion in What is Called Thinking? of thankfulness and its relation to thinking, I argue that Heidegger indeed articulates a place for gratitude as the proper situation, the proper attitude of phenomenology. While I make an apology for Heidegger, I also note, however, that Husserl’s own discussions require more authentic reappraisal within the context of Heidegger’s work, thereby reinforcing the (...) notion that gratitude has something to say in terms of the way phenomenology getsbuilt up over time, both in form and content. (shrink)
Continuous sedation until death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, often provokes medical-ethical discussions in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals. A content analysis of opinion pieces in medical and nursing literature was conducted to examine how clinicians define and describe CSD, and how they justify this practice morally. Most publications were written by physicians and published in palliative or general medicine journals. Terminal Sedation and Palliative Sedation are (...) the most frequently used terms to describe CSD. Seventeen definitions with varying content were identified. CSD was found to be morally justified in 73 % of the publications using justifications such as Last Resort, Doctrine of Double Effect, Sanctity of Life, Autonomy, and Proportionality. The debate over CSD in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals lacks uniform terms and definitions, and is profoundly marked by ‘charged language’, aiming at realizing agreement in attitude towards CSD. Not all of the moral justifications found are equally straightforward. To enable a more effective debate, the terms, definitions and justifications for CSD need to be further clarified. (shrink)
Corroborating Testimony, Probability and Surprise’, Erik J. Olsson ascribes to L. Jonathan Cohen the claims that if two witnesses provide us with the same information, then the less probable the information is, the more confident we may be that the information is true (C), and the stronger the information is corroborated (C*). We question whether Cohen intends anything like claims (C) and (C*). Furthermore, he discusses the concurrence of witness reports within a context of independent witnesses, whereas the witnesses in (...) Olsson's model are not independent in the standard sense. We argue that there is much more than, in Olsson's words, ‘a grain of truth’ to claim (C), both on his own characterization as well as on Cohen's characterization of the witnesses. We present an analysis for independent witnesses in the contexts of decision-making under risk and decision-making under uncertainty and generalize the model for n witnesses. As to claim (C*), Olsson's argument is contingent on the choice of a particular measure of corroboration and is not robust in the face of alternative measures. Finally, we delimit the set of cases to which Olsson's model is applicable. 1 Claim (C) examined for Olsson's characterization of the relationship between the witnesses 2 Claim (C) examined for two or more independent witnesses 3 Robustness and multiple measures of corroboration 4 Discussion. (shrink)
En el presente trabajo se pone de relieve una tesis del último Kuhn que ha sido, y aún es, desatendida: el carácter no universal del lenguaje. Luego de ubicarla en los textos y contextos teóricos donde aparece, se intenta aclararla a partir de algunos de sus textos posteriores. En este afán, el trabajo presente en primer lugar muestra, cómo, deben ser modificadas algunas de las propuestas filosóficas atribuidas al Kuhn clásico para poder comprender esta tesis y en segundo lugar, intenta (...) dar cuenta muy brevemente de ciertas innovaciones filosóficas del último Kuhn. Además, se comparan algunas de esas nuevas tesis de Kuhn con sus posibles -aunque nunca explicitados- interlocutores, a saber: N. Chomsky y J. Fodor. This paper draws attention to one of the theses of the Later Kuhn, which has been ignored: the non-universal character of language. After locating the thesis in the texts and theoretical contexts in which it appears, it is attempted to be clarified in view of some of his later texts. In regard of this, the paper firstly shows, how some of the philosophical proposals attributed to the Early Kuhn must be modified in order to understand it. Secondly, a very brief account for certain philosophical innovations in the Later Kuhn is attempted to be given. In addition, some of Kuhn's new theses are compared with his most likely, even if never explicit, interlocutors, namely N. Chomsky and J. Fodor. (shrink)
How can we best understand human cognitive architectural variability? We believe that the relationships between theories in neurobiology, cognitive science and evolutionary biology posited by evolutionary psychology’s Integrated Causal Model has unduly supported various essentialist conceptions of the human cognitive architecture, monomorphic minds, that mask HCA variability, and we propose a different set of relationships between theories in the same domains to support a different, non-essentialist, understanding of HCA variability. To set our case against essentialist theories of HCA variability, we (...) detail the general notion of an ICM and the specific ICM at the heart of evolutionary psychology. We briefly illustrate the type of essentialism fostered by evolutionary psychology’s ICM by showing how it grounds essentialist theories of cognitive gender. We shall not criticize these theories here since the literature is replete with compelling objections to them, but shall instead focus on motivating a replacement ICM to destabilize evolutionary psychology’s ICM wholesale. ICMs usually span larger than the models they support, hence larger than arguments against these models, and one reason the essentialist theories addressed here have the kind of staying power they do is that they are partly supported by the ICM in which they are grounded. In short, we offer “A New Hope” against the essentialist empire. True to the Hollywood trope, this new hope rests on an alliance between a young theory, cognitive network neuroscience, and two older, but still quite young, epistemic rebels: enactive cognitive science and developmental systems theory. Accordingly, we detail and discuss the proposed emerging ICM and test-drive it by sketching the multimorphic view of gender it grounds. (shrink)
In their recently published book Nudge (2008) Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (T&S) defend a position labelled as ‘libertarian paternalism’. Their thinking appeals to both the right and the left of the political spectrum, as evidenced by the bedfellows they keep on either side of the Atlantic. In the US, they have advised Barack Obama, while, in the UK, they were welcomed with open arms by the David Cameron's camp (Chakrabortty 2008). I will consider the following questions. What (...) is Nudge? How is it different from social advertisement? Does Nudge induce genuine preference change? Does Nudge build moral character? Is there a moral difference between the use of Nudge as opposed to subliminal images to reach policy objectives? And what are the moral constraints on Nudge? (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy discusses his life's work with Pierre-Philippe Jandin. As Nancy looks back on his philosophical texts, he thinks anew about democracy, community, jouissance, love, Christianity, and the arts.
In this paper, the process for firms to decide whether or not to invest in corporate social responsibility is treated from a real option perspective. We extend the Husted framework with an important extra parameter that allows us to understand the timing of CSR investment and explain why some companies drag their feet over CSR investments. Our model explicitly allows for the impact of the opportunity cost of delaying the CSR investment decision, providing firms with tools to determine the optimal (...) moment of exercising the CSR investment option. We illustrate our timing model through a case study and analyze governmental support strategies for CSR from a real options perspective. (shrink)
Distant Suffering examines the moral and political implications for a spectator of the distant suffering of others as presented through the media. What are the morally acceptable responses to the sight of suffering on television, for example, when the viewer cannot act directly to affect the circumstances in which the suffering takes place? Luc Boltanski argues that spectators can actively involve themselves and others by speaking about what they have seen and how they were affected by it. Developing ideas in (...) Adam Smith's moral theory, he examines three rhetorical 'topics' available for the expression of the spectator's response to suffering: the topics of denunciation and of sentiment and the aesthetic topic. The book concludes with a discussion of a 'crisis of pity' in relation to modern forms of humanitarianism. A possible way out of this crisis is suggested which involves an emphasis and focus on present suffering. (shrink)
Colorado’s Amendment 36 proposed to switch Colorado’s representation in the Electoral College from winner-takes-all to proportionality. We evaluate unilateral and uniform switches to proportionality both from Colorado’s perspective and from an impartial perspective on the basis of a priori and a posteriori voting power measures. The present system is to be preferred to a unilateral switch from any perspective on any measure. A uniform switch is to be preferred to the present system from Colorado’s perspective on an a priori measure, (...) and from an impartial perspective on an a posteriori measure. The present system is to be preferred to a uniform switch from Colorado’s perspective on an a posteriori measure (with some qualifications), and from an impartial perspective on an a priori measure. We conclude with a discussion of the appropriateness of these measures. (shrink)
In this commentary on Yashar Saghai's article "Salvaging the Concept of Nudge" (JME 2013) I discuss his distinction between a 'prod' (which is 'substantially controlling') and a 'nudge' (which is ‘substantially non-controlling’).
Meijs and Douven (2005) present an interesting pair of alleged counterexamples and an algorithm to generate such counter-examples to our criterion for a coherence quasi-ordering over information sets as outlined in our 2003a and 2003b accounts. We agree that our criterion does not always provide an ordering when we would intuitively say that one set is more coherent than the other. Nonetheless, we think that our criterion can be salvaged.
A core issue in the debate over what constitutes a fair response to climate change is the appropriate allocation of emission rights between the developed and the developing world. Various parties have defended equal emission rights per capita on grounds of equity. The atmosphere belongs to us all and everyone should be allocated an equal share. Others have defended higher emission rights per capita for developing countries on grounds of historical accountability. Developed countries are largely responsible for the threat of (...) climate change due to their past emissions and, since they currently continue to enjoy the benefits thereof, they should be willing to accept lower emission targets. However, in reality we see that developed countries currently have much higher emission rates per capita and will continue to have higher rates than developing countries for some time to come. There is talk of “grandfathering” – setting emission targets for developed countries in line with their present or past emission levels. What, if anything, can be said in defense of grandfathering? (shrink)