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Mark Alfano [152]Mark Robert Alfano [1]
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Mark Alfano
Macquarie University
  1. Knowledge From Vice: Deeply Social Epistemology.Neil Levy & Mark Alfano - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):887-915.
    In the past two decades, epistemologists have significantly expanded the focus of their field. To the traditional question that has dominated the debate — under what conditions does belief amount to knowledge? — they have added questions about testimony, epistemic virtues and vices, epistemic trust, and more. This broadening of the range of epistemic concern has coincided with an expansion in conceptions of epistemic agency beyond the individualism characteristic of most earlier epistemology. We believe that these developments have not gone (...)
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  2. Character as Moral Fiction.Mark Alfano - 2013 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies - children become more studious if (...)
  3. Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
    Contemporary virtue epistemology (hereafter ‘VE’) is a diverse collection of approaches to epistemology. At least two central tendencies are discernible among the approaches. First, they view epistemology as a normative discipline. Second, they view intellectual agents and communities as the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, with a focus on the intellectual virtues and vices embodied in and expressed by these agents and communities. -/- This entry introduces many of the most important results of the contemporary VE research program. These include (...)
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  4. Technologically scaffolded atypical cognition: The case of YouTube’s recommender system.Mark Alfano, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, J. Adam Carter, Peter Clutton & Colin Klein - 2020 - Synthese (1-2):1-24.
    YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. This (...)
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  5. Expanding The Situationist Challenge To Responsibilist Virtue Epistemology.Mark Alfano - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):223-249.
    The last few decades have witnessed the birth and growth of both virtue epistemology and the situationist challenge to virtue ethics. It seems only natural that eventually we would see the situationist challenge to virtue epistemology. This article articulates one aspect of that new challenge by spelling out an argument against the responsibilist brand of virtue epistemology. The trouble can be framed as an inconsistent triad: many people know quite a bit; knowledge is true belief acquired and retained through the (...)
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  6. Moral Psychology: An Introduction.Mark Alfano - 2016 - Malden, MA: Polity.
    This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular domain of empirical (...)
  7. Virtues for agents in directed social networks.Mark Alfano - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8423-8442.
    In the age of the Internet, people have increased access to information along multiple dimensions. It might seem that we are on our way to an epistemic utopia in which we spend less time and effort on basic cognitive tasks while devoting more time and effort to complex deliberation. However, though there are many accurate sources on the Internet, they must be sifted from the spammers, concern trolls, practical jokers, conspiracy theorists, counterintelligence sock-puppets, and outright liars who also proliferate online. (...)
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  8. Technological Seduction and Self-Radicalization.Mark Alfano, Joseph Adam Carter & Marc Cheong - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):298-322.
    Many scholars agree that the Internet plays a pivotal role in self-radicalization, which can lead to behaviours ranging from lone-wolf terrorism to participation in white nationalist rallies to mundane bigotry and voting for extremist candidates. However, the mechanisms by which the Internet facilitates self-radicalization are disputed; some fault the individuals who end up self-radicalized, while others lay the blame on the technology itself. In this paper, we explore the role played by technological design decisions in online self-radicalization in its myriad (...)
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  9. Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks.Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann & Mark Alfano - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (5):1-23.
    Social epistemologists should be well-equipped to explain and evaluate the growing vulnerabilities associated with filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization in social media. However, almost all social epistemology has been built for social contexts that involve merely a speaker-hearer dyad. Filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization all presuppose much larger and more complex network structures. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for a properly social epistemology that gives the role and structure of networks their due. In particular, (...)
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  10.  36
    Technologically scaffolded atypical cognition: the case of YouTube’s recommender system.Mark Alfano, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, J. Adam Carter, Peter Clutton & Colin Klein - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1):835-858.
    YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. This (...)
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  11.  24
    Moral Molecules: Morality as a Combinatorial System.Oliver Scott Curry, Mark Alfano, Mark J. Brandt & Christine Pelican - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (4):1039-1058.
    What is morality? How many moral values are there? And what are they? According to the theory of morality-as-cooperation, morality is a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. This theory predicts that there will be as many different types of morality as there are different types of cooperation. Previous research, drawing on evolutionary game theory, has identified at least seven different types of cooperation, and used them to explain seven different (...)
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  12. The Embedded and Extended Character Hypotheses.Mark Alfano & Joshua August Skorburg - 2017 - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 465-478.
    This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...)
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  13. Experimental moral philosophy.Mark Alfano, Don Loeb & Alex Plakias - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-32.
    Experimental moral philosophy emerged as a methodology in the last decade of the twentieth century, as a branch of the larger experimental philosophy (X-Phi) approach. Experimental moral philosophy is the empirical study of moral intuitions, judgments, and behaviors. Like other forms of experimental philosophy, it involves gathering data using experimental methods and using these data to substantiate, undermine, or revise philosophical theories. In this case, the theories in question concern the nature of moral reasoning and judgment; the extent and sources (...)
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  14. The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe-Effect Cases.Mark Alfano, James R. Beebe & Brian Robinson - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):264-289.
    Recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality, knowledge, and other psychological properties to someone who causes a bad side effect than to someone who causes a good one. We argue that all of these asymmetries can be explained in terms of a single underlying asymmetry involving belief attribution because the belief that one’s action would result in a certain side effect is a necessary component of each of the psychological attitudes in question. (...)
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  15. Fake news, conspiracy theorizing, and intellectual vice.Marco Meyer & Mark Alfano - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Colin Klein & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    Across two studies, one of which was pre-registered, we find that a simple questionnaire that measures intellectual virtue and vice predicts how many fake news articles and conspiracy theories participants accept. This effect holds even when controlling for multiple demographic predictors, including age, household income, sex, education, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, and news consumption. These results indicate that self-report is an adequate way to measure intellectual virtue and vice, which suggests that they are not fully immune to introspective awareness or (...)
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  16. The Topology of Communities of Trust.Mark Alfano - 2016 - Russian Sociological Review 15 (4):30-56.
    Hobbes emphasized that the state of nature is a state of war because it is characterized by fundamental and generalized distrust. Exiting the state of nature and the conflicts it inevitably fosters is therefore a matter of establishing trust. Extant discussions of trust in the philosophical literature, however, focus either on isolated dyads of trusting individuals or trust in large, faceless institutions. In this paper, I begin to fill the gap between these extremes by analyzing what I call the topology (...)
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  17. Friendship and the Structure of Trust.Mark Alfano - 2016 - In Alberto Masala & Jonathan Webber (eds.), From Personality to Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-206.
    In this paper, I describe some of what I take to be the more interesting features of friendship, then explore the extent to which other virtues can be reconstructed as sharing those features. I use trustworthiness as my example throughout, but I think that other virtues such as generosity & gratitude, pride & respect, and the producer’s & consumer’s sense of humor can also be analyzed with this model. The aim of the paper is not to demonstrate that all moral (...)
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  18.  69
    Social Virtue Epistemology.Mark Alfano, Jeroen De Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    Explores the place of intellectual virtues and vices in a social world. Chapters are divided into four sections: Foundational Issues; Individual Virtues; Collective Virtues; and Methods and Measurements.
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  19. Extended knowledge, the recognition heuristic, and epistemic injustice.Mark Alfano & Joshua August Skorburg - 2018 - In Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Adam Carter (eds.), Extended Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 239-256.
    We argue that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. First, we explain the recognition heuristic as studied by Gerd Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to, and outside the control of, the cognitive agent. We then connect the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, arguing that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of (...)
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  20. Identifying and Defending the Hard Core of Virtue Ethics.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:233-260.
    Virtue ethics has been challenged on empirical grounds by philosophical interpreters of situationist social psychology. Challenges are necessarily challenges to something or other, so it’s only possible to understand the situationist challenge to virtue ethics if we have an antecedent grasp on virtue ethics itself. To this end, I first identify the non-negotiable “hard core” of virtue ethics with the conjunction of nine claims, arguing that virtue ethics does make substantive empirical assumptions about human conduct. Next, I rearticulate the situationist (...)
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  21.  41
    The Development and Validation of the Epistemic Vice Scale.Marco Meyer, Mark Alfano & Boudewijn de Bruin - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-28.
    This paper presents two studies on the development and validation of a ten-item scale of epistemic vice and the relationship between epistemic vice and misinformation and fake news. Epistemic vices have been defined as character traits that interfere with acquiring, maintaining, and transmitting knowledge. Examples of epistemic vice are gullibility and indifference to knowledge. It has been hypothesized that epistemically vicious people are especially susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy theories. We conducted one exploratory and one confirmatory observational survey study on (...)
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  22. Identifying Virtues and Values Through Obituary Data-Mining.Mark Alfano, Andrew Higgins & Jacob Levernier - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1).
    Because obituaries are succinct and explicitly intended to summarize their subjects’ lives, they may be expected to include only the features that the author finds most salient but also to signal to others in the community the socially-recognized aspects of the deceased’s character. We begin by reviewing studies 1 and 2, in which obituaries were carefully read and labeled. We then report study 3, which further develops these results with a semi-automated, large-scale semantic analysis of several thousand obituaries. Geography, gender, (...)
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  23. Epistemic vice predicts acceptance of Covid-19 misinformation.Marco Meyer, Mark Alfano & Boudewijn De Bruin - manuscript
    Why are mistaken beliefs about Covid-19 so prevalent? Political identity, education and other demographic variables explain only a part of individual differences in the susceptibility to Covid-19 misinformation. This paper focuses on another explanation: epistemic vice. Epistemic vices are character traits that interfere with acquiring, maintaining, and transmitting knowledge. If the basic assumption of vice epistemology is right, then people with epistemic vices such as indifference to the truth or rigidity in their belief structures will tend to be more susceptible (...)
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  24. Extending the situationist challenge to reliabilism about inference.Mark Alfano - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized: Bridges between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Synthese Library. pp. 103-122.
  25. Epistemic Situationism.Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather (eds.) - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Table of Contents -/- Introduction: Epistemic Situationism by Abrol Fairweather -/- 1. Is Every Epistemology A Virtue Epistemology? by Lauren Olin -/- 2. Epistemic Situationism: An extended prolepsis by Mark Alfano -/- 3. Virtue Epistemology in the Zombie Apocalypse: Hungry Judges, Heavy Clipboards and Grou Polarization by Berit Brogaard -/- 4. Situationism and Responsibilist Virtue Epistemology by James Montmarquet -/- 5. Virtue Theory Against Situationism by Ernest Sosa -/- 6. Intellectual Virtue Now and Again by Chris Lepock -/- 7.Responsibilism Out (...)
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  26. Trust in a social and digital world.Mark Alfano & Colin Klein - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 1 (8):1-8.
  27. A plague on both your houses: Virtue theory after situationism and repligate.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Teoria.
    Virtues are dispositions that make their bearers admirable. Dispositions can be studied scientifically by systematically varying whether their alleged bearers are in (or take themselves to be in) the dispositions' eliciting conditions. In recent decades, empirically-minded philosophers looked to social and personality psychology to study the extent to which ordinary humans embody dispositions traditionally considered admirable in the Aristotelian tradition. This led some to conclude that virtues are not attainable ideals, and that we should focus our ethical reflection and efforts (...)
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  28. Twenty-first century perspectivism: The role of emotions in scientific inquiry.Mark Alfano - 2017 - Studi di Estetica 7 (1):65-79.
    How should emotions figure in scientific practice? I begin by distinguishing three broad answers to this question, ranging from pessimistic to optimistic. Confirmation bias and motivated numeracy lead us to cast a jaundiced eye on the role of emotions in scientific inquiry. However, reflection on the essential motivating role of emotions in geniuses makes it less clear that science should be evacuated of emotion. I then draw on Friedrich Nietzsche’s perspectivism to articulate a twenty-first century epistemology of science that recognizes (...)
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  29. Placebo Effects and Informed Consent.Mark Alfano - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (10):3-12.
    The concepts of placebos and placebo effects refer to extremely diverse phenomena. I recommend dissolving the concepts of placebos and placebo effects into loosely related groups of specific mechanisms, including (potentially among others) expectation-fulfillment, classical conditioning, and attentional-somatic feedback loops. If this approach is on the right track, it has three main implications for the ethics of informed consent. First, because of the expectation-fulfillment mechanism, the process of informing cannot be considered independently from the potential effects of treatment. Obtaining informed (...)
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  30. The Most Agreeable of All Vices: Nietzsche as Virtue Epistemologist.Mark Alfano - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):767-790.
    It’s been argued with some justice by commentators from Walter Kaufmann to Thomas Hurka that Nietzsche’s positive ethical position is best understood as a variety of virtue theory – in particular, as a brand of perfectionism. For Nietzsche, value flows from character. Less attention has been paid, however, to the details of the virtues he identifies for himself and his type. This neglect, along with Nietzsche’s frequent irony and non-standard usage, has obscured the fact that almost all the virtues he (...)
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  31. The Affiliative Use of Emoji and Hashtags in the Black Lives Matter Movement in Twitter.Mark Alfano, Ritsaart Reimann, Ignacio Quintana, Marc Cheong & Colin Klein - 2022 - Social Science Computer Review (N/A).
    Protests and counter-protests seek to draw and direct attention and concern with confronting images and slogans. In recent years, as protests and counter-protests have partially migrated to the digital space, such images and slogans have also gone online. Two main ways in which these images and slogans are translated to the online space is through the use of emoji and hashtags. Despite sustained academic interest in online protests, hashtag activism and the use of emoji across social media platforms, little is (...)
     
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  32.  87
    Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano & Don Loeb - 2014 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology inthe last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the largerexperimental philosophy approach. From the beginning,it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Somedoubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it isphilosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best andconfusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance., Before the research program can be evaluated, we should have someconception of (...)
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  33. Gossip as a Burdened Virtue.Mark Alfano & Brian Robinson - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):473-82.
    Gossip is often serious business, not idle chitchat. Gossip allows those oppressed to privately name their oppressors as a warning to others. Of course, gossip can be in error. The speaker may be lying or merely have lacked sufficient evidence. Bias can also make those who hear the gossip more or less likely to believe the gossip. By examining the social functions of gossip and considering the differences in power dynamics in which gossip can occur, we contend that gossip may (...)
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  34. On the Uses and Abuses of Celebrity Epistemic Power.Alfred Archer, Mark Alfano & Matthew Dennis - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    The testimonies of celebrities affect the lives of their many followers who pay attention to what they say. This gives celebrities a high degree of epistemic power, which has come under close scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper investigates the duties that arise from this power. We argue that celebrities have a negative duty of testimonial justice not to undermine trust in authoritative sources by spreading misinformation or directing attention to untrustworthy sources. Moreover, celebrities have a general imperfect duty (...)
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  35. The philosophical basis of algorithmic recourse.Suresh Venkatasubramanian & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency Conference 2020.
    Philosophers have established that certain ethically important val- ues are modally robust in the sense that they systematically deliver correlative benefits across a range of counterfactual scenarios. In this paper, we contend that recourse – the systematic process of reversing unfavorable decisions by algorithms and bureaucracies across a range of counterfactual scenarios – is such a modally ro- bust good. In particular, we argue that two essential components of a good life – temporally extended agency and trust – are under- (...)
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  36. Reversing the side-effect effect: the power of salient norms.Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):177-206.
    In the last decade, experimental philosophers have documented systematic asymmetries in the attributions of mental attitudes to agents who produce different types of side effects. We argue that this effect is driven not simply by the violation of a norm, but by salient-norm violation. As evidence for this hypothesis, we present two new studies in which two conflicting norms are present, and one or both of them is raised to salience. Expanding one’s view to these additional cases presents, we argue, (...)
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  37. Development and validation of a multi-dimensional measure of intellectual humility.Mark Alfano, Kathryn Iurino, Paul Stey, Brian Robinson, Markus Christen, Feng Yu & Daniel Lapsley - 2017 - PLoS ONE 12 (8):e0182950.
    This paper presents five studies on the development and validation of a scale of intellectual humility. This scale captures cognitive, affective, behavioral, and motivational components of the construct that have been identified by various philosophers in their conceptual analyses of intellectual humility. We find that intellectual humility has four core dimensions: Open-mindedness (versus Arrogance), Intellectual Modesty (versus Vanity), Corrigibility (versus Fragility), and Engagement (versus Boredom). These dimensions display adequate self-informant agreement, and adequate convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity. In particular, Open-mindedness (...)
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  38. Investigating gender and racial biases in DALL-E Mini Images.Marc Cheong, Ehsan Abedin, Marinus Ferreira, Ritsaart Willem Reimann, Shalom Chalson, Pamela Robinson, Joanne Byrne, Leah Ruppanner, Mark Alfano & Colin Klein - forthcoming - Acm Journal on Responsible Computing.
    Generative artificial intelligence systems based on transformers, including both text-generators like GPT-4 and image generators like DALL-E 3, have recently entered the popular consciousness. These tools, while impressive, are liable to reproduce, exacerbate, and reinforce extant human social biases, such as gender and racial biases. In this paper, we systematically review the extent to which DALL-E Mini suffers from this problem. In line with the Model Card published alongside DALL-E Mini by its creators, we find that the images it produces (...)
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  39. Epistemic situationism: An Extended Prolepsis.Mark Alfano - 2017 - In Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather (eds.), Epistemic Situationism. Oxford University Press.
    This paper is an extended prolepsis in favor of epistemic situationism, the thesis that epistemic virtues are not sufficiently widely distributed for a virtue-theoretic constraint on knowledge to apply without leading to skepticism. It deals with four objections to epistemic situation: 1) that virtuous dispositions are not required for knowledge, 2) that the Big Five or Big Six personality model proves that intellectual virtues are a reasonable ideal, 3) that the cognitive-affective personality system framework proves that intellectual virtues are a (...)
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  40. Current Controversies in Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano (ed.) - 2015 - Routledge.
    Virtue is among the most venerable concepts in philosophy, and has recently seen a major revival. However, new challenges to conceptions of virtue have also arisen. In _Current Controversies in Virtue Theory_, five pairs of cutting-edge philosophers square off over central topics in virtue theory: the nature of virtue, the connection between virtue and flourishing, the connection between moral and epistemic virtues, the way in which virtues are acquired, and the possibility of attaining virtue. Mark Alfano guides his readers through (...)
  41. Fanaticism in the manosphere.Mark Alfano & Paul-Mikhail Podosky - forthcoming - In Paul Katsafanas (ed.), The History and Philosophy of Fanaticism. Routledge.
    This chapter explores a case study in contemporary fanaticism. We adopt Katsafanas’s conceptualization of fanaticism to make possible an in-depth discussion of and evaluation of a diffuse but important social movement — the anglophone manosphere. According to Katsafanas, fanatics are fruitfully understood as members of a group that adopts sacred values which they hold unconditionally to preserve their own psychic unity, and who feel that those values are threatened by those who do not accept them. The manosphere includes several social (...)
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  42. Ramsifying Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano - 2015 - In Current Controversies in Virtue Theory. Routledge. pp. 123-35.
    In his contribution, Mark Alfano lays out a new (to virtue theory) naturalistic way of determining what the virtues are, what it would take for them to be realized, and what it would take for them to be at least possible. This method is derived in large part from David Lewis’s development of Frank Ramsey’s method of implicit definition. The basic idea is to define a set of terms not individually but in tandem. This is accomplished by assembling all and (...)
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  43. Virtue and Vice Attributions in the Business Context: An Experimental Investigation.Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):649-661.
    Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side- effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present (...)
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  44. Sensitivity Theory and the Individuation of Belief-Formation Methods.Mark Alfano - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (2):271-281.
    In this paper it is argued that sensitivity theory suffers from a fatal defect. Sensitivity theory is often glossed as: (1) S knows that p only if S would not believe that p if p were false. As Nozick showed in his pioneering work on sensitivity theory, this formulation needs to be supplemented by a further counterfactual condition: (2) S knows that p only if S would believe p if p were true. Nozick further showed that the theory needs a (...)
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  45. What are the bearers of virtues?Mark Alfano - 2014 - In Hagop Sarkissian & Jennifer Cole Wright (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. Continuum. pp. 73-90.
    It’s natural to assume that the bearers of virtues are individual agents, which would make virtues monadic dispositional properties. I argue instead that the most attractive theory of virtue treats a virtue as a triadic relation among the agent, the social milieu, and the asocial environment. A given person may or may not be disposed to behave in virtuous ways depending on how her social milieu speaks to and of her, what they expect of her, and how they monitor her. (...)
     
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  46.  25
    Identifying and Defending the Hard Core of Virtue Ethics.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:233-260.
    Virtue ethics has been challenged on empirical grounds by philosophical interpreters of situationist social psychology. Challenges are necessarily challenges to something or other, so it’s only possible to understand the situationist challenge to virtue ethics if we have an antecedent grasp on virtue ethics itself. To this end, I first identify the non-negotiable “hard core” of virtue ethics with the conjunction of nine claims, arguing that virtue ethics does make substantive empirical assumptions about human conduct. Next, I rearticulate the situationist (...)
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  47. Negative Epistemic Exemplars.Mark Alfano & Emily Sullivan - 2019 - In Benjamin R. Sherman & Stacey Goguen (eds.), Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives. Rowman & Littlefield.
    In this chapter, we address the roles that exemplars might play in a comprehensive response to epistemic injustice. Fricker defines epistemic injustices as harms people suffer specifically in their capacity as (potential) knowers. We focus on testimonial epistemic injustice, which occurs when someone’s assertoric speech acts are systematically met with either too little or too much credence by a biased audience. Fricker recommends a virtue­theoretic response: people who do not suffer from biases should try to maintain their disposition towards naive (...)
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  48. More than provocative, less than scientific: A commentary on the editorial decision to publish Cofnas.Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen, Helen De Cruz, Jonathan Kaplan, Agustín Fuentes, Jonathan Marks, Massimo Pigliucci, Mark Alfano, David Livingstone Smith & Lauren Schroeder - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (7):893-898.
    This letter addresses the editorial decision to publish the article, “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (Cofnas, 2020). Our letter points out several critical problems with Cofnas's article, which we believe should have either disqualified the manuscript upon submission or been addressed during the review process and resulted in substantial revisions.
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  49. Becoming less unreasonable: A reply to Sherman.Mark Alfano - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (7):59-62.
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  50. Online trust and distrust.Mark Alfano & Emily Sullivan - 2021 - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. Routledge.
    Trust makes cooperation possible. It enables us to learn from others and at a distance. It makes democratic deliberation possible. But it also makes us vulnerable: when we place our trust in another’s word, we are liable to be deceived—sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. Our evolved mechanisms for deciding whom to trust and whom to distrust mostly rely on face-to-face interactions with people whose reputation we can both access and influence. Online, these mechanisms are largely useless, and the institutions that might (...)
     
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