Biographical sketch -- Philosophical context -- Observation -- Logic of discovery -- Philosophy and history of science -- Quantum theory -- Conceptual structure, analogy, and the logic of discovery revisited.
The flying professor: discovering Hanson Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9636-z Authors George Gale, Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
: Philosophers in the Indian and Western traditions have developed and defended a range of sophisticated accounts of self-awareness. Here, four of these accounts are examined, and the arguments for them are assessed. Theories of self-awareness developed in the two traditions under consideration fall into two broad categories: reflectionist or other-illumination theories and reflexivist or self-illumination theories. Having assessed the main arguments for these theories, it is argued here that while neither reflectionist nor reflexivist theories are adequate as traditionally formulated (...) and defended, the approaches examined here give important insights for the development of amore adequate contemporary account of self-awareness. (shrink)
Traditionally, Aristotle is held to believe that philosophical contemplation is valuable for its own sake, but ultimately useless. In this volume, Matthew D. Walker offers a fresh, systematic account of Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good. The book situates Aristotle's views against the background of his wider philosophy, and examines the complete range of available textual evidence. On this basis, Walker argues that contemplation also benefits humans as perishable living organisms by actively guiding human life activity, (...) including human self-maintenance. Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good thus cohere with his broader thinking about how living organisms live well. A novel exploration of Aristotle's views on theory and practice, this volume will interest scholars and students of both ancient Greek ethics and natural philosophy. It will also appeal to those working in other disciplines including classics, ethics, and political theory. (shrink)
This Article provides a comprehensive, critical overview of proposals to use happiness surveys for steering public policy. Happiness or “subjective well-being” surveys ask individuals to rate their present happiness, life-satisfaction, affective state, etc. A massive literature now engages in such surveys or correlates survey responses with individual attributes. And, increasingly, scholars argue for the policy relevance of happiness data: in particular, as a basis for calculating aggregates such as “gross national happiness,” or for calculating monetary equivalents for non-market goods based (...) on coefficients in a happiness equation. But is individual well-being equivalent to happiness? The happiness literature tends to blur or conflate important concepts: well-being, subjective well-being, happiness, utility, satisfaction. A preference-realization account of well-being denies the equivalence of happiness and welfare, since someone can have preferences for non-mental attributes, such as health, autonomy, goal-fulfillment, knowledge or the quality of her relationships. It is critical, therefore, to differentiate two potential policy roles for happiness surveys. First, the survey response may provide prima facie evidence of the respondent’s preference-utility: the extent to which her preferences are realized. Second, it may indicate her experience-utility: the quality of her mental states. The Article clarifies these two, very different, ideas. It then criticizes, in turn, the preference-utility and the experience-utility defenses of the policy relevance of happiness surveys. Enthusiasm about happiness is premature. (shrink)
:Preference-aggregation problems arise in various contexts. One such context, little explored by social choice theorists, is metaethical. ‘Ideal-advisor’ accounts, which have played a major role in metaethics, propose that moral facts are constituted by the idealized preferences of a community of advisors. Such accounts give rise to a preference-aggregation problem: namely, aggregating the advisors’ moral preferences. Do we have reason to believe that the advisors, albeit idealized, can still diverge in their rankings of a given set of alternatives? If so, (...) what are the moral facts when the advisors do diverge? These questions are investigated here using the tools of Arrovian social choice theory. (shrink)
Cost-benefit analysis is a widely used governmental evaluation tool, though academics remain skeptical. This volume gathers prominent contributors from law, economics, and philosophy for discussion of cost-benefit analysis, specifically its moral foundations, applications and limitations. This new scholarly debate includes not only economists, but also contributors from philosophy, cognitive psychology, legal studies, and public policy who can further illuminate the justification and moral implications of this method and specify alternative measures. These articles originally appeared in the Journal of Legal Studies. (...) Contributors: - Matthew D. Adler - Gary S. Becker - John Broome - Robert H. Frank - Robert W. Hahn - Lewis A. Kornhauser - Martha C. Nussbaum - Eric A. Posner - Richard A. Posner - Henry S. Richardson - Amartya Sen - Cass R. Sunstein - W. Kip Viscusi. (shrink)
Aristotle’s views on the choiceworthiness of friends might seem both internally inconsistent and objectionably instrumentalizing. On the one hand, Aristotle maintains that perfect friends or virtue friends are choiceworthy and lovable for their own sake, and not merely for the sake of further ends. On the other hand, in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9, Aristotle appears somehow to account for the choiceworthiness of such friends by reference to their utility as sources of a virtuous agent’s robust self-awareness. I examine Aristotle’s views on (...) the utility and choiceworthiness of friends, and offer a novel reading of Nicomachean Ethics IX.9. On this reading, Aristotle accepts a version of instrumental conditionalism about final value, that is, the thesis that goods (including friends) can be choiceworthy for their own sake (i.e., possess final or end value) at least partly on account of their instrumental properties. In articulating what sort of instrumental conditionalism it is reasonable to attribute to Aristotle, I argue that Aristotle appeals to the utility of perfect friends as part of a broadly material causal account of why such friends are choiceworthy for their own sake. On this reading, perfect friends are not choiceworthy for the sake of their utility in eliciting self-awareness; rather, their choiceworthiness for their own sake is (at least partly) realized in, or constituted by, their conduciveness to the virtuous agent’s self-awareness. This reading, I argue, frees Aristotle from the charge of inconsistency: Aristotle can appeal to the conduciveness of perfect friends to the virtuous agent’s self-awareness as a way of explaining why such friends are choiceworthy for their own sake. (shrink)
The meanings of donkey sentences cannot be captured using a procedure which, like Montague’s, uses the existential quantiﬁers of classical logic to translate indeﬁnites and the variables to translate pronouns. The treatment of these examples requires meanings which depend on the context in which sentences appear, and thus necessitates a logic which models this context to some extent. If context is represented as the information conveyed in discourse, and the meanings of pronouns are enriched to depend on this information, the (...) result is the E-Type approach (ETA) adapted by Heim (1990) from proposals in Evans (1980) and Cooper (1979). If the context is represented as a list of potential referents, and the meanings of indeﬁnites are enriched to introduce new referents into this list, the result is a compositional formulation like Groenendijk and Stokhof’s (1990) of the discourse representation theory (DRT) of Kamp (1981) and Heim (1982). Either tack sufﬁces to capture the way in which the referents of he and it systematically correspond to the alternative possibilities described by the antecedent. Disjunction offers a parallel way of introducing alternatives in the antecedent of a conditional, as shown in (2). (shrink)
A large literature documents the correlates and causes of subjective well-being, or happiness. But few studies have investigated whether people choose happiness. Is happiness all that people want from life, or are they willing to sacrifice it for other attributes, such as income and health? Tackling this question has largely been the preserve of philosophers. In this article, we find out just how much happiness matters to ordinary citizens. Our sample consists of nearly 13,000 members of the UK and US (...) general populations. We ask them to choose between, and make judgments over, lives that are high in different types of happiness and low in income, physical health, family, career success, or education. We find that people by and large choose the life that is highest in happiness but health is by far the most important other concern, with considerable numbers of people choosing to be healthy rather than happy. We discuss some possible reasons for this preference. (shrink)
Putting feelings into words, or “affect labeling,” can attenuate our emotional experiences. However, unlike explicit emotion regulation techniques, affect labeling may not even feel like a regulatory process as it occurs. Nevertheless, research investigating affect labeling has found it produces a pattern of effects like those seen during explicit emotion regulation, suggesting affect labeling is a form of implicit emotion regulation. In this review, we will outline research on affect labeling, comparing it to reappraisal, a form of explicit emotion regulation, (...) along four major domains of effects—experiential, autonomic, neural, and behavioral—that establish it as a form of implicit emotion regulation. This review will then speculate on possible mechanisms driving affect labeling effects and other remaining unanswered questions. (shrink)
This chapter examines key Confucian worries about the Aristotelian sophos as a model of human flourishing. How strong are these worries? Do Aristotelians have good replies to them? Could the Aristotelian sophos, and this figure's distinguishing feature, sophia, be more appealing to the Confucian than they initially appear?
This article discusses the adequacy of Rawls’ theory of justice as a tool for racial justice. It is argued that critics like Charles W Mills fail to appreciate both the insights and limits of the Rawlsian framework. The article has two main parts spread out over several different sections. The first is concerned with whether the Rawlsian framework suffices to prevent racial injustice. It is argued that there are reasons to doubt whether it does. The second part is concerned with (...) whether a Rawlsian framework has the resources to rectify past racial injustice. It is argued that it has more resources to do this than Mills allows. This second part of the article centers on two Rawlsian ideas: ideal theory and the fair equality of opportunity principle. It is argued that ideal theory is essential for the kind of rectificatory work that Mills wants nonideal theory to do, and that where there is a socioeconomic legacy of past injustice, it is hard to see how FEO could be implemented if it did no rectificatory work, a result which means that there is less need to turn to nonideal theory at all. (shrink)
Given the importance of theoretical wisdom in Aristotle’s account of the human good, it is striking that contemporary virtue ethicists have been virtually silent about this intellectual virtue and what contribution it makes – or could make – toward human flourishing. In this paper, I examine, and respond to, two main worries that account for theoretical wisdom’s current marginality. Along the way, I sketch a neo-Aristotelian conception of theoretical wisdom, and argue that this intellectual virtue is more central to the (...) concerns of contemporary virtue ethicists than it has perhaps so far seemed. (shrink)
If there is a “basic structure objection” to G.A. Cohen’s incentive critique of Rawls, then there is also a BSO to claims that private racial discrimination thwarts social justice by reducing the opportunity of its targets. In this paper, I take up the debate about the site or purview of justice and discuss it with reference to the case of race. I argue that the dispute about the site of justice has been wrongly understood as a dispute about the substantive (...) requirements of justice instead of as a dispute about where it is appropriate to apply considerations of justice. (shrink)
: This paper presents a method of moral problem solving in clinical practice that is inspired by the philosophy of John Dewey. This method, called "clinical pragmatism," integrates clinical and ethical decision making. Clinical pragmatism focuses on the interpersonal processes of assessment and consensus formation as well as the ethical analysis of relevant moral considerations. The steps in this method are delineated and then illustrated through a detailed case study. The implications of clinical pragmatism for the use of principles in (...) moral problem solving are discussed. (shrink)
The social and ecological crises of the twenty-first century represent a failure of the techno-industrial way of living and knowing. It has become apparent that we need both a new mythos and a new science. In this essay, I draw attention to the important epistemological and cosmological implications of enactivism, a still emerging paradigm within the life sciences. Guided by the insights of the enactive paradigm, I offer a new story of human origins and destiny in an attempt to contribute (...) to a more livable future for our species and the rest of the community of life on Earth. (shrink)
Complex life cycles are common in the eukaryotic world, and they complicate the question of how to define individuality. Using a bottom-up, gene-centric approach, I consider the concept of fitness in the context of complex life cycles. I analyze the fitness effects of an allele on different biological units within a complex life history and how these effects drive evolutionary change within populations. Based on these effects, I attempt to construct a concept of fitness that accurately predicts evolutionary change in (...) the context of complex life cycles. (shrink)
Sunstein aims to provide a nonsectarian account of moral heuristics, yet the account rests on a controversial meta-ethical view. Further, moral theorists who reject act consequentialism may deny that Sunstein's examples involve moral mistakes. But so what? Within a theory that counts consequences as a morally weighty feature of actions, the moral judgments that Sunstein points to are indeed mistaken, and the fact that governmental action at odds with these judgments will be controversial doesn't bar such action.
This essay explores connections and divergences between Alasdair MacIntyre's eudaimonistic ethic and Søren Kierkegaard's agapeistic ethic--perhaps the greatest proponents of these ethical paradigms from the past two centuries. The purpose of the work is threefold. First, to demonstrate an impressive amount of convergence and complementarity in their approaches to the transcendent grounds of an ethic of flourishing, the rigors necessary for a proper self-love, and the other-directed nature of proper social relations. Second, given the inapplicability of common dichotomies, to pinpoint (...) more precisely where Kierkegaard departs from eudaimonism, and where MacIntyre departs from agapeism. Finally, to show that both Kierkegaard's and MacIntyre's grounds for departure are inadequate, and thus that the most central insights of eudaimonist and agapeist ethics can be harmonized to a greater extent than either Kierkegaard's or MacIntyre's framework can allow. (shrink)
The law within each legal system is a function of the practices of some social group. In short, law is a kind of socially grounded norm. H.L.A Hart famously developed this view in his book, The Concept of Law, by arguing that law derives from a social rule, the so-called “rule of recognition.” But the proposition that social facts play a foundational role in producing law is a point of consensus for all modern jurisprudents in the Anglo-American tradition: not just (...) Hart and his followers in the positivist school, most prominently Joseph Raz and Jules Coleman, but also the anti-positivist Ronald Dworkin, who argues that law necessarily synthesizes moral considerations with social facts. But which group’s practices ground each legal system? In particular, which group’s practices undergird U.S. law? Positivists since Hart have universally pointed to either officials or judges as the “recognitional community” (my term): the group such that its rules, conventions, cooperative activities, or practices in some other sense are the social facts from which the law of a given legal system derives. So Hart and all other positivists would identify either U.S. officials or U.S. judges as the recognitional community for U.S. law. This Article grapples with the tension between the positivist’s official- or judge-centered account of the recognitional community and the “popular constitutionalism” now so widely defended by constitutional scholars such as Larry Kramer, Robert Post, Reva Siegel, Mark Tushnet, Jeremy Waldron, and many others. Surely the popular constitutionalist would want to claim that U.S. citizens, not judges or officials, are the recognitional community for U.S. law. I term this position “deep popular constitutionalism.” Indeed, it turns out that Dworkin’s account of law, in its ambition to generate associative moral obligations for the citizenry as a whole, implies deep popular constitutionalism. Here there is a disagreement, hitherto unnoticed, between Dworkin and the positivists. My solution to this disagreement – to the debate between deep popular constitutionalists and deep official or judicial supremacists -- is to dissolve it by providing a group-relative account of law. Social norms, such as norms of dress or eating, are clearly group-relative. A particular dressing or eating behavior may be socially appropriate relative to one group’s norms, yet socially inappropriate relative to another’s. This Article extends the group-relative view from social norms to law itself, with a particular focus on U.S. law and constitutionalism. Part I surveys the jurisprudential literature. It shows how Hart and successor positivists identify the rule of recognition as a social practice engaged in by officials or some subset of officials (judges), rather than citizens generally, and argues that Dworkin by contrast sees the citizenry as a whole as his recognitional community. Parts II and III defend a group-relative account of law. Part II argues, with reference to the U.S. experience, that multiple groups can simultaneously instantiate the kind of social fact that undergirds law, be it a convention, a social norm, a “shared cooperative activity” (SCA), or something else. At many points in U.S. constitutional history, multiple official or citizen groups, defined along departmental, partisan, regional, state-federal, religious, or other lines, have accepted competing rules of recognition for U.S. law. Part III argues that “law” functions, primarily, as either an explanatory or a normative construct, and that insisting on a single recognitional community for each legal system would be arbitrary, both for explanatory purposes and for normative purposes. Part IV considers the many implications of the group-relative account for U.S. constitutional theory – in particular, for popular constitutionalism. (shrink)
The evolution of sex in eukaryotes represents a paradox, given the “twofold” fitness cost it incurs. We hypothesize that the mutational dynamics of the mitochondrial genome would have favored the evolution of sexual reproduction. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) exhibits a high‐mutation rate across most eukaryote taxa, and several lines of evidence suggest that this high rate is an ancestral character. This seems inexplicable given that mtDNA‐encoded genes underlie the expression of life's most salient functions, including energy conversion. We propose that negative (...) metabolic effects linked to mitochondrial mutation accumulation would have invoked selection for sexual recombination between divergent host nuclear genomes in early eukaryote lineages. This would provide a mechanism by which recombinant host genotypes could be rapidly shuffled and screened for the presence of compensatory modifiers that offset mtDNA‐induced harm. Under this hypothesis, recombination provides the genetic variation necessary for compensatory nuclear coadaptation to keep pace with mitochondrial mutation accumulation. (shrink)
The restructuring of the healthcare marketplace has exerted pressure directly and indirectly on clinical ethics programs. The fiscal orientation and emphasis on efficiency, outcome measures, and cost control have made it increasingly difficult to communicate arguments in support of the existence or growth of ethics programs. In the current marketplace, arguments that rely on the claim that ethics programs protect patient rights or assist in the professional formation of practitioners often result in minimal levels of funding and preclude program growth. (...) Where ethics programs could once sustain themselves on goodwill alone and values arguments in an expanding healthcare market they are now encountering—at least by anecdotal reports—cutbacks and even elimination. To respond to these challenges, we offer an economic model that can be used to demonstrate the “value” of an institutionally based ethics program. (shrink)
I will here analyse the five factors of action given in the Bhagavad Gtā, paying specific attention to the implications of this account for the Gtā's moral and soteriological psychologies. I argue that the Gtā's account of action constitutes a decentring of agency which paves the way for liberation. Further, while the ethics and moral psychology of the Gtā are often seen as similar to Kant's, I will argue that the decentring of agency in the Gtā places the liberated person (...) beyond autonomy, and so also beyond virtue in Kant's sense. (shrink)
Support vector machines are being used increasingly in affective science as a data-driven classification method and feature reduction technique. Whereas traditional statistical methods typically compare group averages on selected variables, SVMs use a predictive algorithm to learn multivariate patterns that optimally discriminate between groups. In this review, we provide a framework for understanding the methods of SVM-based analyses and summarize the findings of seminal studies that use SVMs for classification or data reduction in the behavioral and neural study of emotion (...) and affective disorders. We conclude by discussing promising directions and potential applications of SVMs in future research in affective science. (shrink)
In fragments of the lost Protrepticus, preserved in Iamblichus, Aristotle responds to Isocrates’ worries about the excessive demandingness of theoretical philosophy. Contrary to Isocrates, Aristotle holds that such philosophy is generally feasible for human beings. In defense of this claim, Aristotle offers the progress argument, which appeals to early Greek philosophers’ rapid success in attaining exact understanding. In this paper, I explore and evaluate this argument. After making clarificatory exegetical points, I examine the argument’s premises in light of pressing worries (...) that the argument reasonably faces in its immediate intellectual context, the dispute between Isocrates and Aristotle. I also relate the argument to modern concerns about philosophical progress. I contend that the argument withstands these worries, and thereby constitutes a reasonable Aristotelian response to the Isocratean challenge. (shrink)
I explore Aristotle’s account in the Nicomachean Ethics of how agents attain self-awareness through contemplation. I argue that Aristotle sets up an account of self-awareness through contemplating friends in Books VIII-IX that completes itself in Book X’s remarks on theoretical contemplation. I go on to provide an account of how contemplating the divine, on Aristotle’s view, elicits self-awareness.
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