Should you care less about your distant future? What about events in your life that have already happened? How should the passage of time affect your planning and assessment of your life? Most of us think it is irrational to ignore the future but harmless to dismiss the past. But this book argues that rationality requires temporal neutrality.
Pulling from theories of social exchange, deonance, and fairness heuristics, this study focuses on the relationship between overall justice climate and both the prosocial and deviant behaviors of groups. Specifically, it considers two contextual boundary conditions on this effect—corporate social responsibility and group moral identity. Results from a laboratory experiment are presented, which show a significant effect for overall justice climate and a two-way interaction between overall justice climate and CSR on group-level prosocial and deviant behaviors, and a marginally significant (...) interaction of group moral identity with overall justice climate on group deviance. The implications of contextual influences on workplace ethics and justice are discussed. (shrink)
Various authors have attempted to understand knowledge-wh—or knowledge ascriptions that include an interrogative complement. I present and explain some of the analyses offered so far and argue that each view faces some problems. I then present and explain a newanalysis of knowledge-wh that avoids these problems and that offers several other advantages. Finally I raise some problems for invariantism about knowledge-wh and I argue thatcontextualism about knowledge-wh fits nicely with a very natural understanding of the nature of questions.
Philosophers like to worry about luck. And well they should. Luck poses potential difficulties for knowledge, moral appraisal, and freedom. The primary target of this paper will be the last of these concerns . Recent arguments from luck have been levied against libertarian accounts of free will, including agent-causal ones. One general goal of this paper will be to demonstrate the truth of an often overlooked claim about responsibility-undermining luck. Part of this task will include illustrating what is genuinely worrisome (...) about luck in the context of free will. It will turn out that the problem is not fundamentally a problem of explanation. Another aim will be to argue that the truth of this claim about luck reveals a problem for event-causal libertarianism but has yet to reveal a problem for the agent-causal view. For the purposes of this paper, it will be assumed that luck does indeed undermine free action and moral responsibility. But it will be argued that agent-caused actions have not been shown to be "lucky.". (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue, contra Prinz, that empathy is a crucial component of our moral lives. In particular, I argue that empathy is sometimes epistemologically necessary for identifying the right action; that empathy is sometimes psychologically necessary for motivating the agent to perform the right action; and that empathy is sometimes necessary for the agent to be most morally praiseworthy for an action. I begin by explaining what I take empathy to be. I then discuss some alleged problems (...) for empathy and explain why some argue that empathy is unnecessary and sometimes even problematic in the moral domain. Next, I criticize a prominent alternative to an empathy-based morality. Finally, I argue that that empathy is sometimes epistemologically and psychologically necessary for doing the right thing and is sometimes necessary for moral worth. I conclude with a discussion of the important role of empathy in our everyday lives. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson thinks that every object is a necessary, eternal existent. In defense of his view, Williamson appeals primarily to considerations from modal and tense logic. While I am uncertain about his modal claims, I think there are good metaphysical reasons to believe permanentism: the principle that everything always exists. B-theorists of time and change have long denied that objects change with respect to unqualified existence. But aside from Williamson, nearly all A-theorists defend temporaryism: the principle that there are temporary (...) existents. I think A-theorists are better off without this added commitment, but I will not argue for that in any great detail here. Instead, I will contend that a very tempting A-theoretic argument for temporaryism is unsound. In the first half of the paper, I will develop the Moorean “common sense” argument for temporaryism and dispute its central premise, namely that temporaryism is a valid generalization from highly plausible beliefs about change. I will argue that given the pervasive vagueness in our ordinary beliefs about change and the background commitments of all A-theories, no party can claim to be the common sense view because no party can accommodate most of our common sense beliefs about change in existence. In the second half of the paper, I will propose a permanentist A-theory that explains all change over time as a species of property change. I call it the minimal A-theory, since it dispenses with the change in existence assumption. As we'll see, the permanentist alternative performs well enough in explaining our ordinary beliefs about change, and it has better prospects for answering some objections commonly levied against A-theories. (shrink)
High-profile failures in financial trading have led to interest in how the culture of the industry produces risky and unethical behaviours among traders. Yet, there is no established theoretical framework for studying this: we apply safety culture theory to examine ten recent high-profile trading mishaps investigated by the UK financial regulator. The results show that the dimensions of safety culture used to understand organisational accidents in domains such as aviation also explain failures in Risk Management within financial trading organisations. This (...) counters narratives focusing on traders who are unethical ‘rule breakers’, and emphasises the value of a systemic approach, whereby safety culture theory is used to explain why risky behaviours in financial trading occur. Safety culture therefore provides a conceptual basis for further research on risky and unethical behaviours in financial trading, alongside providing insights for possible intervention. (shrink)
The debate between legal constitutionalists and critics of constitutional rights and judicial review is an old and lively one. While the protection of minorities is a pivotal aspect of this debate, the protection of disenfranchised minorities has received little attention. Policy-focused discussion—of the merits of the Human Rights Act in Britain for example—often cites protection of non-citizen migrants, but the philosophical debate does not. Non-citizen residents or ‘denizens’ therefore provide an interesting test case for the theory of rights as trumps (...) on ordinary representative politics. Are they the ultimate success story of the human rights framework? Or was Michael Walzer correct to describe government of denizens by citizens as a modern form of ‘tyranny’? This paper argues that neither liberal rights theorists nor democratic republicans provide a coherent response to the existence of denizens. Liberal rights theorists overstate the extent to which a politically powerless status can secure individual rights, while democratic republicans idealise the political process and wrongly assume that all those affected by laws are eligible for political participation. The paper outlines an alternative model for assessing the accountability of states to their non-citizen population, informed by the republican ideal of non-domination. It identifies gaps in state accountability to denizens–such as where there is inadequate diplomatic protection—and argues that these gaps are particularly troubling if their exit costs of leaving the state are high. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Peter van Inwagen’s claim (in “Free Will Remains a Mystery”), that agent-causal views of free will could do nothing to solve the problem of free will (specifically, the problem of chanciness). After explaining van Inwagen’s argument, I argue that he does not consider all possible manifestations of the agent-causal position. More importantly, I claim that, in any case, van Inwagen appears to have mischaracterized the problem in some crucial ways. Once we are clear on (...) the true nature of the problem of chanciness, agent-causal views do much to eradicate it. (shrink)
The question of whether humans are free to make their own decisions has long been debated and it continues to be a controversial topic today. In _Free Will: The Basics_ readers are provided with a clear and accessible introduction to this central but challenging philosophical problem. The questions which are discussed include: Does free will exist? Or is it illusory? Can we be free even if everything is determined by a chain of causes? If our actions are not determined, does (...) this mean they are just random or a matter of luck? In order to have the kind of freedom required for moral responsibility, must we have alternatives? What can recent developments in science tell us about the existence of free will? Because these questions are discussed without prejudicing one view over others and all technical terminology is clearly explained, this book is an ideal introduction to free will for the uninitiated._ _. (shrink)
A-theorists think there is a fundamental difference between the present and other times. This concern shows up in what kinds of properties they take to be instantiated, what objects they think exist and how they formalize their views. Nearly every contemporary A-theorist assumes that her metaphysics requires a tense logic – a logic with operators like and. In this paper, I show that there is at least one viable A-theory that does not require a logic with tense operators. And I (...) will argue that three common indispensability arguments for tense operators are unsound. (shrink)
Most of us display a bias toward the near: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our near future and painful experiences to be in our distant future. We also display a bias toward the future: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our future and painful experiences to be in our past. While philosophers have tended to think that near bias is a rational defect, almost no one finds future bias objectionable. In this essay, we argue that this hybrid (...) position is untenable. We conclude that those who reject near bias should instead endorse complete temporal neutrality. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that trying is the locus of freedom and moral responsibility. Thus, any plausible view of free and responsible action must accommodate and account for free tryings. I then consider a version of agent causation whereby the agent directly causes her tryings. On this view, the agent is afforded direct control over her efforts and there is no need to posit—as other agent-causal theorists do—an uncaused event. I discuss the potential advantages of this sort of view, (...) and its challenges. (shrink)
A‐theorists of time postulate a deep distinction between the present, past and future. Settling on an appropriate logic for such a view is no easy matter. This Philosophy Compass article describes one of the most vexing formal problems facing A‐theorists. It is commonly thought that A‐theories can only be formally expressed in a tense logic: a logic with operators like P and F . And it seems natural to think that we live in a world where objects come to exist (...) and cease to exist as time passes. Indeed, this is typically a key component of the most prominent kind of A‐theory, presentism. But the temporary existence assumption cannot be upheld in any tense logic with a standard quantification theory. I will explain the problem and outline the philosophical and logical considerations that generate it. I will then consider two possible solutions to the problem – one that targets our logic of quantification and one that targets our assumptions about change. I survey the costs of each solution. (shrink)
A-theories of time postulate a fundamental distinction between the present and other times. This distinction manifests in what A-theorists take to exist, their accounts of property change, and their views about the appropriate temporal logic. In this dissertation, I argue for a particular formulation of the A-theory that dispenses with change in existence and makes tense operators an optional formal tool for expressing the key theses. I call my view the minimal A-theory. The first chapter introduces the debate. The second (...) chapter offers an extended, logic-based argument against more traditional A-theories. The third and fourth chapters develop my alternative proposal. The final chapter considers a problem for A-theorists who think the contents of our attitudes reflect changes in the world. (shrink)
Use of divine names is strictly regulated in the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Unlike most ordinary names, “God,” “Jesus,” and “Allah,” have a particular moral significance for the faithful. Misuse of the names constitutes a form of blasphemy—a sin. Tomes have been written about the origin of holy names in these traditions and the role that they play in devotional practices. I have no such grand theological ambitions here. Instead, in this short essay I will raise a (...) few more narrow questions about the sin of blasphemy from the standpoint of contemporary philosophy of language. Until we have good reason to think otherwise, we should assume that the best semantic theory for ordinary proper names like “Obama” and “Aristotle” extends to names for God. In particular, I think we have reason to assume some causal theory of reference is true of divine names, since some version of it seems true of most every other name. From this assumption I will argue (i) that there are some puzzles for the sin of blasphemy as it is traditionally conceived, and (ii) that we can make progress toward answering the puzzles by acknowledging that divine names are vulnerable to a special kind of reference drift. (shrink)
Does speaking up ruin one’s life? Organizational and whistleblowing research largely accept that “whistleblower” is a negative label that effects one’s well-being. Whistleblowing research also emphasizes the drawn-out process of speaking up. The result is a narrative of the whistleblower as someone who suffers indefinitely. In this paper, I draw on theories of stigma, labelling, and identity, specifically stigmatized identity, to provide a more nuanced understanding of whistleblower stigma as relational and temporary. I analyse two cases of whistleblowing, one where (...) the label “whistleblower” was accepted, and one where it was eventually rejected. By comparing how the whistleblower responds to stigmatizing and non-stigmatizing others, I explore how whistleblower stigmatization emerges, or does not, in interactions. This paper makes two important contributions. First, I add to the growing research on whistleblower stigmatization a more nuanced and developed framework: one that sees the interaction between whistleblowers and others as relational. Second, I provide an understanding of the identity “whistleblower” as one that can be temporary and revisable. Research has highlighted how whistleblowing is a process, but little attention has been paid to how one “moves on” from being a whistleblower and the potential stigmatization associated with the role. Rather than assuming a whistleblower is stuck with this identity—and the associated stigma—for life, I provide insight on how “whistleblower” can be a positive label that opens one up to support, and even when it is stigmatized, it does not have to be an end state. (shrink)
This article examines the role of historical science in clarifying the causal structure of complex natural processes. I reject the pervasive view that historical science does not uncover natural regularities. To show why, I consider an important methodological distinction in geology between uniformitarianism and actualism; methodological actualism, the preferred method of geologists, often relies on historical reconstructions to test the stability of currently observed processes. I provide several case studies that illustrate this, including one that highlights how historical narratives can (...) improve predictive models. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop a novel version of the so-called Lucretian symmetry argument against the badness of death. Our argument has two features that make it particularly effective. First, it focuses on the preferences of rational agents. We believe the focus on preferences eliminates needless complications and emphasizes the urgency to respond to the argument. Second, our argument utilizes a principle that states that a rational agent's preferences should not vary in arbitrary ways. We argue that this principle underlies (...) our judgments of cognitive biases. We should therefore endorse the principle insofar as we think a cognitively biased agent fails to be rational. In the second half of the paper we survey potential ways to resist the new symmetry argument. We show that they all fail to meet the dialectical burden of our argument or involve highly controversial assumptions about the metaphysics of time or the limits of rational preferences. (shrink)
Jc Beall offers a novel resolution to worries about Christ’s contradictory nature by introducing an account of logical consequence that allows for true contradictions. However, to prevent his view from exploding into heresy, Beall must deny that conditionals detach. But without detachment, the language fails to capture other true entailments which must be included in a complete account of Christ. Beall faces a dilemma, then, between heresy and inadequacy.
Experimental studies of fear conditioning have identified the effectiveness of safety signals in inhibiting fear and maintaining fear-motivated behaviors. In fear conditioning procedures, the presence of safety signals means that the otherwise expected feared outcome will not now occur. Differences in the inhibitory learning processes needed to learn safety are being identified in various psychological and psychiatric conditions. However, despite early theoretical interest, the role of conditioned inhibitors as safety signals in anxiety has been under-investigated to date, in part because (...) of the stringent test procedures required to confirm the demonstration of conditioned inhibition as such. Nonetheless, the theoretical implications of an inhibitory learning perspective continue to influence clinical practice. Moreover, our understanding of safety signals is of additional importance in the context of the increased health anxiety and safety behaviors generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. (shrink)
The work of science is a linguistic act. However, like history and philosophy of science, language has frequently been isolated from science content due to factors such as school departmentalization and narrow definitions of what it means to teach, know, and do science. This conceptual article seeks to recognize and recognize—to understand and yet rethink—science content in light of the vision of science expected by academic standards. Achieving that vision requires new perspectives in science teaching and teacher education that look (...) into the role that science language expectations play in science content. These perspectives reposition attention to language from a hidden, overlooked, or outsourced aspect of science teaching, to one at its core. To help bring teachers and teacher educators into this integrative view of science content, this article offers a mirror, a prism, and a lens as three metaphorical tools to explore the essential roles that language plays for, in, and as science content. The reflection, refraction, and refocusing of science content reveal complex science language expectations that function alongside facts, figures, and formulas of science as gatekeeping mechanisms that, once noticed, cannot be ignored or marginalized in science teaching and science teacher education. (shrink)
Each year individuals are required to execute millions of authorizations for the release of their health records as a condition of employment, applying for various types of insurance, and submitting claims for benefits. Generally, there are no restrictions on the scope of information released pursuant to these compelled authorizations, and the development of a nationwide system of interoperable electronic health records will increase the amount of health information released. After quantifying the extent of these disclosures, this article discusses why it (...) is important to limit disclosures of health information for nonmedical purposes as well as how it may be possible to do so. (shrink)
This book provides a theoretical and practical exploration of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishments, excessive bail, and excessive fines. It explores the history of this prohibition, the current legal doctrine, and future applications of the Eighth Amendment. With contributions from the leading academics and experts on the Eighth Amendment and the wide range of punishments and criminal justice actors it touches, this volume addresses constitutional theory, legal history, federalism, constitutional values, the applicable legal doctrine, punishment theory, prison (...) conditions, bail, fines, the death penalty, juvenile life without parole, execution methods, prosecutorial misconduct, race discrimination, and law & science. (shrink)