John Stuart Mill's crisis of 1826 has received a great deal of attention from scholars. This attention results from reflection on the importance of the crisis to Mill's mature thought. Did the crisis signal rejection or revision of Benthamism? Or did it have little or no effect on Mill's view of his intellectual inheritance? Ultimately, an interpretation of the cause and resolution of the crisis is integral to an understanding of the nature of Mill's moral and social philosophy. Scholars, in (...) their zeal to understand Mill's crisis, have suggested various reasons for both the onset of the crisis and the recovery. Yet Mill's own perception of his crisis has often been overlooked or rejected. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe known works of the medieval astronomer/astrologer Henry Bate include a set of planetary mean motion tables for the meridian of his Flemish hometown Mechelen. These tables survive in three manuscripts representing two significantly different recensions, but have never been examined for their principles of construction or underlying parameters. Such analysis reveals that Bate employed an unusual value for the length of the tropical year, which was probably derived by comparing ancient and contemporary observations of the vernal equinox. (...) In addition, there are clear signs that Bate kept revising his parameters for the mean motions of Venus and the three superior planets, none of which can be traced back to earlier sources. Together with some of Bate’s preserved statements, these findings support the conclusion that the Tabule Machlinenses were unique among the astronomical tables produced in medieval Latin Christendom for using independently derived parameters that were the result of new observations. Bate’s achievement connects him to a wider milieu of astronomers operating in late-thirteenth-century Paris, who put an increased emphasis on observation and the critical examination of received data. (shrink)
The article investigates the significance of the so-called phenomenon of apparent faultless disagreement for debates about the semantics of taste discourse. Two kinds of description of the phenomenon are proposed. The first ensures that faultless disagreement raises a distinctive philosophical challenge; yet, it is argued that Contextualist, Realist and Relativist semantic theories do not account for this description. The second, by contrast, makes the phenomenon irrelevant for the problem of what the right semantics of taste discourse should be. Lastly, the (...) following dilemma is assessed: either faultless disagreement provides strong evidence against semantic theories; or its significance should be considerably downplayed. (shrink)
In the 1970s feminist scholars rediscovered J. S. Mill's writings on sexual equality. The new feminist appraisal confronted traditional Mill scholarship which had tended either to neglect Mill's writings on women or to concentrate on Harriet Taylor's influence on Mill's views on sexual equality. But even the most cursory review of the writings of feminist scholars reveals a lack of consensus.
In this paper I take up the question of the nature of the doxastic attitudes we entertain while inquiring into some matter. Relying on a distinction between two stages of open inquiry, I urge to acknowledge the existence of a distinctive attitude of cognitive inclination towards a proposition qua answer to the question one is inquiring into. I call this attitude “hypothesis”. Hypothesis, I argue, is a sui generis doxastic attitude which differs, both functionally and normatively, from suspended judgement, full (...) belief, credences, and acceptance. In closing, I point to the epistemological significance of hypothesis. More specifically, I contend that holding an attitude of hypothesis enables us to respond rationally to peer disagreement, and I suggest that such an attitude offers a suitable articulation of the view, originally put forward by Philip Kitcher, that cognitive diversity in inquiry has epistemic benefits. (shrink)
Recent epidemiological reports of associations between socioeconomic status and epigenetic markers that predict vulnerability to diseases are bringing to light substantial biological effects of social inequalities. Here, we start the discussion of the moral consequences of these findings. We firstly highlight their explanatory importance in the context of the research program on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and the social determinants of health. In the second section, we review some theories of the moral status of health inequalities. (...) Rather than a complete outline of the debate, we single out those theories that rest on the principle of equality of opportunity and analyze the consequences of DOHaD and epigenetics for these particular conceptions of justice. We argue that DOHaD and epigenetics reshape the conceptual distinction between natural and acquired traits on which these theories rely and might provide important policy tools to tackle unjust distributions of health. (shrink)
In this study, we explore the role of Chief Executive Officers’ incentives, split between monetary and non-monetary, in relation to corporate social responsibility. We base our analysis on a sample of 597 US firms over the period 2005–2009. We find that both monetary and non-monetary incentives have an effect on CSR decisions. Specifically, monetary incentives designed to align the CEO’s and shareholders’ interests have a negative effect on CSR and non-monetary incentives have a positive effect on CSR. The study has (...) important implications for the design of executive remuneration plans, as we show that there are many levers that can affect the CEO’s decisions with regard to CSR. Our evidence also confirms the prominent role of the CEO in relation to CSR decisions, while also recognizing the complexity of factors affecting CSR. Finally, we propose a research design that takes into account endogeneity issues arising when examining compensation variables. (shrink)
The pluralist sheds the more traditional ideas of truth and ontology. This is dangerous, because it threatens instability of the theory. To lend stability to his philosophy, the pluralist trades truth and ontology for rigour and other ‘fixtures’. Fixtures are the steady goal posts. They are the parts of a theory that stay fixed across a pair of theories, and allow us to make translations and comparisons. They can ultimately be moved, but we tend to keep them fixed temporarily. Apart (...) from considering rigour of proof as a fixture, I discuss fixed models, invariant notions and fixed information about objects across theories. There are other fixtures, but it is enough to start with these. (shrink)
The concept of the digital phenotype has been used to refer to digital data prognostic or diagnostic of disease conditions. Medical conditions may be inferred from the time pattern in an insomniac’s tweets, the Facebook posts of a depressed individual, or the web searches of a hypochondriac. This paper conceptualizes digital data as an extended phenotype of humans, that is as digital information produced by humans and affecting human behavior and culture. It argues that there are ethical obligations to persons (...) affected by generalizable knowledge of a digital phenotype, not only those who are personally identifiable or involved in data generation. This claim is illustrated by considering the health-related digital phenotypes of precision medicine and digital epidemiology. (shrink)
__Neurotechnology and Direct Brain Communication__ focuses on recent neuroscientific investigations of infant brains and of patients with disorders of consciousness, both of which are at the forefront of contemporary neuroscience. The prospective use of neurotechnology to access mental states in these subjects, including neuroimaging, brain simulation and brain computer interfaces, offers new opportunities for clinicians and researchers, but has also received specific attention from philosophical, scientific, ethical and legal points of view. This book offers the first systematic assessment of these (...) issues, investigating the tools neurotechnology offers to care for verbally non-communicative subjects and suggesting a multidisciplinary approach to the ethical and legal implications of ordinary and experimental practices. The book is divided into three parts: the first and second focus on the scientific and clinical implications of neurological tools for DOC patient and infant care. With reference to these developments, the third and final part presents the case for re-evaluating classical ethical and legal concepts, such as authority, informed consent and privacy. Neurotechnology and Direct Brain Communication will appeal to researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of cognitive science, medical ethics, medical technology, and the philosophy of the mind. With implications for patient care, it will also be a useful resource for clinicians, medical centres and health practitioners. (shrink)
We argue that in extensive decision problems (extensive games with a single player) with imperfect recall care must be taken in interpreting information sets and strategies. Alternative interpretations allow for different kinds of analysis. We address the following issues: 1. randomization at information sets; 2. consistent beliefs; 3. time consistency of optimal plans; 4. the multiselves approach to decision making. We illustrate our discussion through an example that we call the ‘‘paradox of the absentminded driver.’’ Journal of Economic Literature Classification (...) Numbers: C7, D0. 1997 Academic Press. (shrink)
II. Without mentioning what most of the article is about, Fish plucks out some remarks from a small part of it and condemns me as being antiblack, antifeminist, and so forth. It seems to me that Fish, after removing a few sentences from context , then does three other things: he summarizes or rephrases these remarks in such a way as to turn them into a polemical statement; he makes an inference—all his own; and he then attacks the inference he (...) has made. In his second paragraph, speaking unfavorably of the old-fashioned hope of finding universal values, he states: “It follows, then, … that works which advocate or have their origin in particular attitudes, strategies, sectarian projects, or political programs do not qualify as literature and should not be treated as such by literary scholars” . It by no means ”follows,” except perhaps in Fish’s mind. It follows merely that some of these concerns—if pursued in isolation from other contexts and in a spirit of propaganda—are not, by themselves, an adequate substitute, or replacement, for approaches that may provide a center from which to move to the subjects Fish mentions. I certainly have no wish to exclude these subjects from the curriculum. In fact, I have probably devoted as much of my teaching to some of them, especially political writing, as has Fish. I realize that for Fish himself our reactions in reading are inevitably subjective and that no text can be viewed as a settled thing. But I must plead that the reader, before condemning me because of Fish’s remarks, judge me by what I said rather than by what he inferred or magnified. I said only that, facing a decline in numbers of students, English departments found it more tempting than ever to provide courses on subjects often removed from larger contexts and treated in comparative isolation rather than to require more general study of history, philosophy, sociology, or psychology. I should like to repeat that I was not condemning departments for doing this. I felt it was rather sad that what Fish calls the “market,” and the fondness of so many students now for propagandistic approaches, should force us to jettison much that was more rigorous and demanding therefore less popular. Walter Jackson Bate is the Kingsley Porter University Professor of English at Harvard University. Among his many books are John Keats and Samuel Johnson , both of which were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. (shrink)
In his remarkable study Species Intelligibilis. From Perception to Knowledge, L. Spruit succinctly outlines the main points of Henry Bate’s cognitive psychology. Spruit observes that «though endorsing a Neoplatonic innatism, he does not relinquish Peripatetic views on the impact of sensory representations in the generation of intellectual cognition». Moreover, Spruit rightly notes that Bate considers the species doctrine «a pivotal philosophical issue». However, his brief account of Bate’s theory of the sensible species is far from being accurate. (...) The aim of this paper consists in presenting a more or less exhaustive interpretation of Bate’s doctrine of the sensible species. First, an attempt will be made to situate this doctrine in the context of Bate’s Speculum divinorum. Second, I shall summarize the principal views of the authors which Bate discusses in order to shed light on the doctrinal background of his theory of sensible species. Third, I shall analyze Bate’s concept of the sensible species, focusing on its ontological status and its function. Finally, I shall show that Bate’s exposition on sense-perception is profoundly influenced by Platonic theories of the soul. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the phenomenon of forming one’s judgement about epistemic matters, such as whether one has some reason not to believe false propositions, on the basis of the opinion of somebody one takes to be an expert about them. The paper pursues three aims. First, it argues that some cases of expert deference about epistemic matters are suspicious. Secondly, it provides an explanation of such a suspiciousness. Thirdly, it draws the metaepistemological implications of the proposed explanation.
This paper addresses a largely neglected question in ongoing debates over disagreement: what is the relation, if any, between disagreements involving credences and disagreements involving outright beliefs? The first part of the paper offers some desiderata for an adequate account of credal and full disagreement. The second part of the paper argues that both phenomena can be subsumed under a schematic definition which goes as follows: A and B disagree if and only if the accuracy conditions of A's doxastic attitude (...) are such that, if they were fulfilled, this would ipso facto make B's doxastic attitude inaccurate, or vice-versa. (shrink)
I shall explore in this article the metaphysical possibility of powers’ strongly emerging from relations. After having provided a definition of emergent powers that is also based on the distinction between the possession and the activation of a power, I shall introduce different sorts of Relations that Ground Emergence, both external and internal. Later on, I shall discuss some examples of powers that are grounded on their instantiation. Finally, I shall examine the consequences of accepting such relations within a physicalistic (...) ontology and I shall defend them against two objections based on the notion of bruteness. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a new framework supporting the claim that some elements in science play a constitutive function, with the aim of overcoming some limitations of Friedman's (2001) account. More precisely, I focus on what I consider to be the gradualism implicit in Friedman's interpretation of the constitutive a priori, that is, the fact that it seems to allow for degrees of 'constitutivity'. I tease out such gradualism by showing that the constitutive character Friedman aims to track can (...) be captured by three features - namely, quasi-axiomaticity (QA), generative potential (GP), and empirical shielding (ES) - which are exhibited to a maximal degree by the examples Friedman deploys, particularly in his analysis of Newtonian mechanics. I argue that not all varieties of 'constitutivity' can be captured by the kind of gradualism implicit in Friedman's view, although developing the gradualism itself might provide useful insights. To show this, I analyse the function of the Hardy-Weinberg principle (HWP) in population genetics in terms of its QA, GP, and ES. Whereas the HWP does not count as constitutive in classical philosophical interpretations (Sober 1984), nor does it within Friedman's framework, it does nonetheless perform a minimally constitutive function. By means of historical details and considerations on the prospects of replacing the HWP, I show that the HWP is minimally constitutive by being a counterfactual instantiation of a paradigmatically constitutive stability principle, where the latter might itself be regarded as an enabling condition for a variety of modelling practices across the sciences. (shrink)
Global Health Needs and the Short-Term Medical Volunteer: Ethical Considerations Content Type Journal Article Pages 71-78 DOI 10.1007/s10730-011-9158-5 Authors Michele K. Langowski, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Salus Center, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette, 5th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104-1314, USA Ana S. Iltis, Department of Philosophy and Center for Bioethics, Health and Society, Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7332, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 23 Journal Issue (...) Volume 23, Number 2. (shrink)
I examine and discuss in this paper Orilia’s theory of external, non-symmetrical relations, that is based on ontological roles (O-Roles). I explore several attempts to interpret O-Roles from an ontological viewpoint and I reject them because of two problems concerning the status of asymmetrical relations (to be distinguished from non-symmetrical relations simpliciter) and of exemplification as an external, non-symmetrical relation. Finally, following Heil’s and Lowe’s characterization of modes as particular properties that ontologically depend on their “bearers”, I introduce relational modes (...) in order to define a new solution to the problems of the ontological status of both external, non-symmetrical relations and O-Roles. I also deal with five objections raised by Fraser MacBride against relational modes and O-Roles and I elaborate an analysis of the relations of being to the left of and being to the right of. (shrink)
In the past decade the central principles of western feminist theory have been dramatically challenged. many feminists have endorsed post-structuralism's rejection of essentialist theoretical categories, and have added a powerful gender dimension to contemporary critiques of modernity. Earlier 'women' have been radically undermined, and newer concerns with 'difference', 'identity', and 'power' have emerged. Destabilizing Theory explores these developments in a set of specially commissioned essays by feminist theorists. Does this change amount to a real shift within feminist theory, or will (...) feminism's links with an emancipatory modernism reinstate an older political agenda? Can we transcend the common counterposition of equality and difference, or is feminism condemned to argue within the terms of this binary opposition? (shrink)
Recently, in cognitive science, the enactivist account of cognition has been gaining ground, due in part to studies of movement in conjunction with thought. The idea, as Noë , has put it, that “cognition is not something happening inside us or to us, but it’s something we do, something we achieve,” is increasingly supported by research on joint attention, movement coordination, and gesture. Not surprisingly, therefore, enactivists have also begun to look at “movement specialists”—dancers—for both scientific and phenomenological accounts of (...) thinking with and through movement. In this paper, I argue that a serious exploration of dance and movement does not merely bolster the enactivist view, but rather, it suggests a radical enactivism, as envisaged by, e.g., Hutto . To support this claim, I examine an account of “Thinking in Movement” provided by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone in order to highlight the ways in which intentional agency and meaning-making occur in improvisational dance. These processes, I further argue, closely mirror some of the key components of participatory sense making, as described by De Jaegher and Di Paolo :485–507, 2007). This is beneficial to my case, because it permits a discussion of “thought-full action” that does not depend upon standard cognitivist frameworks for explanation. By carefully focusing on how agency can help to separate mere “thrashing about” from meaningful movement, this paper aim to strengthen the position of radical enactivism from the unique perspective and dance and sense-making. (shrink)
:In this article, we begin by identifying three main neuroethical approaches: neurobioethics, empirical neuroethics, and conceptual neuroethics. Our focus is on conceptual approaches that generally emphasize the need to develop and use a methodological modus operandi for effectively linking scientific and philosophical interpretations. We explain and assess the value of conceptual neuroethics approaches and explain and defend one such approach that we propose as being particularly fruitful for addressing the various issues raised by neuroscience: fundamental neuroethics.
Science and philosophy still lack an overarching theory of consciousness. We suggest that a further step toward it requires going beyond the view of the brain as input-output machine and focusing on its intrinsic activity, which may express itself in two distinct modalities, i.e. aware and unaware. We specifically investigate the predisposition of the brain to evaluate and to model the world. These intrinsic activities of the brain retain a deep relation with consciousness. In fact the ability of the brain (...) to evaluate and model the world can develop in two modalities, implicit or explicit, that correspond to what we usually refer to as the unconscious and consciousness, and both are multilevel configurations of the brain along a continuous and dynamic line. Starting from an empirical understanding of the brain as intrinsically active and plastic, we here distinguish between higher cognitive functions and basic phenomenal consciousness, suggesting that the latter might characterize the brain’s intrinsic activity as such, even if at a very basic level. We proceed to explore possible impacts of the notion of intrinsic cerebral phenomenality on our understanding of consciousness and its disorders, particularly on the diagnosis and management of patients with disorders of consciousness. (shrink)
We report in this paper the result of three experiments on risk, ambiguity and time attitude. The first two differed by the population considered (students vs. general population) while the third one used a different protocol and concerned students and portfolio managers. We find quite a lot of heterogeneity at the individual level. Of principal interest was the elicitation of risk, time and ambiguity attitudes and the relationship among these (model free) measures. We find that on the student population, there (...) is essentially no correlation. A non negligible fraction of the population behaves in an extremely cautious manner in the risk and ambiguity domain. When we drop this population from the sample, the correlation between our measures is also non significant. We also raise three questions linked to measurement of ambiguity attitudes that come out from our data sets. (shrink)
The concept of cultural capital has been increasingly used in American sociology to study the impact of cultural reproduction on social reproduction. However, much confusion surrounds this concept. In this essay, we disentangle Bourdieu and Passeron's original work on cultural capital, specifying the theoretical roles cultural capital plays in their model, and the various types of high status signals they are concerned with. We expand on their work by proposing a new definition of cultural capital which focuses on cultural and (...) social exclusion. We note a number of theoretical ambiguities and gaps in the original model, as well as specific methodological problems. In the second section, we shift our attention to the American literature on cultural capital. We discuss its assumptions and compare it with the original work. We also propose a research agenda which focuses on social and cultural selection and decouples cultural capital from the French context in which it was originally conceived to take into consideration the distinctive features of American culture. This agenda consists in 1) assessing the relevance of the concept of legitimate culture in the U.S.; 2) documenting the distinctive American repertoire of high status cultural signals; and 3) analyzing how cultural capital is turned into profits in America. (shrink)
My essay begins with Michèle Le Doeuff's singular account of the "primal scene" in her own education as a woman, illustrating a universally significant point about the way in which education can differ for men and women: gender difference both shapes and is shaped by the imaginary of a culture as manifest in how texts matter for Le Doeuff. Her primal scene is the first moment she remembers when, while aspiring to think for herself, a prohibition is placed in (...) her reading of literature. Her philosophy teacher - at a boys' school - told the young Michèle that Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ was "too difficult" for her to read. In recalling this scene, the older Michèle - now, a woman philosopher - directs her readers to this text by Kant, in order to demonstrate how knowledge has been constrained by the narrative and imagery in the text of a philosopher; similarly, in the texts of others. She finds the central imagery of Kant's text for setting the limits to human knowledge in his account of "the island of understanding," or "land of truth," surrounded by "a stormy sea" of uncertainty; the latter image also retains a seductive appeal, threatening to destroy the confidence of any knower who ventures out beyond the well-marked out island. Moreover, women have often been associated with the dangers at sea beyond the safety of the island, where falsehood and worse reign. I propose that "text matters" here not only for gender issues, but for the postcolonial theory which Le Doeuff's reading of island imagery enhances in western literature and culture. The suggestion is that women in the history of ideas have been more susceptible than men to prohibitions : women's negative education is against going beyond certain boundaries which have been fixed by a generally colonialist culture on the grounds of gender-hierarchies. I stress the significance of confidence in the production of knowledge. A lack or an inhibition of confidence in one's own ability to think critically risks the damaging exclusions of, for example, colonialism and sexism. My aim is to unearth the political biases evident in textual imagery, while also pointing to new epistemic locations, with island-and-sea imagery that transgresses patriarchal prohibition, liberating subjects for confident reading and writing of texts today. (shrink)
While it seems hard to deny the epistemic significance of a disagreement with our acknowledged epistemic peers, there are certain disagreements, such as philosophical disagreements, which appear to be permissibly sustainable. These two claims, each independently plausible, are jointly puzzling. This paper argues for a solution to this puzzle. The main tenets of the solution are two. First, the peers ought to engage in a deliberative activity of discovering more about their epistemic position vis-à-vis the issue at stake. Secondly, the (...) peers are permitted to do so while entertaining a sui generis doxastic attitude of hypothesis. (shrink)
The paper explores the idea that some singular judgements about the natural numbers are immune to error through misidentification by pursuing a comparison between arithmetic judgements and first-person judgements. By doing so, the first part of the paper offers a conciliatory resolution of the Coliva-Pryor dispute about so-called “de re” and “which-object” misidentification. The second part of the paper draws some lessons about what it takes to explain immunity to error through misidentification. The lessons are: First, the so-called Simple Account (...) of which-object immunity to error through misidentification to the effect that a judgement is immune to this kind of error just in case its grounds do not feature any identification component fails. Secondly, wh-immunity can be explained by a Reference-Fixing Account to the effect that a judgement is immune to this kind of error just in case its grounds are constituted by the facts whereby the reference of the concept of the object which the judgement concerns is fixed. Thirdly, a suitable revision of the Simple Account explains the de re immunity of those arithmetic judgements which are not wh-immune. These three lessons point towards the general conclusion that there is no unifying explanation of de re and wh-immunity. (shrink)
I shall introduce at the beginning of the paper a characterization of strong ontological emergence. According to it, roughly, something strongly emerges from some other thing iff the former depends in some respect on the latter and it some independent of it in some other respect. Afterwards, I shall present my own formulation of strong emergence, which is based on the distinction between the mere possession and the activation of a causal power. Causal powers are the entities to be primarily (...) taken as emergent. Emergent causal powers depend for their possession on their emergence bases, but they are also independent of the latter for their activation. This claim will be defended within some more general assumptions about the metaphysics of powers. Finally, I shall compare the power-based formulation of emergence with other formulations. I shall try to demonstrate that the power-based formulation is metaphysically less controversial than the other formulations. For the power-based formulation does not need to defend the additional thesis that the emergents can depend in some relevant respect on their bases and be independent of the latter in some other relevant respect. Indeed, the distinction between the mere possession and the activation of a power is inscribed in the nature of powers themselves. (shrink)
After three proceedings in which neuroscience was a relevant factor for the final verdict in Italian courts, for the first time a recent case puts in question the legal relevance of neuroscientific evidence. This decision deserves international attention in its underlining that the uncertainty still affecting neuroscientific knowledge can have a significant impact on the law. It urges the consideration of such uncertainty and the development of a shared management of it.
BackgroundEthical analyses of disorders of consciousness traditionally focus on residual awareness. Going one step further, this paper explores the potential ethical relevance of the unawareness retained by patients with disorders of consciousness, focusing specifically on the ethical implications of the description of the unconscious provided by recent scientific research.MethodsA conceptual methodology is used, based on the review and analysis of relevant scientific literature on the unconscious and the logical argumentation in favour of the ethical conclusions.ResultsTwo conditions that are generally considered (...) critical components in the ethical discussion of patients with disorders of consciousness might arguably be both conscious and unconscious.ConclusionsThe unconscious, as well as consciousness, should be taken into account in the ethical discussions of patients with disorders of consciousness. (shrink)
In this paper I shall “draw” a sketch of a version of Meinongian Presentism. After having briefly presented some data that presentists need to explain and three problems that typically affect presentism (the triviality objection, the problem of the reference of true propositions’ constituents that seem to involve merely past and merely future objects, the truthmaking problem), I shall clarify the bases of my theory. First, I shall reject the actualist presentist assumption, according to which there are no things that (...) do not exist now. Secondly, I shall introduce some notions (e.g., the ones of tensed properties and of temporal existence) that will be useful in order to clarify the contrast between eternalist and non-eternalist metaphysical theories of time. Thirdly, I shall define Meinongian Presentism. Finally, I shall try to demonstrate that this version can deal with the aforementioned problems and with the presentist data in a serious and perspicuous way. (shrink)