Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...) small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of economic and cultural conditions. We found, first, that the canonical model – based on self-interest – fails in all of the societies studied. Second, our data reveal substantially more behavioral variability across social groups than has been found in previous research. Third, group-level differences in economic organization and the structure of social interactions explain a substantial portion of the behavioral variation across societies: the higher the degree of market integration and the higher the payoffs to cooperation in everyday life, the greater the level of prosociality expressed in experimental games. Fourth, the available individual-level economic and demographic variables do not consistently explain game behavior, either within or across groups. Fifth, in many cases experimental play appears to reflect the common interactional patterns of everyday life. Key Words: altruism; cooperation; cross-cultural research; experimental economics; game theory; ultimatum game; public goods game; self-interest. (shrink)
We would like to thank the commentators for their generous comments, valuable insights and helpful suggestions. We begin this response by discussing the selfishness axiom and the importance of the preferences, beliefs, and constraints framework as a way of modeling some of the proximate influences on human behavior. Next, we broaden the discussion to ultimate-level (that is evolutionary) explanations, where we review and clarify gene-culture coevolutionary theory, and then tackle the possibility that evolutionary approaches that exclude culture might be sufficient (...) to explain the data. Finally, we consider various methodological and epistemological concerns expressed by our commentators. (shrink)
We explore the nature of forgetting in a corpus of 125,000 students learning Spanish using the Rosetta Stone® foreign-language instruction software across 48 lessons. Students are tested on a lesson after its initial study and are then retested after a variable time lag. We observe forgetting consistent with power function decay at a rate that varies across lessons but not across students. We find that lessons which are better learned initially are forgotten more slowly, a correlation which likely reflects a (...) latent cause such as the quality or difficulty of the lesson. We obtain improved predictive accuracy of the forgetting model by augmenting it with features that encode characteristics of a student's initial study of the lesson and the activities the student engaged in between the initial and delayed tests. The augmented model can predict 23.9% of the variance in an individual's score on the delayed test. We analyze which features best explain individual performance. (shrink)
Mirror-touch synaesthesia is a condition where observing touch to another’s body induces a subjective tactile sensation on the synaesthetes body. The present study explores which characteristics of the inducing stimulus modulate the synaesthetic touch experience. Fourteen mirror-touch synaesthetes watched videos depicting a touch event while indicating whether the video induced a tactile sensation, on which side of their body they felt this sensation and the intensity of the experienced sensation. Results indicate that the synaesthetes experience stronger tactile sensations when observing (...) touch to real bodies, whereas observing touch to dummy bodies, pictures of bodies and disconnected dummy body parts elicited weaker sensations. These results suggest that mirror-touch synaesthesia is not entirely bottom-up driven, but top-down information, such as knowledge about real and dummy body parts, also modulate the intensity of the experience. (shrink)
How should we think about the many ethical dilemmas that face us today? How should research in current ethical dilemmas be conducted to move beyond impasses in judgment towards developing a consensus for action? According to Anthony Weston, “we need a more expansive view of ethics,” one that incorporates creativity. Following Weston’s lead, I shall discuss our new Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar on Case Studies in Ethics. This course is designed to prepare our students to participate in the Ethics Bowl, which (...) is already a creative act of engagement, but more importantly, we hope to open new possibilities in the study of ethical dilemmas that would allow for creative problem-solving in ethics. In this paper I explain background reasons for the course, the methodsfor preparing students for creative research in ethics, as well as potential problems to be avoided in the process. (shrink)
The most popular sport in the United States, football is an American institution. It dominates television ratings, it is a major source of revenue on college campuses, and its crowning event, the Super Bowl, now is celebrated as a veritable national holiday. Football and Philosophy: Going Deep investigates many of the issues surrounding the nation's biggest sport. From a review of the flaws of the Bowl Championship Series, to a study of the violence inherent in the game, to an examination (...) of Vince Lombardi's views on winning, the essays in this collection tackle the moral and philosophical principles behind gridiron competition. The result is an insightful, humorous, and entirely original book that will engage all fans of the game. (shrink)
There are good reasons to celebrate the Super Bowl. It provides a de facto national holiday that crosses religious, racial, class, and, increasingly, gender lines, and its exhibition of human athletic prowess and perseverance can be, I believe, ennobling to the viewer. Perhaps most importantly, it epitomizes the place of the NFL in our culture and can thus illuminate why certain incidents involving professional football players have incited widespread discussion of contemporary social ills. Can anyone doubt the impact of Richard (...) Sherman’s response to being called a “thug,” Michael Sam’s kiss, Jonathan Martin’s withdrawal from the Miami Dolphins, and Ray Rice’s expulsion from the league on the national conversation.. (shrink)
Michael Ruse, Science and spirituality: making room for faith in the age of science Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11153-010-9242-9 Authors Edward L. Schoen, Western Kentucky University Department of Philosophy and Religion Bowling Green KY USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047.
Norvin Richards, The Ethics of Parenthood Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9298-3 Authors Michael McFall, Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
Part I: History, Law, Language and Literature1.: Patrick P. O'Neill: The Irish role in the origins of the Old English alphabet: a re-assessment2.: Roy Flechner: An Insular tradition of ecclesiastical law: fifth to eighth century3.: Diarmuid Scully: Bede's Chronica Maiora: early Insular history in a universal context4.: Damian Bracken: Rome and the Isles: Ireland, England and the Rhetoric of Orthodoxy5.: Paul Russell: 'Ye shall know them by their names': names and identity among the Irish and the English6.: Juliet Mullins: Trouble (...) at the White House: Anglo-Irish relations and the cult of St Martin7.: Fiona Edmonds: The practicalities of communication between Northumbrian and Irish churches c.635-735Part II: Art History and Material Culture8.: Egon Wamers: Behind animals, plants and interlace: Salin's Style II on Christian objects9.: Susan Youngs: Anglo-Saxon, Irish and British relations: hanging-bowls reconsidered10.: Raghnall Ó Floinn: The Anglo-Saxon connection: Irish metalwork AD400-80011.: Ewan Campbell: Anglo-Saxon/Gaelic interaction in Scotland12.: David Griffiths: Sand-dunes and stray finds: evidence for pre-Viking trade?13.: Mark Redknap: Glitter in the dragon's lair: Irish and Anglo-Saxon metalwork from pre-Viking Wales 14.: David M. Wilson: Stylistic influences in early Manx sculpture15.: Tomás Ó Carragáin: Cemetery settlements and local churches in pre-Viking Ireland in light of comparisons with England and Wales16.: Jennifer O'Reilly: 'All that Peter stands for': the romanitas of the Codex Amiatinus reconsidered17.: Jane Hawkes: Studying early Christian sculpture in England and Ireland: the object of art history or archaeology?Part III: Addendum18.: Máire Ní Mhaonaigh: Of Saxons, a Viking and Normans: Colmán, Gerald and the monastery of Mayo. (shrink)
In this essay, I propose a standard of practical rationality and a grounding for the standard that rests on the idea of autonomous agency. This grounding is intended to explain the “normativity” of the standard. The basic idea is this: To be autonomous is to be self-governing. To be rational is at least in part to be self-governing; it is to do well in governing oneself. I argue that a person's values are aspects of her identity—of her “self-esteem identity”—in a (...) way that most of her ends are not, and that it therefore is plausible to view action governed by one's values as self-governed. This is also plausible on independent grounds. Given this, I say, rational agents comply with a standard—the “values standard”—that requires them to serve their values, and to seek what they need in order to continue to be able to serve their values. Footnotesa I am grateful to many people for helpful comments and discussion over the many years in which I have been developing the ideas in this essay. With apologies to those whose help escapes my memory, I would like to thank Nomy Arpaly, Sam Black, Michael Bratman, Justin D'Arms, Dan Farrell, Pat Greenspan, Don Hubin, Dan Jacobson, Marina Oshana, Michael Ridge, Michael Robins, David Sobel, Pekka Väyrynen, and David Velleman. I presented early versions of some of the ideas in this essay to audiences in the departments of philosophy at the University of Alberta, the University of Maryland at College Park, l'Université de Montréal, the University of Southern California, and the University of Florida, to the 1999 Conference on Moral Theory and Its Applications, Le Lavandou, France, and to the 2001 Conference on Reason and Deliberation, Bowling Green State University. I am grateful for the helpful comments of those who participated in the discussions on all of these occasions and especially to the other contributors to this volume, and its editors. I owe special thanks to Ellen Paul for encouraging me to integrate my thinking on identity with my thinking on rationality and for her useful comments. (shrink)
"Advocates of the evolutionary analogy claim that mechanisms governing scientific change are analogous to those at work in organic evolution - above all, natural selection. By referring to the works of the most influential proponents of evolutionary analogies (Toulmin, Campbell, Hull and, most notably, Kuhn) the authors discuss whether and to what extent their use of the analogy is appropriate. A careful and often illuminating perusal of the theoretical scope of the terms employed, as well as of the varying contexts (...) within which the analogy is appealed to in contemporary debates, leads to the conclusion that such general theories of selective processes are either too sketchy or eventually not persuasive, if not altogether based on flawed views of evolutionary biology. By clarifying what is at stake, the analysis carried out in the book sheds new light on one of the dominant theories of scientific progress. It also invites criticism, of course - but that is the very fuel of philosophical confrontation." - Stefano Gattei, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca "This book presents a serious challenge to those, like David Hull, who seek to model scientific change as an evolutionary process. The authors point out that although there are similarities between the processes of scientific change and organic evolution, the dissimilarities present formidable difficulties to construing the relation as anything more than a weak analogy. Their argument employs what they call a 'type hierarchical' approach that promises to be a powerful tool for the classification of similarities between theories in all fields." - Michael Bradie, Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University "This is a most interesting discussion of the analogy between biological and scientific change. Particularly commendable is the close attention paid to the thinking of the late David Hull and his pathbreaking work on this issue." - Michael Ruse, History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University. (shrink)
Derek Parfit's “reductionist” account of personal identity (including the rejection of anything like a soul) is coupled with the rejection of a commonsensical intuition of essential self-unity, as in his defense of the counter-intuitive claim that “identity does not matter.” His argument for this claim is based on reflection on the possibility of personal fission. To the contrary, Simon Blackburn claims that the “unity reaction” to fission has an absolute grip on practical reasoning. Now David Lewis denied Parfit's claim that (...) reductionism contravenes common sense, so I revisit the debate between Parfit and Lewis, showing why Parfit wins it. Is reductionism about persons then inherently at odds with the unity reaction? Not necessarily; David Velleman presents a reductionist theory according to which fission does not conflict with the unity reaction. Nonetheless, relying on the distinction between person level descriptions of first-person states and the first-person perspective itself, I argue that Velleman's theory does not eliminate fission-based conflict with the unity reaction. Footnotesa * Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the philosophy departments at Rutgers University and Bowling Green State University. I am indebted to many members of these audiences, and to the other contributors to this volume, for their comments—especially Frank Arntzenius, Michael Bradie, David Copp, John Finnis, Jerry Fodor, Brian Loar, Barry Loewer, Colin McGinn, Fred Miller, Mark Moyer, David Oderberg, Marya Schechtman, David Schmidtz, David Sobel, and Sara Worley. Special thanks to David Sanford. I am also grateful to graduate students in my seminar at Bowling Green during the spring of 2003, for urging me to take seriously the grip of the unity reaction; I am especially grateful for the comments of Nico Maloberti, Jonathan Miller, John Milliken, Robyn Peabody, Jennifer Sproul, Jessica Teaman, and Sherisse Webb. (shrink)
In the wake of much previous work on Gilles Deleuze's relations to other thinkers (including Bergson, Spinoza and Leibniz), his relation to Kant is now of great and active interest and a thriving area of research. In the context of the wider debate between 'naturalism' and 'transcendental philosophy', the implicit dispute between Deleuze's 'transcendental empiricism' and Kant's 'transcendental idealism' is of prime philosophical concern. -/- Bringing together the work of international experts from both Deleuze scholarship and Kant scholarship, Thinking Between (...) Deleuze and Kant addresses explicitly the varied and various connections between these two great European philosophers, providing key material for understanding the central philosophical problems in the wider 'naturalism/ transcendental philosophy' debate. The book reflects an area of great current interest in Deleuze Studies and initiates an ongoing interest in Deleuze within Kant scholarship. The contributors are Mick Bowles, Levi R. Bryant, Patricia Farrell, Christian Kerslake, Matt Lee, Michael J. Olson, Henry Somers-Hall and Edward Willatt. (shrink)
Asset egalitarianism is a new agenda but an old idea. At its root is the notion that every citizen should be able to have an individual property stake, and it has recently been revived in Britain and in the U.S. in a number of proposals aimed at countering the huge and growing inequality in the distribution of assets. Such asset egalitarianism is fed from many streams; it has a long history in civic republican thought, beginning with Thomas Paine and Thomas (...) Jefferson, but has also featured in the distributist theories of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc; the guild socialism of G.D.H. Cole and the ethical socialism of R.H. Tawney; the market liberalism of the Ordo Liberals and some of the Austrian School, particularly F.A. Hayek; and more recently the market socialism of James Meade, A.B. Atkinson and Julian Le Grand, and the market egalitarianism of Michael Sherraden, Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis, Richard Freeman and Bruce Ackerman. There are also important links to the proponents of a citizens' income as a different approach to the welfare state (White 2002) as well as to the ideas of stakeholding (Dowding et al. 2003). (shrink)
In various areas of Anglo-American law, legal liability turns on causation. In torts and contracts, we are each liable only for those harms we have caused by the actions that breach our legal duties. Such doctrines explicitly make causation an element of liability. In criminal law, sometimes the causal element for liability is equally explicit, as when a statute makes punishable any act that has “ caused … abuse to the child….” More often, the causal element in criminal liability is (...) more implicit, as when criminal statutes prohibit killings, maimings, rapings, burnings, etc. Such causally complex action verbs are correctly applied only to defendants who have caused death, caused disfigurement, caused penetration, caused fire damage, etc. (shrink)
Freud justified his extensive theorizing about dreams by the observation that they were “the royal road” to something much more general: namely, our unconscious mental life. The current preoccupation with the theory of excuse in criminal law scholarship can be given a similar justification, for the excuses are the royal road to theories of responsibility generally. The thought is that if we understand why we excuse in certain situations but not others, we will have also gained a much more general (...) insight into the nature of responsibility itself. Nowhere has this thought been more evident than in the century-old focus of criminal law theoreticians on the excuse of insanity, a focus that could not be justified by the importance of the excuse itself. In this paper I wish to isolate two theories of excuse, each of which instantiates its own distinctive theory of responsibility. One is what I shall call the choice theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because at the moment of such action's performance, one did not have sufficient capacity or opportunity to make the choice to do otherwise. Such a choice theory of excuse instantiates a more general theory of responsibility, according to which we are responsible for wrongs we freely choose to do, and not responsible for wrongs we lacked the freedom to avoid doing. The second I shall call the character theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because such action is not determined by those enduring attributes of ourselves we call our characters. (shrink)
In the Trolley Case, as devised by Philippa Foot and modified by Judith Jarvis Thomson, a runaway trolley is headed down a main track and will hit and kill five unless you divert it onto a side track, where it will hit and kill one.
This paper deals with Ludwik Fleck’s theory of thought styles and Michael Polanyi’s theory of tacit knowledge. Though both concepts have been very influential for science studies in general, and both have been subject to numerous interpretations, their accounts have, somewhat surprisingly, hardly been comparatively analyzed. Both Fleck and Polanyi relied on the physiology and psychology of the senses in order to show that scientific knowledge follows less the path of logical principles than the path of accepting or rejecting (...) specific conventions, where these may be psychologically or sociologically grounded. It is my aim to show that similarities and differences between Fleck and Polanyi are to be seen in the specific historical and political context in which they worked. Both authors, I shall argue, emphasized the relevance of perception in close connection to their respective understanding of science, freedom, and democracy. (shrink)
This article explores the relationships between legal proof and fundamental epistemic concepts such as knowledge and justification. A survey of the legal literature reveals a confusing array of seemingly inconsistent proposals and presuppositions regarding these relationships. This article makes two contributions. First, it reconciles a number of apparent inconsistencies and tensions in accounts of the epistemology of legal proof. Second, it argues that there is a deeper connection between knowledge and legal proof than is typically argued for or presupposed in (...) the legal literature. This connection is illustrated through a discussion of the Gettier problem in epistemology. It is argued that the gap or disconnect between truth and justification that undermines knowledge in Gettier cases also potentially undermines the success of legal verdicts. (shrink)
Michael Walzer is currently at the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, New Jersey. Professor Walzer has written Just and Unjust Wars; The Revolution of the Saints and has edited Toward A Global Civil Society. In this interview, he discusses some of the current concerns about education, political theory and the current state of the art of toleration, and acceptance and accommodation of different racial, ethnic, social and minority groups. He has published extensively and his (...) work has been translated in several other languages. In this interview, he responds to questions about his work, his writings and his current concerns. (shrink)
The arguments for redistribution of wealth, and for prohibiting certain transactions such as price-gouging, both are based in mistaken conceptions of exchange. This paper proposes a neologism, “euvoluntary” exchange, meaning both that the exchange is truly voluntary and that it benefits both parties to the transaction. The argument has two parts: First, all euvoluntary exchanges should be permitted, and there is no justification for redistribution of wealth if disparities result only from euvoluntary exchanges. Second, even exchanges that are not euvoluntary (...) should generally be permitted, because access to market exchange may be the only means by which people in desperate circumstances can improve their position. (shrink)
Consider the following situation. It is the first day of school, and the new third-grade students file into the classroom to be shown to their seats for the coming year. As they enter, the third-grade teacher notices one small boy who is particularly unkempt. He looks to be in desperate need of bathing, and his clothes are dirty, torn and tight-fitting. During recess, the teacher pulls aside the boy's previous teacher and asks about his wretched condition. The other teacher informs (...) her that he always looks that way, even though the boy's family is quite wealthy. The reason he appears as he does, she continues, is that the family observes an odd practice according to which the children do not receive many important things – food, clothing, bathing, even shelter – unless they specifically request them. Since the boy, like many third-graders, has little interest in bathing and clean clothes, he just never asks for them. (shrink)
Consequentialists are sometimes accused of being unable to accommodate all the ways in which an agent should care about her own integrity. Here it is helpful to follow Stephen Darwall in distinguishing two approaches to moral theory. First, we might begin with the value of states of affairs and then work our way ‘inward’ to our integrity, explaining the value of the latter in terms of their contribution to the value of the former. This is the ‘outside-in’ approach, and Darwall (...) argues that it is well-suited to defending consequentialism. Alternatively, we might begin with the perspective of a virtuous agent's concern for her integrity, and then work our way ‘outward’, building a conception of the value of states of affairs from this perspective. On this ‘inside-out’ account there is a kind of agent-centred concern each agent should have for her own integrity simply because it is her own. The inside-out approach therefore suggests a possible rationale for a non-consequentialist moral theory, in so far as such a fundamental egocentric concern for one's own integrity seems alien to consequentialism's commitment to the agent-neutrality of value. If this is correct then the consequentialist should explain why we should prefer the outside-in approach to its rival. I argue that the consequentialist can meet this challenge. (shrink)