Michael S. Brady offers a new account of the role of emotions in our lives. He argues that emotional experiences do not give us information in the same way that perceptual experiences do. Instead, they serve our epistemic needs by capturing our attention and facilitating a reappraisal of the evaluative information that emotions themselves provide.
This chapter focuses on the question of whether true belief can have final value because it answers our ‘intellectual interest’ or ‘natural curiosity’. The idea is that sometimes we are interested in the truth on some issue not for any ulterior purpose, but simply because we are curious about that issue. It is argued that this approach fails to provide an adequate explanation of the final value of true belief, since there is an unbridgeable gap between our valuing the truth (...) on some issue for its own sake, and that truth's being valuable for its own sake. (shrink)
A recalcitrant emotion is one which conflicts with evaluative judgement. (A standard example is where someone is afraid of flying despite believing that it poses little or no danger.) The phenomenon of emotional recalcitrance raises an important problem for theories of emotion, namely to explain the sense in which recalcitrant emotions involve rational conflict. In this paper I argue that existing ‘neojudgementalist’ accounts of emotions fail to provide plausible explanations of the irrationality of recalcitrant emotions, and develop and defend my (...) own neojudgementalist account. On my view, recalcitrant emotions are irrational insofar as they incline the subject to accept an evaluative construal that the subject has already rejected. (shrink)
The perceptual model of emotions maintains that emotions involve, or are at least analogous to, perceptions of value. On this account, emotions purport to tell us about the evaluative realm, in much the same way that sensory perceptions inform us about the sensible world. An important development of this position, prominent in recent work by Peter Goldie amongst others, concerns the essential role that virtuous habits of attention play in enabling us to gain perceptual and evaluative knowledge. I think that (...) there are good reasons to be sceptical about this picture of virtue. In this essay I set out these reasons, and explain the consequences this scepticism has for our understanding of the relation between virtue, emotion, and attention. In particular, I argue that our primary capacity for recognizing value is in fact a non-emotional capacity. (shrink)
The traditional desire view of painfulness maintains that pain sensations are painful because the subject desires that they not be occurring. A significant criticism of this view is that it apparently succumbs to a version of the Euthyphro Dilemma: the desire view, it is argued, is committed to an implausible answer to the question of why pain sensations are painful. In this paper, I explain and defend a new desire view, and one which can avoid the Euthyphro Dilemma. This new (...) view maintains that painfulness is a property, not of pain sensations, but of a pain experience, understood as a relational state constituted by a pain sensation and a desire that the sensation not be occurring. (shrink)
Over recent decades, pain has received increasing attention as – with ever greater sophistication and rigour – theorists have tried to answer the deep and difficult questions it poses. What is pain’s nature? What is its point? In what sense is it bad? The papers collected in this volume are a contribution to that effort ...
Managers throughout the world regularly face ethical dilemmas that have important, and perhaps complex, professional and personal implications. Further, societal consequences of decisions made can be far-reaching. In this study, 210 financial services managers from Australia, Chile, Ecuador and the United States were queried about their ethical beliefs when faced with four diverse dilemmas. In addition, the situational context was altered so the respondent viewed each dilemma from a top management position and from a position of economic hardship. Results suggest (...) a complex interaction of situation, culture and issue when individuals make ethical judgments. Specifically, Chileans were found to have different beliefs about sex discrimination and child labor dilemmas when compared to their colleagues from the other three nations. Chileans and Australians also disagreed on the bribery dilemma. Anglo managers were more likely than Latin American managers to change their ethical responses when the situation was altered. For multinational firms interested in maintaining healthy ethical climates, the findings suggest that culturally contingent ethical guidelines, or policies adapted to the local customs, must be considered. Further, managers must remain aware of issues related to specific situations, both internal and external, that would cause subordinates to alter their moral judgment. (shrink)
This volume brings together papers by some of the leading figures working on virtue-theoretic accounts in both ethics and epistemology. A collection of cutting edge articles by leading figures in the field of virtue theory including Guy Axtell, Julia Driver, Antony Duff and Miranda Fricker. The first book to combine papers on both virtue ethics and virtue epistemology. Deals with key topics in recent epistemological and ethical debate.
The emotions of guilt, shame, disappointment and grief, and the bodily states of pain and suffering, have something in common, at least phenomenologically: they are all unpleasant, they feel bad. But how might we explain what it is for some state to feel bad or unpleasant? What, in other words, is the nature of negative affect? In this paper I want to consider the prospects for evaluativist theories, which seek to explain unpleasantness by appeal to negative evaluations or appraisals. In (...) particular, I want to consider versions of evaluativism that seek to explain negative affect in terms of a kind of negative perceptual experience. These views thus attempt to explain feeling bad in terms of seeing bad. Now the most prominent evaluativist accounts of negative affect have been developed in the pain literature, and so my paper will primarily be focused on the question of whether evaluativism can provide a plausible account of the painfulness or unpleasantness of pain. I will argue that evaluativism faces serious objections on this score. Since my conclusions can be extended to cover negative affect more generally, however, we have good reason to reject evaluativist accounts of the negative affect involved in emotional experience. My arguments will thus have implications for those interested in the nature of emotional valence. I'll conclude with some brief remarks about the shape that a ‘relational’ account of painfulness in particular, and of negative affect in general, should take, in light of these criticisms of evaluativism. In my view, such views should appeal, not to negative evaluations to explain feeling bad, but to dislike. (shrink)
Compare your pain when immersing your hand in freezing water and your pleasure when you taste your favourite wine. The relationship seems obvious. Your pain experience is unpleasant, aversive, negative, and bad. Your experience of the wine is pleasant, attractive, positive, and good. Pain and pleasure are straightforwardly opposites. Or that, at any rate, can seem beyond doubt, and to leave little more to be said. But, in fact, it is not beyond doubt. And, true or false, it leaves a (...) good deal more to be said: about the nature of sensory affect; its relations to perception, motivation, and rationality; its value; and the mechanisms underlying it. Much is said about these matters in the contributions that follow. Here, in this introductory essay, we map the dialectical landscape and locate our contributors’ papers within it. (shrink)
Groups engage in epistemic activity all the time--whether it be the active collective inquiry of scientific research groups or crime detection units, or the evidential deliberations of tribunals and juries, or the informational efforts of the voting population in general--and yet in philosophy there is still relatively little epistemology of groups to help explore these epistemic practices and their various dimensions of social and philosophical significance. The aim of this book is to address this lack, by presenting original essays in (...) the field of collective epistemology, exploring these regions of epistemic practice and their significance for Epistemology, Political Philosophy, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the positive epistemic value that individual and group emotion can have. It explains how group emotion can help to bring about the highest epistemic good, namely group understanding. It is argues that this group good would be difficult to achieve, in very many cases, in the absence of group emotion. Even if group emotion sometimes—indeed often—leads us astray, we would be worse off, from the standpoint of achieving the highest epistemic good, without it. The chapter illustrates (...) the connection between group emotion and group understanding by focusing on the phenomenon of public inquiries. (shrink)
Epistemological contextualism has become one of the most important and widely discussed new proposals in the theory of knowledge. This special issue contributes to the debate by bringing together some of the main participants to provide a state-of-the-art discussion of the proposal. Here we offer a brief overview of the contextualist position, describe some of the main lines of criticism that have been levelled against the view, and present a summary of each of the contributions to this collection.
Abstract Agent-based virtue ethics is a unitary normative theory according to which the moral status of actions is entirely dependent upon the moral status of an agent's motives and character traits. One of the problems any such approach faces is to capture the common-sense distinction between an agent's doing the right thing, and her doing it for the right (or wrong) reason. In this paper I argue that agent-based virtue ethics ultimately fails to capture this kind of fine-grained distinction, and (...) to this extent ought to be rejected. I focus first on Michael Slote's agent-based theory, according to which the moral status of actions depends upon an agent's actual motives, and argue that this leads to a paradox. I then consider whether the ?counterfactual? version of agent-basing favoured by Rosalind Hursthouse and Linda Zagzebski fares any better, and conclude that it does not. (shrink)
The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision published its policy statement and technical report on newborn circumcision in September 2012.1 ,2 Since that time, some individuals and groups have voiced objections to the work of the Task Force, while others have conveyed their support. The AAP task force is pleased that the policy statement and technical reports on circumcision have stimulated debate on this topic and welcomes respectful discussion and dialogue about the scientific and ethical issues that surround (...) neonatal circumcision. We believe this is a complex issue that does not lend itself to simplistic solutions. The Task Force encourages those of all viewpoints to contribute to a vibrant, thoughtful and respectful evidence-based dialogue. We appreciate that the free exchange of competing ideas is a necessary component of scientific discovery. We also recognise that all clinical decisions carry ethical dimensions and that a respectful and thoughtful dialogue about these issues is important. However, the Task Force also feels strongly that this debate and the academic literature are demeaned when those with an ideological agenda disseminate inaccurate information, misapply scientific principles, make accusations that are unsupported, communicate in a vitriolic tone, and attempt to discredit and mischaracterise alternative views and those who hold them. Healthy debate and …. (shrink)
In this response I raise a number of problems for Michael Slote's normative and metaethical sentimentalism. The first is that his agent–based account of rightness needs be qualified in order to be plausible; any such qualification, however, leaves Slote's normative ethics in tension with his metaethical views. The second is that an agent–based ethics of empathic caring will indeed struggle to capture our common–sense understanding of deontological constraints, and that appeal to the notion of causal immediacy will be of little (...) help here. Finally, it seems to me that Slote's metaethical account will turn out to be much less externalist than he suspects. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker's book Epistemic Injustice is an original and stimulating contribution to contemporary epistemology. Fricker's main aim is to illustrate the ethical aspects of two of our basic epistemic practices, namely conveying knowledge to others and making sense of our own social experiences. In particular, she wishes to investigate the idea that there are prevalent and distinctively epistemic forms of injustice related to these aspects of our epistemic lives, injustices which reflect the fact that our actual epistemic practices are socially (...) situated. Most of the book focuses on two such forms – Testimonial Injustice and Hermeneutical Injustice – and on the epistemic virtues required to counteract them.Testimonial Injustice occurs when a hearer fails, because of prejudice, to give due credit to the word of a speaker. For instance, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the jury in the trial of Tom Robinson fail to regard his testimony as credible because he …. (shrink)
The author finds no support for the claim that J. M. Keynes had severe reservations, in general, as opposed to particular, concerning the application of mathematical, logical and statistical methods in economics. These misinterpretations rest on the omission of important source material as well as a severe misconstrual ofThe Treatise on Probability (1921).
The conclusions derived by Keynes in his Treatise on Probability (1921) concerning induction, analogical reasoning, expectations formation and decision making, mirror and foreshadow the main conclusions of cognitive science and psychology.The problem of weight is studied within an economic context by examining the role it played in Keynes' applied philosophy work, The General Theory (1936). Keynes' approach is then reformulated as an optimal control approach to dealing with changes in information evaluation over time. Based on this analysis the problem of (...) inductive justification, from a societal perspective, is not, What can we rationally believe will occur in the economic future, given our past experiences? but Can we make the future so as to attain specific economic goals with practical certainty? An answer requires that restrictions be placed on the methodological individualist approach and the acceptance of a restricted holistic approach. (shrink)
Abstract It is shown that J. M. Keynes was the originator of what is called a weighted monetary value (WMV) approach to decision making under uncertainty and risk as opposed to either the expected monetary value (EMV) or subjective expected utility (SEU) approaches.
Judgement internalism claims that our evaluative judgements will motivate us to act appropriately, at least in so far as we are rational. I examine how this claim should be understood, with particular focus on whether valuing enjoys a kind of 'normative priority' over desiring. I consider and reject views according to which valuing something provides one with a reason to be moved; this claim of normative priority and the readings of internalism it suggests are too strong. I also reject an (...) interpretation which eschews claims of normative priority, whilst maintaining that valuing nevertheless rationally commits or requires one to be motivated; this rejection of normative priority and the reading of internalism it supports are too weak. In the final sections I sketch the understanding of judgement internalism I favour, and defend it against objections. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker appeals to the idea of moral-epistemic disappointment in order to show how our practices of moral appraisal can be sensitive to cultural and historical contingency. In particular, she thinks that moral-epistemic disappointment allows us to avoid the extremes of crude moralism and a relativism of distance. In my response I want to investigate what disappointment is, and whether it can constitute a form of focused moral appraisal in the way that Fricker imagines. I will argue that Fricker is (...) unable to appeal to disappointment as standardly understood, but that there is a more plausible way of understanding the notion that she can employ. There are, nevertheless, significant worries about the capacity of disappointment in this sense to function as a form of moral appraisal. I will argue, finally, that even if Fricker can address these worries, her position might end up closer to moralism than she would like. (shrink)
Table of Contents: Olivier Massin, 'Pleasure and Its Contraries'; Colin Klein, 'The Penumbral Theory of Masochistic Pleasure'; Siri Leknes and Brock Bastian, 'The Benefits of Pain'; Valerie Gray Hardcastle, 'Pleasure Gone Awry? A New Conceptualization of Chronic Pain and Addiction'; Richard Gray, 'Pain, Perception and the Sensory Modalities: Revisiting the Intensive Theory'; Jonathan Cohen and Matthew Fulkerson, Affect, Rationalization, and Motivation; Murat Aydede, 'How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal'; Adam Shriver, 'The Asymmetrical Contributions of Pleasure and (...) Pain to Subjective Well-Being'. (shrink)
A collection, edited by David Bain, Michael Brady, and Jennifer Corns, originating in our Pain Project. Table of Contents: Colin Klein and Manolo Martínez – ‘Imperativism and Pain Intensity’; Murat Aydede and Matthew Fulkerson – ‘Pain and Theories of Sensory Affect’; Dan-Mikael Ellingson, Morten Kringlebach, and Siri Leknes – ‘A Neuroscience Perspective on Pleasure and Pain’; Michael Brady – ‘The Rationality of Emotional and Physical Suffering’; Jennifer Corns – ‘The Placebo Effect’; Jesse Prinz – ‘What is the Affective Component of (...) Pain?’; Adam Shriver – ‘The Unpleasantness of Pain for Humans and Other Animals’; Valerie Gary Hardcastle – ‘When is a Pain Not a Pain? The Challenge of Disorders of Consciousness’; Frédérique de Vignemont – ‘The First-Person in Pain’. (shrink)
A collection, edited by David Bain, Michael Brady, and Jennifer Corns, originating in our Value of Suffering Project. Table of Contents: Michael Wheeler - ‘How should affective phenomena be studied?’; Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni – ‘Pleasures, unpleasures, and emotions’; Hilla Jacobson – ‘The attitudinal representational theory of painfulness fleshed out’; Tim Schroeder – ‘What we represent when we represent the badness of getting hurt’; Hagit Benbaji – ‘A defence of the inner view of pain’; Olivier Massin – ‘Suffering pain’; (...) Frederique de Vignemont – ‘The value of threat’; Colin Leach – ‘Bad feelings can be good and good feelings can be bad’; Tasia Scrutton – ‘Mental suffering and the experience of beauty’; Brock Bastian – ‘From suffering to satisfaction: why we need pain to feel pleasure’; Marilyn McCord Adams – ‘Pain and moral agency’; Jennifer Corns – ‘Hedonic rationality’; Jonathan Cohen & Matthew Fulkerson – ‘Suffering and rationality’; Tom McClelland – ‘Suffering invites understanding’; Michael Brady – ‘Suffering as a virtue’; Glen Pettigrove TBA. Further authors TBA. (shrink)
Metaethics occupies a central place in analytical philosophy, and the last forty years has seen an upsurge of interest in questions about the nature and practice of morality. This collection presents original and ground-breaking research on metaethical issues from some of the very best of a new generation of philosophers working in this field.
Internalism is the view that the truth of normative propositions depends solely upon elements which are internal to subjects. In this dissertation I argue that we should reject the primary rationale for taking an internalist line in various areas of normative assessment, namely a principle known as the Internalism Requirement. In the first part of the dissertation I focus on epistemology, and argue that we should reject the internalism requirement on epistemic reasons, i.e., the claim that reasons for believing must (...) be such that agents will believe for those reasons, at least insofar as they are rational. In the process of making this argument, I indicate why particular internalist positions in the epistemic realm--internalism about justification and internalism about reasons--ought to be rejected. The second part of my thesis focuses on rejecting the internalism requirement as applied to practical reasons, i.e., the claim that reasons for acting must be such as to motivate rational agents. The arguments here take the form of showing how, on any plausible theory of practical reasons, there will be considerations which fail to motivate rational agents. Again, my arguments indicate why we should also reject particular internalist views in the practical sphere. I conclude the dissertation with remarks indicating how rejection of the internalism requirement on practical reasons affects normative moral theory. (shrink)
Suffering, in one form or another, is present in all of our lives. But why do we suffer? On one reading, this is a question about the causes of physical and emotional suffering. But on another, it is a question about whether suffering has a point or purpose or value. In this ground-breaking book, Michael Brady argues that suffering is vital for the development of virtue, and hence for us to live happy or flourishing lives. After presenting a distinctive account (...) of suffering, and a novel account of its core element, unpleasantness, Brady proceeds to focus on three claims that are central to his picture. The first is that forms of suffering, like pain and remorse, can themselves constitute virtuous responses. The second is that suffering is essential for four important classes of virtue - virtues of strength, such as fortitude and courage; virtues of vulnerability, such as adaptability and humility; moral virtues, such as compassion; and the practical and epistemic excellences that make up wisdom. His final claim third is that suffering is vital for the social virtues of justice, love, and trust, and hence for the flourishing of social groups. (shrink)