Ostracism—being excluded and ignored—thwarts satisfaction of four fundamental needs: belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence. The current study investigated whether training participants to focus their attention on the here-and-now reduces distress from an ostracism experience. Participants were first trained in either focused or unfocused attention, and then played Cyberball, an online ball-tossing game for which half the participants were included or ostracized. Participants reported their levels of need satisfaction during the game, and after a short delay. Whereas both training groups (...) experienced the same degree of need-threat in the immediate measure, participants who were trained in focused attention showed more recovery for the delayed measure. We reason that focused attention would not reduce the distress during the ostracism experience, but it aided in recovery by preventing participants from reliving the ostracism experience after it concludes. (shrink)
This volume is based on papers presented at a conference on defeasibility in ethics, epistemology, law, and logic that took place at the Goethe University in Frankfurt in 2010. The subtitle (“Knowledge, Agency, Responsibility, and the Law”) better reflects the content than does the title of the original conference. None of the papers focuses directly or primarily on defeasible reasoning in logic, though a few touch on this indirectly. Nor are the papers evenly split among the topics. Six are primarily (...) about epistemology, four about responsibility, and one each focuses on agency and the law. (shrink)
"Naturalism" is still often identified with a reductive worldview that identifies the final real constituents of the world with the deliverances of the natural sciences—or perhaps only of physics. In the last thirty years, however, there has been a concerted effort among analytic philosophers to distinguish between that reductive "strict naturalism" and a new "liberal naturalism" that does not deny that mental states, human agency, and moral norms are also natural realities. (For liberal naturalism, see, for example, the essays collected (...) by Mario de Caro and David MacArthur in Naturalism in Question [Harvard... (shrink)
In this response to Stenmark's critique of my views on rational theology, I concentrate on his distinction between the epistemic and the practical goals of religion and between descriptive and normative rational theology. With regard to the first distinction, I grant that truth claims play an essential role in religious belief and that it is indeed the task of philosophy of religion to decide on the meaning and rationality of such claims. I argue, however, that since such claims are internally (...) related to the practical context of religious belief, their meaning and rationally cannot be determined apart from this context as is done in the kind of rational theology which Stenmark calls 'scientific'. With regard to the second distinction, I reject Stenmark's view that philosophy of religion has a descriptive task with reference to religion, and hence also his claim that I have put forward a false description of 'the religious language game'. (shrink)
This final comment provides, a theoretical framework on how to conceive the self as presented in the key-note paper ‘Meaningfulness, volunteering and being moved. The event of witnessing’. This is deemed requisite to achieve a full understanding of how depth in meaningfulness comes about.
A number of theologians engaged in the theology and science dialogue—particularly Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong—employ emergence as a framework to discuss special divine action as well as causation initiated by other spiritual realities, such as angels and demons. Mikael and Joanna Leidenhag, however, have issued concerns about its application. They argue that Yong employs supernaturalistic themes with implications that render the concept of emergence obsolete. Further, they claim that Yong's use of emergence theory is inconsistent because he highlights the (...) ontological independence of various spirits in the world concurrently with his advocation of supervenience theory. In view of these concerns, Leidenhag and Leidenhag urge Yong to depart from his application of emergence theory. In what follows, we plan to address each of these criticisms and demonstrate that they are tenuous, if not unwarranted, especially in light of a kenotic-relational pneumatology. (shrink)
I reconstruct Bruno Latour's ideas about science and religion and compare them to Ian G. Barbour's and Mikael Stenmark's models, as well as to the discussion of technology and religion developed by John C. Caiazza and Antje Jackelén. I show how using “Latour's App” enlightens some aspects of said models which Barbour and Stenmark themselves were seemingly struggling with, and that Caiazza's and Jackelén's views can be reconciled despite their apparent opposition. The result of such tests is an overall (...) assessment of Latour's proposal. I argue that, under the disguise of a flamboyant and original language, Latour's method is not that distant from those of the other authors analyzed here, and that his discussion might conceal some unwelcome philosophical shortcomings. (shrink)
Exploring both the political and intellectual contexts within which Machiavelli's political vision was formed, Mikael Hornqvist stresses the classical and rhetorical character of Machiavelli's thought. He analyzes his preoccupation with glory and liberality in relation to the revival of Roman ideas of triumphalism. The result is a revealing account of the formation of Machiavelli's characteristic preoccupations.
In this comment-response Mikael Lindfelt makes some suggestions to how one could develop the argument for witnessing as experiencing meaningfulness in life as put forward by Nicole Note and Emilie Van Deale. While being positive to the main phenomenological approach, and especially the dialectical relational aspect of the phenomenological argument, Lindfelt uses Alain Badiou’s talk of Event in trying both to develop the phenomenological argument and to point out some idealistic tendencies in the line of the argument. Lindfelt suggests (...) that the aspect of uniqueness in the relational experience of the other should be taken to more radically than suggested by Note and Van Deale. By pointing out the dialectical fragility of the Event of witnessing Lindfelt is arguing for that the concept of respect could be more utilized in arguing for the experience of meaning seen as a gift. (shrink)
Nudge is a concept of policy intervention that originates in Thaler and Sunstein's (2008) popular eponymous book. Following their own hints, we distinguish three properties of nudge interventions: they redirect individual choices by only slightly altering choice conditions (here nudge 1), they use rationality failures instrumentally (here nudge 2), and they alleviate the unfavourable effects of these failures (here nudge 3). We explore each property in semantic detail and show that no entailment relation holds between them. This calls into question (...) the theoretical unity of nudge, as intended by Thaler and Sunstein and most followers. We eventually recommend pursuing each property separately, both in policy research and at the foundational level. We particularly emphasize the need of reconsidering the respective roles of decision theory and behavioural economics to delineate nudge 2 correctly. The paper differs from most of the literature in focusing on the definitional rather than the normative problems of nudge. (shrink)
Several studies show that healthcare professionals need to communicate inter-professionally in order to manage ethical difficulties. A model of clinical ethics support inspired by Habermas’ theory of discourse ethics has been developed by our research group. In this version of CES sessions healthcare professionals meet inter-professionally to communicate and reflect on ethical difficulties in a cooperative manner with the aim of reaching communicative agreement or reflective consensus. In order to understand the course of action during CES, the aim of this (...) study was to describe the communication of value conflicts during a series of inter-professional CES sessions. Ten audio- and video-recorded CES sessions were conducted over eight months and were analyzed by using the video analysis tool Transana and qualitative content analysis. The results showed that during the CES sessions the professionals as a group moved through the following five phases: a value conflict expressed as feelings of frustration, sharing disempowerment and helplessness, the revelation of the value conflict, enhancing realistic expectations, seeing opportunities to change the situation instead of obstacles. In the course of CES, the professionals moved from an individual interpretation of the situation to a common, new understanding and then to a change in approach. An open and permissive communication climate meant that the professionals dared to expose themselves, share their feelings, face their own emotions, and eventually arrive at a mutual shared reality. The value conflict was not only revealed but also resolved. (shrink)
Adams’ thesis is generally agreed to be linguistically compelling for simple conditionals with factual antecedent and consequent. We propose a derivation of Adams’ thesis from the Lewis- Kratzer analysis of if-clauses as domain restrictors, applied to probability operators. We argue that Lewis’s triviality result may be seen as a result of inexpressibility of the kind familiar in generalized quantifier theory. Some implications of the Lewis- Kratzer analysis are presented concerning the assignment of probabilities to compounds of conditionals.
There is a growing literature on how scientific experts understand risk of technology related to their disciplinary field. Previous research shows that experts have different understandings and perspectives depending on disciplinary culture, organizational affiliation, and how they more broadly look upon their role in society. From a practice-based perspective on risk management as a bottom-up activity embedded in work place routines and everyday interactions, we look, through an ethnographic lens, at the laboratory life of nanoscientists. In the USA and Sweden, (...) two categories of nanoscientists have been studied: upstream scientists who are mainly electrical and physical engineers and downstream scientists who are toxicologists, often with a more multidisciplinary background, including physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. The results show that although the two groups of scientists share the same norms of appropriate laboratory conduct to promote safety and good science practice, they have very different perspectives on risk with nanomaterials. Upstream scientists downplay risk; they emphasize the innovative potential of the new materials to which they express an affectionate and personalized stance. The downstream scientists, instead, focus on the uncertainties and unpredictability of nanomaterials and they see some materials as potentially highly dangerous. The results highlight the ambiguous and complex role of scientific experts in policy processes about the risk and regulation of nanotechnology. (shrink)
In this article, I call into question the relevance of emergence theories as presently used by thinkers in the science–religion discussion. Specifically, I discuss theories of emergence that have been used by both religious naturalists and proponents of panentheism. I argue for the following conclusions: (1) If we take the background theory to be metaphysical realism, then there seems to be no positive connection between the reality of emergent properties and the validity of providing reality with a religious interpretation, though (...) one could perhaps construe an argument for the positive ontological status of emergence as a negative case for a religious worldview. (2) To be considered more plausible, religious naturalism should interpret religious discourse from the perspective of pragmatic realism. (3) Panentheistic models of divine causality are unable to avoid ontological dualism. (4) It is not obvious that emergent phenomena and/or properties are nonreducible in the ontological sense of the terms; indeed, the tension between weak and strong emergence makes it difficult for the emergentist to make ontological judgments. My general conclusion is that the concept of emergence has little metaphysical significance in the dialogue between science and theology. (shrink)
Contemporary decision theory places crucial emphasis on a family of mathematical results called representation theorems, which relate criteria for evaluating the available options to axioms pertaining to the decision-maker’s preferences. Various claims have been made concerning the reasons for the importance of these results. The goal of this article is to assess their semantic role: representation theorems are purported to provide definitions of the decision-theoretic concepts involved in the evaluation criteria. In particular, this claim shall be examined from the perspective (...) of philosophical theories of the meaning of theoretical terms. (shrink)
Understanding has received growing interest from epistemologists in recent years, but no consensus regarding its epistemic properties has yet been reached. This paper extracts, but also rejects, candidates of epistemic properties for construing an epistemological model of understanding from the writings of epistemologists participating in the current discussion surrounding that state. On the basis of these results, a suggestion is put forward according to which understanding is a non-basic epistemic state of warrant rather than knowledge. It is argued that this (...) move provides a satisfactory conciliatory answer to the central question whether understanding is a factive epistemic state. Some differences between understanding and knowledge are recorded along the way: for instance, that in contrast to knowledge, understanding does not require belief and that, even though neither knowledge nor understanding iterates, so that a subject can both know without knowing that she knows, as well as understanding without understanding that she understands, the reasons for the failure is different. (shrink)
In this article I try to define more precisely what scientism is and how it is related to a traditional religion such as Christianity. By first examining the writing of a number of contemporary natural scientists (Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Edward O. Wilson), I show that the concept can be given numerous different meanings. I propose and defend a distinction between epistemic, rationalistic, ontological, axiological and redemptive scientism and it is also explained why we should (...) not directly identify scientism with scientific materialism or scientific naturalism. (shrink)
In this paper I suggest that we should identify panentheism on a scale, with deism at one extreme and pantheism at the other. The surprising outcome of the analysis is that many of the things which in the philosophical and theological debate are simply taken for granted as distinguishing panentheism from traditional theism turn out to be possible extension claims rather than core doctrines of these different conceptions of God. Nevertheless, I maintain that it remains possible to draw a line (...) between them. It is also emphasized that the greatest challenge many panentheists face is to give a convincing argument why we should think that God’s power can never be coercive, but must always be persuasive. The good news is that there is nothing in panentheism that requires that we must accept this particular doctrine. (shrink)
Jeffrey conditioning tells an agent how to update her priors so as to grant a given probability to a particular event. Weighted averaging tells an agent how to update her priors on the basis of testimonial evidence, by changing to a weighted arithmetic mean of her priors and another agent’s priors. We show that, in their respective settings, these two seemingly so different updating rules are axiomatized by essentially the same invariance condition. As a by-product, this sheds new light on (...) the question how weighted averaging should be extended to deal with cases when the other agent reveals only parts of her probability distribution. The combination of weighted averaging and Jeffrey conditioning is a comprehensive updating rule to deal with such cases, which is again axiomatized by invariance under embedding. We conclude that, even though one may dislike Jeffrey conditioning or weighted averaging, the two make a natural pair when a policy for partial testimonial evidence is needed. (shrink)
Ever since their invention, photographic images have often been thought to be a special kind of image. Often, photography has been claimed to be a particularly realistic medium. At other times, photographs are said to be epistemically superior to other types of image. Yet another way in which photographs apparently are special is that our subjective experience of looking at photographs seems very different from our experience of looking at other types of image, such as paintings and drawings. While the (...) other seemingly distinctive aspects of photography have been quite thoroughly discussed in the literature, theories of the experience of photography, or in other words, theories of its special phenomenology, are less common. To be sure, the phenomenon has often been pointed out and described, but explanations of the phenomenology of photography are rare. In this essay, I attempt an explanation of at least part of the phenomenology of photography by appealing to the idea, borrowed from André Bazin, that a photograph is a certain kind of trace. Along the way, it is also argued that Kendall Walton's so called “transparency thesis” cannot give a plausible explanation of the phenomenology associated with looking at photographs. (shrink)
In this article, I offer a critical evaluation of non-reductive physicalism as articulated and defended by Nancey Murphy. I argue that the examples given by Murphy do not illustrate robust emergence and the philosophical idea of downward causation. The thesis of multiple realizability is ontologically neutral, and so cannot support the idea of the causal efficacy of higher-level properties. Supervenience is incompatible with strong emergence. I also argue for the fruitful relationship between emergence theory and panpsychism pertaining to the metaphysical (...) issue of the origin and nature of mind. (shrink)
In the current discussion on epistemic value, several philosophers argue that understanding enjoys higher epistemological significance and epistemic value than knowledge—the epistemic state the epistemological tradition has been preoccupied with. By noting a tension between the necessary conditions for understanding in the perhaps most prominent of these philosophers, Jonathan Kvanvig, this paper disputes the higher epistemological relevance of understanding. At the end, on the basis of the results of the previous sections, some alternative comparative contrasts between knowledge and understanding are (...) briefly explored, including one in which an analogue to the KK-principle for knowledge, the “UU-principle”, does not hold for a different reason than that for which the former principle fails. (shrink)