Some scientists are happy to follow in the footsteps of others; some like to explore novel approaches. It is tempting to think that herein lies an epistemic division of labor conducive to overall scientific progress: the latter point the way to fruitful areas of research, and the former more fully explore those areas. Weisberg and Muldoon’s model, however, suggests that it would be best if all scientists explored novel approaches. I argue that this is due to implausible modeling choices, and (...) I present an alternative ‘epistemic landscape’ model that demonstrates the alleged benefits from division of labor, with one restriction. (shrink)
This article argues that Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory fails to offer a true alternative to expected utility theory. Under commonly held assumptions about dynamic choice and the framing of decision problems, rational agents are guided by their attitudes to temporally extended courses of action. If so, REU theory makes approximately the same recommendations as expected utility theory. Being more permissive about dynamic choice or framing, however, undermines the theory’s claim to capturing a steady choice disposition in the face (...) of risk. I argue that this poses a challenge to alternatives to expected utility theory more generally. (shrink)
W illia m o f Ockha m w a s a F rancisca n fria r , a theol o gia n an d a v e r y singula r philo sophe r . H e l i v e d a t a tim e o f crisi s an d durin g th e transitio n o f philosop h y an d theol o g y . Hi s secularis m i s manifeste d i n (...) th e defens e o f a radica l separatio n bet w ee n th e religious an d secula r p ow ers . Assigne d t o th e philosophica l cu r ren t o f nominalism , h e deal t a s e v ere b l o w t o th e metap h ysica l realis m o f Aristotl e an d Thoma s Aquina s an d h e ad v ocate d the separatio n o f reaso n an d f aith , bet w ee n philosop h y an d theol o g y an d thu s h e unde r mined th e ideol o gica l foundation s o f th e churc h o f hi s time . H e w a s accuse d o f heres y because o f hi s nominalism , althoug h h e himsel f condemne d P op e Joh n XXI I a s heretica l fo r his conceptio n o f p o v e r t y , a concep t f a r rem o v e d fro m ev angelica l principle s an d especial ly fro m th e notio n o f th e F rancisca n orde r . H e defende d th e separatio n o f churc h an d stat e and h e denie d th e P ope ’ s authorit y i n secula r matters . H e flat ly asse r te d freedo m o f conscience an d Luthe r too k hi m a s a teache r. (shrink)
This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents’ attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...) lead to, we see that the argument must fail. Either attitudes to prospects assign non-instrumental value in their own right, in which case we cannot establish the irrationality of the dynamic choice behaviour of agents with non-separable preferences. Or they don’t, in which case agents with non-separable preferences can avoid the problematic choice behaviour without adopting separable preferences. (shrink)
This paper defends revealed preference theory against a pervasive line of criticism, according to which revealed preference methodology relies on appealing to some mental states, in particular an agent’s beliefs, rendering the project incoherent or unmotivated. I argue that all that is established by these arguments is that revealed preference theorists must accept a limited mentalism in their account of the options an agent should be modelled as choosing between. This is consistent both with an essentially behavioural interpretation of preference (...) and with standard revealed preference methodology. And it does not undermine the core motivations of revealed preference theory. (shrink)
Risk-weighted expected utility theory is motivated by small-world problems like the Allais paradox, but it is a grand-world theory by nature. And, at the grand-world level, its ability to handle the Allais paradox is dubious. The REU model described in Risk and Rationality turns out to be risk-seeking rather than risk-averse on one natural way of formulating the Allais gambles in the grand-world context. This result illustrates a general problem with the case for REU theory, we argue. There is a (...) tension between the small-world thinking marshaled against standard expected utility theory, and the grand-world thinking inherent to the risk-weighted alternative. (shrink)
In Risk and Rationality, Lara Buchak advertised REU theory as able to recover the modal preferences in the Allais paradox. But we pointed out that REU theory only applies in the “grand world” setting, where it actually struggles with the modal Allais preferences. Buchak offers two replies. Here we enumerate technical and philosophical problems they face.
Most papers in theoretical economics contain thought experiments. They take the form of more informal bits of reasoning that precede the presentation of the formal, mathematical models these papers are known for. These thought experiments differ from the formal models in various ways. In particular, they do not invoke the same idealized assumptions about the rationality, knowledge, and preferences of agents. The presence of thought experiments in papers that present formal models, and the fact that they differ from the formal (...) models in this way, is often ignored in debates on what, if anything, we can learn from formal models in theoretical economics. I show that paying due attention to thought experiments in theoretical economics has serious implications for this debate. Differences between thought experiments and formal models are especially problematic for Robert Sugden’s “credible worlds” account. (shrink)
This article traces the history of the Minnesota approach to moral judgement research. It is claimed that this history can be subdivided into four phases, each one associated with a different goal and theoretical consideration. Attention is also given to the issues motivating the different research goals as well as highlights of the outcomes of this work. It is concluded that the Minnesota approach has been a progressive force in the field, promoting change in both theory and measurement and also (...) serving as a stabilising force by reaffirming Kohlberg's basic view that moral judgements are both cognitive and developmental. (shrink)
Judgementalism is an interpretation of normative decision theory according to which preferences are all-things-considered judgements of relative desirability, and the only attitudes that rationally constrain choice. The defence of judgementalism we find in Richard Bradley’s Decision Theory with a Human Face relies on a kind of internalism about the requirements of rationality, according to which they supervene on an agent’s mental states, and in particular those she can reason from. I argue that even if we grant such internalism, attitudes other (...) than preferences in the judgementalist sense rationally constrain choice. This ultimately supports a different interpretation of preference. (shrink)
In the dynamic choice literature, temptations are usually understood as temporary shifts in an agent’s preferences. What has been puzzling about these cases is that, on the one hand, an agent seems to do better by her own lights if she does not give into the temptation, and does so without engaging in costly commitment strategies. This seems to indicate that it is instrumentally irrational for her to give into temptation. On the other hand, resisting temptation also requires her to (...) act contrary to the preferences she has at the time of temptation. But that seems to be instrumentally irrational as well. I here consider the two most prominent types of argument why resisting temptation could nevertheless be instrumentally rational, namely two-tier and intra-personal cooperation arguments. I establish that the arguments either fail or are redundant. In particular, the arguments fail under the pervasive assumption in both decision theory and the wider literature on practical rationality that the agent’s preferences over the objects of choice are themselves the standard of instrumental rationality. And they either still fail or they become redundant when we give up that assumption. (shrink)
The question of what a group of rational agents would agree on were they to deliberate on how to organise society is central to all hypothetical social contract theories. If morality is to be based on a social contract, we need to know the terms of this contract. One type of social contract theory, contractarianism, aims to derive morality from rationality alone. Contractarians need to show, amongst other things, that rational and self-interested individuals would agree on an impartial division of (...) a cooperative surplus. But it is often claimed that contractarians cannot show this without introducing moral assumptions. This paper argues that on the right understanding of the question contractarians are asking, these worries can be answered. Without relying on moral assumptions, the paper offers a novel derivation of symmetry, which is the axiom responsible for the impartiality of the most famous economic bargaining solutions appealed to by contractarians. (shrink)
Focusing on the interactions between people suffering from neuromuscular diseases and their wheelchairs, the author raises the question of action: how is action made possible for people suffering from neuromuscular diseases? Starting with actor-network theory, the author shows that action not only results from distribution and delegation to heterogeneous entities but emerges from hard and lengthy work that makes the relation between them possible and transforms the entities involved. The author describes this work, called the process of adjustment, as work (...) on the links making a person, his or her body, and his or her world. Through this work, new possibilities of action emerge for the person, but also new abilities; the person’s identity is transformed and shaped. This analysis leads to a particular conception of the person as made up through his or her relations to other entities. (shrink)
The philosophy of Henri Maldiney has played an important role in the evolution of French philosophy, especially its phenomenological strand. Maldiney's ideas have to a large extent developed from a close study of psychopathology. In this article, I present some of the key principles of Maldineyan thought, which has found little recognition to date in Anglophone philosophy and psychopathology. My main purpose is to explain the psychopathological and therapeutic implications of these principles. First, I make a few observations about Maldiney's (...) life and then sum up some of the main concepts of Maldineyan thought, such as sensing, rhythm, and, most important, openness to the event. Based on these concepts... (shrink)
The article is devoted to the memory of Vyacheslav Semenovich Stepin and Nikita Nikolaevich Moiseev, whose multifaceted work was integrally focused on philosophical, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research of the key ideas and principles of universal human-dimensional evolutionism. Other remarkable Russian scientists V.I. Vernadsky, S.P. Kurdyumov, S.P. Kapitsa, D.S. Chernavsky worked in the same tradition of universal evolutionism. While V.I. Vernadsky and N.N. Moiseev had been the originators of that scientific approach, V.S. Stepin provided philosophical foundations for the ideas of those (...) remarkable scientists and thinkers. The scientific legacy of V.S. Stepin and N.N. Moiseev maintained the formation of a new quality of research into the philosophy of science and technology as well as into the philosophy of culture. This new quality is multidimensional and it is difficult to define unambiguously, but we presume the formation of those areas of philosophical knowledge as constructively oriented languages of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary co-participation of philosophy in the convergent-evolutionary development of scientific knowledge in general. In this regard, attention is paid to V.S. Stepin’s affirmations about non-classical nature of modern social and humanitarian knowledge. Quantum mechanics teaches us that the reality revealed through it is a hybrid construct, or symbiosis, of both mean and object of cognition. Therefore, the very act of cognitive observation constructs quantum reality. Thus, it is very close to the process of cognition in modern sociology and psychology. V.S. Stepin insisted that these principles are applicable to all complex selfdeveloping systems, and such are all “human-dimensional” objects of modern humanities. In all the phases of homeostasis changes, or crises, there is necessarily a share of chaos, instability, uncertainty in the selection process of future development scenarios, which is ineliminably affected by our observation. Therefore, a cognitive observer in the humanities should be considered as a concept of post-non-classical rationality, that is as an observer of complexity. (shrink)
Current approaches to cyber-security are not working. Rather than producing more security, we seem to be facing less and less. The reason for this is a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted security dilemma that extends beyond the state and its interaction with other states. It will be shown how the focus on the state and “its” security crowds out consideration for the security of the individual citizen, with detrimental effects on the security of the whole system. The threat arising from cyberspace to (...) (national) security is presented as possible disruption to a specific way of life, one building on information technologies and critical functions of infrastructures, with relatively little consideration for humans directly. This non-focus on people makes it easier for state actors to militarize cyber-security and (re-)assert their power in cyberspace, thereby overriding the different security needs of human beings in that space. Paradoxically, the use of cyberspace as a tool for national security, both in the dimension of war fighting and the dimension of mass-surveillance, has detrimental effects on the level of cyber-security globally. A solution out of this dilemma is a cyber-security policy that is decidedly anti-vulnerability and at the same time based on strong considerations for privacy and data protection. Such a security would have to be informed by an ethics of the infosphere that is based on the dignity of information related to human beings. (shrink)
Surtout percus aujourd'hui comme de grands penseurs juifs, Hermann Cohen (1842-1918) et Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) avaient aussi ete des specialistes de tout premier plan de la pensee idealiste allemande: Cohen fut l'un des fondateurs de ...
As philosophers of mind we seem to hold in common no very clear view about the relevance that work in psychology or the neurosciences may or may not have to our own favourite questions—even if we call the subject ‘philosophical psychology’. For example, in the literature we find articles on pain some of which do, some of which don't, rely more or less heavily on, for example, the work of Melzack and Wall; the puzzle cases used so extensively in discussions (...) of personal identity are drawn sometimes from the pleasant exercise of scientific fantasy, at times from surprising reports of scientific fact; and there are those who deny, as well as those who affirm, the importance of the discovery of rapid-eye-movement sleep to the philosophical treatment of dreaming. A general account of the relation between scientific, and philosophical, psychology is long overdue and of the first importance. Here I shall limit myself to just one area where the two seem to connect, discussing one type of neuropsychological research and its relevance to questions in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to extend the classical sequent calculusLC to the second order. This task is realized by a semantical approach mixing the correlation spaces semantics ofLC on the one hand, and the analogy with the interpretation of systemF in coherent spaces on the other hand. This relies on the introduction of a new semantical object:noetherian correlation spaces.From the semantics we deduce the syntax of the second order classical sequent calculusLC2.
ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
Applying Snyder and Feldman's 1984 consolidation?transition model to moral judgement development has enabled further understanding of how moral judgement translates to moral functioning. In this study, 178 college students were identified as being in consolidated versus transitional phases of moral judgement development using Rest's Defining Issues Test (DIT). Participant moral functioning was inferred through an honest decision?making index along with Attitudes Towards Human Rights Inventory (ATHRI) and Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI) scores. Multivariate Analyses of Variance revealed that the consolidated group (...) was significantly more honest than the transitional group. No differences attributable to moral judgement phase were seen for ATHRI and VFI scores. Findings support the claim that consolidated phases improve the explanatory power of moral judgement for certain moral functional outcomes?particularly those involving ambiguity and minimal time for decision?making. (shrink)
In this paper, we study dialogue as a game, but not only in the sense in which there would exist winning strategies and a priori rules. Dialogue is not governed by game rules like for chess or other games, since even if we start from a priori rules, it is always possible to play with them, provided that some invariant properties are preserved. An important discovery of Ludics is that such properties may be expressed in geometrical terms. The main feature (...) of a dialogue is “convergence”. Intuitively, a dialogue “diverges” when it stops prematurely by some disruption, or a violation of the tacit agreed upon conditions of the discourse. It converges when the two speakers go together towards a situation where they agree at least on some points. As we shall see, convergence may be thought of through the geometrical concept of orthogonality . Utterances in a dialogue have as their content, not only the processes (similar to proofs) which lead to them from a monologic view, but also their interactions with other utterances. Finally, any utterance must be seen as co-constructed in an interaction between two processes. That is to say that it not only contains one speaker’s intentions but also his or her expectations from the other interlocutor. From our viewpoint, discursive strategies like narration , elaboration , topicalization may derive from such interactions, as well as speech acts like assertion, question and denegation. (shrink)
Statements’ rated truth increases when people encounter them repeatedly. Processing fluency is a central variable to explain this truth effect. However, people experience processing fluency positively, and these positive experiences might cause the truth effect. Three studies investigated positivity and fluency influences on the truth effect. Study 1 found correlations between elicited positive feelings and rated truth. Study 2 replicated the repetition-based truth effect, but positivity did not influence the effect. Study 3 conveyed positive and negative correlations between positivity and (...) truth in a learning phase. We again replicated the truth effect, but positivity only influenced judgments for easy statements in the learning phase. Thus, across three studies, we found positivity effects on rated truth, but not on the repetition-based truth effect: We conclude that positivity does not explain the standard truth effect, but the role of positive experiences for truth judgments deserves further investigation. (shrink)
More than ever, the way we live our lives has become subject to our own decisionmaking. Our whole way of living, in particular what we do to our body, has become the expression of personal lifestyle choices. Because we can make changes to our body according to our own individual preferences, every aspect of our life begins to be seen as the result of individual and voluntary decisions. The comparison with advertising is pertinent here: we should no longer accept the (...) way we are but can choose from a variety of options. Go to any supermarket and look around: innumerable products are promoted because of their healthy ingredients, whether to lower our cholesterol or heighten our natural resistance. And, of course, we buy what is on offer. (shrink)