Ever since David Hume, empiricists have barred powers and capacities from nature. In this book Cartwright argues that capacities are essential in our scientific world, and, contrary to empiricist orthodoxy, that they can meet sufficiently strict demands for testability. Econometrics is one discipline where probabilities are used to measure causal capacities, and the technology of modern physics provides several examples of testing capacities (such as lasers). Cartwright concludes by applying the lessons of the book about capacities and probabilities to the (...) explanation of the role of causality in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Hunting Causes and Using Them argues that causation is not one thing, as commonly assumed, but many. There is a huge variety of causal relations, each with different characterizing features, different methods for discovery and different uses to which it can be put. In this collection of new and previously published essays, Nancy Cartwright provides a critical survey of philosophical and economic literature on causality, with a special focus on the currently fashionable Bayes-nets and invariance methods - and it (...) exposes a huge gap in that literature. Almost every account treats either exclusively how to hunt causes or how to use them. But where is the bridge between? It's no good knowing how to warrant a causal claim if we don't know what we can do with that claim once we have it. This book will interest philosophers, economists and social scientists. (shrink)
In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, the author argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe regularities that exist in nature. Cartwright draws from many real-life examples to propound a novel distinction: that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.
It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave (...) in their own diverse ways. This patchwork makes sense when we realise that laws are very special productions of nature, requiring very special arrangements for their generation. Combining classic and newly written essays on physics and economics, The Dappled World carries important philosophical consequences and offers serious lessons for both the natural and the social sciences. (shrink)
How do novel scientific concepts arise? In Creating Scientific Concepts, Nancy Nersessian seeks to answer this central but virtually unasked question in the problem of conceptual change. She argues that the popular image of novel concepts and profound insight bursting forth in a blinding flash of inspiration is mistaken. Instead, novel concepts are shown to arise out of the interplay of three factors: an attempt to solve specific problems; the use of conceptual, analytical, and material resources provided by the (...) cognitive-social-cultural context of the problem; and dynamic processes of reasoning that extend ordinary cognition. Focusing on the third factor, Nersessian draws on cognitive science research and historical accounts of scientific practices to show how scientific and ordinary cognition lie on a continuum, and how problem-solving practices in one illuminate practices in the other. (shrink)
"This highly-readable work traces a set of beliefs about the nature of woman that have informed, and in turn have been reinforced by, science, religion, and philosophy from the classical period to the nineteenth century.... [T]his book’s analysis lends support to claims that the gender system affected our very conceptions of science." —Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences "An important book for the educated general public as well as for scholars in many disciplines. Highly recommended." —Library Journal "Students (...) and researchers alike will welcome this carefully argued volume that so clearly traces the dominant contours of Western conceptions about women." —Isis "Nancy Tuana’s book is brillant. In under two hundred pages she presents a concise account of how women have been perceived in relation to men in the Western world for the past 2,500 years."—American Historical Review "A wide-ranging discussion of conceptions of women in science, philosophy and religion from ancient times to the late nineteenth century, Tuana’s book makes it devastatingly clear how powerful and how deeply rooted was the Western idea of women as men’s inferiors."—Women’s Review of Books "... an unusually readable account of the image of women from the Greeks to the nineteenth century, wedded to a highly interesting argument about the way religion and philosophy affect the direction of the work of scientists, and how the work of scientists is used by philosophers and clergy to give authority to the more abstract world of ideas." —Magill Book Reviews Provides a framework for understanding the persistence of the Western patriarchal view of woman as inferior. Tuana examines beliefs that were accepted a priori as evidence of women’s inferiority and studies early theories of woman’s nature to illustrate the way scientific literature, was influenced by—and in turn affected—religious and philosophical tenets. (shrink)
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are widely taken as the gold standard for establishing causal conclusions. Ideally conducted they ensure that the treatment ‘causes’ the outcome—in the experiment. But where else? This is the venerable question of external validity. I point out that the question comes in two importantly different forms: Is the specific causal conclusion warranted by the experiment true in a target situation? What will be the result of implementing the treatment there? This paper explains how the probabilistic theory (...) of causality implies that RCTs can establish causal conclusions and thereby provides an account of what exactly that causal conclusion is. Clarifying the exact form of the conclusion shows just what is necessary for it to hold in a new setting and also how much more is needed to see what the actual outcome would be there were the treatment implemented. (shrink)
Philosophy for Children arose in the 1970s in the US as an educational programme. This programme, initiated by Matthew Lipman, was devoted to exploring the relationship between the notions ‘philosophy’ and ‘childhood’, with the implicit practical goal of establishing philosophy as a full-fledged ‘content area’ in public schools. Over 40 years, the programme has spread worldwide, and the theory and practice of doing philosophy for or with children and young people appears to be of growing interest in the field of (...) education and, by implication, in society as a whole. This article focuses on this growing interest by offering a survey of the main arguments and ideas that have given shape to the idea of philosophy for children in recent decades. This aim is twofold: first, to make more familiar an actual educational practice that is not at all well known in the field of academic philosophy itself; and second, to invite a re-thinking of the relationship between philosophy and the child ‘after Lipman’. (shrink)
What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for (...) an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
This essay aims to clarify the value of developing systematic studies of ignorance as a component of any robust theory of knowledge. The author employs feminist efforts to recover and create knowledge of women's bodies in the contemporary women's health movement as a case study for cataloging different types of ignorance and shedding light on the nature of their production. She also helps us understand the ways resistance movements can be a helpful site for understanding how to identify, critique, and (...) transform ignorance. (shrink)
Concerns about the risks of unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions are growing. At the same time, confidence that international policy agreements will succeed in considerably lowering anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is declining. Perhaps as a result, various geoengineering solutions are gaining attention and credibility as a way to manage climate change. Serious consideration is currently being given to proposals to cool the planet through solar-radiation management. Here we analyze how the unique and nontrivial risks of geoengineering strategies pose fundamental questions at (...) the interface between science and ethics. To illustrate the importance of integrated ethical and scientific analysis, we define key open questions and outline a coupled scientific-ethical research agenda to analyze solar-radiation management geoengineering proposals. We identify nine key fields of coupled research including whether solar-radiation management can be tested, how quickly learning could occur, normative decisions embedded in how different climate trajectories are valued, and justice issues regarding distribution of the harms and benefits of geoengineering. To ensure that ethical analyses are coupled with scientific analyses of this form of geoengineering, we advocate that funding agencies recognize the essential nature of this coupled research by establishing an Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications program for solar-radiation management. (shrink)
How can philosophy of science be of more practical use? One thing we can do is provide practicable advice about how to determine when one empirical claim is relevant to the truth of another; i.e., about evidential relevance. This matters especially for evidence-based policy, where advice is thin—and misleading—about how to tell what counts as evidence for policy effectiveness. This paper argues that good efficacy results, which are all the rage now, are only a very small part of the story. (...) To tell what facts are relevant for judging policy effectiveness, we need to construct causal scenarios about will happen when the policy is implemented. (shrink)
This book is the first to offer a detailed analysis of Aristotelian and Kantian ethics together, in a way that remains faithful to the texts and responsive to debates in contemporary ethics. Recent moral philosophy has seen a revival of interest in the concept of virtue, and with it a reassessment of the role of virtue in the work of Aristotle and Kant. This book brings that re-assessment to a new level of sophistication. Nancy Sherman argues that Kant preserves (...) a notion of virtue in his moral theory that bears recognisable traces of the Aristotelian and Stoic traditions, and that his complex anthropology of morals brings him into surprising alliance with Aristotle. She develops her argument through close readings of major texts by both Aristotle and Kant, illustrating points of congruence and contrast. (shrink)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, like many other funding agencies all over the globe, has made large investments in interdisciplinary research in the sciences and engineering, arguing that interdisciplinary research is an essential resource for addressing emerging problems, resulting in important social benefits. Using NSF as a case study for problem that might be relevant in other contexts as well, I argue that the NSF itself poses a significant barrier to such research in not sufficiently appreciating (...) the value of the humanities as significant interdisciplinary partners. This essay focuses on the practices of philosophy as a highly valuable but currently under-appreciated partner in achieving the goals of interdisciplinary research. This essay advances a proposal for developing deeper and wider interdisciplinary research in the sciences through coupled ethical-epistemological research. I argue that this more robust model of interdisciplinary practice will lead to better science by providing resources for understanding the types of value decisions that are entrenched in research models and methods, offering resources for identifying the ethical implications of research decisions, and providing a lens for identifying the questions that are ignored, under-examined, and rendered invisible through scientific habit or lack of interest. In this way, we will have better science both in the traditional sense of advancing knowledge by building on and adding to our current knowledge as well as in the broader sense of science for the good of, namely, scientific research that better benefits society. (shrink)
Until recently, struggles for justice proceeded against the background of a taken-for-granted frame: the bounded territorial state. With that "Westphalian" picture of political space assumed by default, the scope of justice was rarely subject to open dispute. Today, however, human-rights activists and international feminists join critics of structural adjustment and the World Trade Organization in challenging the view that justice can only be a domestic relation among fellow citizens. Targeting injustices that cut across borders, they are making the scale of (...) justice an object of explicit struggle. Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justicerepresentationand elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world. (shrink)
Lay understanding and scientific accounts of female sexuality and orgasm provide a fertile site for demonstrating the importance of including epistemologies of ignorance within feminist epistemologies. Ignorance is not a simple lack. It is often constructed, maintained, and disseminated and is linked to issues of cognitive authority, doubt, trust, silencing, and uncertainty. Studying both feminist and nonfeminist understandings of female orgasm reveals practices that suppress or erase bodies of knowledge concerning women's sexual pleasures.
One of the strongest strands in Nancy's philosophy is an attempt to rethink community and the very idea of the social in a way that does not ground these ideas in some individual subject or subjectivity. The fundamental argument of this book is that being is always 'being with', that 'I' is not prior to 'we', that existence is essentially co-existence. He thinks this being together, not as a comfortable enclosure in a pre-existing group, but as a mutual abandonment (...) and exposure to each other, one that would preserve the 'I' and its freedom in a mode of imagining community as neither a 'society of spectacle' nor via some form of 'authenticity'. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory predicts that humans should avoid incest because of the negative effects incest has on individual reproduction: production of defective offspring. Selection for the avoidance of close-kin mating has apparently resulted in a psychological mechanism that promotes voluntary incest avoidance. Most human societies are thought to have rules regulating incest. If incest is avoided, why are social rules constructed to regulate it? This target article suggests that incest rules do not exist primarily to regulate close-kin mating but to regulate (...) inbreeding between more distant kin and sexual relations between affinal relatives. Three evolutionary hypotheses about cousin marriage and affinal kin mating follow from this suggestion: Rules regulating mating between affinal kin are means of paternity protection. Cousin marriage is regulated because, if it occurs, it can concentrate wealth and power within families to the detriment of the powerful positions of rulers in stratified societies and the relatively equal social statuses of most men in egalitarian societies. Tests using the comparative method on a worldwide sample of 129 societies supported the three hypotheses. Two alternative anthropological hypotheses failed to be supported. (shrink)
: This essay aims to clarify the value of developing systematic studies of ignorance as a component of any robust theory of knowledge. The author employs feminist efforts to recover and create knowledge of women's bodies in the contemporary women's health movement as a case study for cataloging different types of ignorance and shedding light on the nature of their production. She also helps us understand the ways resistance movements can be a helpful site for understanding how to identify, critique, (...) and transform ignorance. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to articulate and advocate for an enhanced role for philosophers of science in the domain of science policy as well as within the science curriculum. I argue that philosophy of science as a field can learn from the successes as well as the mistakes of bioethics and begin to develop a new model that includes robust contributions to the science classroom, research collaborations with scientists, and a role for public philosophy through involvement in science (...) policy development. Through an analysis of two case studies, I illustrate how philosophers of science can make effective and productive contributions to science education as well as to interdisciplinary scientific research, and argue for the essential role of philosophers of science in the realm of science policy. (shrink)
In this paper I want to analyse the meaning of education for democracy and thinking as this is generally understood by Philosophy for Children. Although we may be inclined to applaud Philosophy for Children's emphasis on children, critical thinking, autonomy and dialogue, there is reason for scepticism too. Since we are expected as a matter of course to subscribe to the basic assumptions of Philosophy for Children, we seem to become tied, as it were, to the whole package, without reservation. (...) Following ideas of Hannah Arendt, I draw attention to the instrumentalised nature of Philosophy for Children and the loss of originality that this instrumentalisation means. This does not mean that I wish to abandon Philosophy for Children. The point is rather that I want to examine whether or not another kind of philosophy for children is possible. (shrink)
: Lay understanding and scientific accounts of female sexuality and orgasm provide a fertile site for demonstrating the importance of including epistemologies of ignorance within feminist epistemologies. Ignorance is not a simple lack. It is often constructed, maintained, and disseminated and is linked to issues of cognitive authority, doubt, trust, silencing, and uncertainty. Studying both feminist and nonfeminist understandings of female orgasm reveals practices that suppress or erase bodies of knowledge concerning women's sexual pleasures.
Refuting the argument to choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," _Justice Interruptus_ integrates the best aspects of both. ********************************************************* ** What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the (...) false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both. (shrink)
Virtue ethics enjoys a resurgence, yet the topic of virtue cultivation has been largely neglected. This volume remedies this gap, featuring mostly new essays, commissioned for this collection, by philosophers, theologians, and psychologists at the forefront of research into virtue.
An international team of four authors, led by distinguished philosopher of science, Nancy Cartwright, and leading scholar of the Vienna Circle, Thomas E. Uebel, have produced this lucid and elegant study of a much-neglected figure. The book, which depicts Neurath's science in the political, economic and intellectual milieu in which it was practised, is divided into three sections: Neurath's biographical background and the socio-political context of his economic ideas; the development of his theory of science; and his legacy as (...) illustrated by his contemporaneous involvement in academic and political debates. Coinciding with the renewal of interest in logical positivism, this is a timely publication which will redress a current imbalance in the history and philosophy of science, as well as making a major contribution to our understanding of the intellectual life of Austro-Germany in the inter-war years. (shrink)
La autora presenta algunas criticas generales al proyecto de reducir las leyes causales a probabilidades. Además, muestra que las leyes causales son imprescindibles para poder diferenciar las strategias efectivas de las que no lo son y da un criterio para considerar cuando podemos deducir causalidad a través de datos estadísticos.