Perspectives on global warming Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-29 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9639-9 Authors Steven Yearley, ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ UK David Mercer, Science and Technology Studies Program, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia Andy Pitman, Climate Change Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia Naomi Oreskes, Department of History, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0104, USA Erik Conway, (...) Caltech, 1200 East California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. These scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. -/- Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and (...) scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it. -/- Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that grounding relations are asymmetric. Here I develop and argue for a theory of metaphysical structure that takes grounding to be nonsymmetric rather than asymmetric. Even without infinite descending chains of dependence, it might be that every entity is grounded in some other entity. Having first addressed an immediate objection to the position under discussion, I introduce two examples of symmetric grounding. I give three arguments for the view that grounding is nonsymmetric (I call this view (...) ‘metaphysical interdependence’). These arguments are: (i) that metaphysical interdependence is the only theory able to reconcile competing intuitions about grounding; (ii) that it is the only theory consistent with both ‘gunk’ and ‘junk’; and (iii) that offers a satisfactory solution to the problem concerning whether or not grounding is itself grounded. (shrink)
Attempts to elucidate grounding are often made by connecting grounding to metaphysical explanation, but the notion of metaphysical explanation is itself opaque, and has received little attention in the literature. We can appeal to theories of explanation in the philosophy of science to give us a characterization of metaphysical explanation, but this reveals a tension between three theses: that grounding relations are objective and mind-independent; that there are pragmatic elements to metaphysical explanation; and that grounding and metaphysical explanation share a (...) close connection. Holding fixed the mind-independence of grounding, I show that neither horn of the resultant dilemma can be blunted. Consequently, we should reject the assumption that grounding relations are mind-independent. (shrink)
Naomi Scheman argues that the concerns of philosophy emerge not from the universal human condition but from conditions of privilege. Her books represents a powerful challenge to the notion that gender makes no difference in the construction of philosophical reasoning. At the same time, it criticizes the narrow focus of most feminist theorizing and calls for a more inclusive form of inquiry.
Author note: Naomi Zack is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Albany. She herself is of mixed race: Jewish, African American, and Native American.
Sometime around their first birthday most infants begin to engage in relatively sustained bouts of attending together with their caretakers to objects in their environment. By the age of 18 months, on most accounts, they are engaging in full-blown episodes of joint attention. As developmental psychologists (usually) use the term, for such joint attention to be in play, it is not sufficient that the infant and the adult are in fact attending to the same object, nor that the one’s attention (...) cause the other’s. The latter can and does happen much earlier, whenever the adult follows the baby’s gaze and homes in on the same object as the baby is attending to; or, from the age of six months, when babies begin to follow the gaze of an adult. We have the relevant sense of joint attention in play only when the fact that both child and adult are attending to the same object is, to use Sperber and Wilson’s (1986) phrase, ‘mutually manifest’. Psychologists sometimes speak of such jointness as a case of attention being ‘shared’ by infant and adult, or of a ‘meeting of minds’ between infant and adult, all phrases intended to capture the idea that when joint attention occurs everything about the fact that both subjects are attending to the same object is out in the open, manifest to both participants. (shrink)
It’s widely accepted that we have most reason to accept theories that best fulfill the following naturalistically respectable criteria: internal consistency, consistency with the facts, and exemplification of the theoretical virtues. It’s also widely accepted that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. I argue that if you accept the aforementioned criteria, you have most reason to reject that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. By applying the criteria to worlds that are all prima facie possible, I show that contingent local matters of (...) particular fact partly determine which theory of composition we should accept at a world. For instance, I argue that when we apply the criteria to our world, we should accept Mereological Nihilism. Furthermore, even if you think that the worlds I mention, such as gunky worlds, are impossible, you should still reject the brute principle that metaphysical theories are necessarily true. Instead, you should only accept that a theory of composition is necessarily true if contingent local matters of particular fact at possible worlds cannot tell in favor of one theory of composition over another. (shrink)
Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always nonunique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The (...) primary value of models is heuristic. (shrink)
Socrates was not a moral philosopher. Instead he was a theorist who showed how human desire and human knowledge complement one another in the pursuit of human happiness. His theory allowed him to demonstrate that actions and objects have no value other than that which they derive from their employment by individuals who, inevitably, desire their own happiness and have the knowledge to use actions and objects as a means for its attainment. The result is a naturalised, practical, and demystified (...) account of good and bad, and right and wrong. Professor Reshotko presents a freshly envisioned Socratic theory residing at the intersection of the philosophy of mind and ethics. It makes an important contribution to the study of the Platonic dialogues and will also interest all scholars of ethics and moral psychology. (shrink)
Grounding talk has become increasingly familiar in contemporary philosophical discussion. Most discussants of grounding think that grounding talk is useful, intelligible, and accurately describes metaphysical reality. Call them realists about grounding. Some dissenters reject grounding talk on the grounds that it is unintelligible, or unmotivated. They would prefer to eliminate grounding talk from philosophy, so we can call them eliminitivists about grounding. This paper outlines a new position in the debate about grounding, defending the view that grounding talk is intelligible (...) and useful. Grounding talk does not, however, provide a literal and veridical description of mind-independent metaphysical reality. This irrealism about grounding treads a path between realism and eliminativism. (shrink)
Spatial Representation presents original, specially written essays by leading psychologists and philosophers on a fascinating set of topics at the intersection of these two disciplines. They address such questions as these: Do the extraordinary navigational abilities of birds mean that these birds have the same kind of grip on the idea of a spatial world as we do? Is there a difference between the way sighted and blind subjects represent the world 'out there'? Does the study of brain-injured subjects, such (...) as 'blind seers', tell us anything about the working of normal spatial consciousness? -/- The essays are arranged into five sections, each of which reflects a central area of research into spatial cognition, and opens with a short introduction by the editors, designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary reading. The volume as a whole offers a rich and compelling expression of the view that to advance our understanding of the way we represent the external world it is necessary to draw on both philosophical and psychological approaches. (shrink)
Examining racial profiling in American policing, Naomi Zack argues against white privilege discourse while introducing a new theory of applicative justice. Deepening understanding without abandoning hope, Zack shows why it is more important to consider black rights than white privilege as we move forward through today's culture of inequality.
Paul Hoyningen-Huene argues that what makes scientific knowledge special is its systematic character, and that this can be used to solve the demarcation problem. He labels this STDC: “Systematicity Theory’s Demarcation Criterion.” This paper argues that STDC fails, because there are areas of intellectual activity that are highly systematic, but that the great majority of scientists and historians and philosophers of science do not accept as scientific. These include homepathy, creationism, and climate change denial. I designate these activities “facsimile sciences” (...) because they mimic the appearance of science but are not, by the standards of philosophers and scientists, scientific. This suggests that we need additional criteria to demarcate science from non-science and/ or nonsense. (shrink)
This introductory paper sets out a framework for approaching some of the claims about the second person made by the papers collected in the special edition of Philosophical Explorations on The Second Person . It does so by putting centre stage the notion of a ‘bipolar second person relation’, and examining ways of giving it substance suggested by the authors of these papers. In particular, it focuses on claims made in these papers about the existence and/or nature of second person (...) thought, second person reasons for action and second person reasons for belief and about possible connections among thought-theoretical, ethical and epistemological issues and debates in this area. (shrink)
of presence cannot be explained by appeal to the notion of non-representational of experience. world see John Campbell, 'The Role of Physical Objects in Thinking', in Representation: Problems Perceptual Intentionality, and.
My question is: does phenomenal consciousness have a critical role in explaining the way conscious perceptions achieve objective import? I approach it through developing a dilemma I label ‘Burge’s Challenge’, which is implicit in his approach to perceptual objectivity. It says, crudely: either endorse the general structure of his account of how objective perceptual import is achieved, and give up on a role for consciousness. Or, relinquish Caused Representation, and possibly defend a role for consciousness. Someone I call Burge* holds (...) we should embrace the first horn of the dilemma. A second response, roughly the relationalist approach, opts for the second horn. The third option, implicit in many current approaches to perceptual consciousness, is to reject the dilemma. The paper argues for a version of the second response. The key argument turns on the development of a sceptical challenge to justify the assumption that we perceive particular intrinsic property instantiations, rather than their structural equivalents. The suggestion will be that only the relationalist approach can meet it in the way we think it is met. If this is right, there is a prima facie case for taking relationalist responses to the dilemma seriously. I end with two objections to this response, which might be made by the real Burge in defence of opting for the first horn of the dilemma, and by phenomenal intentionalists in defence of rejecting the dilemma. I use discussion of these to highlight one of the main issues that should be pursued in order to make good the claim that we should embrace the horn of the dilemma that Burge* rejects. (shrink)
This chapter argues that a central division among accounts of joint attention, both in philosophy and developmental psychology, turns on how they address two questions: What, if any, is the connection between the capacity to engage in joint attention triangles and the capacity to grasp the idea of objective truth? How do we explain the kind of openness or sharing of minds that occurs in joint attention? The chapter explores the connections between answers to both questions, and argues that theories (...) can be divided into two distinct types according to how these connections are developed. (shrink)
Abstract -/- The perfectly natural properties and relations are special—they are all and only those that "carve nature at its joints." They act as reference magnets, form a minimal supervenience base, figure in fundamental physics and in the laws of nature, and never divide duplicates within or between worlds. If the perfectly natural properties are the (metaphysically) important ones, we should expect being a perfectly natural property to itself be one of the (perfectly) natural properties. This paper argues that being (...) a perfectly natural property is not a very natural property, and examines the consequences. (shrink)
Naomi Zack pioneers a new theory of justice starting from a correction of current injustices. While the present justice paradigm in political philosophy and related fields begins from John Rawls’s 1970 Theory of Justice, Zack insists that what people in reality care about is not justice as an ideal, but injustice as a correctable ill.
Naomi Zack begins this extraordinary book with the premise that if one is to understand Western conceptions of racialized and gendered identity, one needs to go back to a period when such categories were not salient and examine how notions ...
Naomi Zack brings us an indispensable work in the ethics of race through an inquiry into the history of moral philosophy. The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy enters into a web of ideas, ethics, and morals that untangle our evolving ideas of racial equality straight into the twenty-first century.
The causal theory of perception has come under a great deal of critical scrutiny from philosophers of mind interested in the nature of perception. M. H. Newman's set-theoretic objection to Russell's structuralist version of the CTP, in his 1928 paper “Mr Russell's Causal Theory of Perception” has not, to my knowledge, figured in these discussions. In this paper I aim to show that it should: Newman's objection can be generalized to yield a particularly powerful and incisive challenge to all versions (...) of the CTP. In effect it says that if the CTP is true, at least one of the following claims must be false. Our perception-based judgements are made true or false by the state of mind independent objects. The concepts we use in such judgments refer to the intrinsic, mind-independent properties of such objects. Experience provides us with knowledge of these properties. The paper sets out the structure of the problem as Newman saw it, extends it to current debates in theory of perception and considers various responses to it. The response I argue for involves jettisoning the CTP in favour of a relational account of perceptual experience, in a way that allows us to hold onto all three claims. (shrink)
Kant’s Critical philosophy seems to leave very little room to account for the mental lives of animals, since the understanding, which animals lack, is required for experience and cognition. While Kant does not regard animals as Cartesian machines, he leaves them few resources for getting around in the world in a coherent and responsive way. In this paper I present Kant’s account of animal minds. According to this picture, animals have representations of which they are not conscious, and these representations (...) can give rise to inclinations through a form of reflection. While this account faces difficulties in accounting for the variety and complexity of animal behavior, it is impressive in its ingenuity, and it clarifies the role of various faculties and terms in the Critical philosophy. -/- . (shrink)
In the second half of the third Critique, Kant develops a new form of judgment peculiar to organisms: teleological judgment. In the Appendix to this text, Kant argues that we must regard the final, unconditioned end of creation as human freedom, due to reason's demand that we regard nature as a system of ends. In this paper, I offer a novel interpretation of this argument, according to which judgments of freedom within nature are possible as instances of teleological judgment. Just (...) as individual organisms are to be regarded as governed by supersensible teleological laws, so too is nature as a whole to be regarded as given laws from a supersensible ground. This supersensible ground in the case of nature as a whole is freedom. Freedom and teleological judgments are to be regarded as unifiable with mechanism in the supersensible, and we are to subordinate mechanical explanations to teleological judgments as well as to freedom. This interpretation makes sense both of Kant's claim that he overcomes the “incalculable gulf” between nature and freedom in the third Critique, and also of the location of this argument, as following after and relying on the results of the Dialectic of Teleological Judgment. (shrink)