The mere exposure effect is the increase in positive affect that results from the repeated exposure to previously novel stimuli. We sought to determine if judgments other than affective preference could reliably produce a mere exposure effect for two-dimensional random shapes. In two experiments, we found that brighter and darker judgments did not differentiate target from distracter shapes, liking judgments led to target selection greater than chance, and disliking judgments led to distracter selection greater than chance. These results for brighter, (...) darker, and liking judgments were obtained regardless of whether shape recognition was greater (Experiment 1) or not greater (Experiment 2) than chance. Effects of prior exposure to novel shapes were reliably observed only for affective judgment tasks. These results are inconsistent with general predictions made by the nonspecific activation hypothesis, but not the affective primacy or perceptual fluency hypotheses which were discussed in terms of cognitive neuroscience research. (shrink)
Kant writes: If … the only aim of Nature regarding some creature possessed of reason and a will were its preservation, its well-being, in a word its happiness, then she would have come to a very bad arrangement in choosing its reason as executor of that aim. For all actions that it had to execute in this her intention, and the whole regulation of its behaviour would have been able to be prescribed to it much more precisely by instinct, and (...) that aim thereby much more certainly maintained, than ever could happen through reason …. (shrink)
Neil E. Williams develops a systematic metaphysics centred on the idea of powers, as a rival to neo-Humeanism, the dominant systematic metaphysics in philosophy today. Williams takes powers to be inherently causal properties and uses them as the foundation of his explanations of causation, persistence, laws, and modality.
The Taming of the True poses a broad challenge to realist views of meaning and truth that have been prominent in recent philosophy. Neil Tennant argues compellingly that every truth is knowable, and that an effective logical system can be based on this principle. He lays the foundations for global semantic anti-realism and extends its consequences from the philosophy of mathematics and logic to the theory of meaning, metaphysics, and epistemology.
Informed consent is a central topic in contemporary biomedical ethics. Yet attempts to set defensible and feasible standards for consenting have led to persistent difficulties. In Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics Neil Manson and Onora O'Neill set debates about informed consent in medicine and research in a fresh light. They show why informed consent cannot be fully specific or fully explicit, and why more specific consent is not always ethically better. They argue that consent needs distinctive communicative transactions, by (...) which other obligations, prohibitions, and rights can be waived or set aside in controlled and specific ways. Their book offers a coherent, wide-ranging and practical account of the role of consent in biomedicine which will be valuable to readers working in a range of areas in bioethics, medicine and law. (shrink)
Suppose that one thinks that certain symmetries of a theory reveal “surplus structure”. What would a formalism without that surplus structure look like? The conventional answer is that it would be a reduced theory: a theory which traffics only in structures invariant under the relevant symmetry. In this paper, I argue that there is a neglected alternative: one can work with a sophisticated version of the theory, in which the symmetries act as isomorphisms.
On his death in 2007, Richard Rorty was heralded by the New York Times as “one of the world’s most influential contemporary thinkers.” Controversial on the left and the right for his critiques of objectivity and political radicalism, Rorty experienced a renown denied to all but a handful of living philosophers. In this masterly biography, Neil Gross explores the path of Rorty’s thought over the decades in order to trace the intellectual and professional journey that led him to that (...) prominence. The child of a pair of leftist writers who worried that their precocious son “wasn’t rebellious enough,” Rorty enrolled at the University of Chicago at the age of fifteen. There he came under the tutelage of polymath Richard McKeon, whose catholic approach to philosophical systems would profoundly influence Rorty’s own thought. Doctoral work at Yale led to Rorty’s landing a job at Princeton, where his colleagues were primarily analytic philosophers. With a series of publications in the 1960s, Rorty quickly established himself as a strong thinker in that tradition—but by the late 1970s Rorty had eschewed the idea of objective truth altogether, urging philosophers to take a “relaxed attitude” toward the question of logical rigor. Drawing on the pragmatism of John Dewey, he argued that philosophers should instead open themselves up to multiple methods of thought and sources of knowledge—an approach that would culminate in the publication of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature , one of the most seminal and controversial philosophical works of our time. In clear and compelling fashion, Gross sets that surprising shift in Rorty’s thought in the context of his life and social experiences, revealing the many disparate influences that contribute to the making of knowledge. As much a book about the growth of ideas as it is a biography of a philosopher, Richard Rorty will provide readers with a fresh understanding of both the man and the course of twentieth-century thought. (shrink)
Neil Levy presents a new theory of freedom and responsibility. He defends a particular account of consciousness--the global workspace view--and argues that consciousness plays an especially important role in action. There are good reasons to think that the naïve assumption, that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility, is in fact true.
What is the opposite of freedom? In _Freedom as Marronage_, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom (...) itself and the origin of our political ideals. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space—that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today. The result is a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite. (shrink)
Neil Tennant presents an original logical system with unusual philosophical, proof-theoretic, metalogical, computational, and revision-theoretic virtues. Core Logic is the first system that ensures both relevance and adequacy for the formalization of all mathematical and scientific reasoning.
This work gives an extended presentation of the treatment of variable-binding operators adumbrated in [3:1993d]. Illustrative examples include elementary languages with quantifiers and lambda-equipped categorial languages. Some remarks are also offered to illustrate the philosophical import of the resulting picture. Particularly, a certain conception of logic emerges from the account: the view that logics are true theories in the model-theoretic sense, i.e. the result of selecting a certain class of models as the only “admissible” interpretation structures (for a given language).
In this paper, I construct and defend an account of harm, specifically, all-things-considered overall harm. I start with a simple comparative account, on which an event harms a person provided that she would have been better off had it not occurred. The most significant problems for this account are overdetermination and preemption cases. However, a counterfactual comparative approach of some sort is needed to make sense of harm, or so I argue. I offer a counterfactual comparative theory that accounts nicely (...) for such cases, by taking claims about harm to be, potentially, irreducibly plural. In some cases, there are some events such that they are harmful, even if no one of them is such that it is harmful. I try to work out the details. (shrink)
There are well-known problems associated with the idea of gravitational energy in general relativity. We offer a new perspective on those problems by comparison with Newtonian gravitation, and particularly geometrized Newtonian gravitation. We show that there is a natural candidate for the energy density of a Newtonian gravitational field. But we observe that this quantity is gauge dependent, and that it cannot be defined in the geometrized theory without introducing further structure. We then address a potential response by showing that (...) there is an analogue to the Weyl tensor in geometrized Newtonian gravitation. (shrink)
This article gives an explicit presentation of Newtonian gravitation on the backdrop of Maxwell space-time, giving a sense in which acceleration is relative in gravitational theory. However, caution is needed: assessing whether this is a robust or interesting sense of the relativity of acceleration depends on some subtle technical issues and on substantive philosophical questions over how to identify the space-time structure of a theory.
Neil Levy defends no-platforming people who espouse dangerous or unacceptable views. I reject his notion of higher-order evidence as authoritarian and dogmatic. I argue that no-platforming frustrates the growth of knowledge.
The conflict between agency and stakeholder theories of the firm has long been entrenched in organizational and management literature. At the core of this debate are two competing views of the firm in which assumptions and process contrast each other so sharply that agency and stakeholder views of the firm are often described as polar opposites. The purpose of this paper is to show how agency theory can be subsumed within a general stakeholder model of the firm. By analytically deconstructing (...) the assumptions of agency theory, it is argued that agency theory: (1) must include a recognition of stakeholders; (2) requires a moral minimum to be upheld, which places four moral principles above the interests of any stakeholders, including shareholders; (3) consists of contradictory assumptions about human nature and which give rise to the equally valid assumptions of trust, honesty and loyalty to be infused into the agency relationship. In this way, stakeholder theory is argued to be the logical conclusion of agency theory. Empirical hypotheses are presented as a means to substantiate this claim. (shrink)
This essay presents an ideal for modern Western romantic love.The basic ideas are the following: people want to form a distinctive sort of plural subject with another, what Nozick has called a "We", they want to be loved for properties of certain kinds, and they want this love to establish and sustain a special sort of commitment to them over time.
Given the tremendous proliferation of student plagiarism involving the Internet, the purpose of this study is to determine which theory of ethical reasoning students invoke when defending their transgressions: deontology, utilitarianism, rational self-interest, Machiavellianism, cultural relativism, or situational ethics. Understanding which theory of ethical reasoning students employ is critical, as preemptive steps can be taken by faculty to counteract this reasoning and prevent plagiarism. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that unethical behavior in school can lead to unethical behavior in business; (...) therefore, correcting unethical behavior in school can have a positive impact on organizational ethics. To meet this objective, a content analysis was conducted on the written records of students formally charged with plagiarizing at a large West Coast university. Each case was classified according to the primary ethical reasoning that the student used to justify plagiarism. Results indicate that students predominately invoke deontology, situational ethics, and Machiavellianism. Based on these findings, specific recommendations are offered to curb plagiarism. (shrink)
Given that a person's death is bad for her, when is it bad? I defend subsequentism, the view that things that are bad in the relevant way are bad after they occur. Some have objected to this view on the grounds that it requires us to compare the amount of well-being the victim would have enjoyed, had she not died, with the amount she receives while dead; however, we cannot assign any level of well-being, not even zero, to a dead (...) person. In the population ethics literature, many philosophers have argued along similar lines that bringing someone into existence can neither harm nor benefit her. Working within the comparative framework, I respond by proposing a good sense in which we can say that dead people, and actual people at alternatives in which they do not exist, have a well-being level of zero. (shrink)
Noam Chomsky is one of the leading intellectual figures of modern times. He has had a major influence on linguistics, psychology and philosophy, and a significant effect on many other disciplines, from anthropology to mathematics, education to literary criticism. In this rigorous yet accessible account of Chomsky's work and influence, Neil Smith analyses Chomsky's key contributions to the study of language and the study of mind. He gives a detailed exposition of Chomsky's linguistic theorizing, discusses the psychological and philosophical (...) implications of Chomsky's work, and argues that he has fundamentally changed the way we think of ourselves, gaining a position in the history of ideas on a par with that of Darwin or Descartes. This second edition has been thoroughly updated to account for Chomsky's most recent work, including his continued contributions to linguistics, his further discussion on evolution, and his extensive work on the events of September 11th, 2001. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the role of exact symmetries in theories of physics, working throughout with the example of gravitation set in Newtonian spacetime. First, I spend some time setting up a means of thinking about symmetries in this context; second, I consider arguments from the seeming undetectability of absolute velocities to an anti-realism about velocities; and finally, I claim that the structure of the theory licences us to interpret models which differ only with regards to the absolute velocities (...) of objects as depicting the same physical state of affairs. In defending this last claim, I consider how ideas and resources from the philosophy of language may usefully be brought to bear on this topic. (shrink)
Mental content and the problem of De Se belief -- Cognitive attitudes and content -- The doctrine of propositions -- The problem of De Se belief -- The property theory of content -- In favor of the property theory -- Perry's messy shopper and the argument from explanation -- Lewis's case of the two Gods -- Arguments from internalism and physicalism -- An inference to the best explanation -- Alternatives to the property theory -- The triadic view of belief -- (...) How the property theory and the triadic view are rivals -- Dyadic propositionalism reconsidered -- Arguments against the property theory -- Self-ascription and self-awareness -- Nonexistence and impossible contents -- Stalnaker's argument -- Propositionalist arguments from inference -- The property theory and De Re belief -- Lewis's account of De Re belief -- McKay's objection to Lewis -- Mistaken identity and the case of the shy secret admirer -- Some other worries and concluding remarks -- The property theory, rationality, and Kripke's puzzle about belief -- Kripke's puzzle about belief -- The puzzle argument -- A solution to the puzzle -- Puzzles with empty names and kind terms -- The property theory, twin earth, and belief about kinds -- Twin earth and two kinds of internalism -- The twin earth argument -- An internalist response (stage one) -- An internalist response (stage two) -- Self-ascription and belief about kinds. (shrink)
Philosophers from Hart to Lewis, Johnston and Bennett have expressed various degrees of reservation concerning the doctrine of double effect. A common concern is that, with regard to many activities that double effect is traditionally thought to prohibit, what might at first look to be a directly intended bad effect is really, on closer examination, a directly intended neutral effect that is closely connected to a foreseen bad effect. This essay examines the extent to which the commonsense concept of intention (...) supports a reasonably consistent and coherent application of double effect. Two important conclusions are these: (1) a number of traditionally proscribed activities involve a kind of “targeting” of innocents that can be taken to exhibit a direct intention to harm them; (2) a direct intention to harm need not involve a desire to harm in any ordinary sense of the latter expression. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider the problem of omission for the counterfactual comparative account of harm. A given event harms a person, on this account, when it makes her worse off than she would have been if it had not occurred. The problem arises because cases in which one person merely fails to benefit another intuitively seem harmless. The account, however, seems to imply that when one person fails to benefit another, the first thereby harms the second, since the second (...) person would have been better off if the first had benefited her. I argue that the cases of failing to benefit at issue are in fact cases of harming. They are cases of preventive harm. I also argue that we can explain away the intuition that no harm occurs in these cases, and that the relevant implication of the counterfactual comparative account is consistent with a variety of plausible views about the moral significance of harm. (shrink)
What exactly is complexity science? Two's company, three is complexity ; Disorder rules, OK? ; Chaos and all that jazz ; Mob mentality ; Getting connected -- What can complexity science do for me? Forecasting financial markets ; Tackling traffic networks and climbing the corporate ladder ; Looking for Mr./Mrs. Right ; Coping with conflict : next-generation wars and global terrorism -- Catching a cold, avoiding super-flu and curing cancer ; The mother of all complexities : our nanoscale quantum world (...) ; To infinity and beyond. (shrink)
In Elements of Legislation, Neil Duxbury examines the history of English law through the lens of legal philosophy in an effort to draw out the differences between judge-made and enacted law and to explain what courts do with the laws that legislatures enact. He presents a series of rigorously researched and carefully rehearsed arguments concerning the law-making functions of legislatures and courts, the concepts of legislative supremacy and judicial review, the nature of legislative intent and the core principles of (...) statutory interpretation. (shrink)
A central area of current philosophical debate in the foundations of mathematics concerns whether or not there is a single, maximal, universe of set theory. Universists maintain that there is such a universe, while Multiversists argue that there are many universes, no one of which is ontologically privileged. Often forcing constructions that add subsets to models are cited as evidence in favour of the latter. This paper informs this debate by analysing ways the Universist might interpret this discourse that seems (...) to necessitate the addition of subsets to V. We argue that despite the prima facie incoherence of such talk for the Universist, she nonetheless has reason to try and provide interpretation of this discourse. We analyse extant interpretations of such talk, and analyse various tradeoffs in naturality that might be made. We conclude that the Universist has promising options for interpreting different forcing constructions. (shrink)
This paper critically assesses whether quantum entanglement can be made compatible with Humean supervenience. After reviewing the prima facie tension between entanglement and Humeanism, I outline a recently-proposed Humean response, and argue that it is subject to two problems: one concerning the determinacy of quantities, and one concerning its relationship to scientific practice.
In this book, Binder shows that at the heart of the most prominent arguments in favour of value-neutral approaches to overall freedom lies the value freedom has for human agency and development. Far from leading to the adoption of a value-neutral approach, however, ascribing importance to freedom’s agency value requires one to adopt a refined value-based approach. Binder employs an axiomatic framework in order to develop such an approach. She shows that a focus on freedom’s agency value has (...) far reaching consequences for existing results in the freedom ranking literature: it requires one to move beyond a person’s given all-things-considered preferences to the values underlying a person’s preference formation. Furthermore, it requires, as Binder argues, one to account for those differences between choice options which really matter to people. Binder illustrates the implications of her analysis for the evaluation of public policy and human development with the capability approach: only if sufficient importance is ascribed to freedom’s agency value can the capability approach keep its promises. . (shrink)
In a recent paper, Wigglesworth claims that syntactic criteria of theoretical equivalence are not appropriate for settling questions of equivalence between logical theories, since such criteria judge classical and intuitionistic logic to be equivalent; he concludes that logicians should use semantic criteria instead. However, this is an artefact of the particular syntactic criterion chosen, which is an implausible criterion of theoretical equivalence. Correspondingly, there is nothing to suggest that a more plausible syntactic criterion should not be used to settle questions (...) of equivalence between different logical theories; such a criterion is exhibited and shown to judge classical and intuitionistic logic to be inequivalent. (shrink)