One of the few points of agreement to be found in mainstream responses to the logical and semantic problems generated by vagueness is the view that if any modification of classical logic and semantics is required at all then it will only be such as to admit underdetermined reference and truth-value gaps. Logics of vagueness including many valued logics, fuzzy logics, and supervaluation logics all provide responses in accord with this view. The thought that an adequate response might require the (...) recognition of cases of overdetermination and truth value gluts has few supporters. This imbalance lacks justification. As it happens, Jaskowski's paraconsistent discussive logic-a logic which admits truth value gluts-can be defended by reflecting on similarities between it and the popular supervaluationist analysis of vagueness already in the philosophical literature. A simple dualisation of supervaluation semantics results in a paraconsistent logic of vagueness based on what has been termed subvaluational semantics. (shrink)
Psychopathy refers to a range of complex behaviors and personality traits, including callousness and antisocial behavior, typically studied in criminal populations. Recent studies have used self-reports to examine psychopathic traits among noncriminal samples. The goal of the current study was to examine the underlying factor structure of the Self-Report of Psychopathy Scale–Short Form (SRP-SF) across complementary samples and examine the impact of gender on factor structure. We examined the structure of the SRP-SF among 2,554 young adults from three undergraduate samples (...) and a high-risk young adult sample. Using confirmatory factor analysis, a four-correlated factor model and a four-bifactor model showed good fit to the data. Evidence of weak invariance was found for both models across gender. These findings highlight that the SRP-SF is a useful measure of low-level psychopathic traits in noncriminal samples, although the underlying factor structure may not fully translate across men and women. (shrink)
The sorites paradox is the name given to a class of paradoxical arguments, also known as little by little arguments, which arise as a result of the indeterminacy surrounding limits of application of the predicates involved. For example, the concept of a heap appears to lack sharp boundaries and, as a consequence of the subsequent indeterminacy surrounding the extension of the predicate ‘is a heap’, no one grain of wheat can be identified as making the difference between being a heap (...) and not being a heap. Given then that one grain of wheat does not make a heap, it would seem to follow that two do not, thus three do not, and so on. In the end it would appear that no amount of wheat can make a heap. We are faced with paradox since from apparently true premises by seemingly uncontroversial reasoning we arrive at an apparently false conclusion. (shrink)
The idea that the phenomenon of vagueness might be modelled by a paraconsistent logic has been little discussed in contemporary work on vagueness, just as the idea that paraconsistent logics might be fruitfully applied to the phenomenon of vagueness has been little discussed in contemporary work on paraconsistency. This is prima facie surprising given that the earliest formalisations of paraconsistent logics presented in Jáskowski and Halldén were presented as logics of vagueness. One possible explanation for this is that, despite initial (...) advocacy by pioneers of paraconsistency, the prospects for a paraconsistent account of vagueness are so poor as to warrant little further consideration. In this paper we look at the reasons that might be offered in defence of this negative claim. As we shall show, they are far from compelling. Paraconsistent accounts of vagueness deserve further attention. (shrink)
& Behavioral and brain imaging research indicates that human infants, humans adults, and many nonhuman animals represent large nonsymbolic numbers approximately, discriminating between sets with a ratio limit on accuracy. Some behavioral evidence, especially with human infants, suggests that these representations differ from representations of small numbers of objects. To investigate neural signatures of this distinction, event-related potentials were recorded as adult humans passively viewed the sequential presentation of dot arrays in an adaptation paradigm. In two studies, subjects viewed successive (...) arrays of a single number of dots interspersed with test arrays presenting the same or a different number; numerical range (small numerical quantities 1–3 vs. large numerical.. (shrink)
Can identity be vague? More exactly, can there be objects x and y such that it is vague whether x = y, and the vagueness is due to the objects themselves as opposed to vagueness in language used to denote the objects? The question has been extensively discussed since Evans (1978) where it was claimed that an affirmative answer was a necessary condition for the thesis that there could be vague objects. A recent, ingenious argument in Pinillos (2003) seeks to (...) establish the negative and show that it cannot be de re vague whether x = y. The argument depends crucially on count claims concerning objects whose identity conditions are de re vague, and so we must learn how to count such objects — clouds, persons and much else besides. When that has been accomplished we can see a way out of Pinillos’s argument, and claim that de re vague identity remains coherent. (shrink)
Difficulties in arriving at an adequate conception of vagueness have led many writers to describe a phenomenon that has come to be known as "higher-order vagueness". Almost as many have found it to be a problem that needs to be addressed. In what follows I shall argue that, whilst we must acknowledge its presence, it is a pseudo-problem. The crucial point is the vagueness of "vague", which shows the phenomenon to be unproblematic though real enough.
The phenomenal character of a perceptual experience describes ‘what it is like’ for an agent undergoing it. This is a familiar notion when it comes to our sensory states. Recently, there has been increased discussion about how certain cognitive states can also have phenomenal characters. A further, more interesting question asks what links, if any, might between what the phenomenal character of a mental state and when that mental state is considered rational. I will assume that some cognitive states can (...) have phenomenal characters and will focus on a prominent phenomenal feature of a particular cognitive state: namely, deliberation over how to act. I aim to expose one way in which we can describe the phenomenology of deliberating, as well as its potential link to the rationality of deliberation. (shrink)
(2013). Standards for Academic and Professional Instruction in Foundations of Education, Educational Studies, and Educational Policy Studies Third Edition, 2012, Draft Presented to the Educational Community by the American Educational Studies Association's Committee on Academic Standards and Accreditation. Educational Studies: Vol. 49, Critical, Interpretive, and Normative Perspectives of Educational Foundations: Contributions for the 21st Century, pp. 107-118.
This study looked at personality trait and personality disorder correlates of self-rated altruism. In two studies over 4,000 adult British managers completed a battery of tests including a ‘bright side’ personality trait measure ; a ‘dark side’/disorders measure, and a measure of their Motives and Values which included Altruism. The two studies showed similar results revealing that those who were low on Adjustment but high on Interpersonal Sensitivity, Prudence and Inquisitiveness were more likely to value Altruism and be motivated to (...) commit altruistic acts which concerns helping others and creating an environment that places emphasis on customer service. Those more interested in “Getting Along” with others were more Altruistic than those more interested in “Getting Ahead” of others. Implications for the selection and management of altruistic people in a business are considered. Limitations and future directions of this research are also noted. (shrink)
Paraconsistent responses to vagueness are often thought to represent a revision of logical theory that is too radical to be defensible. The paracomplete logic of supervaluationism, SpV, is not only taken to be more conservative but is also commonly said to 'preserve classical logic'. This chapter argues that this is wrong on both counts. The paraconsistent logic SbV, or subvaluationism, is no less conservative than SpV nor more so. In the end both logics offer equally compelling theoretical approaches to vagueness. (...) Each approach is also equally objectionable, with neither providing an adequate account of vagueness, but this criticism arises from a feature shared by each approach that is independent of their paracompleteness or paraconsistency per se. For all that has been said, a paraconsistent approach, and the associated recourse to truth-value gluts, remains a contender in accounting for vagueness. (shrink)
It is commonly suggested that vagueness is a purely semantic phenomenon having no metaphysical or ontological implications, requiring no new ontological category for its explanation. It does not entail any revision of the metaphysical view that the world is precise or determinate contra advocates of a vague or fuzzy ontology like Bertil Rolf and Michael Tye. The suggestion is often bolstered by arguments that purport to show that the world is completely describable in a precise language. The precision of the (...) world is then taken to follow from the availability of such a complete precise description thereof. In this sense vague language might be considered superficial. (shrink)
Richard Sylvan (né Routley) was one of Australasia's most prolific and systematic philosophers. Though known for his innovative work in logic and metaphysics, the astonishing breadth of his philosophical endeavours included almost all reaches of philosophy. Taking the view that very basic assumptions of mainstream philosophy were fundamentally mistaken, he sought radical change across a wide range of theories. However, his view of the centrality of logic and recognition of the possibilities opened up by logical innovation in the fundamental areas (...) of metaphysics resulted in his working primarily in these two, closely connected fields. It is this work in logic and metaphysics that is the main focus of what follows. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker maintains that testimonial responsibility is the proper corrective to testimonial injustice. She proposes a perceptual-like “testimonial sensibility” to explain the transmission of knowledge through testimony. This sensibility is the means by which a hearer perceives an interlocutor's credibility level. When prejudice causes a hearer to inappropriately deflate the credibility attributed to a speaker, the sensibility may have functioned unreliably. Testimonial responsibility, she claims, will make the capacity reliable by reinflating credibility levels to their proper degree. I argue that (...) testimonial sensitivity may be or involve “mindreading,” the cognitive capacity by which we predict human behavior and explain it in terms of mental states. Further, I claim that, if testimonial sensibility is or involves mindreading, and mindreading is a function of brain processes, testimonial injustice cannot be corrected by testimonial responsibility. This is because 1) it appears to rely on conscious awareness of prejudice, whereas much bias occurs implicitly, and 2) it works at the individual level, whereas testimonial injustice occurs both individually and socially. I argue that the remedy for testimonial injustice is, instead, engaging in social efforts that work below the level of consciousness. (shrink)
This paper examines the notion that delay in reaching agreement in bargaining may be caused by learning that is independent of the bargaining procedure. In particular, learning is not due to inference from the observed offers and responses of the opponent, but derives from observation of an exogenous, costly signal â we call this 'investigation'. First we observe that even if learning is costless and perfectly informative, investigation may not occur in equilibrium. Under more general conditions, however, uninformed agents typically (...) have an incentive to try to manipulate their prior beliefs through investigation. The main result is that investigation by an uninformed agent may result in significant delay occurring before agreement is reached. We show that this delay may be sustained in the limit as the length of time period vanishes, and that this result depends crucially on the properties of the information production technology underlying investigation. Also, the delay we observe is shown to be robust to changes in the bargaining procedure. (shrink)
Leon Kass's often-cited essay, “Death with Dignity and the Sanctity of Life,” provides the basis for a case study in the rhetorical function of definition in debates concerning bioethics. The study examines the way a particular definition of “human dignity” is used to maintain an advantage of power in the debate over the morality of physician-assisted suicide. It also considers sources of human dignity that are deflected from attention by the rhetoric of Kass's formulation.