With very advanced technology, a very large population of people living happy lives could be sustained in the accessible region of the universe. For every year that development of such technologies and colonization of the universe is delayed, there is therefore a corresponding opportunity cost: a potential good, lives worth living, is not being realized. Given some plausible assumptions, this cost is extremely large. However, the lesson for standard utilitarians is not that we ought to maximize the pace of technological (...) development, but rather that we ought to maximize its safety, i.e. the probability that colonization will eventually occur. This goal has such high utility that standard utilitarians ought to focus all their efforts on it. Utilitarians of a ‘person-affecting’ stripe should accept a modified version of this conclusion. Some mixed ethical views, which combine utilitarian considerations with other criteria, will also be committed to a similar bottom line. (shrink)
In this exchange, Peter Coghlan and Nick Trakakis discuss the problem of natural evil in the light of the recent Asian tsunami disaster. The exchange begins with an extract from a newspaper article written by Coghlan on the tsunami, followed by three rounds of replies and counter-replies, and ending with some final comments from Trakakis. While critical of any attempt to show that human life is good overall despite its natural evils, Coghlan argues that instances of natural evil, even (...) horrific ones, can be justified as the unavoidable by-product of a natural system on which human life and culture depends. Trakakis, however, rejects this view, counselling instead a degree of skepticism about our ability to construct a plausible theodicy for horrific evil. (shrink)
Boycott Theory for Palestine aims to advance academic boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) by presenting the fullest and most sophisticated justification for it yet given, demonstrating how the boycott relates to current debates within contemporary political and intellectual life.
To what extent should we use technological advances to try to make better human beings? Leading philosophers debate the possibility of enhancing human cognition, mood, personality, and physical performance, and controlling aging. Would this take us beyond the bounds of human nature? These are questions that need to be answered now.
Accounts of aesthetic valuing tend to emphasize two constraints on the formation of aesthetic belief. We must form our own aesthetic beliefs by engaging with aesthetic value first-hand (the acquaintance principle) and by using our own capacities (the autonomy principle). But why? C. Thi Nguyen’s proposal is that aesthetic valuing has an inverted structure. Normally we care about inquiry and engagement for the sake of having true beliefs, but in aesthetic engagement this is flipped: we care about arriving at good (...) aesthetic beliefs for the sake of the values that arise in the process of doing so. The engagement is the point, not possessing good beliefs, and so it is important to deploy our own capacities in first-hand encounters with aesthetic value. Here I challenge Nguyen’s account along several lines. I argue that it misconstrues the value of aesthetic belief; it conflicts with restrictions on aesthetic testimony; and it has trouble harnessing engagement-value for a theory of aesthetic value. A better approach emphasizes the social character of aesthetic valuing. On this view, aesthetic valuing is a social practice structured around the collaborative exercise and improvement of certain special capacities. The autonomy and acquaintance principles tell us to engage these capacities in forming our aesthetic beliefs. Understood aright, and contrary to consensus, these rules are identical. (shrink)
Tasler teaches readers how to thrive when faced with difficult choices, provides a clear understanding of why you make the choices you do, and suggests the tools to make those decision change your business and your life.
A dizzying trip through the mind(s) of the provocative and influential thinker Nick Land. During the 1990s British philosopher Nick Land's unique work, variously described as “rabid nihilism,” “mad black deleuzianism,” and “cybergothic,” developed perhaps the only rigorous and culturally-engaged escape route out of the malaise of “continental philosophy” —a route that was implacably blocked by the academy. However, Land's work has continued to exert an influence, both through the British “speculative realist” philosophers who studied with him, and (...) through the many cultural producers—writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers—who have been invigorated by his uncompromising and abrasive philosophical vision. Beginning with Land's early radical rereadings of Heidegger, Nietzsche, Kant and Bataille, the volume collects together the papers, talks and articles of the mid-90s—long the subject of rumour and vague legend (including some work which has never previously appeared in print)—in which Land developed his futuristic theory-fiction of cybercapitalism gone amok; and ends with his enigmatic later writings in which Ballardian fictions, poetics, cryptography, anthropology, grammatology and the occult are smeared into unrecognisable hybrids. Fanged Noumena gives a dizzying perspective on the entire trajectory of this provocative and influential thinker's work, and has introduced his unique voice to a new generation of readers. (shrink)
This book explores both the embodied nature of social life and the social nature of human bodily life. It provides an accessible review of the contemporary social science debates on the body, and develops a coherent new perspective. Nick Crossley critically reviews the literature on mind and body, and also on the body and society. He draws on theoretical insights from the work of Gilbert Ryle, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, George Herbert Mead and Pierre Bourdieu, and shows how the work of (...) these writers overlaps in interesting and important ways which, when combined, provide the basis for a persuasive and robust account of human embodiment. The Social Body provides a timely review of the theoretical approaches to the sociology of the body. It offers new insights, and a coherent new perspective on the body. It will be valuable reading for students and academics in sociology, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies. (shrink)
How China’s expansive new era of urbanization threatens to undermine the foundations of rural life Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, China has vastly expanded its urbanization processes in an effort to reduce the inequalities between urban and rural areas. Centered on the mountainous region of Chongqing, which serves as an experimental site for the country’s new urban development policies, The End of the Village analyzes the radical expansion of urbanization and its consequences for China’s villagers. It reveals a (...) fundamental rewriting of the nation’s social contract, as villages that once organized rural life and guaranteed rural livelihoods are replaced by an increasingly urbanized landscape dominated by state institutions. Throughout this comprehensive study of China’s “urban–rural coordination” policy, Nick R. Smith traces the diminishing autonomy of the country’s rural populations and their subordination to larger urban networks and shared administrative structures. Outside Chongqing’s urban centers, competing forces are at work in reshaping the social, political, and spatial organization of its villages. While municipal planners and policy makers seek to extend state power structures beyond the boundaries of the city, village leaders and inhabitants try to maintain control over their communities’ uncertain futures through strategies such as collectivization, shareholding, real estate development, and migration. As China seeks to rectify the development crises of previous decades through rapid urban growth, such drastic transformations threaten to displace existing ways of life for more than 600 million residents. Offering an unprecedented look at the country’s contentious shift in urban planning and policy, The End of the Village exposes the precarious future of rural life in China and suggests a critical reappraisal of how we think about urbanization. (shrink)
Articulate and perceptive, Intersubjectivity is a text that explains the notions of intersubjectivity as a central concern of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and politics. Going beyond this broad-ranging introduction and explication, author Nick Crossley provides a critical discussion of intersubjectivity as an interdisciplinary concept to shed light on our understanding of selfhood, communication, citizenship, power, and community. The volume traces the contributions of key thinkers engaged within the intersubjectivist tradition, including Husserl, Buber, Kojeve, Merlau-Ponty, Mead, Wittgenstein, Schutz, and Habermas. A (...) clear, concise introduction to a range of difficult concepts and thinkers, Intersubjectivity demystifies this very interdisciplinary subject for advanced and graduate-level students of philosophy, sociology, social psychology, and social and political theory. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical attitudes toward beauty are hard to reconcile with its importance in the history of philosophy. Philosophers used to allow it a starring role in their theories of autonomy, morality, or the good life. But today, if beauty is discussed at all, it is often explicitly denied any such importance. This is due, in part, to the thought that beauty is the object of “disinterested pleasure”. In this paper I clarify the notion of disinterest and develop two general strategies (...) for resisting the emphasis on it, in the hopes of getting a clearer view of beauty’s significance. I present and discuss several literary depictions of the encounter with beauty that motivate both strategies. These depictions illustrate the ways in which aesthetic experience can be personally transformative. I argue that they present difficulties for disinterest theories and suggest we abandon the concept of disinterest to focus instead on the special kind of interest beauty fuels. I propose a closer look at the Platonic thought that beauty is the object of love. (shrink)
Based on the poem by Saint Augustine "The Beauty of Creation Bears Witness to God," this is a story about how the author's son, Nick, sees the wonderful presence of God in nature, and how the wonder of Nick himself shines through the story of his wonder watching.
Epistemologists often appeal to the idea that a normative theory must provide useful, usable, guidance to argue for one normative epistemology over another. I argue that this is a mistake. Guidance considerations have no role to play in theory choice in epistemology. I show how this has implications for debates about the possibility and scope of epistemic dilemmas, the legitimacy of idealisation in Bayesian epistemology, uniqueness versus permissivism, sharp versus mushy credences, and internalism versus externalism.
'The Probabilistic Mind' is a follow-up to the influential and highly cited 'Rational Models of Cognition'. It brings together developments in understanding how, and how far, high-level cognitive processes can be understood in rational terms, and particularly using probabilistic Bayesian methods.
The Methodological seminar was conducted by the scientific journal “Philosophy of Education”. The participants of the seminar were Prof. Panos Eliopoulos, Lyudmyla Gorbunova, Mykhailo Boychenko, Olga Gomilko, Mariia Kultaieva, Volodymyr Kovtunets, Sergiy Kurbatov, Anna Laktionova, Tetiana Matusevych, Natalia Radionova, Iryna Stepanenko, Maya Trynyak and Viktor Zinchenko. On March 30, 2016, a methodological seminar was conducted at the Institute of Higher Education NAES of Ukraine. This seminar was devoted to the discussion of educational problems in the area of mass culture, (...) and relative opportunities for the development of individuality. The report «Mass culture, education and the perspective of individuality» was made by Panos Eliopulos, professor of Peloponnese University, a member of journal’s «Філософія освіти. Philosophy of Education” editorial board. The scientists from the Institute of Higher Education, Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Skovoroda National Pedagogical University of Kharkiv participated in this event. Designated issues were observed primarily from the point of view of the Frankfurt School representatives, as well as representatives of modern critical philosophy of education and critical pedagogy. It was emphasized that T.Adorno’s ideas and ideas of other Frankfurt School members, which were developed in the middle of the last century, continue to be relevant in current socio-cultural contexts. The technical rationalism which became the rationalism of dominance in the context of technological civilization, could not provide the way toward the liberation of man and the development of his or her individuality. Market society with its instrumental rationality leads to homogenization and standardization of mass culture and as a result, we have a semi-education, leading to destruction of personality and social pathologies. The panelists agreed that semi-education reflects the crisis of ideals of education and training as far as a suspension of human emancipation process. Due to suspension of the creative process of a person formation, replacing it by the processes of stereotyping based on mimetic rationality, culture itself loses creative potential. The process of degradation of education and culture in the semi-education eventually leads to its destruction at theoretical level and the elaboration of the practice of anti-education. Only through returning of the individual and maintaining his or her social importance due to the tools of holistic education it is possible to overcome such stereotyping. For Frankfurt School members, and those who share their ideals, true education in its meta-theoretical sense becomes the important factor, contributing to the emancipation of society and individual. This idea is particularly important in the context of contemporary challenges and threats from instrumentalization of approaches to the process of transformation of the Ukrainian culture and education. (shrink)
The Methodological seminar was conducted by the scientific journal “Philosophy of Education” (Institute of Higher Education, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine). The participants of the seminar were Prof. Panos Eliopoulos (University of Peloponnese, Greece), Lyudmyla Gorbunova, Mykhailo Boychenko, Olga Gomilko, Mariia Kultaieva, Volodymyr Kovtunets, Sergiy Kurbatov, Anna Laktionova, Tetiana Matusevych, Natalia Radionova, Iryna Stepanenko, Maya Trynyak and Viktor Zinchenko. On March 30, 2016, a methodological seminar was conducted at the Institute of Higher Education NAES of Ukraine. This (...) seminar was devoted to the discussion of educational problems in the area of mass culture, and relative opportunities for the development of individuality. The report «Mass culture, education and the perspective of individuality» was made by Panos Eliopulos, professor of Peloponnese University, a member of journal’s «Філософія освіти. Philosophy of Education” editorial board. The scientists from the Institute of Higher Education, Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Skovoroda National Pedagogical University of Kharkiv participated in thisevent. Designated issues were observed primarily from the point of view of the Frankfurt School representatives, as well as representatives of modern critical philosophy of education and critical pedagogy. It was emphasized that T.Adorno’s ideas and ideas of other Frankfurt School members, which were developed in the middle of the last century, continue to be relevant in current socio-cultural contexts. The technical rationalism which became the rationalism of dominance in the context of technological civilization, could not provide the way toward the liberation of man and the development of his or her individuality. Market society with its instrumental rationality leads to homogenization and standardization of mass culture and as a result, we have a semi-education, leading to destruction of personality and social pathologies. The panelists agreed that semi-education reflects the crisis of ideals of education and training as far as a suspension of human emancipation process. Due to suspension of the creative process of a person formation, replacing it by the processes of stereotyping based on mimetic rationality, culture itself loses creative potential. The process of degradation of education and culture in the semi-education eventually leads to its destruction at theoretical level and the elaboration of the practice of anti-education. Only through returning of the individual and maintaining his or her social importance due to the tools of holistic education it is possible to overcome such stereotyping. For Frankfurt School members, and those who share their ideals, true education in its meta-theoretical sense becomes the important factor, contributing to the emancipation of society and individual. This idea is particularly important in the context of contemporary challenges and threats from instrumentalization of approaches to the process of transformation of the Ukrainian culture and education. (shrink)
_What place do Anna Freud’s ideas have in the history of psychoanalysis? What can her writings teach us today about how to work therapeutically with children? Are her psychoanalytic ideas still relevant to those entrusted with the welfare of infants and young people? _ _Reading Anna Freud_ provides an accessible introduction to the writings of one of the most significant figures in the history of psychoanalysis. Each chapter introduces a number of her key papers, with clear summaries of the main (...) ideas, historical background, a discussion of the influence and contemporary relevance of her thinking, and recommendations for further reading. Areas covered include Anna Freud’s writings on: • The theory and practice of child analysis and 'developmental therapy' • The application of psychoanalytic thinking to education, paediatrics and the law • The assessment and diagnosis of childhood disorders • Psychoanalytic research and developmental psychopathology Nick Midgley draws on his extensive experience as a child psychotherapist and a teacher to bring Anna Freud's ideas to life. He illustrates the remarkable originality of her thinking, and shows how analytic ideas can be used not only in child psychotherapy, but also to inform the care of children in families, hospitals, classrooms, residential care and the court-room. __Reading Anna Freud__ will be of interest to child therapists, child analysts and psychoanalysts, as well as others working in the field of child and adolescent mental health, such as clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists and educational psychologists. It also has much to offer to those entrusted with the care of children in a wide range of settings - including teachers, nurses and social workers - for whom Anna Freud was always keen to demonstrate the value of a psychoanalytic approach. _Nick Midgley_ trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Anna Freud Centre, where he now works as a clinician and as Programme Director for the MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice. Nick has written articles on a wide range of topics and is joint editor of _Minding the Child: Mentalization-based Interventions with Children, Young People and their Families_ and _Child Psychotherapy and Research: New Directions, Emerging Findings_. (shrink)
The terms "imagination'' and "imaginative'' can be readily applied to a profusion of attitudes, experiences, activities, and further phenomena. The heterogeneity of the things to which they're applied prompts the thoughts that the terms are polysemous, and that there is no single, coherent, fruitful conception of imagination to be had. Nonetheless, much recent work on imagination ascribes implicitly to a univocal way of thinking about imaginative phenomena: the imitation theory, according to which imaginative experiences imitate other experiences. This approach is (...) infelicitous. It issues in unhelpful descriptions of imaginative activities, experiences, and attitudes, and frustrates theorizing about imagination's applications and intensional characteristics. A better way of thinking about imagination is the lens theory, according to which the imagination is a set of ways to focus, refine, clarify or concentrate the matter of other experiences. This approach offers better characterizations of imaginative phenomena, and promises brighter theoretical illumination of them. (shrink)
What are the sensory individuals of audition? What are the entities our auditory system attributes properties to? We examine various proposals about the nature of the sensory individuals of audition, and show that while each can account for some aspects of auditory perception, each also faces certain difficulties. We then put forward a new conception of sensory individuals according to which auditory sensory individuals are composite individuals. A feature shared by all existing accounts of sounds and sources is that they (...) postulate sensory individuals that are non-composite. They identify the sensory individual of sound hearing or source hearing with one type of entity in the environment, be they sound waves, vibrations, or interactions. We question this assumption and argue that our perceptual systems represent two or more aspects of the environment as a single sensory individual. Finally, we show that taking auditory individuals to be composite sensory individuals allows for an account of audition that is less problematic than its existing alternatives. (shrink)
Our paradigms of aesthetic value condition the philosophical questions we pose and hope to answer about it. Theories of aesthetic value are typically individualistic, in the sense that the paradigms they are designed to capture, and the questions to which they are offered as answers, center the individual’s engagement with aesthetic value. Here I offer some considerations that suggest that such individualism is a mistake and sketch a communitarian way of posing and answering questions about the nature of aesthetic value.
An abridged reading guide for Friedrich Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, based on Matherne and Riggle's two-part paper, "Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value". -/- Part I: British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4): 375-402. 2020 Part II: British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1): 17-40. 2021.
Thinking in Education Research examines the resources available from philosophy and theory that can be practically applied to any educational research project. Nick Peim argues that the current well-established divide between theory and the empirical in research methods is unhelpful to students. Instead, Thinking in Education Research looks at major lines of thinking in modern European philosophy, from Kant to Freud and Derrida to Malabou, and how they provide a rich resource for every stage of conducting research. By getting (...) students engaged in 'how to think' and 'how to do', Peim illustrates that thinking is in fact a vital part of how you do research and is not an aside. Essential aspects of the research endeavour are re-examined in the light of key philosophical positions to offer constructive potential, including: defining the object; giving an account of the field; the relation to truth; the process of writing and constructing a case; and the value attributed to formal knowledge. Thinking in Education Research does not try to resolve the unresolved issues of research thinking but rather encourages readers to productively engage with them so that we can enhance the possibilities of research practice and find opportunities for its expansion and refinement. Throughout the chapters, clear and concise summaries of key philosophical positions and ideas are complemented with boxed accounts of how the philosophical debates discussed can be applied to real research projects. These features encourage the reader to consider how they can develop thinking and apply theory at every stage of their own research. This is essential reading for any educational research methods student or practicing researcher for important ways of thinking afresh about research methodology"--Publisher's description. (shrink)
We begin by showing that every theory of the value of uncertain prospects must have one of three unpalatable properties. _Reckless_ theories recommend giving up a sure thing, no matter how good, for an arbitrarily tiny chance of enormous gain; _timid_ theories permit passing up an arbitrarily large potential gain to prevent a tiny increase in risk; _non-transitive_ theories deny the principle that, if A is better than B and B is better than C, then A must be better than (...) C. Having set up this trilemma, we study its horns. Non-transitivity has been much discussed; we focus on drawing out the costs and benefits of recklessness and timidity when it comes to axiology, decision theory, and normative uncertainty. (shrink)
This article responds to recent debates in critical algorithm studies about the significance of the term “algorithm.” Where some have suggested that critical scholars should align their use of the term with its common definition in professional computer science, I argue that we should instead approach algorithms as “multiples”—unstable objects that are enacted through the varied practices that people use to engage with them, including the practices of “outsider” researchers. This approach builds on the work of Laura Devendorf, Elizabeth Goodman, (...) and Annemarie Mol. Different ways of enacting algorithms foreground certain issues while occluding others: computer scientists enact algorithms as conceptual objects indifferent to implementation details, while calls for accountability enact algorithms as closed boxes to be opened. I propose that critical researchers might seek to enact algorithms ethnographically, seeing them as heterogeneous and diffuse sociotechnical systems, rather than rigidly constrained and procedural formulas. To do so, I suggest thinking of algorithms not “in” culture, as the event occasioning this essay was titled, but “as” culture: part of broad patterns of meaning and practice that can be engaged with empirically. I offer a set of practical tactics for the ethnographic enactment of algorithmic systems, which do not depend on pinning down a singular “algorithm” or achieving “access,” but which rather work from the partial and mobile position of an outsider. (shrink)
It is common to allocate scarce health care resources by maximizing QALYs per dollar. This approach has been attacked by disability-rights advocates, policy-makers, and ethicists on the grounds that it unjustly discriminates against the disabled. The main complaint is that the QALY-maximizing approach implies a seemingly unsatisfactory conclusion: other things being equal, we should direct life-saving treatment to the healthy rather than the disabled. This argument pays insufficient attention to the downsides of the potential alternatives. We show that this sort (...) of discrimination is one of four unpalatable consequences that any approach to priority setting in health care must face. We argue that, given the alternatives, it is far from clear that we should revise the QALY-maximizing approach in response to this objection. (shrink)
Origin of seekers: from caveman to cage fighters -- Impulsivity's hidden side: the secret of being directionally correct -- Eat or be eaten: what politicians have learned from primates -- Bubblology: the plague of the $76,000 flower -- Common sense of ownership -- Factoring you into your decisions -- Potential seekers: directing your innovative impulses -- Risk managers: conquering the fear of big cats -- Striking a balance.
This is a chapter of the planned monograph "Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity", co-authored by Nick Huggett and Christian Wüthrich and under contract with Oxford University Press. (More information at www<dot>beyondspacetime<dot>net.) This chapter investigates the meaning and significance of string theoretic dualities, arguing they reveal a surprising physical indeterminateness to spacetime.
It is intuitively plausible that art and imagination are intimately connected. This chapter explores attempts to explain that connection. We focus on three areas in which art and imagination might be linked: production, ontology, and appreciation. We examine views which treat imagination as a fundamental human faculty, and aim for comprehensive accounts of art and artistic practice: for example, those of Kant and Collingwood. We also discuss philosophers who argue that a specific kind of imagining may explain some particular element (...) of the artistic domain: for example, Walton's ideas about representational art, and Kivy’s about reading. (shrink)
According to Arthur Danto, post-modern or post-historical art began when artists like Andy Warhol collapsed the Modern distinction between art and everyday life by bringing “the everyday” into the artworld. I begin by pointing out that there is another way to collapse this distinction: bring art out of the artworld and into everyday life. An especially effective way of doing this is to make street art, which, I argue, is art whose meaning depends on its use of the street. I (...) defend this definition and show how it handles graffiti and public art. (shrink)
Apologies can be profoundly meaningful, yet many gestures of contrition - especially those in legal contexts - appear hollow and even deceptive. Discussing numerous examples from ancient and recent history, I Was Wrong argues that we suffer from considerable confusion about the moral meanings and social functions of these complex interactions. Rather than asking whether a speech act 'is or is not' an apology, Smith offers a highly nuanced theory of apologetic meaning. Smith leads us though a series of rich (...) philosophical and interdisciplinary questions, explaining how apologies have evolved from a confluence of diverse cultural and religious practices that do not translate easily into secular discourse or gender stereotypes. After classifying several varieties of apologies between individuals, Smith turns to apologies from collectives. Although apologies from corporations, governments, and other groups can be quite meaningful in certain respects, we should be suspicious of those that supplant apologies from individual wrongdoers. (shrink)
In this follow up to I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies, Nick Smith expands his ambitious theories of categorical apologies to civil and criminal law. After rejecting court-ordered apologies as unjustifiable humiliation, this book explains that penitentiaries were originally designed to bring about penance - something like apology - and that this tradition has been lost in the assembly line of mass incarceration. Smith argues that the state should modernize these principles and techniques to reduce punishments for offenders (...) who demonstrate moral transformation through apologizing. Smith also explains the counterintuitive situation whereby apologies come to have considerable financial worth in civil cases because victims associate them with priceless matters of the soul. Such confusions allow powerful wrongdoers to manipulate perceptions to disastrous effect, such as when corporations or governments assert that apologies do not equate to accepting blame or require reform or redress. (shrink)
I develop a theory of social virtue around the concept of a "social opening" and argue that a range of contemporary terms track various modes of success and failure with respect to social openings: ‘awesome’, ‘down’, ‘chill’, ‘sucks’, ‘wack’, ‘lame’, ‘douchebag’, and others. A basic idea is that the normative character of contemporary social life cannot be fully understood in traditional philosophical terms: ‘obligation’, ‘demand’, ‘duty’, ‘right’, ‘just’, ‘requirement’. ‘Sucks’ and ‘awesome’ (and their ilk) capture a special mode of interpersonal (...) critique. Old modes of critique fall short because contemporary social life embodies a concern for cultivating, expressing, and appreciating individuality. This is partly an aesthetic affair, which flavors the modes of response and critique that constitute the normative framework. I detail how our interest in the "ethics of awesomeness" has influenced a range of post-’60s cultural practices, including art, charity, athletics, public life, and others. (shrink)
A collection of essays discussing the philosophy and foundations of quantum gravity. Written by leading philosophers and physicists in the field, chapters cover the important conceptual questions in the search for a quantum theory of gravity, and the current state of understanding among philosophers and physicists.
This is an opinionated guide to the literature on epistemic dilemmas. It discusses seven kinds of situations where epistemic dilemmas appear to arise; dilemmic, dilemmish, and non-dilemmic takes on them; and objections to dilemmic views along with dilemmist’s replies to them.
In this volume Nick C. Ellis, Ute Römer, and Matthew Brook O’Donnell present a view of language as a complex adaptive system that is learned, both in first and second language contexts, through usage. In a series of research studies, they analyze Verb-Argument Constructions (VACs) in language learning, processing, and use. Drawing on diverse epistemological and methodological perspectives, they convincingly demonstrate that language emerges in the development of both mother tongue and additional languages out of multiple experiences of meaning-making (...) following general principles of learning relating to frequency, contingency, and semantic prototypicality. They draw implications from this work that will be of value to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplinary interests in language and learning. (shrink)
The standard interpretation of cognitive reflection tests assumes that correct responses are reflective and lured responses are unreflective. However, prior process-tracing of mathematical reflection tests has cast doubt on this interpretation. In two studies (N = 201), we deployed a validated think-aloud protocol in-person and online to test how this assumption is satisfied by the new, validated, less familiar, and less mathematical verbal Cognitive Reflection Test (vCRT). Importantly, thinking aloud did not disrupt test performance compared to a control group. Moreover, (...) verbalized thoughts in both studies revealed that most (but not all) correct responses involved reflection and that most (but not all) lured responses lacked reflection. These data suggest that the vCRT usually satisfies the standard interpretation of the reflection tests (albeit not without exceptions) and that the vCRT can be a good measure of the construct theorized by the two-factor explication of ‘reflection’ (as deliberate and conscious). (shrink)
We present a theory of decision by sampling (DbS) in which, in contrast with traditional models, there are no underlying psychoeconomic scales. Instead, we assume that an attribute’s subjective value is constructed from a series of binary, ordinal comparisons to a sample of attribute values drawn from memory and is its rank within the sample. We assume that the sample reﬂects both the immediate distribution of attribute values from the current decision’s context and also the background, real-world distribution of attribute (...) values. DbS accounts for concave utility functions; losses looming larger than gains; hyperbolic temporal discounting; and the overestimation of small probabilities and the underestimation of large probabilities. Ó 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (shrink)
As research on mind wandering has accelerated, the construct’s defining features have expanded and researchers have begun to examine different dimensions of mind wandering. Recently, Christoff and colleagues have argued for the importance of investigating a hitherto neglected variety of mind wandering: “unconstrained thought,” or, thought that is relatively unguided by executive-control processes. To date, with only a handful of studies investigating unconstrained thought, little is known about this intriguing type of mind wandering. Across two experiments, we examined, for the (...) first time, whether changes in task demand influence rates of constrained versus unconstrained thoughts. In both experiments, participants completed either an easy (0-back) or hard (2-back) task and responded to intermittently presented thought probes that gauged thought constraint throughout the task. In Experiment 1, we found that participants completing the easy task engaged in unconstrained thoughts more frequently than those completing the difficult task. In Experiment 2, we replicated this result and further demonstrated manipulations of unconstrained thought while also measuring task-relatedness (a common dimension of mind wandering). Finally, exploratory analyses showed associations between constrained thought and age, verbal intelligence, and an assessment of flow (‘deep effortless concentration’), thereby adding further evidence to indicate a dissociation between task-relatedness and constraint. We discuss the methodological and theoretical applications of our findings to the burgeoning field of research on unconstrained thought. (shrink)
This book argues that theory formation in ethics might be, but does not have to be, grand; local and weaker theories can also be effective. Indeed, theory formation is far more varied than theorists and anti-theorists imagine it to be.