Shepherd’s argument against Hume’s thesis that an object can begin its existence uncaused has received short shrift in the secondary literature. I argue that the key to understanding that argument’s success is understanding its dialectical context. Shepherd sees the dialectical situation as follows. Hume presents an argument against Locke and Clarke the conclusion of which is that an object can come into existence uncaused. An essential premise of that argument is Hume’s theory of mental representation. Hume’s theory of (...) mental representation, however, is itself implausible and unsupported. Therefore, one need not accept this premise or this conclusion. Thus, Shepherd proceeds to her discussion of the relation of cause and effect free to help herself to the thesis that every beginning of existence must have a cause. Additionally, she elsewhere pays down the debt she incurs in that argument by presenting her own alternative theory of mental representation, which is both plausible in its own right, and can account for the error that she takes Hume to make. (shrink)
Lady Mary Shepherd’s critique of Hume’s account of causation, his worries about knowledge of matters of fact, and the contention that it is possible for the course of nature to spontaneously change relies primarily on three premises, two of which – that objects are merely bundles of qualities and that the qualities of an object are individuated by the causal powers contributed by those qualities – anticipate contemporary metaphysical views in ways that she should be getting credit for. The (...) remaining premise – that it is impossible for an object to begin to exist uncaused – seems more old fashioned. I argue that Shepherd can do without her old-fashioned premise and that she provides the materials for arguing that her remaining premises demonstrate a stronger anti-Humeanism than is maintained even by the contemporary representatives of those views, even though she may have to concede more to Humeanism than she would like. (shrink)
the philosophical writings ofx Lady Mary Shepherd were apparently well regarded in her own time, but dropped out of view in the mid-nineteenth century.1 Some historians of philosophy have recently begun attending to the distinctive arguments in Shepherd's two books, but the secondary literature that exists so far has largely focused on her critiques of Hume and Berkeley. However, many other themes and arguments in Shepherd's writings have not yet been explored. This paper takes up one such (...) issue, what Shepherd means by 'mind,' 'soul,' and 'self.' Shepherd held the unusual view that the mind is an enduring capacity that causes (whether on its own or in conjunction with other partial causes, such as... (shrink)
In several early 19th century works, Mary Shepherd articulates a theory of causation that is intended to respond to Humean skepticism. I argue that Shepherd's theory should be read in light of the science of the day and her conception of her place in the British philosophical tradition. Reading Shepherd’s theory in light of her conception of the history of philosophy, including her claim to be the genuine heir of Locke, illuminates the broader significance of her attempt (...) to reinstate reason as the source of scientific knowledge. Reading Shepherd's theory in light of the science of the day helps make plausible her claim that there are robust natural kinds in nature, defined by their causal powers: this is precisely what then-recent advances in chemistry hold. (shrink)
Nicole Shukin pursues a resolutely materialist engagement with the "question of the animal," challenging the philosophical idealism that has dogged the question by tracing how the politics of capital and of animal life impinge on one ...
The face of the world is changing. The past century has seen the incredible growth of international institutions. How does the fact that the world is becoming more interconnected change institutions' duties to people beyond borders? Does globalization alone engender any ethical obligations? In Globalization and Global Justice, Nicole Hassoun addresses these questions and advances a new argument for the conclusion that there are significant obligations to the global poor. First, she argues that there are many coercive international institutions (...) and that these institutions must provide the means for their subjects to avoid severe poverty. Hassoun then considers the case for aid and trade, and concludes with a new proposal for fair trade in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Globalization and Global Justice will appeal to readers in philosophy, politics, economics and public policy. (shrink)
Many unethical decisions stem from a lack of awareness. In this article, we consider how mindfulness, an individual's awareness of his or her present experience, impacts ethical decision making. In our first study, we demonstrate that compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness report that they are more likely to act ethically, are more likely to value upholding ethical standards (self-importance of moral identity, SMI), and are more likely to use a principled approach to ethical decision making (...) (formalism). In our second study, we test this relationship with a novel behavioral measure of unethical behavior: the carbonless anagram method (CAM). We find that of participants who cheated, compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness cheated less. Taken together, our results demonstrate important connections between mindfulness and ethical decision making. (shrink)
Evidence does not support the claim that observers universally recognize basic emotions from signals on the face. The percentage of observers who matched the face with the predicted emotion (matching score) is not universal, but varies with culture and language. Matching scores are also inflated by the commonly used methods: within-subject design; posed, exaggerated facial expressions (devoid of context); multiple examples of each type of expression; and a response format that funnels a variety of interpretations into one word specified by (...) the experimenter. Without these methodological aids, matching scores are modest and subject to various explanations. (shrink)
Shepherd propounds a theory of mind with a fair claim to be better than Hume’s at explaining the sources of commonly held human beliefs about causal necessity due largely to her relational theory of sense perception. In comparison with Hume’s account, it incorporates a more sophisticated treatment of mental representation, especially the role of relational structure and logical form. Most important, perhaps, Shepherd’s theory enforces the division, obscured by Hume, between the evidence of necessity and the metaphysical foundation (...) of necessity. (shrink)
Various authors debate the question of whether neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility. However, a plethora of different techniques and technologies, each with their own abilities and drawbacks, lurks beneath the label “neuroscience”; and in criminal law responsibility is not a single, unitary and generic concept, but it is rather a syndrome of at least six different concepts. Consequently, there are at least six different responsibility questions that the criminal law asks—at least one for each responsibility concept—and, I will suggest, (...) a multitude of ways in which the techniques and technologies that comprise neuroscience might help us to address those diverse questions. In a way, on my account neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility in many ways, but I hesitate to state my position like this because doing so obscures two points which I would rather highlight: one, neither neuroscience nor criminal responsibility are as unified as that; and two, the criminal law asks many different responsibility questions and not just one generic question. (shrink)
The rise of experimental philosophy has placed metaphilosophical questions, particularly those concerning concepts, at the center of philosophical attention. X-phi offers empirically rigorous methods for identifying conceptual content, but what exactly it contributes towards evaluating conceptual content remains unclear. We show how x-phi complements Rudolf Carnap’s underappreciated methodology for concept determination, explication. This clarifies and extends x-phi’s positive philosophical import, and also exhibits explication’s broad appeal. But there is a potential problem: Carnap’s account of explication was limited to empirical and (...) logical concepts, but many concepts of interest to philosophers are essentially normative. With formal epistemology as a case study, we show how x-phi assisted explication can apply to normative domains. (shrink)
Virginia Woolf, in A Room of One’s Own, asked why there were no women writers before 1800. If she had been thinking about philosophers instead of writers in the traditional women’s areas of plays and fiction, she might have asked why there were no women philosophers at all, for I suspect that most people would find it very hard to name a woman philosopher before the present day. To help her in answering her question, she invented a fictional character, Judith (...) Shakespeare, a sister to William Shakespeare. The conditions of Judith’s life made it impossible for her to write, and so Woolf speculated that the women who would have been writers did not lead the kinds of lives that permitted them to realize their talents. Woolf’s image of Judith Shakespeare is a very powerful one but her speculation is only half right. There undoubtedly were many women in the past who would have been talented writers or philosophers if their lives had been different, but Judith Shakespeare’s image can also blot out our knowledge of women who, contrary to Woolf’s speculation, did exist and did write. Indeed, we know now there were even women who wrote philosophy. These women were in many ways exceptional, for Woolf is quite right that most women did not live either with enough privacy or with enough income to allow them to write. Often, they were members of the aristocracy, whose position enabled them to behave eccentrically, sometimes to be able to demand privacy, and sometimes to be able to invite contacts with leading intellectuals. Quite often, these women were childless, which in an age before birth control made them exceptions to the general rule, and at a time when many women were bearing their last child in their forties, was the only thing that could have given them private time. Nevertheless, research in the last ten or fifteen years has uncovered the work of quite a number of these women: for example, Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Electress Sophie, Queen Christina of Sweden, Queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia, Anne, Lady Conway, Mary Astell, Damaris, Lady Masham, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, Emilie du Chatelet, Catherine Macaulay, Lady Mary Shepherd, and many more. Woolf’s question then comes up again in a slightly different form. Why is it that the work of these women was for so long unknown? Why do so many people even today remain ignorant of the existence of women philosophers before the present day? I am not going to answer this question directly; in fact, I suspect it has multiple answers. Instead, I am going to present a case study from amongst all the cases of all of these women. I hope by considering the history of this woman, and, in particular, considering the way in which she was read, it will be possible to gain some insights into the ways in which women have failed to be incorporated into philosophical history. The woman I am going to discuss is Lady Mary Shepherd. Mary Shepherd actually falls outside of Woolf’s target date of 1800, since she flourished in the first half of the nineteenth century, but this merely reflects my point about the greater ignorance that prevails about women in philosophy. (shrink)
The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges—challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue that though nonconscious contributions (...) to action control are evidently robust, these challenges are overblown. (shrink)
Direct brain intervention based mental capacity restoration techniques-for instance, psycho-active drugs-are sometimes used in criminal cases to promote the aims of justice. For instance, they might be used to restore a person's competence to stand trial in order to assess the degree of their responsibility for what they did, or to restore their competence for punishment so that we can hold them responsible for it. Some also suggest that such interventions might be used for therapy or reform in criminal legal (...) contexts-i.e. to make non-responsible and irresponsible people more responsible. However, I argue that such interventions may at least sometimes fail to promote these responsibility-related legal aims. This is because responsibility hinges on other factors than just what mental capacities a person has-in particular, it also hinges on such things as authenticity, personal identity, and mental capacity ownership-and some ways of restoring mental capacity may adversely affect these other factors. Put one way, my claim is that what might suffice for the restoration of competence need not necessarily suffice for the restoration of responsibility, or, put another way, that although responsibility indeed tracks mental capacity it may not always track restored mental capacities. (shrink)
Necessarily, if S lacks the ability to exercise control, S is not an agent. If S is not an agent, S cannot act intentionally, responsibly, or rationally, nor can S possess or exercise free will. In spite of the obvious importance of control, however, no general account of control exists. In this paper I reflect on the nature of control itself. I develop accounts of control ’s exercise and control ’s possession that illuminate what it is for degrees of control (...) —that is, the degree of control an agent possesses or exercises in a given circumstance—to vary. Finally, I demonstrate the usefulness of the account on offer by showing how it generates a solution to a long-standing problem for causalist theories of action, namely, the problem of deviant causation. (shrink)
The studies we report indicate that it is possible to manipulate explicit ascriptions of consciousness by manipulating whether an agent’s behavior is deterministically caused. In addition, we explore whether this impact of determinism on consciousness is direct, or mediated by notions linked to agency – notions like moral responsibility, free will, deliberate choice, and sensitivity to moral reasons. We provide evidence of mediation. This result extends work on attributions of consciousness and their connection to attributions of agency by Adam Arico, (...) Brian Fiala, and Shaun Nichols (Arico et al. 2011, Fiala et al. 2014) and supports it against recent criticisms (e.g., Sytsma 2014). (shrink)
Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to (...) apply equally to actions and omissions. (shrink)
I argue that the neural realizers of experiences of trying are not distinct from the neural realizers of actual trying . I then ask how experiences of trying might relate to the perceptual experiences one has while acting. First, I assess recent zombie action arguments regarding conscious visual experience, and I argue that contrary to what some have claimed, conscious visual experience plays a causal role for action control in some circumstances. Second, I propose a multimodal account of the experience (...) of acting. According to this account, the experience of acting is a temporally extended, co-conscious collection of agentive and perceptual experiences, functionally integrated and structured both by multimodal perceptual processing as well as by what an agent is, at the time, trying to do. (shrink)
Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands” (2008:462). However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity (e.g. consistently well-behaved young children), and others who have such capacity but who are still patently irresponsible (e.g. some badly-behaved adults). Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a responsible person” one need not possess such (...) a capacity, but only to be earnestly willing to do the right thing and to have a history that testifies to this willingness. Although we may have good reasons to prefer to have such a capacity ourselves, and to associate ourselves with others who have it, at a conceptual level I do not think that such considerations support the claim that having this capacity is a necessary condition of being a responsible person in the virtue sense. (shrink)
Fred Adams and collaborators advocate a view on which empty-name sentences semantically encode incomplete propositions, but which can be used to conversationally implicate descriptive propositions. This account has come under criticism recently from Marga Reimer and Anthony Everett. Reimer correctly observes that their account does not pass a natural test for conversational implicatures, namely, that an explanation of our intuitions in terms of implicature should be such that we upon hearing it recognize it to be roughly correct. Everett argues that (...) the implicature view provides an explanation of only some our intuitions, and is in fact incompatible with others, especially those concerning the modal profile of sentences containing empty names. I offer a pragmatist treatment of empty names based upon the recognition that the Gricean distinction between what is said and what is implicated is not exhaustive, and argue that such a solution avoids both Everett’s and Reimer’s criticisms.Selon Fred Adams et ses collaborateurs, les phrases comportant des noms propres vides codent sémantiquement des propositions incomplètes, bien qu’elles puissent être utilisées pour impliquer des propositions descriptives dans le contexte d’une conversation. Marga Reimer et Anthony Everett ont récemment critiqué cette théorie. Reimer note judicieusement que leur théorie ne résiste pas à l’examen naturel des implications conversationnelles; une explication de nos intuitions concernant l’implication doit être telle que lorsque nous l’entendons, elle nous apparaît globalement correcte. Everett soutient que la théorie de l’implication ne parvient à expliquer qu’un certain nombre de nos intuitions et reste incompatible avec d’autres, notamment celles qui concernent la dimension modale des phrases contenant des noms propres vides. Je propose ici un traitement pragmatiste des noms propres vides fondé sur l’observation que la distinction Gricéenne entre ce qui est dit et ce qui est impliqué n’est pas exhaustive; je soutiens que cette solution échappe aux critiques d’Everett et de Reimer. (shrink)
Could neuroimaging evidence help us to assess the degree of a person’s responsibility for a crime which we know that they committed? This essay defends an affirmative answer to this question. A range of standard objections to this high-tech approach to assessing people’s responsibility is considered and then set aside, but I also bring to light and then reject a novel objection—an objection which is only encountered when functional (rather than structural) neuroimaging is used to assess people’s responsibility.
Anti-exceptionalists about logic maintain that it is continuous with the empirical sciences. Taking anti-exceptionalism for granted, we argue that traditional approaches to explanation are inadequate in the case of logic. We argue that Andrea Woody's functional analysis of explanation is a better fit with logical practice and accounts better for the explanatory role of logical theories.
There is a growing realisation that the current upward trend in levels of disclosure of social, ethical and environmental performance by corporations and other organisations is not being accompanied by simultaneous greater levels of public trust. Low levels of confidence in the information communicated in public reporting is probably undermining the impetus for this disclosure. This article suggests that this credibility gap can be narrowed through the use of third party independent assurance. However, this is not an unqualified panacea. Much (...) verification and assurance practice itself has to date been of questionable robustness, reliability and consistency, and has been framed by financial assurance models that are inadequate for the broader, qualitative dimensions of social, ethical and environmental performance. The paper argues that there is need for a universal standard for the provision of assurance of social, ethical and environmental reporting, and indeed for the credibility of the assurance providers themselves. The new AA1000S Assurance Standard, developed by the Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility, offers an approach and a tool for addressing these gaps. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not excessive, or they argue that those exclusions would be ineffective or lacking in justification. (...) Rather than taking sides, after criticizing both positions I also argue that this way of carrying on the debate – i.e. as a debate about whether the harsh demands of responsibility outweigh other considerations, and about whether exclusions to responsibility-tracking would be effective and/or justified – is deeply problematic. On my account, the demands of responsibility do not – in fact, they can not – conflict with the demands of other normative considerations, because responsibility only provides a formal structure within which those other considerations determine how people may be treated, but it does not generate its own practical demands. (shrink)
Where should computer simulations be located on the ‘usual methodological map’ which distinguishes experiment from theory? Specifically, do simulations ultimately qualify as experiments or as thought experiments? Ever since Galison raised that question, a passionate debate has developed, pushing many issues to the forefront of discussions concerning the epistemology and methodology of computer simulation. This review article illuminates the positions in that debate, evaluates the discourse and gives an outlook on questions that have not yet been addressed.
In this paper, I offer evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness. In sections 2 and 3, I contrast action production via conscious states and processes with action in concordance with an agent's long-standing and endorsed motivations, values, and character traits. Results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. In section 4, I contrast the absence of (...) consciousness with the presence of consciousness in behaviorally identical agents. Most participants attribute free will to conscious agents, but not to nonconscious agents. Focusing in particular on two leading views of free will and moral responsibility, namely, Deep Self and Reasons-Responsive Views, I argue that these results present philosophers of mind and action with the following explanatory burden: develop a substantive theory of the connection between consciousness on the on.. (shrink)
A heterogeneous survey sample of for-profit, non-profit and government employees revealed that organizational factors but not personal characteristics were significant antecedents of misconduct and job satisfaction. Formal organizational compliance practices and ethical climate were independent predictors of misconduct, and compliance practices also moderated the relationship between ethical climate and misconduct, as well as between pressure to compromise ethical standards and misconduct. Misconduct was not predicted by level of moral reasoning, age, sex, ethnicity, job status, or size and type of organization. (...) Demographic variables predicted job satisfaction and organizational variables added significant incremental variance. Results suggest the importance of promoting a moral organization through the words and actions of senior managers and supervisors, independent of formal mechanisms such as codes of conduct. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Gray, Knickman, and Wegner present three experiments which they take to show that people perceive patients in a persistent vegetative state to have less mentality than the dead. Following on from Gomes and Parrott, we provide evidence to show that participants' responses in the initial experiments are an artifact of the questions posed. Results from two experiments show that, once the questions have been clarified, people do not ascribe more mental capacity to the dead than to (...) PVS patients. There is no reason to think that people perceive PVS patients as more dead than dead. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Beall and Restall's claim that there is one true logic of metaphysical modality is incompatible with the formulation of logical pluralism that they give. I investigate various ways of reconciling their pluralism with this claim, but conclude that none of the options can be made to work.
ABSTRACTThe analogy between gift‐giving and organ donation was first suggested at the beginning of the transplantation era, when policy makers and legislators were promoting voluntary organ donation as the preferred procurement procedure. It was believed that the practice of gift‐giving had some features which were also thought to be necessary to ensure that an organ procurement procedure would be morally acceptable, namely voluntarism and altruism. Twenty‐five years later, the analogy between gift‐giving and organ donation is still being made in the (...) literature and used in organ donation awareness campaigns. In this paper I want to challenge this analogy. By examining a range of circumstances in which gift‐giving occurs, I argue that the significant differences between the various types of gift‐giving and organ donation makes any analogy between the two very general and superficial, and I suggest that a more appropriate analogy can be found elsewhere. (shrink)