This collection of essays, offered in honor of the distinguished career of prominent political philosophy professor Clifford Orwin, brings together internationally renowned scholars to provide a wide context and discuss various aspects of the virtue of “humanity” through the history of political philosophy.
Collected and edited by Noah Levin -/- Table of Contents: -/- UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ETHICS: TECHNOLOGY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND IMMIGRATION 1 The “Trolley Problem” and Self-Driving Cars: Your Car’s Moral Settings (Noah Levin) 2 What is Ethics and What Makes Something a Problem for Morality? (David Svolba) 3 Letter from the Birmingham City Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr) 4 A Defense of Affirmative Action (Noah Levin) 5 The Moral Issues of Immigration (B.M. Wooldridge) 6 The (...) Ethics of our Digital Selves (Noah Levin) -/- UNIT TWO: TORTURE, DEATH, AND THE “GREATER GOOD” 7 The Ethics of Torture (Martine Berenpas) 8 What Moral Obligations do we have (or not have) to Impoverished Peoples? (B.M. Wooldridge) 9 Euthanasia, or Mercy Killing (Nathan Nobis) 10 An Argument Against Capital Punishment (Noah Levin) 11 Common Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) 12 Better (Philosophical) Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) -/- UNIT THREE: PERSONS, AUTONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND RIGHTS 13 Animal Rights (Eduardo Salazar) 14 John Rawls and the “Veil of Ignorance” (Ben Davies) 15 Environmental Ethics: Climate Change (Jonathan Spelman) 16 Rape, Date Rape, and the “Affirmative Consent” Law in California (Noah Levin) 17 The Ethics of Pornography: Deliberating on a Modern Harm (Eduardo Salazar) 18 The Social Contract (Thomas Hobbes) -/- UNIT FOUR: HAPPINESS 19 Is Pleasure all that Matters? Thoughts on the “Experience Machine” (Prabhpal Singh) 20 Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill) 21 Utilitarianism: Pros and Cons (B.M. Wooldridge) 22 Existentialism, Genetic Engineering, and the Meaning of Life: The Fifths (Noah Levin) 23 The Solitude of the Self (Elizabeth Cady Stanton) 24 Game Theory, the Nash Equilibrium, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Douglas E. Hill) -/- UNIT FIVE: RELIGION, LAW, AND ABSOLUTE MORALITY 25 The Myth of Gyges and The Crito (Plato) 26 God, Morality, and Religion (Kristin Seemuth Whaley) 27 The Categorical Imperative (Immanuel Kant) 28 The Virtues (Aristotle) 29 Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche) 30 Other Moral Theories: Subjectivism, Relativism, Emotivism, Intuitionism, etc. (Jan F. Jacko). (shrink)
Is language understanding a special case of social cognition? To help evaluate this view, we can formalize it as the rational speech-act theory: Listeners assume that speakers choose their utterances approximately optimally, and listeners interpret an utterance by using Bayesian inference to “invert” this model of the speaker. We apply this framework to model scalar implicature (“some” implies “not all,” and “N” implies “not more than N”). This model predicts an interaction between the speaker's knowledge state and the listener's interpretation. (...) We test these predictions in two experiments and find good fit between model predictions and human judgments. (shrink)
This book offers a unique synthesis of past and current work on the structure, meaning, and use of negation and negative expressions, a topic that has engaged thinkers from Aristotle and the Buddha to Freud and Chomsky. Horn's masterful study melds a review of scholarship in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics with original research, providing a full picture of negation in natural language and thought; this new edition adds a comprehensive preface and bibliography, surveying research since the book's original publication.
The first comprehensive interpretation of Nietzsche’s _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_—an important and difficult text and the only book Nietzsche ever wrote with characters, events, setting, and a plot. Laurence Lampert’s chapter-by-chapter commentary on Nietzsche’s magnum opus clarifies not only _Zarathustra’s_ narrative structure but also the development of Nietzsche’s thinking as a whole. “An impressive piece of scholarship. Insofar as it solves the riddle of _Zarathustra_ in an unprecedented fashion, this study serves as an invaluable resource for all serious students of (...) Nietzsche’s philosophy. Lampert’s persuasive and thorough interpretation is bound to spark a revival of interest in _Zarathustra_ and raise the standards of Nietzsche scholarship in general.”—Daniel W. Conway, _Review of Metaphysics _“A book of scholarship, filled with passion and concern for its text.”—Tracy B. Strong, _Review of Politics _“This is the first genuine textual commentary on _Zarathustra_ in English, and therewith a genuine reader’s guide. It makes a significant and original contribution to its field.”—Werner J. Dannhauser, Cornell University “This is a very valuable and carefully wrought study of a very complex and subtle poetic-philosophical work that provides access to Nietzsche’s style of presenting his thought, as well as to his passionately affirmed values. Lampert’s commentary and analysis of _Zarathustra_ is so thorough and detailed... that it is the most useful English-language companion to Nietzsche’s ‘edifying’ and intriguing work.”—_Choice _Selected as one of _Choice’s_ outstanding academic books for 1988. (shrink)
This book addresses some basic questions about intrinsic value: What is it? What has it? What justifies our beliefs about it? In the first six chapters the author defends the existence of a plurality of intrinsic goods, the thesis of organic unities, the view that some goods are 'higher' than others, and the view that intrinsic value can be explicated in terms of 'fitting' emotional attitudes. The final three chapters explore the justification of our beliefs about intrinsic value, including coherence (...) theories and the idea that some value beliefs are warranted on the basis of emotional experience. Professor Lemos defends the view that some value beliefs enjoy 'modest' a priori justification. The book is intended primarily for professional philosophers and their graduate students working in ethics, value theory and epistemology. (shrink)
There is a way of doing moral philosophy which goes something like this: If it can be shown that it is rational for perfectly selfish people to accept the constraints of morality, then it will follow, a fortiori, that it is rational for people capable of affective bonds, and thus less selfish, to do so. On this way of proceeding the real argument – that is, the argument for the actual constraints to be adopted – proceeds with only fully rational (...) individuals who have no other concern than to maximize their nontuistic preferences. Then it is noted that the affective capacities of human beings actually make quite palatable the constraints that the fully rational persons with wholly nontuistic preferences have agreed upon. (shrink)
In this 2004 book, Noah Lemos presents a strong defense of the common sense tradition, the view that we may take as data for philosophical inquiry many of the things we ordinarily think we know. He discusses the main features of that tradition as expounded by Thomas Reid, G. E. Moore and Roderick Chisholm. For a long time common sense philosophers have been subject to two main objections: that they fail to give any non-circular argument for the reliability of (...) memory and perception; and that they pick out instances of knowledge without knowing a criterion for knowledge. Lemos defends the appeal to what we ordinarily think we know in both epistemology and ethics and thus rejects the charge that common sense is dogmatic, unphilosophical or question-begging. Written in a clear and engaging style, this book will appeal to students and philosophers in epistemology and ethics. (shrink)
Epistemology or the theory of knowledge is one of the cornerstones of analytic philosophy, and this book provides a clear and accessible introduction to the subject. It discusses some of the main theories of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, reliabilism, and virtue epistemology. Other topics include the Gettier problem, internalism and externalism, skepticism, the problem of epistemic circularity, the problem of the criterion, a priori knowledge, and naturalized epistemology. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in epistemology, this lucid and (...) well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy. (shrink)
Ever since Plato it has been thought that one knows only if one's belief hits the mark of truth and does so with adequate justification. The issues debated by Laurence BonJour and Ernest Sosa concern mostly the nature and conditions of such epistemic justification, and its place in our understanding of human knowledge. Presents central issues pertaining to internalism vs. externalism and foundationalism vs. virtue epistemology in the form of a philosophical debate. Introduces students to fundamental questions within epistemology (...) while engaging in contemporary debates. Written by two of today’s foremost epistemologists. Includes an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
This paper provides a semantic analysis of English rise-fall-rise (RFR) intonation as a focus quantifier over assertable alternative propositions. I locate RFR meaning in the conventional implicature dimension, and propose that its effect is calculated late within a dynamic model. With a minimum of machinery, this account captures disambiguation and scalar effects, as well as interactions with other focus operators like ‘only’ and clefts. Double focus data further support the analysis, and lead to a rejection of Ward and Hirschberg’s (Language (...) 61:747–776, 1985) claim that RFR never disambiguates. Finally, I draw out connections between RFR and contrastive topic (CT) intonation (Büring, Linguist Philos 26:511–545, 2003), and show that RFR cannot simply be reduced to a sub-case of CT. (shrink)
One of the many problems that would have t o be solved by a satisfactory theory of empirical knowledge, perhaps the most central is a general structural problem which I shall call the epistemic regress problem: the problem of how to avoid an in- finite and presumably vicious regress of justification in ones account of the justifica- tion of empirical beliefs. Foundationalist theories of empirical knowledge, as we shall see further below, attempt t o avoid the regress by locating a (...) class of empirical beliefs whose justification does not depend on that of other empirical beliefs. Extemalist theories, the topic of the present paper, represent one species of foundationalism. (shrink)
In Epistemology, Laurence Bonjour introduces the serious philosophy student to the history and concepts of epistemology, while simultaneously challenging them to take an active part in its ongoing debates. The text reflects BonJour's conviction that the place to start any discussion of the theories of knowledge is with the classical problems, beginning with and centered around Descartes.
This book is concerned with the alleged capacity of the human mind to arrive at beliefs and knowledge about the world on the basis of pure reason without any dependence on sensory experience. Most recent philosophers reject the view and argue that all substantive knowledge must be sensory in origin. Laurence BonJour provocatively reopens the debate by presenting the most comprehensive exposition and defence of the rationalist view that a priori insight is a genuine basis for knowledge. This important (...) book will be at the centre of debate about the theory of knowledge for many years to come. (shrink)
Radical concept nativism is the thesis that virtually all lexical concepts are innate. Notoriously endorsed by Jerry Fodor (1975, 1981), radical concept nativism has had few supporters. However, it has proven difficult to say exactly what’s wrong with Fodor’s argument. We show that previous responses are inadequate on a number of grounds. Chief among these is that they typically do not achieve sufficient distance from Fodor’s dialectic, and, as a result, they do not illuminate the central question of how new (...) primitive concepts are acquired. To achieve a fully satisfactory response to Fodor’s argument, one has to juxtapose questions about conceptual content with questions about cognitive development. To this end, we formulate a general schema for thinking about how concepts are acquired and then present a detailed illustration. (shrink)
In many learning or inference tasks human behavior approximates that of a Bayesian ideal observer, suggesting that, at some level, cognition can be described as Bayesian inference. However, a number of findings have highlighted an intriguing mismatch between human behavior and standard assumptions about optimality: People often appear to make decisions based on just one or a few samples from the appropriate posterior probability distribution, rather than using the full distribution. Although sampling-based approximations are a common way to implement Bayesian (...) inference, the very limited numbers of samples often used by humans seem insufficient to approximate the required probability distributions very accurately. Here, we consider this discrepancy in the broader framework of statistical decision theory, and ask: If people are making decisions based on samples—but as samples are costly—how many samples should people use to optimize their total expected or worst-case reward over a large number of decisions? We find that under reasonable assumptions about the time costs of sampling, making many quick but locally suboptimal decisions based on very few samples may be the globally optimal strategy over long periods. These results help to reconcile a large body of work showing sampling-based or probability matching behavior with the hypothesis that human cognition can be understood in Bayesian terms, and they suggest promising future directions for studies of resource-constrained cognition. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: The classical problems of epistemology -- Descartes's epistemology -- The concept of knowledge -- The problem of induction -- A priori justification and knowledge -- Immediate experience -- Knowledge of the external world -- Some further epistemological issues : other minds, testimony, and memory -- Part II: Contemporary responses to the cartesian epistemological program -- Introduction to part II -- Foundationalism and coherentism -- Internalism and externalism -- Quine and naturalized epistemology -- Knowledge and skepticism.
Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs) provide an account of Bayesian inference in a hierarchically structured hypothesis space. Scientific theories are plausibly regarded as organized into hierarchies in many cases, with higher levels sometimes called ‘paradigms’ and lower levels encoding more specific or concrete hypotheses. Therefore, HBMs provide a useful model for scientific theory change, showing how higher‐level theory change may be driven by the impact of evidence on lower levels. HBMs capture features described in the Kuhnian tradition, particularly the idea that (...) higher‐level theories guide learning at lower levels. In addition, they help resolve certain issues for Bayesians, such as scientific preference for simplicity and the problem of new theories. *Received July 2009; revised October 2009. †To contact the authors, please write to: Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Logic and humour tend to be mutually exclusive topics. Humour plays off ambiguity, while classical logic falters over it. Formalizing puns is therefore impossible, since puns have ambiguous meanings for their components. However, I will use Independence-Friendly logic to formally encode the multiple meanings within a pun. This will show a general strategy of how to logically represent ambiguity and reveals humour as an untapped source of novel logical structure.
In this paper, I consider two sorts of objections to summative theories of value. The first objection concerns “indeterminate” value. The second concerns the importance of variety. I argue that both objections pose serious problems for the summative approach. I also argue that if we accept certain plausible views about the value of variety, we should reject certain forms of argument concerning what sorts of states have intrinsic value.
In this essay, I defend the Moorean position on organic unities. I will present some plausible examples of organic unites and consider some objections to them. In particular, I will consider an objection from evaluative inadequacy and an objection from Holism or Conditionalism. I will also examine one line of criticism that claims the Moorean position is incoherent.
In ”Epistemology and Ethics,” Noah Lemos suggests that moral epistemology is mainly concerned with “whether and how we can have knowledge or justified belief” about moral issues. After addressing skeptical arguments, he considers how the moral epistemologist and moral philosopher should begin their account of moral knowledge. Lemos favors a particularist approach whereby we begin with instances of moral knowledge and use these to formulate and evaluate criteria for moral knowledge. After relating his approach to concerns about the nature (...) of the epistemic justification of moral beliefs as dealt with by foundationalists and coherentists, Lemos responds to arguments against particularist approaches in moral epistemology. Specifically, he addresses the claim that our moral beliefs must receive their justification from an independent moral criterion developed from nonmoral beliefs. (shrink)
SummaryCross-regional correlations between average IQ and socioeconomic development have been documented in many different countries. This paper presents new IQ estimates for the twelve regions of the UK. These are weakly correlated with the regional IQs assembled by Lynn. Assuming the two sets of estimates are accurate and comparable, this finding suggests that the relative IQs of different UK regions have changed since the 1950s, most likely due to differentials in the magnitude of the Flynn effect, the selectivity of external (...) migration, the selectivity of internal migration or the strength of the relationship between IQ and fertility. The paper provides evidence for the validity of the regional IQs by showing that IQ estimates for UK nations derived from the same data are strongly correlated with national PISA scores. It finds that regional IQ is positively related to income, longevity and technological accomplishment; and is negatively related to poverty, deprivation and unemployment. A general factor of socioeconomic development is correlated with regional IQ atr=0.72. (shrink)
This paper addresses the issue of the influence of global governance institutions, particularly international sustainability standards, on a firm’s intra-organizational practices. More precisely, we provide an exploratory empirical view of the impact of the Global Reporting Initiative on a multinational corporation’s corporate social responsibility management practices. We investigate standard compliance by comparing the stated intention of the use of the GRI with its actual use and the consequent effects within the firm. Based on an in-depth case study, our findings illustrate (...) the processes and consequences of the translation of the GRI within the organization. We show that substantive standard adoption can lead to unintended consequences on CSR management practices; specifically it can influence the management structure and CSR committee function; the choice of CSR activities, the relationships between subsidiaries, the temporal dimension of CSR management and the interpretation of CSR performance. We also highlight the need to look at the relationship dynamics between standards. Finally, we illustrate and discuss the role of reporting and its influence on management in order to better understand the internal issues arising from compliance with standards. (shrink)
I defend the view that there are organic unities mainly by presenting examples of organic unities. I also defend the view against two objections. The first objection appeals to the notion of an evaluatively incomplete state of affairs. The second objection holds that the intrinsic value of a state of affairs can be different in different contexts. I argue that neither objection provides a compelling reason for rejecting these examples.
Technology used in online marketing has advanced to a state where collection, enhancement and aggregation of information are instantaneous. This proliferation of customer information focused technology brings with it a host of issues surrounding customer privacy. This article makes two key contributions to the debate concerning digital privacy. First, we use theories of justice to help understand the way consumers conceive of, and react to, privacy concerns. Specifically, it is argued that an important component of consumers’ privacy concerns relates to (...) fairness judgments, which in turn comprise of the two primary components of distributive and procedural justice. Second, we make a number of prescriptions, aimed at both firms and regulators, based on the notion that consumers respond to perceived privacy violations in much the same way they would respond to an unfair exchange. (shrink)
In “Internalism and Externalism,” Laurence BonJour suggests that the contemporary epistemological debate over internalism and externalism concerns the formulation of the justification or warrant condition in an account of knowledge. The internalist requires that for a belief to meet this condition, all of the necessary elements must be cognitively accessible to the believer, whereas the externalist claims that at least some such elements do not need to be accessible to the believer. BonJour gives an overview of this dispute. He (...) suggests that the opposition between the two views is less straightforward than has usually been thought. He proposes, in addition, that each of them has valuable roles to play in major epistemological issues, even though the internalist approach is more fundamental in an important way. (shrink)