Two of the most influential theories about scientific inference are inference to the best explanation and Bayesianism. How are they related? Bas van Fraassen has claimed that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible rival theories, as any probabilistic version of IBE would violate Bayesian conditionalization. In response, several authors have defended the view that IBE is compatible with Bayesian updating. They claim that the explanatory considerations in IBE are taken into account by the Bayesian because the Bayesian either does or should (...) make use of them in assigning probabilities to hypotheses. I argue that van Fraassen has not succeeded in establishing that IBE and Bayesianism are incompatible, but that the existing compatibilist response is also not satisfactory. I suggest that a more promising approach to the problem is to investigate whether explanatory considerations are taken into account by a Bayesian who assigns priors and likelihoods on his or her own terms. In this case, IBE would emerge from the Bayesian account, rather than being used to constrain priors and likelihoods. I provide a detailed discussion of the case of how the Copernican and Ptolemaic theories explain retrograde motion, and suggest that one of the key explanatory considerations is the extent to which the explanation a theory provides depends on its core elements rather than on auxiliary hypotheses. I then suggest that this type of consideration is reflected in the Bayesian likelihood, given priors that a Bayesian might be inclined to adopt even without explicit guidance by IBE. The aim is to show that IBE and Bayesianism may be compatible, not because they can be amalgamated, but rather because they capture substantially similar epistemic considerations. 1 Introduction2 Preliminaries3 Inference to the Best Explanation4 Bayesianism5 The Incompatibilist View : Inference to the Best Explanation Contradicts Bayesianism5. 1 Criticism of the incompatibilist view6 Constraint - Based Compatibilism6. 1 Criticism of constraint - based compatibilism7 Emergent Compatibilism7. 1 Analysis of inference to the best explanation7. 1. 1 Inference to the best explanation on specific hypotheses7. 1. 2 Inference to the best explanation on general theories7. 1. 3 Copernicus versus Ptolemy7. 1. 4 Explanatory virtues7. 1. 5 Summary7. 2 Bayesian account8 Conclusion. (shrink)
The no miracles argument is one of the main arguments for scientific realism. Recently it has been alleged that the no miracles argument is fundamentally flawed because it commits the base rate fallacy. The allegation is based on the idea that the appeal of the no miracles argument arises from inappropriate neglect of the base rate of approximate truth among the relevant population of theories. However, the base rate fallacy allegation relies on an assumption of random sampling of individuals from (...) the population which cannot be made in the case of the no miracles argument. Therefore the base rate fallacy objection to the no miracles argument fails. I distinguish between a “local” and a “global” form of the no miracles argument. The base rate fallacy objection has been leveled at the local version. I argue that the global argument plays a key role in supporting a base-rate-fallacy-free formulation of the local version of the argument. (shrink)
Shenker has claimed that Von Neumann's argument for identifying the quantum mechanical entropy with the Von Neumann entropy, S() = – ktr( log ), is invalid. Her claim rests on a misunderstanding of the idea of a quantum mechanical pure state. I demonstrate this, and provide a further explanation of Von Neumann's argument.
It is commonly thought that there is some tension between the second law of thermodynam- ics and the time reversal invariance of the microdynamics. Recently, however, Jos Uffink has argued that the origin of time reversal non-invariance in thermodynamics is not in the second law. Uffink argues that the relationship between the second law and time reversal invariance depends on the formulation of the second law. He claims that a recent version of the second law due to Lieb and Yngvason (...) allows irreversible processes, yet is time reversal invariant. In this paper, I attempt to spell out the traditional argument for incompatibility between the second law and time reversal invariant dynamics, making the assumptions on which it depends explicit. I argue that this argument does not vary with different versions of the second law and can be formulated for Lieb and Yngvason's version as for other versions. Uffink's argument regarding time reversal invariance in Lieb and Yngvason is based on a certain symmetry of some of their axioms. However, these axioms do not constitute the full expression of the second law in their system. (shrink)
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: LeahHenderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32D‐808, Cambridge, MA 02139; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Henderson and Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology. They defend the roles of the a priori and conceptual analysis, but with an essential empirical dimension. 'Transglobal reliability' is the key to epistemic justification. The question of which cognitive processes are reliable depends on contingent facts about human capacities.
We propose an approach to epistemic justification that incorporates elements of both reliabilism and evidentialism, while also transforming these elements in significant ways. After briefly describing and motivating the non-standard version of reliabilism that Henderson and Horgan call “transglobal” reliabilism, we harness some of Henderson and Horgan’s conceptual machinery to provide a non-reliabilist account of propositional justification (i.e., evidential support). We then invoke this account, together with the notion of a transglobally reliable belief-forming process, to give an account (...) of doxastic justification. (shrink)
Henderson, Gerard The internet age has led to a veritable explosion of knowledge-both contemporary and historical. It's just that, in free societies, there has never been a time where information is so unreliable and so in need of checking.
Franck L. B. Meijboom: Problems of Trust: A Question of Trustworthiness Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9300-4 Authors Martha L. Henderson, Master of Environmental Studies Program, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Outsourcing is becoming a major option in British business, including the financial services industry, and it raises a number of ethical considerations. The author of this major ethical study contends that “Outsourcing seems to present a particular threat to employees ... because of the factors which have led to outsourcing and the way in which it tends to work.” Mike Henderson is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and Senior Lecturer in Financial Services in the School of (...) Financial Studies and Law of Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Pond Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, England. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of what it is for an agent to be justified in holding a given belief commonly carry substantive commitments concerning what cognitive processes can and should be like. In this paper, we argue that concern for the plausiblity of such psychological commitments leads to significant epistemological results. In particular, it leads to a multi-faceted epistemology in which elements of traditionally conflicting epistemologies are vindicated within a single epistemological account. We suggest thinking of the epistemologically relevant cognitive processes in (...) terms of the metaphor of an iceberg--the accessible and articulable states that have been the exclusive focus of much epistemology must, for reasons that we explain, comprise only a proper subset of epistemologically relevant processing, even as only a part of an iceburg is exposed to view. When one focuses on the interaction of accessible states and articulable information, the structure of epistemic justification looks rather like what has been called structural contextualism (Timmons 1993, Henderson 1994b). It might also be called quasi-foundationalist. Yet, given the sort of creatures we are, in attending to our epistemological tasks we must rely on processing that is sensitive to information that we could not articulate, that is not accessible in the standard internalist sense. When one focuses on the full range of epistemologically important processes, the structure of what makes for justification may be rather more like that envisioned by some coherentists. (shrink)
This volume offers an exciting new reading of John Ruskin's economic and social criticism, based on recent research into rhetoric in economics. Willie Henderson uses notions derived from literary criticism, the rhetorical turn in economics and more conventional approaches to historical economic texts to reevaluate Ruskins economic and social criticism. By identifying Ruskin's rhetoric, and by reading his work through that of Plato, Xenophon, and John Stuart Mill, Willie Henderson reveals how Ruskin manipulated a knowledge base. Moreover in (...) analysis of the writings of William Smart, John Bates Clark and Alfred Marshall, the author shows that John Ruskin's influence on the cultural significance of economics and on notions of economic well-being has been considerable. (shrink)
John Henderson explores three letters of Seneca describing visits to Roman villas, and surveys the whole collection to show how these villas work as designs for contrasting lives. Seneca's own place is ageing drastically; a recent Epicurean's paradise is a seductive oasis away from the dangers of Nero's Rome; once a fortress of the dour Rome of yesteryear, the legendary Scipio's lair was now a shrine to the old morality: Seneca revels in its primitive bath-house, dark and cramped, before (...) exploring the garden with the present owner. Seneca brings the philosophical epistle to Latin literature, creating models for moralizing which feature self-criticism, parody and re-animated myth. Virgil and Horace come in for rough handling, as the Latin moralist wrests ethical practice and writing away from Greek gurus and texts, and into critical thinking within a Roman context. Here is powerful teaching on metaphor and translation, on self-transformation and cultural tradition. (shrink)
Alexis de Tocqueville asserted that America had no truly great literature, and that American writers merely mimicked the British and European traditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This new edited collection masterfully refutes Tocqueville's monocultural myopia and reveals the distinctive role American poetry and prose have played in reflecting and passing judgment upon the core values of American democracy. The essays, profiling the work of Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Willa Cather, (...) Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe, reveal how America's greatest writers have acted as society's most ardent cheerleaders and its most penetrating critics. Christine Dunn Henderson's exciting new work offers literature as a portal through which to view the philosophical principles that animate America's political order and the mores which either reinforce or undermine them. (shrink)
Long prone to dogmatic disagreement, the question of value in Marx’s thought—what value is, the purpose it serves, its application to real-world capitalism—requires renewal if Marx’s work is to remain vibrant. In _Value in Marx_, George Henderson offers a lucid rereading of Marx that strips value of its turgid theoretical reduction and reframes it as an investigation into the tensions between social relations and forms as they are rather than as what they could otherwise become. Drawing on Marx’s _Capital_ (...) and _Grundrisse_, Henderson shows how these volumes do not harbor a single theory of value that equates value to capital. Instead, these books experimentally compose and recompose value for a world that is more than capitalist. At stake is how Marx conceives of human freedom, of balanced social arrangements, and of control over the things people produce. Henderson finds that the limits on social becoming, including the tendency toward alienated existence, haunt Marx even as he looks beyond the critique of capital to an emancipated society to come. Can these limits be confronted in a creative, even joyful, way? Can they become aspects of what we desire, rather than being silenced and denied? As long as we persist in interpreting value broadly, following it as an active and not a shut-down, predetermined feature of Marx’s texts, Henderson ultimately views Marx as responding positively to these challenges and employing value as a powerful tool of the political imaginary. (shrink)
In the wake of life-changing events—whether as global in reach as the terrorist attacks on September 11 or as personal as the death of a child—the first question that springs to mind is “Why?” Why do good people suffer pain and loss? Why does God allow these things to happen? In this simple, straightforward book, Bruce Henderson tackles some of the most difficult questions that people of faith face in their lives. Drawing from the wisdom of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg, (...) who wrestled with these same questions more than two hundred years ago, Henderson describes a universe in which God allows us free will and choice, subtly guiding the course of our lives with an insight no mortal can comprehend. Pain and suffering ultimately lead to good, and as we walk the path, we draw ever closer to heaven. In the end, the question is not why these things happen, but what good can come of them, and how we can use our gift of free will to create a better world for ourselves and others. In this, Henderson says, God is our partner and guiding hand, turning pain to hope and trust. (shrink)
What happens to us when we die? Is there really a heaven and hell? Are there angels watching over us? These questions follow us from early childhood to old age, particularly in moments when we’re confronted with the loss of a loved one. In _Window to Eternity,_ Bruce Henderson draws from the teachings of visionary Emanuel Swedenborg to paint a vivid picture of heaven and hell, where the souls of the departed become angels and demons and indescribable wonders await. (...) But far from being a distant destination, Henderson shows that heaven is a choice that each of us makes every day—ours to have or to turn away from, regardless of our background or religious upbringing. (shrink)
Increased technological and pharmacological interventions in patient care when patient outcomes are uncertain have been linked to the escalation in moral and ethical dilemmas experienced by health care providers in acute care settings. Health care research has shown that facilities that are able to attract and retain nursing staff in a competitive environment and provide high quality care have the capacity for nurses to process and resolve moral and ethical dilemmas. This article reports on the findings of a systematic review (...) of the empirical literature (1980 — February 2007) on the effects of unresolved moral distress and poor ethical climate on nurse turnover. Articles were sought to answer the review question: Does unresolved moral distress and a poor organizational ethical climate increase nurse turnover? Nine articles met the criteria of the review process. Although the prevailing sentiment was that poor ethical climate and moral distress caused staff turnover, definitive answers to the review question remain elusive because there are limited data that confidently support this statement. (shrink)
The concept of knowledge is used to certify epistemic agents as good sources (on a certain point or subject matter) for an understood audience. Attributions of knowledge and denials of knowledge are used in a kind of epistemic gate keeping for (epistemic or practical) communities with which the attributor and interlocutors are associated. When combined with reflection on kinds of practical and epistemic communities, and their situated epistemic needs for gate keeping, this simple observation regarding the point and purpose of (...) the concept of knowledge has rich implications. First, it gives one general reason to prefer contextualism over various forms of sensitive invariantism. Second, when gate keeping for a select community of experts or authorities, with an associated body of results on which folk generally might then draw (when gate keeping for a general source community ) the contextual demands approximate those with which insensitive invariantists would be comfortable. (shrink)
This paper focuses on examining the dynamic nature of community supported agriculture (CSA) and the real-world experiences which mark its contours, often making it distinct from the early idealized CSA “model.” Specifically, our study examines the narratives of the farmers of Devon Acres CSA over its duration, in tandem with a survey of recent shareholders in order to understand and explain its evolution. The framework we develop here shows that this CSA is largely characterized by instrumental and functional beliefs and (...) practices, with some elements in the collaborative mode. A key contribution of this research is the development of a framework which helps to highlight the relative fluidity and patchwork quality of CSA participant positions over time. At Devon Acres, the real-world factors and issues influencing CSA evolution are seen to be products of both the local and larger contexts, evident in such areas as shifts in farmer learning and adaptation, differences between beliefs and practices in member volunteer efforts, and changes in farm and resource conditions. With respect to CSA more broadly, we argue that the reality of dominant food system context and site-specific influences on CSA development compels us to rework our attachment to early idealized “model” traits. Expansion in CSA numbers, evidence of adaptation and situated learning, and retention of the local and organic as core traits, speak to the pragmatic yet transformative potential of CSA contribution to food system change. (shrink)
One of the central points of contention in the epistemology of testimony concerns the uniqueness (or not) of the justification of beliefs formed through testimony--whether such justification can be accounted for in terms of, or 'reduced to,' other familiar sort of justification, e.g. without relying on any epistemic principles unique to testimony. One influential argument for the reductionist position, found in the work of Elizabeth Fricker, argues by appeal to the need for the hearer to monitor the testimony for credibility. (...) Fricker (1994) argues, first, that some monitoring for trustworthiness is required if the hearer is to avoid being gullible, and second, that reductionism but not anti-reductionism is compatible with ascribing an important role to the process of monitoring in the course of justifiably accepting observed testimony. In this paper we argue that such an argument fails. (shrink)
This paper explores a position that combines contextualism regarding knowledge with the idea that the central point or purpose of the concept of knowledge is to feature in attributions that keep epistemic gate for contextually salient communities. After highlighting the main outlines and virtues of the suggested gate-keeping contextualism, two issues are pursued. First, the motivation for the view is clarified in a discussion of the relation between evaluative concepts and the purposes they serve. This clarifies why one's sense for (...) the point of an evaluative concept ought to constrain and inform one's understanding of the concept. Second, the paper explores ways of avoiding a problem in the author's earlier development of gate-keeping contextualism. The initial development of the view opened the door to a form of skepticism that would hobble an important facet of our social-epistemic lives. (shrink)
Potts (2005) and many subsequent works have argued that the semantic content of appositive (non-restrictive) relative clauses, e.g., the underlined material in John, who nearly killed a woman with his car, visited her in the hospital, must be in some way separate from the content of the rest of the sentence, i.e., from at-issue content. At the same time, there is mounting evidence from various anaphoric processes that the two kinds of content must be integrated into a single, incrementally evolving (...) semantic representation. The challenge is how to reconcile this informational separation with these pervasive anaphoric connections. We propose a dynamic semantic account that accomplishes this by taking appositive and at-issue content to involve two different kinds of updates to the Context Set (CS). Treating the context set as a distinguished propositional variable, pcs, we argue that appositives directly impose their content on the CS by eliminating possible values assigned to pcs. In contrast, we treat at-issue assertions as introducing a new propositional dref and proposing that pcs be updated with its content, subject to addressee's response. In addition to capturing the behavior of appositives in discourse, we show that the account can be extended to capture the projection of appositive content past various sentential operators. (shrink)
Refutes the methodological separatists who hold that the logic of explanation and testing in the human sciences is fundamentally different than in the natural sciences, and develops complementary accounts for interpretation and explanation, ...
Alvin Goldman’s contributions to contemporary epistemology are impressive—few epistemologists have provided others so many occasions for reflecting on the fundamental character of their discipline and its concepts. His work has informed the way epistemological questions have changed (and remained consistent) over the last two decades. We (the authors of this paper) can perhaps best suggest our indebtedness by noting that there is probably no paper on epistemology that either of us individually or jointly have produced that does not in its (...) notes and references bear clear testimony to the influence of Professor Goldman’s arguments. The present paper is no exception (and this would be a particularly inapt place to break with our tradition of indebtedness). Professor Goldman has produced a series of discussions that we find particularly important for coming to terms with the venerable idea that there may be truths that can be known a priori (Goldman 1992a, 1992b, 1999). We do not altogether follow his lead, while he draws on the idea that a priori justification has something to do with innateness or processess, we prefer to accentuate the idea that a priori justification turns on a conceptually grounded truths and access via acquired conceptual competence (at least in many significant philosophical cases). Still, in developing our understanding we have been aided by much that Professor Goldman says regarding concepts, conceptual competence, and related psychological processes. The influences should become progressively clear, particularly in the later sections of this paper. What would it take for there to be a priori knowledge or justification? We can begin by reflecting on a widely agreed on answer to this question—one that purports to identify something that would at least be adequate for a priori justification. The answer will then serve as one anchor for the present investigation, a bit of shared ground on which empiricists and rationalists can, and typically do, agree.. (shrink)
In What Philosophers Know, Gary Gutting provides an epistemology of philosophical reflection. This paper focuses on the roles that various intuitive inputs are said to play in philosophical thought. Gutting argues that philosophers are defeasibly entitled to believe some of these, prior to the outcome of the philosophical reflection, and that they then rightly serve as significant (again defeasible) anchors on reflection. This paper develops a view of epistemic entitlement and applies it to argue that many prephilosophical convictions of the (...) kind Gutting discusses would be just the sort of belief for which entitlement would plausibly be defeated from the start. They then could not properly play the role in philosophical reflection that Gutting envisions for them. (shrink)
Reliablists have argued that the important evaluative epistemic concept of being justified in holding a belief, at least to the extent that that concept is associated with knowledge, is best understood as concerned with the objective appropriateness of the processes by which a given belief is generated and sustained. In particular, they hold that a belief is justified only when it is fostered by processes that are reliable (at least minimally so) in the believer’s actual world. Of course, reliablists typically (...) recognize other concepts of justification--typically subjective notions--which are given a noncompeting sort of epistemic legitimacy. However, they have tended to focus on the epistemically central notion of "strong justification," and have come to settle on this familiar reliablist analysis, supposing that it pretty much exhausts what there is to say about "objective justification.". (shrink)