This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the question of sexual difference, taking into account important shifts in feminist thought, post-humanist theories, and queer studies. The contributors offer new and refreshing insights into the complex question of sexual difference from a post-feminist perspective, and how it is reformulated in various related areas of study, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, biology, technology, and mass-media.
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, his main work of theoretical philosophy, frequently uses metaphors from law. In this first book-length study in English of Kant's legal metaphors and their role in the first Critique, Sofie Møller shows that they are central to Kant's account of reason. Through an analysis of the legal metaphors in their entirety, she demonstrates that Kant conceives of reason as having a structure mirroring that of a legal system in a natural right framework. Her study shows (...) that Kant's aim is to make cognisers become similar to authorized judges within such a system, by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate her conclusion that reason's systematicity is legal systematicity. (shrink)
In this article I assess the Invariance Principle, which states that only quantities that are invariant under the symmetries of our theories are physically real. I argue, contrary to current orthodoxy, that the variance of a quantity under a theory’s symmetries is not a sufficient basis for interpreting that theory as being uncommitted to the reality of that quantity. Rather, I argue, the variance of a quantity under symmetries only ever serves as a motivation to refrain from any commitment to (...) the quantity in question. (shrink)
There are strong indications that many consumers are switching towards more socially and environmentally responsible products and services, reflecting a shift in consumer values indicated in several countries. However, little is known about the motives that drive some toward, or deter others from, higher levels of ethical concern and action in their purchasing decisions. Following a qualitative investigation using ZMET and focus group discussions, a questionnaire was developed and administered to a representative sample of consumers; nearly 1,000 usable questionnaires were (...) collected. The degree of awareness, concern and action regarding 16 ethical issues was quantified, using a measure developed from the Stages of Change concept within the Transtheoretical model. Motivations for ethical behaviour, in relation to each individual’s most salient ethical issue, were investigated using initially 22 motive statements within the framework of the Decisional Balance Scale (DBS). The findings suggest that the DBS and Stages model have an explanatory value within the ethical decision-making context, and that the motives identified do reflect the Decisional Balance Constructs. Indeed the study suggests that respondents’ motivational attitudes are a function of their stage of ethical awareness, concern and action. Therefore, the Decisional Balance Scale may well prove useful for designing appropriate interventions and communications to facilitate movement towards more ethical decision-making. These findings yield strategic insight for communicating messages to ethical consumers and for better understanding their purchasing decisions. (shrink)
There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
The concept ‘hereditary breast cancer’ is commonly used to delineate a group of people genetically at risk for breast cancer—all of whom also having risk for other cancers. People carrying pathogenic variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often referred to as those having predisposition for ‘hereditary breast cancer’. The two genes, however, are when altered, associated with different risks for and dying from breast cancer. The main risk for dying for carriers of both genes is from ovarian cancer. (...) These biological facts are of philosophical interest, because they are the facts underlying the public debate on BRCA1/2 genetic testing as a model for the discussion of how to implement genetic knowledge and technologies in personalized medicine. A contribution to this public debate describing inherited breast cancer as ‘biological citizenship’ recently printed in Med Health Care and Philos illustrated how fragmented and detached from the biological and socio-political facts this debate sometimes is. We here briefly summarize some of the biological facts and how they are implemented in today’s healthcare based on agreed philosophical, ethical and moral principles. The suggestion of a ‘biological citizenship’ defined by hereditary breast cancer is incorrect and ill-advised. ‘Identity politics’ focusing hereditary breast cancer patients as a group based on a bundle of ill-defined negative arguments is well known, but is supported neither by scientific nor philosophical arguments. To those born with the genetic variants described, the philosophical rule of not doing harm is violated by unbalanced negative arguments. (shrink)
This article explores yet another paradox – aside from the privacy paradox – related to the datafication of media: citizens trust least the media they use most It investigates the role that daily life plays in shaping the trust that citizens place in datafied media. The study reveals five sets of heuristics guiding the trust assessments of citizens: characteristics of media organisations, old media standards, context of use and purpose, experiences of datafication and understandings of datafication. The article discusses the (...) use of these heuristics and the value that everyday life holds in assessing trust in datafied media. It concludes that, guided by a partial ‘structure of perception’ and enticed into trusting datafied media in the context of their daily lives, citizens may be highly concerned by the datafication of media but use them nevertheless. (shrink)
Binding specificity is a centrally important concept in molecular biology, yet it has received little philosophical attention. Here I aim to remedy this by analyzing binding specificity as a causal property. I focus on the concept’s role in drug design, where it is highly prized and hence directly studied. From a causal perspective, understanding why binding specificity is a valuable property of drugs contributes to an understanding of causal selection—of how and why scientists distinguish between causes, not just causes from (...) noncauses. In particular, the specificity of drugs is precisely what underwrites their value as experimental interventions on biological processes. (shrink)
Empirical philosophers of science aim to base their philosophical theories on observations of scientific practice. But since there is far too much science to observe it all, how can we form and test hypotheses about science that are sufficiently rigorous and broad in scope, while avoiding the pitfalls of bias and subjectivity in our methods? Part of the answer, we claim, lies in the computational tools of the digital humanities, which allow us to analyze large volumes of scientific literature. Here (...) we advocate for the use of these methods by addressing a number of large-scale, justificatory concerns—specifically, about the epistemic value of journal articles as evidence for what happens elsewhere in science, and about the ability of DH tools to extract this evidence. Far from ignoring the gap between scientific literature and the rest of scientific practice, effective use of DH tools requires critical reflection about these relationships. (shrink)
Shannon information is commonly assumed to be the wrong way in which to conceive of information in most biological contexts. Since the theory deals only in correlations between systems, the argument goes, it can apply to any and all causal interactions that affect a biological outcome. Since informational language is generally confined to only certain kinds of biological process, such as gene expression and hormone signalling, Shannon information is thought to be unable to account for this restriction. It is often (...) concluded that a richer, teleosemantic sense of information is needed. I argue against this view, and show that a coherent and sufficiently restrictive theory of biological information can be constructed with Shannon information at its core. This can be done by paying due attention some crucial distinctions: between information quantity and its fitness value, and between carrying information and having the function of doing so. From this I construct an account of how informational functions arise, and show that the “subject matter” of these functions can easily be seen as the natural information dealt with by Shannon’s theory. (shrink)
In Kant’s Politics in Context, Reidar Maliks offers a compelling account of Kant’s political philosophy as part of a public debate on rights, citizenship, and revolution in the wake of the French Revolution. Maliks argues that Kant’s political thought was developed as a moderate middle ground between radical and conservative political interpretations of his moral philosophy. The book’s central thesis is that the key to understanding Kant’s legal and political thought lies in the public debate among Kant’s followers and that (...) in this debate we find the political challenges which Kant’s political philosophy is designed to solve. Kant’s Politics in Context raises crucial questions about how to understand political thinkers of the past and is proof that our understanding of the past will remain fragmented if we limit our studies to the great men of the established canon. (shrink)
Data-intensive science comes with increased risks concerning quality and reliability of data, and while trust in science has traditionally been framed as a matter of scientists being expected to adhere to certain technical and moral norms for behaviour, emerging discourses of open science present openness and transparency as substitutes for established trust mechanisms. By ensuring access to all available information, quality becomes a matter of informed judgement by the users, and trust no longer seems necessary. This strategy does not, however, (...) take into consideration the networks of professionals already enabling data-intensive science by providing high-quality data. In the life sciences, biological data- and knowledge bases managed by expert biocurators have become crucial for data-intensive research. In this paper, I will use the case of biocurators to argue that openness and transparency will not diminish the need for trust in data-intensive science. On the contrary, data-intensive science requires a reconfiguration of existing trust mechanisms in order to include those who take care of and manage scientific data after its production. (shrink)
This paper challenges the role individual autonomy has played in debates on moral neuroenhancement (MN). It shows how John Hyman’s analysis of agency as consisting of functionally integrated dimensions allows us to reassess the impact of MN on practical agency. I discuss how MN affects what Hyman terms the four dimensions of agency: psychological, ethical, intellectual, and physical. Once we separate the different dimensions of agency, it becomes clear that many authors in the debate conflate the different dimensions in the (...) concept they call ‘autonomous agents’. They contend that, for example, reason-giving and previous autonomous acts are relevant to agency as such, when in fact they capture only one aspect of functionally integrated agency. This paper reconsiders MN in light of the functional integration of reason and emotions in practical agency. To illustrate the impact of MN on different aspects of agency, I consider examples from legal practice, which show that autonomy cannot be our sole focus when evaluating the moral implications of MN. (shrink)
This article offers reinterpretation of the current economic and political crisis through the lens of Gramsci’s concept of “interregnum,” departing from the model of “punctured equilibrium” to analyze the specific political dynamics of nonhegemonic periods between the breakdown of one ideological order and the emergence of a new one. Although political science has a range theories about periods of hegemony and paradigmatic stability, the periods between stable hegemonies remain distinctly undertheorized. A theoretical concept describing periods of interregnum is offered and (...) applied to the changes in economic ideology and political alignments that followed the breakdown of the liberal order in the interwar period and the postwar Keynesian consensus of the 1970s. The concept is then applied to the current juncture, in which the hegemony of neoliberalism has been shaken by the 2008 financial crisis but no clear successor has emerged. (shrink)
: The aim of the present paper is to discuss how the legal metaphors in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason can help us understand the work’s transcendental argumentation. I discuss Dieter Henrich’s claim that legal deductions form a methodological paradigm for all three Critiques that exempts the deductions from following a stringent logical structure. I also consider Rüdiger Bubner’s proposal that the legal metaphors show that the transcendental deduction is a rhetorical argument. On the basis of my own reading of (...) the many different uses of legal analogies in the first Critique, I argue that they cannot form a consistent methodological paradigm as Henrich and Bubner claim. (shrink)
In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explains the purpose of the transcendental deduction of the categories by referring to the practice of legal deduction (KrV, A 84/B 116). However, he does not elaborate the details of the analogy and the reader is left to fill in the blanks concerning legal deductions and their supposed similarities with transcendental deductions. In this paper, I suggest we use judicial imputation to clarify Kant’s analogy between transcendental and legal deductions. My claim is that (...) the core of the analogy is not the similarities between the acquisition of property and that of concepts but rather similarities in the application of a law to a deed. (shrink)
This book presents a thorough study and an up to date anthology of Plato’s Protagoras. International authors' papers contribute to the task of understanding how Plato introduced and negotiated a new type of intellectual practice – called philosophy – and the strategies that this involved. They explore Plato’s dialogue, looking at questions of how philosophy and sophistry relate, both on a methodological and on a thematic level.
The formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999 was spurred by the 1998 revelation of widespread use in professional cycling of erythropoietin. The drug was supposedly a real danger. The long-term consequences were unknown, but rumor said it made athletes’ blood thick as jam with clots and other circulatory fatalities likely consequences. Today the fear of EPO has dampened. However, new scientific avenues such as ‘neuro-doping’ have replaced EPO as emergent and imagined threats to athletes and to the integrity (...) of sport. In this paper, we analyze the alleged threat from ‘neuro-doping’ in the following steps: First, we outline an understanding of ‘neuro-doping’ in a narrow sense, which we then put into context by looking at the phenomenon in a broader sense. Second, we highlight examples of societal perceptions of sport and science in order to shed light on where the concern for ‘neuro-doping’ comes from. Third, we address the more general fear of technology as a root for this concern. Fourth, we examine the evidence for the performance enhancing capacities of ‘neuro-doping’, where after we look at the obstacles for a ban on this technology. We conclude the analysis by stating that at present ‘neuro-doping’ cannot be considered a threat to the integrity of sport. Finally, however, we put this conclusion into perspective by examining what the most reasonable response would be if in the future neuro-stimulation techniques becomes an effective performance-enhancing mean in sport. (shrink)
Since the end of the Second World War, the popularity of modern elite sport has grown immensely and so has the economical interests in sport. Athletes have become attractive advertising partners. Much money is at stake so it is understandable that companies are alarmed when their poster boys or girls are caught up in scandals. Inspired by a recent study, which found that stock return of primary team sponsors in cycling was not affected if the team was involved in doping (...) scandals, this paper is an attempt to explain why athletes often maintain their marketing value even if they are exposed as bad role models. The thesis is that the attraction of athletes relates to the concept of ‘charisma’, and that the success of mass spectator sports is due to sport’s appeal to what psychologist Henry Rutgers Marshall by the end of the 19th Century in an article in Mind identified as man’s ‘religious instinct’. So after a brief introduction, the paper begins with a clarification of the antiquated concept ‘religious instinct’. This is followed by a critical examination of the secular usage of ‘charisma’ as introduced by Max Weber. Peter Sloterdijk’s sobering point that Hitler’s aptitude for his role in Germany did not rely on charisma lays the foundation for a more precise and rationally consistent description of the concept. It is argued that charisma is not something certain individuals posses, rather it is something that is experienced as an emotional effect by those who label individuals charismatic, which is based on the honesty competence and commitment of the perceived ‘charismatic’ person. Idols can have charismatic effect on us even if they are unprincipled cheats so long as they are committed to what they do. This is why athletes maintain their appeal and marketing value so long as their performances transcend the capabilities of ordinary people. (shrink)