This paper systematically compares two frameworks for analysing technical artefacts: the Dual-Nature approach, exemplified by the contributions to Kroes and Meijers , and the collectivist approach advocated by Schyfter , following Kusch . After describing the main tenets of both approaches, we show that there is significant overlap between them: both frameworks analyse the most typical cases of artefact use, albeit in different terms, but to largely the same extent. Then, we describe several kinds of cases for which the frameworks (...) yield different analyses. For these cases, which include one-of-a-kind artefacts and defect types, the Dual-Nature framework leads to a more attractive analysis. Our comparison also gives us the opportunity to respond to Vaesen’s critical paper. We do so by distinguishing two readings of the Dual-Nature framework and pointing out that on the sustainable, weaker reading, Vaesen’s considerations supplement the framework rather than offering an alternative to it.Keywords: Technical artefact; Dual Nature framework; Collectivist framework; Artefact use. (shrink)
A portfolio model was developed which can serve as an alternative to the literature study with practical processing, the predominant dissertation model used in teacher education courses in Flanders. Using a pre‐ and post‐test quasi‐experimental design with 174 teacher students and 44 supervisors, we examined whether the use of portfolio as a dissertation model has a greater effect on the students’ capacity for independent learning than the literature study with practical processing, using three questionnaires. The research shows that portfolio results (...) in students acquiring greater metacognitive knowledge. It also appears that students only get the chance to use their metacognitive skills when supervisors give them sufficient autonomy. However, supervisors experience loss of control and therefore tend to restrict students’ autonomy. This leads us to the paradox of independent learning: students will only learn independently when they are given the opportunity to learn independently. Supervisors need to transfer learner control. (shrink)
In this report, the phenomenology of two blind users of a sensory substitution device – “The vOICe” – that converts visual images to auditory signals is described. The users both report detailed visual phenomenology that developed within months of immersive use and has continued to evolve over a period of years. This visual phenomenology, although triggered through use of The vOICe, is likely to depend not only on online visualization of the auditory signal but also on the users’ previous (albeit (...) distant) experience of veridical vision (e.g. knowledge of shapes and visual perspective). Once established, the sensory substitution mapping between the auditory and visual domains is not confined to when the device is worn and, thus, may constitute an example of acquired synaesthesia. (shrink)
Historically, scientific and engineering expertise has been key in shaping research and innovation policies, with benefits presumed to accrue to society more broadly over time. But there is persistent and growing concern about whether and how ethical and societal values are integrated into R&I policies and governance, as we confront public disbelief in science and political suspicion toward evidence-based policy-making. Erosion of such a social contract with science limits the ability of democratic societies to deal with challenges presented by new, (...) disruptive technologies, such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, automation and robotics, and artificial intelligence. Many policy efforts have emerged in response to such concerns, one prominent example being Europe's Eighth Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, whose focus on “Responsible Research and Innovation” provides a case study for the translation of such normative perspectives into concrete policy action and implementation. Our analysis of this H2020 RRI approach suggests a lack of consistent integration of elements such as ethics, open access, open innovation, and public engagement. On the basis of our evaluation, we suggest possible pathways for strengthening efforts to deliver R&I policies that deepen mutually beneficial science and society relationships. (shrink)
Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) aim to compensate for the loss of a sensory modality, typically vision, by converting information from the lost modality into stimuli in a remaining modality. “The vOICe” is a visual-to-auditory SSD which encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into “soundscapes” such that experienced users can extract information about their surroundings. Here we investigated how much detail was resolvable during the early induction stages by testing the acuity of blindfolded sighted, naïve vOICe users. (...) Initial performance was well above chance. Participants who took the test twice as a form of minimal training showed a marked improvement on the second test. Acuity was slightly but not significantly impaired when participants wore a camera and judged letter orientations “live”. A positive correlation was found between participants' musical training and their acuity. The relationship between auditory expertise via musical training and the lack of a relationship with visual imagery, suggests that early use of a SSD draws primarily on the mechanisms of the sensory modality being used rather than the one being substituted. If vision is lost, audition represents the sensory channel of highest bandwidth of those remaining. The level of acuity found here, and the fact it was achieved with very little experience in sensory substitution by naïve users is promising. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the hypothesis that, ‘moral agency is distributed over both humans and technological artefacts’, recently proposed by Peter-Paul Verbeek. We present some arguments for thinking that Verbeek is mistaken. We argue that artefacts such as bridges, word processors, or bombs can never be (part of) moral agents. After having discussed some possible responses, as well as a moderate view proposed by Illies and Meijers, we conclude that technological artefacts are neutral tools that are at most (...) bearers of instrumental value. (shrink)
In an oft-quoted passage from The Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham addresses the issue of our treatment of animals with the following words: ‘the question is not, Can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, Can they suffer?’ The point is well taken, for surely if animals suffer, they are legitimate objects of our moral concern. It is curious therefore, given the current interest in the moral status of animals, that Bentham's question has been assumed to be merely (...) rhetorical. No-one has seriously examined the claim, central to arguments for animal liberation and animal rights, that animals actually feel pain. Peter Singer's Animal Liberation is perhaps typical in this regard. His treatment of the issue covers a scant seven pages, after which he summarily announces that ‘there are no good reasons, scientific or philosophical, for denying that animals feel pain’. In this paper I shall suggest that the issue of animal pain is not so easily dispensed with, and that the evidence brought forward to demonstrate that animals feel pain is far from conclusive. (shrink)
Peter Abelard was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twelfth century, famed for his skill in logic as well as his romance with Heloise. His Collationes - or Dialogue between a Christian, a Philosopher, and a Jew - is remarkable for the boldness of its conception and thought.
Histories of philosophy frequently depict the later eleventh century as the scene of a series of bouts between dialecticians and anti-dialecticians — Berengar vs. Lanfranc, Roscelin vs. Anselm — preliminaries to the twelfth century welterweight contest between Abelard and St. Bernard and — dare one say? — the thirteenth century heavy-weight championship between St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure.The bouts took place — no question about that — but whether the contestants can properly be characterized as dialecticians and anti-dialecticians is less (...) certain. Dialectics is logic, the third part of the trivium, and increasingly cultivated in the eleventh century; men like Berengar and Roscelin were plainly eager to apply the logical tools with which they had been equipped to the solution of intellectual problems. In particular they undertook the solution of certain central problems of theology — Berengar that of the Eucharist and Roscelin that of the Trinity — and it was this, we are told, that aroused the ire of the anti-dialecticians: if the aim of the dialecticians was to lay bare the mysteries of faith to the light of reason that of the anti-dialecticians was to protect those same mysteries from profanation. (shrink)
Propositional attitudes, such as beliefs, desires, and intentions, can be attributed to collective agents. In my paper I focus on cognitive attitudes, and I explore the various types of collective beliefs. I argue that there is a whole spectrum of collective beliefs, and I distinguish between two extremes: the weak opinion poll conception and the strong agreement-based conception. Strong collective beliefs should be understood in terms of the acceptance of a proposition rather than of belief proper. They are not purely (...) epistemic and involve practical considerations. To believe that p collectively in the strong sense is to adopt a policy to use that proposition in the group's deliberations about future actions. (shrink)
Peter Singer is probably the best-known and most controversial ethicist in the world today. He rigorously applies utilitarian moral theory to issues such as world poverty, the environment, abortion, euthanasia and, most famously, animal welfare. He has also written a book about his grandfather, David Oppenheim, who died in Theresienstadt concentration camp. He is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.
This essay pursues the development of Charles Taylor’s ontological thought by comparing his—insightful yet neglected—early paper “Ontology” with his little-known essay “Ethics and Ontology” and his most matured ontological position in Retrieving Realism. It also puts a spotlight on Taylor’s unusual “interwoven” mode of argumentation in between ethics, phenomenology, and ontology. In so doing, I aim, first, to show Taylor’s remarkable consistency; second, to unravel his hybrid position in between ethics, phenomenology, and ontology; third, to argue for a tension between (...) Taylor’s phenomenological approach to ethics and his claims about ontology; and, fourth, to highlight his ongoing hesitation with regard to ontological inquiry in general and issues of moral realism in particular. (shrink)
Peter Abelard (1079 – 21 April 1142) [‘Abailard’ or ‘Abaelard’ or ‘Habalaarz’ and so on] was the pre-eminent philosopher and theologian of the twelfth century. The teacher of his generation, he was also famous as a poet and a musician. Prior to the recovery of Aristotle, he brought the native Latin tradition in philosophy to its highest pitch. His genius was evident in all he did. He is, arguably, the greatest logician of the Middle Ages and is equally famous (...) as the first great nominalist philosopher. He championed the use of reason in matters of faith (he was the first to use ‘theology’ in its modern sense), and his systematic treatment of religious doctrines are as remarkable for their philosophical penetration and subtlety as they are for their audacity. Abelard seemed larger than life to his contemporaries: his quick wit, sharp tongue, perfect memory, and boundless arrogance made him unbeatable in debate — he was said by supporter and detractor alike never to have lost an argument — and the force of his personality impressed itself vividly on all with whom he came into contact. His luckless affair with Héloïse made him a tragic figure of romance, and his conflict with Bernard of Clairvaux over reason and religion made him the hero of the Enlightenment. For all his colourful life, though, his philosophical achievements are the cornerstone of his fame. (shrink)
Amazing as it may be, to this day few commentaries on the treatises of Plotinus' Enneads are written. The classic ninth treatise, for example, has hardly been studied. This treatise, however, is of vital importance, because it is in this work that for the first time in the Enneads, the One in its superform emerges and Plotinus dwells on the remarkable phenomenon of a 'mystical union' of the soul with the One. A thorough analysis of the argument and its development (...) next to philosophical and philo-logical support will be welcome to any reader of this in-triguing but difficult treatise. These aims are pursued in the main part of Meijer's work, the commentary. The first part of the book, preceding the commentary, examines the philosophical history of the concept of the One and its status in the first eight treatises. This new approach to the problem of the One leads to striking conclusions. It appears that while Plotinus was writing these first eight treatises, the concept of the One developed from that of a Supreme Entity of a Mesoplatonian character, viz. the upper part of the mind, to One of a Superone above mind. This casts an entirely new light on the position of the One in Plotinus and that of the ninth treatise itself. The third part not only examines the mystical union as pictured in the ninth treatise, but also provides a full scale discussion of Plotinus' descriptions of this union in his en-tire work. The degree of unification, viz. the question whether a part of the mystic self remains intact during the unification, is a matter of vigorous scholarly debate. Meijer shows that, in spite of some inconsistencies in his doctrine about the union, one must accept that Plotinus basically considered the union as a complete absorption of the soul into the Supreme Entity. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert has recently argued in ProtoSociology against what she called my rejectionist’s view according to which we have to make a distinction between the intentional states of believing and accepting and genuine group beliefs, i.e. group beliefs that cannot be reduced to the beliefs of the individual members of a group, should be understood in terms of the acceptance of a view rather than of beliefs proper. In this reply I discuss Gilbert’s objections.
Objectivity in historical perspective Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 11-39 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9597-2 Authors Peter Dear, Department of History, Cornell University, 435 McGraw Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA Ian Hacking, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 170 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5R 2M8, Canada Matthew L. Jones, Department of History, Columbia University, 514 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027, USA Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, (...) Germany Peter Galison, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Science Center 371, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 1. (shrink)
Alan C. LoveDarwinian calisthenicsAn athlete engages in calisthenics as part of basic training and as a preliminary to more advanced or intense activity. Whether it is stretching, lunges, crunches, or push-ups, routine calisthenics provide a baseline of strength and flexibility that prevent a variety of injuries that might otherwise be incurred. Peter Bowler has spent 40 years doing Darwinian calisthenics, researching and writing on the development of evolutionary ideas with special attention to Darwin and subsequent filiations among scientists exploring (...) evolution . Therefore, we would expect that when Bowler engages in a counterfactual history—imagining a world without Darwin—he is able to avoid historical injury and generate novel insights. My assessment is that the results are mixed. Before we can see why, it is necessary to walk briskly through the main contours of his argument.Bowler begins with an apologia for a counterfactual appr .. (shrink)
Written by eminent philosophers from Britain, Europe, America, and Australia, the essays of this collection are a tribute to Peter Winch, whose work is marked by his deep appreciation of the most fundamental aspect of Wittgenstein's legacy: that we cannot detach our concepts from their roots in human life. The voices in this volume unite in different tones of sympathy and criticism by discussing the theme of human conditioning: the human conditioning of what we can find intelligible, possible and (...) impossible, and the suspicion of an illusory transcendence. (shrink)
Quantification is a topic which brings together linguistics, logic, and philosophy. Quantifiers are the essential tools with which, in language or logic, we refer to quantity of things or amount of stuff. In English they include such expressions as no, some, all, both, many. Peters and Westerstahl present the definitive interdisciplinary exploration of how they work - their syntax, semantics, and inferential role.
We examine to what extent an adequate ontology of technical artefacts can be based on existing general accounts of the relation between higher-order objects and their material basis. We consider two of these accounts: supervenience and constitution. We take as our starting point the thesis that artefacts have a ‘dual nature’, that is, that they are both material bodies and functional objects. We present two criteria for an adequate ontology of artefacts, ‘Underdetermination’ and ‘Realizability Constraints’ , which address aspects of (...) the dual nature thesis. Assessing supervenience accounts, we find them either wanting with respect to these criteria or insufficiently informative. Next, we argue that a recent application of Lynne Rudder Baker’s constitution view to artefacts cannot meet our criteria, although the broader view leaves room for improvement. Based on our evaluation of the most promising candidates, we conclude that so far general metaphysical views fail to address the most salient features of artefacts. Although they can account for the fact that artefacts have a ‘dual nature’, they do not offer the conceptual resources needed to describe the relation between these natures; this relation raises a hard problem in metaphysics.Keywords: Metaphysics; Artefact; Supervenience; Constitution; Underdetermination. (shrink)
Zeno's so-called proofs of divine existence -- Zeno and the traditional gods: a serious problem -- Cleanthes' proofs -- Cleanthes and the traditional gods -- Chrysippus' contribution -- Chrysippus and the traditional gods -- Other Stoic proofs -- Other (Stoic?) arguments in Sextus -- Polemics against the arguments pro the existence of God(s) -- Abolishing the gods leads to odd consequence: the atopical arguments pro the existence of the gods -- The counter-arguments -- Carneades and the data of Sextus and (...) Cicero -- The sorites arguments as a weapon against the traditional gods -- Epilogue -- Appendix I. Cleanthes' humn on Zeus: a running commentary -- Appendix II. Where is God? -- Appendix III. Alexinus' Parabolai. (shrink)
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism"âour systematic disregard of nonhuman animalsâinspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today’s "factory farms" and product-testing proceduresâdestroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. (...) An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike. (shrink)
You don't say much about who you are teaching, or what subject you teach, but you do seem to see a need to justify what you are doing. Perhaps you're teaching underprivileged children, opening their minds to possibilities that might otherwise never have occurred to them. Or maybe you're teaching the children of affluent families and opening their eyes to the big moral issues they will face in life — like global poverty, and climate change. If you're doing something like (...) this, then stick with it. Giving money isn't the only way to make a difference. (shrink)