Self-tracking devices point to a future in which individuals will be more involved in the management of their health and will generate data that will benefit clinical decision making and research. They have thus attracted enthusiasm from medical and public health professionals as key players in the move toward participatory and personalized healthcare. Critics, however, have begun to articulate a number of broader societal and ethical concerns regarding self-tracking, foregrounding their disciplining, and disempowering effects. This paper has two aims: first, (...) to analyze some of the key promises and concerns that inform this polarized debate. I argue that far from being solely about health outcomes, this debate is very much about fundamental values that are at stake in the move toward personalized healthcare, namely, the values of autonomy, solidarity, and authenticity. The second aim is to provide a framework within which an alternative approach to self-tracking for health can be developed. I suggest that a practice-based approach, which studies how values are enacted in specific practices, can open the way for a new set of theoretical questions. In the last part of the paper, I sketch out how this can work by describing various enactments of autonomy, solidarity, and authenticity among self-trackers in the Quantified Self community. These examples show that shifting attention to practices can render visible alternative and sometimes unexpected enactments of values. Insofar as these may challenge both the promises and concerns in the debate on self-tracking for health, they can lay the groundwork for new conceptual interventions in future research. (shrink)
The idea that knowledge can be extended by inference from what is known seems highly plausible. Yet, as shown by familiar preface paradox and lottery-type cases, the possibility of aggregating uncertainty casts doubt on its tenability. We show that these considerations go much further than previously recognized and significantly restrict the kinds of closure ordinary theories of knowledge can endorse. Meeting the challenge of uncertainty aggregation requires either the restriction of knowledge-extending inferences to single premises, or eliminating epistemic uncertainty in (...) known premises. The first strategy, while effective, retains little of the original idea—conclusions even of modus ponens inferences from known premises are not always known. We then look at the second strategy, inspecting the most elaborate and promising attempt to secure the epistemic role of basic inferences, namely Timothy Williamson’s safety theory of knowledge. We argue that while it indeed has the merit of allowing basic inferences such as modus ponens to extend knowledge, Williamson’s theory faces formidable difficulties. These difficulties, moreover, arise from the very feature responsible for its virtue- the infallibilism of knowledge. (shrink)
The paper argues that knowledge is not closed under logical inference. The argument proceeds from the openness of evidential support and the dependence of empirical knowledge on evidence, to the conclusion that knowledge is open. Without attempting to provide a full-fledged theory of evidence, we show that on the modest assumption that evidence cannot support both a proposition and its negation, or, alternatively, that information that reduces the probability of a proposition cannot constitute evidence for its truth, the relation of (...) evidential support is not closed under known entailment. Therefore the evidence-for relation is deductively open regardless of whether evidence is probabilistic or not. Given even a weak dependence of empirical knowledge on evidence, we argue that empirical knowledge is also open. On this basis, we also respond to the strongest argument in support of knowledge closure. Finally, we present a number of significant benefits of our position, namely, offering a unified explanation for a range of epistemological puzzles. (shrink)
Harman and Lewis credit Kripke with having formulated a puzzle that seems to show that knowledge entails dogmatism. The puzzle is widely regarded as having been solved. In this paper we argue that this standard solution, in its various versions, addresses only a limited aspect of the puzzle and holds no promise of fully resolving it. Analyzing this failure and the proper rendering of the puzzle, it is suggested that it poses a significant challenge for the defense of epistemic closure.
Timothy Williamson has famously argued that the principle should be rejected. We analyze Williamson's argument and show that its key premise is ambiguous, and that when it is properly stated this premise no longer supports the argument against. After canvassing possible objections to our argument, we reflect upon some conclusions that suggest significant epistemological ramifications pertaining to the acquisition of knowledge from prior knowledge by deduction.
There are few indulgences academics can crave more than to have their work considered and addressed by leading researchers in their field. We have been fortunate to have two outstanding philosophers from whose work we have learned a great deal give ours their thoughtful attention. Grappling with Stephen Yablo’s, and Juan Comesaña’s comments and criticisms has helped us gain a better understanding of our ideas as well as their shortcomings. We are extremely grateful to them for the attentiveness and seriousness (...) with which they have considered our arguments and to philosophical studies for giving us this opportunity. Given the substantive difference between the two response papers, there is not much beyond sincere gratitude that we can covey to them jointly. We will therefore address them in turn. (shrink)
Experimentation in Technological Wisdom: Can the Political be Kept off the Practice Ground?Gert GoeminneCentre Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BelgiumCentre for Sustainable Development, Ghent University, Belgiume-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgA Welcome VoiceI met Michel Puech for the first time in 2008 at a workshop entitled ‘Artificial Environments.’ In an interdisciplinary Science and Technology Studies spirit, this 2-day event at Roskilde University gathered philosophers and sociologists of science and technology, as well as architecture theorists. Being rather new to the STS-field at that point, I (...) had read the main authors of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, including Andrew Pickering and Peter‐Paul Verbeek, who were present at the workshop. And sure, I had acquainted myself with the work of the French masters such as Bruno Latour, Gilbert Simondon and Bernard Stiegler. I had never heard of the French philosopher of technology Michel Puech, though. But there he was, startin .. (shrink)
A monadic formula Ψ (Y) is a selector for a formula φ (Y) in a structure M if there exists a unique subset P of μ which satisfies Ψ and this P also satisfies φ. We show that for every ordinal α ≥ ωω there are formulas having no selector in the structure (α, <). For α ≤ ω₁, we decide which formulas have a selector in (α, <), and construct selectors for them. We deduce the impossibility of a full (...) generalization of the Büchi-Landweber solvability theorem from (ω, <) to (ωw, <). We state a partial extension of that theorem to all countable ordinals. To each formula we assign a selection degree which measures "how difficult it is to select". We show that in a countable ordinal all non-selectable formulas share the same degree. (shrink)
A monadic formula ψ is a selector for a monadic formula φ in a structure if ψ defines in a unique subset P of the domain and this P also satisfies φ in . If is a class of structures and φ is a selector for ψ in every , we say that φ is a selector for φ over .For a monadic formula φ and ordinals α≤ω1 and δ<ωω, we decide whether there exists a monadic formula ψ such that (...) for every Pα of order-type smaller than δ, ψ selects φ in . If so, we construct such a ψ.We introduce a criterion for a class of ordinals to have the property that every monadic formula φ has a selector over it. We deduce the existence of Sωω such that in the structure every formula has a selector.Given a monadic sentence π and a monadic formula φ, we decide whether φ has a selector over the class of countable ordinals satisfying π, and if so, construct one for it. (shrink)
We investigate the extension of monadic second-order logic of order with cardinality quantifiers "there exists uncountably many sets such that... " and "there exists continuum many sets such that... ". We prove that over the class of countable linear orders the two quantifiers are equivalent and can be effectively and uniformly eliminated. Weaker or partial elimination results are obtained for certain wider classes of chains. In particular, we show that over the class of ordinals the uncountability quantifier can be effectively (...) and uniformly eliminated. Our argument makes use of Shelah's composition method and Ramsey-like theorem for dense linear orders. (shrink)
Kamphof offers an illuminating depiction of the technological mediation of morality. Her case serves as the basis for a plea for modesty up and against the somewhat heroic conceptualizations of techno-moral change to date—less logos, less autos, more practice, more relationality. Rather than a displacement of these conceptualizations, I question whether Kamphof’s art of living offers only a different perspective: in scale, and in unit of analysis. As a supplement and not an alternative, this modest art has nonetheless audacious implications (...) for the ethics of surveillance. (shrink)
The sources of the real conflict between science and various kinds of undertakings in occultism pretending to be science date back to the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, when modern scientific method was barely taking shape. The natural philosophy of the 16th century, which put forth natural magic in place of divine magic, was the ideological antipode of the new science in process of formation. The pantheistic reinterpretation of monotheistic Christian creationism is a characteristic feature (...) of constructs in natural philosophy with their striving toward maximal substantialization of the nonmaterial. Thus, for example, the rationalist mystic of natural philosophy, Girolamo Cardano, returns in his work to the medieval notion of the world soul, but understands by it an entirely material substance which he identifies with light and heat. (shrink)
Rationals and countable ordinals are important examples of structures with decidable monadic second-order theories. A chain is an expansion of a linear order by monadic predicates. We show that if the monadic second-order theory of a countable chain C is decidable then C has a non-trivial expansion with decidable monadic second-order theory.
This paper suggests an approach to the various possibilities of reading as a practice responsible for generating thought. It might be said that it is an approach to the dismissal of reading as the origin of other paths of thought. Utopia, understood as anticipation, yields its place to the figure of redemption (in Benjamin’s sense of the word) as imminence of the absolutely other, expectation and extreme attention. The text invites the reader to try other routes in the practice of (...) reading (other than solitary silent reading), in which the body and the senses play a part, and - especially - the other, to allow the advent of a thinking that welcomes justice. In an act of memory, reading - as heteronomy - opens onto the future. (shrink)