Given the centrality of arguments from vicious infinite regress to our philosophical reasoning, it is little wonder that they should also appear on the catalogue of arguments offered in defense of theses that pertain to the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, the metaphysical foundationalist will argue that, on pain of vicious infinite regress, there must be something fundamental. But why think that infinite regresses of grounds are vicious? I explore existing proposed accounts of viciousness cast in terms of contradictions, (...) dependence, failed reductive theories and parsimony. I argue that no one of these accounts adequately captures the conditions under which an infinite regress—any infinite regress—is vicious as opposed to benign. In their place, I suggest an account of viciousness in terms of explanatory failure. If this account is correct, infinite grounding regresses are not necessarily vicious; and we must be much more careful employing such arguments to the conclusion that there has to be something fundamental. (shrink)
Fifteen leading philosophers explore metaphysical foundationalism, the idea that reality has an over-arching hierarchical structure ordered by relations of metaphysical dependence, where chains of entities ordered by those dependence relations terminate in something fundamental.
Metaphysicians of a certain stripe are almost unanimously of the view that grounding is necessarily irreflexive, asymmetric, transitive, and well-founded. They deny the possibility of circles of ground and, therewith, the possibility of species of metaphysical coherentism. But what's so bad about circles of ground? One problem for coherentism might be that it ushers in anti-foundationalism: grounding loops give rise to infinite regresses. And this is bad because infinite grounding regresses are vicious. This article argues that circles of ground do (...) not necessarily give rise to infinite regresses, and where they do, those regresses are not necessarily vicious. (shrink)
Although it is very often taken for granted that there is something fundamental, the literature appears to have developed with little to no careful consideration of what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are supposed to do. If we are to have a good reason to believe that there is something fundamental, we need not only to know what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are invoked for, but why it is that nothing else is available for the task to (...) hand. A good argument in defense of fundamentality, then, will contain an assumption that stipulates an explanatory target; along with a second, crucial, assumption that tells us that no dependent entity is available to do the work that needs to be done. In this paper, I explore both of these assumptions. (shrink)
Philosophical questions regarding the nature and methodology of philosophical inquiry have garnered much attention in recent years. Perhaps nowhere are these discussions more developed than in relation to the field of metaphysics. The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics is an outstanding reference source to this growing subject. It comprises thirty-eight chapters written by leading international contributors, and is arranged around five themes: • The history of metametaphysics • Neo-Quineanism (and its objectors) • Alternative conceptions of metaphysics • The epistemology of metaphysics (...) • Science and metaphysics. Essential reading for students and researchers in metaphysics, philosophical methodology, and ontology, The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics will also be of interest to those in closely related subjects such as philosophy of language, logic, and philosophy of science. (shrink)
.In her Making Things Up, amongst the many other achievements of the volume, Bennett develops a rich account of relative fundamentality. She also defends a kind of deflationism about the notion: relative fundamentality is nothing over and above patterns of building. In this essay, I argue that the best and common competitor of this view – primitivism about relative fundamentality – is in worse shape than Bennett's evaluation would indicate. Deflationism looks to be the best view.
ABSTRACT In her Making Things Up, amongst the many other achievements of the volume, Bennett develops a rich account of relative fundamentality. She also defends a kind of deflationism about the notion: relative fundamentality is nothing over and above patterns of building. In this essay, I argue that the best and common competitor of this view – primitivism about relative fundamentality – is in worse shape than Bennett's evaluation would indicate. Deflationism looks to be the best view.
Commitment to the idea that there is something real can be found in a variety of different places, perhaps the most obvious expressions of which are in the ideas that there is a real world outside our heads, an external world, and that we ourselves are surely real. In addition to these somewhat quotidian commitments, philosophers also find homes for the real in more abstract, theoretical locations--chief amongst them being that the world contains something fundamental, the reals, and that there (...) will be an ultimate theory of everything. In The Non-Existence of The Real World, Jan Westerhoff develops a variety of different arguments aimed at showing that any attempt at finding a safe place for the real is hopeless.... (shrink)
A collection of 37 essays surveying the state of the art on metaphysical ground. -/- Essay authors are: Fatema Amijee, RickiBliss, Amanda Bryant, Margaret Cameron, Phil Corkum, Fabrice Correia, Louis deRosset, Scott Dixon, Tom Donaldson, Nina Emery, Kit Fine, Martin Glazier, Kathrin Koslicki, David Mark Kovacs, Stephan Krämer, Stephanie Leary, Stephan Leuenberger, Jon Litland, Marko Malink, Michaela McSweeney, Kevin Mulligan, Alyssa Ney, Asya Passinsky, Francesca Poggiolesi, Kevin Richardson, Stefan Roski, Noel Saenz, Benjamin Schnieder, Erica Shumener, Alexander Skiles, (...) Olla Solomyak, Tuomas Tahko, Naomi Thompson, Kelly Trogdon, Jennifer Wang, Tobias Wilsch, and Justin Zylstra. (shrink)
Drawing on the general ethics and social psychology literature, this study presents a model to delineate the major factors likely to affect consumers' intentions to bring their own shopping bags when visiting a supermarket . The model is empirically validated using a survey of 250 Chinese consumers. Overall, the findings support the hypothesized direct influence of teleological evaluation and habit on BYOB intention, as well as that of deontological evaluation and teleological evaluation on ethical judgment about the BYOB practice. Teleological (...) evaluation exerts a much stronger influence on ethical judgment than does deontological evaluation. In addition, the findings reveal that consumers who perceive the BYOB practice to be more important are more inclined to rely on their ethical judgment to derive their BYOB intention. Academically, these findings provide some encouraging evidence for the application of general ethics theories to explain green consumption-related practices. Practically, the findings also suggest that a utilitarian approach may represent an effective means for the Chinese government to promote BYOB practice among consumers. (shrink)
This study empirically examines how Chinese executives perceive the role of guanxi and ethics played in their business operations. By factor-analyzing 850 valid replies collected from a comprehensive survey, the present study identifies three distinct ethics-related attitudes and two distinct guanxi-related attitudes for Chinese executives. The cluster analysis of the composite scores of these five attitudinal factors further indicates the existence of three distinct groups of Chinese executives that vary in their ethics and guanxi orientations. The three groups are unethical (...) profit seeker (UPS), anti-governance, guanxi-cultivator (AGGC), and apathetic executive (AE). The three groups are also found to be significantly different in such demographic characteristics as age and the ownership structure of the serving organization. Specifically, the inter-group comparison suggests that younger Chinese executives, and those working for privately-owned firms and joint ventures are more inclined to engage in unethical activities for profits. These findings provide useful insights for international investors to formulate their human resource and negotiation strategies in China. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:The ethics of high frequency trading are obscure, due in part to the complexity of the practice. This article contributes to the existing literature of ethics in financial markets by examining a recent trend in regulation in high frequency trading, the prohibition of deception. We argue that in the financial markets almost any regulation, other than the most basic, tends to create a moral hazard and increase information asymmetry. Since the market’s job is, at least in part, price discovery, we (...) argue that simplicity of regulation and restraint in regulation are virtues to a greater extent than in other areas of finance. This article proposes criteria for determining which high-frequency trading strategies should be regulated. (shrink)
Economies are complicated systems encompassing micro behaviors, interaction patterns, and global regularities. Whether partial or general in scope, studies of economic systems must consider how to handle difficult real-world aspects such as asymmetric information, imperfect competition, strategic interaction, collective learning, and the possibility of multiple equilibria. Recent advances in analytical and computational tools are permitting new approaches to the quantitative study of these aspects. One such approach is Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as dynamic (...) systems of interacting agents. This chapter explores the potential advantages and disadvantages of ACE for the study of economic systems. General points are concretely illustrated using an ACE model of a two-sector decentralized market economy. Six issues are highlighted: Constructive understanding of production, pricing, and trade processes; the essential primacy of survival; strategic rivalry and market power; behavioral uncertainty and learning; the role of conventions and organizations; and the complex interactions among structural attributes, institutional arrangements, and behavioral dispositions. (shrink)
This article proposes revisions to the Laws of Cricket and to the criminal law of England. The Laws of Cricket should be revised so that an umpire may give a batsman out without having to specify precisely how he got out. The criminal law should be revised so that (e.g.) aiding and abetting a murderer is not subsumed under the crime of murder.
In “Global Knowledge Frameworks and the Tasks of Cross-Cultural Philosophy,” Leigh Jenco searches for the conception of knowledge that best justifies the judgment that one can learn from non-local traditions of philosophy. Jenco considers four conceptions of knowledge, namely, in catchwords, the esoteric, Enlightenment, hermeneutic, and self- transformative conceptions of knowledge, and she defends the latter as more plausible than the former three. In this critical discussion of Jenco’s article, I provide reason to doubt the self-transformative conception, and also (...) advance a fifth, pluralist conception of knowledge that I contend best explains the prospect of learning from traditions other than one’s own. (shrink)
Self-management strategies have been identified as having a key role in supporting mental health and preventing mental illness. Evidence suggests that spending time in nature, experiencing or viewing artwork and accessing sensory rooms all support self-management and positive mental health among varied clinical populations. This evidence informed the design of the sensory–art space, an artistically designed multisensory environment, which drew on themes and images of nature.The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceived benefits of the SAS (...) among members of a university community.A maximum variation approach to sampling was used, and 18 participants were included in this qualitative study. Data were gathered via semi-structured interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for thematic analysis.The findings presented six themes. The two core themes were: it’s like another world, and easy to focus and describe how the SAS produced the beneficial effects described in the four remaining themes of: emotionally nutritious, meditative effects, relaxation and therapeutic.Participants identified beneficial effects of the SAS that were consistent with the evidence for other self-management strategies. The identified benefits also aligned with existing theories suggesting that the SAS functioned as a restorative environment. This study is the first to explore the experience of art in a multisensory and multidimensional capacity, which further contributes to the growing field of receptive engagement with the arts for health outcomes. (shrink)
The Internet has drastically changed how people interact, communicate, conduct business, seek jobs, find partners, and shop. Millions of people are using social networking sites to connect with others, and employers are using these sites as a source of background information on jobapplicants.Employers report making decisions not to hire people based on the information posted on social networking sites. Few employers have policies in place to govern when and how these online character checks should be used and how to ensure (...) that the information viewed is accurate. In this article, we explore how these inexpensive, informal online character checks are harmful to society. Guidance is provided to employers on when and how to use these sites in a socially responsible manner. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for the superiority of a critical realist understanding of interdisciplinarity over a mainstream understanding of it. I begin by exploring the reasons for the failure of mainstream researchers to achieve interdisciplinarity. My main argument is that mainstream interdisciplinary researchers tend to hypostatize facts, fetishize constant conjunctions of events and apply to open systems an epistemology designed for closed systems. I also explain how mainstream interdisciplinarity supports oppression and gross inequality. I argue that mainstream interdisciplinarity is (...) not true interdisciplinarity and refer to it accordingly as ‘condisciplinarity’. By way of example, I examine the condisciplinarity of the World Health Organization’s ecological model applied to the issue of men’s violence against women. Specifically, I argue that critical realist interdisciplinarity is preferable because it acknowledges inter alia the empirical, actual and real layers of reality, which allows it to develop depth-explanations of phenomena. In practice, this means that critical realist interdisciplinarity can potentially provide explanations that, compared to condisciplinarity, are broader and deeper. In the World Health Organization’s example of the causes of men’s violence against women, condisciplinarity resulted in the absence of historical, global and unconscious aspects of the problem. It is also restricted the analysis to reductive, constant-conjunction based theories of the causes of the problem, specifically ‘risk factors’, thereby providing a relatively shallow explanation for the problem. (shrink)
One of the hot research topics today is relationship marketing. However, little research has been carried out in understanding the complex concepts of Guanxi (relationship) in a Chinese society. This research describes a study to operate the constructs of guanxi and explores the importance of guanxi in relationship development in order to present a new Guanxi framework. A study of both Western and Chinese literature provides foundations of the Guanxi perspectives. The constructs of adaptation, trust, opportunism and favour are identified. (...) Adaptation and trust are found to be positively correlated with sales stability and quality. Whilst, adaptation is negatively correlated with relationship termination costs. Both theoretical framework (a new perceptual map) and managerial implications are given. In addition, recommendations for future research are made. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEmpirical realist ecologists, such as C. S. Holling, face significant methodological contradictions; for instance, they must cope with the problem that ecological models and theories of climate change, resilience and succession cannot make predictions in open systems. Generally, they respond to this problem by supplementing their empirical realism with transcendental idealism: they therefore say that their models are simply metaphorical or heuristic, that is, 'not true' in that they are not empirical. Thus, they explicitly deny an ontology for what their (...) models are about. Nevertheless, in their practice, ecologists act as if their theories do have an ontology and thus tell us something truthful about the real world. This discrepancy leaves ecology vulnerable to unnecessary critique, such as that climate science is not real science. Transcendental realism offers a solution because it releases ecologists from the requirement to make predictions; but it does so without denying ontology. This provides several advantages to ecologists. (shrink)
There are grave issues with how the U.K. government approaches the issue of wellbeing. Specifically, policy interventions that might improve the material conditions of citizens are being down-played, and at times out-rightly dismissed. Instead, an individualist, instrumental message is being promoted, namely, that the best way to improve wellbeing is by improving individual happiness and mental health. I argue that this instrumental message – which in practice blames the victims for their lack of happiness and removes state responsibility – can (...) be made to sound feasible because of a reliance on positivist-based research, whether obtained objectively or subjectively. In this paper, I therefore detail the failings of mainstream wellbeing research and its policy conclusions, and argue that critical realism offers solutions. (shrink)
This Element considers the relationship between the traditional view of God as all-powerful, all-knowing and wholly good on the one hand, and the idea of human free will on the other. It focuses on the potential threats to human free will arising from two divine attributes: God's exhaustive foreknowledge and God's providential control of creation.
: Many bioethicists assume that morality is in a state of wide reflective equilibrium. According to this model of moral deliberation, public policymaking can build upon a core common morality that is pretheoretical and provides a basis for practical reasoning. Proponents of the common morality approach to moral deliberation make three assumptions that deserve to be viewed with skepticism. First, they commonly assume that there is a universal, transhistorical common morality that can serve as a normative baseline for judging various (...) actions and practices. Second, advocates of the common morality approach assume that the common morality is in a state of relatively stable, ordered, wide reflective equilibrium. Third, casuists, principlists, and other proponents of common morality approaches assume that the common morality can serve as a basis for the specification of particular policies and practical recommendations. These three claims fail to recognize the plural moral traditions that are found in multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith societies such as the United States and Canada. A more realistic recognition of multiple moral traditions in pluralist societies would be considerably more skeptical about the contributions that common morality approaches in bioethics can make to resolving contentious moral issues. (shrink)
Many proponents of libertarian freedom assume that the free choices we might make have particular objective probabilities of occurring. In this paper, I examine two common motivations for positing such probabilities: first, to account for the phenomenal character of decision-making, in which our reasons seem to have particular strengths to incline us to act, and second, to naturalize the role of reasons in influencing our decisions, such that they have a place in the causal order as we know it. I (...) argue, however, that neither introspective reflection nor the metaphysics of causation gives us reason for thinking there are such particular objective probabilities of our free choices. (shrink)
The Internet has drastically changed how people interact, communicate, conduct business, seek jobs, find partners, and shop. Millions of people are using social networking sites to connect with others, and employers are using these sites as a source of background information on job applicants. Employers report making decisions not to hire people based on the information posted on social networking sites. Few employers have policies in place to govern when and how these online character checks should be used and how (...) to ensure that the information viewed is accurate. In this article, we explore how these inexpensive, informal online character checks are harmful to society. Guidance is provided to employers on when and how to use these sites in a socially responsible manner. (shrink)
_Decolonizing Educational Research_ examines the ways through which coloniality manifests in contexts of knowledge and meaning making, specifically within educational research and formal schooling. Purposefully situated beyond popular deconstructionist theory and anthropocentric perspectives, the book investigates the longstanding traditions of oppression, racism, and white supremacy that are systemically reseated and reinforced by learning and social interaction. Through these meaningful explorations into the unfixed and often interrupted narratives of culture, history, place, and identity, a bold, timely, and hopeful vision emerges to (...) conceive of how research in secondary and higher education institutions might break free of colonial genealogies and their widespread complicities. (shrink)
Most people, believers and nonbelievers alike, are unfamiliar with the variety and force of arguments for the impossibility of God. Yet over recent years a growing number of scholars have been formulating and developing a series of increasingly powerful arguments that the concept of God, as variously understood by the world's major religions and leading theologians, is contradictory in many ways, and therefore God does not and cannot exist. This unique anthology brings together for the first time most of the (...) important arguments for the impossibility of God that have been published. The collection includes papers and book selections by J. L. Mackie, Quentin Smith, Theodore Drange, Michael Martin, and many other distinguished scholars. The editors provide a general introduction and brief summaries of the arguments to help the reader grasp the crucial issues involved. Both students and teachers of philosophy and the philosophy of religion will find this anthology to be an indispensable resource. (shrink)
Hume maintained that, philosophically speaking, there is no difference between exiting a room out of the first-floor window and using the door. Nevertheless, Hume’s reason and common sense prevailed over his scepticism and he advocated that we should always use the door. However, we are currently living in a world that is more seriously committed to the Humean philosophy of empiricism than he was himself and thus the potential to act inappropriately is an ever-present potential. In this paper, I explore (...) how Hume’s two versions of causality have detrimentally affected our ability both to arrive at and to use research to improve human well-being. I illustrate my argument with an example of what I think is an incorrect yet supposedly scientifically sound assumption: that absenteeism causes poor school attainment. Instead I make the interdisciplinary argument that absenteeism is better understood as an aggravating symptom of a number of other causes of poor attainment, such as poverty and individual psychological factors. I suggest that an instrumental, punitive policy against parents whose children tend to be absent from school may be ineffectual or even counterproductive if the objective is to improve the well-being of those children. To support my argument, I introduce the critical realist idea of transfactuality. Using the example of research into moon rocks, I show how mainstream science uses transfactuality despite its empiricist aversion to it. I also suggest that it is our honesty, integrity, and stoicism that lead us to the extreme overthrow of reason and common sense that we see today in many of the UK’s social policies; an overthrow that Hume himself did not achieve. Metaphorically speaking, British professionals, stoically and honestly believing in the ability of their trusted research correlations to guide their action, are exiting out of the first-floor window rather than using the door. This is a significant barrier to our ability to devise and implement social policy. (shrink)
This paper argues that implicit bias is a form of sin, characterized most fundamentally as an orientation that we may not have direct access to or control over, but that can lead us to act in violation of God’s command. After noting similarities between certain strategies proposed by experimental psychologists for overcoming implicit biases and certain disciplines developed by Christians on the path to sanctification, I suggest some ways in which the Church might offer its resources to a society struggling (...) to overcome bias and discrimination, and ways in which its teaching and ministry might be informed by the latest research on implicit bias. (shrink)