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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
It is widely recognized by proponents of the notion that grounding can be, indeed is, overdetermined. Moreover, it seems safe to suppose that something of a consensus has emerged: grounding is overdetermined and there is nothing about it that we ought to find concerning. Not only is the overdetermination apparently not problematic, metaphysically speaking, but that grounding is overdetermined is not problematic, conceptually speaking, either. From a small sampling of alleged cases, however, no such conclusions can responsibly be drawn. And (...) without an account of when a fact is technically overdetermined, we are unable to reasonably answer questions about the acceptability of that overdetermination either. In this paper, I attempt to understand when a fact is technically metaphysically overdetermined. I argue that such an exploration reveals that nothing as regards the overdetermination of grounding is straightforward, and that the phenomenon is deserving of much more philosophical attention. (shrink)
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)
.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.
The Buddhist jhanas--successive states of deep focus or meditative absorbtion--demystified. A very practical guidebook for meditators for navigating their way through these states of bliss and concentration. One of the elements of the Eightfold Path the Buddha taught is Right Concentration: the one-pointedness of mind that, together with ethics, livelihood, meditation, and so forth, leads to the ultimate freedom from suffering. The Jhanas are the method the Buddha himself taught for achieving Right Concentration. They are a series of eight (...) successive states, beginning with bliss and moving on toward radically nonconceptual states. The fact that they can usually be achieved only during prolonged meditation retreat tends to keep them shrouded in mystery. Leigh Brasington is here to unshroud them. He takes away the mystique and gives instructions for them in plain, accessible language, noting the various pitfalls to avoid along the way, and then providing a wealth of material on the theory of jhana practice--all geared toward the practitioner rather than the scholar. (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)
At the turn of the 21st century, Susan Leigh Anderson and Michael Anderson conceived and introduced the Machine Ethics research program, that aimed to highlight the requirements under which autonomous artificial intelligence systems could demonstrate ethical behavior guided by moral values, and at the same time to show that these values, as well as ethics in general, can be representable and computable. Today, the interaction between humans and AI entities is already part of our everyday lives; in the near (...) future it is expected to play a key role in scientific research, medical practice, public administration, education and other fields of civic life. In view of this, the debate over the ethical behavior of machines is more crucial than ever and the search for answers, directions and regulations is imperative at an academic, institutional as well as at a technical level. Our discussion with the two inspirers and originators of Machine Ethics highlights the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical questions arising by this project, as well as the realistic and pragmatic demands that dominate artificial intelligence and robotics research programs. Most of all, however, it sheds light upon the contribution of Susan and Michael Anderson regarding the introduction and undertaking of a main objective related to the creation of ethical autonomous agents, that will not be based on the “imperfect” patterns of human behavior, or on preloaded hierarchical laws and human-centric values. (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 (called “bring your own bags” or “BYOB” intention). 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 (i.e., emphasizing the consequences of BYOB) may represent an effective means for the Chinese government to promote BYOB practice among consumers. (shrink)
This paper offers a reading of passages in Heidegger’s Nietzsche lectures in which Heidegger describes love as a feeling which grants an essential vision. I contend that by invoking this language of vision while simultaneously contrasting love with infatuation, Heidegger is implicitly attempting to situate love within his category of fundamental attunements. While Heidegger does not explicitly follow this thought through, I argue that doing so leads to a problem—namely, how can love be a fundamental attunement if such attunements are (...) necessarily objectless? I suggest we can see a response to this problem in Heidegger’s treatment of Plato’s Phaedrus within the same lecture course. I conclude by claiming that while Heidegger attempts to follow Plato in arguing that love is most properly directed towards Being, love nonetheless poses a challenge to Heidegger’s category of fundamental attunements which also strikes at the heart of his claim that ontology is first philosophy. (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)
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)
The explosive growth in computational power over the past several decades offers new tools and opportunities for economists. This handbook volume surveys recent research on Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as open-ended dynamic systems of interacting agents. Empirical referents for “agents” in ACE models can range from individuals or social groups with learning capabilities to physical world features with no cognitive function. Topics covered include: learning; empirical validation; network economics; social dynamics; financial markets; innovation (...) and technological change; organizations; market design; automated markets and trading agents; political economy; social-ecological systems; computational laboratory development; and general methodological issues. (shrink)
Human genetics has blossomed from an obscure biological science and explanation for rare disorders to a field that is profoundly altering health care for everyone. This thoroughly updated new edition of _Human Genetics: The Basics_ provides a concise background of gene structure and function through the lens of real examples, from families living with inherited diseases to population-wide efforts in which millions of average people are learning about their genetic selves. The book raises compelling issues concerning: • The role of (...) genes in maintaining health and explaining sickness • Genetic testing, gene therapy, and genome editing • The common ancestry of all humanity and how we are affecting our future. Written in an engaging, narrative manner, this concise introduction is an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, genomes, and the genetic ties that bind us all. (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)
_The Female Trickster_ presents a Post-Jungian postmodern perspective regarding the role of women in contemporary Western society by investigating the re-emergence of female trickster energy in all aspects of popular culture. Ricki Tannen explores the psychological aspects of what happened when women’s imagination was legally and psychologically enclosed millennia ago and demonstrates how the re-emergence of Trickster energy through the female imagination has the radical potential to effect a transformation of western consciousness. Examples are drawn from a diverse range (...) of sources, from Jane Austen, and female sleuth narratives, to Madonna and Sex and the City, illustrating how Trickster energy is used not to maintain power and control but to integrate and unite the paradoxical through humour. Subjects covered include: imagination and metaphor the traditional trickster law and the imagination humour: Eros using logos the postmodern female trickster. This highly original perspective on women's role in contemporary culture will offer readers a new vision of how humour psychologically operates as a healthy adaptation to trauma and adversity. It will be of great interest to all analytical psychologists and psychoanalysts as well as those in women's, cultural, legal and literary studies. (shrink)
This volume unites established authors and rising young voices in philosophical theology and philosophy of religion to offer the single most wide-ranging examination of theological determinism-in terms of both authors represented and issues investigated-published to date. Fifteen contributors present discussions about theological determinism, the view that God determines everything that occurs in the world. Some authors provide arguments in favor of this position, while others provide considerations against it. Many contributors investigate the relationship between theological determinism and other philosophical issues, (...) theological doctrines, or moral attitudes and practices. This book is essential reading for all those interested in the relationship between theological determinism and philosophical thought. (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.
The world has surpassed three million deaths from COVID-19, and faces potentially catastrophic tipping points in the global climate system. Despite the urgency, governments have struggled to address either problem. In this paper, we argue that COVID-19 and anthropogenic climate change (ACC) are critical examples of an emerging type of governance challenge: severe collective action problems that require significant individual behavior change under conditions of hyper- partisanship and scientific misinformation. Building on foundational political science work demonstrating the potential for norms (...) (or informal rules of behavior) to solve collective action problems, we analyze more recent work on norms from neighboring disciplines to offer novel recommendations for more difficult challenges like COVID-19 and ACC. Key insights include more attention to (1) norm-based messaging strategies that appeal to individuals across the ideological spectrum or that reframe collective action as consistent with resistant subgroups’ pre-existing values, (2) messages that emphasize both the prevalence and the social desirability of individual behaviors required to address these challenges, (3) careful use of public policies and incentives that make individual behavior change easier without threatening norm internalization, and (4) greater attention to epistemic norms governing trust in different information sources. We conclude by pointing out that COVID-19 and climate change are likely harbingers of other polarized collective action problems that governments will face in the future. By connecting work on norms and political governance with a broader, interdisciplinary literature on norm psychology, motivation, and behavior change, we aim to improve the ability of political scientists and policy makers to respond to these and future collective action challenges. (shrink)
Trust is often an assumed outcome of participation in Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) as they directly connect producers with consumers. It is based on this potential for trust “between producers and consumers” that AFNs have emerged as a significant field of food studies analysis as it also suggests a capacity for AFNs to foster associated embedded qualities, like ‘morality’, ‘social justice’, ‘ecology’ and ‘equity’. These positive benefits of AFNs, however, cannot be taken for granted as trust is not necessarily an (...) outcome of AFN participation. Using Chinese case studies of AFNs, which are characterised by a distinct form of trust pressure—consumers who are particularly cynical about small scale farmers, food safety and the organic credentials of producers—this paper highlights how the dynamics of trust are in constant flux between producers and consumers. I suggest that it is the careful construction of the aesthetic and multi-sensory qualities of food, which is often celebrated via social media, that human centred relations in Chinese AFNs are mediated. This leads to two key conclusions: first, that the key variable for establishing trust is satisfying the consumer's desire for safe (i.e. "fresh") food; and second, the materiality of the food and the perception of foods materiality (especially through social media), must both be actively constructed by the farmer to fit the consumer's ideal of freshness. (shrink)
_Telling Stories to Change the World_ is a powerful collection of essays about community-based and interest-based projects where storytelling is used as a strategy for speaking out for justice. Contributors from locations across the globe—including Uganda, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, New Orleans, and Chicago—describe grassroots projects in which communities use narrative as a way of exploring what a more just society might look like and what civic engagement means. These compelling accounts of resistance, hope, and vision showcase the power (...) of the storytelling form to generate critique and collective action. Together, these projects demonstrate the contemporary power of stories to stimulate engagement, active citizenship, the pride of identity, and the humility of human connectedness. (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)
This book provides the first intellectual history of cosmopolitan ideas in the early modern age. The roots of modern cosmopolitanism can be traced back to as early as the 1500s when a meta-narrative and awareness of the cosmopolitan idea came into existence. Unearthing occurrences of cosmopolitan language in popular media and analysing the writings of leading thinkers, Leigh T.I. Penman illustrates how cosmopolitanism was not, as previously thought, purely secular and inclusive but could be sacred and exclusive too. And, (...) significantly, this book reveals the extent to which these contesting ideas of cosmopolitanism influenced the modern concept of the cosmopolitan. (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.
When society seems to demand confidence and certainty, how much courage does it take to admit doubt, especially self-doubt? In this personal essay, one of Australia's most respected journalists argues in favour of a doubtful mind.
This article deploys Spinoza’s ethic of joy alongside Deleuze and Guattari’s exposition of micropolitics to expose how fascist desires and affects bloom and circulate through digital communications ecosystems that generally promote a diffusion or decentralisation of power. Beyond the steady barrage of alt-right content conscientiously documented by liberal journalists and progressive watchdogs, a more persistent and widespread fascist impulse permeates the very forms of some of our most banal digitally mediated acts and encounters. Rather than a sole looming authoritarian figurehead, (...) the network itself – particularly with the new image paradigms propelled by apps such as Instagram and TikTok – has become the rallying point for the circulation of fascistic affects, burnished through the art and ethos of following: of rules, routines, protocols, accounts. I contend that a joyful passion accompanies much of this everyday experience of keeping up with one’s feeds, engaging the platforms, participating in the spectacles. This is what Sontag, interrogating the appeal of the Third Reich, calls the ‘joy of followers’, a joy in fascist belonging, which is to suggest that fascist movements thrive not only on the circulation of negative affects like hatred and fear, but also on the profusion of pleasure and affiliation. Deleuze’s Spinoza, resolutely anti-fascist, helps us parse this situation as it plays out in the social media sphere. Spinoza offers a bipartite conceptualisation of joy that allows us to diagnose the pleasures particular to fascist belonging and network belonging alike as passive, partial and indirect. Ultimately, what we today share with historical fascisms is a ubiquitous aesthetic that merges art with life and bodies with information, and a corresponding ethos that cultivates conformism, barbarises critical thought and redirects joyful impulses into reactionary social forms. As fascistic power relations spread anew through digital cultures’ newly evolving modes of visuality, hapticity, vibration and expression, one can observe something of what Deleuze calls ‘sad joy’, a sort of joy rooted in conquest and domination. The aim of this article is to root out such sad joys, to appreciate their appeal, and ultimately to reject them in all their various forms. (shrink)
Theological Determinism Theological determinism is the view that God determines every event that occurs in the history of the world. While there is much debate about which prominent historical figures were theological determinists, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Gottfried Leibniz all seemed to espouse the view at least at certain points in their … Continue reading Theological Determinism →.
In considering how to best deploy robotic systems in public and private sectors, we must consider what individuals will expect from the robots with which they interact. Public awareness of robotics—as both military machines and domestic helpers—emerges out of a braided stream composed of science fiction and popular science. These two genres influence news media, government and corporate spending, and public expectations. In the Euro-American West, both science fiction and popular science are ambivalent about the military applications for robotics, and (...) thus we can expect their readers to fear the dangers posed by advanced robotics while still eagerly anticipating the benefits to be accrued through them. The chief pop science authors in robotics and artificial intelligence have a decidedly apocalyptic bent and have thus been described as leaders in a social movement called "Apocalyptic AI." In one form or another, such authors look forward to a transcendent future in which machine life succeeds human life, thanks to the march of evolutionary progress. The apocalyptic promises of popular robotics presume that presently exponential growth in computing will continue indefinitely, producing a "Singularity." During the Singularity, technological progress will be so rapid that undreamt of changes will take place on earth, the most important of which will be the evolutionary succession of human beings by massively intelligent robots and the "uploading" of human consciousness into computer bodies. This supposedly inevitable transition into post-biological life looms across the entire scope of pop robotics and artificial intelligence, and it is from beneath that shadow that all popular books engage the military and the ethics of warfare. Creating a just future will require that we transcend the apocalyptic discourse of pop science and establish an ethical approach to researching and deploying robots, one that emphasizes human rather than robot welfare; doing so will require the collaboration of social scientists, humanists, and scientists. (shrink)