North American and West European academics are accepting offers to speak or teach about business ethics to audiences in countries with transitional economies. Such engagements should not be accepted without an appreciation for the challenges involved. This paper outlines the dynamics of business ethics in these former communist countries and describes circumstances relating to ethical training, and course content and pedagogy. A concluding section of the paper identifies some guidelines that instructors should consider before becoming involved with ethical training in (...) transitional economies. The principle message to be received from this paper is that instructors should avoid being ethics missionaries with preconceived ideals. (shrink)
A significant feature of John Stuart Mill's moral theory is the introduction of qualitative differences as relevant to the comparative value of pleasures. Despite its significance, Mill presents his doctrine of qualities of pleasures in only a few paragraphs in the second chapter of Utilitarianism, where he begins the brief discussion by saying: utilitarian writers in general have placed the superiority of mental over bodily pleasures chiefly … in their circumstantial advantages rather than in their intrinsic nature.… [B]ut they might (...) have taken the … higher ground with entire consistency. It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. (shrink)
Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
Beauty is one of the most important and intriguing ideas in eighteenth-century culture. The concept of beauty was central to debates about art, culture and taste, and was invoked, in various and contradictory ways, to determine acceptable behavior for women. Robert W. Jones traces changing concepts of beauty in the eighteenth century through a wide range of material, including philosophical texts by William Hogarth and Edmund Burke, novels by Charlotte Lennox and Sarah Scott, and representations of the celebrated beauty (...) Elizabeth Gunning. (shrink)
But do animals know that other creatures have minds? And how would we know if they do? In "Mindreading Animals," Robert Lurz offers a fresh approach to the hotly debated question of mental-state attribution in nonhuman animals.
The "Supplement" transmitted as the second book of "On the Soul" by Alexander of Aphrodisias is a collection of short texts on a wide range of topics from psychology, including the general hylomorphic account of soul and its faculties, and the theory of vision; questions in ethics ; and issues relating to responsibility, chance and fate. One of the texts in the collection, "On Intellect", had a major influence on medieval Arabic and Western thought, greater than that of Alexander's "On (...) the Soul" itself. The treatises may all be by Alexander himself; certainly the majority of them are closely connected with his other works. Many of them, however, consist of collections of arguments on particular issues, collections which probably incorporate material from earlier in the history of the Peripatetic school. This translation is from a new edition of the Greek text based on a collation of all known manuscripts and comparison with medieval Arabic and Latin translations. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of fourteen essays by leading philosophers on issues concerning the nature, existence, and our knowledge of animal minds. The nature of animal minds has been a topic of interest to philosophers since the origins of philosophy, and recent years have seen significant philosophical engagement with the subject. However, there is no volume that represents the current state of play in this important and growing field. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the state of (...) the debate. The issues which are covered include whether and to what degree animals think in a language or in iconic structures, possess concepts, are conscious, self-aware, metacognize, attribute states of mind to others, and have emotions, as well as issues pertaining to our knowledge of and the scientific standards for attributing mental states to animals. (shrink)
A revised edition of an undergraduate text for students in history of psychology courses. Designed for one semester, covers: the history of psychology in ancient philosophy, structuralism, neurophysiology, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and gestalt theories. The new edition has expanded.
This paper examines a fundamental problem in applied mathematics. How can one model the behavior of materials that display radically different, dominant behaviors at different length scales. Although we have good models for material behaviors at small and large scales, it is often hard to relate these scale-based models to one another. Macroscale models represent the integrated effects of very subtle factors that are practically invisible at the smallest, atomic, scales. For this reason it has been notoriously difficult to model (...) realistic materials with a simple bottom-up-from-the-atoms strategy. The widespread failure of that strategy forced physicists interested in overall macro-behavior of materials toward completely top-down modeling strategies familiar from traditional continuum mechanics. The problem of the ``tyranny of scales'' asks whether we can exploit our rather rich knowledge of intermediate micro- scale behaviors in a manner that would allow us to bridge between these two dominant methodologies. Macroscopic scale behaviors often fall into large common classes of behaviors such as the class of isotropic elastic solids, characterized by two phenomenological parameters---so-called elastic coefficients. Can we employ knowledge of lower scale behaviors to understand this universality---to determine the coefficients and to group the systems into classes exhibiting similar behavior? (shrink)
We present a toy theory that is based on a simple principle: the number of questions about the physical state of a system that are answered must always be equal to the number that are unanswered in a state of maximal knowledge. Many quantum phenomena are found to have analogues within this toy theory. These include the noncommutativity of measurements, interference, the multiplicity of convex decompositions of a mixed state, the impossibility of discriminating nonorthogonal states, the impossibility of a universal (...) state inverter, the distinction between bipartite and tripartite entanglement, the monogamy of pure entanglement, no cloning, no broadcasting, remote steering, teleportation, entanglement swapping, dense coding, mutually unbiased bases, and many others. The diversity and quality of these analogies is taken as evidence for the view that quantum states are states of incomplete knowledge rather than states of reality. A consideration of the phenomena that the toy theory fails to reproduce, notably, violations of Bell inequalities and the existence of a Kochen-Specker theorem, provides clues for how to proceed with this research program. (shrink)
Is the mind flat? Chater (2018) has recently argued that it is and that, contrary to traditional psychology and standard folk image, depth of mind is just an illusory confabulation. In this paper, we argue that while there is a kernel of something correct in Chater’s thesis, this does not in itself add up to a critique of mental depth per se. We use Chater’s ideas as a springboard for creating a new understanding of mental depth which builds upon findings (...) in contemporary cognitive science. First, we rely on the predictive processing framework in order to determine a proposed neural contribution to mental depth, specifically in hierarchical predictive knowledge. Second, drawing from an embodied approach to cognition, we argue that mental depth results from the depth of our embodied skills and the situations in which we are embedded. This allows us to introduce to a new realist notion of mental depth, one which can only be explained once we attend to the dense patterns of skillful interaction within a rich artefactual and social environment. (shrink)
This article discusses minimal model explanations, which we argue are distinct from various causal, mechanical, difference-making, and so on, strategies prominent in the philosophical literature. We contend that what accounts for the explanatory power of these models is not that they have certain features in common with real systems. Rather, the models are explanatory because of a story about why a class of systems will all display the same large-scale behavior because the details that distinguish them are irrelevant. This story (...) explains patterns across extremely diverse systems and shows how minimal models can be used to understand real systems. (shrink)
I identify three dominant positions in the philosophy of mind on the nature and distribution of consciousness: the exclusive HOT position, the inclusive HOT position, and the COLD position. I argue that each of these positions has its own rather counterintuitive consequence and, as a result, is not entirely satisfying. To avoid these consequences, I argue, a common assumption of the dominant positions ought to be rejected -- namely, that to be conscious of one's mental states is to be conscious (...) that one has them. I go on to show that once this assumption is rejected, an alternative account of consciousness -- the SO account -- emerges. I develop the SO account in the latter half of the paper, showing how it offers a plausible explanation of the difference between conscious and unconscious mental states. (shrink)
A Theology in Outline: Can These Bones Live? began with an undergraduate course taught by Robert W. Jenson at Princeton University in the spring of 2008. Based on a series of twenty-three course lectures, it offers a concise and accessible overview of Christian theology while retaining the atmosphere of Jenson's classroom. Much as does Jenson's Systematic Theology, A Theology in Outline treats a standard sequence of doctrines in Christian theology--God, Trinity, creation, humanity, sin, salvation, church, among others. However, its (...) organizing principle and leitmotiv are less traditional. Reflecting his recent interest in theological interpretation of scripture, Jenson frames the whole of Christian theology as a response to the question posed to the prophet Ezekiel: "Son of man, can these bones live?" For Jenson, to ask this question is to ask whether Christian theology itself is a pile of dead bones. Can the story that God lives with his people be told today? From first to last the chapters of this book proceed under the impelling pressure of this question. They thus comprise a single sequence of illustrative conversations for the purpose of introducing beginners to Christian theology. (shrink)
This paper examines contemporary attempts to explicate the explanatory role of mathematics in the physical sciences. Most such approaches involve developing so-called mapping accounts of the relationships between the physical world and mathematical structures. The paper argues that the use of idealizations in physical theorizing poses serious difficulties for such mapping accounts. A new approach to the applicability of mathematics is proposed.
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective test based (...) on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
The question of the possibility of conscious experience in animals has had a rebirth recentIy in both philosophy and psychology. I argue that there is an account of consciousness that is perfectly consistent with many animals enjoying conscious experiences. In defending my thesis, I examine a recent account of consciousness by Peter Carruthers which denies animals conscious experiences. I argue that Carruthers’ account should be rejected on the grounds that it is unnecessarily complex, and that it fails to provide either (...) a sufficient or a necessary condition for conscious experience. A better account of consciousness, I maintain, is an Armstrongian account. I defend this account against a number of objections, and go on to show how it is consistent with a wide range of animals enjoying conscious experiences. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of mathematical idealization in describing and explaining various features of the world. It examines two cases: first, briefly, the modeling of shock formation using the idealization of the continuum. Second, and in more detail, the breaking of droplets from the points of view of both analytic fluid mechanics and molecular dynamical simulations at the nano-level. It argues that the continuum idealizations are explanatorily ineliminable and that a full understanding of certain physical phenomena cannot be obtained (...) through completely detailed, non-idealized representations. (shrink)
To thousands of young people, Marx is the prophet, Mao the sword, and Marcuse the ideological spokesman of the Radical New Left. In The Meaning of Marcuse, Dr. Robert W. Marks, Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, provides a detailed analysis of Marcuse's most important books--Reason and revolution, Eros and civilization, One-dimensional man, An essay on liberation--and offers the first comprehensive overview of this major 20th century thinker.
David Rosenthal and Fred Dretske agree that creature consciousness should be used to give a reductive explanation of state consciousness. They disagree, however, over what type of creature consciousness will do the job. Rosenthal, defending a higher-order thought account, argues that higher-order creature consciousness is what is needed. Dretske, defending a first-order account, argues that first-order creature consciousness is what is needed. I attempt to advance this debate by presenting a case for a third creature-conscious account of state consciousness. what (...) I call the same-order account. I show that bydefining a conscious mental state as a mental state whose possessor is conscious of what it represents, we are offered a unique creature-conscious account of state consciousness that avoids some of the problems that have plagued both the HOT and FO accounts. (shrink)