Although the Evans argument against vague identity has been much discussed, proposah for blocking it have not so far satisfied general conditions which any solution ought to meet. Moreover, the relation between ontically vague identity and ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been satisfactorily addressed. I advocate a way of resisting the Evans argument which satisfies the conditions. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in (...) general in terms of multiple actualities. This provides aprìncipled approach to ontically vague identity which is unaffected by the Evans argument. (shrink)
In this significant contribution to Hegel scholarship, Robert Williams develops the most comprehensive account to date of Hegel's concept of recognition. Fichte introduced the concept of recognition as a presupposition of both Rousseau's social contract and Kant's ethics. Williams shows that Hegel appropriated the concept of recognition as the general pattern of his concept of ethical life, breaking with natural law theory yet incorporating the Aristotelian view that rights and virtues are possible only within a certain kind of community. He (...) explores Hegel's intersubjective concept of spirit as the product of affirmative mutual recognition and his conception of recognition as the right to have rights. Examining Hegel's Jena manuscripts, his _Philosophy of Right_, the _Phenomenology of Spirit_, and other works, Williams shows how the concept of recognition shapes and illumines Hegel's understandings of crime and punishment, morality, the family, the state, sovereignty, international relations, and war. A concluding chapter on the reception and reworking of the concept of recognition by contemporary thinkers including Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze demonstrates Hegel's continuing centrality to the philosophical concerns of our age. (shrink)
Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...) rejecting other aspects of the standard logic of counterfactuals, or else our intuitive picture of semifactuals. (shrink)
This study examined the relationship between the proportion of women serving on firms' boards of directors and the extent to which these same firms engaged in charitable giving activities. Using a sample of 185 Fortune 500 firms for the 1991-1994 time period, the results provide strong support for the notion that firms having a higher proportion of women serving on their boards do engage in charitable giving to a greater extent than firms having a lower proportion of women serving on (...) their boards. Further, the results suggest a link between the percentage of women on boards and firm philanthropy in the areas of community service and the arts, but found no link between women boardmembers and firm giving to support education or public policy issues. The implications of the findings and some areas for future research are discussed. (shrink)
This study examined the influence of corporate giving programs on the link between certain categories of corporate crime and corporate reputation. Specifically, firms that violate EPA and OSHA regulations should, to some extent, experience a decline in their reputations, while firms that contribute to charitable causes should see their reputations enhanced. The results of this study support both of these contentions. Further, the results suggest that corporate giving significantly moderates the link between the number of EPA and OSHA violations committed (...) by a firm and its reputation. Thus, while a firm's reputation can be diminished through its violation of various government regulations, the extent of the decline in reputation may be significantly reduced through charitable giving. (shrink)
John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong.I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne’s challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis’s first (non-chancy) proposal (...) than is Lewis’s own suggested modification. (shrink)
Robert R. Williams offers a bold new account of divergences and convergences in the work of Hegel and Nietzsche. He explores four themes - the philosophy of tragedy; recognition and community; critique of Kant; and the death of God - and explicates both thinkers' critiques of traditional theology and metaphysics.
If one believes that vagueness is an exclusively representational phenomenon, one faces the problem of the many. In the vicinity of Kilimanjaro, there are many many ‘mountain candidates’ all, apparently, with more-or-less equal claim to be mountains. David Lewis has defended a radical claim: that all the billions of mountain candidates are mountains. This paper argues that the supervaluationist about vagueness should adopt Lewis’ proposal, on pain of losing their best explanation of the seductiveness of the sorites.
I formulate a counterfactual version of the notorious 'Ramsey Test'. Whereas the Ramsey Test for indicative conditionals links credence in indicatives to conditional credences, the counterfactual version links credence in counterfactuals to expected conditional chance. I outline two forms: a Ramsey Identity on which the probability of the conditional should be identical to the corresponding conditional probabihty/expectation of chance; and a Ramsey Bound on which credence in the conditional should never exceed the latter.Even in the weaker, bound, form, the counterfactual (...) Ramsey Test makes counterfactuals subject to the very argument that Lewis used to argue against the indicative version of the Ramsey Test. I compare the assumptions needed to run each, pointing to assumptions about the time-evolution of chances that can replace the appeal to Bayesian assumptions about credence update in motivating the assumptions of the argument.I finish by outlining two reactions to the discussion: to indicativize the debate on counterfactuals; or to counterfactualize the debate on indicatives. (shrink)
This paper posits that organizational variables are the factors that lead to the moral decline of companies like Enron and Worldcom. The individuals involved created environments within the organizations that precipitated a spiral of unethical decision-making. It is proposed that at the executive level, it is the organizational factors associated with power and decision-making that have the critical influence on moral and ethical behavior. The study has used variables that were deemed to be surrogate measures of the ethical violations (OSHA (...) and EPA violations), the risky shift phenomenon (executive team size), banality of wrong-doing (reputation score for firms) and escalating commitment (tenure with the firm/change in revenue for declining firms). The research found that there were small correlations between ethical violations and the three organizational variables. (shrink)
Flanagan (1991) was the first contemporary philosopher to suggest that a modularity of morals hypothesis (MMH) was worth consideration by cognitive science. There is now a serious empirically informed proposal that moral competence is best explained in terms of moral modules-evolutionarily ancient, fast-acting, automatic reactions to particular sociomoral experiences (Haidt & Joseph, 2007). MMH fleshes out an idea nascent in Aristotle, Mencius, and Darwin. We discuss the evidence for MMH, specifically an ancient version, “Mencian Moral Modularity,” which claims four innate (...) modules, and “Social Intuitionist Modularity,” which claims five innate modules. We compare these two moral modularity models, discuss whether the postulated modules are best conceived as perceptual/Fodorian or emotional/Darwinian, and consider whether assuming MMH true has any normative ethical consequences whatsoever. The discussion of MMH reconnects cognitive science with normative ethics in a way that involves the reassertion of the “is-ought” problem. We explain in a new way what this problem is and why it would not yield. The reason does not involve the logic of “ought,” but rather the plasticity of human nature and the realistic options to “grow” and “do” human nature in multifarious legitimate ways. (shrink)
Two kinds of explanation might be put forward. The ﬁrst goes like this: the necessary connection between the location of a whole and the location of its parts holds because the location of the whole is nothing but the collective location of its parts. The second style of explanation goes like this: the connection holds because what it is for a material whole to have something as a part, is (perhaps among other things) for the whole to contain the part.
I explore the thesis that the future is open, in the sense that future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I survey how the thesis arises on a variety of contemporary views on the metaphysics of time. In the second, I explore the consequences for rational belief of the ‘Aristotelian’ view that indeterminacy is characterized by truth-value gaps. In the third, I outline one line of defence for the Aristotelian against (...) the puzzles this induces: treating opinion about future contingents as a matter of fictional belief rather than simple belief. (shrink)
This paper explores the interaction of well-motivated (if controversial) principles governing the probability conditionals, with accounts of what it is for a sentence to be indefinite. The conclusion can be played in a variety of ways. It could be regarded as a new reason to be suspicious of the intuitive data about the probability of conditionals; or, holding fixed the data, it could be used to give traction on the philosophical analysis of a contentious notion—indefiniteness. The paper outlines the various (...) options, and shows that ‘rejectionist’ theories of indefiniteness are incompatible with the results. Rejectionist theories include popular accounts such as supervaluationism, non-classical truth-value gap theories, and accounts of indeterminacy that centre on rejecting the law of excluded middle. An appendix compares the results obtained here with the ‘impossibility’ results descending from Lewis ( 1976 ). (shrink)
Quine (1960, "Word and object". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. 'Rabbit' might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous 'argument from below' to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the (...) matter as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine's claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans (1975, "Journal of Philosophy", LXXII(13), 343-362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), "Gareth Evans: Collected papers." Oxford: Clarendon Press.), Fodor (1993, "The elm and the expert: Mentalese and its semantics." Cambridge, MA: Bradford)), and various patches have been suggested (e. g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), "A companion to the philosophy of language" (pp. 397-426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as 'rabbit' divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine's rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine's rabbitslices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them. (shrink)
The definition, assessment, predictive validity, demographic correlates, and promotion of critical thinking at the college level are addressed in this article. Although the definitions of critical thinking vary substantially, a common theme is the linkage of conclusions to relevant evidence. Assessment measures range from quasi-standardized instruments to informal class assessment and include both generic and subject-specific formats. Although critical thinking potentially serves both as a predictor of college success and as a criterion of suceess, its greater utility may be as (...) a predictor. nonetheless, the college experience in general and critical thinking courses in particular offer some promise for promoting critical thinking. However, efforts to infuse critical thinking activities into subject-specific courses have produced marginal improvement in critical thinking. (shrink)
The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...) promises to give a reductive, universal and non-revisionary account of the nature of linguistic representation. -/- Interpretationism in general, however, is threatened by severe internal tension, due to arguments for radical inscrutability. These contend that, given the interpretationist setting, there can be no fact of the matter what object an individual word refers to: for example, that there is no fact of the matter as to whether “London” refers to London or to Sydney. -/- A series of challenges emerge, forming the basis for this thesis. 1. What sort of properties is the interpretationist trying to reduce, and what kind of reductive story is she offering? 2. How are inscrutability theses best formulated? Are arguments for inscrutability effective in their own terms? What kinds of inscrutability arise? 3. Is endorsing radical inscrutability a stable position? 4. Are there theoretical virtues—such as simplicity—that can be appealed to in discrediting the rival (empirically equivalent) theories that underpin inscrutability arguments? -/- In addressing these questions, I concentrate on diagnosing the source of inscrutability, mapping the space of ways of resisting the arguments for radical inscrutability, and examining the challenges faced in developing a principled account of linguistic content that avoids radical inscrutability. -/- The effect is not to close down the original puzzles, but rather to sharpen them into a set of new and deeper challenges. (shrink)
"Uprightness" was termed the "leitmotiv in the formation of the human organism" by Erwin Straus (1966, p. 139). He felt that without it the human being was certainly doomed to die. Yet, what happens with those who are deprived of their "uprightness" in either the literal or moral sense (as in "not to stoop to anything"), through becoming Dis-abled? Getting up, rising in opposition to the "other" (Allon) implies a moral dimension in the case of human Dis-ability which is tied (...) to the leitmotiv established by the upright posture of anthropos . The suggestion that there is a moral dimension to Disability is a radical notion in a culture whose health professionals have become very sensitive to any idea that suggests we are blaming those who through no fault of their own have become in some way disadvantaged as compared to the mainstream of society. Although the importance of rising in opposition to the world (Allon) was perhaps originally established upon the upright posture quite literally, because man is a sense-making and sense-giving creature, this primordial act which establishes our full humanity may itself be represented and re-enacted in a variety of ways which can and should become the central project of rehabilitation of the body, as opposed to the current emphasis on technique and technological innovation. It is in the changing physiognomy of the Dis-abled person's ruptured world that we may discover the phenomenological sense of Dis-ability. Keywords: Dis-Ability, Uprightness, Rehabilitation CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
We comment that covariances between brain divisions may be constraining or facilitating, depending on what is being selected, and that modern quantitative genetic methods provide the tools to discover and manipulate the genetic networks that give rise to the covariances described in the target article.
Existing metasemantic projects presuppose that word- (or sentence-) types are part of the non-semantic base. We propose a new strategy: an endogenous account of word types, that is, one where word types are fixed as part of the metasemantics. On this view, it is the conventions of truthfulness and trust that ground not only the meaning of the words (meaning by convention) but also what the word type is of each particular token utterance (words by convention). The same treatment extends (...) to identifying the populations through which the conventions prevail. We consider whether this proposal leads to new underdetermination challenges for metasemantics, and make a case that it does not. (shrink)
Robert R. Williams - Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.3 408-409 Book Review Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency Elliot L. Jurist. Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture and Agency. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000. Pp. xii + 355. Cloth, $37.95. Challenging the contemporary consensus that one must choose either Hegel or Nietzsche, Elliot Jurist joins the "rapprochement thesis" originated by (...) Walter Kaufmann. He explores Hegel and Nietzsche on the themes of agency, intersubjectivity, and society and culture. Jurist approaches these themes through the psychology of knowledge. Nietzsche's psychological method is well known; Jurist believes Hegel's contributions to psychology are no less significant: Hegel's "superb insight," found in his concept of recognition, is that others co-constitute self-identity . Jurist regards Hegel and Nietzsche as advancing important, somewhat divergent, but by.. (shrink)
Suppose that you're certain that a certain sentence, e.g. "Frida is tall", lacks a determinate truth value. What cognitive attitude should you take towards it—reject it, suspend judgment, or what else? We show that, by adopting a seemingly plausible principle connecting credence in A and Determinately A, we can prove a very implausible answer to this question: i.e., all indeterminate claims should be assigned credence zero. The result is striking similar to so-called triviality results in the literature on modals and (...) conditionals. (shrink)