Low levels of public trust in data practices have led to growing calls for changes to data-driven systems, and in the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation provides a legal motivation for such changes. Data management is a vital component of data-driven systems, but what constitutes ‘good’ data management is not straightforward. Academic attention is turning to the question of what ‘good data’ might look like more generally, but public views are absent from these debates. This paper addresses this gap, (...) reporting on a survey of the public on their views of data management approaches, undertaken by the authors and administered in the UK, where departure from the EU makes future data legislation uncertain. The survey found that respondents dislike the current approach in which commercial organizations control their personal data and prefer approaches that give them control over their data, that include oversight from regulatory bodies or that enable them to opt out of data gathering. Variations of data trusts – that is, structures that provide independent stewardship of data – were also preferable to the current approach, but not as widely preferred as control, oversight and opt out options. These features therefore constitute ‘good data management’ for survey respondents. These findings align only in part with principles of good data identified by policy experts and researchers. Our findings nuance understandings of good data as a concept and of good data management as a practice and point to where further research and policy action are needed. (shrink)
relations between events both require a more complex structure on the domain underlying the meaning representations than is commonly assumed. This paper proposes an ontology based on such notions as causation and consequence, rather than on purely temporal primitives. A central notion in the ontology..
Alex Byrne’s article, “Are Women Adult Human Females?”, asks a question that Byrne treats as nearly rhetorical. Byrne’s answer is, ‘clearly, yes’. Moreover, Byrne claims, 'woman' is a biological category that does not admit of any interpretation as (also) a social category. It is important to respond to Byrne’s argument, but mostly because it is paradigmatic of a wider phenomenon. The slogan “women are adult human females” is a political slogan championed by anti-trans activists, appearing on billboards, pamphlets, and anti-trans (...) online forums. In this paper, I respond to Byrne’s argument, revealing significant problems with its background assumptions, content, and methodology. (shrink)
The idea that natural language grammar and planned action are relatedsystems has been implicit in psychological theory for more than acentury. However, formal theories in the two domains have tendedto look very different. This article argues that both faculties sharethe formal character of applicative systems based on operationscorresponding to the same two combinatory operations, namely functional composition and type-raising. Viewing them in thisway suggests simpler and more cognitively plausible accounts of bothsystems, and suggests that the language faculty evolved in the (...) speciesand develops in children by a rather direct adaptation of a moreprimitive apparatus for planning purposive action in the world bycomposing affordances of objects or tools. Theknowledge representation that underlies such planning is alsoreflected in the natural language semantics of tense, mood, andaspect, which the paper begins by arguing provides the key tounderstanding both systems. (shrink)
Both formal semantics and cognitive semantics are the source of important insights about language. By developing precise statements of the rules of meaning in fragmentary, abstract languages, formalists have been able to offer perspicuous accounts of how we might come to know such rules and use them to communicate with others. Conversely, by charting the overall landscape of interpretations, cognitivists have documented how closely interpretations draw on the commonsense knowledge that lets us make our way in the world. There is (...) no opposition between these insights. Sooner or later we will have a semantics that responds to both. However, developing such a semantics is profoundly difficult, because there are certain tensions to be overcome in reconciling the two perspectives. For one thing, the overall landscape of meaning does seem to be characterized by a much richer ontology and more dynamic categories than are exhibited by the fragments typically studied in the formal tradition. One sign of strain is the recent tendency to talk of “procedural”, “non-compositional”, or “computational” semantics, as in Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen 2006, hereafter HK&vL. We think such locutions can serve as useful reminders to keep semantics fixed on the central question of how language allows us to share information that some have and others need to get. However, there is some danger that formalists will merely by put off by an idea that, taken literally, may not be such a good one. In this short article, we want to explore and defend the traditional realist view attributed by HK&vL to Lewis among others. In fact, this view offers a well-developed, extremely straightforward and robust account of the relation between semantics and cognition. Moreover, while the realist view has ways of accommodating the representationalist insights of DRT (Lewis 1979; Thomason 1990; Stalnaker 1998), it remains unclear how “computational” semantics can account for the key data for the realist view: cases where we judge interlocutors to be ignorant about aspects of meaning in their native language (Kripke 1972; Putnam 1975; Stalnaker 1979; Williamson 1994).. (shrink)
By considering the experience of historians in national and regional archives, the relationship of memory to history and historical practice is discussed. The professional experience of historians is connected to wider social and psychological uses of the past, and of history in Euro pean societies, over the 200 years since official archives were inaugur ated.
One way of understanding the reduplicative formula ‘Christ is, qua God, omniscient, but qua man, limited in knowledge’ is to take the occurrences of the ‘ qua ’ locution as picking out different parts of Christ: a divine part and a human part. But this view of Christ as a composite being runs into paradox when combined with the orthodox understanding of the Incarnation, according to which Christ is identical to the second person of the Trinity. In response, we have (...) to choose between modifying the orthodox understanding, adopting a philosophically and theologically contentious perdurantist account of persistence through time, or rejecting altogether the idea of the composite Christ. (shrink)
Alan Carter's recent review in Mind of my Ethics of the Global Environment combines praise of biocentric consequentialism with criticisms that it could advocate both minimal satisfaction of human needs and the extinction of ‘inessential species’ for the sake of generating extra people; Carter also maintains that as a monistic theory it is predictably inadequate to cover the full range of ethical issues, since only a pluralistic theory has this capacity. In this reply, I explain how the counter-intuitive implications of (...) biocentric consequentialism suggested by Carter are not implications, and argue that since pluralistic theories either generate contradictions or collapse into monistic theories, the superiority of pluralistic theories is far from predictable. Thus Carter's criticisms fail to undermine biocentric consequentialism as a normative theory applicable to the generality of ethical issues. (shrink)
This paper is an argument against Truthmaker Necessitarianism—the doctrine that the existence of a truthmaker necessitates the truth of the proposition it makes true. Armstrong’s sufficiency argument for necessitarianism is examined and shown to be question begging. It is then argued in detail that truthmaking is a matter of grounding truth and that grounding is a dependency relation that neither entails nor reduces to necessitation.
The trial of Socrates -- Socrates in court -- How the system worked -- The charge of impiety -- The war years -- Alcibiades, Socrates, and the aristocratic milieu -- Pestilence and war -- The rise and fall of Alcibiades -- The end of the war -- Critias and Civil War --- Crisis and conflict -- Symptoms of change -- Reactions to intellectuals -- The condemnation of Socrates -- Socratic politics -- A cock for Asclepius.
Photographs, paintings, rigid sculptures: all these provide examples of static images. It is true that they change—photographs fade, paintings darken and sculptures crumble—but what change they undergo is irrelevant to their representational content. A static image is one that represents by virtue of properties which remain largely unchanged throughout its existence. Because of this defining feature, according to a long tradition in aesthetics, a static image can only represent an instantaneous moment, or to be more exact the state of affairs (...) obtaining at that moment'. It cannot represent movement and the passage of time. This traditional view mirrors a much older one in metaphysics: that change is to be conceived of as a series of instantaneous states and hence that an interval of time is composed of extensionless moments. The metaphysical view has been involved in more controversy than its aesthetic counterpart. Aristotle identified it as one of the premises of Zeno's arrow paradox and Augustine employed it in his proof of the unreality of time. (shrink)
Though John Stuart Mill's long employment by the East India Company did not limit him to drafting despatches on relations with the princely states, that activity must form the centrepiece of any satisfactory study of his Indian career. As yet the activity has scarcely been glimpsed. It produced, on average, about a draft a week, which he listed in his own hand. He subsequently struck out items that he sought to disown in consequence of substantial revisions made by the Company's (...) directors or the Board of Control. He also listed items that achieved publication as parliamentary papers and they amount to about ten per cent of his drafts. The two lists, published in the most recent volume of his Collected Works, reveal, at the least, the ‘political’ despatches from which he did not seek to dissociate himself. The despatches were not entirely his work and authorship in the conventional sense may not be assumed. They were the product of an elaborate process, in which many hands were engaged. At worst, they were his work in much the same way that an Act of Parliament is the work of the Crown Solicitor who drafts the bill. At best they were his as are the drafts of a civil servant who believes in policy statements that he prepares for his political masters. The greatest English philosopher and social scientist of the nineteenth century was, in his daily occupation, an employee. His Company was charged with initiating policies for the Indian states and they were subject to the control of a minister of the Crown. (shrink)
In this paper, I address two connected issues that arise when one considers a rational agent facing a decision problem. One is whether or not the agent may find that the dictates of rationality are such that they cannot all be followed. For example, one may ask whether or not the requirements on the agent's actions imposed by rationality can conflict in an irreconcilable way, making it impossible to satisfy all of them. Put differently, one may ask whether or not (...) any apparent conflict of this type must in fact be capable of rational resolution. I shall say that an agent who is in a position in which the requirements of rationality cannot all be satisfied faces a feasibility dilemma, and I shall characterize certain conceptions of rationality that differ according to whether or not they admit such a possibility. A second issue concerns the number of options that may be deemed rational in a decision problem. Is rationality sufficiently determinate that it always dictates precisely one choice, or may there be more than one rationally permissible option? Is there anything about rationality itself that guarantees that any of the possible options could rationally be chosen? I shall call this issue – whether the concept of rationality itself places any limits on the number of options that may be deemed rational in a given problem – the numbers problem. (shrink)
There is no doubt that the model presented here is incomplete. Many important categories, particularly negation and the adverbials, have been entirely ignored, and the treatment of Tense and the affixes is certainly inadequate. It also remains to be seen how the many constructions that have been ignored here are to be accommodated within the framework that has been outlined. However, the fact that a standard categorial lexicon, plus the four rule schemata, seems to come close to exhaustively specifying the (...) main clause constructions of English, and also seems to explain a number of major constraints on transformations, encourages us to compare the theory with certain alternatives, and to examine its broader implications. (shrink)
Let us take, as a starting assumption, the Benthamic understanding of the point of law: We should make laws that will increase the overall happiness of the people whose lives are affected by them. But how should we go about doing that? And more particularly, what role, if any, should our held desires play in the task of ascertaining the content of our happiness? And when, if ever, should we defer to the desires of the affected masses, and when should (...) we not, in determining what will or will not promote happiness? The classical, or “hedonic,” utilitarians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries suggested a number of answers to these related questions, of which I will mention two. (shrink)
Republic is the central work of the Western world's most famous philosopher. Essentially an inquiry into morality, Republic also contains crucial arguments and insights into many other areas of philosophy. It is also a literary masterpiece: the philosophy is presented for the most part for the ordinary reader, who is carried along by the wit and intensity of the dialogue and by Plato's unforgettable images of the human condition. This new, lucid translation by Robin Waterfield is complemented by full (...) explanatory notes and an up-to-date critical introduction. (shrink)
Characteristic of metaphysics are general questions of existence, such as ‘Are there numbers?’ This kind of question is the target of Carnap's argument for deflationism, to the effect that general existential questions, if taken at face value, are meaningless. This paper considers deflationism in a theological context, and argues that the question ‘Does God exist?’ can appropriately be grouped with the ‘metaphysical’ questions attacked by Carnap. Deflationism thus has the surprising consequence that the correct approach to theism is that of (...) radical theology. The paper attempts to show why Carnap's argument fails, and why, nevertheless, enough remains of it for us to conclude that God cannot be outside time and space. (shrink)
The paper proposes a semantics for contextual (i.e., Temporal and Locative) Prepositional Phrases (CPPs) like during every meeting, in the garden, when Harry met Sally and where I’m calling from. The semantics is embodied in a multi-modal extension of Combinatory Categoral Grammar (CCG). The grammar allows the strictly monotonic compositional derivation of multiple correct interpretations for “stacked” or multiple CPPs, including interpretations whose scope relations are not what would be expected on standard assumptions about surfacesyntactic command and monotonic derivation. A (...) type-hierarchy of functional modalities plays a crucial role in the specification of the fragment. (shrink)
Postmodernism and Education responds to the interest in postmodernism as a way of understanding social, cultural and economic trends. Robin Usher and Richard Edwards explore the impact which postmodernism has had upon the theory and practice of education, using a broad analysis of postmodernism and an in-depth introduction to key writers in the field, including Lacan, Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard. In examining the impact which this thinking has had upon contemporary theory and practice of education, Usher and Edwards concentrate (...) particularly upon how postmodernist ideas challenge existing concepts, structures and hierarchies. (shrink)
In this book, first published in 1991, the author Dr Robin Barrow adopts the view that utilitarianism is the most coherent and persuasive ethical theory we have and argues in favour of a specific form of rule-utilitarianism. This book will be of interest to students of philosophy.
In this clear, concise and up-to-date introduction to environmental ethics, Robin Attfield guides the student through the key issues and debates in this field in ways that will also be of interest to a wide range of scholars and researchers. The book introduces environmental problems and environmental ethics and surveys theories of the sources of the problems. Attfield also puts forward his own original contribution to the debates, advocating biocentric consequentialism among theories of normative ethics and defending objectivism in (...) meta-ethics. The possibilities of ethical consumerism and investment are discussed, and the nature and basis of responsibilities for future generations in such areas as sustainable development are given detailed consideration. Attfield adopts an inclusive, cosmopolitan perspective in discussions of global ethics and citizenship, and illustrates his argument with a discussion of global warming. The text uses a range of devices to aid understanding, such as summaries of key issues, and guides to further reading and relevant websites. It has been written particularly with a view to the needs of students taking courses in environmental ethics, and will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, ethics, geography, religion and environmental studies. (shrink)
As I shall be taking issue with Michael Durrant for the bulk of this paper, it is appropriate, as well as a good way to start, to register my endorsement of his arguments in chapter 4 of The Logical Status of God l for the conclusion that sentences about God are typically used to express propositions, and that acts of thanksgiving and petition to God presuppose that some such propositions are true. The present paper is therefore a continuation of Mr (...) Durrant's attempt to locate the status of the term ‘God’ in propositions expressed by sentences of the form ‘God is F’. (shrink)
For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...) theories. The theme of this book is philosophy and technology, and here's the connection: new theories point out—and explain— new phenomena. So realism, claim the realists, is at the heart of science's achievement of what Bacon, that early philosopher of technology, identified as science's aim: new knowledge offering new powers. (shrink)
Nietzsche's thinking on justice and punishment explores the motives and forces which lie behind moral concepts and social institutions. His dialogue with several writers of his time is discussed here. Eugen Dühring had argued that a natural feeling of ressentiment against those who have harmed us is the source of the concept of injustice, so that punishment, even in its most impersonal form, is always a form of revenge. In attacking this theory, Nietzsche developed his own powerful critique of moral (...) concepts such as responsibility and guilt. He borrowed his ‘historical’ approach to moral concepts from Paul Ree, who suggested that the utilitarian function of punishment had been obscured by its practice, which appears to be directly linked with moral guilt. Nietzsche responds that punishment has quite different purposes and meanings at different times, so that any single explanation or justification is inadequate. In this way, he rejects the pre-suppositions common to the retributivists and utilitarians of his time. (shrink)
In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called.
The legend of Robin Hood exemplifies a distinct concern of justice neglected by theorists: the distributive results of systemic injustices. Robin Hood’s redistributive activities are justified by the principle that the distributive results of systemic injustices are unjust and should be corrected. This principle has relevance beyond the legend: since current inequalities in the US are results of systemic injustices, the US has good reason to take from the rich and give to the poor.
In her provocative discussion of the challenge posed to the traditional impartialist, justice-focused conception of morality by the new-wave care perspective in ethics, Annette Baier calls for ‘a “marriage” of the old male and newly articulated female... moral wisdom,’ to produce a new ‘cooperative’ moral theory that ‘harmonize[s] justice and care.’ I want in this paper to play matchmaker, proposing one possible conjugal bonding: a union of two apparently dissimilar modes of what Nel Noddings calls ‘meeting the other morally,’ a (...) wedding of respect and care. (shrink)
Epistemic contextualists think that the truth-conditions of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend in part on the context in which they are uttered. But what features of context play a role in determining truth-conditions? The idea that the making salient of error possibilities is a central part of the story has often been attributed to contextualists, and a number of contextualists seem to endorse it (see Cohen (Philos Perspect, 13:57–89, 1999) and Hawthorne, (Knowledge and lotteries, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004)). In this paper (...) I argue that the focus on salience relations is a mistake. On the view I defend, the relevant features of context are facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context have a reason to consider, not facts about what error-possibilities and alternatives those in the context actually consider. As I will argue, this view has certain advantages over the standard view. (shrink)
This is the first anthology to bring together a selection of the most important contemporary philosophical essays on the nature and moral significance of self-respect. Representing a diversity of views, the essays illustrate the complexity of self-respect and explore its connections to such topics as personhood, dignity, rights, character, autonomy, integrity, identity, shame, justice, oppression and empowerment. The book demonstrates that self-respect is a formidable concern which goes to the very heart of both moral theory and moral life. Contributors: Bernard (...) Boxill, Stephen L. Darwall, John Deigh, Robin S. Dillon, Thomas E. Hill, Jr., Aurel Kolnai, Stephen J. Massey, Diana T. Meyers, Michelle M. Moody-Adams, John Rawls, Gabriele Taylor, Elizabeth Telfer, Laurence L. Thomas. (shrink)
Advertising, with its effects on both individual wants and the general ethos of ‘consumerism’, is a matter of concern to both economists and spiritual commentators on the state of society: it thus falls well within Ronald Preston's range of interests. The article will consider both the economists’ approach to advertising and wider concerns about its influence in society, before posing a number of questions about the good and bad aspects of advertising and what, if anything, can and should be ‘done (...) about it’. (shrink)