We argue in Roche and Sober (2013) that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in that Pr(H | O&EXPL) = Pr(H | O), where H is a hypothesis, O is an observation, and EXPL is the proposition that if H and O were true, then H would explain O. This is a “screening-off” thesis. Here we clarify that thesis, reply to criticisms advanced by Lange (2017), consider alternative formulations of Inference to the Best Explanation, discuss a strengthened screening-off thesis, and consider (...) how it bears on the claim that unification is evidentially relevant. (shrink)
Most of us take it for granted that we are free agents: that we can sometimes act so as to shape our own lives and those of others, that we have choices about how to do so and that we are responsible for what we do. But are we really justified in believing this? For centuries philosophers have argued about whether free will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism or natural causation, and they seem no closer to agreeing about (...) it now than at any time in the past. Many contemporary philosophers have come to the conclusion that the intractability of the old argument about free will and determinism is caused by deep rooted illusions and inconsistencies in our unreflective attitudes about moral responsibility and freedom to act. Kevin Magill challenges this view and argues that the philosophical stalemate about free will has arisen through lack of attention to the content of the experiences that shape our understanding of free will and agency and through a mistaken belief that the concept of moral responsibility requires a moral and metaphysical justification. The book sets out an original account of the various ways we experience choosing, deciding and acting, which reconciles the apparently opposing intuitions that have fuelled the traditional dispute. (shrink)
Roche, Marcia Sectarianism has been defined as 'adherence or excessive devotion to a particular religious denomination or sect'.1 However, as Kildea notes, dictionary definitions of the term fail to square with its 'distinctive' meaning in the Australian context.2A more accurate representation of the Australian connotation is conveyed by Hogan, who says that it refers to 'the hostility between different churches or "sects" which has manifested itself in the wider arena of social and political conflict'.3 The social, political and economic (...) discrimination and exclusion that has existed in Australia between Catholics and Protestants was most intense from the beginning of European settlement until the 1960s, when the Catholic Church's endorsement of ecumenism offered a means of positive engagement with members of other Christian denominations. (shrink)
"A deeply thoughtful articulation of an enduring and appealing ideal. It is an ideal with a resonance beyond the world of Catholic higher education for all in the academy who still respond to the beckoning vision of the ultimate unity of all human knowing and who view it, indeed, as a necessary inspiration if we are to succeed in according to our intellectual activities the sort of seriousness and moral significance they properly deserve." —Francis Oakley, President Emeritus, Williams College "There (...) is a real need, indeed an absolute necessity, for a Catholic university that is true to its religious values. By so being, it makes other, non-Catholic institutions that much better." —E. Gordon Gee, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University "Dean Roche has done a rare thing. He has articulated a sharp and clear Catholic theology of Christian higher education. What has been implicit in the practice of great Catholic universities has now been made explicit in this fine essay." —Robert Benne, author of _Quality with Soul: How Six Premier Colleges and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions_ "Catholic identity will mean nothing in the world of higher education if it lacks a genuine _intellectual_ dimension. Mark Roche understands that fundamental fact, tackles the problem directly, and deals with it cogently." —Philip Gleason, author of _Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century_. (shrink)
Coherentists on epistemic justification claim that all justification is inferential, and that beliefs, when justified, get their justification together (not in isolation) as members of a coherent belief system. Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “individual credibility” is needed for “witness agreement” to increase the probability of truth and generate a high probability of truth. It can seem that, from this result in formal epistemology, it follows that coherentist justification is not truth-conducive, that it is not the case (...) that, under the requisite conditions, coherentist justification increases the probability of truth and generates a high probability of truth. I argue that this does not follow. (shrink)
This book looks at two ‘revolutions’ in philosophy – phenomenology and conceptual analysis which have been influential in sociology and psychology. It discusses humanistic psychiatry and sociological approaches to the specific area of mental illness, which counter the ultimately reductionist implications of Freudian psycho-analytic theory. The book, originally published in 1973, concludes by stating the broad underlying themes of the two forms of humanistic philosophy and indicating how they relate to the problems of theory and method in sociology.
The changing world of health care finance has led to a paradigm shift in health care with health care being viewed more and more as a commodity. Many have argued that such a paradigm shift is incompatible with the very nature of medicine and health care. But such arguments raise more questions than they answer. There are important assumptions about basic concepts of health care and markets that frame such arguments.
William Roche and Elliott Sober argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant. This conclusion is surprising since it conflicts with a plausible assumption—the fact that a hypothesis best explains a given set of data is evidence that the hypothesis is true. We argue that Roche and Sober's screening-off argument fails to account for a key aspect of evidential strength: the weight of a body of evidence. The weight of a body of evidence affects the resiliency of probabilities in the (...) light of new evidence. Thus, Roche and Sober are mistaken. Explanatoriness is evidentially relevant. (shrink)
This case study discusses the economic, legal, and ethical considerations for conducting clinical trials in a controversial context. In 2010, pharmaceutical giant Roche received a shame award by the Swiss non-governmental organization Berne Declaration and Greenpeace for conducting clinical trials with organs taken from executed prisoners in China. The company respected local regulations and industry ethical standards. However, medical associations condemned organs from executed prisoners on moral grounds. Human rights organizations demanded that Roche ended its clinical trials in (...) China immediately. Students are expected to review the economic and ethical issues regarding the outsourcing of clinical trials to controversial human rights contexts, and discuss how to make business decisions when there are conflicts between making profit and ethical considerations. Was Roche complicit in the human rights violations that were related to its clinical trials? Future patients might benefit from these clinical trials. Do profit and the greater good, in general, trump morals? (shrink)
It is an exciting time to pursue philosophy of religion, not least because of an earnest and widening conversation about what philosophers of religion should be doing in the future. This conversation is driven by factors including the growing presence of philosophers who do not presume as normative the subject position of so-called western traditions of thought, the relentless historicization—especially along Foucaultian lines—of the modern study of religion by critics working across the range of implicated disciplines, and by newly energized (...) emphases in existing methods of the study of religion upon embodiment and upon materiality more generally.Kevin Schilbrack’s Philosophy and the Study of Religions: a Manifesto enters the conversation with an exhibition of clarity and wit, logical strength, and breadth of ambition. Schilbrack argues for expanding the work of philosophy of religion from its traditional task—the examination of theism—to a more inclusive self-understan .. (shrink)
Kevin Schilbrack’s recent book sets out a series of well-considered, well-wrought arguments promoting a lively future for philosophy of religion. In the following comments on selected chapters, I seek to raise questions that require further elaboration of Schilbrack’s constructive vision and/or distinction from alternative visions with which he disagrees.Chapter 1: ‘The Full Task of Philosophy of Religion’Schilbrack begins this chapter characterizing ‘traditional philosophy of religion’ in terms of the task that the discipline sets for itself: to evaluate the rationality of (...) theism. In an illuminating decision tree, Schilbrack analyzes and organizes the variety within TPR, including counter-traditions in Continental and feminist philosophy. More importantly, this procedure helps substantiate the author’s overall critique of TPR as inadequate to the ‘full task’ of philosophy of religion because it is narrow, intellectualistic, and insular. Schilbrack identifies three subordinate ta .. (shrink)
Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness” Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0090-7 Authors J. Kevin O’Regan, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS - Université Paris Descartes, Centre Biomédical des Saints Pères, 45 rue des Sts Pères, 75270 Paris cedex 06, France Ned Block, Departments of Philosophy, Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University, 5 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and (...) Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158. (shrink)
How accurate is Kevin Carson’s characterization of “freed” markets? Carson, a left-libertarian “free market anti-capitalist,” portrays free markets as so radically different from actually-existing markets that they are almost unrecognizable. In The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low Overhead Manifesto, he provides an alternative history of industrialization that argues that large-scale industrial organization and production are largely creatures of state intervention and that truly free markets would be characterized mainly by small-scale production for local markets. This paper evaluates Carson’s narrative in (...) order to determine whether his vision of the freed market is credible. I find that Carson fails to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that, but for government intervention, national markets would only exist for a few goods. Furthermore, many of the features he believes freed markets would possess are based on fallacious views of competition, knowledge, capital, and entrepreneurship. (shrink)
Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons, closeness in the Commons and the necessity of reforming the Commons, said Mr. Spenlow solemnly, in conclusion; but when the price of wheat per bushel had been the highest, the Commons had been the busiest; and a man might lay his hand upon his heart, and say this to the whole world, – ‘Touch the Commons, and down comes the country!’.
J. S. Mill's role as a transitional figure between classical and egalitarian liberalism can be partly explained by developments in his often unappreciated economic views. Specifically, I argue that Mill's separation of economic production and distribution had an important effect on his political theory. Mill made two distinctions between economic production and the distribution of wealth. I argue that these separations helped lead Mill to abandon the wages-fund doctrine and adopt a more favorable view of organized labor. I also show (...) how Mill's developments impacted later philosophers, economists, and historians. Understanding the relationship between Mill's political theory and economic theory does not only matter for Mill scholarship, however. Contemporary philosophers often ignore the economic views of their predecessors. I argue that paying insufficient attention to historical political philosophers' economic ideas obscures significant motivations for their political views. (shrink)
Roche and Sober have offered a new argument for the view that a hypothesis H is not confirmed by its capacity to explain some observation O. Their argument purports to work by showing that O screens H off from the fact that H would explain O. This paper offers several objections to this argument. Firstly, the screening-off test cannot identify whatever evidential contribution Hs explanatoriness may make. Secondly, that H would explain O may be logically necessary, eluding the screening-off (...) test. Thirdly, the test cannot detect an important difference that Hs explanatoriness often makes to Hs confirmation. (shrink)
Reading Kevin Hart’s creative hermeneutic of the ‘basileic’ reduction in his latest book, Kingdoms of God, naturally leads me to consider another eminent linguistic phenomenologist who continually occupies my thoughts. Although I have been reading Hart now for about 25 years, I have been reading Paul Ricoeur for a decade longer than that, and it is his theory of poetic discourse that my mind keeps tenaciously associating with Hart’s perspectives on parable. Granted, Hart never mentions Ricoeur in Kingdoms of God—unless (...) my careful reading is not so careful and I missed it! In Trespass of the Sign, however, he does note Ricoeur’s significance as a hermeneutical philosopher, specifically his emphasis on the distinction between the hermeneutics of faith and the hermeneutics of suspicion. Also, in an article on John Caputo’s postsecular philosophy of ‘religion without religion,’ Hart makes a brief comment on Ricoeur’s apparent Hegelianism with reference to a general theory of revelation as nonreligious and nontheistic. Still, nowhere that I know of does he extensively address Ricoeur’s fascinating discourse theory regarding metaphor, mimesis, narrative, and parable. If great minds think alike, then Hart and Ricoeur are, indeed, great minds, for, truly, Ricoeur’s reflections on parables and the Kingdom offer an intriguing gloss on Hart’s parabolic ‘basileiology.’ Translating Hart into Ricoeur, therefore, is, in my mind, an easy and profitable exercise that may well enhance the provocative character of Hart’s basileic reduction. Such a translation is the central purpose of this essay. (shrink)
As a general claim, most philosophers of science accept that science is not value-free. The disagreements lie in the proverbial details. The essays in Current Controversies in Values and Science, edited by Kevin Elliott and Daniel Steel focus on such details. Like other volumes in the Routledge Current Controversies in Philosophy’s series, this one asks ten well-known philosophers of science to engage with various questions. Each question receives roughly positive and negative responses, though the authors’ nuanced answers make clear that (...) the contrasting views also involve significant agreement.The first question asks whether we can distinguish epistemic from nonepistemic values. Hugh Lacey argues that such... (shrink)
We argue that uncomputability and classical scepticism are both re ections of inductive underdetermination, so that Church's thesis and Hume's problem ought to receive equal emphasis in a balanced approach to the philosophy of induction. As an illustration of such an approach, we investigate how uncomputable the predictions of a hypothesis can be if the hypothesis is to be reliably investigated by a computable scienti c method.
This essay considers a historical novel of recent times in revisionist terms, Kevin McCarthy’s debut novel of 2010, Peeler. In doing so, I also address the limitations that the novel exposes within Irish revisionism. I propose that McCarthy’s novel should be regarded more properly as a post-revisionist work of literature. A piece of detective fiction that is set during the Irish War of Independence from 1919 to 1921, Peeler challenges the romantic nationalist understanding of the War as one of heroic (...) struggle by focusing its attention on a Catholic member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In considering the circumstances in which Sergeant Seán O’Keefe finds himself as a policeman serving a community within which support for the IRA campaign against British rule is strong, the novel sheds sympathetic light on the experience of Catholic men who were members of the Royal Irish Constabulary until the force was eventually disbanded in 1922. At the same time, it demonstrates that the ambivalence in Sergeant O’Keefe’s attitudes ultimately proves unsustainable, thereby challenging the value that Irish revisionism has laid upon the ambivalent nature of political and cultural circumstances in Ireland with regard to Irish-British relations. In the process, I draw attention to important connections that McCarthy’s Peeler carries to Elizabeth Bowen’s celebrated novel of life in Anglo-Irish society in County Cork during the period of the Irish War of Independence: The Last September of 1929. (shrink)
Some people live to work, others work to live, while still others prefer to live lives of leisure. Since the Puritans, American culture and literature have been dominated by individuals who have valued hard work. However, shortly after its founding, America managed to produce the leisurely Rip Van Winkle, who, over time, has been followed by kindred spirits such as, for instance, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Twain’s Huck Finn, Melville’s Bartleby, Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, the Hippies, and Christopher (...) McCandless. With the rise of the Indie Film movement of the 1990s, so came the rise of the slacker film. Films such as Slacker, Singles, Wayne’s World, Reality Bites, Clerks, Kicking and Screaming, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, The Big Lebowski, and Office Space filled theatres over the decade with characters who take an unorthodox view of work and stress the importance of leisure in life. This essay discusses two slacker films, Richard Linklater’s Slacker and Kevin Smith’s Clerks, which defined the slacker phenomenon in the 1990s and constituted two important landmarks in American independent film. While many of us may find the slacker pathetic and annoying, this essay argues that there is much value to be found in this healthy counterculture. By offering their perspectives on issues such as the Puritan work ethic, work-incited self-importance, leisure versus idleness and human relationships, Linklater and Smith join the preceding generations of slackers, providing a much needed balance to the American obsession with work and success. (shrink)
The latest attempt by a determined, well-resourced lobby to introduce a law to permit assisted suicide/euthanasia in the UK was announced 15 May 2013 in the House of Lords. There are many dangerous facets to their arguments, not least of which is the rôle they cast for doctors in this debate. Rush Rhees' remarks on the topic display a depth that is lacking in the current debate in the public square, which needs to be lifted from its current low level. (...) I try to show inter alia why the question of who is ‘qualified to speak’ in this deep moral dilemma is important ; why resistance is vital against a law, which must be general, permitting assisted suicide/euthanasia ; how one group of people judging another group of people as candidates for elimination, is based on the false notion that a disabled life is ‘not worth living’; that so many of the deep moral questions raised by assisted suicide/euthanasia are not even considered in the contemporary impoverished public debate. (shrink)
This book is presumably a collection of essays delivered at a conference, though it's hard to say. There is no cover description and the editors' introduction, where this information might have been found, is missing from the volume (at least from my copy) in spite of being listed in the table of contents. A curious editorial slip. In fact, from an editorial perspective this book is a disaster. Not only is the format reminiscent of those camera ready volumes that jammed (...) our libraries in the late Eighties, when word processors began to spread and people started using them to produce entire books without knowing how to handle line spacing and hyphenation -- not to mention orphans and widows, footnotes, tabs, apostrophes, etc. There are also lots of typos, English infelicities, punctuation disorders. Obviously nobody checked the page proofs. There are even formulas that were not properly converted from the original files and have been printed with the infamous boxes in place of the logical symbols. Publishing academic books in analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly difficult and not every publisher can afford serious copy editing. But charging 74 euros for such a poorly manufactured item is appalling. (shrink)
In her study Anarchism and Education, Judith Suissa argues that anarchist learning entails a constant interplay of tensions arising from emergent desires to transform society and the challenges society poises for realizing them. This is inescapable because a critical attitude is integral to an anarchist process of learning, infusing it with creative license premised on the conviction that we need not accept things as they are, that learning is not only a space for understanding, but also enactment. My purpose is (...) to explore this dynamic in the work of graphic artist Kevin Pyle, an American-born artist with a substantive body of illustrated books and comics addressing a myriad of issues. I am interested... (shrink)
Kevin Olson's “When is the Time of Revolution” constructs a critical genealogy of revolutionary temporality and how it creates political normativity. This comment evaluates Olson's discussion of revolutionary temporality against the empirical historical archive of modern revolutions in order to argue that we should also be sensitive to the multiple, overlapping, and competing temporalities that not only normativize revolution, but are in fact the terrain of revolutionary struggle.
Kevin Schilbrack’s manifesto Philosophy and the Study of Religions is an important foundational work for two fields: philosophy of religion and religious studies. The philosophers of religion sometimes appear to better fit Donald Wiebe’s characterization of religionists as crypto-theologians. They seem only really concerned with Christian theology or at the most theism, despite the fact that Christianity only accounts for about a third of what we could call religious people on the planet and theism only about half. They seem to (...) have taken the part of Mr. Thwackum, the Divine, at least in part against Mr. Square, the Philosopher, in that wonderful dispute in Henry Fielding’s The Adventures of Tom Jones:Thwackum replied, this was arguing with the usual malice of all the enemies to the true Church. He said, he doubted not but that all the infidels and hereticks in the world would, if they could, confine honour to their own absurd errors and damnable deceptions; ‘but honour,’ he says, ‘is .. (shrink)