This paper develops a novel problem for representationalism (also known as "intentionalism"), a popular contemporary account of perception. We argue that representationalism is incompatible with supervaluationism, the leading contemporary account of vagueness. The problem generalizes to naive realism and related views, which are also incompatible with supervaluationism.
This dissertation explores several illuminating points of intersection between the philosophy of perception and the philosophy of vagueness. Among other things, I argue: (i) that it is entirely unhelpful to theorize about perception or consciousness using Nagelian "what it's like" talk; (ii) that a popular recent account of perceptual phenomenology (representationalism) conflicts with our best theory of vagueness (supervaluationism); (iii) that there are no vague properties, for Evans-esque reasons; (iv) that it is impossible to insert "determinacy" operators into representationalism in (...) a truth-preserving manner; and (v) that strong versions of dualism are unable to accommodate the possibility of borderline consciousness. (shrink)
The philosophical tradition of liberal political thought has come to see tolerance as a crucial element of a liberal political order. However, while much has been made of the value of toleration, little work has been done on individual-level motivations for tolerant behavior. In this article, we seek to develop an account of the rational motivations for toleration and of where the limits of toleration lie. We first present a very simple model of rational motivations for toleration. Key to this (...) model is an application of David Ricardo’s model of trade to thinking about toleration. This model supports the claim that we always have reasons to be as tolerant as possible. We then explore why we do not always see tolerant attitudes in the actual world, and point to some potential preconditions for toleration that the initial model does not capture. Subsequently, we examine a more detailed model that allows us to investigate more carefully the conditions under which tolerant behavior can be rewarded. We conclude by arguing that a consideration of self-interested motivations for toleration is essential to the success of a robust theory of toleration for a diverse society, but that even this approach has its limitations. (shrink)
Ryan Wasserman explores a range of fascinating puzzles raised by the possibility of time travel, with entertaining examples from physics, science fiction, and popular culture, and he draws out their implications for our understanding of time, tense, freedom, fatalism, causation, counterfactuals, laws of nature, persistence, change, and mereology.
What is the relation between a clay statue andthe lump of clay from which it is made? According to the defender of the standardaccount, the statue and the lump are distinct,enduring objects that share the same spatiallocation whenever they both exist. Suchobjects also seem to share the samemicrophysical structure whenever they bothexist. This leads to the standard objection tothe standard account: if the statue and thelump of clay have the same microphysicalstructure whenever they both exist, how canthey differ in their (...) de re temporalproperties, de re modal properties and soon? In this paper I develop amereological answer to this question – thestatue and the lump differ with respect totheir parts and this explains theirdifference with respect to de re temporalproperties, de re modal properties andthe like. (shrink)
Ted Warfield has argued that if Ockhamism and Molinism offer different responses to the problems of foreknowledge and prophecy, it is the Molinist who is in trouble. I show here that this is not so – indeed, things may be quite the reverse.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is clearly illustrate this convergence and the prescriptive recommendations that such documents entail. There is a significant amount of research into the ethical consequences of artificial intelligence. This is reflected by many outputs across academia, policy and the media. Many of these outputs aim to provide guidance to particular stakeholder groups. It has recently been shown that there is a large degree of convergence in terms of the principles upon which these guidance documents are (...) based. Despite this convergence, it is not always clear how these principles are to be translated into practice. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, the authors move beyond the high-level ethical principles that are common across the AI ethics guidance literature and provide a description of the normative content that is covered by these principles. The outcome is a comprehensive compilation of normative requirements arising from existing guidance documents. This is not only required for a deeper theoretical understanding of AI ethics discussions but also for the creation of practical and implementable guidance for developers and users of AI. Findings In this paper, the authors therefore provide a detailed explanation of the normative implications of existing AI ethics guidelines but directed towards developers and organisational users of AI. The authors believe that the paper provides the most comprehensive account of ethical requirements in AI currently available, which is of interest not only to the research and policy communities engaged in the topic but also to the user communities that require guidance when developing or deploying AI systems. Originality/value The authors believe that they have managed to compile the most comprehensive document collecting existing guidance which can guide practical action but will hopefully also support the consolidation of the guidelines landscape. The authors’ findings should also be of academic interest and inspire philosophical research on the consistency and justification of the various normative statements that can be found in the literature. (shrink)
Why was Leibniz so fascinated by Chinese philosophy and culture? What specific forms did his interest take? How did his interest compare with the relative indifference of his philosophical contemporaries and near-contemporaries such as Spinoza and Locke? In this highly original book, Franklin Perkins examines Leibniz's voluminous writings on the subject and suggests that his interest was founded in his own philosophy: the nature of his metaphysical and theological views required him to take Chinese thought seriously. Leibniz was unusual (...) in holding enlightened views about the intellectual profitability of cultural exchange, and in a broad-ranging discussion Perkins charts these views, their historical context, and their social and philosophical ramifications. The result is an illuminating philosophical study which also raises wider questions about the perils and rewards of trying to understand and learn from a different culture. (shrink)
This book explores the constraints which justice imposes on immigration policy. Like liberal nationalists, Ryan Pevnick argues that citizens have special claims to the institutions of their states. However, the source of these special claims is located in the citizenry's ownership of state institutions rather than in a shared national identity. Citizens contribute to the construction and maintenance of institutions, and as a result they have special claims to these institutions and a limited right to exclude outsiders. Pevnick shows (...) that the resulting view justifies a set of policies - including support for certain types of guest worker programs - which is distinct from those supported by either liberal nationalists or advocates of open borders. His book provides a framework for considering a number of connected topics including issues related to self-determination, the scope of distributive justice and the significance of shared national identity. (shrink)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and John Dewey were both pragmatists who recognized the need to restructure the environment to bring about social progress. Gilman was even more of a pragmatist than Dewey, however, because she addressed problems he did not identify-much less confront. Her philosophy is in accord with the spirit of Dewey's work but in important ways, it is more consistent, more comprehensive and more radical than his instrumentalism.
The emerging discipline of Machine Ethics is concerned with creating autonomous artificial moral agents that perform ethically significant actions out in the world. Recently, Wallach and Allen (Moral machines: teaching robots right from wrong, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009) and others have argued that a virtue-based moral framework is a promising tool for meeting this end. However, even if we could program autonomous machines to follow a virtue-based moral framework, there are certain pressing ethical issues that need to be taken (...) into account, prior to the implementation and development stages. Here I examine whether the creation of virtuous autonomous machines is morally permitted by the central tenets of virtue ethics. It is argued that the creation of such machines violates certain tenets of virtue ethics, and hence that the creation and use of those machines is impermissible. One upshot of this is that, although virtue ethics may have a role to play in certain near-term Machine Ethics projects (e.g. designing systems that are sensitive to ethical considerations), machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for a moral framework to implement into their autonomous artificial moral agents, Wallach and Allen’s claims notwithstanding. (shrink)
In this article, robust evidence is provided showing that an individual’s moral character can contribute to the aesthetic quality of their appearance, as well as being beautiful or ugly itself. It is argued that this evidence supports two main conclusions. First, moral beauty and ugliness reside on the inside, and beauty and ugliness are not perception-dependent as a result; and, second, aesthetic perception is affected by moral information, and thus moral beauty and ugliness are on the outside as well.
Very diverse societies pose real problems for Rawlsian models of public reason. This is for two reasons: first, public reason is unable accommodate diverse perspectives in determining a regulative ideal. Second, regulative ideals are unable to respond to social change. While models based on public reason focus on the justification of principles, this book suggests that we need to orient our normative theories more toward discovery and experimentation. The book develops a unique approach to social contract theory that focuses on (...) diverse perspectives. It offers a new moral stance that author Ryan Muldoon calls, "The View From Everywhere," which allows for substantive, fundamental moral disagreement. This stance is used to develop a bargaining model in which agents can cooperate despite seeing different perspectives. Rather than arguing for an ideal contract or particular principles of justice, Muldoon outlines a procedure for iterated revisions to the rules of a social contract. It expands Mill's conception of experiments in living to help form a foundational principle for social contract theory. By embracing this kind of experimentation, we move away from a conception of justice as an end state, and toward a conception of justice as a trajectory. (shrink)
"When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his ninety-third year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his eighties." "Professor Alan Ryan offers new insights into Dewey's many achievements, his character, and the era in which his (...) scholarship had a remarkable impact. He investigates the question of what an American audience wanted from a public philosopher - from an intellectual figure whose credentials came from his academic standing as a philosopher, but whose audience was much wider than an academic one." "Ryan argues that Dewey's "religious" outlook illuminates his politics much more vividly than it does the politics of religion as ordinarily conceived. He examines how Dewey fit into the American radical tradition, how he was and was not like his transatlantic contemporaries, why he could for so long practice a form of philosophical inquiry that became unfashionable in England after 1914 at the latest."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)
From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...) the normal functioning of the belief formation system (e.g., delusions) and those arising in the normal course of that system's operations (e.g., beliefs based on incomplete or inaccurate information). The former are instances of biological dysfunction or pathology, reflecting limitations of evolutionary design. Although the latter category includes undesirable (but tolerable) by-products of limited design, our quarry is a contentious subclass of this category: misbeliefs best conceived as design features. Such misbeliefs, unlike occasional lucky falsehoods, would have been systematically adaptive in the evolutionary past. Such misbeliefs, furthermore, would not be reducible to judicious action policies. Finally, such misbeliefs would have been adaptive in themselves, constituting more than mere by-products of adaptively biased misbelief-producing systems. We explore a range of potential candidates for evolved misbelief, and conclude that, of those surveyed, only positive illusions meet our criteria. (shrink)
I offer the first sustained defence of the claim that ugliness is constituted by the disposition to disgust. I advance three main lines of argument in support of this thesis. First, ugliness and disgustingness tend to lie in the same kinds of things and properties (the argument from ostensions). Second, the thesis is better placed than all existing accounts to accommodate the following facts: ugliness is narrowly and systematically distributed in a heterogenous set of things, ugliness is sometimes enjoyed, and (...) ugliness sits opposed to beauty across a neutral midpoint (the argument from proposed intensions). And third, ugliness and disgustingness function in the same way in both giving rise to representations of contamination (the argument from the law of contagion). In making these arguments, I show why prominent objections to the thesis do not succeed, cast light on some of the artistic functions of ugliness, and, in addition, demonstrate why a dispositional account of disgustingness is correct, and present a novel problem for warrant-based accounts of disgustingness (the ‘too many reasons’ problem). (shrink)
In this paper we argue that there is a kind of moral disagreement that survives the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. While a veil of ignorance eliminates sources of disagreement stemming from self-interest, it does not do anything to eliminate deeper sources of disagreement. These disagreements not only persist, but transform their structure once behind the veil of ignorance. We consider formal frameworks for exploring these differences in structure between interested and disinterested disagreement, and argue that consensus models offer us a (...) solution concept for disagreements behind the veil of ignorance. (shrink)
In this article, an account of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system is offered, according to which the contamination system can generate contamination representations in circumstances that do not satisfy the norms of contamination, including in cases of mere visual contact with disgusting objects. It is argued that this architecture is important for explaining the content, logic, distribution, and persistence of maternal impression beliefs—according to which foetal defects are caused by the pregnant mother’s experiences and actions—which in turn provide (...) important evidence of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system. (shrink)
Business and Economic textbooks warn against committing the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you, rationally, shouldn't let unrecoverable costs influence your current decisions. In this paper, I argue that this isn't, in general, correct. Sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to wish to carry on with a project because of the resources you've already sunk into it. The reason? Given that we're social creatures, it's not unreasonable to care about wanting to act in such a way so that a plausible story can be told (...) about you according to which your diachronic behavior doesn't reveal that you've suffered, what I will call, diachronic misfortune. Acting so as to hide that you've suffered diachronic misfortune involves striving to make yourself easily understood while disguising any shortcomings that might damage your reputation as a desirable teammate. And making yourself easily understood to others while hiding your flaws will, sometimes, put pressure on you to honor sunk costs. (shrink)
This wide-ranging history of ancient Greek political thought shows what ancient political texts might mean to citizens of the twenty-first century. A provocative and wide-ranging history of ancient Greek political thought Demonstrates what ancient Greek works of political philosophy might mean to citizens of the twenty-first century Examines an array of poetic, historical, and philosophical texts in an effort to locate Greek political thought in its cultural context Pays careful attention to the distinctively ancient connections between politics and ethics Structured (...) around key themes such as the origins of political thought, political self-definition, revolutions in political thought, democracy and imperialism. (shrink)
The paths or ways to the transcendental reduction are a pivotal phenomenological notion in Husserl’s philosophy. The metaphor of path, in fact, alludes to the demonstrative proofs of transcendental phenomenology. Nonetheless, Husserlian scholarship has not yet been able to end the disputes surrounding this topic, and as a result, competing interpretations continue to prevail. Since existing theories about the paths have not yet been cataloged or analyzed in their global context, I intend to classify the main existing theories about the (...) paths and evaluate the trend established by Iso Kern. Thus, this paper answers the following questions: how many kinds of theories about the paths are there? And, how plausible is the trend and approach initiated by Kern? In order to evaluate each theory, I will compare the interpretation with its exemplary cases. The key contribution of this investigation is therefore twofold: to distinguish with unequivocal concepts the two main trends of hermeneutical theories in play and to evaluate the plausibility of the aforementioned Kernian one. The paper also attempts to show that the hermeneutical approach initiated by Kern has no contextual examples for its conceptual scheme and should consequently be abandoned in favor of an alternative solution. (shrink)
In epistemology and the philosophy of science, there has been an increasing interest in the social aspects of belief acquisition. In particular, there has been a focus on the division of cognitive labor in science. This essay explores several different models of the division of cognitive labor, with particular focus on Kitcher, Strevens, Weisberg and Muldoon, and Zollman. The essay then shows how many of the benefits of the division of cognitive labor flow from leveraging agent diversity. The essay concludes (...) by examining the benefits and burdens of diversity, particularly in the evaluative diversity that can be found in interdisicplinary science. (shrink)
Scientific research is almost always conducted by communities of scientists of varying size and complexity. Such communities are effective, in part, because they divide their cognitive labor: not every scientist works on the same project. Philip Kitcher and Michael Strevens have pioneered efforts to understand this division of cognitive labor by proposing models of how scientists make decisions about which project to work on. For such models to be useful, they must be simple enough for us to understand their dynamics, (...) but faithful enough to reality that we can use them to analyze real scientific communities. To satisfy the first requirement, we must employ idealizations to simplify the model. The second requirement demands that these idealizations not be so extreme that we lose the ability to describe real-world phenomena. This paper investigates the status of the assumptions that Kitcher and Strevens make in their models, by first inquiring whether they are reasonable representations of reality, and then by checking the models' robustness against weakenings of these assumptions. To do this, we first argue against the reality of the assumptions, and then develop a series of agent-based simulations to systematically test their effects on model outcomes. We find that the models are not robust against weakenings of these idealizations. In fact we find that under certain conditions, this can lead to the model predicting outcomes that are qualitatively opposite of the original model outcomes. (shrink)
What role should the physician's conscience play in the practice of medicine? Much controversy has surrounded the question, yet little attention has been paid to the possibility that disputants are operating with contrasting definitions of the conscience. To illustrate this divergence, we contrast definitions stemming from Abrahamic religions and those stemming from secular moral tradition. Clear differences emerge regarding what the term conscience conveys, how the conscience should be informed, and what the consequences are for violating one's conscience. Importantly, these (...) basic disagreements underlie current controversies regarding the role of the clinician's conscience in the practice of medicine. Consequently participants in ongoing debates would do well to specify their definitions of the conscience and the reasons for and implications of those definitions. This specification would allow participants to advance a more philosophically and theologically robust conversation about the means and ends of medicine. (shrink)
The debate over persistence is often cast as a disagreement between two rival theories—the perdurantist theory that objects persist through time by having different temporal parts at different times, and the endurantist theory that objects persist through time by being wholly present at different times. This way of framing the debate over persistence involves both an important insight and an important error. Unfortunately, the error is often embraced and the insight is often ignored. This paper aims to correct both of (...) these mistakes, and thus clarify the debate over persistence. (shrink)
The lottery paradox has been discussed widely. The standard solution to the lottery paradox is that a ticket holder is justified in believing each ticket will lose but the ticket holder is also justified in believing not all of the tickets will lose. If the standard solution is true, then we get the paradoxical result that it is possible for a person to have a justified set of beliefs that she knows is inconsistent. In this paper, I argue that the (...) best solution to the paradox is that a ticket holder is not justified in believing any of the tickets are losers. My solution avoids the paradoxical result of the standard solution. The solution I defend has been hastily rejected by other philosophers because it appears to lead to skepticism. I defend my solution from the threat of skepticism and give two arguments in favor of my conclusion that the ticket holder in the original lottery case is not justified in believing that his ticket will lose. (shrink)
: In recent literature supporting a hybrid view between metaethical cognitivism and noncognitivist expressivism, much has been made of an analogy between moral terms and pejoratives. The analogy is based on the plausible idea that pejorative slurs are used to express both a descriptive belief and a negative attitude. The analogy looks promising insofar as it encourages the kinds of features we should want from a hybrid expressivist view for moral language. But the analogy between moral terms and pejorative slurs (...) is also problematic. In this paper, I argue for two main ways in which we should distinguish between two different types of pejorative terms: slurs, on the one hand, and what I call general pejorative terms, on the other. I examine the problems with the analogy between slurs and moral terms and conclude that general pejorative terms like ‘jerk’ are a better candidate on which to model the potential dual-use behavior of moral terms. So if hybrid theorists are looking for a dual-use model for moral language, they should be careful to base their analogies on general pejoratives, rather than slurs. (shrink)
After surveying the strengths and weaknesses of several well-known approaches to wisdom, I argue for a new theory of wisdom that focuses on being epistemically, practically, and morally rational. My theory of wisdom, The Deep Rationality Theory of Wisdom, claims that a wise person is a person who is rational and who is deeply committed to increasing his or her level of rationality. This theory is a departure from theories of wisdom that demand practical and/or theoretical knowledge. The Deep Rationality (...) Theory salvages all that is attractive, and avoids all that is problematic, about theories of wisdom that require wise people to be knowledgeable. (shrink)
The problem : commerce and corruption -- Smith's defense of commercial society -- What is corruption? : political and psychological perspectives -- Smith on corruption : from the citizen to the human being -- The solution : moral philosophy -- Liberal individualism and virtue ethics -- Social science vs. moral philosophy -- Types of moral philosophy : natural jurisprudence vs. ethics -- Types of ethics : utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics -- Virtue ethics : modern, ancient, and Smithean -- Interlude (...) : the what and the how of TMS VI -- The what : Sith's "practical system of morality" -- The how : rhetoric, audience, and the methods of practical ethics -- The how : the ascent of self-love in three stages -- Prudence or commercial virtue -- The challenge : from praise to prudence -- Educating the vain : fathers and sons -- Self-interest rightly understood -- The advantages and disadvantages of prudence -- Magnanimity or classical virtue -- The problems of prudence and the therapy of magnanimity -- Up from individualism : desert, praiseworthiness, conscience -- Modernity, antiquity, and magnanimity -- The dangers of magnanimity -- Beneficence or christian virtue -- Between care and caritas -- Benevolence and beneficence and the human telos -- The character and purposes of the wise and virtuous man -- Wisdom and virtue and Adam Smith's apology -- Epilogue: The "economy of greatness". (shrink)
ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and platonistic (...) conceptions of previous accounts which I argue fall prey to this problem. Specifically, I proffer a structuralist account of linguistic items, along the lines of structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics [Shapiro, S. 1997. Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology. Oxford University Press], in which words are defined in part as positions in larger linguistic structures. I then follow Szabò [1999. “Expressions and Their Representations.” The Philosophical Quarterly 49 : 145–163] and Parsons [1990. “The Structuralist View of Mathematical Objects.” Synthese 84: 303–346] in further defining words as quasi-concrete objects according to a representation relation. This view aims for general correspondence with contemporary generative linguistic approaches to the study of language. (shrink)
That the successful development of fully autonomous artificial moral agents (AMAs) is imminent is becoming the received view within artificial intelligence research and robotics. The discipline of Machines Ethics, whose mandate is to create such ethical robots, is consequently gaining momentum. Although it is often asked whether a given moral framework can be implemented into machines, it is never asked whether it should be. This paper articulates a pressing challenge for Machine Ethics: To identify an ethical framework that is both (...) implementable into machines and whose tenets permit the creation of such AMAs in the first place. Without consistency between ethics and engineering, the resulting AMAs would not be genuine ethical robots, and hence the discipline of Machine Ethics would be a failure in this regard. Here this challenge is articulated through a critical analysis of the development of Kantian AMAs, as one of the leading contenders for being the ethic that can be implemented into machines. In the end, however, the development of Kantian artificial moral machines is found to be anti-Kantian. The upshot of all this is that machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for an ethic to implement into their machines. (shrink)
Michael Ryan (d. 1840) remains one of the most mysterious figures in the history of medical ethics, despite the fact that he was the only British physician during the middle years of the 19th century to write about ethics in a systematic way. Michael Ryan’s Writings on Medical Ethics offers both an annotated reprint of his key ethical writings, and an extensive introductory essay that fills in many previously unknown details of Ryan’s life, analyzes the significance of (...) his ethical works, and places him within the historical trajectory of the field of medical ethics. (shrink)
The problem of temporary intrinsics is the problem of how persisting objects can have different intrinsic properties at different times. The relativizer responds to this problem by replacing ordinary intrinsic properties with relations to times. In this note, I identify and respond to three different objections to the relativizer's proposal, each of which can be traced to the work of David Lewis.
This paper explores the space of possibilities for public justification in morally diverse communities. Moral diversity is far more consequential than is typically appreciated, and as a result, we need to think more carefully about how our standard tools function in such environments. I argue that because of this diversity, public justification can be divorced from any claim of determinateness. Instead, we should focus our attention on procedures—in particular, what Rawls called cases of pure procedural justice. I use a modified (...) form of the procedure “I cut, you choose” to demonstrate how perspectival diversity can make what looks like a simple procedure quite complex in practice. I use this to reframe disputes between classical liberal and contemporary liberal approaches to questions of public morality, arguing that classically liberal procedures, such as a reliance on the harm principle, can generate rather illiberal-looking outcomes when used in a morally diverse community. A seemingly less-principled approach, which simply balances burdens, appears to generate outcomes that look closer to what we would expect from classical liberalism. However, since both approaches are based on pure procedures that we can justify without reference to outcomes, it remains indeterminate which we ought to choose. (shrink)
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