Cultural appropriateness has become an important conceptual tool for health care professionals serving diverse patient populations. Physicians and other health care providers working in urban communities are increasingly challenged to provide care that is responsive to the health needs and beliefs of immigrants, refugees and other newcomers to mainstream health services. This paper argues that notions of cultural 'sensitivity' or 'competency' help health practitioners acknowledge professional and biomedical biases, but also risk dehistoricizing and hence disempowering newcomers by failing to recognize (...) culture as a dynamic process. Without attention to the ways in which newcomers actively produce culture and make sense of illness experience, health care workers ignore the contexts in which people. become ill and hence cannot act as healers. By presenting the case of one newcomer to the Canadian health care system, I argue that narratives provide a valuable tool for health practitioners to understand how newcomers actively engage and come to terms with illness, without defining them as determined by a set of cultural beliefs or practices. (shrink)
An important work in the debate between materialists and dualists, the public correspondence between Anthony Collins and Samuel Clarke provided the framework for arguments over consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century Britain. In Clarke's view, mind and consciousness are so unified that they cannot be compounded into wholes or divided into parts, so mind and consciousness must be distinct from matter. Collins, by contrast, was a perceptive advocate of a materialist account of mind, who defended the possibility that thinking (...) and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. Appendices include philosophical writings that influenced, and responded to, the correspondence. (shrink)
This work presents the basic arguments and fundamental themes of the political and moral thought of the seventeenth-century philosopher, Samuel Pufendorf--one of the most widely read natural lawyers of the pre-Kantian era. Selections from the texts of Pufendorf's two major works, Elements of Universal Jurisprudence and The Law of Nature and of Nations, have been brought together to make Pufendorf's moral and political thought more accessible. The selections included have received a new English translation, the first for both works (...) in roughly sixty years. The editor, a political scientist, and the translator, a philosopher, have developed a volume that is comprehensive and representative of Pufendorf's thought without being repetitive, fragmented, or obscure. (shrink)
Perceptual systems respond to proximal stimuli by forming mental representations of distal stimuli. A central goal for the philosophy of perception is to characterize the representations delivered by perceptual systems. It may be that all perceptual representations are in some way proprietarily perceptual and differ from the representational format of thought (Dretske 1981; Carey 2009; Burge 2010; Block ms.). Or it may instead be that perception and cognition always trade in the same code (Prinz 2002; Pylyshyn 2003). This paper rejects (...) both approaches in favor of perceptual pluralism, the thesis that perception delivers a multiplicity of representational formats, some proprietary and some shared with cognition. The argument for perceptual pluralism marshals a wide array of empirical evidence in favor of iconic (i.e., image-like, analog) representations in perception as well as discursive (i.e., language-like, digital) perceptual object representations. (shrink)
This article seeks to demonstrate the influence of J. G. Fichte's philosophy on Søren Kierkegaard's theory of the self as he develops it in The Sickness unto Death and to interpret his theory of the self as a religious critique of autonomy. Following Michelle Kosch, it argues that Kierkegaard's theory of the self was developed in part as a critique of idealist conceptions of agency. Moreover, Kierkegaard's view of agency provides a powerful way of understanding human freedom and finitude that (...) has implications for contemporary debates about autonomy, normativity, and agency. (shrink)
Samuel Kerstein’s recent (2013) How To Treat Persons is an ambitious attempt to develop a new, broadly Kantian account of what it is to treat others as mere means and what it means to act in accordance with others’ dignity. His project is explicitly nonfoundationalist: his interpretation stands or falls on its ability to accommodate our pretheoretic intuitions, and he does an admirable job of handling carefully a range of well fleshed out and sometimes subtle examples. In what follows, (...) I shall give a quick summary of the chapters and then say two good things about the book and one critical thing. (shrink)
Dispositionalism about belief has had a recent resurgence. In this paper we critically evaluate a popular dispositionalist program pursued by Eric Schwitzgebel. Then we present an alternative: a psychofunctional, representational theory of belief. This theory of belief has two main pillars: that beliefs are relations to structured mental representations, and that the relations are determined by the generalizations under which beliefs are acquired, stored, and changed. We end by describing some of the generalizations regarding belief acquisition, storage, and change.
ABSTRACTThis paper provides a naturalistic account of inference. We posit that the core of inference is constituted by bare inferential transitions, transitions between discursive mental representations guided by rules built into the architecture of cognitive systems. In further developing the concept of BITs, we provide an account of what Boghossian  calls ‘taking’—that is, the appreciation of the rule that guides an inferential transition. We argue that BITs are sufficient for implicit taking, and then, to analyse explicit taking, we posit (...) rich inferential transitions, which are transitions that the subject is disposed to endorse. (shrink)
This paper rereads David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as dramatising a distinctive, naturalistic account of toleration. I have two purposes in mind: first, to complete and ground Hume's fragmentary explicit discussion of toleration; second, to unearth a potentially attractive alternative to more recent, Rawlsian approaches to toleration. To make my case, I connect Dialogues and the problem of toleration to the wider themes of naturalism, scepticism and their relation in Hume's thought, before developing a new interpretation of Dialogues part (...) 12 as political drama. Finally, I develop the Humean theory of toleration I have discovered by comparison between Rawls's and Hume's strategies for justification of a tolerant political regime. (shrink)
ABSTRACTA conditional is natural if it fulfils the three following conditions. It coincides with the classical conditional when restricted to the classical values T and F; it satisfies the Modus Ponens; and it is assigned a designated value whenever the value assigned to its antecedent is less than or equal to the value assigned to its consequent. The aim of this paper is to provide a ‘bivalent’ Belnap-Dunn semantics for all natural implicative expansions of Kleene's strong 3-valued matrix with (...) two designated elements. (shrink)
Most theories of concepts take concepts to be structured bodies of information used in categorization and inference. This paper argues for a version of atomism, on which concepts are unstructured symbols. However, traditional Fodorian atomism is falsified by polysemy and fails to provide an account of how concepts figure in cognition. This paper argues that concepts are generative pointers, that is, unstructured symbols that point to memory locations where cognitively useful bodies of information are stored and can be deployed to (...) resolve polysemy. The notion of generative pointers allows for unresolved ambiguity in thought and provides a basis for conceptual engineering. (shrink)
Short‐term memory in vision is typically thought to divide into at least two memory stores: a short, fragile, high‐capacity store known as iconic memory, and a longer, durable, capacity‐limited store known as visual working memory (VWM). This paper argues that iconic memory stores icons, i.e., image‐like perceptual representations. The iconicity of iconic memory has significant consequences for understanding consciousness, nonconceptual content, and the perception–cognition border. Steven Gross and Jonathan Flombaum have recently challenged the division between iconic memory and VWM by (...) arguing against the idea of capacity limits in favor of a flexible resource‐based model of short‐term memory. I argue that, while VWM capacity is probably governed by flexible resources rather than a sharp limit, the two memory stores should still be distinguished by their representational formats. Iconic memory stores icons, while VWM stores discursive (i.e., language‐like) representations. I conclude by arguing that this format‐based distinction between memory stores entails that prominent views about consciousness and the perception–cognition border will likely have to be revised. (shrink)
It is an orthodoxy in cognitive science that perception can occur unconsciously. Recently, Hakwan Lau, Megan Peters and Ian Phillips have argued that this orthodoxy may be mistaken. They argue that many purported cases of unconscious perception fail to rule out low degrees of conscious awareness while others fail to establish genuine perception. This paper presents a case of unconscious perception that avoids these problems. It also advances a general principle of ‘phenomenal coherence’ that can insulate some forms of evidence (...) for unconscious perception from the methodological critiques of Lau, Peters and Phillips. (shrink)
According to one important proposal, the difference between perception and cognition consists in the representational formats used in the two systems (Carey, 2009; Burge, 2010; Block, 2014). In particular, it is claimed that perceptual representations are iconic, or image-like, while cognitive representations are discursive, or language-like. Taking object perception as a test case, this paper argues on empirical grounds that it requires discursive label-like representations. These representations segment the perceptual field, continuously pick out objects despite changes in their features, and (...) abstractly represent high-level features, none of which appears possible for purely iconic representations. (shrink)
Reliabilism -- the view that a belief is justified iff it is produced by a reliable process -- is often characterized as a form of consequentialism. Recently, critics of reliabilism have suggested that, since a form of consequentialism, reliabilism condones a variety of problematic trade-offs, involving cases where someone forms an epistemically deficient belief now that will lead her to more epistemic value later. In the present paper, we argue that the relevant argument against reliabilism fails because it equivocates. While (...) there is a sense in which reliabilism is a kind of consequentialism, it is not of a kind on which we should expect problematic trade-offs. (shrink)
Epistemic Consequentialism Consequentialism is the view that, in some sense, rightness is to be understood in terms conducive to goodness. Much of the philosophical discussion concerning consequentialism has focused on moral rightness or obligation or normativity. But there is plausibly also epistemic rightness, epistemic obligation, and epistemic normativity. Epistemic rightness is often denoted with talk … Continue reading Consequentialism Epistemic →.
The question of whether perception is encapsulated from cognition has been a major topic in the study of perception in the past decade. One locus of debate concerns the role of attention. Some theorists argue that attention is a vehicle for widespread violations of encapsulation; others argue that certain forms of cognitively driven attention are compatible with encapsulation, especially if attention only modulates inputs. This paper argues for an extreme thesis: no effect of attention, whether on the inputs to perception (...) or on perceptual processing itself, constitutes a violation of the encapsulation of perception. (shrink)
Samuel Newlands presents a sweeping new interpretation of Spinoza's metaphysical system and the way in which his metaphysics shapes, and is shaped by, his moral program. Engaging with contemporary metaphysics and ethics, Newlands reveals just how exciting and vibrant Spinoza's philosophical outlook remains for philosophers today.
This paper is a sequel to ‘Belnap-Dunn semantics for natural implicative expansions of Kleene's strong three-valued matrix with two designated values’, where a ‘bivalent’ Belnap-Dunn semantics is provided for all the expansions referred to in its title. The aim of the present paper is to carry out a parallel investigation for all natural implicative expansions of Kleene's strong 3-valued matrix now with only one designated value.
In this superb introduction, Samuel Freeman introduces and assesses the main topics of Rawls' philosophy. Starting with a brief biography and charting the influences on Rawls' early thinking, he goes on to discuss the heart of Rawls's philosophy: his principles of justice and their practical application to society. Subsequent chapters discuss Rawls's theories of liberty, political and economic justice, democratic institutions, goodness as rationality, moral psychology, political liberalism, and international justice and a concluding chapter considers Rawls' legacy. Clearly setting (...) out the ideas in Rawls' masterwork, _A Theory of Justice_, Samuel Freeman also considers Rawls' other key works, including _Political Liberalism_ and _The Law of Peoples_. An invaluable introduction to this deeply influential philosopher, _Rawls_ is essential reading for anyone coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
According to a classic but nowadays discarded philosophical theory, perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual sensory states and full-blown propositional beliefs. This classical dual-component theory of experience is often taken to be obsolete. In particular, there seem to be cases in which perceptual experience and belief conflict: cases of known illusions, wherein subjects have beliefs contrary to the contents of their experiences. Modern dual-component theories reject the belief requirement and instead hold that perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual (...) sensory states and some other sort of conceptual state. The most popular modern dual-component theory appeals to sui generis propositional attitudes called ‘perceptual seemings’. This article argues that the classical dual-component theory has the resources to explain known illusions without giving up the claim that the conceptual components of experience are beliefs. The classical dual-component view, though often viewed as outdated and implausible, should be regarded as a serious contender in contemporary debates about the nature of perceptual experience. (shrink)
We shall be concerned with the modal logic BK—which is based on the Belnap–Dunn four-valued matrix, and can be viewed as being obtained from the least normal modal logic K by adding ‘strong negation’. Though all four values ‘truth’, ‘falsity’, ‘neither’ and ‘both’ are employed in its Kripke semantics, only the first two are expressible as terms. We show that expanding the original language of BK to include constants for ‘neither’ or/and ‘both’ leads to quite unexpected results. To be (...) more precise, adding one of these constants has the effect of eliminating the respective value at the level of BK-extensions. In particular, if one adds both of these, then the corresponding lattice of extensions turns out to be isomorphic to that of ordinary normal modal logics. (shrink)
We normally take it for granted that other people will live on after we ourselves have died. Even if we do not believe in a personal afterlife in which we survive our own deaths, we assume that there will be a "collective afterlife" in which humanity survives long after we are gone. Samuel Scheffler maintains that this assumption plays a surprising - indeed astonishing - role in our lives.
Two types of criticism are frequently levelled at the history of ideas in general and the history of political theory in particular. The first is very much that of historians practising in other fields; that it is written as a saga in which all the great deeds are done by entities which could not, in principle, do anything. In it, Science is always wrestling with Theology, Empiricism with Rationalism, monism with dualism, evolution with the Great Chain of Being, artifice with (...) nature, Politik with political moralism. Its protagonists are never humans, but only reified abstractions—or, if humans by inadvertence, humans only as the loci of these abstractions. The other charge, one more frequently levelled by philosophers, is that it is insensitive to the distinctive features of ideas, unconcerned with, or more often ineffectual in its concern with, truth and falsehood, its products more like intellectual seed-catalogues than adequate studies of thought In short it is characterised by a persistent tension between the threats of falsity in its history and incompetence in its philosophy. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to provide an accurate grounding-based formulation of positivism in the philosophy of law. I start off by discussing some simple formulations, based on the ideas that social facts are always either full or partial grounds of legal facts. I then raise a number of objections against these definitions: the full grounding proposal rules out possibilities that are compatible with positivism; the partial grounding proposal fails, on its own, to vindicate the distinctive role that is (...) played by social facts within positivist accounts of law. Then, I present a more adequate and insightful formulation capable of solving their problems, which crucially relies on a robust notion of a social enabler. Finally, I model inclusive and exclusive positivism on the resulting template, and set out the advantages of the ground-enablers proposal. (shrink)
We critically investigate and refine Dunn's relevant predication, his formalisation of the notion of a real property. We argue that Dunn's original dialectical moves presuppose some interpretation of relevant identity, though none is given. We then re-motivate the proposal in a broader context, considering the prospects for a classical formalisation of real properties, particularly of Geach's implicit distinction between real and ''Cambridge'' properties. After arguing against these prospects, we turn to relevance logic, re-motivating relevant predication with Geach's distinction (...) in mind. Finally we draw out some consequences of Dunn's proposal for the theory of identity in relevance logic. (shrink)
The notion of an object file figures prominently in recent work in philosophy and cognitive science. Object files play a role in theories of singular reference, object individuation, perceptual memory, and the development of cognitive capacities. However, the philosophical literature lacks a detailed, empirically informed theory of object files. In this paper, we articulate and defend the multiple-slots view, which specifies both the format and architecture of object files. We argue that object files represent in a non-iconic, propositional format that (...) incorporates discrete symbols for separate features. Moreover, we argue that features of separate categories are stored in separate memory slots within an object file. We supplement this view with a computational framework that characterizes how information about objects is stored and retrieved. (shrink)
First published Sat Apr 5, 2003; most recent substantive revision Wed Aug 22, 2018. -/- Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) was the most influential British philosopher in the generation between Locke and Berkeley. His philosophical interests were mostly in metaphysics, theology, and ethics.
Many contemporary epistemologists take rational inference to be a conscious action performed by the thinker (Boghossian 2014; 2018; Valaris 2014; Malmgren 2018). It is tempting to think that rational evaluability requires responsibility, which in turn requires conscious action. In that case, unconscious cognition involves merely associative or otherwise arational processing. This paper argues instead for deep rationalism: unconscious inference often exhibits the same rational status and richly structured logical character as conscious inference. The central case study is rationalization, in which (...) people shift their attitudes in logically structured, reason-responsive ways in response to evidence of their own incompetence or immorality. These attitude shifts are irrational in a way that reflects on the thinker. Thus rationally evaluable inference extends downward into the unconscious. Many take the sole aim of belief to be truth (Velleman 2000) or knowledge (Williamson 2000), but the prevalence of rationalization suggests that belief updating often aims instead at preserving our positive conceptions of ourselves—that is, belief updating is part of a psychological immune system (Gilbert 2006; Mandelbaum 2019). This paper argues that the psychological immune system comprises a suite of distinct cognitive mechanisms, some (ir)rational and some arational, which are united by a common function of avoiding the maladaptive predomination of negative affect and maintaining stable motivation. Other aspects of the psychological immune system include (i) a domain-general positive bias in evaluative attitudes and (ii) “terror management,” i.e., the systematic strengthening of meaning-conferring beliefs to avoid death anxiety. The multiplicity of processes underlying the psychological immune system point toward an irrational but adaptive function of cognition to keep us motivated in a world rife with negativity and death. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce canonical extensions of partially ordered sets and monotone maps and a corresponding discrete duality. We then use these to give a uniform treatment of completeness of relational semantics for various substructural logics with implication as the residual(s) of fusion.
Samuel Freeman was a student of the influential philosopher John Rawls, he has edited numerous books dedicated to Rawls' work and is arguably Rawls' foremost interpreter. This volume collects new and previously published articles by Freeman on Rawls. Among other things, Freeman places Rawls within historical context in the social contract tradition, and thoughtfully addresses criticisms of this position. Not only is Freeman a leading authority on Rawls, but he is an excellent thinker in his own right, and these (...) articles will be useful to a wide range of scholars interested in Rawls and the expanse of his influence. (shrink)
What are the features of a good scientific theory? Samuel Schindler's book revisits this classical question in the philosophy of science and develops new answers to it. Theoretical virtues matter not only for choosing theories 'to work with', but also for what we are justified in believing: only if the theories we possess are good ones can we be confident that our theories' claims about nature are actually correct. Recent debates have focussed rather narrowly on a theory's capacity to (...) predict new phenomena successfully, but Schindler argues that the justification for this focus is thin. He discusses several other theory properties such as testability, accuracy, and consistency, and highlights the importance of simplicity and coherence. Using detailed historical case studies and careful philosophical analysis, Schindler challenges the received view of theoretical virtues and advances arguments for the view that science uncovers reality through theory. (shrink)
Law being a derivative feature of reality, it exists in virtue of more fundamental things, upon which it depends. This raises the question of what is the relation of dependence that holds between law and its more basic determinants. The primary aim of this paper is to argue that grounding is that relation. We first make a positive case for this claim, and then we defend it from the potential objection that the relevant relation is rather rational determination (Greenberg 2004, (...) 2006). Against this challenge, we argue that the apparent objection is really no objection, for on its best understanding, rational determination turns out to actually be grounding. Finally, we clarify the framework for theories on law-determination that results from embracing our view; by way of illustration, we offer a ground-theoretic interpretation of Hartian positivism, and show how it can defuse an influential challenge to simple positivist accounts of law. (shrink)
Do grounding claims entail corresponding supervenience claims? The question matters, as a positive answer would help grounding theorists address worries that their hyperintensional primitive is obscure, and also increase the argumentative strategies that are available within ground-theoretic frameworks for metaphysical inquiry. Leuenberger (Erkenntnis 79:227–240, 2014a) argues for a negative response, by specifying some candidate principles of entailment and then claiming that each of them is subject to counterexamples. In this paper, I critically assess those principles and the objections he raises (...) against them, and advocate a novel entailment principle that overcomes all the problems suffered by those other principles. The principle I defend places a supervenience-based constraint on grounding claims, and secures a substantive connection between grounding and modality, weaker than necessitation. (shrink)
Rationalization through reduction of cognitive dissonance does not have the function of representational exchange. Instead, cognitive dissonance is part of the “psychological immune system” and functions to protect the self-concept against evidence of incompetence, immorality, and instability. The irrational forms of attitude change that protect the self-concept in dissonance reduction are useful primarily for maintaining motivation.