[We] perform the cultural work of fitting individuals into categories; yet the active labor that goes into making sex appear dichotomous is generally invisible to the broader society, or at least rarely remarked upon.Wording matters. It doesn’t just affect a person’s willingness to check the box and be counted—it also highlights the existence of those identities. Perhaps if we weren’t so regularly confronted with a simple choice—“Are you male or female?”—our thinking about gender wouldn’t be so binary.To be sure, there (...) are truths about bodies.Yet such truths can be expressed without the notion of sex.Contrary to what many people believe, the classificatory system by which sexes are neatly divided into the two... (shrink)
Is there a choice in sexual orientation? [Wilkerson, William S. : “Is It a Choice? Sexual Orientation as Interpretation”. In: Journal of Social Philosophy 40. No. 1, p. 97–116] argues that sexual desires require interpretation in order to be fully constituted, and therefore sexual orientation is at least partially constituted by choice. [Díaz-León, Esa : “Sexual Orientation as Interpretation? Sexual Desires, Concepts, and Choice”; In: Journal of Social Ontology] critically assesses Wilkerson’s argument, concluding that we still lack a good argument (...) for the claim that choice plays a role in sexual orientation. Here I examine Díaz-León’s response to Wilkerson. I introduce what I call the conceptual act theory of sexual orientation, and argue that even if interpretation were not necessary to constitute sexual desires, it is a necessary element to constitute what we call sexual orientation. However, I conclude that even if we agree that interpretation is involved in sexual orientation, it does not follow that there is a choice involved. (shrink)
In this note, my aim is to point out a phenomenon that has not received much attention; a phenomenon that, in my opinion, should not be overlooked in the professional practice of philosophy, especially within feminist efforts for social justice. I am referring to the way in which being a non-native speaker of English interacts with the practice of philosophy.1 There is evidence that non-native speakers are often perceived in prejudiced ways. Such prejudiced perception causes harm and, more importantly, constitutes (...) wrongdoing. As in other cases of prejudiced perception and biased behavior, it would be pretentious and misguided to expect philosophers and the philosophy profession to be free from this vice. There are good reasons to think that this prejudiced perception is bad not only for the persons who are perceived in such a way, but also for the profession, for it might make us miss important things that could improve philosophy in general. I claim we should be more sensitive to this phenomenon, both out of concern for justice, and for the sake of doing better philosophy. (shrink)
When proponents of cognitive externalism (CE) turn to empirical studies in cognitive science to put the framework to use and to assess its explanatory success, they typically refer to perception, memory, or motor coordination. In contrast, not much has been said about reasoning. One promising avenue to explore in this respect is the theory of bounded rationality (BR). To clarify the relationship between CE and BR, we criticize Andy Clark's understanding of BR, as well as his claim that BR does (...) not fit his version of CE. We then propose and defend a version of CE—“scaffolded cognition”—that is not committed to constitutive claims about the mind, but still differs from mainstream internalism. Finally, we analyze BR from our own CE perspective, thereby clarifying its vague appeals to the environment, and argue that cognitive internalism cannot explain important aspects of the BR program. (shrink)
Individuals can do a broad variety of things with their words and enjoy different degrees of this capacity. What moderates this capacity? And in cases in which this capacity is unjustly disrupted, what is a good explanation for it? These are the questions I address here. I propose that speech capacity, understood as the capacity to do things with your words, is a structural property importantly dependent on individuals' position in a social structure. My account facilitates a non-individualistic explanation of (...) cases in which speech capacity is undermined due to speaker's perceived social identity, e.g. episodes of silencing. Instead of appealing to interlocutors' implicit bias against speaker's identity, a structural approach refers to the positions interlocutors occupy in the social structure and the discursive conventions operating upon those positions. I articulate my proposal drawing on the notion of affordances. Each position within a social structure is associated with its own range of speech affordances. Thus, speech capacity is a function of the probability distribution of speech affordances across positions in the structure. (shrink)
We propose an externalist understanding of sex that builds upon extended and distributed approaches to cognition, and contributes to building a more just, diversity-sensitive society. Current sex categorization practices according to the female/male dichotomy are not only inaccurate and incoherent, but they also ground moral and political pressures that harm and oppress people. We argue that a new understanding of sex is due, an understanding that would acknowledge the variability and, most important, the flexibility of sex properties, as well as (...) the moral and political meaning of sex categorization. We propose an externalist account of sex, elaborating on extended and distributed approaches to cognition that capitalize on the natural capacity of organisms to couple with environmental resources. We introduce the notion of extended sex, and argue that properties relevant for sex categorization are neither exclusively internal to the individual skin, nor fixed. Finally, we spell out the potential of extended sex to support an active defense of diversity and an intervention against sex-based discrimination. (shrink)
This paper builds upon Mary Kate McGowan’s analysis of the mechanisms of harm in conversations (McGowan 2004; 2009). McGowan describes how a speaker’s intervention might constitute harm by enacting what is permissible to do in the conversation thereafter. We expand McGowan’s analysis in two ways: first, we use her account to argue for the potential of interlocutor’s silence, not only speaker’s intervention, to enact harm; second, we introduce a new party into the picture: observers of the conversation. We propose that (...) not only interlocutors who contribute to harm through action, but also those who do so by omission are morally responsible for that harm. We focus on one aspect of conversations: introduction of presuppositions. We argue that when the presupposition is morally problematic (e.g., sexist, ableist, racist, homo-, trans- or xeno-phobic), interlocutors have a moral responsibility to block it. This responsibility comes in degrees, and, importantly, depends on whether the interlocutor’s speech capacity is diminished by the harmful presupposition (i.e. whether the interlocutor is being silenced). Unlike common approaches to harm in speech, which take the unit of analysis to be the speaker-interlocutor relationship, we take as unit of analysis the relationship between the pair speaker-interlocutor and an observer. Problematic presuppositions introduced in conversations can harm observers overhearing these conversations (as well society as a whole), and prevention of such harm motivates our proposal for attribution of responsibility to interlocutors. We proceed as follows. First we review the dynamics of presupposition introduction. Second, we briefly introduce McGowan’s analysis of conversational pragmatics, subscribing to her account that some conversational moves constitute a special type of harm related to oppression, and outline a taxonomy of the pathways through which harm can be inflicted upon observers and the society as a whole. In the third part we articulate our argument that in the cases of presupposition introduction considered here, interlocutors are not merely allowing harm, but actively doing it, and put forward our proposal for responsibility attribution. Finally, we address potential objections, and situate our proposal within a broader project to fight oppressive speech. (shrink)
This paper brings feminist public health ethics and feminist analytic tools to bear on mainstream medical research. Specifically, it uses these approaches to call attention to several problems associated with “The Placenta Harbors a Unique Microbiome,” a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine. We point out the potential negative consequences these problems have for both women’s health and their autonomy.Our paper has two parts. We begin by discussing the study, which examines the composition of the placental microbiome, that is (...) to say, the communities of microorganisms that live in the placenta. Among other things, this study considers two different relations: a correlation.. (shrink)
This study describes the methodology used by Marcos Y. Lopez of the Centro Escolar University in developing and validating The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test. The test is a multi-aspect general-knowledge critical thinking test designed for Filipino students in tertiary level. It uses Ennis’s conception of critical thinking in the development of test items. The use of verbal reports of thinking to establish validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking test is based on the study by Norris in validating his co-authored (...) Test on Appraising Observations. Verbal reports of thinking are useful in establishing validity and fairness of multiple-choice critical thinking tests for they provide evidence to judge whether good thinking is in general associated with choosing answers credited by the key as correct and poor thinking is associated with choosing unkeyed answers . The eight processes employed in developing and validating this multiple-choice critical thinking test are as follows: test conceptualization, development of a test plan, development of test items, face and content validation of the test, revision of the test items, pre try-out of the test, actual try-out of the test, and construct validation of the test using verbal reports of thinking. The CEU-Lopez Critical Thinking Test consists of 87 items that focus on five aspects of critical thinking: deduction, credibility judgment, assumption identification, induction, and meaning. (shrink)
We explore the distinctive characteristics of Mexico's society, politics and history that impacted the establishment of genetics in Mexico, as a new disciplinary field that began in the early 20th century and was consolidated and institutionalized in the second half. We identify about three stages in the institutionalization of genetics in Mexico. The first stage can be characterized by Edmundo Taboada, who was the leader of a research program initiated during the Cárdenas government (1934-1940), which was primarily directed towards improving (...) the condition of small Mexican farmers. Taboada is the first Mexican post-graduate investigator in phytotechnology and phytopathology, trained at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota, in 1932 and 1933, respectively. He was the first investigator to teach plant genetics at the National School of Agriculture and wrote the first textbook of general genetics, Genetics Notes, in 1938. Taboada's most important single genetics contribution was the production of "stabilized" corn varieties. The extensive exile of Spanish intellectuals to Mexico, after the end of Spain's Civil War (1936-1939), had a major influence in Mexican science and characterizes the second stage. The three main personalities contributing to Mexican genetics are Federico Bonet de Marco and Bibiano Fernández Osorio Tafall, at the National School of Biological Sciences, and José Luis de la Loma y Oteyza, at the Chapingo Agriculture School. The main contribution of the Spanish exiles to the introduction of genetics in Mexico concerned teaching. They introduced in several universities genetics as a distinctive discipline within the biology curriculum and wrote genetics text books and manuals. The third stage is identified with Alfonso León de Garay, who founded the Genetics and Radiobiology Program in 1960 within the National Commission of Nuclear Energy, which had been founded in 1956. The Genetics and Radiobiology Program rapidly became a disciplinary program, for it embraced research, teaching, and training of academics and technicians. The Mexican Genetics Society, created by de Garay in 1966, and the development of strains and cultures for genetics research were important activities. One of de Garay's key requirements was the compulsory training of the Program's scientists for at least one or two years in the best universities of the United States and Europe. De Garay's role in the development of Mexican genetics was fundamental. His broad vision encompassed the practice of genetics in all its manifestations. (shrink)
Why does social injustice exist? What role, if any, do implicit biases play in the perpetuation of social inequalities? Individualistic approaches to these questions explain social injustice as the result of individuals’ preferences, beliefs, and choices. For example, they explain racial injustice as the result of individuals acting on racial stereotypes and prejudices. In contrast, structural approaches explain social injustice in terms of beyond-the-individual features, including laws, institutions, city layouts, and social norms. Often these two approaches are seen as competitors. (...) Framing them as competitors suggests that only one approach can win and that the loser offers worse explanations of injustice. In this essay, we explore each approach and compare them. Using implicit bias as an example, we argue that the relationship between individualistic and structural approaches is more complicated than it may first seem. Moreover, we contend that each approach has its place in analyses of injustice and raise the possibility that they can work together—synergistically—to produce deeper explanations of social injustice. If so, the approaches may be complementary, rather than competing. (shrink)
This quarter’s issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal dives deeply into questions concerning who is the proper target of medical interventions, and under what circumstances. Mary Jean Walker and James Franklin’s article, “An Argument Against Drug Testing Welfare Recipients,” and Maggie Taylor’s “Too Close to the Knives: Children’s Rights, Parental Authority, and Best Interests in the Context of Elective Pediatric Surgeries” both ask hard questions about when medical interventions can be imposed without consent, purportedly in order to secure (...) non-medical, social benefits for their recipients. Lauren Freeman and SarayAyalaLópez’s “Sex Categorization in Medical Contexts: A Cautionary Tale,” questions who... (shrink)
This article discusses the category of foreigner in the context of academia. In the first part I explore this category and its philosophical significance. A quick look at the literature reveals that this category needs more attention in analyses of dimensions of privilege and disadvantage. Foreignness has peculiarities that demarcate it from other categories of identity, and it intersects with them in complicated ways. Devoting more attention to it would enable addressing issues affecting foreigners in academia that go commonly unnoticed. (...) In the second part of the article I argue that current efforts to make academia a more inclusive environment should address the disadvantages that many foreign academics face. I focus on two senses of foreigner: working and living in a country that is not your country of origin, and being a nonnative speaker of the language in which you work. (shrink)
In the history of literary criticism the name of Ortega y Gasset is indispensable, since in this, as well as in all other sectors of cultural activity, the influence of his thought has been most decisive. He opened paths and established guidelines that remain in effect; his vision of the Quijote not only counterbalanced that of Unamuno, against which it purposely rebelled, but also, by underscoring the resources called into play by Cervantes in composing his master work, he has shaped (...) the attitudes of subsequent professional and academic criticism; and his analysis of the personalities of such important writers as Baroja is as yet unsurpassed. Among his many influential works, Francisco Ayala has written Reflexiones sobre la estructura narrativa (criticism) and España, a la fecha. (essays). His collected fiction appeared in 1969 under the title Obras narrativas completas. At Professor Ayala's request, this essay, and Ideas sobre Pío Baroja, by José Ortega y Gasset, were translated by Richard Ford. (shrink)
Este es el primer número de la revista tras la jubilación del profesor Nicolás López Calera. Él ha sido su director durante más de cuarenta años, concretamente desde que en 1967 se incorporase a la Universidad de Granada como catedrático de Derecho Natural y Filosofía del Derecho. Hasta ahora, en que ha querido retirarse también de esa página de inicio que da cuenta de las responsabilidades oficiales de su confección. Valgan estas líneas como testimonio de reconocimiento y agradecimiento por (...) parte de los que actualmente nos hacemos cargo de ella, anteriormente colaboradores suyos, y que ahora hemos asumido la responsabilidad de mantener su continuidad con la intención de avanzar por el camino que él abrió en su momento. (shrink)
In this book, Jason Kido Lopez argues that self-deception is a matter of intentionally using the strategies and methods of interpersonal deception on oneself. This conception demonstrates interesting connections between Sartre’s notion of bad faith, interpersonal deception and lying, pretense, wishful thinking, akrasia, and unintentional biases.
In _Lukács: Praxis and the Absolute_, Daniel Andrés López reassembles Lukács’s philosophy of praxis on a Hegelian basis, as a conceptual-historical totality, both defending him and proposing an unprecedented, immanent critique that raises problems for Marxian philosophy as a whole.
The ultimate source of explanation in biology is the principle of natural selection. Natural selection means differential reproduction of genes and gene combinations. It is a mechanistic process which accounts for the existence in living organisms of end-directed structures and processes. It is argued that teleological explanations in biology are not only acceptable but indeed indispensable. There are at least three categories of biological phenomena where teleological explanations are appropriate.
I respond to comments offered by Peter Harrison and Thupten Jinpa on my book Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (2008). I report briefly on the reception of the book thus far and provide a summary of its contents before responding individually to the essays of Harrison and Jinpa.
Artificial stimulation of the peripheral vestibular system has been shown to improve ownership of body parts in neurological patients, suggesting vestibular contributions to bodily self-consciousness. Here, we investigated whether galvanic vestibular stimulation interferes with the mechanisms underlying ownership, touch, and the localization of one’s own hand in healthy participants by using the “rubber hand illusion” paradigm. Our results show that left anodal GVS increases illusory ownership of the fake hand and illusory location of touch. We propose that these changes are (...) due to vestibular interference with spatial and/or temporal mechanisms of visual-tactile integration leading to an enhancement of visual capture. As only left anodal GVS lead to such changes, and based on neurological data on body part ownership, we suggest that this vestibular interference is mediated by the right temporo-parietal junction and the posterior insula. (shrink)
The question whether ethical behavior is biologically determined may refer either to the capacity for ethics (i.e., the proclivity to judge human actions as either right or wrong), or to the moral norms accepted by human beings for guiding their actions. I herein propose: (1) that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature; and (2) that moral norms are products of cultural evolution, not of biological evolution. Humans exhibit ethical behavior by nature because their biological makeup (...) determines the presence of three necessary conditions for ethical behavior: (i) the ability to anticipate the consequences of one’s own actions; (ii) the ability to make value judgments; and (iii) the ability to choose between alternative courses of action. Ethical behavior came about in evolution not because it is adaptive in itself, but as a necessary consequence of man’s eminent intellectual abilities, which are an attribute directly promoted by natural selection. That is, morally evolved as an exaptation, not as an adaptation. Since Darwin’s time there have been evolutionists proposing that the norms of morality are derived from biological evolution. Sociobiologists represent the most recent and most subtle version of that proposal. The sociobiologists' argument is that human ethical norms are sociocultural correlates of behaviors fostered by biological evolution. I argue that such proposals are misguided and do not escape the naturalistic fallacy. The isomorphism between the behaviors promoted by natural selection and those sanctioned by moral norms exist only with respect to the consequences of the behaviors; the underlying causations are completely disparate. (shrink)
In our everyday moral deliberations, we attend to two central types of considerations – outcomes and moral rules. How these considerations interrelate is central to the long-standing debate between deontologists and utilitarians. Is the weight we attach to moral rules reducible to their conduciveness to good outcomes (as many utilitarians claim)? Or do we take moral rules to be absolute constraints on action that normatively trump outcomes (as many deontologists claim)? Arguments over these issues characteristically appeal to commonsense intuitions about (...) various cases. As a result, an important portion of the debate involves empirically tractable questions — questions that can be investigated by probing for people’s judgments in cases in which the two types of considerations come into conflict with one another. (shrink)
Different theoretical approaches highlight the growing relevance of corporate reputation as strategic factor. Among these approaches the arguments of the Resource-Based View are special worthwhile (Grant, 1991, California Management Review 33(3), 114–135; Barney, 1999, Sloan Management Review Spring, 137–145). Nevertheless, this topic poses several methodological problems (Barney et al., 2001), as the unavailability to identify and measure this organizational factor, that is “socially complex” and intangible in its nature. In this work, using the findings of our empirical research on Spanish (...) biotechnology firms, we carry out an identification and measurement of corporate reputation, highlighting its two key components: “business reputation” and “social reputation”. (shrink)
The question whether ethical behavior is biologically determined may refer either to thecapacity for ethics (e.i., the proclivity to judge human actions as either right or wrong), or to the moralnorms accepted by human beings for guiding their actions. My theses are: (1) that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature; and (2) that moral norms are products of cultural evolution, not of biological evolution.Humans exhibits ethical behavior by nature because their biological makeup determines the presence (...) of the three necessary, and jointly sufficient, conditions for ethical behavior: (i) the ability to anticipate the consequences of one's own actions; (ii) the ability to make value judgements; and (iii) the ability to choose between alternative courses of action. Ethical behavior came about in evolution not because it is adaptive in itself, but as a necessary consequece of man's eminent intellectual abilities, which are an attribute directly promoted by natural selection. (shrink)
This paper argues that narrative elements from the science fiction (SF) literary genre are used in the discourse of Nanoscience and Technology (NST) to bridge the gap between what is technically possible today and its inflated promises for the future. The argument is illustrated through a detailed discussion of two NST texts. The paper concludes by arguing that the use of SF narrative techniques poses serious problems to the development of a critical analysis of the ethical and social implications of (...) NST. (shrink)
Pedro de Toledo’s translation, Enseñador e Mostrador delos Turbados, is the earliest and most extensive philosophical text to appear in Spanish. The first translation into a vernacular language of RaMBaM’s Guide for the Perplexed is presented in Ms. 10289 of the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid. The text seems an intellectual battle-field. It presents some interesting and peculiar characteristics at once: a text covered with glosses of the translator himself, and comments, variant translations, philosophical and theological disagreements, the use of rabbinic and (...) scriptural sources, by an anonymous critical commentator. These discrepancies show how the sensitive nature of the Maimonides ideas demands a particular hermeneutics, and offers an interesting view about the Spanish Jewish controversy in the fifteenth century. (shrink)
There have been two main lines in the literature on restricted games: the first line was started by Myerson (1977) that studied graph-restricted games an the second one was initiated by Faigle (1989). The present paper provides a unified way to look on the literature and establishes connections between the two different lines on restricted games. The strength and advantages of this unified approach becomes clear in the study of the inheritance of the convexity from the game to the restricted (...) game where an interesting result by Nouweland and Borm (1991) on the convexity of graph-restricted games is turned into a direct consequence of the corresponding result by Faigle (1989), by means of this relation. (shrink)
Joy Gordon has made a major contribution to both the ethical analysis and the policy evaluation of economic sanctions. Her claims against sanctions should be understood as critique rather than condemnation of sanctions on ethical grounds.
In Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community, Roberto Esposito develops a destructionist reading of political philosophy, interested in tracing modernity's attempt to constitute the political as a radical negation of our exposure to others. If the task of contemporary political thinking is to interrupt the myth of the common, without falling back completely into the negative and self-destructive power of immunization, political philosophy must be confronted with itself, searching within itself for the traces and points of departure – hermeneutic (...) supports – for such a destructive gesture. Esposito finds and develops these traces in a genealogical line that, starting with Hobbes, goes through Rousseau and Kant and ends with Heidegger and Bataille. By way of this genealogy, Esposito intends to show how modern philosophy would already have started to interrupt the dialectics between the immunization paradigm and the myth of the common. In this paper I argue that Hegel is not only an interesting figure but also an obligatory step in this effort, and in doing so I will pay particular attention to a notion of being-in-common that arises in The Spirit of Christianity and its Fate from his criticism of the violence of law. Hence, Hegel is read here in the light of an unexplored relationship to Esposito's work in Communitas. (shrink)