In this paper, new evidence is presented for the assumption that the reason-relation reading of indicative conditionals ('if A, then C') reflects a conventional implicature. In four experiments, it is investigated whether relevance effects found for the probability assessment of indicative conditionals (Skovgaard-Olsen, Singmann, and Klauer, 2016a) can be classified as being produced by a) a conversational implicature, b) a (probabilistic) presupposition failure, or c) a conventional implicature. After considering several alternative hypotheses and the accumulating evidence from other studies (...) as well, we conclude that the evidence is most consistent with the Relevance Effect being the outcome of a conventional implicature. This finding indicates that the reason-relation reading is part of the semantic content of indicative conditionals, albeit not part of their primary truth-conditional content. (shrink)
More than a decade of research has found strong evidence for P(if A, then C) = P(C|A) (“the Equation”). We argue, however, that this hypothesis provides an overly simplified picture due to its inability to account for relevance. We manipulated relevance in the evaluation of the probability and acceptability of indicative conditionals and found that relevance moderates the effect of P(C|A). This corroborates the Default and Penalty Hypothesis put forward in this paper. Finally, the probability and acceptability of concessive conditionals (...) (“Even if A, then still C”) were investigated and it was found that the Equation provides a better account of concessive conditionals than of indicatives across relevance manipulations. (shrink)
Suppose that two competing norms, N1 and N2, can be identified such that a given person’s response can be interpreted as correct according to N1 but incorrect according to N2. Which of these two norms, if any, should one use to interpret such a response? In this paper we seek to address this fundamental problem by studying individual variation in the interpretation of conditionals by establishing individual profiles of the participants based on their case judgments and reflective attitudes. To investigate (...) the participants’ reflective attitudes we introduce a new experimental paradigm called the Scorekeeping Task. As a case study, we identify the participants who follow the Suppositional Theory of conditionals (N1) versus Inferentialism (N2) and investigate to what extent internally consistent competence models can be reconstructed for the participants on this basis. After extensive empirical investigations, an apparent reasoning error with and-to-if inferences was found in one of these two groups. The implications of this case study for debates on the proper role of normative considerations in psychology are discussed. (shrink)
This paper examines precursors and consequents of perceived relevance of a proposition A for a proposition C. In Experiment 1, we test Spohn's assumption that ∆P = P − P is a good predictor of ratings of perceived relevance and reason relations, and we examine whether it is a better predictor than the difference measure − P). In Experiment 2, we examine the effects of relevance on probabilistic coherence in Cruz, Baratgin, Oaksford, and Over's uncertain “and-to-if” inferences. The results suggest (...) that ∆P predicts perceived relevance and reason relations better than the difference measure and that participants are either less probabilistically coherent in “and-to-if” inferences than initially assumed or that they do not follow P = P. Results are discussed in light of recent results suggesting that the Equation may not hold under conditions of irrelevance or negative relevance. (shrink)
In this study we investigate the influence of reason-relation readings of indicative conditionals and ‘and’/‘but’/‘therefore’ sentences on various cognitive assessments. According to the Frege-Grice tradition, a dissociation is expected. Specifically, differences in the reason-relation reading of these sentences should affect participants’ evaluations of their acceptability but not of their truth value. In two experiments we tested this assumption by introducing a relevance manipulation into the truth-table task as well as in other tasks assessing the participants’ acceptability and probability evaluations. Across (...) the two experiments a strong dissociation was found. The reason-relation reading of all four sentences strongly affected their probability and acceptability evaluations, but hardly affected their respective truth evaluations. Implications of this result for recent work on indicative conditionals are discussed. (shrink)
Ranking theory is a formal epistemology that has been developed in over 600 pages in Spohn's recent book The Laws of Belief, which aims to provide a normative account of the dynamics of beliefs that presents an alternative to current probabilistic approaches. It has long been received in the AI community, but it has not yet found application in experimental psychology. The purpose of this paper is to derive clear, quantitative predictions by exploiting a parallel between ranking theory and a (...) statistical model called logistic regression. This approach is illustrated by the development of a model for the conditional inference task using Spohn's ranking theoretic approach to conditionals. (shrink)
The aim is to motivate theoretically a relevance approach to conditionals in a comparative discussion of the main alternatives. In particular, it will be argued that a relevance approach to conditionals is better motivated than the suppositional theory currently enjoying wide endorsement. In the course of this discussion, an argument will be presented for why failures of the epistemic relevance of the antecedent for the consequent should be counted as genuine semantic defects. Furthermore, strategies for dealing with compositionality and the (...) perceived objective purport of indicative conditionals will be put forward. (shrink)
In this paper, a critical discussion is made of the role of entailments in the so-called New Paradigm of psychology of reasoning based on Bayesian models of rationality (Elqayam & Over, 2013). It is argued that assessments of probabilistic coherence cannot stand on their own, but that they need to be integrated with empirical studies of intuitive entailment judgments. This need is motivated not just by the requirements of probability theory itself, but also by a need to enhance the interdisciplinary (...) integration of the psychology of reasoning with formal semantics in linguistics. The constructive goal of the paper is to introduce a new experimental paradigm, called the Dialogical Entailment task, to supplement current trends in the psychology of reasoning towards investigating knowledge-rich, social reasoning under uncertainty (Oaksford and Chater, 2019). As a case study, this experimental paradigm is applied to reasoning with conditionals and negation operators (e.g. CEM, wide and narrow negation). As part of the investigation, participants’ entailment judgments are evaluated against their probability evaluations to assess participants’ cross-task consistency over two experimental sessions. (shrink)
In Euripides' Hippolytus , Phaedra, wife of Theseus, king of Athens, falls in love with the unsuspecting Hippolytus, Theseus' son by the amazon Antiope. Phaedra's passion is the work of the goddess Aphrodite, who wants to revenge herself on Hippolytus because he has rejected her and devoted himself to the chaste Artemis. Through Paedra's nurse Hippolytus is made aware of her love and invited to her bed. He emphatically rejects her offer and violently abuses Phaedra and her nurse. To save (...) her honour Phaedra commits suicide and leaves a note accusing Hippolytus of raping her. Theseus, confronted on his return from an expedition with the suicide and the note, banishes Hippolytus and prays to his father, the seagod Poseidon, to fulfil one of the three wishes he has granted him and kill Hippolytus. Leaving Troezen, Hippolytus is killed when his horses are frightened by a monster thrown on shore by Poseidon from a giant wave. Theseus is brought to realize his mistake by the goddess Artemis who appears to him and reveals the truth. The play ends with the reconciliation of Theseus and the dying Hippolytus. This, in bare outline, is what happens in the play. It is what might be called its subject. The play is about these events and characters. Now it is also possible to give another type of description of Euripides' play. For the play does not merely have a subject but also a theme. While it is straightforward and unproblematic to give a description of the subject of the play a statement of its theme presents difficulties. The subject is, in an obvious sense, given for any competent speaker of the language in which the work is written. The theme, on the other hand, emerges from the subject in conjunction with other features of the work, and it emerges through the reader's constructive labour. There is no theme for the reader who is unwilling or unable to engage in this constructive labour. (shrink)
An organizing theme of the dissertation is the issue of how to make philosophical theories useful for scientific purposes. An argument for the contention is presented that it doesn’t suffice merely to theoretically motivate one’s theories, and make them compatible with existing data, but that philosophers having this aim should ideally contribute to identifying unique and hard to vary predictions of their theories. This methodological recommendation is applied to the ranking-theoretic approach to conditionals, which emphasizes the epistemic relevance and the (...) expression of reason relations as part of the semantics of the natural language conditional. As a first step, this approach is theoretically motivated in a comparative discussion of other alternatives in psychology of reasoning, like the suppositional theory of conditionals, and novel approaches to the problems of compositionality and accounting for the objective purport of indicative conditionals are presented. In a second step, a formal model is formulated, which allows us to derive quantitative predictions from the ranking-theoretic approach, and it is investigated which novel avenues of empirical research that this model opens up for. Finally, a treatment is given of the problem of logical omniscience as it concerns the issue of whether ranking theory (and other similar approaches) makes too idealized assumptions about rationality to allow for interesting applications in psychology of reasoning. Building on the work of Robert Brandom, a novel solution to this problem is presented, which both opens up for new perspectives in psychology of reasoning and appears to be capable of satisfying a range of constraints on bridge principles between logic and norms of reasoning, which would otherwise stand in a tension. (shrink)
This book examines the complex and varied ways in which fictions relate to the real world, and offers a precise account of how imaginative works of literature can use fictional content to explore matters of universal human interest. While rejecting the traditional view that literature is important for the truths that it imparts, the authors also reject attempts to cut literature off altogether from real human concerns. Their detailed account of fictionality, mimesis, and cognitive value, founded on the methods of (...) analytical philosophy, restores to literature its distinctive status among cultural practices. The authors also explore metaphysical and skeptical views, prevalent in modern thought, according to which the world itself is a kind of fiction, and truth no more than a social construct. They identify different conceptions of fiction in science, logic, epistemology, and make-believe, and thereby challenge the idea that discourse per se is fictional and that different modes of discourse are at root indistinguishable. They offer rigorous analyses of the roles of narrative, imagination, metaphor, and "making" in human thought processes. Both in their methods and in their conclusions, Lamarque and Olsen aim to restore rigor and clarity to debates about the values of literature, and to provide new, philosophically sound foundations for a genuine change of direction in literary theorizing. (shrink)
The main goal of this paper is to investigate what explanatory resources Robert Brandom’s distinction between acknowledged and consequential commitments affords in relation to the problem of logical omniscience. With this distinction the importance of the doxastic perspective under consideration for the relationship between logic and norms of reasoning is emphasized, and it becomes possible to handle a number of problematic cases discussed in the literature without thereby incurring a commitment to revisionism about logic. One such case in particular is (...) the preface paradox, which will receive an extensive treatment. As we shall see, the problem of logical omniscience not only arises within theories based on deductive logic; but also within the recent paradigm shift in psychology of reasoning. So dealing with this problem is important not only for philosophical purposes but also from a psychological perspective. (shrink)
The essays in this collection are concerned with the philosophical problems that arise in connection with the understanding and evaluation of literature - such problems as the relationship between the work and the author (authorial intention), between the work and the world (reference and truth), the definition of a literary work, and the nature of literary theory itself. Professor Olsen attacks many of the orthodoxies of modern literary theory, in particular the enterprise to build a comprehensive systematic literary theory. (...) His own work is informed by a consistent perspective: the assumption that literature is a social institution governed by conventions, and that answers to problems of interpretation and appreciation can be found only through an analysis of these conventions. This is an important book for scholars and students of literary theory and philosophy, especially for those who see an ever-increasing cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. (shrink)
The essays both represent a variety of epistemological approaches, including those of the humanities, social studies, natural science, sociology, psychology, and engineering sciences and reflect a diversity of philosophical traditions such ...
In this paper, I motivate and defend the distinction between an objective and a subjective moral sense of “ought.” I begin by looking at the standard way the distinction is motivated, namely by appealing to relatively simple cases where an agent does something she thinks is best, but her action has a tragic outcome. I argue that these cases fail to do the job—the intuitions they elicit can be explained without having to distinguish between different senses of “ought.” However, these (...) cases are on the right track—I argue that more sophisticated versions of the cases provide strong motivation for the distinction. I then discuss two important problems for the distinction: the “which ‘ought’ is more important?” problem, and the “annoying profusion of ‘oughts’” problem. I argue that each of these problems can be solved in several different ways. (shrink)
Deliberative democratic theorists typically use accounts of public reason— that is, constraints on the types of reasons one can invoke in public, political discourse—as a tool to resist political exclusion; at its most basic level, the aim of a theory of public reason is to prevent situations in which powerful majority groups are able to justify policy choices based on reasons that are not even assessable by minority groups. However, I demonstrate here that a type of exclusion I call "conceptual (...) exclusion" complicates this picture. I argue that the possibility of conceptual exclusion creates the potential for public reason constraints to further exclude already marginalized groups— contrary to the standard view—and thus that taking conceptual exclusion seriously requires both a revision of traditional accounts of public reason and a reconceptualization of our civic obligations. (shrink)
W. D. Ross is commonly considered to be a generalist about prima facie duty but a particularist about absolute duty. That is, many philosophers hold that Ross accepts that there are true moral principles involving prima facie duty but denies that there are any true moral principles involving absolute duty. I agree with the former claim: Ross surely accepts prima facie moral principles. However, in this paper, I challenge the latter claim. Ross, I argue, is no more a particularist about (...) absolute duty than a utilitarian or a Kantian is. While this conclusion is interesting in its own right, it is also important, I argue, because it prevents us from overlooking Ross's criterion of moral obligation and because it may have implications on the broader debate between particularists and generalists. (shrink)
The volume advances research in the philosophy of technology by introducing contributors who have an acute sense of how to get beyond or reframe the epistemic, ontological and normative limitations that currently limit the fields of philosophy of technology and science and technology studies.
This is a paperback edition of what has become an important contribution to aesthetics and the theory of literature. The author analyses in detail how the reader responds to literature and how he begins to evaluate it. Mr Olsen characterizes literature as an institution and thus forges links with contemporary philosophy which sees all human action as ordered and defined by social institutions.
Abstract: The intent of this paper is to indicate a development in Sellars' writings which points in another direction than the interpretations offered by Brandom, McDowell, and A. D. Smith. Brandom and McDowell have long claimed to preserve central insights of Sellars's theory of perception; however, they disagree over what exactly these insights are. A. D. Smith has launched a critique of Sellars in chapter 2 of his book The Problem of Perception which is so penetrating that it would tear (...) Sellars' philosophy of perception apart if it were adequate. However, I try to show firstly that Brandom's and McDowell's interpretations are unsatisfying when Sellars' late writings are taking into consideration. And secondly that we can give another interpretation of Sellars that is not vulnerable to some of the problems of which Smith accuses Sellars. (shrink)
This dissertation is devoted to empirically contrasting the Suppositional Theory of conditionals, which holds that indicative conditionals serve the purpose of engaging in hypothetical thought, and Inferentialism, which holds that indicative conditionals express reason relations. Throughout a series of experiments, probabilistic and truth-conditional variants of Inferentialism are investigated using new stimulus materials, which manipulate previously overlooked relevance conditions. These studies are some of the first published studies to directly investigate the central claims of Inferentialism empirically. In contrast, the Suppositional Theory (...) of conditionals has an impressive track record through more than a decade of intensive testing. The evidence for the Suppositional Theory encompasses three sources. Firstly, direct investigations of the probability of indicative conditionals, which substantiate “the Equation” (P(if A, then C) = P(C|A)). Secondly, the pattern of results known as “the defective truth table” effect, which corroborates the de Finetti truth table. And thirdly, indirect evidence from the uncertain and-to-if inference task. Through four studies each of these sources of evidence are scrutinized anew under the application of novel stimulus materials that factorially combine all permutations of prior and relevance levels of two conjoined sentences. The results indicate that the Equation only holds under positive relevance (P(C|A) – P(C|¬A) > 0) for indicative conditionals. In the case of irrelevance (P(C|A) – P(C|¬A) = 0), or negative relevance (P(C|A) – P(C|¬A) < 0), the strong relationship between P(if A, then C) and P(C|A) is disrupted. This finding suggests that participants tend to view natural language conditionals as defective under irrelevance and negative relevance (Chapter 2). Furthermore, most of the participants turn out only to be probabilistically coherent above chance levels for the uncertain and-to-if inference in the positive relevance condition, when applying the Equation (Chapter 3). Finally, the results on the truth table task indicate that the de Finetti truth table is at most descriptive for about a third of the participants (Chapter 4). Conversely, strong evidence for a probabilistic implementation of Inferentialism could be obtained from assessments of P(if A, then C) across relevance levels (Chapter 2) and the participants’ performance on the uncertain-and-to-if inference task (Chapter 3). Yet the results from the truth table task suggest that these findings could not be extended to truth-conditional Inferentialism (Chapter 4). On the contrary, strong dissociations could be found between the presence of an effect of the reason relation reading on the probability and acceptability evaluations of indicative conditionals (and connate sentences), and the lack of an effect of the reason relation reading on the truth evaluation of the same sentences. A bird’s eye view on these surprising results is taken in the final chapter and it is discussed which perspectives these results open up for future research. (shrink)
Sharing a public language facilitates particularly efficient forms of joint perception and action by giving interlocutors refined tools for directing attention and aligning conceptual models and action. We hypothesized that interlocutors who flexibly align their linguistic practices and converge on a shared language will improve their cooperative performance on joint tasks. To test this prediction, we employed a novel experimental design, in which pairs of participants cooperated linguistically to solve a perceptual task. We found that dyad members generally showed a (...) high propensity to adapt to each other’s linguistic practices. However, although general linguistic alignment did not have a positive effect on performance, the alignment of particular task-relevant vocabularies strongly correlated with collective performance. In other words, the more dyad members selectively aligned linguistic tools fit for the task, the better they performed. Our work thus uncovers the interplay between social dynamics and sensitivity to task affordances in successful cooperation. (shrink)
It is a common line in democratic theory that citizens must only offer “public” reasons into political discourse. This is a civic obligation that is traditionally taken bypolitical liberals to fall on the citizen as speaker—as an individual who forwards political arguments. I argue here that taking proper account of the epistemic complexity involved in distinguishing public from nonpublic reasons entails robust civic obligations on listeners. Thus, those who accept this obligation for speakers must accept a corresponding civic obligation on (...) listeners—a duty to attempt to identify public reasons within others’ presented arguments, even if those arguments appear nonpublic at first blush. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:How does the state influence stakeholder legitimacy? And how does this process affect an industry’s ethical challenges? Stakeholder theory adopts a forward-looking perspective and seeks to understand how managers can address stakeholders’ claims to improve the firm’s ability to create value. Yet, existing work does not adequately address the role of the state in defining the stakeholder universe nor the implications this may have for subsequent ethical challenges managers face. This article develops a political stakeholder theory by weaving together the (...) political economy, stakeholder theory, and legitimacy literatures. Political ST shows how state policies influence stakeholder legitimacy and, in turn, affect an industry’s ethical challenges. This article integrates the concept of agonism to address the perennial tension between markets and states and its implications for firms and their managers. Political ST is then applied to the case of microfinance, followed by a discussion of the contributions of this approach. (shrink)
Process metaphysics (process philosophy) has been suggested as a route, to a more ‘process-based’ approach to organizational studies, as opposed to a ‘substance-based’ view said to be dominant in Western thinking – including most contemporary organizational researchers. This paper explores some of the ideas of early-twentieth-century process thinkers and provides an interpretation of some of the major works of Alfred N. Whitehead. The objective is to evaluateits possible relevance to modern organizational research. The paper argues that Whitehead’s radical ontology – (...) that was based on a generalization of quantum theory in physics – appears largely to have been refuted or disregarded by succeeding process philosophers. Furthermore, his epistemology is found to represent a process view on scientific knowledge creation taken for granted by most contemporary researchers. For different reasons, major elements of his theoriesdo not appear to be directly relevant to efforts to advance organizational theory into more radical process-based theories.On the other hand, the paper argues that the early-twentieth-century process thinkers – including Whitehead – offer a plurality of analytical conceptions that may serve as useful and inspirational contributions to further development of methods and perspectives to investigate into organizations, change and innovation processes. There are also particular approaches within the domain that have properties quite similar to some of those conceptions in process philosophy – like ‘sensemaking processes’ as represented by Karl Weick and others, which may in particular benefit from exploring the area of process philosophy. (shrink)
This essay identifies a point of convergence between economically oriented, distributive approaches to social justice and culturally oriented, identitarian ones.The primary problem of difference politics, I claim, is insuring that disadvantaged groups have equal abilities to participate in the social processes that construct and value identities. I argue that this is best accomplished through a conception of equality promoting human agency in both the cultural and economic spheres.
Ethical issues in international nursing research are identified and the perspectives of the International Centre for Nursing Ethics are offered in an effort to develop an international consensus of ethical behaviour in research. First, theoretical issues are reviewed, then initial conditions for ethical conduct are defined, and protocol design and procedure considerations are examined. A concerted effort is made to identify and avoid a western bias. Broad guiding principles for designing and reviewing research are offered: (1) respect for persons; (2) (...) beneficence; (3) justice; (4) respect for community; and (5) contextual caring. A collaborative model of the researcher-participant relationship is suggested and discussed. (shrink)
Nursing research in China is at an early stage of development and little is known about the practices of Chinese nurse researchers. This interview study carried out at a university in central China explores the informed consent practices of Chinese nurse researchers and the cultural considerations of using a western technique. Nine semistructured interviews were conducted in English with assistance and simultaneous translation from a Chinese nurse with research experience. The interviews were analyzed by one western and two Chinese researchers (...) and major themes were identified. All participants endorsed informed consent as ethically required. Differences were noted between some of the informed consent practices typically recommended in the USA and those identified in this study, such as: recruitment using local and government officials, recruiting directly from medical records without special permission, family consultation in consent and consent control, and not revealing randomization to intervention groups receiving different treatments. (shrink)
The methodology of eunomics -- Means, ends, and the idea of freedom -- The politics of affirmative freedom -- Natural law, sovereignty, and institutional design -- Why pluralism fails a pluralist society -- Obsolescent freedoms.
: Within both popular and academic literature, concerns have been expressed about the implications of antidepressant use on character development. In this paper, I identify specific versions of these worries and argue that they are misguided. I begin by arguing that the obligation to suffer if it will bring about a noble character is imagined. Legitimate concerns about character enhancement remain, but they do not count against most antidepressant use. Thus there is no moral prohibition against antidepressant use. Furthermore, some (...) of the calls for caution about antidepressant use, such as those expressed by the President's Council on Bioethics, are overstated. (shrink)
This paper adds a moral angle to the pluralist approach to development economics, exploring the normative assumptions found in all the five main schools of thought that have analysed India's rural labour markets (neoclassical, new institutionalist, Marxist political economy, formalized political economy and feminist). The theorizations that are used by each have normative overtones, which are distinguished here from normative undertones (i.e. elements of meaning that have an affect component). Regression analysis in this literature is used to illustrate the types (...) of undertones that are present. The undertones tend to cause performative contradictions for authors who claim value neutrality. The various moral reasoning strategies available for meta?normative economic research do not offer easy solutions. However they convincingly support the case for openness to a plurality of approaches to research in development economics. Further research on normative overtones is warranted. JEL Classifications: B5, O17, O12, O53. (shrink)