Three and 4-year-old children were tested on matched versions of Zaitchik's (1990) photo task and Wimmer and Perner's (1983) false belief task. Although replicating Zaitchik's finding that false belief and photo task are of equal difficulty, this applied only to mean performance across subjects and no substantial correlation between the two tasks was found. This suggests that the two tasks tap different intellectual abilities. It was further discovered that children's performance can be improved by drawing their attention to the back (...) of the photo but not by drawing attention to the person holding the false belief. Results are interpreted as showing that children's difficulty with the photo task is due to referential confusion about which scene the question refers to (the picture or reality) while the hurdle in the false belief task is to understand that the believer misrepresents reality. (shrink)
Many political theorists assume that Kant's categorical imperative can only present itself to politics epistemologically—that is, as a test or procedure for acquiring more certain knowledge of duties. This study retrieves the ontological aspect of the categorical imperative by showing that the Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals is a conversion narrative. In the Groundwork Kant describes a transformative encounter with the categorical imperative as a principle that discloses our ontological condition. This encounter opens a new mode of being characterized (...) by the feeling of awe. In its ontological aspect, the categorical imperative discloses human freedom and demands an unflagging thoughtfulness, but offers no material guidance about duties. When understood in both its ontological and epistemological aspects, the categorical imperative offers a rich portrait of human responsibility and can help illuminate the ethical stance appropriate to politics without becoming a standard to be imposed upon politics. (shrink)
Western philosophers have traditionally concentrated on theory as the means for expressing knowledge about a variety of phenomena. This absorbing book challenges this fundamental notion by showing how objects themselves, specifically scientific instruments, can express knowledge. As he considers numerous intriguing examples, Davis Baird gives us the tools to "read" the material products of science and technology and to understand their place in culture. Making a provocative and original challenge to our conception of knowledge itself, _Thing Knowledge _demands that (...) we take a new look at theories of science and technology, knowledge, progress, and change. Baird considers a wide range of instruments, including Faraday's first electric motor, eighteenth-century mechanical models of the solar system, the cyclotron, various instruments developed by analytical chemists between 1930 and 1960, spectrometers, and more. (shrink)
The lives and labour of migrants are increasingly shaped by political precarity and rightlessness in an unevenly globalized world. We argue that ‘undesirableness’ rather than mobility is constitutive of the ‘migrant’ position. Besides underscoring the asymmetrical power relations that define the position of the ‘migrant’ vis-à-vis the receiving state and society, an optic of ‘undesirableness’ also foregrounds the governmental techniques deployed to produce the figure of the ‘migrant’. We suggest that the framing of migrants as ‘unwanted’ is pivotal to the (...) European non-entrée regime, which parallels cultural exclusion through an Orientalization of the discourse on migration. The immutable cultural alterity of the ‘migrant’ is thus presumed to pose a perennial threat to Western ‘liberal’ values. Two assumptions undergird this narrative of the ‘undesirable’ migrant as the quintessential ‘Other’ of the European Self: cultural determination of behaviour in migrant communities, and incompatibility of ‘migrant cultures’ with those of ‘host’ societies. (shrink)
The successful global diffusion of formal democracy has gone hand in hand with the hollowing out of its substance. Ever more realms of domestic public policy are removed from the purview of national legislative deliberation and insulated from popular scrutiny. Rhetoric of accountability has accompanied the increasing unaccountability of international financial and trade organizations, transnational corporations as well as of states and NGOs. The new architecture of global governance characterized by legal plurality and overlapping sovereignties has facilitated a game of (...) ‘passing the blame’ among these four actors. There is a curious ambivalence in current debates on globalization about the role of the state, which is conceived of as both central and marginal. Globalization is seen to be marked by the decline of both the external and the internal sovereignty of the state. Contrary to such a view, it will be argued here that the state is both an agent and an object of globalization. Although inadequate, the state remains indispensable as its laws and policies play a key role in transposing neo-liberal agendas to the national and local levels. If in the age of globalization and of economic Empire, political violence has been replaced by legal violence, resistance to it is also articulated in the language of law. This paper focuses on the dynamic of legal politics against impoverishment and dispossession caused by the new global designs of intellectual property protection, biodiversity conservation and privatization of the commons in India. The case studies in this paper point to the emergence of intertwined structures of rule, overlapping sovereignties and complex processes of legal transnationalization that have reconfigured the relations between law, state, and territoriality. If welfare states were concerned with the redistribution of risk and resources, cunning states seek to redistribute responsibility. Sensitivity to the history of colonialism would be an important corrective to the presentism and Westerncentrism of analyses of globalization. (shrink)
Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and the (...) role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
I argue that the debate between proponents of substance causation and proponents of causation by powers, as to whether substances or their powers are causes, hinges on whether or not powers are self-exemplifying or non-self-exemplifying properties. Substance causation is committed to powers being non-self-exemplifying properties while causation by powers is committed to powers being self-exemplifying properties. I then argue that powers are non-self-exemplifying properties, in support of substance causation.
“Public Trust in Expert Knowledge: Narrative, Ethics, and Engagement” examines the social, cultural, and ethical ramifications of changing public trust in the expert biomedical knowledge systems of emergent and complex global societies. This symposium was conceived as an interdisciplinary project, drawing on bioethics, the social sciences, and the medical humanities. We settled on public trust as a topic for our work together because its problematization cuts across our fields and substantive research interests. For us, trust is simultaneously a matter of (...) ethics, social relations, and the cultural organization of meaning. We share a commitment to narrative inquiry across our fields of expertise in the bioethics of transformative health technologies, public communications on health threats, and narrative medicine. The contributions to this symposium have applied, in different ways and with different effects, this interdisciplinary mode of inquiry, supplying new reflections on public trust, expertise, and biomedical knowledge. (shrink)
Utilitarianism has an apparent pedigree when it comes to animal welfare. It supports the view that animal welfare matters just as much as human welfare. And many utilitarians support and oppose various practices in line with more mainstream concern over animal welfare, such as that we should not kill animals for food or other uses, and that we ought not to torture animals for fun. This relationship has come under tension from many directions. The aim of this article is to (...) add further considerations in support of that tension. I suggest three ways in which utilitarianism comes significantly apart from mainstream concerns with animal welfare. First, utilitarianism opposes animal cruelty only when it offers an inefficient ratio of pleasure to pain; while this may be true of eating animal products, it is not obviously true of other abuses. Second, utilitarianism faces a familiar problem of the inefficacy of individual decisions; I consider a common response to this worry, and offer further concerns. Finally, the common utilitarian argument against animal cruelty ignores various pleasures that humans may get from the superior status that a structure supporting exploitation confers. (shrink)
Mody and Carey (2016) investigated children's capacity to reason by the disjunctive syllogism by hiding stickers within two pairs of cups (i.e., there is one sticker in cup A or B, and one in cup C or D) and then showing one cup to be empty. They found that children as young as 3 years of age chose the most likely cup (i.e., not A, therefore choose B; and disregard C and D) and suggested that these children were representing the (...) dependent relationship between A and B by applying the logical operator “or”. However, it is possible that children succeeded using simpler strategies, such as avoiding the empty cup and choosing within the manipulated pair. We devised a new version of the task in which a sticker was visibly removed from one of the four cups so that 2.5- to 5-year-old children (N = 100) would fail if they relied on such strategies. We also included a conceptual replication of Mody and Carey's (2016) original condition. Our results replicated their findings and showed that even younger children, 2.5 years of age, could pass above chance levels. Yet, 2.5-, 3- and 4-year-olds failed the new condition. Only 5-year-old children performed above chance in both conditions and so provided compelling evidence of deductive reasoning from the premise “A or B", where “or” is exclusive. We propose that younger children may instead conceive of the relationship between A and B as inclusive “or” across both versions of the task. (shrink)
This article explores various analytical issues involved in conceptualizing the interrelationships of gender, class, race and ethnicity and other social divisions. It compares the debate on these issues that took place in Britain in the 1980s and around the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism. It examines issues such as the relative helpfulness of additive or mutually constitutive models of intersectional social divisions; the different analytical levels at which social divisions need to be studied, their ontological base and their relations (...) to each other. The final section of the article attempts critically to assess a specific intersectional methodological approach for engaging in aid and human rights work in the South. (shrink)
In this interview, professor Davis discusses the evolution of his career and research interests as a philosopher-economist and gives his perspective on a number of important issues in the field. He argues that historians and methodologists of economics should be engaged in the practice of economics, and that historians should be more open to philosophical analysis of the content of economic ideas. He suggests that the history of recent economics is a particularly fruitful and important area for research exactly (...) because it is an open-ended story that is very relevant to understanding the underlying concerns and concepts of contemporary economics. He discusses his engagement with heterodox economics schools, and their engagement with a rapidly changing mainstream economics. He argues that the theory of the individual is “the central philosophical issue in economics” and discusses his extensive contributions to the issue. (shrink)
This paper is a commentary comparing the evolutionary perspectives of Denis Dutton’s The Art Instinct (2009) and Stephen Davies’s The Artful Species (2012). Their topics thus necessarily overlap, but their books have different purposes and a different feel. Davies’s book is an academic exercise. He has no real arguments or claims of his own. Dutton wishes to demonstrate that evolutionary psychology can provide a satisfying naturalistic explanation of aesthetic experience. Neither Davies nor Dutton fully succeeds in his ambition. Davies extends (...) his scepticism well beyond a sensible account of the state of current knowledge about human evolution, and Dutton fails to recognize underlying theoretical differences in his main sources of theoretical inspiration. The limitations in these two works do not define the boundaries of current knowledge in evolutionary aesthetics. The most advanced and adequate concept in the evolutionary humanities is the idea that humans evolved the capacity to create imaginative virtual worlds and use those worlds to guide human behaviour. Both books being considered in this essay approach the idea of imaginative virtual worlds and almost grasp it. Before taking up that topic, the paper shall discuss two subsidiary issues: Dutton’s effort to incorporate sexual selection, and Davies’s sceptical negations about all evolutionary knowledge. (shrink)
I offer an analysis of the role played by consideration of an item's functions when it is judged aesthetically. The account applies also to artworks, of which some serve extrinsic functions (such as the glorification of God and the communication of religious lore) and others have the function of being contemplated for their own sake alone. Along the way, I deny that aesthetic judgements fit the model of judgements either of free beauty or of dependent beauty, given how these two (...) came to be described in the early twentieth century. (shrink)
In his absorbing book Art as Performance, David Davies argues that artworks should be identified, not with artistic products such as paintings or novels, but instead with the artistic actions or processes that produced such items. Such a view had an earlier incarnation in Currie’s widely criticized “action type hypothesis”, but Davies argues that it is instead action tokens rather than types with which artworks should be identified. This rich and complex work repays the closest study in spite of some (...) basic objections to be raised concerning Davies’s central concept of an action token. (shrink)
Using a combination of semantic theory and findings from conversation analysis, this paper describes a way in which questions, which incorporate presuppositions that are false, when used in a courtroom cross-examination wherein there are certain turn-taking rules, rights and restrictions, stop a rape victim from expressing the content that she wants to express in that context. This kind of silencing contrasts with other kinds of silencing that consist in the disabling of a speech act's force, rather than precluding the expression (...) of certain contents. -/- Content Note: there are explicit descriptions of sexual violence in this paper. (shrink)
A Scientific Approach The facts detailed in this briefing are the results of scientific exploration of terror networks and sacred values and their association to political violence. The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.
Careful attention to contemporary political debates, including those around global warming, the federal debt, and the use of drone strikes on suspected terrorists, reveals that we often view our responsibility as something that can be quantified and discharged. Shalini Satkunanandan shows how Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Weber, and Heidegger each suggest that this calculative or bookkeeping mindset both belongs to 'morality', understood as part of our ordinary approach to responsibility, and effaces the incalculable, undischargeable, and more onerous dimensions of our (...) responsibility. These thinkers also reveal how the view of responsibility as calculable is at the heart of 'moralism' - the pettifogging, mindless, legalistic, excessively judgmental, or punitive policing of our own or others' compliance with moral duties. By elaborating their narratives of a difficult 'conversion' to the open-ended and relentless character of responsibility, Satkunanandan explores how we might be less moralistic and more responsible in politics. She ultimately argues for a political ethos attentive to how calculative thinking can limit our responsibility, but that still accepts a circumscribed place for calculation in responsible politics. (shrink)
A fundamental cognitive function found across a wide range of species and necessary for survival is the ability to navigate complex environments. It has been suggested that mobility may play an important role in the development of spatial skills. Despite evolutionary arguments offering logical explanations for why sex/gender differences in spatial abilities and mobility might exist, thus far there has been limited sampling from nonindustrialized and subsistence-based societies. This lack of sampling diversity has left many unanswered questions regarding the effects (...) that environmental variation and cultural norms may have in shaping mobility patterns during childhood and the development of spatial competencies that may be associated with it. Here we examine variation in mobility, performance on large-scale spatial skills, and performance on small-scale spatial skills among Twa forager/pastoralist children whose daily lives have been dramatically altered since settlement and the introduction of government-funded boarding schools. Unlike in previous findings among Twa adults, boys and girls show similar patterns of travel on all measures of mobility. We also find no significant differences in spatial task performance by gender for large- or small-scale spatial skills. Further, children performed as well as adults did on mental rotation, and they outperformed adults on the water-level task. We discuss how children’s early learning environments may influence the development of both large- and small-scale spatial skills. (shrink)
Training for members of research ethics committees varies from state to state in Europe. To follow this up, the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice organised a workshop in March 2007 to explore these issues and look for solutions. This article summarises the discussion, providing ways forward to develop REC training.
This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. It provides the clearest explication yet of this exciting new theory of science, which challenges the reductionist approach by proposing the continuous emergence of novel phenomena.
In this paper we explore the idea that Pentecostalism is best supported by conjoining it to a postmodern, narrative epistemology in which everything is a text requiring interpretation. On this view, truth doesn’t consist in a set of uninterpreted facts that make the claims of Christianity true; rather, as James K. A. Smith says, truth emerges when there is a “fit” or proportionality between the Christian story and one’s affective and emotional life. We argue that Pentecostals should reject this account (...) of truth, since it leads to either a self-refuting story-relativism or the equally problematic fallacy of story-ism: favoring one’s own story over others without legitimate reason. In either case, we contend, the gospel itself is placed at risk. (shrink)
The essays included in this volume are concerned with assessing Newton's contribution to the thought of others. They explore all aspects of the conceptual background-historical, philosophical, and narrowly methodological-and examine questions that developed in the wake of Newton's science.
Standard methods in experimental philosophy have sought to measure folk intuitions using experiments, but certain limitations are inherent in experimental methods. Accordingly, we have designed the Free-Will Intuitions Scale to empirically measure folk intuitions relevant to free-will debates using a different method. This method reveals what folk intuitions are like prior to participants' being put in forced-choice experiments. Our results suggest that a central debate in the experimental philosophy of free will—the “natural” compatibilism debate—is mistaken in assuming that folk intuitions (...) are exclusively either compatibilist or incompatibilist. They also identify a number of important new issues in the empirical study of free-will intuitions. (shrink)
One of the starting assumptions in the debate over the ethical status of animals is that someone who is committed to reducing animal suffering should not eat meat. Steven Davis has recently advanced a novel criticism of this view. He argues that individuals who are committed to reducing animal suffering should not adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet, as Tom Regan an other animal rights advocates claim, but one containing free-range beef. To make his case Davis highlights an (...) overlooked form of animal harm, that done to field animals in crop production. Yet while Davis's argument is ingenious and thought-provoking, it is not a successful challenge to vegetarianism and veganism's status as the diets that most advance animal rights. Scientific studies of crop production that Davis draws on document two different forms of harm done to field animals: those that are directly killed by harvesting equipment and those that are killed by other animals. Once this distinction is made explicit, the degree to which such studies pose a problem for animal protection theory considerably weakens. Davis also overlooks philosophically significant forms of harm to human beings that are present in beef production but not crop harvesting. Finally, he bases his argument on the controversial assumption that there is no difference between deliberate and accidental killing - either of animals or people. Although these problems defeat Davis's attempt to offer an immanent critique of Regan's animal rights position, his analysis does have important dietary ramifications that animal advocates should take into account. (shrink)
In a recent examination of the origins of ordinal utility theory in neoclassical economics, Robert D. Cooter and Peter Rappoport argue that the ordinalist revolution of the 1930s, after which most economists abandoned interpersonal utility comparisons as normative and unscientific, constituted neither unambiguous progress in economic science nor the abandonment of normative theorizing, as many economists and historians of economic thought have generally believed. Rather, the widespread acceptance of ordinalism, with its focus on Pareto optimality, simply represented the emergence of (...) a new neoclassical research agenda that, on the one hand, defined economics differently than had the material welfare theorists of the cardinal utility school and, on the other, adopted a positivist methodology in contrast to the less restrictive empiricism of the cardinalists. (shrink)
This paper examines the ethical implications of "poison put" provisions included in bond offerings. A number of firms are using event-risk protections in bond offerings in an effort to attract investors back into the bond market. One of the most common event-risk protections is a "poison put" provision, which allows the bondholder to "put" the bond back to the firm at par or at a premium under certain specified conditions, such as a takeover effort or a downgrading of the bond (...) by rating agencies. While such a provision is obviously of value to the bondholders, there is a secondary effect that is not as obvious. Using such a provision helps to insure that boards of directors must put the interests of all of the stakeholders ahead of any personal interests of the board members, thus protecting the stakeholders. The use of event-risk protections helps to deter takeovers, induce bidders to negotiate with management in any takeover efforts, and avoid two-tier takeover offers. As a result, the "poison put" provisions have a positive impact on share values while simultaneously protecting the investments of bondholders. Such an impact makes the use of "poison put" provisions in bonds an ethical use of management power. (shrink)
In A Compendium of the Characteristics of Categories the classical Vaiśeṣika philosopher Praśastapāda presents an innovative metaphysics of the self. This article examines the defining metaphysical and axiological features of this conception of self and the dualist categorial schema in which it is located. It shows how this idea of the self, as a reflexive and ethical being, grounds a multinaturalist view of natural order and offers a conception of agency that claims to account for all the reflexive features of (...) human mental and bodily life. Finally, it discusses the ends of self’s reflexivity and of human life as a return to the true self. It argues that at the heart of Praśastapāda’s metaphysics of self is the idea that ethics is metaphysics, and that epistemic practice is ethical practice. (shrink)