Jeffrey conditionalization is a rule for updating degrees of belief in light of uncertain evidence. It is usually assumed that the partitions involved in Jeffrey conditionalization are finite and only contain positive-credence elements. But there are interesting examples, involving continuous quantities, in which this is not the case. Q1 Can Jeffrey conditionalization be generalized to accommodate continuous cases? Meanwhile, several authors, such as Kenny Easwaran and Michael Rescorla, have been interested in Kolmogorov’s theory of regular conditional distributions as a possible (...) framework for conditional probability which handles probability-zero events. However the theory faces a major shortcoming: it seems messy and ad hoc. Q2 Is there some axiomatic theory which would justify and constrain the use of rcds, thus serving as a possible foundation for conditional probability? These two questions appear unrelated, but they are not, and this paper answers both. We show that when one appropriately generalizes Jeffrey conditionalization as in Q1, one obtains a framework which necessitates the use of rcds. It is then a short step to develop a general theory which addresses Q2, which we call the theory of extensions. The theory is a formal model of conditioning which recovers Bayesian conditionalization, Jeffrey conditionalization, and conditionalization via rcds as special cases. (shrink)
The notion that our society, its education system and its intellectual life, is characterised by a split between two cultures – the arts or humanities on one hand, and the sciences on the other – has a long history. But it was C. P. Snow's Rede lecture of 1959 that brought it to prominence and began a public debate that is still raging in the media today. This 50th anniversary printing of The Two Cultures and its successor piece, A (...) Second Look features an introduction by Stefan Collini, charting the history and context of the debate, its implications and its afterlife. The importance of science and technology in policy run largely by non-scientists, the future for education and research, and the problem of fragmentation threatening hopes for a common culture are just some of the subjects discussed. (shrink)
_Virtue as Social Intelligence: An Empirically Grounded Theory_ takes on the claims of philosophical situationism, the ethical theory that is skeptical about the possibility of human virtue. Influenced by social psychological studies, philosophical situationists argue that human personality is too fluid and fragmented to support a stable set of virtues. They claim that virtue cannot be grounded in empirical psychology. This book argues otherwise. Drawing on the work of psychologists Walter Mischel and Yuichi Shoda, Nancy E. Snow argues that (...) the social psychological experiments that philosophical situationists rely on look at the wrong kinds of situations to test for behavioral consistency. Rather than looking at situations that are objectively similar, researchers need to compare situations that have similar meanings _for the subject_. When this is done, subjects exhibit behavioral consistencies that warrant the attribution of enduring traits, and virtues are a subset of these traits. Virtue can therefore be empirically grounded and virtue ethics has nothing to fear from philosophical situationism. (shrink)
Introduction -- In search of global traits -- Habitual virtuous actions and automaticity -- Social intelligence and why it matters -- Virtue as social intelligence -- Philosophical situationism revisited -- Conclusion.
Dual process theorists in psychology maintain that the mind’s workings can be explained in terms of conscious or controlled processes and automatic processes. Automatic processes are largely nonconscious, that is, triggered by environmental stimuli without the agent’s conscious awareness or deliberation. Automaticity researchers contend that even higher level habitual social behaviors can be nonconsciously primed. This article brings work on automaticity to bear on our understanding of habitual virtuous actions. After examining a recent intuitive account of habitual actions and habitual (...) virtuous actions, the author offers her own explanation in terms of goal-dependent automaticity. This form of automaticity provides an account of habitual virtuous actions that explains the sense in which these actions are rational, that is, done for reasons. Habitual virtuous actions are rational in the sense of being purposive or goal-directed and are essentially linked with the agent’s psychological states. Unlike deliberative virtuous actions, the agent’s reasons for habitual virtuous actions are not present to her conscious awareness at the time of acting. (shrink)
Hope is a ubiquitous feature of human experience, but there has been relatively little scholarship within contemporary analytic philosophy devoted to the systematic analysis of its nature and value. In the last decade, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in the study of hope and, in particular, its role in human agency. This scholarly attention reflects an ambivalence about hope's effects. While the possession of hope can have salutary consequences, it can also make the agent vulnerable to certain (...) kinds of personal risk. The pervasiveness of hope is not a sign of its quality; only a well-tuned hope can be a virtue. Recently, Nancy Snow has argued that hope can be an intellectual virtue. Framing her account as a contribution to regulative epistemology, she contends that the intellectual virtue of hope can (i) motivate the pursuit of important epistemic ends, (ii) create dispositions that enable the successful pursuit of these aims, and (iii) generate a method for enduring intellectual projects. In this paper, I provide a critical appraisal of Snow's account of hope as an intellectual virtue. One important implication of this critique is that hope can function as an intellectual virtue only to the extent that it has benefitted from the correcting and perfecting influence of other cognitive excellences. (shrink)
Virtue ethics enjoys a resurgence, yet the topic of virtue cultivation has been largely neglected. This volume remedies this gap, featuring mostly new essays, commissioned for this collection, by philosophers, theologians, and psychologists at the forefront of research into virtue.
The SnowWhite problem is introduced to demonstrate how learning something of which one could not have learnt the opposite can change an agent’s probability assignment. This helps us to analyse the Sleeping Beauty problem, which is deconstructed as a combinatorial engine and a subjective wrapper. The combinatorial engine of the problem is analogous to Bertrand’s boxes paradox and can be solved with standard probability theory. The subjective wrapper is clarified using the Snow White problem. Sample spaces for all three (...) problems are presented. The conclusion is that subjectivity plays no irreducible role in solving the Sleeping Beauty problem and that no reference to centered worlds is required to provide the answer. (shrink)
Though virtue ethics is enjoying a resurgence, the topic of virtue cultivation has been largely neglected by philosophers. This volume remedies this gap, featuring mostly new essays, commissioned for this collection, by philosophers, theologians, and psychologists at the forefront of research into virtue. Each contribution focuses on some aspect of virtue development, either by highlighting virtue cultivation within distinctive traditions of ethical or religious thought, or by taking a developmental perspective to yield fresh insights into criticisms of virtue ethics, or (...) by examining the science that explains virtue development. The essays by Russell and Driver investigate virtue cultivation or problems associated with it from Aristotelian and utilitarian perspectives. Slote addresses virtue development from the sentimentalist standpoint. Swanton and Cureton and Hill explore self-improvement, the former with an eye to offering solutions to critiques of virtue ethics, the latter from a Kantian ethical vantage point. Slingerland examines contemporary psychology as well as virtue development in the Confucian tradition to counter situationist criticisms of virtue ethics. Flanagan, Bucar, and Herdt examine how virtue is cultivated in the Buddhist, Islamic, and Christian traditions, respectively. Narvaez, Thompson, and McAdams offer descriptive insights from psychology into virtue development. The result is a collection of extremely creative essays that not only fills the current gap but also promises to stimulate new work on a philosophically neglected yet vital topic. (shrink)
Abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq confront us with the question of how seemingly ordinary soldiers could have perpetrated harms against prisoners. In this essay I argue that a Stoic approach to the virtues can provide a bulwark against the social and personal forces that can lead to abusive behavior. In part one, I discuss Abu Ghraib. In two, I examine social psychological explanations of how ordinary, apparently decent people are able to commit atrocities. In three, I address a (...) series of questions: why should we turn to ethics for help with these problems, and why, in particular, to Stoicism instead of other ethical theories, such as utilitarianism or Kantianism? Given the power of situations in influencing behavior, is a turn to character ethics a viable response to problems such as those at Abu Ghraib? I argue in part four that character formation drawing on Stoic values can provide soldiers with the inner resilience to resist the situational factors that press them to unwarranted aggression. (shrink)
Since ancient times, character, virtue, and happiness have been central to thinking about how to live well. Yet until recently, philosophers have thought about these topics in an empirical vacuum. Taking up the general challenge of situationism – that philosophers should pay attention to empirical psychology – this interdisciplinary volume presents new essays from empirically informed perspectives by philosophers and psychologists on western as well as eastern conceptions of character, virtue, and happiness, and related issues such as personality, emotion and (...) cognition, attitudes and automaticity. Researchers at the top of their fields offer exciting work that expands the horizons of empirically informed research on topics central to virtue ethics. (shrink)
The psychological construct of ‘generativity’ was introduced by Erik Erikson in Childhood and Society in 1950. This rich and complex notion encompasses the constellation of desires, concerns and commitments that motivate individuals and societies to pass on legacies to future generations. ‘Flourishing,’ which means, very roughly, living life well, is another rich and complex notion, interpretations of which are found in ancient philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics. In this article I relate interpretations of these two concepts by (...) arguing that certain forms of generativity can be considered an Aristotelian-type virtue, and that the virtue of generativity is necessary, but not sufficient, for flourishing in the Aristotelian sense. In other words, one can be generative without flourishing. The reverse, however, does not seem true: it is hard to see how one can fully flourish without being generative. (shrink)
The needless proliferation of virtues is a possible pitfall of the explosion of work in virtue ethics. I discuss two positions on proliferation and offer my own. Russell takes the first approach, arguing that virtue ethical right action is impossible unless we adopt a finite and specifiable list of the virtues. I argue against this. Hursthouse offers a second perspective, looking first to standard Aristotelian virtues, and adding virtues only when the standard list fails to capture something of moral importance. (...) Like Hursthouse, I believe that questions arising from applied ethics present the real challenge to the adequacy of traditional lists of virtues. These challenges are becoming increasingly urgent. Technologies are not only shaping our conceptions of ourselves, the human good, and virtues, but also, through germline gene editing, have the potential to change human nature. My position takes its cue from Hursthouse but goes beyond her by arguing for an “anthropological turn” in virtue ethics. The anthropological turn examines forms of life, especially those influenced by technology and science, and how they affect articulations of the human good and the virtues needed to attain it. Any new virtues, I argue, should be identified through study of how dispositions conducive to human good arise organically within forms of life. In this way, virtues remain grounded in what is good for humans, yet the anthropological turn recognizes that what counts as human good is now in flux because of science and technology. (shrink)
In two earlier papers, I began to explore how “ordinary people” acquire virtue. By “ordinary people,” I mean people, not specifically or directly concerned with becoming virtuous, who have goals or aims the pursuit of which requires them to develop virtue. E.g., parents acquire patience and generosity in the course of pursuing their goal to be good parents; those concerned with being peacemakers acquire tact and diplomacy in the pursuit of that goal, and so on. These virtues can be viewed (...) by those who seek them to be of instrumental and not intrinsic value, that is, needed for goal attainment but not necessarily valuable in their own right. Moreover, the virtues so acquired need not be substantially informed by reflective deliberation. Are there pathways by means of which possessors of ordinary virtue can develop Aristotelian virtue, by coming to view the virtues they possess as having intrinsic value; and developing their phronetic capacities such that their virtues become informed by practical wisdom? In this essay, I continue the exploration of ordinary virtue with an eye to revealing possible pathways by which ordinary virtue can indeed take on the characteristics of full Aristotelian virtue. In the spirit of empirical collaboration, I suggest these pathways of virtue development as testable hypotheses. (shrink)
The provocative title of this conference is, “Can Virtue Be Measured?” My answer to this question is, “Yes, it can,” and I hasten to add, “It should be.” I began thinking about whether and how to measure virtue when Jennifer Cole Wright, a psychologist from the College of Charleston, and I were approached to write a popular book on measuring virtue. Alas, that project didn’t get anywhere, but I hope that our thinking about this issue might yet bear fruit. Central (...) to our thought is a notion suggested to us by one of our prospective editors. That is the idea of virtue intelligence.1 In part I, I sketch arguments for the importance of measuring virtue and sketch how the concept of virtue intelligence might help us to approach this venture. In II, I articulate in more detail what virtue intelligence is, and, in III, situate it within philosophical theories of virtue. In IV, I draw upon the thinking that Jen and I have done to briefly discuss what we believe to be some of the most innovative and exciting methodologies for measuring virtue now being explored. Finally, in V, I go out on a limb and suggest something rather different, inspired by my recent reading on the topic of “big data.”. (shrink)
Aristotelian-inspired accounts of virtue acquisition stress guided practice and habituated action to develop virtue. This emphasis on action can lead to the ‘paradox of striving’. The paradox occurs when we try too hard to act well and thereby spoil our efforts. I identify four forms of striving—forcing, impulsivity, overthinking, and holding oneself to too high a standard—and explain how they can cause our actions to miss the virtuous mark. Though neo-Aristotelians can offer remedies for these ills, I turn in the (...) rest of this article to explore an approach to virtue inspired by the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi stresses receptivity to personal transformation and turning inward through meditative practice as ways in which we can attain the inner states needed for virtuous action. In consequence, a Gandhian approach offers a rather different analysis of the paradox of striving than that given by neo-Aristotelianism. (shrink)
In this article I introduce and summarize Alexander’s theory of social events as performance and ask what it offers performance studies. I critique the theory as being grounded in a theatre dramaturgy of actors, characters and scripts and suggest that while it appears to open new theoretical ground to deal with performances, it omits crucial features, namely embodiment, creativity and imagination. I distinguish between the cultural category performance, the theoretical category performance, and actual performance events, and I differentiate these from (...) the theoretical notion of performativity. I go on to enquire into the relations between performance, performances, performativity and society. (shrink)
: In this essay, Solis contemplates how queercrip—both homosexual and disabled—readings of four editions of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" might be used to destabilize "normative" sexual identities. His goal is to argue against secrecy and for disclosure; thus, a main question guides the analysis: How might we (for example, parents, teachers, counselors) use picture books to reevaluate human sexuality in all its varied manifestations to avoid condemning to the closet all those who do not approximate a prescribed (...) "norm"? (shrink)
Recent studies of organizational behavior have witnessed a growing interest in unethical leadership, leading to the development of abusive supervision research. Given the increasing interest in the causes of abusive supervision, this study proposes an organizing framework for its antecedents and tests it using meta analysis. Based on an analysis of effect sizes drawn from 74 studies, comprising 30,063 participants, the relationship between abusive supervision and different antecedent categories are examined. The results generally support expected relationships across the four categories (...) of abusive antecedents, including: supervisor related antecedents, organization related antecedents, subordinate related antecedents, and demographic characteristics of both supervisors and subordinates. In addition, possible moderators that can also influence the relationships between abusive supervision and its antecedents are also examined. The significance and implications of different level factors in explaining abusive supervision are discussed. (shrink)
This article examines whether the likelihood and amount of firm charitable giving in response to catastrophic events are related to firm advertising intensity, and whether industry competition level moderates this relationship. Using data on Chinese firms’ philanthropic response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, we find that firm advertising intensity is positively associated with both the probability and the amount of corporate giving. The results also indicate that this positive advertising intensity-philanthropic giving relationship is stronger in competitive industries, and firms in (...) competitive industries are more likely to donate. This study thus provides evidence suggesting that even in the wake of catastrophic events, corporate philanthropic giving is strategic. (shrink)
In this essay, Solis contemplates how queercrip-both homosexual and disabled-readings of four editions of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" might be used to destabilize "normative" sexual identities. His goal is to argue against secrecy and for disclosure; thus, a main question guides the analysis: How might we use picture books to reevaluate human sexuality in all its varied manifestations to avoid condemning to the closet all those who do not approximate a prescribed "norm"?