In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...) different languages. Our results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Our results suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”— that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong-Kong as a distinct country) and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage (...) in “reflective” thinking. (shrink)
Is behavioral integration (i.e., which occurs when a subjects assertion that p matches her non-verbal behavior) a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from nearly 6,000 people across twenty-six samples, spanning twenty-two countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we suggest that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely (...) asserts that p, non-linguistic behavioral evidence is disregarded. In light of this, we take ourselves to have discovered a universal principle governing the ascription of beliefs in folk psychology. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and sixteen languages. Overall, participants tended (...) to ascribe moral responsibility whether the perpetrator lacked sourcehood or alternate possibilities. However, for American, European, and Middle Eastern participants, being the ultimate source of one’s actions promoted perceptions of free will and control as well as ascriptions of blame and punishment. By contrast, being the source of one’s actions was not particularly salient to Asian participants. Finally, across cultures, participants exhibiting greater cognitive reflection were more likely to view free will as incompatible with causal determinism. We discuss these findings in light of documented cultural differences in the tendency toward dispositional versus situational attributions. (shrink)
Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people (...) spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross‐cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general. (shrink)
These proceedings of the International Conference for the History of Science in Science Education (ICHSSE) 2012 offer a snapshot of the work and conversations at an increasingly busy intersection: history of science, museum and science center staff, and science educators. The backgrounds of the editors reflect this mixture. Peter Heering, of the University of Flensburg, where the 2012 conference was held, is a historian and a leading figure in the field of replication studies, in which researchers and students re-build (...) apparatus and re-enact scientific experiments in order to recover historical perspectives lost to view in the documentary sources. His is a scholarly labour that is both impressively rich and impressively time-consuming. Stephen Klassen and Don Metz are specialists in physics education from Winnipeg, Canada, developing techniques of story-telling and biography to energize science curriculum. Both the editors and conference participants shared an interest in bringing scientific instruments and contextualist approaches to the foreground in the classroom and, also, more informal spaces like the museum or science centre. -/- The 25 chapters in this volume fall into four sometimes overlapping categories. The first section contains papers on historical episodes such as critical experiments. The second focuses on different methods of using historical records in teaching situations, at levels from teacher training to late elementary students. The third section explores projects developed in science museums or science centres, with contributions drawn from the work of leading institutions like the Deutsches Museum, the Smithsonian Museum, University of Pavia, and with a welcome South American example from São Carlos, Brazil. A section representing formal studies of science pedagogy closes the volume. The collection as a whole is dominated by case studies involving the physical sciences, but there are also valuable studies which turn to the life sciences. -/- The energy and excitement in many of the classrooms and projects described in the case studies in this volume is impressive. Many readers will approach this collection pragmatically. If this volume can be considered as a toolkit, which tools are most versatile? Or, to change the metaphor to a more horticultural one, what methods can be most easily be transplanted? The technical support and most of all the extended time required for replication studies is a well known barrier in many settings, and this volume gives interesting examples of the efforts to overcome the barrier. Peter Heering’s contribution to the volume, “Make—Keep—Use”, gives an account of a project called the “Project Galilei”, which trained teachers to lead secondary students in the construction and use of replicas that then became part of the school’s equipment. The project had mixed success—the kinds of instrument that could be made in the short time available in the curriculum was limited; and the teacher training portion was critical. Another version of a solution to the barriers of replication was the Danish project, Geomat.dk, which loaned a collection of replica navigational instruments to high schools for a few weeks at a time. Several other chapters in the volume stress the importance of doing as well as reading or listening. Elizabeth Cavicchi’s eloquent account of her work at the Egerton Center at MIT training teachers cover a variety of hands-on learning projects, from working with Euclidean geometry to Galilean relative motion. The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, building on a similar teacher-training summer institute, extended its work with replicas to school-age children at short field-trips to the museum. Here the engagement with replicas is much more superficial than is possible with more extended work, and so may offer little more, perhaps, than the ‘science theatre’ tradition. Yet the numbers of students it can reach is huge. Another more in-depth approaches that remain quite widely accessible, however, is digging for the identity and provenance of an unknown object. An example is recorded in a very straightforward manner by Maximilian Wottrich, a gymnasium student from Augsburg, who investigated an unidentified magnetic–electrical apparatus by a Vienna instrument maker. Remarkable here is the sense that closing the story—finding the answer to the instrument’s identity—is almost irrelevant. Instead, the ongoing process of understanding the functions of the device, or recovering scattered clues to the maker, builds both scientific and historical literacy. -/- That ‘open conclusion’ is clearly one of the most valuable features of the general intellectual project represented in the volume. The descriptions of how to incorporate historical narrative in the classroom, however, vary quite widely in how they treat this quality. In some projects, the intention of the historical background is coloration and inspiration, bringing the human dimensions of scientific practice alive through biography and historical context. Evidently, as in the model cases here, this can be done expertly indeed, but it remains a deceptively difficult technique. Here the theoretical reflections on the turn to the ‘science story’ in science pedagogy by Cathrine Froese Klassen seem significant. If the formal definition of the ‘science story’ promotes the idea of denouement as closure, it seems to me we risk losing more than we have gained in bringing history into the classroom. We are back on the path that leads to the tidy old stories, or to tired-sounding rebuttals of C. P. Snow’s description of the sciences and humanities as two cultures with no common ground. Yet in other work described here, including history is a jumping-off point for truly open-ended inquiry and productions. A case in point here is Claus Michelsen’s chapter describing his students’ explorations of the connections between poet and author Hans Christian Andersen and natural philosopher Hans Christian Oersted in the Danish Golden Age. The example from this project that stood out to me was the student video that captured a re-enactment of an image in Oersted’s poetry. These are best described as ‘hors catégorie’ rather than interdisciplinary, but they embody what is at stake in promoting different ways to teach science. Michelsen’s chapter is also valuable in outlining the pedagogical philosophies at the heart of the collaboration he describes, both in historical terms and in present-day. -/- The intersection of historians, curators, scientists and science educators can be a fruitful one. This volume suggests not only the extent to which the conversation has already begun, but also the need to go beyond simply celebrating the fact that diverse groups of scholars and educators are now actively engaged with each other’s worlds. Sharing some guidelines of best practices would go a long way, and the goal is what we might call functional literacy as opposed to mastery of a different set of disciplinary practices. For historians of science, this might mean needing to know something more about how to collect and preserve, or simply what a good material record looks like. (Several of the contributions from museum professionals in the third section of this volume begin to provide these guidelines, but in a manner that requires considerable excavation.) Similarly, as the late historian of science John Pickstone has argued, scientists and others involved in public science communication could be held to more critical standards of historical evidence and argument.1 In the early twenty-first century, there are many forces at work reshaping our ‘formal and informal learning environments’ ranging from financial challenges, new digital environments, and the politics of educational reform. Many of these forces are bringing museums and universities closer together. To focus on developments that embody intellectual energy and spirit, as a reader can do in this wide-ranging volume, will be a welcome opportunity for many. (shrink)
In this article, I explore preliminarily whether Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica was well suited to extended theological inquiry. After providing a brief introduction to Comestor’s method to acquaint the reader with the literary character of the History, I turn my attention to the use by Stephen Langton and Hugh of St. Cher, two prominent commentators on the History, of source material that Comestor himself used in composing the History. I pay particular attention to the Lombard’s Sentences, the most (...) important source for Comestor’s treatment of the first three chapters of Genesis in the first twenty-five chapters of the History and, not surprisingly, a crucial source for his two commentators. Focusing on source material from the Lombard’s Sentences used both by Comestor and by Langton and Hugh illustrates well the disparate ends of Comestor and his commentators. It also provides a common basis for comparing not only how the two Peters treated certain problematic theological matters but also how Langton and Hugh interpreted and commented upon Comestor’s presentation of the same. I conclude that, at least in certain instances, a work like the History was not entirely amenable to the new ways of pursuing theological inquiry in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. (shrink)
This paper argues that contemporary analytic philosophy of music has characterized historically informed performance practice as compliance-focused, impersonal, and work-centered. The first part of the paper gathers evidence in support of this claim from the works of Julian Dodd, Peter Kivy, James O. Young, Aron Edidin, and Stephen Davies. In the second part of the paper, I reject this received view. Evidence from actual performance practice, as well as from the practitioners’ reflection on their activity, belies the received (...) view outlined in the first part of the paper. I conclude by drawing three methodological lessons from the oversights I attempt to rectify. (shrink)
This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...) a buck-passing fashion (§II). The second are the buck-passing analyses of good for proposed by John Skorupski (§III), Henry Sidgwick (§IV), and Stephen Darwall (§V). Along the way the paper shows that Michael Smith’s and Peter Railton’s analyses of other concepts—analyses that could be (and have been) taken to be analyses of good for —are similarly unsuitable as analyses of it. The paper concludes by suggesting that the fact that none of the buck-passing accounts of good for considered here is satisfactory, coupled with an appreciation of the various problems that a buck-passing analysis of good for would have to avoid, suggests that we should be sceptical about the prospects of finding such an analysis and should look for one of a different type. (shrink)
Zimmerman, Brandon The purpose of this brief study is to ascertain Peter Lombard's understanding of what the Christian doctrine of creation means and his judgment about whether pagan philosophers were able to reach this doctrine through the light of natural reason. Lombard's views on creation set the foundation for thirteenth-century discussions of creation, since all the scholastic masters of Oxford and Paris commented on Lombard's 'Sentences' and thus recorded their agreement or disagreement with him. Lombard's views are of especial (...) importance for understanding Aquinas's teaching on creation, since Aquinas's first detailed discussion of creation takes place in his Sentences Commentary, bk II, d. 1, q. 1, in which he forcefully presents the essence of creation as demonstrable through philosophy, though knowable more perfectly through faith, and reinterprets the essential meaning of creation using Avicenna's metaphysics. My study thus complements the studies of Timothy Noone, Stephen Baldner, William Carroll, Mark Johnson, John F. Wippel, and Lawrence Dewan on how Aquinas's understanding of creation and of whether Plato and Aristotle taught the doctrine of creation differs from that of the immediate Latin scholastic tradition, though I will not be able to show here how Aquinas adapts some of Lombard's ideas and suggestions even as he moves quite far beyond them in metaphysical sophistication. Additionally, the medieval reception of Plato and Aristotle will be touched upon. (shrink)
This essay examines the theological concept of a habitus, the problems it was intended to solve, and how it was developed by masters of Paris in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. I argue that Peter Lombard and Peter of Poitiers embraced the broad concept of a habitus they found in Augustine’s work: that by which something is done when there is a need. A habitus, then, did not have to be acquired by practice, and it might (...) never be manifest in the agent’s behaviour, because the need for it might never arise. This conception of a habitus was wide enough to encompass both naturally acquired dispositions and God-given dispositions, such as the virtues that theologians thought young children received through the grace of baptism. On the other hand, neither Peter Lombard nor Peter of Poitiers tried to explain how an adult with a virtuous habitus could fail to exercise it when appropriate circumstances arose. Stephen Langton broke new ground in arguing that an adult with a virtuous habitus might still lack the necessary power or strength to resist temptation. Stephen’s effort to account for moral failure by appealing to empirical psychology represents a step beyond the more idealized teachings of his predecessors. (shrink)
Waterland, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal on the basis of the screenplay by Peter Prince, is a film adaptation of Graham Swift’s novel under the same title, published in 1983. The book could be called unfilmable although the history of cinema knows examples of successful screenings of apparently unfilmable novels, e.g., The French Lieutenant’s Woman. In the case of Swift’s novel, the main potential difficulties could be seen in its wide scope, its intricate mosaic character, and its style. The (...) article analyzes the changes introduced in the adaptation, including the shift of the contemporary action from Greenwich, England to the American city of Pittsburgh. The way of connecting the present with the past by means of “time travel” is discussed. Consequences for possible interpretation resulting from omitting certain elements of the book and introducing new material as well as changing the order of presentation of some of the scenes are shown. Comments on the film are juxtaposed with interpretations of some aspects of the novel taken from key critical texts on Swift’s book. Also specifically cinematic solutions present in Gyllenhaal’s movie are taken into account. (shrink)
The Appeal to Tradition, often considered to be unsound, frequently reflects sophisticated adaptations to the environment. Once developed, these adaptations are often transmitted culturally rather than as reasoned argument, so that people mayor may not be aware of why their traditions are wise. Tradition is more likely to be valid in a stable environment in which a wide range of variations have been available for past testing; however, traditions tend to become obsolete in a rapidly changing environment.