We present a representation for reasoning and planning with an incomplete state description called PSIPLAN-S. The presented formalism has several properties critical for application domains with a large degree of incompleteness in the state description, particularly, in domains with a large or unknown set of all objects. The formalism offers considerably expressive state and goal description language, that includes limited universal quantification, representation of sensing actions and knowledge goals, a correct and complete state update procedure, and complete reasoning within a (...) substantial subset of the language. The approach is illustrated by examples from a working system. (shrink)
This paper develops a domination-based practice-dependent approach to justice, according to which it is practices of systemic domination which can be said to ground demands from justice. The domination-based approach developed overcomes the two most important objections levelled to alternative practice-dependent approaches. First, it eschews conservative implications and hence is immune to the status quo objection. Second, it is immune to the redundancy objection, which doubts whether empirical facts and practices can really play an irreducible role in grounding justice. In (...) theorising dominating practices in terms of practices of social power, a domination-based approach makes justice dependent on factual information in three ways: First, the principle of non-domination is indeterminate and can only be spelled out by taking into view particular contexts of domination. Second, the principle of non-domination is conditional on the existence of practices of social power. Third, social power possesses a structural ontology – to know whether A has social power over B we need to turn to social rules distributing agents' higher order status of normative authority towards each other. This explains in what way practices of social power – and of domination – are both factual and normative practices and hence how such practices are non-redundant in grounding justice. (shrink)
This volume collects four published articles by the late Tamara Horowitz and two unpublished papers on decision theory: "Making Rational Decisions When Preferences Cycle" and the monograph-length "The Backtracking Fallacy." An introduction is provided by editor Joseph Camp. Horowitz preferred to recognize the diversity of rationality, both practical and theoretical rationality. She resisted the temptation to accept simple theories of rationality that are quick to characterize ordinary reasoning as fallacious. This broadly humanist approach to philosophy is exemplified by the (...) articles in this collection. As just one example, in "The Backtracking Fallacy," she argues that there are policies for decision-making a person may adopt if the person prefers to do so, but need not adopt. A person who employs such a policy no longer can regard standard expected utility theory as exceptionless, thereby sacrificing theoretical simplicity. But it is a mistake, Horowitz argues, to preserve theoretical simplicity by falsifying the decision making methods real people really use. (shrink)
In 1951, the eight o’clock nightly news reported on Jean-Paul Sartre for the first time. By the end of the twentieth century, more than 3,500 programs dealing with philosophy and its practitioners—including Bachelard, Badiou, Foucault, Lyotard, and Lévy—had aired on French television. According to Tamara Chaplin, this enduring commitment to bringing the most abstract and least visual of disciplines to the French public challenges our very assumptions about the incompatibility of elite culture and mass media. Indeed, it belies the (...) conviction that television is inevitably anti-intellectual and the quintessential archenemy of the book. Chaplin argues that the history of the televising of philosophy is crucial to understanding the struggle over French national identity in the postwar period. Linking this history to decolonization, modernization, and globalization, _Turning On the Mind _claims that we can understand neither the markedly public role that philosophy came to play in French society during the late twentieth century nor the renewed interest in ethics and political philosophy in the early twenty-first unless we acknowledge the work of television. Throughout, Chaplin insists that we jettison presumptions about the anti-intellectual nature of the visual field, engages critical questions about the survival of national cultures in a globalizing world, and encourages us to rethink philosophy itself, ultimately asserting that the content of the discipline is indivisible from the new media forms in which it has found expression. (shrink)
In this essay, I will look closer at the death of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who committed suicide in 1995. I will scrutinize his death in concordance with his philosophical thoughts, but frame my gaze within Albert Camus’ well-known opening- question from The Myth of Sisyphus: “Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy” (Camus, 2005:1).
Calls to expand temporary work programmes come from two directions. First, as global justice advocates observe, every year thousands of poor migrants cross borders in search of better opportunities, often in the form of improved employment opportunities. As a result, international organizations now lobby in favour of expanding ‘guest-work’ opportunities, that is, opportunities for citizens of poorer countries to migrate temporarily to wealthier countries to fill labour shortages. Second, temporary work programmes permit domestic governments to respond to two internal, contradictory (...) political pressures: (1) to fill labour shortages and (2) to do so without increasing rates of permanent migration. Temporary work programmes permit governments to appear ‘tough’ on migration, while responding to employer pressure to locate workers willing to work in low-skilled, poorly remunerated positions. The coincidence of national self-interest and global justice generates a strong case in favour of expanding guest-work. We evaluate the moral benefits and burdens of expanding guest-work opportunities, and conclude that although there are benefits to be gleaned from the perspective of global wealth redistribution, at present, temporary work programmes are generally unjust. We will argue that just temporary work programmes, in time, permit temporary workers to attain citizenship. This spells the end of traditional temporary work programmes, which require that workers return to their home country in time; instead, what is temporary is the employment obligation that must be fulfilled as a requirement to access citizenship. As long as this requirement is met, we endorse guest-work programmes as a tool to respond to global inequality. (shrink)
Non-medical sex selection is premised on the notion that the sexes are not interchangeable. Studies of individuals who undergo sex selection for non-medical reasons, or who have a preference for a son or daughter, show that they assume their child will conform to the stereotypical roles and norms associated with their sex. However, the evidence currently available has not succeeded in showing that the gender traits and inclinations sought are caused by a “male brain” or a “female brain”. Therefore, as (...) far as we know, there is no biological reason why parents cannot have the kind of parenting experience they seek with a child of any sex. Yet gender essentialism, a set of unfounded assumptions about the sexes which pervade society and underpin sexism, prevents parents from realising this freedom. In other words, unfounded assumptions about gender constrain not only a child’s autonomy, but also the parent’s. To date, reproductive autonomy in relation to sex selection has predominantly been regarded merely as the freedom to choose the sex of one’s child. This paper points to at least two interpretations of reproductive autonomy and argues that sex selection, by being premised on gender essentialism and/or the social pressure on parents to ensure their children conform to gender norms, undermines reproductive autonomy on both accounts. (shrink)
To what extent can philosophical thought experiments reveal norms? Some ethicists have argued that certain thought experiments reveal that people draw a morally significant distinction between "doing" and "allowing". I examine one such thought experiment in detail and argue that the intuitions it elicits can be explained by "prospect theory", a psychological theory about the way people reason. The extent to which such alternative explanations of the results of thought experiments in philosophy are generally available is an empirical question.
This article starts by noting the general lack of acknowledgment of alternative traditions in the dominant western sustainability discourse in education. After critically analyzing the western human–nature relationship in the context of Enlightenment, modernity and colonial expansion, this article introduces two non-western ecological discourses from Eurasia and Asia, Noöspherism and Neo-Confucianism, which offer clear contrasts to the western sustainability framework. Using theoretical argumentations, the article goes on to examine the cosmological and ontological categories expounded by Vladimir Vernadsky of Russia and (...) Yulgok Yi of Korea, whose philosophical foundations with unique foci on the anthropocosmic and cosmoanthropic types of human–nature relationships could well be alternatives and/or additions to the dominant western discourse. The article concludes with a twofold comparison: between Eurasian and Confucian heritages, and these two with the mainstream western ecological discourse. (shrink)
This article focuses on the follow question: Are human enhancement technologies likely to be justice impairing or justice promoting? We argue that human enhancement technologies may not be inherently just or unjust, but when situated within obtaining social contexts they are likely to exacerbate rather than alleviate social injustices.
The pig sector is struggling with negative attitudes of citizens. This may be the result of conflicting attitudes toward pig husbandry between citizens and other stakeholders. To obtain knowledge about these attitudes, the objectives of this study were to determine and compare attitudes of various stakeholders toward animals, humans and the environment in the context of pig husbandry and to determine and compare the acceptability of publically discussed issues related to pig husbandry of various stakeholders. A questionnaire was distributed to (...) citizens, conventional pig farmers, organic pig farmers, pig husbandry advisors and pig veterinarians. Respondents could indicate their attitude toward aspects related to animals, humans and the environment in the context of pig husbandry and they could indicate their opinion about the acceptability of issues of pig husbandry, e.g. piglet mortality and inside pig housing. Based on measured attitudes and the acceptability of issues, the studied stakeholders could be divided into three distinctive groups. The group of citizens and organic pig farmers showed negative attitudes toward all aspects of pig husbandry, the group of conventional pig farmers and pig husbandry advisors only showed negative attitudes toward aspects related to economics and the group of pig veterinarians showed negative attitudes to specific aspects of pig husbandry. This indicates that stakeholders have different interests and different perspectives with regard to pig husbandry. The pig sector should learn to understand citizens’ perspectives and take these into account in their line of work, the implementation of animal welfare measures and in their communication. (shrink)
Hate speech is a phenomenon which has been in the focus of scholarly interest of linguists, philosophers, sociologists, human-rights advocates, legal and media experts. Much of this interest has been devoted to establishing criteria for identifying what constitutes hate speech across disciplines. In this paper, we argue that hate speech has profiled as a distinct subgenre of the language of politics with typical patterns and ways of addressing which can be recognized in political campaigns across the world. Therefore, we present (...) the findings of the case study of translation exercises of English and Serbian texts containing samples of hateful language during presidential campaigns in the USA and Serbia in 2016 and 2017. Our aim is to identify the linguistico-pragmatic commonalities of hate speech in Serbian and English and examine students’ attitudes towards ethically and morally challenging language contents in their mother tongue and English as their foreign language. The results indicate that in both English and Serbian the same groups are targeted with the hateful language which in both languages uses vulgarisms, taboo words, sexist and chauvinistic declarative expressions to achieve political goals. In addition, L1>L2 and L2>L1 translation data indicate that personal moral and ethical norms in translators are stronger in L1 thus restrictively affecting translational L2>L1 output. (shrink)
Despite their centrality and importance to both science and philosophy, relatively little has been written about thought experiments. This volume brings together a series of extremely interesting studies of the history, mechanics, and applications of this important intellectual resource. A distinguished list of philosophers and scientists consider the role of thought experiments in their various disciplines, and argue that an examination of thought experimentation goes to the heart of both science and philosophy.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder was recently moved to a full category in the DSM-5 . It also appears set for inclusion as a separate disorder in the ICD-11 . This paper argues that PMDD should not be listed in the DSM or the ICD at all, adding to the call to recognise PMDD as a socially constructed disorder. I first present the argument that PMDD pathologises understandable anger/distress and that to do so is potentially dangerous. I then present evidence that PMDD (...) is a culture-bound phenomenon, not a universal one. I also argue that even if medication produces a desired effect, there are biological correlates with premenstrual anger/distress, such anger/distress seems to occur monthly, and women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with affective disorders, none of these factors substantiates that premenstrual anger/distress is caused by a mental disorder. I argue that to assume they do is to ignore the now accepted role that one’s environment and psychology play in illness development, as well as arguments concerning the social construction of mental illness. In doing so, I do not claim that there are no women who experience premenstrual distress or that their distress is not a lived experience. My point is that such distress can be recognised and considered significant without being pathologised and that it is unethical to describe premenstrual anger/distress as a mental disorder. Further, if the credibility of women’s suffering is subject to doubt without a clinical diagnosis, then the way to address this problem is to change societal attitudes towards women’s suffering, not to label women as mentally ill. The paper concludes with some broader implications for women and society of the change in status of PMDD in the DSM-5 as well as a sketch of critical policy suggestions to address these implications. (shrink)