We discuss how the approach taken by regulators to address financial reporting issues has a significant influence on tone at the top. While tone must ultimately be established internally, regulators are more likely to have a positive impact on the quality of financial reporting by addressing organizational tone. A strong tone at the top should ensure that the financial reports are characterized by greater transparency and complete disclosures, and a regulator’s response will depend upon their perspective as to what motivates (...) management. A compliance-based approach, rooted in agency theory’s assumption that managers act in their own best interests, seeks to mandate desirable behavior through elevated monitoring and reduced managerial discretion. Alternatively, an empowerment-based approach rooted in stewardship theory views managers as trustworthy guardians and grants them greater discretion without burdensome external monitoring. In practice, regulations fall on a continuum between these two approaches. To illustrate the continuum between compliance and empowerment, we present three cases in financial and tax reporting and examine the outcomes of these recent regulatory responses. We then provide conclusions regarding the effectiveness of each regulation by considering how tone was influenced within organizations. (shrink)
In recent analytic metaphysics, the view that ‘ordinary inanimate objects such as sticks and stones, tables and chairs, simply do not exist’ has been defended by some noteworthy writers. Thomasson opposes such revisionary ontology in favour of an ontology that is conservative with respect to common sense. The book is written in a straightforward, methodical and down-to-earth style. It is also relatively non-specialized, enabling the author and her readers to approach problems that are often dealt with in isolation in (...) a more unified way.Thomasson's arguments are mainly counter-attacks on six ‘eliminativist’ arguments against ordinary objects. A causal redundancy argument espoused by Trenton Merricks holds that to suppose that there are ordinary objects is to suppose that these objects have distinctive causal powers. However, the casual efficacy of a baseball, for example, is exhausted by that of some suitably arranged …. (shrink)
This challenging study places fiction squarely at the centre of the discussion of metaphysics. Philosophers have traditionally treated fiction as involving a set of narrow problems in logic or the philosophy of language. By contrast Amie Thomasson argues that fiction has far-reaching implications for central problems of metaphysics. The book develops an 'artifactual' theory of fiction, whereby fictional characters are abstract artifacts as ordinary as laws or symphonies or works of literature. By understanding fictional characters we come to understand (...) how other cultural and social objects are established on the basis of the independent physical world and the mental states of human beings. (shrink)
One-level accounts of consciousness have become increasingly popular (Dretske 1995, Tye 1995, Siewert 1998, Thomasson 2000 and 2005, Lurz 2006, McGinn, this volume). By a ‘onelevel’ account I mean an account according to which consciousness is fundamentally a matter of awareness of a world —and does not require awareness of our own minds, mental states, or the phenomenal character of these. As Fred Dretske puts it “Experiences and beliefs are conscious, not because you are conscious of them, but because, (...) so to speak, you are conscious with them”. (shrink)
L’article publié ici se propose d’emprunter une voie qui n’avait pas été empruntée dans les explorations précédentes de l’auteur. En effet, on verra qu’il s’agit ici de surmonter les difficultés auxquelles sont confrontées les théories réalistes de la fiction et en particulier la théorie artefactuelle dont Amie Thomasson est l’auteur. La question principale s’édicte en ces termes : s’il y a des personnages de fiction, comment se fait-il qu’il nous soit naturel de dire que tel ou tel personnage n’existe (...) pas ? Comment rendre compte des affirmations de non-existence des personnages de fiction, en particulier lorsqu’on est un réaliste de la fiction ? L’auteur confronte trois manières de traiter ces affirmations : l’approche par la quantification restreinte et l’approche linguistique et enfin l’approche des conditions d’application, point de vue auquel l’auteur se rallie. La première approche consiste à faire des restrictions spatiales ou catégorielles afin de cerner le champ de la référence. La seconde approche, qui est celle que les théoriciens de la référence directe emploient majoritairement, consiste à passer par le métalangage, c’est-à-dire de passer à un niveau sémantique supérieur. La dernière approche, celle par les conditions d’application, est construite sur les vertus des deux premières approches. Enfin, l’auteur élargira l’apport de cette dernière approche aux débats métaphysiques. (shrink)
I argue that the ontological status of fictional characters is determined by the beliefs and practices of those who competently deal with works of literature, and draw out three important consequences of this. First, heavily revisionary theories cannot be considered as ‘discoveries’ about the ‘true nature’ of fictional characters; any acceptable realist theory of fiction must preserve all or most of the common conception of fictional characters. Second, once we note that the existence conditions for fictional characters are extremely minimal, (...) it makes little sense to deny the existence of fictional characters, leaving anti-realist views of fiction unmotivated. Finally, the role of ordinary beliefs and practices in determining facts about the ontology of fictional characters explains why non-revisionary theories of fiction are bound to yield no determinate or precise answer to certain questions about fictional characters, demonstrating the limits of a theory of fiction. (shrink)
Philosophical work on the mind flowed in two streams through the 20th century: phenomenology and analytic philosophy. This volume aims to bring them together again, by demonstrating how work in phenomenology may lead to significant progress on problems central to current analytic research, and how analytical philosophy of mind may shed light on phenomenological concerns. Leading figures from both traditions contribute specially written essays on such central topics as consciousness, intentionality, perception, action, self-knowledge, temporal awareness, and mental content. Phenomenology and (...) Philosophy of Mind demonstrates that these different approaches to the mind should not stand in opposition to each other, but can be mutually illuminating. (shrink)
An account of the source of ﬁrst-person knowledge is essential not just for phenomenology, but for anyone who takes seriously the apparent evidence that we each have a distinctive access to knowing what we experience. One standard way to account for the source of ﬁrst-person knowledge is by appeal to a kind of inner observation of the passing contents of one’s own mind, and phenomenology is often thought to rely on introspection. I argue, however, that Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction (...) was designed precisely to ﬁnd a route to knowledge of the structures of consciousness that was independent of any appeal to observation of one’s own mental states. The goals of this essay are to explicate Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction in contemporary terms that (1) show its distance from all inner-observation accounts, (2) exhibit its kinship to and historical inﬂuence on outer-observation accounts of selfknowledge popularized by Sellars, and (3) demonstrate that a contemporary ‘cognitive transformation’ view based on Husserl’s method may provide a viable contribution to contemporary debates about the source of self-knowledge. (shrink)
Nonreductive physicalism provides an appealing solution to the nature of mental properties. But its success as a theory of mental properties has been called into doubt by claims that it cannot adequately handle the problems of mental causation, as it leads either to epiphenomenalism or to thoroughgoing overdetermination. I argue that these apparent problems for the nonreductivist are based in fundamental confusion about causation and explanation. I distinguish two different types of explanation and two different relations to which they appeal: (...) causation and determination. I argue that these types of explanation do not compete with one another, nor do these relations jointly result in overdetermination. In closing I develop a nonreductivist solution to mental causation which avoids both the hazards of epiphenomenalism and of overdetermination and so demonstrates a way to save nonreductive physicalism from the problems of mental causation. (shrink)
It is argued that the work of Husserl offers a model for self-knowledge that avoids the disadvantages of standard introspectionist accounts and of a Sellarsian view of the relation between our perceptual judgements and derived judgements about appearances. Self-knowledge is based on externally directed knowledge of the world that is then subjected to a cognitive transformation analogous to the move from a statement to the activity of stating. Appearance talk is (contra Sellars) not an epistemically non-committal form of speech, but (...) talk to which we are fully committed. However, it is a commitment to a certain kind of claim about our experiences, viewed as cognitive phenomena, after a process of transformation. Such reductive and hypostatizing transformations can exhibit the intentional structure of consciousness. Phenomenology thus gives a form of knowledge about our mental states that is first personal but not introspective knowledge in any philosophically problematic sense. The account offered is also, in key respects, dissimilar to Sellars's outer directed view of the origin of self-knowledge. (shrink)
A good phenomenological theory must be able to account equally well for our experiences of veridical perception and hallucination, for our thoughts about universities, colors, numbers, mythical figures and more. For all of these are characteristic mental acts, and a theory of intentionality should be a theory of conscious acts in general, not just of consciousness of a specific kind of thing or of a specific kind of consciousness. In so far as phenomenology purports to be a general study of (...) intentional acts of consciousness, it must be able to account for acts with all kinds of objects and with all kinds of thetic character. Any limitation of these features puts the theory in danger of being an explanation of only some kinds of mental act, and of mis-characterizing the nature of intentionality in general. (shrink)
In _The Significance of Consciousness_ , Charles Siewert proposes a novel understanding of consciousness by arguing against higher-order views of consciousness and rejecting the traditional taxonomy of the mental into qualitative and intentional aspects. I discuss two puzzles that arise from these changes: first, how to account for first-person knowledge of our conscious states while denying that these are typically accompanied by higher-order states directed towards them; second, how to understand his claim that phenomenal features are intentional features without either (...) risking consciousness neglect or retreating to a more traditional understanding of the relation between qualitative and intentional character. (shrink)
The theory of dynamical systems allows one to describe the change in a system' 's macroscopic behavior as a bifurcation in the underlying dynamics. We show here, from the example of depressive syndrome, the existence of a correspondence between clinical and electro-physiological dimensions and the association between clinical remission and brain dynamics reorganization. On the basis of this experimental study, we discuss the interest of such results concerning the question of normality versus pathology in psychiatry and the relationship between mind (...) and brain. (shrink)
This is an interesting and ambitious book, bringing Husserl’s account of constitution to bear on the enduring problem of how mind and world are related. The study does not aim to be a contribution to Husserl scholarship, but rather to bring aspects of Husserlian phenomenology into dialog with more recent analytic work in philosophy of mind to make philosophical progress.
What methodology should philosophers follow? Should they rely on methods that can be conducted from the armchair? Or should they leave the armchair and turn to the methods of the natural sciences, such as experiments in the laboratory? Or is this opposition itself a false one? Arguments about philosophical methodology are raging in the wake of a number of often conflicting currents, such as the growth of experimental philosophy, the resurgence of interest in metaphysical questions, and the use of formal (...) methods. This outstanding collection of specially-commissioned chapters by leading international philosophers discusses these questions and many more. It provides a comprehensive survey of philosophical methodology in the most important philosophical subjects: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, philosophy of science, ethics, and aesthetics. A key feature of the collection is that philosophers discuss and evaluate contrasting approaches in each subject, offering a superb overview of the variety of methodological approaches - both naturalistic and non-naturalistic - in each of these areas. They examine important topics at the heart of methodological argument, including the role of intuitions and conceptual analysis, thought experiments, introspection, and the place that results from the natural sciences should have in philosophical theorizing. The collection begins with a fascinating exchange about philosophical naturalism between Timothy Williamson and Alexander Rosenberg, and also includes contributions from the following philosophers: Lynne Rudder Baker, Matt Bedke, Greg Currie, Michael Devitt, Matthew C. Haug, Jenann Ismael, Hilary Kornblith, Neil Levy, E.J. Lowe, Kirk Ludwig, Marie McGinn, David Papineau, Matthew Ratcliffe, Georges Rey, Jeffrey W. Roland, Barry C. Smith, Amie L. Thomasson, Valerie Tiberius, Jessica Wilson, and David W. Smith. (shrink)
Necessitists hold that, necessarily, everything is such that, necessarily, something is identical to it. Timothy Williamson has posed a number of challenges to contingentism, the negation of necessitism. One such challenge is an argument that necessitists can more wholeheartedly embrace possible worlds semantics than can contingentists. If this charge is correct, then necessitists, but not contingentists, can unproblematically exploit the technical successes of possible worlds semantics. I will argue, however, that the charge is incorrect: contingentists can embrace possible worlds (...) semantics as wholeheartedly as necessitists. Williamson offers a criterion for a class of models of quantified modal logic to be intended, and argues on its basis that contingentists must deny that there is an intended class of models. I argue that Williamson’s criterion is objectionable, supply an alternative that does not support Williamson’s argument, and adapt Williamson’s construction of an intended model structure to the needs of contingentist metaphysics. (shrink)
I argue that Amie Thomasson’s recent theory of the methodology to be applied to find the truth-conditions for claims of existence faces serious objections. Her account is based on Devitt and Sterelny’s solution to the qua problem for theories of reference fixing; however, such a solution cannot be also applied to analyze existential claims.
In this paper I explore the connection between narrative ethics and the increasing emphasis on historical consciousness as a way to cultivate moral responsibility in history education. I use Timothy Findley’s World War I novel, The Wars, as an example of how teachers might help students to see history neither simply as a collection of artefacts from the past, nor as an effort to construct an objective view about what went on in those other times and places, but rather (...) as something that makes ethical demands on us here and now. Theoretically, this paper draws on Adam Zachary Newton’s conception of narrative ethics and Roger Simon’s conception of historical consciousness, both of which rest on the Levinasian themes of irreducible difference, the face, and subjectivity as a position of ethical responsibility to and for the other. (shrink)
An interview with Timothy Williamson on Modality and other matters. Williams is asked three main questions: the first about the difference between philosophical and non-philosophical knowledge, the second concerns the epistemology of modality, and the third is on the emerging metaphysical picture.
The paper challenges the inferentialist account of concept possession that Paul Boghossian takes as a premise in his account of the transmission of justification by deductive reasoning in his paper 'Blind Reasoning'. Unorthodox speakers who reject the inferences in an alleged possession condition can still have the concept by understanding a word for it. In that sense, the inferences are not analytic. Inferentialist accounts of logical constants, theoretical terms (using the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis method) and pejorative expressions such as 'Boche' are examined (...) and rejected. It is suggested that epistemological questions cannot be reduced to questions in the theory of thought and meaning. (shrink)
In a well-known paper, Timothy Williamson claimed to prove with a coin-flipping example that infinitesimal-valued probabilities cannot save the principle of Regularity, because on pain of inconsistency the event ‘all tosses land heads’ must be assigned probability 0, whether the probability function is hyperreal-valued or not. A premise of Williamson’s argument is that two infinitary events in that example must be assigned the same probability because they are isomorphic. It was argued by Howson that the claim of isomorphism fails, (...) but a more radical objection to Williamson’s argument is that it had been, in effect, refuted long before it was published. (shrink)
In Ordinary Objects, Thomasson pursues an integrated conception of ontology and metaontology. In ontology, she defends the existence of shoes, ships, and other ordinary objects. In metaontology, she defends a deflationary view of ontological inquiry, designed to suck the air out of arguments against ordinary objects. The result is an elegant and insightful defense of a common sense worldview. I am sympathetic—in spirit if not always in letter—with Thomasson’s ontology. But I am skeptical of her deflationary metaontology.
‘Bioethics still has important work to do in helping to secure status equality for LGBT people’ writes Timothy F. Murphy in a recent Bioethics editorial. The focus of his piece, however, is much narrower than human rights, medical care for LGBT people, or ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Rather, he is primarily concerned with sexuality and gender identity, and the medical intersections thereof. It is the objective of this response to provide an alternate account of bioethics from a Queer perspective. (...) I will situate Queer bioethics within Queer studies, and offer three ‘lessons’ that bioethics can derive from this perspective. These are not definitive rules for Queer bioethics, since it is a field which fundamentally opposes categorizations, favoring pastiche over principles. These lessons are exploratory examples, which both complement and contradict LGBT bioethics. My latter two lessons – on environmental bioethics and disability – overlap with some of Murphy's concerns, as well as other conceptions of LGBT bioethics. However, the first lesson takes an antithetical stance to Murphy's primary focus by resisting all forms of heteroconformity and disavowing reproduction as consonant with Queer objectives and theory. The first lesson, which doubles as a primer in Queer theory, does heavy philosophical lifting for the remainder of the essay. This response to Timothy F. Murphy, whose work is certainly a legacy in bioethics, reveals the multiplicity of discourses in LGBT/Queer studies, many of which are advantageous – even essential – to other disciplines like bioethics. (shrink)
A new book by Timothy Morton, Being Ecological, is reviewed. Being Ecological is a project into the ethics and discourse that emerge between speculative realism and ecological politics. This book is intended to build on the object-oriented ontology that Morton has espoused in previous volumes, however with a greater emphasis on the current state and future of ecological discussions. The book's core methodology is to outline the failures of the current modes of discussion environmental and ecological concerns and provide (...) ways of entering into a more authentic philosophical discussion. The book differs from Morton's usual verbose and highly poetic form in favor of a more grounded and accessible entry into his large project. (shrink)
According to the discovery model in the ontology of art, the facts concerning the ontological status of artworks are mind-independent and, hence, are facts about which the folk may be substantially ignorant or in error. In recent work Amie Thomasson has claimed that the most promising solution to the ‘ qua problem’—a problem concerning how the reference of a referring-expression is fixed—requires us to give up the discovery model. I argue that this claim is false. Thomasson's solution to (...) the qua problem—a hybrid descriptive/causal theory of reference-fixing—has a superior competitor, in the form of the account of reference-fixing suggested by Gareth Evans; and Evans's theory leaves the discovery model untouched. (shrink)
In his essay ‘“Conceptual Truth”’, Timothy Williamson (2006) argues that there are no truths or entailments that are constitutive of understanding the sentences involved. In this reply I provide several examples of entailment patterns that are intuitively constitutive of understanding in just the way that Williamson rejects, and I argue that Williamson’s argument does nothing to show otherwise. Williamson bolsters his conclusion by appeal to a certain theory about the nature of understanding. I argue that his theory fails to (...) consider the role that the structure of a sentence plays in determining its meaning. The cases I present suggest that this role imposes greater cognitive requirements on understanding than Williamson can acknowledge. (shrink)
The claim that a miracle is a violation of a law of nature has sometimes been used as part of an a priori argument against the possibility of miracle, on the grounds that a violation is conceptually impossible. I criticize these accounts but also suggest that alternative accounts, when phrased in terms of laws of nature, fail to provide adequate conceptual space for miracles. It is not clear what a ???violation??? of a law of nature might be, but this is (...) not relevant to the question of miracles. In practice, accounts of miracle tend to be phrased in terms of God's act not in terms of laws of nature. Finally, I suggest that the a priori argument reflects an intellectual commitment that is widely held, though wrongly built into the argument itself. (shrink)
Even to disagree, we need to understand each other. If I reject what you say without understanding you, we will only have the illusion of a disagreement. You will be asserting one thing and I will be denying another. Even to disagree, we need some agreement.
Timothy Michael Fowler has argued that, as a consequence of their commitment to neutrality in regard to comprehensive doctrines, political liberals face a dilemma. In essence, the dilemma for political liberals is that either they have to give up their commitment to neutrality (which is an indispensible part of their view), or they have to allow harm to children. Fowler’s case for this dilemma depends on ascribing to political liberals a view which grants parents a great degree of freedom (...) in deciding on the education of their children. I show that ascribing this view to political liberals rests upon a misinterpretation of political liberalism. Since political liberals have access to reasons based upon the interests of children, they need not yield to parent’s wishes about the education of their children. A correct understanding of political liberalism thus shows that political liberals do not face the dilemma envisaged by Fowler. (shrink)
Timothy Smiley has made ground-breaking contributions to modal logic, free logic, multiple-conclusion logic, and plural logic. He has illuminated Aristotle’s syllogistic, the ideas of logical form and consequence, and the distinction between assertion and rejection, and has worked to debunk the theory of descriptions. This volume brings together new articles by an international roster of leading logicians and philosophers in order to honour Smiley’s work. Their essays will be of significant interest to those working across the logical spectrum—in philosophy (...) of language, philosophical and mathematical logic, and philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
The use of vague language in law has important implications for legal theory. Legal philosophers have occasionally grappled with those implications, but they have not come to grips with the characteristic phenomenon of vagueness: the sorites paradox. I discuss the paradox, and claim that it poses problems for some legal theorists. I propose that a good account of vagueness will have three consequences for legal theory: Theories that deny that vagueness in formulations of the law leads to discretion in adjudication (...) cannot accommodate “higher-order” vagueness, A legal theory should accept that the law is partly indeterminate when it can be stated in vague language, However, the traditional formulation of the indeterminacy claim, that a vague statement is “neither true nor false” in a borderline case, is misconceived and should be abandoned. (shrink)
Henry Knowles Beecher, an icon of human research ethics, and Timothy Francis Leary, a guru of the counterculture, are bound together in history by the synthetic hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide. Beecher was a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who received five battle stars, was inducted into the Legion of Merit, held the first endowed chair in his discipline, wrote at least three path-breaking papers, and is honored by two prestigious ethics awards in his name. Leary was a West Point dropout (...) who was obliged to leave a research assistant professorship, was convicted of violating the Marihuana Tax Act, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and broke out with the... (shrink)
Timothy Williamson (2002) has offered an argument for the claim that, necessarily, he exists, that is, that he is a necessary existent.1 Though this argument has attracted a great deal of attention (e.g., Rumfitt 2003 and Wiggins 2003), I present a new argument for the same conclusion which reveals a new way of denying the soundness of Williamson’s argument, one which denies not only that it is necessary that he exists but also that there are any true necessities about (...) Williamson at all. In conclusion, given that it is contingent that Williamson exists, I nevertheless distinguish a sense in which he is, after all, a necessary existent: Williamson necessarily exists, though it is not necessary that he exists. (shrink)
Amie Thomasson has won well-deserved praise for her book, Ordinary Objects. She defends a commonsense world view and gives us “reason to think that there are fundamental particles, plants and animals, sticks and stones, tables and chairs, and even marriages and mortgages.” (p. 181) Ordinary objects comprise a vast array of things—natural objects both scientific and commonsensical, artifacts, organisms, abstract social objects.
One of the fundamental components of the concept of economic rationality is that preference orderings are “complete,” i.e., that all alternative actions an economic agent can take are comparable. The idea that all actions can be ranked may be called the single utility assumption. The attractiveness of this assumption is considerable. It would be hard to fathom what choice among alternatives means if the available alternatives cannot be ranked by the chooser in some way. In addition, the efficiency criterion makes (...) sense only if one can infer that an individual's choice reflects the best, in expected welfare terms, among all choices that individual could have made. The possibility that a rearrangement of resources could make someone “better off” without making others “worse off” can be understood only if the post-rearrangement world is comparable with the pre-rearrange-ment world. (shrink)
The book is primarily an essay on the epistemology of the sort of armchair knowledge that we can hope to achieve in philosophy. The possibility of such knowledge is not to be explained by reinterpreting philosophical questions as questions about words or concepts. Although there are philosophical questions about words and concepts, most philosophical questions are not about words or concepts: they are, just as they seem to be, about the things, many of them independent of us, to which the (...) words or concepts refer. Nor is our linguistic or conceptual competence the basis for our philosophical knowledge; such competence merely …. (shrink)
If you keep removing single grains of sand from a heap, when is it no longer a heap? From discussions of the heap paradox in classical Greece, to modern formal approaches like fuzzy logic, Timothy Williamson traces the history of the problem of vagueness. He argues that standard logic and formal semantics apply even to vague languages and defends the controversial, realist view that vagueness is a form of ignorance - there really is a grain of sand whose removal (...) turns a heap into a non-heap, but we can never know exactly which one it is. (shrink)