For forty years, acclaimed photographer and native Minnesotan Tom Arndt has been documenting the faces of Minnesota with unparalleled skill and candor. In Home, Arndt presents what he calls "a poem to my home state" through a series of poignant and compelling photographs that highlight the unique character of Minnesota. From Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis to Main Street in Willmar, from carnival workers at the state fair to drag racing fans in Anoka, and from small town street dances to the (...) sidewalks of Minneapolis, Home captures everyday life in the North Star State. By allowing people's lives to speak for themselves, Arndts photographs reveal the often forgotten moments that build common bridges across a diverse and ever-changing state. Enriched with more than 100 photographs, along with a personal and insightful preface by the author and a foreword by Garrison Keillor, Home is a landmark testimony to the people and culture of Minnesota. Arndt approaches his subjects - he would call them neighbors - with honesty, empathy, and humanity, and what emerges is a portrait of Minnesota that is at once achingly familiar and surprisingly new. (shrink)
There are many questions we can ask about time, but perhaps the most fundamental is whether there are metaphysically interesting differences between past, present and future events. An eternalist believes in a block universe: past, present and future events are all on an equal footing. A gradualist believes in a growing block: he agrees with the eternalist about the past and the present but not about the future. A presentist believes that what is present has a special status. My first (...) claim is that the familiar ways of articulating these views result in there being no substantive disagreement at all between the three parties. I then show that if we accept the controversial truthmaking principle, we can articulate a substantive disagreement. Finally, I apply this way of formulating the debate to related questions such as the open future and determinism, showing that these do not always line up in quite the way one would expect. (shrink)
This is an extremely thorough revision of the leading textbook of bioethics. The authors have made many improvements in style, organization, argument and content. These changes reflect advances in the bioethics literature over the past five years. The most dramatic expansions of the text are in the comprehensiveness with which the authors treat different currents in ethical theory and the greater breadth and depth of their discussion of public policy and public health issues. In every chapter, readers will find new (...) material and refinements of old discussions. This is evident in the many new sections on topics like communitarianism, ethics of care, relationship-based accounts, casuistry, case-based reasoning, principle-based common-morality theories, the justification of assistance in dying, rationing through priorities in the health care budget, and virtues in professional roles. The most extensive revisions are in chapters 1, 2 and 8. (shrink)
This article develops an unconventional perspective on the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill in at least four areas. First, it is shown that both authors conceived of utility as irreducibly multi-dimensional, and that Bentham in particular was very much aware of the ambiguity that multi-dimensionality imposes upon optimal choice under the greatest happiness principle. Secondly, I argue that any attribution of intrinsic worth to any form of human behaviour violates the first principles of Bentham's and Mill's utilitarianism, and that this (...) renders both authors immune to the claim by G. E. Moore that they committed a ‘naturalistic fallacy’. Thirdly, in light of these contentions, I find no flaw in Mill's ‘proof of utility’. Fourthly, I use the notion of intrapersonal utility weights to provide an interpretation of Mill's qualitative hedonism that is entirely consistent with his value monism. (shrink)
Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is (...) vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap. (shrink)
The principal thesis in this book is that bioethics emerged—in the 1960s through the 1980s—under the influence of philosophers who claimed to have universally valid principles that could steer medicine and research to the solution of ethical problems, including even those arising at the bedside of patients. Tom Koch contends that these philosophers and their allied bioethicists “stole medicine” and its traditional values, substituting a philosophical discourse generally inaccessible to the average person. Philosophers thereby refashioned medical ethics in accordance with (...) their vision of a morally and intellectually robust new field. Koch maintains that philosophers have failed to deliver on their promises and that .. (shrink)
Western ethics and law have been slow to come to conclusions about the right to choose the time and manner of one's death. However, policies, practices, and legal precedents have evolved quickly in the last quarter of the twentieth century, from the forgoing of respirators to the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders, to the forgoing of all medical technologies, and now, in one U.S. state, to legalized physician-assisted suicide. The sweep of history—from the Quinlan case in New Jersey to (...) legislation in Oregon that allows physician-assisted suicide—has been as rapid as it has been revolutionary. (shrink)
The concept of rights is now so dominant in the language of politics that it is becoming difficult to identify its use with any particular approach to the solution of social problems or to gain a clear picture of its significance, its advantages and its disadvantages as a way of conceptualizing and resolving contentious political issues. None the less there is a perceptible shift towards an emphasis on rights in contemporary politics which many welcome and encourage and others question and (...) even reject, a shift which is matched in jurisprudence by the renewed stress which many theorists place on rights as a basic legal concept despite recurrent problems associated with the concept as a tool for legal analysis and moral justification. Conflicting theories of legal rights are canvassed and this in turn feeds into the debate concerning the reality or significance of non-legal rights, for the process of law reform is often presented as a matter of giving legal embodiment to the rights which various interested categories of people are asserted to possess already. (shrink)
Regan provides the theoretical framework that grounds a responsible pro-animal rights perspective, and ultimately explores how asking moral questions about other animals can lead to a better understanding of ourselves.
The essays collected here demonstrate that the philosophy of habit is not confined to the work of just a handful of thinkers, but traverses the entire history of Western philosophy and continues to thrive in contemporary theory. A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu is the first book to document the richness and diversity of this history. It demonstrates the breadth, flexibility, and explanatory power of the concept of habit as well as its enduring significance. It makes the case (...) for habit’s perennial attraction for philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. (shrink)
Tom Sparrow shows how, in the 21st century, speculative realism aims to do what phenomenology could not: provide a philosophical method that disengages the human-centred approach to metaphysics in order to chronicle the complex realm of nonhuman reality. -/- Through a focused reading of the methodological statements and metaphysical commitments of key phenomenologists and speculative realists, Sparrow shows how speculative realism is replacing phenomenology as the beacon of realism in contemporary Continental philosophy.
How wrong is it to deceive someone into sex by lying, say, about one's profession? The answer is seriously wrong when the liar's actual profession would be a deal breaker for the victim of the deception: this deception vitiates the victim's sexual consent, and it is seriously wrong to have sex with someone while lacking his or her consent.
Here, for the first time, the world's two leading authorities—Tom Regan, who argues for animal rights, and Carl Cohen, who argues against them—make their respective case before the public at large. The very terms of the debate will never be the same. This seminal moment in the history of the controversy over animal rights will influence the direction of this debate throughout the rest of the century.
In ancient times, the main approaches to metaphysical realism were intuitive. In modern times, foundationalism has replaced intuition as the main strategy to make out metaphysical realist claims to know. In On Foundationalism, Rockmore argues that foundationalism fails in all its known variants.
Tom Beauchamp presents a new edition, designed especially for the student reader, of An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, the classic work in which David Hume gave a general exposition of his philosophy to a broad educated readership. An authoritative new version of the text is preceded by a substantial introduction explaining the historical and intellectual background to the work and surveying its main themes. The volume also includes detailed explanatory notes on the text, a glossary of terms, and a section (...) of supplementary readings. (shrink)
There is a growing realization in cognitive science that a theory of embodied intersubjectivity is needed to better account for social cognition. We highlight some challenges that must be addressed by attempts to interpret ‘simulation theory’ in terms of embodiment, and argue for an alternative approach that integrates phenomenology and dynamical systems theory in a mutually informing manner. Instead of ‘simulation’ we put forward the concept of the ‘extended body’, an enactive and phenomenological notion that emphasizes the socially mediated nature (...) of embodiment. To illustrate the explanatory potential of this approach, we replicate an agent-based model of embodied social interaction. An analysis of the model demonstrates that the extended body can be explained in terms of mutual dynamical entanglement: inter-bodily resonance between individuals can give rise to self-sustaining interaction patterns that go beyond the behavioral capacities of isolated individuals by modulating their intra-bodily conditions of behavior generation. (shrink)
There is a small but growing community of researchers spanning a spectrum of disciplines which are united in rejecting the still dominant computationalist paradigm in favor of theenactive approach. The framework of this approach is centered on a core set of ideas, such as autonomy, sense-making, emergence, embodiment, and experience. These concepts are finding novel applications in a diverse range of areas. One hot topic has been the establishment of an enactive approach to social interaction. The main purpose of this (...) paper is to serve as an advanced entry point into these recent developments. It accomplishes this task in a twofold manner: it provides a succinct synthesis of the most important core ideas and arguments in the theoretical framework of the enactive approach, and it uses this synthesis to refine the current enactive approach to social interaction. A new operational definition of social interaction is proposed which not only emphasizes the cognitive agency of the individuals and the irreducibility of the interaction process itself, but also the need for jointly co-regulated action. It is suggested that this revised conception of ‘socio-cognitive interaction’ may provide the necessary middle ground from which to understand the confluence of biological and cultural values in personal action. (shrink)
You are morally permitted to save your friend at the expense of a few strangers, but not at the expense of very many. However, there seems no number of strangers that marks a precise upper bound here. Consequently, there are borderline cases of groups at the expense of which you are permitted to save your friend. This essay discusses the question of what explains ethical vagueness like this, arguing that there are interesting metaethical consequences of various explanations.
There is a small but growing community of researchers spanning a spectrum of disciplines which are united in rejecting the still dominant computationalist paradigm in favor of the enactive approach. The framework of this approach is centered on a core set of ideas, such as autonomy, sense-making, emergence, embodiment, and experience. These concepts are finding novel applications in a diverse range of areas. One hot topic has been the establishment of an enactive approach to social interaction. The main purpose of (...) this paper is to serve as an advanced entry point into these recent developments. It accomplishes this task in a twofold manner: it provides a succinct synthesis of the most important core ideas and arguments in the theoretical framework of the enactive approach, and it uses this synthesis to refine the current enactive approach to social interaction. A new operational definition of social interaction is proposed which not only emphasizes the cognitive agency of the individuals and the irreducibility of the interaction process itself, but also the need for jointly co-regulated action. It is suggested that this revised conception of ‘socio-cognitive interaction’ may provide the necessary middle ground from which to understand the confluence of biological and cultural values in personal action. (shrink)
Bioethics claimed to offer a set of generally applicable, universally accepted guidelines that would simplify complex situations. In Thieves of Virtue, Tom Koch argues that bioethics has failed to deliver on its promises.
Individuals with trypophobia have an aversion towards clusters of roughly circular shapes, such as those on a sponge or the bubbles on a cup of coffee. It is unclear why the condition exists, given the harmless nature of typical eliciting stimuli. We suggest that aversion to clusters is an evolutionarily prepared response towards a class of stimuli that resemble cues to the presence of parasites and infectious disease. Trypophobia may be an exaggerated and overgeneralised version of this normally adaptive response. (...) Consistent with this explanation, individuals with trypophobia, as well as comparison individuals, reported aversion towards disease-relevant cluster stimuli, but only the trypophobic group reported aversion towards objectively harmless cluster stimuli that had no relevance to disease. For both groups the level of aversion reported was predicted uniquely by a measure of disgust sensitivity. Scaled emotion ratings and open-ended responses revealed that the aversive response was predominantly based on the disease avoidance emotion, disgust. Many open-ended responses also described skin sensations. These findings support the proposal that individuals with trypophobia primarily perceive cluster stimuli as cues to ectoparasites and skin-transmitted pathogens. (shrink)
Nearly everyone prefers pain to be in the past rather than the future. This seems like a rationally permissible preference. But I argue that appearances are misleading, and that future-biased preferences are in fact irrational. My argument appeals to trade-offs between hedonic experiences and other goods. I argue that we are rationally required to adopt an exchange rate between a hedonic experience and another type of good that stays fixed, regardless of whether the hedonic experience is in the past or (...) future. (shrink)
In an influential paper, L. A. Paul argues that one cannot rationally decide whether to have children. In particular, she argues that such a decision is intractable for standard decision theory. Paul's central argument in this paper rests on the claim that becoming a parent is ``epistemically transformative''---prior to becoming a parent, it is impossible to know what being a parent is like. Paul argues that because parenting is epistemically transformative, one cannot estimate the values of the various outcomes of (...) a decision whether to become a parent. In response, we argue that it is possible to estimate the value of epistemically transformative experiences. Therefore, there is no special difficulty involved in deciding whether to undergo epistemically transformative experiences. Insofar as major life decisions do pose a challenge to decision theory, we suggest that this is because they often involve separate, familiar problems. (shrink)
In the middle of the last century, it was common to explain the notion of necessity in linguistic terms. A necessary truth, it was said, is a sentence whose truth is guaranteed by linguistic rules. Quine famously argued that, on this view, de re modal claims do not make sense. “Porcupettes are porcupines” is necessarily true, but it would be a mistake to say of a particular porcupette that it is necessarily a porcupine, or that it is possibly purple. Linguistic (...) theories of necessity fell out of favour with the publication of Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, and Quine’s arguments were put aside. In her recent book, Norms and Necessity, Amie Thomasson presents her modal normativism, which is an updated version of the mid-century theories just described. Quine’s arguments are thus relevant once again. We recapitulate Quine’s central argument, in the context of modal normativism. We then criticise Amie Thomasson’s discussion of de re modality. We finish by briefly presenting an alternative account of de re modal statements, which is compatible with modal normativism. (shrink)
In this book, Tom Cochrane develops a new control theory of the emotions and related affective states. Grounded in the basic principle of negative feedback control, his original account outlines a new fundamental kind of mental content called 'valent representation'. Upon this foundation, Cochrane constructs new models for emotions, pains and pleasures, moods, expressive behaviours, evaluative reasoning, personality traits and long-term character commitments. These various states are presented as increasingly sophisticated layers of regulative control, which together underpin the architecture of (...) the mind as a whole. Clearly structured and containing numerous diagrams and examples to illustrate the discussion, this study draws on the latest research from fields including philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, and will appeal to readers interested in the philosophy and cognitive science of emotion. (shrink)
The relationship between philosophy and theatre is a central theme in the writings of Plato and Aristotle and of dramatists from Aristophanes to Stoppard. Where Plato argued that playwrights and actors should be banished from the ideal city for their suspect imitations of reality, Aristotle argued that theatre, particularly tragedy, was vital for stimulating our emotions and helping us to understanding ourselves. Despite this rich history the study of philosophy and theatre has been largely overlooked in contemporary philosophy. This is (...) the first book to introduce philosophy and theatre. It covers key topics and debates, presenting the contributions of major figures in the history of philosophy, including: what is theatre? How does theatre compare with other arts? theatre as imitation, including Plato on mimesis truth and illusion in the theatre, including Nietzsche on tragedy theatre as history theatre and morality, including Rousseau’s criticisms of theatre audience and emotion, including Aristotle on catharsis theatre and politics, including Brecht’s Epic Theatre. Including annotated further reading and summaries at the end of each chapter, Philosophy and Theatre is an ideal starting point for those studying philosophy, theatre studies and related subjects in the arts and humanities. (shrink)
Described by Jeffrey Masson as 'the single best introduction to animal rights ever written,' this new book by Tom Regan dispels the negative image of animal rights advocates perpetrated by the mass media, unmasks the fraudulent rhetoric of 'humane treatment' favored by animal exploiters, and explains why existing laws function to legitimize institutional cruelty.
'By identifying the extent to which Aristotle's thinking about ethics was shaped by notions drawn from the crafts Angier has thrown new light on a surprising number of topics and has deepened our understanding of tensions within Aristotle's thought. It is by now a rare achievement to have said something new, true and important about Aristotle.' -- Alasdair MacIntyre, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, USA.
In this essay we critically evaluate the progress that has been made in solving the problem of meaning in artificial intelligence and robotics. We remain skeptical about solutions based on deep neural networks and cognitive robotics, which in our opinion do not fundamentally address the problem. We agree with the enactive approach to cognitive science that things appear as intrinsically meaningful for living beings because of their precarious existence as adaptive autopoietic individuals. But this approach inherits the problem of failing (...) to account for how meaning as such could make a difference for an agent’s behavior. In a nutshell, if life and mind are identified with physically deterministic phenomena, then there is no conceptual room for meaning to play a role in its own right. We argue that this impotence of meaning can be addressed by revising the concept of nature such that the macroscopic scale of the living can be characterized by physical indeterminacy. We consider the implications of this revision of the mind-body relationship for synthetic approaches. (shrink)
Most of us are “time-biased” in preferring pains to be past rather than future and pleasures to be future rather than past. However, it turns out that if you are risk averse and time-biased, then you can be turned into a “pain pump”—in order to insure yourself against misfortune, you will take a series of pills which leaves you with more pain and better off in no respect. Since this vulnerability seems rationally impermissible, while time-bias and risk aversion seem rationally (...) permissible, we are left with a puzzle. (shrink)
In this new volume, On Constructivist Epistemology, Rockmore traces the idea of constructivism and then proposes the outlines of an original constructivist approach to knowledge, building on the work of such thinkers as Hobbes, Vico, and Kant.