In this paper I present an argument in favour of a parental duty to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). I argue that if embryos created in vitro were able to decide for themselves in a rational manner, they would sometimes choose PGD as a method of selection. Couples, therefore, should respect their hypothetical choices on a principle similar to that of patient autonomy. My thesis shows that no matter which moral doctrine couples subscribe to, they ought to conduct the PGD (...) procedure in the situations when it is impossible to implant all of the created embryos and if there is a significant risk for giving birth to a child with a serious condition. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that enactivism and computationalism—two seemingly incompatible research traditions in modern cognitive science—can be fruitfully reconciled under the framework of the free energy principle. FEP holds that cognitive systems encode generative models of their niches and cognition can be understood in terms of minimizing the free energy of these models. There are two philosophical interpretations of this picture. A computationalist will argue that as FEP claims that Bayesian inference underpins both perception and action, it entails a (...) concept of cognition as a computational process. An enactivist, on the other hand, will point out that FEP explains cognitive systems as constantly self-organizing to non-equilibrium steady-state. My claim is that these two interpretations are both true at the same time and that they enlighten each other. (shrink)
It is part of the phenomenology of perceptual experiences that objects seem to be presented to us. The first guide to objects is their perceptual presence. Further reflection shows that we take the objects of our perceptual experiences to be among the causes of our experiences. However, not all causes of the experience are also objects of the experience. This raises the question indicated in the title of this paper. We argue that taking phenomenal presence as the guide to the (...) objects of perception, we can see that at least in two sensory modalities, smell and touch, there is no uniform answer to this question. The objects of olfactory and tactile experiences can move along the causal chain. Accordingly, the content of olfactory and tactile experience may vary. (shrink)
In order to understand how the environment influences business owner/managers’ attitudes towards tax morale, we build a theoretical model based on a neo-institutionalist framework. Our model combines three complementary perspectives on institutions—normative, cultural–cognitive and regulatory–instrumental. This enables a broader understanding of factors that influence business owner–managers’ attitudes towards tax evasion. We test the resulting hypotheses using regression analysis on survey data on business owner/managers in Latvia—a transition country, which has undergone massive institutional changes since it was part of the Soviet (...) Union over 25 years ago. We find that legitimacy of the tax authorities and the government, feeling of belonging to the nation and perceptions of the risk and severity of punishment are all associated with higher tax morale for business owners and managers. (shrink)
Książka dotyczy trzech powiązanych z sobą zagadnień: internalizmu racji działania, internalizmu motywacyjnego i tzw. hume’owskiej teorii motywacji. Próbuje odpowiedzieć m.in. na następujące pytania: Czy wolno nam stwierdzić, że ktoś powinien coś zrobić, nawet gdy nie może być motywowany do tego działania? Czy można szczerze akceptować jakiś osąd moralny i nie być motywowanym do postępowania zgodnie z jego zaleceniami? Czy normy moralne służą tak naprawdę realizacji egoistycznych pragnień, czy może są fikcją wpajaną przez instytucje społeczne? Autor pokazuje, jak wiele współcześnie dyskutowanych (...) problemów metaetycznych można rozwiązać, sięgając do filozofii Davida Hume’a. Choć koncentruje się na najnowszych dyskusjach z dziedziny metaetyki, to zagadnienia omawiane w książce stanowią kontynuację klasycznych debat filozoficznych na temat takich pojęć jak wartość, dobro, obowiązek, racjonalność, relatywizm czy słabość woli. (shrink)
In this article, I present a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. In my understanding, this position is based not on presumptions about the ontological status of embryos and their developmental capabilities but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This view, which uses the decision theory model of moral reasoning, promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the ontological status of (...) embryos with the certainty about normative obligations. I will demonstrate that my interpretation of the pro-life view, although seeming to be stronger than the standard one, has limited scope and cannot be used to limit destructive research on human embryos. (shrink)
We investigate the concepts of past, present, and future that build upon a modal distinction between a settled past and an open future. The concepts are defined in terms of a pre-causal ordering that is determined by the qualitative differences between alternative possible histories. We look what an event’s past, present, and future look like in the so-called Minkowskian Branching Structures, one in which histories are isomorphic to Minkowski space-time.
Konserwatywni przeciwnicy prowadzenia badań naukowych na ludzkich embrionach argumentują, że od momentu poczęcia mają one status moralny równy statusowi ludzi dorosłych: zarodki mają takie samo prawo do życia jak dorośli. W artykule przedstawiam oryginalną argumentację za tym stanowiskiem, której źródła można znaleźć w XVII-wiecznej teologii moralnej i współczesnej teorii decyzji. Argumentacja ta nie odwołuje się do statusu ontologicznego embrionów, ale do pewnego typu rozumowania praktycznego na temat tego, co należy robić w rozmaitych sytuacjach niepewności. Na pierwszy rzut oka wydaje się (...) ona wzmacniać stanowisko konserwatywne, ponieważ nie zależy od kontrowersyjnych metafizycznych założeń na temat statusu zarodków czy kwestii ich potencjalności. W artykule pokażę jednak, że argumentacja ta obarczona jest poważnymi wadami, które sprawiają, że nie da się jej zastosować do uzasadnienia sprzeciwu wobec moralnej czy prawnej dopuszczalności np. badań na zarodkowych komórkach macierzystych. (shrink)
Deliberative democracy’s approach with its emphasis on a multidimensional conception of freedom is very well suited to offer a sophisticated and critical account of freedom of speech in the democratic public sphere. Nevertheless, it has rarely engaged other competing free speech theories in order to offer a valuable social critique of other ways of thinking about freedom of expression. This article tries to fill this gap by critically engaging Robert Post’s theory of freedom of speech based on democratic self-government. On (...) Post’s account, the key to effective democratic self-government is political autonomy, which he reduces to negative liberty and formal equality. I argue that this reduction creates serious problems. A purely procedural account of democracy makes it difficult to politicize new issues in the public sphere and also makes a dominant discourse resistant to contestation. Further, given his theory, Post does not have enough normative resources to offer an account of public justification, which would expand effective political liberty. (shrink)
The article discusses the issue of the departure from examining real behaviours in a real environment, a trend in social psychology which has been observed going back several years, and the impact of this phenomenon for social psychology as a scientific discipline. The article presents two studies on the well-known and explored “bystander effect”. This phenomenon is examined in two ways – once by way of a “traditional” field experiment conducted in natural conditions, and once through a survey. As it (...) turned out, the results generated by the two studies were diametrically opposite, and only in the field experiment were we able to achieve a pattern of results consistent with those in the original studies. (shrink)
Consider how we evaluate how normal an object is. On the dual-nature hypothesis, a normality evaluation depends on the object’s goodness and frequency. On the single-nature hypothesis, the evaluation depends solely on either frequency or goodness. To assess these hypotheses, I ran four experiments. Study 1 shows that normality evaluations vary with both the goodness and the frequency assessment of the object. Study 2 shows that manipulating the goodness and the frequency dimension changes the normality evaluation. Yet, neither experiment rules (...) out that some people evaluate normality solely based on frequency, and the rest evaluate normality solely based on goodness. Whence two more experiments. Study 3 reveals that when scenarios are contrasted—presented one after another—only frequency matters. But, as study 4 shows, when scenarios are evaluated alone, both frequency and goodness influence normality evaluations in a single person, although the more a person is sensitive to one dimension, the less she’s sensitive to the other. The dual-nature hypothesis seems thus true of uncontrasted applications of the concept of normality, whereas the single-nature hypothesis seems true of contrasted applications. (shrink)
The paper will compare two methods used in the design of diagnostic strategies. The first one is a method that precises predictive value of diagnostic tests. The second one is based on the use of Bayes’ theorem. The main aim of this article is to identify the epistemological assumptions underlying both of these methods. For the purpose of this objective, example projects of one and multi-stage diagnostic strategy developed using both methods will be considered.
The paper puts forward a theory of historical modalities that is framed in terms of possible continuations rather than possible worlds or histories. The proposal is tested as a semantic theory for a language with historical modalities, tenses, and indexicals.
In this paper we investigate Boolean connexive logics in a language with modal operators: □, ◊. In such logics, negation, conjunction, and disjunction behave in a classical, Boolean way. Only implication is non-classical. We construct these logics by mixing relating semantics with possible worlds. This way, we obtain connexive counterparts of basic normal modal logics. However, most of their traditional axioms formulated in terms of modalities and implication do not hold anymore without additional constraints, since our implication is weaker than (...) the material one. In the final section, we present a tableau approach to the discussed modal logics. (shrink)
The paper extends the framework of outcomes in branching space-time (Kowalski and Placek ) by assigning probabilities to outcomes of events, where these probabilities are interpreted either epistemically or as weighted possibilities. In resulting models I define the notion of common cause of correlated outcomes of a single event, and investigate which setups allow for the introduction of common causes. It turns out that a deterministic common cause can always be introduced, but (surprisingly) only special setups permit the introduction of (...) truly stochastic common causes. I analyse next the Bell-Aspect experiment and derive the Bell-CH inequalities. I observe that we postulate there not a common cause for outcomes of a single event but rather a common common cause that accounts for outcomes of many events, where 'events' mean 'measurements with (different) directions of polarization'. Since the inequalities are violated, I claim that no causal story can be told about the Bell correlations, where causality is subliminal and restricted by screening-off condition. Similarly, given certain intuitive principles, no deterministic story can be told about these correlations. (shrink)
Indeterminism, understood as a notion that an event may be continued in a few alternative ways, invokes the question what a region of chanciness looks like. We concern ourselves with its topological and spatiotemporal aspects, abstracting from the nature or mechanism of chancy processes. We first argue that the question arises in Montague-Lewis-Earman conceptualization of indeterminism as well as in the branching tradition of Prior, Thomason and Belnap. As the resources of the former school are not rich enough to study (...) topological issues, we investigate the question in the framework of branching space-times of Belnap (Synthese 92:385–434, 1992). We introduce a topology on a branching model as well as a topology on a history in a branching model. We define light-cones and assume four conditions that guarantee the light-cones so defined behave like light-cones of physical space-times. From among various topological separation properties that are relevant to our question, we investigate the Hausdorff property. We prove that each history in a branching model satisfies the Hausdorff property. As for the satisfaction of the Hausdorff property in the entire branching model, we prove that it is related to the phenomenon of passive indeterminism, which we describe in detail. (shrink)
According to psychological research, people are more eager to help identified individuals than unidentified ones. This phenomenon significantly influences many important decisions, both individual and public, regarding, for example, vaccinations or the distribution of healthcare resources. This paper aims at presenting definitions of various levels of identifiability as well as a critical analysis of the main philosophical arguments regarding the normative significance of the identifiability effect, which refer to: (1) ex ante contractualism; (2) fair distribution of chances and risks; (3) (...) anti-aggregationist principles that recommend the distribution of bad effects and the concentration of good ones. I will show that these arguments, although connected with interesting philosophical problems regarding e.g. counterfactuals, aggregation, or probability, are unconvincing. (shrink)
We define and investigate from a logical point of view a family of consequence relations defined in probabilistic terms. We call them relations of supporting, and write: |≈w where w is a probability function on a Boolean language. A |≈w B iff the fact that A is the case does not decrease a probability of being B the case. Finally, we examine the intersection of |≈w, for all w, and give some formal properties of it.
We show that truth conditions for counterfactuals need not always be given in terms of a vague notion of similarity. To this end, we single out the important class of historical counterfactuals and give formally rigorous truth conditions for these counterfactuals, employing a partial ordering relation called "comparative closeness" that is defined in the framework of branching space-times. Among other applications, we provide a detailed analysis of counterfactuals uttered in the context of lost bets. In an appendix we compare our (...) theory with the branching space-times based reading of counterfactuals recently proposed by Belnap. (shrink)
This book uses the formal semantics of counterfactual conditionals to analyze the problem of non-locality in quantum mechanics. Counterfactual conditionals enter the analysis of quantum entangled systems in that they enable us to precisely formulate the locality condition that purports to exclude the existence of causal interactions between spatially separated parts of a system. They also make it possible to speak consistently about alternative measuring settings, and to explicate what is meant by quantum property attributions. The book develops the possible-world (...) semantics of quantum counterfactuals using David Lewis's famous approach as a starting point but modifying it significantly in order to achieve compatibility with the demands of the special theory of relativity as well as quantum mechanics. There have been several attempts to use counterfactuals semantics to strengthen Bell's theorem and its cognates such as the GHZ and Hardy theorems. These are critically evaluated in the book. Finally, a counterfactual reconstruction of the EPR argument and Bell's theorem is proposed that sheds a new light on their philosophical consequences regarding the relations between realism and local causation. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss some metaphysical consequences of an unorthodox approach to the problem of the identity and individuality of “indistinguishable” quantum particles. This approach is based on the assumption that the only admissible way of individuating separate components of a given system is with the help of the permutation-invariant qualitative properties of the total system. Such a method of individuation, when applied to fermionic compositions occupying so-called GMW-nonentangled states, yields highly implausible consequences regarding the number of distinct components (...) of a given composite system. I specify the problem in detail, and I consider several strategies of solving it. The preferred solution of the problem is based on the premise that spatial location should play a privileged role in identifying and making reference to quantum-mechanical systems. (shrink)
This paper addresses the issue of the multiplicity of various grades of discernibility that can be defined in model theory. Building upon earlier works on the subject, I first expand the known logical categorizations of discernibility by introducing several symmetry-based concepts of discernibility, including one I call “witness symmetry-discernibility”. Then I argue that only grades of discernibility stronger than this one possess certain intuitive features necessary to individuate objects. Further downsizing of the set of non-equivalent grades of discernibility can be (...) achieved by stipulating that any relation of discernibility should be applied only to those pairs of objects which have been previously distinguished from the rest of the universe. Restricting discernibility to pairs of objects satisfying this condition gives an additional bonus in the form of restoring the transitivity of some types of indiscernibility which have been known to be non-transitive. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and correct one argument in support of the symmetrization postulate in quantum mechanics. I identify the central premise of the argument as a thesis specifying a particular ontic property of quantum superpositions. The precise form of this thesis depends on some underlying assumptions of a metaphysical character. I compare the exchange degeneracy argument with alternative formal arguments for the symmetrization postulate, and I discuss the role and meaning of labels in the symmetric/antisymmetric (...) representations of the states of many particles. (shrink)
According to Adams and his colleagues, fictional sentences, i.e. sentences featuring fictional names, lack any truth value. To explain intuitions to the contrary, they refer to the pragmatics of fictional assertions and claim that sincere utterances of those sentences generate some conversational implicatures. They argue that all who take fictional sentences to have a truth value tend to mistake implicatures of assertions of such sentences with their literal content. The aim of the paper is to show that this argument is (...) not convincing.The challenge being that it doesn’t provide any satisfactory explanation as to what is negated in seemingly genuine disagreement cases in which fictional sentences are asserted. Sentential negation usually doesn’t affect (i.e. negate) a proposition which is conversationally implied, especially when it comes to the manner implicature. And, as I argue, an advocate of the pragmatic defence should maintain that this is the kind of conversational implicature that the assertion of fictional sentences generates. (shrink)
I will argue that physicians have an ethical obligation to justify their conscientious objection and the most reliable interpretation of the Polish legal framework claims that conscientious objection is permissible only when the justification shows the genuineness of the judgment of conscience that is not based on false beliefs and arises from a moral norm that has a high rank. I will demonstrate that the dogma accepted in the Polish doctrine that the reasons that lie behind conscientious objection in medicine (...) cannot be evaluated or controlled by anyone is based either on a mistaken interpretation of the Constitution or on the unreliable concept of conscience. I will refer to the legal regulations concerning military refusals that require from objectors to reveal and justify their views. Finally, I will demonstrate why conscientious objection under uncertainty does not deserve acceptance, because it is based on a specific version of the precautionary principle. (shrink)
In this article, I present the argument that educational theory has specific character, which distinguishes it from most scientific disciplines. It requires the application of not only strictly scientific methods, which essentially consist of descriptions and explanations, but also normative ones, which indicate how it is related to philosophy and ethics. Its essential connections with philosophy and ethics cause that clear and final thesis are actually impossible to claim, but from the other hand, it is the only discipline which, according (...) to its definition, tries to answer practical-moral questions.The crucial elements of this analysis are the presentation of the justification of a thesis on the specific character of educational theory, which will be accomplished with the concept of “research potential”, formulated for its purposes, and showing the consequences of this particular characteristic of the discipline being discussed. (shrink)
Wincenty Lutosławski was internationally recognized in the academic world as a prominent Plato scholar. His fragmentary correspondence with Bertrand Russell is presented in this paper. Before World War II he initiated an exchange of letters with Russell on issues such as reincarnation, but the replies he received were laconic and discouraging. This changed, however, after the war when Russell published his History of Western Philosophy. Despite their different philosophical positions, Lutosławski’s opinion on this work as a whole was favourable, in (...) particular the chapters on Plato. Such an assessment was the exception rather than the rule for that book, and knowing Lutosławski’s general recognition in Platonic studies, Russell forwarded the letter to his publisher. (shrink)
One of the basic assumptions of David Lewis's formal semantics of counterfactuals is that the crucial relation of comparative similarity between possible worlds is a linear ordering.Yet there are arguments that when we take into account relativistic features of space-time, this relationshould be only a partial ordering. The first part of the paper deals with the question of how to formulate appropriatetruth conditions for counterfactuals under the supposition of a partial ordering of possible worlds. Such truthconditions will be put forward, (...) and it will be argued that they are more general than those proposed in recentliterature, because they turn out to be applicable also when the so-called Limit Assumption is not met. The secondpart analyzes two relativistically invariant ways of interpreting spatiotemporal counterfactuals with antecedentsreferring to free-chance point events. After briefly examining key differences between these two approaches,the issue of their extension for a broader class of antecedents will be addressed. Following the approach of Finkelstein, who has proposed a specifically designed similarity relation between possible worlds, servingas a generalization tool in the case of one of the above intuitions, the possibility of a similar extension forthe second interpretation will be considered. The main result of the paper is the theorem to the effect that thegeneralization of the second intuition is impossible to obtain. More specifically, the theorem proved in the paperstates that there is no similarity relation which together with the Lewis-style truth conditions for counterfactualswould imply the second of the above interpretations as a special case. Some consequences of thistheorem for the applicability of the Lewis logic of counterfactuals to quantum phenomena will be briefly mentionedat the end of the paper. (shrink)
Palliative care and euthanasia have become the subject of ethical and political debate in Poland. However, the voice of nurses is rarely heard. The aim of this study is to explore the perception of palliative care and euthanasia among recent university bachelor degree graduates and experienced nurses in Poland. Specific objectives include: self-assessment of the understanding of these terms, recognition of clinical cases, potential acceptability of euthanasia, and an evaluation of attitudes towards palliative care and euthanasia. This is an exploratory (...) study. A convenience sample of 206 recent graduates and 252 experienced nurse practitioners were interviewed. A structured questionnaire was used for collecting and interpreting data. Subjective perception of the terms `palliative care' and `euthanasia' was high and consistent with the recognition of clinical cases. The majority of the nurses excluded euthanasia from palliative care. They recognized personal philosophy of life as the most influential factor affecting attitudes towards euthanasia. The importance of the law was valued more highly by the experienced nurses. (shrink)
According to constitutive reductionism of Derek Parfit, a subject/person is not a separate existing being but his existence consists in the existence of a brain and body, performance of actions, thinking and occurrence of other physical and mental events. The identity of the subject in time comes down only to “Relation R” - mental consistency and/or connectedness – elicited by appropriate reasons. In the following article, I will try, relying on Frank Johnson's Knowledge Argument, to argue in favour of the (...) following conclusions: a person/subject is a “fact”irreducible to body and physical relations with the environment and a subject is something/”fact” non-reducible to mental occurrences. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the question of whether absolute discernibility is attainable in symmetric languages. Simon Saunders has proven that all facts expressible in first-order language with identity can be equivalently stated within its symmetric sublanguage. I use this result to show specifically how particles of the same type can be absolutely discerned in the permutation-invariant language of the quantum theory of many particles.
General metaphysical arguments have been proposed in favour of the thesis that all dispositions have categorical bases (Armstrong; Prior, Pargetter, Jackson). These arguments have been countered by equally general arguments in support of ungrounded dispositions (Molnar, Mumford). I believe that this controversy cannot be settled purely on the level of abstract metaphysical considerations. Instead, I propose to look for ungrounded dispositions in specific physical theories, such as quantum mechanics. I explain why non-classical properties such as spin are best interpreted as (...) irreducible dispositional properties, and I give reasons why even seemingly classical properties, for instance position or momentum, should receive a similar treatment when interpreted in the quantum realm. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I argue that quantum dispositions should not be limited to probabilistic dispositions (propensities) by showing reasons why even possession of well-defined values of parameters should qualify as a dispositional property. I finally discuss the issue of the actuality of quantum dispositions, arguing that it may be justified to treat them as potentialities whose being has a lesser degree of reality than that of classical categorical properties, due to the incompatibility relations between non-commuting observables. (shrink)
Regular groups and fields are common generalizations of minimal and quasi-minimal groups and fields, so the conjectures that minimal or quasi-minimal fields are algebraically closed have their common generalization to the conjecture that each regular field is algebraically closed. Standard arguments show that a generically stable regular field is algebraically closed. LetKbe a regular field which is not generically stable and letpbe its global generic type. We observe that ifKhas a finite extensionLof degreen, thenPhas unbounded orbit under the action of (...) the multiplicative group ofL.Known to be true in the minimal context, it remains wide open whether regular, or even quasi-minimal, groups are abelian. We show that if it is not the case, then there is a counter-example with a unique nontrivial conjugacy class, and we notice that a classical group with one nontrivial conjugacy class is not quasi-minimal, because the centralizers of all elements are uncountable. Then, we construct a group of cardinality ω1with only one nontrivial conjugacy class and such that the centralizers of all nontrivial elements are countable. (shrink)
SummaryThis contribution contains a critical re-assessment of the earliest archaeological material originating from the Valley of the Muses, i.e. archaic vessels and figurines, two examples of hydriai allegedly linked with the Muses, and an iconographic testimony. In the current historiography, these sources are still considered to confirm the archaic, or even earlier, origin of the cult of the Muses at the foot of Mount Helicon. An analysis of testimonies is complemented with an overview of a broader cultural context ; this (...) enables us to assess the sources and chronological considerations. Conclusions drawn from the re-assessment of testimonies are of key importance not only to the dating of the cult of the Muses at this site, but also to our assessment of the phenomenon of the cult of these goddesses in the Greek world in general. (shrink)
The paper describes two approaches to determinism: one focuses on the features of global objects, such as possible worlds or models of a theory, whereas the other’s concern is the possible behaviour of individual objects. It then gives an outline of an individuals-based analysis of the determinism of theories. Finally, a general relativistic spacetime with non-isometric extensions is described and used to illustrate a conflict between the two approaches: this spacetime is indeterministic by the first approach but deterministic by the (...) second approach. (shrink)