How can we live life wisely? Tiberius argues that we need to develop the kind of wisdom that emphasizes the importance of learning from experience. We need to care about things that sustain us and give us good experiences, have perspective on our successes and failures, and be moderately self-aware and cautiously optimistic about human nature.
What is well-being? This is one of humanity's oldest and deepest questions; Valerie Tiberius offers a fresh answer. She argues that our lives go well to the extent that we succeed in what matters to us emotionally, reflectively, and over the long term. So when we want to help others achieve well-being, we should pay attention to their values.
Although widely studied in other domains, relatively little is known about the metacognitive processes that monitor and control behaviour during reasoning and decision-making. In this paper, we examined the conditions under which two fluency cues are used to monitor initial reasoning: answer fluency, or the speed with which the initial, intuitive answer is produced, and perceptual fluency, or the ease with which problems can be read. The first two experiments demonstrated that answer fluency reliably predicted Feeling of Rightness judgments to (...) conditional inferences and base rate problems, which subsequently predicted the amount of deliberate processing as measured by thinking time and answer changes; answer fluency also predicted retrospective confidence judgments. Moreover, the effect of answer fluency on reasoning was independent from the effect of perceptual fluency, establishing that these are empirically independent constructs. In five experiments with a variety of reasoning problems similar to those of Alter et al., we found no effect of perceptual fluency on FOR, retrospective confidence or accuracy; however, we did observe that participants spent more time thinking about hard to read stimuli, although this additional time did not result in answer changes. In our final two experiments, we found that perceptual disfluency increased accuracy on the CRT, but only amongst participants of high cognitive ability. As Alter et al.’s samples were gathered from prestigious universities, collectively, the data to this point suggest that perceptual fluency prompts additional processing in general, but this processing may results in higher accuracy only for the most cognitively able. (shrink)
One hundred and three participants solved conflict and non-conflict versions of four reasoning tasks using a two-response procedure: a base rate task, a causal reasoning task, a denominator neglect task, and a categorical syllogisms task. Participants were asked to give their first, intuitive answer, to make a Feeling of Rightness judgment, and then were given as much time as needed to rethink their answer. They also completed a standardized measure of IQ and the actively open-minded thinking questionnaire. The FORs of (...) both high- and low-capacity reasoners were responsive to conflict, such that FORs were lower for conflict relative to non-conflict problems. Consistent with the quantity hypothesis, high-capacity reasoners made a greater distinction between conflict and non-conflict items on measures of Type 2 thinking, namely, rethinking time and probability of changing answers. In contrast to the quality hypothesis, however, this rethinking time did not advantage the ability of the high-capacity group to produce normative answers, except for the base rate task. Indeed, we observed that the correlation between capacity and the probability of normative answers emerged at the initial response, rather than after rethinking. (shrink)
This is the first philosophy textbook in moral psychology, introducing students to a range of philosophical topics and debates such as: What is moral motivation? Do reasons for action always depend on desires? Is emotion or reason at the heart of moral judgment? Under what conditions are people morally responsible? Are there self-interested reasons for people to be moral? Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction presents research by philosophers and psychologists on these topics, and addresses the overarching question of how empirical (...) research is relevant to philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Whether it is to be maximized or promoted as the object of a duty of beneficence, well-being is a vitally important notion in ethical theory. Well-being is a value, but to play the role it has often been assigned by ethical theory it must also be something we can measure and compare. It is a normative concept, then, but it also seems to have empirical content. Historically, philosophical conceptions of well-being have been responsive to the paired demands for normative and (...) empirical adequacy. However, recent work has yet to pay serious attention to the burgeoning field of well-being research in empirical psychology. This might be because the research is new and unknown, or it might be due to uncertainty about how a philosophical investigation would take such research into account. This chapter offers solutions to both of these problems. It provides an overview of well-being research in empirical psychology. It then uses this overview as part of an argument for an empirical informed account of well-being that we call the Value-Based Life Satisfaction Account. (shrink)
To what extent should we focus on implicit bias in order to eradicate persistent social injustice? Structural prioritizers argue that we should focus less on individual minds than on unjust social structures, while equal prioritizers think that both are equally important. This article introduces the framework of transactive memory into the debate to defend the equal priority view. The transactive memory framework helps us see how structure can emerge from individual interactions as an irreducibly social product. If this is right, (...) then debiasing interventions are structural interventions. One upshot is that the utility of the individual versus structural distinction is not apparent for the purposes of intervention. (shrink)
Feminist Political Theory provides both a wide-ranging history of western feminist thought and a lucid analysis of contemporary debates. It offers an accessible and thought-provoking account of complex theories, which it relates to 'real-life' issues such as sexual violence, political representation and the family. This timely new edition has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the most recent developments in feminism and feminist scholarship throughout, in particular taking into account the impact of black and postmodern feminist thought on feminist political theory.
A major challenge for Dual Process Theories of reasoning is to predict the circumstances under which intuitive answers reached on the basis of Type 1 processing are kept or discarded in favour of analytic, Type 2 processing (Thompson 2009 ). We propose that a key determinant of the probability that Type 2 processes intervene is the affective response that accompanies Type 1 processing. This affective response arises from the fluency with which the initial answer is produced, such that fluently produced (...) answers give rise to a strong feeling of rightness. This feeling of rightness, in turn, determines the extent and probability with which Type 2 processes will be engaged. Because many of the intuitions produced by Type 1 processes are fluent, it is common for them to be accompanied by a strong sense of rightness. However, because fluency is poorly calibrated to objective difficulty, confidently held intuitions may form the basis of poor quality decisions. (shrink)
BackgroundAs the number of randomised controlled trials of medicines for children increases, it becomes progressively more important to understand the experiences of parents who are asked to enrol their child in a trial. This paper presents a narrative review of research evidence on parents' experiences of trial recruitment focussing on qualitative research, which allows them to articulate their views in their own words.DiscussionParents want to do their best for their children, and socially and legally their role is to care for (...) and protect them yet the complexities of the medical and research context can challenge their fulfilment of this role. Parents are simultaneously responsible for their child and cherish this role yet they are dependent on others when their child becomes sick. They are keen to exercise responsibility for deciding to enter a child in a trial yet can be fearful of making the 'wrong' decision. They make judgements about the threat of the child's condition as well as the risks of the trial yet their interpretations often differ from those of medical and research experts. Individual parents will experience these and other complexities to a greater or lesser degree depending on their personal experiences and values, the medical situation of their child and the nature of the trial. Interactions at the time of trial recruitment offer scope for negotiating these complexities if practitioners have the flexibility to tailor discussions to the needs and situation of individual parents. In this way, parents may be helped to retain a sense that they have acted as good parents to their child whatever decision they make.SummaryDiscussing randomised controlled trials and gaining and providing informed consent is challenging. The unique position of parents in giving proxy consent for their child adds to this challenge. Recognition of the complexities parents face in making decisions about trials suggests lines for future research on the conduct of trials, and ultimately, may help improve the experience of trial recruitment for all parties. (shrink)
Some theories of well-being in philosophy and in psychology define people’s well-being in psychological terms. According to these theories, living well is getting what you want, feeling satisfied, experiencing pleasure, or the like. Other theories take well-being to be something that is not defined by our psychology: for example, they define well-being in terms of objective values or the perfection of our human nature. These two approaches present us with a trade-off: The more we define well-being in terms of people’s (...) psychology, the less ideal it seems and the less it looks like something of real value that could be an important aim of human life. On the other hand, the more we define well-being in terms of objective features of the world that do not have to do with people’s psychological states, the less it looks like something that each of us has a reason to promote. In this paper I argue that we can take a middle path between these two approaches if we hold that well-being is an ideal but an ideal that is rooted in our psychology. The middle path that I propose is one that puts what people value at the center of the theory of well-being. In the second half of the paper I consider how the value-based theory I describe should be applied to real life situations. (shrink)
Freedom of conscience is a core element of human rights respected by most European countries. It allows abortion through the inclusion of a conscience clause, which permits opting out of providing such services. However, the grounds for invoking conscientious objection lack clarity. Our aim in this paper is to take a step in this direction by carrying out a systematic review of reasons by midwives and nurses for declining, on conscience grounds, to participate in abortion. We conducted a systematic review (...) of ethical arguments asking, “What reasons have been reported in the argument based literature for or against conscientious objection to abortion provision by nurses or midwives?” We particularly wanted to identify any discussion of the responsibilities of midwives and nurses in this area. Search terms were conscientious objection and abortion or termination and nurse or midwife or midwives or physicians or doctors or medics within the dates 2000–2016 on: HEIN legal, Medline, CINAHL, Psychinfo, Academic Search Complete, Web of Science including publications in English, German and Dutch. Final articles were subjected to a rigorous analysis, coding and classifying each line into reason mentions, narrow and broad reasons for or against conscientious objection. Of an initial 1085 articles, 10 were included. We identified 23 broad reasons, containing 116narrow reasons and 269 reason mentions. Eighty one narrow reasons argued in favour of and 35 against conscientious objection. Using predetermined categories of moral, practical, religious or legal reasons, “moral reasons” contained the largest number of narrow reasons. The reasons and their associated mentions in this category outnumber those in the sum of the other three categories. We identified no absolute argument either for or against conscientious objection by midwives or nurses. An invisibility of midwives and nurses exists in the whole debate concerning conscientious objection reflecting a gap between literature and practice, as it is they whom WHO recommend as providers of this service. While the arguments in the literature emphasize the need for provision of conscientious objection, a balanced debate is necessary in this field, which includes all relevant health professionals. (shrink)
Intuitively, there is a difference between knowledge and mere belief. Contemporary philosophical work on the nature of this difference has focused on scenarios known as “Gettier cases.” Designed as counterexamples to the classical theory that knowledge is justified true belief, these cases feature agents who arrive at true beliefs in ways which seem reasonable or justified, while nevertheless seeming to lack knowledge. Prior empirical investigation of these cases has raised questions about whether lay people generally share philosophers’ intuitions about these (...) cases, or whether lay intuitions vary depending on individual factors (e.g. ethnicity) or factors related to specific types of Gettier cases (e.g. cases that include apparent evidence). We report an experiment on lay attributions of knowledge and justification for a wide range of Gettier Cases and for a related class of controversial cases known as Skeptical Pressure cases, which are also thought by philosophers to elicit intuitive denials of knowledge. Although participants rated true beliefs in Gettier and Skeptical Pressure cases as being justified, they were significantly less likely to attribute knowledge for these cases than for matched true belief cases. This pattern of response was consistent across different variations of Gettier cases and did not vary by ethnicity or gender, although attributions of justification were found to be positively related to measures of empathy. These findings therefore suggest that across demographic groups, laypeople share similar epistemic concepts with philosophers, recognizing a difference between knowledge and justified true belief. (shrink)
The classical view that equates rationality with adherence to the laws of probability theory and logic has driven much research on inference. Recently, an increasing number of researchers have begun to espouse a view of rationality that takes account of organisms' adaptive goals, natural environments, and cognitive constraints. We argue that inference is carried out using boundedly rational heuristics, that is, heuristics that allow organisms to reach their goals under conditions of limited time, information, and computational capacity. These heuristics are (...) ecologically rational in that they exploit aspects of both the physical and social environment in order to make adaptive inferences. We review recent work exploring this multifaceted conception of rationality. (shrink)
We tested the hypothesis that choices determined by Type 1 processes are compelling because they are fluent, and for this reason they are less subject to analytic thinking than other answers. A total of 104 participants completed a modified version of Wason's selection task wherein they made decisions about one card at a time using a two-response paradigm. In this paradigm participants gave a fast, intuitive response, rated their feeling of rightness for that response, and were then allowed free time (...) to reconsider their answers. As we predicted, answers consistent with a matching heuristic were made more quickly than other answers, were given higher FOR ratings, and received less subsequent analysis as measured by rethinking time and the probability of changing answers. These data suggest that reasoning biases may be compelling because they are fluently generated; this is turn creates a strong FOR, which acts as a signal that further analysis is not necessary. (shrink)
There is a bias in neuroscience toward localizing and modularizing brain functions. Single cell recording, imaging studies, and the study of neurological deficits all feed into the Gallian view that different brain areas do different things and the things being done are confined to particular processing streams. At the same time, there is a growing sentiment that brains probably don’t work like that after all; it is better to conceive of them as fundamentally distributed units, multi‐tasking at every level. This (...) sentiment, however, is much less congenial to the tried‐and‐true experimental protocols available today and to theorizing about the brain in general. This essay examines the tension between current experimental methods and large-scale views of the brain. We argue that this disconnection between experiment and what really are guiding theoretical metaphors seriously impedes progress in neuroscience. (shrink)
Robert Johnson argues that virtue ethical accounts of right action fail because they cannot take account of the fact that there are things we ought to do precisely because we do not possess virtuous character traits. Self-improving actions are his paradigm case and it would indeed be a problem if virtue ethics could not make sense of the propriety of self-improvement. To solve this serious problem, I propose that virtue ethics ought to define right action in terms of the virtuous (...) agent's reasons for action instead of defining right action in terms of the actions that the virtuous agent performs. I argue that this revised definition of right action makes sense of the rightness of self-improving actions and that it can be given a genuinely virtue ethical interpretation. (shrink)
This paper is a contribution to the debate about eudaimonism started by Kashdan, Biswas-Diener, King, and Waterman in a previous issue of The Journal of Positive Psychology. We point out that one thing that is missing from this debate is an understanding of the problems with subjective theories of well-being that motivate a turn to objective theories. A better understanding of the rationale for objective theories helps us to see what is needed from a theory of well-being. We then argue (...) that a suitably modified subjective theory can provide what is needed and that this is the theory that ought to be favored by psychologists. Keywords: well-being; happiness; hedonism; eudaimonia; subjective well-being; theory; values.. (shrink)
Extensive discussions of practical wisdom are relatively rare in the philosophical literature these days. This is strange given the theoretical and practical importance of wisdom and, indeed, the etymology of the word "philosophy." In this paper, we remedy this inattention by proposing a methodology for developing a theory of wisdom and using this methodology to outline a viable theory. The methodology we favor is a version of wide reflective equilibrium. We begin with psychological research on folk intuitions about wisdom, which (...) helps us to avoid problems caused by reliance on the possibly idiosyncratic intuitions of professional philosophers. The folk theory is then elaborated in light of theoretical desiderata and further empirical research on human cognitive capacities. The resulting view emphasizes policies that the wise person adopts in order to cope with the many obstacles to making good choices. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the debate between subjective and objective theories of prudential value obscures the way in which elements of both are needed for a comprehensive theory of prudential value. I suggest that we characterize these two types of theory in terms of their different aims: procedural (or subjective) theories give an account of the necessary conditions for something to count as good for a person, while substantive (or objective) theories give an account of what is good (...) for a person, given some set of necessary conditions. Characterizing the theories in this way allows us to see their mutual compatibility. To make this case, I assume that a theory of prudential value ought to be descriptively and normatively adequate. The criterion of descriptive adequacy requires that our theory explain the subject relativity of prudential value. I characterize subject relativity in terms of justifiability to subjects and I argue that certain procedural theories are well suited to meet this criterion. The criterion of normative adequacy requires that our theory be capable of guiding action and I argue that a certain kind of substantive theory is needed to meet this requirement. (shrink)
.In Canada, food assistance is provided through a widespread network of extra-governmental, community-based, charitable programs, popularly termed “food banks”. Most of the food they distribute has been donated by food producers, processors, and retailers or collected through appeals to the public. Some industry donations are of market quality, but many donations are “surplus” food that cannot be retailed. Drawing on insights from an ethnographic study of food bank work in southern Ontario, we examined how the structure and function of food (...) banks operate to facilitate the distribution of foods not marketed through the retail system. Our findings indicate that the handling of industry donations of unsaleable products is a labor-intensive activity, made possible by the surfeit of unpaid labor in food banks, the neediness of food bank clients, and clients’ lack of rights in this system. The marshalling of volunteer labor to serve a corporate need might be construed as a “win-win” situation because the work of salvaging edible foodstuffs from among industry “surplus” helps to “feed the hungry” while also diminishing the amount of refuse deposited in landfill sites, sparing corporations disposal costs and landfill tipping fees, and helping them forge an image of good corporate citizenship. However, the reliance of food banks on industry donations means that food assistance becomes defined as that which the corporate sector cannot retail. Moreover, the intertwining of food bank work with corporate needs may function to further entrench this ad hoc secondary food system and mitigate against initiatives to develop more effective responses to problems of hunger and food insecurity in our communities. (shrink)
Hubris among CEOs is generally considered to be undesirable: researchers in finance and in management have documented its unwelcome effects and the media ascribe many corporate failings to CEO hubris. However, the literature fails to provide a precise definition of CEO hubris and is mostly silent on how to prevent it. We use work on hubris in the fields of mythology, psychology, and ethics to develop a framework defining CEO hubris. Our framework describes a set of beliefs and behaviors, both (...) psycho-pathological and unethical in nature, which characterize the problematic relationship of the hubris-infected CEO towards his or her own self, others and the world at large. We then demonstrate how the development of authentic leadership may contribute to preventing or attenuating hubris by addressing its psycho-pathological nature through the true self and meaningful relationships with others. In addition to its psycho-pathological dimension, CEO hubris also contains an ethical dimension. We therefore propose that the development of the virtue of reverence might contribute to the prevention or attenuation of CEO hubris, because reverence makes the individual aware of his or her place in the world order and membership of the community of humans. (shrink)