Objections to child labour range from its creating unfair trade advantage to its infringing children’s human rights. Analysis of the responsibilities of various parties implicated in the use of child labour can lead to identifying stages in a cumulative ethical approach which is not self‐defeating. The author is an economist who has recently completed his MBA at London Business School.
Abstract: Introspection reveals that one is frequently conscious of some form of inner speech, which may appear either in a condensed or expanded form. It has been claimed that this speech reflects the way in which language is involved in conscious thought, fulfilling a number of cognitive functions. We criticize three theories that address this issue: Bermúdez’s view of language as a generator of second-order thoughts, Prinz’s development of Jackendoff’s intermediate-level theory of consciousness, and Carruthers’s theory of inner speech as (...) a rehearsal of action-schemata. We contend they have problems to account for those cases in which inner speech is fragmentary, and for the difference with those instances in which it appears as more sentence-like. In addition, we present verbal overshadowing as a phenomenon that neither of them can easily explain. Finally, we propose an account in which inner speech is fundamentally silent outer speech and argue that it is more explanatory than the alternatives. (shrink)
We very often discover ourselves engaged in inner speech. It seems that this kind of silent, private, speech fulfils some role in our cognition, most probably related to conscious thinking. Yet, the study of inner speech has been neglected by philosophy and psychology alike for many years. However, things seem to have changed in the last two decades. Here we review some of the most influential accounts about the phenomenology and the functions of inner speech, as well as the methodological (...) problems that affect its study. (shrink)
According to an increasing number of authors, the best, if not the only, argument in favour of physicalism is the so-called 'overdetermination argument'. This argument, if sound, establishes that all the entities that enter into causal interactions with the physical world are physical. One key premise in the overdetermination argument is the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, said to be supported by contemporary physics. In this paper, I examine various ways in which physics may support the (...) principle, either as a methodological guide or as depending on some other laws and principles of physics. (shrink)
Recently, many philosophers and psychologists have claimed that the explanation that grounds both passivity phenomena in the cognitive domain and passivity phenomena that occur with respect to overt actions is, along broad lines, the same. Furthermore, they claim that the best account we have of such phenomena in both scenarios is the “comparator” account. However, there are reasons to doubt whether the comparator model can be exported from the realm of overt actions to the cognitive domain in general. There is (...) a lingering worry concerning such explanations of thought insertion: the "What is compared to what?" problem. Here I examine two ways to tackle this problem. First: thought insertion consists of the misattribution of strings of inner speech which are not attenuated (thought insertion is thus another name for auditory verbal hallucinations). Second: thought insertion is misattributed inner speech which exhibits the same phenomenological characteristics as normal inner speech. After explaining the types of problem that each of these potential solutions faces, I conclude with a set of open questions that the comparator theorist has to tackle. (shrink)
Physicalism is the claim that that there is nothing in the world but the physical. Philosophers who defend physicalism have to confront a well-known dilemma, known as Hempel’s dilemma, concerning the definition of ‘the physical’: if ‘the physical’ is whatever current physics says there is, then physicalism is most probably false; but if ‘the physical’ is whatever the true theory of physics would say that there is, we have that physicalism is vacuous and runs the risk of becoming trivial. This (...) article has two parts. The first, negative, part is devoted to developing a criticism of the so-called via negativa response to Hempel’s dilemma. In the second, more substantial, part, I propose to take the first horn of Hempel’s dilemma. However, I argue for a broad construal of ‘current physics’ and characterize ‘the physical’ accordingly. The virtues of the broad characterization of ‘the physical’ are: first, it makes physicalism less likely to be false; and second, it ties our understanding of ‘the physical’ to the reasons we have for believing in physicalism. That is, it fulfills the desideratum of construing our theses according to the reasons we have to believe in them. (shrink)
Charles Travis has been forcefully arguing that meaning does not determine truth-conditions for more than two decades now. To this end, he has devised ingenious examples whereby different utterances of the same prima facie non-ambiguous and non-indexical expression type have different truth-conditions depending on the occasion on which they are delivered. However, Travis does not argue that meaning varies with circumstances; only that truth-conditions do. He assumes that meaning is a stable feature of both words and sentences. After surveying some (...) of the explanations that semanticists and pragmaticians have produced in order to account for Travis cases, I propose a view which differs substantially from all of them. I argue that the variability in the truth-conditions that an utterance type can have is due to meaning facts alone. To support my argument, I suggest that we think about the meanings of words (in particular, the meanings of nouns) as rich conceptual structures; so rich that the way in which a property concept applies to an object concept is not determined. (shrink)
Different languages carve the world in different categories. They also encode events in different ways, conventionalize different metaphorical mappings, and differ in their rule-based metonymies and patterns of meaning extensions. A long-standing, and controversial, question is whether this variability in the languages generates a corresponding variability in the conceptual structure of the speakers of those languages. Here we will present and discuss three interesting general proposals by focusing on representative authors of such proposals. The proposals are the following: first, that (...) the effect of language in conceptualization is general and deep; second, that the effect is local, transient, shallow and easily revisable; and third, that there is no proper effect of language on conceptualization, although there is surely some cognitive impact of language: many conceptual tasks engage language one way or another. (shrink)
Contextualist theorists have recently defended the views (a) that metaphor-processing can be treated on a par with other meaning changes, such as narrowing or transfer, and (b) that metaphorical contents enter into “what is said” by an utterance. We do not dispute claim (a) but consider that claim (b) is problematic. Contextualist theorists seem to leave in the hands of context the explanation about why it is that some meaning changes are directly processed, and thus plausibly form part of “what (...) is said”, while some others are not. While granting the role of context in this respect, we contend that there are that there are elements that play an instrumental role in providing direct access to the metaphorical content, namely, the conventionality of the expressions and the salience of the concepts involved. We will start by criticizing Recanati’s and Relevance Theory’s accounts of metaphor. Then we examine the claims of Carston’s and Giora’s two-process accounts that set the stage for a revision of the main elements involved, namely, the properties of conventionality and salience. Finally we examine a number of representative examples, explaining why some cases involve a direct access to the metaphorical content and others require an intermediate non-figurative interpretation. (shrink)
In Origins of Objectivity, Burge presents three arguments against what he calls ‘deflationism’: the project of explaining the representational function in terms of the notion of biological function. I evaluate these arguments and argue that they are not convincing.
Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness maintain that the kind of awareness necessary for phenomenal consciousness depends on the cognitive accessibility that underlies reporting. -/- There is empirical evidence strongly suggesting that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report visual experiences depends on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). This area, however, is highly deactivated during the conscious experiences we have during sleep: dreams. HOT theories are jeopardized, as I will argue. I will briefly present HOT (...) theories in the first section. Section 2 offers empirical evidence to the effect that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report depends on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: dlPFC is the neural correlate of HOTs. Section 3 shows the evidence we have of the deactivation of this brain area during dreams and, in section 4, I present my argument. Finally, I consider and rejoin two possible replies that my opponent can offer: the possibility of an alternative neural correlate of HOTs during dreams and the denial that we have phenomenally conscious experiences during sleep. (shrink)
This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe (...) they are true. Finally, we argue that even though the argument from explicitness shows that natural language cannot be a vehicle of thought, there is a cognitive function for language. (shrink)
Recent years have seen renewed interest in the emergence issue. The contemporary debate, in contrast with that of past times, has to do not so much with the mind–body problem as with the relationship between the physical and other domains; mostly with the biological domain. One of the main sources of this renewed interest is the study of complex and, in general, far-from-equilibrium self-preserving systems, which seem to fulfil one of the necessary conditions for an entity to be emergent; namely, (...) that its causal powers are not predictable from the causal powers of basic physical properties. However, I argue that much of the current emergentism debate has misfired by focusing on the interpretation of self-maintaining systems. In contrast, I claim that if we want to find emergent properties, we should look not at complex systems, but at selection (natural selection, in particular). I argue that selection processes make the causal world ‘exuberant’ by making non-physical functional and relational properties enter the causal web of the world. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue for an objectivist pluralist interpretation of Hume’s moral philosophy. We begin by approaching the pluralist/relativist distinction in aesthetics. Then we move to ethics, and present some reasons which justify considering Hume a normative pluralist, and, in particular, an objectivist pluralist. Our argument will make use of Hume’s idea that there are foru sources of value, and of his notion of artificial lives/moralities.
According to the thesis of semantic underdetermination, most sentences of a natural language lack a definite semantic interpretation. This thesis supports an argument against the use of natural language as an instrument of thought, based on the premise that cognition requires a semantically precise and compositional instrument. In this paper we examine several ways to construe this argument, as well as possible ways out for the cognitive view of natural language in the introspectivist version defended by Carruthers. Finally, we sketch (...) a view of the role of language in thought as a specialized tool, showing how it avoids the consequences of semantic underdetermination. (shrink)
This paper is a reaction to the book “Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom”, whose central concern is the philosophy of Nicholas Maxwell. I distinguish and discuss three concerns in Maxwell’s philosophy. The first is his critique of standard empiricism (SE) in the philosophy of science, the second his defense of aim-oriented rationality (AOR), and the third his philosophy of mind. I point at some problematic aspects of Maxwell’s rebuttal of SE and of his philosophy of mind and argue in (...) favor of AOR. (shrink)
According to a model defended by some authors, dispositional predicates, or concepts, can be legitimately used in causal explanations, but such a use is not necessary. For every explanation couched in dispositional terms, there is always a better, and complete, explanation that makes use of a different vocabulary, that of categorial bases. In what follows, I will develop this view, and then argue that there is a kind of use of dispositions in explanations that does not fall within this model. (...) That is, I will argue that we would miss some explanations if we were to forsake dispositional concepts and dispositional explanations. (shrink)
The paper argues for a decompositionalist account of lexical concepts. In particular, it presents and argues for a cluster decompositionalism, a view that claims that the complexes a token of a word corresponds to on a given occasion are typically built out of a determinate set of basic concepts, most of which are present on most other occasions of use of the word. The first part of the paper discusses some explanatory virtues of decompositionalism in general. The second singles out (...) cluster decompositionalism as the best explanation of the variability of meaning. The third part is devoted to responding to some problems. (shrink)
The problem this paper deals with is the problem of how dispositional properties can have causal relevance. In particular, the paper is focused on the question of how dispositions can have causal relevance given that the categorial bases that realise them seem to be sufficient to bring about the effects that dispositions explain. I show first that this problem of exclusion has no general solution. Then, I discuss some particular cases in which dispositions are causally relevant, despite of this exclusion (...) problem. My claim is that dispositions have causal relevance in selection or recruitment processes, when they are converted into teleological functions. (shrink)
Kevin Smith's utilitarian argument against homeopathy1 is flawed because he did not review and refute the relevant basic science literature on ultra-high dilutions. He also failed to appreciate that allopathic medicine is based on a deductive-nomothetic method and that homeopathic medicine is based on an inductive-idiographic method, and thus that the implications for clinical research are very different. His misunderstanding of provings and of the holism of homeopathic medicine also demonstrated his failure to understand the history, philosophy and method of (...) homeopathy. Finally, I questioned the value of introducing ethical judgment into an ongoing scientific debate. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss a famous argument for physicalism – which some authors indeed regard as the only argument for it – the overdetermination argument. In fact it is an argument that does not establish that all the entities in the world are physical, but that all those events that enter into causal transactions with the physical world are physical. As mental events seem to cause changes in the physical world, the mind is one of those things that fall (...) within the scope of the argument. Here I analyze one response to the overdetermination argument that has acquired some popularity lately, and which consists in saying that what mental events cause are not physical effects. I try to show that recent attempts to develop this response are not successful, but that there may be a coherent way of doing so. I also try to show that there seems to be a philosophical niche in which this way might fit. (shrink)
Cruelty is evident in the play and interactions of quite small children. This is almost certainly normal, though it is more evident in children who have themselves been harshly treated (Amato & Fowler 2002; Luk et al. 1999).
This paper analyses the relationship between religion and the field of medicine and health care in light of other recent studies. Generally, religion and spirituality have a positive impact on disease. For patients diagnosed with malignancies and chronic diseases, religion is an important dimension of healing. From ancient times, God has been considered an inspiration for the physician's knowledge and healing resources. Some authors have proposed a brief history of spiritual and religious states that the doctor can apply to his (...) patient. Religiosity and spirituality allow patients to receive better social support and to benefit greatly from resources provided by religious organizations (cultural activities, jobs, and health care counseling). The two terms "religion" and "spirituality" have different meanings but are always in connection. Many studies emphasize that people with greater religiosity and spirituality have a lower prevalence of depression and suicide, better quality of life, and greater survival. Additionally the article discusses the complementary health care benefits of religious fasting. Caloric and protein restrictions promoted by religious fasting were associated with improvement in control or prophylaxis of many diseases and with longevity. (shrink)
Taking into account the difficulties that all attempts at a solution of the problem of causal-explanatory exclusion have experienced, we analyze in this paper the chances that mind-body causation is a case of overdetermination, a line of attack that has scarcely been explored. Our conclusion is that claiming that behaviors are causally overdetermined cannot solve the problem of causal-explanatory exclusion. The reason is the problem of massive coincidence, that can only be avoided by establishing a relation between mind and body; (...) that is, by denying overdetermination. The only way to defend that mind-body causation is a case of overdetermination would be by denying any modal force whatever to the principle of the causal closure of the physical, and this is a claim we would not like to reject. (shrink)
Phil Dowe has argued persuasively for a reductivist theory of causality. Drawing on Wesley Salmon's mark transmission theory and David Fair's transferencetheory, Dowe proposes to reduce causality to the exchange of conserved quantities. Dowe's account has the virtue of being simple and offering a definite "visible" idea of causation. According to Dowe and Salmon, it is also virtuous in being localist. That a theory of causation is localist means that it does not need the aid of counterfactuals and/or laws to (...) work. Moreover, it can become the means by which we explain counterfactuals and laws. In this paper, I will argue that the theory is not localist (and hence, that it is less simple than it seems). As far as I can see, the theory needs the aid of laws. (shrink)
Jaegwon Kim ha actualizado y resumido el problema cartesiano de la causación mental en tres ideas en conflicto: el principio deI cierre causal deI mundo fisico, la eficacia causal de la mente, y el principio de exclusión causal-explicativa (PEE). Este último principio nos dice que no puede haber dos causas/explicaciones causales que sean ambas completas e independientes para un evento determinado, salvo en casos de sobredeterminación. Aunque la forma habitual de afrontar este problema de exclusión es buscar una relación de (...) dependencia entre las propiedades físicas y las mentales, algunosfilósofos mantienen que puede tratarse de un caso de sobredeterminación. En este artículo, analizo la posibilidad de que esto sea así.Jaegwon Kim has very nicely updated and summed up Descartes’ problem of mental causation in three conflicting ideas: the principle of the causal closure of the physical, the causal efficacy of the mental, and the principle of the causal-explanatory exclusion (PEE). This last principle tells us that there cannot be two causes/causal explanations that are both complete and independent for one event, excpt in eases of overdetermination. Though the usual way to this exclusion problem is look for a dependency relation between mental and physical properties, some philosophers hold it can be a case of overdetermination. In this paper, I analyze the chances that this could be so. (shrink)
Before and in the Groundwork , Kant argues as follows for the validity of the moral law: we want to be free. Following the moral law is the only way to be free. So we should follow the moral law.1 The first premise of this syllogism is treated differently before and in the Groundwork . First Kant thought it an empirical fact that men want to be free and want it more than anything else.2 Later he sought an a priori (...) argument showing that we ought to want to be free and are right in thinking it good.3 The former justification of the moral law is superior. When we look to “salvage the normative core of Kantian moral philosophy” (Guyer 445), we should turn to it. - So far Paul Guyer. It is evident that Guyer fails to describe Kant's thought in the Groundwork . It is equally clear that Kant never held the position Guyer claims he held before the Groundwork . (The quotations Guyer gives in support of his claim show this.) Therefore I shall not discuss Guyer's interpretation of Kant. Instead I shall consider the philosophical merits of the position he ascribes to the pre-critical Kant, and which he recommends as superior. We shall see that that position makes no sense. This indirectly addresses the interpretive question, as it is a reason against ascribing it to Kant. (shrink)
En este artículo reevaluamos la tesis de la relatividad lingüística tomando corno referencia la vision de la mente que Fodor ha venido ofreciendo. Partiendo de su argumento clásico a favor del lenguaje del pensamiento, veremos como el desarrollo de su tesis de la modularidad y de su mas reciente teoria psicosemántica (el atomismo informacional), permiten compatibilizar su posición con, al menos, una variedad de relatividad, la relatividad léxica. Así mismo, examinaremos su ultimo argumento en favor de la prioridad explicativa del (...) pensamiento, basado en la composicionalidad que éste exhibe, a diferencia del lenguaje.This paper reevaluates the thesis of linguistic relativity in the context of Fodor’s views on the nature of mind. We begin with Fodor’s classical argument for the language of thought, and follow the development of his ideas as he adds a general account of the structure of mind (the modulariry thesis) and a psychosemantical theory (informational atomism). Finally, we examine his most recent altempt to support the explanatory prioriry of thought, based on the compositionaliry that thought, but not language, exhibits. We argue that Fodor’s position is compatible a variety of lexical relativiry. (shrink)
La Violencia Contra las Mujeres es la violación de los Derechos Humanos más generalizada, consentida e impune de todos los tiempos, manifestándose en todas las sociedades y culturas, sin distinción de edad, etnia, clase social o educación de quienes la ejercen o de quienes la padecen. Según estudios realizados en Suecia, Alemania y Finlandia, el 30-35% de las mujeres con edades comprendidas entre los 16 y 67 años ha sido víctima de violencia física o sexual. Si se incluye la violencia (...) psicológica, la cifra asciende al 45-50%. En todos los casos el factor de riesgo es el mismo: ser mujer en un sistema social caracterizado por la dominación masculina y la subordinación de las mujeres a los varones, lo que se conoce como Patriarcado. (shrink)
em Origens do totalitarismo , publicada em 1951, Arendt pensa o grande mal do século XX: o fenômeno totalitário como destruição da pluralidade humana, negação da semelhança dos homens e da sua pertença a uma mesma humanidade. Esse mal, para ela, reduz-se a dois regimes: o nazismo de Hitler e o comunismo de Stalin. A proposta deste artigo é analisar as características comuns entre esses dois regimes como descritas por Arendt.
En este artículo examinamos la última propuesta de Carruthers acerca del papel del lenguaje en cuanto emisor global de pensamientos en una arquitectura masivamente modular, centrándonos en dos aspectos: el habla interna como integrador intermodular y su función para explicar la creatividad de la cognición humana. En primer lugar argumentamos que el lenguaje no es suficiente para la integración intermodular, a partir de lo que llamamos el "problema de la audiencia": las oraciones compuestas por el módulo lingüístico, que incorporan información (...) de distintos dominios, son ininteligibles para cada módulo central, que es de dominio específico. Como alternativa, consideramos la posibilidad de que exista integración sin que sea llevada a cabo por ningún módulo en concreto. Finalmente sostenemos que la propuesta de Carruthers para el pensamiento creativo no respeta la fenomenología ni la ambigüedad del lenguaje. Defendemos que un sistema relacionado con la "lectura de mentes", cuya función es crucial para la comunicación lingüística, debe tener un papel mucho más importante. This paper examines Carruthers's latest proposal on the role of language as a global broadcaster of thoughts in a massively modular architecture. We focus on two aspects: inner speech as an intermodular integrator, and its function to explain creativity in human cognition. First, we argue that language is not sufficient for intermodular integration from what we call "the audience problem": sentences composed by the linguistic module, combining information from different domains, would be unintelligible to each central module, which is domain-specific. As an alternative, we consider the possibility that there is integration not carried out by a specific module. Finally, we claim that Carruthers's proposal for creative thinking respects neither the phenomenology nor the ambiguity of language. We contend that a mindreading system, which has a crucial function in linguistic communication, must have a much more important role to play. (shrink)
Chow's monograph exhibits four prototypical symptoms of psychology's enduring scientific crisis: it equates empirical science with statistical analysis; it settles for qualitative rather than quantitative theories; it ignores the role of ecological validity in the generalizability of theories; and it puts rigid adherence to arbitrary but documentable rules over critical thinking about the meaning of results.
: This article describes a psychological test of Hull's (1988) theory of science as an evolutionary process by seeing if it can account for how scientists sometimes remember and cite the scientific literature. The conceptual adequacy of Hull's theory was evaluated by comparing it to Bartlett's (1932) seminal theory of human remembering. Bartlett found that remembering is an active, reconstructive process driven by a schema that biases recall in the direction of proto- typicality and personal involvement. This account supports Hull's (...) theory of science because it shows that the characteristics of reconstructive remembering are consistent with the generic properties of an evolutionary process. The empirical adequacy of Hull's theory was evaluated by comparing the predictions made from this evolutionary viewpoint against evidence from the history of science. Six cases studies of well-known psychological experiments that had been subject to repeated miscitation errors were collected and reviewed. All six case studies revealed a systematic pattern of distortions that is consistent with the schema-induced biases of reconstructive remembering. These findings support Hull's claim that science is an evolutionary process with scientists as interactors, scientific beliefs as replicators, and schemata as means for that replication. (shrink)