Arguments attempting to debunk moral beliefs, by showing they are unjustified, have tended to be global, targeting all moral beliefs or a large set of them. Popular debunking arguments point to various factors purportedly influencing moral beliefs, from evolutionary pressures, to automatic and emotionally-driven processes, to framing effects. We show that these sweeping arguments face a debunker’s dilemma: either the relevant factor is not a main basis for belief or it does not render the relevant beliefs unjustified. Empirical debunking arguments (...) in ethics can avoid this predicament, but only if they are refocused on highly selective classes of moral belief. Experimental data can combine with familiar consistency reasoning to reveal that like cases are not being treated alike. Selective debunking arguments are unlikely to yield sweeping sceptical conclusions, but they can lead to rational moral change. (shrink)
Introduction: Ethical conflict is a phenomenon that has been under study over the last three decades, especially the types moral dilemma and moral distress in the field of nursing care. However, ethical problems and their idiosyncrasies need to be further explored. Aim: The objectives of this study were, first, to obtain a transcultural Portuguese-language adaptation and validation of the Ethical Conflict Nursing Questionnaire–Critical Care Version and, second, to analyse Portuguese critical care nurses’ level of exposure to ethical conflict and its (...) characteristics. Methods: A cross-cultural validation and descriptive, prospective and correlational study. The sample was made for 184 critical care nurses in 2016. Ethical Considerations: The study was authorised by Bioethics Commission of the University of Barcelona, the Associaçâo de Apoio ao Serviço de Cuidados Intensivos do Centro Hospitalar do Porto and the Sociedade Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental. Findings: The Portuguese version of the Ethical Conflict Nursing Questionnaire–Critical Care Version was a valid and reliable instrument to measure exposure to conflict. Moral outrage was the most common type of conflict. The most problematic situations were the ineffectiveness of analgesic treatments, the administration of treatments considered futile and the mismanagement of resources. (shrink)
Intellectualist theories attempt to assimilate know how to propositional knowledge and, in so doing, fail to properly explain the close relation know how bears to action. I develop here an anti-intellectualist theory that is warranted, I argue, because it best accounts for the difference between know how and mere “armchair knowledge.” Know how is a mental state characterized by a certain world-to-mind direction of fit (though it is non-motivational) and attendant functional role. It is essential of know how, but not (...) propositional knowledge, that it makes possible performance errors and has the functional role of guiding action. The theory is attractive, in part, because it allows for propositional, non-propositional and perhaps even non-representational varieties of know how. (shrink)
Ces études débordent le problème du temps chez les Stoïciens et se proposent d’établir que cette question, en apparence modeste, permet d’éclairer, et en même temps commande l’ensemble du système.Au premier abord en effet, la théorie du temps se présente comme une simple section d’un chapitre de la Physique, celui qui traite des Incorporels. Mais déjà la simple interprétation des textes transmis fait voir que cette théorie tient étroitement à d’autres théories, comme celle des incorporels en général, des catégories, de (...) la substance. Abordant ensuite les thèses majeures de la logique et de l’éthique, on s’aperçoit qu’à leur tour elles sont solidaires de la conception du temps qui, dans bien des cas, fait évanouir leur apparence de paradoxe. A cela même, il n’y a rien d’étrange, si l’on se souvient que le stoïcisme, plus que tout autre philosophie antique, constitue un système cohérent. Mais plus particulièrement, le problème du temps a dû former comme le noeud de la réflexion stoïcienne qui vise, contre les lourdes autorités de Platon et d’Aristote, à rétablir dans sa réalité et dans sa dignité, le concret, le sensible, disqualifié comme « sujet à la génération et à la corruption », c’est-à-dire, en un mot, comme « l’être dans le temps ». (shrink)
After more than twenty years of representational debate in the cognitive sciences, anti-representational dynamicism may be seen as offering a rival and radically new kind of explanation of systematicity phenomena. In this paper, I argue that, on the contrary, anti-representational dynamicism must face a version of the old systematicity challenge: either it does not explain systematicity, or else, it is just an implementation of representational theories. To show this, I present a purely behavioral and representation-free account of systematicity. I then (...) consider a case of insect sensorimotor systematic behavior: communicating behavior in honey bees. I conclude that anti-representational dynamicism fails to capture the fundamental trait of systematic behaviors qua systematic, i.e., their involving exercises of the same behavioral capacities. I suggest, finally, a collaborative strategy in pursuit of a rich and powerful account of this central phenomenon of high cognition at all levels of explanation, including the representational level. (shrink)
La narración común sobre la metafísica de Francisco Suárez entre un grupo diverso de pensadores es que el jesuita presenta una ontología «indiferente» que descuida la concepción medieval tradicional de Dios como absolutamente trascendente y única. Aunque las críticas dirigidas contra Suárez son legiones e igualmente diversas como las críticas de las que derivan, tal como yo lo entiendo, hay una convicción común a todas ellas, aunque no expresada, de que el pensamiento del jesuita finalmente resulta en la secularización de (...) la metafísica. Por «secularización» me refiero a que, como se afirma con frecuencia, el análisis de Suárez sobre la naturaleza del ser ocurre por completo sin la necesidad de advertir sobre ningún marco teológico general. En este ensayo, cuestiono ese punto de vista y sostengo que la metafísica de Suárez está completamente determinada por su visión teológica y su proyecto. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic, philosophically informed account of criminal responsibility. It begins by providing a general account of criminal responsibility based on the relationship between the action that the defendent has performed and their character. It then moves on to reconsider some of the central doctrines of criminal responsibility in the light of that account.
This article offers a reassessment of the relationship among nationalism, globalization and glocalization. Conventionally, globalization is viewed as a historically recent challenge to the nation. It is argued that globalization, in contrast, is a long-term historical process. The emergence and perseverance of the nation is linked to outcomes of global processes, such as the experience of globality. Two conceptual links among the nation-form, historical globalization and cultural glocalization, are presented to demonstrate the salience of this perspective. First, globalization’s dialectic of (...) homogeneity and heterogeneity influences the nation in a two-fold manner: whereas cultural and institutional isomorphism causes the homogenization of national symbols and institutions, cultural glocalization preserves the specificity of individual national identities. Second, transnational nationalism has played an important role in shaping the nation through the construction of various categories of ‘aliens’ and the subsequent pressure put onto cultural groups to adjust their identities vis-à-vis the nation-state. (shrink)
This paper examines Derk Pereboom’s argument against punishment on deterrent grounds in his recent book Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life. It suggests that Pereboom’s argument against basic desert has not been shown to extend to the view that those who act wrongly lose rights against punishment for deterrent reasons. It further supports the view that those who act wrongly, if they fulfil compatibilist conditions of responsibility, do lose rights to avert threats they pose. And this, it is argued, (...) supports punishment on deterrent grounds, at least in some limited cases. (shrink)
Ethical conflicts are arising as a result of the growing complexity of clinical care, coupled with technological advances. Most studies that have developed instruments for measuring ethical conflict base their measures on the variables ‘frequency’ and ‘degree of conflict’. In our view, however, these variables are insufficient for explaining the root of ethical conflicts. Consequently, the present study formulates a conceptual model that also includes the variable ‘exposure to conflict’, as well as considering six ‘types of ethical conflict’. An instrument (...) was then designed to measure the ethical conflicts experienced by nurses who work with critical care patients. The paper describes the development process and validation of this instrument, the Ethical Conflict in Nursing Questionnaire Critical Care Version (ECNQ-CCV). (shrink)
In this article I argue that there are two different types of understanding: the understanding we get from explanations, and the understanding we get from unification. This claim is defended by first showing that explanation and unification are not as closely related as has sometimes been thought. A critical appraisal of recent proposals for understanding without explanation leads us to discuss the example of a purely classificatory biology: it turns out that such a science can give us understanding of the (...) world through unification of the phenomena, even though it does not give us any explanations. The two types of understanding identified in this paper, while strictly separate, do have in common that both consist in seeing how the individual phenomena of the universe hang together. Explanations give us connections between the phenomena through the asymmetric, ‘vertical’ relation of determination; unifications give us connections through the symmetric, ‘horizontal’ relation of kinship. We then arrive at a general definition of understanding as knowledge of connections between the phenomena, and indicate that there might be more than two types of understanding. (shrink)
As a final project for a business and society course, students presented analyses of ethical dilemmas in business settings; each dilemma was different, chosen either from the student’s personal business experience or from a recent business news event. Students identified multiple decision criteria relevant to the dilemma and then recommended a decision, reflecting a prioritizing of the multiple decision criteria. The goal of this research was to learn whether personal experience led to different decision priorities. Analyses from 121 students taken (...) from six semesters of the course were sorted by choice of topic, as well as by which decision criterion was given top priority. Results showed significant differences between the personal examples and the news examples. Students typically put ethical concerns first when analyzing news events. However, whenit came to personal events, more self-serving concerns often took priority. These disparate results suggest that even when knowledge is gained from study of theory and cases, it may not be applied to dilemmas that arise in students’ own experiences. (shrink)
The distinction between the body schema and the body image has become the stock in trade of much recent work in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy. Yet little is known about the interactions between these two types of body representations. We need to account not only for their dissociations in rare cases, but also for their convergence most of the time. Indeed in our everyday life the body we perceive does not conflict with the body we act with. Are the body (...) image and the body schema then somehow reshaping each other or are they relatively independent and do they only happen to be congruent? On the basis of the study of bodily hallucinations, we consider which model can best account for the body schema/body image interactions. (shrink)
This debate, I shall argue, has everything to do with Aristotle. Aristotle raises the charge of epiphenomenalism himself against a theory that seems to have close affinities to his own, and he offers what has the makings of an emergentist response. This leads to controversy within his own school. We find opponents ranged on both sides, starting with his own pupils, several of whom are stout defenders of epiphenomenalism, and culminating in the developed emergentism of later commentators. Aristotle’s theory and (...) the debate that ensued are thus quite relevant to contemporary discussions. But first we need to get clear on terms. (shrink)
This paper will defend the claim that, under certain circumstances, the material vehicles responsible for an agent’s conscious experience can be partly constituted by processes outside the agent’s body. In other words, the consciousness of the agent can extend. This claim will be supported by the Extended Mind Thesis (EMT) example of the artist and their sketchpad (Clark 2001, 2003). It will be argued that if this example is one of EMT, then this example also supports an argument for consciousness (...) extension. Clark (2009) rejects claims of consciousness extension. This paper will challenge Clark and argue that he fails to show that the material vehicles responsible for consciousness must be internal to the agent. (shrink)
This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main purpose is to provide a unifying (...) framework for researchers, helping them to develop specific models. The Price equation plays this role because, like other scientific principles, shows features as abstractness, unification and invariance. By underwriting this special role for the Price equation some recent disputes about it could be diverted. (shrink)
In this fascinating and accessible book, physicist Victor J. Stenger guides the lay reader through the key developments of quantum mechanics and the debate over its apparent paradoxes. In the process, he critically appraises recent metaphysical fads. Dr. Stenger's knack for elucidating scientific ideas and controversies in language that the nonspecialist can comprehend opens up to the widest possible audience a wealth of information on the most important findings of contemporary physics.
Naturalists who conceive of knowledge as a natural kind are led to treat ‘knowledge’ as a natural kind term. ‘Knowledge,’ then, must behave semantically in the ways that seem to support a direct reference theory for other natural kind terms. A direct reference theory for ‘knowledge,’ however, appears to leave open too many possibilities about the identity of knowledge. Intuitively, states of belief count as knowledge only if they meet epistemic criteria, not merely if they bear a causal/historical relation to (...) the term. I will develop this objection and show that it is grounded in modal considerations central to Kripke’s work on reference. I will also argue that a more plausible externalist semantics for natural kind terms disarms the objection. (shrink)
Recent developments in psychology and neuroscience suggest away to link the mental phenomenon of visual awareness with specific neural processes. Here, it is argued that the feed-forward activation of cells in any area of the brain is not sufficient to generate awareness, but that recurrent processing, mediated by horizontal and feedback connections is necessary. In linking awareness with its neural mechanisms it is furthermore important to dissociate phenomenal awareness from visual attention or decision processes.
Victor Nuovo presents the first scholarly edition of John Locke's A Vindication (1695) and A Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity (1697), in which Locke defends the New Testament and the Christian Religion against charges of heterodoxy. The texts are accompanied by a wealth of critical and contextual apparatus.
This essay argues that culpability and responsibility are independent notions, even though some of the same facts make us both responsible and culpable. Responsibility for one’s conduct is grounded in the strength of the agential connection between oneself and one’s conduct. Culpability for one’s conduct is the vices that give rise to that conduct. It then argues that responsibility and culpability for causing a threat are each grounds of liability to defensive harm independent of the other.
Argues that many claims by theists are based on their misunderstanding of science. He looks at the specific parameters and shows that plausible reasons can be found for the values they have within the existing standard models of physics and cosmology.
Sensorimotor Theory is the claim that it is our practical know-how of the relations between our environments and us that gives our environmental interactions their experiential qualities. Yet why should such interactions involve or be accompanied by experience? This is the ‘absolute’ gap question. Some proponents of SMT answer this question by arguing that our interactions with an environment involve experience when we cognitively access those interactions. In this paper, I aim to persuade proponents of SMT to accept the following (...) three claims. First, that appeals to cognitive access fail to answer the absolute gap question. Second, that SMT can be read in a way that rejects the gap question. Third, that if proponents of SMT are prepared to read SMT in a way that rejects the absolute gap question, then they can also reject the claim that cognitive access is needed to explain experience. (shrink)
This paper concerns the credibility problem for commitments. Commitments play an important role in cooperative human interactions and can dramatically improve the performance of joint actions by stabilizing expectations, reducing the uncertainty of the interaction, providing reasons to cooperate or improving action coordination. However, commitments can only serve these functions if they are credible in the first place. What is it then that insures the credibility of commitments? To answer this question, we need to provide an account of what motivates (...) us to abide by our commitments. We first discuss two conceptions of the nature of the commitments present in joint action and of the norms that govern them. We contend that while normative considerations may have some motivational force, there are reasons to doubt that they, by themselves, could provide a sufficient motivational basis to fully explain why agents abide by their commitments and thus why their commitments are credible. In the next two sections, we discuss two proposals regarding further sources of motivation, reputation management and social emotions. We argue that while reputation management and social emotions certainly play a role in motivating us to act as committed, there are both theoretical and empirical reasons to think that neither captures the most basic motivational force at work in sustaining commitments. We propose instead that the need to belong, i.e., the need to affiliate with others and form long-lasting bonds with them, is what primarily motivates us to interact and engage with those around us and act so as to preserve and reinforce the bonds we have forged with them. We argue that the need to belong is a more basic proximate motivation for conforming to commitments, in the sense both that affiliative behaviors are evidenced much earlier in human development than either reputation management or social emotions and that the need to belong is at least part of an explanation of why we care for our reputation and why we care about others’ assessments of our behavior. (shrink)
To show how the case of Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein brings light to the ethical and moral issues raised in Institutional Review Board protocols, we nest an imaginary IRB proposal dated August 1790 by Victor Frankenstein within a discussion of the importance and function of the IRB. Considering the world of science as would have appeared in 1790 when Victor was a student at Ingolstadt, we offer a schematic overview of a fecund moment when advances in comparative (...) anatomy, medical experimentation and theories of life involving animalcules and animal electricity sparked intensive debates about the basic principles of life and the relationship between body and soul. Constructing an IRB application based upon myriad speculations circulating up to 1790, we imagine how Victor would have drawn upon his contemporaries’ scientific work to justify the feasibility of his project, as well as how he might have outlined the ethical implications of his plan to animate life from “dead” tissues. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor failed to consider his creature’s autonomy, vulnerability, and welfare. In this IRB proposal, we show Victor facing those issues of justice and emphasize how the novel can be an important component in courses or workshops on research ethics. Had Victor Frankenstein had to submit an IRB proposal tragedy may have been averted, for he would have been compelled to consider the consequences of his experiment and acknowledge, if not fulfill, his concomitant responsibilities to the creature that he abandoned and left to fend for itself. (shrink)
This book investigates the argument from queerness against moral realism, famously put forward by J. L. Mackie in Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (1977). The book can be divided into two parts. The first part, roughly comprising chapters 1 and 2, gives a critical overview of Mackie’s metaethics. In chapter 1 it is suggested that the argument from queerness is the only argument that poses a serious threat to moral realism. A partial defense of this idea is offered in chapter (...) 2 via a discussion of Mackie’s argument from relativity, which is concluded to fail for reasons that generalize to other influential arguments against moral realism. Chapter 2 also explores Mackie’s moral semantics at length. The key notion of authoritative prescriptivity is analyzed, and a new interpretation of Mackie’s error theory is defended. In the second part, consisting roughly of chapters 3 and 4, the argument from queerness is taken apart and put back together, resulting in several different versions. Chapter 3 discusses three different supervenience-related arguments, all of which are found to be unpersuasive. Chapter 4 develops two different versions of the core argument from queerness, focusing on authoritative prescriptivity. A total of thirteen objections are discussed and rejected. It is concluded that the two arguments do indeed refute the targeted versions of moral realism. Finally, in chapter 5 the entire discussion is briefly summarized. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that unification is neither necessary nor sufficient for explanation. Focusing on the versions of the unificationist theory of explanation of Kitcher and of Schurz and Lambert, I establish three theses. First, Kitcher’s criterion of unification is vitiated by the fact that it entails that every proposition can be explained by itself, a flaw that it is unable to overcome. Second, because neither Kitcher’s theory nor that of Schurz and Lambert can solve the problems of asymmetry (...) and accidental generalizations, it follows that unification is not sufficient to ground explanation. Third, some good explanations are disunifying, which entails that unification is not necessary for explanation either. (shrink)
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