Analytic philosophers have disputed the nature of “artistic value” for over six decades, bringing much needed clarity and rigor to a subject discussed with fashionable obscurity in other disciplines. This essay frames debates between analytic philosophers on artistic value and suggests new directions for future research. In particular, the problem of “intrinsic value” is considered, that is, whether a work’s value derives from its experienced properties, as a work of art, or from cultural trends outside the work’s properties. It is (...) argued that neurobiological research helps resolve perceived differences between a work’s intrinsic and extrinsic values. A work can be both rewarding and punishing on its own, “intrinsic” merit—as a percipient, real thing in the world evoking predictable kinds of emotion—and with respect to ever shifting, “extrinsic” cultural norms. (shrink)
One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation is to be found in Works of Love . Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in Works of Love , there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not (...) the latter, is committed to the claim that, necessarily, p is morally obligatory only if God commands that p. (shrink)
The ethical treatment of cancer patientsparticipating in clinical trials requiresthat patients are well-informed about thepotential benefits and risks associated withparticipation. When patients enrolled in phaseI clinical trials report that their chance ofbenefit is very high, this is often taken as evidence of a failure of the informed consent process. We argue, however, that some simple themes from the philosophy of language may make such a conclusion less certain. First, the patient may receive conflicting statements from multiple speakers about the expected (...) outcome of the trial. Patients may be reporting the message they like best. Second, there is a potential problem of multivocality. Expressions of uncertainty of the frequency type can be confused with expressionsof uncertainty of the belief type. Patients may be informed using frequency-type statements and respond using belief-type statements. Third, each speech episode involving the investigator and the patient regarding outcomes may subservemultiple speech acts, some of which may beindirect. For example, a patient reporting ahigh expected benefit may be reporting a beliefabout the future, reassuring family members,and/or attempting to improve his or her outcome by apublic assertion of optimism. These sources oflinguistic confusion should be considered injudging whether the patient's reported expectation isgrounds for a bioethical concern that there hasbeen a failure in the informed consent process. (shrink)
One of the most influential accounts of blame—the affective account—takes its cue from P.F. Strawson’s discussion of the reactive attitudes. To blame someone, on this account, is to target her with resentment, indignation, or (in the case of self-blame) guilt. Given the connection between these emotions and the demand for regard that is arguably central to morality, the affective account is quite plausible. Recently, however, George Sher has argued that the affective account of blame, as understood both by Strawson himself (...) and by contemporary Strawsonians, is inadequate because it cannot make sense of blameworthiness. In this paper I defend the affective account of blame against several of Sher’s arguments for this conclusion. In the process, I clarify the Strawsonian account of moral responsibility, and I discuss how the affective account of blame ought to be understood and articulated. (shrink)
Although informed consent is important in clinical research, questions persist regarding when it is necessary, what it requires, and how it should be obtained. The standard view in research ethics is that the function of informed consent is to respect individual autonomy. However, consent processes are multidimensional and serve other ethical functions as well. These functions deserve particular attention when barriers to consent exist. We argue that consent serves seven ethically important and conceptually distinct functions. The first four functions pertain (...) principally to individual participants: providing transparency; allowing control and authorization; promoting concordance with participants' values; and protecting and promoting welfare interests. Three other functions are systemic or policy focused: promoting trust; satisfying regulatory requirements; and promoting integrity in research. Reframing consent around these functions can guide approaches to consent that are context sensitive and that maximize achievable goals. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Harry Frankfurt's work (both on volitional necessity and on Descartes) can help us to understand the argument that is at the heart of P. F. Strawson's classic article, "Freedom and Resentment". Strawson seems to say that it is both idle and irrelevant to ask whether the participant attitude (the framework within which we see others as morally responsible agents) is justified, but many have been puzzled by these remarks. In this paper I contend that (...) we can better understand Strawson's argument by taking him to be saying that the participant attitude is volitionally necessary. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers have a tendency to forget that they are human beings, and one of the reasons that P. F. Strawson’s 1962 essay, “Freedom and Resentment”, has been so influential is that it promises to bring discussions of moral responsibility back down to earth. Strawson encouraged us to “keep before our minds...what it is actually like to be involved in ordinary interpersonal relationships”, which is, after all, the context in which questions about responsibility arise in the first place. In this (...) essay I explore what we can learn about ordinary interpersonal relationships from three works of literature – Shakespeare’s King Lear, Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. My intention is to try to heed Strawson’s advice without imposing upon the data any particular theoretical agenda, and my hope is that the data collected will prove useful for future theorizing about responsibility. (shrink)
We give a new proof of the subanalyticity of the regular locus of a p-adic subanalytic set, replacing use of an approximation theorem by a more natural argument based on the flatness of certain homomorphisms given by Taylor expansions of strictly convergent power series at a non-standard point of Zmp.
In the following discussion, we address the ethical dilemma of who should benefit from the many frequent-flier programs used by airlines. The issue of central concern involves whether the employer or employee are acting unethically when either of them choose to be the beneficiary from frequent-flier programs. Once this issue is decided, we then determine if the benefits outweigh the costs for the employer that either keeps the miles or, decides to let their employees enjoy them.
The federal government is deeply entrenched in American public education and virtually dictates what can be taught to students. Why? At what cost? And what are the benefits to public school students? To public schools? The author challenges the constitutionality of the feds in the classroom and reminds readers that public education has, until recently, been the function of state and local governments.
Common knowledge is usually defined as a state in which everyone knows that p, everyone knows that everyone knows that p, and so on, ad infinitum. This definition is usually attributed to David Lewis, despite the fact that his own formulation bears no resemblance to common knowledge as it is usually understood. In this paper, I argue that this concept of common knowledge requires revision. Contrary to usual practice, it turns out to be difficult to model formally because existing models (...) fail to distinguish between full-blown common knowledge and merely finite levels of interactive knowledge. Conceptually, the concept is incompatible with Lewis's intended purpose and obscures the explanatory role played by rational choice models. I propose that the concept of common knowledge be brought better into alignment with Lewis's actual formulation. This reconceptualization of common knowledge suggests a greater focus on explanations that make recourse to the cognitive constraints of real-world agents. (shrink)
Aggleton & Brown argue that a hippocampal-anterior thalamic system supports the “recollection” of contextual information about previous events, and that a separate perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic system supports detection of stimulus “familiarity.” Although there is a growing body of human literature that is in agreement with these claims, when recollection and familiarity have been examined in amnesics using the process dissociation or the remember/know procedures, the results do not seem to provide consistent support. We reexamine these studies and describe the results (...) of an additional experiment using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) technique. The results of the reanalysis and the ROC experiment are consistent with Aggleton & Brown's proposal. Patients with damage to both regions exhibit severe deficits in recollection and smaller, but consistent, deficits in familiarity. (shrink)
One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation (DCT) is to be found in "Works of Love". Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in "Works of Love", there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not the (...) latter, is committed to the claim that, necessarily, p is morally obligatory only if God commands that p. (shrink)
This book has been written in the hopes of equipping teachers-in-training—that is, teacher candidates—with the skills needed for action research: a process that leads to focused, effective, and responsive strategies that help students succeed.
Doxastic normativism is the thesis that norms are constitutive of or essential to belief, such that no mental state not subject to those norms counts as a belief. A common normativist view is that belief is essentially governed by a norm of truth. According to Krister Bykvist and Anandi Hattiangadi, truth norms for belief cannot be formulated without unpalatable consequences: they are either false or they impose unsatisfiable requirements on believers. I propose that we construe the fundamental norm of belief (...) as a knowledge norm, rather than a truth norm. I argue that a specific kind of knowledge norm—one that has a subject's obligation to believe that p depend on her being in a position to know that p—might avoid the well-known formulation problems with truth norms. (shrink)
We present a family of counter-examples to David Christensen's Independence Criterion, which is central to the epistemology of disagreement. Roughly, independence requires that, when you assess whether to revise your credence in P upon discovering that someone disagrees with you, you shouldn't rely on the reasoning that lead you to your initial credence in P. To do so would beg the question against your interlocutor. Our counter-examples involve questions where, in the course of your reasoning, you almost fall for an (...) easy-to-miss trick. We argue that you can use the step in your reasoning where you caught the trick as evidence that someone of your general competence level likely fell for it. Our cases show that it's permissible to use your reasoning about disputed matters to disregard an interlocutor's disagreement, so long as that reasoning is embedded in the right sort of explanation of why she finds the disputed conclusion plausible, even though it's false. (shrink)
This paper considers the maturation of the American Catholic tradition of social and economic thought in the seminal period between 1920 and 1940, particularly as encapsulated in the work of John A. Ryan. While different social ethical models emerged in the American Church during this time, the dominant school of thought was the liberal tradition associated with Ryan. This tradition, which Ryan described as "true economic liberalism," forged American political liberalism and papal critiques of secular modernity into a new social (...) ethical theory which became the capstone of prewar Catholic progressivism. True economic liberalism first manifested itself in critiques of the Supreme Court's description of "freedom" in Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923). It took positive form during the 1920s in the widespread Catholic embrace of industrial democracy as a moral alternative to laissez-faire capitalism It was during the 1930s, however, when the Church confronted the economic crisis of the Great Depression, that true economic liberalism became a more totalizing system of social thought. It was also during the 1930s that this theory revealed the difficulties Catholic liberals have had in defining their relationship to a market economy and the state. On one hand, true economic liberalism provoked the creative maturation of Catholic thought and established the Church as a leading progressive critic of capitalism. At the same time, true economic liberalism circumscribed the possible depths of the Catholic moral critique. American Catholics liberals were so committed to constructing a social ethic that upheld "the priceless goods of liberty, opportunity, and democracy," that they accepted a reformed capitalism, guarded and chastened by religion, as the most desirable outcome for a modern economy. As John P. Carroll revealingly wrote, "The remedy, then, for the social evils. . . does not lie in the destruction of the present social system. The way to clean a house is not to dynamite it." By accommodating the Church's social ethic to the ideals of American democracy, liberal Catholics rejected radical reforms in favor of moderate legislative schemes which one writer described in Commonweal as "sniping at capitalism." It was for this reason that so many Catholics fawningly embraced the New Deal and, indeed, found in Franklin Roosevelt the supreme advocate for the principles set forth in Pius XI’s 1931 Quadragesimo Anno. (shrink)
The "Ignorance Interpretation" of quantum mechanical mixtures holds, roughly, that whenever a system S belongs to an ensemble, which is represented by a mixed statistical operator U=Σ pi P[ψ i] (0≤ pi≤ 1, Σ ipi=1,P[ψ i] is the projection operator for the state ψ i), then S is in some pure state, although we are ignorant as to which one. It has been concluded, e.g. by van Fraassen, that "the ignorance interpretation is untenable," and he presumably favors adopting "the position (...) that mixtures of pure states are themselves new states...to say that a system is in a proper mixture is to say that it is not in a pure state." I wish to argue in this paper that there are no good grounds for rejecting the ignorance interpretation. (shrink)
The proximity of introspection makes it difficult to explain. In what does our knowledge of our own beliefs and desires consist? Do we observe them with an inner eye? Do we infer their existence from premises concerning our actions and feelings? I reject both of these suggestions. Instead, I defend the view that facts about what we believe, and certain facts about what we want, are known by us in a direct or unmediated fashion. When one has genuinely introspective knowledge (...) of a belief one's reason for believing that one believes that p is the very fact that one believes that p . ;According to this account, our knowledge of certain mental states is infallible relative to its grounds: there are no false introspective beliefs that have the same kind of justification as our typical, true introspective beliefs. A significant part of the dissertation is spent defending this claim against those who argue for the possibility of certain forms of self-directed error. I argue that it cannot be the case that a subject falsely believes that she believes that p because she instead either believes some other proposition or bears some other attitude toward p, and that these facts impugn observational and inferentialist accounts of self-knowledge. I also develop accounts of what beliefs and desires are to help explain the relative infallibility of introspection. ;The view of self-knowledge I offer is one according to which we have reasons for believing that we believe certain things and reasons for believing that we want certain things. I argue that any adequate account of self-knowledge must have this feature because justification is necessary for knowledge and we must have reasons to be justified. But I reject the view that only phenomenal or experiential states can endow a subject with reasons. Beliefs and desires are individuated by their causal roles---they are not purely phenomenal in nature---but the fact that one believes that p can nevertheless directly ground one's introspective beliefs. Introspective knowledge is both direct and grounded in reason. (shrink)
This special volume of Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility presents ten new papers marking the fiftieth anniversary of P. F. Strawson's landmark essay, 'Freedom and Resentment'. They offer critical interpretation of Strawson's essay, expand on his insights into interpersonal relationships, and develop his themes in challenging directions.
Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility is a series of volumes presenting outstanding new work on a set of connected themes in moral philosophy and philosophy of action. This special volume in the series presents ten new papers marking the fiftieth anniversary of P. F. Strawson's landmark essay, 'Freedom and Resentment'. Some of the papers offer critical interpretation of Strawson's essay, some expand on his insights into the nature of interpersonal relationships, and some develop his overall themes in new and (...) challenging directions. (shrink)
The article discusses the varying conceptions of the faculty of ‘the understanding’ in 18th-century British philosophy and logic. Topics include the distinction between the understanding and the will, the traditional division of three acts of understanding and its critics, the naturalizing of human understanding, conceiving of the limits of human understanding, British innatism and the critique of empiricist conceptions of the understanding, and reconceiving the understanding and the elimination of scepticism. Authors discussed include Richard Price, James Harris, Zachary Mayne, (...) Edward Bentham, Isaac Watts, Dugald Stewart, John Norris—as well as Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Reid. (shrink)
Heather M. Farley and Zachary A. Smith, Sustainability: If It’s Everything, Is It Nothing? xiv + 176 pp., index. New York: Routledge, 2014. $39.95 Leslie Paul Thiele, Sustainability. viii + 234 p., bibl., index. New York: Polity Press, 2013. $22.95 The authors of both of these books offer new definitions of sustainability. They do so in order to battle “faux interpretations” or “hypocritical” or “unsupported endorsements” of sustainability. While I think many people, including I expect many readers of this (...) journal, would agree that sustainability is a rather imprecise concept that sometimes gets misused, I am not convinced the definitions in these books offer a way forward. Partly this is due to the specific ways the authors develop their discussions, and partly it is due to issues connected to their shared methodological approach, viz. the search for a new, univocal, strong definition. After discussing each book, I examine briefly that shared .. (shrink)
For decades, scholars in the social sciences and humanities have questioned the appropriateness and utility of prior review of their research by human subjects' ethics committees. This essay seeks to organize thematically some of their published complaints and to serve as a brief restatement of the major critiques of ethics review. In particular, it argues that 1) ethics committees impose silly restrictions, 2) ethics review is a solution in search of a problem, 3) ethics committees lack expertise, 4) ethics committees (...) apply inappropriate principles, 5) ethics review harms the innocent, and 6) better options exist. (shrink)
Although mind-wandering occupies up to half of our waking thoughts, it is seldom discussed in philosophy. My paper brings these neglected thoughts into focus. I propose that mind-wandering is unguided attention. Guidance in my sense concerns how attention is monitored and regulated as it unfolds over time. Roughly speaking, someone’s attention is guided if she would feel pulled back, were she distracted from her current focus. Because our wandering thoughts drift unchecked from topic to topic, they are unguided. One motivation (...) for my theory is what I call the “Puzzle of the Purposeful Wanderer”. On the one hand, mind-wandering seems essentially purposeless; almost by definition, it contrasts with goal-directed cognition. On the other hand, empirical evidence suggests that our minds frequently wander to our goals. My solution to the puzzle is this: mind-wandering is purposeless in one way—it is unguided—but purposeful in another—it is frequently caused, and thus motivated, by our goals. Another motivation for my theory is to distinguish mind-wandering from two antithetical forms of cognition: absorption and rumination. Surprisingly, previous theories cannot capture these distinctions. I can: on my view, absorption and rumination are guided, whereas mind-wandering is not. My paper has four parts. Section 1 spells out the puzzle. Sections 2 and 3 explicate two extant views of mind-wandering—the first held by most cognitive scientists, the second by Thomas Metzinger. Section 4 uses the limitations of these theories to motivate my own: mind-wandering is unguided attention. (shrink)
Although scientists dating back to Darwin have noted the importance of the body in communicating emotion, current research on emotion communication tends to emphasize the face. In this article we review the evidence for bodily expressions of emotions—that is, the handful of emotions that are displayed and recognized from certain bodily behaviors. We also review the previously developed coding systems available for identifying emotions from bodily behaviors. Although no extant coding system provides an exhaustive list of bodily behaviors known to (...) communicate a panoply of emotions, our review provides the foundation for developing such a system. (shrink)
In this close examination of the social and political thought of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Neal Wood focuses on Cicero's conceptions of state and government, showing that he is the father of constitutionalism, the archetype of the politically conservative mind, and the first to reflect extensively on politics as an activity.
The most prominent recent attack on compatibilism about determinism and moral responsibility is the so-called manipulation argument, which presents an allegedly responsibility-undermining manipulation case and then points out that the relevant facts of that case are no different from the facts that obtain in an ordinary deterministic world. In a recent article in this journal, however, Matt King presents a dilemma for proponents of this argument, according to which the argument either leads to a dialectical stalemate or else is dialectically (...) infelicitous. In this article I clarify the structure of the manipulation argument and construct a response to King’s dilemma. (shrink)