SummarySkepticism is very powerful and persuasive, yet it is not the basis upon which the reasonable person operates in the world. In this paper I've tried to articulate the criteria whereby the reasonable person determines what is a fact and determines that she/he knows. I've taken six areas where knowledge is a matter of contention between the reasonable person and the skeptic and constructed dialogues between the two. The six areas are things not directly perceived mathematical and tautological statements the (...) distinction between dream and reality other minds and the contents of other minds facts of the past both historical and invividual “scientific facts”. My position is that of the reasonable person.RésuméLe scepticisme est très puissant et persuasif, mais ce n'est pas une base à partir de laquelle la personne raisonnable agit dans le monde. Dans cet article, j'ai essayé?on; énoncer les critères selon lesquels la personne raisonnable détermine ce qu'est un fait et ce qu'elle sait. J'ai pris six domaines où la connaissance est objet de contestation entre la personne raisonnable et le sceptique et ai imaginé un dialogue entre eux. Ces six domaines sont: les choses non directement perçues les énoncés mathématiques et tautologiques la distinction entre rêve et réalité les autres esprits et leur contenu les faits appartenant au passé individuel et historique les faits scientifiques. Ma propre position s'identifie avec celle de la personne raisonnable.ZusammenfassungDer Skeptizismus mag zwar eine starke und überzeugende Doktrin sein, er bietet jedoch keine Grundlage für vernünftige Handlungen in der Welt an. Es wird versucht, die Kriterien anzugeben, aufgrund von welchen eine vernünftige Person bestimmt, was eine Tatsache ist und was sie weiss. Es werden sechs Bereiche angegeben, in welchen sich die vernünftige Person mit dem Skeptiker über Erkenntnisfragen in einen Konflikt verwickeln kann: Dinge, die nicht unmittelbar wahrgenommen werden mathematisch und tautologische Aussagen, die Unterscheidung zwischen Traum und Wirklichkeit, andere Geister und fremdpsychische Inhalte, Tatsachen der Vergangenheit , wissenschaftliche Tatsachen. Der Position der vernünftigen Person wird der Vorzug gegeben. (shrink)
Each chapter covers one topic and largely consists of brief summaries of arguments for and against various themes. The topic of the first chapter is whether and on what basis a film can be considered art. Photography is used as an analogy. The arguments range from considering the mechanical form of cinema as an obstacle to arthood to arguments considering cinema’s mechanical nature as essential to its arthood; the former by those who ground art in human agency, the latter by (...) those who ground art in some conception of verisimilitude. Those worried by the former argument, emphasize editing and montage effects as the essential aspects of cinema, the idea being that the less representational veracity a film presented, the more it could be classified as art. On the other hand, for those who equate the art of film with verisimilitude, it is argued that the realism of film is superior to the realism of the other representational arts due to film’s retrieval of images as opposed to merely representing them. (shrink)
In her book Heidegger: On Being Uncanny, Katherine Withy sets up three seemingly straightforward projects—explaining what Heidegger means by Unheimlichkeit, translated as ‘uncanniness’; explaining its underappreciated central role in his conception of Dasein; and using these to “illuminate something about what it is to be human”. Yet, the projects are not as straightforward as they might seem. ‘Unheimlichkeit’ is a technical term in Heidegger’s philosophy, so appeals to common experiences of uncanniness are of limited help. The interpretive focus must (...) be on the conceptual connections Heidegger makes between Unheimlichkeit and other, more familiar, terms, such as ‘Angst,’ ‘ownedness’ (‘Eigentlichkeit,’ often.. (shrink)
Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
The poetry and journalistic essays of Katherine Tillman often appeared in publications sponsored by the American Methodist church. Collected together for the first time, her works speak to the struggles and triumphs of African-American women.
In this paper I argue for a view of groups, things like teams, committees, clubs and courts. I begin by examining features all groups seem to share. I formulate a list of six features of groups that serve as criteria any adequate theory of groups must capture. Next, I examine four of the most prominent views of groups currently on offer—that groups are non-singular pluralities, fusions, aggregates and sets. I argue that each fails to capture one or more of the (...) criteria. Last, I develop a view of groups as realizations of structures. The view has two components. First, groups are entities with structure. Second, since groups are concreta, they exist only when a group structure is realized. A structure is realized when each of its functionally defined nodes or places are occupied. I show how such a view captures the six criteria for groups, which no other view of groups adequately does, while offering a substantive answer to the question, “What are groups?”. (shrink)
Social groups, including racial and gender groups and teams and committees, seem to play an important role in our world. This article examines key metaphysical questions regarding groups. I examine answers to the question ‘Do groups exist?’ I argue that worries about puzzles of composition, motivations to accept methodological individualism, and a rejection of Racialism support a negative answer to the question. An affirmative answer is supported by arguments that groups are efficacious, indispensible to our best theories, and accepted given (...) common sense. Then, I turn to an examination of the features of social groups. I argue that social groups can be divided into two sorts. Groups of Type 1 are organized social groups like courts and clubs. Groups of Type 2 are groups like Blacks, women, and lesbians. While groups of both sorts have some features in common, they also have marked differences in features. Finally, I turn to views of the nature of social groups. I argue that the difference in features provides evidence that social groups do not have a uniform nature. Teams and committees are structured wholes, while race and gender groups are social kinds. (shrink)
There are moments when things suddenly seem strange - objects in the world lose their meaning, we feel like strangers to ourselves, or human existence itself strikes us as bizarre and unintelligible. Through a detailed philosophical investigation of Heidegger's concept of uncanniness (Unheimlichkeit), Katherine Withy explores what such experiences reveal about us. She argues that while others (such as Freud, in his seminal psychoanalytic essay, 'The Uncanny') take uncanniness to be an affective quality of strangeness or eeriness, Heidegger uses (...) the concept to go beyond feeling uncanny to reach the ground of this feeling in our being uncanny. -/- "Heidegger on Being Uncanny" answers those who wonder whether human existence is fundamentally strange to itself by showing that we can be what we are only if we do not fully understand what it is to be us. This fundamental finitude in our self-understanding is our uncanniness. In this first dedicated interpretation of Heidegger's uncanniness, Withy tracks this concept from his early analyses of angst through his later interpretations of the choral ode from Sophocles's Antigone. Her interpretation uncovers a novel and robust continuity in Heidegger's thought and in his vision of the human being as uncanny, and it points the way toward what it is to live well as an uncanny human being. (shrink)
Where there is trust, there is also vulnerability, and vulnerability can be exploited. Epistemic trust is no exception. This chapter maps the phenomenon of the exploitation of epistemic trust. I start with a discussion of how trust in general can be exploited; a key observation is that trust incurs vulnerabilities not just for the party doing the trusting, but also for the trustee (after all, trust can be burdensome), so either party can exploit the other. I apply these considerations to (...) epistemic trust, specifically in testimonial relationships. There, we standardly think of a hearer trusting a speaker. But we miss an important aspect of this relationship unless we consider too that the speaker standardly trusts the hearer. Given this mutual trust, and given that both trustees and trusters can exploit each other, we have four possibilities for exploitation in epistemic-trust relationships: a speaker exploiting a hearer (a) by accepting his trust or (b) by imposing her trust on him, and a hearer exploiting a speaker (c) by accepting her trust or (d) by imposing his trust on her. One result is that you do not need to betray someone to exploit him – you can exploit him just as easily by doing what he trusts you for. (shrink)
Slurs are expressions that can be used to demean and dehumanize targets based on their membership in racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual orientation groups. Almost all treatments of slurs posit that they have derogatory content of some sort. Such views—which I call content-based—must explain why in cases of appropriation slurs fail to express their standard derogatory contents. A popular strategy is to take appropriated slurs to be ambiguous; they have both a derogatory content and a positive appropriated content. However, (...) if appropriated slurs are ambiguous, why can only members in the target group use them to express a non-offensive/positive meaning? Here, I develop and motivate an answer that could be adopted by any content-based theorist. I argue that appropriated contents of slurs include a plural fi rst-person pronoun. I show how the semantics of pronouns like ‘we’ can be put to use to explain why only some can use a slur to express its appropriated content. Moreover, I argue that the picture I develop is motivated by the process of appropriation and helps to explain how it achieves its aims of promoting group solidarity and positive group identity. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso () discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft () has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing (...) the cases of gauge symmetry and general covariance. Direct and indirect empirical significance Global and local continuous symmetries Gauge symmetry 3.1 Local gauge symmetry 3.1.1 Discussion of the first claim 3.1.2 Discussion of the second claim 3.2 Global gauge symmetry Space-time symmetries Direct and indirect empirical significance again Conclusion. (shrink)
Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. We who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously.2 But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. For some, this prompts the thought ‘so much the worse for metaphysics’; (...) others mutter ‘so much the worse for science’. (shrink)
The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has created a quality attestation process for clinical ethics consultants; the pilot phase of reviewing portfolios has begun. One aspect of the QA process which is particularly challenging is assessing the interpersonal skills of individual clinical ethics consultants. We propose that using case simulation to evaluate clinical ethics consultants is an approach that can meet this need provided clear standards for assessment are identified. To this end, we developed the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (...) tool, which identifies and specifies specific behaviors that a clinical ethics consultant should demonstrate in an ethics case simulation. The aim is for the clinical ethics consultant or student to use a videotaped case simulation, along with the ACES tool scored by a trained rater, to demonstrate their competence as part of their QA portfolio. The development and piloting of the tool is described. (shrink)
In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the "bodies" that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans "beamed" _Star Trek_-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In _How We Became Posthuman,_ N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age. Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information (...) lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist "subject" in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the "posthuman." Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel _Limbo_ by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick's literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems. Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, _How We Became Posthuman_ provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here. (shrink)
Scientific researchers welcome disagreement as a way of furthering epistemic aims. Religious communities, by contrast, tend to regard it as a potential threat to their beliefs. But I argue that religious disagreement can help achieve religious epistemic aims. I do not argue this by comparing science and religion, however. For scientific hypotheses are ideally held with a scholarly neutrality, and my aim is to persuade those who are committed to religious beliefs that religious disagreement can be epistemically beneficial for them (...) too. (shrink)
Highlighting main issues and controversies, this book brings together current philosophical discussions of symmetry in physics to provide an introduction to the subject for physicists and philosophers. The contributors cover all the fundamental symmetries of modern physics, such as CPT and permutation symmetry, as well as discussing symmetry-breaking and general interpretational issues. Classic texts are followed by new review articles and shorter commentaries for each topic. Suitable for courses on the foundations of physics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of science, (...) the volume is a valuable reference for students and researchers. (shrink)