Why do some epistemic objects persist despite undergoing serious changes, while others go extinct in similar situations? Scientists have often been careless in deciding which epistemic objects to retain and which ones to eliminate; historians and philosophers of science have been on the whole much too unreflective in accepting the scientists’ decisions in this regard. Through a re-examination of the history of oxygen and phlogiston, I will illustrate the benefits to be gained from challenging and disturbing the commonly accepted continuities (...) and discontinuities in the lives of epistemic objects. I will also outline two key consequences of such re-thinking. First, a fresh view on the (dis)continuities in key epistemic objects is apt to lead to informative revisions in recognized periods and trends in the history of science. Second, recognizing sources of continuity leads to a sympathetic view on extinct objects, which in turn problematizes the common monistic tendency in science and philosophy; this epistemological reorientation allows room for more pluralism in scientific practice itself. (shrink)
In Inventing Temperature, Chang takes a historical and philosophical approach to examine how scientists were able to use scientific method to test the reliability of thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of thermometers; and how they came to measure the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. Chang discusses simple epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, which in turn lead to more complex issues about the solutions that were developed.
In this paper I make the following claims. In order to see anthropogenic climate change as clearly involving moral wrongs and global injustices, we will have to revise some central concepts in these domains. Moreover, climate change threatens another value that cannot easily be taken up by concerns of global justice or moral responsibility.
Change in View offers an entirely original approach to the philosophical study of reasoning by identifying principles of reasoning with principles for revising one's beliefs and intentions and not with principles of logic. This crucial observation leads to a number of important and interesting consequences that impinge on psychology and artificial intelligence as well as on various branches of philosophy, from epistemology to ethics and action theory. Gilbert Harman is Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. A Bradford Book.
This fascinating study in the sociology of science explores the way scientists conduct, and draw conclusions from, their experiments. The book is organized around three case studies: replication of the TEA-laser, detecting gravitational rotation, and some experiments in the paranormal. "In his superb book, Collins shows why the quest for certainty is disappointed. He shows that standards of replication are, of course, social, and that there is consequently no outside standard, no Archimedean point beyond society from which we can lever (...) the intellects of our fellows. "- -Donald M. McCloskey, Journal of Economic Psychology "Collins is one of the genuine innovators of the sociology of scientific knowledge.... Changing Order is a rich and entertaining book. "- - Isis "The book gives a vivid sense of the contingent nature of research and is generally a good read. "- -Augustine Brannigan, Nature "This provocative book is a review of [Collins's] work, and an attempt to explain how scientists fit experimental results into pictures of the world.... A promising start for new explorations of our image of science, too often presented as infallibly authoritative. "- -Jon Turney, New Scientist. (shrink)
Climate change poses grave threats to many people, including the most vulnerable. This prompts the question of who should bear the burden of combating ?dangerous? climate change. Many appeal to the Polluter Pays Principle. I argue that it should play an important role in any adequate analysis of the responsibility to combat climate change, but suggest that it suffers from three limitations and that it needs to be revised. I then consider the Ability to Pay Principle and (...) consider four objections to this principle. I suggest that, when suitably modified, it can supplement the Polluter Pays Principle. (shrink)
Understanding climate change is becoming an urgent requirement for those in education. The normative values of education have long been closely aligned with the global, modernised world. The industrial model has underpinned the hidden and overt curriculum. Increasingly though, a new eco-centric orientation to economics, technology, and social organisation is beginning to shape up the post-carbon world. Unless education is up to date with the issues of climate change, the estate of education will be unable to meet its (...) task of knowledge transfer. This paper covers the basic science and ethical policy debates, and begins to outline the questions that will necessarily entangle education as we orientate ourselves to the new world that is upon us. (shrink)
Many of the experiments that produced the empirical basis of quantum mechanics relied on classical assumptions that contradicted quantum mechanics. Historically this did not cause practical problems, as classical mechanics was used mostly when it did not happen to diverge too much from quantum mechanics in the quantitative sense. That fortunate circumstances, however, did not alleviate the conceptual problems involved in understanding the classical experimental reasoning in quantum-mechanical terms. In general, this type of difficulty can be expected when a coherent (...) scientific tradition undergoes a theoretical upheaval. The problem may be circumvented through the use of phenomenological theory in experimentation during the period of theoretical instability. (shrink)
Several philosophers claim that the greenhouse gas emissions from actions like a Sunday drive are so miniscule that they will make no difference whatsoever with regard to anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and its expected harms. This paper argues that this claim of individual causal inefficacy is false. First, if AGCC is not reducible at least in part to ordinary actions, then the cause would have to be a metaphysically odd emergent entity. Second, a plausible (dis-)utility calculation reveals that (...) such actions have a not-insignificant amount of expected harm. One upshot is that the near-exclusive focus in the literature on AGCC as a collective action problem is too restricted. The paper also provides several moral psychological explanations of why it is so difficult to comprehend individual responsibility with regard to global phenomena, including a reappraisal of Thomas Nagel’s view of the absurd. (shrink)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion (...) of dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory. (shrink)
Change, Choice and Inference develops logical theories that are necessary both for the understanding of adaptable human reasoning and for the design of intelligent systems. The book shows that reasoning processes - the drawing on inferences and changing one's beliefs - can be viewed as belonging to the realm of practical reason by embedding logical theories into the broader context of the theory of rational choice. The book unifies lively and significant strands of research in logic, philosophy, economics and (...) artificial intelligence. It elaborates on the relevant theories and provides a mathematically precise foundation for the thesis that large parts of theoretical reason can be subsumed under practical reason. (shrink)
Change blindness is the striking failure to see large changes that normally would be noticed easily. Over the past decade this phenomenon has greatly contributed to our understanding of attention, perception, and even consciousness. The surprising extent of change blindness explains its broad appeal, but its counterintuitive nature has also engendered confusions about the kinds of inferences that legitimately follow from it. Here we discuss the legitimate and the erroneous inferences that have been drawn, and offer a set (...) of requirements to help separate them. In doing so, we clarify the genuine contributions of change blindness research to our understanding of visual perception and awareness, and provide a glimpse of some ways in which change blindness might shape future research. (shrink)
This book discusses political change in the view of Confucian thought. This study focuses on the Book of Change, which is one of the nine basic books of Confucius School, and has dominated oriental thought in this field for more than three thousand years.
Climate Change and the Moral Agent examines the moral foundations of climate change and makes a case for collective action on climate change by appealing to moralized collective self-interest, collective ability to aid, and an expanded understanding of collective responsibility for harm.
This essay examines the relationship between climate change and human rights. It argues that climate change is unjust, in part, because it jeopardizes several core rights – including the right to life, the right to food and the right to health. It then argues that adopting a human rights framework has six implications for climate policies. To give some examples, it argues that this helps us to understand the concept of “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (UNFCCC, Article 2). In addition (...) to this, it argues that if we adopt a human rights framework then any climate policies should also honour human rights, and so mitigation policies, for example, should not compromise people’s enjoyment of their human rights. A third implication, I argue, is that in addition to duties of mitigation and adaptation there will also be – if rights are violated – duties of compensation too. (shrink)
In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, mathematics, and even some fundamental laws of nature, (...) were once taken to be a priori knowledge but can change, thus leading to a dynamic or relative a priori. Stump critically examines developments in thinking about constitutive elements in science as a priori knowledge, from Kant’s fixed and absolute a priori to Quine’s holistic empiricism. By examining the relationship between conceptual change and the epistemological status of constitutive elements in science, Stump puts forward an argument that scientific revolutions can be explained and relativism can be avoided without resorting to universals or absolutes. (shrink)
Environmental ethicists have not reached a consensus about whether or not individuals who contribute to climate change have a moral obligation to reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, I side with those who think that such individuals do have such an obligation by appealing to the concept of integrity. I argue that adopting a political commitment to work toward a collective solution to climate change—a commitment we all ought to share—requires also adopting a personal commitment (...) to reduce one’s emissions. On these grounds, individuals who contribute to climate change have a prima facie moral duty to lower their personal greenhouse gas emissions. After presenting this argument and supporting each of its premises, I defend it from two major lines of objection: skepticism about integrity’s status as a virtue and concerns that the resulting moral duty would be too demanding to be morally required. I then consider the role that an appeal to integrity could play in galvanizing the American public to take personal and political action regarding climate change. (shrink)
Of this article's seven experiments, the first five demonstrate that virtually no Americans know the basic global warming mechanism. Fortunately, Experiments 2–5 found that 2–45 min of physical–chemical climate instruction durably increased such understandings. This mechanistic learning, or merely receiving seven highly germane statistical facts, also increased climate-change acceptance—across the liberal-conservative spectrum. However, Experiment 7's misleading statistics decreased such acceptance. These readily available attitudinal and conceptual changes through scientific information disconfirm what we term “stasis theory”—which some researchers and many (...) laypeople varyingly maintain. Stasis theory subsumes the claim that informing people about climate science may be largely futile or even counterproductive—a view that appears historically naïve, suffers from range restrictions, and/or misinterprets some polarization and correlational data. Our studies evidenced no polarizations. Finally, we introduce HowGlobalWarmingWorks.org—a website designed to directly enhance public “climate-change cognition.”. (shrink)
Scientific realism is the position that success of a scientific theory licenses an inference to its approximate truth. The argument from pessimistic meta-induction maintains that this inference is undermined due to the existence of theories from the history of science that were successful, but false. I aim to counter pessimistic meta-induction and defend scientific realism. To do this, I adopt a notion of success that admits of degrees, and show that our current best theories enjoy far higher degrees of success (...) than any of the successful, but refuted theories of the past. (shrink)
Part 1. Introduction -- Introduction: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm in Light of a Thirty-Five Year Debate -- Thirty-Five Year Climate Change Policy Debate -- Part 2. Priority Ethical Issues -- Ethical Problems with Cost Arguments -- Ethics and Scientific Uncertainty Arguments -- Atmospheric Targets -- Allocating National Emissions Targets -- Climate Change Damages and Adaptation Costs -- Obligations of Sub-national Governments, Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals -- Independent Responsibility to Act -- Part 3. The Crucial Role of Ethics (...) in Climate Change Policy Making -- Why Has Ethics Failed to Achieve Traction? -- Conclusion: Navigating the Perfect Moral Storm. (shrink)
This paper examines what agents should do when others fail to comply with their responsibilities to prevent dangerous climate change. It distinguishes between six different possible responses to noncompliance. These include what I term (1) 'target modification' (watering down the extent to which we seek to prevent climate change), (2) ‘responsibility reallocation’ (reassigning responsibilities to other duty bearers), (3) ‘burden shifting I’ (allowing duty bearers to implement policies which impose unjust burdens on others, (4) 'burden shifting II’ (allowing (...) some to protect peoples rights in ways which impose otherwise unjustified burdens on the duty bearers, (5) 'compromising moral ideals' (permitting agents to compromise non-justice ideals that they are otherwise bound by); and (6) ‘promoting compliance (implementing policies and creating institutions which reduce noncompliance). It concludes by outlining a methodological framework for evaluating these options, and by setting out my tentative and provisional evaluation of which responses are the least bad. (shrink)
Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. Such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. In four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity (...) does not rely on the redeploy- ment of attention. We discuss these results in relation to theories of scene percep- tion, and propose a reinterpretatio n of the role of attention in representing change. (shrink)
Although actions of individuals do contribute to climate change, the question whether or not they, too, are morally obligated to reduce the GHG emissions in their responsibility has not yet been addressed sufficiently. First, I discuss prominent objections to such a duty. I argue that whether individuals ought to reduce their emissions depends on whether or not they exceed their fair share of emission rights. In a next step I discuss several proposals for establishing fair shares and also take (...) practical considerations into account. I conclude that individuals should not always be obliged to reduce their emissions to what is their fair share for they may depend on carbon-intensive structures. Instead, they have a Kantian imperfect duty to reduce their emissions ‘as far as can reasonably be demanded of them’. In addition, they should press governments to introduce proper regulation. At the end, I further specify both duties. (shrink)
Five aspects of visual change detection are reviewed. The first concerns the concept of _change_ itself, in particular the ways it differs from the related notions of _motion_ and _difference_. The second involves the various methodological approaches that have been developed to study change detection; it is shown that under a variety of conditions observers are often unable to see large changes directly in front of them. Next, it is argued that this "change blindness" indicates that focused (...) attention is needed to detect change, and that this can help map out the nature of visual attention. The fourth aspect concerns how these results affect our understanding of visual perceptionfor example, the proposal that a sparse, dynamic representation underlies much of our visual experience. Finally, a brief discussion is presented concerning the limits to our current understanding of change detection. (shrink)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues, on the relationship between individual emissions and climate change, that “we cannot claim to know that it is morally wrong to drive a gas guzzler just for fun” or engage in other inessential emissions-producing individual activities. His concern is not uncertainty about the phenomenon of climate change, nor about human contribution to it. Rather, on Sinnott-Armstrong’s analysis the claim of individual moral responsibility for emissions must be grounded in a defensible moral principle, yet no principle (...) withstands scrutiny. I argue thatthe moral significance of individual emissions is obscured by this critique. I offer a moral principle, the threshold-contribution principle, capable of withstanding Sinnott-Armstrong’s criticisms while also plausibly explaining what’s wrong with gas-guzzling joyrides and other gratuitous emissions-producing individual acts. (shrink)
In this paper I engage interdisciplinary conversation on inaction as the dominant response to climate change, and develop an analysis of the specific phenomenon of complacency through a critical-feminist lens. I suggest that Chris Cuomo's discussion of the “insufficiency” problem and Susan Sherwin's call for a “public ethics” jointly point toward particularly promising harm-reduction strategies. I draw upon and extend their work by arguing that extant philosophical accounts of complacency are inadequate to the task of sorting out what it (...) means to be complacent on climate change. I offer a sketch for an alternative account, which I take to be a start in the direction of mapping out a diverse array of “motivational vices” that need to be named, grappled with, and remedied. (shrink)
In standard decision theory, the probability function ought to be updated in light of evidence, but the utility function generally stays fixed. However, there is nothing in the formal theory that prevents one from instead updating the utility function, while keeping the probability function fixed. Moreover, there are good arguments for updating the utilities and not just the probabilities. Hence, the first puzzle is whether there is anything that justifies updating beliefs, but not desires, in light of evidence. The paper (...) argues that there is not, but that this raises a second puzzle. (shrink)
Under the UNHCR definition of a refugee, set out in the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, people fleeing their homes because of natural disasters or other environmental problems do not qualify for refugee status and the protection that come from such status. In a recent paper, "Who Are Refugees?", I defended the essentials of the UNHCR definition on the grounds that refugee status and protection is best reserved for people who can only be helped by granting them (...) refuge in a safe state for an indefinite period of time, and argued that this does not include most people fleeing from natural disasters. This claim is most strongly challenged by possibility of displacement from climate change. In this paper I will explore to what degree the logic of the refugee convention, as set out in my earlier paper, can and should be extended to those fleeing the results of climate change, and will argue that the logic of the refugee convention tells in favor of extending refugee protection to a portion of those who must flee their homes because of climate-change related environmental problems. (shrink)
The target article provides an intermediate account of culture and freedom that is conceived to be curvilinear by treating economic development not as an adaptive outcome in response to climate but as a cause of culture parallel to climate. We argue that the extent of environmental variability, including climatic variability, affects cultural adaptation.
Climate change is projected to have very severe impacts on future generations. Given this, any adequate response to it has to consider the nature of our obligations to future generations. This paper seeks to do that and to relate this to the way that inter-generational justice is often framed by economic analyses of climate change. To do this the paper considers three kinds of considerations that, it has been argued, should guide the kinds of actions that one generation (...) should take if it is to treat both current and future people equitably. In particular it examines the case for what has been termed pure time discounting, growth discounting and opportunity cost discounting; and it assesses their implications for climate policy. It argues that none of these support the claims of those who think they give us reason to delay aggressive mitigation policies. It also finds, however, that the second kind of argument can, in certain circumstances, provide support for passing on some of the costs of mitigation to future generations. (shrink)
There are several strategies to promote health in individuals and populations. Two general approaches to health promotion are behavior change and empowerment. The aim of this article is to present those two kinds of strategies, and show that the behavior-change approach has some moral problems, problems that the empowerment approach (on the whole) is better at handling. Two distinct ‘ideal types’ of these practices are presented and scrutinized. Behavior change interventions use various kinds of theories to target (...) people’s behavior, which they do through information, persuasion, coercion and manipulation. Empowerment is a collaborative method where those ‘facilitated’ participate in the change process. Some ethical problems with the behavior-change model are that it does not sufficiently respect the right to autonomy of the individuals involved and risks reducing their ability for autonomy, and that it risks increasing health inequalities. Empowerment, on the other hand, respects the participant’s right to autonomy, tends to increase the ability for autonomy, as well as increasing other coping skills, and is likely to reduce inequalities. A drawback with this approach is that it often takes longer to realize. (shrink)
Economic models describe individuals in terms of underlying characteristics, such as taste for some good, sympathy level for another player, time discount rate, risk attitude, and so on. In real life, such characteristics change through experiences: taste for Mozart changes through listening to it, sympathy for another player through observing his moves, and so on. Models typically ignore change, not just for simplicity but also because it is unclear how to incorporate change. I introduce a general axiomatic (...) framework for defining, analysing and comparing rival models of change. I show that seemingly basic postulates on modelling change together have strong implications, like irrelevance of the order in which someone has his experiences and ‘linearity’ of change. This is a step towards placing the modelling of change on solid axiomatic grounds and enabling non-arbitrary incorporation of change into economic models. (shrink)
In a multi-source study, we examine how frequent change interacts with ethical leadership to reduce turnover intentions. We argue that ethical leaders enhance employees’ state self-esteem, which explains the moderating effect of ethical leadership. Results from 124 employee-coworker-supervisor triads revealed that ethical leadership moderated the relationship between frequent change and turnover intention such that the relationship was positive only when ethical leadership was low. The moderating relationship could be shown to be mediated by employees’ state self-esteem.
I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.
We have developed a new trace-based, warping least-squares inversion method to quantify 4D velocity changes. There are two steps to solve for these velocity changes: dynamic warping with phase constraints to align the baseline and monitor traces and least-squares inversion for 4D velocity changes incorporating the time shifts and 4D amplitude differences. We have demonstrated this new inversion workflow using simple synthetic layered models. For the noise-free case, phase-constrained warping is superior to standard, amplitude-based warping by improving trace alignment, resulting (...) in more accurate inverted velocity changes. For synthetic data with 6% rms noise, inverted velocity changes are reasonably accurate. Additional inversion tests with migrated finite-difference data shot over a realistic anticline model result in less than 10% error. The inverted velocity changes on a 4D field data set from the Gulf of Mexico are more interpretable and consistent with the dynamic reservoir model than those estimated from the conventional time-strain method. (shrink)
Climate ethics has been concerned with polluter pays, beneficiary pays and ability to pay principles, all of which consider climate change as a single negative externality. This paper considers it as a constellation of externalities, positive and negative, with different associated demands of justice. This is important because explicitly considering positive externalities has not to our knowledge been done in the climate ethics literature. Specifically, it is argued that those who enjoy passive gains from climate change owe gains (...) not to the net losers, but to the emitters, just as the emitters owe compensation to the net losers for the negative externality. This is defended by appeal to theoretical virtues and to the social benefits of generating positive externalities, even when those positive externalities are coupled with far greater negative externalities. We call this the Polluter Pays, Then Receives ('PPTR', or 'Peter') Principle. This principle is then applied at two levels in the context of Canada. [Open access]. (shrink)
The human faculty of moral judgment is not well suited to address problems, like climate change, that are global in scope and remote in time. Advocates of ‘moral bioenhancement’ have proposed that we should investigate the use of medical technologies to make human beings more trusting and altruistic, and hence more willing to cooperate in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We survey recent accounts of the proximate and ultimate causes of human cooperation in order to (...) assess the prospects for bioenhancement. We identify a number of issues that are likely to be significant obstacles to effective bioenhancement, as well as areas for future research. (shrink)
This article assesses some of the implications of globalization for the scholarly debate on business ethics, CSR and related concepts. The argument is based, among other things, on the declining capacity of nation state institutions to regulate socially desirable corporate behavior as well as the growing corporate exposure to heterogeneous social, cultural and political values in societies globally. It is argued that these changes are shifting the corporate role towards a sphere of societal governance hitherto dominated by traditional political actors. (...) This leads to a discussion of the ambivalent results of such a process for a responsible corporate role in a globalized world. While assessing the current reception these changes have received in the management literature, the contributions of the four articles in this Special Issue are framed and evaluated. The argument closes by highlighting avenues of future research on this new challenge. (shrink)
Turning around and changing an organization's culture does not happen by chance. The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into what is needed for an organization to successfully transform itself from a culture and experience that does not support individual ethical behavior. The recent bond trading scandal at Salomon Brothers will be used to demonstrate that a successful ethical turnaround does not just happen spontaneously. In particular, we argue that new leadership, altering policies, structure, behavior, and beliefs are (...) paramount to successfully change to an organizational culture that supports ethical behavior. Schein's five primary mechanisms available to leaders for embedding and reinforcing culture will be used to systematically analyze efforts to change Salomon Brothers' culture. (shrink)
We seek to change the conversation about brain death by highlighting the distinction between brain death as a biological concept versus brain death as a legal status. The fact that brain death does not cohere with any biologically plausible definition of death has been known for decades. Nevertheless, this fact has not threatened the acceptance of brain death as a legal status that permits individuals to be treated as if they are dead. The similarities between “legally dead” and “legally (...) blind” demonstrate how we may legitimately choose bright-line legal definitions that do not cohere with biological reality. Not only does this distinction bring conceptual coherence to the conversation about brain death, but it has practical implications as well. Once brain death is recognized as a social construction not grounded in biological reality, we create the possibility of changing the social construction in ways that may better serve both organ donors and recipients alike. (shrink)