As government pressure on major technology companies builds, both firms and legislators are searching for technical solutions to difficult platform governance puzzles such as hate speech and misinformation. Automated hash-matching and predictive machine learning tools – what we define here as algorithmic moderation systems – are increasingly being deployed to conduct contentmoderation at scale by major platforms for user-generated content such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This article provides an accessible technical primer on how algorithmic (...)moderation works; examines some of the existing automated tools used by major platforms to handle copyright infringement, terrorism and toxic speech; and identifies key political and ethical issues for these systems as the reliance on them grows. Recent events suggest that algorithmic moderation has become necessary to manage growing public expectations for increased platform responsibility, safety and security on the global stage; however, as we demonstrate, these systems remain opaque, unaccountable and poorly understood. Despite the potential promise of algorithms or ‘AI’, we show that even ‘well optimized’ moderation systems could exacerbate, rather than relieve, many existing problems with content policy as enacted by platforms for three main reasons: automated moderation threatens to further increase opacity, making a famously non-transparent set of practices even more difficult to understand or audit, further complicate outstanding issues of fairness and justice in large-scale sociotechnical systems and re-obscure the fundamentally political nature of speech decisions being executed at scale. (shrink)
: The present work analyses ContentModeration, focusing on ethical concerns and cognitive effects. Starting from a general description and history of the moderation process, it stresses some ethical problems: quality of moderation, transparency, and the working conditions of human moderators. Using some of Facebook leaked slides offering examples of moderation, we define some controversial rules and principles for Commercial ContentModeration. These examples highlight a general lack of coherency and transparency, which has (...) the potential to affect users’ cognitive attitudes, their perception of reality, and their freedom of speech. Such effects are studied in comparison to other well-known online cognitive phenomena and in relation to the most recent dedicated legislation in EU countries. The current ContentModeration scheme leaves users at risk of specific cognitive distortions, highlighting the urgent need for greater transparency throughout the moderation process and better working conditions for moderators. Keywords: ContentModeration; Freedom of Speech; Epistemic Bubble; Technology Ethics Commercial ContentModeration: un oscuro labirinto per la libertà d’espressione e le opinioni degli utenti Riassunto: Il presente lavoro offre un’analisi approfondita della moderazione di contenuti, concentrandosi sulle problematiche etiche e sugli effetti cognitivi. A partire da una introduzione ai concetti chiave e alla storia della moderazione di contenuti online, si concentra su alcuni problemi etici primari: la qualità della moderazione, la sua trasparenza e le condizioni di lavoro dei lavoratori. Utilizzando dei documenti formativi interni di Facebook, pubblicati da un quotidiano e dagli esempi in essi contenuti, definiremo le controverse regole e i principi della Commercial ContentModeration. Ne emerge una generale mancanza di coerenza organizzativa e di trasparenza nel processo, che mostra potenziali effetti dannosi sulle attitudini degli utenti, sulla loro percezione della realtà e la loro libertà di parola. Tali effetti saranno studiati in confronto con i più conosciuti effetti cognitivi del mondo dei social ed in relazione alle più recenti disposizioni di leggi europee in merito. Gli schemi attualmente in uso producono degli specifici effetti di distorsione cognitiva e conseguentemente mostrano l’importanza di una maggiore attenzione alla trasparenza del processo e alle condizioni di lavoro dei moderatori. Parole chiave: Moderazione di contenuti; Libertà di parola; Bolla epistemica; Etica della tecnologia. (shrink)
AI seems like the perfect response to the growing challenges of contentmoderation on social media platforms: the immense scale of the data, the relentlessness of the violations, and the need for human judgments without wanting humans to have to make them. The push toward automated contentmoderation is often justified as a necessary response to the scale: the enormity of social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube stands as the reason why AI approaches are desirable, (...) even inevitable. But even if we could effectively automate contentmoderation, it is not clear that we should. (shrink)
Contemporary policy debates about managing the enormous volume of online content have taken a renewed focus on upload filtering, automated detection of potentially illegal content, and other “proactive measures”. Often, policymakers and tech industry players invoke artificial intelligence as the solution to complex challenges around online content, promising that AI is a scant few years away from resolving everything from hate speech to harassment to the spread of terrorist propaganda. Missing from these promises, however, is an acknowledgement (...) that proactive identification and automated removal of user-generated content raises problems beyond issues of “accuracy” and overbreadth--problems that will not be solved with more sophisticated AI. In this commentary, I discuss how the technical realities of content filtering stack up against the protections for freedom of expression in international human rights law. As policymakers and companies around the world turn to AI for communications governance, it is crucial that we recall why legal protections for speech have included presumptions against prior censorship, and consider carefully how proactive contentmoderation will fundamentally re-shape the relationship between rules, people, and their speech. (shrink)
The spread of fake news online has far reaching implications for the lives of people offline. There is increasing pressure for content sharing platforms to intervene and mitigate the spread of fake news, but intervention spawns accusations of biased censorship. The tension between fair moderation and censorship highlights two related problems that arise in flagging online content as fake or legitimate: firstly, what kind of content counts as a problem such that it should be flagged, and (...) secondly, is it practically and theoretically possible to gather and label instances of such content in an unbiased manner? In this paper, I argue that answering either question involves making value judgements that can generate user distrust toward fact checking efforts. (shrink)
In communities of user-generated content, systems for the management of content and/or their contributors are usually accepted without much protest. Not so, however, in the case of Wikipedia, in which the proposal to introduce a system of review for new edits (in order to counter vandalism) led to heated discussions. This debate is analysed, and arguments of both supporters and opponents (of English, German and French tongue) are extracted from Wikipedian archives. In order to better understand this division (...) of the minds, an analogy is drawn with theories of bureaucracy as developed for real-life organizations. From these it transpires that bureaucratic rules may be perceived as springing from either a control logic or an enabling logic. In Wikipedia, then, both perceptions were at work, depending on the underlying views of participants. Wikipedians either rejected the proposed scheme (because it is antithetical to their conception of Wikipedia as a community) or endorsed it (because it is consonant with their conception of Wikipedia as an organization with clearly defined boundaries). Are other open-content communities susceptible to the same kind of ‘essential contestation’? (shrink)
In chapter four of Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick raised interesting questions about whether or not it is ever morally acceptable to act against what are agreed to be an individual's natural moral rights. The pursuit of these questions opens up issues concerning the specific content of these individual rights. This essay explores Nozick's questions by posing examples and using our considered responses to them to specify the shape of individual rights. The exploration provisionally concludes that a conception (...) of individual moral rights quite different from Nozick's looks attractive and merits further development. Footnotesa I thank Ellen Frankel Paul for helpful, constructive, and substantive comments on a prior draft of this essay. It goes without saying that her comments outstripped my ability to respond. (shrink)
In the opening chapter of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke explains that the self-understanding or self-measure of the human mind includes an account of the mind’s limits, and so the mind’s self-understanding can provide adequate grounds for intellectual self-moderation or self-control: “If we can find out, how far the Understanding can extend its view; how far it has Faculties to attain Certainty; and in what Cases it can only judge and guess, we may learn to content (...) our selves with what is attainable by us in this State.” Furthermore: “If we can find out those Measures, whereby a rational Creature put in that State, which Man is in, in this World, may, and ought to govern his Opinions, and Actions depending thereon, we need not be troubled, that some other things escape our Knowledge.” Compared to Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre may appear to exemplify the very opposite of intellectual modesty and self-control. Unlike Locke, Fichte argues that a true system of knowledge should not seek to limit or moderate itself by reference to what is allegedly unknowable outside of it. A true system of knowledge, writes Fichte, “. . . only has to agree with itself. It can be explained only by itself, and it can be proven - or refuted - only on its own terms.” Furthermore, Fichte suggests that an appreciation of his system of knowledge requires not modesty in his readers, but rather an implicit sense of superiority: “I wish to have nothing to do with those who, as a result of protracted spiritual servitude, have lost their own selves and, along with this loss of themselves, have lost any feeling for their own conviction . . .” In this essay, I shall seek to show that, contrary to initial impressions, it is Fichtean idealism, and not Lockean (or any similar) realism, that is truly modest. According to my account, Locke’s explicit declarations concerning the modesty and limitedness of his own project exhibit a certain ignorance concerning the genuine problems at issue. In his claim to be modest, the realist Locke professes to know more than he actually does, and thus manifests his own immodesty. By contrast, the idealist Fichte must refrain from such direct claims to modesty and must appear to be immodest, precisely because he has a greater understanding of how radically limited human knowledge always is. Like Plato’s Charmides, Fichte realizes that any explicit claim to self-limitation and self-moderation would actually give lie to itself. (shrink)
In The Women of Grub Street (1998), Paula McDowell highlighted the fact that the overwhelming majority of women’s texts in early modern England were polemical or religio-political in nature rather than literary in content. Since that time, the study of early modern women’s political ideas has dramatically increased, and there have been a number of recent anthologies, modern editions, and critical analyses of female political writings. As a result of Patricia Springborg’s research, Mary Astell (1668-1731) has risen to prominence (...) as one of the most astute female political commentators of her day. Springborg argues for Astell’s importance as one of the first systematic critics of the philosopher John Locke, and she interprets Astell’s political thought as a reaction to Lockean Whig politics in the early reign of Queen Anne. But some scholars claim that it is a mistake to think that Astell was chiefly preoccupied with Locke, and others suggest that reading Astell in relation to Locke alone can distort our understanding of her larger political theory. In this chapter, I argue that a more accurate picture of Astell’s political outlook emerges by examining a little studied essay, ‘A Prefatory Discourse to Dr D’Aveanant’ in her 1704 work Moderation Truly Stated. In this critique of Charles Davenant’s Essays upon Peace at Home, and War Abroad (1704), Astell provides a commentary on the political ruthlessness of Niccolo Machiavelli in his Discourses on Livy. Astell’s comments reveal that, in an age in which the political vocabulary was turning to the language of rights, property, and liberty, she still subscribed to the ancient world view, and the ethical-political language of virtue and the good. My intention is to show that these ethical dimensions of Astell’s political thought are consonant with her wider philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, artificial intelligence has been deployed by online platforms to prevent the upload of allegedly illegal content or to remove unwarranted expressions. These systems are trained to spot objectionable content and to remove it, block it, or filter it out before it is even uploaded. Artificial intelligence filters offer a robust approach to contentmoderation which is shaping the public sphere. This dramatic shift in norm setting and law enforcement is potentially game-changing for democracy. (...) Artificial intelligence filters carry censorial power, which could bypass traditional checks and balances secured by law. Their opaque and dynamic nature creates barriers to oversight, and conceals critical value choices and tradeoffs. Currently, we lack adequate tools to hold them accountable. This paper seeks to address this gap by introducing an adversarial procedure— – Contesting Algorithms. It proposes to deliberately introduce friction into the dominant removal systems governed by artificial intelligence. Algorithmic contentmoderation often seeks to optimize a single goal, such as removing copyright-infringing materials or blocking hate speech, while other values in the public interest, such as fair use or free speech, are often neglected. Contesting algorithms introduce an adversarial design which reflects conflicting values, and thereby may offer a check on dominant removal systems. Facilitating an adversarial intervention may promote democratic principles by keeping society in the loop. An adversarial public artificial intelligence system could enhance dynamic transparency, facilitate an alternative public articulation of social values using machine learning systems, and restore societal power to deliberate and determine social tradeoffs. (shrink)
Effective contentmoderation by social platforms is both important and difficult; numerous issues arise from the volume of information, the culturally sensitive and contextual nature of that information, and the nuances of human communication. Attempting to scale moderation, social platforms are increasingly adopting automated approaches to suppressing communications that they deem undesirable. However, this brings its own concerns. This paper examines the structural effects of algorithmic censorship by social platforms to assist in developing a fuller understanding of (...) the risks of such approaches to contentmoderation. This analysis shows that algorithmic censorship is distinctive for two reasons: in potentially bringing all communications carried out on social platforms within reach and in potentially allowing those platforms to take a more active, interventionist approach to moderating those communications. Consequently, algorithmic censorship could allow social platforms to exercise an unprecedented degree of control over both public and private communications. Moreover, commercial priorities would be inserted further into the everyday communications of billions of people. Due to the dominance of the web by a few social platforms, this may be difficult or impractical to escape for many people, although opportunities for resistance do exist. (shrink)
This article presents the results of methodological experimentation that utilises machine learning to investigate automated copyright enforcement on YouTube. Using a dataset of 76.7 million YouTube videos, we explore how digital and computational methods can be leveraged to better understand contentmoderation and copyright enforcement at a large scale.We used the BERT language model to train a machine learning classifier to identify videos in categories that reflect ongoing controversies in copyright takedowns. We use this to explore, in a (...) granular way, how copyright is enforced on YouTube, using both statistical methods and qualitative analysis of our categorised dataset. We provide a large-scale systematic analysis of removals rates from Content ID’s automated detection system and the largely automated, text search based, Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice and takedown system. These are complex systems that are often difficult to analyse, and YouTube only makes available data at high levels of abstraction. Our analysis provides a comparison of different types of automation in contentmoderation, and we show how these different systems play out across different categories of content. We hope that this work provides a methodological base for continued experimentation with the use of digital and computational methods to enable large-scale analysis of the operation of automated systems. (shrink)
Advances in AI are powering increasingly precise and widespread computational propaganda, posing serious threats to national security. The military and intelligence communities are starting to discuss ways to engage in this space, but the path forward is still unclear. These developments raise pressing ethical questions, about which existing ethics frameworks are silent. Understanding these challenges through the lens of “cognitive security,” we argue, offers a promising approach.
In spite of his stature as a major figure in the history of political philosophy and his strong interest in the correlation between liberty and the content of criminal law, surprisingly little has been written concerning Montesquieu's views on crime and punishment. Even less has been written about his views on the philosophical justification of punishment. Unlike Locke, Rousseau and Beccaria, he did not use social contract theory to justify punishment. Close analysis of Books VI and XII of The (...) Spirit of Laws (1748) reveals that he combined utilitarian, retributivist and liberal themes in his approach to punishment, while locating the fundamental justification for the right to punish capital crimes in the retributivist rationale of doing justice. As noted by Beccaria and numerous others whom he influenced, moderation in punishments and decriminalization of religious offences were key themes in his discussions. (shrink)
The golden mean metaphor is suggested as a key to understanding the universal and the particular in moral philosophy since finding metaphorical links provides a way of seeing different traditions in a manner that does not erect absolute boundaries. The choice of the golden mean is made keeping in mind that all cultures recognize the worth of moderation. The prime reason for that lies in human nature which sets human beings apart from all the other living creatures by a (...) goal-oriented activity. As a rational being endowed with will, a human person cannot move toward a goal without adopting a certain strategy of actions. An instinct for self-preservation and astute prudence, personal experience and that of one's own ancestors are all prompting a human being to moderate and commensurate in dispositions and actions for an optimal attainment of the goals. Yet, the same principle is concretized in a particular cultural context (Ancient Greek, Indian, Chinese, Muslim and Russian cases are considered). Along with cultural distinctions, situational, temporal factors are of importance: much depends on whether it is the human person guided by own free will or a certain driving force, public, government, etc., outside and above defines the content of the golden mean. (shrink)
The golden mean metaphor is suggested as a key to understanding the universal and the particular in moral philosophy since finding metaphorical links provides a way of seeing different traditions in a manner that does not erect absolute boundaries. The choice of the golden mean is made keeping in mind that all cultures recognize the worth of moderation. The prime reason for that lies in human nature which sets human beings apart from all the other living creatures by a (...) goal-oriented activity. As a rational being endowed with will, a human person cannot move toward a goal without adopting a certain strategy of actions. An instinct for self-preservation and astute prudence, personal experience and that of one's own ancestors are all prompting a human being to moderate and commensurate in dispositions and actions for an optimal attainment of the goals. Yet, the same principle is concretized in a particular cultural context. Along with cultural distinctions, situational, temporal factors are of importance: much depends on whether it is the human person guided by own free will or a certain driving force, public, government, etc., outside and above defines the content of the golden mean. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the virtue of temperance as a moral competence in professional performance. The analysis relies on three different streams of literature: virtue ethics, positive psychology and competency-based management. The paper analyzes how temperance is defined in each of these perspectives. The paper proposes an integrative definition of temperance as “moral competence” and summarizes behaviors in business environments in which temperance plays a role.
This article contends that Socratic wisdom (sophia) in Plato's Apology should be understood in relation to moderation (sophrosune), not knowledge (episteme). This stance is exemplified in an interpretation of Socrates' disavowal of knowledge. The god calls Socrates wise. Socrates holds both that he is wise in nothing great or small and that the god does not lie. These apparently inconsistent claims are resolved in an interpretation of elenchus. This interpretion says that Socrates is wise insofar as he does not (...) believe himself to know what he does not know. Whether one knows is demonstrated through elenchus, which moderates between knowledge claims. Thus, elenchus is productive of a kind of wisdom even if it does not produce knowledge. This claim, if true, forms a suitable basis for Socrates' defense of himself. That it does so serves as further evidence for the interpretation of sophia as sophrosune. (shrink)
This article looks at some of the salient analyses of moderation in the ancient Greek and the Islamic traditions and uses them to develop a contemporary view of the matter. Greek ethics played a huge role in shaping the ethical views of the Muslim philosophers and theologians, and thus the article starts with an overview of the revival of contemporary western virtue ethics--in many ways an extension of Platonic-Aristotelian ethics--and then looks at the place of moderation or temperance (...) in Platonic-Aristotelian ethics. This sets the stage for an exposition of the position taken by Ibn Miskawayh and al-Ghazali, which is then used as a backdrop for suggesting a revival of the Quran's virtue ethics. After outlining a basis for its virtue ethics, the Quranic view of wasatiyya or moderation is discussed briefly. (shrink)
: Most of us tend to be Aristotelians when it comes to anger. While admitting that uncontrolled anger is harmful and ought to be avoided, we reject as undesirable a state of being that would not allow us to express legitimate outrage. Hence, we seem to find a compelling moral attitude in Aristotle’s belief that we should get angry at the right time and for the right reasons and in the right way. Buddhism and Stoicism, however, carve out a position (...) on the issue of anger that stands in marked contrast to the Aristotelian conception. This article considers the similarities between these two views of anger, contrasts the Buddhist with the much more common (at least in the West) Aristotelian one, and, finally, considers the objections of a prominent Western scholar to this shared Buddhist/Stoic conception. (shrink)
As a common and important construct, numerous studies investigated factors that influence commitment. However, few scholars promoted ethical issues on commitment antecedents. This study investigates moderation effect of gender on the relationship between workplace spirituality and commitment. The result shows that workplace spirituality affects commitment significantly, and males are found to have a stronger effect of workplace spirituality on commitment rather than females. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
I defend moral generalism against particularism. Particularism, as I understand it, is the negation of the generalist view that particular moral facts depend on the existence of a comprehensive set of true moral principles. Particularists typically present "the holism of reasons" as powerful support for their view. While many generalists accept that holism supports particularism but dispute holism, I argue that generalism accommodates holism. The centerpiece of my strategy is a novel model of moral principles as a kind of "hedged" (...) principles that incorporate an independently plausible "basis thesis" concerning the explanation of moral reasons. The model implies that moral reasons requires the existence of a comprehensive set of true hedged principles, and so it captures generalism. But the model also offers an alternative explanation of holism, and so it undercuts much of the motivation for particularism. I defend this moderate (because holism-tolerating) form of generalism against a number of objections, and show how it can be used to defeat three distinct arguments from holism to particularism. (shrink)
Meat?eating as a human practice has been under ethical attack from philosophers such as Peter Singer and Tom Regan on both utilitarian and deontological grounds. An organicist ethic, on the other hand, recognizes that all life other than the primary producers, the plants, must feed on life. This essay affirms, with many environmental ethicists, the moralconsiderability of biota other than the human, but denies that this enlargement of the moral community beyond Homo sapiens necessarily precludes our eating of meat. First, (...) absolute deontological arguments against meat?eating are disputed, then utilitarian?hedonistic arguments are shown not to be sufficient to require ethical vegetarianism. Both sorts of arguments have strengths, however, that set us on guard against current abuses in the meat?raising and slaughtering industries. If the principle of ?due respect? for beings with different degrees of intrinsic value is honored, then moderate meat?eating under reformed social practices can be seen as licit. Two final problems then require investigation: the problem of dietary justice for poor humans and the problem of ?speciesism?. Dealing with the latter requires discussion of cannibalism and the ethics of humans being eaten by still higher ?aliens? (shrink)
Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content (...) apply only to accounts of perceptual content on which perceptual relations to the world play no explanatory role. With austere relationalists, I will argue that perceptual experience is fundamentally relational. But against austere relationalists, I will argue that it is fundamentally both relational and representational. (shrink)
Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models involving interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that are needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts (...) where false content is important. This article shows that this concept can be made precise by defining a notion of functional content that captures the degree to which different states of the world are involved in stabilizing senders’ and receivers’ use of a signal at equilibrium. A series of case studies is used to contrast functional content with informational content, and to illustrate the explanatory role and limitations of this definition of functional content. _1_ Introduction _2_ Modelling Framework _3_ Two Kinds of Content _3.1_ Informational content _3.2_ Functional content _4_ Cases _4.1_ Case 1: Simplest case _4.2_ Case 2: Partial pooling _4.3_ Case 3: Bottleneck _4.4_ Case 4: Partial common interest _4.5_ Case 5: Deception _4.6_ Case 6: A further problem arising from divergent interests _5_ Discussion Appendix. (shrink)
Can there be 'narrow' mental content, that is entirely determined by the goings-on inside the head of the thinker? This book argues not, and defends instead a thoroughgoing externalism: the entanglement of our minds with the external world runs so deep that no internal component of mentality can easily be cordoned off.
In Mind and World, John McDowell argues against the view that perceptual representation is non-conceptual. The central worry is that this view cannot offer any reasonable account of how perception bears rationally upon belief. I argue that this worry, though sensible, can be met, if we are clear that perceptual representation is, though non-conceptual, still in some sense 'assertoric': Perception, like belief, represents things as being thus and so.
The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...) characteristic dynamic effect they have on the context. I argue that pessimism about truth-conditions arises from an overly simplistic picture of content, context and their interaction. While I agree with the critics that an important aspect of modal meaning is the dynamic effect modals have on the context, I argue that they have mischaracterized the nature and the complexity of this effect. A more nuanced account of the interaction between modals and context shows that far from being incompatible with propositional meaning, the dynamic aspect of meaning is precisely what allows us to predict the correct propositional content of an utterance. (shrink)
This paper argues that, given a certain apparently inevitable thesis about content, we could not know our own minds. The thesis is that the content of a thought is determined by its relational properties.
In Context and Content Robert Stalnaker develops a philosophical picture of the nature of speech and thought and the relations between them. Two themes in particular run through these collected essays: the role that the context in which speech takes place plays in accounting for the way language is used to express thought, and the role of the external environment in determining the contents of our thoughts. Stalnaker argues against the widespread assumption of the priority of linguistic over mental (...) representation, which he suggests has had a distorting influence on our understanding. The first part of the book develops a framework for representing contexts and the way they interact with the interpretation of what is said in them. This framework is used to help to explain a range of linguistic phenomena concerning presupposition and assertion, conditional statements, the attribution of beliefs, and the use of names, descriptions, and pronouns to refer. Stalnaker then draws out the conception of thought and its content that is implicit in this framework. He defends externalism about thought--the assumption that our thoughts have the contents they have in virtue of the way we are situated in the world--and explores the role of linguistic action and linguistic structure in determining the contents of our thoughts. Context and Content offers philosophers and cognitive scientists a summation of Stalnaker's important and influential work in this area. His new introduction to the volume gives an overview of this work and offers a convenient way in for those who are new to it. The Oxford Cognitive Science series is a new forum for the best contemporary work in this flourishing field, where various disciplines--cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational theory--join forces in the investigation of thought, awareness, understanding, and associated workings of the mind. Each book constitutes an original contribution to its subject, but will be accessible beyond the ranks of specialists, so as to reach a broad interdisciplinary readership. The series will be carefully shaped and steered with the aim of representing the most important developments in the field and bringing together its constituent disciplines. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that the phenomenal similarity between perceiving and visualizing can be explained by the similarity between the structure of the content of these two different mental states. And this puts important constraints on how we should think about perceptual content and the content of mental imagery.
This volume presents a series of influential essays by Paul Boghossian on the theory of content and on its relation to the phenomenon of a priori knowledge. The essays are organized under four headings: the nature of content; content and self-knowledge; knowledge, content, and the a priori; and colour concepts.
Peter Hanks defends a new theory about the nature of propositional content, according to which the basic bearers of representational properties are particular mental or spoken actions. He explains the unity of propositions and provides new solutions to a long list of puzzles and problems in philosophy of language.
The paper presents an extended argument for the claim that mental content impacts the computational individuation of a cognitive system (section 2). The argument starts with the observation that a cognitive system may simultaneously implement a variety of different syntactic structures, but that the computational identity of a cognitive system is given by only one of these implemented syntactic structures. It is then asked what are the features that determine which of implemented syntactic structures is the computational structure of (...) the system, and it is contended that these features are certain aspects of mental content. The argument helps (section 3) to reassess the thesis known as computational externalism, namely, the thesis that computational theories of cognition make essential reference to features in the individual's environment. It is suggested that the familiar arguments for computational externalism?which rest on thought experiments and on exegesis of Marr's theories of vision?are unconvincing, but that they can be improved. A reconstruction of the visex/audex thought experiment is offered in section 3.1. An outline of a novel interpretation of Marr's theories of vision is presented in section 3.2. The corrected arguments support the claim that computational theories of cognition are intentional. Computational externalism is still pending, however, upon the thesis that psychological content is extrinsic. (shrink)
Experiences and beliefs are different sorts of mental states, and are often taken to belong to very different domains. Experiences are paradigmatically phenomenal, characterized by what it is like to have them. Beliefs are paradigmatically intentional, characterized by their propositional content. But there are a number of crucial points where these domains intersect. One central locus of intersection arises from the existence of phenomenal beliefs: beliefs that are about experiences.
Pervez Musharraf was the thirteenth Chief of the Army staff and tenth president of Pakistan. In October 1999, he took over as a Chief Executive of Pakistan by dismissing then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Military takeover was savored by the people of Pakistan due to bad governance of democratic Governments. Unlike the former dictator Gen Zia ul Haq, Gen. Pervez Musharraf gave the impression of being secular and liberal. He was an ardent admirer of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk and wanted to (...) establish Turkish Model of democracy in Pakistan. To delink Islam from extremism and fundamentalism, he introduced the strategy of “enlightened moderation” which has been discussed in this paper. Many Pakistanis welcomed his policy of “enlightened moderation” and even OIC acknowledged his approach. He worked sincerely to uplift the status of women in the society. He also led the army in the war against terrorism and launched operation against militants who were challenging the writ of the Government. The economy of Pakistan was at its peak and poverty graph was declining in Pakistan during his period when many sociological changes in the country took place. (shrink)
This essay examines the first stage of the positive part of the Socratic education in Xenophon’s Memorabilia, whose subject is moderation concerning the gods. This stage of the Socratic education investigates whether providential gods exist and whether it ismoderate to be pious. Socrates does not accept either one of the two teleological sarguments in favour of the existence of providential gods that he advances in the Memorabilia. Instead, he holds that human beings cannot know whether or not the gods (...) exist, and moderation refers to the manner in which Socrates deems it reasonable to proceed in light of this uncertainty. Socrates suggests that the smoderate alternative to piety is justice, and this essay concludes by considering why justice is moderate but piety is not. (shrink)
Our study contributes by providing new insights into the relationship between the individual levels of the antecedents and how the intention of whistleblowing is moderated by perceived organizational support, team norms, and perceived moral intensity. In this paper, we argue that the intention of both internal and external whistleblowing depends on the individual-level antecedents [attitudes toward whistleblowing, perceived behavioral control, independence commitment, personal responsibility for reporting, and personal cost of reporting ] and is moderated by POS, TNs, and PMI. The (...) findings confirm our predictions. Data were collected using an online survey on 256 Indonesian public accountants who worked in the audit firm affiliated with the Big 4 and non-Big 4. The results support the argument that all the antecedents of individual levels can improve the auditors’ intention to blow the whistle. The nature of the relationship is more complex than analysis by adding moderating variables using the Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling approach. We found that POS, TNs, and PMI can partially improve the relationship between the individual-level antecedents and whistleblowing intentions. These findings indicate that the POS, TNs, and PMI are a mechanism or that attribute is important in controlling behavior. (shrink)
As meaning's claim to normativity has grown increasingly suspect the normativity thesis has shifted to mental content. In this paper, we distinguish two versions of content normativism: 'CE normativism', according to which it is essential to content that certain 'oughts' can be derived from it, and 'CD normativism', according to which content is determined by norms in the first place. We argue that neither type of normativism withstands scrutiny. CE normativism appeals to the fact that there (...) is an essential connection between content and correctness conditions. But, we argue, this fact is by itself normatively innocent, and attempts to add a normative dimension via the normativity of belief ultimately fail. CD normativism, in turn, falls prey to the 'dilemma of regress and idleness': the appeal to rules either leads to some form of regress of rules, or the notion of rule-following is reduced to an idle label. We conclude by suggesting that our arguments do not support naturalism: it is a mistake to assume that normativism and naturalism are our only options. (shrink)
Propositional content arises from the practice of signaling with information transfer when a signaling process settles into some sort of a pattern, and eventually what we call meaning or propositional content crystallizes out. We give an evolutionary account of this process.