In a recent article, Thomas Christiano defends the intrinsic justice of democracy grounded in the principle of equal consideration of interests. Each citizen is entitled to a single vote, equal in weight to all other citizens. The problem with this picture is that all citizens must meet a threshold of minimalcompetence. -/- My argument is that Christiano is wrong to claim a minimum threshold of competency is fully consistent with the principle of equality. While standards of (...) class='Hi'>minimal competency may be justifiable, these standards justify political inequality. -/- This paper explores the relationship between equality and democracy in terms of minimal competency, demonstrating how minimal competency is justified and why it is inegalitarian in interesting ways. (shrink)
To enhance the plausibility of naturalistic moral realism, David Copp develops an argument from epistemic defeaters aiming to show that strongly a priori synthetic moral truths do not exist. In making a case for the non-naturalistic position, I locate Copp’s account within the wider literature on peer disagreement; I identify key points of divergence between Copp’s doctrine and conciliatorist doctrines; I introduce the notion of ‘minimal moral competence’; I contend that some plausible benchmarks for minimal moral (...) class='Hi'>competence are grounded in substantive moral considerations; and I discuss two forms of spinelessness that Copp’s moral naturalism could result in. (shrink)
Call an account of names satisfactionalist if it holds that object o is the referent of name a in virtue of o’s satisfaction of a descriptive condition associated with a. Call an account of names minimally descriptivistif it holds that if a competent speaker finds ‘a=b’ to be informative, then she must associate some information with ‘a’ which she does not associate with ‘b’. The rejection of both positions is part of the Kripkean orthodoxy, and is also built into extant (...) versions of the file-picture of reference. In this paper, I argue that the rejection of minimal descriptivism only follows from the rejection of satisfactionalism given certain implausible assumptions about the nature of competence with a proper name. I do this by showing that considerations internal to the file-picture - in particular the idea that competence with a proper name constitutes an ‘epistemically rewarding’ relation to its bearer - motivate an acceptance of minimal descriptivism. (shrink)
The skills involved in contributing competently in workplace interaction include enacting attentive listenership and providing appropriate feedback to the talk of others. These sociopragmatic skills are often overlooked, and when non-native-like listener feedback does attract attention, cultural differences are commonly cited to account for differences observed. In this paper, we analyse data from recordings made by Chinese skilled migrants in New Zealand workplaces, focussing on their interactions with New Zealand mentors in authentic workplace encounters. We examine the range, frequency and (...) placement of minimal audible feedback in their workplace talk, including a discussion of repetition and collaborative completions. The analysis provides evidence that overall, these learners have acquired appropriate norms for listenership in the New Zealand workplace contexts in which they have been placed, and supports an explanation which focuses on the negotiation and development of interactional norms in the process of joining a new social group. (shrink)
The meaning of morpheme (a minimal unit of linguistic significance) cannot diverge from what it is taken to mean. But the meaning of a complex expression can diverge without limit from what it is taken to mean, given that the meaning of such an expression is a logical consequence of the meanings of its parts, coupled with the fact that people are not infallible ratiocinators. Nonetheless, given Chomsky’s distinction between competence (ability) and performance (ability to deploy ability), what (...) a complex expression means does, after a fashion, coincide with what it is taken to mean: to the extent that speaker-performance approximates to speaker-competence---i.e. to the extent that people are able to operationalize their linguistic competence---what speakers take complex expressions to mean coincides with they in fact mean; and herein lies an answer to the question “what is linguistic meaning?” that holds with respect to both simple and complex expressions. (shrink)
After a critical discussion of Putnam's early work on the analytic–synthetic distinction, this article discusses seven contributions that Putnam has made to the philosophy of language. These contributions are (1) to understanding the role of definitions in science and in ordinary discourse; (2) to recognizing the role of stereotypes in explaining meaning; (3) to acknowledging the minimal role of explicative understanding in having linguistic competence with natural kind words; (4) to distinguishing sharply between identifying natural kinds and determining (...) their more fundamental natures; (5) to exploring a division of linguistic labour – a role for social interaction in determining reference, especially of natural kind terms; (6) to establishing a broadly unified causal account of the reference of ordinary natural kind terms and scientific physical magnitude terms; and (7) to reviving a conception of scientific language that allows for trans-theoretical reference and one sort of trans-theoretical meaning. (shrink)
In "A Puzzle About Belief" (_Meaning and Use, A. Margalit (ed.), D. Reidel (1979), pp. 239-283), Saul Kripke argues that linguistic moves to all appearances normal in reporting the beliefs of others can be shown to generate paradox. In this paper, I argue that the supposed paradox is one in appearance only, and that the appearance rests on a covert vacillation in Kripke's paper between two conceptions of linguistic understanding, a weak, or 'minimal' one, and a 'strong' one. Only (...) the weak conception allows Kripke to set up the example which allegedly generates the paradox; only the strong allows the actual generation of the paradox. (shrink)
In the following article I present a basic proposal that is intended to provide the ground for a broader program in which I attempt to explain and characterize the foundations of the normativity generally regarded as implicit in the notion of a "person." I intend to argue that these foundations are natural in the sense that they are derived from basic behavioral and cognitive patterns which are particularly characteristic of human beings especially during their infancy. Among these basic patterns I (...) take that known as dyadic engagement to be merely the foundational stage at which embryonic personhood emerges. Dyadic engagement is a very primitive and special form of social competence which has been identified by some cognitive developmentalists and comparative psychologists as a particular kind of sensitivity for contingencies which are experienced from the very beginning in the various processes of communicative interaction. (shrink)
Deep brain stimulation is a well-accepted treatment for movement disorders and is currently explored as a treatment option for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several case studies suggest that DBS may, in some patients, influence mental states critical to personality to such an extent that it affects an individual’s personal identity, i.e. the experience of psychological continuity, of persisting through time as the same person. Without questioning the usefulness of DBS as a treatment option for various serious and treatment refractory (...) conditions, the potential of disruptions of psychological continuity raises a number of ethical and legal questions. An important question is that of legal responsibility if DBS induced changes in a patient’s personality result in damage caused by undesirable or even deviant behavior. Disruptions in psychological continuity can in some cases also have an effect on an individual’s mental competence. This capacity is necessary in order to obtain informed consent to start, continue or stop treatment, and it is therefore not only important from an ethical point of view but also has legal consequences. Taking the existing literature and the Dutch legal system as a starting point, the present paper discusses the implications of DBS induced disruptions in psychological continuity for a patient’s responsibility for action and competence of decision and raises a number of questions that need further research. (shrink)
I argue against traditional virtue epistemology on which knowledge is a success due to a competence to believe truly, by revealing an in-principle problem with the traditional virtue epistemologist’s explanation of Gettier cases. The argument eliminates one of the last plausible explanation of Gettier cases, and so of knowledge, in terms of non-factive mental states and non-mental conditions. I then I develop and defend a different kind of virtue epistemology, on which knowledge is an exercise of a competence (...) to know. I show how the account, while circular, is not viciously so. It explains both how knowledge is a mental state, as well as the relationship between knowledge and justification, including justified false beliefs and Gettier cases. Moreover, although direct virtue epistemology is compatible with many views on the nature of belief, it can explain how knowledge might be metaphysically more fundamental than belief as well. (shrink)
Based on a crowdsourced truth-value judgment experiment, we provide empirical evidence challenging two classical views in semantics, and we develop a novel account of counterfactuals that combines ideas from inquisitive semantics and causal reasoning. First, we show that two truth-conditionally equivalent clauses can make different semantic contributions when embedded in a counterfactual antecedent. Assuming compositionality, this means that the meaning of these clauses is not fully determined by their truth conditions. This finding has a clear explanation in inquisitive semantics: truth-conditionally (...) equivalent clauses may be associated with different propositional alternatives, each of which counts as a separate counterfactual assumption. Second, we show that our results contradict the common idea that the interpretation of a counterfactual involves minimizing change with respect to the actual state of affairs. Building on techniques from causal reasoning, we propose to replace the idea of minimal change by a distinction between foreground and background for a given counterfactual assumption: the background is held fixed in the counterfactual situation, while the foreground can be varied without any minimality constraint. (shrink)
This book combines the insights of a seasoned journalist with those of an expert on philsophical ethics to provide a penetrating and comprehensive guide to the ethics of news reporting. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the role the press plays in influencing social, economic, and political choices in modern society. Drawing on a wealth of real-life cases, The Virtuous Journalist melds for the first time a conceptual analysis of the critical moral problems in journalism with a solid (...) understanding of the constraints and possibilities faced by the print and electronic media. The authors are not First Amendment absolutists but believe nonetheless that, in a democracy, the media should be subjected to minimal legal restraint. They also argue that freedom from legal restraint requires increased moral responsibility. Among the specific topics treated in the book are notions of morality and fairness, journalistic competence, standards of objectivity and accuracy, avoiding bias, avoiding harm, notions of public service, and maintaining public trust. Specific cases discussed include the controversy surrounding the CBS documentary "The Uncounted Enemy" and recent reporting on the AIDS epidemic. (shrink)
Contemporary work-related education and training policy represents occupational competence as the outcome of individual performance at work. This paper presents a critique of this neo-liberal assumption, arguing that in many cases competence should be regarded as an attribute of groups, teams and communities. It proposes a theory of collective competence in terms of (1) making collective sense of events in the workplace, (2) developing and using a collective knowledge base and (3) developing a sense of interdependency. It (...) suggests that the language of competence would become a more effective tool for understanding performance at work if the collectivistic sense of the term 'competence' were used in conjunction with the more established individualistic sense. (shrink)
This metatheoretical paper develops a list of new research targets by exploring particularly promising interdisciplinary contact points between empirical dream research and philosophy of mind. The central example is the MPS-problem. It is constituted by the epistemic goal of conceptually isolating and empirically grounding the phenomenal property of “minimal phenomenal selfhood,” which refers to the simplest form of self-consciousness. In order to precisely describe MPS, one must focus on those conditions that are not only causally enabling, but strictly necessary (...) to bring it into existence. This contribution argues that research on bodiless dreams, asomatic out-of-body experiences, and full-body illusions has the potential to make decisive future contributions. Further items on the proposed list of novel research targets include differentiating the concept of a “first-person perspective” on the subcognitive level; investigating relevant phenomenological and neurofunctional commonalities between mind-wandering and dreaming; comparing the functional depth of embodiment across dream and wake states; and demonstrating that the conceptual consequences of cognitive corruption and systematic rationality deficits in the dream state are much more serious for philosophical epistemology (and, perhaps, the methodology of dream research itself) than commonly assumed. The paper closes by specifying a list of potentially innovative research goals that could serve to establish a stronger connection between dream research and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
For decades, the discussion on children’s competence to consent to medical issues has concentrated around normative concerns, with little progress in clinical practices. Decision-making competence is an important condition in the informed consent model. In pediatrics, clinicians need to strike a proper balance in order to both protect children’s interests when they are not fully able to do so themselves and to respect their autonomy when they are. Children’s competence to consent, however, is currently not assessed in (...) a standardized way. Moreover, the correlation between competence to give informed consent and age in children has never been systematically investigated, nor do we know which factors exactly contribute to children’s competence. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on ContributorsLinguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence--B.Armour-Garb &--J.Woodbridge Minimal Semantics and the Nature of Psychological Evidence--E.BorgA Naturalistic Approach to the Philosophy of Language --J.Collins In Praise of our Linguistic Intuitions--A.EverettPhenomenal Continua and Secondary Properties--P.Greenough Semantic Oughts in Context--A.Hattiangadi Content, Force and Semantic Norms--M.KlbelLinguistic Competence and Propositional Knowledge--G.LongworthExpressives and Beyond--S.PredelliAnalyticity in Externalist Languages --G.Russell Names as Predicates--S.SawyerThe Epistemic Reading of Counterfactual Conditionals--K.Schulz Introduction, Transmission, and the Foundations of Meaning--J.SpeaksIndex.
Batterman and Rice () argue that minimal models possess explanatory power that cannot be captured by what they call ‘common features’ approaches to explanation. Minimal models are explanatory, according to Batterman and Rice, not in virtue of accurately representing relevant features, but in virtue of answering three questions that provide a ‘story about why large classes of features are irrelevant to the explanandum phenomenon’ (, p. 356). In this article, I argue, first, that a method (the renormalization group) (...) they propose to answer the three questions cannot answer them, at least not by itself. Second, I argue that answers to the three questions are unnecessary to account for the explanatoriness of their minimal models. Finally, I argue that a common features account, what I call the ‘generalized ontic conception of explanation’, can capture the explanatoriness of minimal models. (shrink)
In this paper we assume that ‘theory’ is important for Clinical Ethics Support Services (CESS). We will argue that the underlying implicit theory should be reflected. Moreover, we suggest that the theoretical components on which any clinical ethics support (CES) relies should be explicitly articulated in order to enhance the quality of CES.A theoretical framework appropriate for CES will be necessarily complex and should include ethical (both descriptive and normative), metaethical and organizational components. The various forms of CES that exist (...) in North-America and in Europe show their underlying theory more or less explicitly, with most of them referring to some kind of theoretical components including ‘how-to’ questions (methodology), organizational issues (implementation), problem analysis (phenomenology or typology of problems), and related ethical issues such as end-of-life decisions (major ethical topics).In order to illustrate and explain the theoretical framework that we are suggesting for our own CES project METAP, we will outline this project which has been established in a multi-centre context in several healthcare institutions. We conceptualize three ‘pillars’ as the major components of our theoretical framework: (1) evidence, (2) competence, and (3) discourse. As a whole, the framework is aimed at developing a foundation of our CES project METAP.We conclude that this specific integration of theoretical components is a promising model for the fruitful further development of CES. (shrink)
This study proposed a novel construct – green core competence – to explore its positive effects on green innovation and green images of firms. The results showed that green core competences of firms were positively correlated to their green innovation performance and green images. In addition, this research also verified two types of green innovation performance had partial mediation effects between green core competences and green images of firms. Therefore, investment in the development of green core competence was (...) helpful to businesses for the enhancement of their green innovation and green images. Furthermore, this study found that green core competence, two types of green innovation performance, and green images of medium & small enterprises (SMEs) were all significantly less than those of large enterprises in the information and electronics industry in Taiwan. Therefore, there was the advantage of firm size for the green core competence in this industry, and it was imperative for SMEs to develop and create their green core competences to strengthen their green innovation performance, and green images. (shrink)
The article responds to the objections M.D. Ashfield has raised to my recent attempt at saving epistemic contextualism from the knowability problem. First, it shows that Ashfield’s criticisms of my minimal conception of epistemic contextualism, even if correct, cannot reinstate the knowability problem. Second, it argues that these criticisms are based on a misunderstanding of the commitments of my minimal conception. I conclude that there is still no reason to maintain that epistemic contextualism has the knowability problem.
According to the principle of patient autonomy, patients have the right to be self-determining in decisions about their own medical care, which includes the right to refuse treatment. However, a treatment refusal may legitimately be overridden in cases where the decision is judged to be incompetent. It has recently been proposed that in assessments of competence, attention should be paid to the evaluative judgments that guide patients' treatment decisions.In this paper I examine this claim in light of theories of (...) practical rationality, focusing on the difficult case of an anorexic person who is judged to be competent and refuses treatment, thereby putting themselves at risk of serious harm. I argue that the standard criteria for competence assess whether a treatment decision satisfies the goals of practical decision-making, and that this same criterion can be applied to a patient's decision-guiding commitments. As a consequence I propose that a particular understanding of practical rationality offers a theoretical framework for justifying involuntary treatment in the anorexia case. (shrink)
This study examined how leaders’ moral competence is linked to employees’ task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Based on a sample of 102 employee–supervisor pairs from seven organizations in South Korea, the results of this study revealed that leaders’ moral competence was positively associated with employees’ task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors toward leaders (OCBS). As expected, employees’ psychological empowerment partially mediated the relationship between leaders’ moral competence and employees’ task performance and OCBS. Furthermore, person–supervisor fit (PS (...) fit) moderated the relationship between leaders’ moral competence and employees’ psychological empowerment such that the relationships became stronger for individuals higher rather than lower in PS fit. (shrink)
A competence model describes the abstract structure of a solution to some problem. or class of problems, facing the would-be intelligent system. Competence models can be quite derailed, specifying far more than merely the function to be computed. But for all that, they are pitched at some level of abstraction from the details of any particular algorithm or processing strategy which may be said to realize the competence. Indeed, it is the point and virtue of such models (...) to specify some equivalence class of algorithms/processing strategies so that the common properties highlighted by the chosen class may feature in psychologically interesting accounts. A question arises concerning the type of relation a theorist might expect to hold between such a competence model and a psychologically real processing strategy. Classical work in cognitive science expects the actual processing to depend on explicit or tacit knowledge of the competence theory. Connectionist work, for reasons to be explained, represents a departure from this norm. But the precise way in which a connectionist approach may disturb the satisfying classical symmetry of competence and processing has yet to be properly specified. A standard ?Newtonian? connectionist account, due to Paul Smolensky, is discussed and contrasted with a somewhat different ?rogue? account. A standard connectionist understanding has it that a classical competence theory describes an idealized subset of a network's behaviour. But the network's behaviour is not to be explained by its embodying explicit or tacit knowledge of the information laid out in the competence theory. A rogue model, by contrast, posits either two systems, or two aspects of a single system, such that one system does indeed embody the knowledge laid out in the competence theory. (shrink)
According to Emma Borg, minimalism is (roughly) the view that natural language sentences have truth conditions, and that these truth conditions are fully determined by syntactic structure and lexical content. A principal motivation for her brand of minimalism is that it coheres well with the popular view that semantic competence is underpinned by the cognition of a minimal semantic theory. In this paper, I argue that the liar paradox presents a serious problem for this principal motivation. Two lines (...) of response to the problem are discussed, and difficulties facing those responses are raised. I close by issuing a challenge: to construe the principal motivation for BM in such a way so as to avoid the problem of paradox. (shrink)
In this article complexity results for adaptive logics using the minimal abnormality strategy are presented. It is proven here that the consequence set of some recursive premise sets is $\Pi _1^1 - complete$ . So, the complexity results in (Horsten and Welch, Synthese 158:41–60,2007) are mistaken for adaptive logics using the minimal abnormality strategy.
Competent decision-making is required for informed consent. In this paper, I aim, from a phenomenological perspective, to identify the specific facets of competent decision-making that may form a challenge to depressed patients. On a phenomenological account, mood and emotions are crucial to the way in which human beings encounter the world. More precisely, mood is intimately related to the options and future possibilities we perceive in the world around us. I examine how possibilities should be understood in this context, and (...) how, in depression, decision-making might be compromised. I suggest that, based on this analysis, a specific emphasis and alertness in assessments of competence in depressed patients is called for. In fact, close attention should be paid to the range of future possibilities depressed patients are able to perceive. In addition, providing environmental cues to these patients might be one way of enhancing their decision-making capacity. The practical suggestions arrived at are open to empirical research. (shrink)
There is a growing interest in ethical competence-building within nursing and health care practising. This tendency is accompanied by a remarkable growth of ethical guidelines. Ethical demands have also been laid down in laws. Present-day practitioners and researchers in health care are thereby left in a virtual cross-fire of various legislations, codes, and recommendations, all intended to guide behaviour. The aim of this paper was to investigate the role of ethical guidelines in the process of ethical competence-building within (...) health care practice and medical research. A conceptual and critical philosophical analysis of some paragraphs of the Helsinki Declaration and of relevant literature was performed. Three major problems related to ethical guidelines were identified, namely, the interpretation problem (there is always a gap between the rule and the practice, which implies that ethical competence is needed for those who are to implement the guidelines); the multiplicity problem (the great number of codes, declarations, and laws might pull in different directions, which may confuse the health care providers who are to follow them); and the legalisation problem (ethics concerns may take on a legal form, where ethical reflection is replaced by a procedure of legal interpretations). Virtue ethics might be an alternative to a rule based approach. This position, however, can turn ethics into a tacit knowledge, leading to poorly reflected and inconsistent ethical decisions. Ethical competence must consist of both being (virtues) and doing (rules and principles), but also of knowing (critical reflection), and therefore a communicative based model is suggested. (shrink)
The principle of autonomy presupposes Patient Decision Making Competence (PDMC). For a few decades a considerable amount of empirical research has been done into PDMC. In this contribution that research is explored. After a short exposition on four qualities involved in PDMC, different approaches to assess PDMC are distinguished, namely a negative and a positive one. In the negative approach the focus is on identifying psychopathologic conditions that impair sound decision making; the positive one attempts to assess whether a (...) patient actually has the required abilities and qualities. Characteristic of the latter approach is the use of (or development of) test-like instruments for PDMC assessment. Some of these tests are discussed and commented on. Although they may be useful in investigating aspects of PDMC, none of the described approaches and tests offers a reliable and valid method for PDMC assessment. In response to a potential misuse of tests, the concept of a supportive situation is briefly introduced in order to draw attention to the risk of prematurely deeming patients incompetent on the basis of low test scores, whereas their insufficient performance may be (partly) attributable to alack of situational support. Also, the need for and possibility of an emotionalist concept of PDMC are suggested, as an alternative to the more common rationalist one. In this regard,the legitimacy of competence being conceived as a presumption or fiction of law, deserves further investigation. (shrink)
BackgroundFor many decades, the debate on children’s competence to give informed consent in medical settings concentrated on ethical and legal aspects, with little empirical underpinnings. Recently, data from empirical research became available to advance the discussion. It was shown that children’s competence to consent to clinical research could be accurately assessed by the modified MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research. Age limits for children to be deemed competent to decide on research participation have been studied: generally (...) children of 11.2 years and above were decision-making competent, while children of 9.6 years and younger were not. Age was pointed out to be the key determining factor in children’s competence. In this article we reflect on policy implications of these findings, considering legal, ethical, developmental and clinical perspectives.DiscussionAlthough assessment of children’s competence has a normative character, ethics, law and clinical practice can benefit from research data. The findings may help to do justice to the capacities children possess and challenges they may face when deciding about treatment and research options. We discuss advantages and drawbacks of standardized competence assessment in children on a case-by-case basis compared to application of a fixed age limit, and conclude that a selective implementation of case-by-case competence assessment in specific populations is preferable. We recommend the implementation of age limits based on empirical evidence. Furthermore, we elaborate on a suitable model for informed consent involving children and parents that would do justice to developmental aspects of children and the specific characteristics of the parent-child dyad.SummaryPrevious research outcomes showed that children’s medical decision-making capacities could be operationalized into a standardized assessment instrument. Recommendations for policies include a dual consent procedure, including both child as well as parents, for children from the age of 12 until they reach majority. For children between 10 and 12 years of age, and in case of children older than 12 years in special research populations of mentally compromised patients, we suggest a case-by-case assessment of children’s competence to consent. Since such a dual consent procedure is fundamentally different from a procedure of parental permission and child assent, and would imply a considerable shift regarding some current legislations, practical implications are elaborated. (shrink)
In the study of cognitive processes, limitations on computational resources (computing time and memory space) are usually considered to be beyond the scope of a theory of competence, and to be exclusively relevant to the study of performance. Starting from considerations derived from the theory of computational complexity, in this paper I argue that there are good reasons for claiming that some aspects of resource limitations pertain to the domain of a theory of competence.
In order to protect patients against medical paternalism, patients have been granted the right to respect of their autonomy. This right is operationalized first and foremost through the phenomenon of informed consent. If the patient withholds consent, medical treatment, including life-saving treatment, may not be provided. However, there is one proviso: The patient must be competent to realize his autonomy and reach a decision about his own care that reflects that autonomy. Since one of the most important patient rights hinges (...) on the patient's competence, it is crucially important that patient decision making incompetence is clearly defined and can be diagnosed with the greatest possible degree of sensitivity and, even more important, specificity. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. There is little consensus in the scientific literature and even less among clinicians and in the law as to what competence exactly means, let alone how it can be diagnosed reliably. And yet, patients are deemed incompetent on a daily basis, losing the right to respect of their autonomy. In this article, we set out to fill that hiatus by beginning at the very beginning, the literal meaning of the term competence. We suggest a generic definition of competence and derive four necessary conditions of competence. We then transpose this definition to the health care context and discuss patient decision making competence. (shrink)
We challenge Gallagher’s distinction between the sense of ownership and the sense of agency as two separable modalities of experience of the minimal self and argue that a careful investigation of the examples provided to promote this distinction in fact reveals that SO and SA are intimately related and modulate each other. We propose a way to differentiate between the various notions of SO and SA that are currently used interchangeably in the debate, and suggest a more gradual reading (...) of the two that allows for various blends of SO and SA. Such an approach not only provides us with a richer phenomenology but also with a more parsimonious view of the minimal self. (shrink)
A structure (M, $ ,...) is called quasi-o-minimal if in any structure elementarily equivalent to it the definable subsets are exactly the Boolean combinations of 0-definable subsets and intervals. We give a series of natural examples of quasi-o-minimal structures which are not o-minimal; one of them is the ordered group of integers. We develop a technique to investigate quasi-o-minimality and use it to study quasi-o-minimal ordered groups (possibly with extra structure). Main results: any quasi-o-minimal ordered (...) group is abelian; any quasi-o-minimal ordered ring is a real closed field, or has zero multiplication; every quasi-o-minimal divisible ordered group is o-minimal; every quasi-o-minimal archimedian densely ordered group is divisible. We show that a counterpart of quasi-o-minimality in stability theory is the notion of theory of U-rank 1. (shrink)
This study uses theories of moral reasoning and moral competence to investigate how university codes of ethics, perceptions of ethical culture, academic pressure from significant others, and ethics pedagogy are related to the moral development of students. Results suggest that ethical codes and student perceptions of such codes affect their perceptions of the ethical nature of the cultures within these institutions. In addition, faculty and student discussion of ethics in business courses is significantly and positively related to moral (...) class='Hi'>competence among students. Our results point to the need to further examine the connections among academic institutional structures, ethics pedagogy, and students’ moral development. (shrink)
I argue that wrongdoers may be open to moral blame even if they lacked the capacity to respond to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. My initial argument turns on the suggestion that even an agent who cannot respond to specific moral considerations may still guide her behavior by her judgments about reasons. I argue that this explanation of a wrongdoer’s behavior can qualify her for blame even if her capacity for moral understanding is impaired. A second argument (...) is based on the observation that even when a blameworthy wrongdoer could have responded to moral considerations, this is often not relevant to her blameworthiness. Finally, I argue against the view that because blame communicates moral demands, only agents who can be reached by such communication are properly blamed. I contend that a person victimized by a wrongdoer with an impaired capacity for moral understanding may protest her victimization in a way that counts as a form of moral blame even though it does not primarily express a moral demand or attempt to initiate moral dialogue. (shrink)
In Devitt’s view, linguistic intuitions are opinions about linguistic production of products, most often one’s own. They result frorn ordinary empirical investigation, so “they are immediate and fairly unreflectiveernpirical central-processor responses to linguistic phenomena”, which reactions are, moreover, theory-laden, where the ‘theory’ encompasses all sorts of speaker’s beliefs. The paper reconstructs his arguments, places his view on a map of alternative approaches to intuitions, and offers a defense of a minimalistic “voice-of-competence” view. First, intuitions are to be identified with (...) the data, the minimal “products” of tentative linguistic production of naïve speaker-listeners, and not with their opinions about the data. Second, the data involve no theory and very little prototheory. Third, although there might be admixtures of guesswork in the conscious production of data, these are routinely weaned out by linguists. Finally, mere acceptance of the “voice of competence” does not land us in any objectionable Cartesianism: it is cornpatible with naturalism and with distrust of a priori philosophy. (shrink)
It is nearly universally thought that the kind of decision-making competence that gives one a strong prima facie right to make one's own medical decisions essentially involves having an ability (or abilities) of some sort, or having a certain level or degree of ability (or abilities). When put under philosophical scrutiny, however, this kind of theory does not hold up. I will argue that being competent does not essentially involve abilities, and I will propose and defend a theory of (...) decision-making competence according to which one is competent only if one possesses a certain kind of rationality in making treatment decisions. (shrink)
The medical assessments of criminal responsibility and competence to consent to treatment are performed, developed and debated in distinct domains. In this paper I try to connect these domains by exploring the similarities and differences between both assessments. In my view, in both assessments a decision-making process is evaluated in relation to the possible influence of a mental disorder on this process. I will argue that, in spite of the relevance of the differences, both practices could benefit from the (...) recognition of this similarity. For cooperative research could be developed directed at elucidating exactly how various mental disturbances can affect decision-making processes. (shrink)
Minimal entities are, roughly, those that fall under notions defined by only deflationary principles. In this paper I provide an accurate characterization of two types of minimal entities: minimal properties and minimal facts. This characterization is inspired by both Schiffer's notion of a pleonastic entity and Horwich's notion of minimal truth. I argue that we are committed to the existence of minimal properties and minimal facts according to a deflationary notion of existence, and (...) that the appeal to the inferential role reading of the quantifiers does not dismiss this commitment. I also argue that deflationary existence is language-dependent existence—this clarifies why minimalists about properties and facts are not realists about these entities though their language may appear indistinguishable from the language of realists. (shrink)
Recently, theorists have pointed to the role of improvisation in practical reasoning and in gaining new moral knowledge. Laura and François Schroeter have gone even further by suggesting an account of competence with evaluative terms based on holistic improvisation. I argue, however, that they fail in their task. Through a challenge of their key claim against Allan Gibbard’s alternative account, I demonstrate that Schroeter and Schroeter provide only partial constraints on competence, and thus that their account lacks the (...) content to provide an alternative to substantive accounts in metaethics such as minimalism and neo-descriptivism. (shrink)
As it is known, there is no rule satisfying Additivity in the complete domain of bankruptcy problems. This paper proposes a notion of partial Additivity in this context, to be called µ-additivity. We find that µ-additivity, together with two quite compelling axioms, anonymity and continuity, identify the Minimal Overlap rule, introduced by Neill (1982).
In this article complexity results for adaptive logics using the minimal abnormality strategy are presented. It is proven here that the consequence set of some recursive premise sets is $\Pi _1^1 - complete$ . So, the complexity results in (Horsten and Welch, Synthese 158:41–60,2007) are mistaken for adaptive logics using the minimal abnormality strategy.
Philosophers of science have developed several accounts of how consideration of scientific models can prompt learning about real-world targets. In recent years, various authors advocated the thesis that consideration of so-called minimal models can prompt learning about such targets. In this paper, I draw on the philosophical literature on scientific modelling and on widely cited illustrations from economics and biology to argue that this thesis fails to withstand scrutiny. More specifically, I criticize leading proponents of such thesis for failing (...) to explicate in virtue of what properties or features minimal models supposedly prompt learning and for substantially overstating the epistemic import of minimal models. I then examine and refute several arguments one may put forward to demonstrate that consideration of minimal models can prompt learning about real-world targets. In doing so, I illustrate the implications of my critique for the wider debate on the epistemology of scientific modelling. (shrink)
Let P be the ω-orbit of a point under a unary function definable in an o-minimal expansion ℜ of a densely ordered group. If P is monotonically cofinal in the group, and the compositional iterates of the function are cofinal at +\infty in the unary functions definable in ℜ, then the expansion (ℜ, P) has a number of good properties, in particular, every unary set definable in any elementarily equivalent structure is a disjoint union of open intervals and finitely (...) many discrete sets. (shrink)
Building on a functionalist framework for decision-making in legal translation, a holistic approach to quality is presented in order to respond to the specificities of this field and overcome the shortcomings of general models of translation quality evaluation. The proposed approach connects legal, contextual, macrotextual and microtextual variables for the definition of the translation adequacy strategy, which guides problem-solving and the rest of the translation process. The same parameters remain traceable between the translation brief and the translation product both in (...) pre-delivery revision and in post-delivery assessment. They are the yardstick for identifying predictable evaluative criteria and competence requirements for translators and quality controllers. The implications of the approach on quality assessment and quality management practices are also discussed. Overall, the model illustrates the potential benefits of enhancing predictability and reducing subjectivity on the basis of specific legal translation methodologies. It supports the need for legal translation expertise in quality evaluation and the relevance of Legal Translation Studies to raising standards in professional practice. (shrink)
In this paper, we study VC-minimal theories and explore related concepts. We first define the notion of convex orderablity and show that this lies strictly between VC-minimality and dp-minimality. To do this we prove a general result about set systems with independence dimension ≤ 1. Next, we define the notion of weak VC-minimality, show it lies strictly between VC-minimality and dependence, and show that all unstable weakly VC-minimal theories interpret an infinite linear order. Finally, we define the notion (...) full VC-minimality, show that this lies strictly between weak o-minimality and VC-minimality, and show that theories that are fully VC-minimal have low VC-density. (shrink)
Cultural competence has become a ubiquitous and unquestioned aspect of professional formation in medicine. It has been linked to efforts to eliminate race-based health disparities and to train more compassionate and sensitive providers. In this article, I question whether the field of cultural competence lives up to its promise. I argue that it does not because it fails to grapple with the ways that race and racism work in U.S. society today. Unless we change our theoretical apparatus for (...) dealing with diversity to one that more critically engages with the complexities of race, I suggest that unequal treatment and entrenched health disparities will remain. If the field of cultural competence incorporates the lessons of critical race scholarship, however, it would not only need to transform its theoretical foundation, it would also need to change its name. (shrink)
In this paper I examine a contemporary debate about the general notion of linguistic rules and the place of context in determining meaning, which has arisen in the wake of a challenge that the conceptual framework of moral particularism has brought to the table. My aim is to show that particularism in the theory of meaning yields an attractive model of linguistic competence that stands as a genuine alternative to other use-oriented but still generalist accounts that allow room for (...) context-sensitivity in deciding how the linguistic rules would apply in concrete cases. I argue that the ideas developed in relation to particularism in meta-ethics illuminate a difficulty with the modest generalist view, one that can be resolved by adopting semantic particularism instead. (shrink)
Social externalism implies that many competences are not personal assets separable from social and cultural environments but complex states of affairs involving individuals and persisting features of social reality. The paper explores the consequences for competence identity over time and across contexts, and hence for the predictive role usually accorded to competences.