Referential opacity is the failure of substitutivity of identity (SI, for short) and in Quine’s view of existential generalization (EG, for short) as well. Quine thinks that its “solution” in epistemic and doxastic contexts, which relies on the notion of exportation, leads to undesirable results. But epistemic logicians such as Jaakko Hintikka and Wolfgang Lenzen provide another solution based on a different diagnosis: opacity is not, as in Quine’s view, due to the absence of reference, it is rather due (...) to the plurality of references; therefore, one must stabilize the reference to restore SI and EG. However, Hintikka’s semantics remains classical in its treatment of existence, which makes EG non-applicable to possible objects, while in Lenzen’s system, EG is applicable by means of a particular quantifier. But this requires adding the predicate of existence to account for real objects. In this paper, I will show the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions and will end by providing an alternative approach to the problem of non-existent objects, which stays into the frame of possible worlds semantics, but introduces some more restrictions, eliminates the problematic predicate of existence, and applies a neutral quantifier to possible non-existent objects. (shrink)
It is widely held that counterfactuals, unlike attitude ascriptions, preserve the referentialtransparency of their constituents, i.e., that counterfactuals validate the substitution of identicals when their constituents do. The only putative counterexamples in the literature come from counterpossibles, i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. Advocates of counterpossibilism, i.e., the view that counterpossibles are not all vacuous, argue that counterpossibles can generate referential opacity. But in order to explain why most substitution inferences into counterfactuals seem valid, counterpossibilists also often (...) maintain that counterfactuals with possible antecedents are transparency‐preserving. I argue that if counterpossibles can generate opacity, then so can ordinary counterfactuals with possible antecedents. Utilizing an analogy between counterfactuals and attitude ascriptions, I provide a counterpossibilist‐friendly explanation for the apparent validity of substitution inferences into counterfactuals. I conclude by suggesting that the debate over counterpossibles is closely tied to questions concerning the extent to which counterfactuals are more like attitude ascriptions and epistemic operators than previously recognized. (shrink)
It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
We demonstrate how to validly quantify into hyperintensional contexts involving non-propositional attitudes like seeking, solving, calculating, worshipping, and wanting to become. We describe and apply a typed extensional logic of hyperintensions that preserves compositionality of meaning, referentialtransparency and substitutivity of identicals also in hyperintensional attitude contexts. We specify and prove rules for quantifying into hyperintensional contexts. These rules presuppose a rigorous method for substituting variables into hyperintensional contexts, and the method will be described. We prove the following. (...) First, it is always valid to quantify into hyperintensional attitude contexts and over hyperintensional entities. Second, factive empirical attitudes validate, furthermore, quantifying over intensions and extensions, and so do non-factive attitudes, both empirical and non-empirical , provided the entity to be quantified over exists. We focus mainly on mathematical attitudes, because they are uncontroversially hyperintensional. (shrink)
Free logic is an important field of philosophical logic that first appeared in the 1950s. J. Karel Lambert was one of its founders and coined the term itself. The essays in this collection explore the philosophical foundations of free logic and its application to areas as diverse as the philosophy of religion and computer science. Amongst the applications on offer are those to the analysis of existence statements, to definite descriptions and to partial functions. The volume contains a proof that (...) free logics of any kind are non-extensional and then uses that proof to show that Quine's theory of predication and referentialtransparency must fail. The purpose of this collection is to bring an important body of work to the attention of a new generation of professional philosophers, computer scientists and mathematicians. (shrink)
According to normative judgment internalism (NJI), normative judgments -- that is, judgments of the form 'I ought to F' and the like -- are "essentially practical", in the sense that they are in some way essentially connected to practical reasoning, or to motivation for action. Many metaethicists believe that if NJI is true, then it would cast grave doubts on any robustly realist (RR) conception of normative judgments. These metaethicists are mistaken. This mistake about the relations between NJI and RR (...) seems to be due to hasty and undefended assumptions about the nature of belief. Any philosophical conception of belief that has the resources to deal with Frege's Puzzle (how to explain the apparent failures of referentialtransparency in belief ascriptions) will also have the resources to reconcile NJI and RR with respect to normative judgments. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Michael Levin argues that both statements reporting causal relations and causal explanatory statements are extensional. We show that his argument for the extensionality of causal explanatory statements fails to establish that conclusion. His claim that certain 'because' statements are elliptical for statements of what he terms the 'causal explanatory' form is unsubstantiated. The argument for the referentialtransparency of the allegedly explanatory form, regardless of whether it is a distinct explanatory form, fails because of (...) scope problems. Finally, we argue that the apparent referential opacity of explanations, the attribution of certain kinds of properties to explanations, and our satisfaction with explanations in what appear to be disparate forms are best accounted for, not by the assumption of ellipticality of statements in various forms for statements in some inherently explanatory form, but rather by an account of explanation as a speech act, the success or failure of which may be affected by which of several co-referring expressions is employed. (shrink)
An appraisal of the current status of the modalities and of quine's arguments against them. The author accepts "quine's thesis," that one cannot quantify into referentially opaque contexts, And argues that nobody has succeeded in making sense of such quantification. However, It is shown that modal constructions, Being constructions on general terms and sentences, Can be referentially transparent and extensionally opaque and that consequently the collapse of modal distinctions warned against by quine in "word and object" can be avoided. This (...) combination of referentialtransparency and extensional opacity is just what quine means by essentialism, And the author therefore agrees with quine that quantified modal logic commits one to essentialism. (shrink)
Let me begin by pointing out a number of potential misunderstandings in Pierre Livet’s densely written commentary. In the first paragraph, Pierre Livet writes, “phenomenal transparency involves an implication of the existence of the entities represented” . This is what I call the “extensionality equivocation” . As explained at length in BNO, “phenomenal transparency” has been a technical term in philosophy at least since G. E. Moore’s paper The Refutation of Idealism. In BNO, I offered a refined notion (...) of the concept. I also discussed at length that there are at least three other well-defined notions of “transparency” in the literature: epistemic transparency , referentialtransparency , and transparency as a property of information channels . I will not repeat myself here , but simply point out that the implication towards the existence of entities mentioned in certain sentences is a property of extensional contexts – and not, as Livet writes, of phenomenally transparent states. Let me quote from BNO, “transparency as a property of contexts is not what I am talking about here” . I assume that Livet’s first misunderstanding comes from the interesting analogy between sentences constituting extensional contexts and fully transparent phenomenal representations, which I drew attention to on the very same page. (shrink)
SummaryThis paper firms up previous arguments for referentialtransparency in intensional constructions by providing conclusive proofs of this, both formal and informal. Centrally the paper uses epsilon terms to symbolise referring expressions, and so it obtains the rigid designators needed to allow the same object to be referred to in all worlds and minds. The details of several contrary ideas are examined to reinforce the claim that they are incorrect. But also certain world‐dependent or mind‐dependent objects are identified, (...) using epsilon terms, to give an understanding of what might have caused the historical belief in referential opacity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the method of transparency --determining whether I believe that p by considering whether p -- does not explain our privileged access to our own beliefs. Looking outward to determine whether one believes that p leads to the formation of a judgment about whether p, which one can then self-attribute. But use of this process does not constitute genuine privileged access to whether one judges that p. And looking outward will not provide for access (...) to dispositional beliefs, which are arguably more central examples of belief than occurrent judgments. First, one’s dispositional beliefs as to whether p may diverge from the occurrent judgments generated by the method of transparency. Second, even in cases where these are reliably linked — e.g., in which one’s judgment that p derives from one’s dispositional belief that p — using the judgment to self-attribute the dispositional belief requires an ‘inward’ gaze. (shrink)
This chapter argues that rather than viewing transparency as a right, we should regard it as a finite resource whose allocation involves tradeoffs. It then argues that those tradeoffs should be resolved by using a multi-principle approach to distributive justice. The relevant principles include maximizing welfare, maximizing autonomy, and giving priority to the worst off. Finally, it examines some of the implications for law of recognizing the tradeoffs presented by transparency proposals.
Representationalism is a thesis about the phenomenal character of experiences, about their immediate subjective ‘feel’.1 At a minimum, the thesis is one of supervenience: necessarily, experiences that are alike in their representational contents are alike in their phenomenal character. So understood, the thesis is silent on the nature of phenomenal character. Strong or pure representationalism goes further. It aims to tell us what phenomenal character is. According to the theory developed in Tye 1995, phenomenal character is one and the same (...) as representational content that meets certain further conditions. One very important motivation for this theory is the so-called ? transparency of experience.? The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the appeal to transparency more carefully than has been done hithertofore, to make some remarks about the introspective awareness of experience in light of this appeal, and to consider one problem case for transparency at some length, that of blurry vision. Along the way, I shall also address some of the remarks Stephen Leeds makes in his essay on transparency. (shrink)
A common objection to sense-datum theories of perception is that they cannot give an adequate account of the fact that introspection indicates that our sensory experiences are directed on, or are about, the mind-independent entities in the world around us, that our sense experience is transparent to the world. In this paper I point out that the main force of this claim is to point out an explanatory challenge to sense-datum theories.
Intuitions about the transparency of experience have recently begun to play a key role in the debate about qualia. Specifically, such intuitions have been used by representationalists to support their view that the phenomenal character of our experience can be wholly explained in terms of its intentional content.[i] But what exactly does it mean to say that experience is transparent? In my view, recent discussions of transparency leave matters considerably murkier than one would like. As I will suggest, (...) there is reason to believe that experience is not transparent in the way that representationalism requires. Although there is a sense in which experience can be said to be transparent, transparency in this sense does not give us any particular motivation for representationalism—or at least, not the pure or strong representationalism that it is usually invoked to support. (shrink)
According to the thesis of transparency, subjects can attend only to the representational content of perceptual experience, never to the intrinsic properties of experience that carry this representational content, i.e., to “mental paint.” So far, arguments for and against transparency were conducted from the armchair, relying mainly on introspective observations. In this paper, we argue in favor of transparency, relying on the cognitive neuroscience of attention. We present a trilemma to those who hold that attention can be (...) directed to mental paint. Such attention is either first-order sensory, higher-order cognitive, or higher-order sensory attention. We argue that the notion of first-order sensory attention to mental paint is incompatible with the neuroscience of sensory attention; that higher-order cognitive attention to mental paint is irrelevant to transparency; and that the notion of higher-order sensory attention to mental paint has an apparently incoherent prediction. Via elimination, these considerations support the thesis of transparency. (shrink)
Questions about the transparency of evidence are central to debates between factive and non-factive versions of mentalism about evidence. If all evidence is transparent, then factive mentalism is false, since no factive mental states are transparent. However, Timothy Williamson has argued that transparency is a myth and that no conditions are transparent except trivial ones. This paper responds by drawing a distinction between doxastic and epistemic notions of transparency. Williamson's argument may show that no conditions are doxastically (...) transparent, but it fails to show that no conditions are epistemically transparent. Moreover, this reinstates the argument from the transparency of evidence against factive mentalism. (shrink)
According to the transparency approach, achievement of self-knowledge is a two-stage process: first, the subject arrives at the judgment ‘p’; second, the subject proceeds to the judgment ‘I believe that p.’ The puzzle of transparency is to understand why the transition from the first to the second judgment is rationally permissible. After revisiting the debate between Byrne and Boyle on this matter, I present a novel solution according to which the transition is rationally permissible in virtue of a (...) justifying argument that begins from a premise referring to the mental utterance that is emitted in the course of judging ‘p.’. (shrink)
I argue that the transparency of experience provides the basis of arguments both for intentionalism -- understood as the view that there is a necessary connection between perceptual content and perceptual phenomenology -- and for the view that the contents of perceptual experiences are Russellian propositions. While each of these views is popular, there are apparent tensions between them, and some have thought that their combination is unstable. In the second half of the paper, I respond to these worries (...) by arguing that Russellianism is consistent with intentionalism, that their conjunction is consistent with both internalism about phenomenology and externalism about perceptual content, and that the resulting view receives independent support from the relationship between hallucination and thought. (shrink)
Descartes is widely portrayed as the arch proponent of “the epistemological transparency of thought” (or simply, “Transparency”). The most promising version of this view—Transparency-through-Introspection—says that introspecting (i.e., inwardly attending to) a thought guarantees certain knowledge of that thought. But Descartes rejects this view and provides numerous counterexamples to it. I argue that, instead, Descartes’s theory of self-knowledge is just an application of his general theory of knowledge. According to his general theory, certain knowledge is acquired only through (...) clear and distinct intellection. Thus, in his view, certain knowledge of one’s thoughts is acquired only through clear and distinct intellection of one’s thoughts. Introspection is a form of intellection and it can be clear and distinct. Ordinarily, however, introspection isn’t clear and distinct but is instead confused with dubitable perceptions of bodies. To make introspection clear and distinct, we need to “sharply separate” it from all perceptions of bodies by doubting all perceptions of bodies. Without such radical doubt, introspection remains confused and we lack certain knowledge not just of the specific features of our thoughts, but even of the minimal claim that a thought exists. Far from being the high priest of Transparency, Descartes is radically opposed to it. (shrink)
A book review of _Free Choice: A Self-referential Argument_ by J. M. Boyle, Jr., G. Grisez, and O. Tollefsen. The review concerns the pragmatical self-referential argument employed in the book, and points to the fact that the argument is itself self-referentially inconsistent, but on the level of metalogical self-reference.
Perceptual experience is often said to be transparent; that is, when we have a perceptual experience we seem to be aware of properties of the objects around us, and never seem to be aware of properties of the experience itself. This is a (purported) introspective fact. It is also often said that we can infer a metaphysical fact from this introspective fact, e.g. a fact about the nature of perceptual experience. A transparency theory fills in the details for these (...) two facts, and bridges the gap between them. Our aim in this paper is threefold: to scrutinize Michael Tye's transparency theory (2002, 2009, 2014a), introduce a new transparency theory, and advance a meta-theoretical hypothesis about the interest and import of transparency theories in general. (shrink)
Recently representationalists have cited a phenomenon known as the transparency of experience in arguments against the qualia theory. Representationalists take transparency to support their theory and to work against the qualia theory. In this paper I argue that representationalist assessment of the philosophical importance of transparency is incorrect. The true beneficiary of transparency is another theory, naïve realism. Transparency militates against qualia and the representationalist theory of experience. I describe the transparency phenomenon, and I (...) use my description to argue for naïve realism and against representationalism and the qualia theory. I also examine the relationship between phenomenological study and phenomenal character, and discuss the results in connection with the argument from hallucination. (shrink)
The paper investigates the ethics of information transparency (henceforth transparency). It argues that transparency is not an ethical principle in itself but a pro-ethical condition for enabling or impairing other ethical practices or principles. A new definition of transparency is offered in order to take into account the dynamics of information production and the differences between data and information. It is then argued that the proposed definition provides a better understanding of what sort of information should (...) be disclosed and what sort of information should be used in order to implement and make effective the ethical practices and principles to which an organisation is committed. The concepts of “heterogeneous organisation” and “autonomous computational artefact” are further defined in order to clarify the ethical implications of the technology used in implementing information transparency. It is argued that explicit ethical designs, which describe how ethical principles are embedded into the practice of software design, would represent valuable information that could be disclosed by organisations in order to support their ethical standing. (shrink)
Virtue-based research in business ethics has increased over the last two decades, but most of the research has focused on the actions of an individual person. In this article, we examine the associations among team-level virtues using data from two studies. Specifically, we investigate whether transparency (usually thought to be an organizational-or collective-level construct), behavioral integrity (usually thought to be an individuallevel construct), and trust (usually thought to be an individual-level construct) can be conceptualized and operate at the team (...) level of analysis and, if so, what their relationships are to team performance. Using Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis, we found in both studies that team transparency was positively related to team behavioral integrity, which in turn was positively related to team trust. We also found evidence of a positive relationship between team trust and team performance. Implications of these findings for future teams and ethics research are discussed. (shrink)
An important question in epistemology is whether the KK principle is true, i.e., whether an agent who knows that p is also thereby in a position to know that she knows that p. We explain how a “transparency” account of self-knowledge, which maintains that we learn about our attitudes towards a proposition by reflecting not on ourselves but rather on that very proposition, supports an affirmative answer. In particular, we show that such an account allows us to reconcile a (...) version of the KK principle with an “externalist” or “reliabilist” conception of knowledge commonly thought to make that principle particularly problematic. (shrink)
This paper critically examines currently influential transparency accounts of our knowledge of our own beliefs that say that self-ascriptions of belief typically are arrived at by “looking outward” onto the world. For example, one version of the transparency account says that one self-ascribes beliefs via an inference from a premise to the conclusion that one believes that premise. This rule of inference reliably yields accurate self-ascriptions because you cannot infer a conclusion from a premise without believing the premise, (...) and so you cannot infer from a premise that you believe the premise unless you do believe it. I argue that this procedure cannot be a source of justification, however, because one can be justified in inferring from p that q only if p amounts to strong evidence that q is true. This is incompatible with the transparency account because p often is not very strong evidence that you believe that p. For example, unless you are a weather expert, the fact that it will rain is not very strong evidence that you believe it will rain. After showing how this intuitive problem can be made precise, I conclude with a broader lesson about the nature of inferential justification: that beliefs, when justified, must be underwritten by beliefs, when justified, must be underwritten by evidential relationships between the facts or propositions which those beliefs represent. (shrink)
Philosophers frequently comment on the intimate connection there is between something’s being present in perceptual experience and that thing’s being, or at least appearing to be, temporally present. Yet, there is relatively little existing work that goes beyond asserting such a connection and instead examines its specific nature. In this paper, I suggest that we can make progress on the latter by looking at two more specific debates that have hitherto been conducted largely isolation from each other: one about the (...) nature of conscious experience and one about the nature of time itself. The first concerns the extent to which the temporal properties of experience form an exception to the transparency of experience, meaning that introspection can provide support for one particular view of how experience itself is structured temporally; the second concerns the question as to whether there is something about experience that gives us grounds for thinking that the present is somehow metaphysically special. As I argue, the idea of a connection between experiential presence and temporal presence plays a key background role in each of these debates. Yet it can also, in each of them, be seen to draw one side towards making claims that are supposed to express an important truth but are at the same time, on the face of it, self-contradictory. In each case, resolving what it actually is that these claims are trying to get at turns on recognizing a distinctive feature of perceptual experience, which I refer to as its lack of temporal viewpointedness. Recognising this feature also helps in making sense of what the issues at stake actually are in the intuition of an intimate connection between experiential presence and temporal presence. (shrink)
A representationalist analysis of strong first-person phenomena is developed (Baker 1998), and it is argued that conscious, cognitive self-reference can be naturalized under this representationalist analysis. According to this view, the phenomenal first-person perspective is a condition of possibility for the emergence of a cognitive first-person perspective. Cognitive self-reference always is reference to the phenomenal content of a transparent self-model. The concepts of phenomenal transparency and introspection are clarified. More generally, I suggest that the concepts of phenomenal opacity and (...) phenomenal transparency are interesting instruments for analyzing conscious, self-representational content, and that their relevance in understanding reflexive, i.e., cognitive subjectivity may have been overlooked in the past. (shrink)
The term “corporate transparency” is frequently used in scholarly discussions of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR); however, it remains a volatile and imprecise term, often defined incompletely as “information disclosure” accomplished through standardized reporting. Based on the results of empirical studies of organizational behaviors, this paper identifies a new set of managerial practices based on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and particularly Internet-based tools. These practices are resulting in what can be termed “dynamic (...) class='Hi'>transparency.” ICT allows for an informational environment characterized by two-way exchange between corporations and their stakeholders, which fosters a more collaborative marketplace. It is proposed that such dynamic information sharing, conducted by means of ICT, drives organizations to display greater openness and accountability, and more transparent operations, which benefit both the corporations and their constituents. One of the most important outcomes that will accrue to consumers and other individuals is the “right to know,” especially about corporate strategies and activities that might directly affect their quality of life. This paper demonstrates that dynamic transparency is more desirable and more effective than the more common “static transparency” where firms’ information disclosure is one-way, usually in response to government regulation. We present three ethical arguments to justify the implementation by business firms of dynamic transparency and demonstrate that their doing so is related to CSR and to augment and complement stakeholder engagement and dialogue. The paper concludes with a summary of the possible limits to and the problems involved in the implementation of dynamic transparency for corporations, and suggests some strategies to counter them. (shrink)
I argue that explanations of doxastic transparency which go via an appeal to an aim or norm of belief are problematic. I offer a new explanation which appeals to a biological function of our mechanisms for belief production. I begin by characterizing the phenomenon, and then move to the teleological and normative accounts of belief, advertised by their proponents as able to give an explanation of it. I argue that, at the very least, both accounts face serious difficulties in (...) this endeavour. These difficulties are a function of seeking an explanation of transparency at the agential level, either with the subject aiming at truth, or being guided by a norm of truth. I adopt a motivational account of belief, one which severs the connection between belief and truth, and supplement this with an account of actual world beliefs. My alternative explanation is found at the sub-intentional, non-agential level, secured by biology. This explanation casts transparency not as related to the nature of deliberation over what to believe, but rather as contingently characterizing the beliefs of some believers, namely those with a particular biological history. My explanation thus parts company with what has come before along two dimensions: it moves away from transparency being something related to the agent’s aims or commitments, and it understands it as a contingent phenomenon. I close by considering an objection to my view—that transparency must not be understood as a contingent phenomenon—and a nearby alternative position which avoids this consequence. I respond to this objection and give reasons not to endorse the nearby alternative. I conclude that my explanation does not face the difficulties of those offered by teleologists and normativists, and, that by moving away from agential explanations, and casting transparency as contingent, we can provide a successful explanation of it. (shrink)
In recent years several approaches—philosophical, sociological, psychological—have been developed to come to grips with our profoundly technologically mediated world. However, notwithstanding the vast merit of each, they illuminate only certain aspects of technological mediation. This paper is a preliminary attempt at a philosophical reflection on technological mediation as such—deploying the concepts of ‘transparency’ and ‘opacity’ as heuristic instruments. Hence, we locate a ‘theory of transparency’ within several theoretical frameworks—respectively classic phenomenology, media theory, Actor Network Theory, postphenomenology, several ethnographical, (...) psychological, and sociological perspectives, and finally, the Critical Theory of Technology. Subsequently, we render a general, systematic overview of these theories, thereby conjecturing what a broad analysis of technological mediation in and of itself might look like—finding, at last, an essential contradiction between transparency of ‘use’ and transparency of social origins and effects. (shrink)
Disputes at the intersection of national security, surveillance, civil liberties, and transparency are nothing new, but they have become a particularly prominent part of public discourse in the years since the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001. This is in part due to the dramatic nature of those attacks, in part based on significant legal developments after the attacks (classifying persons as “enemy combatants” outside the scope of traditional Geneva protections, legal memos by White House counsel (...) providing rationale for torture, the USA Patriot Act), and in part because of the rapid development of communications and computing technologies that enable both greater connectivity among people and the greater ability to collect information about those connections. -/- One important way in which these questions intersect is in the controversy surrounding bulk collection of telephone metadata by the U.S. National Security Agency. The bulk metadata program (the “metadata program” or “program”) involved court orders under section 215 of the USA Patriot Act requiring telecommunications companies to provide records about all calls the companies handled and the creation of database that the NSA could search. The program was revealed to the general public in June 2013 as part of the large document leak by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA. -/- A fair amount has been written about section 215 and the bulk metadata program. Much of the commentary has focused on three discrete issues. First is whether the program is legal; that is, does the program comport with the language of the statute and is it consistent with Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures? Second is whether the program infringes privacy rights; that is, does bulk metadata collection diminish individual privacy in a way that rises to the level that it infringes persons’ rights to privacy? Third is whether the secrecy of the program is inconsistent with democratic accountability. After all, people in the general public only became aware of the metadata program via the Snowden leaks; absent those leaks, there would have not likely been the sort of political backlash and investigation necessary to provide some kind of accountability. -/- In this chapter I argue that we need to look at these not as discrete questions, but as intersecting ones. The metadata program is not simply a legal problem (though it is one); it is not simply a privacy problem (though it is one); and it is not simply a secrecy problem (though it is one). Instead, the importance of the metadata program is the way in which these problems intersect and reinforce one another. Specifically, I will argue that the intersection of the questions undermines the value of rights, and that this is a deeper and more far-reaching moral problem than each of the component questions. (shrink)
Byrne offers a novel interpretation of the idea that the mind is transparent to its possessor, and that one knows one’s own mind by looking out at the world. This paper argues that his attempts to extend this picture of self-knowledge force him to sacrifice the theoretical parsimony he presents as the primary virtue of his account. The paper concludes by discussing two general problems transparency accounts of self-knowledge must address.
My first aim in this paper is to show that the transparency claim cannot serve the purpose to which it is assigned; that is, the idea that perceptual experience is transparent is no help whatsoever in motivating an externalist account of phenomenal character. My second aim is to show that the internalist qualia theorist's response to the transparency idea has been unnecessarily concessive to the externalist. Surprisingly, internalists seem to allow that much of the phenomenal character of perceptual (...) experience depends essentially (and not just causally) upon externally located properties. They argue that we can also be aware of internal, non-intentional qualia. I present an alternative response the internalist can make to the transparency claim: phenomenal character is wholly internal, and seeming to be aware of externally located properties just is being aware of internally constituted experiential features. (shrink)
Many philosophers have sought to account for doxastic and epistemic norms by supposing that belief ‘aims at truth.’ A central challenge for this approach is to articulate a version of the truth-aim that is at once weak enough to be compatible with the many truth-independent influences on belief formation, and strong enough to explain the relevant norms in the desired way. One phenomenon in particular has seemed to require a relatively strong construal of the truth-aim thesis, namely ‘transparency’ in (...) doxastic deliberation. In this paper, I argue that the debate over transparency has been in the grip of a false presupposition, namely that the phenomenon must be explained in terms of being a feature of deliberation framed by the concept of belief. Giving up this presupposition makes it possible to adopt weaker and more plausible versions of the truth-aim thesis in accounting for doxastic and epistemic norms. (shrink)
We say that a sentence A is a permissive consequence of a set X of premises whenever, if all the premises of X hold up to some standard, then A holds to some weaker standard. In this paper, we focus on a three-valued version of this notion, which we call strict-to-tolerant consequence, and discuss its fruitfulness toward a unified treatment of the paradoxes of vagueness and self-referential truth. For vagueness, st-consequence supports the principle of tolerance; for truth, it supports (...) the requisite of transparency. Permissive consequence is non-transitive, however, but this feature is argued to be an essential component to the understanding of paradoxical reasoning in cases involving vagueness or self-reference. (shrink)
This article evaluates the potential of the current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda for addressing issues related to societal governance. The investigation focuses on the experience of the oil and gas sector, which has been among the leading industry sectors in championing CSR. In particular, the article analyses the issue of revenue transparency, which has been the principal governance challenge addressed by multinational oil and gas companies. The article suggests that (1) tackling governance challenges is crucial to addressing the (...) impact of corporate activities; (2) current CSR and policy initiatives are entirely insufficient in addressing governance challenges and (3) corporate activities may be contributing to governance failures. (shrink)
It is often said that some kind of peripheral (or inattentional) conscious awareness accompanies our focal (attentional) consciousness. I agree that this is often the case, but clarity is needed on several fronts. In this paper, I lay out four distinct theses on peripheral awareness and show that three of them are true. However, I then argue that a fourth thesis, commonly associated with the so-called "self-representational approach to consciousness," is false. The claim here is that we have outer focal (...) consciousness accompanied often (or even always) by inner peripheral (self-)awareness. My criticisms stem from both methodological and phenomenological considerations. In doing so, I offer a diagnosis as to why the fourth thesis has seemed true to so many and also show how the so-called "transparency of experience," frequently invoked by representationalists, is importantly relevant to my diagnosis. Finally, I respond to several objections and to further attempts to show that thesis four is true. What emerges is that if one wishes to hold that some form of self-awareness accompanies all outer-directed conscious states, one is better off holding that such self-awareness is itself unconscious, as is held for example by standard higher-order theories of consciousness. (shrink)
This article presents the results of the longitudinal study of Addiopizzo, a successful anti-bribery organization founded in Sicily in 2004. It analyzes how this organization has used information disclosure as a strategy to fight adverse environmental conditions and the immoral activities of the Sicilian Mafia. This article extends the business ethics and corporate social responsibility literature by showing how multi-level strategic information disclosure processes can help gain organizational legitimacy in adverse social environments and successfully fight against social resistance to change, (...) low levels of moral imagination and attacks from criminal organizations. This article provides an additional contribution to the literature by linking the three research streams on corporate transparency, the fight against corruption, and organizational legitimacy. The results of this research also contribute to the special issue of the EBEN AC 2010, “Which values for which organizations”, since it provides a unique example of an organization capable of spreading the values of social justice and honesty in a difficult social environment plagued by Mafia. (shrink)
Two popular theses central to recent theorizing about consciousness are the transitivity principle and the transparency of experience. According to the former, conscious mental states are mental states we are aware of in some way. According to the latter, there is some awareness-relation that we seemingly cannot bear to our experiences. I argue that, within certain reasonable constraints, there is no precisification of these theses that renders them compatible.
Developing trust in a company is a significant part of building the company-consumer relationship. Previous studies have sought to identify the positive consequences of trust such as loyalty and repurchase, but the question of what builds trust remains largely unanswered. To answer the question, we developed a model that depicts the relationships among transparency, social responsibility, trust, attitude, word-of-mouth (WOM) intention, and purchase intention. An online survey was conducted with a US nationwide sample of 303 consumers, and the data (...) were analyzed using the structural equation modeling method. The results indicated that consumers’ perceptions of a corporation’s efforts to be transparent in the production and labor conditions and to be socially responsible by giving back to the local community directly affected these consumers’ trust and attitudes toward the corporation, and indirectly affected their intentions to purchase from and spread positive WOM about the corporation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
In his paper, The Transparency of Experience, M.G.F. Martin has put forward a well- known – though not always equally well understood – argument for the disjunctivist, and against the intentional, approach to perceptual experiences. In this article, I intend to do four things: (i) to present the details of Martin’s complex argument; (ii) to defend its soundness against orthodox intentionalism; (iii) to show how Martin’s argument speaks as much in favour of experiential intentionalism as it speaks in favour (...) of disjunctivism; and (iv) to argue that there is a related reason to prefer experiential intentionalism over Martin’s version of disjunctivism. (shrink)
So-called "transparency theories" of self-knowledge, inspired by a remark of Gareth Evans, claim that we can obtain knowledge of our own beliefs by directing out attention towards the world, rather than introspecting the contents of our own minds. Most recent transparency theories concentrate on the case of self-knowledge concerning belief and desires. But can a transparency account be generalised to knowledge of one's own perceptions? In a recent paper, Alex Byrne (2012) argues that we can know what (...) we see by inferring from visual facts about our environment because such facts can exclusively be known by us through vision. I discuss his proposal and object that visual facts, as conceived of by Byrne, are odd: they cannot be remembered and we cannot, as yet, write them down. More needs to be said about them to make his account plausible. (shrink)
Epistemic transparency tells us that, if an agent S knows a given proposition p , then S knows that she knows that p . This idea is usually encoded in the so-called KK principle of epistemic logic. The paper develops an argument in favor of a moderate version of KK , which I dub quasi-transparency , as a normative rather than a descriptive principle. In the second Section I put forward the suggestion that epistemic transparency is not (...) a demand of ideal rationality, but of ideal epistemic responsibility, and hence that ideally responsible agents verify transparency principles of some sort; I also contend that their satisfaction should not be tied to an internalist epistemology. The central argument in favor of transparency is then addressed in Sections 3 to 8, through the development of a formal system. I show that, in a well-behaved formal setting, a moderate version of transparency is imposed upon us as a result of a number of independent decisions on the structure of higher-order probabilities, as long as we request that our probability and knowledge attributions cohere with each other. Thus I give a rationale to build a model for a hierarchy of languages with different levels of knowledge and probability operators; we obtain an analogous to KK for successive knowledge operators without actually demanding transitivity. The formal argument reinforces the philosophical intuition that epistemic transparency is an important desideratum we should not be too ready to dismiss. (shrink)
With over 2 billion people lacking medicines for treatable diseases and 14 million people dying annually from infectious disease, there is undeniable need for increased access to medicines. There has been an increasing trend to benchmark the pharmaceutical industry on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance in access to medicines. Benchmarking creates a competitive inter-business environment and acts as incentive for improving CSR. This article investigates the corporate feedback discourses pharmaceutical companies make in response to criticisms from benchmarking reports. It (...) determines whether these responses are part of a healthy process in increasing access to medicines or a barrier to improvement. A qualitative analysis on the feedback the industry provided was performed, and the responses seen in these statements were grouped by analysing the language used, the ideas portrayed and atti- tudes of the companies. Increasing transparency through benchmarking is a powerful tool which reveals the industry’s shortfalls to the public, affects the decisions of socially responsible investors, and is a risk to their financial bottom line. This article demonstrates the importance of benchmarking and transparency in creating inter-business competition and the translation of these responses to actual access to medicine practices. (shrink)
Information theorists often construe new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as leveling mechanisms, regulating power relations at a distance by arming stakeholders with information and enhanced agency. Management theorists have claimed that transparency cultivates stakeholder trust, distinguishes a business from its competition, and attracts new clients, investors, and employees, making it key to future growth and prosperity. Synthesizing these claims, we encounter an increasingly common view: If corporations voluntarily adopted new ICTs in order to foster transparency, trust, and (...) growth, while embracing the redistributions of power they bring about, both corporations and stakeholders would benefit. The common view is short-sighted, however. In order to realize mutual benefit, transparency can not be conceived merely as efficient or economical. The implementation and use of new ICTs will be morally unsatisfactory unless they stably protect stakeholders. Moreover, without such protections, transparency is unlikely to produce lasting trust and growth. More specifically, corporate disclosures ought to be guided by a theory of stakeholder rights to know about threats or risks to stakeholders’ basic interests. Such rights are necessary moral protections for stakeholders in any business environment. Respect for transparency rights is not simply value added to a corporation’s line of goods and services, but a condition of a corporation’s justifiable claim to create value rather than harm, wrong, or injustice in its dealings. (shrink)
This paper posits that differences in corporate governance structure partly result from differences in institutional arrangements linked to business systems. We developed a new international triad of business systems: the Anglo-American, the Communitarian and the Emerging system, building on the frameworks of Choi et al. (British Academy of Management (Kynoch Birmingham) 1996, Management International Review 39, 257–279, 1999). A common factor determining the success of a corporate governance structure is the extent to which it is transparent to market forces. Such (...)transparency is more than pure financial transparency; as it can also be based on factors such as governmental, banking and other types of institutional transparency mechanism. There may also be a choice for firms to adopt voluntary corporate disclosure in situations where mandatory disclosure is not established. The Asian financial crisis of 1997–1999 and the more recent corporate governance scandals such as Enron, Andersen and Worldcom in the United States and Ahold and Parmalat in Europe show that corporate governance and business ethics issues exist throughout the world. As an illustration we focus on Asia’s emerging1 markets, as, both in view of the pressure of globalization and taking into account the institutional arrangements peculiar to the emerging business system, these issues are important there. Particularly for those who have to find an accommodation between the corporate governance structures and disclosure standards of the Emerging system and those of the Anglo-American and Communitarian systems. (shrink)