ABSTRACTGiven the existing inequities in climate change, any proposed climate engineering strategy to solve the climate problem must meet a high threshold for justice. In contrast to an overly thin paradigm for justice that demands only a science-based assessment of potential temperature-related benefits and harms, we argue for the importance of attention to recognitional justice. Recognitional justice, we go on to claim, calls for a different type of assessment tool. Such an assessment would pay attention to neglected considerations such as (...) relationships, context, power, vulnerability, narrative, and affect. Here we develop a care-ethics related tool for assessing the justice of climate engineering with stratospheric aerosols, and suggest that qualitative social science methods may be required for its effective application. We illustrate the use of this tool with a case study involving interviews about stratospheric aerosol injection conducted in Kenya, the Solomon Islands... (shrink)
Ethicists and social scientists alike have advocated for the inclusion of vulnerable populations in research and decision-making on climate engineering. Unfortunately, there have been few efforts to do so. The research presented in this paper was designed to build knowledge about how vulnerable populations think about climate engineering. The goal of this manuscript is to bring the ethics literature on climate engineering into dialogue with emerging social science data documenting the perspectives of vulnerable populations. The results indicate some concerns among (...) vulnerable populations may resemble those outlined by ethicists. However, the perspectives expressed by interviewees also extend previous ethical treatments by indicating ways in which climate engineering could compound existing injustices. (shrink)
Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management is a wide-ranging and expert analysis of the ethics of the intentional management of solar radiation. This book will be a useful tool for policy-makers, a provocation for ethicists, and an eye-opening analysis for both the scientist and the general reader with interest in climate change.
It has long been thought that science is our best hope for realizing objective knowledge, but that, to deliver on this promise, it must be value free. Things are not so simple, however, as recent work in science studies makes clear. The contributors to this volume investigate where and how values are involved in science, and examine the implications of this involvement for ideals of objectivity.
In this wide-ranging interview with three members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sao Paolo (Brazil) Wylie explains how she came to work on philosophical issues raised in and by archaeology, describes the contextualist challenges to ‘received view’ models of confirmation and explanation in archaeology that inform her work on the status of evidence and contextual ideals of objectivity, and discusses the role of non-cognitive values in science. She also is pressed to explain what’s feminist about (...) feminist research and in that connection outlines her account of feminist standpoint theory and the relevance of feminist analysis to science. (shrink)
Alison Wylie is one of the few full-time academic philosophers of the social and historical sciences on the planet today. And fortunately for us, she happens to specialise in archaeology! After emerging onto the archaeological theory scene in the mid-1980s with her work on analogy, she has continued to work on philosophical questions raised by archaeological practice. In particular, she explores the status of evidence and ideals of objectivity in contemporary archaeology: how do we think we know about the (...) past? Her other key interests include feminist initiatives in Anglo-American archaeology, and ethical conflicts in current archaeological practice. Kathryn Denning recently asked about her adventures in archaeology and academia and her thoughts on archaeology’s past, present, and future. (shrink)
Material traces of the past are notoriously inscrutable; they rarely speak with one voice, and what they say is never unmediated. They stand as evidence only given a rich scaffolding of interpretation which is, itself, always open to challenge and revision. And yet archaeological evidence has dramatically expanded what we know of the cultural past, sometimes demonstrating a striking capacity to disrupt settled assumptions. The questions we address in Evidential Reasoning are: How are these successes realized? What gives us confidence (...) in the credibility and robustness, the trustworthiness, of the evidential claims based on archaeological data? And, what constitute best practices in building evidential claims, critically scrutinizing them and putting them to work in archaeological contexts? Rather than retreat to abstractions about how how science operates in the ideal, we approach this question by interrogating a number of close-to-the-ground case studies with the aim of teasing out the wisdom embodied in archaeological practice. The cases we consider – of fieldwork, strategies for working with old evidence, and the role of external resources – illuminate the role of various types of inferential scaffolding and bring into focus practice-grounded epistemic norms that we believe serve archaeologists better than the all-or-nothing ideals of truth and objectivity that dominate programmatic debate. (shrink)
Two fundamental rules of reasoning are Universal Generalisation and Existential Instantiation. Applications of these rules involve stipulations such as ‘Let n be an arbitrary number’ or ‘Let John be an arbitrary Frenchman’. Yet the semantics underlying such stipulations are far from clear. What, for example, does ‘n’ refer to following the stipulation that n be an arbitrary number? In this paper, we argue that ‘n’ refers to a number—an ordinary, particular number such as 58 or 2,345,043. Which one? We do (...) not and cannot know, because the reference of ‘n’ is fixed arbitrarily. Underlying this proposal is a more general thesis: Arbitrary Reference : It is possible to fix the reference of an expression arbitrarily. When we do so, the expression receives its ordinary kind of semantic-value, though we do not and cannot know which value in particular it receives. Our aim in this paper is defend AR. In particular, we argue that AR can be used to provide an account of instantial reasoning, and we suggest that AR can also figure in offering new solutions to a range of difficult philosophical puzzles. (shrink)
Neither the range of potential results from genomic research that might be returned to participants nor future uses of stored data and biospecimens can be fully predicted at the outset of a study. Informed consent procedures require clear explanations about how and by whom decisions are made and what principles and criteria apply. To ensure trustworthy research governance, there is also a need for empirical studies incorporating public input to evaluate and strengthen these processes.
"[This book is] focused on the place of character and virtue in professional practice. Professional practices usually have codes of conduct designed to ensure good conduct; but while such codes may be necessary and useful, they appear far from sufficient, since many recent public scandals in professional life seem to have been attributable to failures of personal moral character. This book argues that there is a pressing need to devote more attention in professional education to the cultivation or development of (...) such moral qualities as integrity, courage, self-control, service and selflessness... [This] volume looks beyond traditional professions to explore the ethical dimensions of a broad range of important professional practices. Inspired by a successful international and interdisciplinary conference on the topic, the book examines various ways of promoting moral character and virtue in professional life from the general ethical perspective of contemporary neo-Aristotelian virtue theory."--. (shrink)
Human freedom is often characterised as a unique power of self-determination. Accordingly, free human action is often thought to be determined by the agent in some distinctive manner. What is more, this determination is widely assumed to be a kind of efficient-causal determination. In reaction to this efficient-causal-deterministic conception of free human action, this paper argues that if one takes up the understanding of determination and causality that is offered by Anscombe in ‘Causality and Determination’, and moreover takes up an (...) understanding of free human action that is constrained by Anscombe’s account of intentional action in Intention, then an account of free human action as distinctively caused or determined by the agent is untenable. However, the notion of necessitation that Anscombe presents in ‘Causality and Determination’, which implies neither causality nor determination, offers an attractive alternative account. This alternative account pushes us to reconsider the sense in which human freedom is a power of self-determination, and to acknowledge the limits of our control in free action. (shrink)
The requirements of education at Lagos. 15 Apr. 1892.--Primary, elementary, secondary, and supplementary education. 22 Jan. 1902.--Christian marriage. 26 May 1909.--Religious instruction in church schools. 28 May 1909.--Education of women. 18 May 1911.--The Rt. Rev. Bishop James Johnson, M.A., D.D. 1918.--The problems of education in Southern Nigeria. 9 Nov. 1920.--Our religion and our social life. 2 Oct. 1923.--Moral character. 5 July 1924.--The truth about my background and my career. 1924.--Religion as the basis of education. 1934.--Overseas scholarships for deserving Nigerian youths. (...) 3 Dec. 1935. (shrink)
Standpoint theory is based on the insight that those who are marginalized or oppressed have distinctive epistemic resources with which to understand social structures. Inasmuch as these structures shape our understanding of the natural and lifeworlds, standpoint theorists extend this principle to a range of biological and physical as well as social sciences. Standpoint theory has been articulated as a social epistemology and as an aligned methodological stance. It provides the rationale for ‘starting research from the margins’ and for expanding (...) the diversity of backgrounds and experience represented in scientific communities. (shrink)
I develop a theory of what we mean by the 'look' sentences that we use to describe our visual experiences, and on that basis develop a new adverbial theory of what it is to have a visual experience with a certain character.
My main aim is to clarify what we mean by ‘look’ sentences such as (1) below – ones that we use to talk about visual experience: -/- (1) The ball looked red to Sue -/- This is to help better understand a part of natural language that has so far resisted treatment, and also to help better understand the nature of visual experience. -/- By appealing to general linguistic principles I argue for the following account. First, we use (1) to (...) talk about an event. Second, we use the verb ‘look’ to specify the kind of event about which we are talking – it is a looking event. Third, we use the subject ‘the ball’ to specify a stimulus of the event – something that looks some way in the event. Fourth, we use the adjunct ‘to Sue’ to specify an experiencer of the event – someone to whom things look some way in the event. Finally, we use the complement ‘red’ to specify a way of the event – a way in which the event occurs (I take ways of occurring to be properties of events). Which way do we use ‘red’ in (1) to specify? I argue: the maximally specific way w such that the following is generically true: looking events whose stimulus is red occur in way w (it is important that this is understood generically: this is what does much of the work in explaining our use of (1) and other ‘look’ sentences). Putting this together, what we mean by (1) is: there was a looking event whose stimulus was the ball, whose experiencer was Sue, and which occurred in the maximally specific way that looking events occur when their stimulus is red. -/- This account of how we use ‘red’ in (1) is one of the most interesting aspects of my thesis. It extends to an account of how we use ‘proud’ in ‘John walks proud’, ‘as if he is American’ in ‘John talks as if he is American’, ‘like a duck’ in ‘John sounds like a duck’, and so on. In each case we use the expression in question to specify a way: the maximally specific way proud people walk, the maximally specific way American people talk, and so on. So the study of ‘look’ sentences has much to tell us about the functioning of many other English language constructions, and suggests that ways have a significant role to play in the semantics of natural language – a fact that has not yet been sufficiently recognised by linguists or philosophers of language. -/- My thesis also has implications for the philosophy of perception. One of the central questions about perception is: What is the nature of visual experience? What is it, for example, for a ball to look red to Sue? My thesis offers an answer: What it is for the ball to look red to Sue is for whatever it is that we mean by ‘The ball looks red to Sue’ to be the case, and what we mean by ‘The ball looks red to Sue’ is that there is a looking event whose stimulus is the ball, whose experiencer is Sue, and which is occurring in a certain way. It thus delivers an adverbial account of visual experience, one that has the resources to better deal with problems that are traditionally thought to be decisive against adverbial accounts. (shrink)
Reflecting the dangers of irresponsible science and technology, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein quickly became a mythic story that still feels fresh and relevant in the twenty-first century. The unique framework of the Frankenstein myth has permeated the public discourse about science and knowledge, creating various misconceptions around and negative expectations for scientists and for scientific enterprises more generally. Using the Frankenstein myth as an imaginative tool, we interviewed twelve scientists to explore how this science narrative shapes their views and perceptions of (...) science. Our results yielded two main conclusions. First, the Frankenstein myth may help scientists identify popular concerns about their work and offer a framework for constructing a more positive narrative. Second, finding optimistic science narratives may allow scientists to build a better relationship with the public. We argue that by showing the ethical principles and social dimensions of their work, scientists could replace a negative Frankenstein narrative with a more optimistic one. (shrink)
Feminist standpoint theory has been marginal to mainstream philosophical analyses of science–indeed, it has been marginal to science studies generally–and it has had an uneasy reception among feminist theorists. Critics of standpoint theory have attributed to it untenable foundationalist assumptions about the social identities that can underpin an epistemically salient standpoint, and implausible claims about the epistemic privilege that should be accorded to those who occupy subdominant social locations. I disentangle what I take to be the promising core of feminist (...) standpoint theory from this conflicted history of debate. I argue that non-foundationalist, non-essentialist arguments can be given (and have been given) for attributing epistemic advantage (rather than privilege) to some social locations and standpoints. They presuppose a situated knowledge thesis, and posit contingent advantage relative to epistemic purpose. I illustrate these claims in terms of the epistemic advantages that accrue to a fictional character, from Neely’s novel Blanche on the Lam, who represents a type of standpoint invoked by diverse advocates of standpoint theory: that of a race, class, and gender disadvantaged “insider-outsider” who has no choice, given her social location, but to negotiate the world of the privileged while at the same time being grounded in a community whose marginal status generates a fundamentally different understanding of how the world works. (shrink)
In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. -/- Preprints available for download. Please see entry for specific article of interest.
Since its first publication in 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus has transcended genres and cultures to become a foundational myth about science and technology across a multitude of media forms and adaptations. Following in the footsteps of the brilliant yet troubled Victor Frankenstein, professionals and practitioners have been debating the scientific ethics of creating life for decades, never before have powerful tools for doing so been so widely available. This paper investigates how engaging with the Frankenstein myth (...) may help scientists gain a more accurate understanding of their own beliefs and opinions about the social and ethical aspects of their profession and their work. The paper presents findings from phenomenological interviews with twelve scientists working on biotechnology, robotics, or artificial intelligence projects. The results suggest that the Frankenstein myth, and the figure of Victor Frankenstein in particular, establishes norms for scientists about what is considered unethical and dangerous in scientific work. The Frankenstein myth both serves as a social and ethical reference for scientists and a mediator between scientists and the society. Grappling with the cultural ubiquity of the Frankenstein myth prepares scientists to face their ethical dilemmas and create a more transparent research agenda. Meanwhile, by focusing on the differences between real scientists and the imaginary figure of Victor Frankenstein, scientists may avoid being labeled as dangerous individuals, and could better conceptualize the potential societal and ethical perceptions and implications of their research. (shrink)
As one of the best known science narratives about the consequences of creating life, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is an enduring tale that people know and understand with an almost instinctive familiarity. It has become a myth reflecting people’s ambivalent feelings about emerging science: they are curious about science, but they are also afraid of what science can do to them. In this essay, we argue that the Frankenstein myth has evolved into a stigma attached to scientists (...) that focalizes the public’s as well as the scientific community’s negative reactions towards certain sciences and scientific practices. This stigma produces ambivalent reactions towards scientific artifacts and it leads to negative connotations because it implies that some sciences are dangerous and harmful. We argue that understanding the Frankenstein stigma can empower scientists by helping them revisit their own biases as well as responding effectively to people’s expectations for, and attitudes towards, scientists and scientific artifacts. Debunking the Frankenstein stigma could also allow scientists to reshape their professional identities so they can better show the public what ethical and moral values guide their research enterprises. (shrink)
Port of Culture is a showcase of the images from a three year photographic project undertaken by photographer Pete Carr to capture the city of Liverpool in a different light. Award-winning photographer Carr is a specialist in HDR a technique that enables photographers to record a greater range of tonal detail than any camera could capture in a single photo, producing a 'painting-like' quality to the image. The end result is an incredible dynamic range of images capturing the (...) many moods of the city - from scenes of protests at the arrival of Condoleezza Rice, to local architecture old and new. Visually stunning, Port of Culture reveals the astonishing creativity of this young photographer while providing a wholly refreshing and entrancing take on a city evolving in front of our eyes. (shrink)
Innovative modes of collaboration between archaeologists and Indigenous communities are taking shape in a great many contexts, in the process transforming conventional research practice. While critics object that these partnerships cannot but compromise the objectivity of archaeological science, many of the archaeologists involved argue that their research is substantially enriched by them. I counter objections raised by internal critics and crystalized in philosophical terms by Boghossian, disentangling several different kinds of pluralism evident in these projects and offering an analysis of (...) why they are epistemically productive when they succeed. My central thesis is that they illustrate the virtues of epistemic inclusion central to proceduralist accounts of objectivity, but I draw on the resources of feminist standpoint theory to motivate the extension of these social -cognitive norms beyond the confines of the scientific community. (shrink)
Standpoint theory is an explicitly political as well as social epistemology. Its central insight is that epistemic advantage may accrue to those who are oppressed by structures of domination and discounted as knowers. Feminist standpoint theorists hold that gender is one dimension of social differentiation that can make such a difference. In response to two longstanding objections I argue that epistemically consequential standpoints need not be conceptualized in essentialist terms, and that they do not confer automatic or comprehensive epistemic privilege (...) on those who occupy them. Standpoint theory is best construed as conceptual framework for investigating the ways in which socially situated experience and interests make a contingent difference to what we know (well), and to the resources we have for determining which knowledge claims we can trust. I illustrate the advantages of this account in terms of two examples drawn from archaeological sources. (shrink)
David Carr’s Paradox of Subjectivity is a brilliant and challenging defense of the legitimacy and distinctiveness of the transcendental tradition in modern philosophy. Carr’s central claim is that the transcendental tradition is defined not by a metaphysical position, but rather by a methodological stance. Indeed, transcendentalism, he argues, involves no metaphysical commitments of any kind. He focuses this thesis by using it to address the later Heidegger’s charge that modern philosophy, from Descartes through to Nietzsche, and maybe Husserl (...) too, is essentially a metaphysics of the subject. (shrink)
Archaeological data are shadowy in a number of senses. Not only are they notoriously fragmentary but the conceptual and technical scaffolding on which archaeologists rely to constitute these data as evidence can be as constraining as it is enabling. A recurrent theme in internal archaeological debate is that reliance on sedimented layers of interpretative scaffolding carries the risk that “preunderstandings” configure what archaeologists recognize and record as primary data, and how they interpret it as evidence. The selective and destructive nature (...) of data capture in archeology further suggests that there may be little scope for putting “legacy” data to work in new ways. And yet archaeologists have been strikingly successful in mining old datasets for new insights. I situate these concerns in the broader context of debate about the epistemic standing of the historical sciences, and then consider three strategies by which archaeologists address the challenges posed by legacy data. The first two – secondary retrieval and recontextualization – are a matter of reconfiguring the scaffolding that underpins evidential reasoning. The third turns on redeploying old data in the context of computational models that support the experimental simulation of the cultural systems and contexts under study. (shrink)
Evelyn Underhill was one of the most widely read writers in spirituality in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to her nearly 40 books and hundreds of articles and reviews, Underhill wrote a significant number of letters of spiritual direction and led spiritual retreats in England in the 1920s and 1930s. Darkness and light are recurring themes in both Underhill’s letters of spiritual nurture and in the prayers that she wrote and selected for use when leading retreats. (...) These two themes also operate as a lens for exploring Underhill’s own personal, spiritual journey. In this article, the themes of darkness and light are explored in Underhill’s spiritual journey, in her soul care of others, as revealed through her letters, and in her prayers for retreat leading. Underhill provides us with wisdom concerning soul care for people experiencing darkness. She shows us how to help them endure and trust God when the light is gone. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur was one of the foremost interpreters and translators of Edmund Husserl's philosophy. These nine essays present Ricoeur's interpretation of the most important of Husserl's writings, with emphasis on his philosophy of consciousness rather than his work in logic. In Ricoeur's philosophy, phenomenology and existentialism came of age and these essays provide an introduction to the Husserlian elements which most heavily influenced his own philosophical position.