It is a familiar experience to perceive a material object as maintaining a stable shape even though it projects differently shaped images on our retina as we move with respect to it, or as maintaining a stable color throughout changes in the way the object is illuminated. We also perceive sounds as maintaining constant timbre and loudness when the context and the spatial relations between us and the sound source change over time. But where does this perceptual invariance ‘come from’? (...) What is it about our perceptual systems that makes them able to ‘transform’ incoming unstable and fluctuating sensory inputs into generally stable and coherent conscious experiences? And what exactly do we experience as invariant in cases like those described above? There are two main approaches to the Problem of Perceptual Invariance: the Local-Inferential approach and the Global-Structural approach. Although both approaches include an account of the sub-personal perceptual mechanisms ‘stabilizing’ variant and invariant components in incoming sensory stimulation and a proposal regarding the phenomenology of perceptual invariance, in this paper I argue that the latter provides a better solution to the problem overall. (shrink)
Nowadays, philosophers and scientists tend to agree that, even though human and artificial intelligence work quite differently, they can still illuminate aspects of each other, and knowledge in one domain can inspire progress in the other. For instance, the notion of “artificial” or “synthetic” phenomenology has been gaining some traction in recent AI research. In this paper, we ask the question: what is the use of thinking about phenomenology in the context of AI, and in particular machine learning? We will (...) isolate one sense of “phenomenology”, namely the sense in which it is commonly understood within analytic philosophy of perception. Then, we will give examples of projects within sensory substitution and restoration science that rely heavily on machine learning and to which, according to us, phenomenology in the sense specified makes a relevant contribution. Finally, we will shed some light on what this contribution looks like and why it is important. (shrink)
Can philosophical theories of perception defer to perceptual science when fixing their ontological commitments regarding the objects of perception? Or in other words, can perceptual science inform us about the nature of perception? Many contemporary mainstream philosophers of perception answer affirmatively. However, in this essay I provide two arguments against this idea. On the one hand, I will argue that perceptual science is not committed to certain assumptions, relevant for determining perceptual ontology, which however are generally relied upon by philosophers (...) when interpreting such science. On the other hand, I will show how perceptual science often relies on another assumption, which I call the ‘Measuring instrument conception’ of sensory systems, which philosophers of perception should clearly reject. Given these two symmetric lines of argument, I will finally suggest that we ought to think differently about the relationship between perceptual science and the philosophy of perception. (shrink)
Why do some people become WNBA champions or Olympic gold medalists and others do not? What is ‘special’ about those very few incredibly skilled athletes, and why do they, in particular, get to be special? In this paper, I attempt to make sense of the relationship that there is, in the case of sports champions, between so-called ‘talent’, i.e. natural predisposition for particular physical activities and high-pressure competition, and practice/training. I will articulate what I take to be the ‘mechanism’ that (...) allows certain people to rise to the Olympus of athletic excellence, and what being part of this elite club ‘feels like’. My proposal is based on the idea that so-called talent and practice interact in complex and unsystematic ways. I will also argue that becoming a top athlete involves undergoing a special kind of transformation, which makes such people qualitatively different from any ‘normal’ sport amateur, even when the difference might not be immediately visible to the ‘untrained’ eye. (shrink)
Alva Noë understands what he calls “perceptual presence” as the experience of whole, voluminous objects being ‘right there’, present for us in their entirety, even though not each and every part of them impinges directly on our senses at any given time. How is it possible that we perceptually experience voluminous objects as voluminous directly and apparently effortlessly, with no need of inferring their three-dimensionality from experience of the part of them that is directly stimulating our sense organs? For Noë, (...) this is the ‘problem of perceptual presence’. In this paper, I integrate Noë’s view by articulating a different view of what perceptual presence at a more basic level amounts to. This new account of perceptual presence which, I believe, can clarify and make an enactive account of presence richer. The view I suggest revolves around the idea, developed especially by Merleau-Ponty and Kelly, that perceptual experience is in an important sense indeterminate. Indeterminacy, I argue, is key if we want to understand perceptual presence and the ‘problem’ Noë solves. (shrink)
One of the ways of analysing the relationship between music and emotions in through musical expressiveness. As the theory I discuss in this paper puts it, expressiveness in a particular kind of music's secondary quality or, to use the term which gives the theory its name, a _disposition_ of music to arouse a certain emotional response in listeners. The most accurate version of the dispositional theory is provided by Derek Matravers in his book _Art and Emotion_ and in other papers: (...) what I will try to do, then, is to illustrate Matravers theory and claim that it is a good solution to many problems concerning music and its capacity to affect our inner states. (shrink)
We-thinking theories allow groups to deliberate as agents. They have been introduced into the economic domain for both theoretical and empirical reasons. Among the few scholars who have proposed formal approaches to illustrate how we-thinking arises, Bacharach offers one of the most developed theories from the game theoretic point of view. He presents a number of intuitions, not always mutually consistent and not fully developed. In this article, I propose a way to complete Bacharach’s theory, generalizing the interdependence hypothesis and (...) building on his intuition about vacillation. It is a simple model of vacillation between the I and we-modes of reasoning, as a way in which we-thinking can come to mind in the face of a decision problem. The vacillation model makes we-reasoning more easily usable in game theory. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence systems have been widely applied to various contexts, including high-stake decision processes in healthcare, banking, and judicial systems. Some developed AI models fail to offer a fair output for specific minority groups, sparking comprehensive discussions about AI fairness. We argue that the development of AI systems is marked by a central paradox: the less participation one stakeholder has within the AI system’s life cycle, the more influence they have over the way the system will function. This means that (...) the impact on the fairness of the system is in the hands of those who are less impacted by it. However, most of the existing works ignore how different aspects of AI fairness are dynamically and adaptively affected by different stages of AI system development. To this end, we present a use case to discuss fairness in the development of corporate wellness programs using smart wearables and AI algorithms to analyze data. The four key stakeholders throughout this type of AI system development process are presented. These stakeholders are called service designer, algorithm designer, system deployer, and end-user. We identify three core aspects of AI fairness, namely, contextual fairness, model fairness, and device fairness. We propose a relative contribution of the four stakeholders to the three aspects of fairness. Furthermore, we propose the boundaries and interactions between the four roles, from which we make our conclusion about the possible unfairness in such an AI developing process. (shrink)
Notini et al 1 offer a timely addition in the wake of a significant increase in young people identifying as transgender and gender diverse. The authors focus specifically on the case of 18-year-old Phoenix’s request for ongoing puberty suppression to affirm a non-binary gender identity. A central issue raised by Phoenix’s predicament, and that I suggest we can extend to ethical consideration of requests for other types of medical intervention by binary and non-binary TGD individuals, is whether we should ‘affirm’ (...) the claims made by TGD young people about what promotes their well-being. As a clinician working with TGD young people who have undergone a range of medical interventions to align their bodies with their gender identity, my starting presumption is that it is important to respect what people think will help them: there are some TGD young people for whom, all things considered, medical interventions to affirm gender identity promote their well-being. Well-being has become an important conceptual currency in ethical debates and lies at the core of the authors’ analysis of Phoenix’s case. While the authors do not ground their argument in favour of OPS in a specific theory of well-being, welfarist considerations 2 appear to underpin …. (shrink)
Intellectual humility, I argue in this paper, is a cluster of strong attitudes directed toward one's cognitive make-up and its components, together with the cognitive and affective states that constitute their contents or bases, which serve knowledge and value-expressive functions. In order to defend this new account of humility I first examine two simpler traits: intellectual self-acceptance of epistemic limitations and intellectual modesty about epistemic successes. The position defended here addresses the shortcomings of both ignorance and accuracy based accounts of (...) humility. (shrink)
Clinical ethics consultation, as an activity that may be provided by clinical ethics committees and consultants, is nowadays a well-established practice in North America. Although it has been increasingly implemented in Europe and elsewhere, no agreement can be found among scholars and practitioners on the appropriate role or approach the consultant should play when ethically problematic cases involving conflicts and uncertainties come up. In particular, there is no consensus on the acceptability of consultants making recommendations, offering moral advice upon request, (...) and expressing personal opinions. We translate these issues into the question of whether the consultant should be neutral when performing an ethics consultation. We argue that the notion of neutrality 1) functions as a hermeneutical key to review the history of CEC as a whole; 2) may be enlightened by a precise assessment of the nature and goals of CEC; 3) refers to the normative dimension of CEC. Here, we distinguish four different meanings of neutrality: a neutral stance toward the parties involved in clinical decision making, toward the arguments offered to frame the discussion, toward the values and norms involved in the case, and toward the outcome of decision making, that is to say the final decision and action that will be implemented. Lastly, we suggest a non-authoritarian way to intend the term “recommendation” in the context of clinical ethics consultation. (shrink)
The use of ultrasonic scans in pregnancy makes it possible to observe the fetus undisturbed in the womb. Dr Alessandra Piontelli has done what no one has done before: she observed eleven fetuses in the womb using ultrasound scans, and then observed their development at home from birth up to the age of four years. She includes a description of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy of one of the research children, and the psychoanalysis of five other very young children whose behaviour (...) in analysis suggested that they were deeply preoccupied with their experience in the womb. Dr Piontelli has discovered what many parents have always thought - that each fetus, like each newborn baby, is a highly individual creature. By drawing on her experience as a child psychotherapist and psychoanalyst as well as on her observational research, she is able to investigate issues relating to individuality, psychological birth and the influence of maternal emotions during pregnancy. Her findings demonstrate clearly how psychoanalytical evidence enhances, deepens and supports observational data on the remarkable behavioural and psychological continuities between pre-natal and post-natal life. (shrink)
In this paper I provide an account of two forms of intellectual arrogance which cause the epistemic practices of conversational turn-taking and assertion to malfunction. I detail some of the ethical and epistemic harms generated by intellectual arrogance, and explain its role in fostering the intellectual vices of timidity and servility in other agents. Finally, I show that arrogance produces ignorance by silencing others (both preventing them from speaking and causing their assertions to misfire) and by fostering self-delusion in the (...) arrogant themselves. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes between two arguments based on measurement robustness and defends the epistemic value of robustness for the assessment of measurement reliability. I argue that the appeal to measurement robustness in the assessment of measurement is based on a different inferential pattern and is not exposed to the same objections as the no-coincidence argument which is commonly associated with the use of robustness to corroborate individual results. This investigation sheds light on the precise meaning of reliability that emerges from (...) measurement assessment practice. In addition, by arguing that the measurement assessment robustness argument has similar characteristics across the physical, social and behavioural sciences, I defend the idea that there is continuity in the notion of measurement reliability across sciences. (shrink)
Introduction / Alessandra Tanesini and Michael P. Lynch -- Reassessing different conceptions of argumentation / Catarina Dutilh Novaes -- Martial metaphors and argumentative virtues and vices / Ian James Kidd -- Arrogance and deep disagreement / Andrew Aberdein -- Closed-mindedness and arrogance / Heather Battaly -- Intellectual trust and the marketplace of ideas / Allan Hazlett -- Is searching the Internet making us intellectually arrogant? / J. Adam Carter and Emma C. Gordon -- Intellectual humility and the curse of (...) knowledge / Michael Hannon -- Bullshit and dogmatism : a discourse analytical perspective / Chris Heffer -- Polarization and the problem of spreading arrogance / Michael P. Lynch -- Arrogance, polarization and arguing to win / Alessandra Tanesini -- Partisanship, humility, and epistemic polarization / Thomas Nadelhoffer, Rose Graves, Gus Skorburg, Mark Leary, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong -- Science denial, polarization, and arrogance / Lee McIntyre -- The polarization toolkit / Quassim Cassam -- Epistemic rights in a polarized world : the right to know and the abortion / Debate Lani Watson. (shrink)
The Mismeasure of the Self is dedicated to vices that blight many lives. They are the vices of superiority, characteristic of those who feel entitled, superior and who have an inflated opinion of themselves, and those of inferiority, typical of those who are riddled with self-doubt and feel inferior. Arrogance, narcissism, haughtiness, and vanity are among the first group. Self-abasement, fatalism, servility, and timidity exemplify the second. This book shows these traits to be to vices of self-evaluation and describes their (...) pervasive harmful effects in some detail. Even though the influence of these traits extends to any aspect of life, the focus of this book is their damaging impact on the life of the intellect. Tanesini develops and defends a view of these vices that puts vicious motivations at their core. The analyses developed in this work build on empirical research in attitude psychology and on philosophical theories in virtue ethics and epistemology. The book concludes with a positive proposal for weakening vice and promoting virtue. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an original account of intellectual modesty and some of its surrounding vices: intellectual haughtiness, arrogance, servility and self-abasement. I argue that these vices are attitudes as social psychologists understand the notion. I also draw some of the educational implications of the account. In particular, I urge caution about the efficacy of direct instruction about virtue and of stimulating emulation through exposure to positive exemplars.
This paper focuses on the Enkratic principle of rationality, according to which rationality requires that if an agent sincerely and with conviction believes she ought to X, then X-ing is a goal in her plan. We analyze the logical structure of Enkrasia and its implications for deontic logic. To do so, we elaborate on the distinction between basic and derived oughts, and provide a multi-modal neighborhood logic with three characteristic operators: a non-normal operator for basic oughts, a non-normal operator for (...) goals in plans, and a normal operator for derived oughts. We prove two completeness theorems for the resulting logic, and provide a dynamic extension of the logic by means of product updates. We illustrate how this setting informs deontic logic by considering issues related to the filtering of inconsistent oughts, the restricted validity of deontic closure, and the stability of oughts and goals under dynamics. (shrink)
Alessandra Tanesini ABSTRACT: Arrogance has widespread negative consequences for epistemic practices. Arrogant people tend to intimidate and humiliate other agents, and to ignore or dismiss their views. They have a propensity to mansplain. They are also angry. In this paper I explain why anger is a common manifestation of arrogance in order to understand the...
After more than three centuries, Molyneux's question continues to challenge our understanding of cognition and perceptual systems. Locke, the original recipient of the question, approached it as a theoretical exercise relevant to long-standing philosophical issues, such as nativism, the possibility of common sensibles, and the empiricism-rationalism debate. However, philosophers were quick to adopt the experimentalist's stance as soon as they became aware of recoveries from congenital blindness through ophtalmic surgery. Such recoveries were widely reported to support empiricist positions, suggesting that (...) the question had found its empirical answer. Contrary to this common view, we argue that studies of patients recovering from early blindness through surgery cannot provide an answer. In fact, because of the very nature of such ophtalmological interventions it is impossible to test the question in the empirical conditions outlined by Molyneux. Thus we propose that Molyneux's question be treated as an early thought experiment of a specific kind. Although thought experiments of this kind cannot be turned into actual experimental conditions, they provide a conceptual restructuring of theories. Such restructuring in turn leads to new predictions that can then be tested by normal experiments. In accord with this interpretation, we show that Molyneux's question can be analyzed into a hierarchy of specific questions about vision in its phenomenal and sensory-motor components. Some of these questions do lead to actual experimental conditions that could be studied empirically. (shrink)
This article argues that intellectual character vices involve non-instrumental motives to oppose, antagonise, or avoid things that are epistemically good in themselves. This view has been the recent target of criticism based on alleged counterexamples presenting epistemically vicious individuals who are virtuously motivated or at least lack suitable epistemically bad motivations. The paper first presents these examples and shows that they do not undermine the motivational approach. Finally, having distinguished motivating from explanatory reasons for belief and action, it argues that (...) our epistemic practice of vice attribution supplies evidence in favour of motivational accounts of vice. (shrink)
Intellectual servility is a vice opposing proper pride about one's intellectual achievements. Intellectual timidity is also a vice; it is manifested in a lack of proper concern for others’ esteem. This paper offers an account of the nature of these vices and details some of the epistemic harms that flow from them. I argue that servility, which is often the result of suffering humiliation, is a form of damaged self-esteem. It is underpinned by attitudes serving social-adjustive functions and causes ingratiating (...) behaviors. Timidity, which is habituated through self-silencing, is underpinned by negative attitudes toward the intellectual worth of the self, which serve a defensive function. Like servility, timidity is an obstacle to the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and especially knowledge about oneself. (shrink)
Theories of assertion must explain how silencing is possible. This chapter defends an account of assertion in terms of normative commitments on the grounds that it provides the most plausible analysis of how individuals might be silenced when attempting to make assertions. The chapter first offers an account of the nature of silencing and defends the view that it can occur even in contexts where speakers’ communicative intentions are understood by their audience. Second, it outlines some of the normative commitments (...) characteristic of assertion when used in the speech act of telling;. This commitment view of assertion is then used to explain silencing as a matter of being deprived of the ability to make some of the commitments one is trying to acquire. Finally, the main rivals of the commitment view of assertion endorsed here are shown to be unable to account for silencing, at least when they are considered in their purest form. (shrink)
Alessandra Tanesini is a Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University working on epistemology and philosophy of language. In this post she summarises some of her recent work on collective amnesia and epistemic injustice.
_Alessandra Lemma - Winner of the Levy-Goldfarb Award for Child Psychoanalysis!_ The contemporary relevance of psychoanalysis is being increasingly questioned; _Off the Couch_ challenges this view, demonstrating that psychoanalytic thinking and its applications are both innovative and relevant, in particular to the management and treatment of more disturbed and difficult to engage patient groups. Chapters address: clinical applications in diverse settings across the age range the relevance of psychoanalytic thinking to the practice of CBT, psychosomatics and general psychiatry the contribution (...) of psychoanalytic thinking to mental health policy and the politics of conflict and mediation. This book suggests that psychoanalysis has a vital position within the public health sector and discusses how it can be better utilised in the treatment of a range of mental health problems. It also highlights the role of empirical research in providing a robust evidence base. _Off the Couch_ will be essential reading for those practicing in the field of mental health and will also be useful for anyone involved in the development of mental health and public policies. It will ensure that practitioners and supervisors have a clear insight into how psychoanalysis can be applied in general healthcare. (shrink)
Logical metonymy resolution (begin a book begin reading a book or begin writing a book) has traditionally been explained either through complex lexical entries (qualia structures) or through the integration of the implicit event via post-lexical access to world knowledge. We propose that recent work within the words-as-cues paradigm can provide a more dynamic model of logical metonymy, accounting for early and dynamic integration of complex event information depending on previous contextual cues (agent and patient). We first present a self-paced (...) reading experiment on German subordinate sentences, where metonymic sentences and their paraphrased version differ only in the presence or absence of the clause-final target verb (Der Konditor begann die Glasur Der Konditor begann, die Glasur aufzutragen/The baker began the icing The baker began spreading the icing). Longer reading times at the target verb position in a high-typicality condition (baker + icing spread ) compared to a low-typicality (but still plausible) condition (child + icing spread) suggest that we make use of knowledge activated by lexical cues to build expectations about events. The early and dynamic integration of event knowledge in metonymy interpretation is bolstered by further evidence from a second experiment using the probe recognition paradigm. Presenting covert events as probes following a high-typicality or a low-typicality metonymic sentence (Der Konditor begann die Glasur AUFTRAGEN/The baker began the icing SPREAD), we obtain an analogous effect of typicality at 100 ms interstimulus interval. (shrink)
Fundamental questions in value sensitive design include whether and how high-tech products/artefacts could embody values and ethical ideals, and how plural and incommensurable values of ethical and social importance could be chosen rationally and objectively at a collective level. By using a humanitarian cargo drone study as a starting point, this paper tackles the challenges that VSD’s lack of commitment to a specific ethical theory generates in practical applications. Besides, it highlights how mainstream ethical approaches usually related to VSD are (...) incapable of solving main ethical dilemmas raised by technological design for well-being in democratic settings. Accordingly, it is argued that VSD’s ethical-democratic import would substantially be enhanced by the espousal of a procedural ethics stance and the deliberative approach to value and welfare entailed by Amartya Sen’s capability approach. Differently from rival ethical–political theories, its normative and meta-ethical foundations better handle human diversity, value-goal pluralism, conflicting vested interests as well as the epistemic-moral disagreements typical of contemporary complex democracies. Particularly, Sen’s capability approach procedural-deliberative tenets result in an “objective-impartial” choice procedure selecting a “hierarchy” of plural incommensurable values and rational goals thus, suitable to validate an applied science such as welfare-oriented technological design in concrete social environments. Conclusions suggest that refining VSD with a capability-based procedural approach to ethics fosters the concern for democracy and social justice while preserving vital scientific-technical standards. Major advantages are at an applied level to delivering ethically and socially justified, but yet highly functional technologies and high-tech products/artefacts. (shrink)
We show unintended consequences of quota regulations to get women on boards. Board members may have different characteristics, and even among women, there are variations. We assume that the characteristics of the board members have an influence on their contributions to boards, to businesses as well as to society. In this paper, we argue that different types of societal pressure to get women on boards have an influence on the social capital characteristics of the women getting multiple board memberships. The (...) paper is drawing on institutional theory and social capital theory, and we distinguish between mimetic, normative, and coercive types of pressure. Through a cluster analysis of 58 Italian “golden skirts”, we show that different types of societal pressure may lead to differences in social capital characteristics. The study has implications for the ongoing international debate about women and diversity on boards, and we propose developing a pressure theory for getting women on boards. (shrink)
Although their positions and arguments differ in several respects, feminists have asserted that science, knowledge, and rationality cannot be severed from their social, political, and cultural aspects.
Understanding the goals of others is fundamental for any kind of interpersonal interaction and collaboration. From a neurocognitive perspective, intention understanding has been proposed to depend on an involvement of the observer’s motor system in the prediction of the observed actions. An open question is if a similar understanding of the goal mediated by motor resonance can occur not only between humans, but also for humanoid robots. In this study we investigated whether goal-oriented robotic actions can induce motor resonance by (...) measuring the appearance of anticipatory gaze shifts to the goal during action observation. Our results indicate a similar implicit processing of humans’ and robots’ actions and propose to use anticipatory gaze behaviour as a tool for the evaluation of human-robot interactions. Keywords: Humanoid robot; motor resonance; anticipation; proactive gaze; action understanding. (shrink)
According to Antoine Augustine Cournot, chance events are the result of the intersection between independent causal chains. This coincidental notion of chance is not a new one, but—as Cournot remarks—it comes from Saint Thomas Aquinas, Boethius, and more probably from Jean de La Placette. Such a conception of chance phenomena seems to be very important, not only because it is closely related to the Principle of Causality, but also since it grounds Cournot’s theory of objective probability. Starting from Martin’s work, (...) the main attempt of this survey is to endorse the idea that Cournot’s coincidental notion of hasard is objective, that is it is ontic and it does not depend—in some sense—on our degree of knowledge. In order to do that, a central role in the discussion will be given to the meaning of the independence between the intersecting causal chains and to Cournot’s conception of causation. (shrink)