We agree that promoting intergroup harmony system-justifying and identify several ways in which and stereotypes, superordinate identification, intergroup contact, and prejudice reduction techniques can undermine social change motivation by reinforcing system-justifying beliefs. This may but it also prevents individuals and groups from tackling serious social problems, including inequality and oppression.
This ambitious book presents a new interpretation of Chinese thought guided both by a philosopher's sense of mystery and by a sound philosophical theory of meaning. That dual goal, Hansen argues, requires a unified translation theory. It must provide a single coherent account of the issues that motivated both the recently untangled Chinese linguistic analysis and the familiar moral-political disputes. Hansen's unified approach uncovers a philosophical sophistication in Daoism that traditional accounts have overlooked. The Daoist theory treats the imperious intuitionism (...) that alienates critical thinkers as a feature of Confucianism alone. Freed from the view that Confucianism is the core of Chinese thought and from myopic Confucian interpretations, Chinese thinkers emerge as unmistakably philosophical. (shrink)
The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...) the proposed answer entails the transitivity of parthood, that it is non-circular, and that it casts some light on the ancient puzzle about the Ship of Theseus. (shrink)
According to the traditional bundle theory, particulars are bundles of compresent universals. I think we should reject the bundle theory for a variety of reasons. But I will argue for the thesis at the core of the bundle theory: that all the facts about particulars are grounded in facts about universals. I begin by showing how to meet the main objection to this thesis (which is also the main objection to the bundle theory): that it is inconsistent with the possibility (...) of distinct qualitative indiscernibles. Here, the key idea appeals to a non-standard theory of haecceities as non-well-founded properties of a certain sort. I will then defend this theory from a number of objections, and finally argue that we should accept it on the basis of considerations of parsimony about the fundamental. (shrink)
While Nozick and his sympathizers assume there is a widespread anti-hedonist intuition to prefer reality to an experience machine, hedonists have marshalled empirical evidence that shows such an assumption to be unfounded. Results of several experience machine variants indicate there is no widespread anti-hedonist intuition. From these findings, hedonists claim Nozick's argument fails as an objection to hedonism. This article suggests the argument surrounding experience machines has been misconceived. Rather than eliciting intuitions about what is prudentially valuable, these intuitive judgements (...) are instead calculations about prudential pay-offs and trade-offs. This position can help explain the divergence of intuitions people have about experience machines. (shrink)
The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...) approach: I claim that human beings have ordinary parts—hands, heads, feet, and so on—but no extraordinary parts, such as ‘foot-complements’, the existence of which is essential to the puzzle. I rebut three objections to this approach: an objection that it is unacceptably metaphysically arbitrary, an objection that the view is incompatible with versions of the puzzle involving decapitation, and an objection concerning masses of matter. If we can believe that there are such things as hands and feet without involving ourselves in paradox, and without accepting large numbers of co-located material objects that share all their material parts, then that is what we should do. My view is the only known alternative which allows this. (shrink)
Sackris and Beebe (2014) report the results of a series of studies that seem to show that there are cases in which many people are willing to attribute knowledge to a protagonist even when her belief is unjustified. These results provide some reason to conclude that the folk concept of knowledge does not treat justification as necessary for its deployment. In this paper, we report a series of results that can be seen as supporting this conclusion by going some way (...) towards ruling out an alternative account of Sackris and Beebe’s results—the possibility that the knowledge attributions that they witnessed largely stem from protagonist projection, a phenomenon in language use and interpretation in which the speaker uses words that the relevant protagonist might use to describe her own situation and the listener interprets the speaker accordingly. With that said, we do caution the reader against drawing the conclusion too strongly, on the basis of results like those reported here and by Sackris and Beebe. There are alternative possibilities regarding what drives the observed knowledge attributions in cases of unjustified true belief that must be ruled out before, on the basis of such results, we can conclude with much confidence that the folk concept of knowledge does not treat justification as necessary for its deployment. (shrink)
There are a number of cases where, collectively, groups cause harm, and yet no single individual’s contribution to the collective makes any difference to the amount of harm that is caused. For instance, though human activity is collectively causing climate change, my individual greenhouse gas emissions are neither necessary nor sufficient for any harm that results from climate change. Some (e.g., Sinnott-Armstrong) take this to indicate that there is no individual moral obligation to reduce emissions. There is a collective action (...) problem here, to which I offer a solution. My solution rests on an argument for a (sometimes) bare moral difference between intending harm and foreseeing with near certainty that harm will result as an unintended side-effect of one’s action. I conclude that we have a moral obligation to reduce our individual emissions; and, more broadly, an obligation to not participate in many other harmful group activities (e.g., factory-farming). (shrink)
Ostension is bodily movement that manifests our engagement with things, whether we wish it to or not. Gestures, glances, facial expressions: all betray our interest in something. Ostension enables our first word learning, providing infants with a prelinguistic way to grasp the meaning of words. Ostension is philosophically puzzling; it cuts across domains seemingly unbridgeable -- public--private, inner--outer, mind--body. In this book, Chad Engelland offers a philosophical investigation of ostension and its role in word learning by infants. Engelland discusses ostension (...) (distinguishing it from ostensive definition) in contemporary philosophy, examining accounts by Quine, Davidson, and Gadamer, and he explores relevant empirical findings in psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and neuroscience. He offers original studies of four representative historical thinkers whose work enriches the understanding of ostension: Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, and Aristotle. And, building on these philosophical and empirical foundations, Engelland offers a meticulous analysis of the philosophical issues raised by ostension. He examines the phenomenological problem of whether embodied intentions are manifest or inferred; the problem of what concept of mind allows ostensive cues to be intersubjectively available; the epistemological problem of how ostensive cues, notoriously ambiguous, can be correctly understood; and the metaphysical problem of the ultimate status of the key terms in his argument: animate movement, language, and mind. Finally, he argues for the centrality of manifestation in philosophy. Taking ostension seriously, he proposes, has far-reaching implications for thinking about language and the practice of philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that there are universals. I begin (Sect. 1) by proposing a sufficient condition for a thing’s being a universal. I then argue (Sect. 2) that some truths exist necessarily. Finally, I argue (Sects. 3 and 4) that these truths are structured entities having constituents that meet the proposed sufficient condition for being universals.
Originally conceived as a forty-page conclusion to Hacker’s twenty years of work on the monumental four-volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations, this book “rapidly assumed a life of its own”. A major contribution to the history of analytic philosophy, this substantial volume delivers even more than the title promises. The eight chapters are best approached as a six-chapter book, itself some 220 pages long, on Wittgenstein’s contribution to twentieth-century philosophy, followed by a two-chapter, 120-page epilogue about how and why (...) his influence has waned. The first six chapters provide an encyclopedic summary of the fruits of Hacker’s research on Wittgenstein’s writing, an immensely learned account of British philosophy from the turn of the century to the 1970s, and a detailed account of Wittgenstein’s reception by Oxford, Cambridge, and the Vienna Circle. The book’s closing chapters, “Post-positivism in the United States and Quine’s Apostasy” and “The Decline of Analytic Philosophy,” polemically argue that Quine’s philosophy, and the post-Quinean naturalism prevalent in Anglo-American philosophy today, amount to such a decisive break with the analytic tradition, as Hacker conceives of it, that they should not be counted as “analytic.”. (shrink)
Some propositions are not likely to be true overall, but are likely to be true if you believe them. Appealing to the platitude that belief aims at truth, it has become increasingly popular to defend the view that such propositions are epistemically rational to believe. However, I argue that this view runs into trouble when we consider the connection between what’s epistemically rational to believe and what’s practically rational to do. I conclude by discussing how rejecting the view bears on (...) three other epistemological issues. First, we’re able to uncover a flaw in a common argument for permissivism. Second, we can generate a problem for prominent versions of epistemic consequentialism. Finally, we can better understand the connection between epistemic rationality and truth: epistemic rationality is a guide to true propositions rather than true beliefs. (shrink)
David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there is an object, (...) which definitely exists, about which it is vague whether the relevant borderline parts compose it. (shrink)
Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s (2005) interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter (2017a), who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of causation relies crucially (...) on CBNs for its foundations, Gebharter’s argument appears to cast significant doubt on interventionism’s antireductionist credentials. In the present article, we both (1) demonstrate that Gebharter’s CBN-theoretic formulation of the exclusion argument relies on some unmotivated and philosophically significant assumptions (especially regarding the relationship between CBNs and the metaphysics of causal relevance), and (2) use Bayesian networks to develop a general theory of causal inference for multi-level systems that can serve as the foundation for an antireductionist interventionist account of causation. (shrink)
The standard conception of God is that of a necessary being. On a possible worlds semantics, this entails that God exists at every possible world. According to the modal realist account of David Lewis, possible worlds are understood to be real, concrete worlds—no different in kind from the actual world. Some have argued that Lewis’s view is incompatible with classical theism (e.g., Sheehy, 2006). More recently, Ross Cameron (2009) has defended the thesis that Lewisian modal realism and classical theism are (...) in fact compatible. I argue that this is not the case. Modal realism, I argue, is equipped to accommodate necessary beings in only one of three ways: (1) By way of counterpart theory, or (2) by way of a special case of trans-world identity for causally inert necessary beings (e.g., pure sets), or else (3) causally potent ones which lack accidental intrinsic properties. However, each of these three options entails unacceptable consequences—(1) and (2) are incompatible with theism, and (3) is incompatible with modal realism. I conclude that (at least) one of these views is false. (shrink)
We present the findings of a worldwide survey that was administered to business ethic scholars to better understand journal quality within the business ethics academic community. Based upon the data from the survey, we provide a ranking of the top 10 business ethics journals. We then provide a comparison of business ethics journals to other mainstream management journals in terms of journal quality. The results of the study suggest that, within the business ethics academic community, many scholars prefer to publish (...) in the top business ethics academic journals over other mainstream management journals. Furthermore, the results of the study suggest that within the business ethics academic field there are two dominant academic communities: one in Europe and one in North America. Each of these academic communities has its own preferred publication outlets, suggesting a potentially problematic bifurcation of business ethics scholarship. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against the claim recently defended by Josh Weisberg that a certain version of the self-representational approach to phenomenal consciousness cannot avoid a set of problems that have plagued higher-order approaches. These problems arise specifically for theories that allow for higher-order misrepresentation or—in the domain of self-representational theories—self-misrepresentation. In response to Weisberg, I articulate a self-representational theory of phenomenal consciousness according to which it is contingently impossible for self-representations tokened in the context of a conscious mental (...) state to misrepresent their objects. This contingent infallibility allows the theory to both acknowledge the (logical) possibility of self-misrepresentation and avoid the problems of self-misrepresentation. Expanding further on Weisberg’s work, I consider and reveal the shortcomings of three other self-representational models—put forward by Kreigel, Van Gulick, and Gennaro—in order to show that each indicates the need for this sort of infallibility. I then argue that contingent infallibility is in principle acceptable on naturalistic grounds only if we attribute (1) a neo-Fregean kind of directly referring, indexical content to self-representational mental states and (2) a certain ontological structure to the complex conscious mental states of which these indexical self-representations are a part. In these sections I draw on ideas from the work of Perry and Kaplan to articulate the context-dependent semantic structure of inner-representational states. (shrink)
This paper provides a qualified defense of Martin Heidegger’s controversial assertion that humans and animals differ in kind, not just degree. He has good reasons to defend the human difference, and his thesis is compatible with the evolution of humans from other animals. He argues that the human environment is the world of meaning and truth, an environment which peculiarly makes possible truthful activities such as biology. But the ability to be open to truth cannot be a feature of human (...) biology, without making such pursuits as biology, mathematics, and philosophy a biological function of a certain species, homo sapiens. To deny the human difference amounts to species relativism which leaves the normativity of truth unexplained. To reconcile the human evolutionary heritage and the uniquely human openness to meaning and truth, the paper amplifies a distinction occasionally made by Heidegger between condition and cause. (shrink)
Consider the following claim: given the choice between saving a life and preventing any number of people from temporarily experiencing a mild headache, you should always save the life. Many moral theorists accept this claim. In doing so, they commit themselves to some form of ‘moral absolutism’: the view that there are some moral considerations that cannot be outweighed by any number of lesser moral considerations. In contexts of certainty, it is clear what moral absolutism requires of you. However, what (...) does it require of you when deciding under risk? What ought you to do when there is a chance that, say, you will not succeed in saving the life? In recent years, various critics have argued that moral absolutism cannot satisfactorily deal with risk and should, therefore, be abandoned. In this paper, we show that moral absolutism can answer its critics by drawing on—of all things—orthodox expected utility theory. (shrink)
In this book, Chad Jorgenson challenges the view that for Plato the good life is one of pure intellection, arguing that his last writings increasingly insist on the capacity of reason to impose measure on our emotions and pleasures. Starting from an account of the ontological, epistemological, and physiological foundations of the tripartition of the soul, he traces the increasing sophistication of Plato's thinking about the nature of pleasure and pain and his developing interest in sciences bearing on physical reality. (...) These theoretical shifts represent a movement away from a conception of human happiness as a purification or flight of the soul from the sensible to the intelligible, as in the Phaedo, towards a focus on the harmony of the individual as a psychosomatic whole under the hegemonic power of reason. (shrink)
It is becoming more common that the decision-makers in private and public institutions are predictive algorithmic systems, not humans. This article argues that relying on algorithmic systems is procedurally unjust in contexts involving background conditions of structural injustice. Under such nonideal conditions, algorithmic systems, if left to their own devices, cannot meet a necessary condition of procedural justice, because they fail to provide a sufficiently nuanced model of which cases count as relevantly similar. Resolving this problem requires deliberative capacities uniquely (...) available to human agents. After exploring the limitations of existing formal algorithmic fairness strategies, the article argues that procedural justice requires that human agents relying wholly or in part on algorithmic systems proceed with caution: by avoiding doxastic negligence about algorithmic outputs, by exercising deliberative capacities when making similarity judgments, and by suspending belief and gathering additional information in light of higher-order uncertainty. (shrink)
Dieser Beitrag bietet eine umfassende Diskussion des Textes “Humanismus und Christentum” des dänischen Philosophen und Theologen Knud E. Løgstrup. Er verortet den Text in seinem geistesgeschichtlichen Kontext und analysiert seine wichtigsten Argumente wie auch seine zentrale These, der zufolge Humanismus und Christentum einen entscheidenden Grundsatz teilen, insofern beide die Ethik als “stumm“ oder “unausgesprochen“ verstehen. Darüber hinaus wird dargelegt, wie Løgstrups Text zentrale Überlegungen in dessen späteren Publikationen, besonders in dem Hauptwerk Die ethische Forderung, vorwegnimmt.
Recent experimental philosophy arguments have raised trouble for philosophers' reliance on armchair intuitions. One popular line of response has been the expertise defense: philosophers are highly-trained experts, whereas the subjects in the experimental philosophy studies have generally been ordinary undergraduates, and so there's no reason to think philosophers will make the same mistakes. But this deploys a substantive empirical claim, that philosophers' training indeed inculcates sufficient protection from such mistakes. We canvass the psychological literature on expertise, which indicates that people (...) are not generally very good at reckoning who will develop expertise under what circumstances. We consider three promising hypotheses concerning what philosophical expertise might consist in: (i) better conceptual schemata; (ii) mastery of entrenched theories; and (iii) general practical know-how with the entertaining of hypotheticals. On inspection, none seem to provide us with good reason to endorse this key empirical premise of the expertise defense. (shrink)
I propose a taxonomy of arguments for the existence of God and survey those categories of arguments I identify as nontraditional. I conclude with two general observations about theistic arguments, followed by suggestions for going forward.
In this paper, I develop a theory on which each of a thing’s abundant properties is immanent in that thing. On the version of the theory I will propose, universals are abundant, each instantiated universal is immanent, and each uninstantiated universal is such that it could have been instantiated, in which case it would have been immanent. After setting out the theory, I will defend it from David Lewis’s argument that such a combination of immanence and abundance is absurd. I (...) will then advocate the theory on the grounds that it accomplishes all of Lewis’s “new work” while providing a gain in parsimony and a new account of fine-grained content. I will close with a discussion of how the theory also affords a new reply to two objections to uninstantiated universals: Armstrong’s charge that they are inconsistent with naturalism, and a Benacerraf-Field-style objection about epistemic access. (shrink)
According to epistemic utility theory, epistemic rationality is teleological: epistemic norms are instrumental norms that have the aim of acquiring accuracy. What’s definitive of these norms is that they can be expected to lead to the acquisition of accuracy when followed. While there’s much to be said in favor of this approach, it turns out that it faces a couple of worrisome extensional problems involving the future. The first problem involves credences about the future, and the second problem involves future (...) credences. Examining prominent solutions to a different extensional problem for this approach reinforces the severity of the two problems involving the future. Reflecting on these problems reveals the source: the teleological assumption that epistemic rationality aims at acquiring accuracy. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate a large-scale financial statement fraud to better understand the process by which individuals are recruited to participate in financial statement fraud schemes. The case reveals that perpetrators often use power to recruit others to participate in fraudulent acts. To illustrate how power is used, we propose a model, based upon the classical French and Raven taxonomy of power, that explains how one individual influences another individual to participate in financial statement fraud. We also provide propositions (...) for future research. (shrink)
Rose and Schaffer (forthcoming) argue that teleological thinking has a substantial influence on folk intuitions about composition. They take this to show (i) that we should not rely on folk intuitions about composition and (ii) that we therefore should not reject theories of composition on the basis of intuitions about composition. We cast doubt on the teleological interpretation of folk judgments about composition; we show how their debunking argument can be resisted, even on the assumption that folk intuitions have a (...) teleological source; and we argue that, even if folk intuitions about composition carry no weight, theories of composition can still be rejected on the basis of the intuitions of metaphysicians. (shrink)
Our view is that the folk concept of knowing how is more complicated than many epistemologists assume. We present four studies that go some way towards supporting our view—that the folk concept of knowledge-how is a philosophical hybrid, comprising both intellectualist and anti-intellectualist features. One upshot is, if we are going to award a presumptive status to philosophical theories of know-how that best accord with the folk concept, it ought to go to those that combine intellectualist and anti-intellectualist elements.
We present a description of the Stern–Gerlach type experiments using only the concepts of classical electrodynamics and the Newton’s equations of motion. The quantization of the projections of the spin (or the projections of the magnetic dipole) is not introduced in our calculations. The main characteristic of our approach is a quantitative analysis of the motion of the magnetic atoms at the entrance of the magnetic field region. This study reveals a mechanism which modifies continuously the orientation of the (...) magnetic dipole of the atom in a very short time interval, at the entrance of the magnetic field region. The mechanism is based on the conservation of the total energy associated with a magnetic dipole which moves in a non uniform magnetic field generated by an electromagnet. A detailed quantitative comparison with the (1922) Stern–Gerlach experiment and the didactical (1967) experiment by J.R. Zacharias is presented. We conclude, contrary to the original Stern–Gerlach statement, that the classical explanations are not ruled out by the experimental data. (shrink)
We present three experiments that explore the robustness of the authentic-apparent effect—the finding that participants are less likely to attribute knowledge to the protagonist in apparent- than in authentic-evidence Gettier cases. The results go some way towards suggesting that the effect is robust to assessments of the justificatory status of the protagonist’s belief. However, not all of the results are consistent with an effect invariant across two demographic contexts: American and Indian nationalities.
Two principles in epistemology are apparent examples of the close connection between rationality and truth. First, adding a disjunct to what’s rational to believe yields a proposition that’s also rational to believe. Second, what’s likely if believed is rational to believe. While these principles are accepted by many, it turns out that they clash. In light of this clash, we must relinquish the second principle. Reflecting on its rationale, though, reveals that there are two distinct ways to understand the connection (...) between rationality and truth. Rationality is fundamentally a guide to the belief-independent truth, rather than a guide to acquiring true beliefs. And this in turn has important implications for current discussions of permissivism, epistemic reasons, and epistemic consequentialism. (shrink)
Several philosophers have recently suggested that truths about unactualized metaphysical possibilities are true in virtue of the existence of actual objects and their dispositional properties. For example, on this view, it is true that unicorns are metaphysically possible only if some actual object has (or had) the disposition to bring it about that there are unicorns. This view, a dispositionalist version of what has recently been dubbed “The New Actualism,” is a proposal about the nature of modal truthmakers. But, I (...) will argue, this proposal entails much more than that. Here, I will demonstrate that, if the modal truthmakers are the dispositional properties of actual objects, then either (i) there exists one or more causally potent necessary beings, or (ii) necessarily, there exists an actually infinite number of contingent beings. (shrink)