Benacerraf’s 1965 multiple-reductions argument depends on what I call ‘deferential logicism’: his necessary condition for number-set identity is most plausible against a background Quineanism that allows autonomy of the natural number concept. Steinhart’s ‘folkist’ sufficient condition on number-set identity, by contrast, puts that autonomy at the center — but fails for not taking the folk perspective seriously enough. Learning from both sides, we explore new conditions on number-set identity, elaborating a suggestion from Wright.
In the Groundwork Kant dismisses theistic principles, along with all other competitors to his Categorical Imperative, claiming that they are heteronomous. By contrast, he asserts, the fundamental moral principle must be a principle of autonomy. I argue that the best case for this Kantian conclusion conflates our access to the reasons for our commitments with an ability to state these reasons such that they could figure in an argument. This conflation, in turn, results from a certain Kantian conception of inclination, (...) and its role in our moral psychology. These are views that we ought to reject. Having done so we will see that a theistic ethics based on desire or love for God would not face a distinctive problem of heteronomy. (shrink)
Inspired by impossibility theorems of social choice theory, many democratic theorists have argued that aggregative forms of democracy cannot lend full democratic justification for the collective decisions reached. Hence, democratic theorists have turned their attention to deliberative democracy, according to which “outcomes are democratically legitimate if and only if they could be the object of a free and reasoned agreement among equals” (Cohen 1997a, 73). However, relatively little work has been done to offer a formal theory of democratic deliberation. This (...) article helps fill that gap by offering a formal theory of three different modes of democratic deliberation: myopic discussion, constructive discussion, and debate. We show that myopic discussion suffers from indeterminacy of long run outcomes, while constructive discussion and debate are conclusive. Finally, unlike the other two modes of deliberation, debate is path independent and converges to a unique compromise position, irrespective of the initial status quo. (shrink)
It is often alleged that an agent is morally responsible in a liability sense for a transgression just in case s/he deserves a negative interpersonal response for that transgression, blaming responses such as resentment and indignation being paradigms. Aside from a few exceptions, guilt is cited in recent discussions of moral responsibility, if at all, as merely an effect of being blamed, or as a reliable indicator of moral responsibility, but not itself an explanation of moral responsibility. In this paper, (...) I argue that an agent is morally responsible in a liability sense for a transgression just in case s/he deserves to feel moral guilt for that transgression. I argue that this alternative view offers all that the predominant blame-focused view offers, while also solving some puzzling features of moral responsibility. Specifically, it offers a compelling way to reconcile conflicting intuitions about the suberogatory, and allows those who do not understand what Darwall calls ‘second-personal’ reasons to be morally responsible for their immoral acts. (shrink)
I argue that rather than aiming at the well-being of those whom we love, we should aim to share in their ends. The former stance runs the risk of being objectionably paternalistic and, as I explain, only the latter makes reciprocal relationships possible. I end by diagnosing our attraction to the idea that we should promote our loved-ones’ well-being.
: Because an influenza pandemic would create the most serious hardships for those who already face most serious hardships, countries should take special measures to mitigate the effect of a pandemic on existing social inequalities. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that anybody is thinking about that.
The prospect of using cell-based interventions to treat neurological conditions raises several important ethical and policy questions. In this target article, we focus on issues related to the unique constellation of traits that characterize CBIs targeted at the central nervous system. In particular, there is at least a theoretical prospect that these cells will alter the recipients' cognition, mood, and behavior—brain functions that are central to our concept of the self. The potential for such changes, although perhaps remote, is cause (...) for concern and careful ethical analysis. Both to enable better informed consent in the future and as an end in itself, we argue that early human trials of CBIs for neurological conditions must monitor subjects for changes in cognition, mood, and behavior; further, we recommend concrete steps for that monitoring. Such steps will help better characterize the potential risks and benefits of CBIs as they are tested and potentially used for treatment. (shrink)
Kant rejects all of the standard accounts of the dependence of morality on religious claims or commitment. He nevertheless thinks that morality “leads to” religion. I defend an account of this “leading to” relationship, arguing that it is the result of Kant’s struggle to capture the practical import of the consequences of our actions within a moral theory that rejects the idea that we must maximize the good. On this view, the best way to acknowledge that the outcomes of our (...) actions matter, while maintaining uncompromising commitment to the moral law, is to hope in God. (shrink)
A beneficial effect of gesture on learning has been demonstrated in multiple domains, including mathematics, science, and foreign language vocabulary. However, because gesture is known to co-vary with other non-verbal behaviors, including eye gaze and prosody along with face, lip, and body movements, it is possible the beneficial effect of gesture is instead attributable to these other behaviors. We used a computer-generated animated pedagogical agent to control both verbal and non-verbal behavior. Children viewed lessons on mathematical equivalence in which an (...) avatar either gestured or did not gesture, while eye gaze, head position, and lip movements remained identical across gesture conditions. Children who observed the gesturing avatar learned more, and they solved problems more quickly. Moreover, those children who learned were more likely to transfer and generalize their knowledge. These findings provide converging evidence that gesture facilitates math learning, and they reveal the potential for using technology to study non-verbal behavior in controlled experiments. (shrink)
It is known that, on average, people adapt their choice of memory strategy to the subjective utility of interaction. What is not known is whether an individual's choices are boundedly optimal. Two experiments are reported that test the hypothesis that an individual's decisions about the distribution of remembering between internal and external resources are boundedly optimal where optimality is defined relative to experience, cognitive constraints, and reward. The theory makes predictions that are tested against data, not fitted to it. The (...) experiments use a no-choice/choice utility learning paradigm where the no-choice phase is used to elicit a profile of each participant's performance across the strategy space and the choice phase is used to test predicted choices within this space. They show that the majority of individuals select strategies that are boundedly optimal. Further, individual differences in what people choose to do are successfully predicted by the analysis. Two issues are discussed: the performance of the minority of participants who did not find boundedly optimal adaptations, and the possibility that individuals anticipate what, with practice, will become a bounded optimal strategy, rather than what is boundedly optimal during training. (shrink)
Many recent writers in the philosophy of mathematics have put great weight on the relative categoricity of the traditional axiomatizations of our foundational theories of arithmetic and set theory. Another great enterprise in contemporary philosophy of mathematics has been Wright's and Hale's project of founding mathematics on abstraction principles. In earlier work, it was noted that one traditional abstraction principle, namely Hume's Principle, had a certain relative categoricity property, which here we term natural relative categoricity. In this paper, we show (...) that most other abstraction principles are not naturally relatively categorical, so that there is in fact a large amount of incompatibility between these two recent trends in contemporary philosophy of mathematics. To better understand the precise demands of relative categoricity in the context of abstraction principles, we compare and contrast these constraints to stability-like acceptability criteria on abstraction principles, the Tarski-Sher logicality requirements on abstraction principles studied by Antonelli and Fine, and supervaluational ideas coming out of Hodes' work. (shrink)
Fallacies are things people commit, and when they commit them they do something wrong. What kind of activities are people engaged in when they commit fallacies, and in what way are they doing something wrong? Many different things are called fallacies. The diversity of the use of the concept of a fallacy suggests that we are dealing with a family of cases not related by a common essence. However, we suggest a simple account of the nature of fallacies which encompasses (...) them all, viz., the term “fallacy” is our most general term for criticizing any general procedure used for the fixation of beliefs that has an unacceptably high tendency to generate false or unfounded beliefs, relative to that method of fixing beliefs. Very different sorts of things called fallacies are examined in the light of this account, e.g., denying the antecedent, circular arguments, so-called informal fallacies, and propositions said to be fallacies. We do not provide a theory of fallacies. Still, on our account pretty much all of those things that have been called fallacies are fallacies, and they have been called fallacies for pretty much the same reasons. (shrink)
In Harris v Digital Pulse Pty Ltd (2003) 56 NSWLR 298, the New South Wales Court of Appeal held that exemplary (or punitive) damages are not available for breach of fiduciary duty or other equitable obligation. The decision runs counter to authorities in Canada, New Zealand and some U.S. states. Punitive (exemplary) damages is a hotly debated topic in the United States and it has attracted considerable interest among law and economics scholars, particularly in the tort litigation context. This article (...) analyzes the Digital Pulse case from a law and economics perspective. Polinsky and Shavell (among others) argue that the function of punitive damages is to achieve optimal deterrence in cases where the probability that the plaintiff will discover and successfully litigate the defendant’s wrongdoing is less than 1. Given the high costs of monitoring fiduciary behaviour, it might be tempting to conclude that exemplary damages should be routinely awarded for breach of fiduciary obligation. The article explains why this view is wrong. On the other hand, given the availability of gains-based remedies (the account of profits and the like) for breach of fiduciary obligation, it might be tempting to conclude that exemplary damages are never justified in fiduciary cases. The article explains why this view is wrong too. The main conclusions are that: (1) exemplary damages should be available for breach of fiduciary duty and the like, but not as a matter of course; and (2) exemplary damages were probably not warranted in Digital Pulse itself. (shrink)
I attempt to vindicate our authority to create new practical reasons for others by making choices of own own. In The Doctrine of Right Kant argues that we have an obligation to leave the Juridical State of Nature and found the state. In a less familiar passage in Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason he argues for an obligation to leave what he calls the Ethical State of Nature and join together in the Moral Community. I read both texts (...) as addressing and trying to resolve a tension between our individual freedom and our authority to make claims on one another. I explicate the political argument, and then develop the view that Kant sketches in the Religion, arguing that regarding others as capable of making choices that give you reasons to act is a condition of the full exercise of your autonomy. (shrink)
Rawls' requirement that citizens of liberal democracies support only policies which they believe can be justified in 'public reason' depends on a certain ideal for the relationships between citizens. This is a valuable ideal, and thus citizens have reasons to try to achieve it. But it is not always possible to find the common ground that we would need in order to do so, and thus we should reject Rawls' strong claim that we have an obligation to defend our views (...) in public reason. Because I recognize that we have strong reasons to conduct our political enquiry within the guidelines of political liberalism, but deny that we always have an obligation to do so, one might call my view 'permissive political liberalism'. (shrink)
We often come to value someone or something through experience of that person or thing. You may thereby come to embrace a value that you did not grasp prior to the experience in question. Moreover, it seems that in a large and important subset of cases you could not have fully appreciated that value merely by considering a report of the reasons or arguments that purport to establish that it is valuable. Despite its ubiquity, this phenomenon goes missing in a (...) great deal of contemporary work in ethics and political philosophy. In this paper I further specify the phenomenon of interest by developing a series of examples. Then I support the claim that philosophers routinely overlook it by surveying several significant philosophical positions that do so. (shrink)
This article improves two existing theorems of interest to neologicist philosophers of mathematics. The first is a classification theorem due to Fine for equivalence relations between concepts definable in a well-behaved second-order logic. The improved theorem states that if an equivalence relation E is defined without nonlogical vocabulary, then the bicardinal slice of any equivalence class—those equinumerous elements of the equivalence class with equinumerous complements—can have one of only three profiles. The improvements to Fine’s theorem allow for an analysis of (...) the well-behaved models had by an abstraction principle, and this in turn leads to an improvement of Walsh and Ebels-Duggan’s relative categoricity theorem. (shrink)
I argue that we cannot adequately characterize the aims of education in terms of some formal conception of what it is to think well. Implementing any such aim requires reliance on and communication of further, substantive normative commitments. This reveals that a standard contrast between an old-fashioned approach to education that aims to communicate a particular normative outlook, and a progressive approach that aims to develop skills of critical reasoning and reflection is confused and misleading.
Kant’s political theory stands in the social contract tradition, but departs significantly from earlier versions of social contract theory. Most importantly Kant holds, against Hobbes and Locke, that we have not merely a pragmatic reason but an obligation to exit the state of nature and found a state. Kant holds that each person has an innate right to freedom, but it is possible to simultaneously honor everyone’s right only under the rule of law. Since we are obligated to respect each (...) person’s right to freedom, and can do so only in a state, we are obligated to submit to the authority of the state if we have one, and to establish one if we do not. In the first half of the essay I reconstruct this argument in more detail. In the second half I survey four points of controversy: What is the relationship between Kant’s political philosophy and his moral philosophy? How does the innate right to freedom support the postulate that we are permitted to acquire property and other private rights? How does the postulate support an obligation to found the state? How should we understand Kant’s views about political revolutions? (shrink)
Our ordinary talk reflects a deep tension in the way that we think about love. On the one hand, we regard love as an especially important expression of our agency. Yet, on the other hand, we also think of love as something that happens to us, in the face of which we are passive and can be powerless. While it’s hard to see how to hold these two ways of thinking of love together, in this paper I argue that we (...) must find some way of doing so. I argue that we must think of love as a contentful attitude attributable to its agent, an expression of our selves. But familiar ways of understanding agency sort love into the category of things that happen to us, rather than that of things that we do: You cannot love at will, nor is love an attitude to which you could reason. I conclude that questions about the relationship of our agency to what we love are not superficial, but stem from deep tensions about the relationship between love and reasons. A resolution to these difficulties would provide important insight not only into the character of love, but also the nature of agency, and its relationship to values, reasoning and reasons. (shrink)
Neo-Fregeans have been troubled by the Nuisance Principle, an abstraction principle that is consistent but not jointly satisfiable with the favored abstraction principle HP. We show that logically this situation persists if one looks at joint consistency rather than satisfiability: under a modest assumption about infinite concepts, NP is also inconsistent with HP.
The injective version of Cantor’s theorem appears in full second-order logic as the inconsistency of the abstraction principle, Frege’s Basic Law V (BLV), an inconsistency easily shown using Russell’s paradox. This incompatibility is akin to others—most notably that of a (Dedekind) infinite universe with the Nuisance Principle (NP) discussed by neo-Fregean philosophers of mathematics. This paper uses the Burali–Forti paradox to demonstrate this incompatibility, and another closely related, without appeal to principles related to the axiom of choice—a result hitherto unestablished. (...) It discusses both the general interest of this result, its interest to neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics, and the potential significance of the Burali–Fortian method of proof. (shrink)
Ripstein’s Kantian argument for the authority of the state purports to demonstrate that state authority is a necessary condition of each individual’s freedom. Ripstein regards an individual as free just in case her entitlement to control what is hers is not violated. After questioning whether his approach adequately distinguishes standards of legitimacy from standards of ideal justice, I argue for the superiority of an alternative conception of freedom. On the view that I defend a person is free just in case (...) she is able to move her body in space unimpeded by others. I argue that this conception allows for a more convincing version of the Kantian argument. (shrink)
Many thinkers agree that facilitating the development of students’ autonomy is a proper aim of education generally and higher education in particular. I defend a version of the autonomy view, but not as I think its other advocates imagine it. I suggest that an important aim of education is the facilitation of intellectual virtues. What is right about the idea that education should facilitate students’ autonomy is best captured in virtue terms as intellectual charity and humility.
I argue that political liberals should not support the monopoly of a single educational approach in state sponsored schools. Instead, they should allow reasonable citizens latitude to choose the worldview in which their own children are educated. I begin by defending a particular conception of political liberalism, and its associated requirement of public reason, against the received interpretation. I argue that the values of respect and civic friendship that motivate the public reason requirement do not support the common demand that (...) citizens “bracket” their comprehensive commitments in politics. Rather, citizens should seek to enact policies the justification of which is compatible with the truth of their fellow reasonable citizens’ worldviews. Next I argue that no single educational approach can meet this standard of justification. Many believe that state sponsored education in a pluralist, liberal society ought to present multiple worldviews in a neutral way. I argue that this aspiration is unrealizable, and no other educational model will plausibly meet the justificatory demand. Finally, I address two objections to my favored alternative: that it may allow for the inculcation of disrespect, and that it violates children’s autonomy. Against the first, I claim that political liberals have no grounds for thinking that reasonable citizens will seek to inculcate disrespect. Finally, I argue that there is no conception of autonomy that can sustain the second. (shrink)
The principle that children’s freedom should be preserved in their upbringing is sometimes thought to provide an alternative to imposing a particular conception of the good on them. But to sustain the alternative we must distinguish between those desires and proclivities that are educated into a person and those that are his own. Several philosophers appeal to innate or presocial tendencies to ground this distinction, but that approach fails. The ability to exercise first person authority over a desire or commitment (...) provides a better conception of what it is for such a state to be one’s own. But such desires and commitments are not distinct from those educated into a person. While the ideal of autonomy, conceived in these terms, can still provide some guidance for upbringing, it will not substitute for teaching children a conception of the good. (shrink)
We propose the solution concept of directional equilibrium for the multidimensional model of voting with general spatial preferences. This concept isolates alternatives that are stable with respect to forces applied by all voters in the directions of their gradients, and it extends a known concept from statistics for Euclidean preferences. We establish connections to the majority core, Pareto optimality, and existence and closed graph, and we provide non-cooperative foundations in terms of a local contest game played by voters.
Objects appear to fall into different sorts, each with their own criteria for identity. This raises the question of whether sorts overlap.ionists about numbers—those who think natural numbers are objects characterized by abstraction principles—face an acute version of this problem. Many abstraction principles appear to characterize the natural numbers. If each abstraction principle determines its own sort, then there is no single subject-matter of arithmetic—there are too many numbers. That is, unless objects can belong to more than one sort. But (...) if there are multi-sorted objects, there should be cross-sortal identity principles for identifying objects across sorts. The going cross-sortal identity principle, ECIA2 of, solves the problem of too many numbers. But, I argue, it does so at a high cost. I therefore propose a novel cross-sortal identity principle, based on embeddings of the induced models of abstracts developed by Walsh. The new criterion matches ECIA2’s success, but offers interestingly different answers to the more controversial identifications made by ECIA2. (shrink)
Kant’s claim that virtue has nothing to do with the content of our desires, but depends only on the strength of will needed to manage our desires, depends on an unattractive conception of inclination that he inherits from Hume. Kantians can replace this with a better view of desire without giving up what is most attractive about the Kantian approach: the claim that reason can motivate, and the associated illuminating account of practical freedom.
Recently there has been a flurry of interest and activity, both scholarly and political, about the role and importance of fathers in child rearing. One manifestation of this interest is a movement that began in the United Kingdom, but is increasingly influential in the United States and Canada, asserting fathers’ rights in custody disputes following divorce. Advocates assert that fathers should have equal standing with mothers in such cases, and that current practice fails to grant them this standing. U ntil (...) the nineteenth century, most Western legal systems granted fathers property rights in their children and failed to grant mothers any rights at all. Thus, fathers were almost always able to claim custody successfully after divorce. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the “Tender Years Doctrine” displaced this practice. This view holds that children, especially young children, have special need of maternal nurture, and that mothers are naturally more suited to the task of raising young children than fathers are. (shrink)
I consider how Christian philosophers should decide which questions are worth asking. I provide an interpretation and defense of Alvin Plantinga’s claim that Christian philosophers should strive for autonomy, and argue that this rules out some ways of settling on our questions. I then argue that the questions in which Christian philosophers should take an interest are those arising from or continuous with a distinctively Christian way of life.
This book addresses the challenges of living together after empire in many post-colonial cities. It is organized in two sections. The first section focuses on efforts by people of multiple faiths to live together within their contexts, including such efforts within a neighborhood in urban Manchester; the array of attempts at creating multi-faith spaces for worship across the globe; and initiatives to commemorate divisive conflict together in Northern Ireland. The second section utilizes particular postcolonial methods to illuminate pressing issues within (...) specific contexts—including women’s leadership in an indigenous denomination in the variegated African landscape, and baptism and discipleship among Dalit communities in India. In the context of growing multiculturalism in the West, this volume offers a postcolonial theological resource, challenging the epistemologies in the Western academy. (shrink)