In this paper we describe a few interrelated issues for validating theories that posit levels of consciousness. First, validating levels of consciousness requires consensus about the ordering of conscious states, which cannot be easily achieved. This problem is particularly severe if we believe conscious states can be irreducibly smeared over time. Second, the relationship between conscious states is probably sometimes intransitive, which means levels of consciousness will not be amenable to a single continuous measure. Finally, even if a multidimensional approach (...) to levels of consciousness is adopted, we argue that there are further problems for its validation. (shrink)
Those who endorse the free energy principle as a theory of cognition are committed to three propositions that are jointly incompatible but which will cohere if one of them is denied. The first of these is that the free energy principle gives us a self-sufficient explanation of what all cognitive systems consist in: a specific computational architecture. The second is that all adaptive behavior is driven by the free energy principle and the process of model-based inference it entails. The third (...) is that cognition is not ubiquitous. These three incompatible propositions together comprise a problem of scope for the free energy principle as a theory of cognition. The prospects for rejecting each of these propositions are considered. To drop either the first or the second would limit the explanatory success of the principle. However, there are plausible ways to bite the bullet on denial of the third proposition. In particular, I argue that it is possible f... (shrink)
In this paper I give a novel argument for this view that the AGENT concept has an externalist semantics. The argument argues the conclusion from two premises: first, that our first relationships to agents is through a subpersonal mechanism which requires for its function an agential proto-concept which refers directly; and second, that there is a continuity of reference between this proto-concept and the mature concept AGENT. I argue the first on the basis of results in the developmental psychology of (...) social cognition. I argue the second on the basis of a process of elimination, by considering three possibilities for the relationship between the two concepts. On the basis of these two premises the conclusion is drawn that AGENT is a concept that refers directly. That has the following consequences for the philosophy of action: first, that “action” is not an appropriate term for reductive analysis, as the causal theory of action assumes; and second, that we should be looking to the appropriate empirical disciplines for an elucidation of the concept. (shrink)
Gallagher poses a phenomenologically-inspired challenge to a classical metaphysics of nature which is associated with contemporary natural sciences. This metaphysics can be reconstructed in terms of two distinct commitments: reductionism and individualism. This comment on Gallagher’s  article attempts to show how a revision of the classical metaphysics can be made intelligible in light of those two commitments. It requires a strong interpretation of the ecological framework for understanding cognition. Such a revision would give agency a central place in the (...) revised metaphysics of nature. (shrink)
There is an argument for incompatibilism that is based on the experience of agency. Authors who endorse this argument place pro tanto evidential weight on one or more of two putative aspects of the experience of being an agent: i) the experience of being the causal source of our actions; ii) the experience of having robust alternative possibilities available to one. With some exceptions, these authors and their critics alike neglect a third significant aspect of the experience of agency: iii) (...) the experience of the future as being modally open. This aspect is either neglected or conflated with or. In this paper I rehabilitate as a notable aspect in its own right, and demonstrate that it is a good candidate for having the same pro tanto evidential weight in the experiential argument for incompatibilism. Then, I go on to assess the prospects of this revised argument in the face of central compatibilist objections that are central to the literature. I find that it fares just as well, if not better, than the original argument. (shrink)
Libertarians about free will sometimes argue for their position on the grounds that our phenomenology of action is such that determinism would need to be false for it to be veridical. Many, however, have thought that it would be impossible for us to have an experience that is in contradiction with determinism, since this would require us to have perceptual experience of metaphysical facts. In this paper I show how the libertarian claim is possible. In particular, if experience depicts the (...) world such that there is more than one physically possible future, then determinism would need to be false for that experience to be veridical. I show that we have experiences, or perceptual episodes, of this kind on the basis of recent work in the study of perception. Theorists in this area have argued that we have vision-for-action, and that what we visually perceive are not just objects but also possibilities for action. If we experience that it is possible that we ϕ, then we also experience that it is possible that we not ϕ. Furthermore, we probably experience more than one possibility for action at any one moment. I argue that these are physical possibilities, and therefore that we experience the world such that there is more than one physically possible future. So the libertarian claim about the semantics of agential phenomenology is highly plausible, even if this does not entail libertarianism. (shrink)
Anosognosia for hemiplegia is the denial of neurologically-caused paralysis, and it often co-occurs with a number of distortions of belief and emotion such as somatoparaphrenia and an exaggeration of negative affect towards minor health complaints. The salience of these latter symptoms led early investigators to propose explanations of AHP which construed it as a process of motivated self-deception against the overwhelming anxiety and depression that knowledge of deficit would otherwise cause, and which was observed in hemiplegic patients without the anosognosia. (...) Since some influential critiques of this approach, however, theories of this kind have largely been rejected on the grounds that they are inappropriately “psychogenic.” What has replaced them are a class of theories which explain the lack of awareness in terms of neurocognitive deficit, with the deficit in question variously described by researchers as involving spatial awareness, motor control, and other capacities. In this paper I argue – contra claims in the literature – that the patterns of explanation which are characteristic of the psychodynamic theory are not incompatible in principle with the notion that the illness involves neurocognitive deficit. That means that these patterns of explanation can be preserved where they make good sense of the obscure attitudinal and emotional symptoms that occur in AHP – symptoms that are otherwise difficult to explain. I suggest some ways in which this fact could be accommodated by deficit theories of the illness which are based on motor deficit. (shrink)
A research project by the Schools of Theology and Psychology of Australia’s Charles Sturt University surveyed a large sample of Salvation Army officers. This article considers survey responses to two questions relating to end-of-life care: the use of pain medications that may shorten life, and the cessation of fluid and food intake. The results of the analyses are evaluated in terms of Michael Banner’s proposal that moral theology should more assiduously converse with ‘patient ethnographic study’, which the survey instantiates to (...) some extent. Banner’s proposal and the results of the survey are contrasted to Peter Singer’s analytical moral philosophical dictums on end-of-life care. The results are also compared to a metastudy by Andrea Rodríguez-Prat and Evert van Leeuwen of 14 ethnographic studies of those who wish to hasten death at the end of life. We conclude that respondents exemplify a form of moral reasoning that is embedded within Christian spirituality; counters the assumptions of Singer’s approach; contrasts the diminishment of ‘meaning’ at the end of life, as seen in Rodríguez-Prat and van Leeuwen; and deserves further respectful ethnographic study. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is an outstanding, comprehensive and accessible guide to the major themes, thinkers, and issues in metaphysics. The Companion features over fifty specially commissioned chapters from international scholars which are organized into three clear parts: History of Metaphysics Ontology Metaphysics and Science. Each section features an introduction which places the range of essays in context, while an extensive glossary allows easy reference to key terms and definitions. The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics is essential reading for students (...) of philosophy and anyone interested in surveying the central topics and problems in metaphysics from causation to vagueness and from Plato and Aristotle to the present-day. (shrink)
Some facts ground other facts. Some fact is fundamental iff there are no other facts which partially or fully ground that fact. According to metaphysical foundationalism, every non-fundamental fact is fully grounded by some fundamental fact. In this paper I examine and defend some neglected considerations which might be made in favor of metaphysical foundationalism. Building off of work by Ross Cameron, I suggest that foundationalist theories are more unified than, and so in one important respect simpler than, non-foundationalist (...) theories, insofar as foundationalist theories allow us to derive all non-fundamental facts from some fundamental fact. Non-foundationalist theories can enjoy a similar sort of theoretical unification only by taking on objectionable metaphysical laws. (shrink)
This is the first dictionary dedicated to the work of Jean Baudrillard. It explains and contextualises more than a hundred key concepts, terms, influences and topics within his thought. An essential reference for students and scholars of Baudrillard, it also serves as an authoritative overview of how his ideas have shaped a broad range of disciplines, from art, architecture, film and photography to sociology, philosophy, human geography, media studies and cultural studies. The entries are written by 35 leading Baudrillard specialists (...) from around the world, including Rex Butler, Mike Gane, Gary Genosko, Victoria Grace, Diane Rubenstein and Andrew Wernick. (shrink)
Andrew McGonigal presents some interesting data concerning truth in serial fictions.1 Such data has been taken by McGonigal, Cameron and Caplan to motivate some form of contextualism or relativism. I argue, however, that many of these approaches are problematic, and that all are under-motivated as the data can be explained in a standard invariantist semantic framework given some independently plausible principles.
Recent work on the problem of truth in serial fiction has focused on the semantics of certain sentences used to talk about serial fictions, as in Ross Cameron’s “How to Be a Nominalist and a Fictional Realist” and Andrew McGonigal’s “Truth, Relativism, and Serial Fiction,” or semantic properties of works themselves, as in Ben Caplan’s “Serial Fiction, Continued.” Here I argue that these proposed solutions are mistaken, and, more importantly, that the general approach to the problem is mistaken: (...) the problem of truth in serial fiction is an instance of the problem of change. Fictions can undergo change, much like you and me in certain respects. As a result, what is true in or according to them changes as well. (shrink)
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
Purpose– This paper aims to explore human technology relations through the lens of sci-fi movies within the life cycle of the ETHICOMP conference series. Here, different perspectives on artificial intelligent agents, primarily in the shape of robots, but also including other kinds of intelligent systems, are explored. Hence, IT-ethical issues related to humans interactions with social robots and artificial intelligent agents are illustrated with reference to: Alex Proyas’ I, Robot; James Cameron’s Terminator; and the Wachowski brothers’ Matrix. All three (...) movies present robots cast in the roles of moral agents capable of doing good or evil. Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence, A.I. gives rise to a discussion of the robot seen as a moral patient and furthermore reflects on possibilities for care and trust relations between robots and humans. Andrew Stanton’s Wall-E shapes a discussion of robots as altruistic machines in the role as facilitators of a flourishing society. Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report allows for a discussion of knowledge-discovering technology and the possibility for balancing data utility and data privacy.Design/methodology/approach– Observations of themes in sci-fi movies within the life span of the ETHICOMP conference series are discussed with the purpose of illustrating ways in which science fiction reflects faction. In that sense, science fiction does not express our worries for a distant future, but rather casts light over questions, which is of concern in the present time.Findings– Human technology interactions are addressed and it is shown how sci-fi films highlight philosophical questions that puzzle us today, such as which kind of relationships can and ought to be formed with robots, and whether the roles they play as social actors demand that one ought to assign moral standing to them. The paper does not present firm answers but instead pays attention to the selection and framing of questions that deserve attention.Originality/value– To relate sci-fi movies to topics raised during the past 20 years of the ETHICOMP conference series, seemed to be an appropriate way of celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the ETHICOMP conference series. (shrink)
In ‘Truth, Relativism, and Serial Fiction’, Andrew McGonigal presents new data that a theory of truth in fiction should account for, and argues that the data is best accounted for by his relativist view. I argue against McGonigal’s relativist view and in favour of a more metaphysical view. The key feature of this view is that it is one on which the content of a work of fiction can change over time. Along the way I also argue against Ross (...)Cameron’s contextualist view. (shrink)
Paul Sheehy has argued that the modal realist cannot satisfactorily allow for the necessity of God's existence. In this short paper I show that she can, and that Sheehy only sees a problem because he has failed to appreciate all the resources available to the modal realist. God may be an abstract existent outside spacetime or He may not be: but either way, there is no problem for the modal realist to admit that He exists at every concrete possible world.
In his paper, ‘A critique of religious fictionalism’, Benjamin Cordry raises a series of objections to a fictionalist form of religious non-realism that I proposed in my earlier paper, ‘Can an atheist believe in God?’. They fall into two main categories: those alleging that an atheist would be unjustified in adopting fictionalism, and those alleging that fictionalism could not be successfully implemented, or practised communally. I argue that these objections can be met.
Ushenko's speculative vision opened on the problem of time and its relation to logic. Profoundly concerned about the theme of time--the theme that intrinsically defines romantic irrationalism--he yet endeavored to vindicate within the bounds of temporality the sovereignty of logic so essential to the continuance of classical philosophy. The dual preoccupation with time and logic urged him into the fields of symbolic logic and relativity physics. From the flux of unrepeatable events he disengaged the laws of logic and the propositions (...) of scientific discourse, while at the same time he sought to keep both orders of entity united without injury to either. He ventured into nature as disclosed by contemporary physics and selected the category of event to supplant substance. He undertook to expound a metaphysics of events, grappled with the problem of the unity not only of nature but of the singular events that make up nature, and fixed upon the overarching structure of the space-time of relativity physics to resolve the problem. But this did not suffice. The metaphysical vision at work in these early books glimpsed at moments a principle beyond time, beyond propositions, beyond events--the principle of power. Power and Events: An Essay on Dynamics in Philosophy focused on the principle of power, integrating the other themes in terms of it. As the mature work of a significant and original thinker, Power and Events posed the principle of power as the central idea for the future course of philosophical investigation. In pursuit of its implications Ushenko embarked upon the philosophy of art in his last book Dynamics of Art and in a consistent yet startling fashion advanced the thesis that the substance of art is in effect a dynamic equilibrium of powers. (shrink)
In this essay I describe how contractarianism might approach interspecies welfare conflicts. I start by discussing a contractarian account of the moral status of nonhuman animals. I argue that contractors can agree to norms that would acknowledge the “moral standing” of some animals. I then discuss how the norms emerging from contractarian agreement might constrain any comparison of welfare between humans and animals. Contractarian agreement is likely to express some partiality to humans in a way that discounts the welfare of (...) some or all animals. While the norms emerging from the contract might be silent or inconsistent in some tragic or catastrophic cases, in most ordinary conflicts of welfare, contractors will agree to norms that produce some determinate resolution. What the agreement says can evolve depending upon how the contractors or the circumstances change. I close with some remarks on contractarian indeterminacy. (shrink)
Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...) nature of epistemic blame. My account draws on a prominent line of theorizing in moral philosophy that ties blame to our relationships with one another. I argue that with my account of epistemic blame on hand, the most compelling worries about epistemic blame can be deflated. There is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. (shrink)
This paper suffers from a disconcerting generality. I need an excuse for wandering from Wittgenstein's Tractatus to Picasso's drawing of a Weeping Woman, via the philosophy of science and the theory of sense data. The thesis of the paper is that I have such an excuse. These are all areas where the concept of representation either exists in its own right, or has been found to be illuminating by philosophers. An important question is whether it could be the same concept (...) in all these cases. I wish to claim that there is an illuminating common concept, even though to find it may require some fairly drastic modifications of some of the philosophical theses that are involved. (shrink)