This article examines how and why Ayn Rand uses fairy tales as intertexts in her novels. It argues that she evokes and revises fairy tales to exemplify the metaphysical values that her novels resist. For Rand, fairy tales like “Cinderella” are problematic because they typically endorse conventionality over the truly heroic. She therefore associates them with secondhanders and villains. She rejects their message that mindless conformity leads to happily-ever-after, and she exposes how fairy tales can be formidable vehicles for promoting (...) the senseless. She reinforces her point by contrasting them with her revisions of myths, which she associates with heroes. (shrink)
In this thesis, I will defend a new kind of compatibilist account of free action, indirect conscious control compatibilism (or indirect compatibilism for short), and argue that some of our actions are free according to it. My argument has three components, and involves the development of a brand new tool for experimental philosophy, and the use of cognitive neuroscience. The first component of the argument shows that compatibilism (of some kind) is a conceptual truth. Contrary to the current orthodoxy in (...) the free will literature, which is that our concept of free will is an incompatibilist concept - a concept according to which we have free will only if determinism is false - I will show that our concept of free will is in fact a compatibilist concept - a concept according to which we can have free will even if determinism is true - and I do so using a new experimental philosophy methodology inspired by two-dimensional semantics. -/- Of course, even if our concept of free will is a compatibilist concept, this does not mean that there are any free actions in the world: the current empirical evidence from the brain sciences appears to show that there might be no, or very few, free actions in the world, even on many compatibilist understandings of what it would take for there to be free will. The second component of the argument addresses this concern by extending our understanding of compatibilism. Agents act freely either when their actions are caused by compatibilistically acceptable psychological processes, or are indirectly caused by those same processes. Hence the name of my account: indirect compatibilism. -/- The final component of the argument defends my new account against some interesting objections and provides evidence from cognitive neuroscience that some of our actions count as free by the lights of indirect compatibilism. (shrink)
This article looks at “faith-in” and what Jonathan Kvanvig calls the “belittler objection” by comparing Hegel’s and Kierkegaard’s interpretations of Abram (later known as Abraham). I first argue that Hegel’s treatment of Abram in Spirit of Christianity and its Fate is an objection to faith-in. Building on this with additional Hegelian texts, I argue that Hegel’s objection employs his social command account of morality. I then turn to Johannes de Silentio’s treatments of Abraham in Fear and Trembling and Søren Kierkegaard’s (...) Works of Love to argue that Kierkegaard defends faith-in as part of a moderate divine command account of moral knowledge. Finally, this article suggests that the belittler objection is ultimately an objection to faith-in as a divine command source of moral knowledge or obligation rather than social command. (shrink)
Many philosophers have assumed that our preferences regarding hedonic events exhibit a bias toward the future: we prefer positive experiences to be in our future and negative experiences to be in our past. Recent experimental work by Greene et al. (ms) confirmed this assumption. However, they noted a potential for some participants to respond in a deviant manner, and hence for their methodology to underestimate the percentage of people who are time neutral, and overestimate the percentage who are future biased. (...) We aimed to replicate their study using an alternative methodology that ensures there are no such deviant responses, and hence more accurately tracks future bias and time neutrality. Instead of finding more time neutrality than Greene et al., however, we found vastly more past bias. Our explanation for this surprising finding helps to reveal the rationale behind both future and past biased preferences, and undermines the generalisability of one of the most influential motivations for the rationality of hedonic future bias: Parfit’s My Past or Future Operations. (shrink)
Forgiveness theorists focus a good deal on explicating the content of what they take to be a shared folk concept of forgiveness. Our empirical research, however, suggests that there is a range of concepts of forgiveness present in the population, and therefore that we should be folk conceptual pluralists about forgiveness. We suggest two possible responses on the part of forgiveness theorists: (1) to deny folk conceptual pluralism by arguing that forgiveness is a functional concept and (2) to accept folk (...) conceptual pluralism and focus on a revisionary conceptual ethics project. (shrink)
ArgumentBy the late nineteenth century, science pedagogues and academicians became involved in a vast movement to popularize science throughout the Russian empire. With the aftermath of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, many now found the new Marxist state a willing supporter of their goals of spreading science to an under-educated public. In the Stalin era, Soviet state officials believed that the spread of science and technology had to coalesce with the Communist Party's utilitarian goals and needs to revive the industrial sector (...) of the economy. This resulted in a new Stalinist technologically oriented popularization campaign. In the Khrushchev era, Soviet politicians became increasingly more aware of the competitive power of Soviet technology in the global arena and developed extensive campaigns to publicize Soviet feats for a broad domestic and foreign public audience. This was particularly true for topics such as the space program and big technologies such as nuclear power. (shrink)
ABSTRACTI suggest that Kierkegaard proves a helpful interlocutor in the debate about Analects 13.18 and the meaning of yin 隱. After surveying the contemporary debate, I argue that Kierkegaard and the Confucians agree on three important points. First, they both present relational selves. Second, both believe certain relationships are integral for moral knowledge. Third, both present a differentiated account of love where our obligations are highest to those with whom we are closest. Moreover, Kierkegaard’s ‘covering’ in the deliberation ‘Love covers (...) a multitude of sins’ in Works of Love of ‘covering’ suggests innovative meanings for yin 隱 that are compatible with Confucian philosophy. Finally, I argue that sagely discretion in covering on the Confucian account is like the teleological suspension of the ethical. (shrink)
“The sleeper awakes” is a convention of many literary utopias from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The plots of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, William Morris’s News from Nowhere, and H. G. Wells’sWhen the Sleeper Wakes all famously involve a sleeping modern everyman who awakens to a future where the conflicts and contradictions of the burgeoning capitalist society have been resolved. The Bleilers identify dozens of other speculative novels from the same period employing this very device, such as William (...) Hudson’s A Crystal Age and Alvarado Fuller’s A.D. 2000.1 Chris Ferns has argued that this trope constitutes something of a “consoling... (shrink)
This article first considers Hegel's treatment of Ruist thought, especially the Berlin-era lectures. While Hegel and Hegelian thought cannot integrate non-Western material, five interesting analogues in their social thought deserve consideration: the family as society's relational foundation; ritual as cultural language; Hegelian necessity as Ruist fate; rulers as relational centers; and tools for evaluating ritual.
The framework for addiction offered by the target article can perhaps be simplified into fewer, more basic, vulnerabilities. covers a number of vulnerabilities, not just enhanced delay discounting. Real-world drug-use decisions involve both delay and probability discounting. The motivational salience of, and attentional bias for, drug cues may be related to a number of vulnerabilities. Interactions among vulnerabilities are of significance and complicate the application of this framework.
Behrendt & Young's (B&Y's) novel “unifying model” of hallucinations, although comprehensive, fails to incorporate research into the possible role of 5-HT2A receptors in the mode of action of novel “atypical” antipsychotic drugs (which treat hallucinations effectively), and into the role of such receptors, which are located in thalamocortical circuits, in mediating drug-induced hallucinations.
In 427 B.c. the Athenian assembly passed a decree bearing on the recently suppressed revolt on the island of Lesbos. All citizens in Mytilene, the city which had led the revolt, were to be executed and their women and children sold into slavery. A trireme was swiftly dispatched to Paches with instructions to execute the decree. But the Athenians had arrived at their decision in a fit of anger; and when presently their ργ subsided, they experienced grave misgivings over an (...) action which now seemed in their own estimation cruel and excessive. They earnestly sought to reconsider the matter, and so within the space of a day they convened once more to debate Mytilene. (shrink)
According to an influential view of practical reason and rational agency, a person acts for a reason only if she recognizes some consideration to be a reason, where this recognition motivates her to act. I call this requirement the guidance condition on acting for a reason. Despite its intuitive appeal, the guidance condition appears to generate a vicious regress. At least one proponent of the guidance condition, Christine M. Korsgaard, is sensitive to this regress worry, and her appeal in recent (...) work to the constitutive principles of action can be seen, in part, as a response to it. I argue, however, that if we are to appeal to the constitutive principles of action to resolve the regress, then we must determine whether acting on such principles is also subject to the guidance condition. This raises a dilemma. If following these principles is subject to the guidance condition, then the regress remains unresolved. But if not, then the rationale for applying it to acting for a reason vanishes as well. I conclude that we should embrace an account of acting for a reason that rejects the guidance condition. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Lewtas  recently articulated an argument claiming that emergent conscious causal powers are impossible. In developing his argument, Lewtas makes several assumptions about emergence, phenomenal consciousness, categorical properties, and causation. We argue that there are plausible alternatives to these assumptions. Thus, the proponent of emergent conscious causal powers can escape Lewtas’s challenge.
We define a higher order logic which has only a notion of sort rather than a notion of type, and which permits all terms of the untyped lambda calculus and allows the use of the Y combinator in writing recursive predicates. The consistency of the logic is maintained by a distinction between use and mention, as in Gilmore's logics. We give a consistent model theory, a proof system which is sound with respect to the model theory, and a cut-elimination proof (...) for the proof system. We also give examples showing what formulas can and cannot be used in the logic. (shrink)
This article investigates how Chaucer‘s Knight‘s and Squire‘s tales critically engage with the Orientalist strategies buttressing contemporary Italian humanist discussions of visual art. Framed by references to crusading, the two tales enter into a dialogue focusing, in particular, on the relations between the classical, the scientific and the Oriental in trecento Italian discourses on painting and optics, discourses that are alluded to in the description of Theseus Theatre and the events that happen there. The Squire‘s Tale exhibits what one might (...) call a strategic Orientalism designed to draw attention to the Orientalism implicit in his fathers narrative, a narrative that, for all its painstaking classicism, displays both remarkably Italianate and Orientalist features. Read in tandem, the two tales present a shrewd commentary on the exclusionary strategies inherent in the construction of new cultural identities, arguably making Chaucer the first postcolonial critic of the Renaissance. (shrink)
This volume contains the editions of polemical texts by Erasmus against Martin Luther and Pierre Cousturier, of his defence against attacks on his oration on matrimony, and of his immensely popular ‘pocket’ edition of the _Disticha Catonis_.
We are all familiar with regret. And on the face of it, there doesn't seem to be anything puzzling about it, the way there is about (among other things) self‐deception and survivor guilt. So what philosophical significance does it have?
In this study, we sought to obtain detailed opinion on some of the practical issues that might arise should physician-assisted suicide (PAS) ever be legalized in the UK. We carried out an anonymous postal questionnaire of medical students, junior and senior doctors working at an acute hospital trust, over a three-week period. A total of 435 questionnaires were distributed and we had an overall return rate of 34%. We found that opinions changed very little as doctors progressed from medical school (...) through to senior clinical positions. Overall, there was neutral opinion on whether PAS should be legalized. There was strong support for a multidisciplinary approach to the process and the involvement of the coroner. An opt-out clause for physicians who did not want to be involved in assisted suicide also received strong support. (shrink)
We investigated, experimentally, the contention that the folk view, or naïve theory, of time, amongst the population we investigated is dynamical. We found that amongst that population, ~ 70% have an extant theory of time that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory, and ~ 70% of those who deploy a naïve theory of time deploy a naïve theory that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory. Interestingly, while we found stable results across our (...) two experiments regarding the percentage of participants that have a dynamical or non-dynamical extant theory of time, we did not find such stability regarding which particular dynamical or non-dynamical theory of time they take to be most similar to our world. This suggests that there might be two extant theories in the population—a broadly dynamical one and a broadly non-dynamical one—but that those theories are sufficiently incomplete that participants do not stably choose the same dynamical theory as being most similar to our world. This suggests that while appeals to the ordinary view of time may do some work in the context of adjudicating disputes between dynamists and non-dynamists, they likely cannot do any such work adjudicating disputes between particular brands of dynamism. (shrink)
This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists, showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed worlds. Comparing our results to those we describe in Latham et al., we report that while ~ 70% of dynamists say there is time in B-theory worlds, (...) only ~ 45% say there is time in C-theory worlds. Thus, while the presence of directedness makes dynamists more inclined to say there is time in a world, a substantial subpopulation of dynamists judge that there is time in non-directed worlds. By contrast, a majority of non-dynamists judged that there was time in both growing block worlds and C-theory worlds, with no significant differences between the means. Experiment 2 found that when participants are only presented with non-dynamical worlds—namely, a directed world and a non-directed world—they report significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in B-theory worlds. However, the majority of participants still judge that there is time in C-theory worlds. We conclude that while the presence of directedness bolsters judgements that there is time, most people do not judge it to be necessary for time. (shrink)
It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that most people unambiguously have a phenomenology as of time passing, and that this is a datum that philosophical theories must accommodate. Moreover, it has been assumed that the greater the extent to which people have said phenomenology, the more likely they are to endorse a dynamical theory of time. This paper is the first to empirically test these assumptions. Surprisingly, our results do not support either assumption. One experiment instead found the reverse (...) correlation: people were more likely to report having passage phenomenology if they endorsed a non-dynamical theory of time. Given that people do not have an unambiguous phenomenology as of time passing, we conclude that this is suggestive evidence in favor of veridical non-dynamism—the view that our phenomenology is veridical, and that it does not unambiguously represent that time passes. Instead, our phenomenology veridically has some quite different content. (shrink)
Philosophers have long noted, and empirical psychology has lately confirmed, that most people are “biased toward the future”: we prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. At least two explanations have been offered for this bias: belief in temporal passage and the practical irrelevance of the past resulting from our inability to influence past events. We set out to test the latter explanation. In a large survey, we find that participants exhibit significantly less (...) future bias when asked to consider scenarios where they can affect their own past experiences. This supports the “practical irrelevance” explanation of future bias. It also suggests that future bias is not an inflexible preference hardwired by evolution, but results from a more general disposition to “accept the things we cannot change”. However, participants still exhibited substantial future bias in scenarios in which they could affect the past, leaving room for complementary explanations. Beyond the main finding, our results also indicate that future bias is stake-sensitive and that participants endorse the normative correctness of their future-biased preferences and choices. In combination, these results shed light on philosophical debates over the rationality of future bias, suggesting that it may be a rational response to empirical realities rather than a brute, arational disposition. (shrink)
In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not depend on what satisfies it actually—insensitive, and (b) do (...) those who represent actual time as dynamical, represent time in all possible worlds as dynamical—what we call insensitive dynamism—or do they represent time in all possible worlds as dynamical only conditional on the actual world in fact being dynamical—what we call sensitive dynamism and (c) do dynamists and non-dynamists deploy two different representations of time, or deploy the same representation, but disagree about what actually satisfies that representation? We found no evidence that the folk representation of time is sensitive, or that the folk representation of time is essentially dynamical in either sense, though we did find evidence of a shared representation, on which dynamical features are sufficient, but not necessary, for time. (shrink)
A number of recent articles attribute the origin of the use of cervical balloon dilation in the induction of labor to either Barnes in the 1860s or Embrey and Mollison in the 1960s. This review examines the historical record and reveals that, based on current practice attribution should rather be made to two contemporaries of Barnes: the Storer and Mattei. More importantly, Storer’s warning about the rubber used in dilators was ignored, leading to decades of possibly unnecessary deaths following childbirth. (...) To conduct this study key search terms for PubMed, Google Scholar and the website of the University of Ryerson were utilized as “Barnes”, “Woodman”, “balloon dilation”, “balloon catheter”, “foley”, “colpeurynter”, “cervix uteri” and “induction.” Subsequent analysis was done on downloaded articles using BibDesk. (shrink)
According to a growing consensus in the secondary literature on Quine, the judgment Quine makes in favor of the nominalism outlined in “Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism” is in tension with the naturalism he later adopts. In this paper, I show the consensus view is mistaken by showing that Quine’s judgment is rooted in a naturalistic standard of clarity. Moreover, I argue that Quine late in his career is committed to accepting one plausible reading of his judgment in 1947. In (...) making these arguments, I draw attention to a version of naturalism that misreadings of Quine have prevented philosophers from appreciating, and thereby articulate and clarify a version of naturalism I recommend philosophers investigate today. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
Empirical evidence shows that people have multiple time-biases. One is near-bias; another is future-bias. Philosophical theorising about these biases often proceeds on two assumptions. First, that the two biases are independent: that they are explained by different factors (the independence assumption). Second, that there is a normative asymmetry between the two biases: one is rationally impermissible (near-bias) and the other rationally permissible (future-bias). The former assumption at least partly feeds into the latter: if the two biases were not explained by (...) different factors, then it would be less plausible that their normative statuses differ. This paper investigates the independence assumption and finds it unwarranted. In light of this, we argue, there is reason to question the normative asymmetry assumption. (shrink)
It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that our first-person preferences regarding pleasurable and painful experiences exhibit a bias toward the future (positive and negative hedonic future-bias), and that our preferences regarding non-hedonic events (both positive and negative) exhibit no such bias (non-hedonic time-neutrality). Further, it has been assumed that our third-person preferences are always time-neutral. Some have attempted to use these (presumed) differential patterns of future-bias—different across kinds of events and perspectives—to argue for the irrationality of hedonic future-bias. This (...) paper experimentally tests these descriptive hypotheses. While as predicted we found first-person hedonic future-bias, we did not find that participants were time-neutral in all other conditions. Hence, the presumed asymmetry of hedonic/non-hedonic and first/third-person preferences cannot be used to argue for the irrationality of future-bias, since no such asymmetries exist. Instead, we develop a more fine-grained approach, according to which three factors—positive/negative valence, first/third-person, and hedonic/non-hedonic—each independently influence, but do not determine, whether an event is treated in a future-biased or time-neutral way. We discuss the upshots of these results for the debate over the rationality of future-bias. (shrink)
Although death statutes permitting physicians to declare brain death are relatively uniform throughout the United States, academic debate persists over the equivalency of human death and brain death. Alan Shewmon showed that the formerly accepted integration rationale was conceptually incomplete by showing that brain-dead patients demonstrated a degree of integration. We provide a more complete rationale for the equivalency of human death and brain death by defending a deeper understanding of the organism as a whole and by using a novel (...) strategy with shared objectives to justify death determination criteria. Our OaaW account describes different types of OaaW, defining human death as the loss of status as a human OaaW. We defend human death as similar to nonhuman death in terms of wakefulness, but also distinct in terms of the sui generis properties, particularly conscious awareness. We thereby defend the equivalency of brain death and human death using a resulting neurocentric rationale. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
Reviewing works by James Alison, Alistair McFadyen, Andrew Sung Park, Ted Peters, and Solomon Schimmel, the author suggests that the status and function of the discourse/doctrine of sin highlight tensions between theology and ethics in ways that suggest the character, limits, and promise of religious ethics. This literature commends attention to sin-talk because it helps religious ethicists to render more adequately the dynamics of human agency, sociality, and culture and because it raises questions about the nature and task (...) of theology, faith, and morality. Yet these volumes also indicate that religious ethics should pay more attention to particular sins. (shrink)
Philosophers working on time-biases assume that people are hedonically biased toward the future. A hedonically future-biased agent prefers pleasurable experiences to be future instead of past, and painful experiences to be past instead of future. Philosophers further predict that this bias is strong enough to apply to unequal payoffs: people often prefer less pleasurable future experiences to more pleasurable past ones, and more painful past experiences to less painful future ones. In addition, philosophers have predicted that future-bias is restricted to (...) first-person preferences, and that people’s third-person preferences are time-neutral. Philosophers disagree vigorously about the normative status of these preferences—i.e., they disagree about whether first-person future-bias is rationally permissible. Time-neutralists, for example, have appealed to the predicted asymmetry between first- and third-person preferences to argue for the rational impermissibility of future-bias. We empirically tested these predictions, and found that while people do prefer more past pain to less future pain, they do not prefer less future pleasure to more past pleasure. This was so in both first and third-person conditions. This suggests that future-bias is typically non-absolute, and is more easily outweighed in the case of positive events. We connect this result to the normative debate over future-bias. (shrink)
Despite a large and multifaceted effort to understand the vast landscape of phenotypic data, their current form inhibits productive data analysis. The lack of a community-wide, consensus-based, human- and machine-interpretable language for describing phenotypes and their genomic and environmental contexts is perhaps the most pressing scientific bottleneck to integration across many key fields in biology, including genomics, systems biology, development, medicine, evolution, ecology, and systematics. Here we survey the current phenomics landscape, including data resources and handling, and the progress that (...) has been made to accurately capture relevant data descriptions for phenotypes. We present an example of the kind of integration across domains that computable phenotypes would enable, and we call upon the broader biology community, publishers, and relevant funding agencies to support efforts to surmount today's data barriers and facilitate analytical reproducibility. (shrink)