Value sensitive design aims at creating better technology based on social and ethical values. However, VSD has not been applied to long-term and uncertain future developments, such as societal planning for climate change. This paper describes a new method that combines elements from VSD with scenario planning. The method was developed for and applied to a case study of adaptation to sea level rise in southern Sweden in a series of workshops. The participants of the workshops found that the method (...) provided a framework for discussing long-term planning, enabled identification of essential values, challenged established planning practices, helped find creative solutions, and served as a reminder that we do not know what will happen in the future. Finally, we reflect on the limitations of the method and suggest further research on how it can be improved for value sensitive design of adaptation measures to manage uncertain future sea level rise. (shrink)
In the field of responsibility and climate change, much attention has been paid to actions and what we need to do in order to take responsibility. This paper shifts the perspective from what we should do to how we should be in order to be responsible. Looking at the case of local adaptation to sea level rise, the question of what characterizes a responsible planner is addressed. Departing from the idea of professional virtues, aspirational characteristics are extrapolated from three codes (...) of ethics for planners. The identified virtues are discussed in relation to the central challenges of adaptation to sea level rise, giving an indication of which virtues are most important in this given context. When placing the responsible planner in an institutional context, it is evident that while a virtue perspective should not replace a system analysis, it provides a valuable complement to the traditional action-focused discourse on responsible adaptation. (shrink)
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)
This conversation between two scholars of international law focuses on the contemporary realities of feminist analysis of international law and on current and future spaces of resistance. It notes that feminism has moved from the margin towards the centre, but that this has also come at a cost. As the language of women’s rights and gender equality has travelled into the international policy worlds of crisis management and peace and security, feminist scholars need to become more careful in their analysis (...) and find new ways of resistance. While noting that we live in dangerous times, this is also a hopeful discussion. (shrink)
Michael Wedin argues against the prevailing notion that Aristotle's views on the nature of reality are fundamentally inconsistent. According to Wedin's new interpretation, the difference between the early theory of the Categories and the later theory of the Metaphysics reflects the fact that Aristotle is engaged in quite different projects in the two works--the earlier focusing on ontology, and the later on explanation.
Well–being, health and freedom are some of the many phenomena of interest to science whose definitions rely on a normative standard. Empirical generalizations about them thus present a special case of value-ladenness. I propose the notion of a ‘mixed claim’ to denote such generalizations. Against the prevailing wisdom, I argue that we should not seek to eliminate them from science. Rather, we need to develop principles for their legitimate use. Philosophers of science have already reconciled values with objectivity in several (...) ways, but none of the existing proposals are suitable for mixed claims. Using the example of the science of well-being, I articulate a conception of objectivity for this science and for mixed claims in general. _1_ Introduction _2_ What Are Mixed Claims? _3_ Mixed Claims Are Different _3.1_ Values as reasons to pursue science _3.2_ Values as agenda-setters _3.3_ Values as ethical constraints on research protocols _3.4_ Values as arbiters between underdetermined theories _3.5_ Values as determinants of standards of confirmation _3.6_ Values as sources of wishful thinking and fraud _4_ Mixed Claims Should Stay _4.1_ Against Nagel _5_ The Dangers of Mixed Claims _6_ The Existing Accounts of Objectivity _6.1_ The perils of impartiality _7_ Objectivity for Mixed Claims _8_ Three Rules _8.1_ Unearth the value presuppositions in methods and measures _8.2_ Check if value presuppositions are invariant to disagreements _8.3_ Consult the relevant parties _9_ Conclusion. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a new version of the acquaintance view of the nature of introspection of phenomenal states. On the acquaintance view, when one introspects a current phenomenal state of one’s, one bears to it the relation of introspective acquaintance. Extant versions of the acquaintance view neglect what I call the phenomenal modification problem. The problem, articulated by Franz Brentano in his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, is that drawing introspective attention to one’s current conscious experience may modify (...) its phenomenology. Failing to take phenomenal modification into account affects the adequacy of extant versions of the acquaintance view. The purpose of this paper is to develop a better version, the integration account, that meets the phenomenal modification challenge while preserving the merits of other versions. (shrink)
Conceptual primitives and semantic universals are the cornerstones of a semantic theory which Anna Wierzbicka has been developing for many years. Semantics: Primes and Universals is a major synthesis of her work, presenting a full and systematic exposition of that theory in a non-technical and readable way. It delineates a full set of universal concepts, as they have emerged from large-scale investigations across a wide range of languages undertaken by the author and her colleagues. On the basis of empirical (...) cross-linguistic studies it vindicates the old notion of the "psychic unity of mankind", while at the same time offering a framework for the rigorous description of different languages and cultures. (shrink)
Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
Two main claims are defended. The first is that negative categorical statements are not to be accorded existential import insofar as they figure in the square of opposition. Against Kneale and others, it is argued that Aristotle formulates his o statements, for example, precisely to avoid existential commitment. This frees Aristotle's square from a recent charge of inconsistency. The second claim is that the logic proper provides much thinner evidence than has been supposed for what appears to be the received (...) view, that is, for the view that insofar as they occur in syllogistic negative categoricals have existential import. At most there is a single piece of evidence in favor of the view?a special case of echthesis or the setting out of a case in proof. (shrink)
This chapter provides an intellectual framework for understanding modern theories of virtue. It presents a version of virtue ethics, which draws on the resources of the historical, particularly ancient, tradition, discussing the ways in which a virtue is a disposition, and the ways in which it involves practical reasoning and emotion. It explores virtue’s relation to flourishing and to right action, and the way in which virtue involves aspiring to an ideal. It also discusses the relation of virtue to human (...) nature. Finally, it shows how some modern versions of virtue ethics can reasonably be seen as weaker or less complete theories than the one featured. (shrink)
Michael V. Wedin presents a rigorous reconstruction of the deductions in Parmenides' Way of Truth: the most important philosophical treatise before Plato and Aristotle. He answers criticisms which claim that Parmenides' arguments are shot through with logical fallacies, and argues against natural explanations of Parmenides in the Ionian tradition.
There are problems with egoism as a theory, but what matters here is the point that intuitively ethics is thought to be about the good of others, so that focusing on your own good seems wrong from the start. Virtues are not just character traits, however, since forgetfulness or stubbornness are not virtues. Virtues are character traits which are in some way desirable. Criticism is generally renewed at this point on the grounds that claims about flourishing are now including claims (...) about virtue, and are thus no longer common ground to the defender and the critic of virtue ethics. But virtue ethics has never held that they are, so this is not a problem. It is only to be expected that the virtuous will differ from the nonvirtuous in their assessments of flourishing, because we are dealing here with virtue in the context of a formally characterized conception of flourishing. (shrink)
Many political theorists today deny that citizenship can be defended on liberal grounds alone. Cosmopolitans claim that loyalty to a particular state is incompatible with universal liberal principles, which hold that we have equal duties of justice to persons everywhere, while nationalist theorists justify civic obligations only by reaching beyond liberal principles and invoking the importance of national culture. In Liberal Loyalty, Anna Stilz challenges both views by defending a distinctively liberal understanding of citizenship. Drawing on Kant, Rousseau, and (...) Habermas, Stilz argues that we owe civic obligations to the state if it is sufficiently just, and that constitutionally enshrined principles of justice in themselves--rather than territory, common language, or shared culture--are grounds for obedience to our particular state and for democratic solidarity with our fellow citizens. She demonstrates that specifying what freedom and equality mean among a particular people requires their democratic participation together as a group. Justice, therefore, depends on the authority of the democratic state because there is no way equal freedom can be defined or guaranteed without it. Yet, as Stilz shows, this does not mean that each of us should entertain some vague loyalty to democracy in general. Citizens are politically obligated to their own state and to each other, because within their particular democracy they define and ultimately guarantee their own civil rights. Liberal Loyalty is a persuasive defense of citizenship on purely liberal grounds. (shrink)
Intuitively, we often see absences. For example, if someone steals your laptop at a café, you may see its absence from your table. However, absence perception presents a paradox. On prevailing models of perception, we see only present objects and scenes (Marr, Gibson, Dretske). So, we cannot literally see something that is not present. This suggests that we never literally perceive absences; instead, we come to believe that something is absent cognitively on the basis of what we perceive. But this (...) cognitive explanation does not do justice to the phenomenology. Many experiences of absence possess immediate, perceptual qualities. One may further argue that the ability to detect certain absences confers strong adaptive advantage and therefore must be as primitive and fundamental to humans as seeing positive things. I argue that we can literally see absences; in addition to representing objects, perception represents absences of objects. I present a model of seeing absence based on visual expectations and a visual matching process. The phenomenon of seeing absence can thus serve as an adequacy-test for a theory of perceptual content. If experiences of absence are possible, then we have another reason (following Siegel) to reject the view that perceptual content is restricted to colors and shapes. Furthermore, if the proposed account is correct, then we have grounds for dissociating seeing absence from other imagery-based phenomena termed “perceptual presence-in-absence” (Noë, Macpherson). (shrink)
In "Metaphysics" Gamma 3 Aristotle declares that the philosopher investigates things that are qua things that are and that he therefore should be able to state the firmest principles of everything. The firmest principle of all is identified as the principle of non-contradiction (PNC). The main focus of Gamma 3 is Aristotle's proof for this identification. This paper begins with remarks about Aristotle's notion of the firmness of a principle and then offers an analysis of the firmness proof for PNC. (...) It focuses on some key assumptions of the proof and on the range and force of the proof. Aristotle closes Gamma 3 with the claim that PNC is ultimate in the sense that all other principles somehow rest on it. This, rather controversial, claim is given a defensible reading and shown to be central to the chapter's effort to establish PNC as the firmest principle of all. As such it completes the firmness proof and is not simply an appended remark. (shrink)
Aristotle's views on the fundamental nature of reality are usually taken to be inconsistent. The two main sources for these views are the Categories and the central books of the Metaphysics, particularly book Zeta. In the early theory of the Categories the basic entities of the world are concrete objects such as Socrates: Aristotle calls them 'primary substances'. But the later theory awards this title to the forms of concrete objects. Michael Wedin proposes a compatibilist solution to this long-standing (...) puzzle, arguing that Aristotle is engaged in quite different projects in the two works. The theory of Metaphysics Zeta is meant to explain central features of the standing doctrine of the Categories, and so presupposes the essential truth of the early theory. The Categories offers a theory of underlying ontological configurations, while book Zeta gives form the status of primary substance because it is primarily the form of a concrete object that explains its nature, and this form is the substance of the object. So when the late theory identifies primary substance with form, it appeals to an explanatory primacy that is quite distinct from the ontological primacy that dominates the Categories. Wedin's new interpretation thus allows us to see the two treatises as complementing each other: they are parts of a unified history of substance. (shrink)
In this 2002 book, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti examines the most intractable problems which toleration encounters and argues that what is really at stake is not religious or moral disagreement but the unequal status of different social groups. Liberal theories of toleration fail to grasp this and consequently come up with normative solutions that are inadequate when confronted with controversial cases. Galeotti proposes, as an alternative, toleration as recognition, which addresses the problem of according equal respect to groups as well (...) as equal liberty to individuals. She offers an interpretation that is both a revision and an expansion of liberal theory, in which toleration constitutes an important component not only of a theory of justice, but also of the politics of identity. Her study will appeal to a wide range of readers in political philosophy, political theory, and law. (shrink)
How many hairs must a person lose before they become bald? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of answering this. This is because “bald”, along with a large number of other words, is vague. This vagueness causes problems and Anna Mahtani specialises in thinking very precisely about these problems….
In this Introduction we introduce the central themes of the Evaluative Perception volume. After identifying historical and recent contemporary work on this topic, we discuss some central questions under three headings: (1) Questions about the Existence and Nature of Evaluative Perception: Are there perceptual experiences of values? If so, what is their nature? Are experiences of values sui generis? Are values necessary for certain kinds of experience? (2) Questions about the Epistemology of Evaluative Perception: Can evaluative experiences ever justify evaluative (...) judgments? Are experiences of values necessary for certain kinds of justified evaluative judgments? (3) Questions about Value Theory and Evaluative Perception: Is the existence of evaluative experience supported or undermined by particular views in value theory? Are particular views in value theory supported or undermined by the existence of value experience? (shrink)
The concept of ‘pareto superiority’ plays a central role in ethics, economics, and law. Pareto superiority is sometimes taken as a relation between outcomes, and sometimes as a relation between actions—even where the outcomes of the actions are uncertain. Whether one action is classed as pareto superior to another depends on the prospects under the actions for each person concerned. I argue that a person’s prospects can depend on how that person is designated. Without any constraints on acceptable designators, then, (...) the concept of pareto superiority is ill defined and gives inconsistent results. I consider various ways of completing the definition and draw out some surprising implications. (shrink)
Julian Reiss correctly identified a trilemma about economic models: we cannot maintain that they are false, but nevertheless explain and that only true accounts explain. In this reply we give reasons to reject the second premise ? that economic models explain. Intuitions to the contrary should be distrusted.
Many have argued that a rational agent's attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a probability range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour, and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to the ‘two bets’ argument for sharp probabilities.