ABSTRACTThe recognition of emotional facial expressions is often subject to contextual influence, particularly when the face and the context convey similar emotions. We investigated whether spontaneous, incidental affective theory of mind inferences made while reading vignettes describing social situations would produce context effects on the identification of same-valenced emotions as well as differently-valenced emotions conveyed by subsequently presented faces. Crucially, we found an effect of context on reaction times in both experiments while, in line with previous work, we found evidence (...) for a context effect on accuracy only in Experiment 1. This demonstrates that affective theory of mind inferences made at the pragmatic level of a text can automatically, contextually influence the perceptual processing of emotional facial expressions in a separate task even when those emotions are of a distinctive valence. Thus, our novel findings suggest that language acts as a contex... (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Pascal Engel’s recent work on doxastic correctness. I raise worries about two elements of his view—the role played in it by the distinction between i -correctness and e -correctness, and the construal of doxastic correctness as an ideal of reason. I propose an alternative approach.
This paper considers a view according to which there are certain symmetries between the nature of belief and that of intention. I do not defend this Symmetry View in detail, but rather try to adjudicate between different versions of it: what I call Evaluative, Normative and Teleological versions. I argue that the central motivation for the Symmetry View in fact supports only a specific Teleological version of the view.
Norm-attitude accounts of value say that for something to be valuable is for there to be norms that support valuing that thing. For example, according to fitting-attitude accounts, something is of value if it is fitting to value, and according to buck-passing accounts, something is of value if the reasons support valuing it. Norm-attitude accounts face the partiality problem: in cases of partiality, what it is fitting to value, and what the reasons support valuing, may not line up with what’s (...) valuable. Buck-passers have a solution to this problem and may claim that this gives them an advantage over fitting-attitude accounts. In this paper, we show how fitting-attitudes accounts can offer a broadly analogous, and equally attractive, solution to the problem. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this paper, I address the question of what we are really after when we seek Smithian mutual sympathy; I also show how the answer I propose can be used to illuminate a crucial feature of Smith's moral philosophy. The first section develops a Smithian response to egoistic interpretations of the desire for mutual sympathy. The second section identifies a number of different self- and other-relevant ways in which one could desire mutual sympathy. Some of these different ways of desiring (...) mutual sympathy comprise a spectrum of degrees of self-centredness; others comprise a spectrum of degrees of other-centredness. The third section shows that the spectra of ways of desiring mutual sympathy can be used to explain the kind of sincere, motivating attachment to morality characteristic of fully developed Smithian moral agents. (shrink)
The book draws heavily on unparalleled access to the archives of Astrid Kirchherr and includes photographs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Kirchherr's former fiance, Stuart Sutcliffe, as well as other key protagonists in ...
This article addresses a number of phenomena in the field of digital communication - disinformation, infodemics and conspiracy mania - that promote indifference regarding the distinction between truth and lies, fact and fiction, opinion and knowledge. They have thus decisively altered users' patterns of rationality and common sense and contributed to the rise of anti-democratic and anti-scientific positions. To address this complex problem, a systemic approach is provided that considers these phenomena to be factors that disturb the ethical-epistemic equilibrium between (...) uncertainty, trust and responsibility. After identifying a set of dynamics generated by these disruptive factors, three aspects are explored in depth: the polarisation and lack of a deliberative culture, the necessary correction of the social image of scientific practice, and the impact of the post-truth discourse. The article concludes with reflections on redefining the three key concepts of uncertainty, trust and responsibility in light of the demands of the digital sphere. (shrink)
This paper takes the passing of Peter McHugh as an occasion to examine the intellectual development of his work. The paper is mainly focused on the product of his collaboration with his colleague and friend, Alan Blum. As such, it addresses the tradition of social inquiry, Analysis, which they cofounded. It traces the influence of Harold Garfinkel’s Ethnomethodology on McHugh and on the beginning of Analysis. The collaboration with Blum is examined through a variety of coauthored works but (...) most especially in the two books On the Beginning of Social Inquiry (1974) and Self Reflection in the Arts and Sciences (1984). It also examines the relation of his independent writing before 1974, and since 1984 to the expression of the tradition of inquiry as exemplified in those two texts. The paper builds on some interview material with Peter McHugh and reflects on the influence of Peter the teacher as well as the theorist McHugh. Most especially, through its engagement with this material, it seeks to exemplify the dialectic and living nature of the program called Analysis. (shrink)
According to the fitting-attitudes account of value, for X to be good is for it to be fitting to value X. But what is it for an attitude to be fitting? A popular recent view is that it is for there to be sufficient reason for the attitude. In this paper we argue that proponents of the fitting-attitudes account should reject this view and instead take fittingness as basic. In this way they avoid the notorious ‘wrong kind of reason’ problem, (...) and can offer attractive accounts of reasons and good reasoning in terms of fittingness. (shrink)
This paper is a personal and theoretic commemoration of Peter McHugh’s life and commitment through the prism of the writer’s discovery of, and involvement in, the effort from the late 1960s to diagnose and respond to the failure of positivism in sociology. Peter’s work (with that of Alan Blum) formed a central component of that effort. I trace the genealogy of Peter’s teaching and conversational practice, to his roots in ethnomethodology and his involvement with Harold Garfinkel. This is followed (...) by an account of how Peter developed and transformed the ethnomethodological impulse, from the uninterestingly enforceable towards the invitation to share in the discovery and reconstruction of interest. The paper concludes by situating the time that is its focus, acknowledging the depth of Peter’s impact, and opening for future engagement the subsequent development of his work, in the context of various debates and questions (briefly alluded to) that form a part of the life of theorizing in the early twenty-first century. (shrink)
Reasoning is a certain kind of attitude-revision. What kind? The aim of this paper is to introduce and defend a new answer to this question, based on the idea that reasoning is a goodness-fixing kind. Our central claim is that reasoning is a functional kind: it has a constitutive point or aim that fixes the standards for good reasoning. We claim, further, that this aim is to get fitting attitudes. We start by considering recent accounts of reasoning due to Ralph (...) Wedgwood and John Broome, and argue that, while these accounts contain important insights, they are not satisfactory: Wedgwood’s rules out too much, and Broome’s too little. We then introduce and defend our alternative account, discuss some of its implications and attractions, and, finally, consider objections. (shrink)
Putting laypeople in an active role as direct expert contributors in the design of service robots becomes more and more prominent in the research fields of human–robot interaction and social robotics. Currently, though, HRI is caught in a dilemma of how to create meaningful service robots for human social environments, combining expectations shaped by popular media with technology readiness. We recapitulate traditional stakeholder involvement, including two cases in which new intelligent robots were conceptualized and realized for close interaction with humans. (...) Thereby, we show how the robot narrative together with aspects of power balancing stakeholders, such as hardware constraints and missing perspectives beyond primary users, and the adaptivity of robots through machine learning that creates unpredictability, pose specific challenges for participatory design processes in HRI. We conclude with thoughts on a way forward for the HRI community in developing a culture of participation that considers humans when conceptualizing, building, and using robots. (shrink)
What makes the difference between good and bad reasoning? In this paper we defend a novel account of good reasoning—both theoretical and practical—according to which it preserves fittingness or correctness: good reasoning is reasoning which is such as to take you from fitting attitudes to further fitting attitudes, other things equal. This account, we argue, is preferable to two others that feature in the recent literature. The first, which has been made prominent by John Broome, holds that the standards of (...) good reasoning derive from rational requirements. The second holds that these standards derive from reasons. We argue that these accounts face serious difficulties in correctly distinguishing good from bad reasoning, and in explaining what's worthwhile about good reasoning. We then propose our alternative account and argue that it performs better on these counts. In the final section, we develop certain elements of the account in response to some possible objections. (shrink)
Although the main responsibility for informed consent of medical procedures rests with doctors, nurses’ roles are also important, especially as patient advocates. Nurses’ preparation for this role in settings with a hierarchical and communal culture has received little attention. We explored the views of hospital managers and nurses regarding the roles of nurses in informed consent and factors influencing these roles. We conducted a qualitative study in a private, multispecialty hospital in Indonesia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven managers. Two (...) rounds of focus group discussions with nurses (n = 27) were conducted. Constant comparative approach was used in the analysis. Nurses can act as manager, witness, information giver, and advocate in the informed consent process. These roles are influenced by nurses’ preparedness, hospital culture and policy, patients’ understanding, family involvement, and cost-related issues. In preparation for these tasks, nurses should acquire communication skills, clinical knowledge, and legal and ethical knowledge. (shrink)
In “A Refutation of Drange’s Arguments from Evil and Nonbelief”, Christopher McHugh posed his so-calledExpectations Defense against versions of the Argument from Evil and Argument from Nonbelief that appear in my book Nonbelief & Evil. I here raise objections to his defense.
According to Paul Boghossian and others, inference is subject to the taking condition: it necessarily involves the thinker taking his premises to support his conclusion, and drawing the conclusion because of that fact. Boghossian argues that this condition vindicates the idea that inference is an expression of agency, and that it has several other important implications too. However, we argue in this paper that the taking condition should be rejected. The condition gives rise to several serious prima facie problems and (...) the reasons which have been offered in favour of it fail to convince. (shrink)
Beliefs are held to norms in a way that seems to require control over what we believe. Yet we don’t control our beliefs at will, in the way we control our actions. I argue that this problem can be solved by recognising a different form of control, which we exercise when we revise our beliefs directly for reasons. We enjoy this form of attitudinal control not only over our beliefs, but also over other attitudes, including intentions—that is, over the will (...) itself. Closely tied to our capacity for reasoning, attitudinal control is in important respects more fundamental than the voluntary control that we exercise over our actions. In the course of developing this account I respond to two objections recently raised against an earlier version of it by Booth. (shrink)
I argue that, if belief is subject to a norm of truth, then that norm is evaluative rather than prescriptive in character. No prescriptive norm of truth is both plausible as a norm that we are subject to, and also capable of explaining what the truth norm of belief is supposed to explain. Candidate prescriptive norms also have implausible consequences for the normative status of withholding belief. An evaluative norm fares better in all of these respects. I propose an evaluative (...) account according to which the goodness of true belief is, in Geach's sense, attributive rather than predicative. (shrink)
Legal systems can be metaphorically taken as semantic and pragmatic enclosures. The ancient world has given us at least three literary loci that display the self-disruptive significance of this kind of metaphor if assumed as a practical guideline in the attempt to steer human experience. The first such loci can be traced in biblical Eden; the second one in the Phaeacian garden described in Homer’s Odyssey; the third in the stories of the first and second mythical Athens included in Plato’s (...) Timaeus and Republic. In all these tales, human beings ineluctably end up straying across the semantic-spatial borders which certain categories and rules have given them to encompass their experience. All these literary loci offer both a semio-cognitive and a constitutional lesson for lawyers and sovereigns. My intention is to exploit these lessons to show that the most relevant limit of legal systems, if taken as semantic and pragmatic enclosures, consists precisely in their inability to constitutively limit themselves and their semiotic borders. This inaptitude is due, in my view, to the semiotic ‘exceedance’ of the phrastic, or descriptive parts of legal rules even more than the semantic vagueness of the values underlying their legitimacy. Any attempt to define the semantic and spatial boundaries of human experience by means of verbal enunciations implies the use of categorical schemes to define the legitimate and/or forbidden behaviors. But categorical schemes, in turn, comprise boundaries that draw protean verges between the inside and the outside of each category. The categorical ‘inside’ compellingly tends to exceed its borders so as to protrude out toward what is outside the category. In turn, the ‘outside’ shows, more often than not, continuities with the axiological/teleological patterns underpinning the semantic boundaries of legal rules. Any attempt to limit the competence/extension of law, if taken in its semantic/spatial significance, would seem to unveil what law could or should be, but is not. Relying on the above literary loci, I will try to demonstrate that this apparently contradictory implication is inherent in the dialectic between equality/universality and difference/plurality that makes up categorization itself, and thereby the semiotic prerequisites to considering any legal rule. (shrink)
Known today mainly as a teacher of Adam Smith and an influence on David Hume, Francis Hutcheson was a first-rate thinker whose work deserves study on its own merit. While his most important contribution to the history of ideas was likely his theory of an innate sense of morality, Hutcheson also wrote on a wide variety of other subjects, including art, psychology, law, politics, economics, metaphysics, and logic. Spanning his entire literary career, this collection brings together selections from Hutcheson's greater (...) and lesser known works, including his youthful "Thoughts" on Thomas Hobbes’ egoistic theory of laughter. (shrink)
This paper studies the effects of social comparison on risk taking behavior. In our theoretical framework, decision makers evaluate the consequences of their choices relative to both their own and their peers’ conditions. We test experimentally whether the position in the social ranking affects risk attitudes. Subjects interact in a simulated workplace environment where they perform a work task, receive possibly different wages, and then undertake a risky decision that may produce an extra gain. We find that social comparison matters (...) for risk attitudes. Subjects are more risk averse in the presence of small social gain than social loss. In addition, risk aversion is decreasing in the size of the social gain. (shrink)
This paper defends the possibility of doxastic freedom, arguing that doxastic freedom should be modelled not on freedom of action but on freedom of intention. Freedom of action is exercised by agents like us, I argue, through voluntary control. This involves two conditions, intentions-reactivity and reasons-reactivity, that are not met in the case of doxastic states. Freedom of intention is central to our agency and to our moral responsibility, but is not exercised through voluntary control. I develop and defend an (...) account of freedom of intention, arguing that constitutive features of intention ensure that freedom of intention cannot require voluntary control. Then I show that an analogous argument can be applied to doxastic states. I argue that if we had voluntary control of intentions or of doxastic states, this would actually undermine our freedom. (shrink)
This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.
In the asymptotic safety paradigm, a quantum field theory reaches a regime with quantum scale invariance in the ultraviolet, which is described by an interacting fixed point of the Renormalization Group. Compelling hints for the viability of asymptotic safety in quantum gravity exist, mainly obtained from applications of the functional Renormalization Group. The impact of asymptotically safe quantum fluctuations of gravity at and beyond the Planck scale could at the same time induce an ultraviolet completion for the Standard Model of (...) particle physics with high predictive power. (shrink)
I focus on some of Peter McHugh’s most recent papers. This is work that is not yet widely known, some of which has not even been published as yet. I try to show that while the work does not in any way contradict his life-long commitments, it still has the capacity to be not at all predictable.
Peter McHugh’s influence on those of us who studied and worked with him as part of York University’s graduate sociology programme in Toronto from the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, while lasting and undeniable, is not necessarily immediately apparent nor easily articulated. What follows is a brief reflection on how this difficulty can be understood as integral to Peter McHugh’s unique contribution both to those of us fortunate enough to have studied with him, and more broadly, to the (...) discipline of sociology itself. (shrink)
Beliefs can be correct or incorrect, and this standard of correctness is widely thought to be fundamental to epistemic normativity. But how should this standard be understood, and in what way is it so fundamental? I argue that we should resist understanding correctness for belief as either a prescriptive or an evaluative norm. Rather, we should understand it as an instance of the distinct normative category of fittingness for attitudes. This yields an attractive account of epistemic reasons.
Notwithstanding the fact that a lot, if not most, of science is done outside the laboratory, most literature in the history and philosophy of science, when discussing the experimental method, focus only on experimentation “within the walls of a laboratory” . To fill this embarrassing gap, Astrid Schwarz has written an excellent book on field experimentation. The field, however, is a much more messy site than a clean lab. In an introduction to a special issue of Osiris on field (...) science, Kuklick and Kohler list a number of the problems related to science in the field: As scientific rigor is defined by the standards of the laboratory, the field is considered to be “a site of compromised work: field sciences have dealt with problems that resist tidy solutions, and they have not excluded amateur participants” . To discuss science in the field, we will have to take account of a methodological tension between laboratory and field standards of evidence and reasoning. .. (shrink)
Im Zuge einer Änderung des Arzneimittelgesetzes im November 2016 hat der Deutsche Bundestag beschlossen, dass gruppennützige Arzneimittelforschung mit nicht-einwilligungsfähigen Erwachsenen unter bestimmten Bedingungen erlaubt sein soll. Das entsprechende Gesetz wird voraussichtlich im Jahr 2020 in Kraft treten. Das ethische Problem dieser Forschung besteht darin, dass Personen, die nicht in der Lage sind, ihre Einwilligung in die Forschung zu erteilen, nicht vom medizinischen Fortschritt ausgeschlossen werden sollen. Der Gesetzgeber hat versucht, diesen Konflikt zu lösen, indem er die Zulässigkeit der gruppennützigen Forschung (...) mit nicht-einwilligungsfähigen Erwachsenen an die Voraussetzung geknüpft hat, dass Studienteilnehmer ihre Einwilligung zuvor in einer Probandenverfügung erteilen. Der Beitrag hat das Ziel, die neue Regelung zur gruppennützigen Forschung mit nicht-einwilligungsfähigen Erwachsenen aus ethischer Sicht zu bewerten. Die Frage, ob die Gesetzesänderung weitere Forschung ermöglichen wird, hängt wesentlich davon ab, ob man mit Blick auf Studien, die sowohl eigennützige als auch gruppennützige Maßnahmen umfassen, eine Gesamtbetrachtung oder eine Einzelbetrachtung dieser Studien vorzieht. In unserem Beitrag argumentieren wir für eine Einzelbetrachtung. Es wird weiterhin die Auffassung vertreten, dass die im Gesetzgebungsverfahren vorgeschlagene Probandenverfügung die Selbstbestimmung der Patienten fördern kann, wenn sie mit Blick auf die mit der Teilnahme verbundenen Eingriffe ein Mindestmaß an Bestimmtheit erreicht.Zusammenfassend wird die Auffassung vertreten, dass gruppennützige Forschung mit nicht-einwilligungsfähigen Erwachsenen trotz der genannten Bedenken unter bestimmten Bedingungen ethisch zulässig sein kann. In der Gesamtabwägung erscheint dabei die eindeutige Definition und strenge Beachtung der Bedingungen der EU-Verordnung 536/2014 mit Blick auf einen ethisch gerechtfertigten Einbezug von nicht-einwilligungsfähigen Erwachsenen in gruppennützige Forschung als besonders bedeutsam. (shrink)
It is widely held that when you are deliberating about whether to believe some proposition p, only considerations relevant to the truth of p can be taken into account as reasons bearing on whether to believe p and motivate you accordingly. This thesis of exclusivity has significance for debates about the nature of belief, about control of belief, and about certain forms of evidentialism. In this paper I distinguish a strong and a weak version of exclusivity. I provide reason to (...) think that strong exclusivity is an illusion and that weak exclusivity may also be an illusion. I describe a number of cases in which exclusivity seems not to hold, and I show how an illusion of exclusivity may be generated by a rather different feature of doxastic deliberation, which I call demandingness. (shrink)
Francis Bacon's experimental philosophy is discussed, and the way in which it not only shapes scientific methodology but also deeply pervades all philosophical and social learning. Bacon draws us in to participate in an experiment with experience. The central driving force is the idea that learning how to learn is necessary in order to know. To meet this requirement, he considers the relation of form and content of pivotal importance, and therefore the selection of the literary form and the form (...) of data inscription is decisive in the construction of a heuristic tool. His inductive method serves a dual purpose: first, the so-called indicative form aims at securing knowledge by a comprehensible procedure that controls and guides hypothetical thinking. Second, the literary forms "fragment" and "aphorism" embody the subjunctive, and invite intellectual openness and even speculation. In this article, special emphasis is put on Bacon's use and justification of the aphorism. Bacon's pervasive experimentalism meets in some sense today's broad adoption of the experimental mode. His philosophy calls for an ontology that is also at work in recent notions of co-action and co-working, or of affordance. (shrink)
In thinking of my relationship to Peter McHugh as an intimate collaboration, I take some reactions elicited to a most recent unpublished writing of his on intimacy as an occasion for discussing both intimacy and collaboration as a notion in-itself and as applicable to us in particular, treating that space between the general and particular of intimacy as its zone of fundamental ambiguity. I try to being to view a story of the imaginary of community, its elemental stirrings, that (...) Peter might appreciate. In this, I reorient Arendt's notion of communicating with the dead to the problem of the intimate collaboration and of how each might be a practice that mirrors the other, intimate collaboration being one way of confirming the vow in communicating with the dead to witness, and reciprocally, such communication being a way of practicing intimate collaboration. This leads me to bring to view a range of unstated resonances of the discussion that have applicability to our shared history. First, is intimate collaboration possible in organizations such as the university and how does it coexist among adversarial exchanges, factitious coteries, alliances, and collégial networks? Second, is communicating with the dead another way of speaking of tradition and dissemination in any context as such and what could the manner and method of orienting to this desire say about the quality of life in commemoration per se? (shrink)