Four ethical values — maximizing benefits, treating equally, promoting and rewarding instrumental value, and giving priority to the worst off — yield six specific recommendations for allocating medical resources in the Covid-19 pandemic: maximize benefits; prioritize health workers; do not allocate on a first-come, first-served basis; be responsive to evidence; recognize research participation; and apply the same principles to all Covid-19 and non–Covid-19 patients.
"The availability of a paperback version of Boyle's philosophical writings selected by M. A. Stewart will be a real service to teachers, students, and scholars with seventeenth-century interests. The editor has shown excellent judgment in bringing together many of the most important works and printing them, for the most part, in unabridged form. The texts have been edited responsibly with emphasis on readability.... Of special interest in connection with Locke and with the reception of Descarte's Corpuscularianism, to students of (...) the Scientific Revolution and of the history of mechanical philosophy, and to those interested in the relations among science, philosophy, and religion. In fact, given the imperfections in and unavailability of the eighteenth-century editions of Boyle’s works, this collection will benefit a wide variety of seventeenth-century scholars." --Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania. (shrink)
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
"Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it irrelevant to (...) many people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by "fake news," "alternative facts," and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, the authors argue that social factors, not individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the persistence of false belief and that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively."–Publisher’s description. (shrink)
In almost every human society some people get more and others get less. Why is inequity the rule in human societies? Philosopher Cailin O'Connor reveals how cultural evolution works on social categories such as race and gender to generate unfairness.
This provocative book refurbishes the traditional account of freedom of will as reasons-guided "agent" causation, situating its account within a general metaphysics. O'Connor's discussion of the general concept of causation and of ontological reductionism v. emergence will specially interest metaphysicians and philosophers of mind.
This is an Element surveying the most important literature using game theory and evolutionary game theory to shed light on questions in the philosophy of biology. There are two branches of literature that the book focuses on. It begins with a short introduction to game theory and evolutionary game theory. It then turns to working using signaling games to explore questions related to communication, meaning, language, and reference. The second part of the book addresses prosociality - strategic behavior that contributes (...) to the successful functioning of social groups - using the prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt, and bargaining games. (shrink)
“Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very (...) closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Acting with free will, on such views, is just to satisfy the metaphysical requirement on being responsible for one's action. (Clearly, there will also be epistemic conditions on responsibility as well, such as being aware—or failing that, being culpably unaware—of relevant alternatives to one's action and of the alternatives' moral significance.) But the significance of free will is not exhausted by its connection to moral responsibility. Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship. (See Kane 1996, 81ff. and Clarke 2003, Ch.1.). (shrink)
Robert Boyle, one of the most important intellectuals of the seventeenth century, was a gifted experimenter, an exceptionally able philosopher, and a dedicated Christian. In Boyle's two Excellencies, The Excellency of Theology Compared with Natural Philosophy and About The Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis, he explains and justifies his new philosophy of science while reconciling it with Christian theology. These pioneering works of early science and theology are now available in a modernized and accessible new edition. (...) This Broadview edition brings spelling and punctuation into line with current conventions and includes notes and references to set the works in their historical and philosophical context. The appendices include works by Boyle's predecessors in the philosophy of science, other philosophical writings by Boyle, and an appendix of the other figures mentioned in the texts. (shrink)
Scholarly interest in Margaret Cavendish's philosophical views has steadily increased over the past decade, but her epistemology has received little attention, and no consensus has emerged; Cavendish has been characterized as a skeptic, as a rationalist, as presenting an alternative epistemology to both rationalism and empiricism, and even as presenting no clear theory of knowledge at all. This paper concludes that Cavendish was only a modest skeptic, for she believed that humans can achieve knowledge through sensitive and rational perception as (...) well as through self-knowledge and can form probable opinions through reasoning. (shrink)
The Well-Ordered Universe argues that Cavendish's natural philosophy, social and political philosophy, and medical theory share an underlying concern with order. This reveals interesting connections among Cavendish's natural philosophy and her views on gender, animals and the environment, and human health, and explains her commitment to monarchy and social hierarchy.
An expansive, yet succinct, analysis of the Philosophy of Religion – from metaphysics through theology. Organized into two sections, the text first examines truths concerning what is possible and what is necessary. These chapters lay the foundation for the book’s second part – the search for a metaphysical framework that permits the possibility of an ultimate explanation that is correct and complete. A cutting-edge scholarly work which engages with the traditional metaphysician’s quest for a true ultimate explanation of the most (...) general features of the world we inhabit Develops an original view concerning the epistemology and metaphysics of modality, or truths concerning what is possible or necessary Applies this framework to a re-examination of the cosmological argument for theism Defends a novel version of the Leibnizian cosmological argument. (shrink)
This book provides a feminist analysis of #MeToo and the sexual assault allegations against celebrity perpetrators which have emerged since the Weinstein story of October 2017. It argues for the importance of understanding #MeToo in relation to an on-going history of Anglo-American feminist activism, theory and interdisciplinary research. Boyle investigates how speaking out about rape, sexual assault and harassment on social media can be understood in relation to second-wave feminist traditions of consciousness-raising. Her argument explores the media depiction of (...) feminism – and feminists - in the wake of Weinstein and the cultural values associated with men’s abuse, particularly within the film and television industries. The book concludes with an exploration of what the #MeToo era has meant for men as victims/survivors and as alleged perpetrators, in relation to narratives of victimisation and of monstrosity. (shrink)
In this important new book, David O'Connor discusses both logical and empirical forms of the problem of inscrutable evil, perennially the most difficult philosophical problem confronting theism. Arguing that both a version of theism and a version of atheism are justified on the evidence in the debate over God and evil, O'Connor concludes that a warranted outcome is a philosophical dètente between those two positions. On the way to that conclusion he develops two arguments from evil, a reformed (...) version of the logical argument and an indirect version of the empirical argument, and deploys both against a central formulation of theism that he describes as orthodox theism. God and Inscrutable Evil makes a valuable contribution to contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
the philosophical writings ofx Lady Mary Shepherd were apparently well regarded in her own time, but dropped out of view in the mid-nineteenth century.1 Some historians of philosophy have recently begun attending to the distinctive arguments in Shepherd's two books, but the secondary literature that exists so far has largely focused on her critiques of Hume and Berkeley. However, many other themes and arguments in Shepherd's writings have not yet been explored. This paper takes up one such issue, what Shepherd (...) means by 'mind,' 'soul,' and 'self.' Shepherd held the unusual view that the mind is an enduring capacity that causes (whether on its own or in conjunction with other partial causes, such as... (shrink)
Many philosophers are persuaded by familiar arguments that free will is incompatible with causal determinism. Yet, notoriously, past attempts to articulate how the right type of indeterminism might secure the capacity for autonomous action have generally been regarded as either demonstrably inadequate or irremediably obscure. This volume gathers together the most significant recent discussions concerning the prospects for devising a satisfactory indeterministic account of freedom of action. These essays give greater precision to traditional formulations of the problems associated with indeterministic (...) accounts and to the range of theoretical avenues for pursuing resolutions. The first four essays set out different challenges (from both compatibilists and those skeptical of the possibility of free will) to the adequacy of standard indeterministic theories. The next seven essays meet one or more of these challenges. Each of the fundamental types of approach--simple indeterminism, causal indeterminism, and agent causation--is represented in these novel and sophisticated proposals. The collection finishes with two essays that debate whether compatibilism entails that freedom of choice is a comparatively rare phenomenon within an individual's life. Eloquently presenting some of the most compelling and accessible arguments surrounding this central philosophical issue, Agents, Causes, and Events makes a valuable contribution to courses in free will/action theory and metaphysics. (shrink)
Championing what it sees as a family of mischaracterized and undervalued actions and attitudes, this book proposes a new understanding of human behavior, one that encourages self-limitation and restraint.
Collaboration is increasingly popular across academia. Collaborative work raises certain ethical questions, however. How will the fruits of collaboration be divided? How will the work for the collaborative project be split? In this paper, we consider the following question in particular. Are there ways in which these divisions systematically disadvantage certain groups? We use evolutionary game theoretic models to address this question. First, we discuss results from O'Connor and Bruner showing that underrepresented groups in academia can be disadvantaged in (...) collaboration and bargaining by dint of their small numbers. Second, we present novel results exploring how the hierarchical structure of academia can lead to bargaining disadvantage. We investigate models where one actor has a higher baseline of academic success, less to lose if collaboration goes south, or greater rewards for non-collaborative work. We show that in these situations, the less powerful partner can be disadvantaged in bargaining over collaboration. (shrink)
This paper provides an analysis of Robert Boyle's most detailed discussion of the Baconian method of natural history. In a long letter to Henry Oldenburg dated 13 June 1666 and in ancillary manuscript material, Boyle spells out the method or 'Designe' by which he believes experimental programs in natural philosophy should be written up. The 'Designe' is enormously important in giving a clear statement of the precise contours of Boyle's Baconian methodology and providing a key to understanding (...) the rationale, composition and format for many of his published histories. Works such as New Experiments and Considerations Touching Cold, Memoirs for the Natural History of Human Blood and even his more speculative writings such as An Introduction to the History of Particular Qualities are best understood in terms of Boyle's overall method as articulated in his “Designe about Natural History”. (shrink)
Finding Time for the Old Stone Age explores a century of colourful debate over the age of our earliest ancestors. In the mid nineteenth century curious stone implements were found alongside the bones of extinct animals. Humans were evidently more ancient than had been supposed - but just how old were they? There were several clocks for Stone-Age time, and it would prove difficult to synchronize them. Conflicting timescales were drawn from the fields of geology, palaeontology, anthropology, and archaeology. Anne (...) O'Connor draws on a wealth of lively, personal correspondence to explain the nature of these arguments. The trail leads from Britain to Continental Europe, Africa, and Asia, and extends beyond the world of professors, museum keepers, and officers of the Geological Survey: wine sellers, diamond merchants, papermakers, and clerks also proposed timescales for the Palaeolithic. This book brings their stories to light for the first time - stories that offer an intriguing insight into how knowledge was built up about the ancient British past. (shrink)
Robert Boyle thought that his scientific achievements in pneumatics and chemistry depended on, and thus provided support for, his mechanical philosophy. In a recent article in this journal, Alan Chalmers has challenged this view. This paper consists of a reply to Chalmers on two fronts. First it tries to specify precisely what ‘the mechanical philosophy’ meant for Boyle. Then it goes on to defend, against Chalmers, the view that Boyle's science does support his natural philosophy.Keywords: Robert (...) class='Hi'>Boyle; Mechanical philosophy; Reductionism. (shrink)
In this classic, exciting, and thoughtful text, Metaphysics , Peter van Inwagen examines three profound questions: What are the most general features of the world? Why is there a world? and What is the place of human beings in the world? Metaphysics introduces to readers the curious notion that is metaphysics, how it is conceived both historically and currently. The author's work can serve either as a textbook in a university course on metaphysics or as an introduction to metaphysical thinking (...) for the interested reader. This second edition, revised though not fundamentally changed, includes the basis of the first edition with a new chapter on the nature of time. (shrink)
William Newman construes the Scientific Revolution as a change in matter theory, from a hylomorphic, Aristotelian to a corpuscular, mechanical one. He sees Robert Boyle as making a major contribution to that change by way of his corpuscular chemistry. In this article it is argued that it is seriously misleading to identify what was scientific about the Scientific Revolution in terms of a change in theories of the ultimate structure of matter. Boyle showed, especially in his pneumatics, how (...) empirically accessible, intermediate causes, as opposed to ultimate, mechanical ones can be explored and identified by experiment. Newman is right to observe that Boyle constantly sought intimate links between chemistry and the mechanical philosophy. However, by doing so he did not thereby significantly aid the cause of attaining experimental knowledge of chemical phenomena and the support that Boyle’s chemistry provided for the mechanical philosophy was weaker than both Boyle and Newman imply. Boyle was intent on articulating and defending a strict, mechanical account of the ultimate structure of matter to be sure, but his contributions to the new experimental science in general, and chemistry in particular, are best seen as distinct from that endeavour.Keywords: Chemistry; Mechanical philosophy; Corpuscular philosophy; Experiment; Robert Boyle; William Newman. (shrink)
If, as Buddhism claims, the potential for awakening exists in all human beings, we should be able to map the phenomenon with the same science we apply to other forms of consciousness. A student of cognitive social science and a Zen practitioner for more than forty years, Richard P. Boyle brings his sophisticated perspective to bear on the development of a theoretical model for both ordinary and awakened consciousness. Boyle conducts probing interviews with eleven prominent Western Buddhist teachers (...) and one scientist who have experienced awakening. From the paths they traveled to enlightenment and their descriptions of the experience, he derives three fundamental properties of awakened consciousness. He then constructs an overarching model that explains how Buddhist practices help free the mind from attachments to reality and the self and make possible the three properties of awakening. Specifically, these teachers describe how they worked to control attention and quiet the mind, detach from ideas and habits, and open themselves to compassion. Boyle's account incorporates current theories of consciousness, sociological insights, and research in neuroscience to advance the study of awakened consciousness and help an even greater number of people to realize it. (shrink)
_History of Psychology: A Cultural Perspective_ easily distinguishes itself from other texts in a number of ways. First, it examines the field within the rich intellectual and cultural context of everyday life, cross-cultural influences, and contributions from literature, art, and other disciplines. Second, it is a history of ideas, concepts, and questions, instead of dates, events, or great minds. Third, the book explores the history of applied, developmental, clinical, and cognitive psychology as well as experimental psychology. Conveyed in a lively (...) writing style, this text tells a gripping story that continues to the present day. Its current perspective allows students to connect the history of the field to the work being published in current journals. O’Boyle writes in the “historical present”, giving readers a sense of immediacy and aliveness as they journey through history. Her account uses imaginative new features, including “The Times”, which gives readers a feel for what everyday life was like during the age discussed in the chapter. Descriptions of ordinary life, as well as information about important issues influencing their lives such as wars, social movements, famines, and plagues, pique students' interest. "Stop and Think" questions, scattered throughout, enhance retention and encourage critical thinking. An ideal text for a history of psychology or history and systems of psychology course, this creative new book will also appeal to those with a general interest in the field. The Instructor’s Resource CD, written by the text author, includes class activities and demonstrations, suggestions for small group and class discussions, a list of films and videos related to the material in each chapter, and a test bank with objective and essay questions. (shrink)
The so-called ‘redintegration experiment’ is traditionally at the center of the comments on the supposed Boyle/Spinoza controversy. A. Clericuzio influentially argued in his publications that, in De nitro, Boyle accounted for the ‘redintegration’ of saltpeter on the grounds of the chemical properties of corpuscles and “did not make any attempt to deduce them from mechanical principles”. By way of contrast, this paper argues that with his De nitro Boyle wanted to illustrate and promote his new corpuscular or (...) mechanical philosophy, and that he made significant attempts to explain the phenomena in terms of mechanical qualities. Boyle had borrowed the ‘redintegration experiment’ from R. Glauber and used it in an attempt to demonstrate that his philosophy was superior to the Peripatetic and Paracelsian theory. Consequently, Clericuzio’s characterization of the Boyle/Spinoza controversy as a discussion between a strict mechanical philosopher and a chemist is problematic and a wider view of Spinoza’s interpretation and its context gives a fairer picture. (shrink)
In _Regimens of the Mind_, Sorana Corneanu proposes a new approach to the epistemological and methodological doctrines of the leading experimental philosophers of seventeenth-century England, an approach that considers their often overlooked moral, psychological, and theological elements. Corneanu focuses on the views about the pursuit of knowledge in the writings of Robert Boyle and John Locke, as well as in those of several of their influences, including Francis Bacon and the early Royal Society virtuosi. She argues that their experimental (...) programs of inquiry fulfill the role of regimens for curing, ordering, and educating the mind toward an ethical purpose, an idea she tracks back to the ancient tradition of _cultura animi_. Corneanu traces this idea through its early modern revival and illustrates how it organizes the experimental philosophers’ reflections on the discipline of judgment, the study of nature, and the study of Scripture. _ _ _ _ It is through this lens, the author suggests, that the core features of the early modern English experimental philosophy—including its defense of experience, its epistemic modesty, its communal nature, and its pursuit of “objectivity”—are best understood. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings_ is a comprehensive anthology that draws together leading philosophers writing on the major topics within philosophy of mind. Robb and O'Connor have carefully chosen articles under the following headings: *Substance Dualism and Idealism *Materialism *Mind and Representation *Consciousness Each section is prefaced by an introductory essay by the editors which guides the student gently into the topic in which leading philosophers are included. The book is highly accessible and user-friendly and provides a broad-ranging exploration (...) of the subject. Ideal for any philosophy student, this book will prove essential reading for any philosophy of mind course. The readings are designed to complement John Heil's _Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction, Second edition _, although the anthology can also be used as a stand-alone volume. (shrink)
Who Comes After the Subject offers the most comprehensive overview to date of contemporary French thinking on the question of the "subject." Nineteen philosophers and critics offer diverse perspectives on the subject as it has manifested itself in our modern discourses: the subject of philosophy, of the State, of history, of psychoanalysis. Each contribution asks What has become of the subject? or What has the subject become? in the wake of its critiques and deconstructions .
This book probes beneath modern scientific and sentimental concepts of the heart to discover its past mysteries. Historical hearts evidenced essential aspects of human existence that still endure in modern thought and experience of political community, psychological mentality, and physical vitality. Marjorie O’Rourke Boyle revises ordinary assumptions about the heart with original interdisciplinary research on religious beliefs and theological and philosophical ideas. Her book uncovers the thought of Aristotle, William Harvey, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvinas it relates to (...) the heart. It analyzes Augustine’s outlaw heart in cultural deviance from biblical law; Aquinas’s problematic argument for the permanence of the natural law in the heart; and Calvin’s advocacy for an affective heart re-created by the Spirit from its fallen nature. This book of cultural anatomies is the climax of her dozen years of publications on the heart. (shrink)
Most non-human animals live in the wild and it is probable that suffering predominates in their lives due to natural events. Humans may at some point be able to engage in paradise engineering, or the modification of nature and animal organisms themselves, to improve the well-being of wild animals. We may, in other words, make nature 'red in tooth and claw' no more. We argue that this creates a tension between environmental ethics and animal ethics which is likely insurmountable. First, (...) we argue that concern for the environment can be compatible with helping individual wild animals but should see redesigning nature as morally impermissible. Second, we argue that if we are concerned with animal well-being, we may reject that we have a duty to help wild animals even to the point of redesigning nature, but we must nevertheless concede that it is permissible to do so under certain circumstances. We show how this permissibility can be derived from three animal rights views: Tom Regan's, a novel account inspired by Thomas Pogge and a libertarian approach to animal rights. (shrink)
One of the most influential studies in all expertise research is de Groot’s (1946) study of chess players, which suggested that pattern recognition, rather than search, was the key determinant of expertise. Many changes have occurred in the chess world since de Groot’s study, leading some authors to argue that the cognitive mechanisms underlying expertise have also changed. We decided to replicate de Groot’s study to empirically test these claims and to examine whether the trends in the data have changed (...) over time. Six Grandmasters, five International Masters, six Experts, and five Class A players completed the think-aloud procedure for two chess positions. Findings indicate that Grandmasters and International Masters search more quickly than Experts and Class A players, and that both groups today search substantially faster than players in previous studies. The findings, however, support de Groot’s overall conclusions and are consistent with predictions made by pattern recognition models. (shrink)
Various early modern philosophers affirm the traditional distinction between ‘things above reason’ and ‘things contrary to reason.’ However, it is Robert Boyle who goes furthest to rework and defend the division, and to explore its ramifications in detail. My aim here is to examine the logical structure of Boyle’s version of the distinction, and his concomitant account of the sphere of truths beyond human understanding. I also weigh the philosophical merits of the account and clarify the relationship between (...)Boyle’s characterization of things above reason and his alleged dialethism. (shrink)
Was Robert Boyle an occasionalist? And if so, what kind of occasionalist was he? These questions have long troubled commentators, as Boyle’s texts often seem to offer both endorsements of occasionalism and affirmations of bodies’ causal powers. I argue that Boyle’s position is best understood as reductive occasionalism, according to which bodily powers are relations between bodies and God’s action in the world, and there is no causal efficacy in bodies that is not strictly identical to God’s (...) nomological causal efficacy. (shrink)
This chapter is a critical discussion of the third chapter of Tim O'Connor's *Theism and Ultimate Explanation*. In this chapter, O'Connor advances the 'existence stage' of his cosmological argument from contingency. I argue that naturalists have good reason to think that on each of the live hypotheses -- infinite regress, brute contingency, brute necessity -- naturalism is preferable to theism.