We propose that scientific representation is a special case of a more general notion of representation, and that the relatively well worked-out and plausible theories of the latter are directly applicable to the scientific special case.
In this discussion with Craig Browne, Luc Boltanski comments on how his recent work reconsiders the questions of agency and the nature of social explanation. Boltanski reflects on the connections between his investigations of grammars of justifications and his later work with Eve Chiapello on the historical transition to a new spirit of capitalism. The significance of politics, conflict and critique to Boltanski’s sociology are highlighted. Bolanski explains why he regards May 1968 as a major disruption of the capitalist (...) social order and how the conservative response to this contestation subsequently prevailed in France. The reorganisation of capitalism in recent decades has increased social division, yet Boltanski believes that the recent recession and existing discontent could lead to unexpected outcomes. (shrink)
Raymond Van Arragon considers my my suggestion that most of those who never have the opportunity to accept Christ during their earthly lives suffer from transworld damnation, and he offers four different interpretations of that notion. He argues that at least three of these interpretations are such that on them the suggestion becomes implausible. I maintain that once my suggestion is properly understood, then, despite Van Arragon’s misgivings, it ought not to be thought implausible even on the first two, boldest (...) interpretations he offers. (shrink)
The view that it is better for life to be created free of disability is pervasive in both common sense and philosophy. We cast doubt on this view by focusing on an influential line of thinking that manifests it. That thinking begins with a widely-discussed principle, Procreative Beneficence, and draws conclusions about parental choice and disability. After reconstructing two versions of this argument, we critique the first by exploring the relationship between different understandings of well-being and disability, and the second (...) by more briefly focusing on the idea of a significant reason. By placing these results against the broader historical and ongoing contexts in which the lives of those with disabilities have been deemed of inferior quality, we conclude with a call for greater humility about disability and well-being in thought and practice. (shrink)
Harry C. Boyte. Craig Calhoun. Geoff Eley. Nancy Fraser. Nicholas Garnham. JürgenHabermas. Peter Hohendahl. Lloyd Kramer. Benjamin Lee. Thomas McCarthy. Moishe Postone. Mary P.Ryan. Michael Schudson. Michael Warner. David Zaret.
People who approach philosophy, as it figures in the activities of mostEnglish-speaking universities, often find their expectations curiously wideof the mark. They have expectations, of course, because the word ‘philosophy’ is not a technical term; there is no need to have taken any exams to use it happily enough in general conversation.
The flow of time is a deep, significant and universal aspect of human life. Yet it remains a mystery and many dismiss the flow of time as illusory. Craig Callender explores this puzzle, and offers a fascinating explanation of why creatures experience time as flowing - even if, as physics suggests, it isn't.
Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this article, we argue that the monist, who answers ‘one object’, cannot accommodate the asymmetry of material constitution. To say ‘the mass of gold materially constitutes the sculpture, whereas the sculpture does not materially constitute the mass of gold’, the monist must treat ‘materially constitutes’ as an Abelardian predicate, whose denotation is sensitive to the linguistic context in which it appears. We motivate (...) this approach in terms of modal analyses of material constitution, but argue that ultimately it fails. The monist must instead accept a deflationary, symmetrical use of ‘materially constitutes’. We argue that this is a serious cost for her approach. (shrink)
How can we talk meaningfully about the past if it does not exist to be talked about? What gives time its direction? Is time travel possible? This defence of presentism - the view that only the present exists - makes an original contribution to a fast growing and exciting debate.
A framework for pragmatic analysis is proposed which treats discourse as a game, with context as a scoreboard organized around the questions under discussion by the interlocutors. The framework is intended to be coordinated with a dynamic compositional semantics. Accordingly, the context of utterance is modeled as a tuple of different types of information, and the questions therein — modeled, as is usual in formal semantics, as alternative sets of propositions — constrain the felicitous flow of discourse. A requirement of (...) Relevance is satisfied by an utterance (whether an assertion, a question or a suggestion) iff it addresses the question under discussion. Finally, it is argued that the prosodic focus of an utterance canonically serves to reflect the question under discussion (at least in English), placing additional constraints on felicity in context. (shrink)
Drunk drivers and other culpably incapacitated wrongdoers are often taken to pose a problem for reasons-responsiveness accounts of moral responsibility. These accounts predicate moral responsibility upon an agent having the capacities to perceive and act upon moral reasons, and the culpably incapacitated wrongdoers lack exactly those capacities at the time of their wrongdoing. Many reasons-responsiveness advocates thus expand their account of responsibility to include a tracing condition: The culpably incapacitated wrongdoer is blameworthy despite his incapacitation precisely because he is responsible (...) for becoming incapacitated. As some skeptics have suggested, it is not clear that we need tracing. Here, however, I make a stronger case against tracing: I show that tracing gets things wrong. I consider a new sort of case, the case of the Odysseus agent, whose incapacitation is non-culpable (sometimes merely permissible and sometimes praiseworthy). Tracing would have us hold responsible and therefore blame unlucky Odysseus agents, Odysseus agents who commit a wrongdoing in the throes of their non-culpably induced incapacitation. But we should not hold these unlucky Odysseus agents responsible for their incapacitated wrongdoing. Because tracing gets these cases wrong, we should reject tracing. (shrink)
Background: Legislation on physician-assisted suicide is being considered in a number of states since the passage of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act in 1994. Opinion assessment surveys have historically assessed particular subsets of physicians.Objective: To determine variables predictive of physicians’ opinions on PAS in a rural state, Vermont, USA.Design: Cross-sectional mailing survey.Participants: 1052 physicians licensed by the state of Vermont.Results: Of the respondents, 38.2% believed PAS should be legalised, 16.0% believed it should be prohibited and 26.0% believed it should (...) not be legislated. 15.7% were undecided. Males were more likely than females to favour legalisation . Physicians who did not care for patients through the end of life were significantly more likely to favour legalisation of PAS than physicians who do care for patients with terminal illness . 30% of the respondents had experienced a request for assistance with suicide.Conclusions: Vermont physicians’ opinions on the legalisation of PAS is sharply polarised. Patient autonomy was a factor strongly associated with opinions in favour of legalisation, whereas the sanctity of the doctor–patient relationship was strongly associated with opinions in favour of not legislating PAS. Those in favour of making PAS illegal overwhelmingly cited moral and ethical beliefs as factors in their opinion. Although opinions on legalisation appear to be based on firmly held beliefs, approximately half of Vermont physicians who responded to the survey agree that there is a need for more education in palliative care and pain management. (shrink)
The counterfactual mental state of negligent criminal activity invites skepticism from those who see mental states as essential to responsibility. Here, I offer a revision of the mental state of criminal negligence, one where the mental state at issue is actual and not merely counterfactual. This revision dissolves the worry raised by the skeptic and helps to explain negligence’s comparatively reduced culpability.
Negative facts get a bad press. One reason for this is that it is not clear what negative facts are. We provide a theory of negative facts on which they are no stranger than positive atomic facts. We show that none of the usual arguments hold water against this account. Negative facts exist in the usual sense of existence and conform to an acceptable Eleatic principle. Furthermore, there are good reasons to want them around, including their roles in causation, chance-making (...) and truth-making, and in constituting holes and edges. (shrink)
Duress is a defense in both law and morality. The bank teller who provides an armed robber with the bank vault combination, the innocent suspect who fabricates a story after hours of interrogation, the Good Samaritan who breaks into a private cabin in the woods to save a stranded hiker, and the father who drives at high speed to rush his injured child to the hospital—in deciding how to respond to agents like these, we should take into account that they (...) have acted under duress. In this paper, I offer a new duress defense, which I call “distinctive duress.” The distinctive-duress defense is neither ordinary justification nor ordinary excuse. Rather, it is a defense available to agents who act wrongly because they are appropriately insensitive to certain reasons. In the distinctive-duress cases, an agent’s normative sensitivities are rightly directed elsewhere, leading them awry. (shrink)
This article is a rebuttal to Robert G. Cavin and Carlos A. Colombetti’s article, “Assessing the Resurrection Hypothesis: Problems with Craig’s Inference to the Best Explanation,” which argues that the Standard Model of current particle physics entails that non-physical things (like a supernatural God or a supernaturally resurrected body) can have no causal contact with the physical universe. As such, they argue that William Lane Craig’s resurrection hypothesis is not only incompatible with the notion of Jesus physically appearing (...) to the disciples, but the resurrection hypothesis is significantly limited in both its explanatory scope and explanatory power. This article seeks to demonstrate why their use of the Standard Model does not logically entail a rejection of the physical resurrection of Jesus when considering the scope and limitations of science itself. (shrink)
This paper deals with, prepositional calculi with strong negation (N-logics) in which the Craig interpolation theorem holds. N-logics are defined to be axiomatic strengthenings of the intuitionistic calculus enriched with a unary connective called strong negation. There exists continuum of N-logics, but the Craig interpolation theorem holds only in 14 of them.
This volume presents new work in history and historiography to the increasingly broad audience for studies of the history and philosophy of science. These essays are linked by a concern to understand the context of early modern science in its own context.
Within a year of each other, three one-volume general dictionaries of philosophy have recently appeared; when our future colleagues in philosophy look back on the 1990s they may well think of it as the decade of reference works. But however productive these years may prove to be in this genre, clearly visible somewhere around the top of the heap will be this handy, useful, entertaining, and instructive contribution from Simon Blackburn. Its two immediate competitors are the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, (...) edited by Robert Audi, and the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich. No detailed comparison will be attempted here, but two points stand out as obviously giving Blackburn’s dictionary a rather different use and flavor from the others: while containing a closely comparable number of entries, it is distinctly shorter and handier in format; and it has all been written by a single author. (shrink)
The_ Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy_ is the most ambitious international philosophy project in many years. Edited by Edward Craig and assisted by thirty specialist subject editors, the REP consists of ten volumes of the world's most eminent philosophers writing for the needs of students and teachers of philosophy internationally. The REP is a project on an unparalleled scale: Over 2000 entries ranging from 500 to 15,000 words in length - thematic, biographical and national 10 volumes consisting of over 5 (...) million words of text plus considerable bibliographic material A Chief Editor and thirty specialist Subject Editors from across the world Over 1200 authors from all over the world. The importance of the REP is not to be found just in the sheer size of the project but also in its breadth of subject matter. It covers: The core of most Anglo-American philosophy - the metaphysical, epistemological and logical questions The usual menu of ethics, political philosophy and the history of philosophy The philosophy of other cultures - from Chinese, Arabic and Jewish philosophy to the philosophy of Africa and Latin America The most impressive range of authors have been gathered together on this unique project: William Alston, Roderick Chisolm, Fred Dretske, Joel Feinberg, Sandra Harding, Larry Laudan, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Popkin, Richard Rorty, Alan Ryan, Gyatri Chakravorty Spivak, Stephen Stich, Patrick Suppes and Bernard Williams, to name just a few. Also available online: www.rep.routledge.com. (shrink)
Digital medicine is a medical treatment that combines technology with drug delivery. The promises of this combination are continuous and remote monitoring, better disease management, self-tracking, self-management of diseases, and improved treatment adherence. These devices pose ethical challenges for patients, providers, and the social practice of medicine. For patients, having both informed consent and a user agreement raises questions of understanding for autonomy and informed consent, therapeutic misconception, external influences on decision making, confidentiality and privacy, and device dependability. For providers, (...) digital medicine changes the relationship where trust can be verified, clinicians can be monitored, expectations must be managed, and new liability risks may be assumed. Other ethical questions include direct third-party monitoring of health treatment, affordability, and planning for adverse events in the case of device malfunction. This article seeks to lay out the ethical landscape for the implementation of such devices in patient care. (shrink)
Given his view that the modern world is ‘radically evil’, Adorno is an unlikely contributor to business ethics. Despite this, we argue that his work has a number of provocative implications for the field that warrant wider attention. Adorno regards our social world as damaged, unfree, and false and we draw on this critique to outline why the achievement of good work is so rare in contemporary society, focusing in particular on the ethical demands of roles and the ideological nature (...) of management’s self-understanding. Nevertheless, we show that Adorno’s comments on activities such as art and philosophy mean that it is possible to draw on his work in a way that contributes constructively to the conversation about good and meaningful work within business ethics. (shrink)
In ‘Professor Mackie and the Kalam Cosmological Argument’ , 367–75), Professor William Lane Craig undertakes to demonstrate that J. L. Mackie's analysis of the kalam cosmological argument in The Miracle of Theism is ‘superficial’, and that Mackie ‘has failed to provide any compelling or even intuitively appealing objection against the argument’ . I disagree with Craig's judgement; for it seems to me that the considerations which Mackie advances do serve to refute the kalam cosmological argument. Consequently, the purpose (...) of this paper is to reply to Craig's criticisms on Mackie's behalf. (shrink)
Many want to know what bitcoin is and how it works. But bitcoin is as complex as it is controversial, and relatively few have the technical background to understand it. In this paper, I offer an accessible on-ramp for understanding bitcoin in the form of a model. My model reveals both what bitcoin is and how it works. More specifically, it reveals that bitcoin is a fictional substance in a massively coauthored story on a network that automates and distributes jobs (...) normally entrusted to centralized publishing institutions. My model therefore falsifies a popular view according to which each bitcoin is a chunk of code. (shrink)
During the last several years, philosophers of religion have witnessed a long-drawn debate between Nelson Pike and John Fischer on the problems of theological fatalism, Fischer claiming in his most recent contribution to have proved that even if God's past beliefs are ‘nice soft facts’, still theological fatalism cannot be averted. Unfortunately, this debate has not – at least it seems to this observer – served substantially either to clarify the issues involved or to move toward a resolution of the (...) question, but has instead confused matters by its use of misleading terminology and diverted the discussion into unpromising side roads. (shrink)
I. Two topics given prominence in the early sections of Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding are those of thought and belief. Of each Hume asks two questions. One, which we might call the constitutive question: what exactly is it to have a thought, or to hold a belief?—and another, which we may call the genetic question: how do we come by our thoughts, or our capacity to think them, and how do we come to believe that certain of these thoughts (...) are true? In this lecture I shall be considering the detail of Hume's answers to these questions; but first I want to say a little about why they should have loomed large for him at all. (shrink)
In order to determine whether a particular course of conduct is ethically permissible it is important to have a concept of what it means to be harmed. The dominant theory of harm is the counterfactual account, most famously proposed by Joel Feinberg. This determines whether harm is caused by comparing what actually happened in a given situation with the ‘counterfacts’ i.e. what would have occurred had the putatively harmful conduct not taken place. If a person's interests are worse off than (...) they otherwise would have been, then a person will be harmed. This definition has recently faced challenges from bioethicists such as John Harris, Guy Kahane and Julian Savulescu who, believing it to be severely flawed, have proposed their own alternative theories of the concept. In this article I will demonstrate that the shortcomings Harris, Kahane and Savulescu believe are present in Feinberg's theory are illusory and that it is their own accounts of harm that are fraught with logical errors. I maintain that the arguments presented to refute Feinberg's theory not only fail to achieve this goal and can be accommodated within the counterfactual account but that they actually undermine the theories presented by their respective authors. The final conclusion will be that these challenges are misconceived and fail to displace the counterfactual theory. (shrink)
We present a general theory of scope and binding in which both crossover and superiority violations are ruled out by one key assumption: that natural language expressions are normally evaluated (processed) from left to right. Our theory is an extension of Shan’s (2002) account of multiple-wh questions, combining continuations (Barker, 2002) and dynamic type-shifting. Like other continuation-based analyses, but unlike most other treatments of crossover or superiority, our analysis is directly compositional (in the sense of, e.g., Jacobson, 1999). In (...) particular, it does not postulate a level of Logical Form or any other representation distinct from surface syntax. One advantage of using continuations is that they are the standard tool for modeling order-of-evaluation in programming languages. This provides us with a natural and independently motivated characterization of what it means to evaluate expressions from left to right. We give a combinatory categorial grammar that models the syntax and the semantics of quantifier scope and wh-question formation. It allows quantificational binding but not crossover, in-situ wh but not superiority violations. In addition, the analysis automatically accounts for a variety of sentence types involving binding in the presence of pied piping, including reconstruction cases such as Whose criticism of hisi mother did each personi resent? (shrink)
This article reports four subliminal perception experiments using the relationship between confidence and accuracy to assess awareness. Subjects discriminated among stimuli and indicated their confidence in each discrimination response. Subjects were classified as being aware of the stimuli if their confidence judgments predicted accuracy and as being unaware if they did not. In the first experiment, confidence predicted accuracy even at stimulus durations so brief that subjects claimed to be performing at chance. This finding indicates that subjects's claims that they (...) are ''just guessing'' should not be accepted as sufficient evidence that they are completely unaware of the stimuli. Experiments 2-4 tested directly for subliminal perception by comparing the minimum exposure duration needed for better than chance discrimination performance against the minimum needed for confidence to predict accuracy. The latter durations were slightly but significantly longer, suggesting that under certain circumstances people can make perceptual discriminations even though the information that was used to make those discriminations is not consciously available. (shrink)
Which factors influence the folk application of the concept of causation? Knobe has argued that causal judgments are primarily influenced by the moral valence of the behavior under consideration. Whereas Driver has pointed out that the data Knobe relies on can also be used to support the claim that it is the atypicality of the agent's behavior that influences our willingness to assign causality to that agent. While Knobe and Fraser have provided a further study to address the cogency of (...) this alternative explanation, we argue that they have not provided a complete analysis. We present a variation on this study that addresses the relation between atypical and moral considerations as they contribute to the application of the concept causation. Our results indicate that atypicality cannot be ignored in an analysis of the folk concept of causation. That is, Knobe and Fraser's response to Driver is inadequate. (shrink)
In this article I present an original interpretation of Roy Bhaskar’s project in Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. His major move is to separate an ontological dialectic from a critical dialectic, which in Hegel are laminated together. The ontological dialectic, which in Hegel is the self-unfolding of spirit, becomes a realist and relational philosophical anthropology. The critical dialectic, which in Hegel is confined to retracing the steps of spirit, now becomes an active force, dialectical critique, which interposes into the ontological (...) dialectic at the ‘fourth dimension’ of a naturalistically reconfigured account of relational human nature, agency. This account allows Bhaskar to explain and vindicate the crucial role social criticism must play in any realistic project of self-emancipation, and to create a space that didn’t exist in Hegel for an open-ended concrete utopianism. Freedom is thus the actualization of human nature, but is not automatic: the relation of human nature to freedom is mediated historically through dialectical critique, which, informed by concrete utopianism, can have emancipatory power. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 13-44 Authors Craig Reeves, Brunel University Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
This study examines the presence and roles of female directors of U.S. Fortune 500 firms, focusing on committee assignments and director background. Prior work from almost two decades ago concludes that there is a systematic bias against females in assignment to top board committees. Examining a recent data set with a logistic regression model that controls for director and firm characteristics, director resource-dependence roles and interaction between director gender and director characteristics, we find that female directors are less likely than (...) male directors to sit on executive committees and more likely than male directors to sit on public affairs committees. There is little if any evidence of systematic gender bias in director assignment to other board committees. We find some evidence that boards evaluate resource dependence differently for women than men. (shrink)
Tracking theories of knowledge are widely known to have the consequence that knowledge is not closed. Recent arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne claim both that there are no legitimate examples of knowledge without closure and that the costs of theories that deny closure are too great. This paper considers the tracking theories of Dretske and Nozick and the arguments by Vogel and Hawthorne. We reject the arguments of Vogel and Hawthorne and evaluate the costs of closure denial for tracking theories (...) of knowledge. (shrink)