Although the prevalence of facial recognition-based COVID-19 surveillance tools and techniques, China does not have a facial recognition law to protect its residents’ facial data. Oftentimes, neither the public nor the government knows where people’s facial images are stored, how they have been used, who might use or misuse them, and to what extent. This reality is alarming, particularly factoring in the wide range of unintended consequences already caused by good-intentioned measures and mandates amid the pandemic. Biometric data are matters (...) of personal rights and national security. In light of worrisome technologies such as deep-fake pornography, the protection of biometric data is also central to the protection of the dignity of the citizens and the government, if not the industry as well. This paper discusses the urgent need for the Chinese government to establish rigorous and timely facial recognition laws to protect the public’s privacy, security, and dignity amid COVID-19 and beyond. (shrink)
Property dualism is enjoying a slight resurgence in popularity, these days; substance dualism, not so much. But it is not as easy as one might think to be a property dualist and a substance materialist. The reasons for being a property dualist support the idea that some phenomenal properties (or qualia) are as fundamental as the most basic physical properties; but what material objects could be the bearers of the qualia? If even some qualia require an adverbial construal (if they (...) are modifications of the thing that is conscious because of them, not properties of something else to which the subject of consciousness is related), then the property dualist can be driven to speculative forms of materialism none of which, at this point, looks more likely to be true than the more modest versions of emergent dualism defended by contemporary substance dualists. (shrink)
Michael Zbaraschuk’s recent article, “Not Radical Enough: William Dean’s Problems with God and History,”1 deserves a published response, because it applies not only to my work but to that of many other philosophical theologians, some of whom read this journal. Before discussing the larger issues, I must attend to an item of scholarly housekeeping. Although Zbaraschuk draws narrowly, i.e., from only two of my books—History Making History (1988) and The Religious Critic in American Culture (1994)—he applies his arguments indiscriminately (...) to my work as a totality, omitting most crucially the score of articles and the book written between 1994 and the present. Of course, there is nothing wrong with an .. (shrink)
This paper is about the relationship between actuality and potentiality. Two paradigms are considered: Leibnizian possible worlds, which is rooted in classical physics; and the consistent histories quantum theory of Griffiths, Gell-Mann, Hartle, and Omnès. I explore an interesting connection between these two paradigms. The analysis goes beyond a comparison of classical and quantum physics to consider how modern physics might be integrated into a more comprehensive view of the world, in the spirit of Leibniz’s own philosophy.
A recent article has claimed that one of the significant benefits which people in the UK derive from the existence of the National Health Service must be lost if the Service adopts the QALY maximisation principle to allocate medical resources. The argument fails, partly because its author conflates two distinct benefits. The first is almost certainly important, but there is no reason to believe that it would be lost if the principle were introduced (while there is some reason to believe (...) that the benefit would actually be greater). The second, once it is isolated from others with which it may be confused, is much less obviously important; and in any case there is again no reason to believe that it would be lost. Moreover, to argue against the principle on the ground that the second benefit would disappear is really to beg the question against the principle. We could not justify our rejection of the principle on the ground that the principle's adoption would mean that we lost the second benefit. (shrink)
In this classic analysis of travel and sightseeing, author Dean MacCannell brings social scientific understandings to bear on tourism in the postindustrial age, during which the middle class has acquired leisure time for international travel. In _The Tourist_—now with a new introduction framing it as part of a broader contemporary social and cultural analysis—the author examines notions of authenticity, high and low culture, and the construction of social reality around tourism.
Zweck, Dean '[email protected]' was the title for the first ever international conference on Luther in the southern hemisphere. It was held in Melbourne in the middle of 2016 as one of many events around the world in the lead-up to the major commemoration on 31 October 2017. It is significant that the conference venue was the Catholic Leadership Centre, that Catholic clergy were involved in the welcome and the daily prayers in the chapel, that some of the conference attendees (...) were Catholic scholars and priests, and that a lay Catholic Luther scholar, Franz Posset, was invited to give one of the major papers. Fifty or sixty years ago no-one would have thought such a thing possible, or, for that matter, that within one's lifetime the pope would go into a Lutheran cathedral or a Lutheran parish church to pray with Lutherans, or that there would be Lutheran-Catholic commemorations of the Reformation in 2017 all around the world, some of them held in Catholic cathedrals. (shrink)
How can you steal something that doesn’t exist? This question confronts those of us who take an irrealist view of virtual objects and agree with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands that robbery took place when two boys used non-virtual violence to coerce a third boy into relinquishing his virtual amulet and mask. Here we outline this Puzzle of Virtual Theft, along with the closely related Puzzle of Virtual Value. After demonstrating how these puzzles are deeply problematic for the irrealist, (...) we go on to sketch a solution that not only circumscribes the puzzles but also offers a framework by which legal scholars can make sense within existing legal codes of the new phenomenon of virtual theft. (shrink)
Selective scientific realists disagree on which theoretical posits should be regarded as essential to the empirical success of a scientific theory. A satisfactory account of essentialness will show that the (approximate) truth of the selected posits adequately explains the success of the theory. Therefore, (a) the essential elements must be discernible prospectively; (b) there cannot be a priori criteria regarding which type of posit is essential; and (c) the overall success of a theory, or ‘cluster’ of propositions, not only individual (...) derivations, should be explicable. Given these desiderata, I propose a “unification criterion” for identifying essential elements. (shrink)
Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, (...) and one that generalises: any attempt to rescue the autonomy of the special sciences, or the efficacy of the mental, from exclusion worries had better not look to proportionality for help. (shrink)
It is a natural thought that understanding language consists in possessing knowledge—to understand a word is to know what it means. It is also natural to suppose that this knowledge is propositional knowledge—to know what a word means is to know that it means such-and-such. Thus it is prima facie plausible to suppose that understanding a bit of language consists in possessing propositional knowledge of its meaning. I refer to this as the epistemic view of understanding language. The theoretical appeal (...) of this view for the philosophy of language is that it provides for an attractive account of the project of the theory of meaning. If understanding language consists in possessing propositional knowledge of the meanings of expressions, then a meaning theory amounts to a theory of what speakers know in virtue of understanding language. In this paper I argue that, despite its intuitive and theoretical appeal, the epistemic view is false. Propositional knowledge is not necessary for understanding language, not even tacit knowledge. Unlike knowledge, I argue, linguistic understanding does not fail in Gettier cases, does not require epistemic warrant and does not even require belief. The intuitions about knowledge that have been central to epistemology do not seem to hold for linguistic understanding. So unless epistemologists have been radically mistaken about what knowledge requires, knowledge is unnecessary for understanding language. (shrink)
A sample of 227 business students from the United States and Australia was used to evaluate factors that impact business students' ethical orientation and factors that impact students' perceptions of ethical classroom behaviors. Perceptions of classroom behaviors was considered a surrogate for future perceptions of business behaviors. Independent factors included age, gender, religious orientation, country of origin, personality, and ethical orientation. A number of factors were related to ethical orientation, but only age and religious orientation exhibited much impact upon perceptions (...) of ethical classroom behaviors. (shrink)
Shows that the very same asymmetries that arise for intentionally also arise from deciding, desiring, in favor of, opposed to, and advocating. It seems that the phenomenon is not due to anything about the concept of intentional action in particular. Rather, the effects observed for the concept of intentional action should be regarded as just one manifestation of the pervasive impact of moral judgment.
Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers (2017), and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then (...) introduce a Waltonian variety of ictionalism about the virtual, arguing that this sort of irrealist approach avoids the problems of the realist positions, fits with a unifying theory of representational works, and offers a better account of the phenomenology of engaging in virtual experiences. (shrink)
The most plausible pro-life argument claims that abortion is seriously wrong because it deprives the foetus of something valuable. This paper examines two recent versions of this argument. Don Marquis's version takes the valuable thing to be a 'future like ours', a future containing valuable experiences and activities. Jim Stone's version takes the valuable thing to be a future containing conscious goods, which it is the foetus's biological nature to make itself have. I give three grounds for rejecting these arguments. (...) First, they lead to unacceptable inequalities in the wrongness of killing. Second, they lead to counterintuitive results in a range of imaginary cases. Third, they ignore the role of psychological connectedness in determining the magnitude or seriousness of deprivation-based harms: because the foetus is only weakly psychologically connected to its own future, it cannot be seriously harmed by being deprived of that future. (shrink)
We argue that companion friendship is not importantly marked by self-disclosure as understood in either of these two ways. One's close friends need not be markedly similar to oneself, as is claimed by the mirror account, nor is the role of private information in establishing and maintaining intimacy important in the way claimed by the secrets view. Our claim will be that the mirror and secrets views not only fail to identify features that are in part constitutive of close or (...) companion friendship, but that they miss the mark quite broadly and fail to capture anything significant and distinctive about the ways in which friendship has an impact on the self. The article will proceed as follows. In the first section we outline our account of the self in friendship. In the next two sections we examine the mirror and secrets views and develop our own view in counterpoint to these. In the final section we defend our own account by showing how it provides the governing conditions which do distinguish friendship from other kinds of relations between persons. (shrink)
This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation, can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the (...) much-maligned fragility response to the problems of late pre-emption by understanding fragility in counterpart-theoretic terms. Some reasons to prefer this CCT approach to rivals are discussed. (shrink)
This study provides an evaluation of ethical business perception of busIness students from three countries: Australia, Taiwan and the United States. Although statistically significant differences do exist there is significant agreement with the way students perceive ethical/unethical practices in business. The findings of this paper indicate a universality of business ethical perceptions.
How do we know what other speakers say? Perhaps the most natural view is that we hear a speaker's utterance and infer what was said, drawing on our competence in the syntax and semantics of the language. An alternative view that has emerged in the literature is that native speakers have a non-inferential capacity to perceive the content of speech. Call this the perceptual view. The disagreement here is best understood as an epistemological one about whether our knowledge of what (...) speakers say is epistemically mediated by our linguistic competence. The present paper takes up the question of how we should go about settling this issue. Arguments for the perceptual view generally appeal to the phenomenology of speech comprehension. The present paper develops a line of argument for the perceptual view that draws on evidence from empirical psychology. The evidence suggests that a speaker's core syntactic and semantic competence is typically deployed sub-personally. The point is not just that the competence is tacit or unconscious, but that the person is not the locus of the competence. I argue that standing competence can enter into the grounds for knowledge only if it is subject to a certain sort of epistemic assessment, an assessment that is appropriate only if the person is the locus of that competence. If the person is not the locus of a speaker's core linguistic competence, as the psychological evidence suggests, then that competence does not enter into the grounds for our knowledge of what speakers say. If this line of argument is right, it has implications for the epistemology of perception and for our understanding of how empirical psychology bears on epistemology generally. (shrink)
In order to formulate hypotheses about the evolutionary underpinnings that preceded the first glimmerings of language, mother-infant gestural and vocal interactions are compared in chimpanzees and humans and used to model those of early hominins. These data, along with paleoanthropological evidence, suggest that prelinguistic vocal substrates for protolanguage that had prosodic features similar to contemporary motherese evolved as the trend for enlarging brains in late australopithecines/early Homo progressively increased the difficulty of parturition, thus causing a selective shift toward females that (...) gave birth to relatively undeveloped neonates. It is hypothesized that hominin mothers adopted new foraging strategies that entailed maternal silencing, reassuring, and controlling of the behaviors of physically removed infants (i.e., that shared human babies' inability to cling to their mothers' bodies). As mothers increasingly used prosodic and gestural markings to encourage juveniles to behave and to follow, the meanings of certain utterances (words) became conventionalized. This hypothesis is based on the premises that hominin mothers that attended vigilantly to infants were strongly selected for, and that such mothers had genetically based potentials for consciously modifying vocalizations and gestures to control infants, both of which receive support from the literature. Key Words: bipedalism; brain size; chimpanzees; foraging; gestures; hominins; infant riding; motherese; prosody; protolanguage. (shrink)
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The paper has two parts: First, I describe a relatively popular thesis in the philosophy of propositional attitudes, worthy of the name ‘taking tense seriously’; and I distinguish it from a family of views in the metaphysics of time, namely, the A‐theories. Once the distinction is in focus, a skeptical worry arises. Some A‐theorists maintain that the difference between past, present, and future, is to be drawn in terms of what exists: growing‐block theorists eschew ontological commitment to future entities; presentists, (...) to future and past entities. Others think of themselves as A‐theorists but exclude no past or future things from their ontology. The metaphysical skeptic suspects that their attempt to articulate an ‘eternalist’ version of the A‐theory collapses into merely ‘taking tense seriously’– a thesis that does not imply the A‐theory. The second half of the paper is the search for a stable eternalist A‐theory. It includes discussion of temporary intrinsics, temporal parts, and truth. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that causation is transitive and in this paper I aim to reconcile this widely-held assumption with apparent evidence to the contrary. I will discuss a familiar approach to certain well-known counterexamples, before introducing a more resistant sort of case of my own. I will then offer a novel solution, based on Yablo’s proportionality principle, that succeeds in even these more resistant cases. There is a catch, however. Either proportionality is a constraint on which causal claims are (...) true, and the solution works, or it is not and causation is not transitive after all. I will argue that the first horn has unacceptable consequences and should be rejected, but that the second horn is less costly than it might initially appear. (shrink)
Professionals, it is said, have no use for simple lists of virtues and vices. The complexities and constraints of professional roles create peculiar moral demands on the people who occupy them, and traits that are vices in ordinary life are praised as virtues in the context of professional roles. Should this disturb us, or is it naive to presume that things should be otherwise? Taking medical and legal practice as key examples, Justin Oakley and Dean Cocking develop a rigorous (...) articulation and defence of virtue ethics, contrasting it with other types of character-based ethical theories and showing that it offers a promising new approach to the ethics of professional roles. They provide insights into the central notions of professional detachment, professional integrity, and moral character in professional life, and demonstrate how a virtue-based approach can help us better understand what ethical professional-client relationships would be like. (shrink)
Let us say that an extended object is “composed wholly of simples” just in case it is an aggregate of absolutely unextended parts spread throughout an extended region—that is, just in case there is a set S such that: every member is a point-sized part of the object, and for every x, x is part of the object if and only if it has a part in common with some member of S. Could a truly extended substance be composed entirely (...) of unextended parts? Reflection upon the fact that it must be at least possible for extended objects to touch one another suggests that the answer to this question is: No. (shrink)
This paper argues that the language of rights cannot express distinctively ecofeminist insights into the treatment of nonhuman animals and the environment. An alternative is proposed in the form of a politicized ecological ethic of care which can express ecofeminist insights. The paper concludes with consideration of an ecofeminist moral issue: how we choose to understand ourselves morally in relation to what we are willing to count as food. "Contextual moral vegetarianism" represents a response to a politicized ecological ethic of (...) care. (shrink)
We focus here on some familiar kinds of cases of conflict between friendship and morality, and, on the basis of our account of the nature of friendship, argue for the following two claims: first, that in some cases where we are led morally astray by virtue of a relationship that makes its own demands on us, the relationship in question is properly called a friendship; second, that relationships of this kind are valuable in their own right.
The ‘byproduct account’ of female orgasm, a subject of renewed debate since Lloyd (The case of the female orgasm, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2005), is universally attributed to Symons (The evolution of human sexuality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979). While this is correct to the extent that he linked it to the adaptive value of male orgasm, I argue that the attribution of the theory as we understand it to Symons is based on a serious and hitherto unrecognised misinterpretation. Symons (...) had a different explanation of why women can orgasm, and beneath this explanation lies an obscure line of argument, including a particularly obscure use of the word ‘homologous’. (shrink)
The ‘friends of temporal parts’ and their opponents disagree about how things persist through time. The former, who hold what is sometimes called a ‘4D’ theory of persistence, typically claim that all objects that last for any period of time are spread out through time in the same way that spatially extended objects are spread out through space — a different part for each region that the object fills. David Lewis calls this manner of persisting ‘perdurance’. The opposing, ‘3D’ theory (...) has it that at least some objects do not persist in this manner; they ‘endure’ through time by ‘being wholly present at more than one time’.1 A related dispute pits ‘presentists’ against ‘non-presentists’. Presentists hold that the only things that really exist are those that exist now, at the present moment; and nonpresentists believe in something like a ‘block-universe’ in which non-simultaneous objects and events nevertheless co-exist (in a tenseless or non-temporal sense). Of late, the relations between these four positions have come under considerable scrutiny.2 As Ned Markosian has pointed out, it would be surprising if commitment to a perdurance or endurance theory of persistence automatically foreclosed one’s options in the presentism—non-presentism debate. But, says Markosian, that is just what the standard formulations of the perdurance and endurance theories imply.3 David Lewis has set the terms of the debate; in his usage, someone who thinks that all persisting objects endure would be said to hold the following. (shrink)
Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS) are developed to contain substantial elements of human knowledge and expertise in a well-defined domain, and use these to support user or expert tasks. Issues related to the social and organisational contexts of these systems are widely acknowledged to be particularly critical to their success. However, methodology proposals usually stop short of adequately handling soft and unstructured data that frame the contexts of use. The handling of qualitative data needs to be done in a way that directly (...) impinges on the wider Knowledge-Based System engineering processes and decisions. In this paper, we discuss the nature of context-sensitive issues, and describe a methodological approach for resolving them through the rigorous analysis of qualitative data, using a methodology which is based upon the Grounded Theory method from the social sciences. (shrink)
It has become quite common for people to develop `personal'' relationships nowadays, exclusively via extensive correspondence across the Net. Friendships, even romantic love relationships, are apparently, flourishing. But what kind of relations really are possible in this way? In this paper, we focus on the case of close friendship. There are various important markers that identify a relationship as one of close friendship. One will have, for instance, strong affection for the other, a disposition to act for their well-being and (...) a desire for shared experiences. Now obviously, while all these features of friendship can gain some expression through extensive correspondence on the Net, such expression is necessarily limited –you cannot, e.g., physically embrace the other, or go on a picnic together. The issue we want to address here however, is whether there might be distinctive and important influences on the structure of interaction undertaken on the Net, that affect the kind of identity ``Net-friends'''' can develop in relation to one another. In the normal case, one develops a close friendship, and in doing so, one''s identity, in part, is shaped by the friendship. To some extent, through extensive shared experience, one comes to see aspects of the world (and of oneself) through the eyes of one''s friend and so, in part, one''s identity develops in an importantly relational way, i.e., as the product of one''s relation with the close friend. In our view, however, on account of the limits of, and/or the kind of, shared contact and experience one can have with another via correspondence on the Net, there are significant structural barriers to developing the sort of relational identity that is a feature of close friendship. In arguing our case here, and by using the case of Net ``friendship'''' as our foil, we aim to shed light on the nature and importance of certain sorts of self-expression and relational interaction found in close friendship. (shrink)