This article aims to explore two different but interrelated problems. The first objective, the more abstract one, is to discuss the plausibility of fusionism as a theoretical project of bridging the philosophical gap between libertarianism and free-market conservatism. Our thesis is that while fusionism could succeed, as a strategic alliance, in promoting specific policies, the differences between libertarianism and conservatism are irreconcilable at the level of fundamental intellectual assumptions. More precisely, starting from Hayek’s objections to conservatism, we argue that the (...) crucial divide is that between two conceptions about the prerequisites for social order. The second objective is to show how the differences between the policy prescriptions endorsed by conservatives and libertarians within the Tea Party (mainly with regard to religion-related issues) are illustrative for the theoretical point defended in the first sections. (shrink)
Intellectual property is one of the highly divisive issues in contemporary philosophical and political debates. The main objective of this paper is to explore some sources of tension between the formal rules of intellectual property (particularly copyright and patents) and the emerging informal norms of file sharing and open access in online environments. We look into the file sharing phenomena not only to illustrate the deepening gap between the two sets of norms, but to cast some doubt on the current (...) regime of intellectual property as an adequate frame for the new type of interactions in online environments. Revisiting the classic Arrow–Demsetz debate about intellectual property and the epistemological issues involved in assessing institutions, we suggest that seeking out new institutional arrangements aligned with the norms-in-use seems to be a more promising strategy in the new technological setting than attempting to reinforce the current legal framework. Moreover, such a strategy is less prone to committing the so-called ‘Nirvana fallacies’. As a secondary task, we try to cast some doubt on the two most common moral justifications of intellectual property as being able to ground the full extent of the current intellectual property regime. (shrink)
In Emanuel Adler's distinctive constructivist approach to international relations theory, international practices evolve in tandem with collective knowledge of the material and social worlds. This book - comprising a selection of his journal publications, a new introduction and three previously unpublished articles - points IR constructivism in a novel direction, characterized as 'communitarian'. Adler's synthesis does not herald the end of the nation-state; nor does it suggest that agency is unimportant in international life. Rather, it argues that what mediates (...) between individual and state agency and social structures are communities of practice, which are the wellspring and repositories of collective meanings and social practices. The concept of communities of practice casts new light on epistemic communities and security communities, helping to explain why certain ideas congeal into human practices and others do not, and which social mechanisms can facilitate the emergence of normatively better communities. (shrink)
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.
Drawing on evolutionary epistemology, process ontology, and a social-cognition approach, this book suggests cognitive evolution, an evolutionary-constructivist social and normative theory of change and stability of international social orders. It argues that practices and their background knowledge survive preferentially, communities of practice serve as their vehicle, and social orders evolve. As an evolutionary theory of world ordering, which does not borrow from the natural sciences, it explains why certain configurations of practices organize and govern social orders epistemically and normatively, and (...) why and how these configurations evolve from one social order to another. Suggesting a multiple and overlapping international social orders' approach, the book uses three running cases of contested orders - Europe's contemporary social order, the cyberspace order, and the corporate order - to illustrate the theory. Based on the concepts of common humanity and epistemological security, the author also submits a normative theory of better practices and of bounded progress. (shrink)
The distinction between lying and mere misleading is commonly tied to the distinction between saying and conversationally implicating. Many definitions of lying are based on the idea that liars say something they believe to be false, while misleaders put forward a believed-false conversational implicature. The aim of this paper is to motivate, spell out, and defend an alternative approach, on which lying and misleading differ in terms of commitment: liars, but not misleaders, commit themselves to something they believe to be (...) false. This approach entails that lying and misleading involve speech-acts of different force. While lying requires the committal speech-act of asserting, misleading involves the non-committal speech-act of suggesting. The approach leads to a broader definition of lying that can account for lies that are told while speaking non-literally or with the help of presuppositions, and it allows for a parallel definition of misleading, which so far is lacking in the debate. (shrink)
It is widely held that all lies are assertions: the traditional definition of lying entails that, in order to lie, speakers have to assert something they believe to be false. It is also widely held that assertion contrasts with presupposition and, in particular, that one cannot assert something by presupposing it. Together, these views imply that speakers cannot lie with presuppositions—a view that Andreas Stokke has recently explicitly defended. The aim of this paper is to argue that speakers can lie (...) with presuppositions, and to discuss some of the implications this outcome has for current research on lying, assertion and presupposition. (shrink)
Recent years have seen the rise of anti-politics as a political phenomenon but beyond this new rejection of the political class there has long existed, an albeit marginal, deeper challenge to the political itself. Identifying the work of Derrida as 'a politics' and that of Baudrillard as 'transpolitics' this book charts the convergences and divergences in their respective approaches. Among the topics treated are questions of the media and representation.
Many recent definitions of lying are based on the notion of what is said. This paper argues that says-based definitions of lying cannot account for lies involving non-literal speech, such as metaphor, hyperbole, loose use or irony. It proposes that lies should instead be defined in terms of assertion, where what is asserted need not coincide with what is said. And it points to possible implications this outcome might have for the ethics of lying.
In today's complex world, influenced by information bombardment and rapid technological development, professional training cannot remain limited to the idea of passing knowledge. There is a need to shift the students’ view towards the true spirit of research, which targets the scientific thought on certain social phenomena, and to form critical thinking skills to produce effective individuals in the current labour market, who not only receive information, but go further and analyze problems in the workplace, presenting solutions to identified problems (...) and applying these solutions in concrete situations. For this reason, critical thinking is considered a top skill, being highly appreciated by the business world and organizations. But to think critically is a capacity that does not develop by itself, it must be practiced and encouraged in a correct learning environment. Critical thinking has become one of the most important educational goals, which must be achieved by the different educational institutions through all the programs studied by students in the different educational cycles, but also by students in the university environment. Starting from this, this article analyses the types of specific actions which target the introduction of the abilities of critical thinking in the training activities in Romania, and in society in its entirety, by identifying the setbacks encountered, and the limits of such an endeavour. (shrink)
In arguing against a supposed ambiguity, philosophers often rely on the zeugma test. In an application of the zeugma test, a supposedly ambiguous expression is placed in a sentence in which several of its supposed meanings are forced together. If the resulting sentence sounds zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence for ambiguity; if it does not sound zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence against ambiguity. The aim of this article is to show that arguments based on the second direction of (...) the test are misguided: ambiguous expressions, and in particular philosophically contested ones, do not reliably lead to zeugmaticity, so an absence of zeugmaticity provides no meaningful evidence for an absence of ambiguity. (shrink)
In this article, we propose the Fair Priority Model for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and emphasize three fundamental values we believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: Benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern for all individuals. The Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as (...) economic destruction. It proposes proceeding in three phases: the first addresses premature death, the second long-term health issues and economic harms, and the third aims to contain viral transmission fully and restore pre-pandemic activity. -/- To those who may deem an ethical framework irrelevant because of the belief that many countries will pursue "vaccine nationalism," we argue such a framework still has broad relevance. Reasonable national partiality would permit countries to focus on vaccine distribution within their borders up until the rate of transmission is below 1, at which point there would not be sufficient vaccine-preventable harm to justify retaining a vaccine. When a government reaches the limit of national partiality, it should release vaccines for other countries. -/- We also argue against two other recent proposals. Distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population mistakenly assumes that equality requires treating differently situated countries identically. Prioritizing countries according to the number of front-line health care workers, the proportion of the population over 65, and the number of people with comorbidities within each country may exacerbate disadvantage and end up giving the vaccine in large part to wealthy nations. (shrink)
Pictures are notably absent from the current debate about how to define lying. Theorists in this debate tend to focus on linguistic means of communication and do not consider the possibility of lying with photographs, drawings and other kinds of pictures. The aim of this paper is to show that such a narrow focus is misguided: there is a strong case to be made for the possibility of lying with pictures and this possibility allows for insights concerning the question of (...) how lying should be defined. (shrink)
Background: The health professionals are involved in the paths of care for patients with different medical conditions. Their life is frequently characterized by psychopathological outcomes so that it is possible to identify consistent burdens. Besides the possibility to develop pathological outcomes, some protective factors such as resilience play a fundamental role in facilitating the adaptation process and the management of maladaptive patterns. Personal characteristics and specific indexes such as burdens and resilience are essential variables useful to study in-depth ongoing conditions (...) and possible interventions. The study was aimed at highlighting the presence and the relations among factors as personal variables, burdens, and resilience, to understand health professionals' specific structure and functions.Methods: The observation group was composed of 210 participants, 55 males, and 155 females, aged from 18 to 30 years old with a mean age of 25.92 years old. The study considered personal characteristics of the subjects, such as age, gender, years of study, days of work per week, hours of work per week, and years of work. Our study had been conducted with the use of measures related to burdens and resilience.Results: The performed analyses consisted of descriptive statistics, correlations, and regressions among the considered variables. Several significant correlations emerged among personal characteristics, CBI, and RSA variables. Specifically, age and work commitment indexes appeared to be significantly related to the development of burdens, differently from the years of study. Significant correlations emerged among personal and RSA variables, indicating precise directions for both domains. Age and gender were identified as predictors to perform multivariate regression analyses concerning CBI factors. Significant dependence relations emerged with reference to all CBI variables.Conclusion: Pathological outcomes and resilience factors represent two sides of the health professionals' experiences, also known as “invisible patients.” Greater knowledge about present conditions and future possibilities is a well-known need in literature so that the current analyses considered fundamental factors. In line with state of the art, future studies are needed in order to deepen elusive phenomena underlying maladjustment. (shrink)
This paper explores two philosophical issues related to Darwin’s treatment of the sterile castes of insects in the Origin of Species. The first aim is to review the scholarly articles on the subjects of Darwin’s acceptance or rejection of natural selection acting at levels above that of the individuals. The second aim is to see whether Darwin’s position on group selection informs in any way contemporary debates on group selection and multilevel selection. The paper arrives at the conclusion that, there (...) is significant evidence in the Origin that Darwin did see natural selection acting at the level of the community, but it is hard to say anything more than evolutionary biology is compatible with multilevel selection if we take this point into account. Many present-day individualistic and pluralistic accounts of natural selection that seek legitimacy from Darwin’s views on the subject open up to charges of anachronism. (shrink)
We analyze recent criticisms of the use of hyperreal probabilities as expressed by Pruss, Easwaran, Parker, and Williamson. We show that the alleged arbitrariness of hyperreal fields can be avoided by working in the Kanovei–Shelah model or in saturated models. We argue that some of the objections to hyperreal probabilities arise from hidden biases that favor Archimedean models. We discuss the advantage of the hyperreals over transferless fields with infinitesimals. In Paper II we analyze two underdetermination theorems by Pruss and (...) show that they hinge upon parasitic external hyperreal-valued measures, whereas internal hyperfinite measures are not underdetermined. (shrink)
ABSTRACTA probability model is underdetermined when there is no rational reason to assign a particular infinitesimal value as the probability of single events. Pruss claims that hyperreal probabilities are underdetermined. The claim is based upon external hyperreal-valued measures. We show that internal hyperfinite measures are not underdetermined. The importance of internality stems from the fact that Robinson’s transfer principle only applies to internal entities. We also evaluate the claim that transferless ordered fields may have advantages over hyperreals in probabilistic modeling. (...) We show that probabilities developed over such fields are less expressive than hyperreal probabilities. (shrink)
In the past few years, the ethical ramifications of AI technologies have been at the center of intense debates. Considerable attention has been devoted to understanding how a morally responsible practice of data science can be promoted and which values have to shape it. In this context, ethics and moral responsibility have been mainly conceptualized as compliance to widely shared principles. However, several scholars have highlighted the limitations of such a principled approach. Drawing from microethics and the virtue theory tradition, (...) in this paper, we formulate a different approach to ethics in data science which is based on a different conception of “being ethical” and, ultimately, of what it means to promote a morally responsible data science. First, we develop the idea that, rather than only compliance, ethical decision-making consists in using certain moral abilities, which are cultivated by practicing and exercising them in the data science process. An aspect of virtue development that we discuss here is moral attention, which is the ability of data scientists to identify the ethical relevance of their own technical decisions in data science activities. Next, by elaborating on the capability approach, we define a technical act as ethically relevant when it impacts one or more of the basic human capabilities of data subjects. Therefore, rather than “applying ethics”, data scientists should cultivate ethics as a form of reflection on how technical choices and ethical impacts shape one another. Finally, we show how this microethical framework concretely works, by dissecting the ethical dimension of the technical procedures involved in data understanding and preparation of electronic health records. (shrink)
Recently, biologists have argued that data - driven biology fosters a new scientific methodology; namely, one that is irreducible to traditional methodologies of molecular biology defined as the discovery strategies elucidated by mechanistic philosophy. Here I show how data - driven studies can be included into the traditional mechanistic approach in two respects. On the one hand, some studies provide eliminative inferential procedures to prioritize and develop mechanistic hypotheses. On the other, different studies play an exploratory role in providing useful (...) generalizations to complement the procedure of prioritization. Overall this paper aims to shed light on the structure of contemporary research in molecular biology. (shrink)
This commentary focuses on the “olfactory cortices–hippocampal formation” axis, proposed by Aboitiz et al. to be that network which allowed the first mammals to create elaborate representations of space. I argue here that this neural axis can be extended to a triangle of structures which also includes the orbital cortex.
Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge. We evaluate eight simple allocation principles that can be classiﬁed into four categories: treating people equally, favouring the worst-oﬀ, maximising total beneﬁts, and promoting and rewarding social usefulness. No single principle is suﬃcient to incorporate all morally relevant considerations and therefore individual principles must be combined into multiprinciple allocation systems. We evaluate three systems: the United Network for Organ Sharing points systems, quality-adjusted life-years, and (...) disability-adjusted life-years. We recommend an alternative system—the complete lives system—which prioritises younger people who have not yet lived a complete life, and also incorporates prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value principles. (shrink)
In the past few years, machine learning (ML) tools have been implemented with success in the medical context. However, several practitioners have raised concerns about the lack of transparency—at the algorithmic level—of many of these tools; and solutions from the field of explainable AI (XAI) have been seen as a way to open the ‘black box’ and make the tools more trustworthy. Recently, Alex London has argued that in the medical context we do not need machine learning tools to be (...) interpretable at the algorithmic level to make them trustworthy, as long as they meet some strict empirical desiderata. In this paper, we analyse and develop London’s position. In particular, we make two claims. First, we claim that London’s solution to the problem of trust can potentially address another problem, which is how to evaluate the reliability of ML tools in medicine for regulatory purposes. Second, we claim that to deal with this problem, we need to develop London’s views by shifting the focus from the opacity of algorithmic details to the opacity of the way in which ML tools are trained and built. We claim that to regulate AI tools and evaluate their reliability, agencies need an explanation of how ML tools have been built, which requires documenting and justifying the technical choices that practitioners have made in designing such tools. This is because different algorithmic designs may lead to different outcomes, and to the realization of different purposes. However, given that technical choices underlying algorithmic design are shaped by value-laden considerations, opening the black box of the design process means also making transparent and motivating (technical and ethical) values and preferences behind such choices. Using tools from philosophy of technology and philosophy of science, we elaborate a framework showing how an explanation of the training processes of ML tools in medicine should look like. (shrink)
For many contemporary artists, failure has been an instrument of experimentation and self-expression, of investigation into existential questions and manifestation of utopian tensions. In this paper, I will discuss how some of the well-known strategies of experimental and avant-garde artistic practices with failure involve risky actions, challenging or impossible attempts, loss of control, and compulsive repetition of inconclusive acts. In those experimentations, the ideal model of an effective and successful action performance (in which a goal is defined through a clear (...) intention, a plan and a well-controlled execution) is willfully sabotaged in its stages. In this regard, a distinction between failure and mistake will be highlighted: if failure could be traced back to the tradition of heroic or tragic defeat in front of adverse odds, mistake on the contrary means doing something wrong that one is expected to control. While failure negatively reflects our tension toward autonomy, the focus on mistakes is the expression of rigidity and heightened risk aversion in contexts where maximal efficiency and self-optimization are expected. This paper will argue that equating the category of failure with that of mistake is not faithful to the motives underlying those artistic traditions. In this respect, artistic experimentations in the “aesthetic of failure” can also be viewed as a critical response toward a general mindset defined by the anxiety of control and obsessive mistake avoidance that seems typical of our current times. (shrink)
Simonet, Emanuel Nicolas Cortes Victoria's new Powers of Attorney Act 2014 came into operation on 1 September 2015. Following recommendations by the Victorian Parliament Law Reform Committee, changes have been introduced in the new Act to simplify the process of making an enduring power of attorney. Reforms include the addition of a section on capacity, the introduction of a supportive attorney role distinct from the enduring power of attorney role, and the enhancement of safeguards. This article analyses how the (...) new Powers of Attorney Act 2014 empowers persons with impaired decision-making capacity and also strengthens the mechanisms which protect them from abuse. (shrink)
Sam Berstler defends a general moral advantage for misleading over lying by arguing that liars, but not misleaders, act unfairly toward the other members of their linguistic community. This article spells out three difficulties for Berstler’s account. First, though Berstler aims to avoid an error theory, it is dubitable that her account fits with intuitions on the matter. Second, there are some lies that do not exhibit the unfairness Berstler identifies. Third, fairness is not the only morally relevant difference between (...) lying and misleading. (shrink)