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)
The purpose of the present study is that of examining what I call Robert Nozick’s “evolutionist turn” in ethics. More specifically, my aim is to provide an answer to the following question: what type of ethical theory does Robert Nozick sketch in his last book, Invariances? My first objective will be that of delineating the philosophical framework which will accommodate my future discussion, highlighting the distinction between the metaphysical and scientific approaches to ethics as proposed by Ken Binmore, but also (...)EmanuelSocaciu's taxonomy of ethical theories, which stems from the particular way in which moral philosophers tackle the nature of ethical norms and moral motivation. I then set forth to show that, in the philosophical framework previously described, Robert Nozick's approach from Anarchy, State, and Utopia should be seen as a metaphysical one. The last and most important part of my study aims to show how Nozick's “evolutionist turn” took place and developed, from his perspective on rationality in The Nature of Rationality, to his ethical theory advanced in Invariances. (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)
Mihai Ralea was a university professor and prominent representative of the Romanian interwar literary intelligentsia. M. Ralea taught psychology, sociology and aesthetics, and was at the same time the director of a reputed literary magazine (Viaţa românească-Romanian Life). Ralea was also a politician, initially an important member of the National Peasant Party, representing its centre left wing. In his case, one may notice the contradiction between his moral arguments in public and his deeds after he reached positions of power (Minister (...) of Labour under the royal dictatorship, Minister of Arts under the pro-communist Petru Groza government, etc.). Ralea was also called “the moralist without morals”, and the compromises he made – manifested through his adherence to anti-democratic regimes – can be documented by numerous archival documents. Due to strong political connections, Ralea survived in the high ranks of cultural bureaucracy even during cultural Stalinism. He maintained important positions both at the University of Bucharest and with humanities research institutes of the post-1948 Soviet-style Romanian Academy of Sciences. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he also gained posi-tions of international cultural representation with the Romanian branch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNES-CO) and the Romanian Institute for the Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (IRRCS, the Romanian VOKS). His survival (as a professor of psychology after 1948) had a significant price – Ralea’s collaboration with the Stalinist regime. Using open sources and also newly declassified archival documents, the article is an attempt to approach M. Ralea’s case of survival in the high cultural bureaucracy in the East European context. (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.
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)
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)
O presente artigo objetiva realizar uma análise conjunta das obras Metamorfoses (2020) do filósofo italiano Emanuele Coccia e O mestre ignorante (1987) do filósofo francês Jacques Rancière. A análise será feita sob a luz do crescente interesse contemporâneo sobre o conceito de comum, considerado uma aposta política e filosófica de diversos movimentos sociais e intelectuais críticos tanto do neoliberalismo quanto do comunismo de Estado. Argumentaremos que as duas obras, ainda que não coloquem tal noção em primeiro plano, apresentam contribuições importantes (...) para a compreensão do comum, principalmente em sua dimensão filosófica. Argumentaremos também que o conceito de inteligência em O mestre ignorante e o conceito de metamorfose em Metamorfoses, ainda que mobilizados em edifícios conceituais diferentes, não deixam de apresentar um certo tipo de parentesco – sendo ambos dispositivos sensíveis e cognitivos que expressam uma dimensão inapropriável, transmundana e compartilhada, uma riqueza comum, uma potência imprópria que pertence a todos e a ninguém. (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)
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.
Lying requires asserting a disbelieved proposition, that much is widely accepted in the debate on how to define lying. But what else is required? Does lying require a particular linguistic manner of expression, such as saying? Does the proposition asserted have to be false (and not merely disbelieved)? And does lying require an intention to deceive? The aim of this chapter is to provide an opinionated introduction to the debates on these questions that takes into account both theoretical considerations and (...) empirical data. (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)
Migration is one of the social processes that have influenced and are still deeply influencing current Romanian society, given that millions of Romanian citizens have relatives who had longer or shorter migration projects. Migration leads to socio-economic and cultural changes, which cause temporary or permanent changes in the human reality, the way of life and the personality of those who leave, but also of those who remain at home. Certainly, migration affects, first of all, the family, changing both its structure (...) and functionality. The temporarily disintegrated family has become one of the forms towards which the evolution of the family is moving, raising a multitude of problems aimed at a new lifestyle and interaction, new demands in the line of adjustment and accommodation both within and outside the family. The phenomenon of emigration in order to find a workplace affects both the family, as a social nucleus, and the individual as part of the family structure. Migration has a major impact on the relationship between spouses, on the parent-child relationship, on parental behavior, on destiny, in general. Although the family remains central to the existence of individuals in a transnational situation, its cohesion is not self-evident; it becomes a problem of community integration. Following the way in which the perspective on the family has changed in the context of migration, the study aims to identify and analyze the most important transnational practices through which family cohesion was maintained in the case of Romanian migration. To better understand this process of maintaining transnational family cohesion, we use an analytical model in four dimensions (social, positional, cultural and identity). (shrink)
Moral sentimentalism can be defined as the philosophical theory according to which emotions are the source of our value judgements, in general, and of our moral judgements, in particular. It follows that, from a historical and conceptual point of view, moral sentimentalism has emerged and developed in opposition to moral rationalism, according to which reason allows us to formulate and understand value judgments from a psychological point of view and is also the source of our axiological knowledge from an epistemic (...) point of view. In this article we present the theoretical issues related to the sentimentalist approach to morality and evaluative judgments, starting from the diverse theories of the classical representatives of sentimentalism, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume and Smith, and especially the three theses they defended: psychological perspective, the theory of moral sense and the theory of moral feelings. I also argue that the first moral sentimentalism emerged from the confrontation of three distinct aporia: the first aporia refers to the conceptualization of emotions and emotional states; the second deals with the possibility of axiological knowledge; and the third refers to the nature and existence of values. Finally, we are interested in the birth of sentimentalism in order to highlight a series of difficulties inherent in this theoretical approach and which we find today in contemporary moral sentimentalism. The aim is to highlight the conceptual and argumentative tensions that were at the heart of sentimentalism at its emergence. (shrink)
Emanuele Maffi argues that the Theaetetus, one of the most difficult dialogues of Plato, demonstrates the unbridgeable distance between philosophy and sophia, confirmed by the aporetic outcome of the dialogue. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that this distance is not necessarily an evil, because in the impossibility of reaching sophia lies the very condition of the existence of philosophy. While all other Platonic works attempt to explain the best ways to inhabit the space of philosophy, the Theaetetus (...) sets the conditions for what constitutes the space of philosophy. (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.