Cushman, Young, & Greene (2010) urge the consolidation of moral psychology around a dual-system consensus. On this view, a slow, often-overstretched rational system tends to produce consequentialist intuitions and action-tendencies, while a fast, affective system produces virtuous (or vicious) intuitions and action-tendencies that perform well in their habituated ecological niche but sometimes disastrously outside of it. This perspective suggests a habit-corrected-by-reason picture of moral behavior. Recent research, however, has raised questions about the adequacy of dual-process theories of cognition and behavior, (...) which tend to distinguish categorically between fast, affect-laden, automatic, sometimes-unconscious, nearly-incorrigible mental processes and slow, rational, effortful, conscious, corrigible mental processes. Processes of one alleged type often have properties associated with the contrary type. For instance, rational processes can be emotional, and fast thinking can perform logical operations. In addition, the fast-slow binary transforms a continuous temporal scale into a dichotomous one, losing potentially important information along the way. While these problems are beginning to be addressed in some subfields of psychology, moral psychology has yet to grapple with them. In this theoretical paper, we argue that moral psychology needs a framework that accounts for our knowledge of both temporal and spatial (anatomical) dimensions of the brain basis of moral cognition and virtuous decision-making. We argue that methodologies with very fine-grained temporal granularity, such as electroencephalography (EEG), should be used to complement more frequently used methodologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We outline how this might be accomplished using generosity, gratitude, and integrity as a case study. (shrink)
Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person after (...) becoming addicted. Methods: We conducted a series of vignette-based experiments (total N = 3,620) to assess lay attitudes concerning addiction and identity persistence, systematically manipulating key characteristics of agents and their drug of addiction. Conclusions: In Study 1, we found that US participants judged an agent who became addicted to drugs as being closer to ‘a completely different person’ than ‘completely the same person’ as the agent who existed prior to the addiction. In Studies 2-6, we investigated the intuitive basis for this result, finding that lay judgments of altered identity as a consequence of drug use and addiction are driven primarily by perceived negative changes in the moral character of drug users, who are seen as having deviated from their good true selves. (shrink)
Much of the literature from political psychology has focused on the negative traits that are positively associated with affective polarization—e.g., animus, arrogance, distrust, hostility, and outrage. Not as much attention has been focused on the positive traits that might be negatively associated with polarization. For instance, given that people who are intellectually humble display greater openness and less hostility towards conflicting viewpoints (Krumrei-Mancuso & Rouse, 2016; Hopkin et al., 2014; Porter & Schumann, 2018), one might reasonably expect them to be (...) less polarized. -/- We ran two studies designed to explore the relationship between various forms of humility and polarization. Our chief finding is that people who value humility are prone to what we are calling epistemic polarization—that is, judging the epistemic traits of contrapartisans negatively—which in turn plays a role in polarization more generally. Not only are contrapartisans deemed to have the wrong moral and political beliefs, they are also viewed as less humble and more arrogant, close-minded, and irrational. This makes matters even worse when it comes to the growing partisan divide. In light of our findings, we believe that the novel concept of epistemic polarization that we introduce is a promising target for further investigation. (shrink)
G.E. Moore, more than either Bertrand Russell or Ludwig Wittgenstein, was chiefly responsible for the rise of the analytic method in twentieth-century philosophy. This selection of his writings shows Moore at his very best. The classic essays are crucial to major philosophical debates that still resonate today. Amongst those included are: * A Defense of Common Sense * Certainty * Sense-Data * External and Internal Relations * Hume's Theory Explained * Is Existence a Predicate? * Proof of an External World (...) In addition, this collection also contains the key early papers in which Moore signals his break with idealism, and three important previously unpublished papers from his later work which illustrate his relationship with Wittgenstein. (shrink)
Case reports about patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for various motor and psychiatric disorders - including Parkinson’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Treatment Resistant Depression - have sparked a vast literature in neuroethics. Questions about whether and how DBS changes the self have been at the fore. The present chapter brings these neuroethical debates into conversation with recent research in moral psychology. We begin in Section 1 by reviewing the recent clinical literature on DBS. In Section 2, we consider (...) whether DBS poses a threat to personal identity. In Section 3 we argue for engagement with recent empirical work examining judgements of when identity changes. We conclude in Section 4 by highlighting a range of ethical issues raised by DBS, including various cross-cultural considerations. (shrink)
A recent systematic review of Machine Learning (ML) approaches to health data, containing over 100 studies, found that the most investigated problem was mental health (Yin et al., 2019). Relatedly, recent estimates suggest that between 165,000 and 325,000 health and wellness apps are now commercially available, with over 10,000 of those designed specifically for mental health (Carlo et al., 2019). In light of these trends, the present chapter has three aims: (1) provide an informative overview of some of the recent (...) work taking place at the intersection of text mining and mental health so that we can (2) highlight and analyze several pressing ethical issues that are arising in this rapidly growing field and (3) suggest productive directions for how these issues might be better addressed within future interdisciplinary work to ensure the responsible development of text mining approaches in psychology generally, and in mental health fields, specifically. In Section 1, we review some of the recent literature on text-mining and mental health in the contexts of traditional experimental settings, social media, and research involving electronic health records. Then, in Section 2, we introduce and discuss ethical concerns that arise before, during, and after research is conducted. Finally, in Section 3, we offer several suggestions about how ethical oversight of text-mining research might be improved to be more responsive to the concerns mapped out in Section 2. (shrink)
This paper aims to expand the range of empirical work relevant to the extended cognition debates. First, I trace the historical development of the person-situation debate in social and personality psychology and the extended cognition debate in the philosophy of mind. Next, I highlight some instructive similarities between the two and consider possible objections to my comparison. I then argue that the resolution of the person-situation debate in terms of interactionism lends support for an analogously interactionist conception of extended cognition. (...) I argue that this interactionism might necessitate a shift away from the dominant agent-artifact paradigm toward an agent–agent paradigm. If this is right, then social and personality psychology—the discipline(s) that developed from the person-situation debate—opens a whole new range of empirical considerations for extended cognition theorists which align with Clark & Chalmers original vision of agents themselves as spread into the world. (shrink)
As COVID-19 spread, clinicians warned of mental illness epidemics within the coronavirus pandemic. Funding for digital mental health is surging and researchers are calling for widespread adoption to address the mental health sequalae of COVID-19. -/- We consider whether these technologies improve mental health outcomes and whether they exacerbate existing health inequalities laid bare by the pandemic. We argue the evidence for efficacy is weak and the likelihood of increasing inequalities is high. -/- First, we review recent trends in digital (...) mental health. Next, we turn to the clinical literature to show that many technologies proposed as a response to COVID-19 are unlikely to improve outcomes. Then, we argue that even evidence-based technologies run the risk of increasing health disparities. We conclude by suggesting that policymakers should not allocate limited resources to the development of many digital mental health tools and should focus instead on evidence-based solutions to address mental health inequalities. (shrink)
This paper argues that the question, ‘where are virtues?’ demands a response from virtue theorists. Despite the polarizing nature of debates about the relevance of empirical work in psychology for virtue theory, I first show that there is widespread agreement about the underlying structure of virtue. Namely, that virtues are comprised of cognitive and affective processes. Next, I show that there are well-developed arguments that cognitive processes can extend beyond the agent. Then, I show that there are similarly well-developed arguments (...) that affective processes can extend beyond the agent. I then introduce three cases to establish that these cognitive and affective processes are relevantly similar to the cognitive and affective processes countenanced by plausible theories of virtue. Finally, I conclude that virtue theorists must abandon default internalism, the view that the cognitive and affective processes comprising virtues are internal to the agent. (shrink)
This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...) the agent, they are partial bearers of her cognitions, motivations, memories, and so on. According to proponents of the situationist challenge to virtue theory, dispositions located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent to whom they are attributed typically do not meet the normative standards associated with either virtue or vice (moral, epistemic, or otherwise) because they are too susceptible to moderating external variables, such as mood modulators, ambient sensibilia, and social expectation signaling. We here draw on both of these literatures to formulate two novel views – the embedded and extended character hypotheses – according to which the vehicles of not just mental states but longer-lasting, wider-ranging, and normatively-evaluable agentic dispositions are sometimes located partially beyond the confines of the agent’s skin. (shrink)
We argue that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. First, we explain the recognition heuristic as studied by Gerd Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to, and outside the control of, the cognitive agent. We then connect the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, arguing that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of (...) scaffolded cognition. In section three, we consider the double-edged sword of cognitive scaffolding. On the one hand, scaffolds can reduce the internal processing demands on cognitive agents while increasing their access to information. On the other hand, the use of scaffolding leaves cognitive agents increasingly vulnerable to forming false beliefs or failing to form beliefs at all about particular topics. With respect to the recognition heuristic, agents rely on third parties (such as the media) to report not just what’s true but also what’s important or valuable. This makes cognitive agents relying on these third parties vulnerable to two erroneous influences: 1) because they don’t recognize something, it isn’t important or valuable, and 2) because they do recognize something, it is important or valuable. Call the latter the Kardashian Inference and the former the Darfur Inference. In section four, we use Fricker’s (2007) concept of epistemic injustice to characterize the nature and harm of these false inferences, with special emphasis on the Darfur Inference. In section five, we use data-mining and an empirical study to show how Gigerenzer’s population estimation task is liable to produce Darfur Inferences. We conclude with some speculative remarks on more important Darfur Inferences, and how to avoid them by scaffolding better. One primary way to accomplish this it to shift the burden of embodying the virtue of epistemic justice from the hearer or consumer of media to the media themselves. (shrink)
Over the years, companies have adopted hiring algorithms because they promise wider job candidate pools, lower recruitment costs and less human bias. Despite these promises, they also bring perils. Using them can inflict unintentional harms on individual human rights. These include the five human rights to work, equality and nondiscrimination, privacy, free expression and free association. Despite the human rights harms of hiring algorithms, the AI ethics literature has predominantly focused on abstract ethical principles. This is problematic for two reasons. (...) First, AI principles have been criticized for being vague and not actionable. Second, the use of vague ethical principles to discuss algorithmic risks does not provide any accountability. This lack of accountability creates an algorithmic accountability gap. Closing this gap is crucial because, without accountability, the use of hiring algorithms can lead to discrimination and unequal access to employment opportunities. This paper makes two contributions to the AI ethics literature. First, it frames the ethical risks of hiring algorithms using international human rights law as a universal standard for determining algorithmic accountability. Second, it evaluates four types of algorithmic impact assessments in terms of how effectively they address the five human rights of job applicants implicated in hiring algorithms. It determines which of the assessments can help companies audit their hiring algorithms and close the algorithmic accountability gap. (shrink)
Dominant views about the nature of health and disease in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine have presumed the existence of a fixed, stable, individual organism as the bearer of health and disease states, and as such, the appropriate target of medical therapy and ethical concern. However, recent developments in microbial biology, neuroscience, the philosophy of cognitive science, and social and personality psychology (Ickes...
Some ways of defending inequality against the charge that it is unjust require premises that egalitarians find easy to dismiss—statements, for example, about the contrasting deserts and/or entitlements of unequally placed people. But a defense of inequality suggested by John Rawls and elaborated by Brian Barry has often proved irresistible even to people of egalitarian outlook. The persuasive power of this defense of inequality has helped to drive authentic egalitarianism, of an old-fashioned, uncompromising kind, out of contemporary political philosophy. The (...) present essay is part of an attempt to bring it back in. (shrink)
In this chapter, we outline the interdisciplinary contributions that philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have provided in the understanding of the self and identity, focusing on one specific line of burgeoning research: the importance of morality to perceptions of self and identity. Of course, this rather limited focus will exclude much of what psychologists and neuroscientists take to be important to the study of self and identity (that plethora of self-hyphenated terms seen in psychology and neuroscience: self-regulation, self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-concept, self-perception, (...) and more). We will likewise not engage with many canonical philosophical treatments of self and identity. But we will lay out a body of research that brings together classic themes in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience to raise empirically tractable philosophical questions, and philosophically rigorous empirical questions about self and identity. More specifically, in section 4.2, we will review some recent research that has treated traditional philosophical questions about self and identity as empirical questions. Within this body of work, we will be primarily concerned with the finding that morality (more so than memory) is perceived to be at the core of self and identity. Then, in section 4.3, we raise and respond to a variety of questions and criticisms: first, about the operationalization of identity concepts in the empirical literature; second, about the generalizability of the moral self effect; third, about the direction of change; fourth, about connections with recent work in neuroscience; and fifth, about the target of evaluation. Finally, in section 4.4, we consider a variety of implications and applications of this work on the moral self. Throughout, we aim to highlight connections between classical themes in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, while also suggesting new directions for interdisciplinary collaboration. (shrink)
Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, proponents of digital psychiatry were touting the promise of various digital tools and techniques to revolutionize mental healthcare. As social distancing and its knock-on effects have strained existing mental health infrastructures, calls have grown louder for implementing various digital mental health solutions at scale. Decisions made today will shape the future of mental healthcare for the foreseeable future. We argue that bioethicists are uniquely positioned to cut through the hype surrounding digital mental health, which can (...) obscure crucial ethical and epistemic gaps that ought to be considered by policymakers before committing to a digital psychiatric future. Here, we describe four such gaps: The evidence gap, the inequality gap, the prediction-intervention gap, and the safety gap. (shrink)
1. The present paper is a continuation of my “Self-Ownership, World Ownership, and Equality,” which began with a description of the political philosophy of Robert Nozick. I contended in that essay that the foundational claim of Nozick's philosophy is the thesis of self-ownership, which says that each person is the morally rightful owner of his own person and powers, and, consequently, that each is free to use those powers as he wishes, provided that he does not deploy them aggressively against (...) others. To be sure, he may not harm others, and he may, if necessary, be forced not to harm them, but he should never be forced to help them, as people are in fact forced to help others, according to Nozick, by redistributive taxation. (shrink)
This paper argues that the activist, feminist and pragmatist Jane Addams was an experimental philosopher. To defend this claim, I argue for capacious notions of both philosophical pragmatism and experimental philosophy. I begin in Section 2 with a new defence of Rose and Danks’ [‘In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy’. Metaphilosophy 44, no. 4 : 512–32] argument in favour of a broad conception of experimental philosophy. Koopman [‘Pragmatist Resources for Experimental Philosophy: Inquiry in Place of Intuition’. Journal (...) of Speculative Philosophy 26, no. 1 : 1–24] argues that many twentieth-century American pragmatists can make important contributions to contemporary experimental philosophy. In Section 3, I argue that while this may be true, it is also true that under the broad conception, many of the pragmatists just were experimental philosophers. In Section 4, I argue that as a pragmatist philosopher in her own right, Jane... (shrink)
Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...) Starmans & Bloom (2018) suggests that this research program conflates personal identity with mere similarity. To address this criticism, we explore how loss of someone’s morality or memories influence perceptions of identity change, and perceptions of moral duties towards the target of the change. We present participants with a classic ‘body switch’ thought experiment and after assessing perceptions of identity persistence, we present a moral dilemma, asking participants to imagine that one of the patients must die (Study 1) or be left alone in a care home for the rest of their life (Study 2). Our results highlight the importance of the continuity of moral character, suggesting lay intuitions are tracking (something like) personal identity, not just mere similarity. (shrink)
Reminiscences of Peter, by P. Oppenheim.--Natural kinds, by W. V. Quine.--Inductive independence and the paradoxes of confirmation, by J. Hintikka.--Partial entailment as a basis for inductive logic, by W. C. Salmon.--Are there non-deductive logics?, by W. Sellars.--Statistical explanation vs. statistical inference, by R. C. Jeffre--Newcomb's problem and two principles of choice, by R. Nozick.--The meaning of time, by A. Grünbaum.--Lawfulness as mind-dependent, by N. Rescher.--Events and their descriptions: some considerations, by J. Kim.--The individuation of events, by D. Davidson.--On properties, by (...) H. Putnam.--A method for avoiding the Curry paradox, by F. B. Fitch.--Publications (1934-1969) by Carl G. Hempel (p. -270). (shrink)
Editor James Fetzer presents an analytical and historical introduction and a comprehensive bibliography together with selections of many of Carl G. Hempel's most important studies to give students and scholars an ideal opportunity to appreciate the enduring contributions of one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century.
Abstract G.A. Cohen has produced an influential criticism of libertarian?ism that posits joint ownership of everything in the world other than labor, with each joint owner having a veto right over any potential use of the world. According to Cohen, in that world rationality would require that wealth be divided equally, with no differential accorded to talent, ability, or effort. A closer examination shows that Cohen's argument rests on two central errors of reasoning and does not support his egalitarian conclusions, (...) even granting his assumption of joint ownership. That assumption was rejected by Locke, Pufendorf and other writers on property for reasons that Cohen does not rebut. (shrink)
In this essay, Hegel attempted to show how Fichte’s Science of Knowledge was an advance from the position of Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, and how Schelling (and incidentally Hegel himself) had made a further advance from the position of Fichte.
This article examines the main aspects of Husserl's phenomenology, which are analyzed in "Appearance and Sense" by Gustav Shpet: the relation between sense and comprehension and between noesis and noema. Shpet emphasizes the hermeneutical theme of "comprehension" as a resolutive dimension to solve aspects not clarified by Husserl. Shpet's critical enquiry, in the course of his subsequent observation, converge into an hermeneutical logic. Shpet identifies the centrality of language as a form of thinking, through the recovery of Humbodt's meaning of (...) the "inner form". (shrink)
Among the most outstanding discoveries of the last century is one that is not quite as momentous as the theory of relativity or cybernetics. It may even still be enigmatic. It has no one single author, it is not expressed in a single formula, conception, or invention. Nonetheless it is worth all the others combined.
Peer commentary on: Goering, S., Klein, E., Dougherty, D. D., & Widge, A. S. (2017). Staying in the loop: Relational agency and identity in next-generation DBS for psychiatry. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(2), 59-70.