Simone Weil believed that Greece’s vocation was to build bridges between God and man. This paper argues that, in light of Weil’s “tradition of mystical thought,” the Christian vocation is an extension of the Greek. The search for the perfect bridge in Homer, Sophocles and Plato comes to fruition in the Passion of Christ. The Greek thinkers, especially Plato with his Perfectly Just Man, already had implicit knowledge of the Passion’s truth.
In Studying Human Behavior, Helen E. Longino enters into the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of “nature versus nurture.” Rather than supporting one side or another or attempting..
Underdetermination arguments support the conclusion that no amount of empirical data can uniquely determine theory choice. The full content of a theory outreaches those elements of it (the observational elements) that can be shown to be true (or in agreement with actual observations).2 A number of strategies have been developed to minimize the threat such arguments pose to our aspirations to scientific knowledge. I want to focus on one such strategy: the invocation of additional criteria drawn from a pool of (...) cognitive or theoretical values, such as simplicity or generality, to bolster judgements about the worth of models, theories, and hypotheses. What is the status of such criteria? Larry Laudan, in Science and Values, argued that cognitive values could not be treated as self-validating, beyond justification, but are embedded in a three-way reticulational system containing theories, methods, and aims or values, which are involved in mutually supportive relationships (Laudan, 1984). My interest in this paper is not the purportedly self-validating nature of cognitive values, but their cognitive nature. Although Laudan rejects the idea that what he calls cognitive values are exempt from rational criticism and disagreement, he does seem to think that the reticulational system he identifies is independent of non-cognitive considerations. It is this cognitive/non-cognitive distinction that I wish to query in this paper. Let me begin by summarizing those of my own views about inquiry in which this worry about the distinction arises. (shrink)
Traits like simplicity and explanatory power have traditionally been treated as values internal to the sciences, constitutive rather than contextual. As such they are cognitive virtues. This essay contrasts a traditional set of such virtues with a set of alternative virtues drawn from feminist writings about the sciences. In certain theoretical contexts, the only reasons for preferring a traditional or an alternative virtue are socio-political. This undermines the notion that the traditional virtues can be considered purely cognitive.
Much work performed under the banner of social epistemology still centers the problems of the individual cognitive agent. AU distinguishes multiple senses of "social," some of which are more social than others, and argues that different senses are at work in various contributions to social epistemology. Drawing on work in history and philosophy of science and addressing the literature on testimony and disagreement in particular, this paper argues for a more thoroughgoing approach in social epistemology.
This paper explores a number of recent proposals regarding "feminist science" and rejects a content-based approach in favor of a process-based approach to characterizing feminist science. Philosophy of science can yield models of scientific reasoning that illuminate the interaction between cultural values and ideology and scientific inquiry. While we can use these models to expose masculine and other forms of bias, we can also use them to defend the introduction of assumptions grounded in feminist political values.
The proposal of anything like a feminist epistemology has, I think, two sources. Feminist scholars have demonstrated how the scientific cards have been stacked against women for centuries. Given that the sciences are taken as the epitome of knowledge and rationality in modern Western societies, the game looks desperate unless some ways of knowing different from those that have validated misogyny and gynephobia can be found. Can we know the world without hating ourselves? This is one of the questions at (...) the core of discussions of feminist epistemology. It has spinoffs, e.g., can we know the world in ways that will permit women as well as men to thrive? Can we know the world without hating any human group? and so on. Now, these questions might be answered in a way that does not require any rethinking of fundamental philosophical issues. Some philosophers might argue that sexism in the sciences from Aristotle to human sociobiology results from a masculinist blinding that impedes the normal workings of the human cognitive apparatus. Unblinded, that apparatus produces real knowledge rather than ideology. Or: that was then, this is now. This somewhat overestimates the progress made in the sciences in the last 20 years, but can be read as a promissory note. (shrink)
We examined the relationship between leader behavioral integrity and leader behavioral courage using data from two studies. Results from Study 1, an online experiment, indicated that behavioral manifestations of leader behavioral integrity and situational adversity both have direct main effects on behavioral manifestations of leader courage. Results from Study 2, a multisource field study with practicing executives, indicated that leader behavioral courage fully mediates the effects of leader behavioral integrity on leader performance and leader executive image. Implications of these findings (...) and future directions are discussed. (shrink)
In Science, Truth, and Democracy, Philip Kitcher develops the notion of well-ordered science: scientific inquiry whose research agenda and applications are subject to public control guided by democratic deliberation. Kitcher's primary departure from his earlier views involves rejecting the idea that there is any single standard of scientific significance. The context-dependence of scientific significance opens up many normative issues to philosophical investigation and to resolution through democratic processes. Although some readers will feel Kitcher has not moved far enough from earlier (...) epistemological positions, the book does represent an important addition to literature on science, society, and values. (shrink)
The subject of this essay is the dependence of evidential relations on background beliefs and assumptions. In Part I, two ways in which the relation between evidence and hypothesis is dependent on such assumptions are discussed and it is shown how in the context of appropriately differing background beliefs what is identifiable as the same state of affairs can be taken as evidence for conflicting hypotheses. The dependence of evidential relations on background beliefs is illustrated by discussions of the Michelson-Morley (...) experiment and the discovery of oxygen. In Part II, Hempel's analysis of confirmation and the contrasting model of theory acceptance provided by philosophers such as Kuhn and Feyerabend are discussed. It is argued that both are inadequate (on different grounds) and the problems addressed by each are shown to be more satisfactorily approached by means of the analysis developed in Part I. In Part III, it is argued that if there are objective criteria for deciding between competing theories, these cannot be simply that one theory has greater evidential support than another. Finally, some further methodological questions arising from the analysis are mentioned. (shrink)
Summarizes author’s contextual empiricism and uses it to analyze the difference between neuro-endocrinological accounts of presumed behavioral sex differences and neuro-selectionist accounts. Contextual empiricism is a philosophical approach that both shows how feminist critique works in the sciences and makes a contribution to general philosophy of science.
This paper is a discussion of the nature of inferring and focusses on the relation between reasons for belief and causes of belief. Two standard approaches to the analysis of inference, the epistemological and the psychological, are identified and discussed. While both approaches incorporate insights concerning, inference, counterexamples show that neither provides by itself an adequate account. A third account is developed and recommended on the grounds that it encompasses the essential insights of the rejected analyses while being immune to (...) their counterexamples. On this account coming to believe for a reason is taken to be central to our concept of inferring, but a causal relation holds between taking something to be a reason and belief. (shrink)
This paper proposes that mammals exhibit three primary emotion categories for mating and reproduction: (1) the sex drive, or lust, characterized by the craving for sexual gratification; (2) attraction, characterized by increased energy and focused attention on one or more potential mates, accompanied in humans by feelings of exhilaration, “intrusive thinking” about a mate, and the craving for emotional union with this mate or potential mate; and (3) attachment, characterized by the maintenance of close social contact in mammals, accompanied in (...) humans by feelings of calm, comfort, and emotional union with a mate. Each emotion category is associated with a discrete constellation of neural correlates, and each evolved to direct a specific aspect of reproduction. The sex drive is associated primarily with the estrogens and androgens; it evolved to motivate individuals to seek sexual union. The attraction system is associated primarily with the catecholamines; it evolved to facilitate mate choice, enabling individuals to focus their mating effort on preferred partners. The attachment system is associated primarily with the peptides, vasopressin, and oxytocin; it evolved to motivate individuals to engage in positive social behaviors and assume species-specific parental duties.During the evolution of the genus Homo, these emotion systems became increasingly independent of one another, a phenomenon that contributes to human mating flexibility and the wide range of contemporary human mating and reproductive strategies. (shrink)
Biological research on aggression is increasingly consulted for possible answers to the social problems of crime and violence. This paper reviews some contrasting approaches to the biological understanding of behavior—behavioral genetic, social-environmental, physiological, developmental—as a prelude to arguing that approaches to aggression are beset by vagueness and imprecision in their definitions and disunity in their measurement strategies. This vagueness and disunity undermines attempts to compare and evaluate the different approaches empirically. Nevertheless, the definitions reveal commitments to particular metaphysical views concerning (...) behavior. Alternative understandings of aggression suggest even different research approaches than those most commonly found in the literature. (shrink)
Each of the three papers offers a different model for the role philosophers of science might play in consideration of the relations of science to society. These comments address common themes in the three papers, articulate further questions for each, and suggest some historical shifts that require different forms of philosophical engagement now than in the early part of the century.
Miriam Solomon's social empiricism is marked by emphasis on community level rationality in science and the refusal to impose a distinction between the epistemic and the non-epistemic character of factors ("decision vectors") that incline scientists for or against a theory. While she attempts to derive some norms from the analysis of cases, her insistent naturalism undermines her effort to articulate norms for the (appropriate) distribution of decision vectors.
This article reports on the third phase of a comparative epistemological, ontological, and social analysis of a variety of approaches to investigating human behavior. In focusing on the fate of scientific ideas once they leave the context in which they were developed, I hope not only to show that their communication for a broader audience imposes a shape on their interrelations different than they seem to have in the research context, but also to suggest that a study comparing different approaches (...) to the same phenomenon is more illuminating than one that focuses on a single approach. (shrink)
Predictions about the health risks of low level radiation combine two sorts of measures. One estimates the amount and kinds of radiation released into the environment, and the other estimates the adverse health effects. A new field called health physics integrates and applies nuclear physics to cytology to supply both these estimates. It does so by first determining the kinds of effects different types of radiation produce in biological organisms, and second, by monitoring the extent of these effects produced by (...) given levels of exposure. This essay examines the interplay between evidential constraints and external, contextual interests and values in studying the biological hazards of radiation. By analyzing the debate over linear vs. quadratic dose response models, the essay focuses on problems of developing quantitative, rather than qualitative, estimates of the risks of increased cancer incidence in an exposed population. (shrink)
This essay sets human reproductive technologies in the context of biological research exploiting the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule in the early 1950s. By setting these technological developments in this research context and then setting the research in the framework of a philosophical analysis of the role of social values in scientific inquiry, it is possible to develop a perspective on these technologies and the aspirations they represent that is relevant to the concerns of their social critics.
Berkeley and Helmholtz proposed different indirect mechanisms for size perception: Berkeley, that size was conditioned to various cues, independently of perceived distance; Helmholtz, that it was unconsciously calculated from angular size and perceived distance. The geometrical approach cannot explain size-distance paradoxes (e.g., moon illusion). The dorsal/ventral solution is dubious for close displays and untestable for far displays.
Over the last three decades the role of social values in science has been the topic issue in the disputes of the philosophers of science against the representatives of science studies. Due to the key status of sciences in developed countries and societies it is necessary, so the author, not only to acknowledge, that cognitive and epistemic practices have their social dimensions, but also to make the practices of the research communities themselves open for critical examination from different perspectives. In (...) the paper the author presents her own theory of the critical contextual empiricism, comparing it with the approach of the American philosopher Philip Kitcher. (shrink)
Using the author's social analysis of scientific knowledge, two ways of understanding the importance of gender to the philosophy of science are offered. Given a requirement of openness to multiple critical perspectives, the gender, race and class structure of a scientific community are an important ingredient of its epistemic reliability. Secondly, one can ask whether a gender sensitive scientific community might prefer certain evaluative criteria (or virtues of theory or practice) to others. Six such criteria (several of which are at (...) odds with criteria accepted in mainstream science) are discussed. Their articulation prompts a series of philosophical questions, the answering of which would constitute one program (or more) of a gender sensitive philosophy of science. (shrink)
Quantitative risk assessment suffers from a variety of problems--some internal and others external. Dale Hattis proposes that the problems of risk assessment can be cured by the development of risk assessment theory. I agree that theory can help address some of the internal problems, such as the failure to date to take the interaction of hazardous substances with other substances in the environment into account. I argue that the external problems such as the manipulation of inherent uncertainties by the politically (...) and socially interested, however, are less amenable to rectification by theory and require political solutions. (shrink)
Lehar argues that a simple Neuron Doctrine cannot explain perceptual phenomena such as size constancy but he fails to discuss existing, more complex neurological models. Size models that rely purely on scaling for distance are sparse, but several models are also concerned with other aspects of size perception such as geometrical illusions, relative size, adaptation, perceptual learning, and size discrimination.
Perceived slope varies with the viewing distance, and is consistent with the effects of foreshortening. Distant viewing makes uphill slopes appear steeper and downhill slopes flatter than does near viewing. These effects are obvious to skiers and climbers in mountainous country. They have also been measured in outdoor experiments with controlled viewing distances. There are many other sources of slope illusions.
In terms of physics, mass is the fixed attribute of an object while weight varies with the accelerative force. Neither weight nor mass are simple sensory stimuli as both involve the integration of sensory and motor information with higher cognitive processes. Studies of apparent heaviness yield only vague information about sensorimotor mechanisms.
Marjorie Grene was a philosophical naturalist avant la lettre. This essay surveys some problems with contemporary (late 20th century) naturalism, argues that Grene’s criticisms of ancient epistemologies are applicable to their contemporary versions, and finds an alternative, philosophically richer, naturalism in Grene’s appropriation of J.J. Gibson’s ideas on perception and in her insistence on treating humans as no less a part of nature than plants and other animals.
Data, Please.Helen E. Longino - 2013 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):144-146.details
A call for serious study of the status of women in the philosophy of science subfield, study that goes beyond simple demographic data to more sophisticated bibliometric data that looks at inclusion in textbooks, citation patterns, the history of topic and idea attribution, etc.