This article examines the question ‘what is humour?’ In section 1, we set out default realist presuppositions about the question. In section 2, we characterize a broadly Moorean approach to answering the question. In section 3, we introduce popular response-dependence assumptions about humour and express puzzlement about their popularity. In section 4, we present extant answers to our question: superiority theory; relief theory; play theory; laughter-dispositional theory; and incongruity theory. We find each wanting, subjecting incongruity theory, in particular, to sustained (...) scrutiny, and offer a novel critique of the approach. In section 5, we introduce precedents for primitivism from metaphysics, epistemology and action theory. In section 6, we present several primitivist theses about humour. In section 7, we conclude with some remarks about the methodological role primitivist theses can play in adjudicating answers to our question. (shrink)
This paper is a systematic exploration of non-wellfounded mereology. Motivations and applications suggested in the literature are considered. Some are exotic like Borges’ Aleph, and the Trinity; other examples are less so, like time traveling bricks, and even Geach’s Tibbles the Cat. The authors point out that the transitivity of non-wellfounded parthood is inconsistent with extensionality. A non-wellfounded mereology is developed with careful consideration paid to rival notions of supplementation and fusion. Two equivalent axiomatizations are given, and are compared to (...) classical mereology. We provide a class of models with respect to which the non-wellfounded mereology is sound and complete. (shrink)
Thirteen original essays by leading scholars explore aspects of Spinoza's ethical theory and, in doing so, deepen our understanding of it as the richly rewarding core of his system. They resolve interpretive difficulties, advance longstanding debates, and point the direction for future research.
While philosophers have been interested in animals since ancient times, in the last few decades the subject of animal minds has emerged as a major topic in philosophy. _The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds_ is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising nearly fifty chapters by a team of international contributors, the _Handbook_ is divided into eight parts: Mental representation Reasoning and (...) metacognition Consciousness Mindreading Communication Social cognition and culture Association, simplicity, and modeling Ethics. Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including: whether and how animals represent and reason about the world; how animal cognition differs from human cognition; whether animals are conscious; whether animals represent their own mental states or those of others; how animals communicate; the extent to which animals have cultures; how to choose among competing models and explanations of animal behavior; and whether animals are moral agents and/or moral patients; The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, ethics and related disciplines such as ethology, biology, psychology, linguistics and anthropology. (shrink)
Facing an increasing number and variety of issues with social salience, firms must determine how to engage with issues that likely have a significant impact on them. Integrating issues management and salience theories, the authors find that firms engage with socially contested issues—where there is a high degree of societal disagreement—in a different manner from issues that have social consensus, or high agreement. Examining social issue resolutions filed by shareholders from 1997 to 2009, the study finds that socially contested issues, (...) as well as those issues with social consensus, are both likely to result in engagement by the firm. For social issues with consensus, a firm is more likely to opt for a low level of shareholder engagement whereas resolutions regarding contested issues lead to engaging shareholders at a higher level. These findings shed new light on the IM and issue salience literature streams that have suggested firms will react differently to these types of issues, even while they remain largely untested. Finally, firms become less engaged with perennial issues over time. rather than more, providing new guidance to researchers, shareholder activists, and firms alike. To the authors’ knowledge, such fined-grained insight into expected levels of firm engagement with social issue salience has not been put forth previously. (shrink)
Despite great advances in understanding genetic mechanisms, there still exists a bias toward equating genes with innate modules that determine important developmental events. But genes are equally relevant to understanding developmental plasticity shaped by ecological events. In other words, the term 'genetic inheritance' does not specify ontogenetic mechanisms. Here we present a case history of a species assumed to be under the control of prespecified genetic wiring to direct critical behavioral events such as communication and mating. We show, however, that (...) exogenetic processes stemming from the species's ontogenetic niche provide an alternative view of the flexibility of development especially with respect to behavioral performance. (shrink)
This book examines influential conceptions of sport and then analyses the interplay of challenging borderline cases with the standard definitions of sport. It is meant to inspire more thought and debate on just what sport is, how it relates to other activities and human endeavors, and what we can learn about ourselves by studying sport.
In order to improve our understanding of the components that reflect functionally important processes during reward anticipation and consumption, we used principle components analyses (PCA) to separate and quantify averaged ERP data obtained from each stage of a modified monetary incentive delay (MID) task. Although a small number of recent ERP studies have reported that reward and loss cues potentiate ERPs during anticipation, action preparation, and consummatory stages of reward processing, these findings are inconsistent due to temporal and spatial overlap (...) between the relevant electrophysiological components. Our results show three components following cue presentation are sensitive to incentive cues (N1, P3a, P3b). In contrast to previous research, reward‐related enhancement occurred only in the P3b, with earlier components more sensitive to break‐even and loss cues. During feedback anticipation, we observed a lateralized centroparietal negativity that was sensitive to response hand but not cue type. We also show that use of PCA on ERPs reflecting reward consumption successfully separates the reward positivity from the independently modulated feedback‐P3. Last, we observe for the first time a new reward consumption component: a late negativity distributed over the left frontal pole. This component appears to be sensitive to response hand, especially in the context of monetary gain. These results illustrate that the time course and sensitivities of electrophysiological activity that follows incentive cues do not follow a simple heuristic in which reward incentive cues produce enhanced activity at all stages and substages. (shrink)
This article describes the historical emergence of vital systems security, analyzing it as a significant mutation in biopolitical modernity. The story begins in the early 20th century, when planners and policy-makers recognized the increasing dependence of collective life on interlinked systems such as transportation, electricity, and water. Over the following decades, new security mechanisms were invented to mitigate the vulnerability of these vital systems. While these techniques were initially developed as part of Cold War preparedness for nuclear war, they eventually (...) migrated to domains beyond national security to address a range of anticipated emergencies, such as large-scale natural disasters, pandemic disease outbreaks, and disruptions of critical infrastructure. In these various contexts, vital systems security operates as a form of reflexive biopolitics, managing risks that have arisen as the result of modernization processes. This analysis sheds new light on current discussions of the government of emergency and ‘states of exception’. Vital systems security does not require recourse to extraordinary executive powers. Rather, as an anticipatory technology for mitigating vulnerabilities and closing gaps in preparedness, it provides a ready-to-hand toolkit for administering emergencies as a normal part of constitutional government. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics, subjects, thinkers, and debates in feminist philosophy. Fifty-six entries, written by an international team of contributors specifically for the _Companion_, are organized into five sections: Engaging the Past Mind, Body, and World Knowledge, Language, and Science Intersections Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. The volume provides a mutually enriching representation of the several philosophical traditions that contribute to feminist philosophy, including the analytic and continental traditions. (...) It also foregrounds issues of global concern and scope; shows how feminist theory meshes with rich theoretical approaches that start from transgender identities, race and ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, and other axes of identity and oppression; and highlights the interdisciplinarity of feminist philosophy and the ways that it both critiques and contributes to the whole range of subfields within philosophy. (shrink)
This essay examines the implications Wikipedia holds for theories of deliberative democracy. It argues that while similar in some respects, the mode of interaction within Wikipedia represents a distinctive form of “collaborative editing” that departs from many of the qualities traditionally associated with face-to-face deliberation. This online mode of interaction overcomes many of the problems that distort face-to-face deliberations. By mitigating problems that arise in deliberative practice, such as “group polarization” and “hidden profiles,” the wiki model often realizes the epistemic (...) and procedural aspirations of deliberative democracy. These virtues of the Wikipedia model should not, however, lead to the simple conclusion that it ought to replace traditional face-to-face deliberation. Instead, this essay argues that the collaborative editing process found within Wikipedia ought to be viewed as a promising supplement to traditional deliberation. These two modes of communication ought to be viewed in Madisonian terms – as distinctive forms of interaction that check and balance the vices of one another. When combined, the wiki model promotes the virtues of inclusion and accuracy at large scales, while the face-to-face model excels in conditions of localism and promotes the virtues of solidarity and social capital. (shrink)
A collection of 37 essays surveying the state of the art on metaphysical ground. -/- Essay authors are: Fatema Amijee, Ricki Bliss, Amanda Bryant, Margaret Cameron, Phil Corkum, Fabrice Correia, Louis deRosset, Scott Dixon, Tom Donaldson, Nina Emery, Kit Fine, Martin Glazier, Kathrin Koslicki, David Mark Kovacs, Stephan Krämer, Stephanie Leary, Stephan Leuenberger, Jon Litland, Marko Malink, Michaela McSweeney, Kevin Mulligan, Alyssa Ney, Asya Passinsky, Francesca Poggiolesi, Kevin Richardson, Stefan Roski, Noel Saenz, Benjamin Schnieder, Erica Shumener, Alexander Skiles, Olla Solomyak, (...) Tuomas Tahko, Naomi Thompson, Kelly Trogdon, Jennifer Wang, Tobias Wilsch, and Justin Zylstra. (shrink)
Luck permeates our lives, and this raises a number of pressing questions: What is luck? When we attribute luck to people, circumstances, or events, what are we attributing? Do we have any obligations to mitigate the harms done to people who are less fortunate? And to what extent is deserving praise or blame a ected by good or bad luck? Although acquiring a true belief by an uneducated guess involves a kind of luck that precludes knowledge, does all luck undermine (...) knowledge? And how accurate are our luck attributions anyway? The academic literature has seen growing, interdisciplinary interest in luck, and this volume brings together and explains the most important areas of this research. It consists of 39 newly commissioned chapters, written by an internationally acclaimed team of philosophers and psychologists, for a readership of students and researchers. Its coverage is divided into six sections: (i) The History of Luck, (ii) The Nature of Luck, (iii) Moral Luck, (iv) Epistemic Luck, (v) The Psychology of Luck, and (vi) Future Research. The chapters in these sections cover a wide range of topics, from the problem of moral luck, to anti-luck epistemology, to the relationship between luck attributions and cognitive biases, to meta-questions regarding the nature of luck itself, to a range of other theoretical and empirical questions currently being investigated by ethicists, epistemologists, and psychologists. By bringing this research together, the Handbook serves as both a touchstone for understanding the relevant issues and a first port of call for future philosophical and psychological research on luck. (shrink)
There has been an explosion of work on consciousness in the last 30–40 years from philosophers, psychologists, and neurologists. Thus, there is a need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive volume in the field that brings together contributions from a wide range of experts on fundamental and cutting-edge topics. The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness fills this need and makes each chapter’s importance understandable to students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. Designed to complement and better explain primary sources, this volume is (...) a valuable "first-stop" publication for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in any course on "Consciousness," "Philosophy of Mind," or "Philosophy of Psychology," as well as a valuable handbook for researchers in these fields who want a useful reference to have close at hand. The 34 chapters, all published here for the first time, are divided into three parts: Part I covers the "History and Background Metaphysics" of consciousness, such as dualism, materialism, free will, and personal identity, and includes a chapter on Indian philosophy. Part II is on specific "Contemporary Theories of Consciousness," with chapters on representational, information integration, global workspace, attention-based, and quantum theories. Part III is entitled "Major Topics in Consciousness Research," with chapters on psychopathologies, dreaming, meditation, time, action, emotion, multisensory experience, animal and robot consciousness, and the unity of consciousness. -/- Each chapter begins with a brief introduction and concludes with a list of "Related Topics," as well as a list of "References," making the volume indispensable for the newcomer and experienced researcher alike. (shrink)
In this paper I return to Hegel's dispute with Kant over the conceptual ordering of external and internal purposiveness to distinguish between two conceptions of teleology at play in the contemporary function debate. I begin by outlining the three main views in the debate. I argue that only the organizational view can maintain the capacity of function ascriptions both to explain the presence of a trait and to identify its contribution to a current system, for it is the only view (...) that considers teleology as a natural cause. To establish how teleology can be considered as a natural cause, advocates of the organizational view return to Kant's analysis of internal purposiveness. However, while Kant identifies the requirements that an object must meet to satisfy the demands of teleological judgment, I suggest that he denies that we can know whether they are truly met. I argue that Hegel's philosophy of nature is better equipped to determine how internal purposiveness can be considered as a natural cause, for it grounds organization in a form of purposiveness that is more fundamental than a designer's intention. (shrink)
Do activist trade and industrial policies offer developing countries a viable alternative to either neoliberal or mercantilist development regimes? We hope to answer the question by, first, distinguishing the “open economy industrial policies” in vogue today from either their “closed economy” predecessors—i.e., import-substituting industrialization—or more orthodox approaches to development policy making; second, tracing the growth of nontraditional exports from Latin America and the Caribbean to the diffusion of more active approaches in the 1990s; and, third, accounting for activism’s apparent success (...) in an otherwise inauspicious spatial and temporal context by identifying three distinct limits to rent-seeking in the open economy: infant exporter maturation; the costs of government support; and the reactions of foreign rivals. (shrink)
Many manipulation arguments against compatibilism rely on the claim that manipulation is relevantly similar to determinism. But we argue that manipulation is nothing like determinism in one relevant respect. Determinism is a "universal" phenomenon: its scope includes every feature of the universe. But manipulation arguments feature cases where an agent is the only manipulated individual in her universe. Call manipulation whose scope includes at least one but not all agents "existential manipulation." Our responsibility practices are impacted in different ways by (...) universal and existential phenomena. And this is a relevant difference, especially on Strawsonian approaches to moral responsibility, which take facts about our responsibility practices to be deeply connected to the nature of responsibility itself. We argue that Strawsonian accounts of moral responsibility are immune to manipulation arguments, and no attempt to modify the scope of manipulation or determinism featured in these arguments will help incompatibilists secure their desired conclusion. (shrink)
We accept Sunstein's claim that people often use moral heuristics to make judgments and decisions. However, in situations that include a risk of betrayal, we disagree with Sunstein about when the relevant moral heuristic may be said to “misfire.” We suggest that the moral heuristic people apply to avoid the possibility of safety-product betrayal may be reasonable.