This magisterial work is the first comprehensive study of the ethics of killing, where the moral status of the individual is uncertain or controversial. Drawing on philosophical notions of personal identity and the wrongness of killing, McMahan looks carefully at a host of practical issues including abortion, infanticide, the killing of animals, assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Is the no-minimum claim true? I have argued that it is not. Andrew Cullison contends that my argument fails, since human sentience is variable; while Michael Schrynemakers has contended that the failure is my neglect of vagueness. Both, I argue, are wrong.
The exhibition Off Beat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground showcases the archive of Jeff Nuttall, a painter, poet, editor, actor and novelist. As the exhibition illustrates, Nuttall was a central figure in the International Underground during the 1960s through to the early 1970s. During this time he collaborated with a vast network of avant-garde writers from across the globe, as well as editing the influential publication My Own Mag between 1963 and 1967.
There are two main ways in which things with minds, like us, differ from things without minds, like tables and chairs. First, we are conscious--there is something that it is like to be us. We instantiate phenomenal properties. Second, we represent, in various ways, our world as being certain ways. We instantiate representational properties. Jeff Speaks attempts to make progress on three questions: What are phenomenal properties? What are representational properties? How are the phenomenal and the representational related?
Gambling on God brings together a superb collection of new and classic essays that provide the first sustained analysis of Pascal's Wager and the idea of an infinite utility as well as the first in-depth look at moral objections to the Wager.
REVIEW (1): "Jeff Kochan’s book offers both an original reading of Martin Heidegger’s early writings on science and a powerful defense of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) research program. Science as Social Existence weaves together a compelling argument for the thesis that SSK and Heidegger’s existential phenomenology should be thought of as mutually supporting research programs." (Julian Kiverstein, in Isis) ---- REVIEW (2): "I cannot in the space of this review do justice to the richness and range of (...) Kochan's discussion [...]. There is a great deal in this foundational portion of Kochan's discussion that I find tremendously interesting and engaging [...]." (David R. Cerbone, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science) ---- REVIEW (3): "Science as Social Existence will be of interest not only to Heidegger scholars but to anyone engaged in science and technology studies. [...] This is an informative and original book. Kochan should be praised for his clear, pleasant-to-read prose." (Michael Butler, in CHOICE). (shrink)
I argue that Husserlian phenomenology is metaphysically neutral, in the sense of being compatible with multiple metaphysical frameworks. For example, though Husserl dismisses the concept of an unknowable thing in itself as “material nonsense”, I argue that the concept is coherent and that the existence of such things is compatible with Husserl’s phenomenology. I defend this metaphysical neutrality approach against a number of objections and consider some of its implications for Husserl interpretation.
This volume brings together a range of interdisciplinary perspectives on a topic of central importance, but which has otherwise tended to be approached from within just one or another disciplinary framework. Most of the essays contained here incorporate some degree of interdisciplinarity in their own approach, but the volume nevertheless divides into three main sections: Philosophical considerations; Humanities approaches; Legal, medical, and therapeutic contexts. The volume includes essays by philosophers, medical practitioners and researchers, historians, lawyers, literary, Classical, and Judaic scholars. (...) The essays are united by a common concern with the question of the human character of suffering, and the demands that suffering, and the recognition of suffering, make upon us. (shrink)
This book provides an original and provocative combination of ethnomethodological analysis and the concepts of linguistic philosophy with a breadth and clarity unusual in this field of writing. It is designed to be read by sociologists, psychologists and philosophers and concerns itself with the contributions of Wittgenstein, defending the claim for his relevance to the human sciences. However, this book goes some way beyond the usual limitations of such interdisciplinary works by outlining some empirical applications of ideas derived from the (...) Wittgenstein tradition. (shrink)
According to our traditional conception of agency, most human beings are agents and most, if not all, nonhuman animals are not. However, recent developments in philosophy and psychology have made it clear that we need more than one conception of agency, since human and nonhuman animals are capable of thinking and acting in more than one kind of way. In this paper, I make a distinction between perceptual and propositional agency, and I argue that many nonhuman animals are perceptual agents (...) and that many human beings are both kinds of agent. I then argue that, insofar as human and nonhuman animals exercise the same kind of agency, they have the same kind of moral status, and I explore some of the moral implications of this idea. (shrink)
This article provides empirical results indicating that acting in a socially respon- sible and lawful manner is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for increasing shareholder wealth. It meta-analyzes 27 event studies that have mea- sured the stock market's reaction to incidences of socially irresponsible and illicit behavior. It finds that for firms engaging in socially irresponsible and illicit behavior, the effect on shareholder wealth is negative (wealth decreases), statisti- cally significant (p < .001), and so substantial in size (D (...) = -.932) that the distribution of abnormal returns is shifted nearly a full standard deviation to the left (i.e., negatively) from their expected standard normal distribution. This result gives rationally self-interested firms a self-interested reason to act in a socially responsible and law-abiding manner. It also provides support for a moral position called enlightened self-interest, which prescribes that firms should act in a socially responsible manner to promote the shareholders' interests. (shrink)
This groundbreaking inquiry into the centrality of place in Martin Heidegger's thinking offers not only an illuminating reading of Heidegger's thought but a detailed investigation into the way in which the concept of place relates to core philosophical issues. In Heidegger's Topology, Jeff Malpas argues that an engagement with place, explicit in Heidegger's later work, informs Heidegger's thought as a whole. What guides Heidegger's thinking, Malpas writes, is a conception of philosophy's starting point: our finding ourselves already "there," situated (...) in the world, in "place." Heidegger's concepts of being and place, he argues, are inextricably bound together.Malpas follows the development of Heidegger's topology through three stages: the early period of the 1910s and 1920s, through Being and Time, centered on the "meaning of being"; the middle period of the 1930s into the 1940s, centered on the "truth of being"; and the late period from the mid-1940s on, when the "place of being" comes to the fore. The significance of Heidegger as a thinker of place, Malpas claims, lies not only in Heidegger's own investigations but also in the way that spatial and topographic thinking has flowed from Heidegger's work into that of other key thinkers of the past 60 years. (shrink)
In the past twenty years, issues about the relationship between perception and thought have largely been framed in terms of the question of whether the contents of perception are nonconceptual. I argue that this debate has rested on an ambiguity in `nonconceptual content' and some false presuppositions about what is required for concept possession. Once these are cleared away, I argue that none of the arguments which have been advanced about nonconceptual content do much to threaten the natural view that (...) perception and thought are relations to the same kind of content. (shrink)
In this paper I ask how we should treat other beings in cases of uncertainty about sentience. I evaluate three options: an incautionary principle that permits us to treat other beings as non-sentient, a precautionary principle that requires us to treat other beings as sentient, and an expected value principle that requires us to multiply our subjective probability that other beings are sentient by the amount of moral value they would have if they were. I then draw three conclusions. First, (...) the precautionary and expected value principles are more plausible than the incautionary principle. Second, if we accept a precautionary or expected value principle, then we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status. Third, if we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status, then morality involves more cluelessness and demandingness than we might have thought. (shrink)
An important issue in epistemology concerns the source of epistemic normativity. Epistemic consequentialism maintains that epistemic norms are genuine norms in virtue of the way in which they are conducive to epistemic value, whatever epistemic value may be. So, for example, the epistemic consequentialist might say that it is a norm that beliefs should be consistent, in that holding consistent beliefs is the best way to achieve the epistemic value of accuracy. Thus epistemic consequentialism is structurally similar to the family (...) of consequentialist views in ethics. Recently, philosophers from both formal epistemology and traditional epistemology have shown interest in such a view. In formal epistemology, there has been particular interest in thinking of epistemology as a kind of decision theory where instead of maximizing expected utility one maximizes expected epistemic utility. In traditional epistemology, there has been particular interest in various forms of reliabilism about justification and whether such views are analogous to—and so face similar problems to—versions of consequentialism in ethics. This volume presents some of the most recent work on these topics as well as others related to epistemic consequentialism, by authors that are sympathetic to the view and those who are critical of it. (shrink)
Author's response to: Raphael Sassower, 'Heidegger and the Sociologists: A Forced Marriage?,' Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 5 (2018): 30-32. -- Part of a book-review symposium on: Jeff Kochan (2017), Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge UK: Open Book Publishers).
While the 'sense of place' is a familiar theme in poetry and art, philosophers have generally given little or no attention to place and the human relation to place. In Place and Experience, Jeff Malpas seeks to remedy this by advancing an account of the nature and significance of place as a complex but unitary structure that encompasses self and other, space and time, subjectivity and objectivity. Drawing on a range of sources from Proust and Wordsworth to Davidson, Strawson (...) and Heidegger, he argues that the significance of place is not to be found in our experience of place so much as in the grounding of experience in place, and that this binding to place is not a contingent feature of human existence, but derives from the very nature of human thought, experience and identity as established in and through place. (shrink)
We often evaluate belief-forming processes, agents, or entire belief states for reliability. This is normally done with the assumption that beliefs are all-or-nothing. How does such evaluation go when we’re considering beliefs that come in degrees? I consider a natural answer to this question that focuses on the degree of truth-possession had by a set of beliefs. I argue that this natural proposal is inadequate, but for an interesting reason. When we are dealing with all-or-nothing belief, high reliability leads to (...) high levels of truth-possession. However, when it comes to degrees of belief, reliability and truth-possession part ways. The natural answer thus fails to be a good way to evaluate degrees of belief for reliability. I propose and develop an alternative method based on the notion of calibration, suggested by Frank Ramsey, which does not have this problem and consider why we should care about such assessments of reliability even if they are not tied directly to truth-possession. (shrink)
A random sample of 207 national business consultants is employed to test the effects of individual values and professional ethics on consulting behavior. The results suggest that the individual values held by consultants are positively correlated with professional ethics, but are negatively correlated with consulting behavior. Moreover, there appears to be no significant relationship between the professional ethics of consultants and business consulting behavior. Findings and issues regarding the effectiveness of codes of ethics and implications for both the provider and (...) recipient of professional consulting services are discussed. (shrink)
I argue that the transparency of experience provides the basis of arguments both for intentionalism -- understood as the view that there is a necessary connection between perceptual content and perceptual phenomenology -- and for the view that the contents of perceptual experiences are Russellian propositions. While each of these views is popular, there are apparent tensions between them, and some have thought that their combination is unstable. In the second half of the paper, I respond to these worries by (...) arguing that Russellianism is consistent with intentionalism, that their conjunction is consistent with both internalism about phenomenology and externalism about perceptual content, and that the resulting view receives independent support from the relationship between hallucination and thought. (shrink)
Aron Gurwitsch’s theory of the structure and dynamics of consciousness has much to offer contemporary theorizing about consciousness and its basis in the embodied brain. On Gurwitsch’s account, as we develop it, the field of consciousness has a variable sized focus or "theme" of attention surrounded by a structured periphery of inattentional contents. As the field evolves, its contents change their status, sometimes smoothly, sometimes abruptly. Inner thoughts, a sense of one’s body, and the physical environment are dominant field contents. (...) These ideas can be linked with (and help unify) contemporary theories about the neural correlates of consciousness, inattention, the small world structure of the brain, meta-stable dynamics, embodied cognition, and predictive coding in the brain. (shrink)
The question whether cognition is subserved by internal processes in the brain (internalism) or extends in to the world (active externalism) has been vigorously debated in recent years. I show how internalist and externalist ideas can be pursued in a common framework, using (1) open dynamical systems, which allow for separate analysis of an agent's intrinsic and embodied dynamics, and (2) supervenience functions, which can be used to study how low-level dynamical systems give rise to higher-level dynamical structures.
Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...) Question. We discuss and reject the three answers to the Baseline Question found in the literature, and explain the challenge future attempts at answering this question will face. Proponents of probabilistic accounts have not adequately addressed the Interpretation Question. We survey three answers to this question, finding each unsatisfactory. We conclude that no satisfactory probabilistic account has yet been offered, and that there are significant hurdles to providing one in the future. (shrink)
Is it reasonable to believe in God even in the absence of strong evidence that God exists? Pragmatic arguments for theism are designed to support belief even if one lacks evidence that theism is more likely than not. Jeff Jordan proposes that there is a sound version of the most well-known argument of this kind, Pascal's Wager, and explores the issues involved - in epistemology, the ethics of belief, decision theory, and theology.
Demonstratives have different semantic values relative to different contexts of utterance. But it is surprisingly difficult to describe the function from contexts to contents which determines the semantic value of a given use of a demonstrative. It is very natural to think that the intentions of the speaker should play a significant role here. The aim of this paper is to discuss a pair of problems that arise for views which give intentions this central role in explaining the characters of (...) demonstratives. As will emerge, these problems lead quickly to a foundational question about the semantics of demonstratives and many other context-sensitive expressions: the question of whether, in explaining their characters, we need to understand them as sensitive, not just to facts about the psychology of the speaker of the context, but also to facts about the audience of the context. I critically examine Jeffrey King’s theory of demonstratives, which answers this question in the affirmative, and argue that it ultimately collapses into a purely speaker-based view of the character of demonstratives. I then show how to develop a much simpler speaker-based theory which both handles all of the cases handled by King’s theory and avoids some of the more serious problems which King’s theory faces. Towards the end I consider how we might solve the very difficult problems which result from cases in which speakers use demonstratives with conflicting referential intentions. (shrink)
In this paper I do four things. (1) I explain one clear thing that ‘the problem of the unity of the proposition’ might mean. (2) I lay out a few different versions of the theory of propositions as cognitive acts, and explain why this problem arises for the version of that theory which has been defended in different forms by Peter Hanks and Scott Soames. (3) I argue that the natural ways in which the act theorist might try to solve (...) the problem fail to solve it; (4) I propose a way to fix the problem, and then I explain how the problem re-emerges in the act theorist’s treatment of propositional attitude relations. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to lay out a number of theses which are very widely held in contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics, and to argue that, given some extra theses for which I’ll argue, they are inconsistent. Some of this will involve going through some very well-trodden territory—my hope is that presenting this familiar ground in the way that I do will help to make plain the problem that I aim to identify.
In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...) correct, then it would be remarkable if the content of our normative judgments and the normative facts were not significantly aligned. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Radical injustice; 2. Which injustices? What groups?; 3. Enduring injustice; 4. Apology and acknowledgement; 5. Legitimacy and the cast of history; 6. Elusive justice; 7. A chastened liberalism.
Theories of the structure of affect make competing predictions about whether people can feel happy and sad at the same time. Considerable evidence that happiness and sadness can co-occur has accumulated in the past 15 years, but holes in the case remain. I describe those holes and suggest strategies for testing them in future research. I also explore the possibility that the case may never be closed, in part because the competing hypotheses may not be entirely falsifiable. Fortunately, hypotheses need (...) not be falsifiable to be useful. Research on mixed emotions has been generative and the body of research will continue to shed light on the structure of affect. (shrink)
Many alleged counter-examples to intentionalism, the thesis that the phenomenology of perceptual experiences of a given sense modality supervenes on the contents of experiences of that modality, can be avoided by adopting a liberal view of the sorts of properties that can be represented in perceptual experience. I argue that there is a class of counter-examples to intentionalism, based on shifts in attention, which avoids this response. A necessary connection between the contents and phenomenal characters of perceptual experiences can be (...) preserved by distinguishing perceptual phenomenology from the phenomenology of attention; but even if this distinction is viable, these cases put pressure on the thesis that phenomenal character can, in general, be explained in terms of mental representation. (shrink)
We argue that the notion of trust, as it figures in an ethical context, can be illuminated by examining research in artificial intelligence on multi-agent systems in which commitment and trust are modeled. We begin with an analysis of a philosophical model of trust based on Richard Holton’s interpretation of P. F. Strawson’s writings on freedom and resentment, and we show why this account of trust is difficult to extend to artificial agents (AAs) as well as to other non-human entities. (...) We then examine Margaret Urban Walker’s notions of “default trust” and “default, diffuse trust” to see how these concepts can inform our analysis of trust in the context of AAs. In the final section, we show how ethicists can improve their understanding of important features in the trust relationship by examining data resulting from a classic experiment involving AAs. (shrink)
The idea of place--topos--runs through Martin Heidegger's thinking almost from the very start. It can be seen not only in his attachment to the famous hut in Todtnauberg but in his constant deployment of topological terms and images and in the situated, "placed" character of his thought and of its major themes and motifs. Heidegger's work, argues Jeff Malpas, exemplifies the practice of "philosophical topology." In Heidegger and the Thinking of Place, Malpas examines the topological aspects of Heidegger's thought (...) and offers a broader elaboration of the philosophical significance of place. Doing so, he provides a distinct and productive approach to Heidegger as well as a new reading of other key figures--notably Kant, Aristotle, Gadamer, and Davidson, but also Benjamin, Arendt, and Camus. Malpas, expanding arguments he made in his earlier book _Heidegger's Topology_, discusses such topics as the role of place in philosophical thinking, the topological character of the transcendental, the convergence of Heideggerian topology with Davidsonian triangulation, the necessity of mortality in the possibility of human life, the role of materiality in the working of art, the significance of nostalgia, and the nature of philosophy as beginning in wonder. Philosophy, Malpas argues, begins in wonder and begins in place and the experience of place. The place of wonder, of philosophy, of questioning, he writes, is the very topos of thinking. (shrink)
Source Hybridism about practical reasons is the position that facts that constitute reasons sometimes derive their normative force from external metaphysical grounds, and sometimes from internal. Although historically less popular than either Source Internalism or Source Externalism, hybridism has lately begun to garner more attention. Here, I further the hybridist's cause by defending Source Hybridism from three objections. I argue that we are not warranted in rejecting hybridism for any of the following reasons: that hybridists cannot provide an account of (...) normative weight, that hybridists are committed to implausible results concerning practical deliberation, or that Source Hybridism is objectionably unparsimonious. (shrink)
Do individuals have a positive right of self-defence? And if so, what are the limits of this right? Under what conditions does this use of force extend to the defence of others? These are some of the issues explored by Dr Uniacke in this comprehensive 1994 philosophical discussion of the principles relevant to self-defence as a moral and legal justification of homicide. She establishes a unitary right of self-defence and the defence of others, one which grounds the permissibility of the (...) use of necessary and proportionate defensive force against culpable and non-culpable, active and passive, unjust threats. Particular topics discussed include: the nature of moral and legal justification and excuse; natural law justifications of homicide in self-defence; the Principle of Double Effect and the claim that homicide in self-defence is justified as unintended killing; and the question of self-preferential killing. This is a lucid and sophisticated account of the complex notion of justification, revolving around a critical discussion of trends in the law of self-defence. (shrink)
The study of expertise is difficult to do in a laboratory environment due to the challenge of finding people at different skill levels and the lack of time for participants to acquire mastery. In this paper, we report on two studies that analyze naturalistic gameplay data using cohort analysis to better understand how skill relates to practice and habit. Two cohorts are analyzed, each from two different games. Our work follows skill progression through 7 months of Halo matches for a (...) holistic perspective, but also explores low-level in-game habits when controlling game units in StarCraft 2. Players who played moderately frequently without long breaks were able to gain skill the most efficiently. What set the highest performers apart was their ability to gain skill more rapidly and without dips compared to other players. At the beginning of matches, top players habitually warmed up by selecting and re-selecting groups of units repeatedly in a meaningless cycle. They exhibited unique routines during their play that aided them when under pressure. (shrink)
Current patterns of global economic activity are not only unsustainable, but unethical - this claim is central to Materialist Ethics and Life-Value. Grounding the definition of ethical value in the natural and social requirements of life-support and life-development shared by all human beings, Jeff Noonan provides a new way of understanding the universal conception of "the good life." Noonan argues that the true crisis affecting the world today is not sluggish rates of economic growth but the model of measuring (...) economic and social health in terms of money-value. In response, he develops an alternative understanding of good societies where the breadth and depth of life-activity and enjoyment are dependent on dominant institutions. The more social institutions satisfy the necessary requirements of human life, the more they empower each person to develop and enjoy the capacities that make human life valuable and meaningful. A well-reasoned synthesis of traditional philosophical concerns and contemporary critiques of global capitalism, this book is a forward-looking treatise that defends political struggle and reconsiders what is most important for a happy life. (shrink)