In this paper the concept of structural power is presented as a philosophical and social category that should be used when modern processes of political, cultural or economic change are considered. The arguments will be presented in three stages: 1. Power - two perspectives, two traditions 2. Structural power - the concept 3. Structural power - as a mechanism of explanation the modern social change. The paper refers to two traditions of analyzing the problem of power (as a corrective or (...) as a persuasive influence) and shows that concept of structural power can be a link between those two theoretical perspectives. The paper also refers to the problem of modern, macro changes. It will be shown how the concept of structural power, because of its usage of categories like "experts' power,"public discourse meanings" or "legitimization", can be useful in philosophical reflection about contemporary international and national issues. (shrink)
In this article, we present the positional logic that is suitable for the formalization of reasoning about social phenomena. It is the effect of extending the Minimal Realisation logic with new expressions. These expressions allow, inter alia, to consider different points of view of social entities. In the article, we perform a metalogical analysis of this logic. Finally, we present some simple examples of its application.
This paper discuss the phenomenon of empathy in social robotics and is divided into three main parts. Initially, I analyse whether it is correct to use this concept to study and describe people’s reactions to robots. I present arguments in favour of the position that people actually do empathise with robots. I also consider what circumstances shape human empathy with these entities. I propose that two basic classes of such factors be distinguished: biological and socio-cognitive. In my opinion, one of (...) the most important among them is a sense of group membership with robots, as it modulates the empathic responses to representatives of our- and other- groups. The sense of group membership with robots may be co-shaped by socio-cognitive factors such as one’s experience, familiarity with the robot and its history, motivation, accepted ontology, stereotypes or language. Finally, I argue in favour of the formulation of a pragmatic and normative framework for manipulations in the level of empathy in human–robot interactions. (shrink)
The question of whether AI systems such as robots can or should be afforded moral agency or patiency is not one amenable either to discovery or simple reasoning, because we as societies constantly reconstruct our artefacts, including our ethical systems. Consequently, the place of AI systems in society is a matter of normative, not descriptive ethics. Here I start from a functionalist assumption, that ethics is the set of behaviour that maintains a society. This assumption allows me to exploit the (...) theoretical biology of sociality and autonomy to explain our moral intuitions. From this grounding I extend to consider possible ethics for maintaining either human- or of artefact-centred societies. I conclude that while constructing AI systems as either moral agents or patients is possible, neither is desirable. In particular, I argue that we are unlikely to construct a coherent ethics in which it it is ethical to afford AI moral subjectivity. We are therefore obliged not to build AI we are obliged to. (shrink)
A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2012! Contemporary picturebooks open up spaces for philosophical dialogues between people of all ages. As works of art, picturebooks offer unique opportunities to explore ideas and to create meaning collaboratively. This book considers censorship of certain well-known picturebooks, challenging the assumptions on which this censorship is based. Through a lively exploration of children's responses to these same picturebooks the authors paint a way of working philosophically based on respectful listening and creative and authentic interactions, rather (...) than scripted lessons. This dialogical process challenges much current practice in education. The authors propose that a courageous and critical practice of listening is central to the facilitation of mutually educative dialogue. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of education studies, philosophy of education, literacy teaching and learning, children's literature, childhood and pedagogy. (shrink)
Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legal possibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union. We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary and legally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have some emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law protects us. We review the utility and history of legal fictions of personhood, discussing salient precedents where such fictions resulted in abuse or incoherence. We (...) conclude that difficulties in holding “electronic persons” accountable when they violate the rights of others outweigh the highly precarious moral interests that AI legal personhood might protect. (shrink)
About the Author:Joanna Harrington is associate professor, law, University of Alberta.Michael Milde is associate professor, philosophy, and associate dean, arts and humanities, University of Western Ontario.Richard Vernon is professor, political science, University of.
Contemporary electronic music has splintered into numerous genres and subgenres, all of which share a concern with whether sound, in itself, bears meaning. Listening through the Noise considers how the experience of listening to electronic music constitutes a departure from the expectations that have long governed music listening in the West.
A person who is liable to defensive harm has forfeited his rights against the imposition of the harm, and so is not wronged if that harm is imposed. A number of philosophers, most notably Jeff McMahan, argue for an instrumental account of liability, whereby a person is liable to defensive harm when he is either morally or culpably responsible for an unjust threat of harm to others, and when the imposition of defensive harm is necessary to avert the threatened unjust (...) harm. Others may favour a purely noninstrumental account of liability: one that looks only to the past behaviour of the potentially liable person. We argue that both views are vulnerable to serious objections. Instead we develop and defend a new view of liability to defensive harm: the pluralist account. The pluralist account states that liability to defensive harm has at least two bases. First, if an attacker is morally or culpably responsible for an unjust attack then he has forfeited what we call his agency right, and in doing so he has made himself partially liable to defensive harm. Whether the attacker is fully liable to defensive harm depends, however, on whether the imposition of defensive harm would infringe a different right held by the attacker: his humanitarian right. Humanitarian rights are rights to be provided with urgently needed resources or to be protected from serious harms when others can do so at reasonably low cost. We argue the pluralist account avoids the objections to which the instrumental and noninstrumental views are vulnerable, coheres with our intuitive reactions in a wide range of cases, and sheds new light on the way different rights combine to determine a person's liability to suffer harm. (shrink)
How obliged can we be to AI, and how much danger does it pose us? A surprising proportion of our society holds exaggerated fears or hopes for AI, such as the fear of robot world conquest, or the hope that AI will indefinitely perpetuate our cul- ture. These misapprehensions are symptomatic of a larger problem—a confusion about the nature and origins of ethics and its role in society. While AI technologies do pose promises and threats, these are not qualitatively different (...) from those posed by other artifacts of our culture which are largely ignored: from factories to advertising, weapons to political systems. Ethical systems are based on notions of identity, and the exaggerated hopes and fears of AI derive from our cultures having not yet accommodated the fact that language and reasoning are no longer uniquely human. The experience of AI may improve our ethical intuitions and self-understanding, potentially helping our societies make better-informed decisions on serious ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
One of the enduring concerns of moral philosophy is deciding who or what is deserving of ethical consideration. This special issue of Philosophy and Technology investigates whether and to what extent machines, of various designs and configurations, can or should be considered moral subjects, defined here as either a moral agent, a moral patient, or both. The articles that comprise the issue were competitively selected from papers initially prepared for and presented at a symposium on this subject matter convened during (...) the AISB/IACAP 2012 World Congress, held in at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, UK. (shrink)
Unprecedented advances in medicine, genetic engineering, and demographic forecasting raise new questions that strain the categories and assumptions of traditional ethical theories. Heyd's approach resolves many paradoxes in intergenerational justice, while offering a major test case for the profound problems of the limits of ethics and the nature of value.
Each year thousands of individuals enrol in clinical trials as healthy volunteers to earn money. Some of them pursue research participation as a full-time or at least a part-time job. They call themselves professional or semiprofessional guinea pigs. The practice of paying healthy volunteers raises numerous ethical concerns. Different payment models have been discussed in literature. Dickert and Grady argue for a wage-payment model. This model gives research subjects a standardised hourly wage, and it is based on an assumption that (...) research participation is morally indistinguishable from other forms of unskilled labour. In this paper, I will challenge this assumption. I will argue that human guinea pigging has particular characteristics which taken together make it significantly different from other forms of labour. Participation in research is skill-independent. Healthy volunteers are valuable not because they are skilful persons, but because they are human bodies. The role of research volunteers is mainly passive. They are not asked to produce goods or deliver services. They are paid for enduring unpleasant, painful and risky interventions performed by investigators. Research volunteering involves inherent risks and uncertainties, and subjects have little or no control over their minimisation and materialisation. I conclude that participation in clinical research is a specific kind of activity. It is more like renting out one’s body to strangers, than working. Thus, research participation should not be treated on par with other forms of employment. (shrink)
Perez-Rodriguez and de la Fuente (2017) assume that although human races do not exist in a biological sense (“geneticists and evolutionary biologists generally agree that the division of humans into races/subspecies has no defensible scientific basis,” they exist only as “sociocultural constructions” and because of that maintain an illusory reality, for example, through “racialized” practices in medicine. Agreeing with the main postulates formulated in the article, we believe that the authors treat this problem in a superficial manner and have failed (...) to capture the current state of the field of knowledge in science and the humanities. In our commentary, we want to highlight two main omissions, and to notice three important implications for “a postracial medicine.”. (shrink)
The article investigates the relations between Hausdorff and non-Hausdorff manifolds as objects of general relativity. We show that every non-Hausdorff manifold can be seen as a result of gluing together some Hausdorff manifolds. In the light of this result, we investigate a modal interpretation of a non-Hausdorff differential manifold, according to which it represents a bundle of alternative space-times, all of which are compatible with a given initial data set.
A number of contemporary philosophers have suggested that the recent revival of interest in panpsychism within philosophy of mind could reinvigorate a pantheistic philosophy of religion. This project explores whether the combination and individuation problems, which have dominated recent scholarship within panpsychism, can aid the pantheist’s articulation of a God/universe unity. Constitutive holistic panpsychism is seen to be the only type of panpsychism suited to aid pantheism in articulating this type of unity. There are currently no well-developed solutions to the (...) individuation problem for this type of panpsychism. Moreover, the gestures towards a solution appear costly to the religious significance of pantheism. This article concludes that any hope that contemporary panpsychism might aid pantheists in articulating unity is premature and possibly misplaced. (shrink)
Rather than focus on effects, the isolatable and measureable outcomes of events and interventions, the papers assembled here offer different perspectives on the affective dimension of the meaning and politics of human/non-human relations. The authors begin by drawing attention to the constructed discontinuity between humans and non-humans, and to the kinds of knowledge and socialities that this discontinuity sustains, including those underpinned by nature-culture, subject-object, body-mind, individual-society polarities. The articles presented track human/non-human relations through different domains, including: humans/non-humans in history (...) and animal welfare science ; the relationship between the way we live, the effects on our natural environment and contested knowledges about ‘nature’ ; choreographies of everyday life and everyday science practices with non-human animals such as horses, meerkats, mice, and wolves. Each paper also goes on to offer different perspectives on the human/non-human not just as division, or even as an asymmetrical relation, but as relations that are mutually affective, however invisible and inexpressible in the domain of science. Thus the collection contributes to new epistemologies/ontologies that undercut the usual ordering of relations and their dichotomies, particularly in that dominant domain of contemporary culture that we call science. Indeed, in their impetus to capture ‘affect’, the collection goes beyond the usual turn towards a more inclusive ontology, and contributes to the radical shift in the epistemology and philosophy of science’s terms of engagement. (shrink)
This study examines the conflation of terms such as “knowledge” and “understanding” in peer-reviewed literature, and tests the hypothesis that little current research clearly distinguishes between importantly distinct epistemic states. Two sets of data are presented from papers published in the journal Public Understanding of Science. In the first set, the digital text analysis tool, Voyant, is used to analyze all papers published in 2014 for the use of epistemic success terms. In the second set of data, all papers published (...) in Public Understanding of Science from 2010–2015 are systematically analyzed to identify instances in which epistemic states are empirically measured. The results indicate that epistemic success terms are inconsistently defined, and that measurement of understanding, in particular, is rarely achieved in public understanding of science studies. We suggest that more diligent attention to measuring understanding, as opposed to mere knowledge, will increase efficacy of scientific outreach and communication efforts. (shrink)
I address Sinnott-Armstrong's argument that evidence of framing effects in moral psychology shows that moral intuitions are unreliable and therefore not noninferentially justified. I begin by discussing what it is to be epistemically unreliable and clarify how framing effects render moral intuitions unreliable. This analysis calls for a modification of Sinnott-Armstrong's argument if it is to remain valid. In particular, he must claim that framing is sufficiently likely to determine the content of moral intuitions. I then re-examine the evidence which (...) is supposed to support this claim. In doing so, I provide a novel suggestion for how to analyze the reliability of intuitions in empirical studies. Analysis of the evidence suggests that moral intuitions subject to framing effects are in fact much more reliable than perhaps was thought, and that Sinnott-Armstrong has not succeeded in showing that noninferential justification has been defeated. (shrink)
In this paper non-Hausdorff manifolds as potential basic objects of General Relativity are investigated. One can distinguish four stages of identifying an appropriate mathematical structure to describe physical systems: kinematic, dynamical, physical reasonability, and empirical. The thesis of this paper is that in the context of General Relativity, non-Hausdorff manifolds pass the first two stages, as they enable one to define the basic notions of differential geometry needed to pose the problem of the evolution-distribution of matter and are not in (...) conflict with the Einstein equations. With regard to the third stage, various potential conflicts with physical reasonability conditions are considered with a tentative conclusion that non-Hausdorff manifolds are more likely to pass this stage than is typically assumed. When dealing with some of these problems, the modal interpretation of non-Hausdorff manifolds is invoked, according to which they represent bundles of alternative possible spacetimes rather than single spacetimes. (shrink)
The use of the category of race in science remains controversial. During the last few years there has been a lively debate on this topic in the field of a relatively young neuroscience discipline called cultural neuroscience. The main focus of cultural neuroscience is on biocultural conditions of the development of different dimensions of human perceptive activity, both cognitive or emotional. These dimensions are analysed through the comparison of representatives of different social and ethnic groups. In my article, I present (...) arguments supporting these two hypotheses: the other-race effect understood as an individual, distinct effect does not exist. It is rather an exemplification of a much broader phenomenon which I call theunfamiliarity homogeneity effect. It includes not only problems with differentiation and recognition of faces of representatives of other ethnic groups, but also covers similar recognitional difficulties ; The race-based terminology and categories are used in cultural neuroscience research in a vague and inconsistent manner. Such an approach distorts the science both in empirically and conceptually significant respects. The unfamiliarity homogeneity effect is an example of such a situation: narrowing it to the other-race effect makes it difficult to analyse in a wider context crucial for its understanding. (shrink)
Recently, scholars have described the emotional consequences of transnational motherhood on families. Research, however, has neglected to address the lives of migrant fathers and how they compare to those of migrant mothers. This article fills the gap by analyzing the experiences of Mexican transnational mothers and fathers residing in New Jersey. Ethnographic data and interviews show that parents behave in similar ways when internationally separated from children. However, their migration patterns and emotional responses to separation differ. I show that these (...) differences are tied to Mexican gender ideology in which women’s maternal roles are sacralized, whereas fathers’ roles are tied to financial provision. Although the contemporary Mexican transnational family structure challenges gender norms, the analysis of how parents understand their family roles when separated from their children proves gender ideals to be highly durable in the transnational context. (shrink)
Background:Data representing people’s behaviour, attitudes, feelings and relationships are increasingly being harvested from social media platforms and re-used for research purposes. This can be ethically problematic, even where such data exist in the public domain. We set out to explore how the academic community is addressing these challenges by analysing a national corpus of research ethics guidelines and published studies in one interdisciplinary research area.Methods:Ethics guidelines published by Research Councils UK, its seven-member councils and guidelines cited within these were reviewed. (...) Guidelines referring to social media were classified according to published typologies of social media research uses and ethical considerations for social media mining. Using health research as an exemplar, PubMed was searched to identify studies using social media data, which were assessed according to their coverage of ethical considerations and guidelines.Results:Of the 13 guidelines published or recom... (shrink)
In contrast to most publications on the ethics of paying research subjects, which start by identifying and analyzing major ethical concerns raised by the practice and end with a set of—more or less well-justified—ethical recommendations for using payment schemes immune to these problems, this paper offers a systematic, principle-based ethical analysis of the practice. It argues that researchers have a prima facie moral obligation to offer payment to research subjects, which stems from the principle of social beneficence. This principle constitutes (...) an ethical “spine” of the practice. Other ethical principles of research ethics make up an ethical “skeleton” of morally sound payment schemes by providing additional moral reasons for offering participants recompense for reasonable expenses; and remuneration conceptualized as a reward for their valuable contribution, provided it meets standards of equality, adequacy and non-exploitation, and it is not overly attractive ; or remuneration conceptualized as a market-driven price, provided it is necessary and designed to help the study achieve its social and scientific goals, it does not reinforce wider social injustices and inequalities; it meets the requirement of non-exploitation; and it is not overly attractive. The principle of justice provides a strong ethical reason for not offering recompenses for lost wages. (shrink)
This article discusses the idea of intra-generational education. Drawing on Braidotti’s nomadic subject and Barad’s conception of agency, we consider what intra-generational education might look like ontologically, in the light of critical posthumanism, in terms of natureculture world, nomadism and a vibrant indeterminacy of knowing subjects. In order to explore the idea of intra-generationalism and its pedagogical implications, we introduce four concepts: homelessness, agelessness, playfulness and wakefulness. These may appear improbable in the context of education policy-making today, but they are (...) born of theorising our practices in the age-transgressive field of Philosophy with Children. We argue that these concepts help to reconfigure intra-generational relations, ways of being and becoming. They express the longing, corporeality and visionary epistemology of nomadic enquiry. These inventions express a non-hierarchical philosophy of immanence. We draw some tentative conclusions about educational practices more generally. (shrink)
This article is an analysis and critique of emergent theologies, focusing on areas of Christology and pneumatology. An increasing number of Christian theologians are integrating emergence theory into their work. I argue that, despite the range of theological commitments and methodological approaches represented by these scholars, each faces similar problematic tendencies when their Christian doctrines are combined with emergence theory. It is concluded that the basic logic of emergence theory, whereby matter is seen to precede mind, makes it difficult for (...) emergent theologies to offer an account of salvation, avoid significant issues regarding God's involvement with evil, and maintain divine transcendence. It is concluded, therefore, that Christian theology should look elsewhere for a complementary metaphysical framework with which to bridge scientific and theological discourse. (shrink)
Heidegger and ethics is a contentious conjunction of terms. Martin Heidegger himself rejected the notion of ethics, while his endorsement of Nazism is widely seen as unethical. This major study examines the complex and controversial issues involved in bringing Heidegger and ethics together. Working backwards through his work, from his 1964 claim that philosophy has been completed to his first major book, Being and Time, Joanna Hodge questions Heidegger's denial that his inquiries were concerned with ethics. She discovers a (...) form of ethics in Heidegger's thinking which elucidates his important distinction between metaphysics and philosophy. Opposing many contemporary views, Hodge proposes that ethics can be retrieved and questions the relation between ethics and metaphysics that Heidegger made so pervasive. (shrink)
How leaders and managers respond to not knowing is highly relevant given the complex, ambiguous, and chaotic business environment of the twenty-first century. Drawing on the literature from a variety of disciplines, the paper explores the dominant, unfavorable conceptualization of not knowing. The authors present some potential ethical implications of a negative view of not knowing and suggest how organizations would benefit from identifying any unhelpful aspects of the culture that may encourage unethical, undesirable, and/or hasty actions in situations of (...) not knowing. The paper specifically illustrates how patience, courage, honesty, integrity, and humility are integral to negative capability in the contexts of not knowing. Finally, the paper calls for deeper inquiry into the role of virtue ethics in preparing managers and leaders for not knowing and urges organizations to embrace negative capability in not knowing rather than engaging in damaging delusion. (shrink)