Three case studies were conducted on the implications of the use of expert systems for the work of clerks and operators in Britain. An expert system had been introduced in a process control application. The operators' work was deskilled. The second case was a fault diagnosis application. An operator was very happy with his new work. In the third case, insurance clerks received training to operate an expert system which extended the scope of their work. In conclusion, it is suggested (...) that expert systems extend the range of work which can be automated, but may not have unique impacts. (shrink)
Over the past few decades, Indigenous communities have successfully campaigned for greater inclusion in decision-making processes that directly affect their lands and livelihoods. As a result, two important participatory rights for Indigenous peoples have now been widely recognized: the right to consultation and the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Although these participatory rights are meant to empower the speech of these communities—to give them a proper say in the decisions that most affect them—we argue that the way (...) these rights have been implemented and interpreted sometimes has the opposite effect, of denying them a say or ‘silencing’ them. In support of this conclusion we draw on feminist speech act theory to identify practices of locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary group silencing that arise in the context of consultation with Indigenous communities. (shrink)
There are many cases in which, by making some great sacrifice, you could bring about either a good outcome or a very good outcome. In some of these cases, it seems wrong for you to bring about the good outcome, since you could bring about the very good outcome with no additional sacrifice. It also seems permissible for you not to make the sacrifice, and bring about neither outcome. But together, these claims seem to imply that you ought to bring (...) about neither outcome rather than the good outcome. And that seems very counterintuitive. In this paper, I develop this problem, propose a solution, and then draw out some implications both for how we should understand supererogation and for how we should approach charitable giving. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Shagrir and Sprevak explore the apparent necessity of representation for the individuation of digits in computational systems.1 1 I will first offer a response to Sprevak’s argument that does not mention Shagrir’s original formulation, which was more complex. I then extend my initial response to cover Shagrir’s argument, thus demonstrating that it is possible to individuate digits in non-representational computing mechanisms. I also consider the implications that the non-representational individuation of digits would have for the broader theory of computing (...) mechanisms. 1 The Received View: No Computation without Representation 2 Computing Mechanisms and Functional Individuation 3 Against Computational Externalism 4 Implications for the Mechanistic Account. (shrink)
According Philip Pettit, suitably organised groups not only possess ‘minds of their own’ but can also ‘make up their minds’ and 'speak for themselves'--where these two capacities enable them to perform as conversable subjects or 'persons'. In this paper I critically examine Pettit's case for group personhood. My first step is to reconstruct his account, explaining first how he understands the two capacities he considers central to personhood – the capacity to ‘make up one’s mind’, and the capacity to ‘speak (...) for oneself’ – before showing how he thinks these can be manifested in groups. With Pettit’s account duly reconstructed, I then turn to criticism, arguing that Pettit’s construal of making up one’s mind does not do proper justice to our first-personal self-understanding, nor to our characteristic interpersonal forms of engagement. This leads me, finally, to consider an alternative construal of ‘making up one’s mind’ and ‘speaking for oneself’ that is associated with the work of Richard Moran and whichargue, could usefully be exteextended to groups. (shrink)
Whilst much has been said about the implications of predictive processing for our scientific understanding of cognition, there has been comparatively little discussion of how this new paradigm fits with our everyday understanding of the mind, i.e. folk psychology. This paper aims to assess the relationship between folk psychology and predictive processing, which will first require making a distinction between two ways of understanding folk psychology: as propositional attitude psychology and as a broader folk psychological discourse. It will be argued (...) that folk psychology in this broader sense is compatible with predictive processing, despite the fact that there is an apparent incompatibility between predictive processing and a literalist interpretation of propositional attitude psychology. The distinction between these two kinds of folk psychology allows us to accept that our scientific usage of folk concepts requires revision, whilst rejecting the suggestion that we should eliminate folk psychology entirely. (shrink)
Many of us believe that exploitation is wrong, and that it is wrong even when, because the exploited would otherwise suffer, they consent to the exploitation. Does it follow that we should leave people to suffer rather than exploit them? This conclusion might seem difficult to accept, but avoiding it seems to require accepting a counterintuitively demanding view about our obligations to vulnerable people. In this paper, I offer a new solution to this problem.
Religion is an important element of end-of-life care on the paediatric intensive care unit with religious belief providing support for many families and for some staff. However, religious claims used by families to challenge cessation of aggressive therapies considered futile and burdensome by a wide range of medical and lay people can cause considerable problems and be very difficult to resolve. While it is vital to support families in such difficult times, we are increasingly concerned that deeply held belief in (...) religion can lead to children being potentially subjected to burdensome care in expectation of ‘miraculous’ intervention. We reviewed cases involving end-of-life decisions over a 3-year period. In 186 of 203 cases in which withdrawal or limitation of invasive therapy was recommended, agreement was achieved. However, in the 17 remaining cases extended discussions with medical teams and local support mechanisms did not lead to resolution. Of these cases, 11 (65%) involved explicit religious claims that intensive care should not be stopped due to expectation of divine intervention and complete cure together with conviction that overly pessimistic medical predictions were wrong. The distribution of the religions included Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic groups. Five of the 11 cases were resolved after meeting religious community leaders; one child had intensive care withdrawn following a High Court order, and in the remaining five, all Christian, no resolution was possible due to expressed expectations that a ‘miracle’ would happen. (shrink)
This paper addresses arguments that “separability” is an assumption of Bell’s theorem, and that abandoning this assumption in our interpretation of quantum mechanics (a position sometimes referred to as “holism”) will allow us to restore a satisfying locality principle. Separability here means that all events associated to the union of some set of disjoint regions are combinations of events associated to each region taken separately.In this article, it is shown that: (a) localised events can be consistently defined without implying separability; (...) (b) the definition of Bell’s locality condition does not rely on separability in any way; (c) the proof of Bell’s theorem does not use separability as an assumption. If, inspired by considerations of non-separability, the assumptions of Bell’s theorem are weakened, what remains no longer embodies the locality principle. Teller’s argument for “relational holism” and Howard’s arguments concerning separability are criticised in the light of these results. Howard’s claim that Einstein grounded his arguments on the incompleteness of QM with a separability assumption is also challenged. Instead, Einstein is better interpreted as referring merely to the existence of localised events. Finally, it is argued that Bell rejected the idea that separability is an assumption of his theorem. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to begin developing a version of Gualtiero Piccinini’s mechanistic account of computation that does not need to appeal to any notion of proper functions. The motivation for doing so is a general concern about the role played by proper functions in Piccinini’s account, which will be evaluated in the first part of the paper. I will then propose a potential alternative approach, where computing mechanisms are understood in terms of Carl Craver’s perspectival account of (...) mechanistic functions. According to this approach, the mechanistic function of ‘performing a computation’ can only be attributed relative to an explanatory perspective, but such attributions are nonetheless constrained by the underlying physical structure of the system in question, thus avoiding unlimited pancomputationalism. If successful, this approach would carry with it fewer controversial assumptions than Piccinini’s original account, which requires a robust understanding of proper functions. Insofar as there are outstanding concerns about the status of proper functions, this approach would therefore be more generally acceptable. (shrink)
Kant views every human action as either entirely determined by natural necessity or entirely free. In viewing human action this way, it is unclear how he can account for degrees of responsibility. In this article, I consider three recent attempts to accommodate degrees of responsibility within Kant's framework, but argue that none of them are satisfying. In the end, I claim that transcendental idealism constrains Kant such that he cannot provide an adequate account of degrees of responsibility.
One of the central issues dividing proponents of metaphysical interpretations of transcendental idealism concerns Kant’s views on the distinctness of things in themselves and appearances. Proponents of metaphysical one-object interpretations claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of one-object grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata are different aspects of the same object. Proponents of metaphysical two-object interpretations, by contrast, claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of two-object (...) grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata involve distinct objects. By way of investigating Kant’s overarching account of grounding, I will argue that the most plausible metaphysical interpretation of transcendental idealism is one on which we can know that there are things in themselves grounding appearances, but not which specific kind of one- or two-object grounding relation obtain between them. Our ignorance of things in themselves therefore extends to their distinctness from appearances — pace both metaphysical one-object interpretations and metaphysical two-object interpretations. (shrink)
No other English-language translation comes close to the standard of accuracy and readability set here by Reeve. This volume provides the reader with more of the resources needed to understand Aristotle's argument than any other edition. An introductory essay by Reeve situates _Politics_ in Aristotle's overall thought and offers an engaging critical introduction to its central argument. A detailed glossary, footnotes, bibliography, and indexes provide historical background, analytical assistance with particular passages, and a guide both to Aristotle’s philosophy and to (...) scholarship on it. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 27 This is an explication and defense of P. F. Strawson’s naturalist theory of free will and moral responsibility. I respond to a set of criticisms of the view by free will skeptics, compatibilists, and libertarians who adopt the _core assumption_: Strawson thinks that our reactive attitudes provide the basis for a rational justification of our blaming and praising practices. My primary aim is to explain and defend Strawson’s naturalism in light of criticisms based on the (...) core assumption. Strawson’s critiques of incompatibilism and free will skepticism are not intended to provide rational justifications for either compatibilism or the claim that some persons have free will. Hence, the charge that Strawson’s “arguments” are faulty is misplaced. The core assumption resting behind such critiques is mistaken. (shrink)
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a headache rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. They therefore accept a partially aggregative moral view. Patrick Tomlin has recently argued that the most promising partially aggregative views in the literature have implausible implications in certain cases in which there are additions or subtractions to (...) the groups of people that we can save. Several philosophers have begun responding to this argument by developing partially aggregative views that avoid the relevant implications. In this paper, I extend Tomlin’s argument to create a dilemma that no partially aggregative view can avoid. I conclude that we should accept a fully aggregative moral view. (shrink)
Several philosophers have defended versions of Minimax Complaint, or MC. According to MC, other things equal, we should act in the way that minimises the strongest individual complaint. In this paper, I argue that MC must be rejected because it has implausible implications in certain cases involving risk. In these cases, we can apply MC either ex ante, by focusing on the complaints that could be made based on the prospects that an act gives to people, or ex post, by (...) focusing on the complaints that could be made based on the actual results that an act has for people. I argue that MC has implausible implications either way. I then defend a view on which, other things equal, we should act in the way that minimizes the sum of complaints. (shrink)
The indispensability argument is a method for showing that abstract mathematical objects exist. Various versions of this argument have been proposed. Lately, commentators seem to have agreed that a holistic indispensability argument will not work, and that an explanatory indispensability argument is the best candidate. In this paper I argue that the dominant reasons for rejecting the holistic indispensability argument are mistaken. This is largely due to an overestimation of the consequences that follow from evidential holism. Nevertheless, the holistic indispensability (...) argument should be rejected, but for a different reason —in order that an indispensability argument relying on holism can work, it must invoke an unmotivated version of evidential holism. Such an argument will be unsound. Correcting the argument with a proper construal of evidential holism means that it can no longer deliver mathematical Platonism as a conclusion: such an argument for Platonism will be invalid. I then show how the reasons for rejecting the holistic indispensability argument importantly constrain what kind of account of explanation will be permissible in explanatory versions. (shrink)
Corporate philanthropy describes the action when a corporation voluntarily donates a portion of its resources to a societal cause. Although the thought of philanthropy invokes feelings of altruism, there are many objectives for corporate giving beyond altruism. Meeting strategic corporate objectives can be an important if not primary goal of philanthropy. The purpose of this paper is to share insights from a strategic corporate philanthropic initiative aimed at increasing the pool of frontline customer contact employees who are performance-ready, while supporting (...) curriculum development and infrastructure improvement for selected university business programs, creating a win-win situation for the company and the universities. This paper will address three objectives. First, we will examine the evolution of strategic philanthropy from the traditional view to its current position as a strategic option. Second, we will address the recruitment of front line talent needs (customer facing jobs in sales, customer service, and marketing) based on the profit maximization model of strategic philanthropy. Finally, we will offer conclusions and issues for future research. (shrink)
While public health organizations can detect disease spread, few can monitor and respond to real-time misinformation. Misinformation risks the public’s health, the credibility of institutions, and the safety of experts and front-line workers. Big Data, and specifically publicly available media data, can play a significant role in understanding and responding to misinformation. The Public Good Projects uses supervised machine learning to aggregate and code millions of conversations relating to vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic broadly, in real-time. Public health researchers supervise (...) this process daily, and provide insights to practitioners across a range of disciplines. Through this work, we have gleaned three lessons to address misinformation. Sources of vaccine misinformation are known; there is a need to operationalize learnings and engage the pro-vaccination majority in debunking vaccine-related misinformation. Existing systems can identify and track threats against health experts and institutions, which have been subject to unprecedented harassment. This supports their safety and helps prevent the further erosion of trust in public institutions. Responses to misinformation should draw from cross-sector crisis management best practices and address coordination gaps. Real-time monitoring and addressing misinformation should be a core function of public health, and public health should be a core use case for data scientists developing monitoring tools. The tools to accomplish these tasks are available; it remains up to us to prioritize them. (shrink)
Policymakers who seek to make scientifically informed decisions are constantly confronted by scientific uncertainty and expert disagreement. This thesis asks: how can policymakers rationally respond to expert disagreement and scientific uncertainty? This is a work of non-ideal theory, which applies formal philosophical tools developed by ideal theorists to more realistic cases of policymaking under scientific uncertainty. I start with Bayesian approaches to expert testimony and the problem of expert disagreement, arguing that two popular approaches— supra-Bayesianism and the standard model of (...) expert deference—are insufficient. I develop a novel model of expert deference and show how it can deal with many of these problems raised for them. I then turn to opinion pooling, a popular method for dealing with disagreement. I show that various theoretical motivations for pooling functions are irrelevant to realistic policymaking cases. This leads to a cautious recommendation of linear pooling. However, I then show that any pooling method relies on value judgements, that are hidden in the selection of the scoring rule. My focus then narrows to a more specific case of scientific uncertainty: multiple models of the same system. I introduce a particular case study involving hurricane models developed to support insurance decision-making. I recapitulate my analysis of opinion pooling in the context of model ensembles, confirming that my hesitations apply. This motivates a shift of perspective, to viewing the problem as a decision theoretic one. I rework a recently developed ambiguity theory, called the confidence approach, to take input from model ensembles. I show how it facilitates the resolution of the policymaker’s problem in a way that avoids the issues encountered in previous chapters. This concludes my main study of the problem of expert disagreement. In the final chapter, I turn to methodological reflection. I argue that philosophers who employ the mathematical methods of the prior chapters are modelling. Employing results from the philosophy of scientific models, I develop the theory of normative modelling. I argue that it has important methodological conclusions for the practice of formal epistemology, ruling out popular moves such as searching for counterexamples. (shrink)
This paper is an examination of evidential holism, a prominent position in epistemology and the philosophy of science which claims that experiments only ever confirm or refute entire theories. The position is historically associated with W.V. Quine, and it is at once both popular and notorious, as well as being largely under-described. But even though there’s no univocal statement of what holism is or what it does, philosophers have nevertheless made substantial assumptions about its content and its truth. Moreover they (...) have drawn controversial and important conclusions from these assumptions. In this paper I distinguish three types of evidential holism and argue that the most oft-cited and controversial thesis is entirely unmotivated. The other two theses are much overlooked, but are well-motivated and free from controversial implications. (shrink)
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a migraine rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. The aim of partially aggregative moral views is to capture and justify combinations of intuitions like these. These views contrast with fully aggregative moral views, which imply that the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, and with (...) non-aggregative moral views, which imply that the answer to both questions is ‘no’. In this paper, I review the most natural and influential ways of developing partially aggregative views and explain the main problems they face. (shrink)
This paper offers directions for the continuing dialogue between business ethicists and environmental philosophers. I argue that a theory of corporate social responsibility must be consistent with, if not derived from, a model of sustainable economics rather than the prevailing neoclassical model of market economics. I use environmental examples to critique both classical and neoclassical models of corporate social responsibility and sketch the alternative model of sustainable development. After describing some implications of this model at the level of individual firms (...) and industries, I offer an ethical justification of the sustainability alternative that is derived from the same values that underlie traditional market economics. (shrink)
Article Title: ‘Being and Becoming in the Theory of Group Agency’This paper explores a bootstrapping puzzle which appears to afflict Philip Pettit’s theory of group agency. Pettit claims that the corporate persons recognised by his theory come about when a set of individuals ‘gets its act together’ by undertaking to reason at the collective level. But this is puzzling, because it is hard to see how the step such a collective must take to become a group agent – the collectivisation (...) of reason – can be taken without them already being an agent. I explore this puzzle by recounting Pettit’s account of the emergence of group agents. According to Pettit this process has two stages: a first stage in which a collective incurs the distinctive pressure exemplified by the Doctrinal Paradox, and a second in which the collective responds to that pressure by instituting decision-making mechanisms designed to secure collective rationality. After arguing that this second, response stage in Pettit’s account is not coherent, I conclude with the tentative suggestion that the personhood of groups should be seen as depending not only on the efforts of group members but also on the recognitive attitudes of other persons in a wider discursive community. (shrink)
_Teachers as Researchers_ urges teachers - as both producers and consumers of knowledge - to engage in the debate about educational research by undertaking meaningful research themselves. Teachers are being encouraged to carry out research in order to improve their effectiveness in the classroom, but this book suggests that they also reflect on and challenge the reductionist and technicist methods that promote a 'top down' system of education. It argues that only by engaging in complex, critical research will teachers rediscover (...) their professional status, empower their practice in the classroom and improve the quality of education for their pupils. Now re-released to introduce this classic guide for teachers, the new edition of _Teachers as Researchers_ now also includes an introductory chapter by Shirley R. Steinberg that sets the book within the context of both the subject and the historical perspective. In addition, she also provides information on some key writing that extends the bibliography of this influential book thereby bringing the material fully up to date with current research. Postgraduate students of education and experienced teachers will find much to inspire and encourage them in this definitive book. (shrink)
Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a migraine rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer “yes” and “no,” respectively. The aim of partially aggregative moral views is to capture and justify combinations of intuitions like these. In this article, I develop a risk-based reductio argument that shows that there can be no adequate partially aggregative view. (...) I then argue that the only plausible response to this reductio is to accept a fully aggregative view. (shrink)
Physical Computation is the summation of Piccinini’s work on computation and mechanistic explanation over the past decade. It draws together material from papers published during that time, but also provides additional clarifications and restructuring that make this the definitive presentation of his mechanistic account of physical computation. This review will first give a brief summary of the account that Piccinini defends, followed by a chapter-by-chapter overview of the book, before finally discussing one aspect of the account in more critical detail.
Internalism in epistemology is the view that all the factors relevant to the justification of a belief are importantly internal to the believer, while externalism is the view that at least some of those factors are external. This extremely modest first approximation cries out for refinement (which we undertake below), but is enough to orient us in the right direction, namely that the debate between internalism and externalism is bound up with the controversy over the correct account of the distinction (...) between justified beliefs and unjustified beliefs.1 Understanding that distinction has occasionally been obscured by attention to the analysis of knowledge and to the Gettier problem, but our view is that these problems, while interesting, should not completely seduce philosophers away from central questions about epistemic justification. A plausible starting point in the discussion of justification is that the distinction between justified beliefs and unjustified beliefs is not the same as the distinction between true beliefs and false beliefs. This follows from the mundane observation that it is possible to rationally believe.. (shrink)
Aristotle's doctrine of the mean is expressed in quantitative terms, but this has been hard for some people to take literally, its more elaborate versions sometimes being described as “extremely silly.” Roughly two books of the Nicomachean Ethics are permeated with talk of character traits which are either deficient or excessive, however, and the aim of this paper is to examine how the doctrine might meet the objections of its critics.