This study investigated students’ perceptions following a prepared, common presentation regarding academic integrity provided by their residence dons. This peer instruction study utilized both quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey data within a pre-test post-test design. Overall, students reported gains in knowledge, as well as confidence in their knowledge of academic integrity. Notably, students reported increases in their personal value for academic integrity after participating in the presentations. Overall, the quality and content of the presentations were judged positively, and participants’ (...) ratings of the presentation were predictive of increases in personal value of academic integrity, as well as self-reported knowledge and confidence gains. Qualitative analyses supported that the key ideas in the presentation served as the focal material for discussion, but also introduced specific topics that students wanted to explore in greater depth. (shrink)
Moving beyond both realist and anti-realist accounts of mathematics, Shapiro articulates a "structuralist" approach, arguing that the subject matter of a mathematical theory is not a fixed domain of numbers that exist independent of each other, but rather is the natural structure, the pattern common to any system of objects that has an initial object and successor relation satisfying the induction principle.
Documentary film, in the words of Bill Nichols, is one of the "discourses of sobriety" that include science, economics, politics, and history-discourses that claim to describe the "real," to tell the truth. Yet documentary film, in more obvious ways than does history, straddles the categories of fact and fiction, art and document, entertainment and knowledge. And the visual languages with which it operates have quite different effects than does the written text. In the following interview conducted during the winter of (...) 1997, historian Ann-Louise Shapiro raises questions about genre-the relationship of form to content and meaning-with documentary filmmaker Jill Godmilow.In order to explore the possibilities and constraints of non-fiction film as a medium for representing history, Godmilow was asked: What are the strategies and techniques by which documentary films make meaning? In representing historical events, how does a non-fiction filmmaker think about accuracy? authenticity? invention? What are the criteria you have in mind when you call a film like The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl "dishonest"? How does the tension between making art and making history affect documentary filmmaking? Should documentary filmmakers think of themselves, in the phrase of Ken Burns, as "tribal storytellers"? What kind of historical consciousness is produced by documentary film? (shrink)
Stewart Shapiro's aim in Vagueness in Context is to develop both a philosophical and a formal, model-theoretic account of the meaning, function, and logic of vague terms in an idealized version of a natural language like English. It is a commonplace that the extensions of vague terms vary with such contextual factors as the comparison class and paradigm cases. A person can be tall with respect to male accountants and not tall with respect to professional basketball players. The main (...) feature of Shapiro's account is that the extensions of vague terms also vary in the course of a conversation, even after the external contextual features, such as the comparison class, are fixed. A central thesis is that in some cases, a competent speaker of the language can go either way in the borderline area of a vague predicate without sinning against the meaning of the words and the non-linguistic facts. Shapiro calls this open texture, borrowing the term from Friedrich Waismann.The formal model theory has a similar structure to the supervaluationist approach, employing the notion of a sharpening of a base interpretation. In line with the philosophical account, however, the notion of super-truth does not play a central role in the development of validity. The ultimate goal of the technical aspects of the work is to delimit a plausible notion of logical consequence, and to explore what happens with the sorites paradox.Later chapters deal with what passes for higher-order vagueness - vagueness in the notions of 'determinacy' and 'borderline' - and with vague singular terms, or objects. In each case, the philosophical picture is developed by extending and modifying the original account. This is followed with modifications to the model theory and the central meta-theorems.As Shapiro sees it, vagueness is a linguistic phenomenon, due to the kinds of languages that humans speak. But vagueness is also due to the world we find ourselves in, as we try to communicate features of it to each other. Vagueness is also due to the kinds of beings we are. There is no need to blame the phenomenon on any one of those aspects. (shrink)
It seems obvious that phenomenally conscious experience is something of great value, and that this value maps onto a range of important ethical issues. For example, claims about the value of life for those in a permanent vegetative state, debates about treatment and study of disorders of consciousness, controversies about end-of-life care for those with advanced dementia, and arguments about the moral status of embryos, fetuses, and non-human animals arguably turn on the moral significance of various facts about consciousness. However, (...) though work has been done on the moral significance of elements of consciousness, such as pain and pleasure, little explicit attention has been devoted to the ethical significance of consciousness. In this book Joshua Shepherd presents a systematic account of the value present within conscious experience. This account emphasizes not only the nature of consciousness, but the importance of items within experience such as affect, valence, and the complex overall shape of particular valuable experiences. Shepherd also relates this account to difficult cases involving non-humans and those with disorders of consciousness, arguing that the value of consciousness influences and partially explains the degree of moral status a being possesses, without fully determining it. The upshot is a deeper understanding of both the moral importance of phenomenal consciousness and its relations to moral status. This book will be of great interest to philosophers and students of ethics, bioethics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind and cognitive science. (shrink)
The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...) the heavy influence of automatic and unconscious processes that have been shaped by evolutionary pressures, we needn’t reject ordinary moral psychology as fundamentally flawed or in need of serious repair. Reason can be corrupted in ethics just as in other domains, but a special pessimism about morality in particular is unwarranted. Moral judgment and motivation are fundamentally rational enterprises not beholden to the passions. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well as (...) his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes are identifiable with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization, which serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated and empirically informed arguments that cast doubt on the generality (...) of multiple realization in the cognitive sciences. They argue that mind-brain identities have played an important role in the growth and achievements of the cognitive sciences, and suggest that there is little prospect for multiple realization in an empirically-based theory of mind. This leads Polger and Shapiro to offer an alternative framework for understanding explanations in the cognitive sciences, as well as in chemistry, biology, and other non-basic sciences. (shrink)
Embodied cognition is a recent development in psychology that practitioners often present as a superseding standard cognitive science. In this outstanding introduction, Lawrence Shapiro sets out the central themes and debates surrounding embodied cognition, explaining and assessing the work of many of the key figures in the field, including Lawrence Barsalou, Daniel Casasanto, Andy Clark, Alva Noë, and Michael Spivey. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical and methodological commitments of standard cognitive science, Shapiro then examines philosophical and (...) empirical arguments surrounding the traditional perspective, setting the stage for a detailed examination of the embodied alternative. He introduces topics such as dynamical systems theory, ecological psychology, robotics, and connectionism, before addressing core issues in philosophy of mind such as mental representation and extended cognition. This second edition has been updated and revised throughout and includes new chapters that both expand on earlier topics and that introduce new material on embodied concepts, preference formation, and emotion. Including helpful chapter summaries and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Embodied Cognition, Second Editionis essential reading for all students of philosophy of mind, psychology, and cognitive science. ition has been updated and revised throughout and includes new chapters that both expand on earlier topics and that introduce new material on embodied concepts, preference formation, and emotion. Including helpful chapter summaries and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Embodied Cognition, Second Editionis essential reading for all students of philosophy of mind, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
The Shape of Agency offers interlinked explanations of the basic building blocks of agency, as well as its exemplary instances. The first part offers accounts of a collection of related phenomena that have long troubled philosophers of action: control over behaviour, non-deviant causation, and intentional action. These accounts build on earlier work in the causalist tradition, and undermine the claims made by many that causalism cannot offer a satisfying account of non-deviant causation, and therefore fails as an account of intentional (...) action. The second part turns to modes of agentive excellence—ways that agents display quality of form—providing a novel account of skill, including an account of the ways that agents display more or less skill. Shepherd discusses the role of knowledge in skill, and concludes that while knowledge is often important, it is inessential. This leads to a discussion of the way that knowledge of action and knowledge of how to act informs action execution. Knowledgeable action includes a unique epistemic underpinning: in knowledgeable action, the agent has authoritative knowledge of what she is doing and how she is doing it when and because she is poised to control her action by way of practical reasoning. (shrink)
In this paper I identify and respond to four persistent objections to the idea of wilderness: empirical, cultural, philosophical and environmental. Despite having dogged the wilderness debate for decades, none of these objections withstands scrutiny; rather they are misplaced criticisms that hinder fruitful discussion of the philosophical ramifications of wilderness by needlessly complicating the idea itself. While there may be other justifiable concerns about the idea of wilderness, it is time to move beyond the four discussed in this paper.
Animals have moral status, and we have corresponding obligations to take their interests into account. I argue that Stakeholder Theory provides a moderate, yet principled way for businesses to do so. Animals ought to be treated as stakeholders given that they affect and are affected by the achievement of the objectives of the businesses in which they are involved. Stakeholder Theory therefore requires taking those interests into account. It does not, however, require that they be given the same weight as (...) human interests. By taking the stakeholder approach, businesses can avoid merely reacting to (rapidly increasing) public outcry over the treatment of animals. Even those who hold extreme positions—that businesses have no obligations to animals, or that animal products and services are inherently immoral—can take the treatment of animals as stakeholders to provide an ethical realpolitik of sorts that is both better for animals and better for business. (shrink)
The extensive involvement of nonconscious processes in human behaviour has led some to suggest that consciousness is much less important for the control of action than we might think. In this article I push against this trend, developing an understanding of conscious control that is sensitive to our best models of overt action control. Further, I assess the cogency of various zombie challenges—challenges that seek to demote the importance of conscious control for human agency. I argue that though nonconscious contributions (...) to action control are evidently robust, these challenges are overblown. (shrink)
This book provides an up to date, high-level exchange on God in a uniquely productive style. Readers witness a contemporary version of a classic debate, as two professional philosophers seek to learn from each other while making their cases for their distinct positions. In their dialogue, Joshua Rasmussen and Felipe Leon examine classical and cutting-edge arguments for and against a theistic explanation of general features of reality. The book also provides original lines of thought based on the authors’ own (...) contributions to the field, and offers a productive and innovative inquiry into on one of the biggest questions people ask: what is the ultimate explanation of things? (shrink)
Social commentators have long asked whether racial categories should be conserved or eliminated from our practices, discourse, institutions, and perhaps even private thoughts. In _A Theory of Race_, Joshua Glasgow argues that this set of choices unnecessarily presents us with too few options. Using both traditional philosophical tools and recent psychological research to investigate folk understandings of race, Glasgow argues that, as ordinarily conceived, race is an illusion. However, our pressing need to speak to and make sense of social (...) life requires that we employ something like racial discourse. These competing pressures, Glasgow maintains, ultimately require us to stop conceptualizing race as something biological, and instead understand it as an entirely social phenomenon. (shrink)
After a brief account of the problem of higher-order vagueness, and its seeming intractability, I explore what comes of the issue on a linguistic, contextualist account of vagueness. On the view in question, predicates like ‘borderline red’ and ‘determinately red’ are, or at least can be, vague, but they are different in kind from ‘red’. In particular, ‘borderline red’ and ‘determinately red’ are not colours. These predicates have linguistic components, and invoke notions like ‘competent user of the language’. On my (...) view, so-called ‘higher-order vagueness’ is actually ordinary, ﬁrst-order vagueness in different predicates. I explore the possibility that, nevertheless, a pernicious regress ensues. (shrink)
Hellman and Shapiro explore the development of the idea of the continuous, from the Aristotelian view that a true continuum cannot be composed of points to the now standard, entirely punctiform frameworks for analysis and geometry. They then investigate the underlying metaphysical issues concerning the nature of space or space-time.
In this debate-format book, four philosophers--Joshua Glasgow, Sally Haslanger, Chike Jeffers, and Quayshawn Spencer--articulate contrasting views on race. Each author presents a distinct viewpoint on what race is, and then replies to the others, offering theories that are clear and accessible to undergraduates, lay readers, and non-specialists, as well as other philosophers of race.
Joshua Gert presents an original account of color properties, and of our perception of them. He employs a general philosophical strategy - neo-pragmatism - which challenges an assumption made by virtually all other theories of color: he argues that colors are primitive properties of objects, irreducible to physical or dispositional properties.
In this book, Daniel Shapiro argues that the dominant positions in contemporary political philosophy - egalitarianism, positive rights theory, communitarianism, and many forms of liberalism - should converge in a rejection of central welfare state institutions. He examines how major welfare institutions, such as government-financed and -administered retirement pensions, national health insurance, and programs for the needy, actually work. Comparing them to compulsory private insurance and private charities, Shapiro argues that the dominant perspectives in political philosophy mistakenly think (...) that their principles support the welfare state. Instead, egalitarians, positive rights theorists, communitarians, and liberals have misunderstood the implications of their own principles, which in fact support more market-based or libertarian institutional conclusions than they may realize. Shapiro's book is unique in its combination of political philosophy with social science. Its focus is not limited to any particular country; rather it examines welfare states in affluent democracies and their market alternatives. (shrink)
The correspondence theory of truth is a precise and innovative account of how the truth of a proposition depends upon that proposition's connection to a piece of reality. Joshua Rasmussen refines and defends the correspondence theory of truth, proposing new accounts of facts, propositions, and the correspondence between them. With these theories in hand, he then offers original solutions to the toughest objections facing correspondence theorists. Addressing the Problem of Funny Facts, Liar Paradoxes, and traditional epistemological questions concerning how (...) our minds can access reality, he challenges recent objections, and defends what has traditionally been the most popular theory of truth. Written with clarity, precision, and sensitivity to a range of philosophical backgrounds, his book will appeal to advanced students and scholars seeking a deeper understanding of the relationship between truth and reality. (shrink)
Democracy and justice are often mutually antagonistic ideas, but in this innovative book Ian Shapiro shows how and why they should be pursued together. Justice must be sought democratically if it is to garner legitimacy in the modern world, he claims, and democracy must be justice-promoting if it is to sustain allegiance over time. _Democratic Justice_ meets these criteria, offering an attractive vision of a practical path to a better future. Wherever power is exercised in human affairs, Shapiro (...) argues, the lack of democracy will be experienced as injustice. The challenge is to democratize social relations so as to diminish injustice, but to do this in ways that are compatible with people’s values and goals. Shapiro shows how this can be done in different phases of the human life cycle, from childhood through the adult worlds of work and domestic life, retirement, old age, and approaching death. He spells out the implications for pressing debates about authority over children, the law of marriage and divorce, population control, governing the firm, basic income guarantees, health insurance, retirement policies, and decisions made by and for the infirm elderly. This refreshing encounter between political philosophy and practical politics will interest all those who aspire to bequeath a more just world to our children than the one we have inherited. (shrink)
In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...) reasons – a sensitivity often produced by rational practice – the skilled human agent, because imperfect, must navigate a trade-off between full sensitivity and a capacity to succeed. (shrink)
We chart how neuroscience and philosophy have together advanced our understanding of moral judgment with implications for when it goes well or poorly. The field initially focused on brain areas associated with reason versus emotion in the moral evaluations of sacrificial dilemmas. But new threads of research have studied a wider range of moral evaluations and how they relate to models of brain development and learning. By weaving these threads together, we are developing a better understanding of the neurobiology of (...) moral judgment in adulthood and to some extent in childhood and adolescence. Combined with rigorous evidence from psychology and careful philosophical analysis, neuroscientific evidence can even help shed light on the extent of moral knowledge and on ways to promote healthy moral development. (shrink)
This innovative volume, by Michael Shapiro, is not about Adam Smith in the sense in which 'about' is usually understood, for it is neither a comprehensive explication of his views nor a careful tracing of the sources of them. Instead it is a confrontation. This is a book about modernity whose vehicle is a reading of Adam Smith—it is an enactment of the convention that despite the contribution Smith made to creating and legitimating the conceptual space for modern, commercial, (...) liberal, and democratic society, his views are inadequate for those who want an effective, politicized understanding of the present. Shapiro's ultimate goal in this examination is to 'exemplify a way of doing political theory—one that challenges some traditional ways of constructing and celebrating the 'political theory cannon.'. (shrink)
How can we make moral progress on factory farming? Part of the answer lies in human moral psychology. Meat consumption remains high, despite increased awareness of its negative impact on animal welfare. Weakness of will is part of the explanation: acceptance of the ethical arguments doesn’t always motivate changes in dietary habits. However, we draw on scientific evidence to argue that many consumers aren’t fully convinced that they morally ought to reduce their meat consumption. We then identify two key psychological (...) mechanisms—motivated reasoning and social proof—that lead people to resist the ethical reasons. Finally, we show how to harness these psychological mechanisms to encourage reductions in meat consumption. A central lesson for moral progress generally is that durable social change requires socially-embedded reasoning. (shrink)
This book is a compendium of lesson plans for classroom exercises designed to foster philosophical inquiry with young people. It introduces the reader to a wide range of activities for exploring philosophical questions and problems with children from preschool age through high-school.
We have Nietzsche to thank for some of the most important accomplishments in intellectual history, but as Gary Shapiro shows in this unique look at Nietzsche’s thought, the nineteenth-century philosopher actually anticipated some of the most pressing questions of our own era. Putting Nietzsche into conversation with contemporary philosophers such as Deleuze, Agamben, Foucault, Derrida, and others, Shapiro links Nietzsche’s powerful ideas to topics that are very much on the contemporary agenda: globalization, the nature of the livable earth, (...) and the geopolitical categories that characterize people and places. Shapiro explores Nietzsche’s rejection of historical inevitability and its idea of the end of history. He highlights Nietzsche’s prescient vision of today’s massive human mobility and his criticism of the nation state’s desperate efforts to sustain its exclusive rule by declaring emergencies and states of exception. Shapiro then explores Nietzsche’s vision of a transformed garden earth and the ways it sketches an aesthetic of the Anthropocene. He concludes with an explanation of the deep political structure of Nietzsche’s “philosophy of the Antichrist,” by relating it to traditional political theology. By triangulating Nietzsche between his time and ours, between Bismarck’s Germany and post-9/11 America, Nietzsche’s Earth invites readers to rethink not just the philosopher himself but the very direction of human history. (shrink)
We investigate the value of persons. Our primary goal is to chart a path from equal and extreme value to infinite value. We advance two arguments. Each argument offers a reason to think that equal and extreme value are best accounted for if we are infinitely valuable. We then raise some difficult but fruitful questions about the possible grounds or sources of our infinite value, if we indeed have such value.
Joshua Gert offers an original account of normative facts and properties, those which have implications for how we ought to behave. He argues that our ability to think and talk about normative notions such as reasons and benefits is dependent on how we respond to the world around us, including how we respond to the actions of other people.
Since the 1960s a resurgence of interest in the moral foundations of politics has fueled debates about the appropriate sources of our political judgments. Ian Shapiro analyzes and advances these debates, discussing them in an accessibly style. He defends a view of politics called _critical naturalism_ as a third way between the neo-Kantian theory of John Rawl's and the contextual arguments of Richard Rorty, Michael Walzer, Alasdair MacIntyre and others. He formulates a new justification for democratic politics and an (...) innovative account of the nature of political argument. (shrink)
This book presents an account of normative practical reasons and the way in which they contribute to the rationality of action. Rather than simply 'counting in favour of' actions, normative reasons play two logically distinct roles: requiring action and justifying action. The distinction between these two roles explains why some reasons do not seem relevant to the rational status of an action unless the agent cares about them, while other reasons retain all their force regardless of the agent's attitude. It (...) also explains why the class of rationally permissible action is wide enough to contain not only all morally required action, but also much selfish and immoral action. The book will appeal to a range of readers interested in practical reason in particular, and moral theory more generally. (shrink)
In this book Svi Shapiro explores the ideological and attitudinal functions of schools, looking especially at what is called the 'hidden curriculum.' He offers both an analysis of the role of education in producing and maintaining attitudes and values that contribute to our competitive, socially unequal, instrumental, consumerist, and self-oriented culture and a radically different vision for what our schools should be about--a vision that focuses on education's role in supporting a more critically reflective, socially responsible, and compassionate culture. (...) Federal and state legislation have propelled schools today in the direction of an increasingly test-driven, instrumental, and individually competitive regime. Under these legislative mandates, schools are increasingly alienating and stressful places for both students and teachers. Most disturbing is that this form of education is not conducive to providing young people with the capacity to cope with the moral, cultural, spiritual, and political challenges of the world they inhabit. More than only offering a critique of schools, Shapiro proposes a counter-vision that can lead to a different kind of culture and society, and he discusses strategies for advocating and implementing it. Written in a style that is very accessible to a wide range of readers, _Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America's Children_ is also carefully researched and draws on relevant theory to make a strong case. This book speaks to a wide range of readers, including academics and students in education, sociology, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies; public school professionals; and the general public interested in education. It will appeal to faculty in schools of education who are looking for a text that offers both a critical language _and_ one that speaks to possibility and change. (shrink)
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? (...) class='Hi'>Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe. (shrink)
What do we know about war crimes and justice? What are the discursive practices through which the dominant images of war crimes, atrocity and justice are understood? In this wide ranging text, Michael J. Shapiro contrasts the justice-related imagery of the war crimes trial with literary justice: representations in literature, film, and biographical testimony, raising questions about atrocities and justice that juridical proceedings exclude. By engaging with the ambiguities exposed by the artistic and experiential genres, reading them alongside policy (...) and archival documentation and critical theoretical discourses, Shapiros War Crimes, Atrocity, and Justice challenges traditional notions of responsibility in juridical settings. His comparative readings instead encourage a focus on the conditions of possibility for war crimes as they arise from the actions of states, non-state agencies and individuals involved in arms trading, peace keeping, sex trafficking, and law enforcement and adjudication. Theory springs to life as Shapiro draws on examples from legal discourse, literature, media, film, and television, to build a nuanced picture of politics and the problem of justice. It will be of great interest to students of film and media, literature, cultural studies, contemporary philosophy and political science. (shrink)
Are there any things that are such that any things whatsoever are among them. I argue that there are not. My thesis follows from these three premises: (1) There are two or more things; (2) for any things, there is a unique thing that corresponds to those things; (3) for any two or more things, there are fewer of them than there are pluralities of them.
The revisionary approach to semantic paradox is commonly thought to have a somewhat uncomfortable corollary, viz. that, on pain of triviality, we cannot affirm that all valid arguments preserve truth (Beall2007, Beall2009, Field2008, Field2009). We show that the standard arguments for this conclusion all break down once (i) the structural rule of contraction is restricted and (ii) how the premises can be aggregated---so that they can be said to jointly entail a given conclusion---is appropriately understood. In addition, we briefly rehearse (...) some reasons for restricting structural contraction. (shrink)
There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. -/- Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify (...) belief in the supernatural, laying bare the fallacies that such attempts commit. Through arguments and accessible analysis, Larry Shapiro sharpens our critical faculties so we become less susceptible to tales of myths and miracles and learn how, ultimately, to evaluate claims regarding vastly improbable events on our own. Shapiro acknowledges that belief in miracles could be harmless, but cautions against allowing such beliefs to guide how we live our lives. His investigation reminds us of the importance of evidence and rational thinking as we explore the unknown. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy uses experimental research methods from psychology and cognitive science in order to investigate both philosophical and metaphilosophical questions. It explores philosophical questions about the nature of the psychological world - the very structure or meaning of our concepts of things, and about the nature of the non-psychological world - the things themselves. It also explores metaphilosophical questions about the nature of philosophical inquiry and its proper methodology. This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, (...) focusing on the relationship between experimental philosophy and the aims and methods of more traditional analytic philosophy. Special attention is paid to carefully examining experimental philosophy's quite different philosophical programs, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the different kinds of contributions that they can make to our philosophical understanding. Clear and accessible throughout, it situates experimental philosophy within both a contemporary and historical context, explains its aims and methods, examines and critically evaluates its most significant claims and arguments, and engages with its critics. (shrink)