This thesis analyses the ontological nature of quantum particles. In it I argue that quantum particles, despite their indistinguishability, are objects in much the same way as classical particles. This similarity provides an important point of continuity between classical and quantum physics. I consider two notions of indistinguishability, that of indiscernibility and permutation symmetry. I argue that neither sort of indistinguishability undermines the identity of quantum particles. I further argue that, when we understand in distinguishability in terms of permutation symmetry, (...) classical particles are just as indistinguishable as quantum particles; for classical physics also possesses permutation symmetry. (shrink)
Merold Westphal’s new publication, Kierkegaard’s Concept of Faith, gives us an opportunity to explore the many ways in which Kierkegaard has influenced Westphal’s thinking as a whole. This present contribution seeks to show how Kierkegaard helps Westphal discover a concept of faith which holds no ‘reasonable’ foundation as it is entirely dependent upon two different aspects of revelation in tension with each other. Moreover, faith is seen as a willing assent by the believer, and thus it becomes a task and (...) not merely a proposition to behold or to which one’s life conforms. In addition to explicating this notion of faith within his work, this present contribution seeks to situate this faith within Westphal’s philosophy of religion, showing how it is integral to Westphal’s entire project. (shrink)
We are all guilty of it. We call people terrible names in conversation or online. We vilify those with whom we disagree, and make bolder claims than we could defend. We want to be seen as taking the moral high ground not just to make a point, or move a debate forward, but to look a certain way--incensed, or compassionate, or committed to a cause. We exaggerate. In other words, we grandstand. Nowhere is this more evident than in public discourse (...) today, and especially as it plays out across the internet. To philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, who have written extensively about moral grandstanding, such one-upmanship is not just annoying, but dangerous. As politics gets more and more polarized, people on both sides of the spectrum move further and further apart when they let grandstanding get in the way of engaging one another. The pollution of our most urgent conversations with self-interest damages the very causes they are meant to forward. Drawing from work in psychology, economics, and political science, and along with contemporary examples spanning the political spectrum, the authors dive deeply into why and how we grandstand. Using the analytic tools of psychology and moral philosophy, they explain what drives us to behave in this way, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Most importantly, they show how, by avoiding grandstanding, we can re-build a public square worth participating in. (shrink)
The biological functions debate is a perennial topic in the philosophy of science. In the first full-length account of the nature and importance of biological functions for many years, Justin Garson presents an innovative new theory, the 'generalized selected effects theory of function', which seamlessly integrates evolutionary and developmental perspectives on biological functions. He develops the implications of the theory for contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry, the philosophy of biology, and biology (...) itself, addressing issues ranging from the nature of mental representation to our understanding of the function of the human genome. Clear, jargon-free, and engagingly written, with accessible examples and explanatory diagrams to illustrate the discussion, his book will be highly valuable for readers across philosophical and scientific disciplines. (shrink)
Despite its small stature, "if" occupies a central place both in everyday language and the philosophical lexicon. In allowing us to talk about hypothetical situations, "if" raises a host of thorny philosophical puzzles about language and logic. Addressing them requires tools from linguistics, logic, probability theory, and metaphysics. Justin Khoo uses these tools to navigate a maze of interconnected issues about conditionals, some of which include: the nature of linguistic communication, the relationship between logical and natural languages, and the (...) relationship between different kinds of modality. According to Khoo's theory, conditionals form a unified class of expressions which share a common semantic core that encodes inferential dispositions. Thus, rather than represent the world, conditionals are devices used to communicate how we are disposed to infer. Khoo shows that this theory can be extended to predict the probabilities of conditionals, as well as how different kinds of conditionals differ both semantically and pragmatically. Khoo's book will make for a significant contribution to the literature on conditionals and should be of interest to philosophers, linguists, and computer scientists. (shrink)
The phasalist solution to the classic puzzle of the statue and the piece of clay only works for some coincidence puzzles and not others. To address this limitation of phasalism, I develop a novel approach to coincidence puzzles that permits different kinds of coincidence puzzles to be solved in different ways, provided that each solution satisfies certain constraints inspired by the phasalist solution to the statue puzzle. I apply my approach to four different kinds of coincidence puzzles, and I argue (...) that it is no less plausible than rival approaches in the literature. (shrink)
Justin Snedegar develops and defends contrastivism about reasons. This is the view that normative reasons are fundamentally reasons for or against actions or attitudes only relative to sets of alternatives. Simply put, reasons are always reasons to do one thing rather than another, instead of simply being reasons to do something, full stop.
Professionals, it is said, have no use for simple lists of virtues and vices. The complexities and constraints of professional roles create peculiar moral demands on the people who occupy them, and traits that are vices in ordinary life are praised as virtues in the context of professional roles. Should this disturb us, or is it naive to presume that things should be otherwise? Taking medical and legal practice as key examples, Justin Oakley and Dean Cocking develop a rigorous (...) articulation and defence of virtue ethics, contrasting it with other types of character-based ethical theories and showing that it offers a promising new approach to the ethics of professional roles. They provide insights into the central notions of professional detachment, professional integrity, and moral character in professional life, and demonstrate how a virtue-based approach can help us better understand what ethical professional-client relationships would be like. (shrink)
For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, (...) using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology. (shrink)
This book addresses a longstanding controversy concerning whether Frankfurt cases—thought experiments of a sort devised by Harry Frankfurt—are counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities (roughly, the principle that a person is morally responsible for what he did only if he could have avoided doing it). Frankfurt and many others contend that they are, but here it is argued that, far from being counterexamples to the principle, Frankfurt cases actually provide further confirmation of it, a conclusion that has important implications (...) for our understanding of free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
The standard view in philosophy is that responsibility entails causation. Most philosophers treat this entailment claim as an evident insight into the ordinary concepts of responsibility and causation. Further, it is taken to be equally obvious that the reversal of this claim does not hold: causation does not entail responsibility. In contrast, Sytsma and Livengood have put forward an account of the use of ordinary causal attributions (statements like “X caused Y”) that contends that they are typically used interchangeably with (...) responsibility attributions (statements like “X is responsible for Y”). Put in terms of the concepts at play in these attributions, this account suggests that the reversal of the entailment claim may also hold, and, a fortiori, there would be mutual entailment between the ordinary concepts of responsibility and causation. Using the cancellability test, we report the results of three pre-registered studies providing empirical evidence that causation and responsibility are mutually entailed by each other. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive collection of essays that explores cutting-edge work in experimental philosophy, a radical new movement that applies quantitative and empirical methods to traditional topics of philosophical inquiry. Situates the discipline within Western philosophy and then surveys the work of experimental philosophers by sub-discipline Contains insights for a diverse range of fields, including linguistics, cognitive science, anthropology, economics, and psychology, as well as almost every area of professional philosophy today Edited by two rising scholars who take a broad (...) and inclusive approach to the field Offers a complete introduction for non-specialists and students to the central approaches, findings, challenges, and controversies in experimental philosophy. (shrink)
American sociologist Robert Nisbet once described conservatives and libertarians as “uneasy cousins.” The description is apt. While sharing a family resemblance and many of the same political rivals, conservatism and libertarianism are fundamentally at odds. This paper explains why this is so from the conservative perspective. It surveys the starting points and major themes of conservatism and libertarianism. It identifies what conservatives and libertarians agree about. It concludes by showing what conservatives have against libertarianism.
The downsides of monogamy are felt by most people engaged in long-term relationships, including restrictions on self-discovery, limits on friendship, sexual boredom, and a circumscribed understanding of intimacy. Yet, a "happily ever after" monogamy is assumed to be the ideal form of romantic love in many modern societies: a relationship that is morally ideal and will bring the most happiness to its two partners. -/- In Why It’s OK to Not Be Monogamous, Justin L. Clardy deeply questions these assumptions. (...) He rejects the claim that non-monogamy among honest, informed and consenting adults is morally impermissible. He shows instead how polyamorous relationships can actually be exemplars of moral virtue. The book discusses how social and political forces sustain and reward monogamous relationships. The book defines non-monogamy as a privative concept; a negation of monogamy. Looking at its prevalence in the United States, the book explains how common criticisms of non-monogamy come up short. Clardy argues, as some researchers have recently shown―monogamy relies on continually demonizing non-monogamy to sustain its moral status. Finally, the book concludes with a focus on equality, asking what justice for polyamorous individuals might look like. (shrink)
In "Saving One Another: Philodemus and Paul on Moral Formation in Community" Justin Reid Allison compares how the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus and the Christian apostle Paul envisioned the members of their communities helping one another to grow into moral maturity. Allison establishes that Philodemus and Paul are more similar than previously noticed in their conception and practice of moral formation in community, and that these similarities offer a critical opportunity to consider important differences between the two as well. By (...) deepening the comparison to include differences alongside similarities, and to include theological and socio-economic facets of communal moral formation, Allison shows that Philodemus and Paul uniquely shed fresh light on one another's texts when understood in comparative perspective. (shrink)
Although the counterfactual comparative account of harm, according to which someone is harmed when things go worse for her than they otherwise would have, is intuitively plausible, it has recently come under attack. There are five serious objections in the literature: some philosophers argue that the counterfactual account makes it hard to see how we could harm someone in the course of benefitting that person; others argue that Parfit’s non-identity problem is particularly problematic; another objection claims that the account forces (...) us to see many harms where there is just one; a fourth objection is based on the claim that the counterfactual account makes mysterious the distinction between harms and mere failures-to-benefit; and a final problem arises from cases of pre-emption, in which the nearest possible world in which the harmful event does not occur is a world in which some other harmful event occurs. This paper argues that, properly understood, harm essentially involves a counterfactual comparison, and that these comparisons are sensitive to context in the manner typical of counterfactual conditionals, and that, augmented with two plausible distinctions, this account has the resources to provide satisfying responses to each of the objections that have been raised against it. (shrink)
Plato and Aristotle each present traditional forms of religious practice (e.g., sacrifice, choral performance, prayer, and temple cult) as activities that are worth performing. Because these philosophers advocated such unconventional theological views, their endorsement of conventional religious practice strikes some readers as surprising. This dissertation examines why Plato and Aristotle defended traditional religious practice. Specifically, it investigates their views on its efficacy (i.e., what benefits religious practice produces and how it is thought to produce them). Chapters 1-2 provide the intellectual (...) background necessary to appreciate Plato and Aristotle’s individual contributions. Chapter 1 outlines a view of efficacy that was common in the archaic period (the “Traditional View”). It shows that the literature from that period consistently promoted the idea that, through the performance of traditional religious practice, humans can influence the gods to effect change in all spheres of life: in the cosmos, the city, and the individual psyche. Chapter 2 shows that this view was destabilized in the dawn of the classical period, in the fifth century BCE. The pre-Socratic philosophers and Sophists of this period introduced several theological innovations that forced their proponents to reevaluate the traditional story about what traditional Greek religious practices accomplished and how they accomplished it. Plato both expands and narrows the understanding of efficacy that is set forth in the archaic age. He argues that, for a token religious practice to be successful, it must be performed according to certain ethical standards. Chapter 3 outlines Plato’s ethical criteria and argues that, while the philosopher, like proponents of the Traditional View, denies the efficacy of “illegitimate” performances that contravene these standards, he believes that religious practice can influence all realms of human life theogenically through the instrumentality of the gods. It also shows that Plato expands the modes of efficacy by introducing the possibility that religious practices produce benefits anthropogenically, without the assistance of the gods. Chapters 4-5 each detail a specific religious practice and articulate how Plato thought they could be executed according to his standards. Chapter 4 investigates Plato’s identification of choral performance and sacrifice as forms of play in the Laws, arguing that he imagined them to function as games do elsewhere in that work, when pursued in accordance with the laws and reason, and when performed for pleasure’s sake. Chapter 5 evaluates the role of petitionary prayer in Plato’s dialogues and shows that the philosopher valued the practice for its ability to facilitate intellectual achievement and integrated petitionary prayer into his psychology. Chapters 6-7 focus on Aristotle’s treatment of efficacy. Chapter 6 examines Aristotle’s Metaphysics Λ and argues that, in contrast to Plato, Aristotle discards the Traditional View entirely by denying the ability of religious practices to move the gods to action or to effect change in the cosmos. It reconciles passages from the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, which seem prima facie to endorse conventional attitudes towards the gods, with the philosopher’s metaphysical views, which appear to contradict them. Chapter 7 examines the social and psychological benefits of religious practice in Aristotle’s Politics, where the philosopher claims that the institution of religion forms a necessary part of the city. It demonstrates that, for Aristotle, religious practice provides residents with rest and leisure, obligates them to observe laws, and promotes the development of friendship between residents. (shrink)
I introduce a new approach to fission puzzles called the Diversified Approach that proceeds by distinguishing different kinds of fission and assimilating each kind to a different ordinary phenomenon, such as breaking apart, replication, or part loss. To illustrate this approach, I apply it to the case of amoebic fission. The upshot is a novel account of amoebic fission according to which the dividing amoeba ceases to exist because it breaks apart. After developing this solution and highlighting some of its (...) advantages, I discuss briefly how the Diversified Approach can be extended to other varieties of fission. (shrink)
At the center of the literature on conditionals lies the division between indicative and subjunctive conditionals, and Ernest Adams’ famous minimal pair: If Oswald didn’t shoot Kennedy, someone else did. If Oswald hadn’t shot Kennedy, someone else would have. While a lot of attention is paid to figuring out what these different kinds of conditionals mean, significantly less attention has been paid to the question of why their grammatical differences give rise to their semantic differences. In this paper, I articulate (...) and defend an answer to this question that illuminates and unifies the meanings of both kinds of conditionals. The basic idea is that epistemic and metaphysical possibilities differ with respect to their interaction with time, such that there can be present epistemic possibilities with different pasts, while present metaphysical possibilities share the same past. The interpretation of conditionals is subject to a pragmatic constraint that rules out interpretations in which their consequents are directly settled by information used to build their domains. The past + future morphology on subjunctives, but not indicatives, is what allows them to receive a metaphysical interpretation in light of this pragmatic constraint. The resulting theory predicts several surprising features of indicatives and subjunctives, which I argue are correct. (shrink)
Spinoza's Political Psychology advances a novel, comprehensive interpretation of Spinoza's political writings, exploring how his analysis of psychology informs his arguments for democracy and toleration. Justin Steinberg shows how Spinoza's political method resembles the Renaissance civic humanism in its view of governance as an adaptive craft that requires psychological attunement. He examines the ways that Spinoza deploys this realist method in the service of empowerment, suggesting that the state can affectively reorient and thereby liberate its citizens, but only if (...) it attends to their actual motivational and epistemic capacities. His book will interest a range of readers in Spinoza studies and the history of political thought, as well as readers working in contemporary political theory. (shrink)
Benedict de Spinoza is one of the most controversial and enigmatic thinkers in the history of philosophy. His greatest work, Ethics (1677), developed a comprehensive philosophical system and argued that God and Nature are identical. His scandalous Theological-Political Treatise (1670) provoked outrage during his lifetime due to its biblical criticism, anticlericalism, and defense of the freedom to philosophize. Together, these works earned Spinoza a reputation as a singularly radical thinker. -/- In this book, Steinberg and Viljanen offer a concise and (...) up-to-date account of Spinoza’s thought and its philosophical legacy. They explore the full range of Spinoza’s ideas, from politics and theology to ontology and epistemology. Drawing broadly on Spinoza’s impressive oeuvre, they have crafted a lucid introduction for readers unfamiliar with this important philosopher, as well as a nuanced and enlightening study for more experienced readers. (shrink)
In the United States, it is common for people entering christian organizations to receive explanation of what the Bible means before being handed the book and asked to read. Religious ideological transfer stems from this strict codification, and the Story of Abraham highlights the effective blending between original text and interpretation. Recognizing how the Story of Abraham calls for, as Kierkegaard suggested, a suspension of the ethical for obedience, it justifies entrance into a religious state of exception, a fully subjective (...) moment into which the sole sovereign of “divine will” is the self. The social ramifications, beyond a-logical relativism, involve the historic and continued justification of religious otherization and dehumanization, shrined in a belief of divinity. In contemporary debate, the religious hunker down, entrenching themselves within their ideology, while many in deconstructivist camps want to tear these institutions apart. I suggest a middle-ground: a radical reinterpretation — through philosophical, linguistic and literary theory methods — of the Story of Abraham as a narrative reflecting the Tower of Babel motif, to work within the christian ideological system to create strategic biblical interpretations for positive social effect. (shrink)
Criticism plays an essential role in the growth of scientific knowledge. In some cases, however, criticism can have detrimental effects; for example, it can be used to ‘manufacture doubt’ for the purpose of impeding public policy making on issues such as tobacco consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., Oreskes & Conway 2010). In this paper, we build on previous work by Biddle and Leuschner (2015) who argue that criticism that meets certain conditions can be epistemically detrimental. We extend and refine (...) their account by arguing that such criticism can be epistemically corrupting—it can create social conditions that are conducive to the development of epistemic vice by agents operating within them. (shrink)
Like Kant, the German Idealists, and many neo-Kantian philosophers before him, Nietzsche was persistently concerned with metaphysical questions about the nature of objects. His texts often address questions concerning the existence and non-existence of objects, the relation of objects to human minds, and how different views of objects significantly impact various commitments in many areas of philosophy—not just metaphysics, but also semantics, epistemology, science, logic and mathematics, and even ethics. This book presents a systematic and comprehensive analysis of Nietzsche’s material (...) object metaphysics. Remhof argues that Nietzsche embraces the controversial _constructivist_ view that all concrete objects are socially constructed. Reading Nietzsche as a constructivist, Remhof contends, provides fresh insight into Nietzsche's views on truth, science, naturalism, and nihilism. Remhof investigates how Nietzsche’s view of objects compares with similar views offered by influential American pragmatists, and explores the implications of Nietzsche’s constructivism for debates in contemporary material object metaphysics. _Nietzsche’s Constructivism _is a highly original and timely contribution to the steadily growing literature on Nietzsche’s thought. (shrink)
Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show activity in relation both to specific (...) actions performed by self and matching actions performed by others, providing a potential bridge between minds. MN systems exist in primates without imitative and ‘theory of mind’ abilities and we suggest that in order for them to have become utilized to perform social cognitive functions, sophisticated cortical neuronal systems have evolved in which MNs function as key elements. Early developmental failures of MN systems are likely to result in a consequent cascade of developmental impairments characterised by the clinical syndrome of autism. (shrink)
In recent years, developments in experimental philosophy have led many thinkers to reconsider their central assumptions and methods. It is not enough to speculate and introspect from the armchair - philosophers must subject their claims to scientific scrutiny, looking at evidence and in some cases conducting new empirical research. "The Theory and Practice of Experimental Philosophy" is an introduction and guide to the systematic collection and analysis of empirical data in academic philosophy. This book serves two purposes: first, it examines (...) the theory behind “x-phi,” including its underlying motivations and the objections that have been leveled against it. Second, the book offers a practical guide for those interested in doing experimental philosophy, detailing how to design, implement, and analyze empirical studies. Thus, the book explains the reasoning behind x-phi and provides tools to help readers become experimental philosophers. (shrink)
Russellian monists argue that non-structural properties, or a combination of structural and non-structural properties, necessitate phenomenal properties. Different Russellian monists offer varying accounts of the structural/non-structural distinction, leading to divergent forms of Russellian monism. In this paper, I criticise Derk Pereboom’s characterisation of the structural/non-structural distinction proposed in his Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism and further work. I argue that from Pereboom’s characterisation of structural and non-structural properties, one can formulate general metaphysical principles concerning what structural and non-structural properties (...) necessitate. These principles undermine the claim that non-structural properties – either alone or in combination with structural properties – necessitate phenomenal properties. Moreover, these principles are not affected by our supposed inability to conceive of non-structural properties in a manner conducive to the success of conceivability arguments. (shrink)
The world is swimming in misinformation. Conflicting messages bombard us every day with news on everything from politics and world events to investments and alternative health. The daily paper, nightly news, websites, and social media each compete for our attention and each often insist on a different version of the facts. Inevitably, we have questions: Who is telling the truth? How would we know? How did we get here? What can we do? Beyond Fake News answers these and other queries. (...) It offers a technological and market-based explanation for how our informational environment became so polluted. It shows how purveyors of news often have incentives to mislead us, and how consumers of information often have incentives to be misled. And it chronicles how, as technology improves and the regulatory burdens drop, our information-scape becomes ever more littered with misinformation. Beyond Fake News argues that even when we really want the truth, our minds are built in such a way so as to be incapable of grasping many facts, and blind spots mar our view of the world. But we can do better, both as individuals and as a society. As individuals, we can improve the accuracy of our understanding of the world by knowing who to trust and recognizing our limitations. And as a society, we can take important steps to reduce the quantity and effects of misinformation. (shrink)
Kant calls his Transcendental Deduction "the most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics" (4:260). Readers have found it not just difficult but downright impossible. I will address two long-standing problems. First, Kant seems to contradict his conclusion at the outset of his proof. He does so in both the 1781 and 1787 editions of his Critique of Pure Reason. Second, Kant seems to argue for his single conclusion twice over in his Critique's 1787 edition. I (...) will propose novel solutions by considering why Kant's Deduction is more difficult than his Transcendental Aesthetic, on one hand, and his 1770 Inaugural Dissertation, on the other. My broader aim is to oppose a subjectivist interpretation of Kant's Deduction with an original interpretation. On the subjectivist interpretation, Kant holds that the categories apply to appearances because appearances necessarily conform to our subjective forms of the understanding. I will argue to the contrary in addressing the first problem. On my interpretation, the reason that the categories apply to appearances is not just because of what our subjective forms of the understanding are. It is because of what objects are as appearances. What are objects as appearances, for Kant? In addressing the second problem, I will argue that they are objects of our possible intuitions and judgments. (shrink)
This book is a critical survey of and guidebook to the literature on biological functions. It ties in with current debates and developments, and at the same time, it looks back on the state of discourse in naturalized teleology prior to the 1970s. It also presents three significant new proposals. First, it describes the generalized selected effects theory, which is one version of the selected effects theory, maintaining that the function of a trait consists in the activity that led to (...) its differential persistence or reproduction in a population, and not merely its differential reproduction. Secondly, it advances “within-discipline pluralism” (as opposed to between-discipline pluralism) a new form of function pluralism, which emphasizes the coexistence of function concepts within diverse biological sub-disciplines. Lastly, it provides a critical assessment of recent alternatives to the selected effects theory of function, namely, the weak etiological theory and the systems-theoretic theory. The book argues that, to the extent that functions purport to offer causal explanations for the existence of a trait, there are no viable alternatives to the selected effects view. -/- The debate about biological functions is still as relevant and important to biology and philosophy as it ever was. Recent controversies surrounding the ENCODE Project Consortium in genetics, the nature of psychiatric classification, and the value of ecological restoration, all point to the continuing relevance to biology of philosophical discussion about the nature of functions. In philosophy, ongoing debates about the nature of biological information, intentionality, health and disease, mechanism, and even biological trait classification, are closely related to debates about biological functions. (shrink)
Since the time of Hippocrates, madness has typically been viewed through the lens of disease, dysfunction, and defect. In 'Madness', philosopher of science Justin Garson presents a radically different paradigm for conceiving of madness and the forms that it takes. In this paradigm, which he calls madness-as-strategy, madness is neither a disease nor a defect, but a designed feature, like the heart or lungs.
An exceptional contribution to the teaching and study of Chinese thought, this anthology provides fifty-eight selections arranged chronologically in five main sections: Han Thought, Chinese Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Late Imperial Confucianism, and the early Twentieth Century. The editors have selected writings that have been influential, that are philosophically engaging, and that can be understood as elements of an ongoing dialogue, particularly on issues regarding ethical cultivation, human nature, virtue, government, and the underlying structure of the universe. Within those topics, issues of (...) contemporary interest, such as Chinese ideas about gender and the experiences of women, are brought to light. -/- Introductions to each main section provide an overview of the period, while brief headnotes to selections highlight key points. -/- The translations are the works of many distinguished scholars, and were chosen for their accuracy and accessibility, especially for students, general readers, and scholars who do not read Chinese. Special effort has been made to maintain consistency of key terms across translations. -/- Also included are a glossary, bibliography, index of names, and an index locorum of The Four Books. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the relationship between forgiving and punishment. We set out a number of arguments for the claim that if one forgives a wrongdoer, one should not punish her. We then argue that none of these arguments is persuasive. We conclude by reflecting on the possibility of institutional forgiveness in the criminal justice setting and on the differences between forgiveness and acts of mercy.
Moral grandstanding is a pervasive feature of public discourse. Many of us can likely recognize that we have engaged in grandstanding at one time or another. While there is nothing new about the phenomenon of grandstanding, we think that it has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. In this essay, we provide an account of moral grandstanding as the use of public discourse for moral self-promotion. We then show that our account, with support from some standard theses of social (...) psychology, explains the characteristic ways that grandstanding is manifested in public moral discourse. We conclude by arguing that there are good reasons to think that moral grandstanding is typically morally bad and should be avoided. (shrink)
I present Ned Markosian's episodic account of identity under a sortal, and then use it to sketch a new model of the Trinity. I show that the model can be used to solve at least three important Trinitarian puzzles: the traditional ‘logical problem of the Trinity’, a less-discussed problem that has been dubbed the ‘problem of triunity’, and a problem about the divine processions that has been enjoying increased attention in the recent literature.
In contemporary political discussions, it is depressingly common to see people criticized for expressing impure beliefs. Moreover, those who sometimes defect from their tribe are criticized for failing to be firmly enough on the side of the angels. We consider explanations for this behavior, including its relationship to moral grandstanding. We will also argue, on both moral and epistemic grounds, in favor of a norm against “blocking the exits.” We should not use social pressure to discourage people from publicly changing (...) their minds. (shrink)
_Environmental Philosophy in Desperate Times_ examines environmental philosophy in the context of climate denial, inaction, and thoughtlessness. It introduces readers to the varied theories and movements of environmental philosophy. But more than that, it seeks to unsettle our received understanding of the world and our role in it, especially through consideration of Indigenous, feminist, and radical voices.
This book defends the controversial view that Nietzsche is a metaphysician against a tendency to sever Nietzsche from metaphysical philosophy. It shows that for Nietzsche the questions, answers, methods, and subject matters of metaphysics are not only perfectly legitimate, but also crucial for understanding the world and our place within it.
Contemporary metaphysics is dominated by the view that every object belongs to a kind permanently in the sense that it cannot cease to belong to that kind without thereby ceasing to exist. For example, some philosophers think that a person is destroyed if they cease to be a person, a statue is destroyed if it ceases to be a statue, and so on. I believe that this standard view is false. Being a person, or a statue, or etc., is like (...) being a child: just as I did not cease to exist when I ceased to be a child, so people and statues need not cease to exist when they cease to be people and statues. Borrowing a term from Daniel Korman, I call this view phasalism because it entails that the kind-properties which ordinary objects instantiate are phase sortal properties, i.e., kind-properties that an object can instantiate for a temporary phase of its career. This dissertation is a partial defense of phasalism. I develop a phasalist metaphysics in detail, highlighting its virtues and rebutting objections along the way. After some stage-setting, I defend a phasalist criterion of identity over time for ordinary objects, as well as a phasalist account of the role that sortal properties play in the identity over time of ordinary objects. Then I defend a phasalist-friendly approach to the identity over time of lumps, hunks, pieces, etc. of matter. The material in these chapters amounts to a phasalist solution to certain material coincidence puzzles, such as the puzzle of the statue and the piece of clay. I go on to show that familiar puzzles about undetached parts and fission can be solved within the confines of my phasalist metaphysics as well. (shrink)
For epistemic subjects like us, updating our credences incurs epistemic costs. Expending our limited processing power and working memory to properly update our credences by some information can come at the cost of not responding to other available information. It is thus desirable to flesh out and compare alternative ways of taking information into account in light of cognitive shortcomings like our own. This paper is a preliminary attempt to do so. I argue that it is better, in a range (...) of circumstances and from the point of view of expected credal accuracy, for epistemic subjects like us not to update on available information that bears on propositions for which substantial evidence has been gathered than it is to update on information as it presents itself. In order to clarify the argument, and enable comparisons between information-response policies more generally, I develop a queue-theoretic model of learning for subjects with cognitive limitations. The model characterizes how policies for responding to information interact with a subject’s limitations to yield confidences. Finally, I discuss implications of the discussion for work on confidence, outright belief, and the relationship between those two states. The comparison of information-response policies helps to explain how some of the “biases” revealed by psychological research might be cognitively valuable, clarify views that take outright belief to be a kind of epistemic plan that resists reconsideration, and assuage certain “demandingness” worries for the hypothesis that we are credal reasoners. (shrink)
McDonnell, Justin The psychologist wishes to balance man psychologically. The spiritual father aims at his divinisation... the psychologist employs the method of questioning and listening and tries to make man aware of his problem and to mature psychologically. The spiritual father, illumined by the grace of God, locates the problem-which is the darkness of the nous-and tries to lead man to the theoria of God by the means of the Orthodox method of purification and illumination. The psychologist acts anthropocentrically (...) using thoughts and ideas. The spiritual father acts in a theocentric way. He uses the therapeutic method, but also the mysteries through which the heart receives the grace of God. (shrink)
Dans son Apologie, Justin structure son discours selon un double plan: il se prononce en faveur des chrétiens injustement haïs, mais aussi, de manière plus personnelle, comme quelqu�un qui pressent l�approche de sa condamnation et s�y prépare en assumant le rôle du sage qui, sur le point de mourir, fustige l�autorité politique, sans en craindre les conséquences. En recourant à un topos littéraire très connu dans l�Antiquité, Justin se «construit» une image de mort honorable au sein de sa (...) communauté. (shrink)