This interview with N. Katherine Hayles, one of the foremost theorists of the posthuman, explores the concerns that led to her seminal book How We Became Posthuman, the key arguments expounded in that book, and the changes in technology and culture in the ten years since its publication. The discussion ranges across the relationships between literature and science; the trans-disciplinary project of developing a methodology appropriate to their intersection; the history of cybernetics in its cultural and political context ; (...) the changed role for psychoanalysis in the technoscientific age; and the altering forms of mediated ‘embodiment’ in the posthuman context. (shrink)
In 1981 Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann published a landmark article aimed at exploring the classical concept of divine eternity. 1 Taking Boethius as the primary spokesman for the traditional view, they analyse God's eternity as timeless yet as possessing duration. More recently Brian Leftow has seconded Stump and Kretzmann's interpretation of the medieval position and attempted to defend the notion of a durational eternity as a useful way of expressing the sort of life God leads. 2 However, there are (...) good reasons to reject the idea that divine timelessness should be thought of as having duration. The medievals probably did not accept it, as it contradicts a principle of classical metaphysics even more fundamental than the atemporality of the divine. In any case, it is not possible to express the notion of durational eternity in even a minimally coherent way, and the attempt to salvage the concept by appealing to the Thomistic doctrine of analogy is unsuccessful. The best analogy for God's eternity is still the one proposed by Augustine at the end of the fourth century. God lives in a timeless ‘present’, unextended like our temporal present, but immutable and encompassing all time. (shrink)
The poetry and journalistic essays of Katherine Tillman often appeared in publications sponsored by the American Methodist church. Collected together for the first time, her works speak to the struggles and triumphs of African-American women.
The world is remarkably stable -- amidst the flux, physical objects continue to persist. But how do things persist? Are they spread out through time as they are spread out through space? Or is persistence very different from spatial extension? These ancient metaphysical questions are at the forefront of contemporary debate once more. Katherine Hawley provides a wide-ranging yet accessible study of this key issue. She also makes a major contribution to current debates about change, vagueness, and language.
Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
There are moments when things suddenly seem strange - objects in the world lose their meaning, we feel like strangers to ourselves, or human existence itself strikes us as bizarre and unintelligible. Through a detailed philosophical investigation of Heidegger's concept of uncanniness (Unheimlichkeit), Katherine Withy explores what such experiences reveal about us. She argues that while others (such as Freud, in his seminal psychoanalytic essay, 'The Uncanny') take uncanniness to be an affective quality of strangeness or eeriness, Heidegger uses (...) the concept to go beyond feeling uncanny to reach the ground of this feeling in our being uncanny. -/- "Heidegger on Being Uncanny" answers those who wonder whether human existence is fundamentally strange to itself by showing that we can be what we are only if we do not fully understand what it is to be us. This fundamental finitude in our self-understanding is our uncanniness. In this first dedicated interpretation of Heidegger's uncanniness, Withy tracks this concept from his early analyses of angst through his later interpretations of the choral ode from Sophocles's Antigone. Her interpretation uncovers a novel and robust continuity in Heidegger's thought and in his vision of the human being as uncanny, and it points the way toward what it is to live well as an uncanny human being. (shrink)
Biomedical research is increasingly globalized with ever more research conducted in low and middle-income countries. This trend raises a host of ethical concerns and critiques. While community engagement has been proposed as an ethically important practice for global biomedical research, there is no agreement about what these practices contribute to the ethics of research, or when they are needed.
Although the principle of fair subject selection is a widely recognized requirement of ethical clinical research, it often yields conflicting imperatives, thus raising major ethical dilemmas regarding participant selection. In this paper, we diagnose the source of this problem, arguing that the principle of fair subject selection is best understood as a bundle of four distinct sub-principles, each with normative force and each yielding distinct imperatives: fair inclusion; fair burden sharing; fair opportunity; and fair distribution of third-party risks. We first (...) map out these distinct sub-principles, and then identify the ways in which they yield conflicting imperatives for the design of inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the recruitment of participants. We then offer guidance for how decision makers should navigate these conflicting imperatives to ensure that participants are selected fairly. (shrink)
Katherine Hawley investigates what trustworthiness means in our lives. We become untrustworthy when we break promises, miss deadlines, or give unreliable information. But we can't be sure about what we can commit to. Hawley examines the social obstacles to trustworthiness, and explores how we can steer between overcommitment and undercommitment.
Robust technology infrastructure is needed to enable learning health care systems to improve quality, access, and cost. Such infrastructure relies on the trust and confidence of individuals to share their health data for healthcare and research. Few studies have addressed consumers’ views on electronic data sharing and fewer still have explored the dual purposes of healthcare and research together. The objective of the study is to explore factors that affect consumers’ willingness to share electronic health information for healthcare and research. (...) This study involved a random-digit dial telephone survey of 800 adult Californians conducted in English and Spanish. Logistic regression was performed using backward selection to test for significant associations of each explanatory variable with the outcome variable. The odds of consent for electronic data sharing for healthcare decreased as Likert scale ratings for EHR impact on privacy worsened, odds ratio = 0.74, 95% CI [0.60, 0.90]; security, OR = 0.80, 95% CI [0.66, 0.98]; and quality, OR = 0.59, 95% CI [0.46–0.75]. The odds of consent for sharing for research was greater for those who think EHR will improve research quality, OR = 11.26, 95% CI [4.13, 30.73]; those who value research benefit over privacy OR = 2.72, 95% CI [1.55, 4.78]; and those who value control over research benefit OR = 0.49, 95% CI [0.26, 0.94]. Consumers’ choices about electronically sharing health information are affected by their attitudes toward EHRs as well as beliefs about research benefit and individual control. Design of person-centered interventions utilizing electronically collected health information, and policies regarding data sharing should address these values of importance to people. Understanding of these perspectives is critical for leveraging health data to support learning health care systems. (shrink)
Social groups—like teams, committees, gender groups, and racial groups—play a central role in our lives and in philosophical inquiry. Here I develop and motivate a structuralist ontology of social groups centered on social structures (i.e., networks of relations that are constitutively dependent on social factors). The view delivers a picture that encompasses a diverse range of social groups, while maintaining important metaphysical and normative distinctions between groups of different kinds. It also meets the constraint that not every arbitrary collection of (...) people is a social group. In addition, the framework provides resources for developing a broader structuralist view in social ontology. (shrink)
: As Heidegger acknowledges, our understanding is essentially situated and so limited by the context and tradition into which it is thrown. But this ‘situatedness’ does not exhaust Heidegger's concept of ‘thrownness’. By examining this concept and its grammar, I develop a more complete interpretation. I identify several different kinds of finitude or limitation in our understanding, and touch on ways in which we confront and carry different dimensions of our past.
I outline a number of parallels between trust and distrust, emphasising the significance of situations in which both trust and distrust would be an imposition upon the (dis)trustee. I develop an account of both trust and distrust in terms of commitment, and argue that this enables us to understand the nature of trustworthiness. Note that this article is available open access on the journal website.
Scientific researchers welcome disagreement as a way of furthering epistemic aims. Religious communities, by contrast, tend to regard it as a potential threat to their beliefs. But I argue that religious disagreement can help achieve religious epistemic aims. I do not argue this by comparing science and religion, however. For scientific hypotheses are ideally held with a scholarly neutrality, and my aim is to persuade those who arecommittedto religious beliefs that religious disagreement can be epistemically beneficial for them too.
It has been argued that humans can face an ethical/epistemic dilemma over the automatic stereotyping involved in implicit bias: ethical demands require that we consistently treat people equally, as equally likely to possess certain traits, but if our aim is knowledge or understanding our responses should reflect social inequalities meaning that members of certain social groups are statistically more likely than others to possess particular features. I use psychological research to argue that often the best choice from the epistemic perspective (...) is the same as the best choice from the ethical perspective: to avoid automatic stereotyping even when this involves failing to reflect social realities in our judgements. This argument has an important implication: it shows that it is not possible to successfully defend an act of automatic stereotyping simply on the basis that the stereotype reflects an aspect of social reality. An act of automatic stereotyping can be poor from an epistemic perspective even if the stereotype that is activated reflects reality. (shrink)
Du Châtelet’s 1740 text Foundations of Physics tackles three of the major foundational issues facing natural philosophy in the early eighteenth century: the problem of bodies, the problem of force, and the question of appropriate methodology. This paper offers an introduction to Du Châtelet’s philosophy of science, as expressed in her Foundations of Physics, primarily through the lens of the problem of bodies.
This paper focuses on smallholder agriculture and livelihoods in north-central Tanzania. It traces changes in agricultural production and asset ownership in one community over a 28 year period. Over this period, national development policies and agriculture programs have moved from socialism to neo-liberal approaches. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we explore how farmers have responded to these shifts in the wider political-economic context and how these responses have shaped their livelihoods and ideas about farming and wealth. This (...) case study clearly debunks the idea that rural farmers are slow to respond to “modern” farming methods or that smallholder farming is stagnant and cannot reduce poverty. While changes overall are very positive in this rural community, challenges remain as land sizes are small and markets often unreliable. This research cautions against a shift in emphasis to large-scale farming as a strategy for national development. It suggests instead that increased investment in supporting smallholder farming is critical for addressing poverty and rural well-being. (shrink)
Symmetry considerations dominate modern fundamental physics, both in quantum theory and in relativity. Philosophers are now beginning to devote increasing attention to such issues as the significance of gauge symmetry, quantum particle identity in the light of permutation symmetry, how to make sense of parity violation, the role of symmetry breaking, the empirical status of symmetry principles, and so forth. These issues relate directly to traditional problems in the philosophy of science, including the status of the laws of nature, the (...) relationships between mathematics, physical theory, and the world, and the extent to which mathematics suggests new physics.This entry begins with a brief description of the historical roots and emergence of the concept of symmetry that is at work in modern science. It then turns to the application of this concept to physics, distinguishing between two different uses of symmetry: symmetry principles versus symmetry arguments. It mentions the different varieties of physical symmetries, outlining the ways in which they were introduced into physics. Then, stepping back from the details of the various symmetries, it makes some remarks of a general nature concerning the status and significance of symmetries in physics. (shrink)
Highlighting main issues and controversies, this book brings together current philosophical discussions of symmetry in physics to provide an introduction to the subject for physicists and philosophers. The contributors cover all the fundamental symmetries of modern physics, such as CPT and permutation symmetry, as well as discussing symmetry-breaking and general interpretational issues. Classic texts are followed by new review articles and shorter commentaries for each topic. Suitable for courses on the foundations of physics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of science, (...) the volume is a valuable reference for students and researchers. (shrink)
Where there is trust, there is also vulnerability, and vulnerability can be exploited. Epistemic trust is no exception. This chapter maps the phenomenon of the exploitation of epistemic trust. I start with a discussion of how trust in general can be exploited; a key observation is that trust incurs vulnerabilities not just for the party doing the trusting, but also for the trustee (after all, trust can be burdensome), so either party can exploit the other. I apply these considerations to (...) epistemic trust, specifically in testimonial relationships. There, we standardly think of a hearer trusting a speaker. But we miss an important aspect of this relationship unless we consider too that the speaker standardly trusts the hearer. Given this mutual trust, and given that both trustees and trusters can exploit each other, we have four possibilities for exploitation in epistemic-trust relationships: a speaker exploiting a hearer (a) by accepting his trust or (b) by imposing her trust on him, and a hearer exploiting a speaker (c) by accepting her trust or (d) by imposing his trust on her. One result is that you do not need to betray someone to exploit him – you can exploit him just as easily by doing what he trusts you for. (shrink)
Katherine Hawley explores the key ideas about trust in this Very Short Introduction. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, psychology, and evolutionary biology, she emphasizes the nature and importance of trusting and being trusted, from our intimate bonds with significant others to our relationship with the state.
Katherin A. Rogers presents a new theory of free will, based on the thought of Anselm of Canterbury. We did not originally produce ourselves. Yet, according to Anselm, we can engage in self-creation, freely and responsibly forming our characters by choosing 'from ourselves' between open options. Anselm introduces a new, agent-causal libertarianism which is parsimonious in that, unlike other agent-causal theories, it does not appeal to any unique and mysterious powers to explain how the free agent chooses. After setting out (...) Anselm's original theory, Rogers defends and develops it by addressing a series of standard problems levelled against libertarianism. Finally, as a theory about self-creation, Anselmian Libertarianism must defend the tracing thesis, the claim that an agent can be responsible for character-determined choices, if he, himself, formed his character through earlier a se choices. Throughout, Rogers defends and exemplifies a new methodological suggestion: someone debating free will ought to make his background world view explicit. In the on-going debate over the possibility of human freedom and responsibility, Anselmian Libertarianism constitutes a new and plausible approach. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso () discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft () has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing (...) the cases of gauge symmetry and general covariance. Direct and indirect empirical significance Global and local continuous symmetries Gauge symmetry 3.1 Local gauge symmetry 3.1.1 Discussion of the first claim 3.1.2 Discussion of the second claim 3.2 Global gauge symmetry Space-time symmetries Direct and indirect empirical significance again Conclusion. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a view of groups, things like teams, committees, clubs and courts. I begin by examining features all groups seem to share. I formulate a list of six features of groups that serve as criteria any adequate theory of groups must capture. Next, I examine four of the most prominent views of groups currently on offer—that groups are non-singular pluralities, fusions, aggregates and sets. I argue that each fails to capture one or more of the (...) criteria. Last, I develop a view of groups as realizations of structures. The view has two components. First, groups are entities with structure. Second, since groups are concreta, they exist only when a group structure is realized. A structure is realized when each of its functionally defined nodes or places are occupied. I show how such a view captures the six criteria for groups, which no other view of groups adequately does, while offering a substantive answer to the question, “What are groups?”. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that there is a notion of 'counterfactual success' which stands to knowledge how as true belief stands to propositional knowledge. (I attempt to avoid the question of whether knowledge how is a type of propositional knowledge.).
Resolving religious disagreements is difficult, for beliefs about religion tend to come with strong biases against other views and the people who hold them. Evidence can help, but there is no agreed-upon policy for weighting it, and moreover bias affects the content of our evidence itself. Another complicating factor is that some biases are reliable and others unreliable. What we need is an evidence-weighting policy geared toward negotiating the effects of bias. I consider three evidence-weighting policies in the philosophy of (...) religion and advocate one of them as the best for promoting the resolution of religious disagreements. (shrink)
Research on management with regard to religion became a growing field of interest in the last decades. Nevertheless, the impact of religion on actor's economic behavior is also an old research topic, as the writings of Max Weber (The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, Allen and Unwin, London, 1930) underline. The purpose of this contribution is to highlight the developments of this topic and to guide scholars to identify possible gaps. The structuring and investigation on this topic will (...) help us to advance and better understand past research, while leading to some further reflections. We conduct a citation analysis of 215 articles and 7,968 cited references to examine the citation structure and make out the most-influential publications that have shaped research most so far. On the basis of the analysis it is to be assumed that three research streams affect progress: Best practices regarding performance issues, religion at work as well as religion, and personal ethics. Finally, the publications that each topic-clusters contains are reflected and discussed to achieve a structural overview of the state of the art of research. (shrink)
This paper explores varieties of scientific structuralism. Central to our investigation is the notion of `shared structure'. We begin with a description of mathematical structuralism and use this to point out analogies and disanalogies with scientific structuralism. Our particular focus is the semantic structuralist's attempt to use the notion of shared structure to account for the theory-world connection, this use being crucially important to both the contemporary structural empiricist and realist. We show why minimal scientific structuralism is, at the very (...) least, a powerful methodological standpoint. Our investigation also makes explicit what more must be added to this minimal structuralist position in order to address the theory-world connection, namely, an account of representation. (shrink)
Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and English-learning infants of 5-6 and 7-8 months of age to explore the development of grouping preferences. At 5-6 months, neither the Japanese nor the English infants revealed any systematic perceptual biases. However, by 7-8 months, the same age (...) as when linguistic phrasal grouping develops, infants developed non-linguistic grouping preferences consistent with their language's structure (and the grouping biases found in adulthood). These results reveal an early difference in non-linguistic perception between infants growing up in different language environments. The possibility that infants' linguistic phrasal grouping is bootstrapped by abstract perceptual principles is discussed. (shrink)
Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential commitments (...) of several leading theories of emotion, and argue that none of the theories we consider are committed to notions of ‘exist’ employed by the paradox. We conclude that it is unclear whether or not there remains a paradox of fiction to be solved—rather than to be argued for—once this ambiguity is addressed. (shrink)
Names are referring expressions and interact with the determiner system only exceptionally, in stark contrast with count nouns. The-predicativists like Sloat, Matushansky, and Fara claim otherwise, maintaining that syntactic data offers indicates that names belong to a special syntactic category which differs from common count nouns only in how they interact with ‘the’. I argue that the-predicativists have incorrectly discerned the syntactic facts. They have bypassed a large range of important syntactic data and misconstrued a critical data point on which (...) they ground the-predicativism. The right data offers new compelling syntactic grounds for referentialism. (shrink)
Symmetry, intended as invariance with respect to a transformation (more precisely, with respect to a transformation group), has acquired more and more importance in modern physics. This Chapter explores in 8 Sections the meaning, application and interpretation of symmetry in classical physics. This is done both in general, and with attention to specific topics. The general topics include illustration of the distinctions between symmetries of objects and of laws, and between symmetry principles and symmetry arguments (such as Curie's principle), and (...) reviewing the meaning and various types of symmetry that may be found in classical physics, along with different interpretative strategies that may be adopted. Specific topics discussed include the historical path by which group theory entered classical physics, transformation theory in classical mechanics, the relativity principle in Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, general covariance in his General Theory of Relativity, and Noether's theorems. In bringing these diverse materials together in a single Chapter, we display the pervasive and powerful influence of symmetry in classical physics, and offer a possible framework for the further philosophical investigation of this topic. (shrink)
What kind of entity is a committee, a book group or a band? I argue that committees and other such social groups are concrete, composite particulars, having ordinary human beings amongst their parts. So the committee members are literally parts of the committee. This mereological view of social groups was popular several decades ago, but fell out of favour following influential objections from David-Hillel Ruben. But recent years have seen a tidal wave of work in metaphysics, including the metaphysics of (...) parts and wholes. We now have the resources to rehabilitate the mereological view of social groups. I show how this can be done, and why we should bother. (shrink)
The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has created a quality attestation process for clinical ethics consultants; the pilot phase of reviewing portfolios has begun. One aspect of the QA process which is particularly challenging is assessing the interpersonal skills of individual clinical ethics consultants. We propose that using case simulation to evaluate clinical ethics consultants is an approach that can meet this need provided clear standards for assessment are identified. To this end, we developed the Assessing Clinical Ethics Skills (...) tool, which identifies and specifies specific behaviors that a clinical ethics consultant should demonstrate in an ethics case simulation. The aim is for the clinical ethics consultant or student to use a videotaped case simulation, along with the ACES tool scored by a trained rater, to demonstrate their competence as part of their QA portfolio. The development and piloting of the tool is described. (shrink)
In this paper, I utilise the tools of analytic philosophy to amalgamate mono-causal and multi-causal theories of disease. My aim is to better integrate viral and socio-economic explanations of AIDS in particular, and to consider how the perceived divide between mono-causal and multi-causal theories played a role in the tragedy of AIDS denialism in South Africa in the early 2000s. Currently, there is conceptual ambiguity surrounding the relationship between mono-causal and multi-causal theories in biomedicine and epidemiology. Mono-causal theories focus on (...) single, typically microbial, sources of illness and are most concerned with infectious diseases. By contrast, multi-causal theories allow for multiple factors to underpin a disease’s aetiology, including socio-economic and behavioural factors, and they usually focus on chronic non-communicable diseases. However, if these theories are taken to be strictly distinct, this prevents the inclusion of both microbial and socio-economic factors in a single explanation of any particular disease. This strict distinction became a problem when trying to explain the disproportionate prevalence of AIDS in southern Africa and ultimately contributed to the tragedy of AIDS denialism in South Africa. In tandem with viewing how the perceived divide between multi-causal and mono-causal theories underpinned AIDS denialism, I examine Thabo Mbeki’s specific role, while acknowledging that AIDS is being deprioritised on a broader international level. Overall, I will demonstrate that any long-term plan to eliminate AIDS will require viral and socio-economic factors to be considered simultaneously and that such a theoretical approach requires a clearer understanding of the underlying concepts of disease aetiology. (shrink)