It is commonly accepted that if an agent wants p, then she has a desire that is satisfied in exactly the worlds where p is true. Call this the ‘Satisfaction-is-Truth Principle’. We argue that this principle is false: an agent may want p without having a desire that is satisfied when p obtains in any old way. For example, Millie wants to drink milk but does not have a desire that is satisfied when she drinks spoiled milk. Millie has a (...) desire whose satisfaction conditions are what we call ways-specific. Fara (2003, 2013) and Lycan (2012, ms) have also argued for this conclusion, but their claims about desire satisfaction rest solely on contested intuitions about when agents get what they want. We set these intuitions to one side, instead arguing that desire satisfaction is ways-specific by appealing to the dispositional role of desire. Because agents are disposed to satisfy their desires, dispositions provide important evidence about desire satisfaction. Our argument further provides new insight on the dispositional role of desire satisfaction. (shrink)
The role of private food standards in agriculture is increasingly raising questions of legitimacy, particularly in light of the impacts such standards may have on food producers. While much work has been carried out at a macro policy level for developing countries, there have been relatively few empirical case studies that focus on particular food supply chains, and even fewer studies still of the impact of private standards on developed countries such as Australia. This study seeks to address this imbalance, (...) with a particular focus on examining the impact of private standards on an Australian vegetable supply food system in North Tasmania as well as tracing the impact of perceived and actual power relations among actors. Applying a governance framework and adopting a Foucauldian position we show that private standards are a “technology of power” that have risen out of a crisis discourse in the mid-1990s about on-farm food safety. Private standards have the effect of using knowledge from particular actors to establish truths about good agricultural practice (GAP), however we show that Tasmanian vegetable growers are not docile bodies and are employing alternative knowledge and technologies of power to challenge how GAP is implemented on-farm. (shrink)
This paper examines the forms of life established through the visual governance of the Australian social security mobile app —the Express Plus Centrelink app. It is argued that the app exceeds established accounts of juridical and administrative power. The app involves a seeing that is not public, a responding that is not writing and a de-materialisation of an institution and its disciplinary apparatus. It is argued that the app creates proto-literate subjects that are required to respond to a real-time sequence (...) of images in a highly structured and circumscribed manner to become complicit in the digitalisation of their life. (shrink)
This is Not a Seminar is a multidisciplinary forum established in 2012 at Edith Cowan University in Australia to support practice-led and practice-based Higher Degree by Research students. The Faculty of Education and Arts at ECU includes cohorts of postgraduate research students in, for example, performance, design, writing and visual arts. We established the TINAS programme to assist postgraduate research students in connecting their creative practices to methodological, theoretical and conceptual approaches whilst fostering an atmosphere of rapport across creative disciplines. (...) The pilot programme conducted for six months in 2012 comprised dialogues with experienced creative researchers; critical reading sessions on practice-led theory; and workshops in journaling, ethics and copyright. This article is a reflection on the strengths and limitations of TINAS and future projections. More than an additional teaching and learning service, the programme has become a vital forum for creative dialogue. (shrink)
The new art of videogames -- What are videogames anyway? -- On definition -- Theories of gaming -- A definition of videogames -- Videogames and fiction -- From tennis for two to worlds of warcraft -- Imaginary worlds and works of fiction -- Fictional or virtual? -- Interactive fiction -- Stepping into fictional worlds -- Welcome to rapture -- Meet niko bellic -- Experiencing game worlds -- Acting in game worlds -- Games through fiction -- The nature of gaming -- (...) What are the rules of this game? -- Playing, cheating, fragging, and griefing -- Videogames and narrative -- The stories games tell -- Would you kindly put down that wrench? -- Reconciling games and narratives -- Emotion in videogaming -- How can we be moved by the fate of Niko Bellic? -- My fear of mutants -- The role of the emotions in gaming -- The morality of videogames -- The problem with crime simulators -- Are games bad for you? -- On being offensive -- Sticking up for videogames -- Videogames as art -- Are videogames art? -- A cluster theory of art -- The art in videogames -- New art from old bottles. (shrink)
Fitness is a central concept in evolutionary theory. Just as it is central to biological evolution, so, it seems, it should be central to cultural evolutionary theory. But importing the biological fitness concept to CET is no straightforward task—there are many features unique to cultural evolution that make this difficult. This has led some theorists to argue that there are fundamental problems with cultural fitness that render it hopelessly confused. In this essay, we defend the coherency of cultural fitness against (...) those who call it into doubt. (shrink)
Block Fitness.Grant Ramsey - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):484-498.details
There are three related criteria that a concept of fitness should be able to meet: it should render the principle of natural selection non-tautologous and it should be explanatory and predictive. I argue that for fitness to be able to fulfill these criteria, it cannot be a property that changes over the course of an individual's life. Rather, I introduce a fitness concept--Block Fitness--and argue that an individual's genes and environment fix its fitness in such a way that each individual's (...) fitness has a fixed value over its lifetime. (shrink)
As engineers propose constructing humanlike automata, the question arises as to whether such machines merit human rights. The issue warrants serious and rigorous examination, although it has not yet cohered into a conversation. To put it into a sure direction, this paper proposes phrasing it in terms of whether humans are morally obligated to extend to maximally humanlike automata full human rights, or those set forth in common international rights documents. This paper’s approach is to consider the ontology of humans (...) and of automata and whether ontological difference between them, that pertains to the very bases of human rights, affects the latter’s claims to full human rights. Considering common bases of human rights, can these bases tell us whether a certain ontological distinction of humans from automata—or a de facto distinction about humans tacitly acknowledged by full-rights-recognizing societies—makes a difference in whether humans are morally obligated to assign these entities full rights? Human rights to security also arise. The conclusion is that humans need not be under any moral obligation to confer full human rights on automata. The paper’s ultimate point is not to close the discussion with this ontological cap but to set a solid moral and legal groundwork for opening it up tout court. (shrink)
This article argues that legal precedents do not create rules, but rather create a special type of reason in favour of a decision in later cases. Precedents are often argued to be analogous to statutes in their law-creating function, but the common law practice of distinguishing is difficult to reconcile with orthodox accounts of the function of rules. Instead, a precedent amounts to a decision on the balance of reasons in the case before the precedent court, and later courts are (...) required to decide cases on the basis that the earlier decision was correctly decided. (shrink)
In this unique study Fulford combines the disciplines of rigorous philosophy with an intimate knowledge of psychopathology to overturn traditional hegemonies. The patient replaces the doctor at the heart of medicine. Moral theory and the logic of evaluation replace epistemology as the focus of philosophical enquiry. Ever controversial, mental illness is at the interface of philosophy and medicine. Mad or bad? Dissident or diseased? Dr Fulford shows that it is possible to achieve new insights into these traditional dilemmas, insights at (...) once practically relevant and philosophically significant. (shrink)
Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
Don't look for the meaning; look for the use. A few years back the Yale deconstructionist Paul de Man wasposthumously discovered to have written repeatedly for a Belgiancollaborationist journal during the Nazi occupation. So far as I amaware, de Man in his American period espoused no particular politics. Indeed, the Left frequently regarded this as a cause for complaint, since most of them thought of de Man and deconstruction as being their natural allies.
In this paper I examine a well-known articulation of the skeptical view of human nature, a paper by Hull. I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery. I show that Machery’s account of human nature is not very useful and is scientifically suspect. Finally, I introduce an alternative account of human nature—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—which I hold is scientifically sound, pragmatically useful, and makes sense of our intuitions about human nature.
We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...) it. (shrink)
In the United States today, much interpersonal racism is driven by corrupt forms of self-preservation. Drawing from Jean- Jacques Rousseau, I refer to this as self-love racism. The byproduct of socially-induced racial anxieties and perceived threats to one’s physical or social wellbeing, self-love racism is the protective attachment to the racialized dimensions of one’s social status, wealth, privilege, and/or identity. Examples include police officer related shootings of unarmed Black Americans, anti-immigrant sentiment, and the resurgence of unabashed white supremacy. This form (...) of racism is defined less by the introduction of racism into the world and more on the perpetuation of racially unjust socioeconomic and political structures. My theory, therefore, works at the intersection of the interpersonal and structural by offering an account of moral complacency in racist social structures. My goal is to reorient the directionality of philosophical work on racism by questioning the sense of innocence at the core of white ways-of-being. (shrink)
The human brain is subjective and reflects the life of a being-in-the-world-with-others whose identity reflects that complex engaged reality. Human subjectivity is shaped and in-formed (formed by inner processes) that are adapted to the human life-world and embody meaning and the relatedness of a human being. Questions of identity relate to this complex and dynamic reality to reflect the fact that biology, human ecology, culture, and one's historic-political situation are inscribed in one's neural network and have configured its architecture so (...) that it is a unique and irreplaceable phenomenon. So much is a human individual a relational being whose own understanding and ownership of his or her life is both situated and distinctive that neurophilosophical conceptions of identity and human activity that neglect these features of our being are quite inadequate to ground a robust neuroethics. (shrink)
It is a commonplace that coercion forms part of the nature of law: Law is inherently coercive. But how well founded is this claim, and what would it mean for coercion to be part of the of law? This article suggests that the claim is grounded in our current conception of law. The main focus of the article, however, is upon two major lines of argument that attempt to establish a link between law and coercion: one based upon the laws (...) normativity. It argues that the claim that law is necessarily coercive because it must be efficacious is mistakens normativity is inherently linked to coercion contains an important truths claim to authority encompasses the right to authorize the use of coercion. (shrink)
The primary objective of this study is to provide a description of the major ideas about void space within and beyond the world that were formulated between the fourteenth and early eighteenth centuries. The second part of the book - on infinite, extracosmic void space - is of special significance. The significance of Professor Grant's account is twofold: it provides the first comprehensive and detailed description of the scholastic Aristotelian arguments for and against the existence of void space; and (...) it presents (again for the first time) an analysis of the possible influence of scholastic ideas and arguments on the interpretations of space proposed by the nonscholastic authors who made the Scientific Revolution possible. The concluding chapter of the book is unique in not only describing the conceptualizations of space proposed by the makers of the Scientific Revolution, but in assessing the role of readily available scholastic ideas on the conception of space adopted for the Newtonian world. (shrink)
Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two (...) quite different shifts of attitude towards the proper practice of comparative psychology. The first was a qualified acceptance of the Romanesian approach to comparative psychology that he had initially criticized. The second was a shift away from Romanes’ reliance on systematizing anecdotal evidence of animal intelligence towards an experimental approach, focused on studying the development of behaviour. We emphasize the role of Morgan’s evolving epistemological views in bringing about the first shift – in particular, his philosophy of science. We emphasize the role of an intriguing but overlooked figure in the history of comparative psychology in explaining the second shift, T. Mann Jones, whose correspondence with Morgan provided an important catalyst for Morgan’s experimental turn, particularly the special focus on development. We also shed light on the intended function of Morgan’s Canon, the methodological principle for which Morgan is now mostly known. The Canon can only be properly understood by seeing it in the context of Morgan’s own unique experimental vision for comparative psychology. (shrink)
Grant Gillett argues that it is consciousness which makes a human or other being the 'locus of ethical value'. Since cortical functioning is, in Gillett's view, necessary for conscious activity, an individual whose neocortex is permanently non-functional is no longer a locus of ethical value and cannot be benefited or harmed in a morally relevant sense. This means that there is no obligation to continue treating those who have suffered neocortical death.
In this paper, I argue (contra some recent philosophical work) that an objective distinction between natural selection and drift can be drawn. I draw this distinction by conceiving of drift, in the most fundamental sense, as an individual-level phenomenon. This goes against some other attempts to distinguish selection from drift, which have argued either that drift is a population-level process or that it is a population-level product. Instead of identifying drift with population-level features, the account introduced here can explain these (...) population-level features based on a property that I label driftability. Additionally, this account shows that biology’s “first law”—the Principle of Drift (Brandon, J Phil 102(7):319–335 2006)—is not a foundational law, but is a consequence of driftability. (shrink)
There is a growing body of literature on ethical or socially responsible investment across a range of disciplines. This paper highlights the key themes in the field and identifies some of the major theoretical and practical challenges facing both scholars and practitioners. One of these challenges is understanding better the complexity of the relationship between such investment practices and corporate behaviour. Noting that ethical investment is seldom characterised by agreement about what it actully constitutes, and that much of the extant (...) research focuses on a narrow set of issues, the paper argues that there are benefits associated with examining ethical investment as a process. (shrink)
The study of animal culture is a flourishing field, with culture being recorded in a wide range of taxa, including non-human primates, birds, cetaceans, and rodents. In spite of this research, however, the concept of culture itself remains elusive. There is no universally assented to concept of culture, and there is debate over the connection between culture and related concepts like tradition and social learning. Furthermore, it is not clear whether culture in humans and culture in non-human animals is really (...) the same thing, or merely loose analogues that go by the same name. The purpose of this paper is to explicate core desiderata for a concept of culture and then to construct a concept that meets these desiderata. The paper then applies this concept in both humans and non-human animals. (shrink)
This article presents a philosophical account of the nature of crime. It argues that the criminal law contains both fault-based crimes and strict liability offences, and that these two represent different paradigms of liability. It goes on to argue that the gist of fault-based crimes lies in their being public wrongs, not (as is often thought) because they wrong the public, but because the public is responsible for punishing them, i.e. because they merit state punishment. What makes wrongs deserving of (...) punishment is that they are seriously blameworthy, inasmuch as they evince a disrespect for the values violated. But they only merit state punishment when they violate important values, not simply due to the well-known pragmatic considerations against the use of the criminal law, but to the intrinsic expressive force of criminal conviction. Finally, the analysis of fault-based crimes points to a role for strict liability in regulating actions that are not seriously blameworthy but do increase the risk of values being damaged. (shrink)
This work explores the increasing militarization of borders throughout the world, particularly the United States border with Mexico. Rather than further rhetoric of "border security," this work views increases in guards, technology and the building of walls as militarized action. The goal of this essay is to place the onus upon states to justify their actions at borders in ways that do not appeal to tropes of terrorism. This work then explores how a logic of security infiltrates philosophical discussions of (...) "the right to exclude," thereby curtailing the ability to see borders in any other way than as a locale that must be militarized. Specifically, I analyze the work of Michael Blake and his juridical theory of immigration restrictions. I argue that his work necessitates the walling of borders and removal of those who create new obligations for current members of existing political institutions. (shrink)
The interpretation of character motivations is a crucial part of the understanding of many narratives, including those found in video games. This interpretation can be complicated in video games by the player performing the role of a player-character within the game narrative. Such performance finds the player making choices for the character and also interpreting the resulting character actions and their effect on the game's narrative. This can lead to interpretative difficulties for game narratives and their players: if a decision (...) to act is made by the player, is it that the player's own imaginative reasons for acting warrant some narrative interpretations and exclude others? To answer this I argue that we need to investigate the interactive ontology of video game narratives, the notion of game playing as interpretative performance, and the player-character, an artifact through which performance is focused in narrative games. Doing so shows there to be at least two problems with the notion of the correct interpretation of narrative games. Neither of these problems entirely negates the normativity of game narratives, however, and so players are left with the problem of how they might decide which of the possible playings are warranted. I end by making some practical suggestions for the thoughtful and narratively interested game player. (shrink)
A well-known objection to divine simplicity holds that the doctrine is incompatible with God’s contingent knowledge. I set out the objection and reject two problematic solutions. I then argue that the objection is best answered by adopting an “extrinsic model of divine knowing” according to which God’s contingent knowledge, which varies across worlds, does not involve any intrinsic variation in God. Solutions along these lines have been suggested by others. This paper advances the discussion by developing and offering partial defenses (...) of three such models. (shrink)
Antibiotic research and development has failed to produce innovative antibiotics in the past two decades, which is due to both scientific and economic factors. We reviewed national and international funding agencies and critically assessed current grant funding mechanisms. Finally, we propose four complementary grant-funding incentives aimed to help developers along the R&D pipeline. Equally important objective of these incentives is to address some of the known R&D risks and bottlenecks.
‘Neuroethics’ is a term which has come into use in the last few years, and which is variously defined. In the Preface to his book, Grant Gillett indicates the sense in which he is using it: the central questions in neuroethics, he says, are those of ‘human identity, consciousness and moral responsibility or the problem of the will’. His aim is to offer an account of human identity which can shed light on issues both in general philosophy and in (...) bioethics.The question which this account seeks to answer is stated in various ways in the book, but perhaps the simplest formulation is this: what is the difference between being somebody and being some body? The Cartesian answer, that the difference lies in the possession of an immaterial thinking substance, is rejected on the grounds that a thinking thing cannot be only a thinking thing: to think is to respond to the world in various ways, which requires bodily means of response. But the same argument also applies to the ‘Cartesian materialism’ which would identify ‘mind’ with ‘brain’. Instead …. (shrink)
Roger Scruton's 530-page blockbuster The Aesthetics of Music was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A paperback edition followed two years later. Neither received more than a handful of notices, a few appreciative, but some grudging and some actually hostile. As its quality has come to be recognized, and as the resentments it provoked have either died down or found newer targets, the book has gradually achieved a certain canonical, even classic, status. Students of the subject now seem to (...) feel that, however unpalatable some of its conclusions may have been, it can no longer safely be ignored. The questions, it appears, are the right ones, even if we don't care for Scruton's answers. (shrink)