Counterfactuals all the way down? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9437-9 Authors Jim Woodward, History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Barry Loewer, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA John W. Carroll, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA Marc Lange, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3125—Caldwell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125, USA Journal Metascience (...) Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1. (shrink)
Una de las bifurcaciones en el debate contemporáneo sobre la legitimidad de la democracia explora si ésta ofrece ventajas distintivamente epistémicas frente a otras alternativas políticas. Quienes defienden la tesis de la democracia epistémica afirman que la democracia es instrumentalmente superior o equiparable a otras formas de organización política en lo que concierne a la obtención de varios bienes epistémicos. En este ensayo presento dos (grupos de) argumentos a favor de la democracia epistémica, que se inspiran en resultados formales: el (...) teorema del jurado de Condorcet [TJC] y el teorema ‘diversidad supera habilidad’ [DSH]. Pese a su gran atractivo, sostengo que estos argumentos son incapaces de respaldar dicha tesis: no brindan razones para considerar que la democracia es epistémicamente superior (o equiparable) a algunas alternativas políticas no democráticas. En su lugar, sugiero que, sin requerir un cambio radical en nuestras formas de organización política, la epistemología democrática –el estudio de las ‘circunstancias epistémicas de la democracia’– puede ofrecer valiosas lecciones de sobre cómo optimizar, en nuestra situación, instituciones y procedimientos de toma de decisiones. Para ello, primero distingo entre varias maneras de evaluar procedimientos de toma de decisión colectiva. Argumento que, al considerarlos como formas de organización política, un factor importante en la evaluación de tales procedimientos involucra asuntos fácticos sobre los cuales puede aspirarse a obtener o promover algunos bienes epistémicos. En este contexto, presento algunos de los argumentos más importantes a favor de la democracia epistémica. A continuación, reúno algunas de las objeciones sobre la aplicabilidad de dichos argumentos y ofrezco razones independientes para dudar de que ofrezcan apoyo a la tesis de la democracia epistémica. Finalmente, defiendo que la epistemología democrática puede desempeñar un papel significativo en la legitimación de formas de organización colectiva que podrían denominarse ‘democráticas’. (shrink)
En décadas recientes se ha considerado que una formulación adecuada del autoconocimiento (AC) debería ser consistente con la tesis del externalismo (E). Michael McKinsey es uno de los personajes que ha enfatizado con mayor ahínco que la conjunción de ambas posturas es inconsistente. En este trabajo deﬁendo la idea de que las objeciones presentadas por McKinsey no afectan de manera importante la formulación davidsoniana de la autoridad de la primera persona (AC3) en conjunción con (E); señalo, además, que si no (...) pudiera hacerse una reconstrucción à la Davidson de (AC3) desde la postura de McKinsey sería en virtud de las diferencias metodológicas, semánticas, epistemológicas y ontológicas entre ambos autores, y no debido a que esta reconstrucción en sí misma sea incompatible con el externalismo. (shrink)
En el presente artículo, el autor se ocupa de esbozar una caracterización general del autoengaño desde algunas de las principales perspectivas en la materia, señalando los problemas centrales que involucra y haciendo énfasis en la línea intencionalista. Luego analiza la relación que el autoengaño guarda con la autoridad de la primera persona y qué imagen resulta de una conjunción teórica de ambos problemas.
I offer an explicit account of the underdetermination thesis as well as of the many challenges it poses to scientific realism; a way to answer to these challenges is explored and outlined, by shifting attention to the content of theories. I argue that, even if we have solid grounds (as I contend we do) to support that some varieties of the underdetermination thesis are true, scientific realism can still offer an adequate picture of the aims and achievements of science.
Algunos críticos de la ciencia afirman que es sólo un punto de vista entre otros, sin alguna autoridad epistémica especial. No obstante, en este artículo se defiende que la idea de que la investigación científica involucra una perspectiva o punto de vista no impone una restricción a su ideal de objetividad. Primero se presentan algunas aclaraciones sobre la noción de punto de vista, luego se atiende al concepto de objetividad científica, y por último se enfrentan algunos desafíos que se desprenden (...) de la noción de punto de vista y amenazan rasgos de la objetividad científica vinculados con su autoridad epistémica. -/- Some critics of science claim that it is only a point of view among others, lacking any special epistemic authority. However, this paper contends that conceiving scientific inquiry as something that involves a perspective or a point of view does not pose a constraint on its ideal of objectivity. We first put forward some clarifications on the notion of point of view, followed by some observations on scientific objectivity; finally, we face some of the challenges that rise from the notion of point of view and threaten features of scientific objectivity tied to its epistemic authority.]. (shrink)
About one third of patients with epilepsy have seizures refractory to the medical treatment. Electrical stimulation mapping is the gold standard for the identification of “eloquent” areas prior to resection of epileptogenic tissue. However, it is time-consuming and may cause undesired side effects. Broadband gamma activity recorded with extraoperative electrocorticography during cognitive tasks may be an alternative to ESM but until now has not proven of definitive clinical value. Considering their role in cognition, the alpha and beta bands could further (...) improve the identification of eloquent cortex. We compared gamma, alpha and beta activity, and their combinations for the identification of eloquent cortical areas defined by ESM. Ten patients with intractable focal epilepsy participated in a delayed-match-to-sample task, where syllable sounds were compared to visually presented letters. We used a generalized linear model approach to find the optimal weighting of each band for predicting ESM-defined categories and estimated the diagnostic ability by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Gamma activity increased more in eloquent than in non-eloquent areas, whereas alpha and beta power decreased more in eloquent areas. Diagnostic ability of each band was close to 0.7 for all bands but depended on multiple factors including the time period of the cognitive task, the location of the electrodes and the patient’s degree of attention to the stimulus. We show that diagnostic ability can be increased by 3–5% by combining gamma and alpha and by 7.5–11% when gamma and beta were combined. We then show how ECoG power modulation from cognitive testing can be used to map the probability of eloquence in individual patients and how this probability map can be used in clinical settings to optimize ESM planning. We conclude that the combination of gamma and beta power modulation during cognitive testing can contribute to the identification of eloquent areas prior to ESM in patients with refractory focal epilepsy. (shrink)
Un hommage à l'œuvre d'Emmanuel Levinas avait été organisé à la Sorbonne, peu après la mort du philosophe, certaines communications ont été publiées dans un numéro de la revue Rue Descartes. Celles-ci déclinent, selon un modèle propre à chaque auteur, un moment de ce que Levinas appelle " l'altérité d'autrui ". Deux directions caractéristiques de la pensée de Levinas sont privilégiées, l'une encline à l'exégèse et à l'étude du Talmud, dérangeant la souveraineté de la raison, l'autre, la philosophie, permettant d'accéder (...) à une réflexion partagée sur la vérité. Présentés par Danielle Cohen-Levinas, les textes sont signés par Miguel Abensour, Pierre Bouretz, Catherine Chalier, Simon Critchley, Marc de Launay, MarieLouise Mallet, Jean-Luc Marion, Stéphane Mosès, Silvana Rabinovich, Jacques Rolland, Shmuel Trigano. Le lecteur trouvera également dans la collection Quadrige, Le tempe et l autre, ouvrage regroupant quatre conférences d'Emmanuel Levinas faites au Collège de philosophie. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part I -- Doctors -- Dr. Joseph Messer -- Dr. Sharon Sandell -- ER -- Dr. John Barrett -- Marc and Noreen Levison, a paramedic and a nurse -- Lloyd (Pete) Haywood, a former gangbanger -- Claire Hellstern, a nurse -- Ed Reardon, a paramedic -- Law and Order -- Robert Soreghan, a homicide detective -- Delbert Lee Tibbs, a former death-row inmate -- War -- Dr. Frank Raila -- Haskell Wexler, a cinematographer -- Tammy (...) Snider, a Hiroshima survivor (hibakusha) -- Mothers and Sons -- V.I.M. (Victor Israel Marquez), a Vietnam vet -- Angelina Rossi, his mother -- Guadalupe Reyes, a mother -- God's Shepherds -- Rev. Willie T. Barrow -- Father Leonard Dubi -- Rabbi Robert Marx -- Pastor Tom Kok -- Rev. Ed Townley -- The Stranger -- Rick Rundle, a city sanitation worker -- Part II -- Seeing Things -- Randy Buescher, an associate architect -- Chaz Ebert, a lawyer -- Antoinette Korotko-Hatch, a church worker -- Karen Thompson, a student -- Dimitri Mihalas, an astronomer and physicist -- A View from the Bridge -- Hank Oettinger, a retired printer -- Ira Glass, a radio journalist -- Kid Pharaoh, a retired "collector" -- Quinn Brisben, a retired teacher -- Kurt Vonnegut, a writer -- The Boomer -- Bruce Bendinger, an advertising executive and writer -- Part III -- Fathers and Sons -- Doc Watson, a folksinger -- Vernon Jarrett, a journalist -- Country Women -- Peggy Terry, a retired mountain woman -- Bessie Jones, a Georgia Sea Island Singer (1972) -- Rosalie Sorrels, a traveling folksinger -- The Plague I -- Tico Valle, a young man -- Lori Cannon, "curator" of the Open Hand Society -- Brian Matthews, an ex-bartender, writer for a gay weekly -- Jewell Jenkins, a hospital aide -- Justin Hayford, a journalist, musician -- Matta Kelly, a case manager -- The Old Guy -- Jim Hapgood -- The Plague II -- Nancy Lanoue -- Out There -- Dr. Gary Slutkin -- Day of the Dead -- Carlos Cortez, a painter and poet -- Vine Deloria, a writer and teacher -- Helen Sclair, a cemetery familiar -- The Other Son -- Steve Young, a father -- Maurine Young, a mother -- The Job -- William Herdegen, an undertaker -- Rory Moina, a hospice nurse -- The End and the Beginning -- Mamie Mobley, a mother -- Dr. Marvin Jackson, a son -- Epilogue -- Kathy Fagan and Linda Gagnon, mothers. (shrink)
The demanding frontier life of My Ántonia or Little House on the Prairie may be long gone, but the idyllic small town still exists as a cherished icon of American community life. Yet sprawl and urban density, rather than small towns and farms, are the predominant features of our modern society, agribusiness and other commercial forces have rapidly taken over family farms and ranches, and even the open spaces we think of as natural retreats only retain the barest façade of (...) their former frontier austerity. The fading communities, social upheaval, and enduring heritage of the Northern Plains are the subject of Jim Dow’s Marking the Land, a stirring photographic tribute to the complex and unyielding landscape of North Dakota. Jim Dow began making pilgrimages to this remote territory in 1981 and, with a commission from the North Dakota Museum of Art, he took photographs of the passing human presence on the land. The simple, stolid pieces of architecture carved out against the Dakota skies—whether the local schoolhouse, car wash, prison, homes, hunting lodge, or churches—evoke in their spare lines and weather-battered frames the stoic and toughened spirit of the people within their walls. Folk art is also an integral part of the landscape in Dow’s visual study, and he examines the subtle evolution of local craftsmanship from homemade sculptures, murals, and carvings to carefully crafted pieces aimed at tourists. Anchoring all of these explorations is the raw and striking landscape of the North Dakota plains. Marking the Land is a moving reflection by a leading American photographer on the state of the Northern Plains today, forcing us all to rethink our conceptions of America’s forgotten frontier. (shrink)
Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. In addition, mathematicians regard some proofs as explaining why the theorems being proved do in fact hold. This book proposes new philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics.
Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food (...) when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With Wild Justice Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals. Sure to be controversial, Wild Justice offers not just cutting-edge science, but a provocative call to rethink our relationship with—and our responsibilities toward—our fellow animals. (shrink)
This book combines physics, philosophy, and history in a radical new approach to introducing the philosophy of physics. It leads the reader through several central problems in the philosophy of physics by tracing their connections to a single issue: whether a cause must be spatiotemporally local to its effect, or whether action at a distance can occur.
Donald Davidson finds folk-psychological explanations anomalous due to the open-ended and constitutive conception of rationality which they employ, and yet monist because they invoke an ontology of only physical events. An eliminative materialist who thinks that the beliefs and desires of folk-psychology are mere pre-scientific fictions cannot accept these claims, but he could accept anomalous monism construed as an analysis, merely, of the ideological and ontological presumptions of folk-psychology. Of course, eliminative materialism is itself only a guess, a marker for (...) material explanations we do not have, but it is made plausible by, inter alia, whatever difficulties we have in interpreting intentional folk-explanations realistically. And surely anomalous monism does require further explanation if it is to be accepted realistically and not dismissed as an analysis of a folk-idiom which is to be construed instrumentally at best. Some further explanation is needed of how beliefs, desires, etc. can form rational patterns which have ‘no echo in physical theory’ and yet those beliefs, desires etc. be physical events. To this end I propose to graft on to anomalous monism a modest version of functionalism. (shrink)
Throughout philosophical history, there has been a recurring argument to the effect that determinism, naturalism, or both are self-referentially incoherent. By accepting determinism or naturalism, one allegedly acquires a reason to reject determinism or naturalism. _The Epistemological Skyhook_ brings together, for the first time, the principal expressions of this argument, focusing primarily on the last 150 years. This book addresses the versions of this argument as presented by Arthur Lovejoy, A.E. Taylor, Kurt Gödel, C.S. Lewis, Norman Malcolm, Karl Popper, J.R. (...) Lucas, William Hasker, Thomas Nagel, Alvin Plantinga, and others, along with the objections presented by their many detractors. It concludes by presenting a new version of the argument that synthesizes the best aspects of the others while also rendering the argument immune to some of the most significant objections made to it. (shrink)
In his groundbreaking book, Marc Hauser puts forth a revolutionary new theory: that humans have evolved a universal moral instinct, unconsciously propelling us to deliver judgments of right and wrong independent of gender, education, and religion. Combining his cutting-edge research with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative theory vis-à-vis contemporary bioethics, religion, the law, and our everyday lives.
Marc Hauser puts forth the theory that humans have evolved a universal moral instinct, unconsciously propelling us to deliver judgments of right and wrong independent of gender, education, and religion. Combining his cutting-edge research with the latest findings in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, and anthropology, Hauser explores the startling implications of his provocative theory vis-à-vis contemporary bioethics, religion, the law, and our everyday lives.
The question of whether biologists should continue to use the Linnaean hierarchy has been a hotly debated issue. Invented before the introduction of evolutionary theory, Linnaeus's system of classifying organisms is based on outdated theoretical assumptions, and is thought to be unable to provide accurate biological classifications. Marc Ereshefsky argues that biologists should abandon the Linnaean system and adopt an alternative that is more in line with evolutionary theory. He traces the evolution of the Linnaean hierarchy from its introduction (...) to the present. He illustrates how the continued use of this system hampers our ability to classify the organic world, and then goes on to make specific recommendations for a post-Linnaean method of classification. Accessible to a wide range of readers by providing introductory chapters to the philosophy of classification and the taxonomy of biology, the book will interest both scholars and students of biology and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period (...) – its etymology is ancient Greek, and its theoretical underpinnings are medieval. Charles Sanders Peirce made major advances in semiotics, so he can act as a pipeline for these forgotten ideas. Most philosophers know Peirce as the founder of American pragmatism, but few know that he also coined the term “qualia,” which is meant to capture the intrinsic feel of an experience. Since pragmatic verification and qualia are now seen as conflicting commitments, Champagne endeavors to understand how Peirce could (or thought he could) have it both ways. The key, he suggests, is to understand how humans can insert distinctions between features that are always bound. Recent attempts to take qualities seriously have resulted in versions of panpsychism, but Champagne outlines a more plausible way to achieve this. So, while semiotics has until now been the least known branch of philosophy ending in –ics, his book shows how a better understanding of that branch can move one of the liveliest debates in philosophy forward. (shrink)
This intellectual portrait of Romain Rolland --French novelist, musicologist, dramatist, and Nobel prizewinner in 1915--focuses on his experiments with political commitment against the backdrop of European history between the two world wars. Best known as a biographer of Beethoven and for his novel, Jean-Christophe, Rolland was one of those nonconforming writers who perceived a crisis of bourgeois society in Europe before the Great War, and who consciously worked to discredit and reshape that society in the interwar period. Analyzing (...)Rolland's itinerary of engaged stands, David James Fisher clarifies aspects of European cultural history and helps decipher the ambiguities at the heart of all forms of intellectual engagement. Moving from text to context, Fisher organizes the book around a series of debates--Rolland's public and private collisions over specific committed stands--introducing the reader to the polemical style of French intellectual discourse and offering insight into what it means to be a responsible intellectual. Fisher presents Rolland's private ruminations, extensive research, and reexamination of the function and style of the French man of letters. He observes that Rolland experimented with five styles of commitment: oceanic mysticism linked to progressive, democratic politics; free thinking linked to antiwar dissent; pacifism and, ultimately, Gandhism; antifacism linked to anti-imperialism, antiracism, and all-out political resistance to fascism; and, most controversially, fellow traveling as a form of socialist humanism and the positive side of antifascism. Fisher views Rolland's engagement historically and critically, showing that engaged intellectuals of that time were neither naive propagandists nor dupes of political parties. David James Fisher makes a case for the committed writer and hopes to re-ignite the debate about commitment. For him, Romain Rolland sums up engagement in a striking, dialectical formula: "Pessimism of the Intelligence, Optimism of the Will." His story presents a powerful challenge to modern intellectuals. (shrink)
In this interview, Cynthia Hammond sits down with Marc Lafrance in order to discuss the 30-year sketching practice that led to her exhibition, Drawings for a Thicker Skin, in 2012. In this practice, Hammond made small, quick drawings of the clothes she would need for trips or key professional events. As she explains, the drawings were not just essential to knowing what to pack; they were essential to being able to pack. While she never conceived of the practice as (...) art, when invited to exhibit the drawings she found a way to relate this idiosyncratic and private practice to a larger set of ontological concerns. Clothing as a second skin is the key idea here, as Hammond and Lafrance explore what it means to navigate identity, idealized self-image, professional ‘passing’ and the skin ego. (shrink)
Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Controversies may bring people into contact with Peterson's work, but ideas are arguably what keep them there. Focusing on those ideas, this book explores Peterson’s answers to perennial questions. What is common to all humans, regardless of their background? Is complete knowledge ever possible? What would constitute a meaningful life? Why have humans evolved the capacity for intelligence? Should one treat others as individuals or as members of a group? Is a (...) single person powerless in the face of evil? What is the relation between speech, thought, and action? Why have religious myths and narratives figured so prominently in human history? Are the hierarchies we find in society good or bad? After devoting a chapter to each of these questions, Champagne unites the different strands of Peterson’s thinking in a handy summary. Champagne then spends the remaining third of the book articulating his main critical concerns. He argues that while building on tradition is inevitable and indeed desirable, Peterson’s individualist project is hindered by the non-revisable character and self-sacrificial content of religious belief. This engaging multidisciplinary study is ideal for those who know little about Peterson’s views, or for those who are familiar but want to see more clearly how Peterson’s views hang together. The debates spearheaded by Peterson are in full swing, so Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism should become a reference point for any serious engagement with Peterson’s ideas. (shrink)
Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...) Starmans & Bloom (2018) suggests that this research program conflates personal identity with mere similarity. To address this criticism, we explore how loss of someone’s morality or memories influence perceptions of identity change, and perceptions of moral duties towards the target of the change. We present participants with a classic ‘body switch’ thought experiment and after assessing perceptions of identity persistence, we present a moral dilemma, asking participants to imagine that one of the patients must die (Study 1) or be left alone in a care home for the rest of their life (Study 2). Our results highlight the importance of the continuity of moral character, suggesting lay intuitions are tracking (something like) personal identity, not just mere similarity. (shrink)
The prevailing view about the history of early modern philosophy, which the author dubs “the early modern tale” and wants to convince us is really a fairy tale, has it that the focus on ideas as a solution to various epistemological puzzles, first introduced by Descartes, created difficulties for the traditional ontological scheme of substance and mode. The early modern tale depicts the development of “the way of ideas” as abandoning ontology at least by the time of Berkeley. This, in (...) turn, fostered an antimetaphysical bias as modern philosophy developed further, elevating epistemology to its current primary status in the field. Marc Hight challenges this account by showing how, though the conception of ideas changed over time, the ontological status of ideas remained a central part of the discussion about ideas and influenced how even later thinkers like Locke, Berkeley, and Hume thought about them. By his reading of important texts in early modern philosophy, Hight aims not only to provide a more accurate history of philosophy for this period but also to resuscitate the value of metaphysics for philosophical analysis today.��. (shrink)
What is a fair distribution of resources and other goods when individuals are partly responsible for their achievements? This book develops a theory of fairness incorporating a concern for personal responsibility, opportunities and freedom. With a critical perspective, it makes accessible the recent developments in economics and philosophy that define social justice in terms of equal opportunities. It also proposes new perspectives and original ideas. The book separates mathematical sections from the rest of the text, so that the main concepts (...) and ideas are easily accessible to non-technical readers. -/- It is often thought that responsibility is a complex notion, but this monograph proposes a simple analytical framework that makes it possible to disentangle the different concepts of fairness that deal with neutralizing inequalities for which the individuals are not held responsible, rewarding their effort, respecting their choices, or staying neutral with respect to their responsibility sphere. It dwells on paradoxes and impossibilities only as a way to highlight important ethical options and always proposes solutions and reasonable compromises among the conflicting values surrounding equality and responsibility. -/- The theory is able to incorporate disincentive problems and is illustrated in the examination of applied policy issues such as: income redistribution when individuals may be held responsible for their choices of labor supply or education; social and private insurance when individuals may be held responsible for their risky lifestyle; second chance policies; the measurement of inequality of opportunities and social mobility. (shrink)
A startling look at one of this century's most influential philosophers, the book chronicles every stage of Foucault's personal and professional odyssey, from his early interest in dreams to his final preoccupation with sexuality and the nature of personal identity.
Machamer, Darden, and Craver argue that causal explanations explain effects by describing the operations of the mechanisms which produce them. One of this paper’s aims is to take advantage of neglected resources of Mechanism to rethink the traditional idea that actual or counterfactual natural regularities are essential to the distinction between causal and non-causal co-occurrences, and that generalizations describing natural regularities are essential components of causal explanations. I think that causal productivity and regularity are by no means the same thing, (...) and that the Regularists are mistaken about the roles generalizations play in causal explanation. Humean, logical empiricist, and other Regularist accounts of causal explanation have had the unfortunate effect of distracting philosophers’ from important non-explanatory scientific uses of laws and lesser generalizations which purport to describe natural regularities. My second aim is to characterize some of these uses, illustrating them with examples from neuroscientific research. (shrink)
This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
Using Jim Woodward's Counterfactual Dependency account as an example, I argue that causal claims about indeterministic systems cannot be satisfactorily analysed as including counterfactual conditionals among their truth conditions because the counterfactuals such accounts must appeal to need not have truth values. Where this happens, counterfactual analyses transform true causal claims into expressions which are not true.
The author looks at the continuing debate about the meaning of quantum theory. The historical development of the theory is traced from the turn of the century through to the 1930's, and the famous debate between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.
Kant posits the schema as a hybrid bridging the generality of pure concepts and the particularity of sensible intuitions. However, I argue that countenancing such schemata leads to a third-man regress. Siding with those who think that the mid-way posit of the Critique of Pure Reason's schematism section is untenable, my diagnosis is that Kant's transcendental inquiry goes awry because it attempts to analyse a form/matter union that is primitive. I therefore sketch a nonrepresentational stance aimed at respecting this primitivity.
Are psychopaths morally responsible? Should we argue with them? Remonstrate with them, blame them, sometimes even praise them? Is it worth trying to change them, or should we just try to prevent them from causing harm? In this book, Jim Baxter aims to find serious answers to these deep philosophical questions, drawing on contemporary insights from psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience and law. Moral Responsibility and the Psychopath is the first sustained, book-length philosophical work on this important and fascinating topic, and will (...) be of deep interest and importance to researchers in these fields – not to mention anyone who has had to interact with a psychopath in their everyday life. (shrink)
Knowledge closure is the claim that, if an agent S knows P, recognizes that P implies Q, and believes Q because it is implied by P, then S knows Q. Closure is a pivotal epistemological principle that is widely endorsed by contemporary epistemologists. Against Knowledge Closure is the first book-length treatment of the issue and the most sustained argument for closure failure to date. Unlike most prior arguments for closure failure, Marc Alspector-Kelly's critique of closure does not presuppose any (...) particular epistemological theory; his argument is, instead, intuitively compelling and applicable to a wide variety of epistemological views. His discussion ranges over much of the epistemological landscape, including skepticism, warrant, transmission and transmission failure, fallibilism, sensitivity, safety, evidentialism, reliabilism, contextualism, entitlement, circularity and bootstrapping, justification, and justification closure. As a result, the volume will be of interest to any epistemologist or student of epistemology and related subjects. (shrink)
Reposant la question de la structure logique de la modalite chez Kuki, cette etude vise a mettre en evidence les multiples dimensions du temps humain. Une telle meditation s’accompagne d’une reflexion sur le ≪ vecu ≫ de la vie concrete dont Kuki fournit une elucidation que l’on pourrait qualifier de metaphysique. Cette metaphysique de la vie est a rapprocher de la pensee de l’Instant tel que Kierkegaard le pense, de la temporalisation heideggerienne et de la duree chez Bergson. Mais le (...) philosophe le plus important convoque par Kuki reste Nietzsche dont la pensee fulgurante de l’eternel retour du meme nourrit la categorie de la contingence de l’existence. Sauf que precisement, la contingence ne peut pas etre une categorie. La philosophie nietzscheenne traverse et nourrit l’oeuvre de Kuki. La presente etude a pour ambition de laisser se confronter la pensee du retour et le temps de la duree. C’est dire qu’il est question ici de reflexion metaphysique sur cette dimension fondamentale de la conscience qu’est la forme du sens interne. Utiliser cette notion c’est eo ipso faire reference a Kant. Quels sont les rapports de ces multiples temporalites avec le temps eternel des dieux et du destin, telle est la question que souleve l’opus magnum de Kuki. Nous montrons les articulations d’abord logico-metaphysiques, ensuite existentiales de la structure de l’existant. C’est le raffinement esthetique de l’aristocrate qu’etait Kuki qui a nourri notre essai de penser et de comprendre la structure de l’Iki. (shrink)
Scientists obtain a great deal of the evidence they use by observingnatural and experimentally generated objects and effects. Much of thestandard philosophical literature on this subject comes from20th century logical positivists and empiricists, theirfollowers, and critics who embraced their issues and accepted some oftheir assumptions even as they objected to specific views. Theirdiscussions of observational evidence tend to focus on epistemologicalquestions about its role in theory testing. This entry follows theirlead even though observational evidence also plays important andphilosophically interesting roles (...) in other areas including scientificdiscovery and the application of scientific theories to practicalproblems. (shrink)