This study uses the television show Cash Cab as a natural experiment to investigate gender differences in decision making under uncertainty. As expected, men are much more likely to accept the end-of-game gamble than are women, but men and women appear to weigh performance variables differently when relying on subjective probabilities. At best men base their risky decisions on general aspects of their previous “good” play (not all of which is relevant at the time the decision is made) and at (...) worst fail to condition their risky decisions on any of the relevant information available to them. In sharp contrast, women appear to consider all of the information available to them, including previous “poor” play as well as their most recent confident “good” play, which, by design, is likely the most relevant information to consider. (shrink)
Conspiracy theories are typically thought to be examples of irrational beliefs, and thus unlikely to be warranted. However, recent work in Philosophy has challenged the claim that belief in conspiracy theories is irrational, showing that in a range of cases, belief in conspiracy theories is warranted. However, it is still often said that conspiracy theories are unlikely relative to non-conspiratorial explanations which account for the same phenomena. However, such arguments turn out to rest upon how we define what gets counted (...) both as a ‘conspiracy’ and a ‘conspiracy theory’, and such arguments rest upon shaky assumptions. It turns out that it is not clear that conspiracy theories are prima facie unlikely, and so the claim that such theories do not typically appear in our accounts of the best explanations for particular kinds of events needs to be reevaluated. (shrink)
Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general group of conspiracy theorists turn out to (...) be merely a set of stereotypical behaviours and thought patterns associated with a purported subset of that group. If we understand that the supposed prob- lem of belief in conspiracy theories is centred on the beliefs of this purported sub- set––the conspiracists––then we can reconcile the recent philosophical contribu- tions to the wider academic debate on the rationality of belief in conspiracy theories. (shrink)
In the literature on conspiracy theories, the least contentious part of the academic discourse would appear to be what we mean by a “conspiracy”: a secretive plot between two or more people toward some end. Yet what, exactly, is the connection between something being a conspiracy and it being secret? Is it possible to conspire without also engaging in secretive behavior? To dissect the role of secrecy in con- spiracies – and thus contribute to the larger debate on the epistemology (...) of conspir- acy theories – we dene the concepts of “conspiracy,” “conspirator,” and “secret,” and argue that while conspirators might typically be thought to commit to keeping secrets once their conspiracy is underway, the idea that conspiracies are necessarily secretive to start with is not as obvious as previously thought. (shrink)
The contributors to this volume argue that whilst there is a commonplace superstition conspiracy theories are examples of bad beliefs (and that the kind of people who believe conspiracy theories are typically irrational), many conspiracy theories are rational to believe: the members of the Dewey Commission were right to say that the Moscow Trials of the 1930s were a sham; Woodward and Bernstein were correct to think that Nixon was complicit in the conspiracy to deny any wrongdoing in the Watergate (...) Hotel break in; and if we either accept the terrorist events of 9/11 were committed by Al-Qaeda, or that the Bush Administration was responsible, then it seems we are endorsing some theory about a conspiracy to commit an act of terror on American soil. As such, there is no reason to reject conspiracy theories sui generis. This volume challenges the prima facie that conspiracy theories are irrational beliefs, arguing that we should treat conspiracy theories and the phenomena of conspiracy theories seriously. It presents fresh perspectives from the wider philosophical, sociological and psychological community on what is becoming an issue of increasing relevance in our time. (shrink)
Building on philosophy of science literature and two original studies, this paper argues for the necessity of incorporating all three portions of Wood''s (1991) theoretical model of corporate social performance (CSP) into its measurement. It begins by describing the two studies of an organizational phenomenon not commonly studied – internal fund drives to employees. Insights from these studies of corporate PAC and United Way campaigns are then used to illustrate how important it is to incorporate all three portions of Wood''s (...) model into the measurement of CSP to prevent drawing faulty conclusions. The paper concludes by providing a matrix for use in testing the validity of CSP measures. (shrink)
Health professionals are involved in humanitarian assistance and development work in many regions of the world. They participate in primary health care, immunization campaigns, clinic- and hospital-based care, rehabilitation and feeding programs. In the course of this work, clinicians are frequently exposed to complex ethical issues. This paper examines how health workers experience ethics in the course of humanitarian assistance and development work. A qualitative study was conducted to consider this question. Five core themes emerged from the data, including: tension (...) between respecting local customs and imposing values; obstacles to providing adequate care; differing understandings of health and illness; questions of identity for health workers; and issues of trust and distrust. Recommendations are made for organizational strategies that could help aid agencies support and equip their staff as they respond to ethical issues. (shrink)
This article poses a challenge to the assumption that all conceptions of the imago Dei are practical, meaning that they can coherently provide a guide for human action. The article identifies three criteria for practicality and applies them to two accounts of the imago, one in the thought of the twentieth-century theologian Helmut Thielicke, the other in the Roman Catholic tradition. It argues that Thielicke’s account of the imago, which forms the basis for what he calls ‘alien dignity’, fails to (...) meet the criteria of practicality, and thus cannot serve as an adequate guide for action. In contrast, the account of the imago and human dignity in the Roman Catholic tradition does meet the criteria. This comparison, the article concludes, ultimately helps provide a means of assessing diverse theological interpretations of the imago and their value for supporting a morally useful conception of human worth. (shrink)
Previous findings indicate that negative arousal enhances bottom-up attention biases favouring perceptual salient stimuli over less salient stimuli. The current study tests whether those effects were driven by emotional arousal or by negative valence by comparing how well participants could identify visually presented letters after hearing either a negative arousing, positive arousing or neutral sound. On each trial, some letters were presented in a high contrast font and some in a low contrast font, creating a set of targets that differed (...) in perceptual salience. Sounds rated as more emotionally arousing led to more identification of highly salient letters but not of less salient letters, whereas sounds’ valence ratings did not impact salience biases. Thus, arousal, rather than valence, is a key factor enhancing visual processing of perceptually salient targets. (shrink)
Most philosophical defences of the state’s right to exclude immigrants derive their strength from the normative importance of self-determination. If nation-states are taken to be the political institutions of a people, then the state’s right to exclude is the people’s right to exclude – and a denial of this right constitutes an abridgement of self-determination. In this paper, I argue that this view of self-determination does not cohere with a group-agency view of nation-states. On the group-agency view that I defend, (...) a nation-state is the kind of group-agent that does not supervene on the intentionality of member/citizens. If we think that a nation-state is an intentional group-agent in its own right, then we should think that self-determination resides with the institutions of the state rather than with the citizens. If nation-states do not supervene on the intentionality of citizens, then it is unclear why citizens might have the right to control membership in the state as a feature of self-determination. (shrink)
A reply to Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger's piece, '“They” Respond: Comments on Basham et al.’s “Social Science’s Conspiracy-Theory Panic: Now They Want to Cure Everyone”.
From the early modern period, Western epistemologists have often been concerned with a rigorous notion of epistemic justification, epitomized in the work of Descartes: properly held beliefs require insulation from extreme skepticism. To the degree that veridical cognitive states may be indistinguishable from non-veridical states, apparently veridical states cannot enjoy high-grade positive epistemic status. Therefore, a good believer begins from what are taken to be neutral, subjective experiences and reasons outward—hopefully identifying the kinds of appearances that properly link up to (...) the world and those that do not. Good beliefs, beliefs that are justified (warranted, etc.), are those that a believer has .. (shrink)
Much of classical Hindu thought has centered on the question of self: what is it, how does it relate to various features of the world, and how may we benefit by realizing its depths? Attempting to gain a conceptual foothold on selfhood, Hindu thinkers commonly suggest that its distinctive feature is consciousness (caitanya). Well-worn metaphors compare the self to light as its awareness illumines the world of knowable objects. Consciousness becomes a touchstone to recognize the presence of a self. A (...) rock is insentient, void of consciousness, and purely an object. Selves, however, are loci of awareness and thus subjects. Some schools, most notably classical Sāṁkhya and Advaita Vedānta, take this approach to its furthest conclusion: consciousness is not only unique to the self, but is the fundamental feature of selfhood. Other putative features of the self—feelings, memories, moral responsibility, and importantly, agency (kartṛtva)—are taken to be the impositions of insentient matter (prakṛti) or symptoms of primordial illusion (avidyā). Against this position, Nyāya defends a more robust notion of selfhood, placing qualities like desire, aversion, volition, and moral responsibility alongside cognition as the self’s distinctive qualities. These various aspects of selfhood come together neatly when we consider agency. An agent performs intentional actions under her volition, which is triggered by her own cognitive and affective states. Her volitional acts further generate moral consequences which she must bear, and which are, in the Indian context, embodied in the form of karmic merit and demerit. For Nyāya, agency is, therefore, a special expression of the self’s different capacities and potentialities, which coherently binds them together. Nyāya’s view is an important contribution to Indian theories of self as it is a counterpoint to what we may call exclusively cognitive accounts of selfhood in other influential Hindu schools, as noted above. The first half of this paper will consider Nyāya’s conception of agency in relation to selfhood. The second half will discuss Nyāya’s arguments with other Hindu schools—specifically Sāṁkhya—in support of the thesis that the self must be an agent as well as a knower. (shrink)
Various authors have argued that progress in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric sciences might threaten the commonsense understanding of how the mind generates behavior, and, as a consequence, it might also threaten the commonsense ways of attributing moral responsibility, if not the very notion of moral responsibility. In the case of actions that result in undesirable outcomes, the commonsense conception—which is reflected in sophisticated ways in the legal conception—tells us that there are circumstances in which the agent is entirely and fully (...) responsible for the bad outcome and circumstances in which the agent is not at all responsible for the bad outcome. (shrink)
Healthcare user fees present an important barrier for accessing services for the poorest (indigents) in Burkina Faso and selective removal of fees has been incorporated in national healthcare planning. However, establishing fair, effective and sustainable mechanisms for the removal of user fees presents important challenges. A participatory action-research project was conducted in Ouargaye, Burkina Faso, to test mechanisms for identifying those who are indigents, and funding and implementing user fee removal. In this paper, we explore stakeholder perceptions of ethical considerations (...) relating to participation and partnership arising in the action-research. (shrink)
Plasticity of body representation fundamentally underpins human tool use. Recent studies have demonstrated remarkably complex plasticity of body representation in humans, showing that such plasticity (1) occurs flexibly across multiple time scales and (2) involves multiple body representations responding differently to tool use. Such findings reveal remarkable sophistication of body plasticity in humans, suggesting that Vaesen may overestimate the similarity of such mechanisms in humans and non-human primates.
Despite the growing popularityof farmers' markets (FMs) across the UnitedStates, the experiences and perspectives offarmers who sell at markets have received verylittle research attention. This study describesthe views of 18 farmers from Upstate New Yorkon the importance of FMs as part of theirlifestyle and livelihood, the challenges theyface selling at markets, and their conceptionsof ideal FMs. Through in-depth, semi-structuredinterviews, farmers expressed economic andsocial motivations for selling at FMs; socialbenefits from interacting with customers; andthe challenges they faced as small-scalefarmers and sellers, (...) including extra-marketcompetition, uncooperative and problematicmarket vendors, rising farm input costs, andchanging consumer trends. Farmers alsodiscussed personal values associated withselling at FMs, such as pride in raising andmarketing one's own products, working togetherwith other farmer-vendors, and providingcustomers with honest information. Visions ofideal FMs were varied among farmers, but therewas general agreement that FMs should provide adiversity of products to attract customers andeducational opportunities for the public tolearn more about FMs and local produce. Theinterdependence of FM farmers was a majoremergent theme across interviews. Findingssuggested that market experiences of FMfarmers, including economic success, are notonly contingent on personal effort, but canalso be affected by the work of fellow vendors.Future research may look to further explore howFM farmers and other vendors interact ascooperative and competitive social and economicunits. At the community level, FM leadershipshould continue to focus on the experiences andperspectives of farmers and other marketvendors, in addition to identifying ways forenhancing cooperative FM enterprises. (shrink)
This article seeks evidence of Herodotus's conception of his historical enterprise in the recurring scenes in which he portrays barbarian kings as inquirers and investigators. Through these scenes-involving most notably Psammetichus, Etearchus, Croesus, Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius, and Xerxes-the historian not only explores the character of autocrats, but also holds up a mirror to his own activity as inquirer. Once we recognize the metahistorical dimension of Herodotus's representation of inquiring kings, we can better understand the scenes in which these figures appear (...) and the historian who sees his own enterprise reflected or distorted in their efforts. I argue first that the tale of Darius's inquiry concerning the Paeonian wonder-woman is a paradigmatic Herodotean treatment of kingly inquiry in the way the historian both identifies with, and distances himself from, his kingly investigator. I then assess kingly research under three headings that reflect some of the many ways that Herodotean kings use and abuse investigation: Measurement and Self-Aggrandizement; Exploration and Conquest; Trial, Torture, and Test. Under the final rubric, kingly experiments are the focus, some involving human subjects , others involving the divine . Herodotus's extensive analysis of inquiring kings indicates that any earlier investigator-measurer, explorer, or experimenter-is a potential rival for him. If Herodotus is conscious that he is following in the footsteps of inquiring kings, however, his critique of their techniques and motives suggests that his inquiry is intellectually and ethically superior to theirs. Ultimately, then, Herodotus's exploration of regal investigation helps both to define and to lend authority to the historiê that he undertakes in the Histories. (shrink)
Environmental problems compel examination of three contrasting patterns of moral reasoning concerning the human relationship to nature: the currently implemented Progress Ethic, and the proposed alternatives of a Stewardship Ethic and Connection Ethic. But none of these deliver all they promise, whether in theory or practice or both, because all dubiously presume that moral reason is commensurate with nature, and that the value of natural entities is an intrinsic property. Matthew R. Foster argues that resolution of this crisis requires (...) reaching beyond the limit of reason, and acknowledging value to be not a noun, but a verb about the incomparable relation of two entities. (shrink)
Despite enthusiasm for patient-centered care, the practice of patient-centered care is proving challenging. Further, it is curious that the literature about this subject does not explicitly address patient autonomy, since patients guide care in patient-centered care, and respect for patient autonomy is a prominent health-care value. We argue that by explicitly adopting a relational conception of autonomy as an essential component, patient-centered care becomes more coherent, is strengthened, and could help practitioners to make better use of a principle of respect (...) for autonomy. Hence, its use appears promising to narrow the theory–practice gap. (shrink)
Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Practices: Process and Criteria for Evaluating Adaptations of Norms and Standards in Health Care Institutions Content Type Journal Article Pages 327-339 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9115-8 Authors Matthew R. Hunt, McMaster University Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Montreal Canada Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4.
Pakṣilasvāmin Vātsyāyana (c. 450 CE) is the author of the Commentary on Nyāya (Nyāya-bhāṣya), the first full commentary on the Nyāya-sūtra of Gautama (c. 150 CE), which is itself the foundational text of the school of philosophy called “Nyāya.” The Nyāya tradition is home to a number of leading voices within the classical Indian philosophical scene and is celebrated in later doxographies as one of the six “orthodox” systems of Hindu thought. Given the way that sūtra texts and their first (...) commentaries are profoundly intertwined, Vātsyāyana’s work provides a formative vision of Nyāya’s self-conception as a philosophical system as well as interpretive strategies, central lines of argumentation, and determinations of importance that later Naiyāyikas (Nyāya philosophers) often take to be as much as a given as the original text itself. Along with its sustained defense of metaphysical realism across various fronts, Nyāya is best known for its achievements in epistemology and logic, and as indicated by the title of this chapter, the lens through which we will explore Vātsyāyana’s thought is his theory of knowledge. We will give special attention to his account of the nature and importance of cognition as a guide to action and will illustrate the way in which this theme informs a number of apparently distinct elements of his project including his realism, his account of epistemic entitlement, and his notion of philosophy’s contribution to living well. (shrink)