Linguists have seen creating dictionaries of endangered languages as a key activity in language maintenance and revival work. However, like any approach to language engineering, there are concerns to address. The first is the tension between language documentation and language maintenance2. The second is the role of literacy. A lot of effort has been put into vernacular literacy, on the assumption that it assists language maintenance, as well as language documentation. In some respects this is a dubious assumption, because writing (...) a language does not necessarily lead to speaking it or maintaining the language. Moreover, in some cases putting effort into writing the language can detract from efforts to encourage learners to speak the language. It is certain that much more effort should be put into oral language development. (shrink)
Dictionaries have long been seen as an essential contribution by linguists to work on endangered languages. We report on preliminary investigations of actual dictionary usage and usability by 76 speakers, semi-speakers and learners of Australian Aboriginal languages. The dictionaries include: electronic and printed bilingual Warlpiri-English dictionaries, a printed trilingual Alawa-Kriol- English dictionary, and a printed bilingual Warumungu-English dictionary. We examine competing demands for completeness of coverage and ease of access, and focus on the prospects of electronic dictionaries for solving many (...) traditional problems, based in particular on observations on the usability of a prototype interface developed in our project. The flexibility of computer interfaces can help accommodate different needs including those of speakers with emerging literacy skills, but they are not useful in communities where computer access is generally unavailable. (shrink)
In the present article two possible meanings of the term mathematical structure are discussed: a formal and a nonformal one. It is claimed that contemporary mathematics is structural only in the nonformal sense of the term. Bourbaki's definition of structure is presented as one among several attempts to elucidate the meaning of that nonformal idea by developing a formal theory which allegedly accounts for it. It is shown that Bourbaki's concept of structure was, from a mathematical point of view, a (...) superfluous undertaking. This is done by analyzing the role played by the concept, in the first place, within Bourbaki's own mathematical output. Likewise, the interaction between Bourbaki's work and the first stages of category theory is analyzed, on the basis of both published texts and personal documents. (shrink)
In this paper, I begin by defending permissivism: the claim that, sometimes, there is more than one way to rationally respond to a given body of evidence. Then I argue that, if we accept permissivism, certain worries that arise as a result of learning that our beliefs were caused by the communities we grew up in, the schools we went to, or other irrelevant influences dissipate. The basic strategy is as follows: First, I try to pinpoint what makes irrelevant influences (...) worrying and I come up with two candidate principles. I then argue that one principle should be rejected because it is inconsistent with permissivism. The principle we should accept implies that it is sometimes rational to maintain our beliefs, even upon learning that they were caused by irrelevant influences. (shrink)
How is medical knowledge made? There have been radical changes in recent decades, through new methods such as consensus conferences, evidence-based medicine, translational medicine, and narrative medicine. Miriam Solomon explores their origins, aims, and epistemic strengths and weaknesses; and she offers a pluralistic approach for the future.
In this essay, I respond to the critical remarks of Louise Barrett, Amanda Corris and Anthony Chemero, and Daniel Hutto on my book Enactivist Interventions. In doing so, I consider whether behaviorism can make a contribution to enactivist theory, whether synergies are the same as dynamical gestalts, and whether the brain can add anything to mathematical reasoning.
This paper is about the connection between rationality and accuracy. I show that one natural picture about how rationality and accuracy are connected emerges if we assume that rational agents are rationally omniscient. I then develop an alternative picture that allows us to relax this assumption, in order to accommodate certain views about higher order evidence.
The difference between cause and effect seems obvious and crucial in ordinary life, yet missing from modern physics. Almost a century ago, Bertrand Russell called the law of causality 'a relic of a bygone age'. In this important collection 13 leading scholars revisit Russell's revolutionary conclusion, discussing one of the most significant and puzzling issues in contemporary thought.
In recent years, permissivism—the claim that a body of evidence can rationalize more than one response—has enjoyed somewhat of a revival. But it is once again being threatened, this time by a host of new and interesting arguments that, at their core, are challenging the permissivist to explain why rationality matters. A version of the challenge that I am especially interested in is this: if permissivism is true, why should we expect the rational credences to be more accurate than the (...) irrational ones? My aim is to turn this challenge on its head and argue that, actually, those who deny permissivism will have a harder time responding to such a challenge than those who accept it. (shrink)
The question of whether it is ever permissible to believe on insufficient evidence has once again become a live question. Greater attention is now being paid to practical dimensions of belief, namely issues related to epistemic virtue, doxastic responsibility, and voluntarism. In this book, McCormick argues that the standards used to evaluate beliefs are not isolated from other evaluative domains. The ultimate criteria for assessing beliefs are the same as those for assessing action because beliefs and actions are both products (...) of agency. Two important implications of this thesis, both of which deviate from the dominant view in contemporary philosophy, are 1) it can be permissible to believe for non-evidential reasons, and 2) we have a robust control over many of our beliefs, a control sufficient to ground attributions of responsibility for belief. (shrink)
Greaves and Wallace argue that conditionalization maximizes expected accuracy. In this paper I show that their result only applies to a restricted range of cases. I then show that the update procedure that maximizes expected accuracy in general is one in which, upon learning P, we conditionalize, not on P, but on the proposition that we learned P. After proving this result, I provide further generalizations and show that much of the accuracy-first epistemology program is committed to KK-like iteration principles (...) and to the existence of a class of propositions that rational agents will be certain of if and only if they are true. (shrink)
For the last forty years, two claims have been at the core of disputes about scientific change: that scientists reason rationally and that science is progressive. For most of this time discussions were polarized between philosophers, who defended traditional Enlightenment ideas about rationality and progress, and sociologists, who espoused relativism and constructivism. Recently, creative new ideas going beyond the polarized positions have come from the history of science, feminist criticism of science, psychology of science, and anthropology of science. Addressing the (...) traditional arguments as well as building on these new ideas, Miriam Solomon constructs a new epistemology of science. After discussions of the nature of empirical success and its relation to truth, Solomon offers a new, social account of scientific rationality. She shows that the pursuit of empirical success and truth can be consistent with both dissent and consensus, and that the distinction between dissent and consensus is of little epistemic significance. In building this social epistemology of science, she shows that scientific communities are not merely the locus of distributed expert knowledge and a resource for criticism but also the site of distributed decision making. Throughout, she illustrates her ideas with case studies from late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century physical and life sciences. Replacing the traditional focus on methods and heuristics to be applied by individual scientists, Solomon emphasizes science funding, administration, and policy. One of her goals is to have a positive influence on scientific decision making through practical social recommendations. (shrink)
Public participation in scientific research has gained prominence in many scientific fields, but the theory of participatory research is still limited. In this paper, we suggest that the divergence of values and goals between academic researchers and public participants in research is key to analyzing the different forms this research takes. We examine two existing characterizations of participatory research: one in terms of public participants' role in the research, the other in terms of the virtues of the research. In our (...) view, each of these captures an important feature of participatory research but is, on its own, limited in what features it takes into account. We introduce an expanded conception of norms of collaboration that extends to both academic researchers and public participants. We suggest that satisfying these norms requires consideration of the two groups' possibly divergent values and goals, and that a broad characterization of participatory research that starts from participants' values and goals can motivate both public participants’ role in the research and the virtues of the research. The resulting framework clarifies the similarities and differences among participatory projects and can help guide the responsible design of such projects. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to apply the accuracy based approach to epistemology to the case of higher order evidence: evidence that bears on the rationality of one's beliefs. I proceed in two stages. First, I show that the accuracy based framework that is standardly used to motivate rational requirements supports steadfastness—a position according to which higher order evidence should have no impact on one's doxastic attitudes towards first order propositions. The argument for this will require a generalization of (...) an important result by Greaves and Wallace for the claim that conditionalization maximizes expected accuracy. The generalization I provide will, among other things, allow us to apply the result to cases of self-locating evidence. In the second stage, I develop an alternative framework. Very roughly, what distinguishes the traditional approach from the alternative one is that, on the traditional picture, we're interested in evaluating the expected accuracy of conforming to an update procedure. On the alternative picture that I develop, instead of considering how good an update procedure is as a plan to conform to, we consider how good it is as a plan to make. I show how, given the use of strictly proper scoring rules, the alternative picture vindicates calibrationism: a view according to which higher order evidence should have a significant impact on our beliefs. I conclude with some thoughts about why higher order evidence poses a serious challenge for standard ways of thinking about rationality. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to describe a problem for calibrationism: a view about higher order evidence according to which one's credences should be calibrated to one's expected degree of reliability. Calibrationism is attractive, in part, because it explains our intuitive judgments, and provides a strong motivation for certain theories about higher order evidence and peer disagreement. However, I will argue that calibrationism faces a dilemma: There are two versions of the view one might adopt. The first version, I (...) argue, has the implausible consequence that, in a wide range of cases, calibrationism is the only constraint on rational belief. The second version, in addition to having some puzzling consequences, is unmotivated. At the end of the paper I sketch a possible solution. (shrink)
It has been claimed that, in response to certain kinds of evidence, agents ought to adopt imprecise credences: doxastic states that are represented by sets of credence functions rather than single ones. In this paper I argue that, given some plausible constraints on accuracy measures, accuracy-centered epistemologists must reject the requirement to adopt imprecise credences. I then show that even the claim that imprecise credences are permitted is problematic for accuracy-centered epistemology. It follows that if imprecise credal states are permitted (...) or required in the cases that their defenders appeal to, then the requirements of rationality can outstrip what would be warranted by an interest in accuracy. (shrink)
This book is a wonderful resource for historians and philosophers of mathematics and physics alike, not just for Hilbert's own work in physics, but also because Corry sets Hilbert in context, bringing out the people with whom Hilbert had contact, describing their work and possible links with Hilbert's work, and describing the activities going on around Hilbert. The historical thesis of this book is that Hilbert worked on a wide range of issues in physics for a period lasting more than (...) two decades, employing and developing his axiomatic approach throughout. One conclusion that follows from this is that Hilbert's 1915–1917 work relating to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was a natural continuation of Hilbert's pre-existing interests and activities, and not a one-off foray into foreign territory. 1Of especial interest to philosophers of mathematics are two further theses. Corry stresses that for Hilbert geometry is an empirical science, and related to this argues first, that Hilbert intends the axiomatic method to be used in enhancing our understanding of the content of a given theory via relating the results of the axiomatic investigation back to the intuitive content of the axioms; and, second, that to understand Hilbert's axiomatic approach in mathematics we must pay serious attention to his work in physics.Corry also hopes to show ‘the significant and unique contribution of Hilbert to certain important developments in twentieth-century physics’ . 2 In the end, this assessment of Hilbert's contribution to physics is far from clear cut: the two cases where Hilbert goes into the details of a physical theory show him lacking feel for what is important physically with respect to that theory. Nevertheless, philosophers and historians of physics will find a great deal to interest them in the story of Hilbert's involvement in physics, and in the details …. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to argue that, if a robust form of moral realism is true, then moral vagueness is ontic vagueness. The argument is by elimination: I show that neither semantic nor epistemic approaches to moral vagueness are satisfactory.
Embodied approaches in cognitive science hold that the body is crucial for cognition. What this claim amounts to, however, still remains unclear. This paper contributes to its clarification by confronting three ways of understanding embodiment—the sensorimotor approach, extended cognition and enactivism—with Locked-in syndrome. LIS is a case of severe global paralysis in which patients are unable to move and yet largely remain cognitively intact. We propose that LIS poses a challenge to embodied approaches to cognition requiring them to make explicit (...) the notion of embodiment they defend and its role for cognition. We argue that the sensorimotor and the extended functionalist approaches either fall short of accounting for cognition in LIS from an embodied perspective or do it too broadly by relegating the body only to a historical role. Enactivism conceives of the body as autonomous system and of cognition as sense-making. From this perspective embodiment is not equated with bodily movement but with forms of agency that do not disappear with body paralysis. Enactivism offers a clarifying perspective on embodiment and thus currently appears to be the framework in embodied cognition best suited to address the challenge posed by LIS. (shrink)
The world is a complex place, and this complexity is an obstacle to our attempts to explain, predict, and control it. In Power and Influence, Richard Corry investigates the assumptions that are built into the reductive method of explanation—the method whereby we deal with complexity by studying the components of a complex system in relative isolation and use the information so gained to explain or predict the behaviour of the complex whole. He investigates the metaphysical presuppositions built into the reductive (...) method, seeking to ascertain what the world must be like in order that the method could work. Corry argues that the method assumes the existence of causal powers that manifest causal influence—a relatively unrecognised ontological category, of which forces are a paradigm example. The success of the reductive method, therefore, is an argument for the existence of such causal influences. The book goes on to show that adding causal influence to our ontology gives us the resources to solve some traditional problems in the metaphysics of causal powers, laws of nature, causation, emergence, and possibly even normative ethics. What results, then, is not just an understanding of the reductive method, but an integrated metaphysical worldview that is grounded in an ontology of power and influence. (shrink)
To compare Merleau-Ponty’s and Deleuze’s phenomenal bodies, I first examine how for Merleau-Ponty phenomena appear on the basis of three levels of integration: 1) between the parts of the world, 2) between the parts of the body, and 3) between the body and its world. I contest that Deleuze’s attacks on phenomenology can be seen as constructive critiques rather than as being expressions of an anti-phenomenological position. By building from Deleuze’s definition of the phenomenon and from his more phenomenologically relevant (...) writings, we find that phenomena for him are given to the body under exactly the opposite conditions as for Merleau-Ponty, namely that 1) the world’s differences 2) appear to a disordered body that 3) comes into shocking affective contact with its surroundings. I argue that a Deleuzian theory of bodily-given phenomena is better suited than Merleau-Ponty’s model in the task of accounting for the intensity of phenomenal appearings. (shrink)
Abstract: This paper defends a constraint that any satisfactory decision theory must satisfy. I show how this constraint is violated by all of the decision theories that have been endorsed in the literature that are designed to deal with cases in which opinions or values are represented by a set of functions rather than a single one. Such a decision theory is necessary to account for the existence of what Ruth Chang has called “parity” (as well as for cases in (...) which agents have incomplete preferences or imprecise credences). The problem with the all of the decision theories that have been defended to account for parity is that they are committed to a claim I call unanimity: when all of the functions in the set agree that an agent ought to do A, then an agent ought to do A. A decision theory committed to unanimity violates the constraint I defend in this paper. Thus, if parity exists, a new approach to decision theory is necessary. (shrink)
Organisms live not as discrete entities on which an independent environment acts, but as members of a reproductive lineage in an ongoing series of interactions between that lineage and a dynamic ecological niche. These interactions continuously shape both systems in a reciprocal manner, resulting in the emergence of reliably co-occurring configurations within and between both systems. The enactive approach to cognition describes this relationship as the structural coupling between an organism and its environment; similarly, Developmental Systems Theory emphasizes the reciprocal (...) nature of structurally coupled systems in its analysis of organisms as developmental processes embedded within a developmental system. Through an enactive-developmental systems framing, this paper identifies the organizational features of cognizing systems in order to motivate a picture of how organism and environment co-determine and co-construct one another. I argue that organisms can be characterized as self-organizing, operationally closed, plastic systems ecologically embedded within a developmental system. In virtue of this organizational makeup, organisms actively engage in the modulation and assessment of their coupling with their environment: cognitive strategies that entail contextualized responses to variations across the web of interactions that comprises the developmental system. (shrink)
It seems like we care about at least two features of our credence function: gradational-accuracy and verisimilitude. Accuracy-first epistemology requires that we care about one feature of our credence function: gradational-accuracy. So if you want to be a verisimilitude-valuing accuracy-firster, you must be able to think of the value of verisimilitude as somehow built into the value of gradational-accuracy. Can this be done? In a recent article, Oddie has argued that it cannot, at least if we want the accuracy measure (...) to be proper. I argue that it can. 1Introduction2Some Nuts and Bolts3First Attempts4Oddie’s Constraint5The Good5.1Proximity over the disagreement metric 5.2Proximity over the magnitude metric 6The Bad and the Ugly 7Some More Good: The Role of Evenness of Distribution 8Some More Bad: Which Propositions to Privilege? 9Concluding Thoughts: Accuracy and Practical Value. (shrink)
My main aim in this paper is to specify conditions that distinguish rational, or justified, hope from irrational, or unjustified hope. I begin by giving a brief characterization of hope and then turn to offering some criteria of rational hope. On my view both theoretical and practical norms are significant when assessing hope’s rationality. While others have recognized that there are theoretical and practical components to the state itself, when it comes to assessing its rationality, depending on the account, only (...) one of these dimensions matters. Either hope’s rationality is taken to be entirely derivative on the rationality of some belief that the hope entails, or the focus is entirely on the practical dimensions. If we take seriously the idea that both kinds of norms are at play, an account which treats these both as salient and as intertwining in important ways is preferable. I argue that as the practical importance of hope increases, the demand for the level of evidential support lessens and as the stakes get lower, the evidence for the likeliness of the hoped-for outcome coming to be must go up for the hope to be rational. This is so because a hope is rational insofar as it contributes to agential flourishing, but the different dimensions of hope each pick out different aspects of agency; to hope well requires agential competence in both the epistemic and practical realms. (shrink)
I investigate what we mean when we hold people responsible for beliefs. I begin by outlining a puzzle concerning our ordinary judgments about beliefs and briefly survey and critique some common responses to the puzzle. I then present my response where I argue a sense needs to be articulated in which we do have a kind of control over our beliefs if our practice of attributing responsibility for beliefs is appropriate. In developing this notion of doxastic control, I draw from (...) John Fischer's discussions of?guidance control?. A central feature of this kind of control is the idea of?ownership?. I argue that we can own our beliefs and that we expect each other to do so. We take responsibility for our beliefs and taking responsibility includes taking control of them. I end by considering objections to my view as well as some implications of it. (shrink)
This paper takes a new look at an old question: what is the human self? It offers a proposal for theorizing the self from an enactive perspective as an autonomous system that is constituted through interpersonal relations. It addresses a prevalent issue in the philosophy of cognitive science: the body-social problem. Embodied and social approaches to cognitive identity are in mutual tension. On the one hand, embodied cognitive science risks a new form of methodological individualism, implying a dichotomy not between (...) the outside world of objects and the brain-bound individual but rather between body-bound individuals and the outside social world. On the other hand, approaches that emphasize the constitutive relevance of social interaction processes for cognitive identity run the risk of losing the individual in the interaction dynamics and of downplaying the role of embodiment. This paper adopts a middle way and outlines an enactive approach to individuation that is neither individualistic nor disembodied but integrates both approaches. Elaborating on Jonas’ notion of needful freedom it outlines an enactive proposal to understanding the self as co-generated in interactions and relations with others. I argue that the human self is a social existence that is organized in terms of a back and forth between social distinction and participation processes. On this view, the body, rather than being identical with the social self, becomes its mediator. (shrink)
It has been argued that Extended Cognition (EXT), a recently much discussed framework in the philosophy of cognition, would serve as the theoretical basis to account for the impact of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) on the self and life of patients with Locked-in Syndrome (LIS). In this paper I will argue that this claim is unsubstantiated, EXT is not the appropriate theoretical background for understanding the role of BCI in LIS. I will critically assess what a theory of the extended (...) self would comprise and provide a list of desiderata for a theory of self that EXT fails to accommodate for. There is, however, an alternative framework in Cognitive Science, Enactivism, which entails the basis for an account of self that is able to accommodate for these desiderata. I will outline some first steps towards an Enactive approach to the self, suggesting that the self could be considered as a form of human autonomy. Understanding the self from an enactive point of view will allow to shed new light on the questions of whether and how BCIs affect or change the selves of patients with LIS. (shrink)
Internalists face the following challenge: what is it about an agent's internal states that explains why only these states can play whatever role the internalist thinks these states are playing? Internalists have frequently appealed to a special kind of epistemic access that we have to these states. But such claims have been challenged on both empirical and philosophical grounds. I will argue that internalists needn't appeal to any kind of privileged access claims. Rather, internalist conditions are important because of the (...) way in which we expect them to act as causal mediators between states of the world, on the one hand, and our beliefs and actions on the other. (shrink)
Born to Rebel is an innovative and important work with much to say to philosophers of science, as well as historians and sociologists of science. Sulloway uses, successfully, quantitative statistical methods that others have despaired of using to analyze the complexities of historical change. In particular, he investigates scientific decision-making during scientific controversies with a multivariate analysis. The goal is to discern, precisely, the contribution of factors such as religious belief, social class, age, years of education, nationality, sex and personality.
_The_ _Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine _is a comprehensive guide to topics in the fields of epistemology and metaphysics of medicine. It examines traditional topics such as the concept of disease, causality in medicine, the epistemology of the randomized controlled trial, the biopsychosocial model, explanation, clinical judgment and phenomenology of medicine and emerging topics, such as philosophy of epidemiology, measuring harms, the concept of disability, nursing perspectives, race and gender, the metaphysics of Chinese medicine, and narrative medicine. Each of (...) the 48 chapters is written especially for this volume and with a student audience in mind. For pedagogy and clarity, each chapter contains an extended example illustrating the ideas discussed. This text is intended for use as a reference for students in courses in philosophy of medicine and philosophy of science, and pairs well with _The_ _Routledge Companion to Bioethics_ for use in medical humanities and social science courses. (shrink)
From the Ancient Greeks, through medieval Christian doctrine, and into the modern age, philosophers have long held envy to be irrational, a position that increasingly accompanies the political view that envy is not a justification for redistributing material goods. After defining the features of envy, and considering two arguments in favour of its irrationality, this article opposes the dominant philosophical and political consensus. It does so by deploying Rawls's much-ignored concept of ‘excusable envy’ to identify a form of envy that (...) is not imprudent and does not mis-describe. With this work completed, the article then argues – no doubt controversially – that excusable envy constitutes good grounds for redistribution or inequality-mitigation. In so doing, the article throws light on the moral significance of certain forms of uncivil disobedience, and also offers a new vocabulary for popular ‘politics of envy’ debates, which are yet to acknowledge the role of social institutions in reproducing envy-excusing economic inequalities. (shrink)
Auditory feedback perturbation studies have indicated a link between feedback and feedforward mechanisms in speech production when participants compensate for applied shifts. In spectral perturbation studies, speakers with a higher perceptual auditory acuity typically compensate more than individuals with lower acuity. However, the reaction to feedback perturbation is unlikely to be merely a matter of perceptual acuity but also affected by the prediction and production of precise motor action. This interplay between prediction, perception, and motor execution seems to be crucial (...) for the timing of speech and non-speech motor actions. In this study, to examine the relationship between the responses to temporally perturbed auditory feedback and rhythmic abilities, we tested 45 adult speakers on the one hand with a temporal auditory feedback perturbation paradigm, and on the other hand with rhythm perception and production tasks. The perturbation tasks temporally stretched and compressed segments in fluent speech in real-time. This technique sheds light on the temporal representation and the production flexibility of timing mechanisms in fluent speech with respect to the structure of the syllable. The perception tasks contained staircase paradigms capturing duration discrimination abilities and beat-alignment judgments. The rhythm production tasks consisted of finger tapping tasks taken from the BAASTA tapping battery and additional speech tapping tasks. We found that both auditory acuity and motor stability in finger tapping affected responses to temporal auditory feedback perturbation. In general, speakers with higher auditory acuity and higher motor variability compensated more. However, we observed a different weighting of auditory acuity and motor stability dependent on the prosodic structure of the perturbed sequence and the nature of the response as purely online or adaptive. These findings shed light on the interplay of phonological structure with feedback and feedforward integration for timing mechanisms in speech. (shrink)