Human cooperation is highly unusual. We live in large groups composed mostly of non-relatives. Evolutionists have proposed a number of explanations for this pattern, including cultural group selection and extensions of more general processes such as reciprocity, kin selection, and multi-level selection acting on genes. Evolutionary processes are consilient; they affect several different empirical domains, such as patterns of behavior and the proximal drivers of that behavior. In this target article, we sketch the evidence from five domains that bear on (...) the explanatory adequacy of cultural group selection and competing hypotheses to explain human cooperation. Does cultural transmission constitute an inheritance system that can evolve in a Darwinian fashion? Are the norms that underpin institutions among the cultural traits so transmitted? Do we observe sufficient variation at the level of groups of considerable size for group selection to be a plausible process? Do human groups compete, and do success and failure in competition depend upon cultural variation? Do we observe adaptations for cooperation in humans that most plausibly arose by cultural group selection? If the answer to one of these questions is “no,” then we must look to other hypotheses. We present evidence, including quantitative evidence, that the answer to all of the questions is “yes” and argue that we must take the cultural group selection hypothesis seriously. If culturally transmitted systems of rules that limit individual deviance organize cooperation in human societies, then it is not clear that any extant alternative to cultural group selection can be a complete explanation. (shrink)
Nicole Shukin pursues a resolutely materialist engagement with the "question of the animal," challenging the philosophical idealism that has dogged the question by tracing how the politics of capital and of animal life impinge on one ...
This article argues that pseudoscience lacks an adequate philosophical analysis. Using conspiracy theories as a case study, it is claimed that such an analysis needs to go beyond a mere epistemological approach. In the first part, it is shown that the existing philosophical literature shares the assumption that conspiracy theories are primarily deficient scientific hypotheses. This claim is contested, because such an approach can only understand what conspiracy theories fail to be, but not what they are and why people tend (...) to endorse them. To develop an alternative, the second part starts from recent sociology of science, applied to conspiracy theories, that claims that both true and false theories are in need of a symmetrical social explanation. However, this opens the path to relativism because it does not allow for a significant distinction between scientific and conspiracy theories. In the third section an alternative analysis of conspiracy theories is offered, which does not abandon this distinction. Moreover, it is claimed that the most important element of conspiracy theories is not their truth value but rather their symbolic structures of meaning. The aim of conspiracy theories, and perhaps of pseudoscience in general, is then not to know facts about the world, but rather to offer a meaningful framework within which to live. (shrink)
Can love be an appropriate response to a person? In this paper, I argue that it can. First, I discuss the reasons why we might think this question should be answered in the negative. This will help us clarify the question itself. Then I argue that, even though extant accounts of reasons for love are inadequate, there remains the suspicion that there must be something about people which make our love for them appropriate. Being lovable, I contend, is what makes (...) our love for them appropriate, just as being fearsome is what makes our fear of certain situations appropriate. I finally propose a general account of this property which avoids the major problems facing the extant accounts of reasons for love. (shrink)
We often assess emotions as appropriate or inappropriate depending on certain evaluative aspects of the world. Often using the term ‘fittingness’ as equivalent to ‘appropriateness’, many philosophers of emotion take fittingness assessments of emotions to be a broadly representational matter. On this sort of view, an emotion is fitting or appropriate just in case there is a kind of representational match between the emotion and the object, a matching analogous to truth for belief. This view provides an account of the (...) relationship between emotion and value that many have found plausible. In this paper, I argue that the fittingness of emotions should not be understood in representational terms. Rather, as is common in the literature on fittingness, we should interpret the notion in normative terms. After providing four arguments against the representational interpretation, and for a normative interpretation, of emotional fittingness, I discuss two ways to develop the normative picture of emotional fittingness. I also clarify the relevant issues that will have to be tackled by philosophers of emotion in the future, issues which cannot be tackled without attending to action theory and the philosophy of normativity. (shrink)
Although some still advance reductive accounts of emotions—according to which they fall under a more familiar type of mental state—contemporary philosophers tend to agree that emotions probably constitute their own kind of mental state. Agreeing with this claim, however, is compatible with attempting to find commonalities between emotions and better understood things. According to the advocates of the so-called ‘perceptual analogy’, thinking of emotion in terms of perception can fruitfully advance our understanding even though emotion may not be reducible to (...) ordinary perception. In this paper, I spell out and motivate a different analogy—that between emotion and action—an analogy which I think can do some important theoretical work. In particular, it constitutes a theoretically fruitful way to think about core aspects of emotions and might in fact be employed to provide a better account of certain aspects of emotions than the one based on the perceptual analogy. Emotions might not be a matter of seeing the world a certain way, but a matter of behaving internally in response to it. In a slogan form: Emotion is the inward counterpart of bodily movement. (shrink)
Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands”. However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity, and others who have such capacity but who are still patentlyirresponsible. Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a responsible person” one need not possess such a capacity, but only to be earnestly willing to do the (...) right thing and to have a history that testifies to this willingness. Although we may have good reasons to prefer to have such a capacity ourselves, and to associate ourselves with others who have it, at a conceptual level I do not think that such considerations support the claim that having this capacity is a necessary condition of being a responsible person in the virtue sense. (shrink)
On a naive reading of the major accounts of love, love is a kind of mental event. A recent trend in the philosophical literature on love is to reject these accounts on the basis that they do not do justice to the historical dimension of love, as love essentially involves a distinctive kind of temporally extended pattern. Although the historicist account has advantages over the positions that it opposes, its appeal to the notion of a pattern is problematic. I will (...) argue that an account of love as disposition, suitably construed, is superior to the historicist account in that it has the advantages the historicist account has without its problems. In addition, the dispositional account has advantages of its own. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal, Alex Grzankowski sets out to defend cognitivism about emotion against what he calls the ‘problem of recalcitrance’ that many contemporary theorists take as a strong reason to reject the view. Given the little explicit discussion we find of it in a large part of the literature, however, it is not clear why exactly recalcitrant emotions are supposed to constitute a problem for cognitivism in the first place. Grzankowski outlines an argument that he thinks (...) is at play in theorists’ widespread rejection of cognitivism, and goes on to answer it on behalf of the cognitivist. In this reply, I argue that Grzankowski is concerned with the wrong argument. (shrink)
The question whether there are reasons for loving particular individuals, and what such reasons might be, has been subject to scrutiny in recent years. On one view, reasons for loving particular individuals are some of their qualities. A problem with crude versions of this view, however, is that they both construe individuals as replaceable in a problematic way and fail to do justice to the selectivity of love. On another view, by contrast, reasons for loving particular individuals have to do (...) with our relationship with them. Even if it might accommodate the selectivity of love, the view—like crude quality views—ultimately faces worries stemming from replaceability. I argue for a view which combines the two views in a way that accommodates both the irreplaceable aspect under which individuals are loved and the fact that love is a selective response to them. On my view, reasons for loving particular individuals are some of their qualities as manifested in the context of a relationship with one. After spelling out the view, I discuss an important challenge facing it: what’s so special about actually being in touch—via a relationship—with certain qualities of an individual that would explain why we have special reasons to love them in particular? I consider inadequate answers to this question before putting forward my own. (shrink)
Logics—that is to say logical systems—are generally conceived of as describing the logical forms of arguments as well as endorsing cer- tain principles or rules of inference specified in terms of these forms. From this perspective, a correct logic is a system which captures only (and perhaps all) of the correct principles, and good—i.e. logical— reasoning is reasoning which at the level of logical form conforms to the principles of a correct logic. In contrast, as logical particularists we reject the (...) idea that logical validity is a property of logical forms or schema, and instead take validity to be a property of particular in- ferences. In this paper we describe and defend this radically different approach to validity, and explore the particularist understanding of the relationship between logical systems and logical reasoning. (shrink)
According to a popular view, emotions are perceptual experiences of some kind. A common objection to this view is that, by contrast with perception, emotions are subject to normative reasons. In response, perceptualists have typically maintained that the fact that emotions can be justified does not prevent them from being perception-like in some fundamental way. Given the problems that this move might raise, a neglected alternative strategy is to deny that there are normative reasons for emotions in the first place. (...) The aim of this paper is to offer the first sustained discussion of arguments for skepticism about normative reasons for emotions. I argue that none of the obvious ways to argue against reasons for emotions casts genuine doubt on them, and thus that unless another argument is given an appeal to reasons for emotions continues to constitute a legitimate strategy to assess various theories of emotion. (shrink)
Nicole Hassoun here makes a philosophical argument for health, and access to essential medicines, as essential human rights, and she proposes the Global Health Impact system as a way to ensure those rights. She reports how life-saving medicines are inaccessible and costly for the global poor, and that rather than focusing on treatments for critical, deadly global health problems, pharmaceutical companies instead invest in more profitable drugs. To address this problem, Hassoun's proposal will rate pharmaceutical companies based on their (...) medicines' impact on the improvement of global health, and will reward highly-rated medicines with a Global Health Impact label. (shrink)
Disputes about logic are commonplace and undeniable. It is sometimes argued that these disputes are not genuine disagreements, but are rather merely verbal ones. Are advocates of different logics simply talking past each other? In this paper we argue that pluralists (and anyone who sees competing logics as genuine rivals), should reject the claim that real disagreement requires competing logics to assign the same meaning to logical connectives, or the same logical form to arguments. Along the way we argue that (...) ascriptions of logical form, as well as connective meaning, are always theory-relative. (shrink)
Many unethical decisions stem from a lack of awareness. In this article, we consider how mindfulness, an individual's awareness of his or her present experience, impacts ethical decision making. In our first study, we demonstrate that compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness report that they are more likely to act ethically, are more likely to value upholding ethical standards (self-importance of moral identity, SMI), and are more likely to use a principled approach to ethical decision making (...) (formalism). In our second study, we test this relationship with a novel behavioral measure of unethical behavior: the carbonless anagram method (CAM). We find that of participants who cheated, compared to individuals low in mindfulness, individuals high in mindfulness cheated less. Taken together, our results demonstrate important connections between mindfulness and ethical decision making. (shrink)
Adopting a broadly compatibilist approach, this volume's authors argue that the behavioral and mind sciences do not threaten the moral foundations of legal responsibility. Rather, these sciences provide fresh insight into human agency and updated criteria as well as powerful diagnostic and intervention tools for assessing and altering minds.
This paper describes the relation between the surpassing and ethics. It first describes how we re-think the surpassing. We divide it into a non-reflective and a reflective level. Next we link it to ethics. The point we want to make is that in order for something to be ethical it needs a surpassing element. Yet not all surpassing elements lead to ethics. Therefore, we will first delineate the surpassing.
According to a historically popular view, emotions are normative experiences that ground moral knowledge much as perceptual experiences ground empirical knowledge. Given the analogy it draws between emotion and perception, sentimental perceptualism constitutes a promising, naturalist-friendly alternative to classical rationalist accounts of moral knowledge. In this paper, we consider an important but underappreciated objection to the view, namely that in contrast with perception, emotions depend for their occurrence on prior representational states, with the result that emotions cannot give perceptual-like access (...) to normative properties. We argue that underlying this objection are several specific problems, rooted in the different types of mental states to which emotions may respond, that the sentimental perceptualist must tackle for her view to be successful. We argue, moreover, that the problems can be answered by filling out the theory with several independently motivated yet highly controversial commitments, which we carefully catalogue. The plausibility of sentimental perceptualism, as a result, hinges on further claims sentimental perceptualists should not ignore. (shrink)
The face of the world is changing. The past century has seen the incredible growth of international institutions. How does the fact that the world is becoming more interconnected change institutions' duties to people beyond borders? Does globalization alone engender any ethical obligations? In Globalization and Global Justice, Nicole Hassoun addresses these questions and advances a new argument for the conclusion that there are significant obligations to the global poor. First, she argues that there are many coercive international institutions (...) and that these institutions must provide the means for their subjects to avoid severe poverty. Hassoun then considers the case for aid and trade, and concludes with a new proposal for fair trade in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Globalization and Global Justice will appeal to readers in philosophy, politics, economics and public policy. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not excessive, or they argue that those exclusions would be ineffective or lacking in justification. (...) Rather than taking sides, after criticizing both positions I also argue that this way of carrying on the debate – i.e. as a debate about whether the harsh demands of responsibility outweigh other considerations, and about whether exclusions to responsibility-tracking would be effective and/or justified – is deeply problematic. On my account, the demands of responsibility do not – in fact, they can not – conflict with the demands of other normative considerations, because responsibility only provides a formal structure within which those other considerations determine how people may be treated, but it does not generate its own practical demands. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that gratitude is not necessarily affective or motivating. Against a common trend in recent philosophical treatments of the notion, indeed, I argue for the introduction of an important but neglected kind of gratitude that is simply a matter of believing that one has been benefitted by a benevolent benefactor. I will call this non-affective, non-motivating kind of gratitude “generic,” and the kind – taking center stage in the literature – that is affective and motivating “deep.” (...) After defending the distinction, I explore the connection between these kinds of gratitude. (shrink)
In a recent article, Sven Nyholm argues that the use of biomedical enhancements in our romantic relationships would fail to secure the final value we attribute to love. On Nyholm's view, one thing we desire for its own sake is to be at the origin of the love others have for us. The satisfaction of this desire, he argues, is incompatible with the use of BE insofar as they are responsible for the attachment characteristic of love. In particular, the use (...) of BE in order to create and sustain the sort of attachment characteristic of love would be less desirable than the creation and sustainment of it by more ordinary means. If one needs such enhancements in order for one's love to be created or sustained, then one's love is of lesser quality than the love we want. In this reply, I raise doubts about the argument. (shrink)
Various authors debate the question of whether neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility. However, a plethora of different techniques and technologies, each with their own abilities and drawbacks, lurks beneath the label “neuroscience”; and in criminal law responsibility is not a single, unitary and generic concept, but it is rather a syndrome of at least six different concepts. Consequently, there are at least six different responsibility questions that the criminal law asks—at least one for each responsibility concept—and, I will suggest, (...) a multitude of ways in which the techniques and technologies that comprise neuroscience might help us to address those diverse questions. In a way, on my account neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility in many ways, but I hesitate to state my position like this because doing so obscures two points which I would rather highlight: one, neither neuroscience nor criminal responsibility are as unified as that; and two, the criminal law asks many different responsibility questions and not just one generic question. (shrink)
"The development of modern diagnostic neuroimaging techniques led to discoveries about the human brain and mind that helped give rise to the field of neurolaw. This new interdisciplinary field has led to novel directions in analytic jurisprudence and philosophy of law by providing an empirically-informed platform from which scholars have reassessed topics such as mental privacy and self-determination, responsibility and its relationship to mental disorders, and the proper aims of the criminal law. Similarly, the development of neurointervention techniques that promise (...) to deliver new ways of altering people's minds creates opportunities and challenges that raise important and rich conceptual, moral, jurisprudential, and scientific questions. The specific purpose of this volume is to make a contribution to the field of neurolaw by investigating the legal issues raised by the development and use of neurointerventions "--. (shrink)
Deliberative democracy is an embattled political project. It is accused of political naiveté for it only talks about power without taking power. Others, meanwhile, take issue with deliberative democracy’s dominance in the field of democratic theory and practice. An industry of consultants, facilitators, and experts of deliberative forums has grown over the past decades, suggesting that the field has benefited from a broken political system. This book is inspired by these accusations. It argues that deliberative democracy’s tense relationship with power (...) is not a pathology but constitutive of deliberative practice. Deliberative democracy gains relevance when it navigates complex relations of power in modern societies, learns from its mistakes, remains epistemically humble but not politically meek. These arguments are situated in three facets of deliberative democracy—norms, forums, and systems—and concludes by applying these ideas to three of the most pressing issues in contemporary times—post-truth politics, populism, and illiberalism. (shrink)
Where should computer simulations be located on the ‘usual methodological map’ which distinguishes experiment from theory? Specifically, do simulations ultimately qualify as experiments or as thought experiments? Ever since Galison raised that question, a passionate debate has developed, pushing many issues to the forefront of discussions concerning the epistemology and methodology of computer simulation. This review article illuminates the positions in that debate, evaluates the discourse and gives an outlook on questions that have not yet been addressed.
The metaphor of base and superstructure has been one of the most controversial elements in Marxist aesthetics. In this text I discuss some of the many questions it raises. Today, many theorists believe that its problems are so extensive that it has lost all plausibility. I believe, however, that in rejecting the Marxist framework, aesthetics and cultural theory risks throwing out the baby with the bath water and jeopardizes its critical potential. Drawing on the work of Fredric Jameson and Slavoj (...) Žižek, I will propose a heuristic reinterpretation of the metaphor of base and superstructure. (shrink)
Anti-exceptionalists about logic maintain that it is continuous with the empirical sciences. Taking anti-exceptionalism for granted, we argue that traditional approaches to explanation are inadequate in the case of logic. We argue that Andrea Woody's functional analysis of explanation is a better fit with logical practice and accounts better for the explanatory role of logical theories.