In her paper, “The Non-Governing Conception of Laws,” Helen Beebee argues that it is not a conceptual truth that laws of nature govern, and thus that one need not insist on a metaphysical account of laws that makes sense of their governing role. I agree with the first point but not the second. Although it is not a conceptual truth, the fact that laws govern follows straightforwardly from an important (though under-appreciated) principle of scientific theory choice combined with a highly (...) plausible claim about the connection between scientific theory choice and theory choice in metaphysics. I present and defend this argument and then show how the resulting understanding of governance gives rise to an especially strong version of recent explanatory circularity arguments against Humeanism about laws of nature. Finally, I present three options for a further understanding of the governance relation that are compatible with my argument. (shrink)
I present an argument for the view that laws ground their instances. I then outline two important consequences that follow if we accept the conclusion of this argument. First, the claim that laws ground their instances threatens to undermine a prominent recent attempt to make sense of the explanatory power of Humean laws by distinguishing between metaphysical and scientific explanation. And second, the claim that laws ground their instances gives rise to a novel argument against the view that grounding relations (...) are metaphysically necessary. (shrink)
Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. (...) Unless they have some antecedent reason for thinking that actualism is more plausible than presentism, anyone who is moved by the relativity objection to give up presentism should be moved by a related objection to give up actualism as well. If there is a reason to be an actualist without also being a presentist, it must go beyond the relativity objection to presentism. (shrink)
A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self and (...) identify features that distinguish people’s understanding of the true self from their understanding of the self more generally. In particular, we consider recent findings that the true self is perceived as positive and moral, and that this tendency is actor-observer invariant and cross-culturally stable. We then explore possible explanations for these findings and discuss their implications for a variety of issues in psychology. (shrink)
Disgust, the emotion of rotting carcasses and slimy animalitos, finds itself at the center of several critical questions about human culture and cognition. This article summarizes recent developments, identify active points of debate, and provide an account of where the field is heading next.
I argue that the way the world appears to be plays an important role in standard scientific practice, and that therefore the way the world appears to be ought to play a similar role in metaphysics as well. I then show how the argument bears on a specific first-order debate in metaphysics—the debate over whether there are composite objects. This debate is often thought to be a paradigm case of a metaphysical debate that is largely insulated from scientific considerations, and (...) is often disparaged or avoided by naturalistically-inclined metaphysicians as a result. My argument below shows that this attitude is a mistake. The way in which metaphysical debates can be informed by our best science is more complex and far-reaching than is often acknowledged in the literature. (shrink)
In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
Cartwright (Synthese 121(1/2):3–27, 1999a; The dappled world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999b) attacked the view that causal relations conform to the Markov condition by providing a counterexample in which a common cause does not screen off its effects: the prominent chemical factory. In this paper we suggest a new way to handle counterexamples to Markov causation such as the chemical factory. We argue that Cartwright’s as well as similar scenarios feature a certain kind of non-causal dependence that kicks in once (...) the common cause occurs. We then develop a representation of this specific kind of non-causal dependence that allows for modeling the problematic scenarios in such a way that the Markov condition is not violated anymore. (shrink)
Temporal ersatzism is the view that past entities exist, but are not concrete. The view is analogous to modal ersatzism, according to which merely possible worlds exist, but are not concrete. The goal of this paper is to give the reader a sense of the scope of available temporal ersatzist views, the ways in which the analogy with modal ersatzism may be helpful in characterizing and defending those views, and the sorts of considerations that are relevant when evaluating particular versions (...) of temporal ersatzism. (shrink)
Palliative care names as one of its central aims to prevent and relieve suffering. Following the concept of “total pain”, which was first introduced by Cicely Saunders, PC not only focuses on the physical dimension of pain but also addresses the patient’s psychological, social, and spiritual suffering. However, the goal to relieve suffering can paradoxically lead to a taboo of suffering and imply adverse consequences. Two scenarios are presented: First, PC providers sometimes might fail their own ambitions. If all other (...) means prove ineffective terminal sedation can still be applied as a last resort, though. However, it may be asked whether sedating a dying patient comes close to eliminating suffering by eliminating the sufferer and hereby resembles physician-assisted suicide, or euthanasia. As an alternative, PC providers could continue treatment, even if it so far prove unsuccessful. In that case, either futility results or the patient might even suffer from the perpetuated, albeit fruitless interventions. Second, some patients possibly prefer to endure suffering instead of being relieved from it. Hence, they want to forgo the various bio-psycho-socio-spiritual interventions. PC providers’ efforts then lead to paradoxical consequences: Feeling harassed by PC, patients could suffer even more and not less. In both scenarios, suffering is placed under a taboo and is thereby conceptualised as not being tolerable in general. However, to consider suffering essentially unbearable might promote assisted dying not only on an individual but also on a societal level insofar as unbearable suffering is considered a criterion for euthanasia or PAS. (shrink)
I argue against the common and influential view that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic. The problem with this view, I claim, is not that it conflicts with some antecedently plausible metaphysics of chance or that it fails to capture our everyday use of ‘chance’ and related terms, but rather that it is unstable. Any reason for adopting the position that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic is also a reason for adopting (...) a much stronger, and far less attractive, position. I suggest an alternative account, according to which chances are probabilities that play a certain explanatory role: they are probabilities that explain associated frequencies. (shrink)
Some theories of quantum mechanical phenomena endorse wave function realism, according to which the physical space we inhabit is very different from the physical space we appear to inhabit. In this paper I explore an argument against wave function realism that appeals to a type of simplicity that, although often overlooked, plays a crucial role in scientific theory choice. The type of simplicity in question is simplicity of fit between the way a theory says the world is and the way (...) the world appears to be. This argument can be understood as one way of spelling out the so-called “incredulous stare objection” that is sometimes leveled against surprising metaphysical theories. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Temporal eliminativism is the view that the present is privileged because past and future entities do not exist. Temporal ersatzism is the view that the present is privileged because, although past and future entities exist, they are not concrete. I argue that shifting from temporal eliminativism to temporal ersatzism can help to address objections to the former theory that are due to relativity theory—but only if temporal ersatzism is understood in a fairly specific way and only in so far (...) as the temporal ersatzist is willing to take on some prima facie surprising commitments. I close by showing how the claims that I make with respect to temporal ersatzism generalise to other theories of time on which the present is privileged, including McDaniel’s  presentist existential pluralism. (shrink)
In recent years, several countries have enacted guidelines and/or mandatory laws to increase the presence of women on the boards of companies. Through these regulatory interventions, the aim is to eradicate the social and labor grievances that women have traditionally experienced and which has relegated them to smaller-scale jobs. Nevertheless, and despite the advances achieved, the female representation in the boardroom remains far from the desired levels. In this context, it is now necessary to enhance the advantages of board gender (...) diversity from both ethical and economic points of view. This article examines the relation between board gender diversity and economic results in Spain: the second country in the world to legally require gender quotas in boardrooms and historically characterized by a minimal female participation in the workforce. Based on a sample of 125 non-financial firms listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange from 2005 to 2009, our findings show that in the period analyzed the increase of the number of women on boards was over 98 %. This suggests that compulsory legislation offers an efficient framework to execute the recommendation of Spanish codes of good governance by means of the increase in the number of women in the boards of firms. Furthermore, we find that the increase in the number of women on the boards is positively related to higher economic results. Therefore, both results suggest that gender diversity in boardrooms should be incremented, mandatory laws being a key factor to do so. (shrink)
I argue against the common and influential view that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic. The problem with this view, I claim, is not that it conflicts with some antecedently plausible metaphysics of chance or that it fails to capture our everyday use of ‘chance’ and related terms, but rather that it is unstable. Any reason for adopting the position that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic is also a reason for adopting (...) a much stronger, and far less attractive, position. I suggest an alternative account, according to which chances are probabilities that play a certain explanatory role: they are probabilities that explain associated frequencies. 1 Introduction2 A Paradigm Case3 The Incompatibilist’s Criterion4 Against the Incompatibilist’s Criterion5 The Explanatory Criterion6 Conclusion. (shrink)
Next SectionWe discuss the thesis formulated by Hintikka (1973) that certain natural language sentences require non-linear quantification to express their meaning. We investigate sentences with combinations of quantifiers similar to Hintikka's examples and propose a novel alternative reading expressible by linear formulae. This interpretation is based on linguistic and logical observations. We report on our experiments showing that people tend to interpret sentences similar to Hintikka sentence in a way consistent with our interpretation.
A series of recent arguments purport to show that most counterfactuals of the form if A had happened then C would have happened are not true. These arguments pose a challenge to those of us who think that counterfactual discourse is a useful part of ordinary conversation, of philosophical reasoning, and of scientific inquiry. Either we find a way to revise the semantics for counterfactuals in order to avoid these arguments, or we find a way to ensure that the relevant (...) counterfactuals, while not true, are still assertible. I argue that regardless of which of these two strategies we choose, the natural ways of implementing these strategies all share a surprising consequence: they commit us to a particular metaphysical view about chance. (shrink)
Reflection is an ambiguous buzzword in contemporary educational and professional settings. Work has been done to clarify the concept theoretically, but a gap remains between such clarifications and actual reflective activities in educational and work-related practices. Reflective activities embody epistemological presuppositions about the nature of competence, knowledge, and learning, and about the relation between thinking, communicating, and acting. In this article, Nina Bonderup Dohn identifies the epistemological presuppositions of two paradigm cases of reflection (“solitaire reflection” and “communicative reflection”) and (...) assesses these against a view of knowledge, competence, learning, and action inspired by the Scandinavian interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy as well as by insights from phenomenology and situated learning. The outcome of Dohn's assessment is that the presuppositions of the paradigm cases are misguided and, therefore, so are the reflective activities. The problems and pitfalls that result from this situation are identified and illustrated with empirical examples. Dohn concludes by suggesting an alternative paradigm: “situated reflection.”. (shrink)
Feminist science studies have given scant regard to non-human animals. In this paper, we argue that it is important for feminist theory to address the complex relationships between humans and other animals, and the implications of these for feminism. We use the notion of performativity, particularly as it has been developed by Karen Barad, to explore the intersections of feminism and studies of the human/animal relationship. Performativity, we argue, helps to challenge the persistent dichotomy between human/culture and animals/nature. It emphasizes, (...) moreover, how animality is a doing or becoming, not an essence; so, performativity allows us to think about the complexity of human/animal interrelating as a kind of choreography, a co-creation of behaviour. We illustrate the discussion using the example of the laboratory rat, who can be thought of both in terms of a materialization of specific scientific practices and as active participants in the creation of their own meaning, alongside the human participants in science. There are three, intertwined, senses in which we might think about performativity - that of animality, of humannness, and of the relationship between the two. Bringing animals into discussions about performativity poses questions for both feminist theory and for the study of human/animal relationships, we argue: both human and animal can conjointly be engaged in reconfiguring the world, and our theorizing must reflect that complexity. We are all matter, and we all matter. (shrink)
Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. Philosophers have primarily theorized about this phenomenon from the armchair. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of empirical methods for investigating imaginative resistance. We present two studies that help to establish the psychological reality of imaginative resistance, and to uncover one factor that is significant for explaining this phenomenon but low in psychological salience: genre. Furthermore, our studies have the methodological upshot of showing (...) how empirical tools can complement the predominant armchair approach to philosophical aesthetics. (shrink)
I argue that there are such things as nomological probabilities—probabilities that play a certain explanatory role with respect to stable, long-run relative frequencies. Indeed, I argue, we should be willing to accept nomological probabilities even if they turn out to be metaphysically weird or even wholly sui generis entities. I then give an example of one way in which this argument should shape future work on the metaphysics of chance by describing a challenge to a common group of analyses of (...) objective probability—Humean analyses— understood as analyses of nomological probability. (shrink)
Environmental displacement is a global phenomenon affecting millions of people. Due to climate change and the corresponding sea-level rise, it is estimated that about eight million of indigenous people of Pacific Islands will be forced to settle elsewhere by 2050. This is one of many examples confirming the need to ascertain the legal status of environmental refugee in international law. The term?environmental refugee? is controversially discussed and internationally not recognised. First, this article discusses the reasons for reluctance of international organisations (...) to accept this term. Second, noting the cold reception of this term at the regional and state levels, a discussion on whether fears associated with this term are based on solid arguments becomes pertinent. Third, this article outlines the possibility of granting refugee status under international law, especially under human rights and environmental law. Fourth, academic discourses will be examined as they play a crucial role in the conceptual development of?environmental refugee? and, to some academics, the existing refugee definition already encompasses?environmental refugees?. Taking into account the developments of the environmental and human rights regime, this article concludes that time is ripe for international law to provide refugee status to environmentally displaced people. (shrink)
This paper discusses the possibility of modelling inductive inference (Gold 1967) in dynamic epistemic logic (see e.g. van Ditmarsch et al. 2007). The general purpose is to propose a semantic basis for designing a modal logic for learning in the limit. First, we analyze a variety of epistemological notions involved in identification in the limit and match it with traditional epistemic and doxastic logic approaches. Then, we provide a comparison of learning by erasing (Lange et al. 1996) and iterated epistemic (...) update (Baltag and Moss 2004) as analyzed in dynamic epistemic logic. We show that finite identification can be modelled in dynamic epistemic logic, and that the elimination process of learning by erasing can be seen as iterated belief-revision modelled in dynamic doxastic logic. Finally, we propose viewing hypothesis spaces as temporal frames and discuss possible advantages of that perspective. (shrink)
The theory of causal Bayes nets [15, 19] is, from an empirical point of view, currently one of the most promising approaches to causation on the market. There are, however, counterexamples to its core axiom, the causal Markov condition. Probably the most serious of these counterexamples are EPR/B experiments in quantum mechanics (cf. [13, 23]). However, these are also the only counterexamples yet known from the quantum realm. One might therefore wonder whether they are the only phenomena in the quantum (...) realm that create problems for causal Bayes nets. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that not only the phenomenon of quantum correlations in EPR/B experiments create problems for causal Bayes nets, but also the temporal evolution of quantum systems, which is described as dualistic by quantum mechanics. For this purpose, it is shown that single photon experiments in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) violate the causal Markov condition as well. It is then argued, however, that the Markov violation does not occur under the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of Bohmian mechanics. (shrink)
Recently, McGinn has proposed a new theory of disgust. This theory makes empirical claims as to the history and function of disgust, yet does not take into account contemporary scientific research on the subject. This essay evaluates his theory for its merits as an account of disgust, and as a piece of scholarship more generally, and finds it lacking.
Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Although these views have much in common, the position we take with respect to one of them is not usually thought to constrain the position that we may take toward the other. In this paper I argue that this standard attitude deserves further scrutiny. In particular, I argue that the considerations that motivate one common objection to presentism—the grounding objection—threaten to (...) give rise to an analogous grounding objection to actualism. Those who are moved by grounding considerations to give up presentism should either be moved by analogous considerations to give up actualism as well or be prepared to undertake quite a bit of further work in order to defend their position. (shrink)
Student plagiarism is a rampant practice and major concern in higher education. How students perceive the overarching American cultural values and their impact on the practice will inform educators and help them to better combat the practice. It is also valuable for educators to know whether the students perceive the practice to be part of the dominant culture, currently, on college campuses. This study reports perceptions of plagiarism by students in an introductory sociology course. Open-ended questions explored perceptions of extent, (...) justifications, and American values affecting plagiarism. Participants were clear on definitions and seriousness, but most were able to justify the behavior and identify American values contributing to or deterring the practice. Findings were consistent across gender, course grade, class standing, and college major. The authors discuss the cultural values students use as justifications for plagiarizing and the larger implications for higher education. (shrink)
The volume documents, and makes an original contribution to, an astonishing period in twentieth-century philosophy—the progress of Arne Naess's ecophilosophy from its inception to the present. It includes Naess's most crucial polemics with leading thinkers, drawn from sources as diverse as scholarly articles, correspondence, TV interviews and unpublished exchanges. The book testifies to the skeptical and self-correcting aspects of Naess's vision, which has deepened and broadened to include third world and feminist perspectives. Philosophical Dialogues is an essential addition to the (...) literature on environmental philosophy. (shrink)
Using data obtained during a retrospective interview study of 30 women who had undergone genetic testing—BRCA1/2 mutation searching—this paper describes how women, previously diagnosed with breast/ovarian cancer, perceive their role in generating genetic information about themselves and their families. It observes that when describing their motivations for undergoing DNA testing and their experiences of disclosing genetic information within the family these women provide care based ethical justifications for their actions. Finally, it argues that generating genetic information and disclosing this information (...) to kin raise different types of ethical issues. The implications of these findings for ethical debates about informed choice in the context of genetic testing are discussed. (shrink)
This article argues that the extension of the international regime of human rights to companies has not changed the essentially state-centric nature of the regime. The analysis focuses on three recent United Nations initiatives: (1) 'Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights', (2) the Global Compact, and (3) the work of the UN special representative on business and human rights. The analysis shows that, despite these initiatives, states are the primary holders (...) of human rights obligations and have a key role in the decision making and enforcement of the regime. Companies have participated to the regime, but they have done so mainly through lobbying governments and thus enforcing the role of states. The analysis also shows that the engagement of new actors to decision-making about the extension of regime norms is essential for norm adoption. Finally, the issue of non-compliant companies needs to be resolved before the regime can be considered established. (shrink)
Experience has shown that the application of ethical guidelines developed for research in developed countries to research in developing countries can be, and often is, impractical and raises a number of contentious issues. Various attempts have been made to provide guidelines more appropriate to the developing world context; however, to date these efforts have been dominated by the fields of bioscience, medical research and nutrition. There is very little advice available for those seeking to undertake collaborative social science or natural (...) science research in developing countries and what is there tends to be held within disparate sources. Charting the development of a set of ethics documentation for future use by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme research community, this paper outlines past and present attitudes towards ethics procedures amongst this community and suggests ways in which ethics procedures might be made more relevant and user-friendly to researchers working in this area. (shrink)
The article discusses the phenomenon of Russian Neo-Kantianism in the early twentieth century, looks at the main reasons for interest in Neo-Kantianism, and analyzes why German Neo-Kantian centers were so popular among Russian students and scholars at the turn of the twentieth century. The author points to the institutions where Neo-Kantianism took root and introduces the individuals who became the leaders of these institutions. The article gives a detailed overview of the themes and issues that occupied Russian Neo-Kantians before 1917, (...) as well as the development of these issues in the postrevolutionary period both in Soviet Russia and by Russian Neo-Kantians abroad. An emphasis is made on the original ideas and concepts formulated by Russian Neo-Kantians. (shrink)
The paper is concerned with the psychological relevance of a logical model for deductive reasoning. We propose a new way to analyze logical reasoning in a deductive version of the Mastermind game implemented within a popular Dutch online educational learning system (Math Garden). Our main goal is to derive predictions about the difficulty of Deductive Mastermind tasks. By means of a logical analysis we derive the number of steps needed for solving these tasks (a proxy for working memory load). Our (...) model is based on the analytic tableaux method, known from proof theory. We associate the difficulty of Deductive Mastermind game-items with the size of the corresponding logical trees obtained by the tableaux method. We derive empirical hypotheses from this model. A large group of students (over 37 thousand children, 5–12 years of age) played the Deductive Mastermind game, which gave empirical difficulty ratings of all 321 game-items. The results show that our logical approach predicts these item ratings well, which supports the psychological relevance of our model. (shrink)
It is an old philosophical idea that if the future self is literally different from the current self, one should be less concerned with the death of the future self. This paper examines the relation between attitudes about death and the self among Hindus, Westerners, and three Buddhist populations. Compared with other groups, monastic Tibetans gave particularly strong denials of the continuity of self, across several measures. We predicted that the denial of self would be associated with a lower fear (...) of death and greater generosity toward others. To our surprise, we found the opposite. Monastic Tibetan Buddhists showed significantly greater fear of death than any other group. The monastics were also less generous than any other group about the prospect of giving up a slightly longer life in order to extend the life of another. (shrink)
The concept of intersectionality is on its way to becoming a new paradigm in gender studies. In its current version, it denominates reciprocities between gender, race and class. However, it also allows for the integration of other socially defined categories, such as sexuality, nationality or age. On the other hand, it is widely left unclear as to which level these reciprocal effects apply: the level of social structures, the level of constructions of identity or the level of symbolic representations. This (...) article advocates an intersectional multi-level analysis which takes into account reciprocal effects between the various levels. This approach includes an analytical grasp of and methodical reflection on these reciprocal effects as well as making them empirically accessible. (shrink)
We discuss the thesis formulated by Hintikka that certain natural language sentences require non-linear quantification to express their meaning. We investigate sentences with combinations of quantifiers similar to Hintikka's examples and propose a novel alternative reading expressible by linear formulae. This interpretation is based on linguistic and logical observations. We report on our experiments showing that people tend to interpret sentences similar to Hintikka sentence in a way consistent with our interpretation.
In 2004 a survey was conducted in the member states of the European Union designed to gain greater insight into the views on control strategies for foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever, and avian influenza with respect to the epidemiological, economic and social-ethical consequences of each of these animal diseases. This article presents the results of the social-ethical survey. A selection of stakeholders from each member state was asked to prioritize issues for the prevention and control of these diseases. (...) A majority of stakeholders chose preventive measures as the preferred issue. An analysis was done to determine whether there were differences in views expressed by stakeholders from member states with a history of recent epidemics and ones without such a history, and whether there were regional differences. There were no differences between member states with or without a history of recent epidemics. There were indeed regional differences between the priority orders from Northern and Southern Europe on the one hand, and from Eastern Europe on the other. (shrink)