Guillermo E. Rosado Haddock's critical introduction to the philosophy of Gottlob Frege is based on twenty-five years of teaching Frege's philosophy at the University of Puerto Rico. It developed from an earlier publication by Rosado Haddock on Frege's philosophy which was, however, available only in Spanish. This introduction to Frege is meant to steer a path between the two main approaches to Frege studies: on the one hand, we have interpretations of Frege which portray him as a neo-Kantian and thus (...) as some kind of idealist; on the other, we have writings like those of Dummett in which Frege is portrayed as a type of ‘philosophical Adam’, i.e., as completely separated from his philosophical tradition. Rosado Haddock succeeds in placing Frege's thinking into a broader philosophical context — mainly by reference to his contemporary Edmund Husserl — while also avoiding a Kantian reading of Frege's work.The structure of the book follows Frege's writing chronologically. In this way, Rosado Haddock leads the reader through the whole of Frege's philosophy while highlighting important changes and developments in Frege's thought from the Begriffsschrift to his Grundgesetze and other later writings. Chapter 1 introduces us to the core philosophical themes of Frege's Begriffsschrift with a special emphasis on Frege's notions of ‘conceptual content’ and ‘judgeable content’. Here, Rosado Haddock anticipates further discussion and points towards changes and developments of Frege's core notions of ‘identity’, ‘function’, and ‘content’. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on Frege's Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Chapter 2 discusses Frege's methodological principles as outlined in Frege's introduction and his criticisms of psychological, naturalistic, and Kantian approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Chapter 3 focuses exclusively on Frege's own logicist account of arithmetic while emphasizing differences between Frege's views and Kantian …. (shrink)
What is the relation between ‘full’ or ‘outright’ belief and the various levels of confidence that agents can have in the propositions that concern them? This paper argues for a new answer to this question. Decision theory implies that in making decisions, rational agents must treat certain propositions as though they were completely certain; but on most forms of decision theory, these propositions are not ones for which any finite agent could have maximal justification – the agent will clearly have (...) less justification for these propositions than for elementary logical truths. Thus, every adequate model of a finite rational agent's belief‐system must involve two set of credences – theoretical credences and practical credences . A full or outright belief in p can be defined as the state of being stably disposed to assign a practical credence of 1 to p, for all normal practical purposes. This definition allows for a kind of reconciliation between the pragmatist and intellectualist approaches in epistemology. (shrink)
It has been proposed that inferring personal authorship for an event gives rise to intentional binding, a perceptual illusion in which one’s action and inferred effect seem closer in time than they otherwise would . Using a novel, naturalistic paradigm, we conducted two experiments to test this hypothesis and examine the relationship between binding and self-reported authorship. In both experiments, an important authorship indicator – consistency between one’s action and a subsequent event – was manipulated, and its effects on binding (...) and self-reported authorship were measured. Results showed that action-event consistency enhanced both binding and self-reported authorship, supporting the hypothesis that binding arises from an inference of authorship. At the same time, evidence for a dissociation emerged, with consistency having a more robust effect on self-reports than on binding. Taken together, these results suggest that binding and self-reports reveal different aspects of the sense of authorship. (shrink)
Belief in free will is widespread. The present research considered one reason why people may believe that actions are freely chosen rather than determined: they attribute randomness in behavior to free will. Experiment 1 found that participants who were prompted to perform a random sequence of actions experienced their behavior as more freely chosen than those who were prompted to perform a deterministic sequence. Likewise, Experiment 2 found that, all else equal, the behavior of animated agents was perceived to be (...) more freely chosen if it consisted of a random sequence of actions than if it consisted of a deterministic sequence; this was true even when the degree of randomness in agents’ behavior was largely a product of their environments. Together, these findings suggest that randomness in behavior—one’s own or another’s—can be mistaken for free will. (shrink)
This is a letter written in reply to some criticisms of object theory's analysis of mathematics. The criticisms were offered by Philip Ebert and Marcus Rossberg, in connection with my talk at the 31st International Wittgenstein Symposium, in Kirchberg, 2008. The exchange was published in the volume of proceedings.
EbertPhilip A and RossbergMarcus, eds.* * _ Essays on Frege’s Basic Laws of Arithmetic_. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Pp. xii + 673. ISBN: 978-0-19-871208-4 ; 978-0-19-102005-6, 978-0-19-178024-0. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198712084.001.0001.
‘That a corporeal substance, which hath absolute existence without the minds of spirits, should be produced out of nothing by the mere will of a spirit hath been looked upon as a thing so contrary to all reason, so impossible and absurd, that not only the most celebrated amongst the ancients, but even divers modern and Christian philosophers have thought matter co-eternal with the Deity.’.
Following the lead of Kant more fully than the master himself, Muyskens defends the thesis that so-called "religious beliefs," or at least fundamental ones like the beliefs in the existence of God and life after death, should be construed more on the model of hope than on the model of belief, as we find the latter in more mundane contexts. He is not so hardy as to claim that religious believers generally hold their beliefs as hopes. On the contrary, he (...) recognizes that in much of the Christian tradition there is a stress on certainty and confidence that God exists and that our life will continue beyond the grave, and on the cosmic security provided by Christian faith. Muyskens's position is that religious belief can be justifiably held only if it takes something like the form of hope. To undergird this position he provides an analysis of hope as a propositional attitude, hoping that p, with some glances at treatments of hope by Aquinas, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, and Gabriel Marcel. S hopes that p if and only if: S desires that p; It is not the case that p is not preferred by S on balance, or that S believes that q, which he prefers on balance, is incompatible with p; Neither p nor not-p is certain for S; S is disposed to act as if p. (shrink)
Mountaineering is a dangerous activity. For many mountaineers, part of its very attraction is the risk, the thrill of danger. Yet mountaineers are often regarded as reckless or even irresponsible for risking their lives. In this paper, we offer a defence of risk-taking in mountaineering. Our discussion is organised around the fact that mountaineers and non-mountaineers often disagree about how risky mountaineering really is. We hope to cast some light on the nature of this disagreement – and to argue that (...) mountaineering may actually be worthwhile because of the risks it involves. Section 1 introduces the disagreement and, in doing so, separates out several different notions of risk. Sections 2–4 then consider some explanations of the disagreement, showing how a variety of phenomena can skew people's risk judgements. Section 5 then surveys some recent statistics, to see whether these illuminate how risky mountaineering is. In light of these considerations, however, we suggest that the disagreement is best framed not simply in terms of how risky mountaineering is but whether the risks it does involve are justified. The remainder of the paper, sections 6–9, argues that risk-taking in mountaineering often is justified – and, moreover, that mountaineering can itself be justified by and because of the risks it involves. (shrink)
A principle that many have found attractive is one that goes by the name “'Ought' Implies 'Can'.” According to this principle, one morally ought to do something only if one can do it. This essay has two goals: to show that the principle is false and to undermine the motivations that have been offered for it. Toward the end, a proposal about moral obligation according to which something like a restricted version of 'Ought' Implies 'Can' is true is floated. Though (...) no full-fledged argument for this proposal is offered, that it fits with a rather natural and intuitive picture of the structure of morality and seems to explain certain salient features of the debate over whether the principle is true, goes some way toward recommending it. (shrink)
This chapter aims to provide materials with which to substantiate the claim that, under the appropriate circumstances, the notion of analyticity can help explain how one might have a priori knowledge even in the strong sense. It argues that Implicit Definition, properly understood, is completely independent of any form of irrealism about logic. The chapter defends the thesis of Implicit Definition against Quine's criticisms, and examines the sort of account of the apriority of logic that this doctrine is able to (...) provide. The chapter shows that, against the background of a rejection of indeterminacy, its insolubility cannot be conceded. It also argues that neither a non‐factualism about Frege‐analyticity, nor an error thesis about it, can plausibly fall short of an outright rejection of meaning itself. The chapter shows how the doctrine that appears to offer the most promising account of how we grasp the meanings of the logical constants. (shrink)
Integrated information theory (IIT) is a candidate theory of consciousness that highlights the role of complex interactions between parts of a system as the basis of consciousness – and, due to its general information-theoretic formulation, is capable of making statements about consciousness in neural and non-neural systems alike. Here, we argue that a system radically different to a human brain, host to complex physiological and functional structures capable of integrating information, can be found in the meristems and vascular system of (...) higher plants. Following a pragmatic and ontologically innocent approach, neither taking for granted that plants are conscious nor dismissing the possibility that they are, we argue that the time is ripe to apply analysis tools inspired by IIT to plants, taking advantage of recent developments in both plant imaging and information theory. We introduce and discuss the relevant literature, and pro information and integration in plant behaviour, assessing the plausibility of plant sentience. If successful, these experiments could position plants as the next frontier in consciousness science, and urge us to rethink our perspectives on consciousness, how to measure it, and its prevalence amongst living beings. (shrink)
In this book, Nuttall traces the development of "solipsistic fear... the fear that the external world... may not exist at all," in philosophy and literature, mainly English, from the late seventeenth century to the present. His method is first to trace some aspect of the philosophical discussion about the reality of the external world, and then to examine works of literature from the same period in which the same or similar views on the problem are expressed. In philosophy, Nuttall’s attention (...) centers on Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Bradley, and Wittgenstein, while in literature he focuses primarily on Sterne, Wordsworth, Sartre, and Eliot. Nuttall argues that Wittgenstein’s private language argument in the philosophical realm, and Eliot’s poetry in the literary, decisively counteract the solipsistic fear which the empiricist and idealist philosophers and their literary counterparts had developed. (shrink)
Objectives To investigate empirically the motivations for not consenting to DNA biobanking in a Swedish population-based study and to discuss the implications. Design Structured questionnaires and semistructured interviews. Setting A longitudinal epidemiological project (PART) ongoing since 1998 in Stockholm, Sweden. The DNA-collection wave took place during 2006–7. Participants 903 individuals completed the questionnaire (participation rate 36%) and 23 were interviewed. All individuals had participated in both non-genetic waves of the project, but refused to contribute saliva samples during the DNA-collection wave. (...) Main outcome measures Motivations behind refusing to consent to DNA biobanking, with subsequent focus on participants' explanations regarding this unwillingness. Results Public refusal to consent to DNA biobanking, as revealed by the questionnaire, was mainly explained by a lack of personal relevance of DNA contribution and feelings of discomfort related to the DNA being used for purposes other than the respective study. Interviews of individuals representing the second motivation, revealed a significant mistrust of DNA biobank studies. The underlying beliefs and attitudes were associated with concerns about integrity, privacy, suspiciousness and insecurity. However, most interviewees were supportive of genetic research per se and interpreted their mistrust in the light of distressing environmental influences. Conclusion The results suggest a need for guidelines on benefit sharing, as well as trustworthy and stable measures to maintain privacy, as a means for increasing personal relevance and trust among potential participants in genetic research. Measures taken from biobanks seem insufficient in maintaining and increasing trust, suggesting that broader societal measures should be taken. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the article “Perception-Action Mutuality Obviates Mental Construction” by Martin Flament Fultot, Lin Nie & Claudia Carello. Upshot: In my view, the clash between ecological psychology, enactivism, and constructivism in general has more to do with irreconcilable metaphysical and theoretical incommensurabilities than disagreements about specific mechanisms or processes of perception. Even with mutual enabling of action and perception, some internal process of self-modification is still needed if novel behavior is to be adequately explained.
There are several strategies to promote health in individuals and populations. Two general approaches to health promotion are behavior change and empowerment. The aim of this article is to present those two kinds of strategies, and show that the behavior-change approach has some moral problems, problems that the empowerment approach (on the whole) is better at handling. Two distinct ‘ideal types’ of these practices are presented and scrutinized. Behavior change interventions use various kinds of theories to target people’s behavior, which (...) they do through information, persuasion, coercion and manipulation. Empowerment is a collaborative method where those ‘facilitated’ participate in the change process. Some ethical problems with the behavior-change model are that it does not sufficiently respect the right to autonomy of the individuals involved and risks reducing their ability for autonomy, and that it risks increasing health inequalities. Empowerment, on the other hand, respects the participant’s right to autonomy, tends to increase the ability for autonomy, as well as increasing other coping skills, and is likely to reduce inequalities. A drawback with this approach is that it often takes longer to realize. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the corporate social performance of an organization and three variables: the size of the organization, the financial performance of the organization, and the environmental performance of the organization. By empirically testing data from 1987 to 1992, the results of the study show that a firm's corporate social performance is indeed impacted by the size of the firm, the level of profitability of the firm, and the amount of pollution emissions (...) released by the firm. (shrink)
Following promulgation of the Nuremberg code in 1947, the ethics of research on human subjects has been a challenging and often contentious topic of debate. Escalation in the use of research participants in low-income countries over recent decades , has intensified the debate on the ethics of international research and led to increasing attention both to exploitation of vulnerable subjects and to considerations of how the 10:90 gap in health and medical research could be narrowed. In 2000, prompted by the (...) discussions over several years that led to the US NIH launching a capacity building programme on research ethics for members of research ethics committees in developing countries, we advanced a ‘new look’ for the ethics of international research.1 Since then progress has been made on several fronts.First, our ideas—considered somewhat radical and impractical at the time—have been provocatively addressed by scholars who have either contested them or advanced similar conceptions of what obligations international researchers have to research participants and communities in low income countries before, during and after clinical trials. Second, those researchers who have been sympathetic to our ideas have either endeavoured to put these into practice or have investigated the feasibility of doing so. Third, the intractability of the 10/90 gap and the escalation of interest in global health have sensitised many to the need to amplify the uptake of these ideas in practice.Here, we briefly review the conceptual and practical developments in international research ethics. While much conceptual progress has been made (and the concepts are now appearing …. (shrink)
Nicholas Capaldi, in the preface of his definitive biography of Mill, lists several reasons why “an intellectual biography of Mill is especially useful”. According to Capaldi, one of these reasons Mill would appreciate: “As he [Mill] said in an 1846 article, ‘What shapes the character is not what is purposely taught, so much as the unintentional teaching of institutions and social relations.’ Mill was very much a figure of his time, both shaped by it and helping to shape it. He (...) was, in the best sense, the quintessential Victorian Liberal. Recent scholarship has begun to make a more balanced assessment of Victorian Britain, both its influence upon and its continuing relevance to our own world. An intellectual biography of Mill constitutes a contribution to that larger enterprise and benefits from that larger contextualization”. (shrink)