Through emotionally charged portraits and richly layered interior views, the photographs of Chicago-based artist Paul D Amato provide a genuine and complex perspective on life in some of the most challenging and troubled neighborhoods in the nation. This publication is supported in part by grants from the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.".
In Situations and Individuals, Paul Elbourne argues that the natural language expressions that have been taken to refer to individuals — pronouns, proper names, and definite descriptions — have a common syntax and semantics, roughly that of definite descriptions as construed in the tradition of Frege. In the course of his argument, Elbourne shows that proper names have previously undetected donkey anaphoric readings.This is contrary to previous theorizing and, if true, would undermine what philosophers call the direct reference theory (...) (which holds that the sole contribution of a proper name to the truth conditions of a sentence is an individual) as well as the related doctrine that proper names are rigid designators. Elbourne begins by addressing donkey anaphora, relating other concerns about pronouns to the solution of this notorious problem. His subsequent argumentation provides a unified semantics for the donkey anaphoric and bound and referential uses of pronouns and discusses the prospect of unifying the syntax and semantics of pronouns with the syntax and semantics of normal definite descriptions. Elbourne's aim is not only to advance his proposal of a unified syntax and semantics but also to urge linguists and philosophers dealing with pronoun interpretation to consider a wider range of theories than they do at present, and to test the competing claims of description-based theories and dynamic semantics against the data. (shrink)
The article begins by describing two longstanding problems associated with direct inference. One problem concerns the role of uninformative frequency statements in inferring probabilities by direct inference. A second problem concerns the role of frequency statements with gerrymandered reference classes. I show that past approaches to the problem associated with uninformative frequency statements yield the wrong conclusions in some cases. I propose a modification of Kyburg’s approach to the problem that yields the right conclusions. Past theories of direct inference have (...) postponed treatment of the problem associated with gerrymandered reference classes by appealing to an unexplicated notion of projectability . I address the lacuna in past theories by introducing criteria for being a relevant statistic . The prescription that only relevant statistics play a role in direct inference corresponds to the sort of projectability constraints envisioned by past theories. (shrink)
In attempting to form rational personal probabilities by direct inference, it is usually assumed that one should prefer frequency information concerning more specific reference classes. While the preceding assumption is intuitively plausible, little energy has been expended in explaining why it should be accepted. In the present article, I address this omission by showing that, among the principled policies that may be used in setting one’s personal probabilities, the policy of making direct inferences with a preference for frequency information for (...) more specific reference classes yields personal probabilities whose accuracy is optimal, according to all proper scoring rules, in situations where all of the relevant frequency information is point-valued. Assuming that frequency information for narrower reference classes is preferred, when the relevant frequency statements are point-valued, a dilemma arises when choosing whether to make a direct inference based upon relatively precise-valued frequency information for a broad reference class, R, or upon relatively imprecise-valued frequency information for a more specific reference class, R*. I address such cases, by showing that it is often possible to make a precise-valued frequency judgment regarding R* based on precise-valued frequency information for R, using standard principles of direct inference. Having made such a frequency judgment, the dilemma of choosing between and is removed, and one may proceed by using the precise-valued frequency estimate for the more specific reference class as a premise for direct inference. (shrink)
Systems of logico-probabilistic (LP) reasoning characterize inference from conditional assertions interpreted as expressing high conditional probabilities. In the present article, we investigate four prominent LP systems (namely, systems O, P, Z, and QC) by means of computer simulations. The results reported here extend our previous work in this area, and evaluate the four systems in terms of the expected utility of the dispositions to act that derive from the conclusions that the systems license. In addition to conforming to the dominant (...) paradigm for assessing the rationality of actions and decisions, our present evaluation complements our previous work, since our previous evaluation may have been too severe in its assessment of inferences to false and uninformative conclusions. In the end, our new results provide additional support for the conclusion that (of the four systems considered) inference by system Z offers the best balance of error avoidance and inferential power. Our new results also suggest that improved performance could be achieved by a modest strengthening of system Z. (shrink)
In this study, we examined the effects of emotional experience, a relatively new dimension of emotional knowledge that gauges the ease with which words evoke emotional experience, on abstract word processing in the Stroop task. In order to test the context-dependency of these effects, we accentuated the saliency of this dimension in Experiment 1A by blocking the stimuli such that one block consisted of the stimuli with the highest emotional experience ratings and the other block consisted of the stimuli with (...) the lowest emotional experience ratings. We attenuated the saliency of this dimension in Experiment 1B by intermixing the stimuli. We observed slower color naming performance for words with higher emotional experience ratings only in Experiment 1A, suggesting that the dimension of emotional experience is an aspect of semantic representation for abstract words but that its influence can be modulated by context. We interpret these results more generally using Vigliocco, Meteyard, Andrews, and Kousta's framework of semantic representation, and more specifically using Cohen, Dunbar, and McClelland's model of Stroop task performance. (shrink)
In a recent article, Joel Pust argued that direct inference based on reference properties of differing arity are incommensurable, and so direct inference cannot be used to resolve the Sleeping Beauty problem. After discussing the defects of Pust's argument, I offer reasons for thinking that direct inferences based on reference properties of differing arity are commensurable, and that we should prefer direct inferences based on logically stronger reference properties, regardless of arity.
Huw Price’s subject naturalism has emerged as a leading pragmatist position within recent debates surrounding philosophical naturalism. Unlike orthodox views which tend to be guided by metaphysical questions about the “place” of, for instance, the mind, meaning, and morality within the natural world, subject naturalism focuses philosophical attention on language-users and the functions that certain concepts play within discursive practices. This paper considers two objections to subject naturalism and argues that they can be overcome by looking to the methodological insights (...) of philosophical genealogy. Although Price occasionally characterizes his project as a kind of genealogy, he offers little explanation of what such a methodological orientation is supposed to involve. I suggest that subject naturalists ought to remedy this theoretical lacuna by looking to the work of Bernard Williams. On the one hand, doing so can serve a diagnostic function: Williams’ conception of genealogy affords a perspective from which subject naturalism’s explanatory inadequacies are more clearly understood. On the other hand, Williams’ elaborated conception of genealogy represents a path by which the subject naturalist can overcome the shortcomings discussed in this paper. (shrink)
The present article illustrates a conflict between the claim that rational belief sets are closed under deductive consequences, and a very inclusive claim about the factors that are sufficient to determine whether it is rational to believe respective propositions. Inasmuch as it is implausible to hold that the factors listed here are insufficient to determine whether it is rational to believe respective propositions, we have good reason to deny that rational belief sets are closed under deductive consequences.
The article proceeds upon the assumption that the beliefs and degrees of belief of rational agents satisfy a number of constraints, including: consistency and deductive closure for belief sets, conformity to the axioms of probability for degrees of belief, and the Lockean Thesis concerning the relationship between belief and degree of belief. Assuming that the beliefs and degrees of belief of both individuals and collectives satisfy the preceding three constraints, I discuss what further constraints may be imposed on the aggregation (...) of beliefs and degrees of belief. Some possibility and impossibility results are presented. The possibility results suggest that the three proposed rationality constraints are compatible with reasonable aggregation procedures for belief and degree of belief. (shrink)
In previous work, we studied four well known systems of qualitative probabilistic inference, and presented data from computer simulations in an attempt to illustrate the performance of the systems. These simulations evaluated the four systems in terms of their tendency to license inference to accurate and informative conclusions, given incomplete information about a randomly selected probability distribution. In our earlier work, the procedure used in generating the unknown probability distribution (representing the true stochastic state of the world) tended to yield (...) probability distributions with moderately high entropy levels. In the present article, we present data charting the performance of the four systems when reasoning in environments of various entropy levels. The results illustrate variations in the performance of the respective reasoning systems that derive from the entropy of the environment, and allow for a more inclusive assessment of the reliability and robustness of the four systems. (shrink)
The present paper introduces a simple framework for modeling the relationship between environmental states, perceptual states, and action. The framework represents situations where an agent’s perceptual state forms the basis for choosing an action, and what action the agent performs determines the agent’s payoff, as a function of the environmental conditions in which the action is performed. The framework is used as the basis for a simulation study of the sorts of correspondence between perceptual and environmental states that are important (...) for successful navigation of the world. Some of the results are surprising and conflict with long held views about the kind of perception-to-environment correspondence that is important for knowledge of the world. The results also raise doubts concerning the view that our perceptual states provide a basis for knowledge of the real structure of the external world. (shrink)
Meta-induction, in its various forms, is an imitative prediction method, where the prediction methods and the predictions of other agents are imitated to the extent that those methods or agents have proven successful in the past. In past work, Schurz demonstrated the optimality of meta-induction as a method for predicting unknown events and quantities. However, much recent discussion, along with formal and empirical work, on the Wisdom of Crowds has extolled the virtue of diverse and independent judgment as essential to (...) maintenance of 'wise crowds'. This suggests that meta-inductive prediction methods could undermine the wisdom of the crowd inasmuch these methods recommend that agents imitate the predictions of other agents. In this article, we evaluate meta-inductive methods with a focus on the impact on a group's performance that may result from including meta-inductivists among its members. In addition to considering cases of global accessibility (i.e., cases where the judgments of all members of the group are available to all of the group's members), we consider cases where agents only have access to the judgments of other agents within their own local neighborhoods. (shrink)
The applicability of Bayesian conditionalization in setting one’s posterior probability for a proposition, α, is limited to cases where the value of a corresponding prior probability, PPRI(α|∧E), is available, where ∧E represents one’s complete body of evidence. In order to extend probability updating to cases where the prior probabilities needed for Bayesian conditionalization are unavailable, I introduce an inference schema, defeasible conditionalization, which allows one to update one’s personal probability in a proposition by conditioning on a proposition that represents a (...) proper subset of one’s complete body of evidence. While defeasible conditionalization has wider applicability than standard Bayesian conditionalization (since it may be used when the value of a relevant prior probability, PPRI(α|∧E), is unavailable), there are circumstances under which some instances of defeasible conditionalization are unreasonable. To address this difficulty, I outline the conditions under which instances of defeasible conditionalization are defeated. To conclude the article, I suggest that the prescriptions of direct inference and statistical induction can be encoded within the proposed system of probability updating, by the selection of intuitively reasonable prior probabilities. (shrink)
Paul D. Halliday: Habeas Corpus. From England to Empire Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11572-012-9141-5 Authors Lindsay Farmer, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK Journal Criminal Law and Philosophy Online ISSN 1871-9805 Print ISSN 1871-9791.
'A mere metaphor', 'only symbolic', 'just a myth' - these tell tale phrases reveal how figurative language has been cheapened and devalued in our modern and postmodern culture. In God and the Creative Imagination, Paul Avis argues the contrary: we see that actually, metaphor, symbol and myth, are the key to a real knowledge of God and the sacred. Avis examines what he calls an alternative tradition, stemming from the Romantic poets Blake, Wordsworth and Keats and drawing on the (...) thought of Cleridge and Newman, and experience in both modern philosophy and science. God and the Creative Imagination intriguingly draws on a number of non-theological disciplines, from literature to philosophy of science, to show us that God is appropriately likened to an artist or poet and that the greatest truths are expressed in an imaginative form. Anyone wishing to further their understanding of God, belief and the imagination will find this an inspiring work. (shrink)
The point, for the 946,326th time is that people get elected to office by currying the favor of powerful interest groups. They don’t get elected for their excellence as political philosophers.Congress has consistently failed to solve some serious problems with the cost, effectiveness, and safety of pharmaceuticals. In part, this failure results from the pharmaceutical industry convincing legislators to define policy problems in ways that protect industry profits. By targeting campaign contributions to influential legislators and by providing them with selective (...) information, the industry manages to displace the public’s voice in developing pharmaceutical policy. (shrink)
This article presents results from a simulation‐based study of inheritance inference, that is, inference from the typicality of a property among a “base” class to its typicality among a subclass of the class. The study aims to ascertain which kinds of inheritance inferences are reliable, with attention to the dependence of their reliability upon the type of environment in which inferences are made. For example, the study addresses whether inheritance inference is reliable in the case of “exceptional subclasses” (i.e., subclasses (...) that are known to be atypical in some respect) and attends to variations in reliability that result from variations in the entropy level of the environment. A further goal of the study is to show that the reliability of inheritance inference depends crucially on which sorts of base classes are used in making inferences. One approach to inheritance inference treats the extension of any atomic predicate as a suitable base class. A second approach identifies suitable base classes with the cells of a partition (of a preselected size k) of the domain of objects that satisfies the condition of maximizing the similarity of objects that are assigned to the same class. In addition to permitting more inferences, our study shows that the second approach results in inheritance inferences that are far more reliable, particularly in the case of exceptional subclasses. (shrink)
This 2004 book reconfigures the basic problem of Christian thinking - 'How can human discourse refer meaningfully to a transcendent God?' - as a twofold demand for integrity: integrity of reason and integrity of transcendence. Centring around a provocative yet penetratingly faithful re-reading of Kant's empirical realism, and drawing on an impelling confluence of contemporary thinkers Paul D. Janz argues that theology's 'referent' must be located within present empirical reality. Rigorously reasoned yet refreshingly accessible throughout, this book provides an (...) important, attentively informed alternative to the growing trends toward obscurantism, radicalization and anti-reason in many recent assessments of theological cognition, while remaining equally alert to the hazards of traditional metaphysics. In the book's culmination, epistemology and Christology converge around problems of noetic authority and orthodoxy with a kind of innovation, depth and straightforwardness that readers of theology at all levels of philosophical acquaintance will find illuminating. (shrink)
Why, when confronted with policy alternatives that could improve patient care, public health, and the economy, does Congress neglect those goals and tailor legislation to suit the interests of pharmaceutical corporations? In brief, for generations, the pharmaceutical industry has convinced legislators to define policy problems in ways that protect its profit margin. It reinforces this framework by selectively providing information and by targeting campaign contributions to influential legislators and allies. In this way, the industry displaces the public's voice in developing (...) pharmaceutical policy. Unless citizens mobilize to confront the political power of pharmaceutical firms, objectionable industry practices and public policy will not change. Yet we need to refine this analysis. I propose a research agenda to uncover pharmaceutical influence. It develops the theory of dependence corruption to explain how the pharmaceutical industry is able to deflect the broader interests of the general public. It includes empirical studies of lobbying and campaign finance to uncover the means drug firms use to: (1) shape the policy framework adopted and information used to analyze policy; (2) subsidize the work of political allies; and (3) influence congressional voting. (shrink)
The prevailing view among historians of science holds that Charles Darwin became a convinced transmutationist only in the early spring of 1837, after his Beagle collections had been examined by expert British naturalists. With respect to the fossil vertebrate evidence, some historians believe that Darwin was incapable of seeing or understanding the transmutationist implications of his specimens without the help of Richard Owen. There is ample evidence, however, that he clearly recognized the similarities between several of the fossil vertebrates he (...) collected and some of the extant fauna of South America before he returned to Britain. These comparisons, recorded in his correspondence, his diary and his notebooks during the voyage, were instances of a phenomenon that he later called the “law of the succession of types.” Moreover, on the Beagle, he was following a geological research agenda outlined in the second volume of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology, which implies that paleontological data alone could provide an insight into the laws which govern the appearance of new species. Since Darwin claims in On the Origin of Species that fossil vertebrate succession was one of the key lines of evidence that led him to question the fixity of species, it seems certain that he was seriously contemplating transmutation during the Beagle voyage. If so, historians of science need to reconsider both the role of Britain’s expert naturalists and the importance of the fossil vertebrate evidence in the development of Darwin’s ideas on transmutation. (shrink)
Instead of searching for "African solutions" which have proved problematic so far, policymakers should focus on developing effective solutions for the complex challenges raised by the issue of armed conflict in Africa.
By applying markedness to Semitic morphology in a rigorous manner, this book brings to bear a venerable linguistic construct on a persistent philological crux, in order to achieve deeper clarity in the structures and workings of Canaanite and Hebrew verbs.
There are numerous formal systems that allow inference of new conditionals based on a conditional knowledge base. Many of these systems have been analysed theoretically and some have been tested against human reasoning in psychological studies, but experiments evaluating the performance of such systems are rare. In this article, we extend the experiments in  in order to evaluate the inferential properties of c-representations in comparison to the well-known Systems P and Z. Since it is known that System Z and (...) c-representations mainly differ in the sorts of inheritance inferences they allow, we discuss subclass inheritance and present experimental data for this type of inference in particular. (shrink)
When people encounter potential hazards, their expectations and behaviours can be shaped by a variety of factors including other people's expressions of verbal likelihood. What is the impact of such expressions when a person also has numeric likelihood estimates from the same source? Two studies used a new task involving an abstract virtual environment in which people learned about and reacted to novel hazards. Verbal expressions attributed to peers influenced participants’ behaviour toward hazards even when numeric estimates were also available. (...) Namely, verbal expressions suggesting that the likelihood of harm from a hazard is low yielded more risk taking with respect to said hazard. There were also inverse collateral effects, whereby participants’ behaviour and estimates regarding another hazard in the same context were affected in the opposite direction. These effects may be based on directionality and relativity cues inferred from verbal likelihood expressions. (shrink)
This article attempts to clarify some of the central questions and distinctions that provide the necessary backdrop for thinking in a sophisticated way about security in Africa. Drawing on the developing Critical Security Studies literature it suggests that an understanding of security based on people, justice and change offers the surest route to a stable future. It then sketches preliminary answers to some fundamental questions, namely: whose security should be prioritized? How have security dynamics in Africa been influenced by the (...) wider processes driving world politics? What clusters of threats are the most salient? Where do such threats have the most pernicious effects? Which actors are best placed to alleviate those threats? And what sort of institutions should be built to assist in that process? The role of outsiders concerned with promoting security on the continent should be to try to ensure that as many Africans as possible are able to voice their opinions on these crucial issues. (shrink)