Conscientious Objection: A Bioethical and Legal ApproachObjeção de consciência: uma aproximação bioética e jurídicaScientific and medical developments, added to our reality in Colombia, demand the training of professionals consistent with ethical principles and clear theoretical concepts on current regulations that are aimed at respect for human life. The country’s current constitutional situation poses a challenge to any professional, beyond the legal or health fields, since fundamental rights such as life and freedom of conscience are being questioned. This paper demonstrates the (...) need and importance of promoting and accessing conscientious objection as a response to the legal landscape of the protection of life in Colombia, which may be an example for other countries in Latin America.Para citar este artículo / To reference this article / Para citar este artigo Prieto-Soler MP, Muñoz D, Restrepo OI. Objeción de conciencia: una aproximación bioética y jurídica. Pers Bioet. 2020; 24: 205-17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5294/pebi.2020.24.2.7Publicado: 27/11/2020. (shrink)
Este artículo de revisión examina la importancia que tienen las comunidades microbianas que colonizan los ambientes y equipos de procesado de alimentos formando biopelículas o biofilms en la persistencia microbiana en la industria alimentaria y consecuentemente, en la seguridad y la calidad de los alimentos. La atención se centra especialmente en biopelículas formadas por microorganismos no deseados, es decir, microorganismos alterantes y patógenos. Se presenta información sobre la variabilidad intraespecífica en la formación, la ecología y la arquitectura de las biopelículas, (...) y los factores que influyen en su formación. Asimismo, se resume la información disponible sobre nuevos agentes o estrategias para el control de la formación o eliminación de biopelículas. (shrink)
The text deals with the links bet ween the scientific ideal and the methodological conceptions in research. It ar gues how the ideal of simplification corresponds with disciplinary methodologies that fix and control reality to keep it in a positive state, identified from an external power; on the co..
A humane and respectful treatment of patients by the staff has inspired the creation of the Department of Humanism and Bioethics at the University Hospital of Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá which not only has met, but even surpassed established goals. Since 2013, the Department has developed different activities that have made it possible to respond more ethically to the daily needs of patients and to strengthen other humanization processes. Currently, the Department of Humanism and Bioethics addresses five lines of (...) work: a continuing education program, an assistance advisory program, support, and strengthening of existing committees, support for the activities of our institutional humanization program and research activities. This article updates the experience of this Department, specifically focusing on notable changes in the last years. (shrink)
Ta king ad van ta ge of the ins pi ra tion that Je sús Iba ñez of fers, four teen years from his death -with his cri ti cal so cio logy of ur ban every - day-life, his ra di cal re fle xi vism, res pon si ble for the irre ver si ble re turn of the sub ject, and his pro po sals in the field of..
A la muerte de Suárez algunos de sus escritos permanecían aún inéditos. De ellos se hablaba ya en las primeras cartas que comunicaban su fallecimiento. Así, el P. Núñez Mascarenhas, superior de la casa de Lisboa donde falleció el insigne teólogo, decía al provincial de la Compañía de Jesús en el reino de Aragón: "El P. Suárez se había recogido en el Noviciado para preparar la impresión de varios volúmenes: primero, el De Angelis; segundo, el De opere sex dierum [en (...) adelante, DOSD]; tercero, De fide; cuarto y quinto, De gratia y De auxiliis; sexto y séptimo, De statu religionis; octavo, De voluntario et involuntario"3. (shrink)
Por supuesto se expresa como quien conoce muy bien los términos jurídicos pero con la habilidad de no abrumar al interlocutor. Inspira confianza. Es una mujer grande que mira directamente a los ojos y sonríe casi siempre. Escucha con atención y acierta a comunicar desde la propia experiencia no ya de brillante profesional de la judicatura, sino de mujer, madre, compañera� Enseguida hemos pasado del usted al tú�.
While Aristotle's account of the happy life continues to receive attention, many of his claims about virtue of character seem so puzzling that modern philosophers have often discarded them, or have reworked them to fit more familiar theories that do not make virtue of character central. In this book, Paula Gottlieb takes a fresh look at Aristotle's claims, particularly the much-maligned doctrine of the mean. She shows how they form a thought-provoking ethic of virtue, one that deserves to be (...) developed and refined. The first part of the book addresses the nature of virtue and the virtues, illuminated by the doctrine of the mean. Building on the conclusions of this analysis, the second part explains the mentality of the good person and the type of society that will allow such a person to flourish. (shrink)
In this article I address the issue of the ontological conditions of possibility for a naturalistic notion of emergence, trying to determine its fundamental differences from the atomist, vitalist, preformationist and potentialist alternatives. I will argue that a naturalistic notion of ontological emergence can only succeed if we explicitly refuse the atomistic fundamental ontological postulate that asserts that every entity is endowed with a set of absolutely intrinsic properties, being qualitatively immutable through its extrinsic relations. Furthermore, it will be shown (...) that, ironically enough, this metaphysical assumption is implicitly shared by all the above mentioned alternatives to Emergentism. The current article concludes that the notion of organization by itself is not enough, and that ontological emergence can only be justified by assuming a relational ontological perspective that, in opposition both to atomism and holism, defends that the existence-conditions, the identity and the causal behavior of any emergent systemic property can only be conceived, and explained, as constructed by and through specific networks of qualitatively transformative relational processes that occur between the system’s components and between the system and its environment. Additionally, I try to explain how one can make sense of the idea that an emergent phenomenon is both dependent on, and autonomous from, its emergence base. (shrink)
This essay offers a conception of logic by which logic may be considered to be exceptional among the sciences on the backdrop of a naturalistic outlook. The conception of logic focused on emphasises the traditional role of logic as a methodology for the sciences, which distinguishes it from other sciences that are not methodological. On the proposed conception, the methodological aims of logic drive its definitions and principles, rather than the description of scientific phenomena. The notion of a methodological discipline (...) is explained as a relation between disciplines or practices. Logic serves as a methodological discipline with respect to any theoretical practice, and this generality, as well as logic’s reflexive nature, distinguish it from other methodological disciplines. Finally, the evolution of model theory is taken as a case study, with a focus on its methodological role. Following recent work by John Baldwin and Juliette Kennedy, we look at model theory from its inception in the mid-twentieth century as a foundational endeavour until developments at the end of the century, where the classification of theories has taken centre-stage. (shrink)
According to one of the most powerful paradigms explaining the meaning of the concept of natural number, natural numbers get a large part of their conceptual content from core cognitive abilities. Carey’s bootstrapping provides a model of the role of core cognition in the creation of mature mathematical concepts. In this paper, I conduct conceptual analyses of various theories within this paradigm, concluding that the theories based on the ability to subitize, or on the ability to approximate quantities, or both, (...) fail to provide a conceptual basis for bootstrapping the concept of an exact natural number. In particular, I argue that none of the existing theories explains one of the key characteristics of the natural number structure: the equidistances between successive elements of the natural numbers progression. I suggest that this regularity could be based on another innate cognitive ability, namely sensitivity to the regularity of rhythm. In the final section, I propose a new position within the core cognition paradigm, inspired by structuralist positions in philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
Acts of Religion, compiled in close association with Jacques Derrida, brings together for the first time a number of Derrida's writings on religion and questions of faith and their relation to philosophy and political culture. The essays discuss religious texts from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, as well as religious thinkers such as Kant, Levinas, and Gershom Scholem, and comprise pieces spanning Derrida's career. The collection includes two new essays by Derrida that appear here for the first time in any (...) language, as well as a substantial introduction by Gil Anidjar that explores Derrida's return to his own "religious" origins and his attempts to bring to light hidden religious dimensions of the social, cultural, historical, and political. (shrink)
I argue that political forgiveness is sometimes, but not always, compatible with public commemoration of politically motivated wrongdoing. I start by endorsing the claim that commemorating serious past wrongdoing has moral value and imposes moral demands on key actors within post-conflict societies. I am concerned with active commemoration, that is, the deliberate acts of bringing victims and the wrong done to them to public attention. The main issue is whether political forgiveness requires forgetting and conversely whether remembrance can be an (...) impediment to political forgiveness. The notion of political forgiveness, its definition, very possibility and desirability are contentious issues in the contemporary literature. I develop a multidimensional account of political forgiveness with a core element. The core element of political forgiveness involves taking a non-adversarial stance towards perpetrators in the sense of committing to stop holding their wrongdoing against them. The core element of forgiveness is usually combined with other attitudes and practices, which are appropriate depending on the circumstances. This is due to the fact that there are different ways of holding a wrong against an offender. I argue that forgiving perpetrators is not compatible with continue to punishing them, refusing to reconcile with them, and/or reminding them of their misdeed if perpetrators refuse to accept punishment, deny the importance of commemorating the past or wish to reconcile against the victim’s desires. I show that some forms of political forgiveness are not morally legitimate because they conflict with moral demands to punish perpetrators, commemorate atrocities and respect victims. This conclusion is less alarming than it might initially seem because the refusal to forgive politically motivated wrongdoing does not necessarily lead to the perpetuation of violence and conflict. I briefly draw on the example of Argentina in order to show how some forms of political un-forgiveness can be morally legitimate and effective ways for victims to uphold these demands. (shrink)
Forgiveness as a positive response to wrongdoing is a widespread phenomenon that plays a role in the moral lives of most persons. Surprisingly, Kant has very little to say on the matter. Although Kant dedicates considerable space to discussing punishment, wrongdoing and grace, he addresses the issues of human forgiveness directly only in some short passages in the Lectures on Ethics and in one passage of the Metaphysics of Morals. As noted by Sussman, the TL passage, however, betrays some ambivalence. (...) Kant establishes a duty of virtue to be forgiving (TL, 6:460), yet he immediately warns against its excess: meek toleration of recurrent wrongs could manifest a lack of self-respect and a violation of a duty to oneself (TL, 6:461). Sussman claims that this ambivalence ultimately arises from the fact that forgiveness sits uncomfortably in Kant’s moral thought. First, forgiveness has an ‘ineluctably elective aspect’ that makes it, to a certain extent, arbitrary and dependent on particular features of the forgiver’s psychology and, as such, in tension with Kant’s central claims that human beings are autonomous agents capable of determining their own moral status. Second, according to Sussman, Kant’s moral retributivism, i.e. ‘the particular moral position that every moral wrong against another deserves punishment of the wrongdoer’ seems to be in tension with the possibility of a ‘truly redemptive forgiveness’. Moreover, forgiveness also seems to be in tension with a passage of the Religion in which Kant argues that the moral guilt from our original evil disposition cannot be understood as a debt or liability that can be compensated, erased, transferred or otherwise wiped out by others (Rel, 6:72). Thus, to the extent that forgiveness might be thought to involve the forgoing of moral guilt, it seems incompatible with Kant’s views on culpability and punishment. This chapter seeks to clarify Kant’s views on forgiveness in order to show that, although not often appreciated, personal forgiveness plays an important role in the lives of ordinary human agents as understood by Kant. In particular, I aim to show there is a conception of forgiveness available to Kant that is not incompatible with Kant’s views of punishment and culpability. In Section 1, I argue that, for Kant, far from being merely ‘elective,’ forgiveness is, under certain conditions, morally required. I provide a brief summary of an interpretation of Kant’s theory of forgiveness that I have defended in recently published work , in order to argue that Kant’s duty to be forgiving should be understood as an imperfect duty of virtue which is conditional on repentance. Kant is not ambivalent about this duty because he maintains that when the relevant conditions are not met, we have a perfect duty to ourselves not to forgive unrepentant wrongdoers. The TL passage thus identifies two different duties. In Section 2, I show that forgiveness, as conceptualised by Kant, does not require the forgoing of punishment or the overcoming of moral guilt and that this could, in fact, be seen as an attractive feature of Kant’s position. I end by offering a very brief assessment of Kant’s views. (shrink)
Forgiveness is clearly an important aspect of our moral lives, yet surprisingly Kant, one of the most important authors in the history of Western ethics, seems to have very little to say about it. Some authors explain this omission by noting that forgiveness sits uncomfortably in Kant’s moral thought: forgiveness seems to have an ineluctably ‘elective’ aspect which makes it to a certain extent arbitrary; thus it stands in tension with Kant’s claim that agents are autonomous beings, capable of determining (...) their own moral status through rational reflection and choice. Other authors recognise that forgiveness plays a role in Kant’s philosophy but fail to appreciate the nature of this duty and misrepresent the Kantian argument in support of it. This paper argues that there is space in Kant’s philosophy for a genuine theory of forgiveness and hopes to lay the grounds for a correct interpretation of this theory. I argue that from a Kantian perspective, forgiveness is not ‘elective’ but, at least in some cases, morally required. I claim that, for Kant, we have an imperfect duty of virtue to forgive repentant wrongdoers that have embarked on a project of self-reflection and self-reform. I develop a novel argument in support of this duty by drawing on Kant’s theory of rational agency, the thesis of radical evil, Kant’s theory of moral development, and the formula of humanity. However, it must be noted that this is a conditional duty and Kant’s position also entails that absence of repentance on the part of the wrongdoer should be taken as evidence of a lack of commitment to a project of self-reflection and self-reform. In such cases, Kant claims, we have a perfect duty to ourselves not to forgive unrepentant wrongdoers. I argue that this duty should be understood as one of the duties of self-esteem, which involves the duty to respect and recognise our own dignity as rational beings. (shrink)
Claudia Blöser has recently proposed that Kant’s duty to be forgiving is grounded on the need to be relieved from the burden of our moral guilt, a need we have in virtue of our morally fallible nature, irrespectively of whether we have repented. I argue that Blöser's proposal does not fit well with certain central aspects of Kant’s views on moral guilt. For Kant, moral guilt is a complex phenomenon, that has both an intellectual and an affective aspect. I argue (...) that it is not even possible for us to fully overcome our intellectual guilt, and to the extent that it is possible to ameliorate our felt guilt, this is largely a matter of self-forgiveness. However, self-forgiveness is only appropriate when there is repentance for the wrongful action and rejection of its underlying immoral maxim by the wrongdoer as part of a project of moral transformation. I offer an alternative account of the human need for forgiveness, an account that makes forgiveness conditional on repentance. (shrink)
Generating an account that can sidestep the disagreement among substantive theories of well-being, while at the same time still providing useful guidance for well-being public policy, would be a significant achievement. Unfortunately, the various attempts to remain agnostic regarding what constitutes well-being fail to either be an account of well-being, provide useful guidance for well-being policy, or avoid relying on a substantive well-being theory. There are no theory-free lunches in well-being policy. Instead, I propose an intermediate account, according to which (...) well-being is constituted by endorsed veridical experiences. This account refers back to theories of well-being but does so as agnostically as possible. An intermediate account of well-being is meant as a policy guiding compromise between the different theories of well-being that make claims regarding what constitutes well-being. An intermediate account does as well as can be hoped for in providing a basis for well-being policy. (shrink)
Stigma taints individuals with a spoiled identity and loss of status or discrimination. This article is the first to examine the stigma attached to abortion and surrogacy and consider how law may stigmatize women for failing to conform to social expectations about maternal roles. Courts should consider evidence of stigma when evaluating laws regulating abortion or surrogacy to determine whether these laws are based on impermissible gender stereotyping.
Aristotle's discussion of the motivation of the good person is both complicated and cryptic. Depending on which passages are emphasized, he may seem to be presenting a Kantian style view according to which the good person is and ought to be motivated primarily by reason, or a Humean style view according to which desires and feelings are or ought to be in charge. In this book, Paula Gottlieb argues that Aristotle sees the thought, desires and feelings of the good (...) person as interdependent in a way that is sui generis, and she explains how Aristotle's concept of choice is an innovative and pivotal element in his account. Gottlieb's interpretation casts light on Aristotle's account of moral education, on the psychology of good, bad and half-bad people, and on the aesthetic and even musical side to being a good person. (shrink)
The editors of the volume, Krisanna Scheiter and Paula Satne, introduce some of the central themes in the book and briefly summarise the content of the different chapters. The chapters examine the merits and pitfalls of common reactive attitudes to wrongdoing, such as anger, hatred, resentment, and forgiveness, taking into account both historical perspectives and contemporary debates. The introduction explains some of the philosophical debates about the nature and the desirability of anger, and the alleged distinction between revenge and (...) punishment (1.1). The introduction also surveys deep disagreements regarding the normativity of interpersonal forgiveness and indeed the very nature of forgiveness, blame, and resentment, which run through the different chapters of the book (1.2). The third section of the introduction (1.3) turns its attention to forgiveness, punishment, and reconciliation in the political sphere and the philosophical debates surrounding the nature and desirability of political forgiveness and its relation to the moral duty to remember after an atrocity, as well as the relationship between political reconciliation, apologies, and punishment. The volume offers cutting-edge scholarship on these issues and a new way to interpret and understand these concepts by important figures in the history of philosophy. The hope is that the different contributions in this volume will help the reader understand the philosophical issues that are at stake when we think about our responses to both interpersonal and political wrongdoing as well as the considerations that underpin conflicts and our attempts to resolve them. (shrink)
A major obstacle for materialist theories of the mind is the problem of sensory consciousness. How could a physical brain produce conscious sensory states that exhibit the rich and luxurious qualities of red velvet, a Mozart concerto or fresh-brewed coffee? Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness offers to explain what these conscious sensory states have in common, by virtue of being conscious as opposed to unconscious states. After arguing against accounts of consciousness in terms of higher-order representation of (...) mental states, the theory claims that sensory consciousness is a special way we have of representing the world. The book also introduces a way of thinking about subjectivity as separate and more fundamental than consciousness, and considers how this foundational notion can be developed into more elaborate varieties. An appendix reviews the connection between consciousness and attention with an eye toward providing a neuropsychological instantiation of the proposed theory. (shrink)
We present four new change detection methods that create an automated change map from a probability map. In this case, the probability map was derived from a 3D model. The primary application of interest is aerial photographic applications, where the appearance, disappearance or change in position of small objects of a selectable class (e.g., cars) must be detected at a high success rate in spite of variations in magnification, lighting and background across the image. The methods rely on an earlier (...) derivation of a probability map. We describe the theory of the four methods, namely Bernoulli variables, Markov Random Fields, connected change, and relaxation-based segmentation, evaluate and compare their performance experimentally on a set probability maps derived from aerial photographs. (shrink)
The International Investment Law system is the result of a colonial project within a capitalist system that has been influenced by developmentalism discourse and neoliberal ideology. This book shows how it has become an instrument that facilitates forms of systemic violence against so called “Third World” countries.
Adult learners demand teaching innovations that are ever more rapid and attractive. As a response to these demands and the challenges of skills training, this article presents a conceptual analysis that introduces competitive debate as an impact training model. The aim is to learn whether debate can be considered to fall within the frame of gamification, so that the full potential of debate as gamification can be exploited. There is a significant research gap regarding competitive debate as a game, with (...) the training mechanics for adult learners remaining practically unexplored. Through a conceptual analysis of game, game experience, and gamification, and their respective characteristics, we conclude that competitive debate is an ideal instrument for gamification. (shrink)
In recent years feminist scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of the body and its representations in virtually every social, cultural, and intellectual context. Many have argued that because women are more closely identified with their bodies, they have access to privileged and different kinds of knowledge than men. In this landmark new book, Paula Cooey offers a different perspective on the significance of the body in the context of religious life and practice. Building on the pathbreaking work (...) of Elaine Scarry in The Body in Pain, Cooey looks at a wide range of evidence, from the Argentine prison narrative of Alicia Partnoy, to the novels of Toni Morrison and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Drawing on current social theory and critique, cognitive psychology, contemporary fiction and art, and women's accounts of religious experience, Cooey relates the reality of sentience to the social construction of reality. Beginning with an examination of the female body as a metaphor for alternative knowledge, she considers the significance of physical pain and pleasure to the religious imagination, and the relations between sentience, sensuality, and female subjectivity. Cooey succeeds in bringing forward a sophisticated new understanding of the religious importance of the body, at the same time laying the foundations of a feminist theory of religion. (shrink)
Gil Germain's Spirits in the Material World reflects on the vital role technology plays in liberating humankind from the real world of space and time, and examines the broad implications of this development for contemporary society. Germain argues that we ought to be wary of our spiritual sojourn and suggests ways to offset technology's otherworldly impulse.
Kant famously made a distinction between actions from duty and actions in conformity with duty claiming that only the former are morally worthy. Kant’s argument in support of this thesis is taken to rest on the claim that only the motive of duty leads non-accidentally or reliably to moral actions. However, many critics of Kant have claimed that other motives such as sympathy and benevolence can also lead to moral actions reliably, and that Kant’s thesis is false. In addition, many (...) readers of Kant find the claim that we should deny moral worth to a dutiful action performed from friendly inclination highly counterintuitive. Moreover, Kantian commentators disagree about the status of actions in conformity with duty, some claim that these can be taken as equally morally worthy as those performed from duty, while others argue that they are not even permissible. -/- It has also been claimed that Kant’s theory of moral worth should be related to the theory of the Gesinnung developed in the Religion. Thus, some authors claim that, in order for an action to possess moral worth, the agent has to be unconditionally committed to morality, that is, the agent must possess a virtuous character or good fundamental maxim (i.e. a good Gesinnung). However, according to Kant’s radical evil thesis (that is, the thesis that man is evil by nature ), the default position for man is to possess an evil Gesinnung, i.e. a Gesinnung which is only conditionally committed to morality insofar as morality does not demand a great sacrifice of our own happiness. So, an unwelcome consequence of this line of interpretation is that in Kantian ethics morally worthy actions become very rare indeed. -/- The paper is divided in two parts. The first part aims to clarify why Kant thought that only actions from duty are morally worthy, replying to some common objections against Kant’s view. I argue that Kant’s non-accidental condition should not be understood in terms of reliability because such interpretation is incompatible with Kant’s theory of motivation and rational agency. I propose an alternative interpretation which supports Kant’ s claim that only the motive of duty leads nonaccidently to dutiful actions, and thus only actions from duty possess moral worth. I end by showing that although actions in conformity with duty are worthless from the moral point of view, they are not (in many cases) impermissible. The first part concludes that the criterion for the permissibility of actions is different to the criterion for the ascription of moral worth. Thus, rightness, which pertains to actions performed on maxims that can be willed as universal laws, and moral worth, which pertains to actions performed from a sense of duty, should be understood as two different levels of moral assessment. -/- The second part of the paper examines Kant’s conception of virtue with the aim of showing that although only agents with a virtuous character (good Gesinnung) will reliably act from duty, a person with an evil character (evil Gesinnung) could on frequent occasions act from duty. I argue that we should not deny moral worth to actions performed from duty even when the agent has an evil Gesinnung. Goodness of Gesinnung is not a necessary condition of the action of an agent possessing moral worth; reliability of motivation is necessary for the ascription of virtue but not for the ascription of moral worth. It follows that virtue, which refers to the agent’s character or fundamental maxim (i.e. the agent’s Gesinnung), and moral worth are also two different levels of moral assessment. The paper concludes that three levels of moral assessment can be distinguished in Kant’s ethical system: (i) rightness, (ii) moral worth and (iii) moral virtue. Moral virtue is the highest level of moral perfection for a human being. Striving towards virtue requires constant progress and effort and ultimately a ‘revolution of the heart.’ The important point is that even when we are still striving to achieve virtue (i.e. an unconditional commitment to morality), we can ascribe moral worth to actions performed by a genuine sense of duty. It turns out that, contrary to many influential interpretations, Kantian ethics is not merely concerned with the rightness or wrongness of particular actions nor is Kantian ethics primarily an ethic of virtue. Instead, Kant’s ethical system is complex and allows for different levels of moral assessment in which both an action-centred and agent-centred perspective can be integrated. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss a prevailing view by which logical terms determine forms of sentences and arguments and therefore the logical validity of arguments. This view is common to those who hold that there is a principled distinction between logical and nonlogical terms and those holding relativistic accounts. I adopt the Tarskian tradition by which logical validity is determined by form, but reject the centrality of logical terms. I propose an alternative framework for logic where logical terms no longer (...) play a distinctive role. This account employs a new notion of semantic. (shrink)
Downward causation exercised by emergent properties of wholes upon their lower-level constituents’ properties has been accused of conceptual and metaphysical incoherence. Only upward causation is usually peacefully accepted. The aim of this paper is to criticize and refuse the traditional hierarchical-vertical way of conceiving both types of causation, although preserving their deepest ontological significance, as well as the widespread acceptance of the traditional atomistic-combinatorial view of the entities and the relations that constitute the so-called ‘emergence base’. Assuming those two perspectives (...) with no reserves, we are condemned to confine our debate to the question of whether reified wholes can have the power to downwardly change or influence their lower-level parts, a question which seems profoundly misleading to me. I therefore propose an alternative relational ontological view, assuming a straightforward horizontal and intra-level way of representing those putative cases of cross-level causation. I finally confront two recent replies to Kim’s well-known objections to DC—Craver and Bechtel and Kistler :595–609, 2009)—, emphasizing their global positive approaches, as well as the reasons why their accounts still seem insufficient to me. I conclude arguing that both Kim’s principle of the causal closure of the physical domain and its allegation of an overdetermination in cases of DC can be surpassed by the new relational ontological perspective presented here. (shrink)
Philosophers of well-being have tended to adopt a foundationalist approach to the question of theory and measurement, according to which theories are conceptually prior to measures. By contrast, social scientists have tended to adopt operationalist commitments, according to which they develop and refine well-being measures independently of any philosophical foundation. Unfortunately, neither approach helps us overcome the problem of coordinating between how we characterize wellbeing and how we measure it. Instead, we should adopt a coherentist approach to well-being science.
Policy-makers sometimes aim to improve well-being as a policy goal, but to do this they need some way to measure well-being. Instead of relying on potentially problematic theories of well-being to justify their choice of well-being measure, Daniel Hausman proposes that policy-makers can sometimes rely on preference-based measures as evidence for well-being. I claim that Hausman’s evidential account does not justify the use of any one measure more than it justifies the use of any other measure. This leaves us at (...) a loss as to which policy should be chosen in the non-trivial cases for which there is substantial disagreement between the different measures in their assessment of policy. (shrink)
In standard model-theoretic semantics, the meaning of logical terms is said to be fixed in the system while that of nonlogical terms remains variable. Much effort has been devoted to characterizing logical terms, those terms that should be fixed, but little has been said on their role in logical systems: on what fixing their meaning precisely amounts to. My proposal is that when a term is considered logical in model theory, what gets fixed is its intension rather than its extension. (...) I provide a rigorous way of spelling out this idea, and show that it leads to a graded account of logicality: the less structure a term requires in order for its intension to be fixed, the more logical it is. Finally, I focus on the class of terms that are invariant under isomorphisms, as they render themselves more easily to mathematical treatment. I propose a mathematical measure for the logicality of such terms based on their associated Löwenheim numbers. (shrink)
Individual choices are commonly taken to manifest personal preferences. The present study investigated whether social and statistical cues influence young children's inferences about the generalizability of preferences. Preschoolers were exposed to either 1 or 2 demonstrators’ selections of objects. The selected objects constituted 18%, 50%, or 100% of all available objects. We found that children took a single demonstrator's choices as indicative only of his or her personal preference. However, when 2 demonstrators made the same selection, then children inferred that (...) it generalized to other agents of the same kind as the original demonstrator's, but not to agents of a different kind. Lastly, only when both demonstrators blatantly violated random selection (i.e., in the 18% condition) did children generalize the preference even to an agent of a different kind. Thus, from a young age, social and statistical cues inform children's naïve sociology. (shrink)
Contextualist theories of truth appeal to context to solve the liar paradox: different stages of reasoning occur in different contexts, and so the contradiction is dispelled. The word ‘true’ is relativized by the contextualists to contexts of use. This paper shows that contextualist approaches to the liar are committed to a form of semantic relativism: that the truth value of some sentences depends on the context of assessment, as well as the context of use. In particular, it is shown how (...) Simmons’s and Glanzberg’s contextualist approaches entail relativism. In both cases, the liar sentence gets different semantic evaluations as uttered in a fixed context of use but assessed from different contexts. Shift in context of use alone cannot provide the full explanation of the liar. These contextualist approaches, as originally presented, were thus mischaracterised and they should be re-evaluated according to their full implications. (shrink)