In this essay, I claim that certain passages in Book IV of Benedict de Spinoza’s Ethics suggest a novel version of what is known as metaethical constructivism. The constructivist interpretation emerges in the course of attempting to resolve a tension between Spinoza’s apparent ethical egoism and some remarks he makes about the efficacy of collaborating with the right partners when attempting to promote our individual self-interest . Though Spinoza maintains that individuals necessarily aim to promote their self-interest, I argue that (...) Spinoza has an atypical conception of self that allows the interests of other people to be partially constitutive of one's own self-interest. In this way, Spinoza can account for the rationality of concern for the interests of others . This interpretation attributes to Spinoza a form of constructivism that differs in important ways from contemporary Humean and Kantian constructivisms and which can in principle be detached from Spinoza’s particular metaphysical commitments in order to yield a third general category of constructivist view . Though my treatment is necessarily brief, it is my hope that it can serve both to motivate a constructivist reading of Spinoza and, perhaps even more crucially, to suggest a Spinozistic variety of constructivism as a live theoretical option in metaethics. (shrink)
A 2011 National Academies of Sciences report called for an “Information Commons” and a “Knowledge Network” to revolutionize biomedical research and clinical care. We interviewed 41 expert stakeholders to examine governance, access, data collection, and privacy in the context of a medical information commons. Stakeholders' attitudes about MICs align with the NAS vision of an Information Commons; however, differences of opinion regarding clinical use and access warrant further research to explore policy and technological solutions.
A historical perspective on the future of the car Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9479-z Authors Peter D. Norton, Department of Science, Technology and Society, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4744, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Translated and edited by Peter D. Arnott, this classic and highly popular edition contains two essential plays in the development of Greek tragedy-_Oedipus the King and Antigone_-for performance and study. The editor's introduction contains a brief biography of the playwright and a description of Greek theater. Also included are a list of principal dates in the life of Sophocles and a bibliography.
This talk by Dr. Peter D. Hershock makes use of Buddhist conceptual resources to assess how the emerging global attention economy and the confluence of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are reshaping the human experience. Like the Copernican revolution, which de-centered humanity in the cosmos, the intelligence revolution is dissolving once-foundational certainties and opening new realms of opportunity. The results are almost sure to be mixed. Smart cities will be more efficient and more livable; smart health care (...) can potentially reach and benefit the half of humanity that now lacks even basic health services. Yet, smart services and the algorithmic tailoring of individual experience have the potential to first supplement and eventually supplant intelligent human practices, rendering human intelligence superfluous. Focusing in particular on the karmic dimensions of these transformations, the talk will consider who we need to be present as in order to resist the allure of digital sirens and direct the intelligence revolution toward a truly equitable and ethical re-centering of the human. (shrink)
Over the last century, the world's urban population increased from 224 million to over 3.5 billion, and advances in manufacturing, transportation, and communication technologies brought virtually limitless lifestyle and identity options, as well as the greatest inequalities of wealth, risk, and opportunity in history. Yet, as momentous as these changes are, they are dwarfed by the fact that human activity is now affecting planetary processes like climate. Justice concerns about future generations are no longer academic curiosities; they are global ethical (...) imperatives. This talk by Dr. Peter D. Hershock builds on recent efforts to craft an ethics of global justice around the "social emotion" of compassion, making use of Buddhist conceptual resources to de-link justice from fictions of equality and conceive it, instead, as a dynamic function of relationally-achieved equity and diversity. (shrink)
This deeply informed book introduces the basic teachings and practices of Buddhism and their spread across Asia. Peter D. Hershock explores the history of the enduring Japanese tradition of Zen—from its beginnings as a form of Buddhist thought and practice imported from China to its reinvention in medieval Japan as a force for religious, political, and cultural change to its role in Japan’s embrace of modernity. He deftly blends historical detail with the felt experiences of Zen practitioners grappling with (...) the meanings of human suffering, personal freedom, and the integration of social and spiritual progress. (shrink)
The Experiential Therapist steps outside of the medical model to explore alternative ways of thinking about mental health disorders. Peter D. Ladd argues that successful treatment results from an informed understanding of a patient’s experience, not an ability to name and categorize difficult experiences as classical disorders.
When machine learning, data and AI are reshaping the human experience, Peter Hershock gives us a new way to think about attention, presence and ethics in our changing lives by balancing Western technology with Asian philosophy. He explains how Confucian and Socratic ethics can make visible what a history of choices about remaking ourselves has rendered invisible, and applies Buddhist ideas to give us an understanding about the self and consciousness. Seamlessly blending ancient Chinese, Indian and Greek philosophy, Hershock (...) responds to the challenge of staying present during the age of technology. (shrink)
The issues involved in decision making about the aggressiveness of future medical care for older persons are explored. They are related to population trends, the heterogeneity of older persons and a variety of factors involved in individual preferences. Case studies are presented to illustrate these points, as well as a review of pertinent literature. The argument is offered that, considering these many factors, a system of flexible, individualized care by informed patient preference, is more rational than the rationing of technological (...) services by age. (shrink)
Speech act theory has taught us 'how to do things with words'. Arresting Language turns its attention in the opposite direction - toward the surprising things that language can undo and leave undone. In the eight essays of this volume, arresting language is seen as language at rest, words no longer in service to the project of establishing conventions or instituting legal regimes. Concentrating on both widely-known and seldom-read texts from a variety of philosophers, writers, and critics - from Leibniz (...) and Mendelssohn, through Kleist and Hebel, to Benjamin and Irigaray - the book analyzes the genesis and structure of interruption, a topic of growing interest to contemporary literary studies, continental philosophy, legal studies, and theological reflection. Arresting Language identifies critical moments in philosophical and literary texts during which language itself - without any identifiable speaker - arrests otherwise continuous processes and procedures, including the process of representation and procedures for its legitimization. (shrink)
Infinitism in Epistemology. This article provides an overview of infinitism in epistemology. Infinitism is a family of views in epistemology about the structure of knowledge and epistemic justification. It contrasts naturally with coherentism and foundationalism. All three views agree that knowledge or justification requires an appropriately structured chain of reasons. What form may such a […].
As the Pyrrhonians made clear, reasons that adequately justify beliefs can have only three possible structures: foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism. Infinitism—the view that adequate reasons for our beliefs are infinite and non-repeating—has never been developed carefully, much less advocated. In this paper, I will argue that only infinitism can satisfy two intuitively plausible constraints on good reasoning: the avoidance of circular reasoning and the avoidance of arbitrariness. Further, I will argue that infinitism requires serious, but salutary, revisions in our evaluation (...) of the power of reasoning. Thus, reasoning can not provide a basis for assenting to a proposition—where to assent to a proposition, p, means to believe that we know that p. A non-dogmatic form of provisional justification will be sketched. Finally, the best objections to infinitism, including those posed by the Pyrrhonians, will be shown to be inadequate. (shrink)
As the Pyrrhonians made clear, reasons that adequately justify beliefs can have only three possible structures: foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism. Infinitism—the view that adequate reasons for our beliefs are infinite and non-repeating—has never been developed carefully, much less advocated. In this paper, I will argue that only infinitism can satisfy two intuitively plausible constraints on good reasoning: the avoidance of circular reasoning and the avoidance of arbitrariness. Further, I will argue that infinitism requires serious, but salutary, revisions in our evaluation (...) of the power of reasoning. Thus, reasoning can not provide a basis for assenting to a proposition—where to assent to a proposition, p, means to believe that we know that p. A non-dogmatic form of provisional justification will be sketched. Finally, the best objections to infinitism, including those posed by the Pyrrhonians, will be shown (at least provisionally!) to be inadequate. (shrink)
This chapter provides grounds for thinking that it is the quality of the reasons for the propositional content of our belief-states with true propositional contents, rather than the etiology of those belief-states, that determines whether the belief-state qualifies as knowledge. Normative epistemology rather than naturalized epistemology holds the key to understanding knowledge. This chapter delineates some important features of epistemic luck. It explores the etiology view and presents reasons for concluding that it cannot adequately account for epistemic luck. The chapter (...) then explores the reasons view and shows how it can account for some of the cases that are troublesome for the etiology view. There are many well-discussed and widely accepted counterexamples in the literature for each of the etiology views, with the exception of the virtue-views because those views are still relatively new. (shrink)
There are many things that could be wrong with foundationalism. For example, some have claimed that a so-called basic belief cannot be both 1) a reason for non-basic beliefs and 2) such that it cannot be provided with at least prima facie justification. If something is a reason, they say, then that something has to be a proposition and if it is a proposition, then it is the kind of thing that requires a reason in order to be even prima (...) facie justified. Another reason that some give for rejecting normative foundationalism is that it leads directly to skepticism. There is no way, they claim, to move from so-called basic propositions to “external world” propositions by employing normatively acceptable principles of reasoning. Still others have thought that the invention of a nonreasoned reason was as ad hoc as the invention of an unmoved mover. (shrink)