Given the centrality of arguments from vicious infinite regress to our philosophical reasoning, it is little wonder that they should also appear on the catalogue of arguments offered in defense of theses that pertain to the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, the metaphysical foundationalist will argue that, on pain of vicious infinite regress, there must be something fundamental. But why think that infinite regresses of grounds are vicious? I explore existing proposed accounts of viciousness cast in terms of contradictions, (...) dependence, failed reductive theories and parsimony. I argue that no one of these accounts adequately captures the conditions under which an infinite regress—any infinite regress—is vicious as opposed to benign. In their place, I suggest an account of viciousness in terms of explanatory failure. If this account is correct, infinite grounding regresses are not necessarily vicious; and we must be much more careful employing such arguments to the conclusion that there has to be something fundamental. (shrink)
Although it is very often taken for granted that there is something fundamental, the literature appears to have developed with little to no careful consideration of what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are supposed to do. If we are to have a good reason to believe that there is something fundamental, we need not only to know what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are invoked for, but why it is that nothing else is available for the task to (...) hand. A good argument in defense of fundamentality, then, will contain an assumption that stipulates an explanatory target; along with a second, crucial, assumption that tells us that no dependent entity is available to do the work that needs to be done. In this paper, I explore both of these assumptions. (shrink)
Metaphysicians of a certain stripe are almost unanimously of the view that grounding is necessarily irreflexive, asymmetric, transitive, and well-founded. They deny the possibility of circles of ground and, therewith, the possibility of species of metaphysical coherentism. But what's so bad about circles of ground? One problem for coherentism might be that it ushers in anti-foundationalism: grounding loops give rise to infinite regresses. And this is bad because infinite grounding regresses are vicious. This article argues that circles of ground do (...) not necessarily give rise to infinite regresses, and where they do, those regresses are not necessarily vicious. (shrink)
Fifteen leading philosophers explore metaphysical foundationalism, the idea that reality has an over-arching hierarchical structure ordered by relations of metaphysical dependence, where chains of entities ordered by those dependence relations terminate in something fundamental.
Philosophical questions regarding the nature and methodology of philosophical inquiry have garnered much attention in recent years. Perhaps nowhere are these discussions more developed than in relation to the field of metaphysics. The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics is an outstanding reference source to this growing subject. It comprises thirty-eight chapters written by leading international contributors, and is arranged around five themes: • The history of metametaphysics • Neo-Quineanism (and its objectors) • Alternative conceptions of metaphysics • The epistemology of metaphysics (...) • Science and metaphysics. Essential reading for students and researchers in metaphysics, philosophical methodology, and ontology, The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics will also be of interest to those in closely related subjects such as philosophy of language, logic, and philosophy of science. (shrink)
It is widely recognized by proponents of the notion that grounding can be, indeed is, overdetermined. Moreover, it seems safe to suppose that something of a consensus has emerged: grounding is overdetermined and there is nothing about it that we ought to find concerning. Not only is the overdetermination apparently not problematic, metaphysically speaking, but that grounding is overdetermined is not problematic, conceptually speaking, either. From a small sampling of alleged cases, however, no such conclusions can responsibly be drawn. And (...) without an account of when a fact is technically overdetermined, we are unable to reasonably answer questions about the acceptability of that overdetermination either. In this paper, I attempt to understand when a fact is technically metaphysically overdetermined. I argue that such an exploration reveals that nothing as regards the overdetermination of grounding is straightforward, and that the phenomenon is deserving of much more philosophical attention. (shrink)
Commitment to the idea that there is something real can be found in a variety of different places, perhaps the most obvious expressions of which are in the ideas that there is a real world outside our heads, an external world, and that we ourselves are surely real. In addition to these somewhat quotidian commitments, philosophers also find homes for the real in more abstract, theoretical locations--chief amongst them being that the world contains something fundamental, the reals, and that there (...) will be an ultimate theory of everything. In The Non-Existence of The Real World, Jan Westerhoff develops a variety of different arguments aimed at showing that any attempt at finding a safe place for the real is hopeless.... (shrink)
.In her Making Things Up, amongst the many other achievements of the volume, Bennett develops a rich account of relative fundamentality. She also defends a kind of deflationism about the notion: relative fundamentality is nothing over and above patterns of building. In this essay, I argue that the best and common competitor of this view – primitivism about relative fundamentality – is in worse shape than Bennett's evaluation would indicate. Deflationism looks to be the best view.
ABSTRACT In her Making Things Up, amongst the many other achievements of the volume, Bennett develops a rich account of relative fundamentality. She also defends a kind of deflationism about the notion: relative fundamentality is nothing over and above patterns of building. In this essay, I argue that the best and common competitor of this view – primitivism about relative fundamentality – is in worse shape than Bennett's evaluation would indicate. Deflationism looks to be the best view.
The Buddhist jhanas--successive states of deep focus or meditative absorbtion--demystified. A very practical guidebook for meditators for navigating their way through these states of bliss and concentration. One of the elements of the Eightfold Path the Buddha taught is Right Concentration: the one-pointedness of mind that, together with ethics, livelihood, meditation, and so forth, leads to the ultimate freedom from suffering. The Jhanas are the method the Buddha himself taught for achieving Right Concentration. They are a series of eight (...) successive states, beginning with bliss and moving on toward radically nonconceptual states. The fact that they can usually be achieved only during prolonged meditation retreat tends to keep them shrouded in mystery. Leigh Brasington is here to unshroud them. He takes away the mystique and gives instructions for them in plain, accessible language, noting the various pitfalls to avoid along the way, and then providing a wealth of material on the theory of jhana practice--all geared toward the practitioner rather than the scholar. (shrink)
A collection of 37 essays surveying the state of the art on metaphysical ground. -/- Essay authors are: Fatema Amijee, RickiBliss, Amanda Bryant, Margaret Cameron, Phil Corkum, Fabrice Correia, Louis deRosset, Scott Dixon, Tom Donaldson, Nina Emery, Kit Fine, Martin Glazier, Kathrin Koslicki, David Mark Kovacs, Stephan Krämer, Stephanie Leary, Stephan Leuenberger, Jon Litland, Marko Malink, Michaela McSweeney, Kevin Mulligan, Alyssa Ney, Asya Passinsky, Francesca Poggiolesi, Kevin Richardson, Stefan Roski, Noel Saenz, Benjamin Schnieder, Erica Shumener, Alexander Skiles, (...) Olla Solomyak, Tuomas Tahko, Naomi Thompson, Kelly Trogdon, Jennifer Wang, Tobias Wilsch, and Justin Zylstra. (shrink)
At the turn of the 21st century, Susan Leigh Anderson and Michael Anderson conceived and introduced the Machine Ethics research program, that aimed to highlight the requirements under which autonomous artificial intelligence systems could demonstrate ethical behavior guided by moral values, and at the same time to show that these values, as well as ethics in general, can be representable and computable. Today, the interaction between humans and AI entities is already part of our everyday lives; in the near (...) future it is expected to play a key role in scientific research, medical practice, public administration, education and other fields of civic life. In view of this, the debate over the ethical behavior of machines is more crucial than ever and the search for answers, directions and regulations is imperative at an academic, institutional as well as at a technical level. Our discussion with the two inspirers and originators of Machine Ethics highlights the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical questions arising by this project, as well as the realistic and pragmatic demands that dominate artificial intelligence and robotics research programs. Most of all, however, it sheds light upon the contribution of Susan and Michael Anderson regarding the introduction and undertaking of a main objective related to the creation of ethical autonomous agents, that will not be based on the “imperfect” patterns of human behavior, or on preloaded hierarchical laws and human-centric values. (shrink)
This paper offers a reading of passages in Heidegger’s Nietzsche lectures in which Heidegger describes love as a feeling which grants an essential vision. I contend that by invoking this language of vision while simultaneously contrasting love with infatuation, Heidegger is implicitly attempting to situate love within his category of fundamental attunements. While Heidegger does not explicitly follow this thought through, I argue that doing so leads to a problem—namely, how can love be a fundamental attunement if such attunements are (...) necessarily objectless? I suggest we can see a response to this problem in Heidegger’s treatment of Plato’s Phaedrus within the same lecture course. I conclude by claiming that while Heidegger attempts to follow Plato in arguing that love is most properly directed towards Being, love nonetheless poses a challenge to Heidegger’s category of fundamental attunements which also strikes at the heart of his claim that ontology is first philosophy. (shrink)
Drawing on the general ethics and social psychology literature, this study presents a model to delineate the major factors likely to affect consumers’ intentions to bring their own shopping bags when visiting a supermarket (called “bring your own bags” or “BYOB” intention). The model is empirically validated using a survey of 250 Chinese consumers. Overall, the findings support the hypothesized direct influence of teleological evaluation and habit on BYOB intention, as well as that of deontological evaluation and teleological evaluation on (...) ethical judgment about the BYOB practice. Teleological evaluation exerts a much stronger influence on ethical judgment than does deontological evaluation. In addition, the findings reveal that consumers who perceive the BYOB practice to be more important are more inclined to rely on their ethical judgment to derive their BYOB intention. Academically, these findings provide some encouraging evidence for the application of general ethics theories to explain green consumption-related practices. Practically, the findings also suggest that a utilitarian approach (i.e., emphasizing the consequences of BYOB) may represent an effective means for the Chinese government to promote BYOB practice among consumers. (shrink)
This study empirically examines how Chinese executives perceive the role of guanxi and ethics played in their business operations. By factor-analyzing 850 valid replies collected from a comprehensive survey, the present study identifies three distinct ethics-related attitudes and two distinct guanxi-related attitudes for Chinese executives. The cluster analysis of the composite scores of these five attitudinal factors further indicates the existence of three distinct groups of Chinese executives that vary in their ethics and guanxi orientations. The three groups are unethical (...) profit seeker (UPS), anti-governance, guanxi-cultivator (AGGC), and apathetic executive (AE). The three groups are also found to be significantly different in such demographic characteristics as age and the ownership structure of the serving organization. Specifically, the inter-group comparison suggests that younger Chinese executives, and those working for privately-owned firms and joint ventures are more inclined to engage in unethical activities for profits. These findings provide useful insights for international investors to formulate their human resource and negotiation strategies in China. (shrink)
This article proposes revisions to the Laws of Cricket and to the criminal law of England. The Laws of Cricket should be revised so that an umpire may give a batsman out without having to specify precisely how he got out. The criminal law should be revised so that (e.g.) aiding and abetting a murderer is not subsumed under the crime of murder.
The explosive growth in computational power over the past several decades offers new tools and opportunities for economists. This handbook volume surveys recent research on Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as open-ended dynamic systems of interacting agents. Empirical referents for “agents” in ACE models can range from individuals or social groups with learning capabilities to physical world features with no cognitive function. Topics covered include: learning; empirical validation; network economics; social dynamics; financial markets; innovation (...) and technological change; organizations; market design; automated markets and trading agents; political economy; social-ecological systems; computational laboratory development; and general methodological issues. (shrink)
_The Female Trickster_ presents a Post-Jungian postmodern perspective regarding the role of women in contemporary Western society by investigating the re-emergence of female trickster energy in all aspects of popular culture. Ricki Tannen explores the psychological aspects of what happened when women’s imagination was legally and psychologically enclosed millennia ago and demonstrates how the re-emergence of Trickster energy through the female imagination has the radical potential to effect a transformation of western consciousness. Examples are drawn from a diverse range (...) of sources, from Jane Austen, and female sleuth narratives, to Madonna and Sex and the City, illustrating how Trickster energy is used not to maintain power and control but to integrate and unite the paradoxical through humour. Subjects covered include: imagination and metaphor the traditional trickster law and the imagination humour: Eros using logos the postmodern female trickster. This highly original perspective on women's role in contemporary culture will offer readers a new vision of how humour psychologically operates as a healthy adaptation to trauma and adversity. It will be of great interest to all analytical psychologists and psychoanalysts as well as those in women's, cultural, legal and literary studies. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:The ethics of high frequency trading are obscure, due in part to the complexity of the practice. This article contributes to the existing literature of ethics in financial markets by examining a recent trend in regulation in high frequency trading, the prohibition of deception. We argue that in the financial markets almost any regulation, other than the most basic, tends to create a moral hazard and increase information asymmetry. Since the market’s job is, at least in part, price discovery, we (...) argue that simplicity of regulation and restraint in regulation are virtues to a greater extent than in other areas of finance. This article proposes criteria for determining which high-frequency trading strategies should be regulated. (shrink)
Effective altruism has a strategy problem. Overreliance on a strategy of donating to the most effective charities keeps us on the firefighter's treadmill, continually pursuing the next-highest quantifiable marginal gain. But on its own, this is politically shortsighted. Without any long-term framework within which these individual rescues fit together to bring about the greatest overall impact, we are almost certainly leaving a lot of value on the table. Thus, effective altruists' preferred means undercut their professed aims. Alongside the charity framework, (...) the more effective altruist ought to consider a mutual aid framework, which better acknowledges and honors the unavoidably political commitments of effective altruism to reimagine and remake the world. (shrink)
Previous studies have explored the effects of attention on spatial representation. Specifically, in the attentional repulsion effect, a transient visual cue that captures attention has been shown to alter the perceived position of a target stimulus to the direction away from the cue. The effect is also susceptible to retrospective influence, that attention appears to attract the target when the cue appears afterwards. This study examined the necessity of visual awareness of the cue in these phenomena. We found that when (...) the cues were rendered invisible by backward visual masks, both repulsion and attraction effects were weakened but still observed. The results suggest that the effects possibly depend on processes that are not necessarily associated with conscious visual awareness of the cues. We conjecture that attentional shift produced by the weak, invisible cues may play a role in spatial distortion; but other possible accounts including non-attentional ones are also discussed. (shrink)
Trust is often an assumed outcome of participation in Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) as they directly connect producers with consumers. It is based on this potential for trust “between producers and consumers” that AFNs have emerged as a significant field of food studies analysis as it also suggests a capacity for AFNs to foster associated embedded qualities, like ‘morality’, ‘social justice’, ‘ecology’ and ‘equity’. These positive benefits of AFNs, however, cannot be taken for granted as trust is not necessarily an (...) outcome of AFN participation. Using Chinese case studies of AFNs, which are characterised by a distinct form of trust pressure—consumers who are particularly cynical about small scale farmers, food safety and the organic credentials of producers—this paper highlights how the dynamics of trust are in constant flux between producers and consumers. I suggest that it is the careful construction of the aesthetic and multi-sensory qualities of food, which is often celebrated via social media, that human centred relations in Chinese AFNs are mediated. This leads to two key conclusions: first, that the key variable for establishing trust is satisfying the consumer's desire for safe (i.e. "fresh") food; and second, the materiality of the food and the perception of foods materiality (especially through social media), must both be actively constructed by the farmer to fit the consumer's ideal of freshness. (shrink)
_Telling Stories to Change the World_ is a powerful collection of essays about community-based and interest-based projects where storytelling is used as a strategy for speaking out for justice. Contributors from locations across the globe—including Uganda, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, New Orleans, and Chicago—describe grassroots projects in which communities use narrative as a way of exploring what a more just society might look like and what civic engagement means. These compelling accounts of resistance, hope, and vision showcase the power (...) of the storytelling form to generate critique and collective action. Together, these projects demonstrate the contemporary power of stories to stimulate engagement, active citizenship, the pride of identity, and the humility of human connectedness. (shrink)
Transhumanists would have humanity's creation of posthumanity be our governing aim. Susan B. Levin challenges their overarching commitments regarding the mind, brain, ethics, liberal democracy, knowledge, and reality. Her critique unmasks their notion of humanity's self-transcendence via science and technology as pure, albeit seductive, fantasy.
Economies are complicated systems encompassing micro behaviors, interaction patterns, and global regularities. Whether partial or general in scope, studies of economic systems must consider how to handle difficult real-world aspects such as asymmetric information, imperfect competition, strategic interaction, collective learning, and the possibility of multiple equilibria. Recent advances in analytical and computational tools are permitting new approaches to the quantitative study of these aspects. One such approach is Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modeled as dynamic (...) systems of interacting agents. This chapter explores the potential advantages and disadvantages of ACE for the study of economic systems. General points are concretely illustrated using an ACE model of a two-sector decentralized market economy. Six issues are highlighted: Constructive understanding of production, pricing, and trade processes; the essential primacy of survival; strategic rivalry and market power; behavioral uncertainty and learning; the role of conventions and organizations; and the complex interactions among structural attributes, institutional arrangements, and behavioral dispositions. (shrink)
When society seems to demand confidence and certainty, how much courage does it take to admit doubt, especially self-doubt? In this personal essay, one of Australia's most respected journalists argues in favour of a doubtful mind.
Leigh Van Valen was an American evolutionary biologist who made major contributions to evolutionary theory. He is particularly remembered for his groundbreaking paper “A New Evolutionary Law” (1973) where he provided evidence from fossil record data that the probability of extinction within any group remains essentially constant through time. In order to explain such an unexpected result, Van Valen formulated a very influential idea that he dubbed the “Red Queen hypothesis.” It states that the constant decay must be a (...) consequence of evolutionary interactions among connected species within ecological networks. In Van Valen’s picture, species do not merely evolve: they also coevolve with other species. As a consequence, when thinking about adaptation to an external environment, the other species must be considered as part (maybe a major part) of such an external world. Van Valen’s law provided the first complex systems theory of coevolutionary dynamics and inspired a whole range of theoretical and experimental developments from very diverse fields, percolating far beyond its original formulation. Red Queen arms races are nowadays considered a widespread feature of complex adaptive systems. (shrink)