Every body cell of an animal or human being contains the same complete set of genes. In theory any of these cells can be used to start a new embryo. The technique has been employed in the case of frogs. The nucleus is taken out of a body cell of a frog and implanted in an enucleated frog's egg. The resulting egg cell is stimulated to develop into a normal frog, and will be an exact copy of that frog which (...) provided the nucleus with all the genetic information. In normal sexual reproduction, two parents each contribute half their genes, but in the case of cloning, one parent passes on all his or her genes. (shrink)
Sainsbury and Tye (2011) propose that, in the case of names and other simple extensional terms, we should substitute for Frege's second level of content—for his senses—a second level of meaning vehicle—words in the language of thought. I agree. They also offer a theory of atomic concept reference—their ‘originalist’ theory—which implies that people knowing the same word have the ‘same concept’. This I reject, arguing for a symmetrical rather than an originalist theory of concept reference, claiming that individual concepts are (...) possessed only by individual people. Concepts are classified rather than identified across different people. (shrink)
Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If the answer to these questions is no, then in what areas do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? And what are the implications for moral and legal decision making? In this book, some of the sharpest minds in philosophy struggle with these questions.
Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If not, when do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? What are the moral and legal implications? In this book, philosophers address these questions.
This encyclopedia entry urges what it takes to be correctives to common (mis)understandings concerning the phenomenon of incommensurability and incomparability and briefly outlines some of their philosophical upshots.
In _Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls_, Ruth Abbey collects eight essays responding to the work of John Rawls from a feminist perspective. An impressive introduction by the editor provides a chronological overview of English-language feminist engagements with Rawls from his Theory of Justice onwards. She surveys the range of issues canvassed by feminist readers of Rawls, as well as critics’ wide disagreement about the value of Rawls’s corpus for feminist purposes. The eight essays that follow testify to the continuing (...) ambivalence among feminist readers of Rawls. From the perspectives of political theory and moral, social, and political philosophy, the essayists address particular aspects of Rawls’s work and apply it to a variety of worldly practices relating to gender inequality and the family, to the construction of disability, to justice in everyday relationships, and to human rights on an international level. The overall effect is to give a sense of the broad spectrum of possible feminist critical responses to Rawls, ranging from rejection to adoption. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Amy R. Baehr, Eileen Hunt Botting, Elizabeth Brake, Clare Chambers, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Anthony Simon Laden, Janice Richardson, and Lisa H. Schwartzman. (shrink)
Many have argued that individuals should receive income in proportion to their contribution to society. Others have believed that it would be fairer if people received income in proportion to the effort they expend in so contributing, since people have much greater control over their level of effort than their productivity. I argue that those who believe this are normally also committed, despite appearances, to increasing the social product — which undermines any sharp distinction between effort- and productivity-based distributive proposals. (...) However, effort-based proposals do emphasise more the importance of people having control over factors affecting their income. The second set of problems I consider is how to implement policies which hold true to this emphasis. I show that there are major problems with the accuracy of using any objective criteria to measure the level of effort a person is expending. Moreover, once any such criteria are employed the problem of ‘moral hazard’arises because people modify their behaviour in such a way as to maximise their income while minimising their effort. This violates the original motivation for using effort. Because of this and other empirical considerations, I argue that productivity may well be a better criterion on which to distribute income even if one is motivated by the same concerns which have prompted effort-based proposals. (shrink)
Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a strikingly original account of how we get to grips with the world in thought. Her question is Kant's 'How is knowledge possible?', answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. We begin with an understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, then develop a theory of cognition within that world.
This collection of essays serves both as an introduction to Ruth Millikan’s much-discussed volume Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories and as an extension and application of Millikan’s central themes, especially in the philosophy of psychology. The title essay discusses meaning rationalism and argues that rationality is not in the head, indeed, that there is no legitimate interpretation under which logical possibility and necessity are known a priori. In other essays, Millikan clarifies her views on the nature of mental (...) representation, explores whether human thought is a product of natural selection, examines the nature of behavior as studied by the behavioral sciences, and discusses the issues of individualism in psychology, psychological explanation, indexicality in thought, what knowledge is, and the realism/antirealism debate. Table of Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1 In Defense of Proper Functions 2 Propensities, Exaptations, and the Brain 3 Thoughts without Laws 4 Biosemantics 5 On Mentalese Orthography, Part 1 6 Compare and Contrast Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan on Teleosemantics 7 What Is Behavior? A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 1 8 The Green Grass Growing All Around: A Philosophical Essay on Ethology and Individualism in Psychology, Part 2 9 Explanation in Biopsychology 10 Metaphysical Antirealism? 11 Truth Rules, Hoverflies, and the Kripke-Wittgenstein Paradox 12 Naturalist Reflections on Knowledge 13 The Myth of the Essential Indexical 14 White Queen Psychology; or, The Last Myth of the Given References Index. (shrink)
Ontology. Revisited. Groff's argument cuts against a familiar anti-metaphysical grain. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with a ...
Ruth Millikan is well known for having developed a strikingly original way for philosophers to seek understanding of mind and language, which she sees as biological phenomena. She now draws together a series of groundbreaking essays which set out her approach to language. Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by prescriptive normative rules. Millikan offers a fundamentally different way of viewing the partial regularities that language displays, comparing (...) them to biological norms that emerge from natural selection. This yields novel and quite radical consequences for our understanding of the nature of public linguistic meaning, the process of language understanding, how children learn language, and the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as (...) different from dispositions, her detailed analysis of the psychological act of reidentifying substances, and her critique of the language of thought for mental representation. In a radical departure from current philosophical and psychological theories of concepts, this book provides the first in-depth discussion on the psychological act of reidentification. (shrink)
Charles Taylor is one of the most influential and prolific philosophers in the English-speaking world today. The breadth of his writings is unique, ranging from reflections on artificial intelligence to analyses of contemporary multicultural societies. This thought-provoking introduction to Taylor's work outlines his ideas in a coherent and accessible way without reducing their richness and depth. His contribution to many of the enduring debates within Western philosophy is examined and the arguments of his critics assessed. Taylor's reflections on the topics (...) of moral theory, selfhood, political theory and epistemology form the core chapters within the book. Ruth Abbey engages with the secondary literature on Taylor's work and suggests that some criticisms by contemporaries have been based on misinterpretations and suggests ways in which a better understanding of Taylor's work leads to different criticisms of it. The book serves as an ideal companion to Taylor's ideas for students of philosophy and political theory, and will be welcomed by the non-specialist looking for an authoritative guide to Taylor's large and challenging body of work. (shrink)
" Biosemantics " was the title of a paper on mental representation originally printed in The Journal of Philosophy in 1989. It contained a much abbreviated version of the work on mental representation in Language Thought and Other Biological Categories. There I had presented a naturalist theory of intentional signs generally, including linguistic representations, graphs, charts and diagrams, road sign symbols, animal communications, the "chemical signals" that regulate the function of glands, and so forth. But the term " biosemantics " (...) has usually been applied only to the theory of mental representation. Let me first characterize a more general class of theories called "teleological theories of mental content" of which biosemantics is an example. Then I will discuss the details that distinguish biosemantics from other naturalistic teleological theories. (shrink)
Connected Lives examines the account of human nature that is implicit in an ethics of care, a picture of human lives that emphasizes interdependency, embodiment, and social connectedness. The book makes important connections to the picture of human life found in theorists of love such as St. Augustine and Emmanuel Levinas, and shows that when care theory is articulated clearly, it provides resources for thinking through some of the difficult moral issues we face in the contemporary world, issues such as (...) assisted reproduction and the new genetic technologies. (shrink)
While it is uncontroversial to point to the liberal roots of feminism, a major issue in English-language feminist political thought over the last few decades has been whether feminism's association with liberalism should be relegated to the past. Can liberalism continue to serve feminist purposes? This book examines the positions of three contemporary feminists - Martha Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin and Jean Hampton - who, notwithstanding decades of feminist critique, are unwilling to give up on liberalism. This book examines why, (...) and in what ways, each of these theorists believes that liberalism offers the normative and political resources for the improvement of women's situations. It also brings out and tries to explain and evaluate the differences among them, notwithstanding their shared allegiance to liberalism. In so doing, the books goes to the heart of recent debates in feminist and political theory. (shrink)
Ruth Boeker offers a new perspective on Locke’s account of persons and personal identity by considering it within the context of his broader philosophical project and the philosophical debates of his day. Her interpretation emphasizes the importance of the moral and religious dimensions of his view. By taking seriously Locke’s general approach to questions of identity, Boeker shows that we should consider his account of personhood separately from his account of personal identity over time. On this basis, she argues (...) that Locke endorses a moral account of personhood, according to which persons are subjects of accountability, and that his particular thinking about moral accountability explains why he regards sameness of consciousness as necessary for personal identity over time. In contrast to some Neo-Lockean views about personal identity, Boeker argues that Locke’s account of personal identity is not psychological per se, but rather his underlying moral, religious, metaphysical, and epistemic background beliefs are relevant for understanding why he argues for a consciousness-based account of personal identity. Taking his underlying background beliefs into consideration not only sheds light on why many of his early critics do not adopt Locke’s view, but also shows why his view cannot be as easily dismissed as some of his critics assume. -/- . (shrink)
Epistemological differences fuel continuous and frequently divisive debates in the social sciences and the humanities. Sociologists have yet to consider how such differences affect peer evaluation. The empirical literature has studied distributive fairness, but neglected how epistemological differences affect perception of fairness in decision making. The normative literature suggests that evaluators should overcome their epistemological differences by ‘‘translating’’ their preferred standards into general criteria of evaluation. However, little is known about how procedural fairness actually operates. Drawing on eighty-one interviews with (...) panelists serving on five multidisciplinary fellowship competitions in the social sciences and the humanities, we show that Evaluators generally draw on four epistemological styles to make arguments in favor of and against proposals. These are the constructivist, comprehensive, positivist, and utilitarian styles; and Peer reviewers define a fair decision-making process as one in which panelists engage in ‘‘cognitive contextualization,’’ that is, use epistemological styles most appropriate to the field or discipline of the proposal under review. (shrink)
In liberal political theory, meaningful work is conceptualised as a preference in the market. Although this strategy avoids transgressing liberal neutrality, the subsequent constraint upon state intervention aimed at promoting the social and economic conditions for widespread meaningful work is normatively unsatisfactory. Instead, meaningful work can be understood to be a fundamental human need, which all persons require in order to satisfy their inescapable interests in freedom, autonomy, and dignity. To overcome the inadequate treatment of meaningful work by liberal political (...) theory, I situate the good of meaningful work within a liberal perfectionist framework, from which standpoint I develop a normative justification for making meaningful work the object of political action. To understand the content of meaningful work, I make use of Susan Wolf’s distinct value of meaningfulness, in which she brings together the dimensions of objectivity and subjectivity into the ‘bipartite value’ of meaningfulness (BVM) (Wolf, Meaning in life and why it matters, 2010). However, in order to be able to incorporate the BVM into our lives, we must become valuers, that is, co-creators of values and meanings. This demands that we acquire the relevant capabilities and status as co-authorities in the realm of value. I conclude that meaningful work is of first importance because it is a fundamental human need, and that society ought to be arranged to allow as many people as possible to experience their work as meaningful through the development of the relevant capabilities. (shrink)
The paper corrects misrepresentations of Aquinas's understanding of divine simplicity, argues that the reasons he gives for divine simplicity are persuasive ones, and suggests how Aquinas's account of the Trinity can be used to explain how God can be said to exist necessarily. It gives an account of Aquinas's conception of form and individualised form, and shows how Plantinga's criticism of Aquinas's position on divine simplicity rests on a misunderstanding of Aquinas's notion of form. It describes and makes the case (...) for Aquinas's argument that God must be absolutely simply because he is the uncaused cause of all effects, and any real composition in things constitutes an effect. It shows that Brian Davies is mistaken in claiming that Aquinas does not hold God's existence to be logically necessary. It applies Frege's conception of existence to Aquinas's account of God's simplicity and his psychological analogy for the Trinity, in order to explain how God's existence can coherently be said to be logically necessary. (shrink)
Matt Zwolinski argues that libertarians “should see the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)—a guarantee that all members will receive income regardless of why they need it—as an essential part of an ideally just libertarian system.” He regards the satisfaction of a Lockean proviso—a stipulation that individuals may not be rendered relevantly worse off by the uses and appropriations of private property—as a necessary condition for a private property system’s being just. BIG is to be justified precisely because it prevents proviso violations. (...) We deem Zwolinski’s argument a “Direct Proviso-Based Argument” for BIG. We argue that because this sort of argument for the BIG is in tension with other principles libertarians within the Lockean tradition hold dear, specifically prohibitions on seizing legitimately held property and forcing individuals to labor, the Direct Proviso-Based Argument fails. (shrink)
Ruth Abbey presents a close study of Nietzsche's works, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science. Although these middle period works tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche, they repay careful attention. Abbey's commentary brings to light important differences across Nietzsche's oeuvre that have gone unnoticed, filling a serious gap in the literature.
Austrian immigration authorities frequently reject the family reunion applications of immigrant workers. They justify their decisions not only on legal grounds but also on the basis of their own often prejudiced judgements of the applicants' ability to `integrate' into Austrian society. A discourse-historical method is combined with systemic-functionally oriented methods of text analysis to study the official letters which notify immigrant workers of the rejection of their family reunion applications. The systemic-functionally oriented methods are used in a detailed analysis of (...) a sample of rejection letters while the discourse-historical method allows this analysis to be intertextually connected to other related genres of discourse and strategies of argumentation, and to the history of post-war immigration in Austria generally. (shrink)
A controversial question among contemporary scholars is whether advanced industrial societies are still in modernity, or whether they are on the threshold of, or even have entered, a new postmodern order. In The Consequences of Modernity Anthony Giddens writes: ‘Beyond modernity, we can perceive a new and different order, which is “post-modern”, but this is quite distinct from what is at the moment called by many “post-modernity”’. However, he does recognize that there is something perceptibly different about the present, which (...) he characterizes as ‘late modernity’, an era in which the consequences of modernity are more radicalized and globalized than before. (shrink)
Given the growing centrality of interdisciplinarity to scientific research, gaining a better understanding of successful interdisciplinary collaborations has become imperative. Drawing on extensive case studies of nine research networks in the social, natural, and computational sciences, we propose a construct that captures the multidimensional character of such collaborations, that of a shared cognitive–emotional–interactional platform. We demonstrate its value as an integrative lens to examine markers of and conditions for successful interdisciplinary collaborations as defined by researchers involved in these groups. We (...) show that markers and conditions embody three different dimensions: cognitive, emotional, and interactional; these dimensions are present in all networks, albeit to different degrees; the dimensions are intertwined and mutually constitutive; and they operate in conjunction with institutional conditions created by funders. We compare the SCEI platforms to available frameworks for successful interdisciplinary work. (shrink)