This book discusses how rational choice theory grew out of RAND's work for the US Air Force. It concentrates on the work of William J. Riker, Kenneth J. Arrow, James M. Buchanan, Russel Hardin, and John Rawls. It argues that within the context of the US Cold War with its intensive anti-communist and anti-collectivist sentiment, the foundations of capitalist democracy were grounded in the hyper individualist theory of non-cooperative games.
Is capitalism inherently predatory? Must there be winners and losers? Is public interest outdated and free-riding rational? Is consumer choice the same as self-determination? Must bargainers abandon the no-harm principle? Prisoners of Reason recalls that classical liberal capitalism exalted the no-harm principle. Although imperfect and exclusionary, modern liberalism recognized individual human dignity alongside individuals' responsibility to respect others. Neoliberalism, by contrast, views life as ceaseless struggle. Agents vie for scarce resources in antagonistic competition in which every individual seeks dominance. This (...) political theory is codified in non-cooperative game theory; the neoliberal citizen and consumer is the strategic rational actor. Rational choice justifies ends irrespective of means. Money becomes the medium of all value. Solidarity and good will are invalidated. Relationships are conducted on a quid pro quo basis. However, agents can freely opt out of this cynical race to the bottom by embracing a more expansive range of coherent action. (shrink)
Peirce’s doctrine of God has scarcely been studied at all. This is surprising because his own naturally religious temperament, his desire for philosophical completeness and the influence of Kant, all led him to give an important place to theistic speculation in his philosophy. It is true that few parts of his philosophy reveal more than the fragmentary and unfinished nature of his thinking. This however does not take away from its importance both for the interpretation of his philosophy and for (...) the evaluation of its contribution. In this paper I want to examine his doctrine of God mainly in order to discover and outline what views he held in the matter. Such examination is an essential preliminary to any consideration of the value of his theistic thinking. Moreover, an objective exposition is already the best beginning of evaluation. However it is impossible to undertake this kind of examination without a careful search into various corners of his writings and a meticulous and slightly laboured presentation of one’s findings. But I think that the patience involved in such research has a rich reward. (shrink)
This book is an edited collection of original research papers on the digital revolution of the public and governance. It covers cyber governance in Finland, and the securitization of cyber security in Finland. It investigates the cases of Brexit, the 2016 US presidential election of Donald Trump, the 2017 presidential election of Volodymyr Zelensky, and Brexit. It examines the environmental concerns of climate change and greenwashing, and the impact of digital communication giving rise to the #MeToo and Incel movements. It (...) considers how digitilization can serve to emancipate women through ride-sharing, and how it leads to the question of robot rights. It considers fake news and algorithmic governance with respect to case studies of the Chinese social credit system, the US FICO credit score, along with Facebook, Twitter, Cambridge Analytica and the European effort to regulate and protect data usage. (shrink)
This article compares James M. Buchanan's and John Rawls's theories of democratic governance. In particular it compares their positions on the characteristics of a legitimate social contract. Where Buchanan argues that additional police force can be used to quell political demonstrations, Rawls argues for a social contract that meets the difference principle.
In _Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran_ Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of what is arguably the most erudite and extensive critique of philosophy from the Safavid period. The editors’ extensive introduction offers an in-depth analysis that places the work within the broader framework of Safavid intellectual and social history.
Robots are now associated with various aspects of our lives. These sophisticated machines have been increasingly used in different manufacturing industries and services sectors for decades. During this time, they have been a factor in causing significant harm to humans, prompting questions of liability. Industrial robots are presently regarded as products for liability purposes. In contrast, some commentators have proposed that robots be granted legal personality, with an overarching aim of exonerating the respective creators and users of these artefacts from (...) liability. This article is concerned mainly with industrial robots that exercise some degree of self-control as programmed, though the creation of fully autonomous robots is still a long way off. The proponents of the robot’s personality compare these machines generally with corporations, and sporadically with, inter alia, animals, and idols, in substantiating their arguments. This article discusses the attributes of legal personhood and the justifications for the separate personality of corporations and idols. It then demonstrates the reasons for refusal of an animal’s personality. It concludes that robots are ineligible to be persons, based on the requirements of personhood. (shrink)
As these opening quotes acknowledge, the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) represents a core puzzle within the formal mathematics of game theory.3 Its rise in conspicuity is evident figure 2.1 above demonstrating a relatively steady rise in incidences of the phrase’s usage between 1960 to 1995, with a stable presence persisting into the twenty first century. This famous two-person “game,” with a stock narrative cast in terms of two prisoners who each independently must choose whether to remain silent or speak, each advancing (...) self-interest at the expense of the other and thereby achieving a mutually suboptimal outcome, mires any social interaction it is applied to into perplexity. The logic of this game proves the inverse of Adam Smith’s invisible hand: individuals acting on self interest will achieve a mutually suboptimal outcome. However, as this chapter illuminates, the assumptions underlying game theory drive this conclusion. (shrink)
During the past few years considerable debate has arisen within academic journals with respect to the use of smart drugs or cognitive enhancement pharmaceuticals. The following paper seeks to examine the foundations of this cognitive enhancement debate using the example of methylphenidate use among college students. The argument taken is that much of the enhancement debate rests upon inflated assumptions about the ability of such drugs to enhance and over-estimations of either the size of the current market for such drugs (...) or the rise in popularity as drugs for enhancing cognitive abilities. This article provides an overview of the empirical evidence that methylphenidate has the ability to significantly improve cognitive abilities in healthy individuals, and examines whether the presumed uptake of the drug is either as socially significant as implied or growing to the extent that it requires urgent regulatory attention. In addition, it reviews the evidence of side-effects for the use of methylphenidate which may be an influential factor in whether an individual decides to use such drugs. The primary conclusions are that neither drug efficacy, nor the benefit-to-risk balance, nor indicators of current or growing demand provide sufficient evidence that methylphenidate is a suitable example of a cognitive enhancer with mass appeal. In light of these empirically based conclusions, the article discusses why methylphenidate might have become seen as a smart drug or cognitive enhancer. (shrink)
ASD VIII, 1 publishes texts by Erasmus related to the Church Fathers: the Vitae of Jerome, John Chrysostom and Origen, the forgery ‘Cyprian’s _De duplici martyrio_, and the prefaces to the Fathers of the Church.
This paper explores how the Leviathan that projects power through nuclear arms exercises a unique nuclearized sovereignty. In the case of nuclear superpowers, this sovereignty extends to wielding the power to destroy human civilization as we know it across the globe. Nuclearized sovereignty depends on a hybrid form of power encompassing human decision-makers in a hierarchical chain of command, and all of the technical and computerized functions necessary to maintain command and control at every moment of the sovereign's existence: this (...) sovereign power cannot sleep. This article analyzes how the form of rationality that informs this hybrid exercise of power historically developed to be computable. By definition, computable rationality must be able to function without any intelligible grasp of the context or the comprehensive significance of decision-making outcomes. Thus, maintaining nuclearized sovereignty necessarily must be able to execute momentous life and death decisions without the type of sentience we usually associate with ethical individual and collective decisions. (shrink)
This paper critically engages Philip Mirowki's essay, "The scientific dimensions of social knowledge and their distant echoes in 20th-century American philosophy of science." It argues that although the cold war context of anti-democratic elitism best suited for making decisions about engaging in nuclear war may seem to be politically and ideologically motivated, in fact we need to carefully consider the arguments underlying the new rational choice based political philosophies of the post-WWII era typified by Arrow's impossibility theorem. A distrust of (...) democratic decision-making principles may be developed by social scientists whose leanings may be toward the left or right side of the spectrum of political practices. (shrink)
This essay represents a novel contribution to Nietzschean studies by combining an assessment of Friedrich Nietzsche’s challenging uses of “truth” and the “eternal return” with his insights drawn from Indian philosophies. Specifically, drawing on Martin Heidegger’s Nietzsche, I argue that Nietzsche’s critique of a static philosophy of being underpinning conceptual truth is best understood in line with the Theravada Buddhist critique of “self ” and “ego” as transitory. In conclusion, I find that Nietzsche’s “eternal return” can be understood as a (...) direct inversion of “nirvana”: Nietzsche celebrates profound attachment to each and every moment, independent from its pleasurable or distasteful registry. (shrink)
The philosophical faculty of the Jesuit Berchmanskolleg in Pullach has long since made its mark in the publishing world, and the new series of philosophical studies from Father Lotz and his associates, of which these two volumes are an auspicious beginning, shows every sign of living up to the high standard we have come to expect. Volume I is a collection of five essays: a comparison between the Thomistic and Kantian theory of knowledge, by Fr. de Vries; the transcendental method (...) in Kant and in Scholasticism, by Fr. Lotz; the Absolute in the Kritik der reinen Vernunft, by Fr. Brugger; formalism in Kant’s ethics, by Dr. Schmucker; and the relationship between Kant and Heidegger, by Fr. Coreth. It concludes with a particularly useful bibliography of scholastic literature on Kant between 1920 and 1955, compiled by Fr. Brugger. After Jansen, Maréchal is the scholastic writer with most published studies on Kant to his credit, and it is not surprising that his influence should make itself felt in the present volume. His monumental Le point de départ de la métaphysique marked a definite turning–point in the scholastic attitude towards Kant, and one has only to read this collection of studies to realise how the atmosphere has changed in the course of the last fifty years. Fr. de Vries devotes almost two–thirds of his essay to what St. Thomas and Kant hold in common with regard to the discursive nature of human understanding, the structure of the sense–image and its relation to the intellectual concept, though he also brings out the fundamental difference between the two on the questions of self–consciousness, natural theology and the reality of the external world. Not only does he show a healthy respect for the many grains of truth in the philosophy of Kant, but he insists that Thomists have much to learn from the German philosopher on the question of strict, critical method. Scholastics of the traditional school were satisfied with what Fr. Lotz describes as the “objective method” and rejected the “subjective” as smacking of subjectivism or idealism. In the longest essay of the five, Fr. Lotz compares the Kantian and Scholastic methods. Kant himself described his Kritik der reinen Vernunft as a “treatise on method rather than a scientific system”, and in the course of the book he condemns the objective approach as dogmatic and uncritical, leaving only the subjective method, which rules out any possibility of metaphysics. Fr. Lotz rightly asserts that even the most modern scholastic cannot dispense with the objective method, but he maintains that it demands to be completed by the subjective. Many scholastics will agree with him on the usefulness of the latter, and indeed an amount of research has been done in this field in recent decades. But how many will agree when he says that scholastic objectivism includes the subjective or transcendental method as the only way, or the only basis on which objectivism can stand? Maréchal’s influence is evident in his treatment of the faculties of the soul. But, however one may quibble at individual points in the book, it nevertheless remains a very valuable contribution to the scholastic literature on Kant. (shrink)
[full article, abstract in English; abstract in Lithuanian] Armstrong’s theory of laws and causation may be articulated as something like the following, which we may refer to as the received view: “Laws are intrinsic higher-order relations of ensuring between properties. The instantiation of laws is identical with singular causation. This identity is a posteriori.” Opponents and advocates of this view, believe that it may fairly and correctly be attributed to Armstrong. I do not deny it; instead I seek to reconsider (...) the received view, specifically by treating it as a part of Armstrong’s metaphysics. The main features that should concern us are truthmaker theory and the formal account of the constitutive parts of states of affairs. I also discuss Bird’s ultimate argument against Armstrong and show how its impact is weakened by this proper reading. (shrink)
This work examines the evolution of law and legal method, and challenges the law's claim to neutrality by examining its role in creating and reproducing inequality between the sexes. It considers many of the current debates, and in each, the law is stated with reference to recent developments in statute and judicial decisions in the UK and other jurisdictions. The author illustrates how each issue is shaped by the current political climate and, where relevant, by the European Court. Reference is (...) also made to US and Australian case law. The book should be of interest to students studying women and the law, family law, criminal law and jurisprudcence, as well as those on criminology and sociology courses. It should also be useful to family and criminal practitioners. (shrink)
The article argues that Kant’s argument for ownership entails a standard of meaningful use by which property regimes can be evaluated: a regime must make it possible for usable objects to be meaningfully used. A particular form of fully communal ownership can satisfy this standard. Further, this form of communal ownership is compatible with Kantian freedom more broadly. I conclude that, if this is so, there is a great deal of space for further consideration of the rightfulness of diverse regimes (...) of ownership and exchange within a Kantian framework. (shrink)
This review essay of Economics Rules situates Dani Rodrik’s contribution with respect to the 2007–2008 global economic crisis. This financial meltdown, which the eurozone did not fully recover from before the Covid-19 pandemic, led to soul- searching among economists as well as a call for heterodox economic approaches. Yet, over the past decade, instead the economics profession has maintained its orthodoxy. Rodrik’s Economics Rules offers a critique of the economics profession that is castigating but mild. It calls for economists to (...) use more and diverse models without becoming wedded to any single model or an overarching vision. Yet Rodrik ratifies many of the benchmark models standard to orthodox economics and provides little ground for a fundamental rethinking of the discipline. This essay analyses the conservatism underlying Rodrik’s approach, which upholds general equilibrium theory and rational expectations underlying the efficient market hypothesis. It argues that the economics discipline’s scope-creep to maintain its applicability to all human decision-making, and its acceptance of all-inclusive utility functions, crowds out moral sentiments and civic virtue. Thus. it argues that rather than urging economists simply to be more cautious in their application of models to address particular social concerns, instead economists must recognise their discipline’s inherent limitations. (shrink)
The author shows Maritain's view of the place of political philosophy in the hierarchy of the speculative and practical sciences. Some criticisms of Maritain are also suggested, particularly in connection with democratic theory. --S. M. W.
This paper examines how the concepts of utility, impartiality, and universality worked together to form the foundation of Adam Smith's jurisprudence. It argues that the theory of utility consistent with contemporary rational choice theory is insufficient to account for Smith's use of utility. Smith's jurisprudence relies on the impartial spectator's sympathetic judgment over whether third parties are injured, and not individuals' expected utility associated with individuals' expected gains from rendering judgments over innocence or guilt.
This study is concerned with certainty and examines the work of Dewey for the light he sheds on this problem. Hart concentrates on the process of verification, the final stage of inquiry in Dewey's theory. He does this because he believes that, according to Dewey, through the process of verification we may attain "flexible" certainty. The first chapter discusses the background of the problem. The second chapter, "A Dewey Dictionary," contains passages selected from Dewey's works on about sixty topics which (...) Hart considers important for his later discussion. In the third chapter, a chronological account of the development of Dewey's theory of inquiry and his views on verification is meticulously presented. The fourth chapter is devoted to a systematic presentation of the place of verification in Dewey's philosophy. In the fifth chapter are the author's critical reflections: Hart holds that the basic principles of Dewey's theory cannot be justified but must be taken on faith. Here Hart does not seem sufficiently appreciative of Dewey's pragmatism. Dewey could answer: such principles are adopted because they are fruitful and will be maintained only so long as they continue to be fruitful. An epilogue concludes the study.—F. S. M. (shrink)
This paper analyses the National Populist Challenges to Europe’s Center Right. It assesses the cases of the UK, Germany and France. It poses three questions for Europe: How will political integration be achieved and maintained? What policies will foster economic inclusion in the Eurozone? And, third, what are the best means to achieve economic solvency and growth. The paper make a case that neoliberal economic policies over the past decades have undermined some nations' public sector and have also contributed to (...) tensions between the geographical east and west of Europe. (shrink)
Journey Back to God explores Origen of Alexandria's creative, complex, and controversial treatment of the problem of evil. It argues that his layered cosmology functions as a theodicy that deciphers deeper meaning beneath cosmic disparity. Origen asks: why does God create a world where some suffer more than others? On the surface, the unfair arrangement of the world defies theological coherence. In order to defend divine justice against the charge of cosmic mismanagement, Origen develops a theological cosmology that explains the (...) ontological status and origin of evil as well as its cosmic implications. Origen's theodicy hinges on the journey of the soul back to God. Its themes correlate with the soul's creation, fall and descent into materiality, gradual purification, and eventual divinization. The world, for Origen, functions as a school and hospital for the soul where it undergoes the necessary education and purgation. Origen carefully calibrates his cosmology and theology. He portrays God as a compassionate and judicious teacher, physician, and father who employs suffering for our amelioration. Journey Back to God frames the systematic study of Origen's theodicy within a broader theory of theodicy as navigation, which signifies the dynamic process whereby we impute meaning to suffering. It unites the logical and spiritual facets of his theodicy, and situates it in its third-century historical, theological, and philosophical context, correcting the distortions that continue to plague Origen scholarship. Furthermore, the study clarifies his ambiguous position on universalism within the context of his eschatology. Finally, it assesses the cogency and contemporary relevance of Origen's theodicy, highlighting the problems and prospects of his bold, constructive, and optimistic vision. (shrink)
David Lewis presented Convention as an alternative to the conventionalism characteristic of early-twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Rudolf Carnap is well known for suggesting the arbitrariness of any particular linguistic convention for engaging in scientific inquiry. Analytic truths are self-consistent, and are not checked against empirical facts to ascertain their veracity. In keeping with the logical positivists before him, Lewis concludes that linguistic communication is conventional. However, despite his firm allegiance to conventions underlying not just languages but also social customs, he pioneered (...) the view that convening need not require any active agreement to participate. Lewis proposed that conventions arise from “an exchange of manifestations of a propensity to conform to a regularity” .In reasserting the conventional quality of languages and other practices resting on mutual expectations, Lewis comfortably works within the analytic tradition. Yet he also deviates from his predecessors because his conventionalist approach is comprehensively grounded in instrumentalism. Lewis adopts an extension of David Hume's desire-belief psychology articulated in rational choice theory. He develops his philosophy of convention relying on the highly formal mid-twentieth-century expected utility and game theories. This attempt to account for language and social customs wholly in terms of instrumental rationality has the implication of reducing normativity to preference satisfaction. Lewis’ approach continues in the trend of undermining normative political philosophy because institutions and practices arise spontaneously, without the deliberate involvement of agents. Perhaps Lewis’ Convention is best seen as a resurgent form of analytic philosophy, characterized by “a style of argument, hostility to [ambitious] metaphysics, focus on language, and the dominance of logic and formalization” that solves the dilemma of “combining the analytic inheritance…with normative concerns” by reducing normativity to individuals’ preference fulfillment consistent with the axioms of rational choice. (shrink)
What endogenous factors contribute to minority (Red Queen) or majority (Red King) domination under conditions of coercive bargaining? We build on previous work demonstrating minority disadvantage in non-coercive bargaining games to show that under neutral initial conditions, majorities are advantaged in high conflict situations, and minorities are advantaged in low conflict games. These effects are a function of the relationship between (1) relative proportions of the majority and minority groups and (2) costs of conflict. Although both Red King and Red (...) Queen effects can occur, we further show that agents’ increased initial propensity toward conflict advantages majorities. (shrink)