In this paper, we draw attention to several important tensions between Kant’s account of moral education and his commitment to transcendental idealism. Our main claim is that, in locating freedom outside of space and time, transcendental idealism makes it difficult for Kant to both provide an explanation of how moral education occurs, but also to confirm that his own account actually works. Having laid out these problems, we then offer a response on Kant’s behalf. We argue that, while it might (...) look like Kant has to abandon his commitment to either moral education or transcendental idealism, there is a way in which he can maintain both. (shrink)
How we understand, protect, and discharge our rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democratic society committed to the principle of political equality is intimately connected to the standards and behaviour of our media in general, and our news media in particular. However, the media does not just stand between the citizenry and their leaders, or indeed between citizens and each other. The media is often the site where individuals attempt to realise some of the most fundamental democratic liberties, including (...) the right to free speech. -/- Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy explores the conflict between the rights that people exercise in, and through, the modern media and the responsibilities that accrue on account of its awesome and increasing power. The individual chapters—written by leading scholars from the US, UK, and Australia—address several recent events and controversial developments in the media, including Brexit, the rise of Trump, Lynton Crosby, Charlie Hebdo, dog-whistle politics, fake news, and political correctness. This much-needed philosophical treatment is a welcome addition to the recent literature in media ethics. It will be of interest to scholars across political and social philosophy, applied ethics, media and communication studies, and political science who are interested in the important issues surrounding the media and free speech and democracy. (shrink)
This introduction briefly lays out the basics of Kant’s concept, transcendental freedom, and some of its discontents. It also provides an overview of the dossier itself, introducing Katerina Deligiorgi’s discussion of ought-implies-can, Patrick Frierson’s account of degrees of responsibility, and Jeanine Grenberg’s treatment of the third-person.
This paper lays out two recent accounts of Hegel’s practical philosophy in order to present a challenge. According to Robert Stern and Mark Alznauer, Hegel attempts to ground our ethical practices in ontological norms. I argue that we cannot ground our ethical practices in this way. However, I also contend that Stern’s and Alznauer’s conception of reality as both conceptual and normative can still play a useful role in practical philosophy, namely, to help defuse a sceptical worry about a threat (...) to ethics. (shrink)
Stephen Engstrom has recently offered an excellent account of morality as practical cognition. He emphasizes the formal conditions of practical knowledge, which he finds in Kant. Engstrom also aligns his account with constructivism, claiming that value is constructed through these formal conditions, chiefly universalisability. In this paper, I employ a variant of Hegel’s empty-formalism objection to challenge the moral significance of the mere form of practical knowledge. I hope to show that Engstrom’s constructivism is neither philosophically compelling, nor required by (...) the rest of his position. In its place, I propose a realist understanding of the value of practical knowledge. (shrink)
Kant wants to show that freedom is possible in the face of natural necessity. Transcendental idealism is his solution, which locates freedom outside of nature. I accept that this makes freedom possible, but object that it precludes the recognition of other rational agents. In making this case, I trace some of the history of Kant’s thoughts on freedom. In several of his earlier works, he argues that we are aware of our own activity. He later abandons this approach, as he (...) worries that any awareness of our activity involves access to the noumenal, and thereby conflicts with the epistemic limits of transcendental idealism. In its place, from the second Critique onwards, Kant argues that we are conscious of the moral law, which tells me that I ought to do something, thus revealing that I can. This is the only proof of freedom consistent with transcendental idealism, but I argue that such an exclusively first-personal approach precludes the recognition of other rational agents. I conclu.. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written.
Both Kant and James claim to limit the role of knowledge in order to make room for faith. In this paper, we argue that despite some similarities, their attempts to do this come apart. Our main claim is that, although both Kant and James justify our adopting religious beliefs on practical grounds, James believes that we can—and should—subsequently assess such beliefs on the basis of evidence. We offer our own account of this evidence and discuss what this difference means for (...) their accounts of religious belief. (shrink)
Kant worries that if we are not free, morality will be nothing more than a phantasm for us. In the final section of the Groundwork, he attempts secure our freedom, and with it, morality. Here is a simplified version of his argument: -/- 1. A rational will is a free will 2. A free will stands under the moral law 3. Therefore, a rational will stands under the moral law -/- In this paper, I attempt to defuse two prominent objections (...) to this argument. Commentators often worry that Kant has not managed to establish that we are rational beings with wills in the first place, and that he equivocates in his use of ‘free’ between premise 1 and 2. I argue that both of these objections can be overcome, and thus seek to offer some hope for Kant’s approach in Groundwork III. (shrink)
In his pre-critical lectures on rational psychology, Kant employs an argument from the I to the transcendental freedom of the soul. In the (A-edition of the) first Critique, he distances himself from rational psychology, and instead offers four paralogisms of this doctrine, insisting that ‘I think’ no longer licenses any inferences about a soul. Kant also comes alive to the possibility that we could be thinking mechanisms – rational beings, but not agents. These developments rob him of his pre-critical rationalist (...) argument for freedom. In the Groundwork, this is a serious problem; if we are not free, morality will be a phantasm for us. In Groundwork III, Kant attempts to overcome this by offering a new argument for our freedom, involving the standpoint of practical reason. In this paper, I detail these developments and present a practical and phenomenological reading of Kant’s approach in Groundwork III. I also venture a defence of this new argument. (shrink)
This paper explores the political campaigning strategies of Lynton Crosby, and argues that they pose a threat to democracy. In doing so, I looks to shed light on Crosby’s tactics, but also to elucidate exactly what is anti-democratic about them. I argue that there are two worrying aspects to this. The first involves Crosby’s lack of respect for voters’ beliefs, interests and values, whereas the second concerns his propensity for avoiding debate.
Political advertising is changing. This chapter considers some of the implications of this for the democratic process. I begin with recent reports of online political advertising. From this, two related concerns emerge. The first is that online political advertisements sometimes occur in the dark, and the second is that they can involve sending different messages to different groups. I consider these issues in turn. This involves an extended discussion of the importance of publicity and discussion in democracy, and a comparison (...) between dog whistles and dark advertisements. Through this, I look to outline some of the ways in which online political advertisements can undermine the democratic process. (shrink)
Research into robotic social learning, especially that concerned with imitation, often focuses at differing ends of a spectrum from observational learning at one end to following or matched-dependent behaviour at the other. We study the implications and differences that arise when carrying out experiments both at the extremes and within this spectrum. Physical Khepera robots with minimal sensory capabilities are used, and after training, experiments are carried out where an imitating robot perceives the dynamic movement behaviours of another model robot (...) carrying a light source. It learns the movement behaviour of the model by either statically observing the model, dynamically observing the model or by following the model. It ﬁnally re-enacts the learnt behaviour. We compare the results of these re-enactments and illustrate the differences and trade-offs that arise between static observational and reactive following learning methods. We also consider circumstances where, for this robotic embodiment, dynamic observation has both advantages and disadvantages when compared to static observation. We conclude by discussing the implications that arise from using and combining these types of social learning. (shrink)
This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learning interact and co-develop: individual learning about one's own embodiment and the environment, social learning (learning from others), and learning of linguistic capability. Our primary concern is how these (...) capabilities can scaffold each other's development in a continuous feedback cycle as their interactions yield increasingly sophisticated competencies in the agent's capacity to interact with others and manipulate its world. Experimental results are summarized in relation to milestones in human linguistic and cognitive development and show that the mutual scaffolding of social learning, individual learning, and linguistic capabilities creates the context, conditions, and requisites for learning in each domain. Challenges and insights identified as a result of this research program are discussed with regard to possible and actual contributions to cognitive science and language ontogeny. In conclusion, directions for future work are suggested that continue to develop this approach toward an integrated framework for understanding these mutually scaffolding processes as a basis for language development in humans and robots. (shrink)
In this article I explore how Cicely Saunders championed the hospice movement and initiated what became palliative care by representing her emotional connections with others. She became friends with dying patients and encouraged others to follow her example in listening to patients’ descriptions of pain. Her approach was radical at a time when she believed doctors routinely ‘deserted’ dying patients because it urged them to understand another’s embodied pain as inextricably bound up with the emotional impact of a terminal (...) diagnosis. Saunders’ attention to how patients expressed their experience is summed up in her term ‘total pain’, which communicates how an individual’s pain is a whole overwhelming experience, not only physical but also emotional, social and spiritual. Previous research frames ‘total pain’ in terms of narrative, emphasising Saunders’ focus on listening to her patients and her use of narratives as evidence in advocating for cultural and institutional change, both of which I understand as engaging with a patient’s emotional reality. However, as Saunders’ ideals become mainstreamed as palliative care and amid calls for ‘narrative palliative care’, I use evidence from Saunders’ extensive written output alongside archival material to suggest that, just as palliative care is by its nature not a single specific intervention, ‘total pain’ should not be understood as simply narrative. Building on existing work in this journal questioning the primacy of conventional understandings of narrative in the medical humanities, I demonstrate how Saunders’ prominent use of fragments and soundbites alongside longer case narratives demonstrates the limits of narrative, particularly when someone is dying. Saunders thus offers a case study for considering the implications that questioning the primacy of narrative as emotional evidence might have for our understandings of how empathy or advocacy can function, or be cultivated, in medical settings. (shrink)
Following a long-term international collaboration between leaders in cosmology and the philosophy of science, this volume addresses foundational questions at the limit of science across these disciplines, questions raised by observational and theoretical progress in modern cosmology. Space missions have mapped the Universe up to its early instants, opening up questions on what came before the Big Bang, the nature of space and time, and the quantum origin of the Universe. As the foundational volume of an emerging academic discipline, experts (...) from relevant fields lay out the fundamental problems of contemporary cosmology and explore the routes toward finding possible solutions. Written for graduates and researchers in physics and philosophy, particular efforts are made to inform academics from other fields, as well as the educated public, who wish to understand our modern vision of the Universe, related philosophical questions, and the significant impacts on scientific methodology. (shrink)
Kant views every human action as either entirely determined by natural necessity or entirely free. In viewing human action this way, it is unclear how he can account for degrees of responsibility. In this article, I consider three recent attempts to accommodate degrees of responsibility within Kant's framework, but argue that none of them are satisfying. In the end, I claim that transcendental idealism constrains Kant such that he cannot provide an adequate account of degrees of responsibility.
McTaggart takes love seriously. He rejects rival accounts that look to reduce love to pleasure, moral approbation or a fitting response to someone’s qualities. In addition, he thinks that love reveals something about the structure of the universe, and that in absolute reality, we could all love each other. In this paper, I follow McTaggart in his rejection of rival accounts of love, but distance myself from his own account of love in absolute reality. I argue that in claiming that (...) we could all love each other, he fails to adequately account for an important part of the phenomena of love, namely chemistry. (shrink)
Ethical sourcing and socially responsible purchasing is increasingly on the business agenda, but developing and implementing policy and practice across a global network of suppliers is challenging. The purpose of this paper is to expand theory on the nature of linkages between firms in a social network, specifically postulating how ties between organizations can be configured to facilitate development, diffusion, and adoption of sustainability initiatives. The theory development provides a lens with which to view the influence of a firm’s structural (...) embeddedness in its organizational social network on developing, diffusing and adopting sustainability initiatives. The focus is on brokers who in various structural alignments help bridge the focal firm’s sustainability initiatives with distant or disconnected stakeholders the focal firm is trying to reach. The brokers help the focal firm engage these stakeholders by sharing knowledge and information regarding sustainability initiatives and by incorporating localized needs into the development of the initiatives to facilitate better diffusion and adoption. The theoretical contribution of this manuscript is a novel perspective on sustainability in organizational networks. This perspective allows for greater explanatory power regarding how organizations can achieve sustainable outcomes that meet a broad base of stakeholder needs and better facilitate sustainability initiatives across a diverse and expansive network. (shrink)
In “Kant and Degrees of Responsibility,” Joe Saunders claims that “Degrees of responsibility are important for both our moral and legal practices” and argues that “transcendental idealism precludes Kant from vindicating these judgments [about degrees of responsibility]” ; thus, we have reasons to reject Kant’s transcendental idealism. In this paper, I show how Kant’s transcendental idealism can accommodate and provide a metaphysical account for degrees of responsibility. Whether this “vindicates” such judgments depends upon how much one expects a philosophical (...) account to do; I defend modesty there while admitting a reasonable desire for reflection on how we can and should make such judgments. Finally, I raise the question of just how important judgments of moral responsibility are. Rather than looking to metaphysics to figure out how to vindicate judgments about degrees of responsibility, I suggest we look to the practical purposes such judgments serve. (shrink)
Category Theory has developed rapidly. This book aims to present those ideas and methods which can now be effectively used by Mathe maticians working in a variety of other fields of Mathematical research. This occurs at several levels. On the first level, categories provide a convenient conceptual language, based on the notions of category, functor, natural transformation, contravariance, and functor category. These notions are presented, with appropriate examples, in Chapters I and II. Next comes the fundamental idea of an adjoint (...) pair of functors. This appears in many substantially equivalent forms: That of universal construction, that of direct and inverse limit, and that of pairs offunctors with a natural isomorphism between corresponding sets of arrows. All these forms, with their interrelations, are examined in Chapters III to V. The slogan is "Adjoint functors arise everywhere". Alternatively, the fundamental notion of category theory is that of a monoid -a set with a binary operation of multiplication which is associative and which has a unit; a category itself can be regarded as a sort of general ized monoid. Chapters VI and VII explore this notion and its generaliza tions. Its close connection to pairs of adjoint functors illuminates the ideas of universal algebra and culminates in Beck's theorem characterizing categories of algebras; on the other hand, categories with a monoidal structure lead inter alia to the study of more convenient categories of topological spaces. (shrink)
The Politics is one of the most influential texts in the history of political thought, and it raises issues which still confront anyone who wants to think seriously about the ways in which human societies are organized and governed. By examining the way societies are run--from households to city states--Aristotle establishes how successful constitutions can best be initiated and upheld. For this edition, Sir Ernest Barker's fine translation, which has been widely used for nearly half a century, has been extensively (...) revised to meet the needs of the modern reader. The accessible introduction and clear notes examine the historical and philosophical background of the work and discuss its significance for modern political thought. (shrink)
"He completed the assignment in two phases: The photographs made during the first phase capture the natural ruggedness of the terrain and establish its relationship to the developed neighboring enclaves. Those made during the second phase not only record the actual construction process but also reveal Deal's personal perspective on the qualities of light and the creation of form. Represented in this book as a selection from the resulting portfolio, Topos, a Greek word meaning place, site, position, and occasion - (...) Deal's artistic legacy to the Gerry Center."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)
One of the central issues dividing proponents of metaphysical interpretations of transcendental idealism concerns Kant’s views on the distinctness of things in themselves and appearances. Proponents of metaphysical one-object interpretations claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of one-object grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata are different aspects of the same object. Proponents of metaphysical two-object interpretations, by contrast, claim that things in themselves and appearances are related by some kind of two-object (...) grounding relation, through which the grounding and grounded relata involve distinct objects. By way of investigating Kant’s overarching account of grounding, I will argue that the most plausible metaphysical interpretation of transcendental idealism is one on which we can know that there are things in themselves grounding appearances, but not which specific kind of one- or two-object grounding relation obtain between them. Our ignorance of things in themselves therefore extends to their distinctness from appearances — pace both metaphysical one-object interpretations and metaphysical two-object interpretations. (shrink)
Divine Action and Modern Science considers the relationship between the natural sciences and the concept of God acting in the world. Nicholas Saunders examines the Biblical motivations for asserting a continuing notion of divine action and identifies several different theological approaches to the problem. He considers their theoretical relationships with the laws of nature, indeterminism, and probabilistic causation. His book then embarks on a radical critique of current attempts to reconcile special divine action with quantum theory, chaos theory and (...) quantum chaos. As well as considering the implications of these problems for common interpretations of divine action, Saunders also surveys and codifies the many different theological, philosophical and scientific responses to divine action. The conclusion reached is that we are still far from a satisfactory account of how God might act in a manner that is consonant with modern science despite the copious recent scholarship in this area. (shrink)
Originally published in 1934, and undertaken at the suggestion of Sayajirao Gaekwad III, then Maharajah of Baroda, this book examines the similarities and differences of ethical traditions in the East and the West. Saunders uses Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Hebrew and Christian texts to compare and contrast each system with the others, noting that 'East and West must cease from provincialism in a world now made one'. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in comparative (...) religion and in the history of Western reception of Eastern ideas. (shrink)
Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Volume 52, Issue 1-2, Page 81-102, January-March 2022. In The Origins of Unfairness, Cailin O’Connor develops a series of evolutionary game models to show that gender might have emerged to solve coordination problems in the division of labor. One assumption of those models is that agents engage in gendered social learning. This assumption puts the explanatory cart before the horse. How did early humans have a well-developed system of gendered social learning before the gendered division (...) of labor? This paper develops a pair of models that show it is possible for the gendered division of labor to arise on more minimal assumptions. (shrink)
Simon Saunders and David Wallace attempt to use a modified form of David Lewis's analysis of personal fission to ground the claim that prior to undergoing Everett branching an informed subject can be uncertain about which outcome s/he will observe. I argue that a central assumption of this seductive idea is questionable despite appearing innocuous and that at the very least further argument is needed in support of it. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
The question of whether or not early Chinese philosophers had a concept of truth has been the topic of some scholarly debate over the past few decades. The present essay offers a novel assessment of the debate, and suggests that no answer is fully satisfactory, as the plausibility of each turns in no small part on difficult and unsettled philosophical issues prior to the interpretation of any ancient Chinese philosophical texts—particularly the issues of what it means to “have a concept” (...) and how we understand the concept of truth itself. This essay summarizes prominent views within the debate over truth and Chinese philosophy and offers conditional assessments of each answer with respect to contemporary theories of concepts and theories of truth. The essay concludes with an appeal to methodological and interpretive pluralism, within reasonable constraints, in discussions of this topic. (shrink)
Mill's most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I (...) show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp's Haydn and the oyster and Nozick's experience machine. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Shagrir and Sprevak explore the apparent necessity of representation for the individuation of digits in computational systems.1 1 I will first offer a response to Sprevak’s argument that does not mention Shagrir’s original formulation, which was more complex. I then extend my initial response to cover Shagrir’s argument, thus demonstrating that it is possible to individuate digits in non-representational computing mechanisms. I also consider the implications that the non-representational individuation of digits would have for the broader theory of computing (...) mechanisms. 1 The Received View: No Computation without Representation 2 Computing Mechanisms and Functional Individuation 3 Against Computational Externalism 4 Implications for the Mechanistic Account. (shrink)
_Teachers as Researchers_ urges teachers - as both producers and consumers of knowledge - to engage in the debate about educational research by undertaking meaningful research themselves. Teachers are being encouraged to carry out research in order to improve their effectiveness in the classroom, but this book suggests that they also reflect on and challenge the reductionist and technicist methods that promote a 'top down' system of education. It argues that only by engaging in complex, critical research will teachers rediscover (...) their professional status, empower their practice in the classroom and improve the quality of education for their pupils. Now re-released to introduce this classic guide for teachers, the new edition of _Teachers as Researchers_ now also includes an introductory chapter by Shirley R. Steinberg that sets the book within the context of both the subject and the historical perspective. In addition, she also provides information on some key writing that extends the bibliography of this influential book thereby bringing the material fully up to date with current research. Postgraduate students of education and experienced teachers will find much to inspire and encourage them in this definitive book. (shrink)
There are many cases in which, by making some great sacrifice, you could bring about either a good outcome or a very good outcome. In some of these cases, it seems wrong for you to bring about the good outcome, since you could bring about the very good outcome with no additional sacrifice. It also seems permissible for you not to make the sacrifice, and bring about neither outcome. But together, these claims seem to imply that you ought to bring (...) about neither outcome rather than the good outcome. And that seems very counterintuitive. In this paper, I develop this problem, propose a solution, and then draw out some implications both for how we should understand supererogation and for how we should approach charitable giving. (shrink)