Standard philosophical explanations of the concept of knowledge invoke a personal goal of having true beliefs, and explain the other requirements for knowledge as indicating the best way to achieve that goal. In this highly original book, Steven L. Reynolds argues instead that the concept of knowledge functions to express a naturally developing kind of social control, a complex social norm, and that the main purpose of our practice of saying and thinking that people 'know' is to improve our (...) system for exchanging information, which is testimony. He makes illuminating comparisons of the knowledge norm of testimony with other complex social norms - such as those requiring proper clothing, respectful conversation, and the complementary virtues of tact and frankness - and shows how this account fits with our concept of knowledge as studied in recent analytic epistemology. His book will interest a range of readers in epistemology, psychology, and sociology. (shrink)
Of the various loci of systematic theology that call for sustained philosophical investigation, the doctrine of sanctification stands out as a prime candidate. In response to that call, William Alston developed three models of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit: the fiat model, the interpersonal model, and the sharing model. In response to Alston’s argument for the sharing model, this paper offers grounds for a reconsideration of the interpersonal model. We close with a discussion of some of the implications (...) of one’s understanding of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit for practical Christian spirituality. (shrink)
Cognitive science is transforming our understanding of the mind. New discoveries are changing how we comprehend not just language, but thought itself. Yet, surprisingly little of the new learning has penetrated discussions and analysis of the most important social institution affecting our lives-the law. Drawing on work in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and literary theory, Steven L. Winter has created nothing less than a tour de force of interdisciplinary analysis. A Clearing in the Forest rests on the simple notion (...) that the better we understand the workings of the mind, the better we will understand all its products-especially law. Legal studies today focus on analytic skills and grand normative theories. But, to understand how real-world, legal actors reason and decide, we need a different set of tools. Cognitive science provides those tools, opening a window on the imaginative, yet orderly mental processes that animate thinking and decisionmaking among lawyers, judges, and lay persons alike. Recent findings about how humans actually categorize and reason make it possible to explain legal reasoning in new, more cogent, more productive ways. A Clearing in the Forest is a compelling meditation on both how the law works and what it all means. In uncovering the irrepressibly imaginative, creative quality of human reason, Winter shows how what we are learning about the mind changes not only our understanding of law, but ultimately of ourselves. He charts a unique course to understanding the world we inhabit, showing us the way to the clearing in the forest. (shrink)
Various considerations are adduced toshow that we require that a testifier know hertestimony. Such a requirement apparentlyimproves testimony. It is argued that the aimof improving testimony explains why we have anduse our concept of knowledge. If we were tointroduce a term of praise for testimony, usingit at first to praise testimony that apparentlyhelped us in our practical projects, it wouldcome to be used as we now use the word``know''.
Adequate epistemic justification is best conceived as the appearance, over time, of knowledge to the subject. ‘Appearance’ is intended literally, not as a synonym for belief. It is argued through consideration of examples that this account gets the extension of ‘adequately justified belief’ at least roughly correct. A more theoretical reason is then offered to regard justification as the appearance of knowledge: If we have a knowledge norm for assertion, we do our best to comply with this norm when we (...) express as assertions only beliefs that appear to us to be knowledge. If we are doing our best, there is little point in further sanctions. So a norm of knowledge for assertion would lead to a secondary norm of justified belief as the appearance of knowledge, marking a point at which our assertions may be corrected but should not be blamed. (shrink)
Based on his theory of animalrights, Regan concludes that humans are morallyobligated to consume a vegetarian or vegandiet. When it was pointed out to him that evena vegan diet results in the loss of manyanimals of the field, he said that while thatmay be true, we are still obligated to consumea vegetarian/vegan diet because in total itwould cause the least harm to animals (LeastHarm Principle, or LHP) as compared to currentagriculture. But is that conclusion valid? Isit possible that some other (...) agriculturalproduction alternatives may result in leastharm to animals? An examination of thisquestion shows that the LHP may actually bebetter served using food production systemsthat include both plant-based agriculture and aforage-ruminant-based agriculture as comparedto a strict plant-based (vegan) system. Perhapswe are morally obligated to consume a dietcontaining both plants and ruminant(particularly cattle) animal products. (shrink)
Between 300,000 and 250,000 years ago early humans in Africa and Eurasia began to use durable material substances and objects as media for signaling. Initially material signals were confined to ochre and other pigments, but over time objects such as beads were also added as technologies for sending messages. Changes in the types of materials used, their durability and costs, and the contexts of their disposal indicate a series of transitions in how early humans employed signaling media. Signaling theory from (...) biology suggests that shifts in technologies over the course of the Pleistocene reflect problems in coordinating action and resolving conflicts within increasingly large and internally differentiated societies. (shrink)
This study examines the conditions under which apologies help to elicit forgiveness and restore trust following trust violations between leaders and followers. The intentionality and severity of violations are examined in a critical incident study and a laboratory study. The results support a model in which forgiveness mediates the relation of apology quality and trust. More importantly, the moderation–mediation model shows that apology quality influenced forgiveness and subsequent trust following violations that were moderate in severity–intentionality combination. The effect of apologizing (...) affects trust directly without forgiveness when the severity–intentionality combination held minor or extreme intensity. The results suggest a range in which apologies are effective and enrich understanding of the conditions under which trust can be recovered through an apology–forgiveness process in leader–follower relationships. The contribution of the study lies in elucidating that the combination of severity and intentionality of leaders’ trust violations has greater importance than either one separately. (shrink)
Based on an unfinished manuscript by the late philosopher Dallas Willard, this book makes the case that the 20th century saw a massive shift in Western beliefs and attitudes concerning the possibility of moral knowledge, such that knowledge of the moral life and of its conduct is no longer routinely available from the social institutions long thought to be responsible for it. In this sense, moral knowledge--as a publicly available resource for living--has disappeared. Via a detailed survey of main developments (...) in ethical theory from the late 19th through the late 20th centuries, Willard explains philosophy's role in this shift. In pointing out the shortcomings of these developments, he shows that the shift was not the result of rational argument or discovery, but largely of arational social forces--in other words, there was no good reason for moral knowledge to have disappeared. The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge is a unique contribution to the literature on the history of ethics and social morality. Its review of historical work on moral knowledge covers a wide range of thinkers including T.H Green, G.E Moore, Charles L. Stevenson, John Rawls, and Alasdair MacIntyre. But, most importantly, it concludes with a novel proposal for how we might reclaim moral knowledge that is inspired by the phenomenological approach of Knud Logstrup and Emmanuel Levinas. Edited and eventually completed by three of Willard's former graduate students, this book marks the culmination of Willard's project to find a secure basis in knowledge for the moral life. (shrink)
The self-interest paradigm predicts that unethical behavior occurs when such behavior benefits the actor. A recent model of lying behavior, however, predicts that lying behavior results from an individual''s inability to meet conflicting role demands. The need to reconcile the self-interest and role conflict theories prompted the present study, which orthogonally manipulated the benefit from lying and the conflicting role demands. A model integrating the two theories predicts the results, which showed that both elements — self benefit and role conflict (...) — influenced lying, separately and interactively. Additionally, the relative strength of the roles in conflict affected their level of influence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
Against various detractors , this book develops a foundationalist theory of epistemic justification. In contrast with Laurence BonJour and borrowing from John McDowell, the essential argument is that conceptualized perpetual experience provides a non-doxastic foundation for perceptual beliefs about physical objects.
Non-propositional experiences can help justify beliefs, contrary to recent claims made by Donald Davidson and Laurence Bonjour. It is argued that a perceptual belief is justified if there are no undermining beliefs and it was arrived at in response to an experience through an adequate exercise of properly learned recognitional skills.
This paper is a philosophical defense of the doctrine of penal substitution. I begin with a delineation of Richard Swinburne’s satisfaction-type theory of the atonement, exposing a weakness of it which motivates a renewed look at the theory of penal substitution. In explicating a theory of penal substitution, I contend that: (i) the execution of retributive punishment is morally justified in certain cases of deliberate wrongdoing; (ii) deliberate human sin against God constitutes such a case; and (iii) the transfer of (...) the retributive punishment due sinners to Christ is morally coherent. Whatever else might be said for and against such a conception of the doctrine of the atonement, the plausibility of the theory presented here should give us pause in the often hasty rejection of the doctrine of penal substitution. (shrink)
Abstract. The Western conception of the individual as a rational, self-directing agent is a mythology that organizes and distorts religion, science, economics, and politics. It produces an abstracted and atomized form of engagement that is fatal to collective self-governance. And it turns democracy into the enemy of equality. Considering the meaning of democracy and autonomy from a perspective that takes the subject as truly social would refocus our attention on the constitutive contexts and practices necessary for the production of citizens (...) who are capable of meaningful self-governance. Under modern conditions, it is in the development of sexual autonomy that we learn how to take initiative with respect to our well-being and do so in concert with others. Where the view of rational agency as the defining characteristic of humanity yields a deracinated view of autonomy, a more realistic, humanistic view that we are, necessarily, social beings yields a view of freedom and self-governance as social phenomena that require empathy, negotiation, compromise, cooperation, and mutual recognition and respect. (shrink)
Imagining that I am Napoleon is not (normally) imagining an impossibility. It is (or at least may be) just adopting a first person way of imagining Napoleon. The images and bits of narrative using 'I' are intended to refer to Napoleon and his surroundings, in something like the way that a salt shaker can stand for a regiment of troops when the general says "This is the third regiment' while explaining his plans at the breakfast table.
Beads and other ‘body ornaments’ are very widespread components of the archaeological record of early modern humans (Homo sapiens). They appear first in the Middle Stone Age in Africa, and somewhat later in the Early Upper Paleolithic of Eurasia. The manufacture and use of ornaments is widely considered to be evidence for significant developments in human cognition. In our view, the appearance of these objects represents the interaction of evolved cognitive capacities with changing social and demographic conditions. Body ornamentation is (...) a medium or technology for communication, particularly of socially-relevant information. The widespread adoption of beads and other discrete objects as media for communication implies changes in the complexity and stability of social messages, as well as the scale of social networks. The relatively sudden appearance of beads in the Paleolithic archaeological record coincides with genetic and archaeological evidence for expansion of human populations. We argue that these changes reflect expanding scales of social interaction and more complex social landscapes resulting from unprecedentedly large and internally differentiated human populations. (shrink)
Frigg and Reiss (2009) argue that philosophical problems in simulation bear enough resemblance to recognized issues in the philosophy of modeling that they only pose challenges analogous to those found in standard analytic models used to represent natural systems. They suggest that there are no new philosophical problems in computer simulation modeling beyond those found in traditional mathematical modeling. Winsberg (2009) has countered that there appear to be genuinely new epistemological problems in simulation modeling because the knowledge obtained from them (...) is ‘downward, motley, and autonomous.’ Here I draw out some specific ways that these epistemological problems are manifest in complex ecological simulation, especially in agent-based models. These models contain novel features that were impossible to anticipate prior to the computer revolution, and continue to present difficulties and challenges of both a practical and philosophical nature (Humphreys 2002). (shrink)
This paper discusses Plato’s question from the Meno : Why should we prefer knowledge that p over mere true belief that p? I find I just do prefer knowledge, and not for any further benefit that I am aware of in the particular case. But I should have that preference, because given our practice of approving of testimony only if uttered with knowledge, I could fail to prefer knowledge, when other things seem to me to be equal, only by having (...) the sorts of serious social or psychological defects that would make me unresponsive to the approval of others. Finally, the social practice that produces this particular preference is good for all of us because it improves the average quality of the testimony we receive, which results in greater success in our projects. (shrink)
A recent account of the meaning of 'real' leads to a view of what anti-realism should be that resembles fictionalism, while not being committed to fictionalism as such or being subject to some of the more obvious objections to that view. This account of anti-realism explains how we might 'make up' what is true in areas such as mathematics or ethics, and yet these made-up truths are resistant to alterations, even by our collective decisions. Finally it is argued that the (...) sort of anti-realism suggested explains the appearance that the ethical domain supervenes on the naturalistic. (shrink)
This paper attempts to give an experiential explanation of the phenomenon of immunity to error through misidentification in some of our judgments about ourselves. The main idea is that in most of these judgments we respond to the type of presentation -- e.g., proprioceptive -- and not to presented properties of the perceived object.
Computer simulation has become important in ecological modeling, but there have been few assessments on how complex simulation models differ from more traditional analytic models. In Part I of this paper, I review the challenges faced in complex ecological modeling and how models have been used to gain theoretical purchase for understanding natural systems. I compare the use of traditional analytic simulation models and point how that the two methods require different kinds of practical engagement. I examine a case study (...) of three models from the insect resistance literature in transgenic crops to illustrate and explore differences in analytic and computer simulation models. I argue that analyzing simulation models has been often inappropriately managed with expectations derived from handling analytic models. In Part II, I look at simulation as a hermeneutic practice. I argue that simulation models are a practice or techné. I the explore five aspects of philosophical hermeneutics that may be useful in complex ecological simulation: (1) an openness to multiple perspectives allowing multiple levels of scientific pluralism, (2) the hermeneutic circle, a back and forth in active communication among both modelers and ecologists; (3) the recognition of human factors and the nature of human practices as such, including recognizing the role of judgments and choices in the modeling enterprise; (4) the importance of play in modeling; (5) the non-closed nature of hermeneutic engagement, continued dialogue, and recognizing the situatedness, incompleteness, and tentative nature of simulation models. (shrink)
In an attempt to revive discussion of the argument from illusion this paper amends the classic version of the argument to avoid Austin's main objection. It then develops and defends a version of the intentional object reply to the argument, arguing that an "unendorsed story" account of reports of dreams and hallucinations avoids commitment to nonexistent objects.
New brain-computer interface and neuroimaging techniques are making differentiation less ambiguous and more accurate between unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients and patients with higher cognitive function and awareness. As research into these areas continues to progress, new ethical issues will face physicians of patients suffering from total locked-in syndrome, characterized by complete loss of voluntary muscle control, with retention of cognitive function and awareness detectable only with neuroimaging and brain-computer interfaces. Physicians, researchers, ethicists and hospital ethics committees should be aware of (...) and prepared to handle ethical issues unique to these totally locked-in patients. Several thought experiments are discussed, to highlight potential ethical dilemmas surrounding surrogate decision-making, autonomy, end-of-life care, and pediatric care, which will be unique to total LIS patients. These, along with other ethical problems especially relevant to total LIS patients, merit further discussion among physicians, researchers, ethicists and hospital ethics committees, to facilitate consensus regarding these issues, and improve patient care. (shrink)
Understanding ecological boundaries is recognized by ecologists as important for understanding ecosystem dynamics. All borders are borders in relation to some organism. However, much of the literature on habitat change ignores this basic ecological fact. In addition, borders are highly influenced by accidental or historical features of ecosystems, and researchers have in many cases defined them only in terms of convenience. Several viewpoints explored in this article reflect this skepticism about identifying ecosystems as real structured entities. I draw on Ghiselin’s (...) hypothesis that species are not natural kinds but individuals, to develop a relational approach to ecological boundaries. I argue that with regard to ecology a border is always a border for a specific organism, and is a border in a specific manner for that organism. I draw on studies of two species of tsetse fly found in the Mauhoun river basin in Burkina Faso to illustrate why this relational approach is important. This approach may also help identify weaknesses in conservation efforts that have not properly asked the question, “Boundary for what?”. (shrink)
A notable feature of paradox is recognition that seemingly contradictory terms are inextricably intertwined and interrelated—holding out the hope that something new can be learned from the cognitive tension contained within. Aram has characterized the central concern of the business and society field as the paradox of interdependent relations. Our study argues that this and related paradoxes can be addressed by engaging with others and trying to gain shared insight via an interactive, developmental, exploratory sensemaking process that can inform the (...) governance of stakeholder networks. We advocate multistakeholder learning dialogues as a means for both scholars and practitioners to construct meanings that can guide joint efforts to cope with messy problems that help shape complex, paradoxical relationships within stakeholder networks. (shrink)
Spinoza's ethics is founded on the idea that we are egoists who should do nothing but search our own advantage , but that in doing so, this is when we are most virtuous, most moral, and most social . Community, taken in any sense stronger than a mere collection of things, only occurs, then, when each is drawn to seek his self-interest. ;Spinoza would hold that no study of ethics can be done in a metaphysical vacuum . To discuss the (...) ethics of an individual existing in community, one must first address the metaphysical foundations of the individual, its rights, and its place in community. To this end, the greater part of this work examines just those metaphysical bases which define an individual and how it relates in community. The analysis is textually based; focusing on how Spinoza uses certain terms , we attempt to understand what Spinoza understood to be an individual, community, right, etc. Then, because society affects an individual and the individual in turn affects society, the study looks at human individuals and their affects, that is, how humans affect and are affected by other humans. Just as a group of rocks makes only a pile and not what might be called a community, so too a group of human individuals does not necessarily make a society. The move from many individuals to one community is examined. ;Finally, after the metaphysical and psychological considerations are established, the study addresses its main question, that is, the value that should be accorded to a particular human life vis-a-vis the society in which the person lives. The study touches, therefore, questions concerning capital punishment, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and even abortion. The surprising conclusion is that Spinoza's ethics do allow for and can support what could be called a consistent human life ethic in which the right to life remains primary. (shrink)
Throughout the twentieth century, women's magazines in the United States have socialized their readers to the “proper” expression of love and anger in marriage. Our analysis of a random sample of marital advice articles from 1900 to 1979 examines this cultural convergence of gender, marriage, and emotion. A qualitative analysis identifies techniques for socializing readers to the emotional culture of marriage and shows a historical change toward equating love with self-fulfillment and advocating the expression of anger. A quantitative analysis then (...) specifies the timing of changes in emotion norms and showed an oscillation between modern and traditional norms that is related to waves of political liberation versus oppression. We discuss the relation between emotion norms and behavior and explore the effect of group conflict on the production of emotional culture. Emotion norms have become less rigid and more tolerant of diversity; but gender differences persist, and women are still responsible for maintaining intimate relationships. Historical trends in love and anger norms are nonlinear, not a continuous shift toward individualism, self-development, and free expression, as suggested by recent cultural theories. (shrink)
The truth of one's religious beliefs can be questioned by appeal to hypocrisy or blatant moral failure amongst the adherents of one's religion. Such an appeal implies that the absence of spiritual maturity within a religious individual or group can serve in some way as evidence against the truth of that religion and, conversely, that spiritual maturity within a religious individual or group can be thought of as providing some sort of evidence for the truth of that religion. The first (...) part of this article attempts to get clear on what sort of evidential force the presence or absence of spiritual maturity has for the rational assessment of religious belief in general. This part of the article concludes that the evidential force of spiritual maturity must ultimately be assessed within the contours of a particular religion with a firm grasp on the sort of moral formational process envisaged by that religion. So, in the second part of the article, the evidential force of spiritual maturity is considered from a Christian perspective and an interpersonal model of sanctification is appealed to as an explanation of the lack of spiritual maturity amongst Christian believers. (shrink)
A traditional diagnosis of the error in the Cartesian skeptical arguments holds that they exploit our tendencies to take a representationalist view of perception. Thinking that we perceive only our own sensory states, it seems to us that our perceptual beliefs about physical objects must be justified qua explanations of those sensory states. Such justification requires us to have reasons to reject rival explanations, such as the skeptical hypotheses, which we lack. However, those who adopt the direct realist view of (...) perception still find these arguments plausible, although, according to this diagnosis, they shouldn't. To avoid this objection, I argue that the Cartesian skeptical arguments exploit, not our representationalist tendencies, but our habits for evaluating causal explanatory justifications. (shrink)
The familiar Cartesian sceptical arguments all involve an explanation of our experiences. An account of the persuasive power of the sceptical arguments should explain why this is so. This supports a diagnosis of the error in Cartesian sceptical arguments according to which they mislead us into regarding our perceptual beliefs as if they were justified as inferences to the best explanation. I argue that they have instead a perceptual justification that does not involve inference to the best explanation and that (...) should not be put in doubt by the sceptical hypotheses. (shrink)