1. 29193.601523
    Accountability is a cornerstone of the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). However, it is often defined too imprecisely because its multifaceted nature and the sociotechnical structure of AI systems imply a variety of values, practices, and measures to which accountability in AI can refer. We address this lack of clarity by defining accountability in terms of answerability, identifying three conditions of possibility (authority recognition, interrogation, and limitation of power), and an architecture of seven features (context, range, agent, forum, standards, process, and implications). We analyse this architecture through four accountability goals (compliance, report, oversight, and enforcement). We argue that these goals can be complementary, and that policy-makers emphasise or prioritise some over others depending on the use of accountability and the missions of AI governance.
    Found 8 hours, 6 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 87521.601713
    To talk about ethics and the moral life in India, and whether and when Indians misunderstood each other’s views, we must know something about what Indians thought about ethical and moral issues. However, there is a commonly held view among scholars of Indian thought that Indians, and especially their intellectuals, were not really interested in ethical matters (Matilal 1989, 5; Raju 1967, 27; Devaraja 1962, v-vi; Deutsch 1969, 99). This view is false and strange. Understanding how it is that posterity has managed to misunderstand ethics and the moral life in India so profoundly is not something that we can address without thinking about issues pertaining to scholarship, interpretation and translation. Most importantly, studying a culture demands a philosophical engagement with the categories against which one attempts to understand it. If one believes, as many scholars do, that it is a rigorous study of Sanskrit and other classical Indian languages alone that holds the key to understanding classical India, then there is apparently neither need nor room for such reflection. It is this very same failure to engage philosophically with the category of the ethical and its place in translation that has allowed many modern Indians to misunderstand Indians of yore.
    Found 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  3. 189899.601736
    This paper examines how Plato’s rejection of the friends of the forms at 248a–249b in the Sophist is continuous with the arguments that he develops shortly after this part of the dialogue for the interrelatedness of the forms. I claim that the interrelatedness of the forms implies that they are changed, and that this explains Plato’s rejection of the friends of the forms. Much here turns on the kind of change that Plato wants to attribute to the forms. I distinguish my view of the sort of change that the forms experience from other kinds of change—such as ‘Cambridge change’—that scholars have believed Plato has in mind in rejecting the friends of the forms. On the view that I advance, a form experiences a change (which I call ‘perfect change’) in its association with another form that distinguishes it as the distinctive being that it is—that is, through its possession of its distinctive properties.
    Found 2 days, 4 hours ago on PhilPapers
  4. 194057.601751
    Science is a cultural practice, and cultural practices tend to change over time via processes of cultural selection and social learning. There is a long history of philosophers of science arguing that scientific theories evolve through a “critical” evolutionary process where new hypotheses are criticized, modified, eliminated, or replaced (Popper 1972; Hull 1988). More recent work has suggested that other features of science such as methodologies, beliefs, and norms may develop likewise. Such features of science exhibit key characteristics that make them suitable for evolutionary analysis. They are reliably transmitted via pedagogy and cultural imitation, and produce non-random variation that leads to differential success in subsequent transmission. For this reason, a new body of work has emerged looking at cultural evolutionary processes in science. This research addresses topics ranging from the persistence of poor statistical practices, to conservatism in science, to the ideal communication structure for scientific communities.
    Found 2 days, 5 hours ago on Cailin O’Connor's site
  5. 257568.601784
    London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK ‘spontaneous order’, antithetical to design, they now design markets to achieve specific purposes. This paper reconstructs how this change in what markets are and can do came about and considers some consequences. Two decisive developments in economic theory are identified: first, Hurwicz’s view of institutions as mechanisms, which should be designed to align incentives with social goals; and second, the notion of marketplaces – consisting of infrastructure and algorithms – which should be designed to exhibit stable properties. These developments have empowered economists to create marketplaces for specific purposes, by designing appropriate algorithms. I argue that this power to create marketplaces requires a shift in ethical reasoning, from whether markets should reach into certain spheres of life, to how market algorithms should be designed. I exemplify this shift, focusing on bias, and arguing that transparency should become a goal of market design.
    Found 2 days, 23 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  6. 280226.601804
    Supporters of conceptual engineering often use Haslanger’s ameliorative project as a key example of their methodology. However, at face value, Haslanger’s project is no cause for optimism about conceptual engineering. If we interpret Haslanger as seeking to revise how people in general use and understand words such as ‘woman’, ‘man’, etc., then her project has been unsuccessful. And if we interpret her as seeking to reveal the meaning of those words, then her project does not involve conceptual engineering. I develop and defend an alternative interpretation of Haslanger’s project and argue that, so interpreted, it is a successful conceptual engineering project after all. In so doing, I develop what I call a particularist account of the success conditions for conceptual engineering.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on Mark Pinder's site
  7. 280267.601819
    Saudi Arabia recently granted citizenship to a robot.1 The European Parliament is also drafting a form of “electronic personhood” for artificial intelligence.2 Some Iapanese get so attached to their robots that they give robots funerals and bury them after they break irreparably.3 Many commen— tators see these recent developments as confused and even dangerous (Gunkel 2012), so we need to think about whether and why future artificial intelligence could or should ever be granted partial or even full moral status. This chapter will begin by defining moral status and arguing that it comes in degrees on multiple dimensions. Next we will consider which conditions need to be met for an entity to have moral status, and we will argue that artifi— cial intelligence can meet a combination of conditions that are sufficient for partial moral status. Finally, we will consider how much moral status an AI system could have.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on Vincent Conitzer's site
  8. 280275.601832
    A quite recent book casts the anthropologist Elizabeth Colson as a systems skeptic, with Max Gluckman attempting to counter her skepticism. In this paper, I offer clarifications of the skepticism and of the counter.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers
  9. 280288.601846
    In the Appendix to the Treatise and in the first Enquiry, instead of saying that beliefs are phenomenologically vivid ideas, Hume says that they are ideas with a sui generis feeling. This is, I think, a change for the better. The second thoughts expressed in the Appendix mark a transition in his account of causal reasoning. He takes what had been an idiosyncratic account of the vivacity of mental imagery and turns it into a theory of how experiences determine credences in unobserved matters of fact.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilPapers
  10. 373387.601866
    Developing tools is a crucial aspect of experimental practice, yet most discussions of scientific change traditionally emphasize theoretical over technological change. To elaborate on the role of tools in scientific change, I offer an account that shows how scientists use tools in exploratory experiments to form novel concepts. I apply this account to two cases in neuroscience and show how tool development and concept formation are often intertwined in episodes of tool-driven change. I support this view by proposing common normative principles that specify when exploratory concept formation and tool development succeed (rather than fail) to initiate scientific change.
    Found 4 days, 7 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  11. 376561.601883
    Hume’s fourth argument for the special unreliability of religious testimony for miracles is usually called the Contrary Miracles Argument in the secondary literature. It runs as follows: in matters of religion, whatever is different is contrary; and . . . it is impossible the religions of ancient Rome, of Turkey, of Siam, and of China should, all of them, be established on any solid foundation. Every miracle, therefore, pretended to have been wrought in any of these religions (and all of them abound in miracles), as its direct scope is to establish the particular system to which it is attributed; so has it the same force, though more indirectly, to overthrow every other system. In destroying a rival system, it likewise destroys the credit of those miracles, on which that system was established; so that all the prodigies of different religions are to be regarded as contrary facts, and the evidences of these prodigies, whether weak or strong, as opposite to each other (EHU 10.24).
    Found 4 days, 8 hours ago on PhilPapers
  12. 434431.601897
    The primary goal of this paper is to provide substantial motivation for exploring an Acquaintance account of phenomenal consciousness, on which what fundamentally explains phenomenal consciousness is the relation of acquaintance. Its secondary goal is to take a few steps towards such an account. Roughly, my argument proceeds as follows. Motivated by prioritizing naturalization, the debate about the nature of phenomenal consciousness has been almost monopolized by representational theories (first-order and meta-representational). Among them, Self- Representationalism is by far the most antecedently promising (or so I argue). However, on thorough inspection, Self-Representationalism turns out not explanatorily or theoretically better than the Acquaintance account. Indeed, the latter seems to be superior in at least some important respects. Therefore, at the very least, there are good reasons to take the Acquaintance account into serious consideration as an alternative to representational theories. The positive contribution of this paper is a sketch of an account of consciousness on which phenomenal consciousness is explained partly in representationalist terms, but where a crucial role is played by the relation of acquaintance.
    Found 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  13. 490929.601911
    Common philosophical accounts of creativity align creative products and processes with a particular kind of agency: namely, that deserving of praise or blame. Considering evolutionary examples, we explore two ways of denying that creativity requires forms of agency. First, we argue that decoupling creativity from praiseworthiness comes at little cost: accepting that evolutionary processes are non-agential, they nonetheless exhibit many of the same characteristics and value associated with creativity. Second, we develop a ‘product-first’ account of creativity by which a process is creative just in case it gives rise to products deserving of certain forms of aesthetic engagement.
    Found 5 days, 16 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 490946.601925
    Jan Westerhoff’s The Non-Existence of the Real World ambitiously and admirably shows the relevance of certain developments in contemporary analytic philosophy and cognitive neuroscience in illuminating a radical but less known form of non-foundationalism associated with the Madhyamaka (‘Middle Way’) school of thought championed by the Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna. Westerhoff deploys these developments to critique both epistemic foundational-ism, the view that knowledge ultimately rests on a foundation of non-inferential beliefs, and ontological priority foundationalism, the view that certain entities and certain relations between them are basic. In four meticulously argued chapters, Westerhoff considers various arguments against the existence of an external world of mind-independent objects (Chapter 1) and against the existence of an internal world of enduring subjects (Chapter 2), various beliefs in the existence of an ultimate foundation that grounds all things (Chapter 3) and lastly, various reasons against the assumption that an ultimately true theory of the world is possible (Chapter 4). Taken together, these chapters advance one of the most thoroughgoing and sustained defenses of global anti-realism to date.
    Found 5 days, 16 hours ago on Christian Coseru's site
  15. 492173.601939
    It is common for people to be sensitive to aesthetic qualities in one another’s speech. We allow the loveliness or unloveliness of a person’s voice to make impressions on us. What is more, it is also common to allow those aesthetic impressions to affect how we are inclined to feel about the speaker. We form attitudes of liking, trusting, disliking or distrusting partly in virtue of the aesthetic qualities of a person’s speech.
    Found 5 days, 16 hours ago on PhilPapers
  16. 564355.601959
    The problem of variability concerns the fact that empirical data does not support the existence of a coordinated set of biological markers, either in the body or the brain, which correspond to our folk emotion categories; categories like anger, happiness, sadness, disgust and fear. Barrett (2006a, b, 2013, 2016, 2017a, b) employs this fact to argue (i) against the faculty psychology approach to emotion, e.g. emotions are the products of emotion-specific mechanisms, or “modules”, and (ii) for the view that emotions are constructed from domain-general “core systems” with the aid of our folk concepts. The conjunction of (i) and (ii), she argues, heralds a paradigm shift in our understanding of emotion: emotions aren’t triggered but made. In this paper, I argue such a shift is premature for a faculty psychology framework can accommodate the neurobiological variability of emotion. This can be done by treating emotions as developmental modules: non-innate systems which behave like modules, but form as a product of ontogenetic development.
    Found 6 days, 12 hours ago on Raamy Majeed's site
  17. 579544.601973
    Peirce’s Sign Theory, or Semiotic, is an account of signification, representation, reference and meaning. Although sign theories have a long history, Peirce’s accounts are distinctive and innovative for their breadth and complexity, and for capturing the importance of interpretation to signification. For Peirce, developing a thoroughgoing theory of signs was a central philosophical and intellectual preoccupation. The importance of semiotic for Peirce is wide ranging. As he himself said, “[…] it has never been in my power to study anything, – mathematics, ethics, metaphysics, gravitation, thermodynamics, optics, chemistry, comparative anatomy, astronomy, psychology, phonetics, economics, the history of science, whist, men and women, wine, metrology, except as a study of semiotic” (SS 1977, 85–6).
    Found 6 days, 16 hours ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  18. 702155.601986
    This paper is concerned with the question of how this gap can be bridged. The leading idea is that a suitable conceptual framework can be culled from the work of Wittgenstein on the philosophy of mathematics and, more generally, that on epistemic practices. Wittgenstein’s analyses combine observations on natural abilities and (broadly) cultural dimensions in a unified framework and connect with a 4E approach to cognition [1] that transcends some of the limitations of neurocognitive research. By viewing the results from cognitive neuroscience from this perspective, we gain insight both into the content and scope of neuroscientific results and into the potential relevance of a Wittgensteinian naturalistic approach in the analysis of mathematics.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Martin Stokhof's site
  19. 719609.602
    Scientific revolution has been one of the most controversial topics in the history and philosophy of science. Yet it has been no consensus on what is the best unit of analysis in the historiography of scientific revolutions. Nor is there a consensus on what best explains the nature of scientific revolutions. This chapter provides a critical examination of the historiography of scientific revolutions. It begins with a brief introduction to the historical development of the concept of scientific revolution, followed by an overview of the five main philosophical accounts of scientific revolutions. It then challenges two historiographical assumptions of the philosophical analyses of scientific revolutions.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 737494.602059
    This essay explores various ethical dimensions of the important concept of fihavanana and its role in Malagasy ethics. As a first pass, we can say that fihavanana is a state of peace or harmony that people can achieve with others within their communities; it is modeled on the peace, harmony, solidarity, love, and closeness that is often seen in family ties.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Casey Woodling's site
  21. 737531.602152
    No one needs to bear a burden to mitigate climate change. The benefits of mitigation will be so great that everyone can share in them, provided they are well distributed across the world’s population and across generations. Distributing them will require a new financial institution, which will also mobilize financial resources to implement the investment needed for decarbonizing the world economy. In this paper we outline the rationale for a World Climate Bank, and its possible structure.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on John Broome's site
  22. 770689.602186
    My project is to sketch, in a fairly abstract way, the appeal of Aristotelian ethical naturalism—in particular, for the epistemology of ethical knowledge—to raise a problem about the historicity of human nature, and to explore what follows for the limits of critique and its entanglement with social theory. We will trace a path from Aristotle, via Marx, to the Frankfurt School. Readers have been puzzled by the Frankfurt School’s commitment to “immanent critique,” on which the ethical criticism of a given society is confined to resources accessible within it. Is this commitment a function of audience—what it makes sense to say if one aims at the emancipation of those who inhabit a society? Is it a matter of hermeneutic isolation—the need to understand a society in terms of its own concepts? Does it depend on relativism or on doubts about the objectivity of ethics? I argue that the answer in each case should be no. Instead, I offer a qualified argument for immanent critique from Aristotelian naturalism and the historical contingency of human nature. I end by relating this argument to Adorno’s pessimism.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Kieran Setiya's site
  23. 1008141.602202
    In this paper, the epistemological and conceptual limits of our ability to conceive and reason about future possibilities are analyzed. It is argued that more attention should be paid in futures studies on these epistemological and conceptual limits. Drawing on three cases from philosophy of science, the paper argues that there are deep epistemological and conceptual limits in our ability to conceive and reason about alternatives to the current world. The nature and existence of these limits are far from obvious and become visible only through careful investigation. The cases establish that we often are unable to conceive relevant alternatives; that historical and counterfactual considerations are more limited than has been suggested; and that the present state of affairs reinforces its hegemony through multiple conceptual and epistemological mechanisms. The paper discusses the reasons behind the limits of the conceivability and the consequences that follow from the considerations that make the limits visible. The paper suggests that the epistemological and conceptual limits in our ability to conceive and reason about possible futures should be mapped systematically. The mapping would provide a better understanding of the creative and critical bite of futures studies.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  24. 1008204.602217
    Can philosophical theories of perception defer to perceptual science when fixing their ontological commitments regarding the objects of perception? Or in other words, can perceptual science inform us about the nature of perception? Many contemporary mainstream philosophers of perception answer affirmatively. However, in this essay I provide two arguments against this idea. On the one hand, I will argue that perceptual science is not committed to certain assumptions, relevant for determining perceptual ontology, which however are generally relied upon by philosophers when interpreting such science. On the other hand, I will show how perceptual science often relies on another assumption, which I call the ‘Measuring instrument conception’ of sensory systems, which philosophers of perception should clearly reject. Given these two symmetric lines of argument, I will finally suggest that we ought to think differently about the relationship between perceptual science and the philosophy of perception. KEYWORDS: perceptual science; perception; ontology; content; measurement.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  25. 1008503.602231
    All the famous moralists of olden days drew attention to the way in which certain happenings would leave indelible and distressing memories - memories to which the sufferer was continually returning, and by which he was tormented, by day and by night (Janet 1919/1925: 589, quoted in van der Kolk and van der Hart 1989:1530).
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  26. 1008543.602248
    In this paper, I will argue that, contrary to what is generally assumed in the debate on expressive action, we do not have good reasons to exclude facial and bodily expressions of emotion such as smiling or frowning from the category of actions. For this purpose, I will compare facial and bodily expressions of emotion with simple expressive actions, such as jumping for joy or covering one’s face in shame. I will try to show that simple expressive actions cannot be presented as actions while excluding facial and bodily expressions of emotion from this condition. My contention will then be that either both sorts of behaviour are to be identified as actions or neither is. The latter sounds rather implausible, though, as we would have to assimilate jumping for joy or covering one’s face in shame to spasms, which conflicts with the way we relate to such behaviours. My conclusion will then be that both simple expressive actions and facial and bodily expressions of emotion should be included within the category of actions, at least on the basis of the main assumptions in the current debate on expressive action.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 1054348.602263
    The purpose of this article is to present an epistemological analysis of neuropsychiatric constructs. We characterize the concept of academic neuropsychiatry: a theoretical and research-based field of interdisciplinary work which is concerned with the full scope of psychopathological phenomena and its relationship with the neurosciences. Then, we define clinical neuropsychiatry as a practical field of medicine operating in the borderline of neurology and psychiatry to care for patients with neuropsychiatric conditions. To explain the logic of neuropsychiatric constructs, we define neurological constructs as well as psychiatric constructs, leading us to conceptualize and to distinguish between the neurological and the psychological, by means of a clarification of seven critical points of debate: structural lesions, physiologic abnormalities, causal agents, behavior, psychological functions, phenomenal experience, and clinical patterns. We discuss the traditional logic of brain-behavior relationships as well as the need for closer academic feedback between neuroscientific research and clinical practice. We argue that some neuropsychiatric cases are well explained by the current science of brain-behavior relationships, but many other cases located at the boundaries of this science require a transdisciplinary approach, including the study of sociocultural contexts and biographic timeline.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 1100264.602279
    Although anxiety is frequently seen as a predominantly negative phenomenon, some recent researchers have argued that it plays an important positive function, serving as an alert to warn agents of possible problems or threats. I argue that not only can one’s own, first-personal anxiety perform this function; because it is possible for others—in particular, one’s friends—to feel anxious on one’s behalf, their anxious feelings can sometimes play the same role in our functioning, and make similar contributions to our well-being. I distinguish between a number of kinds of cases in which what I call proxy anxiety serves a positive function, including Anxiety Avoidance (where there is good reason for an agent to avoid becoming anxious herself, but can benefit from a friend’s anxiety on her behalf), Anxiety Omission (where an agent fails to become anxious due to a malfunctioning anxiety-generating system), long-term commitments involving dispositions to feel other-directed proxy anxiety, and cases in which proxy anxiety can help reduce or relieve excessive anxiety. A person’s friends, it is argued, are particularly well positioned to help regulate deficient and/or excessive anxieties, precisely because friends are close enough to care for and identify with the agent, but at the same time distant enough to maintain a relatively objective perspective. I conclude by examining connections between proxy anxiety and theories of well-being.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Troy Jollimore's site
  29. 1181709.602304
    Born in 1893 of a family of great intellectual culture, Nicod at first turned towards the sciences, and he had acquired by the age of eighteen, after two years of special mathematical studies, that solid fund of knowledge and technical habits which are obtained only with difficulty in later education. But philosophy appealed to him and ... he came to the Sorbonne, where in three years he obtained his degree, diploma of graduate studies and the [agrégation of philosophy] ... Meanwhile, he had pursued graduate course in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, and in the Faculty of Sciences; he had learned both Greek and English so well that he ...
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  30. 1270851.602321
    On 11 February 2020, the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists put out a report titled Endangering Generations: How the Trump Administration’s Assault on Science Is Harming Children’s Health, detailing how, during Donald Trump’s presidency, federal agencies had rolled back evidence-based environmental and health regulations, while at the same time cutting funding to a number of research centers, including those dedicated to pediatric health. A day earlier, in his budget request to Congress, President Trump had demanded that more than US$25 billion be assigned to NASA for fiscal year 2021 as part of his plan to put a man on the Moon (again) – an increase of more than 10% over the budget that had been approved the year before. As this juxtaposition illustrates, the Trump administration’s much-lamented ‘assault on science’ was not a uniform attack on the whole of science, but targeted some disciplines more than others – notably those that were deemed at best irrelevant to national prestige, at worst a potential threat to free market capitalism.
    Found 2 weeks ago on Axel Gelfert's site