1. 27184.394541
    Your partner Phil has struggled with an alcohol problem for many years, but after promising you he’s done, he has been sober for eight months, a new record for him.
    Found 7 hours, 33 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  2. 85415.394679
    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 23 hours, 43 minutes ago on PhilPapers
  3. 255462.394703
    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, 22 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 278120.394732
    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
  5. 278161.394749
    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
  6. 278182.394763
    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
  7. 374455.394777
    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
  8. 484763.39479
    Economic theory comprises three types of inquiry. One examines economic phenomena, one develops analytical tools, and one studies the scientific endeavor in economics in general and in economic theory in particular. We refer to the first as economics, the second as the development of economic methods, and the third as the methodology of economics. The same mathematical result can often be interpreted as contributing to more than one of these categories. We discuss and clarify the distinctions between these categories, and argue that drawing the distinctions more sharply can be useful for economic research.
    Found 5 days, 14 hours ago on Itzhak Gilboa's site
  9. 490067.394807
    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
  10. 562249.394829
    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
  11. 735388.394844
    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
  12. 735425.394862
    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
  13. 751982.394877
    Stefánsson’s (2022) central claim is that we have stronger moral reasons to direct resources to charitable organizations like those recommended by GiveWell than we have to use the same resources to offset our greenhouse gas emissions. The main reason why this is the case, on his view, is that offsetting our emissions will not reduce the climate change-related risks faced by the very same people who face increased risks as a result of our emissions. Offsetting, then, is not a way of ensuring that we avoid wrongfully imposing additional risks on particular people through our emitting activity – instead, it at best reduces the risks faced by different people. And since the amount of good done by reducing risks through offsetting is so much lower than the amount of good done by donating the same resources to an effective charity, the moral reasons to do the latter are much stronger than the moral reasons to offset.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Brian Berkey's site
  14. 752013.394894
    In recent years, Ingrid Robeyns and several others have argued that, whatever the correct complete account of distributive justice looks like, it should include a Limitarian requirement. The core Limitarian claim is that there is a ceiling – a limit – to the amount of resources that it is permissible for any individual to possess. While this core claim is plausible, there are a number of important questions about precisely how the requirement should be understood, and what its implications are regarding the obligations of various agents, that have not been adequately addressed in the discussions thus far. In this paper, I focus on questions about the relationship between the grounds for the Limitarian requirement and its role in generating obligations of justice for different agents. I argue that the plausible grounds for the requirement are incompatible with the widely accepted view, deriving from John Rawls, that the principles of justice apply directly to the institutions of what Rawls calls the “basic structure of society,” but do not apply directly to the conduct of individuals and other possible agents (e.g. corporations) acting within that structure. If my argument succeeds, then Limitarians must accept that if the grounds that they have offered in defense of Limitarian policy interventions are compelling, then individuals are obligated to voluntarily direct any resources that they possess above the threshold in ways that will promote the same goals that justify Limitarian policies.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Brian Berkey's site
  15. 768583.39491
    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
  16. 830048.394924
    Philosophers often consider problems of free will and moral luck in isolation from one another. But these problems are centrally about control. One problem of free will concerns the difficult task of specifying the kind of control over our actions that is necessary and sufficient to act freely. One problem of moral luck refers to the puzzling task of explaining whether and how people can be morally responsible for actions permeated by factors beyond their control. This chapter explicates and assesses skeptical, compatibilist, and libertarian approaches to moral luck. First, I argue that what makes the problems of free will and moral luck distinct is largely their emphasis on different kinds of luck. Second, I describe and evaluate skeptical arguments from constitutive and circumstantial luck. Third, I explicate and assess various support and implication relationships between prominent kinds of compatibilism and libertarianism, on the one hand, and causal, constitutive, circumstantial, and resultant moral luck, on the other.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Robert J. Hartman's site
  17. 952137.394938
    In a book in progress, I consider a number of political-philosophical commonplaces, at least in the liberal democratic tradition. Negatively, I observe that we cannot fully explain these commonplaces by appealing to what I call “interests in improvement”—that we be provisioned with the means to lead a fulfilling life—or “rights against invasion”—that others not transgress our person, property, or choices. Positively, I conjecture that these commonplaces—which include the ideas that the state must be justified or legitimated, that public officials should not be corrupt and should treat like cases alike, that discrimination is wrong, that the state must be democratic—must be explained instead by what I call “claims against inferiority”—claims that we not be set beneath another natural person in a social hierarchy.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1006437.394951
    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
  19. 1098158.394965
    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
  20. 1125492.394982
    Veritists hold that only truth has fundamental epistemic value. They are committed to explaining all other instances of epistemic goodness as somehow deriving their value through a relation to truth, and in order to do so they arguably need a non-instrumental relation of epistemic value derivation. As is currently common in epistemology, many veritists assume that the epistemic is an insulated evaluative domain: claims about what has epistemic value are independent of claims about what has value simpliciter. This paper argues that the insulation approach to epistemic value is incompatible with non-instrumental epistemic value derivation. Veritsts who want to avail themselves of this important explanatory resource should therefore abandon the insulation approach.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1179603.394996
    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
  22. 1197094.39501
    As rational agents, we are governed by reasons. The fact that there is beer at the pub might be a reason to go there and a reason to believe you will enjoy it. Facts reported on the news might be reasons to believe there is suffering in a war zone and donate to charity. Specifically, these are normative reasons—considerations that rationally support responses we can give in light of them. They must be distinguished from motivating reasons: reasons for which, or considerations in light of which, we respond. Motivating reasons can be normative reasons, but they need not be: the reasons for which we think or do things may not really support those responses. Hereafter by “reasons” we mean normative reasons unless indicated.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Conor McHugh's site
  23. 1268745.395024
    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
  24. 1273329.39504
    This paper continues a debate on the normative limits of conceptual engineering. In particular, it responds to [Isaac, Manuel Gustavo. 2021. “Post-truth conceptual engineering.” Inquiry. doi:10.1080/0020174X.2021.1887758] claim, in response to [Simion, Mona. 2018a. “The ‘Should’ in Conceptual Engineering.” Inquiry 61(8): 914–928 and Podosky, Paul-Mikhail Catapang. 2018. “Ideology and Normativity: Constraints on Conceptual Engineering.” Inquiry. doi:10.1080/0020174X.2018.1562374], but in particular Podosky, that cognitive efficacy, rather than truth and knowledge, should be the normative standard by which we assess the legitimacy of a conceptual engineering project – at least for ideological concepts. I argue that Isaac has not done enough to show us that truth and knowledge are insignificant for the conceptual engineering of ideological concepts.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  25. 1298749.395054
    Fictional realists claim that fictional characters like Spiderman really do exist. Against this view, Anthony Everett (2005; 2013) argues that fictional realists cannot determine whether characters α and β are identical if the relevant fiction states that α and β are identical and distinct at the same time. Some fictional realists, such as Ross Cameron (2013) and Richard Woodward (2017), respond to this objection by saying that the sense in which α and β are identical differs from the sense in which they are distinct. In this paper, I argue against Cameron and Woodward, that they cannot handle all cases without undermining the theoretical foundation of their approach, namely, the thesis that the identity of fictional characters must be determined by the content of the relevant fiction.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  26. 1341765.395068
    A PDF version of this post is available here.The question of this blogpost is this: Take the various decision theories that have been proposed for individuals with imprecise probabilities---do they recommend themselves? …
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on M-Phi
  27. 1352685.395082
    Many philosophers of science have recently argued that extra-academic participation in scientific knowledge production does not threaten scientific objectivity. Quite the contrary: citizen science, participatory projects, transdisciplinary research, and other similar endeavours can even increase the objectivity of the research conducted. Simultaneously, researchers working in fields where such participation is common have expressed worries about various ways in which it can result in biases. In this paper I clarify how these arguments and worries can be compared, and how extra-academic participation can both increase and threaten the objectivity of the research conducted.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  28. 1404978.395098
    Carolina State University. He conducts research on ethical questions in the biological sciences. He is especially interested in animal minds and the moral relevance of what's known and not known about the brains and behaviors of nonhuman mammals. In his book, Research Ethics: A Philosophical Guide to the Responsible Conduct of Research (Cambridge, 2013), Comstock shows how Peter Singer’s expanding circle metaphor lends coherence to an otherwise disparate set of issues in research ethics.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  29. 1484126.395112
    Chat-bots are amazing these days! About a month ago LaMDA made the news when it apparently convinced an engineer at Google that it was sentient. GPT-3 from OpenAI is similarly sophisticated, and my collaborators and I have trained it to auto-generate Splintered Mind blog posts. …
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on The Splintered Mind
  30. 1583532.395125
    Those who wish to defend the role of aesthetic values in science face a dilemma: Either aesthetic language is used metaphorically for what are ultimately epistemic features, or aesthetic language is used literally but it is difficult to see the importance of such values in science. I introduce a new account that gets around this problem by looking to an overlooked source of aesthetic value in science: the relation between form and content. I argue that a fit between the content of a thought experiment, and the way in which that content is formulated, can have important epistemic pay offs through contributing to scientific understanding.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive