89442 research outputs found

    Doxastic Affirmative Action

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    According to the relational egalitarian theory of justice, justice requires that people relate as equals. To relate as equals, many relational egalitarians argue, people must (i) regard each other as equals, and (ii) treat each other as equals. In this paper, we argue that, under conditions of background injustice, such relational egalitarians should endorse affirmative action in the ways in which (dis)esteem is attributed to people as part of the regard-requirement for relating as equals

    Pure Logic and Higher-order Metaphysics

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    W. V. Quine famously defended two theses that have fallen rather dramatically out of fashion. The first is that intensions are “creatures of darkness” that ultimately have no place in respectable philosophical circles, owing primarily to their lack of rigorous identity conditions. However, although he was thoroughly familiar with Carnap’s foundational studies in what would become known as possible world semantics, it likely wouldn’t yet have been apparent to Quine that he was fighting a losing battle against intensions, due in large measure to developments stemming from Carnap’s studies and culminating in the work of Kripke, Hintikka, and Bayart. These developments undermined Quine’s crusade against intensions on two fronts. First, in the context of possible world semantics, intensions could after all be given rigorous identity conditions by defining them (in the simplest case) as functions from worlds to appropriate extensions, a fact exploited to powerful and influential effect in logic and linguistics by the likes of Kaplan, Montague, Lewis, and Cresswell. Second, the rise of possible world semantics fueled a strong resurgence of metaphysics in contemporary analytic philosophy that saw properties and propositions widely, fruitfully, and unabashedly adopted as ontological primitives in their own right. This resurgence — happily, in my view — continues into the present day. For a time, at any rate, Quine experienced somewhat better success with his second thesis: that higher-order logic is, at worst, confused and, at best, a quirky notational alternative to standard first-order logic. However, Quine notwithstanding, a great deal of recent work in formal metaphysics transpires in a higher-order logical framework in which properties and propositions fall into an infinite hierarchy of types of (at least) every finite order. Initially, the most philosophically compelling reason for embracing such a framework since Russell first proposed his simple theory of types was simply that it provides a relatively natural explanation of the paradoxes. However, since the seminal work of Prior there has been a growing trend to consider higher-order logic to be the most philosophically natural framework for metaphysical inquiry, many of the contributors to this volume being among the most important and influential advocates of this view. Indeed, this is now quite arguably the dominant view among formal metaphysicians. In this paper, and against the current tide, I will argue in §1 that there are still good reasons to think that Quine’s second battle is not yet lost and that the correct framework for logic is first-order and type-free — properties and propositions, logically speaking, are just individuals among others in a single domain of quantification — and that it arises naturally out of our most basic logical and semantical intuitions. The data I will draw upon are not new and are well-known to contemporary higher-order metaphysicians. However, I will try to defend my thesis in what I believe is a novel way by suggesting that these basic intuitions ground a reasonable distinction between “pure” logic and non-logical theory, and that Russell-style semantic paradoxes of truth and exemplification arise only when we move beyond the purely logical and, hence, do not of themselves provide any strong objection to a type-free conception of properties and propositions. Most of my arguments in §1 are largely independent of any specific account of the nature of properties and propositions beyond their type-freedom. However, I will in addition argue that there are good reasons to take propositions, at least, to be very fine-grained. My arguments are thus bolstered significantly if it can be shown that there are in fact well-defined examples of logics that are not only type-free but which comport with such a conception of propositions. It is the purpose of §2 to lay out a logic of this sort in some detail, drawing especially upon work by George Bealer and related work of my own. With the logic in place, it will be possible to generalize the line of argument noted above regarding Russell-style paradoxes and, in §3, apply it to two propositional paradoxes — the Prior-Kaplan paradox and the Russell-Myhill paradox — that are often taken to threaten the sort of account developed here

    The very idea of rational irrationality

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    Why Must Incompatibility Be Symmetric?

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    Policing, Undercover Policing and ‘Dirty Hands’: The Case of State Entrapment

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    Under a ‘dirty hands’ model of undercover policing, it inevitably involves situations where whatever the state agent does is morally problematic. Christopher Nathan argues against this model. Nathan’s criticism of the model is predicated on the contention that it entails the view, which he considers objectionable, that morally wrongful acts are central to undercover policing. We address this criticism, and some other aspects of Nathan’s discussion of the ‘dirty hands’ model, specifically in relation to state entrapment to commit a crime. Using János Kis’s work on political morality, we explain three dilemmatic versions of the ‘dirty hands’ model. We show that, while two of these are inapplicable to state entrapment, the third has better prospects. We then pursue our main aim, which is to argue that, since the third model precludes Nathan’s criticism, a viable ‘dirty hands’ model of state entrapment remains an open possibility. Finally, we generalize this result, showing that the case of state entrapment is not special: the result holds good for policing practices more generally, including such routine practices as arrest, detention, and restraint

    What Roles Do Emotions Play in Morality?

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    This chapter offers an overview of four key debates about the roles of emotion in morality. First, many believe that emotions are an important psychological mechanism for explaining altruistic behavior and moral conscience in humans. Second, there is considerable debate about the causal role of affective reactions in moral judgment. Third, some philosophers have argued that emotions have a constitutive role in moral thought and even moral facts. Finally, philosophers disagree about whether affective influence undermines the justification of moral beliefs or, in suitable circumstances, guides us toward moral truth

    The Heart of an AI: Agency, Moral Sense, and Friendship.

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    The article presents an analysis centered on the emotional lapses of artificial intelligence (AI) and the influence of these lapses on two critical aspects. Firstly, the article explores the ontological impact of emotional lapses, elucidating how they hinder AI’s capacity to develop a moral sense. The absence of a moral emotion, such as sympathy, creates a barrier for machines to grasp and ethically respond to specific situations. This raises fundamental questions about machines’ ability to act as moral agents in the same manner as human beings. Additionally, the article sheds light on the practical implications within human-machine relations and their effect on human friendships. The lack of friendliness or its equivalent in interactions with machines directly impacts the quality and depth of human relations. This concerningly suggests the potential replacement or compromise of genuine interpersonal connections due to limitations in human-machine interactions

    Lying by explaining: an experimental study

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    Kevin J. Mitchell: Free Agents – How Evolution Gave Us Free Will. Gebunden, 333 Seiten. Princeton University Press, Princeton & Oxford 2023. Literaturhinweis.

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    In seinem Buch "Free Agents" stellt der Neurowissenschaftler und Evolutionsgenetiker Kevin Mitchell ein evolutionäres Erklärungsmodell für den freien Willen vor. Aus philosophischer Sicht relevant ist das Buch vor allem, weil es ein zentrales Credo der aktuellen Freiheits-Debatte in Frage stellt, nämlich die Auffassung, ein naturwissenschaftlich vertretbares Freiheitsverständnis müsse mit dem Determinismus im Einklang stehen. Mitchell geht auf Distanz zum Kompatibilismus und nimmt mit naturwissenschaftlicher Argumentation für die libertarische Gegenposition Partei (auch wenn er selbst diesen Ausdruck nicht verwendet). Sein Buch ist zweifellos das bisher umfassendste Werk dieser Art, und seine durchwegs nachvollziehbar aufgebaute Argumentation wird mit viel empirischer Evidenz aus Physik, Biochemie und Evolutionsbiologie unterlegt. Das zentrale Element seines Ansatzes ist die Qualifizierung lebender Organismen als Akteure. Alle Lebewesen sind gemäß Mitchell "autonomous entities, imbued with purpose and able to act on their own terms" (19). Rund die Hälfte seines Buches widmet Mitchell dem Thema, wie sich die Fähigkeiten der Lebewesen als Akteure im Laufe der Evolutionsgeschichte entwickelt und ausdifferenziert haben. Er zeigt Schritt für Schritt auf, wie aus der Sensorik und Bewegungssteuerung niedriger Organismen immer raffiniertere Formen der Verhaltenssteuerung mithilfe von Nervensystemen erwuchsen. Auf dieser Basis kommt er dann etwa in der Mitte seines Buches eingehend auf den Determinismus zu sprechen, und er weist diesen mit überzeugenden Argumenten einschließlich seiner kompatibilistischen Spielart zurück, und mit ihm zusammen gleich auch den Reduktionismus. Unbestimmtheit und Naturgesetzlichkeit schließen sich gemäß Mitchell keineswegs aus, und entscheidend ist für ihn, dass in komplexen Systemen die physikalischen Elementarvorgänge die Dynamik und Entwicklung des Gesamtsystems nicht vollständig determinieren: Sie sind nicht "causally comprehensive" (280). Unbestimmtheit scheint damit ein Element der Natur zu sein, welches Gesetzmäßigkeiten höherer Ordnung überhaupt erst möglich macht. Dies gilt sowohl für den auf Variation und Selektion beruhenden Evolutionsprozess als Ganzes, als auch für die durch ihn entstandene Fähigkeit tierischer Lebewesen zur zielgerichteten Steuerung ihres Verhaltens. Freies Handeln wird so gesehen zur am höchsten entwickelten Form der Fähigkeit, sich die wegen der Unbestimmtheit in der Natur vorhandenen Spielräume zu Nutze zu machen (harnessing indeterminacy). Die oft als naturgesetzlich unmöglich gebrandmarkte Vorstellung einer top-down wirkenden Akteurkausalität (agent causation) wird in Mitchells systembasiertem Erklärungsansatz zum naturwissenschaftlich erklärbaren Phänomen, und das gleiche gilt dementsprechend auch für die Freiheit nach libertarischem Verständnis. Wichtig zu erwähnen ist schließlich noch, dass Mitchell darunter keineswegs eine unbedingte Freiheit versteht, nicht "some nebulous, spooky, mystical property granted to us by the gods", sondern schlicht und einfach "an evolved biological function that depends on the proper functioning of a distributed set of neural resources" (282), welche uns die Fähigkeit zur bewussten und rationalen Kontrolle über unsere Handlungen verleiht - nicht mehr, aber auch nicht weniger. Bis jetzt hat Mitchells Buch vor allem im Leserkreis naturwissenschaftlicher Sachbuchliteratur Anklang gefunden. Darüber hinaus ist es aber schlichtweg allen zu empfehlen, die am Thema Willensfreiheit interessiert sind, und fast noch mehr denjenigen, die von diesem Thema genug haben in der Meinung, dazu ließe sich ohnehin nichts Neues mehr sagen. Vor allem ist aber zu hoffen, dass das Buch auch seinen Weg in das philosophische Seminar an Hochschulen findet, wo es den Schriften Daniel Dennetts, des wohl berühmtesten Kompatibilisten, gegenübergestellt werden sollte, denn der Vergleich ist interessant, weil dessen evolutionsbasierter Naturalismus abgesehen von den fundamentalen Differenzen bezüglich Determinismus und Reduktionismus demjenigen Mitchells gar nicht so unähnlich ist


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