2,199 research outputs found

    Cognitive penetrability and ethical perception

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    In recent years there has been renewed philosophical interest in the thesis that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable, i.e., roughly, the view that the contents and/or character of a subject's perceptual experience can be modified by what a subject believes and desires. As has been widely noted, it is plausible that cognitive penetration has implications for perception's epistemic role. On the one hand, penetration could make agents insensitive to the world in a way which epistemically 'downgrades' their experience. On the other hand, cognitive penetration may sometimes be epistemically beneficial by making agents more sensitive to the way the world is, i.e., by enabling them to see things that others cannot. For example, penetration could ground a 'high-level' view of perceptual content, according to which agents can have experiences as of 'complex' properties, e.g., natural kind and aesthetic properties. Relatedly, it could elucidate the view that agents can gain perceptual expertise by learning. A type of sophisticated perception (and associated 'perceptual expertise') which has hitherto received little attention in relation to cognitive penetration is ethical perception. In this paper I examine the significance of cognitive penetration for 'Perceptualist' views in ethics which appeal to a notion of 'ethical perception'. Although cognitive penetration could ground a literalist model of Ethical Perception according to which agents can have perceptual experiences of the instantiation of ethical properties, the results are otherwise somewhat mixed: cognitive penetrability does not support Perceptual Intuitionism, although it may provide some limited support for Virtue Ethics and Cornell Realism. However, as I stress, the significance of cognitive penetration for Perceptualism should not be overstated

    Epistemic Sentimentalism and Epistemic Reason-Responsiveness

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    Epistemic Sentimentalism is the view that emotional experiences such as fear and guilt are a source of immediate justification for evaluative beliefs. For example, guilt can sometimes immediately justify a subject’s belief that they have done something wrong. In this paper I focus on a family of objections to Epistemic Sentimentalism that all take as a premise the claim that emotions possess a normative property that is apparently antithetical to it: epistemic reason-responsiveness, i.e., emotions have evidential bases and justifications can be demanded of them. I respond to these objections whilst granting that emotions are reason-responsive. This is not only dialectically significant vis-à-vis the prospects for Epistemic Sentimentalism, but also supports a broader claim about the compatibility of a mental item’s being reason-responsive and its being a generative source of epistemic justification

    Review of: Moral Perception by Robert Audi

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    Evaluative Perception: Introduction

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    In this Introduction we introduce the central themes of the Evaluative Perception volume. After identifying historical and recent contemporary work on this topic, we discuss some central questions under three headings: (1) Questions about the Existence and Nature of Evaluative Perception: Are there perceptual experiences of values? If so, what is their nature? Are experiences of values sui generis? Are values necessary for certain kinds of experience? (2) Questions about the Epistemology of Evaluative Perception: Can evaluative experiences ever justify evaluative judgments? Are experiences of values necessary for certain kinds of justified evaluative judgments? (3) Questions about Value Theory and Evaluative Perception: Is the existence of evaluative experience supported or undermined by particular views in value theory? Are particular views in value theory supported or undermined by the existence of value experience

    Photonic Crystal Laser Accelerator Structures

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    Photonic crystals have great potential for use as laser-driven accelerator structures. A photonic crystal is a dielectric structure arranged in a periodic geometry. Like a crystalline solid with its electronic band structure, the modes of a photonic crystal lie in a set of allowed photonic bands. Similarly, it is possible for a photonic crystal to exhibit one or more photonic band gaps, with frequencies in the gap unable to propagate in the crystal. Thus photonic crystals can confine an optical mode in an all-dielectric structure, eliminating the need for metals and their characteristic losses at optical frequencies. We discuss several geometries of photonic crystal accelerator structures. Photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) are optical fibers which can confine a speed-of-light optical mode in vacuum. Planar structures, both two- and three-dimensional, can also confine such a mode, and have the additional advantage that they can be manufactured using common microfabrication techniques such as those used for integrated circuits. This allows for a variety of possible materials, so that dielectrics with desirable optical and radiation-hardness properties can be chosen. We discuss examples of simulated photonic crystal structures to demonstrate the scaling laws and trade-offs involved, and touch on potential fabrication processes.Comment: 3 pages, 3 figures; Submitted to Particale Accelerator Conference (PAC 2003), May 12-16, 2003, Portland, Oregon (IEEE

    C.D. Broad on Moral Sense Theories in Ethics

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    C.D. Broad’s Reflections stands out as one of the few serious examinations of Moral Sense Theory in twentieth century analytic philosophy. It also constitutes an excellent discussion of the interconnections that allegedly exist between questions concerning what Broad calls the ‘logical analysis’ of moral judgments and questions about their epistemology. In this paper I make three points concerning the interconnectedness of the analytical and epistemological elements of versions of Moral Sense Theory. First, I make a general point about Broad’s association between the Naïve Realist Moral Sense Theory (an epistemological view) and Objectivist Moral Sense Theory (a ‘logical analysis’). Second, I raise doubts about one of Broad’s arguments that Trans-Subjectivist Moral Sense Theory (logical analysis) can account for the apparent synthetic necessity of general moral propositions (epistemological). Third, I briefly discuss a view about logical analysis that should be of interest to contemporary Moral Sense Theorists – Neo-Sentimentalism – and respond to an argument whose conclusion is that this analysis is incompatible with a particular kind of epistemological view

    Intuition, perception, and emotion: A critical study of the prospects for contemporary ethical intuitionism

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    This thesis is a critical study of the prospects for contemporary accounts of ethical intuitionism. Ethical intuitionism is an epistemological theory about the nature of our justified ethical beliefs, whose central claim is that we have at least some non-inferentially justified beliefs. Having been out of favour for much of the latter-part of the twentieth century, ethical intuitionism is enjoying something of a renaissance. Contemporary proponents of the view have shown that ethical intuitionism need not fall foul of the main objections previously brought against it. Furthermore, developments in epistemology have helped to make the notion of non-inferential justification (and the associated view, epistemological foundationalism) more philosophically respectable. As I will suggest, non-inferentially justified belief paradigmatically involves a belief that is justified by a non-doxastic state. In this thesis I will consider four accounts of ethical intuitionism which each claim that a particular kind of non-doxastic state can ground justified ethical beliefs: understandings, intellectual seemings, perceptual experiences and emotional experiences. Note that contemporary ethical intuitionists do not commit themselves to there being a distinctively ethical non-doxastic state. Rather, contemporary ethical intuitionists adopt a sort of innocence by association strategy, suggesting that that we gain non-inferential justification in ethics in much the same way as we get non-inferential justification in other domains. It is my purpose in this thesis to subject each of these four accounts of contemporary ethical intuitionism to sustained philosophical criticism. Although I do not think that ethical intuitionism is implausible, it is my view that the current enthusiasm for the position ought to be seriously tempered, and that much work will need to be done in order to make it acceptable as a meta-ethical view. Firstly, with regard to the understanding (self-evidence) account I argue that there are serious problems with the view that the substantive Rossian principles are non-inferentially justifiably believed on the basis of an adequate understanding of their content. Secondly, I go on to suggest, inter alia, that proponents of the intellectual seemings account of intuitionism cannot appeal to their favoured general epistemological principle in order to ground their ethical epistemology. Given this, much work needs to be done on their part in order to show why we ought to think that intellectual seemings with an ethical content that is substantive get to justify. Thirdly, against the ethical perception account I suggest that even if it is true that ethical agents have perceptual experiences which represent ethical properties, it is not at all obvious that this supports ethical intuitionism, since insofar as such experiences get to justify, it seems plausible that they will ground inferentially or mediately justified beliefs. I do, however, suggest that a related perceptual view may be able to ground a plausible account of non-inferentially justified ethical beliefs. Finally, I consider the ethical emotions account. Given that this is a relatively new view on the philosophical scene I spend much of my time defending it against some serious recent objections brought against it. However, I will also suggest that there are question marks surrounding the epistemological credentials of emotional experiences and that much work will therefore need to be done in order to make the view that emotional experiences do in fact non-inferentially justify ethical beliefs acceptable

    Home, the School of Love: A Seminar in Family Spiritual Enrichment

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    Problem The families of the Seventh-day Adventist Church must develop deepening love relationships with God, with each other, and with people outside their own homes if they are to fulfill the will of Christ. Three factors may be hindering the development of love on these three levels : (1) a lack of understanding about what love really is, (2) a lack of understanding of how love develops in human and divine/human interrelationships, and (3) a lack of understanding that the home is the central focal point where this love is to be developed. Methods The methods used involved three phases: (1) preparation, (2) presentation, and (3) evaluation. The preparation phase involved a select survey of contemporary literature in the field of family enrichment; becoming involved as a learner in several marriage and/or family enrichment seminars; and the preparation of a questionnaire, evaluation sheet, and seminar materials. The presentation phase involved conducting two family spiritual enrichment seminars; one in Michigan and one in California. The evaluation phase involved the analysis of questionnaire results and evaluation sheets, with a goal toward improving the seminar content and procedures and the personal skill of the leader in leading a seminar. Results The majority of the seminar participants reported the seminar had been successful in meeting its objectives and in helping them to develop deeper love relationships on all three levels. Suggestions for improvement included having more time for the seminar and having some sort of follow-up meetings after the seminar was over. Conclusions The results of these two seminars suggest that since this family spiritual-enrichment seminar has been helpful in meeting the needs of some of the families in two Adventist churches, it might also be helpful in meeting the needs of some other Adventists elsewhere. Therefore, the following eight recommendations are made for the future: (1) at least one family seminar each year should be conducted by the leader in his home church, (2) regular follow-up meetings for seminar alumni should be provided, (3) these same materials should be used in marital and premarital counseling, (4) the leader should be available occasionally to conduct seminars away from his local church, if needed, (5) this format could be tried as a means of evangelism, (6) a family study group could be formed, (7) these materials should be offered for publication to permit other pastors or laymen to conduct these seminars, and (8) the leader should make family-life education a specialization in his ministry

    Moral motivation and the affective appeal

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    Proponents of “the affective appeal” (e.g. Dancy in Ethics 124(4):787–812, 2014; Zagzebski in Philos Phenomenol Res 66(1):104–124, 2003) argue that we can make progress in the longstanding debate about the nature of moral motivation by appealing to the affective dimension of affective episodes such as emotions, which allegedly play either a causal or constitutive role in moral judgements. Specifically, they claim that appealing to affect vindicates a version of Motivational Internalism—roughly, the view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation—that is both more empirically respectable and less theoretically controversial than non-affective versions. We here argue that the affective appeal fails: versions of Internalism which appeal to affect are neither more empirically supported, nor clearly less controversial, than versions of Internalism which make no such appeal. Although affect doubtless has an important role to play in explaining moral motivation, we are sceptical that establishing any such role advances the debate
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