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Chen’s concluding chapter is a full-fledged defense of Brown and Levinson against their critics. In terms of theoretical assumption, Chen argues that rationality, per Brown and Levinson, does not belong to Westerners only, neither is individualism monopolized by them. In terms of utility, Chen demonstrates that Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness is perfectly capable of accounting – and, in fact, was designed to account – for the dynamism of social interaction. The accusations that it cannot stems from an insufficient appreciation of the richness of the theory, particularly the formula for measuring the weightiness of face threat. The second part of the chapter is a critique of the research strand “politeness evaluation.” Chen argues that this strand suffers several weaknesses. It is proposed as a reaction to the norm-based approach in politeness research but ends up being norm-searching. It is meant to capture variation, but what it has offered the field is little more than a list of facts that were expected in the first place. Finally, it is claimed to investigate the “moment of evaluation,” but such a moment – the judgment of politeness at the time of speaking – is practically impossible to capture.
Risk is inherent to many, if not all, transformative decisions. The risk of regret, of turning into a person you presently consider to be morally objectionable, or of value change are all risks of choosing to transform. This aspect of transformative decision-making has thus far been ignored, but carries important consequences to those wishing to defend decision theory from the challenge posed by transformative decision-making. I contend that a problem lies in a common method used to cardinalise utilities – the von Neumann and Morgenstern (vNM) method – which measures an agent's utility function over sure outcomes. I argue that the risks involved in transformative experiences are constitutively valuable, and hence their value cannot be accurately measured by the vNM method. In Section 1, I outline what transformative experiences are and the problem they pose to decision theory. In Section 2, I outline Pettigrew's (2019, Choosing for Changing Selves) decision-theoretic response, and in Section 3, I present the case for thinking that risks can carry value. In Section 4, I argue for the claim that at least some transformative experiences involve constitutive risk. I argue that this causes a problem for decision-theoretic responses within the vNM framework in Section 5.
A Mori fibre space of relative dimension two is a del Pezzo fibration. We address the problem of finding a good representative in each equivalence class of threefold del Pezzo fibrations. In the case of degree at least three, Corti realised a standard model embedded anti-canonically into a projective space bundle. We explain the construction by Kollár for degree three as a semistable model. The stability theory completes the existence of standard models for degree two and one. Mori and Prokhorov proved that the multiplicity of a fibre is bounded by six. We also discuss the rationality problem of del Pezzo fibrations to a rational curve. The total space is always rational when the degree is at least five. We exhibit Alexeev's work for degree four. He established a criterion for rationality in terms of topological Euler characteristic. The lower degree case is treated from the point of view of birational rigidity. Pukhlikov proposed the K2-condition and proved that it is sufficient for birational rigidity. We compare it with Grinenko's K-condition. For a fibration of degree one from a smooth threefold, the K-condition turns out to be equivalent to the birational superrigidity.
A Mori fibre space of relative dimension one is a conical fibration and it is birational to a standard conic bundle. The object in this chapter is a Q-conic bundle, namely a Mori fibre space from a threefold to a surface. The analytic germ along a fibre is analogous to an extremal neighbourhood but the higher direct image of the canonical sheaf may not vanish. Mori and Prokhorov achieved a classification of Q-conic bundle germs and the general elephant conjecture when the central fibre is irreducible. This implies Iskovskikh's conjecture that the base surface is Du Val of type A. We also discuss the rationality problem of threefold standard conic bundles over a rational surface. Beauville, after Mumford, proved that the intermediate Jacobian is isomorphic to the Prym variety of the double cover of the discriminant divisor. By virtue of Shokurov's analysis, we have a complete criterion for rationality when the base is relatively minimal. Sarkisov proved that a standard conic bundle is birationally superrigid if a certain pseudo-effective threshold is at least four. In contrast, the rationality in dimension three is nearly paraphrased as having the threshold less than two.
We shall proceed to the study of threefold Mori fibre spaces. This chapter is an introduction to the Sarkisov program, which factorises a birational map of Mori fibre spaces as a composite of elementary maps called Sarkisov links. Corti established it in dimension three. The program twists the birational map into an isomorphism by means of the Noether-Fano inequality. Whereas Hacon and McKernan obtained a new program in an arbitrary dimension, we stick to the traditional approach which fits better into the explicit study. The program stems from the pioneer work of Iskovskikh and Manin on the irrationality of a smooth quartic threefold. We review the rationality problem and discuss the notions of rationality, stable rationality and unirationality. A rational variety has a large number of Mori fibre spaces in its birational class. Oppositely, a variety birational to essentially only one Mori fibre space is said to be birationally rigid. We explain a general strategy for applying the Sarkisov program to the rationality and birational rigidity problem, and demonstrate this by an example due to Corti and Mella which has exactly two birational structures of a Mori fibre space.
Some vaccine-hesitant people lack epistemic trust in the COVID-19 vaccine recommendation that because vaccines have been shown to be medically safe and effective, one ought to get vaccinated. Citing what I call exception information, they claim that whatever the general safety and efficacy of vaccines, the vaccines may not be safe and effective for them. Examples include parents citing information about their children's health, pregnant women's concerns about the potential adverse effects of treatment on pregnant women, young people citing their relative invulnerability to extreme COVID-19 symptoms, or members of vulnerable racial groups citing epistemic injustice, such as a lack of representation in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This paper examines the extent to which a lack of epistemic trust in vaccine recommendations, based on such exemption information, is rational.
In this chapter Innes explores how Soviet economics, and the neoclassical economics behind British neoliberalism, came to conceive of the political economy as a closed system, governed by predetermined economic laws and dependable behaviours. Both orthodoxies are shown to depend on arguments about the universal truths of the political economy that are not just utopian, but tautological - circular - in their reasoning. Their axiomatic assumptions and actions are valid, as distinct from true, by virtue only of their logical formulation, and their end goals are consequently as impossible to realise as they are to refute. By exploring the evolution of both Soviet and neoclassical economic thought, Innes outlines the affinities between the ‘social physics’ of neoclassical economics and the deterministic assumptions of Stalinist central planning, and explains why it is that even the relatively critical, ‘second best world’ neoclassical economics that became associated with New Labour policy is freighted with no less determinism than the ‘first best world’ assumptions adopted by the New, neoliberal right.
David Lewis is widely regarded as the philosopher who introduced the concept of common knowledge. His account of common knowledge differs greatly from most later accounts in philosophy and economy, with the central notion of his theory being ‘having reason to believe’ rather than ‘knowledge’. Unfortunately, Lewis’s account is rather informal, and the argument has a few gaps. This paper assesses two major attempts to formalise Lewis’s account and argues that these formalisations are missing a crucial aspect of this account. Therefore, a new reconstruction is proposed, which explicitly discusses ‘reasons’ and uses a logic inspired by justification logic.
Will existing forms of artificial intelligence (AI) lead to genuine intelligence? How is AI changing our society and politics? This essay examines the answers to these questions in Brian Cantwell Smith's The Promise of Artificial Intelligence and Mark Coeckelbergh's The Political Philosophy of AI with a focus on their central concern with judgment—whether AI can possess judgment and how developments in AI are affecting human judgment. First, I argue that the existentialist conception of judgment that Smith defends is highly idealized. While it may be an appropriate standard for intelligence, its implications for when and how AI should be deployed are not as clear as Smith suggests. Second, I point out that the concern with the displacement of judgment in favor of “reckoning” (or calculation) predates the rise of AI. The meaning and implications of this trend will become clearer if we move beyond ontology and metaphysics and into political philosophy, situating technological changes in their social context. Finally, I suggest that Coeckelbergh's distinctly political conception of judgment might offer a solution to the important boundary-drawing problem between tasks requiring judgment and those requiring reckoning, thus filling a gap in Smith's argument and clarifying its political stakes.
Chapter 4 explains how in traditional liberalism, autonomy as the ability to reason has been recognised as the foundation for personhood, thereby excluding adults with cognitive disability. Interpretations of Article 12 that require the abolition of decision-making by substitutes refashion autonomy from being marked by rationality and independence to being marked by shared personhood and interdependence so as to include adults with cognitive disability. I argue that these refashionings ultimately fail because despite avowals to the contrary, they perpetuate the privileging of rationality and of the bounded, independent individual. They also fail to recognise the interdependency of Article 12 with other rights in the CRPD, especially socio-economic rights. I argue that a concept of autonomy as achievement, as the development of autonomy competencies, as demanding the availability of a range of options and as demanding recognition of the indivisibility of human rights is the autonomy underpinning Article 12 and the CRPD.
Two themes have dominated philosophical discussions concerning the rationality of believing a report of a miracle. The first relies on the idea that miracles are by definition massively improbable. The second theme involves the thought that testimony is, in general, not a very reliable source of information. The result of combining these two themes is that it is very difficult – some suggest impossible – to rationally believe that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony: on its own, testimony is too weak to outweigh the improbability of a miracle. Both themes are addressed in Hume’s famous essay on miracles. This chapter examines each theme and critically discusses interpretations of and replies to Hume’s argument.
It is no exaggeration to say that there has been an explosion of activity in the field of philosophical enquiry known as natural theology. Having been smothered in the early part of the twentieth century due to the dominance of logical positivism, natural theology began to make a comeback in the late 1950s as logical positivism collapsed and analytic philosophers took a newfound interest in metaphysical topics such as possibility and necessity, causation, time, the mind–body problem, and God. This chapter begins by considering how we might characterize natural theology as a field of enquiry. It then proceeds to survey the landscape of contemporary natural theology, which has spawned a large and at times highly technical body of literature. Finally, consideration is given to two epistemological issues confronting the theist who wishes to appeal to natural theology, namely, the problem of the gap(s) and the problem of accessibility.
Traditional theistic arguments conclude that God exists. Pragmatic theistic arguments, by contrast, conclude that you ought to believe in God. The two most famous pragmatic theistic arguments are put forth by Blaise Pascal (1662) and William James (1896). Pragmatic arguments for theism can be summarized as follows: believing in God has significant benefits, and these benefits are not available for the unbeliever. Thus, you should believe in, or “wager on,” God. This chapter distinguishes between various kinds of theistic wagers, including finite vs. infinite wagers, premortem vs. postmortem wagers, and doxastic vs. acceptance wagers. Then, it turns to the epistemic–pragmatic distinction and discusses the nuances of James’ argument, and how views like epistemic permissivism and epistemic consequentialism provide unique “hybrid” wagers. Finally, it covers outstanding objections and responses.
The purpose of this paper is to first review William James's explicit positions on paternalism in the context of medical licensure and the annexation of the Philippines. Then I wish to show that these positions, as well as a more generalized antipaternalist stance, are the implications of James's philosophy and psychology and not simply his ‘personal’ sentiments. The elements of James's thought are arranged in such a way as to facilitate a comparison with contemporary behavioral (heuristics and biases) paternalism. The conclusion is that James has arguments against behavioral paternalism avant la lettre that are still useful and deserve discussion.
Plutarch is often seen nowadays as a champion of the animal cause, and virtually as a precursor of the modern pro-animal argument. It is important, however, to recognize that the prominence of animals in Plutarch’s work is symptomatic of the widespread and vibrant textual experimentation with animals in imperial Greco-Roman literature. The trend peaks in the second century AD, but animals were relevant within imperial philosophical thought too. Like many authors (and their ancient readers), Plutarch draws upon and responds to (a) the rich and abiding literary tradition of mobilizing animal imagery and themes and (b) the long-established philosophical debate on animal psychology and rationality, with far-reaching ethical implications about how animals should be treated. The chapter surveys the attitudes toward animals across the Plutarchan corpus and offers in-depth contextualization of the dialogues De sollertia animalium and the notoriously ironic Gryllus.
People are frequently exposed to competing evidence about climate change. We examined how new information alters people’s beliefs. We find that people who doubt that man-made climate change is occurring, and who do not favor an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, show a form of asymmetrical updating: They change their beliefs in response to unexpected good news (suggesting that average temperature rise is likely to be less than previously thought) and fail to change their beliefs in response to unexpected bad news (suggesting that average temperature rise is likely to be greater than previously thought). By contrast, people who strongly believe that man-made climate change is occurring, and who favor an international agreement, show the opposite asymmetry: They change their beliefs far more in response to unexpected bad news (suggesting that average temperature rise is likely to be greater than previously thought) than in response to unexpected good news (suggesting that average temperature rise is likely to be smaller than previously thought). The results suggest that exposure to varied scientific evidence about climate change may increase polarization within a population due to asymmetrical updating. The implications of these findings are explored for how people will update their beliefs upon receiving new evidence about climate change, and also for other beliefs.
Perception can provide us with a privileged source of evidence about the external world – evidence that makes it rational to believe things about the world. In Reasons First, Mark Schroeder offers a new view on how perception does so. The central motivation behind Schroeder's account is to offer an answer to what evidence perception equips us with according to which it is what he calls world-implicating but non-factive, and thereby to glean some of the key advantages of both externalism and internalism, respectively. He answers this motivation by developing a more specific view that he calls the Apparent Factive Attitude view, which pairs an answer to what evidence is provided by a perceptual experience with an answer to why having that perceptual experience provides you with that evidence. In this paper, we advance two interconnected problems for Schroeder's Apparent Factive Attitude view. A traditional intuitive judgment that often motivates internalists is the idea that internal duplicates must necessarily be equally rational in whatever beliefs they have. Schroeder's arguments rely on a weaker claim – that people who are both internal and historical external duplicates but differ only in the veridicality of a single perceptual experience must be equally rational in whatever beliefs they have. In this way he preserves what he argues to be a more compelling internalist intuition. But our arguments will show that Schroeder's view is committed to denying an even more compelling internalist intuition yet – that internal duplicates must have the same phenomenology.
In this article I argue that we should be prudentially and morally biased toward earlier events: other things equal, we should prefer for good events to occur earlier and disprefer for bad events to occur earlier. The argument contends that we should accord at least some credence—if only a small one—to a theoretical package featuring the growing block theory of time and that this package generates a presumptive bias toward earlier events. Rival theoretical packages are considered. Under reasonable allocations of credence to them, the presumptive bias escapes defeat. The argument has several corollaries: other things equal, we should be biased toward the past over the future, the further past over the nearer past, and the nearer future over the further future.
For centuries, Christians have understood some of the texts included in the New Testament as ‘Jewish,’ in the sense of them being written by (converted) Jews for other Jews. From a historical perspective, a new development in the academy suggests that such approaches do not do justice to the nature of these texts. Indeed, even more recent attempts at understanding the New Testament against the background of Judaism are also found wanting. Instead, placing these texts within the broader context of the diverse ways of embodying Jewish ancestral customs in the pre-rabbinic Second Temple period, this interpretive trajectory, involving scholars from a wide array of backgrounds, insists that Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Revelation etc., should be understood as expressions of Judaism. This article highlights key issues involved in such re-readings of New Testament texts, including ways in which they may or may not relate to normative-theological positions among Christians and Jews today. First, the study looks at how the question is asked in our contemporary setting. Then, moving down historical layers, issues related to history and categorisation are addressed before we, finally, return to the present to consider possible implications of our findings.
Value is commonly divided into the intrinsic – what is good (or bad) “in itself” – and the instrumental, what is valuable as a means. This chapter describes two kinds of “value in itself.” The first comprises experiences of certain rewarding kinds; the second comprises objects of experience having intrinsic properties in virtue of which these objects can be central in intrinsically valuable experiences. This threefold conception – of intrinsic, inherent, and instrumental values – is explained, illustrated, and enhanced by accommodating contributory value, yielding a multi-dimensional value theory. Hedonism is shown to be more plausible than generally realized but also too narrow. In showing this, the valuational pluralism of the chapter is extended to include intrinsic moral value as a distinct kind, and the organic character of value, inherent as well as intrinsic, is illustrated and clarified; and the organicity of inherent value is shown also to apply to reasons for action.