To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter begins with a discussion of the common methodologies, starting assumptions, and key aims that shape philosophical work in this sphere. This part of the chapter aims to lay bare the bones of philosophy of parenthood as this field currently stands, providing a critical tool for investigation of existing theories of parenthood, but also further demonstrating the complex interdependence between moral parenthood and the concepts of parenthood covered in the previous chapters. I then give an overview of the approaches philosophers have taken to defining the grounds of moral parenthood, and the different problem cases motivating these accounts. Whilst all these problem cases deviate from the ‘paradigm’ case – in which biological, social, legal, and moral parenthood neatly coincide – literature on parental obligations tends to focus on situations in which candidate parents are disinclined to take on some form of parenting role. Philosophers focusing on parental rights, on the other hand, have often been concerned with an overabundance of candidate parents and have aimed to provide solutions to potential disputes. These disputes might arise between parties to surrogacy agreements, biological parents and step- or adoptive parents; and, more speculatively, between biological parents and the hypothetical ‘best available parents’.
Punishment is an important method for discouraging uncooperative behavior. We use a novel design for a public goods game in which players have explicit intended contributions with accidentally changed actual contributions, and in which players can apply costly fines or ostracism. Moreover, all players except the subject are automated, whereby we control the intended contributions, actual contributions, costly fines, and ostracisms experienced by the subject. We assess subject’s utilization of other players’ intended and actual contributions when making decisions to fine or ostracize. Hierarchical Bayesian logistic regression provides robust estimates. We find that subjects emphasize actual contribution more than intended contribution when deciding to fine, but emphasize intended contribution more than actual contribution when deciding to ostracize. We also find that the efficacy of past punishment, in terms of changing the contributions of the punished player, influences the type of punishment selected. Finally, we find that the punishment norms of the automated players affect the punishments performed by the subject. These novel paradigms and analyses indicate that punishment is flexible and adaptive, contrary to some evolutionary theories that predict inflexible punishments that emphasize outcomes.
In reply to Dalton (2016), we argue that bullshit is defined in terms of how it is produced, not how it is interpreted. We agree that it can be interpreted as profound by some readers (and assumed as much in the original paper). Nonetheless, we present additional evidence against the possibility that more reflective thinkers are more inclined to interpret bullshit statements as profound.
When people predict their future behavior, they tend to place too much weight on their current intentions, which produces an optimistic bias for behaviors associated with currently strong intentions. More realistic self-predictions require greater sensitivity to situational barriers, such as obstacles or competing demands, that may interfere with the translation of current intentions into future behavior. We consider three reasons why people may not adjust sufficiently for such barriers. First, self-predictions may focus exclusively on current intentions, ignoring potential barriers altogether. We test this possibility, in three studies, with manipulations that draw greater attention to barriers. Second, barriers may be discounted in the self-prediction process. We test this possibility by comparing prospective and retrospective ratings of the impact of barriers on the target behavior. Neither possibility was supported in these tests, or in a further test examining whether an optimally weighted statistical model could improve on the accuracy of self-predictions by placing greater weight on anticipated situational barriers. Instead, the evidence supports a third possibility: Even when they acknowledge that situational factors can affect the likelihood of carrying out an intended behavior, people do not adequately moderate the weight placed on their current intentions when predicting their future behavior.
What concept does the word ‘belief’ express, and how does it fit into the Theory of Mind? In its repertoire of syntactic niches (some not noticed in the literature) and in its range from stereotypical to marginal cases, "believe" is quite a typical word. The analysis offered here reveals striking grammatical and semantic parallels to expressions that denote depictions, such as "picture," "map," and "performance." These parallels provide unexpected solutions to classical philosophical puzzles about "belief." The analysis is extended to other propositional attitude predicates, to speech–act predicates, to predicates of actional attitude such as "intend" and "vow," and to commitment to norms of all sorts. These conclusions provide a sense of the richness of folk psychology and of how detailed linguistic analysis can uncover it, presenting challenges for future research.
What is it to suspend judgment about whether p? Much of the recent work on the nature and normative profile of suspending judgment aims to analyze it as a kind of doxastic attitude. On some of these accounts, suspending judgment about whether p partly consists in taking up a certain higher-order belief about one's deficient epistemic position with respect to whether p. On others, suspending judgment about whether p consists in taking up a sui generis attitude, one that takes the question of whether p? as its content. In this paper, I defend an account on which suspending judgment about whether p is not a matter of taking up a doxastic attitude, but rather a way of intentionally omitting to judge whether p. I then close with a discussion of how an account like mine, which sees suspending judgment as fundamentally practical, rather than doxastic, can accommodate what appear to be distinctively epistemic reasons to suspend judgment.
This “guided tour” of the Lives of the Poets explores Johnson’s criteria for poetry, starting from his discussion of the metaphysical poets. What Johnson says about Gray’s Elegy is related to the commemorative impulse in the Lives. The ironic vision of the Life of Savage is argued to underlie that comedic understanding of the complex relation between writing and life that frequently surfaces elsewhere. Four major writers then get special attention, in which literary appreciation and quasi-personal relationship go hand in hand. Johnson’s intensely held ambivalence about Paradise Lost pays reluctant tribute to Milton’s own capaciousness of mind. Swift’s rigor toward himself and others is met by Johnson’s correspondingly acerbic, unforgiving account. Dryden’s roving, fluid, omni-curious intelligence, his hospitality to the occasional and contingent, is matched by the relaxed generosity and miscellaneousness of Johnson’s Life of Dryden, as contrasted with the careful scrutiny afforded to the life and work of the self-aware, self-critical, aspiring Pope.
Simon Cheung discusses the scholarship surrounding the ‘wisdom psalms’, with an eye towards the varied proposals, as well as the grounds for and development of them over the last century. From this Cheung sets forth his own conception of wisdom psalms. They constitute ‘a family of psalms, with varying degrees of membership, that exhibit a wisdom-oriented constellation of its generic elements’. The core traits are likened to DNA, which can be more or less present, and mainly discerned in theme, tone and intention. ‘Wisdom psalms’, to some degree, then, feature wisdom, carry an ‘intellectual tone’ and a pedagogical intent, all of which Cheung inspects in Psalm 34:8–17. Overall, his approach may offer interpreters additional accuracy when considering wisdom and its influence within the Psalter.
Cavell’s notion of an “elaborative utterance” (explicitly introduced only in The Claim of Reason) provides a clue to the thematic unity of Must We Mean What We Say? Elaboratives are called for when the very description of what one has done is at issue, and so calls for being acknowledged (confessed, admitted to) or denied. Cavell takes up from Austin’s “Excuses” to emphasize the importance of finding, inventing, and projecting appropriate descriptions of actions as part of the very possibility of action – and indeed human passion, human response, as such. Moral arguments can always break down: this is due to the indispensability of elaboratives, the embedding of actions with words in life in ways that always allow us to “go on,” refuse to go on, or to divert our attention. The fact that there are always elaborations to be made shows the impossibility of building a “best case” of moral knowledge or action immune to dispute or recasting. But Cavell’s work does not show that there is no knowledge at all of morality: he resists a skeptical conclusion. Instead, he sharpens our sense of the importance of our ability to settle on limits of responsibility in a human world.
While the role of intentions in the constitution of actions gives rise to complex and heavily controversial questions, it appears to be indisputable that action ascription in interaction mostly does without any overt ascription of intention. Yet, sometimes participants explicitly ascribe intentions to their interlocutors in order to make sense of their prior actions. The chapter examines intention ascriptions in response to a partner’s adjacent prior turn using the German modal verb construction willst du/wollen Sie (do you want). The analysis focuses on the aspect of the prior action the intention ascription addresses (action type, projected next action, motive etc.), the action the intention ascription performs itself, and the next action they make relevant from the prior speaker. It was found that intention ascriptions are used to clarify and intersubjectively ground the meaning of the prior turn, which seems otherwise underspecified, ambiguous or puzzling. Yet, they are also used to adumbrate criticism, e.g., that the prior turn projects a course of future actions which is considered to be inadequate, or to expose a concealed, problematic allegedly “real” meaning of the prior turn.
Kathryn Campbell-Kibler observes that the role of speaker intention seems to differ in the meanings of primary interest in variationist sociolinguistics on one hand and semantics and pragmatics on the other. Taking this observation as its point of departure, the central goal of the present work is to clarify the nature of intention-attribution in general and, at the same time, the nature of these two types of meaning. I submit general principles by which observers determine whether to attribute a particular intention to an agent – principles grounded in observers’ estimation of the agent’s beliefs, preferences, and assessment of alternative actions. These principles and the attendant discussion clarify the role of alternatives, common ground, and perceptions of naturalness in intention-attribution, illuminate public discourses about agents’ intentions, point to challenges for game-theoretic models of interpretation that assume cooperativity, and elucidate the nature of the types of meaning of interest. Examining the role of intention vis-à-vis findings and insights from variationist research and the formally explicit game-theoretic models just mentioned foregrounds important differences and similarities between the two types of meaning of interest and lays bare the contingent nature of all meaning in practice.
This chapter argues that the complexities of Thackeray’s style play on the conceptual uncertainties embedded in the idea of style itself. It demonstrates that Thackeray’s prose exacerbates the interpretive conundrums posed by the very notion of style, including such puzzles as whether style expresses authorial personality or a more general standard, whether style is the sign of intention or contingency, and whether style is personal or historically contingent. The chapter focuses on the use of first- and second-person pronouns in Vanity Fair (1847) and on the curious third-person autobiography that is Henry Esmond (1852) to argue that Thackerayan style oscillates between two radically distinct affective temperatures: a “hot” style that gets in the reader’s face and a “cold” one that turns away from us, in an alternation between unparalleled effects of intimacy and uncanny feats of distance. The chapter argues that this wavering makes Thackeray’s style particularly suited to an investigation of the historicity of language (the ways living meanings ossify and go dead over time) as well as to an inquiry into the mystery of authorial intention (the question, particularly pointed for Thackeray’s uneven reputation, of whether authors are in control of their own most characteristic effects).
An agent who acts intentionally typically foresees that she will bring about a number of effects and that her conduct will fall under a variety of different descriptions. Which of these effects and descriptions are intentional and which are incidental? To answer this question, Chapter 4 presents an Anscombian account of intentional action. I first show how Anscombe uses a special sense of the question “Why?” to elucidate the teleological order characteristic of intentional action. I then explain how the teleological order of an agent’s intentional action is determined by the calculation on the basis of which she acts, where the concept of calculation is illuminated by the notion of practical reasoning. Next, I explain how Anscombe’s account of intention and intentional action differs from a false conception she calls “Cartesian psychology.” Finally, I apply the Anscombian account to three controversial cases.
Different disaster activities should be performed smoothly. In relation to this, human resources for disaster activities must be secured. To achieve a stable supply of human resources, it is essential to improve the intentions of individuals responding to each type of disaster. However, the current intention of Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) members has not yet been assessed.
To facilitate a smooth disaster response, this survey aimed to assess the intention to engage in each type of disaster activity among DMAT members.
An anonymous web questionnaire survey was conducted. Japanese DMAT members in the nuclear disaster-affected area (Group A; n = 79) and the non-affected area (Group N; n = 99) were included in the analysis. The outcome was the answer to the following question: “Will you actively engage in activities during natural, human-made, and chemical (C), biological (B), radiological/nuclear (R/N), and explosive (E) (CBRNE) disasters?” Then, questionnaire responses were compared according to disaster type.
The intention to engage in C (50), B (47), R/N (58), and E (52) disasters was significantly lower than that in natural (82) and human-made (82) disasters (P <.001). The intention to engage in CBRNE disasters among younger participants (age ≤39 years) was significantly higher in Group A than in Group N. By contrast, the intention to engage in R/N disasters alone among older participants (age ≥40 years) was higher in Group A than in Group N. However, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of intention to engage in C, B, and E disasters. Moreover, the intention to engage in all disasters between younger and older participants in Group A did not differ. In Group N, older participants had a significantly higher intention to engage in B and R/N disasters.
Experience with a specific type of calamity at a young age may improve intention to engage in not only disasters encountered, but also other types. In addition, the intention to engage in CBRNE disasters improved with age in the non-experienced population. To respond smoothly to specific disasters in the future, measures must be taken to improve the intention to engage in CBRNE disasters among DMAT members.
Hope powerfully influences our lives, deeply shaping our actions, as well as being essential for social and political change. Many accounts of hope, however, fail to do justice to its active role, ignoring the connection between hope and action that makes it a significant feature of our lives. In this essay, I propose a new account of hope in which hopes characteristically shape and figure in intentions. I argue that this account does justice to hope's distinctive manifestations in action, explains the rational constraints on hoping, and sheds light on the distinctions between hoping and wishing.
This chapter examines writings from Bronze Age China that might at first glance seem to be hidden, asking about their audience and the intentions behind them. It begins at the late second millennium Anyang site with a pit deposit of inscribed oracle bones in the royal precinct. Arguing that the pit was part of a representation of sacrifice, it suggests that the buried writing was offered to the royal ancestors in thanks for their replies to the divination questions. Next it looks at inscriptions on bronze ritual vessels. These originated in the late second millennium as display texts addressed to deceased ancestors but early in the first millennium came to be consciously written for the living as well. A third case is stone tablets inscribed with covenant texts and buried in sacrificial pits at the fifth-century BCE Houma site. Here it seems that rulers seeking to enforce loyalty not only called the spirits to witness but also kept duplicate copies of the covenants as witnesses that could be called in evidence. The chapter concludes with some camouflaged writings from the latter part of the first millennium. These were designed to entertain highly literate readers by provoking mental gymnastics.
This chapter considers the criticisms of Gadamer’s hermeneutics that have recently been put forward by Michael Forster and Kristin Gjesdal. They find that Gadamer errs in rejecting the philosophy of interpretation that is put forward in the nineteenth century by Herder, Schleiermacher, and Dilthey. For these critics of Gadamer, the merit of these predecessors of Gadamer is their commitment to a methodical interpretive practice. Forster criticizes Gadamer for rejecting the attempt to recover distinct original meanings in the texts that one is considering. They find Gadamer’s hermeneutics to be relativistic. This chapter defends Gadamer against these charges.
Semantic communication is about transmitting mental representations of reality. Three research questions address the nature of this process in primates. Can primates produce signals that are meaningful in a lexical sense? Are they capable of compositional semantics? Can they create and infer meaning by integrating context and intention? There is good evidence that, as recipients, primates have capacities at all three levels, whereas for signallers the evidence is less compelling. This difference may have cognitive roots, due to the fact that primate signallers are typically engaged in the here-and-now and, unlike humans, less able to refer to memory content. Future research will have to clarify what mental structures primates can take into account during communication, including entities that are not physically present.
This chapter covers the notions of inference and implicature from a broad pragmatic and sociopragmatic perspective. Starting from the fact that inference has wide applicability also in psychology and logic, while implicature is limited only to pragmatics, it opens by drawing three distinctions: (1) between inference in a broad and in a narrow sense, (2) between inference and implicature and (3) between inference and implicature as both product and process. It then discusses processes of implicature generation within Gricean and post-Gricean accounts. While the general position taken is that 'speakers implicate, hearers infer', this position is also problematized by drawing on sociopragmatics research that challenges the notion of the speaker’s intention and explores how (else) meaning can be generated.
The sociocognitive approach (SCA) to pragmatics initiated by Kecskes integrates the pragmatic view of cooperation and the cognitive view of egocentrism and emphasizes that both cooperation and egocentrism are manifested in all phases of communication, albeit to varying extents. While cooperation is an intention-directed practice that is governed by relevance, egocentrism is an attention-oriented trait dominated by salience. In the SCA, communication is considered a dynamic process, in which individuals are not only constrained by societal conditions but also shape them at the same time. Interlocutors are considered as social beings searching for meaning with individual minds embedded in a sociocultural collectivity. As a consequence, the communicative process is characterized by the interplay of two sets of traits that are inseparable, mutually supportive and interactive. Individual traits (prior experience > salience > egocentrism > attention) interact with societal traits (actual situational experience > relevance > cooperation > intention). Each trait is the consequence of the other. Prior experience results in salience, which leads to egocentrism that drives attention. Intention is a cooperation-directed practice that is governed by relevance, which (partly) depends on actual situational experience.