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Matthias Koßler argues that Schopenhauer's theory of character is relevant to the recent revival of the concept in the social sciences. He argues that the theory of character Schopenhauer presented in his later essays is inconsistent with the theory developed in The World as Will and Representation. In the prize essays, Schopenhauer develops the Kantian distinction between intelligible and empirical character, treating the former as an innate, unchangeable metaphysical entity, while in WWR Schopenhauer clearly emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence, even for his metaphysics, so that intelligible character must be thought of in relation to experience. Furthermore, reason itself is an essential component of being human, and rationality involves the possibility of partly resisting the effect of a motive on the will, hindering it from achieving expression in action. Thus, human species character cannot just be a set of fixed properties, but rather a general field of possibilities by means of which we use our rationality to individualize ourselves. In conclusion, Koßler recommends avoiding the Kantian terminology of intelligible versus empirical character that achieves prominence in the prize essays. Instead, we should speak of a general concept of personhood that is necessarily specialized into an individual character.
This paper contributes to the recent explosion of literature on the epistemological role of emotions and other affective states by defending two claims. First, affective states might do more than position us to receive evidence or function as evidence. Affective states might be thought to appraise evidence, in the sense that affective states influence what doxastic state is rational for someone given a body of evidence. The second claim is that affective evidentialism, the view that affective states function rationally in this way, is not just possible but plausible and fruitful. We offer two arguments in favor of affective evidentialism.
I propose the notion of ‘epistemic sanity’, a property of parsimony between the holding of true but not false beliefs and the consideration of our cognitive limitations. Where ‘alethic value’ is the epistemic value of holding true but not false beliefs, the ‘alethic potential’ of an agent is the amount of extra alethic value that she is expected to achieve, given her current environment, beliefs, and reasoning skills. Epistemic sanity would be related to the holding of (true or false) beliefs that increase the agent's alethic potential (relevant beliefs) but not of beliefs that decrease it (this is related to cognitive parsimony). Suspension of judgment, forgetting, and clutter avoidance are the main contributors to an agent's epistemic sanity, where this paper focuses on suspension. I argue that rational suspension favors the holding of true and relevant beliefs, which is not the case for the extremes of opinionation (no suspension) and skepticism (general suspension). In the absence of evidence, opinionated agents are often forced to rely on principles such as the principle of indifference, but suspension dominates indifference in terms of alethic value in some conditions. A rational agent would only find it beneficial to adopt skepticism if she considers herself to be an anti-expert about her entire agenda, but then ‘flipping’ beliefs maximizes expected alethic value in relation to skepticism. The study of epistemic sanity results in an ‘impure’ veritism, which can deal with some limitations of veritism (e.g., explaining the existence of false but relevant beliefs).
This chapter is unusually long and might be best thought of as being made of three subchapters, all of which help explain the ideas that animate this book. In considering how you might use this chapter, it might be worth thinking about how the sections of this chapter answer different sorts of questions, and they may be of greater or lesser use depending on what you’re hoping to get out of the cases. The first section of this chapter (“What Is Neoliberalism”) explains what the authors and editors mean by “neoliberalism” and develops the specific idea of “market imperialism” to explain what exasperates the authors and editors. The second section (“The Problematic Theoretical Underpinning of Market Imperialism”) presents and critiques the arguments that undergird advocates of market imperialism. The final section (“Conclusion: Network of Thinkers and Art of Government”) explains how neoliberalism and market imperialism can operate even though individual people may not explicitly see themselves as advocates of neoliberalism and market imperialism. This last section also summarizes some common attributes of market imperialism and neoliberal thinking.
This chapter looks at the provision of water by two different Southern California water agencies. One jurisdiction seeks to meet its water needs by financing and buying water from an expensive, energy-intensive desalination plant; the other jurisdiction successfully persuades its residents to reduce and change their consumption patterns of water and saves a huge amount of money as compared to the agency that bought into the desalination plant. What’s interesting from our book’s critical point of view is that the water agencies had different ideas about how people behave as water consumers. The jurisdiction that bought the expensive and wasteful desalination plant spent far more money and ended up wasting a huge amount of water because they didn’t even entertain the idea that people’s water consumption habits could change. Like good neoliberals they assumed that people were selfish, that they are attempting to maximize their individual utility, and that they had relatively stable preferences, which it would be foolish to attempt to change substantially. They paid dearly for those assumptions. In addition, the case demonstrates, how even in relation to complex problems such as handling water supplies, conscious human prediction and problem-solving can outperform market-based mechanisms. The case shows, in opposition to neoliberal orthodoxy, that it is possible to plan.
Beliefs play a central role in our lives. They lie at the heart of what makes us human, they shape the organization and functioning of our minds, they define the boundaries of our culture, and they guide our motivation and behavior. Given their central importance, researchers across a number of disciplines have studied beliefs, leading to results and literatures that do not always interact. The Cognitive Science of Belief aims to integrate these disconnected lines of research to start a broader dialogue on the nature, role, and consequences of beliefs. It tackles timeless questions, as well as applications of beliefs that speak to current social issues. This multidisciplinary approach to beliefs will benefit graduate students and researchers in cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, political science, economics, and religious studies.
Epistemologists who study credences have a well-developed account of how you should change them when you learn new evidence; that is, when your body of evidence grows. What's more, they boast a diverse range of epistemic and pragmatic arguments that support that account. But they do not have a satisfactory account of when and how you should change your credences when you become aware of possibilities and propositions you have not entertained before; that is, when your awareness grows. In this paper, I consider the arguments for the credal epistemologist's account of how to respond to evidence, and I ask whether they can help us generate an account of how to respond to awareness growth. The results are surprising: the arguments that all support the same norms for responding to evidence growth support a number of different norms when they are applied to awareness growth. Some of these norms seem too weak, others too strong. I ask what we should conclude from this, and argue that our credal response to awareness growth is considerably less rigorously constrained than our credal response to new evidence.
Building on the work in Chapters 2 and 3 we now consider how we can take a broadly scientific approach, in Popper’s terms, to the study of language when we have demonstrated that linguistics does not fit easily within his framework. A key step in that process occurs in this chapter when we reconsider linguistics as a social science, though we also give consideration to its role in the digital humanities. Our conception of linguistics as a principally social science shows how we can take linguistics and deal with it in a way broadly in line with the framework specified in Chapters 2 and 3 while also dealing with those elements of it which do not easily fit a natural science framework.
The final chapter revisits some of the tenets of the narrative paradigm, based on the analyses presented in the preceding three chapters, and suggests ways in which the concept of narrative rationality may be further developed and nuanced. Fisher distinguishes between objectivist knowledge and praxial knowledge and argues that it is the latter type of knowledge that narrative rationality seeks to ‘foster and support’. This distinction is used by the authors as a starting point to develop a model for situated epistemologies based on insights drawn from Fisher’s narrative paradigm, proposals put forward by some of his critics, the work of thinkers such as Heidegger and Kristeva, as well as more recent work on narrativity.
This chapter outlines the overall aims and rationale for the book and explains how it differs from two established models in the study of medicine: evidence-based medicine and narrative medicine. It argues that science is inevitably and inextricably embedded in a multitude of narratives told by both scientists and non-scientists and further acknowledges that scientific claims are themselves narratives. Whatever their factual status, scientific statements are ultimately assessed on the basis of people’s lived experience and the values they hold most dear. While accepting that scientific evidence has a key role to play in shaping public policy and should – in an ideal world – be taken seriously by members of the public, the authors argue that it is often mistrusted and/or overridden by considerations that are affective and social in nature. These considerations, in turn, are informed by the narratives to which we are all socialized over many years and in numerous contexts.
Suppose that you prefer A to B, B to C, and C to A. Your preferences violate Expected Utility Theory by being cyclic. Money-pump arguments offer a way to show that such violations are irrational. Suppose that you start with A. Then you should be willing to trade A for C and then C for B. But then, once you have B, you are offered a trade back to A for a small cost. Since you prefer A to B, you pay the small sum to trade from B to A. But now you have been turned into a money pump. You are back to the alternative you started with but with less money. This Element shows how each of the axioms of Expected Utility Theory can be defended by money-pump arguments of this kind. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
The COVID-19 crisis has transformed the highly specialized issue of what constitutes reliable medical evidence into a topic of public concern and debate. This book interrogates the assumption that evidence means the same thing to different constituencies and in different contexts. Rather than treating various practices of knowledge as rational or irrational in purely scientific terms, it explains the controversies surrounding COVID-19 by drawing on a theoretical framework that recognizes different types of rationality, and hence plural conceptualizations of evidence. Debates within and beyond the medical establishment on the efficacy of measures such as mandatory face masks are examined in detail, as are various degrees of hesitancy towards vaccines. The authors demonstrate that it is ultimately through narratives that knowledge about medical and other phenomena is communicated to others, enters the public space, and provokes discussion and disagreements. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Scholars disagree about the plausibility of preference purification. Some see it as a familiar phenomenon. Others denounce it as conceptually incoherent, postulating that it relies on the psychologically implausible assumption of an inner rational agent. I argue that different notions of rationality can be leveraged to advance the debate: procedural rationality and structural rationality. I explicate how structural rationality, in contrast to procedural rationality, allows us to offer an account of the guiding idea behind preference purification that avoids inner rational agents. Afterward, I address two pressing challenges against preference purification that emerge under the structural rationality account.
Arguing against emergent and even dominant tendencies of recent political thought that emphasize the so-called primacy of affect, Peter Steinberger challenges political theorists to take account of important themes in philosophy on the topic of human rationality. He engages with major proponents of post-Kantian thought, analytic and continental alike, to show how political judgment and political action, properly understood, are deeply and definitively grounded in considerations of human reason. Focusing especially on influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of action, he seeks to rediscover and reanimate the close connection between systematic philosophical speculation on the one hand and the theory and practice of politics on the other. The result is a neo-rationalist conception of judgment and action that promises to offer a substantial and compelling account of political enterprise as it plays out in the real world of public affairs.
This chapter presents an idealized path towards theory development (for all kinds of theories), called the “demarcation-explanation” cycle. The cycle comprised four stages: (a) the provisional demarcation of the explanandum in a working definition, (b) the proposal of different types of explanations, (c) the validation of explanations in empirical research, (d) and the proposal of a scientific definition flowing from these explanations. The chapter also takes a closer look at (a) different types of definitions (working vs. scientific, intensional vs. extensional/diviso) and ways to evaluate the adequacy of scientific definitions, (b) different types of explanations (constitutive, causal, mechanistic, teleological) and levels of analysis, and (c) ingredients of mechanistic explanations such as representations, operations, operating conditions (related to automaticity), and related notions of dual-process/system models, rationality, and cognition.
We prove rationality criteria over nonclosed fields of characteristic
for five out of six types of geometrically rational Fano threefolds of Picard number
and geometric Picard number bigger than
. For the last type of such threefolds, we provide a unirationality criterion and construct examples of unirational but not stably rational varieties of this type.
According to many accounts, propaganda is a variety of politically significant signal with a distinctive connection to irrationality. This irrationality may be theoretical, or practical; it may be supposed that propaganda characteristically elicits this irrationality anew, or else that it exploits its prior existence. The view that encompasses such accounts we will call irrationalism. This essay presents two classes of propaganda that do not bear the sort of connection to irrationality posited by the irrationalist: hard propaganda and propaganda by the deed. Faced with these counterexamples, some irrationalists will offer their account of propaganda as a refinement of the folk concept rather than as an attempt to capture all of its applications. The author argues that any refinement of the concept of propaganda must allow the concept to remain essentially political, and that the irrationalist refinement fails to meet this condition.
To this point I have offered an account of understanding by examining the conditions under which one can correctly and appropriately ascribe understanding to oneself or another. Correctness, I argued, depends on honoring the evidence available from an expression or text. Intersubjectivity is achieved by bringing the beliefs of the speaker and listener into alignment. These beliefs and expectations were left relatively unanalyzed, sometimes simply glossed as “context.” What calling this background the context fails to acknowledge is the depth of the beliefs and commitments that subjects bring to their understanding, commitments so fundamental that the linguistic properties of an expression are neglected. This is one implication of the proposition that all understanding involves the fixation and updating of beliefs; understanding is never the sentence processing independent of these beliefs.
The Conclusion reexamines Thomas Robert Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population from the perspective of the transformative mode of demographic governance explored throughout the earlier chapters, as well as in terms of the eighteenth-century debates about the limits and locus of demographic agency examined in Chapter 4. Rather than seeing Malthus’s Essay as marking a definitive break with earlier demographic thinking, it argues for strong continuities, particularly concerning the importance of situation, the providential nature of demographic processes and the real effects of intervention in demographic governance. Instead, it identifies Malthus’s key departure as an emphasis on the propertied and rational individual as the legitimate locus of demographic agency under God. The conclusion ends by considering some of the implications of the history of early modern demographic governance for reinterpreting – and broadening – the history of modern demographic thought.
This paper investigates the rational and emotional functions of symbols in organizational change and how collective sensemaking and acceptance of organizational changes are facilitated by the emotional functioning of executive symbolism. Evidence from archived data, news reports, reviews, and case studies are used to support our theoretical analysis. Our opinion is that the CEO can incorporate symbols into not only the rational calculation process to convey the benefits and losses of organizational changes but also the emotional identification process to create new emotional connections and reduce the resistance of the members to organizational changes. We describe why and when the implementation of symbolism will gain the acceptance of members toward organizational change and explain the scenarios that apply for the two functions.