Thursday, July 23, 2015

Final Exam Topics Summer B

Chapter 3
3.1
Causal Determinism (every event has a cause that makes it happen + laws of nature) and
Hard determinism (the doctrine that there are no free actions). Hard determinism assumes that if CD is true, then there are no free actions because as our bodies made up of matter, we must be subjects to the same laws of causation. In class we discussed an argument to problematize HD. If HD is true, then there is no human responsibility: i.e., if we are not free, we cannot be responsible for our actions (since one is responsible if and only if one can make choices). 
Indeterminism: Is the view that certain events are not caused deterministically. That is, since the advent of quantum mechanics and according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the most basic constituents of matter can behave indeterministically. But if that was the case, there is not freedom either, that is, if my brain event is caused by a probabilistic event, and not my own causing it.

3.2
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.
Soft determinism: Determined actions can nevertheless be free. One "soft" theory is Traditional Compatibilism (Free actions are 1- caused by one's will and 2- not externally constrained). The reasoning is this:

Principle of alternative possibilities:  one can be held responsible for doing something only if one could have done otherwise. "could have done otherwise" means "if you had chosen otherwise, then you would have done otherwise." Think of our "fork-example" of a student being late for class. He chooses ( A) "having coffee with lots of traffic," instead of (B) "not having coffee and no traffic." For Traditional Compatibilism the student is responsible for being late since "if he had choosen (B) instead of (A), he would have been on time for class. 

C/E "Taylor's Ingenious Physiologist. In class we discussed how TV can "plant" desires. So in a way is a kind of ingenious physiologist.

"Hierarchical Compatibilism: First and Second Order Desires; Second Order Volitions. Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs, a second order desire is a desire about a desire, a second order volition is a second order desire one decisely acts upon. Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts: 
(Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV) So we get the following: 
Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free. 
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug, not SOV, not free). C/E to Hierarchical Compatibilism: Slote's Hypnotized patient and The Willing Bank Teller. One proves that SOV can be manipulated from the inside. The other shows rthat SOV can be manipulated beyond our control. 


Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? p. 203. Punishment cannot be  retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.

3.3
Libertarianism
Event and Agent Causation. Event---> event or Agent---> event.


Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? remember we talked about the possibility that the mind causes the brain. There are two arguments:


Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation.


Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.
 

__________________

Radical Libertarianism (Existentialism): Jean-Paul Sartre's kind of libertarianism (known as Existentialism) holds that the self is essentially free. His analysis is ontological. Let's begin with Sartre's lemma: "l'existence précède l'essence," i.e., existence precedes essence. We exist first, and are "defined" later. This happens because the self (l'être) is in a constant state of becoming (devenir).

For the purpose of the analysis, there are two kinds of being:

being-for-itself: l'être-pour-soi. main property: being for itself, which is essentially "a freedom that chooses" (une liberté qui choisit).  
being in itself: l'être-en-soi, which is fundamentally without qualification (sans nuance).

To cope with this heavy "weight" of our own FREEDOM we come up with a sort of justification which Sartre calls "bad faith" or mauvaise foi. However, since not choosing is choosing, in the end we remain responsible for our actions. 

The only possible constraint to our freedom is our facticity (the stuff we don't choose, like being born and having a certain name and parents). 


Chapter 5

Section 5.1

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture. Counterarguments: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values.

Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation). What is a factual belief? A belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

Are there universal moral principles? YES! 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

Section 5.2.

1. Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

2. Intrinsic (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else): 

3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's best interest in the long run = PRUDENCE. Counterarguments: (a) Egoist's motivations (if known, the egoist's intentions seem to betray reversibility principle). (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office). 

4. Act Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (which means, "bringing happiness for the greatest majority of people"). Counterarguments: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue, (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality.
 

5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered. RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

Section 5.3.

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).
 

2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties. Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as Bin-Laden Syndrome).  How can we solve that?
 

3. Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER AS MEANS TO AN END.Problems with the second formulation: Problem of exceptions: Some times we have to treat people as means to ends: Broad's Typhoid Man.

Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Final Exam Summer A and Summer B, 2017

Ethics is the study of moral values.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

Moral Judgements = Moral standards + Factual beliefs.

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism.

Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

1. Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture.

Counters: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values. 

2. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: we can make the case that moral standards are sort of facts. Not 1+1=2 kind-of-fact, but "unnecessary suffering is wrong" kind-of-fact. For example, "slavery is wrong" seems to be morally factual, i.e., the unjust exploitation of the slave and his/her suffering seems to address facts in the world. So, 

Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation).

So we talk of factual beliefs, which is a belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

3. The text suggests one can defend the idea of universal moral principles?

1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) and
2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

 Section 5.2

 Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories.  
Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

2. Intrinsic values (value for its own sake; moral agency & personhood are essential values: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom).
Instrumental values: values for the sake of something else, "Peter is a good mechanic" is an example of instrumental value.

3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes one's best interest. We talk about this calculation as PRUDENCE. The egoist understand the social rules of engagement: favor for favor, and that maximizing means a long term commitment to one's interest. 

Counters: (a) Egoist's motivations (if known, the egoist's intentions seem to betray reversibility principle). (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office). 

4. Act or Traditional Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered. Remember "everyone" means here the group the utilitarian is considering, i.e., family, community, state, nation, etc.

Counters: (a) McCloskey’s informant (b) Brandt’s Heir, (c) Ross' unhappy promise, (d) Goodwin's Fire Rescue. In each one of these cases one has violated principles of justice, duty and equality. 

5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered.

RU is better than TU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

In McCloskey's case, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's Utilitarian Heir case, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered").  Once a utilitarian, always a utilitarian. 

Section 5.3

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule).

2. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. Imperfect duty: Duties that don't always have to be performed. And imperfect duties. Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as the Jihadist counter. He follows reversibility and universalizability. It's perverse formulation but it satisfies both R and U).

How can we solve this?

3. Kant's Second Formulation: "treat people as ends, never merely as a means to an end." 

Counters: Problem of exceptions to the rule. Some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

 Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation. 

4. Ross’ Prima Facie Duties. Actual duties: One that must be performed in a particular situation. Prima Facie Duty: A duty that must be performed unless it conflict with a more important duty. You must know hierarchy and each one of these duties as I explained in class:

1- Justice, 2- fidelity, 3- reparation, (are the three most important) followed by:
4- beneficence, 5- non-maleficence, 6- gratitude, 7- self-improvement. 5. Pluralistic Formalism improves upon Kantian theory's problem with exceptions.


Section 5.4

Aristotle's virtue.

Aristotle begins by saying that virtue is an admirable human quality.

There are intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are dispositions, such as wisdom and understanding, which help discover truth.  Moral virtues are dispositions such as courage, temperance, friendliness, justice, etc. Intellectual virtues can be thought, moral virtues need to be practiced. They help us avoid moral problems but more importantly, they help our moral balance (since generally a poor action is a manifestation of defect or excess).

The highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia. What makes a virtuous character (ethikē aretē) possible, which is in turn necessary if happiness is to be possible.

He describes a sequence of necessary steps: righteous actions (under the influence of teachers) allow the development of the right habits, which in turn can allow the development of a good character in which the habits are voluntary, and this in turn gives a chance of achieving eudaimonia. Virtue is an admirable human quality, marked by a disposition to behave in certain ways in certain circumstances. Then, there is the mean between excess and defect.

Here are some examples:

defect       golden mean      excess
cowardice----courage----rashness
apathy----gentleness----short temper
stinginess----generosity----extravagance
grouchiness----friendliness----flattery
boorishness----wittiness----buffoonery
self-deprecation----truthfulness----boastfulness
insensibility----self-control----debauchery

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Topics for Review Chapter 2

Chapter 2

What is epiphenomenalism? It is the doctrine that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of physical processes. (The brain affects the mind, but the mind doesn't affect the brain)

What is the problem of other minds? It is the philosophical problem of explaining how it is possible to know that there are other minds in the world.

According to empiricism, what is the source of knowledge? Empiricism claims that the only source of knowledge about the external world is sense experience.


Section 2.1
CARTESIAN DUALISM (Rene Descartes) → When an immaterial substance (the mind) interacts with the body.

→ Rene Descartes tries to distinguish between the mind (soul) and the brain (body). He was the first one to say that the mind interacts with the body.

Empirically speaking there is no immaterial substance. Thus, Cartesian theory as it stands is not viable. Dualists make a category mistake in assuming that minds exist in the same way that bodies do.

Section 2.2
LOGICAL BEHAVIORISM MS→ BS (Mental S are Behavioral S)
Behavioral States are Behavioral Dispositions. So Mental states can be translated into behavioral dispositions. 

HOWEVER...
A behavioral state is not sufficient OR necessary for being in a mental state.
Mental states cannot be reduced to brain states.

We have: Qualitative content “the FEEL” (qualia = the unique, private feeling of our mental states).  → Behavioral dispositions can be conditioned without affecting “the FEEL”. (Behaviors are simply habits/neural paths, NOT equivalent to the mind).

Counterexamples to Logical Behaviorism:

[Thought experiment: The Perfect Pretender] ● A person was born without the ability to feel pain ● He has learned to exhibit the appropriate pain behavior in appropriate situations. ● If someone kicks him, he pretends that it hurts him (he acts/behaves like someone who is in pain). According to this counterexample: Having the right behavioral dispositions does NOT GUARANTEE (not sufficient) that someone is in a certain mental state.
[Thought experiment: Putnam’s Super-Spartans ] ● There is a community in which the adults have the ability to successfully suppress all involuntary pain behavior. ● The are able to feel pain and they dislike it just like we do. This thought experiment undermines logical behaviorism because the theory would have us believe that the Spartans are never in pain because they never ACT as if they are in pain. This is obviously not true.

Section 2.2
IDENTITY THEORY: MS → BrS (Mental S are Brain S)

It is simpler than Cartesian dualism because it doesn’t assume the existence of an immaterial substance. There is no need to go beyond the physical to explain the mental. Our behavior is caused by the brain, NOT the mind.

Many Identity theorists are epiphenomenalists: They believe that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of brain states. → The mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire.

HOWEVER… The theory can be undermined because knowing a person’s physical brain components, does NOT mean you know what the person is thinking/feeling.

** Mental states cannot be reduced to synaptic activity.  

Counterexamples to Identity Theory:

[Thought Experiment Nagel’s bat ] ● This thought experiment explains how bats use sonar as a form of perception. Nagel shows that there’s no way that we can experience or imagine this form of perception. ● Facts about what it is like for the experiencing organism are only accessible from one's point of view, which is the organism itself (1st person). ● All of the physical properties of bats can be known by non-bats, BUT, no non-bat will ever know what it's like to be a bat. If mental states were identical to brain states, then it would be possible to know everything about the mind by knowing everything there is to know about the brain. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

Mental states have this characteristic that they can be felt from the "inside" from a first person point of view, while physical properties can all be known from the "outside" from a third person point of view.

[Thought experiment: Lewis’s Pained Martian ] ● The Martian has no neurons or brain. ● But he can feel pain, love, sorrow, and homesickness. This thought experiment shows that having a brain is NOT NECESSARY for having a mind.

Section 2.3
FUNCTIONALISM:  MS → FS

When two things perform the same function, they are said to have the same “causal role.” So functionalism claims that the mind IS what the brain DOES. → If a robot and a human can perform the same task (same causal role), they are said to be in the same state of mind.

Counterexamples to Functionalism:

[ Thought experiment: Lewis’s pained madman ] ● Lewis’s madman is in pain, but his pain has a very different function than ours. ● When in pain, his mind turns into mathematics and makes him cross his legs and snap his fingers. This undermines functionalism because if the theory were true, it would be impossible for someone to be in pain and function differently than we do when we are in pain. Being in a certain functional state is NOT a necessary condition for being in a mental state. Mental states cannot be reduced to functional states.


[ Thought experiment: Putnam’s inverted spectrum ] ● Two people with inverted spectra are in the same functional state. ● If you asked them, “What color are stop signs?” they would both say, “Red.” Similarly, if you asked them, “Are ripe tomatoes the same color as stop signs?” they would both say, “Yes.” ● BUT their visual experiences (qualitative content - the feel) are vastly different -- one experiences redness when looking at red objects, whereas the other experiences blueness. If functionalism were true, it would be impossible for people with the same functional organization to be in different mental states. This counterexample undermines functionalism.

** Having a specific functional organization is NOT a sufficient condition for being in a certain mental state.
_________________________________________

TURING TEST FOR INTELLIGENCE: (The imitation game). There is a man (A) and a woman (B) and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. → The object of the game is for the interrogator to determine which of the two is the man and which is the woman. → It is A’s object in the game to try to cause C to make the wrong identification. The object for the game of B is to help the interrogator.
*** For Turing there’s nothing more to being intelligent than being able to use language as we do. WHICH MEANS… If a computer is able to do this, then it is smart.


Searle’s Chinese Room Thought Experiment ● Searle puts himself in the place of the computer, inside a room. ● People outside the room (who understand Chinese) hand in small bunches of symbols. ● In response, Searle manipulates the symbols according to the rulebook and hands back more small bunches of symbols. ● To those outside the room, it appears that he understands what the symbols mean, for the string of symbols he produces in response to the string of symbols he receives is the one like a native Chinese speaker would produce. ● But he doesn’t understand Chinese. Conclusion: passing the Turing test is not a sure sign of intelligence, because the man in the room doesn’t understand Chinese. So computers can’t UNDERSTAND a language solely in virtue of running a program.

PROPERTY DUALISM → Property dualism states that mental properties are something over and above physical properties.

Mental states have BOTH physical and nonphysical properties (Non-reductive, and has both an upward and downward causation). States that brain activity (since it is CAUSAL) has the upper hand advantage. Property dualism has also been called: “emergent materialism” “nonreductive materialism” “soft materialism”

Intentionality → Bedeutung

It is the “ABOUTNESS” of a thought. (Remember: this is NOT referring to the regular meaning of intention as doing something “on purpose”).

If life did not have intentionality, it would be completely mechanical.

PRIMITIVE PROPERTY → Because the qualitative content (the FEEL) and the intentional content (the OBJECT) of a mental state are not reducible to physical or functional properties, they are “primitive” properties. A primitive property cannot be explained in terms of anything more fundamental.

Intentionality is a primitive property because a thought directly intends the object. We don’t think about objects by means of anything else. We simply think ABOUT them.

EMERGENT PROPERTY → A property which is elicited when things that lack that property interact in certain ways. The WHOLE is bigger than the PARTS: The emergent property arises when all parts are put together. ● The mind is emergent upon and caused by brain activity. EX: Love at first sight. ● Life is an emergent property. ● HURRICANES (wind-rain-destruction) ← ALL of these variables MUST happen in order for the emergent property to arise.

DOWNWARD CAUSATION → Downward causation is used to explain the effect of the environment on biological evolution. It suggests the causal relationship between the HIGHER levels of a system to LOWER levels of that system. For example: mental events causes physical events. There is a two-way interaction between consciousness and the brain: Consciousness determines the succession of nerve impulses, and nerve impulses determine the content of consciousness.

Here is the Triff/Searle Theory we discussed in class.

review for exam #2 summer AB


for our test #2, find your review here.

topics for exam #2 chapters 1,2,7 (summer AB, 2016)

Chapter 1

4 main branches of philosophy:
1. Metaphysics → The study of ULTIMATE REALITY
2. Epistemology → The study of KNOWLEDGE
3. Axiology → The study of VALUE
4. Logic → The study of CORRECT REASONING
How do philosophical problems arise? They arise when some of our most fundamental beliefs seem to conflict with one another. How can these problems be solved? By eliminating the conflict. What do philosophical theories try to explain? They try to explain how it is logically possible for a concept to apply. ● They are tested by thought experiments (not by physical experiments in a laboratory).

Logically impossible → Everything is logically possible, unless it violates the law of logic. What do scientific theories try to explain? How it is causally possible for an event to occur. ● They can be tested in a laboratory.

Causally impossible → Something is causally impossible if it violates the law of nature. CAN SOMETHING BE LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE BUT CAUSALLY POSSIBLE? Answer: NO. 

NECESSARY CONDITION → A condition that must be met in order for something to exist or occur. (A requirement). X→ Y Y cannot exist without X, but X does not guarantee Y. EX: HIV → AIDS: (AIDS cannot exist without HIV. However, not everyone with HIV has AIDS).

SUFFICIENT CONDITION → A condition that meets all the requirements. (Gives you everything you need). If there is X there is Y. EX: AIDS → HIV: (If you have AIDS, then you must have HIV. AIDS is therefore sufficient for HIV). CRITERIA OF ADEQUACY Features that distinguish a good theory form a bad theory. In lack of facts, your truth will be anything that accommodates the Criteria of Adequacy. If you have a good CA, you can be quite objective in journalism.
● Simplicity → Quality of relying on only a small number of assumptions (less is more).
● Scope → The amount of diverse phenomena (more is more).
● Consistency/Coherence → Lack of contradictions. (especially internal contradictions)
● Fruitfulness → The number of new facts predicted or problems solved (ability to make predictions).
● Conservatism → Quality of fitting well with existing theories (previous conclusions).

ARGUMENTS An argument is a set of premises (statements) and a conclusion. Deductive argument → It is a “truth preserving” argument, because the truth of its premises guarantees the truth of its conclusion.
VALID deductive: The conclusion ALWAYS follows the premises, even if the premises are false. It is logically impossible for the conclusion to be false if the premises are true.

EX: Premises → If Bogota is north of New Orleans (false), and New Orleans is north of Mexico City (true), then Bogota is not north of New Orleans (true). Conclusion → Therefore, Bogota is not north of Mexico City.
This is VALID but not sound (because the premises aren’t true). SOUND deductive: The premises are ALWAYS true and so are the conclusions. EX: Premises → Socrates is a man (true). Men are mortal (true). Conclusion → Therefore, Socrates is mortal (conclusion is true, follows premises). Inductive argument → Can only establish a conclusion with high/low probability. The truth of their premises does not guarantee the truth of their conclusion.

STRONG inductive arg: Establishes conclusion with high probability IF the premises are true. EX: Premises → Two independent witnesses claimed John committed the murder. John's fingerprints are the only ones on the murder weapon. Conclusion → So, John MOST LIKELY committed the murder.
COGENT inductive arg: Contains only true premises. EX: Premises → It has rained for the past 364 days. There is 70% chance of rain tomorrow → will it rain? Conclusion → It is LIKELY that it will rain tomorrow. SOUND DEDUCTIVE = COGENT INDUCTIVE

FALLACIES - mistaken beliefs - usually based on unsound arguments:
BEGGING THE QUESTION: A restatement of the premises (does not have a conclusion). EX: A mother says to her child: “Because I said so..”
FALSE DILEMMA: 2 radical statements (ultimatums) EX: “You are either with me or against me” APPEAL TO IGNORANCE: If you can’t disprove it, it is supposedly true.
APPEAL TO THE MASSES: This fallacy relies on the power of popular opinion.
APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: A person claimed to be an authority makes a claim on a certain subject. Because the person is an “expert” his/her claim is believed to be true.
APPEAL TO THE PERSON: Responds to arguments by attacking a person’s character rather than the contents of their argument.
APPEAL TO TRADITION: Thesis deemed correct on the basis that it correlates with past/present tradition.
APPEAL TO FEAR: Attempt to create support by increasing fear and prejudice towards a competitor (for example, by using deception and propaganda).
HASTY GENERALIZATION: Making a fast conclusion without considering all of the variables.

Chapter 7

Beliefs, Truth & Knowledge

Belief → A mental state of acceptance. The difference between a belief (something I accept) and knowledge is that not everything I believe is true.
*Belief is not a sufficient condition for knowledge. *Belief is simply a mental state of acceptance. Knowledge by acquaintance: Knowledge of what it is to have certain experience. Performative knowledge: Knowledge of how to perform a certain activity.
● JUSTIFICATION is an internal/mental process.
● KNOWLEDGE is external Belief and truth are completely independent of each other. We all have false beliefs because we are all infallible. *You doubt in order to know, once you LEARN, you leave the doubts aside.

THEORIES OF TRUTH: Correspondence → Truth is a fact, and a fact cannot be false (EX: snow is white). Pragmatic theory → Truth is what best does the job at hand (EX: Dom Perignon is a good champagne) Coherence theory → Truth is what best coheres with the rest of my knowledge or our belief system.

Standard account of knowledge → A justified true belief. (JTB)
 [Thought experiment: Gettier’s guy in Barcelona ]
● Smith supposes that Jones owns a Ford because he has evidence of it.
● Smith has another friend (Brown) whose whereabouts he is totally ignorant of.
● Smith chooses to believe that Jones owns a Ford and that Brown is in Barcelona.
● He happens to be correct: Brown is in Barcelona → However, he doesn’t have knowledge because his belief of not related to what makes it true. So, JTB is necessary but not a sufficient condition for knowledge.

Defeasibility theory → Undefeated justified true belief (UJTB) What the theory is saying is that I have knowledge is I can dodge any and all counters against my JTB.

[Thought experiment: Demented Mrs. Grabit]. ● A Person saw Tom Grabit steal book from the library (UJTB, knowledge). ● Tom’s mom said it was Tom’s identical twin that stole the book. ( → creates DOUBT → the defeater destroys the person’s knowledge).
● Mrs. Grabit is a compulsive liar (defeats the defeater) Although the 2nd defeater shows that the person was correct, BUT he does not have knowledge. *** BECAUSE → The very second that the person doubts UJTB, his knowledge is destroyed. (epistemic process is destroyed). That is why the thought experiment undermines the defeasibility theory.

Causal theory → Knowledge is suitably (pretty close) caused true belief (SCTB) It is externalist because the conversion of belief into knowledge can depend on external factors (facts or item of which you are not aware). [ Thought experiment: Goldman’s fake barns ]
● Henry drives through a district where he sees barns in the distance.
● He does not know they are fake, so he assumes they are real because he does not walk up close enough to investigate. Henry has SCTB but he does not have knowledge. (SCTB is not sufficient for knowledge) → His distance from the source creates his true belief. → If he had investigated the barns he would’ve created reliably produced true belief. 

Reliability theory → Reliably produced true belief (RPTB) It is also external. [ Thought experiment: Mr Truetemp ]
● Mr. Truetemp has a device implanted in his brain that allows him to make accurate statements about his body temperature. 
● He does not know that the device is there.
● He is always correct Mr. Truetemp has RPTB but he does NOT have knowledge because he does not have JUSTIFICATION to why is body temperature is what it is. He happens to be correct but he does not know why he is correct.
_________________________________________

INTERNAL THEORIES (standard account + defeasibility theory) They have justification * None of these 4 theories are sufficient for knowledge. But if you combine their internal and external factors you have an improved theory (Sousa’s theory).

EXTERNAL THEORIES (causal theory + reliability theory) Do not have justification (TB) Object ------(true belief)-----> Antennas (you pick up TB without knowing how) External object creates true belief though senses/instincts but you do not know what caused your TB. RPTB is an improvement over SCTB because the reliability theory establishes belief in a more reliable way than the causal theory. The causal theory does not require us to have reliable evidence for our beliefs. 

VIRTUE PERSPECTIVISM → Knowledge = Apt belief.

According to Sousa: knowledge requires aptness. APTNESS = ACCURACY + ADROITNESS (goal seeking) (skill).

Sousa combines both approaches: Animal knowledge (accuracy) and reflective knowledge (skill). Animal knowledge is externalist. The animal is not aware of its knowledge. Reflective knowledge is internal: a second-order knowledge that is acquired by reflecting on the processes of animal knowledge.

ANALYZE THE THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ACCORDING TO SOUSA’S THEORY:
1. JTB → Smith is accurate, not adroit → So…. he doesn't have neither animal nor reflective knowledge
2. UJTB → The person who saw Tom was initially both accurate and adroit. BUT his doubt destroyed his knowledge. Initially his knowledge was apt: accurate + adroit.
3. SCTB → Henry has animal knowledge, not reflective.
4. RPTB → Mr. Truetemp has an animal knowledge, but his knowledge is not apt.

Chapter 2

What is epiphenomenalism? It is the doctrine that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of physical processes. (The brain affects the mind, but the mind doesn't affect the brain)

What is the problem of other minds? It is the philosophical problem of explaining how it is possible to know that there are other minds in the world.
According to empiricism, what is the source of knowledge? Empiricism claims that the only source of knowledge about the external world is sense experience.

CARTESIAN DUALISM (Rene Descartes) → When an immaterial substance (the mind) interacts with the body.

→ Rene Descartes tries to distinguish between the mind (soul) and the brain (body). He was the first one to say that the mind interacts with the body.

Empirically speaking there is no immaterial substance. Thus, Cartesian theory as it stands is not viable. Dualists make a category mistake in assuming that minds exist in the same way that bodies do.
LOGICAL BEHAVIORISM → States that being in a mental state means having the right behavioral dispositions and patterns. Mental states can be translated into behavioral dispositions. 

HOWEVER...
** A behavioral state is not sufficient OR necessary for being in a mental state.
 ** Mental states cannot be reduced to brain states.
We have: Qualitative content “the FEEL” (qualia = the unique, private feeling of our mental states).  → Behavioral dispositions can be conditioned without affecting “the FEEL”. (Behaviors are simply habits/neural paths, NOT equivalent to the mind).  This is shown by the following thought experiments:
[Thought experiment: Perfect Pretender] ● A person was born without the ability to feel pain ● He has learned to exhibit the appropriate pain behavior in appropriate situations. ● If someone kicks him, he pretends that it hurts him (he acts/behaves like someone who is in pain). According to this counterexample: Having the right behavioral dispositions does NOT GUARANTEE (not sufficient) that someone is in a certain mental state.
[Thought experiment: Putnam’s Super-Spartans ] ● There is a community in which the adults have the ability to successfully suppress all involuntary pain behavior. ● The are able to feel pain and they dislike it just like we do. This thought experiment undermines logical behaviorism because the theory would have us believe that the Spartans are never in pain because they never ACT as if they are in pain. This is obviously not true.

IDENTITY THEORY → The identity theory proposes that mental states are brain states.

It is simpler than Cartesian dualism because it doesn’t assume the existence of an immaterial substance. There is no need to go beyond the physical to explain the mental. Our behavior is caused by the brain, NOT the mind.

Many Identity theorists are epiphenomenalists: They believe that the mind is an ineffective byproduct of brain states. → The mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire.

HOWEVER… The theory can be undermined because knowing a person’s physical brain components, does NOT mean you know what the person is thinking/feeling.

** Mental states cannot be reduced to synaptic activity. This is shown by the following thought experiment:

[Thought Experiment Nagel’s bat ] ● This thought experiment explains how bats use sonar as a form of perception. Nagel shows that there’s no way that we can experience or imagine this form of perception. ● Facts about what it is like for the experiencing organism are only accessible from one's point of view, which is the organism itself (1st person). ● All of the physical properties of bats can be known by non-bats, BUT, no non-bat will ever know what it's like to be a bat. If mental states were identical to brain states, then it would be possible to know everything about the mind by knowing everything there is to know about the brain. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

Mental states have this characteristic that they can be felt from the "inside" from a first person point of view, while physical properties can all be known from the "outside" from a third person point of view.

[Thought experiment: Lewis’s Pained Martian ] ● The Martian has no neurons or brain. ● But he can feel pain, love, sorrow, and homesickness. This thought experiment shows that having a brain is NOT NECESSARY for having a mind.

FUNCTIONALISM → Mental states are functional states.

When two things perform the same function, they are said to have the same “causal role.” So functionalism claims that the mind IS what the brain DOES. → If a robot and a human can perform the same task (same causal role), they are said to be in the same state of mind.

[ Thought experiment: Lewis’s pained madman ] ● Lewis’s madman is in pain, but his pain has a very different function than ours. ● When in pain, his mind turns into mathematics and makes him cross his legs and snap his fingers. This undermines functionalism because if the theory were true, it would be impossible for someone to be in pain and function differently than we do when we are in pain. Being in a certain functional state is NOT a necessary condition for being in a mental state. Mental states cannot be reduced to functional states.

[ Thought experiment: Putnam’s inverted spectrum ] ● Two people with inverted spectra are in the same functional state. ● If you asked them, “What color are stop signs?” they would both say, “Red.” Similarly, if you asked them, “Are ripe tomatoes the same color as stop signs?” they would both say, “Yes.” ● BUT their visual experiences (qualitative content - the feel) are vastly different -- one experiences redness when looking at red objects, whereas the other experiences blueness. If functionalism were true, it would be impossible for people with the same functional organization to be in different mental states. This counterexample undermines functionalism.

** Having a specific functional organization is NOT a sufficient condition for being in a certain mental state.
_________________________________________

TURING TEST FOR INTELLIGENCE: (The imitation game). There is a man (A) and a woman (B) and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. → The object of the game is for the interrogator to determine which of the two is the man and which is the woman. → It is A’s object in the game to try to cause C to make the wrong identification. The object for the game of B is to help the interrogator.
*** For Turing there’s nothing more to being intelligent than being able to use language as we do. WHICH MEANS… If a computer is able to do this, then it is smart.

[Thought experiment: Searle’s Chinese room] ● Searle puts himself in the place of the computer, inside a room. ● People outside the room (who understand Chinese) hand in small bunches of symbols. ● In response, Searle manipulates the symbols according to the rulebook and hands back more small bunches of symbols. ● To those outside the room, it appears that he understands what the symbols mean, for the string of symbols he produces in response to the string of symbols he receives is the one like a native Chinese speaker would produce. ● But he doesn’t understand Chinese. Conclusion: passing the Turing test is not a sure sign of intelligence, because the man in the room doesn’t understand Chinese. So computers can’t UNDERSTAND a language solely in virtue of running a program.

PROPERTY DUALISM → Property dualism states that mental properties are something over and above physical properties.

Mental states have BOTH physical and nonphysical properties (Non-reductive, and has both an upward and downward causation). States that brain activity (since it is CAUSAL) has the upper hand advantage. Property dualism has also been called: “emergent materialism” “nonreductive materialism” “soft materialism”

Intentionality → “Bedeutung” It is the “ABOUTNESS” of a thought. (Remember: this is NOT referring to the regular meaning of intent, which means: doing something “on purpose”). THIS IS CRUCIAL → If life did not have intentionality, life would be completely mechanical.

PRIMITIVE PROPERTY → Because the qualitative content (the FEEL) and the intentional content (the OBJECT) of a mental state are not reducible to physical or functional properties, they are “primitive” properties. A primitive property cannot be explained in terms of anything more fundamental. Intentionality is a primitive property because a thought directly intends the object. We don’t think about objects by means of anything else. We simply think ABOUT them.

EMERGENT PROPERTY → A property which is elicited when things that lack that property interact in certain ways. The WHOLE is bigger than the PARTS: The emergent property arises when all parts are put together. ● The mind is emergent upon and caused by brain activity. EX: Love at first sight. ● Life is an emergent property. ● HURRICANES (wind-rain-destruction) ← ALL of these variables MUST happen in order for the emergent property to arise.

DOWNWARD CAUSATION → Downward causation is used to explain the effect of the environment on biological evolution. It suggests the causal relationship between the HIGHER levels of a system to LOWER levels of that system. For example: mental events causes physical events. There is a two-way interaction between consciousness and the brain: Consciousness determines the succession of nerve impulses, and nerve impulses determine the content of consciousness.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Topics for Exam 2 (Summer B)

Chapter 3


3.1
Causal Determinism (every event has a cause that makes it happen + laws of nature) and
Hard determinism (the doctrine that there are no free actions). Hard determinism assumes that if CD is true, then there are no free actions because as our bodies made up of matter, we must be subjects to the same laws of causation. In class we discussed an argument to problematize HD. If HD is true, then there is no human responsibility: i.e., if we are not free, we cannot be responsible for our actions (since one is responsible if and only if one can make choices). 

Indeterminism: Is the view that certain events are not caused deterministically. That is, since the advent of quantum mechanics and according to the Copenhagen interpretation, the most basic constituents of matter can behave indeterministically. But if that was the case, there is not freedom either, that is, if my brain event is caused by a probabilistic event, and not my own causing it.

3.2
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.
Soft determinism: Determined actions can nevertheless be free. 

1- Traditional Compatibilism (Free actions are 1- caused by one's will and 2- not externally constrained). The reasoning is this:

Principle of alternative possibilities:  one can be held responsible for doing something only if one could have done otherwise. "could have done otherwise" means "if you had chosen otherwise, then you would have done otherwise." Think of our "fork-example" of a student being late for class. He chooses ( A) "having coffee with lots of traffic," instead of (B) "not having coffee and no traffic." For Traditional Compatibilism the student is responsible for being late since "if he had choosen (B) instead of (A), he would have been on time for class. 

C/E "Taylor's Ingenious Physiologist. In class we discussed how TV can "plant" desires. So in a way is a kind of ingenious physiologist.

2- "Hierarchical Compatibilism: First and Second Order Desires; Second Order Volitions. Remember: A first order desire is directed to an object or state of affairs, a second order desire is a desire about a desire, a second order volition is a second order desire on which wants to act. 

Harry Frankfurt's three drug addicts: Let's call a first order desire: FOD, a second order desire: SOD, a second order volition: SOV. So we get the following:  


Wanton addict: FOD, not SOD, not SOV, not free. 
Happy Addict: FOD, SOD, SOV, free.
Unwilling Addict: FOD, SOD (only this desire is against his taking the drug), SOV, but now he cannot act on these SOV, so he's not free). Remember, to be free one has to either formulate a SOV or be able to act on it. 


C/E to Hierarchical Compatibilism: Slote's Hypnotized patient and The Willing Bank Teller. One proves that SOV can be manipulated from the inside. The other shows rthat SOV can be manipulated beyond our control. 

Punishment: How do compatibilists see punishment? p. 203. Punishment cannot be  retributive (eye-for-an-eye). The only legitimate way of punishment is rehabilitation and deterrence. Criminal actions are dictated by genes and habits (nature and nurture). Retributive punishment makes sense if it's deserved. But nothing people do is up to them.

3.3
Libertarianism
Event and Agent Causation. Event---> event or Agent---> event.


Libertarianism holds that agents can cause events. How? Remember we talked about the possibility that the mind causes the brain. There are two arguments:


Argument from Experience. Argument from deliberation.


Libet's Neurophysiological challenge: it seems to show that consciousness of a decision arises only after the decision has already been made (the 300 millisecond gap between the decision to press the button and the brain signal). Rebuttal by libertarians: There's a difference between making a "conscious decision" and a "meta-conscious decision" (meta-conscious awareness is second order). For the libertarian, the subject in Libet's report is not having a "conscious" but a "meta-conscious" decision. So it's no surprise that it happens "after" the conscious decision was made.
 

__________________

Radical Libertarianism (Existentialism): Jean-Paul Sartre's kind of libertarianism (known as Existentialism) holds that the self is essentially free. His analysis is ontological. Let's begin with this point about essence & existence: 

"l'existence précède l'essence," i.e., existence precedes essence

We exist first, and are "defined" later. This happens because the self (l'être) is in a constant state of becoming (devenir).

For the purpose of the analysis, there are two kinds of being:

being-for-itself: l'être-pour-soi. main property: being for itself, which is essentially "a freedom that chooses" (une liberté qui choisit).  
being in itself: l'être-en-soi, which is fundamentally without qualification (sans nuance).

To cope with this heavy "weight" of our own FREEDOM we come up with a sort of justification which Sartre calls "bad faith" or mauvaise foi. However, since not choosing is choosing, in the end we remain responsible for our actions. 

The only possible constraint to our freedom is our facticity (the stuff we don't choose, like being born and having a certain name and parents).

_________________________
Chapter 4


Numerical identity: Two objects are identical if they are one and the same.  
Qualitative Identity: Two objects are qualitatively identical if they share the same properties (qualities).
Accidental property:  a property a thing can lose without ceasing to exist (losing one's hair).
Essential property: A property a thing cannot lose without ceasing to exist (losing one's mind).

Is numerical identity a necessary condition for qualitative identity? Read p. 246.
The answer is  NO.

personp= a being with 1. reason, 2. sentience, 3. autonomy, 4. free will?
if so, then a human being (hb)  is neither a necessary, nor a sufficient condition for a person. a hb with severe hydrocephanlia may not be a person, a brain-dead hb is not a person. on the other hand, there are non-human persons, ex. dolphins, or aliens (aliens are causally possible persons). 
_____
transgender logic:

gender (self, socially-constructed)  ≠ sex (biological)

so, a bioman can be a female (or genderqueer) and a biowoman can be a male (or genderqueer
_______

Animalism: Identical persons are those with identical human bodies (i,e., "I'm my body").
Problems: two-in-one, (Hensel sisters), the "transgender issue".
C/E: Locke's tale of the prince and the cobbler (as the cobbler and the prince trade souls, their bodies become redundant).

Soul Theory: Identical persons are those who share the same soul. ("I'm my soul"). C/E: The main argument against the soul theory is that there is nothing about the soul theory that one cannot already explain much better by referring to people's behaviors (or character).

2. Locke's Memory Theory of Personal Identity: (I am my memories and my memories are the result of my experiences). Problem: What if one forgets? Is that forgotten part still a part of my identity? Reid’s Tale of the Brave Officer reveals the following: Direct memory: A memory that a person can consciously recall. Indirect memory: A memory that an earlier stage of that person can consciously recall. 

Real memory: A memory of an event that was experienced by the person remembering it and that was caused by the event it records. Apparent memory: A memory of an event that either didn't happen or was not caused by the event it records.

C/E The main objection against Locke's memory theory is that Locke's Memory Theory is circular. Why? It defines memories in terms of the self and the self in terms of its memories.

3. Psychological Continuity Theory: Identical persons are those who are psychologically continuous to one another. That is to say, two people are psychologically continuous if they form part of an overlapping series of persons that quasi-remember and quasi desire the same things. 

See it as a sausage-like figure representing one's overlapping series of persons:

________________________
0___________/_/___________0
                                                       past             now          future

A note about the relationship between q-memories and personal identity:

What  is the difference between quasi-memory and real memory? Take a look at p. 297 (4th Ed) and p. 275 (5th Ed) : A q-memory is an apparent memory caused in the right way by an actual experience. 
Remember, an apparent memory is the memory of an event that either didn't happen, or was not caused by the event it records.

Parfit defines q-memory as follows: I have an accurate quasi-memory of a past experience if
(1) I seem to remember having an experience,
(2)someone did have this experience, and
(3) my apparent memory is causally dependent, in the right kind of way, on that past experience.

Can I have a memory of someone else's experience? The answer seems to be yes. 

So, all real memories are q-memories but not all q-memories are real memories, because people can have q-memories of experiences they didn't actually have. Why is it so important that q-memories are caused in the right way?  Because q-memories ground personal identity, though not every way of causing memories is identity preserving. Take hypnosis: the hypnotists may give you a memory that happened to someone else. That doesn't make you identical to that person.  


The same applies to desires, so, in the same way we have apparent desires, q-desires and actual desires:

Problems with duplication:C/E: William’s Reincarnation of Guy Fawkes; Williams' Reduplication Argument. The conclusion from this experiment is that psychological continuity is one-to-many, not one-to-one. That is to say, one can be psychologically continuous to many people at once. C/E Parfit Teletransporter Mind Experiment. Recall that in the second teleporter Po (on earth) and Pc (in Mars) are psychologically continuous, physically identical, but they cannot be the same person (it violates the principle of numeric identity: one person cannot be in two places at the same time). It also suggests that (as when Po dies of cardiac arrest, the Pc survives, which seems to suggest that identity is not necessary for survival.

4. Brain Theory: Identical persons are those who are psychologically continuous with one another and whose psychology is caused by and realized in the same brain. C/E: Parfit’s Division. Triplets, A,B,C. A's brain is transplanted into B & C and A dies. The surviving brothers (A and B) are now physically identical and psychologically continuous with one another. So, if your brain can be divided, the brain theory is flawed.

5. Two different narratives of the self

1- diachronic: The diachronic presents the different stages of the life as part of a continuous series.
2- episodic. The episodic sees the different stages as discontinuous series.

This doesn't mean that the episodic narrative cannot make sense of one's whole life. 


Take a look at the example of Robert and Frank (p. 265, 4th Ed., p. 246 5th Ed.). If Frank and Robert are different persons it would be wrong to punish a person for what another person did. Some in the class affirmed they are the same, but that's what we needed to prove. In any case, the Frank-Robert case points to the self as a process.

Lucifer and Satan case. Are Lucifer and Satan they the same? Qualitatively speaking no (one is good, the other evil), however, they are numerically identical. Plus, Satan has quasi-memories and quasi desires of Lucifer. So, it's possible that another person (let's call it "X") in the future of Satan could repent of Satan's sins. "X" could do it since "X" would be psychologically connected to both Satan and Lucifer.

The same way that a the mind is a property that emerges from a physical thing when it reaches a certain degree of complexity, similarly, the self can be seen as emerging from the mind when it reaches a certain degree of complexity. Not everything that has a mind has a self because not everything that is conscious is self-conscious. And not everything that is self-conscious is self-conscious to the same degree. So, Having a self is not an all-or-nothing affair.  

The self seems to be self-organizing. What does that mean? A self-generating process.

6. Self as PROCESS.

What does it mean to say that the self is "a process." Let's recall Sartre's motto: l'pour soi n'est pas ce qu'il est, il est ce qu'il n'est pas ("identity is not what it is and it is what it is not"). The self is in constant  de-venir (or be-coming). We are never fully "realized" as self. You constantly find out more of yourself as you live. That "void" is constantly filled, according to Sartre by your freedom.

To exist is to be free,  in constant negation of your past and future self. 

7. Relationship between identity and responsibility.

Is personal identity a necessary condition for responsibility? No. Why? 


We have to talk about character, which is a function of our beliefs, desires, values, etc. 
Can a person change his/ her character? Remember the differences between Frank and Robert. Though Frank and Robert are numerically identical, they don't have the same character (they are qualitatively different). Yes, they are numerically identical, but their degrees of responsibility have to be taken into consideration. This is the idea behind rehabilitation. Parole boards take into account that if the character of a person changes for the better, the individual's so-called righting the wrong. 

What matters for responsibility is character. Character being a function of our beliefs, desires, values, etc and our actions being a function of our character. So numeric identity seems to be neither a necessary condition nor sufficient condition for responsibility. What matters is sameness of character.  

What is character?

1- since it's observed behavior, character is public.
2- character can change, but it's more a persistent trait.
3- character is a negotiation between witnesses.  people may agree or disagree about a person's character or aspects of her character.
4- character can change (slowly).
______________

Unity of the self

8- Though having a unified self may be a necessary condition for being a moral agent, it may not be a necessary condition for being a person. Why? Take for instance, multiple personality disorder individuals. they are persons. however their selves are far from being unified.


So, though all moral agents may be persons, not all persons may be moral agents (and here I'm thinking not only of certain human persons, but also non-human persons, i.e., dolphins and apes).    

Monday, July 13, 2015

list of students assistants for Phi 2010 Summer A

Marry Brazille
Isarella Molinaro
Wally Sumawulo