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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Sharyn Clough Using Values as Evidence When There’s Evidence for Your Values
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I have argued that political values are beliefs informed, more or less well, by the evidence of experience and that, where relevant and well-supported by evidence, the inclusion of political values in scientific theorizing can increase the objectivity of research (e.g., Clough 2003, 2004, 2011). The position I endorse has been called the “values-as-evidence” approach (Goldenberg 2013). In this essay I respond to three kinds of resistance to this approach, using examples of feminist political values. Solomon (2012) questions whether values are beliefs that can be tested, Alcoff (2006) argues that even if our values are beliefs that can be tested, testing them might not be desirable because doing so assigns these important values a contingency that weakens their normative force, and Yap (2016) argues that the approach is too idealistic in its articulation of the role of evidence in our political deliberations. In response, I discuss the ways that values can be tested, I analyze the evidential strength of feminist values in science, and I argue that the evidence-based nature of these values is neither a weakness nor an idealization. Problems with political values affecting science properly concern the dogmatic ways that evaluative beliefs are sometimes held—a problem that arises with dogmatism toward descriptive beliefs as well. I conclude that scientists, as with the rest of us, ought to adopt a pragmatically-inclined appreciation of the fallible, inductive process by which we gather evidence in support of any of our beliefs, whether they are described as evaluative or descriptive.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
James B. Gould Covid 19, Disability, and the Ethics of Distributing Scarce Resources
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The Covid-19 pandemic provides a real-world context for evaluating the fairness of disability-based rationing of scarce medical resources. I discuss three situations clinicians may face: rationing based on disability itself; rationing based on inevitable disability-related comorbidities; and rationing based on preventable disability-related comorbidities. I defend three conclusions. First, in a just distribution, extraneous factors do not influence a person’s share. This rules out rationing based on disability alone, where no comorbidities decrease a person’s capacity to benefit from treatment. Second, in a just distribution, undeserved luck does not influence a person’s share. This rules out rationing for biologically caused comorbidities that decrease capacity to benefit. Third, in a just distribution, social injustice does not influence a person’s share. This rules out rationing for socially caused comorbidities that decrease capacity to benefit.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Charles Harvey Insatiable: Why Everything is not Enough
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In this essay, I argue that the deepest roots of Homo sapiens’ propensity towards excessive consumption lie in the emptiness of human awareness, itself possibly rooted in brain plasticity. I attempt to demonstrate how this insight emerged and appeared repeatedly throughout the history of philosophy and religious thought and how industrialized capitalism and consumer culture led to the current domination and envelopment of our lives by the “commodity canopy.” In the final section of the paper, I envision one way that contemporary humanity might use the history of insights about empty, restless awareness and brain plasticity to develop cultures that focus more on doing than having, more on events than on objects.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Lawrence Quill Orcid-ID Should A.I. Be Your Therapist?
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Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and their application within the field of mental health provision raise issues that cross social, economic, and philosophical boundaries. While Therapeutic A.I. promises to disrupt the current provision of mental health services to reach populations without access to adequate mental health care there are risks. This paper addresses the philosophical problems posed by Therapeutic A.I. I suggest that in the absence of legal guidelines there is a need for philosophical guidance that prioritizes the dignity of clients/consumers. To that end, I advance Rosen’s (2012) concept of dignity-as-respectfulness as the most appropriate philosophical principle to guide the application of Therapeutic A.I.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Joshua M. Hall iZombie Cyborg Dancers: Rechoreographing Smartphone Abusers
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Compulsive smartphone users’ psyches, today, are increasingly directed away from their bodies and onto their devices. This phenomenon has now entered our global vocabulary as “smartphone zombies,” or what I will call “iZombies.” Given the importance of mind to virtually all conceptions of human identity, these compulsive users could thus be productively understood as a kind of human-machine hybrid entity, the cyborg. Assuming for the sake of argument that this hybridization is at worst axiologically neutral, I will construct a kind of phenomenological psychological profile of the type of cyborg which engages in these patterns of behavior. I follow Judith Butler in seeing this identity as the result of performance practices, which as such can be modified or replaced using other performances. Pursing one such alternative, I compose a dancing critique that “reverse engineers” the choreographies implied by these cyborgs’ survival practices. The upshot of this critique is that their movement patterns do indeed align closely to those of horror cinema’s zombies. I therefore conclude by suggesting a few possible choreographic imperatives to facilitate more enabling ways of being for iZombie cyborgs today.
2020 graduate student prize article
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Grace Goh Rethinking Belonging in a Globalized World: Home(s) in Morrison and Lugones
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book reviews
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1/2
Brian Hisao Onishi George Yancy. Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020). Kindle Edition
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