At least, he would were it possible for anyone to deserve such a thing on the basis of their actions alone. Probably most of you have already seen this, but just in case...Working together with two students, Toni Adleberg and Morgan Thompson, Eddy has gathered some data on a really important topic: why women are so badly underrepresented in philosophy (especially in comparison to other discipline). The data mainly concerns when women leave. The really cool thing is how they are going to test the hypothesis they have generated on the basis of the data.
The hypothesis is that women leave (in part) because they don't feel that the material is relevant to them and don't feel like they're able to succeed. Eddy and co hypothesise that the low proportion of female authors of texts on the syllabus might be playing a role in producing this alienation. They find that the proportion of female authors partially mediates alienation. To properly test a hypothesis you need to move from correlation to causation, of course, and that requires manipulating a variable. The obvious variable to tweak is the proportion of female authors on the syllabus.With the backing of GSU, from this fall graduate instructors will use syllabi with at least 20% female authors, which is double the current number.
Story here. Kudos to Eddy, Toni and Morgan, and to GSU.
Hi all, wanted to let you know that VBW episode 21 is now up on iTunes, Stitcher, and our website. Dave Pizarro and I talk about whether students should go into grad school with the tough job market, increased dependency on adjuncts, and the unstoppable world conquering dark arts of Michael Sandel. We also do a brief riff on the now famous sorority sister's email. (I say she's a civil right visionary. Dave disagrees.)
Other recent episodes that may be of interest to Flickerers: Episode 20 with special guest neuroscientist Molly Crockett on brain research and neurobunk. Episodes 15 and 19 where we burn bridges and reveal what bugs us most about our fields. A 2 parter on cross-cultural research in psychology (part 2 with Joe Henrich), and a episode on race relations with special guest Damani McDole. Check them out on our episode page . Hope you enjoy!
Now back to the great Bruce Waller.
Hi All, This post is related to my last post, although only indirectly. As most everyone is aware, in theories of moral responsibility there is a divide between two different approaches. (Of course, I do not mean to suggest that these categories exhaustively capture all contenders.) The Strawsonian, interpersonal approach treats moral responsibility's nature as essentially interpersonal. To understand it, we must do so in terms of fitting responses by others standing prepared to hold responsible. Philosophers in this camp, as I see it, include P.F. Strawson, Jonathan Bennett, Gary Watson, R. Jay Wallace, Paul Russell, Stephen Darwall, and me too (in my recent book *Conversation and Responsibility*). Ledger theorists, by contrast treat moral responsibility's nature as most fundamentally about the independent facts constituting an agent's being responsible, and the conditions for holding responsible must first satisfy conditions of veracity regarding whether an agent is responsible (was she free? did she know what she was doing?). The responsibility facts, on this view, can be fully accounted for without the need to make any reference to the standpoint or norms of holding morally responsible. Philosophers in this camp include Jonathan Glover, Joel Feinberg (I think), Michael Zimmerman, and Ish Haji, among, I suspect, many others. (John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza have suggested that the views might not be exclusive. That might be correct, but set that aside here.)
One thing that has come to worry me about my own defense of an interpersonal theory, and something that, I suspect will infect other versions of interpersonal theories, is that my theory seems ill suited for certain ways of thinking about a morally responsible agent's relation to God. I intended for my theory to be neutral as between different accounts of free will's nature (compatibilist or incompatibilist, for instance). But it seems not neutral here. The reason is simple: Views like mine, or instead, say, Darwall's, are views in which the one who is responsible and, for example, blameworthy, stands in a relation to those holding morally responsible, as co-deliberators in a moral community. The members of the moral community are, in a sense, moral equals or co-participants, and one's standing as a responsible agent warrants one to engage with others under the presumption that she too could hold them to account. But this seems ill-suited for one's relation to God, doesn't it? Doesn't it seem that a more natural picture of the person who is blameworthy and liable to be held to account by God is better captured on the Ledger model? On this model, God first knows the independent facts about the agent's responsibility, and the further judgments regarding the suitability of reward and punishment flow from these, but not, as my view would have it, as part of a conversation wherein the one blamed is in some manner entitled to or warranted in responding to those blaming her.
Manuel Vargas's Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility is now available. Here is the abstract:
Congrats to Manuel!
Building Better Beings presents a new theory of moral responsibility. Beginning with a discussion of ordinary convictions about responsibility and free will and their implications for a philosophical theory, Manuel Vargas argues that no theory can do justice to all the things we want from a theory of free will and moral responsibility. He goes on to show how we can nevertheless justify our responsibility practices and provide a normatively and naturalistically adequate account of responsible agency, blame, and desert.
Three ideas are central to Vargas' account: the agency cultivation model, circumstantialism about powers, and revisionism about responsibility and free will. On Vargas' account, responsibility norms and practices are justified by their effects. In particular, the agency cultivation model holds that responsibility practices help mold us into creatures that respond to moral considerations. Moreover, the abilities that matter for responsibility and free will are not metaphysically prior features of agents in isolation from social contexts. Instead, they are functions of both agents and their normatively structured contexts. This is the idea of circumstantialism about the powers required for responsibility. Third, Vargas argues that an adequate theory of responsibility will be revisionist, or at odds with important strands of ordinary convictions about free will and moral responsibility. Building Better Beings provides a compelling and state-of-the-art defense of moral responsibility in the face of growing philosophical and scientific skepticism about free will and moral responsibility.
Fiery Cushman joins us and classes up the podcast in the process. We talk about his recent paper on beanballs, collective punishment, and collective responsibility. Towards the end, Fiery comes up with a really interesting proposal about moral responsibility that's definitely worth talking about on Flickers. We also break down the story that was the subject of this post and discussion a while back.
Available at iTunes, Stitcher, and our website.
Much of the social psychology literature has focused on the consequences of believing in free will. This line of research generally likes to show that believing in free will has all sorts of positive implications in terms of prosocial behavior (Baumeister, Masicampo, & Dewall, 2009), less cheating (Vohs & Schooler, 2008) and even better job performance (Stillman, Baumeister, Vohs, Lambert, Fincham and Brewer, 2010). But how are those perceptions formed? are those beliefs stable? are they prone to classic social psycholog biases? are they perhaps contextually bound?
This post is a cross post of a quick summary I did titled "Free Will : Interesting Findings in Social Psychology" which includes some of the recent findings regarding the antecedents of belief in free will and the factors that influence these perceptions. I believe this line of research resembles and is linked to some of what experimental philosphers have been doing on lay beliefs of moral responsibility and intent.
This is a call for abstracts for the second biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR), to be held in New Orleans, LA at the Intercontinental Hotel on November 7-9, 2013. Abstracts are welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility. Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy (e.g., psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more) are welcome. (To see more about the workshop’s general aims and other details, follow this link.) More info below the fold.