2022 Philosophy Publications and Grants

* Indicates student co-author

Basu, Rima. “Belief.” The Philosopher, vol. 110, no. 2, 2022, pp. 7-10.

Abstract: If you’re familiar with Tolkien’s The Hobbit I don’t need to tell you that Mirkwood is a dangerous place. As bad as we might feel for Thorin and company as they try to navigate the forest and fall prey to its traps, we should feel worse for ourselves. Our world is also dangerous and difficult, but in a different way. Although it’s some comfort that the spiders of our world are smaller, it is easier to travel through Mirkwood than it is to know what to believe. At least when it comes to navigating Mirkwood the directions are clear.

Basu, Rima. “The Importance of Forgetting.” Episteme, vol. 19, no. 4, 2022, pp. 471-490.

Abstract: Morality bears on what we should forget. Some aspects of our identity are meant to be forgotten and there is a distinctive harm that accompanies the permanence of some content about us, content that prompts a duty to forget. To make the case that forgetting is an integral part of our moral duties to others, the paper proceeds as follows. In §1, I make the case that forgetting is morally evaluable and I survey three kinds of forgetting: no-trace forgetting, archival forgetting, and siloing. In §2, I turn to how we practice these forms of forgetting in our everyday lives and the goods these practices facilitate by drawing on examples ranging from the expunging of juvenile arrest records to the right to privacy. In §3, I turn to how my account can help us both recognize and address a heretofore neglected source of harm caused by technology and big data. In §4, I end by addressing the concern that we lack control over forgetting and thus can't be required to forget. I argue this challenge can be answered, but there’s a harder challenge that can’t. Forgetting is under threat. To address this challenge and preserve forgetting, we must change the world.

Basu, Rima. The Internet Never Forgets: How Google Shapes and Cements Our Identities. Open for Debate, June 13, 2022.

Abstract: We use the internet to discover ourselves. Whether we like it or not, Google shapes that process of discovery. 84.2% of all desktop searches in the United Kingdom originate from Google. In this piece I want to highlight two challenges that arise from Google’s overwhelming influence on how we gather information online: the first is about how Google structures our access to information and the second is about the reach of Google’s algorithm coupled with the permanence of online content.

Hurley, Paul. "The Consequentializing Argument Against...Consequantializing?” The Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol. 12, 2022, pp. 253-275.

Abstract: Consequentializing involves both a strategy and conditions for its successful implementation. The strategy takes the features a target theory holds to be relevant to deontic evaluation of actions, and builds them into a counterpart ranking of outcomes. It succeeds if the result is 1) a substantive version of consequentialism that 2) yields the same deontic verdicts as the target theory. Consequentializers typically claim and their critics allow that all plausible alternative theories can be consequentialized. I demonstrate that even standard alternatives such as Aristotelean virtue ethics and Kantian ethics cannot be. The strategy either leaves out features relevant to deontic evaluation on such target theories, resulting in failure of deontic equivalence, or, if it is altered to include these features, fails to produce a substantive version of consequentialism. The consequentializing strategy thus demonstrates not that we are all consequentialists now, but why so many of us are not, that it is misguided to impose a consequentialist account of deontic evaluation upon alternative theories, that it is the commitment to a constraint on value rationales that distinguishes consequentialist theories, and that the plausibility of this distinctive constraint should be the focus of the debate going forward.

Johnson, Gabbrielle M. “Excerpt from Are Algorithms Value-Free? Feminist Theoretical Virtues in Machine Learning.Ethics of Data and Analytics: Concepts and Cases, edited by Kirsten Martin. CRC Press, 2022, pp. 27-35.

Abstract: According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 40% of people believe that algorithmic decision-making can be objective, free from the biases that plague human decision-making. The algorithms are just math, the data on which they operate are just facts; at no point in explaining their operation do we need to make reference to human values whatsoever. This chapter traces the historical progression of a pursuit of objectivity in scientific inquiry, and explore how it applies to the domain of machine learning. Computer scientists are likely familiar with many of the points made already, though perhaps not under the guise of Kuhnian theory. Model builders undoubtably recognize that there are many different, yet acceptable ways to build predictive models. Algorithmic design decisions about how to manage error therefore inherently involve values.

Kind, Amy. “Computing Machinery and Sexual Difference: The Sexed Presuppositions Underlying the Turing Test.” Feminist Philosophy of Mind, edited by Keya Maitra and Jennifer McWeeny. Oxford University Press, 2022, pp. 54-69.

Kind, Amy. “Do Androids Dream of Sanctuary Moon?” The Splintered Mind, March 1, 2022.

Kind, Amy. “The Feeling of Familiarity.” Acta Scientiarum, vol. 43, no. 3, 2022, pp. 1-10.

Abstract: The relationship between the phenomenology of imagination and the phenomenology of memory is an interestingly complicated one. On the one hand, there seem to be important similarities between the two, and there are even occasions in which we mistake an imagining for a memory or vice versa. On the other hand, there seem to be important differences between the two, and we can typically tell them apart. This paper explores various attempts to delineate a phenomenological marker differentiating imagination and memory, with a special focus on two proposed markers that have generated considerable philosophical discussion: the feeling of pastness and the feeling of familiarity. As we will find, neither of them proves to be up to the task at hand. However, by way of a deeper exploration of the feeling of familiarity, we are able to tease out some important morals for efforts to differentiate imagination and memory on phenomenological grounds and, more generally, for efforts to engage in a descriptive phenomenological enterprise.

Kind, Amy. “Fiction and the Cultivation of Imagination.” The Philosophy of Fiction, edited by Patrik Engisch and Julia Langkau. Routledge, 2022, pp. 262-281.

Abstract: In the same way that some people are better jugglers than others, some people are better imaginers than others. But while it might be obvious what someone can do if they want to improve their juggling skills, it's less obvious what someone can do to improve their imaginative skills. This chapter explores this issue and argues that engagement with fiction can play a key role in the development of one's imaginative skills. The chapter proceeds in three parts. First, using work by Martha Nussbaum as a launching pad, I develop arguments to show how fiction helps to cultivate our capacities for one type of imagination in particular, namely, empathetic imagination. Second, I consider the empirical case for these claims. Third, I show how we can extend the argument connecting fiction and empathetic imagination to imagination more broadly. Not only can fiction provide us with practice with respect to empathetic imagination, but it can also provide us with practice with respect to other kinds of imagination as well.

Kind, Amy. “Identity Across the Multiverse.The Splintered Mind, Feb. 7, 2022.

Kind, Amy. Imagination and Creative Thinking. Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Abstract: This Element explores the nature of both imagination and creative thinking in an effort to understand the relation between them and also to understand their role in the vast array of activities in which they are typically implicated, from art, music, and literature to technology, medicine, and science. Focusing on the contemporary philosophical literature, it will take up several interrelated questions: What is imagination, and how does it fit into the cognitive architecture of the mind? What is creativity? Is imagination required for creativity? Is creativity required for imagination? Is a person simply born either imaginative or not (and likewise, either creative or not), or are imagination and creativity skills that can be cultivated? And finally, are imagination and creativity uniquely human capacities, or can they be had by nonbiological entities such as AI systems?

Kind, Amy. “Introduction: Exploring the Limits of Imagination.” Synthese, vol. 200, issue 2, 2022, article 101.

Kind, Amy. “Learning to Imagine.” The British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 62, issue 1, 2022, pp. 33-48.

Abstract: Underlying much current work in philosophy of imagination is the assumption that imagination is a skill. This assumption seems to entail not only that facility with imagining will vary from one person to another, but also that people can improve their own imaginative capacities and learn to be better imaginers. This paper takes up this issue. After showing why this is properly understood as a philosophical question, I discuss what it means to say that one imagining is better than another and then discuss the kinds of imagination training and techniques that might be employed in an effort to get better at imagining. The discussion of these techniques draws insight from consideration of other skills-based activities, as well as from consideration of the creation of art and our engagement with literature and poetry. Over the course of this discussion, we also gain further insight into the nature of imagination.

Kind, Amy. “Learning from Science Fiction.” The Splintered Mind, Jan. 19, 2022.

Kind, Amy. “Mental Imagery.Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction, edited by Benjamin D. Young and Carolyn Dicey Jennings. Routledge, 2022, pp. 385-389.

Kind, Amy. Review of Old, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The Philosophers’ Magazine, issue 96, 2022, pp. 117-118.

Kind, Amy. Review of Wonder, by Frank Keil. Metascience, vol 32, 2022, pp. 29-31.

Kind, Amy. “Social Change and the Science Fiction Imagination.” The Splintered Mind, Feb. 22, 2022.

Kind, Amy. “Thin Introspection.” Qualitative Consciousness: Themes from the Philosophy of David Rosenthal, edited by Josh Weisberg. Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 76-90.

Kind, Amy. “The Time of Your Life.” The Splintered Mind, Feb. 14, 2022.

Kind, Amy. “What is it Like to be a Plant?” The Splintered Mind, Jan. 27, 2022.

Kreines, James. “For a Dialectic-First Approach to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.” Open Philosophy, vol. 5, issue 1, 2022, pp. 490-509.

Abstract: To judge by the title, one would expect that interpretations of the Critique of Pure Reason would prioritize the division of the book most about reason and its critique: The Transcendental Dialectic. But the Dialectic is surprisingly secondary in the most established interpretive approaches. This article argues as follows: There is a problem that contributes to explaining the lack of popularity: The problem of how arguments really based in the Dialectic itself really promise to ground a broader project in theoretical philosophy, of the scope of the Critique. But the problem can be solved: One aim important in the critique is critical argument against rationalist metaphysics. The Dialectic must play a central role in such critique, given a difficulty concerning begging the question. The positive claims of the Dialectic, about reason and the unconditioned, are necessary for such an argument, and the Dialectic gives them enough defense for that purpose. Finally, there are reasons to take seriously Kant’s promises that the Antinomy of the Dialectic can support the weight in such an argument, without begging the question. The article concludes that a Dialectic-first approach to the Critique is viable and worth further development.

Obdrzalek, Suzanne. “Why Erōs?” The Cambridge Companion to Plato, edited by David Ebrey and Richard Kraut. Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 202-232.

Abstract: One of the ways in which Plato has captured the popular imagination is with the claim that the philosopher can feel ers, passionate love, for the objects of knowledge. Why should Plato make this claim? In this chapter, I explore Plato’s treatment of philosophical ers along three dimensions. First, I consider the source of philosophical ers. I argue that it is grounded in our mortality and imperfection, which give rise to a desire for immortality and the immortal. Second, I turn to the object of philosophical ers. I suggest that it is an arresting response to beauty, through which we come to value the ideal properties of the forms. Finally, I address the nature of ers. I claim that it is a focusing desire, that overrides other concerns and causes us to overwhelmingly focus on its object. I conclude the chapter by considering the problem Vlastos famously raises for Plato’s account of ers: can it do justice to disinterested, interpersonal love? In agreement with Vlastos, I claim that one who comes to grasp the forms will cease to feel interpersonal love; however, I also suggest that ers can give rise to philia, beneficent concern with the wellbeing of others.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. “Diversifying Science: Comparing the Benefits of Citizen Science with the Benefits of Bringing More Women Into Science.Synthese, vol. 200, no. 4, 2022, 306. 

Abstract: I compare two different arguments for the importance of bringing new voices into science: arguments for increasing the representation of women, and arguments for the inclusion of the public, or for “citizen science”. I suggest that in each case, diversifying science can improve the quality of scientific results in three distinct ways: epistemically, ethically, and politically. In the first two respects, the mechanisms are essentially the same. In the third respect, the mechanisms are importantly different. Though this might appear to suggest a broad similarity between the cases, I show that the analysis reveals an important respect in which efforts to include the public are more complex. With citizen science programs, unlike with efforts to bring more women into science, the three types of improvement are often in conflict with one another: improvements along one dimension may come at a cost on another dimension, suggesting difficult trade-offs may need to be made.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. “An Ethical Framework for Presenting Scientific Results to Policy-Makers.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, vol. 32, no. 1, 2022, pp. 33-67.

Abstract: Scientists have the ability to influence policy in important ways through how they present their results. Surprisingly, existing codes of scientific ethics have little to say about such choices. I propose that we can arrive at a set of ethical guidelines to govern scientists' presentation of information to policymakers by looking to bioethics: roughly, just as a clinician should aim to promote informed decision-making by patients, a scientist should aim to promote informed decision-making by policymakers. Though this may sound like a natural proposal, I show it offers guidance that conflicts with standard scientific practices. I conclude by considering one cost of the proposal: that it would prevent scientists from acting as advocates in a way that is currently common in certain fields. I accept that the proposal would restrict scientists' political advocacy rights, but argue that the benefits of adopting it—promoting democratic governance—justify the restriction.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. “The Limits of Democratizing Science: When Scientists Should Ignore the Public.” Philosophy of Science, vol. 89, issue 5, 2022, pp. 1034-1043.

Abstract: Scientists are frequently called upon to “democratize” science, by bringing the public into scientific research. One appealing point for public involvement concerns the non-epistemic values involved in science. Suppose, though, a scientist invites the public to participate in making such value-laden determinations, but finds that the public holds values the scientist considers morally unacceptable. Does the argument for democratizing science commit the scientist to accepting the public’s objectionable values, or may she veto them? I argue that there are a limited set of cases where scientists can, consistently with a commitment to democratized science, set aside the public’s judgments.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. "Thinking about Values in Science: Ethical versus Political Approaches." Canadian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 52, issue 3, 2022, pp. 246-255.

Abstract: Philosophers of science now broadly agree that doing good science involves making non-epistemic value judgments. I call attention to two very different normative standards which can be used to evaluate such judgments: standards grounded in ethics and standards grounded in political philosophy. Though this distinction has not previously been highlighted, I show that the values in science literature contain arguments of each type. I conclude by explaining why this distinction is important. Seeking to determine whether some value-laden determination meets substantive ethical standards is a very different endeavor from seeking to determine if it is politically legitimate.

Toole, Briana. “Demarginalizing Standpoint Epistemology.” Episteme, vol. 19, no. 1, 2022, pp. 47-65.

Abstract: Standpoint epistemology, the view that social identity is relevant to knowledge-acquisition, has been consigned to the margins of mainstream philosophy. In part, this is because the principles of standpoint epistemology are taken to be in opposition to those which guide traditional epistemology. One goal of this paper is to tease out the characterization of traditional epistemology that is at odds with standpoint epistemology. The characterization of traditional epistemology that I put forth is one which endorses the thesis of intellectualism, the view that knowledge does not depend on non-epistemic features. I then suggest that two further components – the atomistic view of knowers and aperspectivalism – can be usefully interpreted as supporting features of intellectualism. A further goal of this paper is to show that we ought to resist this characterization of traditional epistemology. I use pragmatic encroachment as a dialectical tool to motivate the denial of intellectualism, and consequently, the denial of both supporting components. I then attempt to show how it is possible to have a view, similar to pragmatic encroachment, that takes social identity, rather than stakes, to be the feature that makes a difference to what a person is in a position to know.

Toole, Briana. “Objectivity.” The Philosopher, vol. 110, no. 2, 2022, pp. 35-39. 

Abstract: Objectivity may be a useful regulative ideal for inquiry, but here I ponder to what extent it may be thought of more as a political ideology than an epistemological methodology. By tracing objectivity to its political origins, I aim to problematize this ideal as we tend to understand it - as one demanding that we eliminate the influence of certain subjective features - and to sketch a new conception of this ideal that accommodates (rather than dismisses) the role of these features in inquiry.

Toole, Briana. “Objectivity in Feminist Epistemology.” Philosophy Compass, vol. 17, issue 11, 2022, e12885.

Abstract: It used to be that the touchstone of objectivity was the elimination of subjective features, like our values, biases, assumptions, and so on. Part of what motivates this narrow conception of objectivity is the thought that objective reality is the way that it is regardless of our relationship to it, and that our ability to accurately describe or depict this reality is distorted by this relationship. But what if that understanding is wrong, and removing these features takes us farther away from truth and knowledge, rather than closer to them? This is the claim I advance. In this article, I trace this narrow conception to its political origins, and advance a broader understanding of objectivity that reimagines a new use for, rather than ignoring entirely, features that are thought to be subjective.