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Anderson, Elizabeth. Ethical Assumptions in Economic Theory: Some Lessons from the History of Credit and Bankruptcy
2004, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7.4, 347-360
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Anna Alexandrova
Abstract: This paper evaluates the economic assumptions of economic theory via an examination of the capitalist transformation of creditor-debtor relations in the 18th century. This transformation enabled masses of people to obtain credit without moral opprobrium or social subordination. Classical 18th century economics had the ethical concepts to appreciate these facts. Ironically, contemporary economic theory cannot. I trace this fault to its abstract representations of freedom, efficiency, and markets. The virtues of capitalism lie in the concrete social relations and social meanings through which capital and commodities are exchanged. Contrary to laissez faire capitalism, the conditions for sustaining these concrete capitalist formations require limits on freedom of contract and the scope of private property rights.

Comment: Great for introducing the ideology of economics and the basics of welfare economics.

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Anderson, Elizabeth. Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
2015, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio
Abstract: Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science argue that dominant knowledge practices disadvantage women by (1) excluding them from inquiry, (2) denying them epistemic authority, (3) denigrating their 'feminine' cognitive styles and modes of knowledge, (4) producing theories of women that represent them as inferior, deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests, (5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women's activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible, and (6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces gender and other social hierarchies. Feminist epistemologists trace these failures to flawed conceptions of knowledge, knowers, objectivity, and scientific methodology. They offer diverse accounts of how to overcome these failures. They also aim to (1) explain why the entry of women and feminist scholars into different academic disciplines, especially in biology and the social sciences, has generated new questions, theories, and methods, (2) show how gender and feminist values and perspectives have played a causal role in these transformations, (3) promote theories that aid egalitarian and liberation movements, and (4) defend these developments as cognitive, not just social, advances.

Comment: A very detailed primer on feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. Covers a wide range of topics and issues, its length is such that it would probably be best to assign specific sections that are of interest rather than reading the whole thing. Useful as a preliminary introduction to the topics covered, and also offers a good summary of objections to the views presented.

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Anderson, Elizabeth. Uses of value judgments in science: A general argument, with lessons from a case study of feminist research on divorce
2004, Hypatia 19 (1):1-24.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Karoline Paier

Abstract: The underdetermination argument establishes that scientists may use political values to guide inquiry, without providing criteria for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate guidance. This paper supplies such criteria. Analysis of the confused arguments against value-laden science reveals the fundamental criterion of illegitimate guidance: when value judgments operate to drive inquiry to a predetermined conclusion. A case study of feminist research on divorce reveals numerous legitimate ways that values can guide science without violating this standard.

Comment: Gives a very good introduction into values in science, provides a good basis for discussing values in science, including a very insightful case study. However, it can be challenging for students to grasp the structure of the argument.

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Attfield, Robin, Robin Attfield, Attfield, Kate. Principles of Equality: Managing Equality and Diversity in a Steiner School
2019, Sustainable Management Practices, ed. Muddassar Sarfraz, Muhammad Ibrahim Adbullah, Abdul Rauf, Syed Ghulam Meran Shah, London: IntechOpen
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Robin Attfield, Kate Attfield

Abstract: Principles of equality are examined in the context of managing equality and diversity in practice. Our case study is the Cardiff Steiner School, an independent international school located in Wales, UK with educational values guided by the philosophers and educationalists Rudolf Steiner and Millicent Mackenzie. The sustainable management referred to and assessed in this chapter is the school's management structure and the related School pedagogical operation, with the founding Steiner value of human justice informing these. We argue that at the School the management of equality and diversity reflects theories of Diversity and Equality Management, with School managers aspiring to encourage respect for all. We appraise the philosophical and spiritual values of the founders in relation to equality and diversity, in order to demonstrate the visionary ideals of these philosophers and the extent to which their beliefs live on sustainable in contemporary society, and particularly in a Steiner education community.

Comment: The principle of equality of consideration underpins managerial and pedagogical practices at the Cardiff Steiner School. We argue that respecting the principle of equality of consideration (see Singer 1983) is a prerequisite of respecting diversity, and issues in precisely this in an educational context. We present alternative models of equality (related to different principles of equality), applying these to an inclusive educational system, and find them deficient when it comes to the respecting of diversity. The various dimensions of diversity considered are culture, gender status, sexual orientation, socio-economic position, appearance and ethnicity.

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Attfield, Robin, Robin Attfield, Attfield, Kate. The Concept of ‘Gaia’
2016, eLS. electronic Encyclopedia of the Life Sciences
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Robin Attfield
Abstract: The Gaia theory of James Lovelock proposes that the Earth is a self-regulating system, or super-organism, maintaining conditions hospitable to contemporary planetary biota. Objections to this theory, concerning its alleged untestability and circularity, are considered and countered. Favourable evidence includes Lovelock’s daisyworld model of a planet regulating its own temperatures and thus maintaining homeostasis, and his discoveries of actual regulatory mechanisms such as the biological generation of dimethyl sulphide, which removes sulphur from the oceans and seeds clouds whose albedo reduces solar radiation (a negative feedback mechanism). After some decades of scepticism, sections of the scientific community have partially endorsed Gaia theory, accepting that the Earth system behaves as if self-regulating. Whether or not this theory is acceptable in full, it has drawn attention to the need for preserving planetary biological cycles and for the planetary dimension to be incorporated in ethical decision-making, and thus for a planetary ethic.

Comment: This interdisciplinary survey of the Gaia hypothesis, its critics and its supporters, could be used in Philosophy of Science or Philosophy of Biology classes to clarify the concept of Gaia, which is often presented too vaguely by those who have not considered issues such as whether this hypothesis is falsifiable or not; it could also be used in Ethics classes because of its section on Gaian ethics. We show how Lovelock has devised indirect ways of testing this hypothesis (or better, the Gaia theory), how a critic (Kirchner) has presented it as either falsifiable but unsurprising or unfalsifiable and thus useless, and how a supporter, Tim Lenton has sought to explain how it can be reconciled with Darwinian evolution. Finally we show how elements of the theory have been endorsed by a scientific conference, but other aspects, such as the purposiveness of Gaia, were not endorsed.

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Ayim, Maryann. Passing Through the Needle’s Eye: Can a Feminist Teach Logic?
1995, Argumentation 9: 801-820
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Added by: Franci Mangraviti
Abstract:

Is it possible for one and the same person to be a feminist and a logician, or does this entail a psychic rift of such proportions that one is plunged into an endless cycle of self-contradiction? Andrea Nye's book, Words of Power (1990), is an eloquent affirmation of the psychic rift position. In what follows, I shall discuss Nye's proscription of logic as well as her perceived alternatives of a woman's language and reading. This will be followed by a discussion more sharply focused on Nye's feminist response to logic, namely, her claim that feminism and logic are incompatible. I will end by offering a sketch of a class in the life of a feminist teaching logic, a sketch which is both a response to Nye (in Nye's sense of the word) and a counter-example to her thesis that logic is necessarily destructive to any genuine feminist enterprise.

Comment: The paper is naturally used in conjunction with Nye's "Words of Power" book (particularly the conclusion), providing several points of disagreeement to discuss.

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Balog, Katalin. Jerry Fodor on Non-Conceptual Content
2009, Synthese, 170, 311-320
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Simon Prosser

Abstract: Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states.

Comment: Useful discussion of Fodor's view on non-conceptual content; I use the Fodor piece as main reading, and this as further reading.

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Barrow-Green, June. Historical Context of the Gender Gap in Mathematics
2019, in World Women in Mathematics 2018: Proceedings of the First World Meeting for Women in Mathematics, Carolina Araujo et al. (eds.). Springer, Cham.
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Added by: Fenner Stanley Tanswell
Abstract: This chapter is based on the talk that I gave in August 2018 at the ICM in Rio de Janeiro at the panel on The Gender Gap in Mathematical and Natural Sciences from a Historical Perspective. It provides some examples of the challenges and prejudices faced by women mathematicians during last two hundred and fifty years. I make no claim for completeness but hope that the examples will help to shed light on some of the problems many women mathematicians still face today.

Comment (from this Blueprint): Barrow-Green is a historian of mathematics. In this paper she documents some of the challenges that women faced in mathematics over the last 250 years, discussing many famous women mathematicians and the prejudices and injustices they faced.

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Basso, Alessandra, Lisciandra, Chiara, Marchionni, Caterina. Hypothetical models in social science: their features and uses
2017, Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. Magnani, L. & Bertolotti, T. (eds.). Springer, 413-433
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Johanna Thoma
Abstract: The chapter addresses the philosophical issues raised by the use of hypothetical modeling in the social sciences. Hypothetical modeling involves the construction and analysis of simple hypothetical systems to represent complex social phenomena for the purpose of understanding those social phenomena. To highlight its main features hypothetical modeling is compared both to laboratory experimentation and to computer simulation. In analogy with laboratory experiments, hypothetical models can be conceived of as scientific representations that attempt to isolate, theoretically, the working of causal mechanisms or capacities from disturbing factors. However, unlike experiments, hypothetical models need to deal with the epistemic uncertainty due to the inevitable presence of unrealistic assumptions introduced for purposes of analytical tractability. Computer simulations have been claimed to be able to overcome some of the strictures of analytical tractability. Still they differ from hypothetical models in how they derive conclusions and in the kind of understanding they provide. The inevitable presence of unrealistic assumptions makes the legitimacy of the use of hypothetical modeling to learn about the world a particularly pressing problem in the social sciences. A review of the contemporary philosophical debate shows that there is still little agreement on what social scientific models are and what they are for. This suggests that there might not be a single answer to the question of what is the epistemic value of hypothetical models in the social sciences.

Comment: This is a very useful and accessible overview of hypothetical modelling in the social sciences, and the philosophical debates it has given rise to.

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Bechtel, William P., Jennifer Mundale. Multiple realizability revisited: Linking cognitive and neural states
1999, Philosophy of Science 66 (2): 175-207.
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Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: The claim of the multiple realizability of mental states by brain states has been a major feature of the dominant philosophy of mind of the late 20th century. The claim is usually motivated by evidence that mental states are multiply realized, both within humans and between humans and other species. We challenge this contention by focusing on how neuroscientists differentiate brain areas. The fact that they rely centrally on psychological measures in mapping the brain and do so in a comparative fashion undercuts the likelihood that, at least within organic life forms, we are likely to find cases of multiply realized psychological functions.

Comment: One of the better arguments against multiple realizability. Could be used in any philosophy of mind course where that claim arises as a demonstration of how it could be challenged. A good deal of discussion about neuroscientific practices and methods, but not excessively technical.

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Beebee, Helen. Necessary Connections and the Problem of Induction
2011, Noûs 45(3): 504-527.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Summary: In this paper Beebee argues that the problem of induction, which she describes as a genuine sceptical problem, is the same for Humeans than for Necessitarians. Neither scientific essentialists nor Armstrong can solve the problem of induction by appealing to IBE (Inference to the Best Explanation), for both arguments take an illicit inductive step.

Comment: This paper describes in a comprehensible way Armstrong's and the Humean approaches to the problem of induction. Ideal for postgraduate philosophy of science courses, although it could be a further reading for undergraduate courses as well.

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Bergmann, Merrie. An Introduction to Many-Valued and Fuzzy Logic: Semantics, Algebras, and Derivation Systems
2008, Cambridge University Press.
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Added by: Berta Grimau
Publisher's note: This volume is an accessible introduction to the subject of many-valued and fuzzy logic suitable for use in relevant advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. The text opens with a discussion of the philosophical issues that give rise to fuzzy logic - problems arising from vague language - and returns to those issues as logical systems are presented. For historical and pedagogical reasons, three valued logical systems are presented as useful intermediate systems for studying the principles and theory behind fuzzy logic. The major fuzzy logical systems - Lukasiewicz, Godel, and product logics - are then presented as generalizations of three-valued systems that successfully address the problems of vagueness. Semantic and axiomatic systems for three-valued and fuzzy logics are examined along with an introduction to the algebras characteristic of those systems. A clear presentation of technical concepts, this book includes exercises throughout the text that pose straightforward problems, ask students to continue proofs begun in the text, and engage them in the comparison of logical systems.

Comment: This book is ideal for an intermediate-level course on many-valued and/or fuzzy logic. Although it includes a presentation of propositional and first-order logic, it is intended for students who are familiar with classical logic. However, no previous knowledge of many-valued or fuzzy logic is required. It can also be used as a secondary reading for a general course on non-classical logics. In the words of the author: 'The truth-valued semantic chapters are independent of the algebraic and axiomatic ones, so that either of the latter may be skipped. Except for Section 13.3 of Chapter 13, the axiomatic chapters are also independent of the algebraic ones, and an instructor who chooses to skip the algebraic material can simply ignore the latter part of 13.3. Finally, Lukasiewicz fuzzy logic is presented independently of Gödel and product fuzzy logics, thus allowing an instructor to focus solely on the former. There are exercises throughout the text. Some pose straightforward problems for the student to solve, but many exercises also ask students to continue proofs begun in the text, to prove results analogous to those in the text, and to compare the various logical systems that are presented.'

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Bergmann, Merrie, James Moor, Jack Nelson. The Logic Book
2003, Mcgraw-Hill.
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Added by: Berta Grimau
Summary: This book is an introductory textbook on mathematical logic. It covers Propositional Logic and Predicate Logic. For each of these formalisms it presents its syntax and formal semantics as well as a tableaux-style method of consistency-checking and a natural deduction-style deductive calculus. Moreover, it discusses the metatheory of both logics.

Comment: This book would be ideal for an introductory course on symbolic logic. It presupposes no previous training in logic, and because it covers sentential logic through the metatheory of first-order predicate logic, it is suitable for both introductory and intermediate courses in symbolic logic. The instructor who does not want to emphasize metatheory can simply omit Chapters 6 and 11. The chapters on truth-trees and the chapters on derivations are independent, so it is possible to cover truth-trees but not derivations and vice versa. However, the chapters on truth-trees do depend on the chapters presenting semantics; that is, Chapter 4 depends on Chapter 3 and Chapter 9 depends on Chapter 8. In contrast, the derivation chapters can be covered without first covering semantics. The Logic Book includes large exercise sets for all chapters. Answers to unstarred exercises appear in the Student Solutions Manual, available at www.mhhe.com/bergmann6e, while answers to starred exercises appear in the Instructor's Manual, which can be obtained by following the instructions on the same web page.

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Besson, Corine. Logical knowledge and ordinary reasoning
2012, Philosophical Studies 158 (1):59-82.
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Added by: Berta Grimau
Abstract: This paper argues that the prominent accounts of logical knowledge have the consequence that they conflict with ordinary reasoning. On these accounts knowing a logical principle, for instance, is having a disposition to infer according to it. These accounts in particular conflict with so-called 'reasoned change in view', where someone does not infer according to a logical principle but revise their views instead. The paper also outlines a propositional account of logical knowledge which does not conflict with ordinary reasoning.

Comment: This paper proposes a certain characterisation of what it is to have knowledge of logical principles which makes it compatible with the way in which we reason ordinarily. It can be seen as an alternative to Harman's view in 'Change in View' according to which ordinary people do not at all 'employ' a deductive logic in reasoning. Thus this paper could be used in a course on the role of logic in reasoning, following the reading of Harman's work. More generally, this reading is suitable for any advanced undergraduate course or postgraduate course on the topic of rationality.

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Bicchieri, Cristina. The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms
2006, Cambridge University Press
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Jurgis Karpus

Publisher's Note: In The Grammar of Society, first published in 2006, Cristina Bicchieri examines social norms, such as fairness, cooperation, and reciprocity, in an effort to understand their nature and dynamics, the expectations that they generate, and how they evolve and change. Drawing on several intellectual traditions and methods, including those of social psychology, experimental economics and evolutionary game theory, Bicchieri provides an integrated account of how social norms emerge, why and when we follow them, and the situations where we are most likely to focus on relevant norms. Examining the existence and survival of inefficient norms, she demonstrates how norms evolve in ways that depend upon the psychological dispositions of the individual and how such dispositions may impair social efficiency. By contrast, she also shows how certain psychological propensities may naturally lead individuals to evolve fairness norms that closely resemble those we follow in most modern societies.

Comment: Extracts from Bicchieri's book can be read in a course that covers game theory and social norms. Bicchieri's book is famous and highly praised for its contribution to our understanding of how social norms form and influence our choice behaviour in day-to-day social interactions. Christina Bicchieri has recently also co-authored a revised version of the entry 'social norms' in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP).

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