Scholarly Works, Philosophy

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Research articles, presentations, and other scholarship


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 44
  • Using Wearable Digital Devices to Screen Children for Mental Health Conditions: Ethical Promises and Challenges
    O’Leary, Aisling; Lahey, Timothy; Lovato, Juniper; Loftness, Bryn; Douglas, Antranig; Skelton, Joseph; Cohen, Jenna G.; Copeland, William E.; McGinnis, Ryan S.; McGinnis, Ellen W. (MDPI, 2024-05-18)
    In response to a burgeoning pediatric mental health epidemic, recent guidelines have instructed pediatricians to regularly screen their patients for mental health disorders with consistency and standardization. Yet, gold-standard screening surveys to evaluate mental health problems in children typically rely solely on reports given by caregivers, who tend to unintentionally under-report, and in some cases over-report, child symptomology. Digital phenotype screening tools (DPSTs), currently being developed in research settings, may help overcome reporting bias by providing objective measures of physiology and behavior to supplement child mental health screening. Prior to their implementation in pediatric practice, however, the ethical dimensions of DPSTs should be explored. Herein, we consider some promises and challenges of DPSTs under three broad categories: accuracy and bias, privacy, and accessibility and implementation. We find that DPSTs have demonstrated accuracy, may eliminate concerns regarding under- and over-reporting, and may be more accessible than gold-standard surveys. However, we also find that if DPSTs are not responsibly developed and deployed, they may be biased, raise privacy concerns, and be cost-prohibitive. To counteract these potential shortcomings, we identify ways to support the responsible and ethical development of DPSTs for clinical practice to improve mental health screening in children.
  • Newton's wet moet rechtgezet: Hoe een 18e-eeuwse vertaalfout de wereld in de war bracht over de Eerste Wet van Newton
    Hoek, Daniel (2024)
    De eerste wet van Newton, ook bekend als het traagheidsprincipe, staat al eeuwenlang verkeerd in de boeken. Dit is het gevolg van een betreurenswaardige vergissing door de broer van een haastige boekenverkoper uit de achttiende eeuw. Het wordt hoog tijd om dit mistverstand eindelijk eens recht te zetten: Newtons echte eerste wet is fundamenteler en minder verwarrend dan de versie die we kennen.
  • “Not Up For Debate”: Reflections on an Ethical Challenge to Ethics Bowl
    Horn, Justin (Philosophy Documentation Center, 2024)
    Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is a debate-style activity that aims to help students cultivate skills of moral deliberation. While a fair amount has been written about the pedagogical benefits of Ethics Bowl, relatively little attention has been given to potential ethical criticisms of the activity. In this paper I present some reflections on an ethical challenge to Ethics Bowl, namely that applying the characteristic approach of Ethics Bowl to some issues of contemporary ethical controversy can be immoral. The concern is that treating certain topics as “open to debate” conveys disrespect for certain individuals, and risks normalizing harmful viewpoints. I argue that we should take this challenge seriously; indeed, the guiding values behind Ethics Bowl require that we do so. I conclude that conducting Ethical Bowl in an ethical manner requires caution and skill.
  • Reason and Inquiry: The Erotetic Theory [Book review]
    Hoek, Daniel (Oxford University Press, 2023-11-24)
  • What Newton Really Meant
    Hoek, Daniel (Institute of Art and Ideas, 2023-08-17)
  • Must Kuhn Allow Cross-Paradigm Evidence?
    Patton, Lydia K. (Editura Academiei Romane/Publishing House of the Romanian Academy, 2023-12-01)
    Does Kuhn’s thesis that successive paradigms are incommensurable necessarily entail denying that the same evidence can be employed under successive paradigms? In this paper, I will argue no. In supporting that conclusion, I will argue for an even stronger point: Kuhn must be committed to the claim that the same evidence can be employed across paradigms, or his account of anomalies makes no sense.
  • Anti-Metaphysical Arguments in the Anticipations of Perception
    Patton, Lydia K. (Editura Academiei Romane/Publishing House of the Romanian Academy, 2022-12-22)
    In the Anticipations, Kant defends the claim that all sensations must register on a purely subjective scale of response to stimuli, in order for sensation to be a possible source of knowledge. In this paper, I argue that Kant defends this claim in response to “scholasticism” or transcendental realism about sensation. The fact that all sensations are measurable on a subjec- tive scale is the a priori content of the principle of the Anticipations, and, according to Kant, is a necessary condition for building any systematic analysis of sensation. The anti-metaphysical arguments in the “Anticipations of Perception” are key building blocks of Kant’s transcendental idealism.
  • Million dollar questions: why deliberation is more than information pooling
    Hoek, Daniel; Bradley, Richard (Springer, 2022-03-29)
    Models of collective deliberation often assume that the chief aim of a deliberative exchange is the sharing of information. In this paper, we argue that an equally important role of deliberation is to draw participants’ attention to pertinent questions, which can aid the assembly and processing of distributed information by drawing deliberators’ attention to new issues. The assumption of logical omniscience renders classical models of agents' informational states unsuitable for modelling this role of deliberation. Building on recent insights from psychology, linguistics and philosophy about the role of questions in speech and thought, we propose a different model in which beliefs are treated as answers directed at specific questions. Here, questions are formally represented as partitions of the space of possibilities and individuals’ information states as sets of questions and corresponding partial answers to them. The state of conversation is then characterised by individuals’ information together with the questions under discussion, which can be steered by various deliberative inputs. Using this model, deliberation is then shown to shape collective decisions in ways that classical models cannot capture, allowing for novel explanations of how group consensus is achieved.
  • Forced Changes Only: A New Take on the Law of Inertia
    Hoek, Daniel (Cambridge University Press, 2022-02-10)
    Newton’s First Law of Motion is typically understood to govern only the motion of force-free bodies. This paper argues on textual and conceptual grounds that the law is in fact a stronger, more general principle. The First Law limits the extent to which any body can change its state of motion—even if that body is subject to impressed forces. The misunderstanding can be traced back to an error in the first English translation of Newton’s Principia, which was published a few years after Newton’s death.
  • Reichenbach’s empirical axiomatization of relativity
    Eisenthal, Joshua; Patton, Lydia K. (Springer, 2022-12-01)
    A well known conception of axiomatization has it that an axiomatized theory must be interpreted, or otherwise coordinated with reality, in order to acquire empirical content. An early version of this account is often ascribed to key figures in the logical empiricist movement, and to central figures in the early “formalist” tradition in mathematics as well. In this context, Reichenbach’s “coordinative definitions” are regarded as investing abstract propositions with empirical significance. We argue that over-emphasis on the abstract elements of this approach fails to appreciate a rich tradition of empirical axiomatization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, evident in particular in the work of Moritz Pasch, Heinrich Hertz, David Hilbert, and Reichenbach himself. We claim that such over-emphasis leads to a misunderstanding of the role of empirical facts in Reichenbach’s approach to the axiomatization of a physical theory, and of the role of Reichenbach’s coordinative definitions in particular.
  • A new well-being atomism
    Hersch, Gil; Weltman, Daniel (Wiley, 2022-06)
    Many philosophers reject the view that well-being over a lifetime is simply an aggregation of well-being at every moment of one's life, and thus they reject theories of well-being like hedonism and concurrentist desire satisfactionism. They raise concerns that such a view misses the importance of the relationships between moments in a person's life or the role narratives play in a person's well-being. In this article, we develop an atomist meta-theory of well-being, according to which the prudential value of a life depends solely on the prudential value of each moment of that life. This is a general account of momentary well-being that can capture different features of well-being that standard atomistic accounts fail to capture, thus allowing for the possibility of an atomism that is compatible with a variety of well-being theories. Contrary to many criticisms leveled against momentary well-being, this well-being atomism captures all of the important features of well-being.
  • Statistical significance and its critics: practicing damaging science, or damaging scientific practice?
    Mayo, Deborah G.; Hand, David (Springer, 2022-05-12)
    While the common procedure of statistical significance testing and its accompanying concept of p-values have long been surrounded by controversy, renewed concern has been triggered by the replication crisis in science. Many blame statistical significance tests themselves, and some regard them as sufficiently damaging to scientific practice as to warrant being abandoned. We take a contrary position, arguing that the central criticisms arise from misunderstanding and misusing the statistical tools, and that in fact the purported remedies themselves risk damaging science. We argue that banning the use of p-value thresholds in interpreting data does not diminish but rather exacerbates data-dredging and biasing selection effects. If an account cannot specify outcomes that will not be allowed to count as evidence for a claim-if all thresholds are abandoned-then there is no test of that claim. The contributions of this paper are: To explain the rival statistical philosophies underlying the ongoing controversy; To elucidate and reinterpret statistical significance tests, and explain how this reinterpretation ameliorates common misuses and misinterpretations; To argue why recent recommendations to replace, abandon, or retire statistical significance undermine a central function of statistics in science: to test whether observed patterns in the data are genuine or due to background variability.
  • Questions in Action
    Hoek, Daniel (Journal of Philosophy, 2022-03-31)
    Choices confront us with questions. How we act depends on our answers to those questions. So the way our beliefs guide our choices is not just a function of their informational content, but also depends systematically on the questions those beliefs address. This paper gives a precise account of the interplay between choices, questions and beliefs, and harnesses this account to obtain a principled approach to the problem of deduction. The result is a novel theory of belief-guided action that explains and predicts the decisions of agents who, like ourselves, fail to be logically omniscient: that is, of agents whose beliefs may not be deductively closed, or even consistent.
  • Editor’s note
    Patton, Lydia K. (University of Chicago Press, 2021-09-01)
  • Editor’s note
    Patton, Lydia K. (University of Chicago Press, 2021-09-01)
  • Forced Changes Only: A New Take on the Law of Inertia
    Hoek, Daniel (2021-12-04)
    Newton's First Law of Motion is typically understood to govern only the motion of force-free bodies. This paper argues on textual and conceptual grounds that it is in fact a stronger, more general principle. The First Law limits the extent to which any body can change its state of motion -- even if that body is subject to impressed forces. The misunderstanding can be traced back to an error in the first English translation of Newton's Principia, which was published a few years after Newton's death.
  • Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis
    Hoek, Daniel (2021-12-06)
    This paper presents and defends an argument that the continuum hypothesis is false, based on considerations about objective chance and an old theorem due to Banach and Kuratowski. More specifically, I argue that the probabilistic inductive methods standardly used in science presuppose that every proposition about the outcome of a chancy process has a certain chance between 0 and 1. I also argue in favour of the standard view that chances are countably additive. Since it is possible to randomly pick out a point on a continuum, for instance using a roulette wheel or by flipping a countable infinity of fair coins, it follows, given the axioms of ZFC, that there are many different cardinalities between countable infinity and the cardinality of the continuum.
  • Scientific Variables
    Jantzen, Benjamin C. (MDPI, 2021-12-13)
    Despite their centrality to the scientific enterprise, both the nature of scientific variables and their relation to inductive inference remain obscure. I suggest that scientific variables should be viewed as equivalence classes of sets of physical states mapped to representations (often real numbers) in a structure preserving fashion, and argue that most scientific variables introduced to expand the degrees of freedom in terms of which we describe the world can be seen as products of an algorithmic inductive inference first identified by William W. Rozeboom. This inference algorithm depends upon a notion of natural kind previously left unexplicated. By appealing to dynamical kinds—equivalence classes of causal system characterized by the interventions which commute with their time evolution—to fill this gap, we attain a complete algorithm. I demonstrate the efficacy of this algorithm in a series of experiments involving the percolation of water through granular soils that result in the induction of three novel variables. Finally, I argue that variables obtained through this sort of inductive inference are guaranteed to satisfy a variety of norms that in turn suit them for use in further scientific inferences.
  • Loose Talk, Scale Presuppositions and QUD
    Hoek, Daniel (2019-12-19)
    I present a new pragmatic theory of loose talk, focussing on the loose use of numbers and measurement expressions. The account explains loose readings as arising from a pragmatic mechanism aimed at restoring relevance to the question under discussion (QUD), appealing to Krifka’s notion of a measurement scale (Krifka 2002). The core motivating observation is that the loose reading of a claim need not be weaker than its literal content, as almost all pragmatic treatments of loose talk have assumed (e.g. Lasersohn 1999). The loosening mechanism described here can be applied to a range of other linguistic phenomena as well.