Philosophy - Book Chapters

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    Deluded mindfulness
    (Taylor & Francis, 2023-12-22) Dockstader, Jason; Ferrarello, Susi; Hadjioannou, Christos
    This chapter looks at two Chinese traditions that can be described as offering a similar kind of unorthodox practice of mindfulness. Both the classical Daoism of the Zhuangzi and the medieval Buddhism of the Tiantai school develop an approach to mindfulness that presupposes unique metaphysical and epistemic views. In contemporary philosophical terms, by combining a strong many-one identity view in mereology, a novel form of existence monism in fundamental metaphysics, and an explosive trivialism in epistemology, both classical Daoism and Tiantai Buddhism develop an approach to mindfulness wherein each and every moment of experience or thought is accessed and regarded as creating, inherently including, and ultimately being identical to each and every other moment of experience. Every partially and locally coherent, yet wholly and globally incoherent, phenomenon is created by the discerning, deluded mind of everyday sentient beings, and it is by contemplating this deluded mind that one reaches similar soteriological goals of liberation and independence. In the Zhuangzi, this is found in the discussions of the ‘fasting of the mind’ and ‘sitting in forgetfulness,’ of matching Nature's endless production of momentary indexical distinctions, each of which contains the entirety of the Dao's infinite multiplicity. In Tiantai, this is found in discussions of the ‘contemplation of the mind’ and ‘contemplation of inherent inclusion,’ of the attempt to access ‘one moment of experience as three thousand worlds,’ with such ‘three thousand worlds’ being all phenomena created by the deluded mind, which is, namely, everything. The chapter, then, develops this novel form of mindfulness and calls it ‘deluded mindfulness.’ In the process, it aims to ascribe to deluded mindfulness the capacity to offer therapeutic benefits that follow from affirming the many contradictory understandings of mindfulness today.
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    Envy, racial hatred, and self-deception
    (Routledge, 2023-04-13) Salice, Alessandro; Montes Sánchez, Alba; Montes Sánchez, Alba; Salice, Alessandro
    Envy is an unpleasant, culturally vilified, and self-threatening emotion that, in many circumstances, tends to mask itself. In other words, due to various factors, envy often exerts some psychological pressure towards self-deception. A domain where this pressure plays an important and underappreciated role is the political and, more concretely, the realm of racism and identity-based discrimination. Despite historical, empirical, and anecdotal evidence indicating that envy can lead to racial hatred, the link between these two emotions, and the role that self-deception plays in this link, remains under-investigated and poorly understood. This chapter aims at remedying this situation by offering an account of the link between envy and racial hatred. After reviewing the evidence available in support of this emotional link, we elaborate on an account of envy we developed in a previous work. We then explain how, why, and under which circumstances envy can transmute into racial hatred by claiming that this transformation process qualifies as an “emotional mechanism”. We conclude by arguing that the envy-racial hatred emotional mechanism is based on self-deception and, as such, is an immature coping mechanism set in motion by the subject to avoid a negative sense of self.
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    Introduction: Self-knowledge and emotion
    (Routledge, 2023-04-13) Montes Sánchez, Alba; Salice, Alessandro; Montes Sánchez, Alba; Salice, Alessandro
    The philosophical literature on self-knowledge has up to now paid too little attention to emotional phenomena. Part of the reason for this is that the philosophy of self-knowledge tends to focus on cases of so-called trivial self-knowledge. This volume focuses instead on “substantial” self-knowledge, which is both difficult to get and personally valuable for its subject. As this volume shows, affective states play a crucial role in acquiring substantial self-knowledge. This introduction distinguishes three main kinds of affective states: emotions, moods, and sentiments. It claims that, due to their evaluative character, these phenomena can give us access to what we care about and value, and thereby they can help us obtain knowledge of fundamental aspects of our person like, e.g., our character traits. Finally, the introduction gives an overview of the different chapters in the volume and the main threads that run through it, including what affective states illuminate and what they obstruct about us, which sorts of spaces for self-knowledge they provide, how do they affect the dynamic formation of our self-concepts and self-narratives, through which mechanisms they foster or hinder self-knowledge and which roles do other people play in emotional self-knowledge.
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    “Computer says no”: Artificial Intelligence, gender bias, and epistemic injustice
    (Routledge, 2023-10-17) Walmsley, Joel
    Ever since its beginnings, the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been plagued with the possibility of perpetuating a range of depressingly familiar kinds of injustice, roughly because the biases and prejudices of the programmers can be, literally, codified. But several recent controversies about biased machine translation and automated CV-evaluation highlight a novel set of concerns that are simultaneously both ethical and epistemological, and which stem from AI's most recent developments; we don't fully understand the machines we've built, they're faster, more powerful, and more complex than us, but we're growing to trust them preferentially nonetheless. This chapter examines some of the ways in which Miranda Fricker's concept(s) of “epistemic injustice” can highlight such problems, and concludes with suggestions about re-conceiving human-AI interaction—along the model of collaboration rather than competition—that might avoid them.
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    Wilhelm Schapp and the standard theory of exchanges
    (Taylor & Francis Group, 2022-09-14) Salice, Alessandro; Hopkins, Burt C.; Drummond, John J.
    This paper mines, contextualizes, and assesses Wilhelm Schapp’s neglected account of contracts of sale. This account is evaluated against the background of what Emma Tieffenbach and Olivier Massin label as the “Standard Theory of Exchanges [STE]” and the “Action Theory of Exchanges [ATE]” in their recent paper “The Metaphysics of Economic Exchanges” (Journal of Social Ontology, 2017). The first section of the present article introduces STE, its shortcomings, and ATE as a theory of exchanges, which is superior to STE. The second section systematically reconstructs Schapp’s own position. It does so by highlighting the credit Schapp’s position especially owes to Adolf Reinach’s phenomenology. Finally, the third section claims that Schapp’s theory remains largely untouched by the shortcomings that affect STE and that it can be considered as a precursor of ATE, since it shares important insights with that account.