Poulter, Martin Lewis
To defend the objectivity and epistemic significance of science from claims that theory choice reflects scientists' values, McMullin has suggested that we clearly identify epistemic values - those such as truth which are the characteristic normative goals of science - and distinguish them from non-epistemic values. The question of the objectivity of a scientific inquiry then reduces to the question of whether it is primarily driven by epistemic values. This thesis illustrates how, using a decision-theoretic model, we can decide whether a motivation is epistemic or non-epistemic by looking at the consequences of potential actions that it attaches to. Building on this structural definition, we produce a succession of further definitions, distinguishing between epistemically and non-epistemically motivated inquiries, people, methods of persuasion and processes of interpretation. The resulting concept of epistemic value can demarcate science and non-science that is not committed to any particular method, nor to methodological anarchy. The model allows us to examine the potential behaviour of hypothetical agents. This method shows that epistemic motivation results in a desire for reliable information, while non-epistemic motivation makes information undesirable or even aversive. From this we get an empirical criterion distinguishing the two attitudes. Another useful hypothetical is to imagine a scientist who wants to assert a maximum number of truths by making a small number of statements. Under these circumstances, we find it can be rational to assert a theory with known false consequences, or a theory that is strictly meaningless but empirically adequate. Since the thesis makes use of Bayesian decision theory, the question naturally arises of how applicable it is to real people. The first part of the thesis defends the descriptive use of BDT in ordinary belief/desire explanation and shows that this does not involve any strong metaphysical presumptions about the entity being explained.
15 June 2022
Despite reform efforts to broaden historically underrepresented populations across STEM disciplines, the data continues to highlight gaps of achievement across racial demographics. In an effort to address educational inequity, current reform efforts have touted the implementation of learning progressions as a promising strategy that can produce equality of outcomes across racial groups in STEM. Despite this promising effort, few studies have examined how to integrate practices of equity within learning progressions for groups such as African Americans that have been traditionally excluded from science and STEM. This study argues that an equity oriented learning progression should be responsive to sociohistorical factors of epistemic injustice that dissociated African Americans identities from being producers of knowledge. This study argues that the construction of a learning progression to advance the epistemic participation of African American students is aligned with goals of social justice related to diversifying STEM. The aims of this study explored how African American students progressed toward epistemic agency as STEM learners as a result of identity transformation through the engagement of the epistemic practices of engineering. This study used qualitative methodology to explore how student participants demonstrate epistemic development in their artifacts and discourse when engaging in engineering activities across a learning progression designed to develop epistemic agency. The findings from this study contribute to a broader understanding of how equity-oriented learning progressions can be designed to promote epistemic justice, how sociocultural positionings influence epistemic communities, and how students can become epistemic agents to raise STEM awareness within their local community. Advancing students epistemic practices of engineering and epistemic agency as STEM learners is key to creating meaningful pathways into STEM for students in K-12. / Doctor of Philosophy / National imperatives to broaden the STEM participation of underrepresented groups remains a prominent priority across educational research. Due to marginal effectiveness associated with racialized minorities, researchers continue to explore equity oriented initiatives. In an effort to address educational inequity, current reform efforts have touted the implementation of learning progressions as a promising strategy that can produce equality of outcomes across racial groups in science and STEM. Educational inequity prevents underrepresented populations, such as African Americans, from having the types of educational experiences that position them as significant contributors in STEM and more specifically engineering. This study argues that the construction of a learning progression to advance the epistemic participation and agency of African American students in STEM is a sociohistorical response to a legacy of epistemic injustice. Qualitative methodology was used to explore how African American students progressed toward epistemic agency as STEM learners as a result of identity transformation through the engagement of the epistemic practices of engineering. The findings indicated that the engineering design activities within the curriculum positively influenced students' identity, self-efficacy, and demonstration of epistemic agency across the learning progression. Additionally, the findings indicated the effectiveness of using the epistemic practices of engineering to facilitate the cognitive development of the engineering habits of mind. Lastly, the findings indicated the significance of using the epistemic practices of engineering to reposition African American students' identities as epistemic contributors both within the classroom and within their local community.
Our emotions tell us that something is happening. When we experience or express an emotion, it is a reaction to a situation that is happening to or around us. This thesis project seeks to address the social and political inequalities that obstruct certain individuals and groups from being able to access and express the unique form of information that emotions provide. Emotional epistemic injustice concerns the ways in which our emotions can be used against us as an epistemic agent along gendered, racial, and ableist lines. Our capacity as a knower is influenced by social rules – and these same social rules dictate which kind of people can feel what, and in which situations. The first two chapters of this project are focused on identifying and analyzing two existing kinds of emotional epistemic injustice – misogynistic emotion reframing and emotional epistemic exploitation. By explicitly acknowledging these phenomena, I provide two new actionable hermeneutical resources, demonstrate the significance of our emotional experiences, and establish the need for a recategorization of emotions as a significant and unique source of information. The third and final chapter focuses on how this recategorization can be done. By specifically identifying socio-epistemically significant emotions, I argue for the recategorization of emotions as an invitation to further investigation of our experiences within the context of existing social and political inequalities. Our emotions, both felt and expressed, have the potential to be powerful tools for real social and political change – and in order for them to have this impact, they must be embraced as their own unique and significant source of information. / Thesis / Master of Philosophy (MA) / The primary goal of this thesis project is to formally acknowledge the role of emotions in how we are able to acquire and contribute to knowledge construction, and successfully communicate said knowledge to others. Our gender, race, sexuality, socio-economic status, and ability all influence how we are allowed to express our emotions, and to what extent they will receive uptake from a given audience. These social feeling rules allow others to “justifiably” dismiss the information our emotions are signaling based on our social position, and results in the expression of emotion being used to undermine our reason-based testimony or communication as well. By identifying two specific ways in which this is already happening via misogynistic emotion reframing and emotional epistemic exploitation, as well as presenting a new way of categorizing our emotions as unique forms of information, I will demonstrate that the information our emotions provide can be a powerful tool for real social and political change.
Ahlstrom, Kristoffer Hans
01 September 2010
Every time we act in an effort to attain our epistemic goals, we express our epistemic agency. The present study argues that a proper understanding of the actions and goals relevant to expressions of such agency can be used to make ameliorative recommendations about how the ways in which we actually express our agency can be brought in line with how we should express our agency. More specifically, it is argued that the actions relevant to such expressions should be identified with the variety of actions characteristic of inquiry; that contrary to what has been maintained by recent pluralists about epistemic value, the only goal relevant to inquiry is that of forming true belief; and that our dual tendency for bias and overconfidence gives us reason to implement epistemically paternalistic practices that constrain our freedom to exercise agency in substantial ways. For example, we are often better off by gathering only a very limited amount of information, having our selection of methods be greatly restricted, and spending our time less on reflecting than on simply reading off the output of a simple algorithm. In other words, when it comes to our freedom to express epistemic agency, more is not always better. In fact, less is often so much more.
No description available.
Nihilistic uncertainty : Freud, Kristeva, Keynes and the rise of ethno-nationalism in Yugoslavia 1980-1990Johnson, Tomas January 2000 (has links)
No description available.
26 March 2008
Computer networks produce tremendous amounts of event-based data that can be collected and managed to support an increasing number of new classes of pervasive applications. Examples of such applications are network monitoring and crisis management. Although the problem of distributed event-based management has been addressed in the non-pervasive settings such as the Internet, the domain of pervasive networks has its own characteristics that make these results non-applicable. Many of these applications are based on time-series data that possess the form of time-ordered series of events. Such applications also embody the need to handle large volumes of unexpected events, often modified on-the-fly, containing conflicting information, and dealing with rapidly changing contexts while producing results with low-latency. Correlating events across contextual dimensions holds the key to expanding the capabilities and improving the performance of these applications. This dissertation addresses this critical challenge. It establishes an effective scheme for complex-event semantic correlation. The scheme examines epistemic uncertainty in computer networks by fusing event synchronization concepts with belief theory. Because of the distributed nature of the event detection, time-delays are considered. Events are no longer instantaneous, but duration is associated with them. Existing algorithms for synchronizing time are split into two classes, one of which is asserted to provide a faster means for converging time and hence better suited for pervasive network management. Besides the temporal dimension, the scheme considers imprecision and uncertainty when an event is detected. A belief value is therefore associated with the semantics and the detection of composite events. This belief value is generated by a consensus among participating entities in a computer network. The scheme taps into in-network processing capabilities of pervasive computer networks and can withstand missing or conflicting information gathered from multiple participating entities. Thus, this dissertation advances knowledge in the field of network management by facilitating the full utilization of characteristics offered by pervasive, distributed and wireless technologies in contemporary and future computer networks.
A Philosophical Examination of the Instrumental Conception of the Epistemic Rationality of Human Doxastic StatesBondy, Patrick 10 1900 (has links)
<p>The instrumental conception of epistemic rationality is the view according to which beliefs, or doxastic states generally, are epistemically rational insofar as they promote the achievement of an epistemic goal, and they are epistemically irrational to the extent that they fail to promote such a goal. The thesis that I defend here is that the instrumental conception is not satisfactory as a general account of epistemic rationality.</p> <p>I proceed by examining a number of reasons one might offer for accepting the instrumental account, and I find them wanting. I also consider various ways of formulating the epistemic goal, attempting to determine the best one, in order to show the instrumental conception in its best light. I consider and reject the attempt to ground the instrumental conception on the proper function of our cognitive systems. Finally, I consider three arguments against the instrumental conception of epistemic rationality, and some objections to them. I conclude that, even shown in its most favourable light, the instrumental conception cannot give us a satisfactory general account of epistemic rationality.</p> / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Some legal theorists argue that legal determinations apparently based on moral arguments actually involve an appeal to extra-legal standards because legal reasoning and the conceptual structure of a legal system necessarily excludes morality (Exclusive Legal Positivism). Others argue that moral principles can be _incorporated into legal systems (Inclusive Legal Positivism), or must be so incorporated (Dworkinian Interpretivism), where they operate as legal rules. Does Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms actually incorporate the moral principle of equality, or does it merely authorize judges to appeal to that extra-legal principle as a legitimate reason for invalidating those laws which violate it? To answer that question the philosophical legal theorist must evaluate and develop an account of juridical law in the face of epistemic uncertainty about the relation between law and morality (i.e. whether it is necessary or contingent). In this work I first consider the meta-theoretical characteristics of legal theories, particularly their methodologies and the evaluative criteria applied to them, so as to identify and make explicit the source of legal-theoretical epistemic uncertainty. I then argue for an approach to describing and explaining law whereby we neither ignore epistemic uncertainty nor dispense with it by means of a stipulative definition. This inclusive positivist approach, however, also requires that we abandon the ideal of a presuppositionless inquiry. Accordingly, I demonstrate how a descriptive-explanatory philosophical account of law can make use of a presupposition and, ultimately, offer a sound defense for it. Finally, through an analysis of some aspects of Canadian constitutional adjudication, I show that inclusive positivism is most able to describe and explain the legal-moral uncertainty exhibited by participants in legal systems of a certain type, and so offers the best philosophical account of legal practices as they are understood by those who instantiate them. / Thesis / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
06 September 2012
My central aim in the dissertation is to defend an account of the epistemic condition of moral responsibility that distinguishes culpable ignorance from non-culpable ignorance. The view that I defend is that ignorance is culpable just when an agent flouts or ignores moral reasons that underlie her epistemic norms or obligations. This view is a quality-of-will theory of moral responsibility that emphasizes the agent’s reasons-responsiveness. It holds that only relevant epistemic obligations are those that require acts of investigation or reflection. In the dissertation, I examine extant theories of culpable ignorance and suggest that they all fall short in some important respect. Then, I propose and defend an account in which epistemic norms play a leading role. I analyze the nature of epistemic norms and their normativity, and I argue that agents who ignore or flout actional investigative norms and then act on subsequent false beliefs are connected to the wrongness of their action in a way that establishes their blameworthiness. I also argue that epistemic norms that require agents to hold certain beliefs or make certain inferences are not relevant to culpable ignorance. Finally, I explore the implications of my view for certain interesting cases of moral ignorance. I discuss ignorance that results from an agent’s social or historical circumstances, ignorance that stems from pure moral deference, and ignorance that is explained by epistemic difficulty of getting certain moral facts right. There are two striking outcomes of my research. The first is that reflection on the epistemic condition shows that one cannot think deeply about moral responsibility without also engaging issues in epistemology relating to the nature and normativity of belief, and issues in normative ethics relating to what our moral obligations actually are. The second striking outcome is that bringing these rather disparate topics together, as I attempted to do, reveals that much of our ignorance is actually non-culpable, and that many of our beliefs about the blameworthiness of ignorant agents are unwarranted.
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