Epistemologists have long believed that some kind of luck (epistemic luck) can undermine attributions of propositional knowledge (or knowledge-that). Action theorists have long believed that some kind of luck (agentive luck) can undermine attributions of intentional action. But what is the relation between agentive luck and epistemic luck? While agentive luck and epistemic luck have been widely thought to be independent phenomena, this paper argues that agentive luck has an epistemic dimension. We provide a variety of examples where epistemic luck undermines both judgments of knowledge-how and judgments of intentional action and we report experimental results that confirm these judgments. These findings have important implications for the role of knowledge in a theory of intentional action, for debates over the nature of know-how, and over the significance of knowledge representation in folk psychology.
This paper develops an approach to humanist social critique that combines insights from Marx and Fanon. I argue that the concept of the human operative in humanist social critique should be understood both as the normative background against which questions of human flourishing and dehumanization can come into view and as the evolving demand for universal human emancipation. Far from being abstract, essentialist, or ahistorical, Marx and Fanon show that humanist social critique operates through a dialectic between particular, socially and historically situated forms of oppression and struggle, and the universal species-context of the human life-form in which particular forms of suffering and injustice can come into view as instances of dehumanization. In developing this approach to humanist social critique, I defend humanism against three prominent objections: the charge of speciesism, the charge of essentialism, and the recent charge from Kate Manne who argues that humanism under-describes relations of social antagonism and that recognition of humanity is compatible with inhumane treatment. In addition to considering the necessary relation between the particular and the universal, I also consider the relation between the psychological and social/political, arguing against the recent approach to the problem of dehumanization in the work of David Livingstone Smith.
Many believe that the replication crisis is in part due to the incentives created by the reward structure of science (“the perverse-incentives hypothesis”). This talk argues that the perverse incentives hypothesis is unsupported and plausibly at best only partially true, and develops an alternative: The enculturation account.
When a misfortune befalls us, it is natural for us to react: “Why me?” This is not just the question: “Why did this unfortunate event occur?” Nor are we simply wondering: “Why do such things happen?” The self-reference implies an alternative: “Why didn’t this happen to someone else?” Importantly, this is not an expression of idle curiosity. It is a (usually silent) cry of protest – not just against the fact that these things happen, but against the fact that one of these things has happened to me. I am interested in the moral significance of this natural reaction. In particular, I am interested in what lies behind the moral judgment that explains the observation in parentheses, and what this judgment suggests about the disposition to privilege oneself over others. If, as I believe, we are often morally permitted to promote our own interests over others, if it is our disposition to do so that underlies the “why me?” reaction, and if we are right to think there is something shameful about reacting this way, what does this suggest about the moral significance of our morally permissible self-privileging behavior? How much comfort can we take in the fact that such behavior is compatible with treating one another “with respect”? How might our way of relating to others be different if we were not susceptible to the “why me?” reaction?