More details are available here.
For those who haven't seen it, there is a discussion over at Leiter on the survey, with special reference to the (alleged) connection between libertarianism and theism. This is a topic worth its own thread, I think.
My observation, for what it's worth, slightly orthogonal to the theism causes/correlates with libertarianism. Free will is a mainly US debate. There are few people in Australia and the UK, or on the continent, who have it as a major research interest. The US is also an outlier on reliigous world among developed countries. I suspect there is a connection. Two hypotheses: Christians, in particular, often think that libertarian free will is needed to justify divine reward and punishment (heaven and hell are pretty heavy duty sanctions). That keeps the debate going in the US, making it a focus in undergraduate courses and interesting both theists and atheists. Second hypothesis: if religion is personally gripping for a person, so is the problem of evil. This problem motivates interest in free will as a solution (and we get the extra US interest in the topic).
The results of the philpapers survey are here. I was surprised by how low the proportion of compatibilists turned out to be: 59%. Libertarianism, no free will and 'other' don't differ significantly from each other, which is also surprising. Thoughts? In particular, what is the 'other' view which is so popular? Some kind of Double-style subjectivism? Or is this the result of over-scrupulousness on the part of semi-compatibilists? C'mon guys, John wrote the chapter on compatibilism in the Four Views book...
Here are two very different conceptions of what probabilistic causation is.
(1) It is the probability of causation. When e1 probabilistically causes e2, e1 stands to e2 in the same relation in which one event stands to another when the first deterministically causes the second. The difference between probabilitistic and deterministic causation is just a difference in whether there is (before the effect occurs) a chance that the causal relation will not obtain.
(2) It is the causation of probability. A probabilistic cause causes there to be a certain probability that a certain subsequent event will occur. Nothing else causal happens. It's then a matter of pure chance whether or not that subsequent event occurs. If it does, then, in a plain sense, nothing causes it.
In Libertarian Accounts of Free Will, I suggested that event-causal libertarians had better favor the first of these views, that the truth of the second would be fatal for their position. Indeed, it seems to me that if the second view is correct, and if intentional actions must be caused by psychological states, then events that are "probabilistically caused" cannot be intentional actions.
I haven't seen much discussion of this issue. I wonder if different conceptions of probabilistic causation are sometimes behind different responses to the problem of luck. What do folks think? (I mean you folks!)
Philosophical Studies is definitely on a roll lately with cool papers relevant to the Garden: Patrick Todd's on manipulation arguments that I brought up in my last post, a newer one on Frankfurt-examples by Chris Franklin, and also one on the nature of holding responsible by Coleen Macnamara. (I can't resist pointing out that all three of these fine individuals are in the department at UC Riverside. The people affiliated with that department sure are smart!)
Although you should definitely read all of the above articles, here I just want to talk a bit about Coleen's paper, and then ask a question for all you readers out there.
In her paper, Macnamara gives "a topology of the terrain of holding others responsible" (p. 3), and it turns out to be quite complex and fascinating. She argues that accepting her map helps both to rectify certain confusions in the literature and to "clarify the scope and nature of our practices of holding responsible" (p. 3). A thumbnail sketch of her map, along with a question, appears below the fold:
Sally Haslanger (MIT) wants to know about your experience publishing, regardless of your career stage (grad student, pre-tenure prof, post-tenure prof). Please help her out. As many of you may know, she's been (among many other things) trying to get the profession to think about the conditions under which we practice philosophy, hire new professors, and develop careers. So, the answers to this survey could be helpful in getting a snapshot of publication experiences in the profession. Original email message below.
(Two notes: I can report that the advice below is accurate: it is very useful to have your CV available when you do the survey. Also, this is an opportunity to help raise the visibility of Philosophy of Action/Agency. It isn't listed as an area of specialization, but you can write it in under "Other." Please do so, so Sally and others will say "Wow, I hadn't realized there were so many people working in Philosophy of Action" or "Wow, philosophers of action have lots of effective mentors" or what have you.)
All professional philosophers are invited to participate in a survey on publishing in philosophy.
It should take about 10 minutes. It will be useful to have your CV handy as you fill it out. Please go here to find it:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=TXA9uBYCaq4MtU_2bwLhLADQ_3d_3d
I highly recommend Jerry Dworkin's "quips about philosophy", to which there is a link from Brian Leiter's blog (today--Nov 12): http:/leiterreports.typepad.com
As would be expected, they are very funny. What are your favorites?
I just received my copy of A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain, by Tamler Sommers.
Go get your copy, and read some interviews he did with various Famous People, including Galen Strawson, Philip Zimbardo, Franz de Waal, Joshua Greene, Jonathan Haidt, Stephen Stich, and various other luminaries.
Then, remark on his annoyingly excellent prose and keen sense of the Important Stuff.
First, the Garden will be growing. We've invited several new people to be contributors, so once the sorry administrator gets his act together, and everything is official, I'll introduce them.
Second, I want to make sure that Gardeners are familiar with Brains. In case you don't know, Brains is a blog devoted the philosophy of mind, and it may be of great interest to many Gardeners, so please check it out.
Third, Edward Cokely has brought the following new journal to my attention, and some Gardeners might be interested in submitting their work. Here is the call for papers:
Call for Papers: The new "Journal of Organizational Moral Psychology" (Nova Science publishers, quarterly, beginning 2010) publishes research in human moral cognition, judgment, and decision-making, including organizational ethical behavior and organizational moral psychology. The journal seeks articles that present original empirical research, theoretical development, reviews of the pertinent literature, and methodological advancements relevant to these areas. Topics covered by the journal are multidisciplinary and include scholars from many fields including management, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, behavioral economics and others. We are interested in publishing articles that explore these topics as they apply to individuals, dyads, groups, and higher levels of analysis. We take the organization to be a construct covering a wide spectrum of social collectives; formal, informal, illegal or legal collaborations, in the private or public sector.
Two areas of emphasis in the journal that fit well with ongoing work in experimental philosophy are (1) Moral intuitions and (2) Philosophy/Psychology connections.
Editor: George W. Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal website: https://ojcs.siue.edu/ojs/
And last (but by no means least in my heart), boo Yankees!
There will be a short conference at the University of Sydney Law School on the following theme:
Responsibilty: A Matter of Degree?
It involves some Garden inspired discussion but unfortunately I think it is being held a long way from most Gardeners.
Here is the link to the site: