New releases

Überforderungseinwände in der Ethik
Lukas Naegeli
De Gruyter, 2022

Überforderungseinwände werden in der ethischen Diskussion darüber vorgebracht, welche moralischen Auffassungen plausibel sind. Manchen Moraltheorien wird entgegengehalten, dass sie zu anspruchsvoll sind, um als plausible Auffassungen gelten zu können. Da diese Theorien Forderungen implizieren, deren Ausmass darüber hinausgeht, was vernünftigerweise von Akteuren erwartet werden kann, sollten sie gemäss den Anhängern von Überforderungseinwänden zurückgewiesen werden.“
Gibt es überzeugende Überforderungseinwände gegen anspruchsvolle moralische Auffassungen? In diesem Buch werden Überforderungseinwände präzise charakterisiert, systematisch eingeordnet und argumentativ verteidigt. Unter Berücksichtigung der wichtigsten philosophischen Beiträge zum Thema wird gezeigt, weshalb gewisse Moraltheorien und -prinzipien dafür kritisiert werden können, dass sie zu viel von einzelnen Personen verlangen.


Buchcover Moral Philosophy and Politics

Prior Residence and Immigrants Voting Rights
Anna Goppel
Moral Philosophy and Politics, 2021, online first

Although the moral foundations of voting rights regulations have been the subject of widespread scrutiny, there is one aspect of the debate which has gone largely unquestioned and is currently accepted in every state’s actual voting rights regulations. This is the requirement of prior residence, which stipulates that immigrants are granted the right to vote only once they have lived in the host country for a certain period of time. It is this requirement I call into question in this paper. Taking up the most plausible justifications for this requirement, I aim to put substantial pressure on its moral acceptability by arguing that it is not directly grounded by any of the principles that are currently defended as a means to determine the demos, nor a proxy for some other morally relevant feature, nor a warrantor for abilities held to be significant for the right to vote.


Bild Maelstrom von Clarke

Irreducibly collective existence and bottomless nihilism
Jonas Werner
Synthese, 2022

This paper develops the metaphysical hypothesis that there are irreducibly collective pluralities, pluralities of objects that do not have a singular object among them. A way to formulate this hypothesis using plural quantification will be proposed and the coherence of irreducibly collective existence will be defended. Furthermore, irreducibly collective existence will be shown to allow for bottomless scenarios that do not involve things standing in relations of parthood. This will create logical space for an anti-atomistic form of mereological nihilism.


Re-Engineering Contested Concepts. A Reflective-Equilibrium Approach
Georg Brun
Synthese, 2022

Social scientists, political scientists and philosophers debate key concepts such as democracy, power and autonomy. Contested concepts like these pose questions: Are terms such as “democracy” hopelessly ambiguous? How can two theorists defend alternative accounts of democracy without talking past each other? How can we understand debates in which theorists disagree about what democracy is? This paper first discusses the popular strategy to answer these questions by appealing to Rawls’s distinction between concepts and conceptions. According to this approach, defenders of rival conceptions of, e.g. justice can disagree without talking past each other because they share the concept of justice. It is argued that this idea is attractive but limited in application and that it fails to do justice to the dynamic and normative aspects of concept formation. Reflective equilibrium is then suggested as an alternative approach. It replaces the static contrast between a conceptual ‘core’ and competing conceptions by a dynamic perspective of concept formation as a partly normative undertaking: pre-theoretic language use and commitments can provide a shared starting point for developing alternative accounts which yield different concepts of, e.g. justice. This perspective provides a new understanding of how it is possible that different theorists defend rival accounts of, e.g. justice, without talking past each other.

Cover der Zeitschrift Philosophy Compass

Philosophy of science at sea: Clarifying the interpretability of machine learning
Claus Beisbart & Tim Räz
Philosophy Compass, 2022

In computer science, there are efforts to make machine learning more interpretable or explainable, and thus to better understand the underlying models, algorithms, and their behavior. But what exactly is interpretability, and how can it be achieved? Such questions lead into philosophical waters because their answers depend on what explanation and understanding are—and thus on issues that have been central to the philosophy of science. In this paper, we review the recent philosophical literature on interpretability. We propose a systematization in terms of four tasks for philosophers: (i) clarify the notion of interpretability, (ii) explain the value of interpretability, (iii) provide frameworks to think about interpretability, and (iv) explore important features of it to adjust our expectations about it.


Gradual (In)Compatibility of Fairness Criteria
Corinna Hertweck und Tim Räz
In 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 22), February 22 - March 1, 2022, Vancouver, Canada

Impossibility results show that important fairness measures (independence, separation, sufficiency) cannot be satisfied at the same time under reasonable assumptions. This paper explores whether we can satisfy and/or improve these fairness measures simultaneously to a certain degree. We introduce information-theoretic formulations of the fairness measures and define degrees of fairness based on these formulations. The information-theoretic formulations suggest unexplored theoretical relations between the three fairness measures. In the experimental part, we use the information-theoretic expressions as regularizers to obtain fairness-regularized predictors for three standard datasets. Our experiments show that a) fairness regularization directly increases fairness measures, in line with existing work, and b) some fairness regularizations indirectly increase other fairness measures, as suggested by our theoretical findings. This establishes that it is possible to increase the degree to which some fairness measures are satisfied at the same time -- some fairness measures are gradually compatible.


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