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    Rhetoric and Anti-Semitism
    Academic Questions 17 (2): 22-32. 2004.
    Given that charges of anti-Semitism, racism, and the like continue to be potent weapons of moral and intellectual critique in our culture, it is important that we work toward a clear understanding about just what sorts of conduct and circumstances constitute these moral offenses. In particular, can criticism of a state (such as Israel), or other social or political institution or organization (such as the NAACP), ever amount to anti-Semitism, racism, or other bigotry against the people represen…Read more
  •  15
    Critical Thinking in the Intelligence Community: The Promise of Argument Mapping
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 29 (2): 14-34. 2014.
    It is unfortunate that so much turns on the practices of argument construction and critique in intelligence analysis, for example, because these practices are fraught with difficulty. However, the recently developed technique of argument mapping helps reasoners conduct these practices more thoroughly and insightfully, as can be shown in an extended illustration concerning Iraqi nuclear activities circa 2002. Argument mapping offers other benefits, as well. Its ultimate value, though, will depend…Read more
  •  79
    Humor, Context, and Divided Cognition
    Social Theory and Practice 31 (3): 309-36. 2005.
    Those who suggest that only a sexist (or racist, or anti-semite) can experience amusement at a sexist (or racist, or anti-semitic) joke have failed to grasp two underappreciated features of the psychology of humor: (1) that amusement is sensitive to what is conveyed to the audience by the contexts within which a joke is taken to be situated, and hence to pragmatic, and not merely semantic, factors; and (2) that, given the non-integrated nature of the ordinary human cognitive system, the frame of…Read more
  •  27
    Altering Artworks: Creators' Moral Rights Vs. The Public Good
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 12 (2): 53-61. 2005.
    The grounds for recognizing that artists possess a personal “moral right of integrity” that would entitle them to prevent others from modifying their works are weak. There is, however, an important (and legislation-worthy) public interest in protecting highly-valued entities, including at least some works of art, from permanently destructive transformations
  •  62
    Selflessness & Cognition
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4): 411-435. 2005.
    What are the cognitive mechanisms that underlie selfless conduct, both ‘thinking’ and unthinking? We first consider deliberate selflessness, a manner of selecting acts in which, in evaluating options, one expressly chooses not to weigh the potential consequences for oneself (though this formulation is seen as needing some qualification). We then turn to unthinking behavior in general, and whether we are responsible for it, as the foundation for analyzing the unthinking variety of selflessness. U…Read more
  •  26
    Scientists and their supporters often portray as exasperatingly irrational all those laypersons who refuse to accede to practical recommendations issued by expert scientists and 'science appliers'. After first considering the latter groups’ standard explanations for such non-deference, which focus upon irrationalities besetting the laity, I will propose that a better explanation for at least some of the non-deference is that many laypersons are rationally electing to substitute their own judgmen…Read more
  •  274
    If racism is a matter of possessing racist beliefs, then it would seem that its cure involves purging one’s mind of all racist beliefs. But the truth is more complicated, and does not permit such a straightforward strategy. Racist beliefs are resistant to subjective repudiation, and even those that are so repudiated are resistant to lasting expulsion from one’s belief system. Moreover, those that remain available for use in cognition can shape thought and behavior even in the event that one h…Read more
  •  8
    Humor, Context, and Divided Cognition
    Social Theory and Practice 31 (3): 309-336. 2005.
  •  28
    Altering Artworks: Creators’ Moral Rights vs. The Public Good
    Philosophy in the Contemporary World 12 (2): 53-61. 2005.
    The grounds for recognizing that artists possess a personal “moral right of integrity” that would entitle them to prevent others from modifying their works are weak. There is, however, an important public interest in protecting highly-valued entities, including at least some works of art, from permanently destructive transformations.
  •  35
    Situated Cognition: The Perspect Model
    In David Spurrett, Don Ross, Harold Kincaid & Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context, Mit Press. pp. 227. 2007.
    The standard philosophical and folk-psychological accounts of cognition and action credit us with too much spontaneity in our activities and projects. We are taken to be fundamentally active rather than reactive, to project our needs and aims and deploy our full supporting arsenal of cognitive instruments upon an essentially passive environment. The corrected point of view presented here balances this image of active agency with an appreciation of how we are also continually responding to the …Read more