Thought experiments have played a pivotal role in many debates within ethicsâ€”and in particular within applied ethicsâ€”over the past 30 years. Nonetheless, despite their having become a commonly used philosophical tool, there is something odd about the extensive reliance upon thought experiments in areas of philosophy, such as applied ethics, that are so obviously oriented towards practical life. Herein I provide a moderate defence of their use in applied philosophy against those three objections. I do not defend all possible uses (...) of thought experiments but suggest that we should distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses. Their legitimate uses are determined not so much by the modal content of any actual thought experiment itself, but by the extent to which the argument in which it is nested follows basic tenets of informal logic and respects the fundamental contingency of applied ethical problems. In pursuing these ideas, I do not so much provide a set of criteria for their legitimate use, but more modestly present two significant ways in which their use can go awry. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that moral distress is an emotional response to an ethical dilemma, and that to date, the literature has largely failed to address the fundamental questions that need to be answered in response to this emotional response. Firstly, does moral distress accurately identify a wrong being done to patients? Secondly, if it does, can nurses carry out this ‘wrong doing’, but not be responsible for the consequences of their actions? A narrative that reflects the emotional (...) nature of moral distress is presented, with the aim of providing some answers to these questions. (shrink)
Analytic philosophy is roughly a hundred years old, and it is now the dominant force within Western philosophy. Interest in its historical development is increasing, but there has hitherto been no sustained attempt to elucidate what it currently amounts to, and how it differs from so-called 'continental' philosophy. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Hans Johann Glock argues that analytic philosophy is a loose movement held together both by ties of influence and by various 'family resemblances'. He considers the pros (...) and cons of various definitions of analytic philosophy, and tackles the methodological, historiographical and philosophical issues raised by such definitions. Finally, he explores the wider intellectual and cultural implications of the notorious divide between analytic and continental philosophy. His book is an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to understand analytic philosophy and how it is practised. (shrink)
John Dupr argues that 'scientific imperialism' can result in 'misguided' science being considered acceptable. 'Misguided' is an explicitly normative term and the use of the pejorative 'imperialistic' is implicitly normative. However, Dupr has not justified the normative dimension of his critique. We identify two ways in which it might be justified. It might be justified if colonisation prevents a discipline from progressing in ways that it might otherwise progress. It might also be justified if colonisation prevents the expression of important (...) values in the colonised discipline. This second concern seems most pressing in the human sciences. (shrink)
Lea & Webley (L&W) provide two alternative biological accounts of human monetary motivations, the Tool Theory and the Drug Theory. They argue that both are required for an adequate explanation. I explore the applicability of these models to philosophical discussions of how we might justify such motivations. I argue their approach is not entirely satisfactory for normative questions, since it precludes the possibility of rational non-instrumental attitudes towards money. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Recently among analytic political philosophers there has been a considerable revival of interest in the normative evaluation of the market and of economic processes more generally. While not rejecting markets in toto , philosophers such as Elizabeth Anderson and Amartya Sen have raised questions about the proper range of the market, explored the role of normative considerations in economic decision-making and raised doubts about the view that normative constraints are never legitimately placed on economic activity. In this article I experience (...) the relevance to such explorations of the economic casuistry of the medieval schoolmen. Key Words: Just Price medieval philosophy usury distributive justice Aquinas. (shrink)
Invisible Hand accounts of the operations of the competitive market are often thought to have two implications for morality as it confronts economic life. First, explanantions of agents economic activities eschew constitutive appeal to moral notions; and second, such moralism is pernicious insofar as it tends to undermine the operations of a socially valuable social process. This is the Mandevillean Conceit. The Conceit rests on an avarice-only reading of the profit-motive that is mistaken. The avarice-only reading is not the only (...) way of characterising the profit-motive, and there are some positive grounds for thinking the benefits of profit pursuit are better attributed to the “lucrephile”, and not the avarice-only “lucrepath”. (shrink)
Nathan Houser, Don D. Roberts and James Van Evra (eds), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce, In:Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 1997, xiii + 653 pp. £41.95. ISBN 0-253-33020-3.
Plant variety rights legislation, now enactedin most Western countries, fosters the commodificationof plant varieties. In this paper, we look at theconceptual issues involved in understanding andjustifying this commodification, with particularemphasis on Australian legislation. The paper isdivided into three sections. In the first, we lay outa taxonomy of goods, drawing on this in the secondsection to point out that the standard justificationof the allocation of exclusionary property rights byappeal to scarcity will not do for abstract goods suchas plant varieties, since these (...) goods are not madescarcer through consumption, and consideringalternative – economically consequentialist –justifications. In the third section, we considerthese justifications as they apply to the particularcase of the commodification of plant varieties, andthe legislation which fosters it. A definitive answerto the question of whether this legislation isadvantageous awaits further empirical information, butwe point to several intrinsically problematic aspectsof it. (shrink)
The process of ?logical differentiation? was introduced by Peirce in 1870. Directly analogous to mathematical differentiation, it uses logical terms instead of mathematical variables. Here, this mysterious process receives new interpretations which serve to clarify Peirce?s use of logical terms. I introduce the logical terms, the operation of multiplication, the logical analogy to the binomial theorem, infinitesimal relatives, the concepts of numerical coefficients and the number associated with each term. I also analyse the algebraic development of ?logical differentiation? and consider (...) in depth one application of the process. (shrink)