As third wave feminist philosophers attending graduate schools in different parts of the country, we decided to use our e-mail discussion as the format for presenting our thinking on the subject of third wave feminism. Our dialogue takes us through the subjects of postmodernism, the relationship between theory and practice, the generation gap, and the power relations associated with feminist philosophy as an established part of the academy.
In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different “degrees of contingency”. We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...) purposes, we provide an example from population genetics, the Wright-Fisher Model. (shrink)
This essay is about experience, and not only about ideas. I have been drawn to write about John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus for a number of reasons: First, I find his work to be part of a new turn in LGBT art and media that take queer lives as a point of departure, and not only as narrative focus, for their work. These areworks that are not just about being queer, but cross the line into being queer works. Of those who (...) can be said to be a part of this recent turn, I find Mitchell’s work to be both especially philosophical and formally interesting. Not only does his work take up philosophical questions over what it means to be human, and the nature of love and sex, but also his works are produced through an organic, cooperative process that re-frames what it could mean to queer representation, political or otherwise. (shrink)
Since Stalbaum’s 1838 translation revived interest in Plato’s Timaeus, commentators have tended to bracket the discourse on Necessity, reading it as either mythical or mystical. This essay offers an interpretation of Necessity that is also an assertion of its importance for understanding the philosophically important conception of chora-space found therein. Beginning with throwing ourselves back into the Presocratic milieu, I examine what remains of Presocratic notions of kreon and ananke (necessity) in order to move forward a more robust interpretation of (...) the discourse on Necessity and chora-space. (shrink)
: Those who are morally opposed to abortion generally make several pivotal assumptions. This paper focuses on the assumption that we have full moral status throughout our existence. Coupled with the assumption that we come into existence at conception, the assumption about moral status entails that all human fetuses have full moral status, including a right to life. Is the assumption about moral status correct? In addressing this question, I respond to several arguments advanced, in this journal and other venues, (...) by Alfonso Gómez-Lobo. Gómez-Lobo's reasoning resolves into two basic arguments: (1) an appeal to the practical necessity of early moral protection and (2) an appeal to our kind membership and potentiality. I respond to these in turn before offering further reflections. (shrink)
Nel 2011 sono mancati Paolo Lucentini e Alfonso Maierù. Nel ricordarne la vicenda umana e professionale come ricercatori e come docenti, questo articolo intende mettere in luce in particolare il contributo che essi hanno dato alla Storia del pensiero medievale accompagnando gli studi dottrinali con importanti edizioni di testi inediti. Paolo Lucentini and Alfonso Maierù passed away in 2011. This article, in remembrance of their personal and professional roles as researchers and teachers, will highlight the contributions that they (...) made to the history of medieval thought, showing how they combined doctrinal studies with important editions of unedited texts. (shrink)
The paper presents some basic tenets of the works by the Franciscan Friar Alfonso Briceño (1587–1668), as well as of his metaphysical thought. After offering the basic structure and purpose of his monumental Controversiae, we focus on a more specific way of seeing his philosophical and theological approach, namely Controversy 5 on the infinity of God. This will allow us to see the structure of his argumentation in philosophy and theology: after putting the formulation of controversial points between the (...) Scotist and the Thomist school, he analyzes arguments against the Thomist position both in the Medieval and Baroque traditions, trying then to defend Duns Scotus’s account by a careful and articulated interpretation of his texts. (shrink)
Abstract. Scholars have long debated the possibility of a mystical or illuminationist strain of thought in Ibn Sīnā 's body of writing. This debate has often focused on the meaning and contents of his partly lost work al-Mashriqiyyūn (The Easterners), also known as al-Ḥikma al-Mashriqiyya (EasternWisdom), mentioned by Ibn Sīnā himself as well as by numerous Western writers including Ibn Rushd and Ibn Ṭufayl. A handful of references to what is called Ibn Sīnā 's “Oriental Philosophy” are also found in (...) the Castilian and Hebrew works of the Castilian Jew Abner of Burgos (ca. 1270-ca.1347), known after his conversion to Christianity as Alfonso of Valladolid. Although the content of these citations has not been identified, it has been proposed that they may preserve otherwise unknown passages from Ibn Sīnā's lost work. This study considers the references to Ibn Sīnā 's so-called “Oriental Philosophy” within Abner's writings and concludes that rather than preserving lost passages from Ibn Sīnā's writing, Abner's references were drawn primarily from Ibn Ṭufayl and offer no support for the argument of a possible mystical or illuminationist strain in Ibn Sīnā 's thinking. -/- Résumé. Depuis longtemps, on a discuté de la possible présence d'une orientation mystique ou “illuminative” dans l'oeuvre d'Ibn Sīnā . Le sens et le contenu de son ouvrage (partiellement perdu) al-Mashriqiyyūn (Les Orientaux), également connu comme al-Ḥikma al-Mashriqiyya (La Sagesse orientale), mentionné par Ibn Sīnā lui-même et par des écrivains occidentaux comme Ibn Rushd et Ibn Ṭufayl, ont souvent été au centre de ce débat. On trouve aussi quelques références à ce qui est appelé la “philosophie orientale” d'Ibn Sīnā dans l'oeuvre du juif castillan Abner de Burgos (ca. 1270-ca. 1347) connu après sa conversion au christianisme sous le nom d'Alphonse de Valladolid. Sans avoir au préalable identifié le contenu de ces citations, on a fait l'hypothèse qu'elles auraient permis de conserver des passages, inconnus par ailleurs, de l'ouvrage perdu d'Ibn Sīnā. Cette étude porte sur les références à la “philosophie orientale” d'Ibn Sīnā dans l'oeuvre d'Abner de Burgos. Elle montre que les références d'Abner semblent avoir été essentiellement tirées d'Ibn Ṭufayl et ne renvoient donc pas aux passages perdus de l'ouvrage d'Ibn Sīnā. En conséquence elles ne peuvent servir d'argument pour confirmer la présence d'une orientation mystique ou “illuminative” dans l'oeuvre d'Ibn Sīnā. (shrink)
In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual conditionals that can exhibit different degrees of contingency. We use the idea of possible worlds to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, it is this structure what helps explain why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful (...) in scientific practice. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue the practice of procreation is immoral regardless of the consequences of human presence such as climate change and overpopulation; the lack of consent, interests and moral desert on the part of nonexistent individuals means someone could potentially suffer in the absence of moral justification. Procreation is only morally justified if there is some method for acquiring informed consent from a non-existent person; but that is impossible; therefore, procreation is immoral.
What ethical framework should be used as a basis for teaching business ethics? Should business ethics be taught by ethicists in a separate course, by business faculty in business courses, or perhaps by both? These are some of the issues this paper will address. The paper begins with a review of the literature concerning approaches to teaching business ethics. Next, some ethical frameworks for teaching business ethics are considered. Finally, the paper proposes that students should apply their own personal values (...) to business ethical issues in the classroom, thus providing future business leaders with a process for resolving ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they nevertheless lack first-order philosophical expertise (i.e. expertise (...) on philosophical positions themselves such as the nature of mind, causality, normativity and so forth). Throughout the paper, I respond to potential objections. (shrink)
Contemporary cognitive neuropsychology attempts to infer unobserved features of normal human cognition, or ?cognitive architecture?, from experiments with normals and with brain-damaged subjects in whom certain normal cognitive capacities are altered, diminished, or absent. Fundamental methodological issues about the enterprise of cognitive neuropsychology concern the characterization of methods by which features of normal cognitive architecture can be identified from such data, the assumptions upon which the reliability of such methods are premised, and the limits of such methods?even granting their assumptions?in (...) resolving uncertainties about that architecture. With some idealization, the question of the capacities of various experimental designs in cognitive neuropsychology to uncover cognitive architecture can be reduced to comparatively simple questions about the prior assumptions investigators are willing to make. This paper presents some of simplest of those reductions. 1Research for this paper was made possible by a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and by grant number SBE-9212264 from the National Science Foundation. I thank Martha Farah for teaching me what little I know of cognitive neuropsychology, Jeffrey Bub for stimulating me to think about these issues and for commenting on drafts of this paper, and Peter Slezak for additional comments. Alfonso Caramazza and Michael McCloskey provided very helpful comments on a second draft. (shrink)
In order to understand the nature of human embryos I first distinguish between active and passive potentiality, and then argue that the former is found in human gametes and embryos (even in embryos in vitro that may fail to be implanted) because they all have an indwelling power or capacity to initiate certain changes. Implantation provides necessary conditions for the actualization of that prior, active potentiality. This does not imply that embryos are potential persons that do not deserve the same (...) respect as actual persons. To claim that embryos become persons is to understand the predicate person as a phase sortal, roughly equivalent to adult person. This entails that we would not be essentially persons. In order to explain the traditional understanding of person as a proper sortal rather than a phase sortal, the author distinguishes between proximate and remote potentiality, and shows that, unlike feline embryos, human embryos, by their genetic constitution, possess the remote potentiality to later exercise the typically human activities. It follows that they are already persons essentially. (shrink)
Steven Hales constructs a novel argument against the possibility of presentist time travel called the suicide machine argument. Hales argues that if presentism were true, then time travel would result in the annihilation of the time traveler. But such a consequence is not time travel, therefore presentism cannot allow for the possibility of time travel. This paper argues that in order for the suicide machine argument to succeed, it must make (at least) one of two assumptions, each of which beg (...) the question. The argument must either assume that the sequence of moments is invariant, or that time travel requires distinct, co-instantiated moments. Because the former disjunct assumes that presentist time travel is impossible and the latter assumes that presentism is impossible, the suicide machine argument fails. (shrink)
This paper presents the hypothesis that linguistic capacity evolved through the action of natural selection as an instrument which increased the efficiency of the cultural transmission system of early hominids. We suggest that during the early stages of hominization, hominid social learning, based on indirect social learning mechanisms and true imitation, came to constitute cumulative cultural transmission based on true imitation and the approval or disapproval of the learned behaviour of offspring. A key factor for this transformation was the development (...) of a conceptual capacity for categorizing learned behaviour in value terms - positive or negative, good or bad. We believe that some hominids developed this capacity for categorizing behaviour, and such an ability allowed them to approve or disapprove of their offsprings- learned behaviour. With such an ability, hominids were favoured, as they could transmit to their offspring all their behavioural experience about what can and cannot be done. This capacity triggered a cultural transmission system similar to the human one, though pre-linguistic. We suggest that the adaptive advantage provided by this new system of social learning generated a selection pressure in favour of the development of a linguistic capacity allowing children to better understand the new kind of evaluative information received from parents. (shrink)
The American Institute of certified public accountants (AICPA) has promulgated a Code of Professional Conduct , which has served as the primary ethical standard for public accountants in the United States for more than 20 years. It is now out of date and needs to be replaced with a code of ethics. Just as U.S. generally accepted accounting principles are being migrated toward “principles-based accounting” as part of a convergence with international financial reporting standards, a similar process needs to occur (...) with ethics. This article organizes the primary rules of the AICPA Code around five essential virtues: objectivity, integrity, inquisitiveness, loyalty, and trustworthiness. These virtues correspond to the general principles set forth in the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). From this virtue ethics perspective, various rules of the AICPA Code are critiqued as being inadequate at best, and poorly crafted at worst. The article concludes with the proposition that principles-based ethics serves the profession and the financial reporting process better than the current rules-based approach. (shrink)
When does a human being begin to exist? Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard have argued that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. In their view, a human individual begins to exist at gastrulation, i. e. at about sixteen days after fertilization. In this paper we argue that even granting Smith and Brogaard's ontological commitments and biological assumptions, the existence of a human being can be shown to (...) begin much earlier, viz., with fertilization. Their interpretative claim that a zygote divides immediately into two substances and therefore ceases to exist is highly implausible by their own standards, and their factual claim that there is no communication between the blastomeres has to be abandoned in light of recent embryological research. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend my original objection to Hales’ suicide machine argument against Hales’ response. I argue Hales’ criticisms are either misplaced or underestimate the strength of my objection; if the constraints of the original objection are respected, my original objection blocks Hales’ reply. To be thorough, I restate an improved version of the objection to the suicide machine argument. I conclude that Hales fails to motivate a reasonable worry as to the supposed suicidal nature of presentist time travel.
: This response to Nikolaus Knoepffler's paper in the same issue of the Journal agrees that if the arguments supporting the first two of the eight human embryonic stem cell research policy options discussed are unsound, as Knoepffler argues, then it seems natural to move to the increasingly permissive options. If the arguments are sound, however, then the more permissive options should be rejected. It is argued that three of the rejected arguments, taken together, constitute very good reasons to hold (...) that a human embryo is endowed with dignity from fertilization onward. Thus, countries that want their public policies to match the moral imperative of respect for human beings should refrain from allowing destructive human embryo research and should devote considerable energy and public funds to research and clinical trials using non-embryonic ("adult") stem cells. (shrink)
: This paper starts from three assumptions: that we are essentially human organisms, that we start to exist at conception, and that we retain our identity throughout our lives. The identity claim provides the background to argue that it is irrational for a person to claim that it would be impermissible to kill her now but permissible to have killed her at an earlier age. The notion of "full moral status" as an ascertainable property is questioned and shown to be (...) dependent on previously accepted moral norms. It is concluded that the exclusion of the very young from the scope of the norm o f common morality that prohibits the killing of the innocent amounts to discrimination on the basis of age. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to look at some existing methods of semantic information quantification and suggest some alternatives. It begins with an outline of Bar-Hillel and Carnap’s theory of semantic information before going on to look at Floridi’s theory of strongly semantic information. The latter then serves to initiate an in-depth investigation into the idea of utilising the notion of truthlikeness to quantify semantic information. Firstly, a couple of approaches to measure truthlikeness are drawn from the literature and (...) explored, with a focus on their applicability to semantic information quantification. Secondly, a similar but new approach to measure truthlikeness/information is presented and some supplementary points are made. (shrink)
Respect for human embryos is often defended on the basis of the potentiality argument: embryos deserve respect because they already possess potentially the features that in adults are fully actualized. Opponents of this argument challenge it by claiming that if embryos should be respected because they are potentially adults, then gametes should be respected because they are potentially embryos. This article rejects this reductio ad absurdum argument by showing that there are two different types of potentiality involved so that the (...) transitivity of potentiality does not hold up in this case. Respect for embryos does not logically entail respect for gametes. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that persons who hold abortions to be generally impermissible must, for the same reasons, be opposed to embryonic stem cell research [ESR]. Yet a settled position against abortion does not necessarily direct one to reject that research. The difference in potentiality between the embryos used in ESR and embryos discussed in the abortion debate can make ESR acceptable even if one holds that abortion is impermissible. With regard to their potentiality, in vitro embryos are here argued (...) to be more morally similar to clonable somatic cells than they are to in vivo embryos. This creates an important moral distinction between embryos in vivo and in vitro. Attempts to refute this moral distinction, raised in the recent debate in this journal between Alfonso Gómez-Lobo and Mary Mahowald, are also addressed. (shrink)
Recent trends in the understanding of culture contact, with concepts such as hybridization, cosmopolitanism, and cultural innovation, open up the possibility of a new understanding of human interaction. While the social imaginary is rich with images of conflict resulting from culture contact, images of creativity are far rarer. We propose the creation of an extensive research project to document cultural creativity, starting with obvious examples in the arts, and expanding into all areas of life in order to counteract the present (...) conflictual images and develop a social imaginary with positive “attractor” images that can guide to greater creativity. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a rejoinder to the criticisms raised by Jimmy Alfonso Licon in “No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales.” I argue that Licon's concerns are misplaced, and that his hypothetical presentist time machine neither travels in time nor saves the life of the putative traveler. I conclude that sensible time travel is still forbidden to presentists.
In this article I present an overview of critiques of strategic planning, focusing on their conceptualizations of the environment. I first outline the need for a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of the environment of strategy, and then outline some of the alternatives to strategic planning and their underlying bases in constructivism and the sciences of complexity. I conclude by arguing that Banathy's systems design methodology is eminently suited to the process of strategy formulation, and should be explored more (...) deeply within this context. (shrink)
A common financial model used in business decisions is the cost/benefit comparison. The costs of a proposed project are compared with the benefits, and if the benefits outweigh the costs, the project is accepted; if the costs exceed the benefits, the project is rejected. This model is applicable when tangible costs and benefits can be reasonably measured in monetary units. However, it is difficult to consider intangible factors in this model because intangible factors cannot be readily quantified in money.While some (...) might argue that the financial model should not apply to healthcare decisions, the fact is that costs do enter into the picture. People may decide to forego needed healthcare because they cannot afford it. Healthcare providers may make choices based in part on the costs of diagnosis and treatment, rather than solely on medical information and what is best for the patient. Should financial issues enter into healthcare decisions – decisions about human health and well being? If so, how should the costs and benefits be measured and evaluated? What are some ethical issues and dilemmas involved in such decisions? (shrink)
‘‘Adaptive radiation’’ is an evocative metaphor for explosive evolutionary divergence, which for over 100 years has given a powerful heuristic to countless scientists working on all types of organisms at all phylogenetic levels. However, success has come at the price of making ‘‘adaptive radiation’’ so vague that it can no longer reflect the detailed results yielded by powerful new phylogeny-based techniques that quantify continuous adaptive radiation variables such as speciation rate, phylogenetic tree shape, and morphological diversity. Attempts to shoehorn the (...) results of these techniques into categorical ‘‘adaptive radiation: yes/no’’ schemes lead to reification, in which arbitrary quantitative thresholds are regarded as real. Our account of the life cycle of metaphors in science suggests that it is time to exchange the spent metaphor for new concepts that better represent the full range of diversity, disparity, and speciation rate across all of life. (shrink)
The target article shows that the application of the evolutionary theory to psychopathology should not necessarily consist in finding hidden adaptive benefits for each psychiatric syndrome. However, in rejecting lax adaptationism, Darwinian psychiatrists should not forget that the search for adaptive behavioral polymorphisms can be a powerful antidote against the normative attitude of mainstream psychiatry and its growing tendency to medicalize human diversity. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Background: Waiving parent permission can be an option in some epidemiological and social research with adolescents. However, exemptions have not been uniformly considered or applied. Our aim is to critically assess the different factors that could be taken into account when making decisions about waiving active parental permission in observational research with adolescents.DiscussionIn some cases alternatives to parental permission could be applied to protect the rights of both adolescents and parents and also to assure the benefits to adolescents as a (...) group that can come from appropriately conducted studies. However, the criteria of ensuring minimal risk can be difficult to define and apply and a distinction between harm and discomfort is reviewed. Waiving active parental permission could be acceptable when the risk of harm is minimal; when the research questions are related to an activity for which adolescents are not legally considered to be children; when the risk of harm or discomfort may increase if parental permission is required; and when risk of discomfort is low because the questionnaire is not potentially offensive for some adolescents and/or for some parents.SummaryStringent rules concerning parental permission in some studies could be detrimental to adolescents. A framework and a decision tree guide are proposed to help researchers and Research Ethics Committees in their decisions on whether active parental permission must be obtained. (shrink)
In Book IV of the Metaphysics Aristotle argues that first philosophy investigates not only being qua being but also the axioms or principles of demonstration. In the same place he establishes which principles are first. The first among these is the principle of contradiction. The thesis I defend in my communication is that the principle of contradiction in Aristotle is not merely formal in the style of modern symbolic logic, but is the constituent law of all discourse. As such, the (...) most precise sense in which it is a 'first principle' is that of a condition of the possibility of significance: terms and judgments have significance if they comply with the condition; if they violate it they signify nothing and are vacuous. If my interpretation is correct, various consequences will be derivable from a first principle, of which the most important is its link with essence and substance. (shrink)
Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky's (D&M-S's) model of affiliation meets the criteria advanced for the definition of behavior systems and endophenotypes. We argue that its application in psychiatry could be useful for identifying a biological pathophysiology common to a variety of conditions that are currently classified in very different categories of psychiatric nosography, including autism, schizoid personality, primary psychopathy, and dismissing attachment.
In this paper I look at Fred Dretske’s account of information and knowledge as developed in Knowledge and The Flow of Information. In particular, I translate Dretske’s probabilistic definition of information to a modal logical framework and subsequently use this to explicate the conception of information and its flow which is central to his account, including the notions of channel conditions and relevant alternatives. Some key products of this task are an analysis of the issue of information closure and an (...) investigation into some of the logical properties of Dretske’s account of information flow. (shrink)
The HIT model explains the existence of semantic category-specific deficits by assuming that sensory knowledge is crucially important in processing living things, while functional knowledge is crucially important in processing nonliving things – the sensory/functional assumption. Here we argue that the sensory/functional assumption as implemented in HIT is neither theoretically nor empirically grounded and that, in any case, there is neuropsychological evidence which invalidates this assumption, thereby undermining the HIT model as a whole.
Se indaga la relación que se da en la República entre los dos significados de ousia: como propiedad en el sentido de posesiones y riqueza, o en el sentido de esencia o sustancia. Aparte de las relaciones económicas asociadas al préstamo, al intercambio y al interés, se examina la función que, respecto de la ousia, cumple la moneda en la economía como recurso para disociar la riqueza de las posesiones, con lo cual logra un nivel de universalidad y equivalencia equiparable (...) al del propio ser. The article inquires into the relation established in the Republic between the two meanings of ousia: property in the sense of possessions and wealth, and essence or substance. Besides the economic relations associated with loans, exchange, and interest, the paper examines the role of currency in the economy, with respect to ousia, as a means of dissociating wealth from possessions, thus achieving a degree of universality comparable to that of being itself. (shrink)