Puccetti argues that Dennett's views on split brains are defective. First, we criticise Puccetti's argument. Then we distinguish persons, minds, consciousnesses, selves and personalities. Then we introduce the concepts of part-persons and part-consciousnesses, and apply them to clarifying the situation. Finally, we criticise Dennett for some contribution to the confusion.
As medical technology advances and severely injured or ill people can be kept alive and functioning long beyond what was previously medically possible, the debate surrounding the ethics of end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues has grown more urgent. In this lucid and vigorous book, Craig Paterson discusses assisted suicide and euthanasia from a fully fledged but non-dogmatic secular natural law perspective. He rehabilitates and revitalises the natural law approach to moral reasoning by developing a pluralistic account of just why (...) we are required by practical rationality to respect and not violate key demands generated by the primary goods of persons, especially human life. Important issues that shape the moral quality of an action are explained and analysed: intention/foresight; action/omission; action/consequences; killing/letting die; innocence/non-innocence; person/non-person. Paterson defends the central normative proposition that ‘it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person, whether self or another, notwithstanding any further appeal to consequences or motive’. (shrink)
In the chapter “A History of Ideas Concerning the Morality of Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia” author Craig Paterson explores questions concerning the legitimacy of the practices of suicide, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia. The aim of this article is of identifying some of the main historical protagonists, and delineating some of the key arguments that have been used for the acceptance or rejection of these practices.
In this chapter I seek to examine the credibility of Finnis’s basic stance on Aquinas that while many neo-Thomists are meta-ethically naturalistic in their understanding of natural law theory (for example, Heinrich Rommen, Henry Veatch, Ralph McInerny, Russell Hittinger, Benedict Ashley and Anthony Lisska), Aquinas’s own meta-ethical framework avoids the “pitfall” of naturalism. On examination, the short of it is that I find Finnis’s account (while adroit) wanting in the interpretation stakes vis-à-vis other accounts of Aquinas’s meta-ethical foundationalism. I think (...) that the neo-Thomists are basically right to argue that for Aquinas we cannot really understand objective truths about moral standards unless we derive them from our intellective knowledge of natural facts as given to us by the essential human nature that we have. While I find Finnis’s interpretative position on Aquinas wanting, I go on to argue that his own attachment to non-naturalism is justified and should not be jettisoned. Because I think non-naturalism important to the future tenability of a viable natural law ethics (an ethics that is both cognitive and objectivist), I argue that Finnis should, so to speak, “beef up” his “fundamental option” for non-naturalism and more fully avail himself of certain argumentative strategies available in its defense, argumentative strategies that are inspired by the analytical philosophy of G.E. Moore. (shrink)
The article examines from an historical perspective some of the key ideas used in contemporary bioethics debates both for and against the practices of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Key thinkers examined--spanning the Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods--include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The article concludes with a synthesizing summary of key ideas that oppose or defend assisted suicide and euthanasia.
This overview proceeds by outlining, albeit very briefly, something of the historical growth of Thomism, turning then to a brief account of how analytic philosophy in the twentieth century can be viewed in relation to that history, before finally turning to a further consideration of what the phrase “Analytical Thomism,” can be taken to mean in light of this brief historical account.
Chapter one argues for the important contribution that a natural law based framework can make towards an analysis and assessment of key controversies surrounding the practices of suicide, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia. The second chapter considers a number of historical contributions to the debate. The third chapter takes up the modern context of ideas that have increasingly come to the fore in shaping the 'push' for reform. Particular areas focused upon include the value of human life, the value of (...) personal autonomy, and the rejection of double effect reasoning. Chapter four engages in the task of pointing out structural weakness in utilitarianism and deontology. The thesis argues that major systemic weaknesses in both approaches can be overcome by a teleology of basic human goods. John Finnis' work becomes the underpinning of subsequent applied natural law analysis. Chapter five proceeds to argue for the defence of the intrinsic good of human life from direct attack. The thesis holds out for the proposition "that it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill a human person, whether self or another, regardless of a further appeal to consequences or motive." In support of this, it defends the validity of double effect reasoning as an indispensable part of applied moral decision making. Chapter six critically assesses the arguments of anti-perfectionists that it is not the business of the state to enforce deep or substantive conceptions of the 'good life.' The chapter moves on to argue that the natural law conception of the person in society, centred on the common good, provides a solid framework for assessing both the justification for, as well as the limits on, the role of the state to use its power to legally impose certain moral standards. Chapter seven addresses the concrete relationship between natural law and legal policy by exploring the issue of assisted suicide in the constitutional context of the United States.
This paper is essentially concerned with defending the idea of a universal right to adequate health care coverage. It will argue for the existence of a human right grounded in Catholic social thought. At the outset, a statement of clarification is needed. This paper does not pretend to offer the panacea for all ills relating to health care provision. Rather, it is an inquiry into the kinds of value that should inform decision making relating to health policy. A universal right (...) to adequate health care cannot be established without questioning the underlying values that inform the debate and bring them firmly to the level of deliberative consciousness. It is these value concerns that structure the dynamic of health care provision and the general provision of wider resources in society. (shrink)
The work of Dan Brock and Helga Kuhse is typical of the current stream of thought rejecting the validity of sanctity of life appeals to instill objective inviolable worth in human life regardless of the quality of life of the patient. The context of a person's life is supremely important. In their systems life can have high value, yet the value of life can be outweighed by the force of other disvalues. The notion of quality of life has increasingly come (...) to signify the measurement of the worth of a person's life itself. Having a life equals personal life. Any objectivity to life resides in 'personal', 'biographical', or 'creative' life, not mere biological life. Personal life represents the minimal threshold for any objective worth. In responding to this challenge, John Finnis has argued extensively that life is an intrinsic good – a basic human good. Following from our grasp of human life as a basic incommensurable good, it cannot be practically reasonable both to affirm that (a) 'human life is a basic human good', and (b) that 'human life qua human life can be intentionally acted against to its destruction'. Yet, if the good of human life can be considered self-evident, the self-evidence of the basic human good qua good does not mean that dialectical reasoning cannot be engaged in to indirectly support the practical reasonableness of respecting the good of human life in the deliberative choices that persons make concerning their actions. It is to the use of such dialectical reasoning, supportive of the status of human life as such a basic human good, that the article is primarily concerned to draw out and articulate. (shrink)
Coriolanus, the legendary fifth-century BC general who turned against his native city for banishing him, is painted by Shakespeare as the paragon Stoic warrior. Physically strong and detached, at home in the battlefield, he is the military man par excellence. Fearless, he sheds few tears. But the turning point in Shakespeare's play comes when Coriolanus remembers how to weep. He admits that "It is no small thing to make mine eyes sweat compassion."The absence of compassion in health care is increasingly (...) remarked upon. In 2009, it led to a campaign to broaden New Zealand's Code of Patients' Rights to include the legal right "to have services provided with compassion, including a prompt and humane response to .. (shrink)
All too often in applied ethics debates, there is a danger that a lack of analytical clarity and precision in the use of key terms serves to cloud and confuse the real nature of the debate being undertaken. A particular area of concern in my analysis of the bioethics literature has been the uses to which the key terms "suicide," "assisted suicide," and "euthanasia" are put. The modest aim of this article is to render a contribution to the applied ethics (...) debate on these topics by seeking to delimit the scope and meaning of these terms. The criteria of specificity, non-arbitrariness, consistency (between various terms), and the avoidance of strong pejorative presuppositions, supply the main standards guiding my adoption of usages. (shrink)
In this paper we present a summary review of recent psychological studies which make a contribution to an understanding of how quantifiers are used. Until relatively recently, the contribution which psychology has made has been somewhat restricted. For example, the approach which has enjoyed the greatest popularity in psychology is explaining quantifiers as expressions which have fuzzy or vague projections on to mental scales of amount. Following Moxey & Sanford (1993a), this view is questioned. Experimental work is summarized showing that (...) quantifiers may be differentiated in terms of the patterns of focus which they produce, which we take as a reflection of the patterns of inference which they induce. Other work suggests that when a speaker uses certain quantifiers it is possible for a listener to draw inferences about what the speaker’s prior expectations were, including what the speaker is taken to have believed the listener to expect. These findings are discussed in relation to how quantifiers are selected, and in terms of a possible psychological basis for certain logico-linguistic judgements about quantifiers. 10.1093/jos/11.3.153. (shrink)
The concept of stewardship as resource development and conservation, a shallow environmental ethic, arises out of a domination framework. Stewardship as earthkeeping arises out of a keeping framework and falls somewhere between an intermediate and deep environmental ethic. A notion of agricultural stewardship, based on earthkeeping principles, can be used as a normative standard by whichto judge a range of agricultural economies and practices.
Touch is a sense of communication. It is receptive, expressive, can communicate empathy. It can bring distant objects and people into proximity. It is a carnal world, with its pleasures of feeling and being felt, of tasting and touching the textures of flesh and of food. And equally it is a profound world of philosophical verification, of the communication of presence and empathy with others, of the mutual implication or folding of body, flesh and world.
We like Euclidean geometry because we are men [sic], and have eyes and hands, and need to operate a concept of space that will be independent of orientation, distance and size. Lucas, A Treatise on Time and Space.
This paper argues that Hegel has much to say to modern mathematical philosophy, although the Hegelian perspective needs to be substantially developed to incorporate within it the extensive advances in post-Hegelian mathematics and its logic. Key to that perspective is the self-referential character of the fundamental concepts of philosophy. The Hegelian approach provides a framework for answering the philosophical problems, discussed by Kurt Gödel in his paper on Bertrand Russell, which arise out of the existence in mathematics of self-referential, non-constructive (...) concepts (such as class). (shrink)
A simple two-choice single outcome valued decision under risk is presented which should show up the limitations in the classical approach of von Neumann, its extensions and its alternatives. An empirical testing of this hypothesis strongly supports this criticism. A rationale for explaining the apparent ‘irrational decision’ is put forward and the case is made for understanding the relative nature of decision choices especially when multi-criteria are involved.
Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. This is demonstrably true; nor could it occur otherwise. The percentage of positively malignant, vicious, or..