Jules Coleman, one of the world's leading philosophers of law, here presents his most mature work so far on substantive issues in legal theory and the appropriate methodology for legal theorizing. In doing so, he takes on the views of highly respected contemporaries such as Brian Leiter, Stephen Perry, and Ronald Dworkin.
In this essay, author?educator?photographer A.D. Coleman considers a number of dilemmas inherent in photographing private persons in public places. ?Street photography?; is a genre whose ethical dimensions are often overlooked, despite the photographer's efforts to humanize and universalize a moment in time. According to the author, the dilemmas of street photography are imagistic, general, and philosophical, as well as pragmatic, specific, and legislative.
This book by one of America's preeminent legal theorists is concerned with the conflict between the goals of justice and economic efficiency in the allocation of risk, especially risk pertaining to safety. The author approaches his subject from the premise that the market is central to liberal political, moral, and legal theory. In the first part of the book, he rejects traditional "rational choice" liberalism in favor of the view that the market operates as a rational way of fostering stable (...) relationships and institutions within communities of individuals with broadly divergent conceptions of the good. However, markets are needed most where they are most difficult to create and sustain, and one way to understand contract law in liberal legal theory, according to Professor Coleman, is as an institution designed to reduce uncertainty and thereby make markets possible. Another target of this book is the prevalent view that tort law helps rectify market failures when transaction costs are too high to permit contracting. The author argues instead that tort law should be understood as a way of rectifying wrongful losses not inefficient exchanges. (shrink)
According to the knowledge argument, physicalism fails because when physically omniscient Mary first sees red, her gain in phenomenal knowledge involves a gain in factual knowledge. Thus not all facts are physical facts. According to the ability hypothesis, the knowledge argument fails because Mary only acquires abilities to imagine, remember and recognise redness, and not new factual knowledge. I argue that reducing Mary’s new knowledge to abilities does not affect the issue of whether she also learns factually: I show that (...) gaining specific new phenomenal knowledge is required for acquiring abilities of the relevant kind. Phenomenal knowledge being basic to abilities, and not vice versa, it is left an open question whether someone who acquires such abilities also learns something factual. The answer depends on whether the new phenomenal knowledge involved is factual. But this is the same question we wanted to settle when first considering the knowledge argument. The ability hypothesis, therefore, has offered us no dialectical progress with the knowledge argument, and is best forgotten. (shrink)
There is no Argument that the Mind Extends On the basis of two argumentative examples plus their 'parity principle', Clark and Chalmers argue that mental states like beliefs can extend into the environment. I raise two problems for the argument. The first problem is that it is more difficult than Clark and Chalmers think to set up the Tetris example so that application of the parity principle might render it a case of extended mind. The second problem is that, even (...) when appropriate versions of the argumentative examples can be constructed, the availability of a second, internalist parity principle precludes the possibility of inferring that the mind extends. Choosing which parity principle we ought to wield would involve deciding beforehand whether or not the mind can extend. Thus Clark and Chalmers beg the question by employing their parity principle rather than the internalist one. I conclude that they fail to provide a proper argument to support the extended mind thesis. (shrink)
Panpsychism is an eminently sensible view of the world and its relation to mind. If God is a metaphysician, and regardless of the actual truth or falsity of panpsychism, it is certain that he regards the theory as an honest and elegant competitor on the ﬁeld of ontologies. And if God didn’t create a panpsychist world, then there’s a fair chance that he wishes he had done so, or will do next time around. The difﬁculties panpsychism faces, then, are not (...) metaphysical ones. They are, instead, difﬁculties of understanding, and of acceptance by philosophers. The main difﬁculty of this sort the theory faces is that its ontology – with consciousness in some sense at the heart of all that exists1 – is deemed too bizarre, frankly, too humano-centric to be taken seriously. Why should anyone think that consciousness, widely held to be the preserve only of ourselves, plus the most recently evolved organisms, infuses the basement level of all existence? Such a thought seems to many – especially, to scientiﬁcally scrupled philosophers of mind – a narcissistic (or at best hopelessly anti-realist) folly, which doesn’t even deserve its day in court. Panpsychism.. (shrink)
Chalmers has provided a dilemmatic master argument against all forms of the phenomenal concept strategy. This paper explores a position that evades Chalmers's argument, dubbed Type Bb: it is for Type B physicalists who embrace horn b of Chalmers's dilemma. The discussion concludes that Chalmers fails to show any incoherence in the position of a Type B physicalist who depends on the phenomenal concept strategy.
In this essay, I characterize the original intervention that became Inclusive Legal Positivism, defend it against a range of powerful objections, explain its contribution to jurisprudence, and display its limitations and its modest jurisprudential significance. I also show how in its original formulations ILP depends on three notions that are either mistaken or inessential to law: the separability thesis, the rule of recognition, and the idea of criteria of legality. The first is false and is in event inessential to legal (...) positivism. The second is inessential to legal positivism. The third is likely inessential to law. I then characterize the central claim of ILP in a way that relies on none of these: ILP is the claim that necessarily social facts determine the determinants of legal content. I show that ILP so conceived leaves the central debates in law largely untouched. I suggest how the most fundamental of these—the question of the normativity of law—at least can be usefully addressed. The essay closes by suggesting that even though one can distinguish the social from the normative dimensions of law, a theory of the nature of law is necessarily an account of the relationship between the two: It is a theory either of the difference that certain distinctive social facts make in normative space, or it is an account of the distinctive normative difference that law makes, and the social and other facts that are necessary to explain that difference. One can distinguish between but one cannot separate the social from the normative aspects of legality. (shrink)
The views of John Dewey and Kurt Vonnegut are often criticized for opposite reasons: Dewey’s philosophy is said to be naively optimistic while Vonnegut’s work is read as cynical. The standard debates over the views of the two thinkers cause readers to overlook the similarities in the way each approaches tragic experience. This paper examines Dewey’s philosophic account of time and meaning and Vonnegut’s use of time travel in his autobiographical novel Slaughterhouse-Five to illustrate these similarities. This essay demonstrates how (...) both Dewey and Vonnegut embrace the ameliorative possibilities of art for preserving individuality and meaning in the face of tragic experience. (shrink)
In this paper I first examine two important assumptions underlying the argument that physicalism entails panpsychism. These need unearthing because opponents in the literature distinguish themselves from Strawson in the main by rejecting one or the other. Once they have been stated, and something has been said about the positions that reject them, the onus of argument becomes clear: the assumptions require careful defence. I believe they are true, in fact, but their defence is a large project that cannot begin (...) here. So, in the final section I comment on what follows if they are granted. I agree with Strawson that --broadly -- 'panpsychism' is the direction in which philosophy of mind should be heading; nevertheless, there are certain difficulties in the detail of his position. In light of these I argue for changes to the doctrine, bringing it into line with the slightly. (shrink)
For several decades the work of Joel Feinberg has been the most influential in legal, political, and social philosophy in the English-speaking world. This volume honours that body of work by presenting fifteen original essays, many of them by leading legal and political philosophers, that explore the problems that have engaged Feinberg over the years. Amongst the topics covered are issues of autonomy, responsibility, and liability. It will be a collection of interest to anyone working in moral, legal, or political (...) philosophy. (shrink)
According to the Humean theory of motivation, a person can only be motivated to act by a desire together with a relevantly related belief. More specifically, a person can only be motivated to ϕ by a desire to ψ together with a belief that ϕ-ing is a means to or a way of ψ-ing. In recent writings, Michael Smith gives what has become a very influential argument in favour of the Humean claim that desire is a necessary part of motivation, (...) and a great deal has been written about Smith's defence of this Humean claim. However, no one has yet identified the fundamental weakness of his defence. The fundamental weakness is that there is no single conception of directions of fit that does all the work Smith needs it to do throughout the various stages of his defence. (shrink)
This article is a textual analysis of messages and themes in "Calvin and Hobbes," a comic strip nationally syndicated from 1985 to 1995. The article examines the content found in "Calvin and Hobbes" to determine underlying messages concerning ethics and values. Specifically, the messages are analyzed to determine under which category of metaethics-deontological, teleological, and virtue-they fall.
Thought experiments are profitably compared to compasses. A compass is a simple but useful device for determining direction. Nevertheless, it systematically errs in the presence of magnets ...it becomes unreliable near the North Pole, in mine shafts, when vibrated, in the presence of metal ...experts will wish to use the compass as one element in a wider portfolio of navigational techniques. Analogously, thought experiments are simple but useful devices for determining the status of propositions. Sadly, they systematically err under certain (...) conditions and so are best used with sensitivity to their foibles and limited scope (Sorensen, 1992, pp. 288–289). (shrink)
Richard Rorty has argued that Donald Davidson can be classified as a neopragmatist. To this end, Rorty has tried to show that Davidson's views share important similarities with those of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Davidson, for his part, has tended to resist Rorty's attempts to classify his views in this way. Interestingly, the reasons for Rorty's classification and the reasons for Davidson's resistance share a common trait: an appeal to the elimination of the dualism of conceptual scheme and experiential content (...) on the basis of an assumed background of shared beliefs. According to Rorty, Davidson's background of shared beliefs is closely related to the notion of funded experience found in those thinkers often .. (shrink)
Panpsychism, an increasingly popular competitor to physicalism as a theory of mind, faces a famous difficulty, the ‘combination problem’. This is the difficulty of understanding the composition of a conscious mind by parts (the ultimates) which are themselves taken to be phenomenally qualitied. I examine the combination problem, and I attempt to solve it. There are a few distinct difficulties under the banner of ‘the combination problem’, and not all of them need worry panpsychists. After homing in on the genuine (...) worries, I identify some disputable assumptions that underlie them. Doing away with these assumptions allows us to make a start on a working conception of phenomenal combination. (shrink)
This paper discusses privacy and the monitoring of e-mail in the context of the international nature of the modern world. Its three main aims are: (1) to highlight the problems involved in discussing an essentially philosophical question within a legal framework, and thus to show that providing purely legal answers to an ethical question is an inadequate approach to the problem of privacy on the Internet; (2) to discuss and define what privacy in the medium of the Internet actually is; (...) and (3) to apply a globally acceptable ethical approach of international human rights to the problem of privacy on the Internet, and thus to answer the question of what is and is not morally permissible in this area, especially in light of recent heightened concerns about terrorist activities. It concludes that the monitoring of e-mail is, at least in the vast majority of cases, an unjustified infringement of the right to privacy, even if this monitoring is only aimed at preventing the commission of acts of terrorism. (shrink)
Abstract: G. E. Moore claimed to know a variety of commonsense propositions. He is often accused of being dogmatic or of begging the question against philosophers who deny that he knows such things. In this paper, I argue that this accusation is mistaken. I argue that Moore is instead guilty of answering questions of the form ‘Do I know p?’ in bad faith.
Taking their motivation from the perceived failure of the reductive physicalist project concerning consciousness, panpsychists ascribe subjectivity to fundamental material entities in order to account for macro-consciousness. But there exists an unresolved tension within the mainstream panpsychist position, the seriousness of which has yet to be appreciated. I capture this tension as a dilemma, and offer advice to panpsychists on how to resolve it. The dilemma is as follows: Panpsychists take the micro-material realm to feature phenomenal properties, plus micro-subjects to (...) whom these properties belong. However, it is impossible to explain the generation of a macro-subject (like one of us) in terms of the assembly of micro-subjects, for, as I show, subjects cannot combine. Therefore the panpsychist explanatory project is derailed by the insistence that the world’s ultimate material constituents are subjects of experience. The panpsychist faces a choice of giving up her explanatory ambitions, or of giving up the claim that the ultimates are subjects. I argue that the latter option is preferable, leading to neutral monism, on which phenomenal qualities are irreducible but subjects are reducible. So panpsychists should be neutral monists. (shrink)
David Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, first published in 1779, is one of the most influential works in the philosophy of religion and the most artful instance of philosophical dialogue since the dialogues of Plato. It presents a fictional conversation between a sceptic, an orthodox Christian, and a Newtonian theist concerning evidence for the existence of an intelligent cause of nature based on observable features of the world. This new edition presents it together with several of Hume's other, shorter writings (...) about religion, and with brief selections from the work of Pierre Bayle, who influenced both Hume's views on religion and the dialectical style of the Dialogues. The volume is completed by an introduction which sets the Dialogues in its philosophical and historical contexts. (shrink)
Greg Kavka (1947-1994) was a prominent and influential figure in contemporary moral and political philosophy. The new essays in this volume are concerned with fundamental issues of rational commitment and social justice to which Kavka devoted his work as a philosopher. The essays take Kavka's work as a point of departure and seek to advance the respective debates. The topics include: the relationship between intention and moral action as part of which Kavka's famous 'toxin puzzle' is a focus of discussion, (...) the nature of deterrence, the rationality of morals, contractarian ethics, and the contemporary relevance of Hobbes' political thought. Incorporating important new philosophical statements of problems and fresh contributions to the ongoing debate about rational intention this volume will interest not just philosophers but also political scientists and economists. (shrink)
The specific characteristics of mathematical argumentation all depend on the centrality that writing has in the practice of mathematics, but blindness to this fact is near universal. What follows concerns just one of those characteristics, justification by proof. There is a prevalent view that long proofs pose a problem for the thesis that mathematical knowledge is justified by proof. I argue that there is no such problem: in fact, virtually all the justifications of mathematical knowledge are ‘long proofs’, but because (...) these real justifications are distributed in the written archive of mathematics, proofs remain surveyable, hence good. (shrink)
Here it is shown that the discourse of contemporary advertising derives from verbal and visual narratives encoded in Locke's representation of American landscape. These narratives embrace the idea of nature as an artifact, the imperial self, picture theory, and palimpsest representation. They are given careful attention in this study not because of their timely value but, precisely, because they are anachronistic and widely disseminated by the advertising media, a national nostalgia industry parasitical upon an intellectual inheritance originating with Locke. Incident (...) to the popularity of Lockean ideas achieved by these means is that counter-narratives on the environment advanced by resource economics and conservation biology are rendered marginal and ineffective. (shrink)
In today’s society, models of God are challenged to account for more than the postmodern context in which Western Christianity finds itself; they should also consider the reality of religious pluralism. Non-monotheistic religions present a particular challenge to Western theological and philosophical God-modeling because they require a model of Gods. This paper uses an African traditional religion as a case study to problematize the effects of monotheism on philosophical models of God. The desire to uphold the image of a singular (...) God tends to invalidate religious experiences that deviate from a given scientifically-verifiable norm. It also mischaracterizes the concept of divinity in religions that maintain divine multiplicity. That is, scholars of African traditional religions affirm that “polytheism” is not an accurate naming of their traditions; rather these religions affirm a community of gods. I propose a Whiteheadian process model that describes a community of gods that has active interaction with the temporal world. Such a model not only broadens conversations of religious pluralism for Western-trained religious scholars, but also acknowledges the Western context in which many practitioners of African traditional religions live. (shrink)
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis — for the law of torts. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider and (...) reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous arguments by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the use of principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victims claims to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
Reading Tye’s new book reminded me of slowly sipping a good specimen of a dry vodka Martini. In both cases much is accomplished by the skilful assembly of only a few key ingredients. I don’t really like dry vodka Martinis, though, and similarly I found many of the thoughts offered by Consciousness Revisited to be too bitter to swallow. A sophisticated piece of work, however, it certainly is.
Traditional approaches to computer ethics regard computers as tools, andfocus, therefore, on the ethics of their use. Alternatively, computer ethicsmight instead be understood as a study of the ethics of computationalagents, exploring, for example, the different characteristics and behaviorsthat might benefit such an agent in accomplishing its goals. In this paper,I identify a list of characteristics of computational agents that facilitatetheir pursuit of their end, and claim that these characteristics can beunderstood as virtues within a framework of virtue ethics. This (...) frameworkincludes four broad categories – agentive, social, environmental, and moral– each of which can be understood as a spectrum of virtues rangingbetween two extreme subcategories. Although the use of a virtue frameworkis metaphorical rather than literal, I argue that by providing a frameworkfor identifying and critiquing assumptions about what a `good' computer is,a study of android arete provides focus and direction to the developmentof future computational agents. (shrink)
An extraordinary collection of the finest essays in the core areas of legal philosophy, Readings in Philosophy of Law is a perfect introduction to the breadth of issues covered in the philosophy of law. The essays are all classic papers chosen as much for their clarity of thought and comprehensiveness as for their distinctiveness and importance to the subject matters of legal philosophy. This collection is ideal for the professional as well as the student, as it brings together classic essays (...) that are not otherwise available in one volume. The reader sees each author's thoughts and arguments unfold naturally within the context of other important works. For breadth of contributions and intellectual rigor, Readings in Philosophy of Law is unrivalled. (shrink)