This article details the relationship between history and bioethics. I argue that historians' reluctance to engage with bioethics rests on a misreading of the field as solely reducible to applied ethics, and overlooks previous enthusiasm for historical perspectives. I claim that seeing bioethics as its practitioners see it – as an interdisciplinary meeting ground – should encourage historians to collaborate in greater numbers. I conclude by outlining how bioethics might benefit from new histories of the (...) field, and how historians can lend a fresh perspective to bioethical debates. (shrink)
This paper considers the disciplines of literature and history and the contributions each makes to the discourse of bioethics. In each case I note the pedagogic ends that can be enacted though the appropriate use of the each of these disciplines in the sphere of medical education, particularly in the medical ethics classroom.1 I then explore the contribution that both these disciplines and their respective methodologies can and do bring to the academic field of bioethics. I conclude (...) with a brief consideration of the relations between literature and history with particular attention to the possibilities for a future bioethics informed by history and literature after the empirical turn. (shrink)
Bioethics represents a dramatic revision of the centuries-old professional ethics that governed the behavior of physicians and their relationships with patients. This venerable ethics code was challenged in the years after World War II by the remarkable advances in the biomedical sciences and medicine that raised questions about the definition of death, the use of life-support systems, organ transplantation, and reproductive interventions. In response, philosophers and theologians, lawyers and social scientists joined together with physicians and scientists to rethink and (...) revise the old standards. Governments established commissions to recommend policies. Courts heard arguments and legislatures passed laws. This book is the first broad history of the growing field of bioethics. Covering the period 1947-1987, it examines the origin and evolution of the debates over human experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, termination of life-sustaining treatment, and new reproductive technologies. It assesses the contributions of philosophy, theology, law and the social sciences to the expanding discourse of bioethics. Written by one of the field's founders, The Birth of Bioethics is based on extensive archival research into sources that are difficult to obtain and on interviews with many of the leading figures in the moral debates in medicine. A very readable and comprehensive account of the evolution of bioethics, this book stresses the history of ideas but does not neglect the social and cultural context and the people involved. It will serve the information needs of philosophers, ethicists, social historians, and everyone interested in the origins of some of today's most hotly debated issues. (shrink)
The papers in this number of the Journal originated in a session sponsored by the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Philosophy and Medicine in 1999. The four papers and two commentaries identify and address philosophical challenges of how we should understand and teach bioethics in the liberal arts and health professions settings. In the course of introducing the six papers, this article explores themes these papers raise, especially the relationship among professional medical ethics, the "long history" of medical (...) ethics, and bioethics. The tendency of bioethics to deprofessionalize medical ethics is rejected, in favor of an historically informed professional medical ethics. It is suggested that bioethics should be critically reconsidered from the perspective of medical ethics as professional ethics. (shrink)
Standard bioethics textbooks present the field to students and non-experts as a form of "applied ethics." This ahistoric and rationalistic presentation is similar to that used in philosophy of science textbooks until three decades ago. Thomas Kuhn famously critiqued this self-conception of the philosophy of science, persuading the field that it would become deeper, richer, and more philosophical, if it integrated the history of science, especially the history of scientific change, into its self-conception. This essay urges a (...) similar reconceptualization for bioethics, arguing that the analysis of moral change ought to be integral to bioethics (and to ethics generally). It proceeds by suggesting the sterility of the ahistoric, rationalist applied ethics model of bioethics embraced by standard bioethics textbooks. It also suggests the fecundity of alternative conceptions of the bioethics that focus on the history of successful and failed attempts to negotiate moral change, and the history of multifaceted relations between moral philosophy and practical ethics. (shrink)
The coming of bioethics -- The coming of bioethicists -- "Choices on our conscience": the inauguration of the Kennedy Institute of Education -- "Hello, Dolly": bioethics in the media -- Celebrating bioethics and bioethicists -- Thinking socially and culturally in bioethics -- Reminiscences of observing participants -- Bioethics circles the globe -- Bioethics in France -- The development of bioethics in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan -- The coming of the culture wars to (...) American bioethics. (shrink)
Introduction: making the invisible visible -- The nobility of the material -- Research at war -- The guilded age of research -- The doctor as whistle-blower -- New rules for the laboratory -- Bedside ethics -- The doctor as stranger -- Life through death -- Commissioning ethics -- No one to trust -- New rules for the bedside -- Epilogue: The price of success.
Bioethics claimed to offer a set of generally applicable, universally accepted guidelines that would simplify complex situations. In Thieves of Virtue, Tom Koch argues that bioethics has failed to deliver on its promises.
: The film "Who Should Survive?: One of the Choices on Our Conscience" contains a dramatization of the death of an infant with Down syndrome as the result of the parents' decision not to have a congenital intestinal obstruction surgically corrected. The dramatization was based on two similar cases at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and was financed by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation. When "Who Should Survive?" was exhibited in 1971, the public reaction was generally critical of the parents' (...) decision and the physicians' inaction. Although technological developments in medicine were a necessary condition for the production of this film and its unanticipated reception, they were not a sufficient condition. The proximate cause was a changed understanding of the capabilities of individuals with Down syndrome. Part of the impetus for this change was data showing the adverse effects of institutionalization on normal children. (shrink)
Ethical considerations are integral to the formulation and practice of biological and medical research. Every stage of the research process is (ostensibly) informed by principles and guidelines designed to ensure that research is conducted in an ethical manner. The difficulty inherent in defining what is "ethical" and in applying broad principles to novel situations means that increasing attention is being paid to ethics in research. In a field that appears to be constantly evolving as technologies and societies change, it seems (...) safe to assume that the practice of health research almost of necessity raises new ethical issues. This assumption is, however, worthy of critical attention, as it may have important .. (shrink)
Before asking what U.S. bioethics might learn from a more comprehensive and more nuanced understanding of Islamic religion, history, and culture, a prior question is, how should bioethics think about religion? Two sets of commonly held assumptions impede further progress and insight. The first involves what “religion” means and how one should study it. The second is a prominent philosophical view of the role of religion in a diverse, democratic society. To move beyond these assumptions, it helps (...) to view religion as lived experience as well as a body of doctrine and to see that religious differences and controversies should be welcomed in the public square of a diverse democratic society rather than merely tolerated. (shrink)
Critiquing many areas of medical practice and research whilst making constructive suggestions about medical education, this book extends the scope of medical ethics beyond sole concern with regulation. Illustrating some humanistic ways of understanding patients, this volume explores the connections between medical ethics, healthcare and subjects, such as philosophy, literature, creative writing and medical history and how they can affect the attitudes of doctors towards patients and the perceptions of medicine, health and disease which have become part of contemporary (...) culture. The authors examine a range of ideas in medical practice and research, including: the idea that patient status or the doctor/patient relationship can be understood via quantitative scales the illusion fostered by medical ethics that doctors, unlike those in other professions, are uniquely beneficent and indeed altruistic. An excellent text for undergraduate and postgraduate students of law, medical ethics and medical healthcare law, Bioethics and the Humanities shows the real ethical achievements, problems and half-truths of contemporary medicine. (shrink)
Stem cell research. Drug company influence. Abortion. Contraception. Long-term and end-of-life care. Human participants research. Informed consent. The list of ethical issues in science, medicine, and public health is long and continually growing. These complex issues pose a daunting task for professionals in the expanding field of bioethics. But what of the practice of bioethics itself? What issues do ethicists and bioethicists confront in their efforts to facilitate sound moral reasoning and judgment in a variety of venues? Are (...) those immersed in the field capable of making the right decisions? How and why do they face moral challenge -- and even compromise -- as ethicists? What values should guide them? In The Ethics of Bioethics, Lisa A. Eckenwiler and Felicia G. Cohn tackle these questions head on, bringing together notable medical ethicists and people outside the discipline to discuss common criticisms, the field's inherent tensions, and efforts to assign values and assess success. Through twenty-five lively essays examining the field's history and trends, shortcomings and strengths, and the political and policy interplay within the bioethical realm, this comprehensive book begins a much-needed critical and constructive discussion of the moral landscape of bioethics. (shrink)
What are the resources and needs, the strengths and the vulnerabilities of patients, of society, or of nature? How do we evaluate the societal potential of scientific discovery? It is fairly well assured that we are influencing the terms of existence of many inhabitants of this planet, from flora to fauna to humans. Moreover, history has shown that while technologies can be used neutrally, they can be (and have been) used to the great benefit – or the great detriment (...) – of human life and the fate of the world as a whole. How various types of knowledge and technological ability will be deployed is up to us, individually and collectively. How such information and ability should be deployed, and for what reasons, are questions at the core of bioethical inquiry. These are the "expanding horizons in bioethics" to which this volume refers. This volume is comprised of fourteen essays. It is a rare gathering of scholarly opinion, featuring well-known experts from a diversity of disciplines. The topics addressed are of immediate concern to the public. The essays ask questions about human nature, genetic technologies, reproductive rights, human subjects research, and environmental issues – all in provocative and challenging new ways. Yet the themes that emerge throughout the volume are of enduring interest to anyone concerned about the interactions of scientific development, ethics, and society. This volume is of interest to students and teachers of bioethics and related topics, as well as to professionals working in these disciplines. (shrink)
PurposeAlthough the term “responsibility” plays a central role in bioethics and public health, its meaning and implications are often unclear. This paper defends the importance of a more systematic conception of responsibility to improve moral philosophical as well as descriptive analysis.MethodsWe start with a formal analysis of the relational conception of responsibility and its meta-ethical presuppositions. In a brief historical overview, we compare global-collective, professional, personal, and social responsibility. The value of our analytical matrix is illustrated by sorting out (...) the plurality of responsibility models in three cases (organ transplantation, advance directives, and genetic testing).ResultsResponsibility is a relational term involving at least seven relata. The analysis of the relata allows distinguishing between individual versus collective agency, retrospective versus prospective direction, and liability versus power relations. Various bioethical ambiguities result from insufficient, implicit, or inappropriate ascriptions of responsibility.ConclusionsA systematic conception of responsibility is an important tool for bioethical reflection. It allows an in-depth understanding and critique of moral claims on a meta-ethical level without presuming one particular normative approach. Considering the concept of responsibility can also help to complement the current bioethical focus on individual autonomy by including the perspectives of other actors, such as family members or social groups. (shrink)
The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics is the first comprehensive scholarly account of the global history of medical ethics. Offering original interpretations of the field by leading bioethicists and historians of medicine, it will serve as the essential point of departure for future scholarship in the field. The volumes reconceptualize the history of medical ethics through the creation of new categories, including the life cycle; discourses of religion, philosophy, and bioethics; and the relationship between medical (...) ethics and the state, which includes a historical reexamination of the ethics of apartheid, colonialism, communism, health policy, imperialism, militarism, Nazi medicine, Nazi "medical ethics," and research ethics. Also included are the first global chronology of persons and texts; the first concise biographies of major figures in medical ethics; and the first comprehensive bibliography of the history of medical ethics. An extensive index guides readers to topics, texts, and proper names. (shrink)
Race and religion are integral parts of bioethics. Harm and oppression, with the aim of social and political control, have been wrought in the name of religion against Blacks and people of color as embodied in the Ten Commandments, the Inquisition, and in the history of the Holy Crusades. Missionaries came armed with Judeo/Christian beliefs went to nations of people of color who had their own belief systems and forced change and caused untold harms because the indigenous belief (...) systems were incompatible with their own. The indigenous people were denounced as ungodly, pagan, uncivilized, and savage. Hence, laws were enacted because of their perceived need to structure a sense of morality and to create and build a culture for these indigenous people of color. To date bioethics continues to be informed by a Western worldview that is Judeo/Christian in belief and orientation. However, missing from bioethical discourse in America is the historical influence of the Black Church as a cultural repository, which continues to influence the culture of Africans and Blacks. Cultural aspects of peoples of color are still largely ignored today. In attempting to deal with issues of race while steering clear of the religious and cultural impact of the Black Church, bioethics finds itself in the middle of a distressing situation: it simply cannot figure out what to do with race. (shrink)
For ten years, 1971–1981, the Institute onHuman Values in Medicine (IHVM) played a keyrole in the development of Bioethics as afield. We have written this history andanalysis to bring to new generations ofBioethicists information about the developmentof their field within both the humanitiesdisciplines and the health professions. Thepioneers in medical humanities and ethics cametogether with medical professionals in thedecade of the 1960s. By the 1980s Bioethics wasa fully recognized discipline. We show the rolethat IHVM programs played in (...) defining thefield, training faculty and helping schools todevelop programs. We review the beginnings ofthe IHVM in the crucible of social andtechnological change that led to theestablishment of the IHVM's parentorganization, the Society for Health and HumanValues. We then turn to the IHVM programsthrough which Faculty members receivedfellowships to explore new crossovers betweenthe humanities and the health professions. Wehave not only described the Fellows Program asit existed in 1973–1980, but have completed asurvey of the fellows a quarter of a centuryafter they held their fellowships. We describeother IHVM programs designed to facilitate theinitiation and development of new humanitiesprograms, to explore conceptual issues betweenmedicine and five humanities fields, to conductissue driven or educational method conferencesand to advance humanities programs intograduate education through the Directors ofMedical Education. (shrink)
Germund Hesslow has argued that concepts of health and disease serve no important scientific, clinical, or ethical function. However, this conclusion depends upon the particular concept of disease he espouses; namely, on Boorse's functional notion. The fact/value split embodied in the functional notion of disease leads to a sharp split between the science of medicine and bioethics, making the philosophy of medicine irrelevant for both. By placing this disease concept in the broader context of medical history, I shall (...) show that it does capture an essential part of modern medical ideology. However, it is also a self-contradictory notion. By making explicit the value desiderata of medical nosologies, a reconfiguration of the relation between medicine, bioethics, and the philosophy of medicine is initiated. This, in turn, will involve a recovery of the caring dimensions of medicine, and thus a more humane practice. (shrink)
Bioethics has a founding story in which medical paternalism, the interference with the autonomy of patients for their own clinical benefit, was an accepted ethical norm in the history of Western medical ethics and was widespread in clinical practice until bioethics changed the ethical norms and practice of medicine. In this paper I show that the founding story of bioethics misreads major texts in the history of Western medical ethics. I also show that a major (...) source for empirical claims about the widespread practice of medical paternalism has been misread. I then show that that bioethics based on its founding story deprofessionalizes medical ethics. The result leaves the sick exposed to the predatory power of medical practitioners and healthcare organizations with only their autonomy-based rights to non-interference, expressed in contracts, to protect them. The sick are stripped of the protection afforded by a professional, fiduciary relationship of physicians to their patients. Bioethics based on its founding story reverts to the older model of a contractual relationship between the sick and medical practitioners not worthy of intellectual or moral trust (because such trust cannot be generated by what I call ‘deprofessionalizing bioethics’). On closer examination, bioethics based on its founding story, ironically, eliminates paternalism as a moral category in bioethics, thus causing bioethics to collapse on itself because it denies one of the necessary conditions for medical paternalism. Bioethics based on its founding story should be abandoned. (shrink)
An educated guess about the future of academic bioethics can only be made on the basis of the historical conditions of its success. According to its official history, which attributes its success primarily to the service it has done for the patient, it should be safe at least as long as the patient still needs its service. Like many other academic disciplines, it might suffer under the present economic downturn. However, in the plausible assumption that its social role (...) has not been exhausted yet, it should recover as soon as the economy does. But if, as this paper tries to argue, the success of academic bioethics should be attributed first and foremost to the service it has done for the neoliberal agenda, then its future would have to depend on the fate of the latter. The exact implications of the downturn for the neoliberal agenda are obviously impossible to predict. Among the various options, however, the one of going back to 'normal' seems to be the least likely. The other options suggest that the future of academic bioethics, as we have known it, is bleak. (shrink)
The Ethics of Bioethics: Mapping the Moral Landscape is a compelling, thoughtful, sobering examination of the moral practice of bioethics. Jonathan D. Moreno sets the tone in the foreword by unsettling the reader with questions from critics about the intellectual legitimacy of bioethics (e.g., the frequent tensions of political ideology with normative expertise in the public debate) and the practices of some in bioethics (e.g., the controversial roles in for-profit industry or health care). Twenty-five essays follow, (...) addressing issues and activities that mark the relatively brief history and much of the scope of bioethics practice. Each essay turns bioethics practice inward to lay bare, explore, and possibly .. (shrink)
I argue that there has been inadequate attention to and questioning of the dominance and normativity of whiteness in the cultural construction of bioethics in the United States. Therefore we risk reproducing white privilege and white supremacy in its theory, method, and practices. To make my argument, I define whiteness and trace its broader social and legal history in the United States. I then begin to mark whiteness in U.S. bioethics, recasting Renee Fox's sociological marking of (...) its American-ness as an important initial marking of its whiteness/WASP ethos. Furthermore, I consider the attempts of social scientists to highlight sociocultural diversity as a corrective in U.S. bioethics. I argue that because they fail to problematize white dominance and normativity and the white-other dualism when they describe the standpoints of African-American, Asian-American, and Native-American others, their work merely inoculates difference and creates or maintains minoritized spaces. Accordingly, the dominant white center of mainstream U.S. bioethics must be problematized and displaced for diversity research to make a difference. In conclusion, I give several examples of how we might advance the recommended endeavor of exploring our own ethnicity, class, and other social positioning and norms operating in U.S. bioethics, briefly highlighting "white talk" as one challenge. (shrink)
The complexities of modern science are not adequately reflected in many bioethical discussions. This is especially problematic in highly contested cases where there is significant pressure to generate clinical applications fast, as in stem cell research. In those cases a more integrated approach to bioethics, which we call systems bioethics, can provide a useful framework to address ethical and policy issues. Much as systems biology brings together different experimental and methodological approaches in an integrative way, systems bioethics (...) integrates aspects of the history and philosophy of science, social and political theory, and normative analysis with the science in question. In this paper we outline how a careful analysis of the science of stem cell research can help to refocus the discussions related to the clinical applications of stem cells. We show how inaccurate or inadequate scientific assumptions help to create a set of unrealistic expectations and badly inform ethical deliberations and policy development. Systems bioethics offers resources for moving beyond the current impasse. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
To date, no satisfactory account of the connection between natural-scientific and historical explanation has been given, and philosophers seem to have largely given up on the problem. This paper is an attempt to resolve this old issue and to sort out and clarify some areas of historical explanation by developing and applying a method that will be called “pragmatic explication” involving the construction of definitions that are justified on pragmatic grounds. Explanations in general can be divided into “dynamic” and “static” (...) explanations, which are those that essentially require relations across time and those that do not, respectively. The problem of assimilating historical explanations concerns dynamic explanation, so a general analysis of dynamic explanation that captures both the structure of natural-scientific and historical explanation is offered. This is done in three stages: In the first stage, pragmatic explication is introduced and compared to other philosophical methods of explication. In the second stage pragmatic explication is used to tie together a series of definitions that are introduced in order to establish an account of explanation. This involves an investigation of the conditions that play the role in historiography that laws and statistical regularities play in the natural sciences. The essay argues that in the natural sciences, as well as in history, the model of explanation presented represents the aims and overarching structure of actual causal explanations offered in those disciplines. In the third stage the system arrived at in the preceding stage is filled in with conditions available to and relevant for historical inquiry. Further, the nature and treatment of causes in history and everyday life are explored and related to the system being proposed. This in turn makes room for a view connecting aspects of historical explanation and what we generally take to be causal relations. (shrink)
A principal challenge facing the progressive bioethics project is the crafting of a consistent message on biopolitical issues that divide progressives. -/- The regulation of enhancement technologies is one of the issues central to this emerging biopolitics, pitting progressive defenders of enhancement, “technoprogressives,” against progressive critics. This essay [PDF] will argue that technoprogressive biopolitics express the consistent application of the core progressive values of the Enlightenment: the right of individuals to control their own bodies, brains and reproduction according to (...) their own conscience, under democratic states that work for the public good. -/- Insofar as left bioconservatives want to ensure the safety of therapies and their equitable distribution, these concerns can be addressed by thorough and independent regulation and a universal health care system, and a progressive bioethics of enhancement can unite both enthusiasts and skeptics. Insofar as bioconservative concerns are motivated by deeper hostility to the Enlightenment project however, by assertion of pre-modern reverence for human uniqueness for instance, then a common program is unlikely. -/- imageAfter briefly reviewing the political history and contemporary landscape of biopolitical debates about enhancement, the essay outlines three meta-policy contexts that will impact future biopolicy: the pressure to establish a universal, cost-effective health insurance system, the aging of industrial societies, and globalization. Technoprogressive appeals are outlined that can appeal to key constituencies, and build a majority coalition in support of progressive change. Finally, some guiding principles for a technoprogressive approach to biopolicy are offered. (shrink)
In the face of the moral pluralism that results from the death of God and the abandonment of a God's eye perspective in secular philosophy, bioethics arose in a context that renders it essentially incapable of giving answers to substantive moral questions, such as concerning the permissibility of abortion, human embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, etc. Indeed, it is only when bioethics understands its own limitations and those of secular moral philosophy in general can it better appreciate those (...) tasks that it can actually usefully perform in both the clinical and academic setting. It is the task of this paper to understand and reevaluate bioethics by understanding these limits. Academic bioethicists can analyze ideas, concepts, and claims necessary to understanding the moral questions raised in health care, assessing the arguments related to these issues, and provide an understanding of the different moral perspectives on bioethical issues. In the clinical setting, bioethicists can provide legal advice, serve as experts on IRBs, mediating disputes, facilitating decision-making and risk management, and clarifying normative issues. However, understanding this is only possible when one understands the history, genesis, and foundations of bioethics and its inability to provide a resolution to postmodern moral pluralism. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Integrative bioethics is a brand of bioethics conceived and propagated by a group of Croatian philosophers and other scholars. This article discusses and shows that the approach encounters several serious difficulties. In criticizing certain standard views on bioethics and in presenting their own, the advocates of integrative bioethics fall into various conceptual confusions and inconsistencies. Although presented as a project that promises to deal with moral dilemmas created by modern science and technology, integrative bioethics does (...) not contain the slightest normativity or action-guiding capacity. Portrayed as a scientific and interdisciplinary enterprise, integrative bioethics displays a large number of pseudoscientific features that throw into doubt its overall credibility. (shrink)
Since the 1980s, Islamic scholars and medical experts have used the tools of Islamic law to formulate ethico-legal opinions on brain death. These assessments have varied in their determinations and remain controversial. Some juridical councils such as the Organization of Islamic Conferences' Islamic Fiqh Academy (OIC-IFA) equate brain death with cardiopulmonary death, while others such as the Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences (IOMS) analogize brain death to an intermediate state between life and death. Still other councils have repudiated the notion (...) entirely. Similarly, the ethico-legal assessments are not uniform in their acceptance of brain-stem or whole-brain criteria for death, and consequently their conceptualizations of, brain death. Within the medical literature, and in the statements of Muslim medical professional societies, brain death has been viewed as sanctioned by Islamic law with experts citing the aforementioned rulings. Furthermore, health policies around organ transplantation and end-of-life care within the Muslim world have been crafted with consideration of these representative religious determinations made by transnational, legally-inclusive, and multidisciplinary councils. The determinations of these councils also have bearing upon Muslim clinicians and patients who encounter the challenges of brain death at the bedside. For those searching for ‘Islamically-sanctioned’ responses that can inform their practice, both the OIC-IFA and IOMS verdicts have palpable gaps in their assessments and remain clinically ambiguous. In this paper we analyze these verdicts from the perspective of applied Islamic bioethics and raise several questions that, if answered by future juridical councils, will better meet the needs of clinicians and bioethicists. (shrink)
There is no doubt that periodization is a rather effective method of data ordering and analysis, but it deals with exceptionally complex types of processual and temporal phenomena and thus it simplifies historical reality. Many scholars emphasize the great importance of periodization for the study of history. In fact, any periodization suffers from one-sidedness and certain deviations from reality. However, the number and significance of such deviations can be radically diminished as the effectiveness of periodization is directly connected with (...) its author's understanding of the rules and peculiarities of this methodological procedure. In this paper we would like to suggest a model of periodization of history based on our theory of historical process. We shall also demonstrate some possibilities of mathematical modeling for the problems concerning the macroperiodization of the world historical process. This analysis identifies a number of cycles within this process and suggests its generally hyperexponential shape, which makes it possible to propose a number of forecasts concerning the forthcoming decades. (shrink)
Background There have been different ethical approaches to the issues in the history of philosophy. Two American philosophers Beachump and Childress formulated some ethical principles namely 'respect to autonomy', 'justice', 'beneficence' and 'non-maleficence'. These 'Four Principles' were presented by the authors as universal and applicable to any culture and society. Mawlana, a great figure in Sufi tradition, had written many books which not only guide people how to worship God to be close to Him, but also advise people how (...) to lead a good life to enrich their personality, as well as to create a harmonious society and a peaceful world. Methods In this study we examined the major works of Mawlana to find out which of these 'Four Principles of Bioethics' exist in Mawlana's ethical understanding. Results We have found in our study that all these principles exist in Mawlana's writings and philosophy in one form or another. Conclusions We have concluded that, further to Beachump and Childress' claim that these principles are universal and applicable to any culture and society, these principles have always existed in different moral traditions in different ways, of which Mawlana's teaching might be presented as a good example. (shrink)
The empirical turn in bioethics has been widely discussed by philosophical medical ethicists and social scientists. The focus of this discussion has been almost exclusively on methodological issues in research, on the admissibility of empirical evidence in rational argument, and on the possible superiority of empirical methods for permitting democratic lay involvement in decision-making. In this paper I consider how the collection of qualitative and quantitative social research evidence plays its part in the construction of social order, and how (...) this creates certain paradoxes for the normative ideal of a public bioethics. The analysis in this paper is based on Foucauldian ideas, and on recent work in the history of the human sciences. The paper closes with some open questions for theoretical work in the sociology and philosophy of bioethics. (shrink)
The account of nature and humanity’s relationship to nature are of central importance for bioethics. The Scientific Revolution was a critical development in the history of this question and many contemporary accounts of nature find their beginnings here. While the innovative approach to nature going out of the seventeenth century was reliant upon accounts of nature from the early modern period, the Middle Ages, late-antiquity and antiquity, it also parted ways with some of the understandings of nature from (...) these epochs. Here I analyze this development and suggests that some of the insights from older understandings of nature may be helpful for bioethics today, even if there can be no simple return to them. (shrink)
This thesis draws on poststructuralism/postmodernism to present a feminist investigation into the human body, its modes of (self)identification, and its insertion into systems of bioethics. I argue that, contrary to conventional paradigms, the boundaries not only of the subject, but of the body too, cannot be secured. In exploring and contesting the closure and disembodiment of the ethical subject, I propose instead an incalculable, but nonetheless fully embodied, diversity of provisional subject positions. My aim is to valorise women and (...) situate them within a reconceived ethics which takes account of the embodied feminine. My project entails an analysis and deconstruction of the binaries of those dominant strands of postEnlightenment thought that shape epistemology, ontology, and ethics, which in turn set the parameters of modern bioethics. More importantly, it goes on to reclaim a radical sexual difference beyond the binary, in which the female is no longer the other of the male. My enquiry, then, is strongly influenced by the discursive approach offered by both Foucault and Derrida in differential ways, but I counter their indifference to feminist concerns by qualifying their insights in the light of strategies developed by Irigaray and Spivak, among others. The main method of investigation has been through library research of primary and secondary sources in mainstream and feminist philosophy, and in bioethics. In addition, archival work in both textual and iconographic collections was carried out at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. The contribution made by this thesis is to go beyond modernist feminisms - which would simply revise and add women into existing paradigms - to radically displace and overflow the mechanisms by which women are devalued. And in developing a postmodern critique around some issues in bioethics, I have suggested a new ethics of the body which precedes the operation of moral codes. (shrink)
Clinical ethics, like bioethics more generally, until recently has tended to focus on the present and future, with little attention to the history of moral thought about health care that preceded bioethics. As a consequence, clinical ethics and bioethics lack maturity as fields of the humanities. The papers in this year's clinical ethics issue of the Journal put contemporary clinical ethics in critical dialogue with the past, making the former accountable to the latter. The six papers (...) in this issue of the Journal are briefly described, with an emphasis on how they contribute to the maturation of clinical ethics as a field of the humanities. (shrink)
Carson Strong has recently argued that wide reflective equilibrium (WRE) is an unacceptable method of justification in bioethics. In its place, Strong recommends a methodology in which certain foundational moral judgments play a central role in the justification of moral beliefs, and coherence plays a limited justificatory role in that the rest of our judgments are made to cohere with these foundational judgments. In this paper, I argue that Strong’s chief criticisms of WRE are unsuccessful and that his proposed (...) alternative is in fact just another version of WRE. In the course of doing so, I specify which theses are central to WRE and which are not, and thus, provide a response to an additional objection, advanced by Peter Singer, that WRE is vacuous. I conclude by arguing that there may be better prospects for advancing the debate regarding methodology in bioethics if we focus on restricted epistemic and methodological theses rather than broad approaches, such as WRE, that come in many different varieties. (shrink)
A rich literature in public health has demonstrated that health is strongly influenced by a host of environmental factors that can vary according to social, economic, geographic, cultural or physical contexts. Bioethicists should, we argue, recognize this and – where appropriate – work to integrate environmental concerns into their field of study and their ethical deliberations. In this article, we present an argument grounded in scientific research at the molecular level that will be familiar to – and so hopefully more (...) persuasive for – the biomedically-inclined in the bioethics community. Specifically, we argue that the relatively new field of molecular epigenetics provides novel information that should serve as additional justification for expanding the scope of bioethics to include environmental and public health concerns. We begin by presenting two distinct visions of bioethics: the individualistic and rights-oriented and the communitarian and responsibility-oriented. We follow with a description of biochemical characteristics distinguishing epigenetics from genetics, in order to emphasize the very close relationship that exists between the environment and gene expression. This then leads to a discussion of the importance of the environment in determining individual and population health, which, we argue, should shift bioethics towards a Potterian view that promotes a communitarian-based sense of responsibility for the environment, in order to fully account for justice considerations and improve public health. (shrink)
: As the fifth national bioethics commission has concluded its work and a sixth is currently underway, it is time to step back and consider appropriate measures of success. This paper argues that standard measures of commissions' influence fail to fully assess their role as public forums. From the perspective of democratic theory, a critical dimension of this role is public engagement: the ability of a commission to address the concerns of the general public, to learn how average citizens (...) resolve moral issues in healthcare, and to monitor public opinion on the topics addressed in the commission. Such a public forum role is supported by the critical literature within bioethics, which has deemed some commissions successful, supported more generally by the history of bioethics as a reform discourse that has brought socially important values into the medical domain, and supported more generally still by the example of the great social issues commissions of the 1960s. (shrink)
Abstract Environmental and public health-focused sciences are increasingly characterised as constituting an emerging discipline—planetary medicine. From a governance perspective, the ethical components of that discipline may usefully be viewed as bestowing upon our ailing natural environment the symbolic moral status of a patient. Such components emphasise, for example, the origins and content of professional and social virtues and related ethical principles needed to promote global governance systems and policies that reduce ecological stresses and pathologies derived from human overpopulation, selfishness and (...) greed—such as pollution, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as provide necessary energy, water and food security. Less well explored in this context, however, is the ethics that should underpin global use of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology as forms of planetary therapeutics. Nanotechnology may be particularly important, for instance, as a mechanism for improving upon photosynthesis and engineering it into human structures for localised production of carbon-neutral hydrogen based-fuel and carbohydrate-based food and fertilizer. Artificial photosynthesis, because of its unique and widespread public and environmental benefits in this period of human history, may even be termed the moral culmination of nanotechnology, assisting this planet to move beyond the Anthropocene epoch to that of the Sustainocene. This paper explores practical steps towards planetary nanomedicine involving governance of artificial photosynthesis, including a UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Bioethics and Human Rights of Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis (Global Solar Fuels and Foods ). Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-13 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0144-4 Authors Thomas Faunce, College of Medicine, Biology and the Environment and College of Law (joint Appointment), Australian National University, Acton, Australia Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a wealth of literature arguing the need for empirical and interdisciplinary approaches to bioethics, based on the premise that an empirically informed ethical analysis is more grounded, contextually sensitive and therefore more relevant to clinical practice than an ‘abstract’ philosophical analysis. Bioethics has (arguably) always been an interdisciplinary field, and the rise of ‘empirical’ (bio)ethics need not be seen as an attempt to give a new name to the longstanding practice of interdisciplinary (...) collaboration, but can perhaps best be understood as a substantive attempt to engage with the nature of that interdisciplinarity and to articulate the relationship between the many different disciplines (some of them empirical) that contribute to the field. It can also be described as an endeavour to explain how different disciplinary approaches can be integrated to effectively answer normative questions in bioethics, and fundamental to that endeavour is the need to think about how a robust methodology can be articulated that successfully marries apparently divergent epistemological and metaethical perspectives with method. This paper proposes ‘Reflexive Bioethics’ (RB) as a methodology for interdisciplinary and empirical bioethics, which utilizes a method of ‘Reflexive Balancing’ (RBL). RBL has been developed in response to criticisms of various forms of reflective equilibrium, and is built upon a pragmatic characterization of Bioethics and a ‘quasi-moral foundationalism’, which allows RBL to avoid some of the difficulties associated with RE and yet retain the flexible egalitarianism that makes it intuitively appealing to many. (shrink)
Who are the gatekeepers in bioethics? Does editorial bias or institutional racism exist in leading bioethics journals? We analyzed the composition of the editorial boards of 14 leading bioethics journals by country. Categorizing these countries according to their Human Development Index (HDI), we discovered that approximately 95 percent of editorial board members are based in (very) high-HDI countries, less than 4 percent are from medium-HDI countries, and fewer than 1.5 percent are from low-HDI countries. Eight out of (...) 14 leading bioethics journals have no editorial board members from a medium- or low-HDI country. Eleven bioethics journals have no board members from low-HDI countries. This severe underrepresentation of bioethics scholars from developing countries on editorial boards suggests that bioethics may be affected by institutional racism, raising significant questions about the ethics of bioethics in a global context. (shrink)
This illustrated edition of Sir Anthony Kenny’s acclaimed survey of Western philosophy offers the most concise and compelling story of the complete development of philosophy available. Spanning 2,500 years of thought, An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy provides essential coverage of the most influential philosophers of the Western world, among them Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein. Replete with over 60 (...) illustrations - ranging from Dufresnoy’s The Death of Socrates, through to the title page of Thomas More’s Utopia, portraits of Hobbes and Rousseau, photographs of Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell, Freud’s own sketch of the Ego and the Id, and Wittgenstein’s Austrian military identity card - this lucid and masterful work is ideal for anyone with an interest in Western thought. (shrink)
History, Philosophy and Science Teaching argues that science teaching and science teacher education can be improved if teachers know something of the history and philosophy of science and if these topics are included in the science curriculum. The history and philosophy of science have important roles in many of the theoretical issues that science educators need to address: the goals of science education; what constitutes an appropriate science curriculum for all students; how science should be taught in (...) traditional cultures; what integrated science is; how scientific literacy can be promoted; and the conflict which can occur between science curriculum and deep-seated religious or cultural values and knowledge. In part, answers to these questions hinge on views about the nature of science, views that are best informed by historical and philosophical study. Outlining the history of liberal, or contextual, approaches to the teaching of science, Michael Matthews elaborates contemporary curriculum developments that explicitly address questions about the nature and the history of science. He provides examples of classroom teaching and develops useful arguments on constructivism, multicultural science education and teacher education. The book will appeal to school and university science teachers, educators of science teachers, and historians and philosophers of science. (shrink)
Feminist work in the history of philosophy has come of age as an innovative field in the history of philosophy. This volume marks that accomplishment with original essays by leading feminist scholars who ask basic questions: What is distinctive of feminist work in the history of philosophy? Is there a method that is distinctive of feminist historical work? How can women philosophers be meaningfully included in the history of the discipline? Who counts as a philosopher? This (...) collection is a unique collaboration among philosophers from North America and the Nordic Countries, including papers written from both analytic and continental philosophical perspectives and discussing both ancient and modern philosophers. Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy will be of interest to historians of philosophy, feminist theorists, women's studies faculty and students, and humanists interested in canon formation and transformation. (shrink)
Informed consent is a central topic in contemporary biomedical ethics. Yet attempts to set defensible and feasible standards for consenting have led to persistent difficulties. In Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics Neil Manson and Onora O'Neill set debates about informed consent in medicine and research in a fresh light. They show why informed consent cannot be fully specific or fully explicit, and why more specific consent is not always ethically better. They argue that consent needs distinctive communicative transactions, by (...) which other obligations, prohibitions, and rights can be waived or set aside in controlled and specific ways. Their book offers a coherent, wide-ranging and practical account of the role of consent in biomedicine which will be valuable to readers working in a range of areas in bioethics, medicine and law. (shrink)
This is the table of contents of and introduction to a textbook entitled Bioethics in Canada. It will be published by Oxford University Press in March of 2013. It is designed mainly for use in Canada. Of the 51 articles that it contains, 26 are written by Canadians. -/- For further information, see http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780195440157.html and http://www.amazon.ca/Bioethics-Canada-Charles-Weijer/dp/0195440153/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359542985&sr=1-1.
Theory. Moral knowledge and moral principles -- Victorian Matters. First principles and common-sense morality in Sidgwick's ethics ; Moral problems and moral philosophy in the Victorian Period -- On the historiography of moral philosophy. Moral crisis and the history of ethics ; Modern moral philosophy : from beginning to end? : No discipline, no history : the case of moral philosophy ; Teaching the history of moral philosophy -- Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century moral philosophy. The divine corporation and (...) the history of ethics ; Natural law ; The misfortunes of virtue ; Voluntarism and the foundations of ethics ; Hume and the religious significance of moral rationalism -- On Kant. Why study Kant's Groundwork ; Autonomy, obligation, and virtue : an overview of Kant's moral philosophy ; Kant and Stoic ethics ; Toward enlightenment : Kant and the sources of darkness ; Kantian unsocial sociability : good out of evil -- Moral psychology. The active powers -- Afterword. Sixty years of philosophy in a life. (shrink)
History of Western Thought is a comprehensive introduction to the history of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to Twentieth Century thought. In addition to all the key figures, the book covers figures whose contributions have so far been overlooked such as Vico, Montesquieu, Durkheim and Weber.
Kant’s use of the terms ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ in his essays on history has long puzzled commentators. Kant personifies Nature and Providence in a curious way, by speaking of them as “deciding” to give humankind certain predispositions, “wanting” these to be developed, and “knowing” what is best for humans Moreover, he leaves the relationship between the two terms unclear. In this essay, I argue that Kant’s use of ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ can be clarified and explained. Moreover, I show that (...) Kant’s use of the terms is symptomatic of a much more important and not sufficiently appreciated fact about Kant’s philosophy of history, viz., that it fulfils a function in both his theoretical and his practical philosophy. (shrink)
Why has autonomy been a leading idea in philosophical writing on bioethics, and why has trust been marginal? In this important book, Onora O'Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy so widely relied on in bioethics are philosophically and ethically inadequate, and that they undermine rather than support relations of trust. She shows how Kant's non-individualistic view of autonomy provides a stronger basis for an approach to medicine, science and biotechnology, and does not marginalize untrustworthiness, while also (...) explaining why trustworthy individuals and institutions are often undeservingly mistrusted. Her arguments are illustrated with issues raised by practices such as the use of genetic information by the police or insurers, research using human tissues, uses of new reproductive technologies, and media practices for reporting on medicine, science and technology. Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics will appeal to a wide range of readers in ethics, bioethics and related disciplines. (shrink)
The expanded and revised edition of Bioethics: An Anthology is a definitive one-volume collection of key primary texts for the study of bioethics. Brings together writings on a broad range of ethical issues relating such matters as reproduction, genetics, life and death, and animal experimentation. Now includes introductions to each of the sections. Features new coverage of the latest debates on hot topics such as genetic screening, the use of embryonic human stem cells, and resource allocation between patients. (...) The selections are independent of any particular approach to bioethics. Can be used as a source book to complement A Companion to Bioethics (1999). (shrink)
The Genealogy takes a historical form. But does the history play an essential role in Nietzsche's critique of modern morality? In this essay, I argue that the answer is yes. The Genealogy employs history in order to show that acceptance of modern morality was causally responsible for producing a dramatic change in our affects, drives, and perceptions. This change led agents to perceive actual increases in power as reductions in power, and actual decreases in power as increases in (...) power. Moreover, it led agents to experience negative emotions when engaging in activities that constitute greater manifestations of power, and positive emotions when engaging in activities that reduce power. For these reasons, modern morality strongly disposes agents to reduce their own power. Given Nietzsche’s argument that power has a privileged normative status, these facts entail that we have a reason to reject modern morality. (shrink)
Why do major historical events such as the Holocaust occupy the forefront of the collective consciousness, while profound moments such as the Armenian genocide, the McCarthy era, and France's role in North Africa stand distantly behind? Is it possible that history "overly remembers" some events at the expense of others? A landmark work in philosophy, Paul Ricoeur's Memory, History, Forgetting examines this reciprocal relationship between remembering and forgetting, showing how it affects both the perception of historical experience and (...) the production of historical narrative. Memory, History, Forgetting , like its title, is divided into three major sections. Ricoeur first takes a phenomenological approach to memory and mnemonical devices. The underlying question here is how a memory of present can be of something absent, the past. The second section addresses recent work by historians by reopening the question of the nature and truth of historical knowledge. Ricoeur explores whether historians, who can write a history of memory, can truly break with all dependence on memory, including memories that resist representation. The third and final section is a profound meditation on the necessity of forgetting as a condition for the possibility of remembering, and whether there can be something like happy forgetting in parallel to happy memory. Throughout the book there are careful and close readings of the texts of Aristotle and Plato, of Descartes and Kant, and of Halbwachs and Pierre Nora. A momentous achievement in the career of one of the most significant philosophers of our age, Memory, History, Forgetting provides the crucial link between Ricoeur's Time and Narrative and Oneself as Another and his recent reflections on ethics and the problems of responsibility and representation. (shrink)
Published here for the first time is much of a final and long-anticipated work on philosophy of history by the great Oxford philosopher and historian R. G. Collingwood. The original text of this uncompleted work has only recently been discovered. It is accompanied by further, shorter writings on historical knowledge and inquiry. A lengthy editorial introduction sets these writings in their context, and discusses philosophical questions to which they give rise.
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Truth and Disclosure: 1. Unconcealment; 2. The conditions of truth in Heidegger and Davidson; 3. On the 'existential positivity of our ability to be deceived'; 4. Heidegger on Plato, truth, and unconcealment: the 1931-32 lecture on The Essence of Truth; Part II. Language: 5. Social constraints on conversational content: Heidegger on Rede and Gerede; 6. Conversation, language, saying and showing; 7. The revealed word and world disclosure: Heidegger and Pascal on the phenomenology of religious (...) faith; Part III. Historical Worlds: 8. Philosophers, thinkers, and Heidegger's place in the history of being; 9. Between the earth and the sky: Heidegger on life after the death of God; 10. Nietzsche and the metaphysics of truth. (shrink)
The essays in this volume offer an approach to the history of moral and political philosophy that takes its inspiration from John Rawls. All the contributors are philosophers who have studied with Rawls and they offer this collection in his honor. The distinctive feature of this approach is to address substantive normative questions in moral and political philosophy through an analysis of the texts and theories of major figures in the history of the subject: Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, (...) Kant, and Marx. By reconstructing the core of these theories in a way that is informed by contemporary theoretical concerns, the contributors show how the history of the subject is a resource for understanding present and perennial problems in moral and political philosophy. This outstanding collection will be of particular interest to historians of moral and political philosophy, historians of ideas, and political scientists. (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval (...) and Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Tom Beauchamp presents the definitive scholarly edition of two famous works by David Hume, both originally published in 1757. In A Dissertation on the Passions Hume sets out his original view of the nature and central role of passion and emotion. The Natural History of Religion is a landmark work in the study of religion as a natural phenomenon. Authoritative critical texts are accompanied by a full array of editorial matter.
Anthropology, History, and Education contains all of Kant's major writings on human nature. Some of these works, which were published over a thirty-nine year period between 1764 and 1803, have never before been translated into English. Kant's question 'What is the human being?' is approached indirectly in his famous works on metaphysics, epistemology, moral and legal philosophy, aesthetics and the philosophy of religion, but it is approached directly in his extensive but less well-known writings on physical and cultural anthropology, (...) the philosophy of history, and education which are gathered in the present volume. Kant repeatedly claimed that the question 'What is the human being?' should be philosophy's most fundamental concern, and Anthropology, History, and Education can be seen as effectively presenting his philosophy as a whole in a popular guise. (shrink)
Twilight of the Idols has a main role in Nietzsche’s work, since it represents the opening writing of his project of Transvaluation of all values. The task of this essay is sounding out idols, i.e. to disclose their lack of content, their being hollow. The theme of eternal idols is in this work strictly related to the idea of a ‘true’ world and, consequently, a study on this latter notion can contribute to a better comprehension of what does that emptiness (...) mean and which is the way that Nietzsche wants to follow to set his thought free from any metaphysical heritage. The analysis of the notion of truth Nietzsche concerns with in Twilight of the Idols takes us back to the content of his early writings, when he gives the first sketches of his theory of knowledge. The perspective he exposed in the ‘70s is constructed on the basis of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, that Nietzsche merges with the main ideas of Lange, Spir and other neo-Kantians. The outcome of his reflections on this matter is an evolutionary epistemology, a view that leads Nietzsche to define the historical reconstruction as the only resource through which the fact that concepts are mere thoughts gradually evolved can be point out. These observations correspond in many ways to what the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach wrote in his works, and one can say that Nietzsche agrees with his “anti-metaphysical intent”, i.e. his criticizing a thought still depending on “concepts which we forgot how we’ve reached”. With my paper I’ll try to show that Nietzsche wage his war against metaphysics with the theoretical ‘weapons’ he prepared in the ‘70s, indeed that his last attack to western knowledge arises from some contents he exposed in Human, All Too Human. In this text Nietzsche reflected on the mechanisms of language and world’s representation, and connected human knowledge with the overall development of organic beings. Moreover, in his work from 1878 the philosopher presented a comparison between “metaphysische Philosophie” and “historische Philosophie”, an idea that cannot be found in the following writings, but that comes up again in the Twilight of the Idols. Indeed, in this work Nietzsche repeats his complaining philosopher’s “lack of historical sense” he dealt with in the opening pages of Human, All Too Human, and he reflects on the kind of inquiry western thinkers should adopt to set themselves free from the fixed forms of metaphysics. Thus, Nietzsche’s observation about the role of history in philosophy testifies the connection between this main works, and allow us to define the way he wants to follow to carry his critic to eternal idols out and, in doing so, to show the way forward to his last thoughts. (shrink)
Assume for the sake of argument that doing philosophy is intrinsically valuable, where ‘doing philosophy’ refers to the practice of forging arguments for and against the truth of theses in the domains of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, etc. The practice of the history of philosophy is devoted instead to discovering arguments for and against the truth of ‘authorial’ propositions, i.e. propositions that state the belief of some historical figure about a philosophical proposition. I explore arguments to think that doing (...) class='Hi'>history of philosophy is valuable, specifically, valuable in such a way that its value does not reduce to the value of doing philosophy. Most such arguments proffered by historians of philosophy fail egregiously, as I show. I then offer a proposal about what makes doing history of philosophy uniquely valuable, but it is one that many historians will not find agreeable. (shrink)
The content of Boscovich’s Theoria philosophiae naturalis was well-known to his contemporaries, but both scientists and philosophers chiefly discussed it during the 19th century. The observations that Boscovich presented in this text, and that he himself defined as “philosophicas metitationes”, soon showed their being a good programme for the forthcoming atomic physics, and contributed to get rid of the mechanistic paradigm in science. In this paper I’ll go back to some meaningful moments of the history of Boscovich’s reception in (...) the era of contemporary philosophy, by referring to what authors such as Popper, Cassirer, Nietzsche and Fechner wrote about him. These thinkers, indeed, particularly stressed the importance of the Theoria in the history of Western thought, and showed that it can easily be evaluated beyond the plane of a pure scientific investigation. (shrink)
Issues in reproductive ethics, such as the capacity of parents to ‘choose children’, present challenges to philosophical ideas of freedom, responsibility and harm. This book responds to these challenges by proposing a new framework for thinking about the ethics of reproduction that emphasizes the ways that social norms affect decisions about who is born. The book provides clear and thorough discussions of some of the dominant problems in reproductive ethics - human enhancement and the notion of the normal, reproductive liberty (...) and procreative beneficence, the principle of harm and discrimination against disability - while also proposing new ways of addressing these. The author draws upon the work of Michel Foucault, especially his discussions of biopolitics and norms, and later work on ethics, alongside feminist theorists of embodiment to argue for a new bioethics that is responsive to social norms, human vulnerability and the relational context of freedom and responsibility. This is done through compelling discussions of new technologies and practices, including the debate on liberal eugenics and human enhancement, the deliberate selection of disabilities, PGD and obstetric ultrasound. (shrink)
This book reveals the rational basis for historians' descriptions, interpretations and explanations of past events. C. Behan McCullagh defends the practice of history as more reliable than has recently been acknowledged. Historians, he argues, make their accounts of the past as fair as they can and avoid misleading their readers. He explains and discusses postmodern criticisms of history, providing students and teachers of history with a renewed validation of their practice. McCullagh takes the history debate to (...) a new stage with bold replies to the major questions historians face today. (shrink)
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, adopt a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, state what makes a particular experience appropriate to the work. What does so? Although Wollheim toyed (...) with a more ambitious line, I suggest that he should have given the obvious answer, that the appropriate experience reflects the work’s nature. (shrink)
Postmodernism has significantly affected the theory and practice of history. It has induced fears about the future of historical study, but has also offered liberation from certain modernist constraints. This original and thought-provoking study looks at the context of postmodernist thought in general cultural terms as well as in relation to history. Postmodernism in History traces philosophical precursors of postmodernism and identifies the roots of current concerns. Beverley Southgate describes the core constituents of postmodernism and provides a (...) lucid and profound analysis of the current state of the debate. His main concern is to counter `pomophobia' and to assert a positive future for historical study in a postmodern world. Postmodernism in History is a valuable guide to some of the most complex questions in historical theory for students and teachers alike. (shrink)
This essay aims to sharpen debates on the pros and cons of historical epistemology, which is now understood as a novel approach to the study of knowledge, by comparing it with the history of epistemology as traditionally pursued by philosophers. The many versions of both approaches are not always easily discernable. Yet, a reasoned comparison of certain versions can and should be made. In the first section of this article, I argue that the most interesting difference involves neither the (...) subject matter nor goal, but the methods used by the two approaches. In the second section, I ask which of the two approaches or methods is more promising given that both historical epistemologists and historians of epistemology claim to contribute to epistemology simpliciter . Using traditional problems concerning the epistemic role of perception, I argue that the historical epistemologies of Wartofsky and Daston and Galison fail to show that studying practices of perception is philosophically significant. Standard methods from the history of epistemology are more promising, as I show by means of reconstructing arguments in a debate about the relation between perception and judgment in psychological research on the famous moon illusion. (shrink)
This book explains and defends a central ideas in the theory of history put forward by R. G. Collingwood, perhaps the foremost philosopher of history in the 20th century. Professor Dray analyses critically the idea of re-enactment, explores the limits of its applicability, and determines its relationship to other key Collingwoodian ideas, such as the role of imagination in historical thinking, and the indispensability of a point of view.
This is an updated (25 April 2013) and revised version (after one iteration with referees) of a draft of the book on the notion of fundamental length I have been writing for the last couple of years, covering issues in the philosophy of math, metaphysics, and the history and the philosophy of modern physics, from classical electrodynamics to current theories of quantum gravity.
Kantian autonomy is often thought to be independent of time and place, but J. B. Schneewind in his landmark study, The Invention of Autonomy, has shown that there is much to be learned by setting Kant's moral philosophy in the context of the history of modern moral philosophy. The distinguished authors in the collection continue Schneewind's project by relating Kant's work to the historical context of his predecessors and to the empirical context of human agency. This will be a (...) valuable resource for professionals and advanced students in philosophy, the history of ideas, and the history of political thought. (shrink)
Many writers have paid tribute to its power: Shakespeare urged his audiences to use it to create a setting; Hobbes asserted that "imagination and memory are but one thing;" for Wordsworth it was "the mightiest leveler known to moral world;" and to Baudelaire it represented "the queen of truth." Imagination as artistic, poetic, and cultural predicate remains one of the most influential ideas in the history of Western thought. (...) It has been simultaneously feared as a dangerous, uncontrollable force, and revered as the supreme visionary power. The questions of its origins, nature, function, and effects have absorbed writers, theologians, and philosophers alike. J. M. Cocking's Imagination shows how these questions have recurred, through the ages and in various cultures. Exploring this theme, from antiquity to the Renaissance, it opens with a discussion of the treatment of imagination in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Tracing its development in the Middle Ages, Cocking pays particular attention to the parallel tradition in Islamic thought of the period. The book pursues the concept through the theories of Dante and the neo-Platonists, concluding with the High Renaissance. (shrink)
This is the third edition of a classic book first published in 1960, which has sold thousands of copies in two paperback edition and has been translated into several foreign languages. Popkin's work ha generated innumerable citations, and remains a valuable stimulus to current historical research. In this updated version, he has revised and expanded throughout, and has added three new chapters, one on Savonarola, one on Henry More and Ralph Cudworth, and one on Pascal. This authoritative treatment of the (...) theme of scepticism and its historical impact will appeal to scholars and students of early modern history now as much as ever. (shrink)
This paper focuses on two conflations which frequently appear within the philosophy of history and other fields concerned with action explanation. The first of these, which I call the Conflating View of Reasons, states that the reasons for which we perform actions are reasons why (those events which are) our actions occur. The second, more general conflation, which I call the Conflating View of Action Explanation, states that whatever explains why an agent performed a certain action explains why (that (...) event which was) her action occurred. Both conflations ignore the fact that there are at least two distinct objects that legitimately qualify as objects of action explanation2. As Jennifer Hornsby (1993) has previous suggested, one thing we might wish to explain is ‘why did A do what she did?’ another is, ‘why did the event of her doing it occur?’ -/- I shall argue that when these two views are combined they give rise to a futile debate about explanation in the philosophies of history and the social sciences, and to an almost identical debate in moral psychology and the philosophy of mind. In so doing, I shall also examine a proposed distinction between explaining a phenomenon, and rendering it intelligible. I conclude by distinguishing between four different objects of historical understanding, each of which is to be understood in the light of the aforementioned distinctions between event and thing done, and explanation and intelligibility. (shrink)
This book traces a deep misunderstanding about the relation of concepts and reality in the history of philosophy. It exposes the influence of the mistake in the thought of Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Nietzche and Bradley and suggests that the solution can be found in Hegelian thought. Ellis argues that the treatment proposed exemplifies Hegel's dialectical method, an important contribution to this area of philosophy.
Debates concerning the character, scope, and warrant of abductive inference have been active since Peirce first proposed that there was a third form of inference, distinct from induction and deduction. Abductive reasoning has been dubbed weak, incoherent, and even nonexistent. Part, at least, of the problem of articulating a clear sense of abductive inference is due to difficulty in interpreting Peirce. Part of the fault must lie with his critics, however. While this article will argue that Peirce indeed left a (...) number of puzzles for interpreters, it will also contend that interpreters should be careful to distinguish discussion of the formal and strictly epistemic question of whether and how abduction is a sound form of inference from discussions of the practical goals of abduction, as Peirce understood them. This article will trace a history of critics and defenders of Peirce’s notion of abduction and discuss how Peirce both fueled the confusion and in fact anticipated and responded to several recurring objections. (shrink)
When philosophers address personal identity, they usually explore numerical identity: what are the criteria for a person's continuing existence? When non-philosophers address personal identity, they often have in mind narrative identity: Which characteristics of a particular person are salient to her self-conception? This book develops accounts of both senses of identity, arguing that both are normatively important, and is unique in its exploration of a range of issues in bioethics through the lens of identity. Defending a biological view of (...) our numerical identity and a framework for understanding narrative identity, DeGrazia investigates various issues for which considerations of identity prove critical: the definition of death; the authority of advance directives in cases of severe dementia; the use of enhancement technologies; prenatal genetic interventions; and certain types of reproductive choices. He demonstrates the power of personal identity theory to illuminate issues in bioethics as they bring philosophical theory to life. (shrink)
All volumes of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek philosophy have won their due acclaim. The most striking merits of Guthrie's work are his mastery of a tremendous range of ancient literature and modern scholarship, his fairness and balance of judgement and the lucidity and precision of his English prose. He has achieved clarity and comprehensiveness.
The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870-1945 comprises over sixty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of this period, and is designed to be accessible to non-specialists. The first part of the book traces the history of philosophy from its remarkable flowering in the 1870s through to the early years of the twentieth century. After a brief discussion of the impact of the First World War, the second part of the book describes further developments in philosophy in (...) the first half of the twentieth century. The essays concentrate on developments across the range of philosophical topics, from logic and metaphysics to political philosophy and philosophy of religion. This volume will be of critical importance not only to teachers and students of philosophy but also to scholars in neighbouring disciplines such as the history of science, the history of ideas, theology and the social sciences. (shrink)
In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency – that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes – is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents (...) must have particular sorts of histories, others have argued that no such history is required. Resolution of this contentious issue is connected to a wide range of concerns, including the significance and culpability of different forms of manipulation, the plausibility of important incompatibilist criticisms of compatibilism, and of course, a satisfactory account of moral responsibility. As it turns out, history matters sometimes, but less frequently than we might think. (shrink)