Victorian physics meets industrial capitalism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9554-0 Authors Bruce J. Hunt, History Department, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7000, Austin, TX 78712-0220, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Practices: Process and Criteria for Evaluating Adaptations of Norms and Standards in Health Care Institutions Content Type Journal Article Pages 327-339 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9115-8 Authors Matthew R. Hunt, McMaster University Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Montreal Canada Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 4.
Cloning Human Embryos for Spare Tissue An Ethical Dilemma Content Type Journal Article Pages 22-23 Authors Donald Bruce, Religion and Technology Project, Church of Scotland, John Knox House, 45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, Scotland Journal Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics Online ISSN 2043-0469 Print ISSN 1028-7825 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume 8, Number 2 / 2002.
The Tractatus de Anima of John Blund was a discovery of Father Daniel Callus, but he did not live to complete the edition. The treatise was written c. 1200, and is the earliest known philosophical work by an Oxford Master. It grafts the new learning derived from Avicenna and Aristotle onto older stocks. Its great interest is that it enables us to study the way in which the first generation of scholars used the translations of Greek and Arabic philosophical and (...) scientific texts which had just become available in Western Europe. The edition was completed by Dr R. W. Hunt, Keeper of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. (shrink)
This book examines major ethical issues in nursing practice. Eschewing the abstract approaches of bioethics and medical ethics, it takes as its point of departure the difficulties nurses experience practicing within the confines of a bioethical model of health and illness and a hierarchical, technocratic health care system. The book's contributors discuss the role of the nurse in relation to issues of informed consent, privacy, dignity and confidentiality. The book also considers nursing accountability in relation to the contemporary Western health (...) care system as a whole. New and critical essays examine the nature of professional codes, care, medical judgement, nursing research and the law. The contributors also deal openly and honestly with controversial issues faced by nurses such as euthanasia, the epidemiology of HIV and the care of the elderly. (shrink)
The principle of alternate possibilities (PAP), making the ability to do otherwise a necessary condition for moral responsibility, is supposed by Harry Frankfurt, John Fischer, and others to succumb to a peculiar kind of counterexample. The paper reviews the main problems with the counterexample that have surfaced over the years, and shows how most can be addressed within the terms of the current debate. But one problem seems ineliminable: because Frankfurt''s example relies on a counterfactual intervener to preclude alternatives to (...) the person''s action, it is not possible for it to preclude all alternatives (intervention that is contingent upon a trigger cannot bring it about that the trigger never occurred). This makes it possible for the determined PAPist to maintain that some pre-intervention deviation is always available to ground moral responsibility.In reply, the critic of PAP can examine all the candidate deviations and argue their irrelevance to moral responsibility (a daunting prospect); or the critic can dispense with counterfactual intervention altogether. The paper pursues the second of these strategies, developing three examples of noncounterfactual intervention in which (i) the agent has no alternatives (and a fortiori no morally relevant alternatives), yet (ii) there is just as much reason to think that the agent is morally responsible as there was in Frankfurt''s original example. The new counterexamples do suffer from one liability, but this is insufficient in the end to repair PAP''s conceptual connection between moral responsibility and alternate possibilities. (shrink)
The most serious challenge to Frankfurt-type counterexamples to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) comes in the form of a dilemma: either the counterexample presupposes determinism, in which case it begs the question; or it does not presuppose determinism, in which case it fails to deliver on its promise to eliminate all alternatives that might plausibly be thought to satisfy PAP. I respond to this challenge with a counterexample in which considering an alternative course of action is a necessary condition (...) for deciding to act otherwise, and the agent does not in fact consider the alternative. I call this a “buffer case,” because the morally relevant alternative is “buffered” by the requirement that the agent first consider the alternative. Suppose further that the agent’s considering an alternative action—entering the buffer zone—is what would trigger the counterfactual intervener. Then it would appear that PAP-relevant alternatives are out of reach. I defend this counterexample to PAP against three objections: that considering an alternative is itself a morally relevant alternative; that buffer cases can be shown to contain other alternatives that arguably satisfy PAP; and that even if the agent’s present access to PAP-relevant alternatives were eliminated, PAP could still be satisfied in virtue of earlier alternatives. I conclude that alternative possibilities are a normal symptom, but not an essential constituent, of moral agency. (shrink)
In a number of earlier papers I have attempted to defend the providential utility of simple foreknowledge as a via media between the accounts of divine providence offered by Molinists, on the one hand, and ‘open theists’, on the other. In the current issue of this journal, Michael Robinson argues that my response to one of the standard difficulties for simple foreknowledge – that its providential employment would generate explanatory loops – is inadequate. In the following paper I answer Robinson's (...) charge. (shrink)
Teaching ethics poses a dilemma for professors of business. First, they have little or no formal training in ethics. Second, they have established ethical values that they may not want to impose upon their students. What is needed is a well-recognized, yet non-sectarian model to facilitate the clarification of ethical questions. Gestalt theory offers such a framework. Four Gestalt principles facilitate ethical clarification and another four Gestalt principles anesthetize ethical clarification. This article examines each principle, illustrates that principle through current (...) business examples, and offers exercises for developing each principle. (shrink)
Kenneth Goodpaster has criticized ethicists like Feinberg and Frankena for too narrowly circumscribing the range of moral considerability, urging instead that “nothing short of the condition of being alive” is a satisfactory criterion. Goodpaster overlooks at least one crucial objection: that his own “condition of being alive” may aIso be too narrow a criterion of moral considerability, since “being in existence” is at least as plausible and nonarbitrary a criterion as is Goodpaster’s. I show that each of the arguments that (...) Goodpaster musters in support of his criterion can be used equally weIl to bolster “being in existence” as a test of moral considerability. Moreover, I argue that “being in existence” appears to be a stronger criterion overall, since it is broader. Until or unless a fuller justification is forthcoming of “being alive” as a satisfactory criterion of moral considerability-a justification which must demonstrate that “mere things,” included under the condition of “being in existence,” do not deserve moral consideration--Goodpaster’sthesis is confronted with a serious problem. (shrink)
The authors empirically examine the nature and extent of ethical problems confronting senior level AICPA members (CPAs) and examine the effectiveness of partner actions and codes of ethics in reducing ethical problems. The results indicate that the most difficult ethical problems (frequency reported) were: client requests to alter tax returns and commit tax fraud, conflict of interest and independence, client requests to alter financial statements, personal-professional problems, and fee problems. Analysis of attitudes toward ethics in the accounting profession indicated that (...) (1) CPAs perceive that opportunities exist in the accounting profession to engage in unethical behavior, (2) CPAs, in general, do not believe that unethical behavior leads to success, and (3) when top management (partners) reprimand unethical behavior, the ethical problems perceived by CPAs seem to be reduced. (shrink)
Ian Carter argues against what he calls the ?specific freedom thesis?, which claims that in asking whether our society or any individual is free, all we need or can intelligibly concern ourselves with is their freedom to do this or that specific thing. Carter claims that issues of overall freedom are politically and morally important and that, in valuing freedom as such, liberals should be committed to a measure of freedom overall. This paper argues against Carter?s further claim that rejection (...) of the specific freedom thesis requires rejection of morally based determinations of degrees of overall freedom. Using a concept of freedom as a capacity to pursue one?s interests, it is argued that the value of freedom overall is not reducible to the value of specific freedoms, and that conditions of action can be determined as constraints only within the context of their impact on freedom overall. Taking the case of coercive proposals, it is argued that we must evaluate the morality of the circumstances in which conditional proposals are made if we are to weigh the opportunities and constraints contained in the proposal to determine whether its recipient suffers a loss of overall freedom. We must therefore appeal to values other than that of liberty itself to determine degrees of liberty overall, which we require in turn to determine whether threats or offers are coercive. (shrink)
In Poetic Justice Martha Nussbaum undertakes to explain how “story-telling and literary imagining” can supply “essential ingredients in a rational argument” and thereby improve public discourse regarding important ethical, political, and legal issues.
Book Information Hegel's Idea of Freedom. Hegel's Idea of Freedom Alan Patten Oxford University Press 1999 xiii + 216 Hardback £30 By Alan Patten. Oxford University Press. Pp. xiii + 216. Hardback:£30.
Although previous ethical analyses of management buyouts have presented useful insights, they have been flawed in three major ways. First, they define the transaction too narrowly, emphasizing the going private aspect and ignoring the leveraged aspect. Leveraging alters the nature of the transaction substantially and warrants additional ethical analysis. Second, these previous analyses ignore the impact of buyouts on non-stockholder constituents of the firm, an omission which renders their implicit utilitarian approach incomplete. Third, these analyses do not include Rawlsian, libertarian, (...) or Kantian perspectives on ethics. This paper addresses these shortcomings and finds the ethical status of leveraged management buyouts to be highly suspect. (shrink)
Can mystics intuit something of what modern physicists calculate? And if so, how? The question of the relation between the classical mysticisms and modern science is approached in Part I in terms of the multiple forms and definitions of 'truth value'. Intuition/epiphany, pragmatism, coherence, and correspondence are considered as forms of truth that have also been proposed for unitive mystical experience. Since 'correspondence' or 'representation' has been the definition at the core of modern science, it in particular is approached by (...) combining Lakoff and Johnson on the roots of all abstract knowledge in physical metaphor and Gibson on the ecological array of perception as the template from which such metaphors must be drawn. A series of similarities between the maximally inclusive metaphors underlying unitive mystical experience and cosmological physics, as abstracted from an ecological array already resonant with multiple levels of physical reality, suggests a basis for the correspondence between these otherwise distinct cognitive domains. Part II extends this approach to widely posited cross cultural values of spiritual or mystical realization, in terms of gratitude, compassion, faith, and inner freedom. When fully embodied as forms of personal conduct, these are also ultimately derivable from the openness and flow patternings of the ecological array itself. The possibility that the more abstract spiritual values of the major world mysticisms exemplify not only revelatory and pragmatic forms of truth, but are also broadly correspondent with both the principles of immediate concrete perception and modern physics, may eventually allow a contemporary re- formulation of the microcosm-macrocosm unities basic to traditional cultures. (shrink)
The five authors vary in the degree to which the recent neuroscience of the REM state leads them towards multiple dimensions and forms of dreaming consciousness (Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Solms) or toward all-explanatory single factor models (Vertes & Eastman, Revonsuo). The view of the REM state as a prolongation of the orientation response to novelty fits best with the former pluralisms but not the latter monisms. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman].
This article explores whether theory-ladenness makes empirical testing an inse cure foundation for objectivity. Specifically, this article uses path diagrams as visual heuristics to assist in (1) developing a parsimonious representation of the traditional empiricist view of empirical testing, (2) showing how the "New Image" view ostensibly threatens the objectivity of science, (3) proposing a unified, realist theory of empirical testing, (4) developing a representation of the unified theory, (5) exploring several potential threats to objectivity, (6) discussing the proposed theory's (...) implications for social science, and (7) adumbrating three foundational premises for scientific realism. (shrink)
Health professionals are involved in humanitarian assistance and development work in many regions of the world. They participate in primary health care, immunization campaigns, clinic- and hospital-based care, rehabilitation and feeding programs. In the course of this work, clinicians are frequently exposed to complex ethical issues. This paper examines how health workers experience ethics in the course of humanitarian assistance and development work. A qualitative study was conducted to consider this question. Five core themes emerged from the data, including: tension (...) between respecting local customs and imposing values; obstacles to providing adequate care; differing understandings of health and illness; questions of identity for health workers; and issues of trust and distrust. Recommendations are made for organizational strategies that could help aid agencies support and equip their staff as they respond to ethical issues. (shrink)
Future technological developmentsconcerning food, agriculture, and theenvironment face a gulf of social legitimationfrom a skeptical public and media, in the wakeof the crises of BSE, GM food, and foot andmouth disease in the UK (House of Lords, 2000). Keyethical issues were ignored by the bioindustry,regulators, and the Government, leaving alegacy of distrust. The paper examinesagricultural biotechnology in terms of a socialcontract, whose conditions would have to be fulfilled togain acceptance of novel applications. Variouscurrent and future GM applications areevaluated against these (...) conditions. Successwould depend critically on how far a sharedvision can be found with the public. Tore-establish trust, significant changes areidentified in the planning and pursuit ofbiotechnology. (shrink)
I sometimes entertain my non-academic friends by telling them that, at the end of each course I teach, before I compute my students’ grades, I pause nervously while I wait to be graded by my students. This process can be described less paradoxically, but surely no more truthfully, as follows. In my department, and as far as I know all the departments at my university, each course ends with students anonymously filling out forms in which they evaluate the teacher and (...) the course. The form includes several questions in which the student is asked to rate the teacher in various respects (such as clarity and organization, availability outside the classroom, and so forth) along a numbered scale (in our case, from one to five); they are also asked one very general question in which they are told to rate the instructor’s overall effectiveness. They are also invited to write comments on these matters. Mean scores (in effect, grades) are calculated for each question and published by the university. In addition, these student evaluations of teaching (often called SETs for short) are used each year by the committee that decides merit pay increases for faculty. When the faculty member is being considered for advancement to tenure or promotion to the rank of Full Professor, these evaluation forms are supplemented by faculty evaluation of teaching, in which faculty members visit the candidate’s classes and report on her or his effectiveness as a teacher. Except for these two once-in-a-lifetime events, the student evaluation forms are the only way in which we judge the quality of teaching. In other words, teaching is for the most part evaluated by students and not by faculty. (shrink)
Brian Ellis has argued that the assigning of forces is, in the final analysis, a matter of convention. This conclusion is backed by the premises (1) that forces and force-effects are necessary and sufficient for each other, and (2) that the classification of some state of affairs as a force-effect is at least partly conventional. We argue that the first premise is false, that the second premise is ambiguous as between several senses of "conventional," and finally that he has not (...) established that force-effects are conventional in the sense required for the conclusion he wishes to draw. (shrink)
"Virtue has all the instincts of the average man against it: it is unprofitable, imprudent, it isolates; it is related to passion and not very accessible to reason; it spoils the character, the head, the mind - according to the standards of mediocre men; it rouses to enmity toward order, toward the lies that are concealed in every order, institution, actuality - it is the worst of vices, if one judges by its harmful effects on others.".
Although a number of articles have addressed ethical perceptions and behaviors, few studies have examined ethics across cultures. This research focuses on measuring the job satisfaction, customer orientation, ethics, and ethical training of automotive salespersons in the U.S. and Taiwan. The relationships of these variables to salesperson performance were also investigated. Ethics training was found to be negatively related to perceived levels of ethicalness and performance. High performance U.S. salespeople reported high ethical behavior, while the opposite was true in Taiwan. (...) Customer orientation in both countries was influenced by ethics training. Managers should evaluate current ethics training programs to insure correct ethical behavior is taught and rewarded. (shrink)
Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue : This book is a discussion of Nietzsche's ethical and political ideas. It is an attempt to be both scholarly and, in a sense, activist. The ultimate point is to see how believers in liberal democracy (like me and most of my readers) should respond to the challenge that Nietzsche represents. As with any profound challenge, one is never the same again after it is overcome. In particular, I suggest that liberals can learn something (...) very important from the ideas that grow out of Nietzsche's early discussion of Homer's notion of agon or Wettkampf (roughly, conflict or competition). (shrink)
This anthology will be appropriate for administrative ethics classes and professional thinking in public administration at both the masters and doctoral levels. It is a collection of administrative ethics articles published in journals of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) from 1941 (the earliest publication) through 1983 (the year that the first ASPA Code of Ethics was established). The articles are organized by themes of enduring importance to the field in order to provide graduate students with ready access to (...) the classic works on ethics in public administration. Reading this collection will enhance student’s knowledge and skills to think and act ethically and contribute to their ability to view current practices in light of traditional perspectives. The ASPA Classics volume serves to bridge the practice of public policy and administration with the empirical research base that has accrued and the models for practice that may be deduced from the research. (shrink)
The interrelationships among a number of variables and their effect on ethical decision making was explored. Teams of students and managers participated in a competitive management simulation. Based on prior research, the effects of performance, environmental change, team age, and type of team on the level of ethical behavior were hypothesized. The findings indicate that multiple variables may interact in such a fashion that significance is lost.
We amplify possible complications to the tidy division between early vision and later categorisation which arise when we consider the perception of human faces. Although a primitive face-detecting system, used for social attention, may indeed be integral to “early vision,” the relationship between this and diverse other uses made of information from faces is far from clear.
Stanovich & West claim that the positive correlation between reasoning tasks negates the view that errors in reasoning are due to failures in information processing. This is not correct. They conjecture that errors in reasoning are associated with conflicts between intentional and associative reasoning. This interesting proposition suggests studies relating situational characteristics to the quality of human reasoning.
This paper examines the ethical andsocial questions that underlie the present UKdiscussion whether GM crops and organicagriculture can co-exist within a given regionor are mutually exclusive. A EuropeanCommission report predicted practicaldifficulties in achieving sufficientseparation distances to guarantee lowerthreshold levels proposed for GM material inorganic produce. Evidence of gene flow betweensome crops and their wild relatives has beena key issue in the recent Government consultation toconsult on whether or not to authorizecommercial planting of GM crops, following theresults of the current UK (...) farm scale trials.The admixture of imported Bt transgenes intolandrace varieties of Mexican maize alsopresents difficulties. An ethical evaluationis made of the claim that organic growersshould expect protection from adventitioustraces of GM constructs in their products. Towhat extent – on either side of the debate –can any particular group in society set upagricultural standards for itself that mayeffectively restrain others from an otherwisejust business? The assumptions behind notionslike ``purity'' and ``contamination'' areexamined, together with their underlying viewsof nature and human intervention. The 2001UK Agriculture and Environmental BiotechnologyCommission report is relevant to theseissues. While the Government wishes to promotethe UK biotechnology industry and is underpressure from US claims of trade restraint, astrong organic lobby demands purity from GMcontamination. Does this adversarial framingof the issues reflect broader public opinionin the UK public consultation? Inarriving at policy decisions, the role of thevirtue of tolerance is considered inpost-modern and Christian ethical contexts. (shrink)
The assumptions of philosophy need scrutiny as much the assumptions of medicine do. Scrutiny shows that the philosophical method of bioethics is compromised, for it shares certain fundamental assumptions with medicine itself. To show this requires an unorthodox style of philosophy — a literary one. To show the compromised status of bioethics the paper discusses some seminal utilitarian discussions of the definition of death, of whether it is a bad thing, and of when it ought to occur.
Aristos Michelle Kamhi and Louis Torres are working hard to bring attention to Ayn Rand's much neglected theory of art and literature. This is their web site. It was dormant while they wer finishing their book, but now they are adding new material again.
You can view some of my published rantings by clicking below. All of which, except for the first one, were published in student newspapers here at UW. There was also an op-ed piece in the Wisconsin State Journal , but I don't seem to have an electronic copy of it. (Note: Some of these were published under different titles than those used here.).
Three interpretations of theprecautionary principle are identified, namely``soft,'' ``hard,'' and outright rejection. The ECCommunication of February 2000 is largely aresponse to the latter, to provide alegitimation in trade-related WTO disputes.This context leads to an over stress onscientific closure. This is critiqued asidealistic in respect of resolving long termuncertainties inherent in the GM food issue.While offering some useful guidelines in riskmanagement, the EC report seriously fails totake into account the ethical and societaldimension of risk. These are crucial both indetermining when precautionary (...) principle isinvoked and the action to be taken. The EC viewleans too much to a scientific rationalist riskperspective. However, the ``Green''interpretation of the precautionary principleas a reversal of the burden of proof is alsocriticized as inconsistent both with the natureof technology and with the nature of reality asseen in a Christian perspective. Biblicalinsights on risk reveal a balance ofintervention and conservation in a world whererisk is inherent. The notion of risk as asocial contract reveals that ethical andsocietal issues have a crucial role to play inapplying the precautionary principle. (shrink)
The language $L_A(\Finv)$ is formed by adding the quantifier $\Finv x$ , "few x", to the infinitary logic L A on an admissible set A. A complete axiomatization is obtained for models whose universe is the set of ordinals of A and where $\Finv x$ is interpreted as there exist A-finitely many x. For well-behaved A, every consistent sentence has a model with an A-recursive diagram. A principal tool is forcing for $L_A(\Finv)$.
|The Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal | |Democracy is located on the University of | |Wisconsin-Madison campus. The missions of the Center| |are to promote critical understanding and | |appreciation of the cardinal principles and | |institutions of liberal democracy, and to advance | |intellectual diversity on campus by the presentation | |of all relevant viewpoints pertaining to liberal |.
The paper attempts to account for the confusion over the validity of the concept of schizophrenia in terms of two closely related aspects of conceptual indeterminacy. Firstly, it is identified on the basis of a breakdown in intelligibility, but what constitutes such a breakdown is indeterminate. Secondly, the concept sits between the categories of natural disease or illness on the one hand, and character trait or moral failing or gift on the other. This entails an indeterminacy in attempting to define (...) the role that physiological explanation could have. Light may be thrown on the concept by exploring a distinction between a life story in which the schizophrenic condition emerges as the conclusion of the story and a causal process in which the condition is the end result or final consequence. (shrink)
The world I grew up in believed that change and development in life are part of a continuous process of cause and effect, minutely and patiently sustained throughout the millenniums. With the exception of the initial act of creation ..., the evolution of life on earth was considered to be a slow, steady and ultimately demonstrable process. No sooner did I begin to read history, however, than I began to have my doubts. Human society and living beings, it seemed to (...) me, ought to be excluded from so calm and rational a view. The whole of human development, far from having been a product of steady evolution, seemed subject to only partially explicable and almost invariably violent mutations. Entire cultures and groups of individuals appeared imprisoned for centuries in a static shape which they endured with long-suffering indifference, and then suddenly, for no demonstrable cause, became susceptible to drastic changes and wild surges of development. It was as if the movement of life throughout the ages was not a Darwinian caterpillar but a startled kangaroo, going out towards the future in a series of unpredictable hops, stops, skips and bounds. Indeed, when I came to study physics I had a feeling that the modern concept of energy could perhaps throw more light on the process than any of the more conventional approaches to the subject. It seemed that species, society and individuals behaved more like thunder-clouds than scrubbed, neatly clothed and well-behaved children of reason. Throughout the ages life appeared to build up great invisible charges, like clouds and earth of electricity, until suddenly in a sultry hour the spirit moved, the wind rose, a drop of rain fell acid in the dust, fire flared in the nerve, and drums rolled to produce what we call thunder and lightening in the heavens and chance and change in human society and personality.LAURENS VAN DER POST, The Lost World of the Kalahari. (shrink)
Abstract: This study explores a phenomenon that has been shown to adversely affect managers’ decisions—competitive irrationality. Managers are irrationally competitive in their decisions when they focus on damaging the profits of competitors, rather than improving their own profit performance. Studies by Armstrong and Collopy (1996) and Griffith and Rust (1997) suggest that the phenomenon is common but not universal. We examine the question of why some individuals exhibit competitive irrationality when making decisions, while others do not by focusing on four (...) aspects of moral philosophy—deontological orientation, cognitive moral development, idealism, and relativism. Results suggest that individuals high in deontological orientation, high in cognitive moral development, high in idealism, and low in relativism will be less competitively irrational than those who are not. (shrink)
Abstract It is argued that the problem of the necessity and projectability of laws may be solved by distinguishing between the fact of necessity and explanations of its nature. This reduces the problem of necessity to that of induction, which in consequences must be solved without reference to necessity using ?self?supporting? arguments. The consequences for the analysis of ?counterfactual conditionals and the problem of language dependence is discussed.
The problem of cooperation for rational actors comprises two sub problems: the problem of the intentional object (under what description does each actor perceive the situation?) and the problem of common knowledge for finite minds (how much belief iteration is required?). I will argue that subdoxastic signalling can solve the problem of the intentional object as long as this is confined to a simple coordination problem. In a more complex environment like an assurance game signals may become unreliable. Mutual beliefs (...) can then bolster the earlier attained equilibrium. I will first address these two problems by means of an example, in order to draw some more general lessons about combining evolutionary theory and rationality later on. (shrink)
The idea that films can be philosophical, or in some sense 'do' philosophy, has recently found a number of prominent proponents. What is at stake here is generally more than the tepid claim that some documentaries about philosophy and related topics convey philosophically relevant content. Instead, the contention is that cinematic fictions, including popular movies such as The Matrix , make significant contributions to philosophy. Various more specific claims are linked to this basic idea. One, relatively weak, but pedagogically important (...) observation is that some films can be used to provide philosophy students with vivid and thought-provoking illustrations of philosophical issues. Film screenings stimulate discussion and may motivate renewed engagement with difficult philosophical texts. A stronger contention, however, seeks to link innovative and philosophically valuable thinking to 'the film itself' or to the 'specificity of the cinematic medium'. Such claims raise interesting questions, including questions about the status of the increasingly prevalent philosophically motivated interpretations of particular movies. Who is actually doing the philosophizing in such cases? Is it the audio-visual display, the film-maker, or the philosopher who devises an interpretation of the work? What is the role of specifically cinematic devices in the philosophical points made in such interpretations? Is there any tension between the goal of appreciating a film as a work of art and the goal of arguing that a film has significant implications for a position on a problem in philosophy? A course in the general area of cinema as philosophy can focus on issues related to the locus and status of cinematic philosophizing. It can also delve into specific films and film-makers and philosophically oriented interpretations of specific philosophical topics, such as personal identity. Issues pertaining to interpretation, meaning, and authorship can be usefully investigated in this connection, as can topics in meta-philosophy related to the very nature of philosophical insight or knowledge. Author Recommends Carroll, Noël and Jinhee Choi, eds. 2008. The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology , Part VIII: Film and Knowledge. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 381–405. Inclues a brief introduction by Carroll followed by papers by Bruce Russell, Karen Hanson, and Lester H. Hunt. Kania, Andrew, ed. 2009. Memento . London: Routledge. A number of philosophers elucidate philosophical themes in Memento and discuss more general issues pertaining to cinema's philosophical significance. Livingston, Paisley. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part 1 surveys arguments surrounding the cinema as philosophy theme, providing detailed criticisms of some of the bold theses in this area. Part 2 discusses issues related to cinematic authorship and the status of philosophically motivated interpretations of works of fiction, arguing for a partial intentionalist account of a work's meanings. Part 3 illustrates the intentionalist principles in a discussion of Ingmar Bergman's philosophical sources, providing insight into themes of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and self-knowledge in some of Bergman's works. Livingston, Paisley and Carl Plantinga, eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film , Part IV: Film as Philosophy. London: Routledge. 547–659. Offers a succinct survey by Wartenberg as well as entries on Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, and Andrei Tarkovsky, discussions of film and specific philosophical topics (morality, skepticism, personal identity, and practical wisdom), and examples of philosophically motivated interpretations of three specific films: The Five Obstructions , Gattaca , and Memento . Smith, Murray and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 2006. Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy . Malden, MA: Blackwell. A collection of papers that combines essays devoted to general positions on the cinema as philosophy topic as well as specific interpretations of works in different genres. Turvey, Malcolm. 2008. Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition . Oxford: Oxford University Press. A probing critical investigation into the assumptions underlying influential philosophical claims about the epistemic value of cinema. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2008. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy . London: Routledge. Ably surveys and responds to arguments against the idea that films can 'do philosophy'. It defends a conditionalist form of intentionalism in response to the 'imposition objection' according to which it is only the commentator who reads philosophical themes 'into' the movie; illustrates the favored account of film as philosophy with interpretations of specific cinematic fictions. Online Materials Film-Philosophy http://www.film-philosophy.com/ > Founded in 1996, this peer-reviewed online journal is dedicated to philosophically oriented interpretations of films and cinema studies more generally. The e-mail salon encourages discussion of related topics. Includes essays, festival reports, calls for papers, conference and job information, and book reviews. The archive includes contributions from 1997 to the present. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 'Philosophy of Film.' The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/film/ > A brief survey of a range of issues in the philosophy of cinema including a few paragraphs on the film as philosophy topic. Philosophical Films http://www.philfilms.utm.edu/2/filmlist.htm > A briefly annotated list of philosophical films grouped in rubrics such as 'The Meaning of Life' and 'Environmental Ethics'. Sample Syllabus What follows is a 4-week 'start-up module' followed by samples of optional units that focus on particular topics and cinematic examples. Introductory Module Week I: Introduction & Overview Livingston, Paisley. 'Recent Work on Cinema as Philosophy.' Philosophy Compass 3 (2008): 1–14, 20 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00158.x ). Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Ed. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 549–59. Russell, Bruce. 2008. 'The Philosophical Limits of Film.' The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology . Ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 387–390. Week II: The Bold Thesis on Film as Philosophy Reading: Livingston, Paisley, 'Theses on Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter One. 11–38. Screening: October (dir. Sergei Eisenstein 1928). Week III: Debating the Bold Thesis: The Case of October Carroll, Noël. 1998. 'For God and Country.' Interpreting the Moving Image . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 80–91. Smuts, Aaron. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy: In Defense of a Bold Thesis.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism , 67:4: 409–20. Week IV: Cinema as Philosophy: Objections and Replies Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Arguing over Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter Two. 39–59. Additional Optional Units Depending on the instructor's areas of interest and expertise, any of the following units could be added (and in some cases, easily expanded into longer segments). The Case of Ingmar Bergman Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Ingmar Bergman.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 560–568. Screening(s): Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1966). Skepticism Fumerton, Richard. 2009. 'Skepticism.' In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 601–10. Screening: The Matrix (dir. Andy and Larry Wachowski 1999) or Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven 1990). Ethics Kupfer, Joseph. 1999. Visions of Virtue in Popular Film . Boulder, CO: Westview. 35–60. Falzon, Chris. 2009. 'Why be Moral?' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 591–599. Screening: Groundhog Day (dir. <span class='Hi'>Harold</span> Ramis 1993), or Crimes and Misdemeanors (dir. Woody Allen 1989), or Hollow Man (dir. Paul Verhoeven 2000). Personal Identity Knight, Deborah. 2009. 'Personal Identity.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 611–619. Hanley, Richard. 2009. ' Memento and Personal Identity: Are We Getting it Backwards?' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 107–126. Martin, Raymond. 2009. 'The Value of Memory: Reflections on Memento. ' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 87–106. Screening: Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan 2000). Freedom and (Genetic) Determinism Sesardic, Neven. 2009. 'Gattaca.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 641–649. Screening: Gattaca (dir. Andrew Niccol 1997). Focus Questions • Is there anything special about the experience of fiction films that is especially well suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflection? • Have any novel and philosophically significant ideas found their first expression in a cinematic work? • Under what circumstances can the film medium be used as an expression of a cinematic author's views? • What sort of background knowledge has to be in place for a film to be interpreted as articulating reasonably precise philosophical theses and arguments? • Does the goal of spelling out a film's philosophical meaning sometimes conflict with the goal of appreciating its value as a work of art? (shrink)
If it was a matter of hunting a deer, everyone well realized that he must remain faithful to his post; but if a hare happened to pass within reach of one of them, we cannot doubt that he would have gone off in pursuit of it without scruple..." Rousseau's story of the hunt leaves many questions open. What are the values of a hare and of an individual's share of the deer given a successful hunt? What is the (...) probability that the hunt will be successful if all participants remain faithful to the hunt? Might two deer hunters decide to chase the hare? (shrink)
: Antiracist white feminists and ecofeminists have the tools but lack the strategies for responding to issues of social and environmental justice cross-culturally, particularly in matters as complex as the Makah whale hunt. Distinguishing between ethical contexts and contents, I draw on feminist critiques of cultural essentialism, ecofeminist critiques of hunting and food consumption, and socialist feminist analyses of colonialism to develop antiracist feminist and ecofeminist strategies for cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural feminist ethics.
This article is the attempt at a dialogue with Bruce McCormack about the position he espoused in The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth concerning the relation between God's Election of grace and God's Triunity. I had criticized McCormack's position in my book, Divine Freedom and the Doctrine of the Immanent Trinity (2002), but I did not elaborate on it in great detail. To develop the dialogue I will: 1) consider McCormack's claim that in CD II/2 Barth made Jesus Christ (...) “rather than” the Eternal Logos the subject of election; 2) consider what Barth means when he speaks of Jesus Christ “in the beginning”; 3) compare McCormack's thesis that the Father never had regard for the Son, apart from the humanity to be assumed, with Barth's belief that we must not dispute the eternal will of God which “precedes even predestination”; 4) analyze in detail McCormack's rejection of Barth's belief that the logos asarkos in distinction from the logos incarnandus is a necessary concept in trinitarian theology; 5) discuss Barth's concept of the divine will in relation to the concept advanced by McCormack and suggest that McCormack has fallen into the error of Hermann Schell by thinking that God in some sense takes his origin from himself, so that God would only be triune if he elected us; 6) explain why it is a problem to hold, as McCormack does, that God's self-determination to be triune and his election of us should be considered one and the same act; and finally 7) explain McCormack's confusion of time and eternity in his latest article on the subject in the February, 2007 issue of the Scottish Journal of Theology, and his own espousal of a kind of indeterminacy on God's part (which he theoretically rejects). (shrink)