High-spin states in the odd-odd N = Z nucleus Co-54 have been investigated by the fusion-evaporation reaction Si-28(S-32,1 alpha 1p1n)Co-54. Gamma-ray information gathered with the Ge detector array Gammasphere was correlated with evaporated particles detected in the charged particle detector system Microball and a 1 pi neutron detector array. A significantly extended excitation scheme of Co-54 is presented, which includes a candidate for the isospin T = 1, 6(+) state of the 1f(7/2)(-2) multiplet. The results are compared to large-scale shell-model (...) calculations in the fp shell. Effective interactions with and without isospin-breaking terms have been used to probe isospin symmetry and isospin mixing. A quest for deformed high-spin rotational cascades proved negative. This feature is discussed by means of cranking calculations. (shrink)
Two rotational bands have been identified and characterized in the proton-magic N = Z + 1 nucleus Ni-57. These bands complete the systematics of well-and superdeformed rotational bands in the light nickel isotopes starting from doubly magic Ni-56 to Ni-60. High-spin states in Ni-57 have been produced in the fusion-evaporation reaction Si-28(S-32, 2p1n)Ni-57 and studied with the gamma-ray detection array GAMMASPHERE operated in conjunction with detectors for evaporated light charged particles and neutrons. The features of the rotational bands in Ni-57 (...) are compared to those of neighbouring isotopes and interpreted by means of configuration-dependent cranked Nilsson-Strutinsky calculations. The two observed high-spin bands are considered signature partners and assigned to configurations with one 1g(9/2) proton and one 1g(9/2) neutron, resulting in an unambiguous understanding of the energetically favoured signature alpha = -1/2 band but a somewhat less satisfactory description of the signature alpha = +1/2 band. (shrink)
In a recent article in Theoria , Hamid Vahid offered an explanation of the phenomenon of Moore-paradoxicality which employed Davidson's Principle of Charity regarding radical interpretation. I argue here that Vahid's explanation fails.
Interpretive charity is an important principle in devising the content of propositional attitudes and their expression. I want to argue that it does not square well with externalism about content. Although my argument clearly also applies to a principle of maximizing truth (as it requires only the true belief - component of knowledge), I will focus my attention to Timothy Williamson’s more intriguing recent proposal of maximizing knowledge.
Eli Hirsch argues that metaphysical debates about material composition are merely verbal and the ontologists who take part in them are talking past each other. According to Hirsch, 'there is no uniquely best ontological language with which to describe the world', a doctrine he calls 'quantifier variance'. Hirsch argues that if we combine quantifier variance with an appeal to interpretative charity, we reach the conclusion that contemporary debates about composition are merely verbal. Much contemporary metaontological discussion has concerned Hirsch’s (...) doctrine of quantifier variance and the idea that contemporary debates within ontology might be verbal ones. In this paper, we isolate and analyze a strand in Hirsch’s thinking which has received less attention. Our first aim is to show that Hirsch has an argument for common-sense answers to questions about composition which involves neither quantifier variance nor the claim that ontological debates are merely verbal – although it does indispensably involve the notion of charity. We will show that this argument, if successful, has broader scope than the arguments on which the literature has concentrated. Our second aim is to show that Hirsch’s argument is unsuccessful. To do so, our main strategy is to grant the principle of interpretative charity to which Hirsch appeals and argue that, if properly applied, interpretative charity does not vindicate common sense. (shrink)
Radical interpretation is used by Davison in his linguistic theory not only as an interesting thought experiment but also a general pattern that is believed to be able to give an essential and general account of linguistic interpretation. If the principle of charity is absolutely necessary to radical interpretation, it becomes, in this sense, a general methodological principle. However, radical interpretation is a local pattern that is proper only for exploring certain interpretation in a specific case, and consequently the (...) principle of charity is an applicable principle in the limited scope. It is neither the case that every linguistic interpretation is in nature radical nor that the principle of charity is the primary and fundamental principle for all linguistic interpretation as Davidson believes. (shrink)
Whilst there is a growing volume of literature exploring the ethical implications of organisational change for HRM and the ethical aspects of certain HRM activities, there have been few published U.K. studies of how HR managers actually behave when faced with ethical dilemmas in their work. This paper seeks to enhance the foundations of such knowledge through an examination of the influence of organisational values on the ethical behaviour of Human Resource Managers within a sample of charities in the U.K. (...) and the Republic of Ireland. A qualitative research design is adopted utilising semi-structured interviews. Findings highlight ethical inconsistency in people management in the charity sector arising from the clear application of strong and explicit organisational values to external client groups but their limited influence on people management strategies and practices within the organisation. Many of the ethical issues faced by HRM professionals in both countries arise from this inconsistency. In their handling of ethical dilemmas, the HRM professionals exhibit a combination of a care ethic and a concern for justice but it is also clear that in situations of management intransigence, a desire to be conscience driven often gives way to a contingent approach. Whilst respondents considered it inappropriate for the HRM function to be the conscience of the organisation, it is seen to have a key role in providing management with advice on ethical action. However, the ability of HRM to influence ethical behaviour is highly dependent on the status of the function within the organisation. (shrink)
In "Theology and Social Theory", John Milbank critiques Scottish Enlightenment political economy and its attendant descriptive moral philosophy for "de-ethicizing" human action. A closer look at the development of theoretical understandings of sympathy, however, shows that instinct did not ultimately displace virtue. Moreover, a survey of practical responses to poverty calls into question the claim that political economy obliterated the Christian sphere of public charity. Many of the innovations Milbank criticizes as de-ethicizing in fact reflect serious efforts to absorb (...) into ethical reflection and practice deep social and economic changes, which Christian theology could ignore only at its own peril. Moreover, it was sometimes non- or even anti-religious thinkers like David Hume and William Hazlitt who were soonest to see the dangers involved in appealing to instinctual behavior and providential coordination of social action. Returning to the roots of social theory allows theologians to recover lost possibilities for productive collaboration with "the secular.". (shrink)
Two cultures are at play in the field of social entrepreneurship: an age-old culture of charity, and a more contemporary culture of entrepreneurial problem solving. These cultures permeate activities from resource providers to front line operations. Both have roots in our psychological responses to the needs of others and are reinforced by social norms. They can work hand-in-hand or they can be at odds. Some of the icons of the social entrepreneurship movement have spoken harshly about charity, yet (...) most of them rely to some degree, at least early in their development process, on resources that are given out of a charitable impulse. The success of social entrepreneurship requires an integration of values from each of these cultures, in which the satisfactions of giving are correlated with social benefits of rigorous problem solving. (shrink)
Radical interpretation is used by Davison in his linguistic theory not only as an interesting thought experiment but also a general pattern that is believed to be able to give an essential and general account of linguistic interpretation. If the principle of charity is absolutely necessary to radical interpretation, it becomes, in this sense, a general methodological principle. However, radical interpretation is a local pattern that is proper only for exploring certain interpretation in a specific case, and consequently the (...) principle of charity is an applicable principle in the limited scope. It is neither the case that every linguistic interpretation is in nature radical nor that the principle of charity is the primary and fundamental principle for all linguistic interpretation as Davidson believes. /// 在戴维森的理论中，彻底解释不仅是一个有趣的思想实验，而且是一个一般 的模式，他相信使用这个模式就可以对语言解释提供实质性的、一般的说明。如果 像戴维森所坚信的那样，善意原则于彻底解释来说是绝对必须的，那么，善意原则 也就成为一个一般的方法论原则。然而，彻底解释只是一种有限的模式，仅适用于 说明特殊情况下的某类语言解释。作为结果，善意原则就是在有限的范围内起作用 的原则。与戴维森所坚持的不同，既不能说每一种语言解释都是彻底解释，也不能 说善意原则是对所有语言解释都适用的、首要的，且基本的原则。. (shrink)
Catholic healthcare institutions live amidst tension between three intersecting primary values, namely, a commitment of service to the poor and vulnerable, promoting the common good for all, and financially sustainability. Within this tension, the question sometimes arises as to whether it is ever justifiable, i.e., consistent with Catholic identity, to place limits on charity care. In this article we will argue that the health reform measures of the Affordable Care Act do not eliminate this tension but actually increase the (...) urgency of addressing it. Moreover, we will conclude that the question of limiting charity care in a manner that is consistent with the obligations of Catholic identity around serving the poor and vulnerable, promoting the common good, and remaining financially sustainable is not a question of if, but of how such limits are established. Such limits, however, cannot be established in light of one overriding moral consideration or principle, but must be established in light of a multitude of principles guiding us to a holistic understanding of the interrelatedness of the moral dimensions of Catholic identity. (shrink)
The principle of charity is used in philosophy of language and argumentation theory as an important principle of interpretation which credits speakers with “the best” plausible interpretation of their discourse. I contend that the argumentation account, while broadly advocated, misses the basic point of a dialectical conception which approaches argumentation as discussion between (at least) two parties who disagree over the issue discussed. Therefore, paradoxically, an analyst who is charitable to one discussion party easily becomes uncharitable to the other. (...) To overcome this paradox, I suggest to significantly limit the application of the principle of charity depending on contextual factors. (shrink)
Charity, as a social construct, is considered in various interpretative contexts, in a subjectively manner, social progress. The meta-narration about charity as Christian duty, by passing through the secular interpretive and atomizer context of postmodernity, becomes a narrative about social responsibility and equity in ethical dimension, and is translated into restorative community practices in social action plan. We will pursue the constructive interpretive contexts that generated the idea of social policies and social work practice as a contemporary deconstruction (...) of charity. The thesis of the article is that the process of deconstruction of charity, as a religious value which regulates in a Christian manner the reference to the other, is the foundation of restorative social policies and professionalized social work as a social action. We will analyze the deconstruction of Christian idea of charity from two perspectives, namely the secularization of charitable practices and constructive foundation of a particular meta-story of our times which we call secular society and/or knowledge society. (shrink)
To agonise is to undergo great mental anguish through worrying about something, according to the New Oxford Dictionary of English. I suggest that agonising in this sense is a fundamental response to any ethical dilemma. It has a long intellectual and literary lineage. In this essay, I agonise over the dilemmas posed by street beggars, their intrusiveness and their appeal to our intuitive sense of social duty. I explore the discomfort we may feel at their presence, and the value that (...) discomfort may have for the evolution of our ethical lives. (shrink)
Any enthymeme can be made logically valid by adding as a suppressed premise a conditional that reiterates the argument's stated content and inferential structure in if-then form, We cannot blanketly prohibit reiteration to avoid this sort of trivialization, because some enthymemes legitimately require completion by reiterative conditionals, The solution proposed here is to allow reiterative expansions, but to rank them, other things being equal, as less charitable than nonreiterative expansions. Reiterative expansions can then be chosen as the most charitable only (...) when all nonreiterative expansions have been eliminated for independent reasons. This pluralistic model encourages experimentation with a number of different permissible expansions in evaluating enthymemes, from the least controversial or problematic to the most trivializing and the least charitable. (shrink)
This paper discusses the "numbers problem," the problem of explaining why you should save more people rather than fewer when forced to choose. Existing non-consequentialist approaches to the problem appeal to fairness to explain why. I argue that this is a mistake and that we can give a more satisfying answer by appealing to requirements of charity or beneficence.
According to Donald Davidson, linguistic meaning is determined by the principle of charity. Because of Davidson's semantic behaviourism, charity's significance is both epistemic and metaphysical: charity not only provides the radical interpreter with a method for constructing a semantic theory on the basis of his data, but it does so because it is the principle metaphysically determining meaning. In this paper, I assume that charity does determine meaning. On this assumption, I investigate both its epistemic and (...) metaphysical status: is charity a priori or a posteriori? And what kind of necessity does it have? According to Davidson himself, charity is an a priori truth and its necessity is conceptual: it is essential to, or constitutive of, our common concepts of meaning and belief. Not only does this generate tension within Davidson's own, Quine-inspired epistemology, but there is independent reason to think of charity as an empirical truth. Even so, charity might be essential to belief and meaning in the sense of being an a posteriori necessity. I conclude that our ordinary modal intuitions might well support charity's psychological-nomological necessity, but that they do not reach all the way to metaphysical necessity. (shrink)
Common formulations of the principle of charity in translation seem to undermine attributions of irrationality in social scientific accounts that are otherwise unexceptionable. This I call the problem of irrationality. Here I resolve the problem of irrationality by developing two complementary views of the principle of charity. First, I develop the view (ill-developed in the literature at present) that the principle of charity is preparatory, being needed in the construction of provisional first-approximation translation manuals. These serve as (...) the basis for explanatory accounts and associated refinements in the translation manual. In developing such explanatory accounts, the principle of charity is no longer constraining. Thus, the principle of charity applies only in the early stages of constructing translation manuals, and there is no problem of irrationality in the later stages of constructing translation manuals. Second, I reduce the principle of charity, where it does apply, to a special case of what I call the principle of explicability: so translate as to attribute explicable beliefs and practices to the speakers of the source-language. I show that the appropriate formulation of the principle of charity counsels just what the principle of explicability requires in the early stages of social scientific investigation. (shrink)
The recent publication of a third anthology of Donald Davidson’s articles, and anticipated publication of two more, encourages a consideration of themes binding together Davidson’s lifetime of research. One such theme is the principle of charity (PC). In light of the mileage Davidson gets out of PC, I propose a careful examination of PC itself. In Part 1, I consider some ways in which Davidson articulates PC. In Part 2, I show that the articulation that Davidson requires in his (...) work on epistemology is untenable given what Davidson says in his work on semanties. I conclude that Davidson can use PC only in his work on semantics or not at all.La parution récente du troisième recueil d’articles de Donald Davidson, lequel devrait être suivi de deux autres, incite à examiner les thèmes qui traversent tous ses travaux. Parmi ces thèmes se trouve le principe de charité (PC). Considérant tout le parti que Davidson a tiré du PC, je me propose d’en faire un examen attentif. Dans la première partie, j’examine diverses formulations du PC par Davidson. Dansla seconde partie, je montre que la formulation qu’exigent ses travaux d’épistémologie est intenable étant donné ce qu’ll en dit dans ses travaux de sémantique. De là, je conclus que Davidson ne peut se servir du PC que dans ses travaux de sémantique ou pas du tout. (shrink)
The article distinguishes between charity and philanthropy and answers those who argue that monies spent for either are an inefficient deployment of monies for present consumption that could better be deployed by investing in the production of future wealth. It closes by arguing that philanthropists provide a key leadership role in the free-market economy. -/- The author owns the copyright, and there was no agreement, express or implied, not to use the publisher's PDF.
The purpose of this paper is to motivate and defend a recognizable version of N. L. Wilson's "Principle of Charity" Doing so will involve: (1) distinguishing it fromthe significantly different versions of the Principle familiar through the work of Quine and Davidson; (2) showing that it is compatible with, among other things, both semantic externalism and "simulation" accounts of interpretation; and (3) explaining how it follows from plausible constraints relating to the connection between interpretation and self-interpretation. Finally, it will (...) be argued that Charity represents a type of "minimal individualism" that is closely tied to first person authority, and that endorsing Charity in our interpretations of others reflects a commitment to capturing, from the third-person starting point, their first-personal point of view. (shrink)
Treating the principle of charity as a non-empirical, foundational principle leads to insoluble problems of justification. I suggest instead treating semantic properties realistically, and semantic terms as theoretical terms. This allows us to apply ordinary scientific reasoning in meta-semantics. In particular, we can appeal to widespread verbal agreement as an empirical phenomenon, and we can make use of probabilistic reasoning as well as appeal to theoretical simplicity for reaching the conclusion that there is a high rate of agreement in (...) belief between speakers who have a high rate of verbal agreement. Although this does not by itself imply that the beliefs agreed upon are generally true, it does imply that any single speaker who is party to such a verbal agreement is justified in taking the other speakers to have mostly true beliefs. She is so justified because of the fact that it is incoherent to take her own beliefs not to be mostly true. Indirectly, this justifies a version of the principle of charity as an empirically correct principle. (shrink)
Media appeals encouraging people to sign organ donor cards suggest that donating one's own organs after death or donating the organs of a deceased family member is an act of charity, i.e., something which it would be meritorious for people to do but not wrong to avoid. This paper argues to the contrary that posthumous organ donation is a moral duty, a duty of the type that rests at the base of recently enacted state “Good Samaritan” laws which require (...) a witness to an emergency situation to render aid to the victim(s) when this can be done at minimal cost/risk to the potential rescuer. (shrink)
Revisionary ontologists are making a comeback. Quasi-nihilists, like Peter van Inwagen and Trenton Merricks, insist that the only composite objects that exist are living things. Unrestriced universalists, like W.V.O. Quine, David Lewis, Mark Heller, and Hud Hudson, insist that any collection of objects composes something, no matter how scattered over time and space they may be. And there are more besides.1 The result, says Eli Hirsch, is that many commonsense judgments about the existence or identity of highly visible physical objects (...) are a priori necessarily false. In a “last ditch effort” to bring revisionary ontologists back to their senses, Hirsch marshalls what he calls the Argument from Charity.2 We can be sure that there are tables and chairs and that there are no fusions of Plato’s nose and the Eiffel Tower, says Hirsch, because these commonsense platitudes are a logical consequence of the well-known principle of interpretive charity applied to natural languages, like English. In what follows, I assess the Argument from Charity. My conclusion is that if this is the best we can do to save revisionary ontologists, they are surely lost forever. (shrink)
The principle of charity (“Charity”), in one form or other, is held by many and for various reasons. After cataloging discernible kinds of Charity, I focus on the most familiar versions as found in Davidson, Dennett, Devitt, Lewis, Putnam, Quine, Stich, and others. To begin with, I argue that such versions of Charity are untenable because beliefs cannot be counted, and even if they could be counted there is reason to believe that true beliefs need not (...) outnumber false beliefs. Next I rebut one of the arguments behind Charity, the intelligibility argument. If indeed beliefs are postulated simply as a way to make some system intelligible (predictable and explicable) then a number of theses ensue. First, it would be perfectly intelligible to ascribe mostly false beliefs to an intentional system, or even entirely false beliefs. Second, lower animals would have beliefs. Third, it would sometimes make sense to ascribe beliefs even to inanimate beings. And fourth, the resulting indeterminacy of belief-ascription would suggest a kind of irrealism about belief which may in turn be expressed by the slogan that rejects the container metaphor of the mind. (shrink)
In codifying the methods of translation, several writers have formulated maxims that would constrain interpreters to construe their subjects as (more or less) rational speakers of the truth. Such maxims have come to be known as versions of the principle of charity. W. V. O. Quine suggests an empirical, not purely methodological, basis for his version of that principle. Recently, Stephen Stich has criticized Quine's attempt to found the principle of charity in translation on information about the probabilities (...) of various sorts of mistakes. Here 1 defend Quine's approach. These issues have important implications for the supposed a priori status of human rationality. (shrink)
Background: Empirical studies in Muslim communities on organ donation and blood transfusion show that Muslim counsellors play an important role in the decision process. Despite the emerging importance of online English Sunni fatwas, these fatwas on organ donation and blood transfusion have hardly been studied, thus creating a gap in our knowledge of contemporary Islamic views on the subject. Method: We analysed 70 English Sunni e-fatwas and subjected them to an in-depth text analysis in order to reveal the key concepts (...) in the Islamic ethical framework regarding organ donation and blood transfusion. Results: All 70 fatwas allow for organ donation and blood transfusion. Autotransplantation is no problem at all if done for medical reasons. Allotransplantation, both from a living and a dead donor, appears to be possible though only in quite restricted ways. Xenotransplantation is less often mentioned but can be allowed in case of necessity. Transplantation in general is seen as an ongoing form of charity. Nearly half of the fatwas allowing blood transfusion do so without mentioning any restriction or problem whatsoever. The other half of the fatwas on transfusion contain the same conditional approval as found in the arguments pro organ transplantation. Conclusion: Our findings are very much in line with the international literature on the subject. We found two new elements: debates on the definition of the moment of death are hardly mentioned in the English Sunni fatwas and organ donation and blood transfusion are presented as an ongoing form of charity. (shrink)
“It is irrational to believe others are irrational”. I ungratefully said that to a confidant who asserted that I was negotiating with a fool. I now wonder whether I was the real fool. If I believe my friend is irrational (in light of his attribution of irrationality to the recipient of my offers), then my epigram implies I am irrational. To avoid the implication that I am irrational, I must not believe anyone to be irrational. But then my epigram also (...) forbids me from believing that someone else believes someone is irrational. I must instead believe that the non-existence of irrationality is common knowledge! 1. Volcanic rationality Can I simply repudiate my epigram? I hesitate because the epigram is a consequence of the principle of charity. Roughly, this interpretive principle states that all agents are rational agents. The standard reasoning behind the principle is a priori: there is a conceptual connection between regarding someone as an agent and viewing his beliefs and desires as forming a coherent system that makes his actions intelligible. Since errors about central a priori truths indict one’s rationality, failure to believe the principle of charity would be irrational. Consequently, charity implies all agents believe all agents are rational. Charity iterates. Since meta-charity would also be a central a priori truth, meta-charity implies meta-meta-charity. And meta-meta-charity implies meta-meta-meta-charity. And so on. Therefore, if the principle of charity is true, then it is common knowledge. So is meta-charity. And meta-meta-charity. And so on. (shrink)
Relativism has usually been presented as linked to the limits of translation and understanding. The Principle of Charity was developed to decide the reference of words or the best translation of a sentence. However, the principle has been defined in, at least, two different ways: a naturalistic one, as a pragmatic maxim that guides the interpreter generally; or a transcendental one, as an a priori, necessary condition for someone to be understood. In this paper I will focus on the (...) latter approach, taking Donald Davidson's arguments and his transcendental interpretation of the Principle of Charity as a representative case. Although different versions of the principle can be found in Davidson's writings, and some of them would seem flexible enough to give an account of how interpreter and speaker have different beliefs, all of these versions put understanding and intelligibility at risk. The reason is that the Principle of Charity has a wide scope: to conceive a person as rational, as having beliefs and desires, or as saying something, we have to interpret his/her utterances as revealing a set of beliefs consistent and true, and that maxim is applied to the whole system of sentences. So charity is necessary, we cannot choose it and if we spell out the Principle of Charity in sociological or psychological terms, that is, in empirical terms, we are changing the subject. The transcendental character of the principle has received criticism from various authors who understand it in a naturalistic way. I will conclude that an empirical description of how we use the Principle of Charity when we interpret a speaker's utterance would show the psychological and sociological relevance of relativism. (shrink)
Fisher, David We are given many 'eternal truths' and verities we are expected to accept. We can and should question all of them. Whether or not a person is a religious believer, she or he tends to equate having a religious back-ground with being a good person. One of the phrases we generally accept is the trio of virtues - faith, hope and charity.
Background: Empirical studies in Muslim communities on organ donation and blood transfusion show that Muslim counsellors play an important role in the decision process. Despite the emerging importance of online English Sunni fatwas, these fatwas on organ donation and blood transfusion have hardly been studied, thus creating a gap in our knowledge of contemporary Islamic views on the subject.Method: We analysed 70 English Sunni e-fatwas and subjected them to an in-depth text analysis in order to reveal the key concepts in (...) the Islamic ethical framework regarding organ donation and blood transfusion.Results: All 70 fatwas allow for organ donation and blood transfusion. Autotransplantation is no problem at all if done for medical reasons. Allotransplantation, both from a living and a dead donor, appears to be possible though only in quite restricted ways. Xenotransplantation is less often mentioned but can be allowed in case of necessity. Transplantation in general is seen as an ongoing form of charity. Nearly half of the fatwas allowing blood transfusion do so without mentioning any restriction or problem whatsoever. The other half of the fatwas on transfusion contain the same conditional approval as found in the arguments pro organ transplantation.Conclusion: Our findings are very much in line with the international literature on the subject. We found two new elements: debates on the definition of the moment of death are hardly mentioned in the English Sunni fatwas and organ donation and blood transfusion are presented as an ongoing form of charity. (shrink)
Quine and others have recommended principles of charity which discourage judgments of irrationality. Such principles have been proposed to govern translation, psychology, and economics. After comparing principles of charity of different degrees of severity, we argue that the stronger principles are likely to block understanding of human behavior and impede progress toward improving it. We support a moderate principle of charity which leaves room for empirically justified judgments of irrationality.
Psychologists' work on conversational pragmatics and judgment suggests a refreshing approach to charitable interpretation and theorizing. This charitable approach—what I call Gricean charity —recognizes the role of conversational assumptions and norms in subject-experimenter communication. In this paper, I outline the methodological lessons Gricean charity gleans from psychologists' work in conversational pragmatics. In particular, Gricean charity imposes specific evidential standards requiring that researchers collect empirical information about (1) the conditions of successful and unsuccessful communication for specific experimental contexts, (...) and (2) the conversational norms governing communication in experimental contexts. More generally, the Gricean turn in psychological research shifts focus from attributional to reflexive, situational explanations. Gricean charity does not primarily seek to rationalize subject responses. Rather, it imposes evidential requirements on psychological studies for the purpose of gaining a more accurate picture of the surprising and muddled ways in which we weigh evidence and draw. Key Words: Gricean charity • methodological rationalism • interpretation • principle of charity • cognitive psychology • conversational pragmatics • heuristics and biases • reflexive analysis. (shrink)
I argue that it is a main theme of Davidson's theory of interpretation that interpretive charity implies the impossibility of massive disagreement. There is clear textual support for that. I then argue that from the first-person point of view of a full-blooded interpreter, the theme must be accepted; and that is precisely why Davidson accepts it. If massive disagreement between speaker and interpreter seems to us easy to imagine, it is only because the imagination involved is third-personal and not (...) full-blooded. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that moral behaviour is largely situation?specific. Genetic make?up, neurobiological factors, attachment security and rearing experiences have only limited influence on individual differences in moral performance. Moral behaviour does not develop in a linear and cumulative fashion and individual morality is not stable across time and situations. To illustrate our position we present two studies on children?s willingness to donate their money to a charity (UNICEF) as a prime example of pro?social behaviour. In two samples (...) of seven?year?old children we found no evidence for a role of attachment, temperament or parenting. Using a twin design we did not find any evidence for a genetic component either. The most striking finding in both studies was that very few children were inclined to donate any money after viewing a promotional UNICEF film about children suffering from poverty. Only after gentle probing by an experimenter were most children willing to donate some of their money. The situation appeared to be a much more powerful determinant of donating behaviour than any other factor. These findings are discussed in the broader context of evidence for situational canalisation of moral behaviour. We conclude that moral competence may be a universal human characteristic, but that it takes a situation with specific demand?characteristics to translate this competence into actual prosocial performance. (shrink)
The notion of justice implies that what is given is owed to the recipient; charity, on the other hand, acknowledges the reality of a free gift that is not owed to the recipient. This difference is obscured in contemporary liberal societies where, because of the absence of transcendent metaphysical commitments, the demandsof social justice replace charity. A Thomistic analysis, however, recognizes a metaphysical order as the basis for justice. This order limits the sphere of justice and so allows (...) for acts of charity motivated by love for God. If we do not recognize this distinction, we reduce all charitable acts to acts of justice and therefore ignore themost important debt of all: the debt humans owe to God that can only be repaid by loving Him and our neighbor. (shrink)
In 1994 the "Ramsey Colloquium," under the leadership of Richard John Neuhaus, posed a challenge to what it called the "homosexual movement" within the Christian Church. The challenge was to prove that it had reasons distinguishable from secular liberalism--reasons consistent with orthodox Christian theology--in favor of same-sex coupling. Eugene Rogers's book, "Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God, can be read as a response to this challenge. The book is important not only for the content of (...) its arguments, which are imaginative and theologically rigorous, but also for the exemplary way in which Rogers exhibits charity in his account of his conservative opponents. Rogers's recent anthology, "Theology and Sexuality", provides additional evidence that a new, more promising debate is arising within the Church, a debate that has some hope of transcending the rhetoric of the culture wars. (shrink)
Thomas articulates the proper priority among charity’s objects based on his understanding of charity as rooted in the fellowship of eternal happiness. God, as the source of the happiness, is our principal “fellow” in it and so first in the order of charity. The individual’s fellowship with himself or herself, with the “inner man,” is most intimate, and so the individual comes next in the order. Then come our neighbors, all of whom are our fellows now and (...) may be our fellows for eternity. Finally, the body is itself properly an object of charity, for it is by means of the acts we perform in the body that we may come to share in the fellowship of eternal happiness. (shrink)
In Maurice Blondel’s work, the problem of immortality is dealt with in terms of one’s resolution of the problem of human destiny articulated in the form of a self-determinative option. Although this option can take many determinate forms, it is ultimately one between egoism and selfishness or mortification and charity. In the course of this paper, I outline this opposition and indicate in particular how it bears on intellectual life and culture. For Blondel, the theoretical and the practical could (...) not be neatly separated; thinking and expression are forms of action, and action requires structuring for its intelligibility and fruition. One commits oneself and forms the elements of one’s ultimate judgment, not only by what one does, but also by what one says or thinks, what doctrines and institutions one commits oneself to. (shrink)
The contemporary interest in spiritual experience has some theological and ethical ambiguity. To what extent does it reflect genuine engagement with the sacred, to what extent is it dabbling in experience without adequate interpretation or moral commitment? Jonathan Edwards faced similar challenges in his sermons on 1 Cor 13, "Charity and Its Fruits". Alasdair Maclntyre and Pierre Hadot have explored the constitutive role of practices in forming of virtues and transmitting a way of life. Their writings help show the (...) continuing relevance of the spiritual practices that Edwards advocated, particularly self-examination, healing by contraries, and solidarity. (shrink)
This essay contrasts the notions of charity employed by Traditional Christianity and by liberal cosmopolitan bioethics, arguing that: (1) bioethics attempts to reconstruct the notion of charity in a manner that is caustic to the Traditional Christian moral vision, (2) Christians are, on the whole, more charitable than proponents of bioethics' reconstructed view (even given the standards of the latter), and (3) the theistically oriented conception of charity employed by Traditional Christianity cannot be expressed in bioethics' purportedly (...) neutral public vocabulary. The upshot is that, in the name of neutrality and pluralism, liberal cosmopolitan bioethicists seek to impose an impoverished moral vocabulary that reflects liberal cosmopolitan ideology while excluding input from Traditional Christianity and other non-liberal-humanistic moral visions. (shrink)
The recent `religious turn' within Locke scholarship has stressed the need to understand his theological commitments when approaching his political thought. One area of interpretation that has been completely transformed by this heightened sensitivity to the religious roots of Locke's thought is his account of property ownership which, it is claimed, contains a `right to charity' — a subsistence entitlement that trumps established ownership rights. However, this increasingly accepted interpretive claim has been made without significant attention to the way (...) in which charity is deployed throughout Locke's writing. The aim of this article is to try and get to grips with Locke's various usages of the term and determine whether the concept he deploys is a consistent one. After discussion of the uncertain role charity plays in his account of property, we examine how it is defined in the Essay Concerning Human /nderstanding, and then turn to the crucial position it occupies in his theological corpus. Though Locke's understanding of charity seems fraught with ambiguities, the reason for these ambiguities relate to his configuration of charity as a disposition rather than a mere act , a configuration linked inextricably to his account of toleration. (shrink)