[David Charles] Aristotle, it appears, sometimes identifies well-being (eudaimonia) with one activity (intellectual contemplation), sometimes with several, including ethical virtue. I argue that this appearance is misleading. In the Nicomachean Ethics, intellectual contemplation is the central case of human well-being, but is not identical with it. Ethically virtuous activity is included in human well-being because it is an analogue of intellectual contemplation. This structure allows Aristotle to hold that while ethically virtuous activity is valuable in its own right, the (...) best life available for humans is centred around, but not wholly constituted by, intellectual contemplation. /// [Dominic Scott] In Nicomachean Ethics X 7-8, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of eudaimonia, primary and secondary. The first corresponds to contemplation, the second to activity in accordance with moral virtue and practical reason. My task in this paper is to elucidate this distinction. Like Charles, I interpret it as one between paradigm and derivative cases; unlike him, I explain it in terms of similarity, not analogy. Furthermore, once the underlying nature of the distinction is understood, we can reconcile the claim that paradigm eudaimonia consists just in contemplation with a passage in the first book requiring eudaimonia to involve all intrinsic goods. (shrink)
Direct source incompatibilism (DSI) is the conjunction of two claims: SI-F: there are genuine Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs); SI-D: there is a sound version of the direct argument (DA). Eric Yang ( 2012 ) responds to a recent criticism of DSI (Campbell 2006 ). We show that Yang misses the mark. One can accept Yang’s criticisms and get the same result: there is a deep tension between FSCs and DA, between SI-F and SI-D. Thus, DSI is untenable. In this essay, (...) we use an important yet overlooked distinction between truthmakers and determiners to help drive this point home. (shrink)
My project in this paper is to extend the interventionist analysis of causation to give an account of causation in psychology. Many aspects of empirical investigation into psychological causation fit straightforwardly into the interventionist framework. I address three problems. First, the problem of explaining what it is for a causal relation to be properly psychological rather than merely biological. Second, the problem of rational causation: how it is that reasons can be causes. Finally, I look at the implications of an (...) interventionist analysis for the idea that an inquiry into psychological causes must be an inquiry into causal mechanisms. I begin by setting out the main ideas of the interventionist approach. (shrink)
In this paper we argue for the robustness of Leibniz's commitment to the reality (but not substantiality) of body. We claim that a number of his most important metaphysical doctrines — among them, psychophysical parallelism, the harmony between efficient and final causes, the connection of all things, and the argument for the plurality of substances stemming from his solution to the continuum problem— make no sense if he is interpreted as giving an eliminative reduction of bodies to perceptions.
This paper investigates why some companies give to charity and others do not. The study uncovers a strong relationship between the personal attitudes of the charitable decision maker and the firm's giving behavior. This relationship indicates that the human element of personal attitudes may interact and play a very important role in a firm's decision to become involved with philanthropic activities. The study also shows that firms who have a history of giving to charity cite altruistic motives for their behavior. (...) On the other hand, firms that do not give to charity tend to use business reasons to explain their non-involvement. (shrink)
With the centenary of the publication of William James's Pragmatism (1907) fast approaching, this paper explores two questions. First: what role did James's volume play in the development of the Pragmatic movement?; second: how powerful a force was that movement within American academic philosophy? With regard to the first question, this paper suggests that Pragmatism was not the font of the movement, but in fact appeared near its end; with regard to the second question, this paper suggests that the Pragmatic (...) movement, while of great importance in American society, was itself only a minor moment within professionalizing American philosophy. (shrink)
Our use of ‘I’, or something like it, is implicated in our self-regarding emotions, in the concern to survive, and so seems basic to ordinary human life. But why does that pattern of use require a referring term? Don't Lichtenberg's formulations show how we could have our ordinary pattern of use here without the first person? I argue that what explains our compulsion to regard the first person as a referring term is our ordinary causal thinking, which requires us to (...) find a persisting object as the mechanism that underpins the causal structure we naturally ascribe to the self. I thus argue against Peacocke's picture (2012), on which it's the cogito that explains one's knowledge of one's own existence. (shrink)
The nanomedicine field is fast evolving toward complex, “active,” and interactive formulations. Like many emerging technologies, nanomedicine raises questions of how human subjects research (HSR) should be conducted and the adequacy of current oversight, as well as how to integrate concerns over occupational, bystander, and environmental exposures. The history of oversight for HSR investigating emerging technologies is a patchwork quilt without systematic justification of when ordinary oversight for HSR is enough versus when added oversight is warranted. Nanomedicine HSR provides an (...) occasion to think systematically about appropriate oversight, especially early in the evolution of a technology, when hazard and risk information may remain incomplete. This paper presents the consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary, NIH-funded project group, to ensure a science-based and ethically informed approach to HSR issues in nanomedicine, and to integrate HSR analysis with analysis of occupational, bystander, and environmental concerns. We recommend creating two bodies, an interagency Human Subjects Research in Nanomedicine (HSR/N) Working Group and a Secretary's Advisory Committee on Nanomedicine (SAC/N). HSR/N and SAC/N should perform 3 primary functions: (1) analysis of the attributes and subsets of nanomedicine interventions that raise HSR challenges and current gaps in oversight; (2) providing advice to relevant agencies and institutional bodies on the HSR issues, as well as federal and federal-institutional coordination; and (3) gathering and analyzing information on HSR issues as they emerge in nanomedicine. HSR/N and SAC/N will create a home for HSR analysis and coordination in DHHS (the key agency for relevant HSR oversight), optimize federal and institutional approaches, and allow HSR review to evolve with greater knowledge about nanomedicine interventions and greater clarity about attributes of concern. (shrink)
The gelsolin gene family encodes a number of higher eukaryotic actin-binding proteins that are thought to function in the cytoplasm by severing, capping, nucleating or bundling actin filaments. Recent evidence, however, suggests that several members of the gelsolin family may have adopted unexpected nuclear functions including a role in regulating transcription. In particular, flightless I, supervillin and gelsolin itself have roles as coactivators for nuclear receptors, despite the fact that their divergence appears to predate the evolutionary appearance of nuclear receptors. (...) Flightless I has been shown to bind both actin and the actin-related BAF53a protein, which are subunits of SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodelling complexes. The primary sequences of some actin-related proteins such as BAF53a exhibit conservation of residues that, in actin itself, are known to interact with gelsolin-related proteins. In summary, there is a growing body of evidence supporting a biological role in the nucleus for actin, Arps and actin-binding proteins and, in particular, the gelsolin family of actin-binding proteins. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (shrink)
The United States Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly is creating quite a stir. Suddenly gone is the famous loosey-goosey rule of Conley v. Gibson that a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.Now a complaint must provide enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible (...) on its face. Only decided last May, Bell Atlantic has been cited in over 3,700 cases. Already being described as a landmark decision, Bell Atlantic nonetheless has lawyers and judges scratching their heads over the precise pleading standard to apply in its wake. As the Second Circuit (mildly) put it, Considerable uncertainty concerning the standard for assessing the adequacy of pleadings has recently been created by the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. Just what is a plausible showing that the pleader is entitled to relief under Rule 8(a)(2)?I believe an answer lies in the 26-year-old decision of the Former Fifth Circuit in In re Plywood Antitrust Litigation. Plywood Antitrust requires, at a minimum, that a complaint . . . contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory. Already used in more than half the circuits, this standard paraphrases advice found in the venerable WRIGHT & MILLER for nearly 40 years.Properly applied, this all . . . material elements standard satisfies Bell Atlantic's plausibility requirement in all respects. The Plywood Antitrust pleading standard works well after Bell Atlantic, first, because the Supreme Court referred to the standard, albeit parenthetically, with approval in Bell Atlantic. Second, it does much to harmonize the Federal Rules' goal of dispensing with pleading technicalities while still requiring enough general factual information about a pleader's claim to make the notice in notice pleading meaningful. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gives lawyers, litigants, and courts a standard they can actually use when drafting, or assessing the sufficiency of, pleadings. (shrink)
The current revival of William Stringfellow's theological ethics is a challenge for preachers. Stringfellow's theology of the powers provides a compelling contemporary interpretation of the demonic forces that shape human life and confront Christian preachers. His work has extraordinary implications for those who seek to proclaim the Word amidst the chaos and death of the contemporary world.
I propose a new form of epiphenomenalism, 'explanatory epiphenomenalism', the view that the identification of A's mental properties does not provide a causal explanation of A's behaviour. I arrive at this view by showing that although anomalous monism does not entail type epiphenomenalism (despite what many of Davidson's critics have suggested), it does (when coupled with some additional claims) lead to the conclusion that the identification of A's reasons does not causally explain A's behaviour. I then formalize this view and (...) show that it is an attractive position, because it captures the insights of existing forms of epiphenomenalism without their onerous metaphysical commitments. (shrink)