Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...) of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour. (shrink)
Michael Palmer provides a detailed account of two of the most important theories of religion in the history of psychology--those of Freud and Jung. The book first analyzes Freud's claim that religion is an obsessional neurosis, a psychological illness fueled by sexual repression. He then considers Jung's rejection of Freud's theory, and his own assertion that it is the absence of religion, not its presence, which leads to neurosis.
Recent philosophical discussion about the relation between fiction and reality pays little attention to our moral involvement with literature. Frank Palmer's purpose is to investigate how our appreciation of literary works calls upon and develops our capacity for moral understanding. He explores a wide range of philosophical questions about the relation of art to morality, and challenges theories that he regards as incompatible with a humane view of literary art. Palmer considers, in particular, the extent to which the (...) values and moral concepts involved in our understanding of human beings can be said to enter into our understanding of, and response to, fictional characters. The scope of his discussion encompasses literary aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology, and he makes extensive reference to literary examples. (shrink)
John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed (...) analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. Since the existence of this necessary being does not preclude the existence of other entities that are but need not be, Parmenides' cosmology can straightforwardly be taken as his account of the origin and operation of the world's mutable entities. Later chapters reassess the major Presocratics' relation to Parmenides in light of the modal interpretation, focusing particularly on Zeno, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles. In the end, Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being, and his arguments regarding what what must be must be like, simply in virtue of its mode of being, entitle him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from natural philosophy and theology. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes. (shrink)
John Palmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.
This primer on authentic education explores how mind and heart can work together in the learning process. Moving beyond the bankruptcy of our current model of education, Parker Palmer finds the soul of education through a lifelong cultivation of the wisdom each of us possesses and can share to benefit others.
In this study, Clare Palmer challenges the popular conception that process thinking offers an unambiguously positive contribution to the philosophical debate on environmental ethics. She critically examines the approach to ethics which may be derived from the work of process thinkers such as A. N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, pointing out questions about justice and respect for individual integrity which are raised. With these questions in mind, she compares process ethics to a variety of other forms of environmental ethics, (...) as well as deep ecology. This comparative study reveals a number of difficulties associated with process thinking about the environment. Although some reformulations of process philosophy in the light of these difficulties are offered, the author suggests that a question mark should remain over the contribution which process philosophy can make to environmental ethics. (shrink)
When the first edition of Semantics appeared in 1976, the developments in this aspect of language study were exciting interest not only among linguists, but among philosophers, psychologists and logicians. Professor Palmer's straightforward and comprehensive book was immediately welcomed as one of the best introductions to the subject. Interest in Semantics has been further stimulated recently by a number of significant, and often contriversial, theoretical advances; and the publication of this second edition has enabled Professor Palmer to bring (...) his survey thoroughly up to date. There is also an important new chapter on 'Semantics and logic', showing clearly and simply the influence that logical models have had on the study of meaning. Professor Palmer always illustrates his argument with helpful examples, and his non-technical explanations will be readily intelligible to the interested layman as well as to beginning students of language and linguistics. (shrink)
“In its less dramatic versions,” writes author Dan Palmer, “structuralism is just a method of studying language, society, and the works of artists and novelists. But in its most exuberant form, it is a philosophy, an overall worldview that provides an account of reality and knowledge.” Poststructuralism is a loosely knit intellectual movement, comprised mainly of ex-structuralists who either became dissatisfied with the theory or felt they could improve it. Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners is an illustrated tour through (...) the mysterious landscape of these two theories. The book’s starting point is the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. The book moves on to the anthropologist and literary critic Claude Levi-Strauss; the semiologist and literary critic Roland Barthes; the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser; the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida. The book concludes by examining the postmodern obsession with language and with the radical claim of the disappearance of the individual–obsessions that unite the work of all of these theorists. (shrink)
According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In what follows, I want to defend this principle against an apparent counterexample offered recently by Derk Pereboom (Living without free will, 2001 ; Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 29:228–247, 2005 ). Pereboom’s case, a variant of what are known as ‘Frankfurt cases,’ is important for it attempts to overcome a dilemma posed for earlier alleged counterexamples (...) to PAP. However, I will argue that by paying closer attention to the details of Pereboom’s example, we see that his example fails to show a way between the horns of the dilemma posed for the earlier Frankfurt examples. (shrink)
Locke denied that ideas of secondary qualities resemble their causes. It has been suggested that Locke denied this because he accepted a mechanical corpuscular hypothesis about the constitution of objects. This paper shows that this and other usual explanations of Locke's denial are mistaken. Further, it suggests an alternative relationship between the scientific account and Locke's philosophical views, and finally it provides Locke's real justification for his claim that ideas of secondary qualities do not resemble their causes.
Alfred Mele and David Robb (1998, 2003) offer what they claim is a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), the principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In their example, a person makes a decision by his own indeterministic causal process though antecedent circumstances ensure he could not have done otherwise. Specifically, a simultaneously occurring process in him would deterministically cause the decision at the precise time (...) it actually occurs if he were not to make it 'on his own' i.e. without being deterministically caused.Their case is designed to avoid a well-known dilemma that has plagued earlier apparent counterexamples of this sort. We argue, however, that Mele andRobb's example does not have all the features necessary in order for it to undermine PAP. It still fails to avoid the original dilemma. (shrink)
Frege famously argued that truth is not a property or relation. In the “Notes on Logic” Wittgenstein emphasised the bi-polarity of propositions which he called their sense. He argued that “propositions by virtue of sense cannot have predicates or relations.” This led to his fundamental thought that the logical constants do not represent predicates or relations. The idea, however, has wider ramifications than that. It is not just that propositions cannot have relations to other propositions but also that they cannot (...) have relations to anything at all. The paper explores the consequences of this insight for the way in which we should read the Tractatus. In the “Notes on Logic” the insight led to Wittgenstein's emphasis on “facts” in any attempt to understand the nature of symbolism. This emphasis is continued in the Tractatus. It is central to his view that propositions are facts which picture facts which prevent us from construing such picturing as a relation between what pictures and what is pictured. It illuminates the importance of context principle with regard to the distinction between showing and saying to which Wittgenstein attached so much importance and it underlies the non-relational view of psychological propositions which he advocates. Finally, if propositions by virtue of sense cannot have predicates or relations the paradox at the end of a work which consist largely of propositions about propositions becomes intelligible. (shrink)
The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke.
Richard Wolin, in his article 'Nazism and the Complicities of Hans-Georg Gadamer: Untruth and Method' ( New Republic , 15 May 2000, pp. 36-45), wrongly accuses Gadamer of being 'in complicity' with the Nazis. The present article in reply was rejected by the New Republic , but is printed here to show that Wolin in his article is misinformed and unfair. First, Wolin makes elementary factual errors, such as stating that Gadamer was born in Breslau instead of Marburg. He relies (...) on a highly questionable source, Teresa Orozco, as 'definitive'. He argues often by misconstruing the evidence and guilt by association. For instance, he associates Gadamer with Werner Jaeger, with whom he disagreed and had little contact. Finally,he misinterprets basic terms in Gadamer's hermeneutics, Vorurteil and authority, attributing to them the popular sense of these terms instead of their place in Gadamer's hermeneutics. Vorurteil , popularly translated as 'prejudice', but better rendered as 'prejudgment', refers to the prior knowledge that one needs in order to understand a situation or a text. In some cases, this is part of the inherited tradition. Authority refers to the respect one pays to those one recognizes as having more knowledge than oneself: one's doctor, or parent, or teacher, a judge, or certain texts. It is not an abject surrender to all authority but the necessary respect for authority in human relationships and in society in general. By misconstruing these terms, Wolin attempts to discredit Gadamer's general philosophy,not just to demonstrate a connection to the Nazis. At the end, his argument turns into a misinformed general political attack on Gadamer as an enemy of Enlightenment values. (shrink)
The usage, derivation, and psychological, ethical, and legal aspects of slang terminology in medicine are discussed. The colloquial vocabulary is further described and a comprehensive glossary of common UK terms provided in the appendix. This forms the first list of slang terms currently in use throughout the British medical establishment.
In August of 2000, Firestone executives initiated the second largest tire recall in U.S. history. Many of the recalled tires had been installed as original factory equipment on the popular Ford Explorer SUVs. At the time of the recall, the tires and vehicles had been linked to numerous accidents and deaths, most of which occurred when tire blowouts resulted in vehicle rollovers. While Firestones role in this case has been widely acknowledged, Ford executives have managed to deflect much of the (...) attention away from themselves, mainly by claiming that the Firestone tires were not its product, and therefore not its responsibility. In this paper, we examine the extent to which Ford can be held morally responsible for the incidents at issue. In so doing, we develop an approach for determining when an item is a product in its own right, as opposed to a component of another product. We argue that such an analysis not only provides a better understanding of this case, but also more properly accounts for the extent to which evolutions in technology and business relationships can affect issues of moral responsibility in business contexts. (shrink)
Research on the normative aspect of leadership is still a relatively new enterprise within the mainstream of leadership studies. In the past, most academic inquiry into leadership was grounded in a social scientific paradigm that largely ignored the ethical substance of leadership. However, perhaps because of a number of public and infamous cases of failure in business leadership, in recent years there has been renewed interest in the ethical side of leadership in business. This paper argues that ethical issues of (...) leadership actually arise at number of different levels, and that it is important to distinguish between various diverse kinds of ethical issues that arise in the study of leadership. The three levels identified are the level of the individual morality of leaders, the level of the means of their leadership, and the level of the leadership mission itself. We argue that only by fully understanding all of the different levels of ethical analysis pertinent to business leadership, and the distinctive kind of issues that arise at each level, can we fully integrate normative studies of leadership into the field of leadership studies. As such, this paper offers a model that incorporates three different levels of ethical analysis that can be used to study normative issues in leadership studies. Such a model can be used to better understand and integrate ethical issues into research, teaching, and training in leadership. (shrink)
I explore how some aspects of Foucoult’s work on power can be applied to human/animal power relations. First, I argue that because animals behave as “beings that react” and can respond in different ways to human actions, in principle at least, Foucoult’s work can offer insights into human/animal power relations. However, many of these relations fall into the category of “domination,” in which animals are unable to respond. Second, I examine different kinds of human power practices, in particular, ways in (...) which humans construct animal constitutions and animal subjectivities. Finally, I use a case study of a pet cat to show how such power practices may come together in a single instance. (shrink)
While e-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, some of the practices associated with certain aspects of marketing on the Internet, such as pop-ups, cookies, and spam, have raised concerns on the part of Internet users. In this paper I examine the nature of these practices and what I take to be the underlying source of this concern. I argue that the ethical issues surrounding these Internet marketing techniques move us beyond the traditional treatment of the ethics of marketing and (...) advertising found in discussions of business ethics previously. Rather, I show that the questions they raise ultimately turn upon questions of technique and the ways in which technologies can transform the fundamental means by which relationships are established and maintained within a social environment. I then argue that the techniques of e-commerce are indeed transforming the means by which businesses relate to consumers, and that this transformation is affecting the applicability of our previous ways of demarcating the imperatives determining the limits of accessibility between consumers and businesses. Properly addressing the ethical status of the techniques of e-marketing as such necessarily moves us to consider the changes that Internet commerce are having upon the norms that govern individuals in their relations with others. (shrink)
Members of the New Academy presented their sceptical position as the culmination of a progressive development in the history of philosophy, which began when certain Presocratics started to reflect on the epistemic status of their theoretical claims concerning the natures of things. The Academics' dogmatic opponents accused them of misrepresenting the early philosophers in an illegitimate attempt to claim respectable precedents for their dangerous position. The ensuing debate over the extent to which some form of scepticism might properly be attributed (...) to the Presocratics is reflected in various passages in Cicero's "Academica." In this essay, we try to get clearer about the precise nature of the Academics' historical claim and their view of the general lesson to be learned from reflection on the history of philosophy down to their own time. The Academics saw the Presocratics as providing some kind of support for the thesis that things are non-cognitive, or, more specifically, that neither the senses nor reason furnishes a criterion of truth. As this view is susceptible to both 'dialectical' and non-dialectical readings, we consider the prospects for each. We also examine the evidence for the varied functions both of the Academics' specific appeals to individual Presocratics and of their collections of the Presocratics' divergent opinions. What emerges is a better understanding of why the Academics were concerned with claiming the Presocratics as sceptical ancestors and of the precise manner in which they advanced this claim. (shrink)
The constitutions of many nations have been explicitly or implicitly founded upon principles of the social contract derived from Thomas Hobbes. The Hobbesian egoism at the base of the contract fairly accurately represents the structure of market enterprise. A contractarian analysis may, then, allow for justified or rationally acceptable universal standards to which businesses should conform. This paper proposes general rational restrictions upon multi-national enterprises, and includes a critique of unjustified restrictions recently proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and (...) Development (OECD). I propose restrictions that may be tighter than the OECD and international law currently demand, because reason requires that the activities of enterprises accord with standards of environmental and governmental sustainability in addition to consortium, national law and international law agreements. I argue that it is justifiable that indictments may be presented by a citizen or a government against the local arm of a multinational enterprise in response to violations committed by an arm within a different country. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and biological diversity this raises are explored. (...) The paper concludes that the principle of valuing individual animal lives should be given more prominence in Earth Charter principles. (shrink)
Milton Friedman’s famous comment on Corporate Social Responsibility is that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” I reply to Friedman, Michael Jensen, and others, in argument that accepts their implicit premise—that business can be a virtuous mechanism of free society—but that denies their delimitation of responsibility. The reply hinges upon precisely the virtue of “freedom” (...) these authors clearly consider intrinsically valuable. In the extreme case where maximizing profits would place government underthreat, such activity will not coincide with maximizing social value and would undermine the freedoms these authors claim to value. Responsibilities will also apply in less extreme cases, if we develop Amartya Sen’s argument showing that, “we have to see individual freedom as a social commitment.”. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s three great Critiques stand among the bulkier monuments of Enlightenment thought. The first is best known; the last had until recently been rather less studied. But his final Critique contains, I contend, a remarkable development of Kant’s theory of how human beings use and create systems of knowledge. While Kant was not himself concerned with the neuronal substrates of cognition, I argue this development yields a novel empirical hypothesis susceptible of experimental investigation. Here I present (...) the Kantian motivation and describe experimental work aimed at testing predictions arising from the new hypothesis. (shrink)
In this Response, I defend the notion of intrinsic qualities of experience, discuss the distinction between relational experience and relational structure, clarify the difference between narrow and broad interpretations of color experience, argue against externalist approaches to color experience, defend the concept of isomorphism as a limitation in understanding color experiences, examine critiques of the color machine and color room arguments, and counter objections to within-subject experiments based on memory limitations.
Totemism, a topic that fascinated and then was summarily dismissed by anthropologists, has been resurrected by evolutionary psychologists' recent attempts to explain religion. New approaches to religion are all based on the assumption that religious behavior is the result of evolved psychological mechanisms. We focus on two aspects of Totemism that may present challenges to this view. First, if religious behavior is simply the result of evolved psychological mechanisms, would it not spring forth anew each generation from an individual's psychological (...) mechanisms? Yet, Australian Totemism, like other forms of Totemism, is profoundly traditional, copied by one generation from the prior ones for hundreds of generations. Regardless of personal inclinations, individuals are obligated to participate. Second, it is problematic to assume that all practitioners of Totemism actually believe their religious claims. We propose an alternative explanation that accounts for the persistence of Totemism and that does not rely on an assumption that its practitioners are preliterate or naive because they have strange beliefs. We focus on Totemism as a cultural mechanism aimed at building and sustaining social relationships among close and distant kinsmen. (shrink)
Urbanization and development of green spaces is continuing worldwide. Such development frequently engulfs the habitats of native animals, with a variety of effects on their existence, location and ways of living. This paper attempts to theorize about some of these effects, drawing on aspects of Foucault's discussions of power and using a metaphor of human colonization, where colonization is understood as an "ongoing process of dispossession, negotiation, transformation, and resistance." It argues that a variety of different kinds of human/animal power (...) relations can exist in urban areas, not all of which are examples of human domination. The paper concludes by raising a number of questions about the implications of these human/animal relations. (shrink)
The Adaptive Toolbox framework specifies heuristics for choice and categorisation that search through cues in previously learned orders (Gigerenzer & Todd, 1999). We examined the learning of three cue parameters defining different orders: discrimination rate (DR) (the probability that a cue points to a unique choice), validity (the probability of correct choice given that a cue discriminates), and success (the probability of correct choice). Success orderings are identical to those by expected information gain (Klayman & Ha, 1987). In two experiments, (...) participants made choices in real-world environments with objective outcome criteria. Participant ratings indicated some appropriate parameter learning when the relevant cue parameter values were highly dispersed. Rated orders of cue validity and DR were less distinct than the objective orders—learning one parameter may be biased towards success by variation in the other. Success ratings capture the variation in validity and DR as well as participants' perception of these parameters. (shrink)
There are major concerns about the level of personal borrowing, particularly sourced from credit cards. This paper charts the progress of an initiative to create a Responsible Lending Index (RLI) for the credit industry. The RLI proposed to voluntarily benchmark lending standards and promote best practice within the credit industry by involving suppliers of credit, customer representatives and regulators. However, despite initial support from some banks, consumer bodies and the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, it failed to gain sufficient (...) support from financial institutions in its original format. The primary reasons for this were related to the complexity of building such a robust index and the banks trade body’s fear of exposing its members to public scrutiny. A revised alternative, the Responsible Lending Initiative, was proposed which took into account these concerns. However, the Association of Payment Clearing Service (APACS), the trade body of the credit industry, then effectively destroyed the proposal. This article describes an attempt to address the challenges in the credit card industry with the initiation of the RLI, reflected in stakeholder discourse and in the context of a wider concern expressed by the involved stakeholders in terms of the need for greater responsibility in the banking industry’s lending practices. (shrink)
We are not convinced by Gangestad & Simpson that differential mating strategies within each sex would be greater than such strategies between sexes. The target article does not provide actual evidence of human males who do not desire mating with multiple females, or evidence that the benefits for females of short-term matings with multiple males have ever outweighed the associated costs.
Psychiatric research is of critical importance in improving the care of persons with mental illness. Yet it may also raise difficult ethical issues. This article explores those issues in the context of a particular kind of research: psychosocial intervention research with control groups. We discuss 4 broad categories of ethical issues: consent, confidentiality, boundary violations, and risk-benefit issues. We believe that, despite the potential difficulties, psychosocial intervention research is vital and can be accomplished in an ethical manner. Further discussion and (...) research into these issues are warranted. (shrink)
Many anthropological explanations of magical practices are based on the assumption that the immediate cause of performing an act of magic is the belief that the magic will work as claimed. Such explanations typically attempt to show why people come to believe that magical acts work as claimed when such acts do not identifiably have such effects. We suggest an alternative approach to the explanation of magic that views magic as a form of religious behavior, a form of communication that (...) promotes or protects cooperative social relationships. We suggest that all forms of religious behavior involve persons communicating acceptance of a supernatural claim and that this act communicates a willingness to accept nonskeptically the influence of the person making such a claim. Thus, religious behavior communicates a willingness to cooperate with the claim maker and others who accept his or her influence. We suggest that magic, which can be distinguished by the communicated acceptance of the claim that certain techniques have supernatural effects, also promotes cooperation. Different types of magic, including sorcery, love magic, and curing magic, can be shown to communicate different types of messages, such as a threat to use violence to punish unsocial behavior, sexual desire, or concern for a person's well-being. Ethnographic examples are used to support this hypothesis. This approach requires no assumptions about whether the practitioners of magic do or do not believe that the magical acts work as claimed. It attempts only to account for the identifiable talk and behavior that constitute magical acts by examining the identifiable, and often important, effects of these acts on the behavior of others. (shrink)
Issues management (IM) is becoming widely accepted in the business-and-society literature as a policy tool to enhance the social performance of corporations. Its acceptance is based on the presumption that firms have incorporated ethical norms into their decision-making process. This paper argues that IM is simply a technique to identify, analyze, and respond to social issues. It can be used either to improve or forestall corporate social performance. Different values will steer IM practitioners in different policy directions.If IM is to (...) be more than a social gadget, designed to promote the firm's narrow economic objectives, it must be self-consciously grounded in ethics. Stakeholder analysis and the comprehensive corporate ethic are concepts that can help forge links between ethics and the administrative process, between values and decision-making in IM. (shrink)
Although Business Ethics has become a topic of wide discussion in both academia and the corporate world, questions remain as how to present ethical issues in a manner that will effectively influence the decisions and behavior of business employees. In this paper we argue that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) offer a unique opportunity for bridging the gap between the theory and practice of business ethics. We first explain what the FSG are and how they apply to organizations. We then (...) show how discussions of the FSG might be used in business ethics courses in a way that is both theoretically sound and practically applicable. Finally, we show how the requirements of the FSG can be used by companies to develop effective ethical compliance programs. As such, we maintain that the FSG provide a powerful heuristic tool for the teaching and training of business ethics. (shrink)