A capability approach has been proposed to risk analysis, where risk is conceptualized as the probability that capabilities are reduced. Capabilities refer to the genuine opportunities of individuals to achieve valuable doings and beings, such as being adequately nourished. Such doings and beings are called functionings. A current debate in risk analysis and other fields where a capability approach has been developed concerns whether capabilities or actual achieved functionings should be used. This paper argues that in risk analysis the consequences (...) of hazardous scenarios should be conceptualized in terms of capabilities, not achieved functionings. Furthermore, the paper proposes a method for assessing capabilities, which considers the levels of achieved functionings of other individuals with similar boundary conditions. The capability of an individual can then be captured statistically based on the variability of the achieved functionings over the considered population. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a Capabilities-based Approach to the acceptability and the tolerability of risks posed by natural and man-made hazards. We argue that judgments about the acceptability and/or tolerability of such risks should be based on an evaluation of the likely societal impact of potential hazards, defined in terms of the expected changes in the capabilities of individuals. Capabilities refer to the functionings, or valuable doings and beings, individuals are able to achieve given available personal, material, and social (...) resources. The likely impact of a hazard on individuals’ capabilities should, we argue, be compared against two separate thresholds. The first threshold specifies the minimum level of capabilities attainment that is acceptable in principle for individuals to have in the aftermath of a hazard over any period of time. This threshold captures the level that individuals’ capabilities ideally should not fall below. A risk is acceptable if the probability that the attained capabilities will be less than the acceptable level is sufficiently small. In practice, it can be tolerable for some individuals to temporarily fall below the acceptable threshold, provided this situation of lower capabilities attainment is temporary, reversible, and the probability that capabilities will fall below a tolerability threshold is sufficiently small. This second, tolerable threshold delimits an absolute minimum level of capabilities attainment below which no individual in a society should ever fall, regardless of whether that level of capabilities attainment is temporary or reversible. In this paper, we describe and justify this Capabilities-based Approach to the acceptability and tolerability of risks. We argue that the proposed theoretical framework avoids the limitations in current approaches to acceptable risk. The proposed approach focuses the attention of risk analysts directly on what should be our primary concern when judging the acceptability and the tolerability of risks, namely, how risks impact the well-being of individuals in a society. Also, our Capabilities-based Approach offers a transparent, easily communicable way for determining the acceptability and the tolerability of risks. (shrink)
This paper proposes a Capabilities-based Approach to guide hazard mitigation efforts. First, a discussion is provided of the criteria that should be met by an adequate framework for formulating public policy and allocating resources. This paper shows why a common decision-aiding tool, Cost-benefit Analysis, fails to fulfill such criteria. A Capabilities-based Approach to hazard mitigation is then presented, drawing on the framework originally developed in the context of development economics and policy. The focus of a Capabilities-based Approach is protecting and (...) promoting the well-being of individuals. Capabilities are dimensions of well-being and specified in terms of functionings. Functionings capture the various things of value an individual does or becomes in his or her life, including being alive, being healthy, and being sheltered. Capabilities refer to the real achievability of specific functionings. In the context of hazard mitigation, from a Capabilities-based Approach, decision- and policy-makers should consider the acceptability and tolerability of risks along with the affectability of hazards when determining policy formulation and resource allocation. Finally, the paper shows how the proposed approach satisfies the required criteria, and overcomes the limitations of Cost-benefit Analysis, while maintaining its strengths. (shrink)
Within philosophy there has been little discussion of the risks associated with natural events such as earthquakes. The first objective of this paper is to demonstrate why such risks should be the subject of more sustained philosophical interest. We argue that we cannot simply apply to risks associated with natural events those insights and frameworks for moral evaluation developed in the literature considering ordinary risks, technological risks and the risks posed by anthropogenic climate change. The second objective of this paper (...) is to identify and develop a framework for the moral evaluation of the source of the risks associated with natural events, or the actions which sustain and impact such risks. Our discussion concentrates on the ways the construction and modification of built and natural environments can alter the probability of occurrence of natural events and the character and magnitude of the impact that such events have. We then argue for the need to develop a standard of reasonable care for decisions about the built and modified natural environment, which accounts for technical and resource constraints, as well as the place of natural hazard mitigation in public policy. (shrink)
Engineers must deal with risks and uncertainties as a part of their professional work and, in particular, uncertainties are inherent to engineering models. Models play a central role in engineering. Models often represent an abstract and idealized version of the mathematical properties of a target. Using models, engineers can investigate and acquire understanding of how an object or phenomenon will perform under specified conditions. This paper defines the different stages of the modeling process in engineering, classifies the various sources of (...) uncertainty that arise in each stage, and discusses the categories into which these uncertainties fall. The paper then considers the way uncertainty and modeling are approached in science and the criteria for evaluating scientific hypotheses, in order to highlight the very different criteria appropriate for the development of models and the treatment of the inherent uncertainties in engineering. Finally, the paper puts forward nine guidelines for the treatment of uncertainty in engineering modeling. (shrink)
There is a widely acknowledged need for a single composite index that provides a comprehensive picture of the societal impact of disasters. A composite index combines and logically organizes important information policy-makers need to allocate resources for the recovery from natural disasters; it can also inform hazard mitigation strategies. This paper develops a Disaster Impact Index (DII) to gauge the societal impact of disasters on the basis of the changes in individuals’ capabilities. The DII can be interpreted as the disaster (...) impact per capita. Capabilities are dimensions of individual well-being and refer to the genuine opportunities individuals have to achieve valuable states and activities (such as being adequately nourished or being mobile). After discussing the steps required to construct the DII, this article computes and compares the DIIs for two earthquakes of similar magnitude in two societies at different levels of development and of two disasters (earthquake and wind storm) in the same society. (shrink)
Knowledge of the responsibilities of engineers is the foundation for answering ethical questions about the work of engineers. This paper defines the responsibilities of engineers by considering what constitutes the nature of engineering as a particular form of activity. Specifically, this paper focuses on the ethical responsibilities of engineers qua engineers. Such responsibilities refer to the duties acquired in virtue of being a member of a group. We examine the practice of engineering, drawing on the idea of practices developed by (...) philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, and show how the idea of a practice is important for identifying and justifying the responsibilities of engineers. To demonstrate the contribution that knowledge of the responsibilities of engineers makes to engineering ethics, a case study from structural engineering is discussed. The discussion of the failure of the Sleipner A Platform off the coast of Norway in 1991 demonstrates how the responsibilities of engineers can be derived from knowledge of the nature of engineering and its context. (shrink)
In the literature on the recovery of societies from natural disasters, a dominant theme is the importance of pursuing and achieving sustainable recovery. Sustainability implies that recovery efforts should aim to (re-) build, maintain, and, if possible, enhance the quality of life of members of the disaster-stricken community in the short and long term. In this paper, we propose a capabilities-based approach to recovery and argue that it provides important theoretical resources for better realizing this ideal of sustainability in practice. (...) From a capabilities-based approach, the societal impact of a disaster is measured in terms of its impact on selected capabilities of individuals within society. Capabilities are constitutive elements of well-being and capture the valuable doings and beings individuals can achieve or become (e.g., being adequately nourished, and being sheltered). A proposed Disaster Impact Index (DII), we argue, can capture the societal impact of a disaster by measuring its impact on the well-being of individuals, as gauged by the changes in individuals’ capabilities. We discuss how to measure this impact in practice. Also, a proposed Disaster Recovery Index (DRI) measures the current level of individuals’ capabilities. It can provide important information on the degree to which capabilities have been restored and enhanced by comparing the DRI against a benchmark, or level of capabilities attainment, toward which recovery processes should strive. We argue that the DII and DRI provide critical information for policy- and decision-makers to use in order to practically implement the principles of sustainable recovery. Both can be used in the process of predisaster planning for recovery and in the period of recovery itself. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a Capabilities-based Approach to the acceptability and the tolerability of risks posed by natural and man-made hazards. We argue that judgments about the acceptability and/or tolerability of such risks should be based on an evaluation of the likely societal impact of potential hazards, defined in terms of the expected changes in the capabilities of individuals. Capabilities refer to the functionings, or valuable doings and beings, individuals are able to achieve given available personal, material, and social (...) resources. The likely impact of a hazard on individuals’ capabilities should, we argue, be compared against two separate thresholds. The first threshold specifies the minimum level of capabilities attainment that is acceptable in principle for individuals to have in the aftermath of a hazard over any period of time. This threshold captures the level that individuals’ capabilities ideally should not fall below. A risk is acceptable if the probability that the attained capabilities will be less than the acceptable level is sufficiently small. In practice, it can be tolerable for some individuals to temporarily fall below the acceptable threshold, provided this situation of lower capabilities attainment is temporary, reversible, and the probability that capabilities will fall below a tolerability threshold is sufficiently small. This second, tolerable threshold delimits an absolute minimum level of capabilities attainment below which no individual in a society should ever fall, regardless of whether that level of capabilities attainment is temporary or reversible. In this paper, we describe and justify this Capabilitiesbased Approach to the acceptability and tolerability of risks. We argue that the proposed theoretical framework avoids the limitations in current approaches to.. (shrink)
Following extended periods of conflict or repression, political reconciliation is indispensable to the establishment or restoration of democratic relationships and critical to the pursuit of peacemaking globally. In this important new book, ColleenMurphy offers an innovative analysis of the moral problems plaguing political relationships under the strain of civil conflict and repression. Focusing on the unique moral damage that attends the deterioration of political relationships, Murphy identifies the precise kinds of repair and transformation that processes of (...) political reconciliation ought to promote. Building on this analysis, she proposes a normative model of political relationships. A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation delivers an original account of the failure and restoration of political relationships, which will be of interest to philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, and all those who are interested in transitional justice, global politics, and democracy. (shrink)
It is often argued that the rule of law is only instrumentally morally valuable, valuable when and to the extent that a legal system is used to purse morally valuable ends. In this paper, I defend Lon Fuller’s view that the rule of law has conditional non-instrumental as well as instrumental moral value. I argue, along Fullerian lines, that the rule of law is conditionally non-instrumentally valuable in virtue of the way a legal system structures political relationships. The rule of (...) law specifies a set of requirements which lawmakers must respect if they are to govern legally. As such, the rule of law restricts the illegal or extra-legal use of power. When a society rules by law, there are clear rules articulating the behavior appropriate for citizens and officials. Such rules ideally determine the particular contours political relationships will take. When the requirements of the rule of law are respected, the political relationships structured by the legal system constitutively express the moral values of reciprocity and respect for autonomy. The rule of law is instrumentally valuable, I argue, because in practice the rule of law limits the kind of injustice which governments pursue. There is in practice a deeper connection between ruling by law and the pursuit of moral ends than advocates of the standard view recognize. The next part of this paper outlines Lon Fuller’s conception of the rule of law and his explanation of its moral value. The third.. (shrink)
Political reconciliation involves the repairing of damaged political relationships. This paper considers the possibility and moral justifiability of pursuing political reconciliation in the aftermath of systematic and egregious wrongdoing, in particular genocide. The first two sections discuss what political reconciliation specifically requires. I argue that it neither entails nor necessitates forgiveness. Rather, I claim, political reconciliation should be conceptualized as the (re-)establishment of Fullerian mutual respect for the rule of law. When a society governs by law, publicly declared legal rules (...) establish clear and practicable standards for behavior which are enforced in practice. Subjects of the law thus can form stable and reasonable predictions of how other citizens and officials will respond to their actions. After explaining why this analysis of political reconciliation is compelling, the third section spells out the implications of my analysis for determining the possibility of achieving and the justifiability of pursuing political reconciliation. (shrink)
The book has two parts. The first looks at the destructive use to which Descartes puts the method of doubt. But this is just half the story since, according to Broughton, Descartes also uses the method of doubt constructively. The second part of the book takes up the constructive use. Both uses fit into an overarching claim that is set out in the introduction. According to this claim, Descartes employs the method of doubt in order to establish fundamental metaphysical claims (...) – or, as he says, claims of first philosophy (recall Descartes’s title: Meditations on First Philosophy). These include: God exists, we ought to assent only to what we clearly and distinctly perceive, the essential attribute of matter is extension, the essential attribute of the human mind is thought, and sense experience allows us to know the primary qualities of material objects. This metaphysical interpretation of the method’s aim is contrasted with others: that the aim is to secure some form of high-grade knowledge, to clear the way for Descartes’s mechanistic physics, to refute the skepticism of the day, and to free the mind from the senses so we can think better about supersensible entities. Broughton cites passages in support of each interpretation. As her survey shows, there is (at least) decent textual support for each interpretation. Perhaps then the method of doubt is multi-purposed. After all, there is no obvious incompatibility between any two or more of the aims – so why take the various interpretations as competing with one another? Unfortunately, Broughton doesn’t say. (shrink)
The operations and processes that the human brain employs to achieve fast visual categorization remain a matter of debate. A first issue concerns the timing and place of rapid visual categorization and to what extent it can be performed with an early feed-forward pass of information through the visual system. A second issue involves the categorization of stimuli that do not reach visual awareness. There is disagreement over the degree to which these stimuli activate the same early mechanisms as stimuli (...) that are consciously perceived. We employed continuous flash suppression, EEG recordings and machine learning techniques to study visual categorization of seen and unseen stimuli. Our classifiers were able to predict from the EEG recordings the category of stimuli on seen trials but not on unseen trials. Rapid categorization of conscious images could be detected around 100 ms on the occipital electrodes, consistent with a fast, feed-forward mechanism of target detection. For the invisible stimuli, however, continuous flash suppression eliminated all traces of early processing. Our results support the idea of a fast mechanism of categorization and suggest that this early categorization process plays an important role in later, more subtle categorizations and perceptual processes. (shrink)
I seek to step back from the discussion of what it is that confers meaning and concentrate rather on the issue of our reasons to search for meaning. I seek to show that we always have reason to search for meaning, and that this is the case even if we are in a crisis that has rendered us ignorant of what it is that could make the rest of our life worthwhile. Consider: even if presented with an argument that has (...) mean- inglessness as its conclusion, one always has reason to investigate either the premises or the validity of the argument. (shrink)
This book explores how some word meanings are paradigmatically related to each other, for example, as opposites or synonyms, and how they relate to the mental organization of our vocabularies. Traditional approaches claim that such relationships are part of our lexical knowledge (our "dictionary" of mentally stored words) but Lynne Murphy argues that lexical relationships actually constitute our "metalinguistic" knowledge. The book draws on a century of previous research, including word association experiments, child language, and the use of synonyms (...) and antonyms in text. (shrink)
Natural law is a perennial though poorly represented and understood issue in political philosophy and the philosophy of law. Mark C. Murphy argues that the central thesis of natural law jurisprudence--that law is backed by decisive reasons for compliance--sets the agenda for natural law political philosophy, which demonstrates how law gains its binding force by way of the common good of the political community. Murphy's work ranges over the central questions of natural law jurisprudence and political philosophy, including (...) the formulation and defense of the natural law jurisprudential thesis, the nature of the common good, the connection between the promotion of the common good and requirement of obedience to law, and the justification of punishment. (shrink)
Is there a limit to the legitimate demands of morality? In particular, is there a limit to people's responsibility to promote the well-being of others, either directly or via social institutions? Utilitarianism admits no such limit, and is for that reason often said to be an unacceptably demanding moral and political view. In this original new study, Murphy argues that the charge of excessive demands amounts to little more than an affirmation of the status quo. The real problem with (...) utilitarianism is that it makes unfair demands on people who comply with it in our world of nonideal compliance. Murphy shows that this unfairness does not arise on a collective understanding of our responsibility for others' well being. Thus, according to Murphy, while there is no general problem to be raised about the extent of moral demands, there is a pressing need to acknowledge the collective nature of the demands of beneficence. (shrink)
In this revised edition, two distinguished philosophers have extended and strengthened the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While retaining their comprehensive coverage of classical and modern theory, Murphy and Coleman have added new discussions of the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence, and they have strengthened their treatment of natural law theory, criminalization, and the law of torts. The chapter on law and economics remains the best short introduction to that difficult, controversial, (...) and influential topic.Students will appreciate the careful organization and clear presentation of complicated issues as well as the emphasis on the relevance of both law and legal theory to contemporary society. (shrink)
The Neuroethics Affinity Group of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) met for the third time in October 2007 to review progress in the field of neuroethics and consider high-impact priorities for the future. Closely aligned with ASBH's own goals of recruiting junior scholars to bioethics and mentoring them to successful careers, the Neuroethics Affinity Group placed a call for new ideas to be presented at the Group meeting, specifically by junior attendees. One group responded with the idea (...) to probe a new direction for neuroethics focused on the neuroscience of gender differences. In the spirit of full disclosure, two of the authors are a student (Chalfin) and fellow (Murphy) of the program I formerly directed at Stanford University. The third (Karkazis) is junior faculty there. The intellectual ownership of the ideas in the report below, however, are entirely theirs. Like lit torches in a juggling act, there are many directions this project can go. The report is a snapshot of these authors' first iteration of the concept of women's neuroethics. Many thanks are extended to participants of the ASBH Neuroethics Affinity Group meeting whose enthusiasm and feedback was immensely helpful in shaping the concept and moving it ahead. - Judy Illes, Editor AJOB-Neuroscience. (shrink)
Are humans composed of a body and a nonmaterial mind or soul, or are we purely physical beings? Opinion is sharply divided over this issue. In this clear and concise book, Nancey Murphy argues for a physicalist account, but one that does not diminish traditional views of humans as rational, moral, and capable of relating to God. This position is motivated not only by developments in science and philosophy, but also by biblical studies and Christian theology. The reader is (...) invited to appreciate the ways in which organisms are more than the sum of their parts. That higher human capacities such as morality, free will, and religious awareness emerge from our neurobiological complexity and develop through our relation to others, to our cultural inheritance, and, most importantly, to God. Murphy addresses the questions of human uniqueness, religious experience, and personal identity before and after bodily resurrection. (shrink)
Does God's existence make a difference to how we explain morality? Mark C. Murphy critiques the two dominant theistic accounts of morality--natural law theory and divine command theory--and presents a novel third view. He argues that we can value natural facts about humans and their good, while keeping God at the centre of our moral explanations. The characteristic methodology of theistic ethics is to proceed by asking whether there are features of moral norms that can be adequately explained only (...) if we hold that such norms have some sort of theistic foundation. But this methodology, fruitful as it has been, is one-sided. God and Moral Law proceeds not from the side of the moral norms, so to speak, but from the God side of things: what sort of explanatory relationship should we expect between God and moral norms given the existence of the God of orthodox theism? Mark C. Murphy asks whether the conception of God in orthodox theism as an absolutely perfect being militates in favour of a particular view of the explanation of morality by appeal to theistic facts. He puts this methodology to work and shows that, surprisingly, natural law theory and divine command theory fail to offer the sort of explanation of morality that we would expect given the existence of the God of orthodox theism. Drawing on the discussion of a structurally similar problem--that of the relationship between God and the laws of nature--Murphy articulates his new account of the relationship between God and morality, one in which facts about God and facts about nature cooperate in the explanation of moral law. (shrink)
This collection of essays presents Jeffrie G. Murphy's most recent ideas on punishment, forgiveness, and the emotions of resentment, shame, guilt, remorse, love, and jealousy. In Murphy's view, conscious rationales of principle -- such as crime control or giving others what in justice they deserve -- do not always drive our decisions to punish or condemn others for wrongdoing. Sometimes our decisions are in fact driven by powerful and rather base emotions such as malice, spite, envy, and cruelty. (...) But our decisions to punish or condemn can also be driven by noble emotions. Indeed, if we punish to express the justified resentment and indignation that decent people feel toward the wronging of a human being, punishment and condemnation can be seen acts of love. Once we realize the vital roles that emotions can play in punishment and other forms of condemnation, we can explore them in a variety of important ways. Jealousy sometimes causes crimes, forgiveness allows us to overcome resentment, and mercy - inspired by compassion-- limits the severity of punishment. All these emotions may be called "moral emotions"-meaning simply that they are emotions that essentially involve a moral belief. The essays in this collection explore, from philosophical and religious perspectives, a variety of moral emotions and their relationship to punishment and condemnation or to decisions to lessen punishment or condemnation. Those interested in ethics, philosophy of law, and the nature and role of the emotions, will find much of interest in these essays by this highly distinguished scholar. -/- "This volume brings together a number of Jeffrie Murphy's ground-breaking essays of the last twelve years on an impressive range of deeply important issues: the moral emotions (in particular, resentment, shame, jealousy, and remorse); forgiveness and mercy; the foundations of the theory of punishment; and the nature of dignity. Murphy's wonderfully clear and perceptive essays are indispensable for anyone interested in these and related topics." - Charles L. Griswold, Boston University -/- "In this new collection of exceptionally stimulating essays a distinguished philosopher engages topics of great interest to philosophers and non-philosophers alike - the nature of guilt, shame, remorse, forgiveness, repentance, love, jealousy, punishment and their roles in our lives. Few philosophers, until relatively recently, directed any sustained attention to these significant aspects of our lives. Murphy's essays go a substantial distance toward remedying this neglect. His approach is analytic; his arguments are clearly presented; his style is personal and engaging; insights are frequently accompanied by apposite quotes from poetry and fiction. There is an appealing humility and openness to the views of others. Readers will be drawn in by both the drama of his engagement with his earlier views that he now finds wanting as well as the ongoing drama of his responses to others with whom he disagrees. There is no plodding through arid discourse in order to uncover jewels in this work. This is philosophy done in a manner that promotes both knowledge and enjoyment." - Herbert Morris, University of California at Los Angeles -/- "Jeffrie Murphy has compiled a collection of influential essays that will be important across disciplines and relevant to the way we understand -- and more importantly treat -- moral transgressors and their victims. In his typically elegant, literary, and humorous style Murphy examines such moral emotions as sympathy, compassion, forgiveness, resentment, and vengeance, getting to the heart of the philosophical dilemmas in a way that speaks to the lived lives of victims and wrong-doers. His thinking is both clear and brilliant, and he expresses it here in inspired and satisfying arguments." - Sharon Lamb, Chair & Distinguished Professor of Mental Health, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston -/- "Over the past forty years, Jeffrie Murphy has been our surest and sagest guide across the contested boundary lines between law and morality, crime and sin, retribution and rehabilitation. This volume not only reveals his trademark erudition in exploring the most fundamental questions of crime and punishment. It also shows the humility of a wise and seasoned scholar, who has come to a new appreciation for the moral emotions of resentment, guilt, remorse, and shame, and their constructive role in fostering forgiveness, reformation, and reconciliation among criminals and their victims. You cannot read this volume without being persuaded by its argument and moved by its passion." - John Witte, Jr., Emory -/- "This welcome new collection of essays displays all the virtues that we have come to expect from Murphy's work: a distinctive voice, a sensitivity to the acute moral problems posed by our practices of punishment, illuminating discussions informed by a lucid philosophical and moral imagination. It makes more widely available Murphy's further thoughts on such central concepts as guilt, remorse, retribution, repentance, forgiveness, mercy and dignity, and should confirm his standing as one of the most interesting contemporary writers on criminal law and its moral foundations." -Antony Duff, University of Stirling. (shrink)
Murphy, Elysia Government funds should not be used to endorse religion in state schools. The presence of chaplains and scripture teachers in public schools diminishes the secularity of the state school system. Given the plethora of faith-based schools for families seeking a religious education, it is not unreasonable for non-religious families to expect a secular education from the government sector.
We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for (...) harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us? The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted. Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny everyday problem. (shrink)
The idea of radical pedagogy is connected to the ideals of social justice and democracy and also to the ethical demands of love, care and human flourishing, an emotional context that is sometimes forgotten in discussions of power and inequality. Both this emotional context and also the emphasis on politics can be found in the writings of Paolo Freire, someone who has provided much inspiration for radical pedagogy over the years. However, Freire did not create any explicit ethical foundation (...) for radical pedagogy. This paper argues that, when constructing normative grounds for radical pedagogy, Habermas’s discourse ethics can be an important source, with the caveat that discourse ethics on its own is not sufficient grounding enough where radical pedagogy is concerned. Habermasian critical theory should be supplemented with Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition, as Freire’s focus on love and human flourishing corresponds well with Honneth’s theory’s three modes of recognition: love, rights and respect (solidarity stemming from mutual relations of respect). (shrink)
For psychologists and psychotherapists, the notion of forgiveness has been enjoying a substantial vogue. For their patients, it holds the promise of "moving on" and healing emotional wounds. The forgiveness of others - and of one's self - would seem to offer the kind of peace that psychotherapy alone has never been able to provide. In this volume, psychologist Sharon Lamb and philosopher Jeffrie Murphy argue that forgiveness has been accepted as a therapeutic strategy without serious, critical examination. They (...) intend this volume to be a closer, critical look at some of these questions: why is forgiveness so popular now? What exactly does it entail? When might it be appropriate for a therapist not to advise forgiveness? When is forgiveness in fact harmful? Lamb and Murphy have collected many previously-unpublished chapters by both philosophers and psychologists that examine what is at stake for those who are injured, those who injure them, and society in general when such a practice becomes commonplace. Some chapters offer cautionary tales about forgiveness therapy, while others paint complex portraits of the social, cultural, and philosophical factors that come into play with forgiveness. The value of this volume lies not only in its presentation of a nuanced view of this therapeutic trend, but also as a general critique of psychotherapy, and as a valuable testimony of the theoretical and practical possibilities in an interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophy and clinical psychology. (shrink)
Nature, Social Relations and Human Needs Content Type Journal Article Category Review Pages 510-514 DOI 10.1558/jcr.v11i4.510 Authors Raymond Murphy, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa, 120 University (8061), Ottawa ON K1N6N5 Canada Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 4 / 2012.
Alasdair MacIntyre's writings on ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of the social sciences and the history of philosophy have established him as one of the philosophical giants of the last fifty years. His best-known book, After Virtue (1981), spurred the profound revival of virtue ethics. Moreover, MacIntyre, unlike so many of his contemporaries, has exerted a deep influence beyond the bounds of academic philosophy. This volume focuses on the major themes of MacIntyre's work with critical expositions of MacIntyre's (...) views on the history of philosophy, the role of tradition in philosophical inquiry, the philosophy of the social sciences, moral philosophy, political theory, and his critique of the assumptions and institutions of modernity. Written by a distinguished roster of philosophers, this volume will have a wide appeal outside philosophy to students in the social sciences, law, theology, and political theory. Mark C. Murphy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. He is author of Natural Law and Practical Rationality (Cambridge, 2001) and An Essay on Divine Authority (Cornell, 2002), as well as of a number of articles on natural law theory, political obligation, and Hobbes' moral, political, and legal philosophy. His papers have appeared in Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Nous, Faith and Philosophy, Law and Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, the Thomist, and elsewhere. (shrink)
The term postmodern is generally used to refer to current work in philosophy, literary criticism, and feminist thought inspired by Continental thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida. In this book, Nancey Murphy appropriates the term to describe emerging patterns in Anglo-American thought and to indicate their radical break from the thought patterns of Enlightened modernity.The book examines the shift from modern to postmodern in three areas: epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. Murphy contends that whole clusters (...) of terms in each of these disciplines have taken on new uses in the past fifty years and that these changes have radical consequences for all areas of academia, especially in philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and ethics. (shrink)
"Original and wide-ranging, Murphy's discerning and important study is another reminder that America is 'the nation with the soul of a church.'" -Journal of American History -/- "A wide-ranging and thoughtful meditation on how the theo-political stories we Americans tell ourselves resonate with and sometimes even create the communities we inhabit. This book deserves an honored place among the oeuvre of work by political scientists and historians on the jeremiad." -- Politics and Religion -/- "A significant contribution to the (...) historical account of the role of religion in American politics." --Perspectives on Politics -/- "Prodigal Nation is a careful account of how theologies function politically and deserves attention from political scientists, political theologians, American historians, and others interested in the interface of religion and culture." --Religious Studies Review -/- "This highly original and wonderfully written analysis will be invaluable to anyone interested in the meaning of America." --Harry S. Stout, author of The New England Soul and Upon the Altar of the Nation -/- "A brilliant analysis of the American jeremiad. Elegant, powerful, hopeful, and wise - Prodigal Nation is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the fitful history of the American spirit." --James A. Morone, author of Hellfire Nation and The Democratic Wish. (shrink)
When first published twenty years ago, The Logic of Medicine presented a new way of thinking about clinical medicine as a scholarly discipline as well as a profession. Since then, advances in research and technology have revolutionized both the practice and theory of medicine. In this new, extensively rewritten edition, Dr. Murphy includes changes to show how these different areas of scholarship may affect details of "the logic of medicine" without compromising its fundamental coherence. New to this edition are (...) discussions of the challenge of the flood of new empirical data, new ideas in genetics, molecular biology, homeostasis, pathogenesis, cancer, aging, and Alzheimer's disease. Murphy also comments on such new theoretical topics as dynamic systems, chaos, and fractals and their impact on the burgeoning fields of philosophy and practice of medicine. Written with medical students in mind, the book includes a glossary, many new examples, and problems for solutions with comments on each. An entirely new chapter deals with modeling. Clinicians and researchers will also find the principles thought-provoking and illuminating. (shrink)
Thus far in the development of the discipline of medical ethics, the overriding concern has been with solutions to specific problems. But discussion is hampered by lack of understanding of the scope and methodology of medical ethics, and its scientific and philosophical basis. In Underpinnings of Medical Ethics Edmond A. Murphy, James J. Butzow, and Edward L. Suarez-Murias offer much-needed clarification of the purview, ontological basis, and methodology of a medical ethics that is to be comprehensive and yet readily (...) accepted by all. The authors begin by describing the scope of the analysis and discussing possible ethical systems and paradigms. They then deal with the structures and concepts necessary in the formulation of a coherent philosophy: normality and disease, scientific and juridical law, certainty and certitude, decisions. Finally, they introduce particular human dimensions, such as quality of life, pain, and responsibility. Throughout, case examples illustrate the authors' theoretical framework. (shrink)
In a world rife with civic failure, we've seen an increasing interest in the question of how to restore civic communities after they have failed. Much of that answer must come from the social sciences, of course, but philosophy has an important contribution to make: it can provide a normative theory of political community, one that outlines the characteristics of a good political community. Without such a theory, we have no basis for the claim that reconciliation is desirable in the (...) first place and no way to evaluate whether proposed efforts toward political reconciliation are moving things in the right direction. ColleenMurphy's A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation provides exactly such a theory. (shrink)
While nothing justiﬁes atrocity, many perpetrators manifest cognitive impairments that profoundly degrade their capacity for moral judgment, and such impairments, we shall argue, preclude the attribution of moral responsibility.
Principles of bcnciiccnce require us to promote the good. If we believe that a plausible mom] conception will contain some such principle, we must address the issue of the demands it imposes on agents. Some writers have defended extremely demanding principles, while others have argued that only principles with limited demands are acceptable. In this paper I su ggest that we 100k at the demands 0f beneficencc in a different way; 0ur concern should not just be with the extent of (...) the demands faced by individual agents. Instead, we should consider how the demands imposed Ol'] an agent by a principle of beneiiccncc are affected by the level of compliance with the principle by others. Act—email@example.com, for example, in effect requires each complying agent to shoulder her share of the demands of bcncficcnce plus as many of the shares of noncomplying agents as would be optimal. I suggest that we focus OH this feature ofconsequentialism, and not just on the very high demands it can impose Ol'] individual agents. Thus I defend the View that principles of beneiicence should not demand more of agents as expected compliance by othcr agents decreases, and formulate a principle of bencficcnce that meets this condition. This View about beneiicence and compliance is supported by a particular conception 0f beneiiccnce. Rather than as an aim we each have as individuals, benciicence could be understood as a cooperative project, where each of us aims to promote the good together with others. If s0, it would be natural t.. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a ground swell of interest in the application of evolutionary theory to issues in psychopathology (Nesse & Williams 1995, Stevens & Price 1996, McGuire & Troisi 1998). Much of this work has been aimed at finding adaptationist explanations for a variety of mental disorders ranging from phobias to depression to schizophrenia. There has, however, been relatively little discussion of the implications that the theories proposed by evolutionary psychologists might have for the classification of mental disorders. This (...) is the theme we propose to explore. We'll begin, in Section 2, by providing a brief overview of the account of the mind advanced by evolutionary psychologists. In Section 3 we'll explain why issues of taxonomy are important and why the dominant approach to the classification of mental disorders is radically and alarmingly unsatisfactory. We will also indicate why we think an alternative approach, based on theories in evolutionary psychology, is particularly promising. In Section 4 we'll try to illustrate some of the virtues of the evolutionary psychological approach to classification. The discussion in Section 4 will highlight a quite fundamental distinction between those disorders that arise from the malfunction of a component of the mind and those that can be traced to the fact that our minds must now function in environments that are very different from the environments in which they evolved. This mis-match between the current and ancestral environments can, we maintain, give rise to serious mental disorders despite the fact that, in one important sense, there is nothing at all wrong with the people suffering the disorder. Their minds are functioning exactly as Mother Nature intended them to. In Section 5, we'll give a brief overview of some of the ways in which the sorts of malfunctions catalogued in Section 4 might arise, and sketch two rather different strategies for incorporating this etiologically. (shrink)
This book is a collection of materials concerned not only with the law of evidence, but also with the logical and rhetorical aspects of proof; the epistemology of evidence as a basis for the proof of disputed facts; and scientific aspects of the subject. The editor also raises issues such as the philosophical basis for the use of evidence.
Philosophy of psychiatry has boomed in the last few years. We are now seeing a growing literature on the nature of psychiatric explanation, including work that makes contact with longstanding disputes in the philosophy of science as well as more specific work on mental disorders. This paper looks at some recent work on both representing and explaining mental illness. An emerging picture sees explanation of mental disorder as first constructing causal-statistical networks that represent disease pathways as they unfold in time, (...) and then choosing strategies for causal explanation. The epistemic problems in psychiatry are huge, and they arise from the extreme variety in the causes and trajectories of mental disorders across patients. Existing concepts of levels of explanation and mechanism may seem like an obvious epistemic armoury, but they may not fit psychiatry very well, and philosophical theories of psychiatric explanation stress different ways of trying to understand robust patterns amid the individual variation. (shrink)
Introduction: New approaches to knotty old problems -- Avoiding Cartesian materialism -- From causal reductionism to self-directed systems -- From mindless to intelligent action -- How can neural nets mean? -- How does reason get its grip on the brain? -- Who's responsible? -- Neurobiological reductionism and free will.