This paper contrasts two approaches to agentive self-awareness: a high-level, narrative-based account, and a low-level comparator-based account. We argue that an agent's narrative self-conception has a role to play in explaining their agentive judgments, but that agentive experiences are explained by low-level comparator mechanisms that are grounded in the very machinery responsible for action-production.
I here present some doubts about whether Mandik’s (2010) proposed intermediacy and recurrence constraints are necessary and sufficient for agentive experience. I also argue that in order to vindicate the conclusion that agentive experience is an exclusively perceptual phenomenon (Prinz, 2007), it is not enough to show that the predictions produced by forward models of planned motor actions are conveyed by mock sensory signals. Rather, it must also be shown that the outputs of “comparator” mechanisms that compare these predictions against (...) actual sensory feedback are also coded in a perceptual representational format. (shrink)
I compare Frith and colleagues’ influential comparator account of how the sense of agency is elicited to the multifactorial weighting model advocated by Synofzik and colleagues. I defend the comparator model from the common objection that the actual sensory consequences of action are not needed to elicit the sense of agency. I examine the comparator model’s ability to explain the performance of healthy subjects and those suffering from delusions of alien control on various self-attribution tasks. It transpires that the comparator (...) model needs case-by-case adjustment to deal with problematic data. In response to this, the multifactorial weighting model of Synofzik and colleagues is introduced. Although this model is incomplete, it is more naturally constrained by the cases that are problematic for the comparator model. However, this model may be untestable. I conclude that currently the comparator model approach has stronger support than the multifactorial weighting model approach. (shrink)
The Grammar of Criminal Law is a 3-volume work that addresses the field of international and comparative criminal law, with its primary focus on the issues of international concern, ranging from genocide, to domestic efforts to combat terrorism, to torture, and to other international crimes. The first volume is devoted to foundational issues. The Grammar of Criminal Law is unique in its systematic emphasis on the relationship between language and legal theory; there is no comparable comparative study of legal language. (...) Written in the spirit of Fletcher's classic Rethinking Criminal Law, this work is essential reading in the field of international and comparative law. (shrink)
Even as dismissive of pursuing Comparative Philosophy for achieving East-West synthesis in philosophy, the author maintains the need for “open philosophizing.” “Open philosophizing” is one characterized by dialogical openness to culturally diverse philosophical traditions and thought-patterns.
Comparative genomicists seem to be convinced that the unit of measurement employed in their studies is a gene that drives the function of cells and ultimately organisms. As a result, they have come to some substantive conclusions about how similar humans are to other organisms based on the percentage of genetic makeup they share. I argue that the actual unit of measurement employed in the studies corresponds to a structural rather than a functional gene concept, thus rendering many of the (...) implications drawn from comparative genomic studies largely unwarranted, if not completely mistaken. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Utah, 215 South Central Campus Drive, Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, 4th Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Philosophical anthropologist Mircea Eliade once said that "the union of opposites" is a basic category of archaic ontology and comparative world religions. In this paper I develop the theory of contrariety or opposition as a prime focus for East/West comparative philosophy. The paper considers especially Nishida Kitaro's later works and the complex phrase "zettai mujuntekijikodbitsu," variously translated by Schinzinger as "absolute contradictory self-identity," "the self-identity of absolute contradictories," or more simply as "oneness" or "unity" of opposites.
Recently, many philosophers and psychologists have claimed that the explanation that grounds both passivity phenomena in the cognitive domain and passivity phenomena that occur with respect to overt actions is, along broad lines, the same. Furthermore, they claim that the best account we have of such phenomena in both scenarios is the “comparator” account. However, there are reasons to doubt whether the comparator model can be exported from the realm of overt actions to the cognitive domain in general. There is (...) a lingering worry concerning such explanations of thought insertion: the "What is compared to what?" problem. Here I examine two ways to tackle this problem. First: thought insertion consists of the misattribution of strings of inner speech which are not attenuated (thought insertion is thus another name for auditory verbal hallucinations). Second: thought insertion is misattributed inner speech which exhibits the same phenomenological characteristics as normal inner speech. After explaining the types of problem that each of these potential solutions faces, I conclude with a set of open questions that the comparator theorist has to tackle. (shrink)
This bibliography is the culmination of four years' work by a team of noted scholars; its annotated entries are organized by religious tradition and cover each tradition's central concepts, offering a judicious selection of primary and secondary works as well as recommendations of cross-cultural topics to be explored. Specialists in the history and literature of religions and comparative religion will find this bibliography a valuable research tool.
This paper distinguished different analytical approaches to the evaluation of the sustainability of large-scale land acquisitions—at both the conceptual and methodological levels. First, at the conceptual level, evaluation of the sustainability of land acquisitions depends on what definition of sustainability is adopted—strong or weak sustainability. Second, a lack of comparative empirical methods in many studies has limited the identification of causal factors affecting sustainability. An empirical investigation into the sustainability of land acquisitions in Tanzania that employs these existing concepts in (...) a methodologically rigorous manner offers an opportunity to more clearly addresses ethical questions surrounding international land acquisitions. My findings indicate that it should not be assumed that sustainability necessarily hinges on issues of strong sustainability, particularly that all village lands represent critical natural capital. As a result of its unique history of Ujamaa villagization, Tanzania villages often have ownership of significant tracts of unused land that mitigates the risk of violating conditions of strong sustainability. Issues of weak sustainability appear to be more important to villagers—particularly the degree of man-made capital benefits derived from projects. While compensation rates for lands acquired were low and the process lacked transparency, low compensation rates are not sufficient grounds for rejecting land acquisitions as unsustainable. When projects deliver significant man-made capital benefits, low compensation rates were not a politically salient issue amongst villagers. Finally, results suggest that some prioritization of man-made capital over biodiversity can be ethically defensible when the decision-making process goes through legitimate village government bodies and benefits reach poor villagers. (shrink)
This paper looks at one area of potential crosslinguistic variation in comparatives. It has recently been claimed that Japanese clausal comparatives lack degree abstraction structures in the complement of yori ‘than’. Based on data from several empirical domains such as predicative adjectival comparatives, intensional contexts, and negative islands, this paper shows that Japanese clausal comparatives do not in general contrast with their English counterparts in the way predicted by the above claim. The syntactic and semantic phenomena observed in Japanese clausal (...) comparatives receive straightforward accounts if we assume that they do involve degree abstraction and degree comparison, along the lines familiar from analyses of their English counterparts. (shrink)
This volume for the first time brings the scholarly discipline of comparative religious ethics into constructive collaboration with the community of interreligious dialogue. Its design is premised on two important insights. First, interreligious dialogue offers to comparative religious ethics a new, more persuasive rationale, agenda of issues, and practical orientation. Second, comparative religious ethics offers to interreligious dialogue an arsenal of critical tools and methods which will enhance the sophistication of its practical work. In this way, both theory (a dominant (...) concern and strength of comparative religious ethics) and praxis (a dominant concern and strength of interreligious moral dialogue) are joined together in mutual effort, each contributing to the benefit of the other.The volume’s contributors share this vision of collaboration, drawing explicitly from both communities of discourse in a manner that crosses disciplinary and professional boundaries to deal creatively and constructively with important methodological and global moral issue. Although theory and practice cannot easily be separated in such a collaborative project, for the purpose of clarity, the volume is divided into two main parts. The first specifically engages questions of method, theory, and the social role of the public intellectual; the second, on substantive moral themes and issues, many of which were raised at the 1993 Parliament. Taken together, the volume’s essays articulate and illustrate new ways of approaching contemporary moral concerns cross-culturally yet with a rigor appropriate to our complex and pluralistic world. (shrink)
This paper argues that a comparative study of the idea of a sense of justice in the work of John Rawls and the early Chinese philosopher Kongzi is mutually beneficial to our understanding of the thought of both figures. It also aims to provide an example of the relevance of moral psychology for basic questions in political philosophy. The paper offers an analysis of Rawls’s account of a sense of justice and its place within his theory of justice, focusing on (...) the features of this capacity and how it develops. It then provides an account of the sense of justice in Kongzi’s thought as it is seen in the Analects. Finally, it shows how examining the similarities and differences between the two accounts can deepen our understanding of both views, as well as our appreciation for the importance of understanding how a sense of justice develops. (shrink)
It is sometimes argued that the study of grammar is irrelevant or unimportant in the business of comparative philosophy, or that it ought to be avoided in favor of methods that presuppose a strongly pragmatic point of view. In this regard, some philosophers have expressed skepticism about whether facts about grammar have anything to offer in the adjudication of competing theories of interpretation or translation. This essay argues that a strongly pragmatic orientation in comparative philosophy invariably overlooks an important role (...) that the study of grammar can play in shedding light on the nature of intention and communicative practice, and that an essential part of the methodology of comparative philosophy should involve a grammatical approach to interpretation and translation. These points are supported by a semantical analysis of passages from Confucius’ Analects that clarifies the relationship between illocutionary force and grammatical mood. (shrink)
Jizang (549−623 CE), the key philosophical exponent of the Sanlun tradition of Chinese Buddhism, based his philosophy considerably on his reading of the works of Nāgārjuna (c. 150−250 CE), the founder of the Indian Madhyamaka school. However, although Jizang sought to follow Nāgārjuna closely, there are salient features in his thought on language that are notably absent from Nāgārjuna’s works. In this paper, I present a philosophical analysis of Jizang’s views of the relationship between speech and silence and compare them (...) with those of Nāgārjuna. I first elaborate on Nāgārjuna’s doctrine of twofold truth and discuss his thought concerning the relationship between language and ineffable quiescence. I then examine Jizang’s interpretation of the doctrine. Thereafter, I distinguish silence qua teaching from silence qua principle and examine Jizang’s views on the relationship between speech and these two kinds of silence. It is shown that while Nāgārjuna leans toward affirming a clear-cut distinction between speech and the ineffable quiescence, Jizang endorses the nonduality of conventional speech and sacred silence. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to outline a conceptual framework for a type of philosophy (or approach to philosophy) to be herein called “non-sentential philosophy.” Although I will primarily concern myself with the conceptual coherence of the framework in this essay, illustrations will be provided to show that the notion has rich implications for comparative studies. In particular, I believe this theoretical framework will be of interest to those looking for a way to capture the differences between certain non-Western (...) philosophical traditions—such as Chinese philosophy—and Western philosophy, a tradition in which the sentential approach is dominant. (shrink)
Bai, Tongdong 白彤東, New Mission of an Old State: Classical Confucian Political Philosophy in a Contemporary and Comparative Context 舊邦新命: 古今中西參考下的古典儒家政治哲學 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9183-0 Authors Ellen Y. Zhang, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 9 Journal Issue Volume 9, Number 4.
This essay argues that political realism is an effective heuristic for understanding The Book of Lord Shang ( Shangjun Shu 商君書), which it compares to the political thought of Machiavelli and Hobbes. It first lays out the premises of political realism as they emerge from this comparison: the real is the guiding heuristic of political realism; historical change is the fundamental condition; the nature of human beings is selfish but can also form customs favorable to political order. Based on these (...) premises, the essay then discusses the major propositions of political realism: the purpose of central authority is to provide the multitude with the benefits of order and to reward the ruler; the benefits of order warrant the commission of cruel deeds, also called the reason of state in the West; legal and extra-legal actions are the means by which the central authority imposes order and counters contingency; punishment is the primary means to make the laws prevail. The essay closes with considering the question of whether a fully implemented realist order could put an end to historical change. (shrink)
This article explores the connection between the Heng Xian and the Changes of Zhou tradition, especially the “Tuan” and “Attached Verbalizations” commentaries. Two important Heng Xian terms—heng 恆 and fu 復—are also Changes of Zhou hexagrams and possible connections are explored. Second, the Heng Xian account of the creation of names is compared with the “Attached Verbalizations” account of the creation of the Changes of Zhou system. Third, the roles played by knowing and desire in both Heng Xian and the (...) Changes of Zhou tradition are explored, with particular focus on potential points of similarity. Finally, insights gained through these comparisons are used to interpret the Heng Xian advice on initiating action. (shrink)
Split constructions are widespread in natural languages. The separation of the semantic restriction of a quantifier from that quantifier is a typical example of such a construction. This study addresses the problem that such discontinuous strings exhibit--namely, a number of locality constraints, including intervention effects. These are shown to follow from the interaction of a minimalist syntax with a semantics that directly assigns a model-theoretic interpretation to syntactic logical forms. The approach is shown to have wide empirical coverage and a (...) conceptual simplicity. The book will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of syntax and semantics. (shrink)
Introduction: dimensions of inquiry -- Speaker intent and convention; linguistic meaning and pragmatics; Vagueness and indeterminacy: three topics in the philosophy of language -- Literary interpretation, performance art, and related subjects -- Religious interpretation -- General theories of interpretation -- Starting from the bottom: informal instructions -- The law of agency -- Wills -- Contracts -- Judicial alterations of textual provisions: Cy Pres and relatives -- Conclusion and a comparison.
African ethics in the world -- The primacy of ubuntu in African ethics -- African ethics and Christianity -- African bioethics -- African business ethics -- African ethics and the environment -- African ethics and political transformation.
This text combines discussions of major classical Western philosophical ethical systems (primarily Greek and Judeo-Christian) and, in equal depth, discussions of three non-Western ethical traditions (Indian Buddhist, Chinese Confucian, and Chinese Taoist) in a multi-cultural historical framework.
This article compares the three frameworks for theories of consciousness that are taken most seriously by neuroscientists, the view that consciousness is a biological state of the brain, the global workspace perspective and an account in terms of higher order states. The comparison features the “explanatory gap” (Nagel, 1974; Levine, 1983) the fact that we have no idea why the neural basis of an experience is the neural basis of that experience rather than another experience or no experience at all. (...) It is argued that the biological framework handles the explanatory gap better than the global workspace of higher order views. The article does not discuss quantum theories or “panpsychist” accounts according to which consciousness is a feature of the smallest particles of inorganic matter (Chalmers, 1996; Rosenberg, 2004). Nor does it discuss the “representationist” proposals (Tye, 2000; Byrne, 2001a) that are popular among philosophers but not neuroscientists. (shrink)
What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory of (...) justice. He urges its adoption on the basis of a sustained critique of the former approach, which he calls “transcendental.” In this paper I pursue two tasks, one critical and the other constructive. First, I argue that Sen’s account of the contrast between the transcendental and the comparative approaches is not convincing, and second, I suggest what I take to be a broader and more plausible account of comparative assessments of justice. The core claim is that political philosophers should not shy away from the pursuit of ambitious theories of justice (including, for example, ideal theories of perfect justice), although they should engage in careful consideration of issues of political feasibility bearing on their practical implementation. (shrink)
For many years the evolution of language has been seen as a disreputable topic, mired in fanciful “just so stories” about language origins. However, in the last decade a new synthesis of modern linguistics, cognitive neuroscience and neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has begun to make important contributions to our understanding of the biology and evolution of language. I review some of this recent progress, focusing on the value of the comparative method, which uses data from animal species to draw inferences about (...) language evolution. Discussing speech first, I show how data concerning a wide variety of species, from monkeys to birds, can increase our understanding of the anatomical and neural mechanisms underlying human spoken language, and how bird and whale song provide insights into the ultimate evolutionary function of language. I discuss the “descended larynx” of humans, a peculiar adaptation for speech that has received much attention in the past, which despite earlier claims is not uniquely human. Then I will turn to the neural mechanisms underlying spoken language, pointing out the difficulties animals apparently experience in perceiving hierarchical structure in sounds, and stressing the importance of vocal imitation in the evolution of a spoken language. Turning to ultimate function, I suggest that communication among kin (especially between parents and offspring) played a crucial but neglected role in driving language evolution. Finally, I briefly discuss phylogeny, discussing hypotheses that offer plausible routes to human language from a non-linguistic chimp-like ancestor. I conclude that comparative data from living animals will be key to developing a richer, more interdisciplinary understanding of our most distinctively human trait: language. (shrink)
In the Pre-Qin time, pursuing “Dao” was the main task in the scholarship of most of the ancient Chinese philosophers, while the Ancient Greek philosophers considered pursuing “Truth” as their ultimate goal. While the “Dao” in ancient Chinese texts and the “Truth” in ancient Greek philosophic literature do share or cross-cover certain connotations, there are subtle and important differences between the two comparable philosophic concepts. These differences have deep and profound impact on the later development of Chinese and Western philosophy (...) and culture respectively. Interestingly, while the modern Chinese philosophy has gradually accepted and established the Western conception of “Truth” on its way towards modernization, the “post-modern” Western philosophy is just undergoing a process of deconstructing its traditional concept of “Truth”, thus, in a certain sense, going closer to the traditional Chinese “Dao”. From a comparative, relative and dynamic perspective, there could possibly be a fusion of horizon between the Chinese “Dao” and the Western “Truth”. (shrink)
Abū Hāmid al-Ghazālī (1058–1111 c.e .) is well known, among other things, for his account, in al-Munqidh min al-ḍalāl (Deliverance from error), of a struggle with philosophical skepticism that bears a striking resemblance to that described by Descartes in the Meditations . This essay aims to give a close comparative analysis of these respective accounts, and will concentrate solely on the processes of invoking or entertaining doubt that al-Ghazālī and Descartes describe, respectively. In the process some subtle differences between them (...) in this regard will be brought to light that are relevant to the comparative issue of the respective solutions at which they arrive. The latter issue will not be touched upon here, although the present discussion is intended as a prelude to a future treatment of that topic. (shrink)
In this deeply learned work, Toshihiko Izutsu compares the metaphysical and mystical thought-systems of Sufism and Taoism and discovers that, although historically unrelated, the two share features and patterns which prove fruitful for a transhistorical dialogue. His original and suggestive approach opens new doors in the study of comparative philosophy and mysticism. Izutsu begins with Ibn 'Arabi, analyzing and isolating the major ontological concepts of this most challenging of Islamic thinkers. Then, in the second part of the book, Izutsu turns (...) his attention to an analysis of parallel concepts of two great Taoist thinkers, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. Only after laying bare the fundamental structure of each world view does Izutsu embark, in the final section of the book, upon a comparative analysis. Only thus, he argues, can he be sure to avoid easy and superficial comparisons. Izutsu maintains that both the Sufi and Taoist world views are based on two pivots--the Absolute Man and the Perfect Man--with a whole system of oncological thought being developed between these two pivots. Izutsu discusses similarities in these ontological systems and advances the hypothesis that certain patterns of mystical and metaphysical thought may be shared even by systems with no apparent historical connection. This second edition of Sufism and Taoism is the first published in the United States. The original edition, published in English and in Japan, was prized by the few English-speaking scholars who knew of it as a model in the field of comparative philosophy. Making available in English much new material on both sides of its comparison, Sufism and Taoism richly fulfills Izutsu's motivating desire "to open a new vista in the domain of comparative philosophy.". (shrink)
Before and during the times of Confucius and Aristotle, the concept of friendship had very different implications. This paper compares Confucius’ with Aristotle’s thoughts on friendship from two perspectives: xin 信 (fidelity, faithfulness) and le 乐 (joy). The Analects emphasizes the xin as the basis of friendship. Aristotle holds that there are three kinds of friends and corresponding to them are three types of friendship. In the friendship for the sake of pleasure, there is no xin; in the legal form (...) of friendship for the sake of utility, xin is guaranteed by law; and in the moral form of friendship for the sake of utility, xin is guaranteed by morality; in the friendship for the sake of virtue, xin is an indispensable part. Both thinkers believe friends can bring joy to human life. According to Confucius, it is the joy of rendao 仁道 (benevolence), whereas for Aristotle, it is the joy of Reason. There are many commonalities and differences between the two. The commonalities reveal some inner links between Confucian rendao and Aristotelian Reason. It seems that the differences between rendao and Reason are the differences between moral reason and logical reason. The comparative study is helpful for us to understand the two masters’ ethics, politics and philosophy. (shrink)
Contextualists about knowledge ascriptions perceive an analogy between the semantics they posit for “know(s)” and the semantics of comparative terms like “tall” and “flat”. Jason Stanley has recently raised a number of objections to this view. This paper offers a response by way of an alternative analogy with modified comparatives, which resolves most of Stanley’s objections. Rather than being ad hoc, this new analogy in fact fits better with platitudes about knowledge and facilitates a better understanding of the semantics of (...) gradability, such that an explanation of most of Stanley’s disanalogies becomes available. In addition, I argue that there are reasons to doubt Stanley’s claim that “knows(s)” cannot switch its content within a discourse, due to what may happen when we ascribe knowledge of more than one proposition. (shrink)
Arguments for multiple realization depend on the idea that the same kind of function is realized by different kinds of structures. It is important to such arguments that we know the kinds used in the arguments have been individuated properly. In the philosophical literature, though, claims about how to individuate kinds are frequently decided on intuitive grounds. This paper criticizes this way of approaching kinds by considering how practicing researchers think about the matter. I will consider several examples in which (...) the practice of researchers on comparative vision conflicts with the standard account of these issues. (shrink)
At first glance there seem to be many similarities between Thomas S. Kuhn’s and Ludwik Fleck’s accounts of the development of scientific knowledge. Notably, both pay attention to the role played by the scientific community in the development of scientific knowledge. But putting first impressions aside, one can criticise some philosophers for being too hasty in their attempt to find supposed similarities in the works of the two men. Having acknowledged that Fleck anticipated some of Kuhn’s later theses, there seems (...) to be a temptation in more recent research to equate both theories in important respects. Because of this approach, one has to deal with the problem of comparing the most notable technical terms of both philosophers, namely ‘‘thought style’’ and ‘‘paradigm’’. This paper aims at a more thorough comparison between Ludwik Fleck’s concept of thought style and Thomas Kuhn’s concept of paradigm. Although some philosophers suggest that these two concepts are essentially equal in content, a closer examination reveals that this is not the case. This thesis of inequality will be defended in detail, also taking into account some of the alleged similarities which may be responsible for losing sight of the differences between these theories. (shrink)
Researchers have begun to explore animals' capacities for uncertainty monitoring and metacognition. This exploration could extend the study of animal self-awareness and establish the relationship of self-awareness to other-awareness. It could sharpen descriptions of metacognition in the human literature and suggest the earliest roots of metacognition in human development. We summarize research on uncertainty monitoring by humans, monkeys, and a dolphin within perceptual and metamemory tasks. We extend phylogenetically the search for metacognitive capacities by considering studies that have tested less (...) cognitively sophisticated species. By using the same uncertainty-monitoring paradigms across species, it should be possible to map the phylogenetic distribution of metacognition and illuminate the emergence of mind. We provide a unifying formal description of animals' performances and examine the optimality of their decisional strategies. Finally, we interpret animals' and humans' nearly identical performances psychologically. Low-level, stimulus-based accounts cannot explain the phenomena. The results suggest granting animals a higher-level decision-making process that involves criterion setting using controlled cognitive processes. This conclusion raises the difficult question of animal consciousness. The results show that animals have functional features of or parallels to human conscious cognition. Remaining questions are whether animals also have the phenomenal features that are the feeling/knowing states of human conscious cognition, and whether the present paradigms can be extended to demonstrate that they do. Thus, the comparative study of metacognition potentially grounds the systematic study of animal consciousness. Key Words: cognition; comparative cognition; consciousness; memory monitoring; metacognition; metamemory; self-awareness; uncertainty; uncertainty monitoring. (shrink)
: The treatment of animals and the Holocaust have been compared many times before, but never has a thoroughly detailed comparison been offered. A thirty-nine-point comparison can be constructed, whether or not one believes that animals are oppressed. The question of whether or not the comparison ought to be expressed merely brings into question whether animal liberationists have liberal-democratic rights to express themselves, which they surely do. Four objections are considered: Is the comparison offensive? Does the comparison trivialize what happened (...) to the victims of the Nazis, overlook important differences, or ignore supposed affinities between animal liberationists and Nazis? These four lines of attack are shown to fail. The comparison stands to help us to reflect on the significance of how animals are treated in contemporary times. (shrink)
This paper compares and evaluates two forms of dissent: civil disobedience — protests by citizens against the laws or actions of their government; and whistleblowing — disclosure by employees of illegal, immoral or questionable practices by their employees. Each is identified, the conceptual issues are distinguished from strategic and normative ones and parallel moral questions posed. Should one first dissent within prescribed channels before going outside them? Should one act publicly or is withholding one's identity permissible or desirable? What is (...) the basis and limits for one's loyalty to one's country or employer, and how can transgressing these limits be morally justified? (shrink)
Increasingly the business environment is tending toward a global economy. The current study compares the results of the Attitudes Towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) reported in the literature for samples from the United States of America, Israel, Western Australia, and South Africa to a new sample (n = 125) from Turkey. The results indicate that while there are some shared views towards business ethics across countries, significant differences do exist between Turkey and each of the other countries in the study. (...) Similarities and differences are discussed in terms of the countries' ratings on the Corruption Perceptions Index (as reported by the Internet Center for Corruption Research) and Hofstede's Theory of International Cultures. Recommendations for managers interacting with employees from differing countries are provided. (shrink)
This paper looks at the history of the problem of individuation from Plato to Whitehead. Part I takes as its point of departure Reiner Wiehl’s interpretation of the different meanings of “abstract” in the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and arrives at a corresponding taxonomy of different ways things can be called concrete. Part II compares the way philosophers in different periods understand the relation between thought and intuition. The view mostly associated with ancient philosophy is that thought and sense-perception (...) target different kinds of objects. The view mostly associated with modern philosophy (although it was introduced by the Stoics) is that thought and sense-perception are different ways of targeting the same objects. These differences have specific consequences for theories of individuation, which are assessed historically in Part III and then applied to Whitehead’s difficult texts in part IV. (shrink)
This paper explores a novel analysis of adjectives in the comparative and the positive based on the notion of a trope, rather than the notion of a degree. Tropes are particularized properties, concrete manifestations of properties in individuals. The point of departure is that a sentence like ‘John is happier than Mary’ is intuitively equivalent to ‘John’s happiness exceeds Mary’s happiness’, a sentence that expresses a simple comparison between two tropes, John’s happiness and Mary’s happiness. The analysis received particular support (...) from various parallels between adjectival constructions and corresponding adjective nominalizations which make reference to tropes. (shrink)
The past couple of decades have witnessed a remarkable burst of philosophical energy and talent devoted to virtue ethical approaches to Confucianism, including several books, articles, and even high-profile workshops and conferences that make connections between Confucianism and either virtue ethics as such or moral philosophers widely regarded as virtue ethicists. Those who do not work in the combination of Chinese philosophy and ethics may wonder what all of the fuss is about. Others may be more familiar with the issues (...) but have doubts about the fruitfulness of this line of inquiry. It is therefore worth asking whether a constructive engagement between Confucianism and virtue ethics is worth turning into a significant, multi-generational research agenda. Most answers to this question will fall somewhere between two poles. At one end is the view that the line of inquiry has run its course, if ever there were a course to run in the first place; at the opposite end is the view that we’re only just getting started. And then there is a wide range of more moderate views falling between these two positions. Far from having exhausted the potential of virtue ethical approaches to Confucianism, I think we are standing on a philosophical gold mine that we’ve only just begun to tap. In what follows I would like to explain briefly why I take this to be the case. (shrink)
Professions have adopted ethical codes and codes of conduct. Physicians, lawyers, engineers, and other professionals have moral responsibilities. They know to whom they are responsible. Professionals in the data processing field, too, need to know that they have moral responsibilities and to whom they are responsible. This paper compares and evaluates the ethical codes of four major organizations of computer professionals in America. The analysis is done along the following obligations that every professional has: to society, to the employer, to (...) clients, to colleagues, to the professional organization, and to the profession.Professionals in the information technology field have no single, agreed upon code of conduct. In the US alone there are four organizations promoting four different codes. While some of the behavioral precepts are similar, others are not. People who are members of more than one organization may wonder how they should act in certain circumstances. Furthermore, computer professionals are not provided with any guidance for cases of ethical conflicts. (shrink)
Comparative philosophy has been interested in issues such as whether the familiar Western concepts of the soul and self can be applied in understanding Chinese philosophy about human selfhood and whether there are alternative Chinese modes of thinking about these concepts. I will outline a comparison of the main concerns of the Greeks and Chinese philosophers in their discussion about the soul and self, and examine some of the major comparative theories that are recently developed. The comparative discussion is significant (...) in helping us understand each tradition's views of soul and self in its own terms, and in identifying alternatives to familiar modes of thinking. However, we should avoid looking for simplified uniformity in each tradition and overgeneralizing the contrasts between China and Greece. (shrink)
In this paper I compare two very different deployments of love in ethics. Swami Vivekananda's concept of ethical love ties into the project of constructing an alternative masculinity for a colonized people; while feminist care ethics uses love to escape the perceived masculinity of traditional ethical theory. Using Kenneth Goodpaster's distinction between ‘framework questions’ and ‘application questions,’ I try to show that love in Practical Vedanta addresses the former while feminist care ethics concerns itself with the latter. Even though this (...) difference, I suggest, could be a function of their varying historical-political contexts, the two issues need to be taken together for a more complete understanding of the ethical subject. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill had few illusions about public opinion — it was the opinion of a mass, “that is to say, collective mediocrity” (1977a : 268). Understandably, for Mill the great danger inherent in representative government is that it may be controlled by a “low grade of intelligence” (1977b : 448). A century and a half of inquiry has apparently confirmed Mill’s worry. Philip E. Converse’s landmark study of mass publics (2007a ) found that much of the public did not (...) have meaningful political beliefs, and the beliefs they did hold tend to change capriciously. Converse’s research contrasted the coherent, unified, ideological, beliefs systems of the political elite with amorphous and changing views of the mass public. Subsequent work has confirmed what we might call the mass ignorance hypothesis. According to public choice theory such ignorance is rational. Roughly when a politically rational agent calculates the expected instrumental gains from casting her ballot for her favored party she must compare the expected value of her vote (the extra utility she will receive if her favored party wins times the probability that she will cast a decisive vote) to the cost of voting. It is only rational to vote if the expected gains exceed the costs. But because the probability of casting the decisive vote is so low (often approaching zero), the expected instrumental gains are miniscule, and are usually outweighed by the small costs involved in voting (Gaus, 2008: 184-91). Maybe it can make sense to cast a ballot, but given the very low expected utility of voting, it will hardly ever make sense to incur significant information costs involved in finding out about politics in general, or the specific candidates in particular (see e.g., Somin, 2007; Pincione and Tesón, 2006). So a rational voter should be content to rely on whatever background knowledge she can pick up for free: it is.... (shrink)
In this paper I criticize the standard argument for deontological egalitarianism, understood as the thesis that there is a moral claim to have an equal share of well-being or whatever other good counts. That argument is based on the idea that equals should be treated equally. I connect the debate over egalitarianism with that over comparative justice. A common theme is a general skepticism against comparative claims. I argue (i) that there can be no claim to equality based simply on (...) the fact of equal worth as that fact itself does not have any value for the supposed claim holder; and (ii) intuitions that suggest otherwise can be explained away without appealing to comparative claims. (shrink)
This essay in the comparative metaphysic of nothingness begins by pondering why Leibniz thought of the converse question as the preeminent one. In Eastern philosophical thought, like the numeral 'zero' (śūnya) that Indian mathematicians first discovered, nothingness as non-being looms large and serves as the first quiver on the imponderables they seem to have encountered (e.g., 'In the beginning was neither non-being nor being: what was there, bottomless deep?' RgVeda X.129). The concept of non-being and its permutations of nothing, negation, (...) nullity, etc., receive more sophisticated treatment in the works of grammarians, ritual hermeneuticians, logicians, and their dialectical adversaries variously across Jaina and Buddhist schools. The present analysis follows the function of negation/the negative copula, nãn, and dialetheia in grammar and logic, then moves onto ontologies of non-existence and extinction and further suggestive tropes that tend to arrest rather than affirm the inexorable being-there of something. After a discussion of interests in being (existence), non-being and nothingness in contemporary metaphysics, the article examines Heidegger’s extensive treatment of nothingness in his 1929 inaugural Freiburg lecture, 'Was ist Metaphysik?', published later as 'What is Metaphysics?' The essay however distances itself from any pretensions toward a doctrine of Metaphysical Nihilism. (shrink)
The most common analyses of comparatives make use of degrees, abstract objects that form a total ordering. In this paper, I will explore a novel analysis of comparatives in which the central notion is not the notion of a degree, but rather the notion of a concrete property manifestation, a particularized property, or a trope, as it is most commonly called in contemporary metaphysics. This trope-based analysis, I argue, has some major conceptual and empirical advantages over a degree-based account. A (...) degree-based analysis of (1a) looks as in (1b) (Cresswell 1976, von Stechow 1984) or (1c) (Pinkal 1989, Moltmann 1992), with the adjective being taken to express a relation between objects and degrees. (shrink)
This Philosophy Compass article continues the comparison between Confucian and mainstream Western views of personhood and their connection with ethics begun in Confucianism and Ethics in the Western Philosophical Tradition I: Fundamental Concepts , by focusing on the Western self conceived as an independent agent with moral and political rights. More specifically, the present article briefly accounts for how the more strictly and explicitly individualistic notion of self dominating Western philosophy has developed, leading up to a recent debate in modern (...) Western rights theory between Herbert Fingarette and Henry Rosemont, Jr., two contemporary Western philosophers who are both steeped in Confucian thought as well as moral and political philosophy. This discussion elucidates how Confucianism can be compared to, and even contrasted with some basic principles of modern Western rights theory and the more individualistic view of self they entail. In the end, a new view of personhood and "free will"? is offered that synthesizes insights from the Confucian treatment of persons as being essentially interdependent with the Western treatment of persons as being essentially independent. (shrink)
The study draws attention to the transfer of management theories and practices from traditional capitalist countries such as the USA and UK to post-socialist countries that are currently experiencing radical change as they seek to introduce market reforms. It is highlighted that the efficacy of this transfer of management theories and practices is, in part, dependent upon the extent to which work-related attitudes and values vary between traditional capitalist and former socialist contexts. We highlight that practices such as Human Resource (...) Management (HRM) and Organization Development (OD) are inextricably associated with conceptions surrounding culture and society, as well as to variables such as job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The main aim of this study is to compare various attitudes and values of employees in traditional capitalist countries and post-socialist countries. On the basis of the findings of an attitudinal survey of (N = 5914) workers in 15 countries we conclude that certain aspects of the attitudes and values of workers in post-socialist countries and traditional capitalist countries differ significantly. Specifically, these differences were found in respect of context-related and job-related attitudes, and also in relation to the importance that the respondents attached to the subject of ethics more generally. The implications of the study are discussed particularly in relation to the transfer of management theory and practices between traditional capitalist and post-socialist contexts. (shrink)
It has been claimed that Indian Buddhism, as opposed to East Asian Chan/Zen traditions, was somehow against humour. In this paper I contend that humour is discernible in canonical Indian Buddhist texts, particularly in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes (Vinaya). I will attempt to establish that what we find in these texts sometimes is not only humourous but that it is intentionally so. I approach this topic by comparing different versions of the same narratives preserved in Indian Buddhist monastic law (...) codes. (shrink)
The present paper analyzes the use and understanding of the homology concept across different biological disciplines. It is argued that in its history, the homology concept underwent a sort of adaptive radiation. Once it migrated from comparative anatomy into new biological fields, the homology concept changed in accordance with the theoretical aims and interests of these disciplines. The paper gives a case study of the theoretical role that homology plays in comparative and evolutionary biology, in molecular biology, and in evolutionary (...) developmental biology. It is shown that the concept or variant of homology preferred by a particular biological field is used to bring about items of biological knowledge that are characteristic for this field. A particular branch of biology uses its homology concept to pursue its specific theoretical goals. (shrink)
In response to the liar’s paradox, Kripke developed the fixed-point semantics for languages expressing their own truth concepts. (Martin and Woodruff independently developed this semantics, but not to the same extent as Kripke.) Kripke’s work suggests a number of related fixed-point theories of truth for such languages. Gupta and Belnap develop their revision theory of truth in contrast to the fixed-point theories. The current paper considers three natural ways to compare the various resulting theories of truth, and establishes the resulting (...) relationships among these theories. The point is to get a sense of the lay of the land amid a variety of options. Our results will also provide technical fodder for the methodological remarks of the companion paper to this one. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the thesis that the probability of the conditional is the conditional probability. Previous work by a number of authors has shown that in standard numerical probability theories, the addition of the thesis leads to triviality. We introduce very weak, comparative conditional probability structures and discuss some extremely simple constraints. We show that even in such a minimal context, if one adds the thesis that the probability of a conditional is the conditional probability, then one trivializes (...) the theory. Another way of stating the result is that the conditional of conditional probability cannot be represented in the object language on pain of trivializing the theory. (shrink)
In “Backward Causation and the Stalnaker–Lewis Approach to Counterfactuals,” Analysis 62:191–7, (2002), Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker–Lewis comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. In “Tooley on Backward Causation,” Analysis 63:157–62, (2003), Paul Noordhof argues that Tooley’s example can be reconciled with a Stalnaker–Lewis account of counterfactuals if the comparative world similarity relation on which the Stalnaker–Lewis account relies is allowed to be antecedent-relative. (...) In this paper I show that taking comparative world similarity to be antecedent-relative results in a formal semantics which is a comparative world similarity semantics in name only. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the basic ethical values underpinning national health care policies in the United States and Canada. We use the framework of ethical theory to name and elaborate ethical values and to facilitate moral reflection about health care reform.Section one describes historical and contemporary social contract theories and clarifies the ethical values associated with them. Sections two and three show that health care debates and health care systems in both countries reflect the (...) values of this tradition; however, each nation interprets the tradition differently. In the U.S., standards of justice for health care are conceived as a voluntary agreement reached by self-interested parties. Canadians, by contrast, interpret the same justice tradition as placing greater emphasis on concern for others and for the community. The final section draws out the implications of these differences for future U.S. and Canadian health care reforms. (shrink)
The ``doctrinal paradox'' or ``discursive dilemma'' shows that propositionwise majority voting over the judgments held by multiple individuals on some interconnected propositions can lead to inconsistent collective judgments on these propositions. List and Pettit (2002) have proved that this paradox illustrates a more general impossibility theorem showing that there exists no aggregation procedure that generally produces consistent collective judgments and satisfies certain minimal conditions. Although the paradox and the theorem concern the aggregation of judgments rather than preferences, they invite comparison (...) with two established results on the aggregation of preferences: the Condorcet paradox and Arrow's impossibility theorem. We may ask whether the new impossibility theorem is a special case of Arrow's theorem, or whether there are interesting disanalogies between the two results. In this paper, we compare the two theorems, and show that they are not straightforward corollaries of each other. We further suggest that, while the framework of preference aggregation can be mapped into the framework of judgment aggregation, there exists no obvious reverse mapping. Finally, we address one particular minimal condition that is used in both theorems – an independence condition – and suggest that this condition points towards a unifying property underlying both impossibility results. (shrink)
The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic. But the business ethics literature has paid scant attention to this issue, perhaps because of the belief that tax evasion is always unethical. This paper reports the results of an (...) empirical study of opinion in Utah and Florida. A survey of accounting students was conducted to determine the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the 15 main issues that Crowe (1944) identified plus three more recent issues. The arguments that have been made over the centuries to justify tax evasion were ranked to determine which arguments are strongest and which are weakest. Scores were compared between samples to determine whether the responses were significantly different. (shrink)
This study provides a comparative analysis of students' self-reported beliefs and behaviors related to six analogous pairs of conventional and digital forms of academic cheating. Results from an online survey of undergraduates at two universities (N = 1,305) suggest that students use conventional means more often than digital means to copy homework, collaborate when it is not permitted, and copy from others during an exam. However, engagement in digital plagiarism (cutting and pasting from the Internet) has surpassed conventional plagiarism. Students (...) also reported using digital "cheat sheets" (i.e., notes stored in a digital device) to cheat on tests more often than conventional "cheat sheets." Overall, 32% of students reported no cheating of any kind, 18.2% reported using only conventional methods, 4.2% reported using only digital methods, and 45.6% reported using both conventional and digital methods to cheat. "Digital only" cheaters were less likely than "conventional only" cheaters to report assignment cheating, but the former was more likely than the latter to report engagement in plagiarism. Students who cheated both conventionally and digitally were significantly different from the other three groups in terms of their self-reported engagement in all three types of cheating behavior. Students in this "both" group also had the lowest sense of moral responsibility to refrain from cheating and the greatest tendency to neutralize that responsibility. The scientific and educational implications of these findings are discussed in this study. (shrink)
In this paper, we compare the mechanisms of protein synthesis and natural selection. We identify three core elements of mechanistic explanation: functional individuation, hierarchical nestedness or decomposition, and organization. These are now well understood elements of mechanistic explanation in fields such as protein synthesis, and widely accepted in the mechanisms literature. But Skipper and Millstein have argued (2005) that natural selection is neither decomposable nor organized. This would mean that much of the current mechanisms literature does not apply to the (...) mechanism of natural selection. (shrink)