The Existentialist Reader is a comprehensive anthology of classic philosophical writings from eight key existentialist thinkers: Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Jaspers, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, and Ortega y Gasset. These substantial and carefully selected readings consider the distinctive concerns of existentialism: absurdity, anxiety, alienation, death. A comprehensive introduction by Paul S. MacDonald illuminates the existentialist quest for individual freedom and authentic human experience with insight into the historical and intellectual background of these major figures. The Existentialist Reader is a valuable (...) guide to the provocative theories that shook the philosophical world in the 1930s and continue to profoundly shape the way we think about ourselves. (shrink)
A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (...) (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained. (shrink)
The Confessions recounts Augustine's successful search for God. But Augustine worries that one cannot search for God if one does not already know God. That version of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> dominates and structures Confessions 1–10. I draw connections between the dramatic opening lines of book 1 and the climactic discussion in book 10.26–38 and argue that the latter discussion contains Augustine's resolution of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> as it applies to the special case of searching for God. (...) I claim that he develops a model, relying on the universal human experience of joy and truth, that identifies a starting point that (1) is common to all human beings, (2) is sufficient for guiding a successful search for God, and (3) avoids commitment to recollection of experiences prior to birth. The model is crucial to Augustine's rejection of traditional Platonist views about recollection. (shrink)
Current discussions of business ethics usually only consider deontological and utilitarian approaches. What is missing is a discussion of traditional teleology, often referred to as virtue ethics. While deontology and teleology are useful, they both suffer insufficiencies. Traditional teleology, while deontological in many respects, does not object to utilitarian style calculations as long as they are contained within a moral framework that is not utilitarian in its origin. It contains the best of both approaches and can be used to focus (...) on the individual''s role within an organization. More work is needed in exposing students and faculty to traditional teleology and its place in business ethic''s discussions. (shrink)
What is introspective knowledge of one's own intentional states like? This paper aims to make plausible the view that certain cases of self-knowledge, namely the cogito-type ones, are enough like perception to count as cases of quasi-observation. To this end it considers the highly influential arguments developed by Sydney Shoemaker in his recent Royce Lectures. These present the most formidable challenge to the view that certain cases of self-knowledge are quasi-observational and so deserve detailed examination. Shoemaker's arguments are directed against (...) two models of ordinary perception, the "object perception model" and the "broad perceptual model". I argue that the core theses that Shoemaker associated with them are either dubious in their own right or applicable to certain cases of self-knowledge. Overall the aim is to show that there is such a variety of patterns in each case that simple analogies or disanalogies are unhelpful. (shrink)
In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
In this paper I investigate the philosophical developments at the heart of what appears to be the earliest systematic formulation of the doctrine of the transcendentals by comparing the first questions of Philip the Chancellor''sSumma de bono (the so-called first treatise on the transcendentals — ca. 1230) with its immediate ancestor, a small group of questions from William of Auxerre''sSumma aurea (ca. 1220). I argue that Philip''s innovative position on the relation between being and goodness, the centerpiece of his doctrine (...) of the transcendentals, is motivated by an Aristotelian conception of theoretical knowledge that grounds inquiry in metaphysical classification and definition understood in terms of Aristotle''s doctrine of the categories. The concerns about taxonomy and definition that Philip introduces into the early thirteenth-century discussion of the metaphysics of goodness lead him to the theses that are the foundations of the medieval doctrine of the transcendentals, among them that being and goodness are conceptually distinct but the same in reality. (shrink)
It is a familiar view in the philosophy of mind and action is that for a thought or attitude to constitute a reason for an action is for it to render intelligible, in the light of norms of rationality or reason, that action. However, I can make sense of your actions in this way by crediting you with attitudes that I myself do not hold. Equally, you can do this for my actions. So not all reasons for one’s actions are (...) one’s own reasons. What more is involved in a reason’s being one’s own reason for acting? (shrink)
Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
Many recent discussions of self-consciousness and self-knowledge assume that there are only two kinds of accounts available to be taken on the relation between the so-called first-order (conscious) states and subjects' awareness or knowledge of them: a same-order, or reflexive view, on the one hand, or a higher-order one, on the other. I maintain that there is a third kind of view that is distinctively different from these two options. The view is important because it can accommodate and make intelligible (...) certain cases of authoritative self-knowledge that cannot easily be made intelligible, if at all, by these other two types of accounts. My aim in this paper is to defend this view against those who maintain that a same-order view is sufficient to account for authoritative self-knowledge. (shrink)
(2011). ‘What Is, Is More than It Is’: Adorno and Heidegger on the Priority of Possibility. International Journal of Philosophical Studies: Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 31-57. doi: 10.1080/09672559.2011.539357.
This paper looks at conflicts of interest in the not-for-profit sector. It examines the nature of conflicts of interest and why they are of ethical concern, and then focuses on the way not-for-profit organisations are especially prone to and vulnerable to conflict-of-interest scandals. Conflicts of interest corrode trust; and stakeholder trust (particularly from donors) is the lifeblood of most charities. We focus on some specific challenges faced by charitable organisations providing funding for scientific (usually medical) research, and examine a case (...) study involving such an organisation. One of the principal problems for charities of this kind is that they often distribute their funds within a relatively small research community (defined by the boundaries of a small region, like an American state or Spanish Autonomous region, or a small country), and it often proves difficult to find high-level researchers within the jurisdiction to adjudicate impartially the research grants. We suggest and recommend options appropriate for our case study and for many other organisations in similar situations. (shrink)
Knowledge of one's own sensations, desires, intentions, thoughts, beliefs, and other attitudes is characteristically different from other kinds of knowledge: it has greater immediacy, authority, and salience. This volume offers a powerful and comprehensive look at current work on this topic, featuring closely interlinked essays by leading figures in the field that examine philosophical questions raised by the distinctive character of self-knowledge, relating it to knowledge of other minds, to rationality and agency, externalist theories of psychological content, and knowledge of (...) language. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to show the contribution of recent Thomistic epistemology - that is, an epistemology rooted in the philosophical theology of Thomas Aquinas - makes to contemporary philosophy of religion. In particular, I show how recent philosophers and theologians (most of them of a distinctly analytic persuasion) are appropriating insights in Aquinas’s philosophical theology in order to address perennial epistemological issues: most broadly, how it is that human persons know the world as well as the divine. (...) One of the main conclusions of the article is that recent Thomistic epistemology (including the various species of recent Thomistic epistemology) offers powerful resources for properly understanding both the mind-world and mind-God relationship. (shrink)
In this paper, I analyse and interpret Thomas Aquinas's account of faith in order to show how Thomistic faith is a veridical cognitive state that directs the mind to God, and consequently constitutes a distinct form of knowledge of God. By assenting to the revealed propositions of faith (which express the truth about God), and thereby forming true beliefs about God under the authority and guidance of God's grace, the possessor of faith comes to know or apprehend truly something about (...) God, even if she fails to ‘see’ or know fully the truth that she believes. A further task of the paper is to show how Thomistic faith qualifies (at least potentially) as knowledge from a contemporary epistemological standpoint, insofar as it consists of true belief that is appropriately justified and warranted, by virtue of being supernaturally informed and generated. By expositing and defending this central claim – focusing specifically on faith as a form of knowledge – I show how Aquinas offers an epistemologically realist account of faith. (shrink)
This paper argues that the non-reductive monist need not be concerned about the ‘problem’ of mental causation; one can accept both the irreducibility of mental properties to physical properties and the causal closure of the physical. More precisely, it is argued that instances of mental properties can be causally efficacious, and that there is no special barrier to seeing mental properties whose instances are causally efficacious as being causally relevant to the effects they help to bring about. It is then (...) shown that the causal relevance of mental properties is consistent with there being no downward causation, so the dilemma of ‘epiphenomenalism or reduction’ can be avoided. Non-reductive monism lives on as a viable position in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
One of the most original thinkers of the century, Karl Popper's work has inspired generations of philosophers, historians, and politicians. This collection of papers, specially written for this volume, offers fresh philosophical examination of key themes in Popper's philosophy, including philosophy of knowledge, science and political philosophy. Drawing from some of Popper's most important works, contributors address Popper's solution to the problem of induction, his views on conventionalism and criticism in an open society and explore his unique position in twentieth (...) century philosophy. Contributors also examine the current relevance of Popper to understanding liberal democracy, his critique of tribalism and offer new evaluations on Popper's relationship with analytic philosophy in general, and with Wittgenstein in particular as well as drawing on the studies of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein to assess Popper's conception of science. This volume offers new insights on key topics from some of Popper's most important work and is essential reading for students of Popper and anyone interested in political philosophy and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Whereas representative democratic mechanisms have generally been built around preexisting institutional structures of sovereign states, the global political domain lacks any firmly constitutionalized or sovereign structures that could constitute an analogous institutional backbone within a democratic global order. Instead, global public power can best be characterized as "pluralist" in structure. Some recent commentators have argued that if global democratization is to succeed at all, it must proceed along a trajectory beginning with the construction of global sovereign institutions and culminating in (...) the establishment of representative institutions to control them. This paper challenges this view of the preconditions for global democratization, arguing that democratization can indeed proceed at a global level in the absence of sovereign structures of public power. In order to gain firmer traction on these questions, analysis focuses on the prospects for democratic control of corporate power, as constituted and exercised in one particular institutional context: sectoral supply chain systems of production and trade. It is argued that global democratization cannot be straightforwardly achieved simply by replicating familiar representative democratic institutions (based on constitutional separations of powers and electoral control) on a global scale. Rather, it is necessary to explore alternative institutional means for establishing representative democratic institutions at the global level within the present pluralist structure of global power. (shrink)
There is a 'philosophers' assumption that there is a problem with the very notion of an unconscious mental state.The paper begins by outlining how the problem is generated, and proceeds to argue that certain conditions need to be fulfilled if the unconscious is to qualify as mental. An explanation is required as to why we would ever expect these conditions to be fulfilled, and it is suggested that the Freudian concept of repression has an essential role to play in such (...) an explanation. Notoriously this concept brings with it a further puzzle: it looks as though repression serves a purpose, and so requires an agent to execute this purpose, a repressor. Paradox is avoided only if repression is viewed in biologicalfunctional terms.The result is that the notion of the unconscious is saved from the a priori objections often levelled at it by philosophers.This still leaves considerable theoretical work to be done by psychological science. (shrink)
What is knowledge of one's own current, consciously entertained intentional states a form of inner awareness? If so, what form? In this paper I explore the prospects for a quasi-observational account of a certain class of cases where subjects appear to have self-knowledge, namely, the so-called cogito-like cases. In section one I provide a rationale for the claim that we need an epistemology of self-knowledge, and specifically, an epistemology of the cogito-like cases. In section two I argue that contentful properties (...) in such cases have two features in common with observational properties of objects. In section three, I develop a quasi-observational account of self-knowledge for the cogito-like cases by considering various accounts of the nature of observational properties (specifically, secondary qualities) and by applying them to these cases. I conclude by addressing some important objections to the account. (shrink)
Aquinas argues that practical reasoning requires foundations: first practical principles (ultimate ends) grasped by us per se from which deliberation proceeds. Contrary to the thesis of an important paper of Terence Irwin's, I deny that Aquinas advances two inconsistent conceptions of the scope of deliberation and, correspondingly, two inconsistent accounts of the content of the first practical principles presupposed by deliberation. On my account, Aquinas consistently takes first practical principles to be highly abstract, general, or formal ends, ends subject to (...) specification and determination by a process of reasoning. Aquinas therefore gives deliberation wide scope, allowing (indeed, requiring) it not only to settle for us the things that are for the sake of our ends but also to engage in determining in important respects what our ends are. Accordingly, I conclude that Aquinas's foundations in ethics are “thin.” Our natural grasp of first practical principles gives us very little in the way substantive ethical principles. (shrink)
Externalism in the philosophy of mind is threatened by the view that subjects are authoritative with regard to the contents of their own intentional states. If externalism is to be reconciled with first-person authority, two issues need to be addressed: (a) how the non-evidence-based character of knowledge of one's own intentional states is compatible with ignorance of the empirical factors that individuate the contents of those states, and (b) how, given externalism, the non-evidence-based character of such knowledge could place its (...) subject in an authoritative position. This paper endorses a standard strategy for dealing with (a). The bulk of the paper is devoted to (b). The aim is to develop an account of first-person authority for a certain class of intentional states that is capable of explaining (1) why knowledge of one's own intentional states is peculiarly authoritative, and (2) why such authority is compatible with externalism. (shrink)
Genetic testing in the workplace is a technology both full of promise and fraught with ethical peril. Though not yet common, it is likely to become increasingly so. We survey the key arguments in favour of such testing, along with the most significant ethical worries. We further propose a set of pragmatic criteria, which, if met, would make it permissible for employers to offer (but not to require) workplace genetic testing.
This paper considers whether individual companies have an ethical obligation to label their Genetically Modified (GM) foods. GM foods and ingredients pervade grocery store shelves, despite the fact that a majority of North Americans have worries about eating those products. The market as whole has largely failed to respond to consumer preference in this regard, as have North American governments. A number of consumer groups, NGO’s, and activist organizations have urged corporations to label their GM products. This paper asks whether, (...) in such a situation, individual corporations can be ethically required to take such unilateral action. We argue that they cannot. Given the lack of solid evidence for any risk to human health, and the serious market disadvantage almost surely associated with costly unilateral action, no individual company has an ethical obligation to label its GM foods. (shrink)