Turning Images in Philosophy, Science, and Religion: A New Book of Nature brings together new essays addressing the role of images and imagination recruited in the perennial debates surrounding nature, mind, and God. -/- The debate between "new atheists" and religious apologists today is often hostile. This book sets a new tone by locating the debate between theism and naturalism (most "new atheists" are self-described "naturalists") in the broader context of reflection on imagination and aesthetics. The eleven essays will be (...) of interest to anyone who is fascinated by the power of imagination and the role of aesthetics in deciding between worldviews or philosophies of nature. Representing a variety of points of view, authors include outstanding philosophers of religion and of science, a distinguished art historian, and a visual artist. -/- The book begins with Martin Kemp's essay on the work of the biologist, mathematician and classical scholar D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson in which Kemp develops the idea of "structural intuitions and a critique of reductive thinking about the natural world. This is followed by Geoffrey Gorham's overview and analysis of images of nature and God found in early modern science and philosophy. Anthony O'Hear questions a reductive, naturalist account of the origin of mind and values. Dale Jacquette offers a thoroughgoing naturalistic philosophy of the emergence of intentionality and a unique argument about the emergence of art and the aesthetic appreciation of nature. E.J. Lowe brings to light some challenges facing naturalistic approaches to human imaginative sensibility. Douglas Hedley articulates and defends a cognitive account of imagination, highlighting some of the difficulties confronting naturalism. Daniel N. Robinson offers a sweeping treatment of nature and naturalism, historically engaging Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and others. Conor Cunningham provides an aggressive critique of contemporary naturalism. Gordon Graham investigates the resources of naturalism in accounting for our sense of the sacred. Mark Wynn provides a subtle understanding of imagination and perception, suggesting how these may play into the theism - naturalism debate. The book concludes with Jil Evans' reflections on how images of the Galapagos Islands have been employed philosophically to picture either a naturalist or theistic image of nature. (shrink)
In the U.S.A., advocates of academic freedom—the ability to pursue research unencumbered by government controls—have long found sparring partners in government officials who regulate technology trade. From concern over classified research in the 1950s, to the expansion of export controls to cover trade in information in the 1970s, to current debates over emerging technologies and global innovation, the academic community and the government have each sought opportunities to demarcate the sphere of their respective authority and autonomy and assert themselves in (...) that sphere. In this paper, we explore these opportunities, showing how the Social Contract for Science set the terms for the debate, and how the controversy turned to the proper interpretation of this compact. In particular, we analyze how the 1985 presidential directive excluding fundamental research from export controls created a boundary object that successfully demarcated science and the state, but only for a Cold War world that would soon come to an end. Significant changes have occurred since then in the governance structures of science and in the technical and political environment within which both universities and the state sit. Even though there have been significant and persistent calls for reassessing the Cold War demarcation, a new institutionalization of how to balance the concerns of national security and academic freedom is still only in its nascent stages. We explore the value of moving from a boundary object to a boundary organization, as represented in a proposed new governance body, the Science and Security Commission. (shrink)
The idea that intuition plays a basic role in moral knowledge and moral philosophy probably began in the eighteenth century. British philosophers such as Anthony Shaftsbury, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and later David Hume talk about a “moral sense” that they place in John Locke’s theory of knowledge in terms of Lockean reflexive perceptions, while Richard Price seeks a faculty by which we obtain our ideas of right and wrong. In (...) the twentieth century intuitionism in moral philosophy was revived by the works of G. E. Moore, H. A. Prichard, and W. D. Ross. These philosophers reject Kantian deontological ethics and utilitarianism insisting that intuition is the only source of moral knowledge. Recently, there is a renewed interest in intuition by philosophers doing meta-philosophy by reflecting on what philosophers do, and why they disagree. In this essay we plan to take some of this recent literature on intuition and apply it to moral philosophy. We will proceed by (1) defining a conception of intuition, (2) answering some skeptical challenges, (3) delimiting its target, and (4) arguing that intuition is often a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
Ben Saunders claims that actual consent is not necessary for organ donation due to ‘normative consent’, a concept he borrows from David Estlund. Combining normative consent with Peter Singer's ‘greater moral evil principle’, Saunders argues that it is immoral for an individual to refuse consent to donate his or her organs. If a presumed consent policy were thus adopted, it would be morally legitimate to remove organs from individuals whose wishes concerning donation are not known. This paper disputes Saunders' arguments. (...) First, if death caused by the absence of organ transplant is the operational premise, then, there is nothing of comparable moral precedence under which a person is not obligated to donate. Saunders' use of Singer's principle produces a duty to donate in almost all circumstances. However, this premise is based on a flawed interpretation of cause and effect between organ availability and death. Second, given growing moral and scientific agreement that the organ donors in heart-beating and non-heart-beating procurement protocols are not dead when their organs are surgically removed, it is not at all clear that people have a duty to consent to their lives being taken for their organs. Third, Saunders' claim that there can be good reasons for refusing consent clashes with his claim that there is a moral obligation for everyone to donate their organs. Saunders' argument is more consistent with a conclusion of ‘mandatory consent’. Finally, it is argued that Saunders' policy, if put into place, would be totalitarian in scope and would therefore be inconsistent with the freedom required for a democratic society. (shrink)
This paper forms an introduction to this issue, the contents of which arose directly or indirectly from a conference in May 2001 on Corruption of scientific integrity? — The commercialisation of academic science. The introduction, in recent decades, of business culture and values into universities and research institutions is incompatible with the openness which scientific and all academic pursuit traditionally require. It has given rise to a web of problems over intellectual property and conflict of interest which has even led (...) to corporate sponsors’ suppressing unfavourable results of clinical trials, to the detriment of patients’ health. Although there are those who see the norms of science developing to recognise the importance of instrumental science aiming at specific goals and of knowledge judged by its value in a context of application, none justifies the covert manipulation of results by vested interest. Public awareness of these problems is growing and creating a climate of opinion where they may be addressed. We suggest a way forward by the introduction of nationally and internationally-accepted guidelines for industrial collaboration which contain proper protections of the core purposes of universities and of the independence of their research. Some codes suggested for this purpose are discussed. We note that some universities are moving to adopt such codes of conduct, but argue the need for strong support from the government through its funding bodies. (shrink)
The British Medical Association (BMA) has called upon the General Medical Council (GMC) to instruct all medical schools to provide identifiable and substantial courses on medical ethics in their undergraduate curricula. The author reviews a postgraduate scheme of study in the ethics of health-care and suggests that it could provide some useful guidelines for teaching the subject at the undergraduate level.
In their reply to my recent paper on Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, Professor Southall and Dr. Samuels concede that some things may be learned from my observations. They do not attend to the main argument of the paper, however, that the proportion of research interest in their use of covert video surveillance merits consideration of the research protocol by an independent research ethics committee. It will not do simply to assert that the use of this technology for the purposes outlined (...) in their accounts is not research. I formulated arguments based on facts divulged in those published accounts for regarding their work as containing a considerable proportion of research activity. Unfortunately their reply did not address these arguments. Until such points are adequately answered the protection of patients calls for satisfactory judgments to be made on certain important issues which any research ethics committee would be obliged to consider in an evaluation of their activities. I suggest that some of these features will create more difficulties for approval of such a protocol than others. (shrink)
This paper forms an introduction to this issue, the contents of which arose directly or indirectly from a conference in May 2001 on Corruption of scientific integrity? — The commercialisation of academic science. The introduction, in recent decades, of business culture and values into universities and research institutions is incompatible with the openness which scientific and all academic pursuit traditionally require. It has given rise to a web of problems over intellectual property and conflict of interest which has even led (...) to corporate sponsors’ suppressing unfavourable results of clinical trials, to the detriment of patients’ health. Although there are those who see the norms of science developing to recognise the importance of instrumental science aiming at specific goals and of knowledge judged by its value in a context of application, none justifies the covert manipulation of results by vested interest.Public awareness of these problems is growing and creating a climate of opinion where they may be addressed. We suggest a way forward by the introduction of nationally and internationally-accepted guidelines for industrial collaboration which contain proper protections of the core purposes of universities and of the independence of their research. Some codes suggested for this purpose are discussed. We note that some universities are moving to adopt such codes of conduct, but argue the need for strong support from the government through its funding bodies. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists now argue that emotions play a vital role in reasoning. This paper explores one particular way of elucidating how emotions help reason which may be dubbed ?the search hypothesis of emotion?. After outlining the search hypothesis of emotion and dispensing with a red herring that has marred previous statements of the hypothesis, I discuss two alternative readings of the search hypothesis. It is argued that the search hypothesis must be construed as an account of what emotions (...) typically do, rather than as a definition of emotion. Even as an account of what emotions typically do, the search hypothesis can only be evaluated in the context of a specific theory of what emotions are. 1 Introduction 2 The search hypothesis of emotion 3 A red herring: the frame problem 4 The search problem 5 Two readings of the search hypothesis 6 Two final remarks 7 Conclusion. (shrink)
In common with a number of other authors I believe that there has been a paradigm shift in the psychology of reasoning, specifically the area traditionally labelled as the study of deduction. The deduction paradigm was founded in a philosophical tradition that assumed logicality as the basis for rational thought, and provided binary propositional logic as the agreed normative framework. By contrast, many contemporary authors assume that people have degrees of uncertainty in both premises and conclusions, and reject binary logic (...) as a workable normative system. I discuss a number of questions and challenges for this new psychology of reasoning, including the following: (a) Do we need an alternative normative system, such as Bayesianism, for the new paradigm? (b) Is there any longer a clear distinction between the study of deductive and inductive reasoning, the latter having its own tradition and literature? (c) Precisely how is the integrated study of reasoning and decision making facilitated by the new paradigm? (d) What difficulties with dual-processing approaches need to be resolved, if they are to take us forward? (shrink)
Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...) property of being an A. In this respect, its logical form is the same as that of relative frequencies. For instance, we might talk about the probability of a human baby being female. That probability is about human babies in general — not about individuals. If we examine a baby and determine conclusively that she is female, then the definite probability of her being female is 1, but that does not alter the indefinite probability of human babies in general being female. Most objective approaches to probability tie probabilities to relative frequencies in some way, and the resulting probabilities have the same logical form as the relative frequencies. That is, they are indefinite probabilities. The simplest theories identify indefinite probabilities with relative frequencies.3 It is often objected that such “finite frequency theories” are inadequate because our probability judgments often diverge from relative frequencies. For example, we can talk about a coin being fair (and so the indefinite probability of a flip landing heads is 0.5) even when it is flipped only once and then destroyed (in which case the relative frequency is either 1 or 0). For understanding such indefinite probabilities, it has been suggested that we need a notion of probability that talks about possible instances of properties as well as actual instances.. (shrink)
Golden parachutes are often viewed as a form of excessive compensation because they provide senior management with substantial payouts following an acquisition while other stakeholders are subjected to layoffs, disrupted business relationships and other negative externalities. Using a sample of S&P 500 firms, an economic and ethical justification for this type of contract is given. Golden parachutes ensure effective corporate governance that, in turn, preserve the firm's value for all stakeholders. Boards of directors enter into parachute agreements to protect recently (...) hired CEOs' human capital during periods of financial uncertainty and, thus, potential takeover activity. From an ethics viewpoint, golden parachutes are valuable to all stakeholders because they encourage merger or acquisition in lieu of bankruptcy. (shrink)
There is a tension between the preservation of academic freedom and the economic context in which the university currently finds itself. This tension embodies serious threats to global health as a result of three overlapping phenomena which impede the production and diffusion of valuable knowledge about health. These phenomena, the privatisation, commercialisation and instrumentalisation of knowledge are identified and examined in this paper in relation to human rights and international morality.
The value of human bodies for the teaching of anatomy has been recognized since the 16th century. Many medical students are exposed to the process of body donation as human dissection continues to play a fundamental role in many medical courses. The opportunity of dissection not only provides students with an educational approach to learning human structure but also exposes them to the emotions surrounding death and dying and the role of the anatomical donor in their journey. This paper explores (...) the subject of body donation in relation to anatomical examination, the relationship the donor has to the medical student experience and the purpose of thanksgiving services. The paper concludes with a brief description of a study carried out at a UK medical school to seek the views of first- and second-year medical students on the purpose, place and value of thanksgiving services. (shrink)
The use of covert video surveillance in the investigation of suspected life-threatening child abuse and Munchausen syndrome by proxy raises important ethical questions. That the recently reported provision of this facility in North Staffordshire was not presented to a Local Research Ethics Committee (LREC) for approval as a research exercise raises important questions about the ethical review of research and practice. The case made for avoiding such review is first set out and then examined. The three main premisses which form (...) the basis of the view that LREC approval is not required are identified and tested in turn. The conclusion is that there is an undeniable element of research involved in the procedure and that the welfare of all those subjected to the surveillance would be best protected by the submission of the protocol to an independent committee for ethical assessment. (shrink)
This book will be of interest to philosophers and historians of ideas as well as to specialists in Greek philosophy. All quotations are translated into English and there is a glossary of key Greek terms.
There are good grounds for seeing a deep opposition between reason and violence. Yet some forms of argument appear to link the two; and a prominent example is the argumentum ad baculum, where the premise contains a threat. Consideration of the connection between premise and conclusion in such an argument can, it seems, yield some cases where the status of the author of the threat renders the argument not only valid but also sound. Examples of such arguments cluster in the (...) areas near Pascal's Wager and Rawls' argument for justice. However even these arguments fail to effect a reconciliation between reason and violence. (shrink)
For thousands of years, many Western thinkers have assumed that emotions are, at best, harmless luxuries, and at worst outright obstacles to intelligent action. In the past decade, however, scientists and philosophers have begun to challenge this 'negative view of emotion'. Neuroscientists, psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence now agree that emotions are vital to intelligent action. Evolutionary considerations have played a vital role in this shift to a more positive view of emotion. -/- This book brings together some of (...) the leading thinkers about emotion from a variety of disciplines. In a series of fascinating and challenging essays, they examine the role that evolutionary considerations can play in helping us to understand the role of emotions in rational thought and decision-making. How should we understand the evolutionary role of emotions? And can this explain the relationship between emotions and rationality? (shrink)
Maria Lugones and other writers of post-colonial discourse emphasize hybrid over univocal identities. I argue that a significantly expanded version of Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of “dialogized heteroglossia” reveals that the linguistic community and the “voives” at play in the latter constitute a form of dialogic hybridity. This view of the linguistic community offers an alternative to the notion of pure identities and the politics of exclusion that it has supported either overtly or tacitly. Moreover, a political principle - “the interplay (...) of equally audible voices” - can be derived from this view; it permits us simultaneously to affirmmulticulturalism and to deny racism, sexism, classism and other exclusionary discourses the right to become policy-making voices.Maria Lugones et d’autres théoriciens du discours post-colonial mettent l’accent sur les identités hybrides par opposition à univoques. Je soutiens qu’une version significativement plus large de la notion bakhtinienne d’“hétéroglossie dialogisée” fait ressortir que la communauté linguistique et les “voix” en jeu dans cette dernière constituent une forme d’hybridité dialogique. Cette conception de lacommunauté linguistique offre une alternative à la notion d’identité pure et à la politique d’exclusion qu’elle a défendue, ouvertement ou de façon tacite. De plus, un principe politique - “le jeu de voix audibles au même degré” - peut être tiré de cette conception, lequel permettrait à la fois d’affirmer le multiculturalisme et d’empêcher que le racisme, le sexisme, le classicisme et tout autre discours d’exclusion puissent devenir des voix qui déterminent fes pofitiques du jour. (shrink)
Neuropsychological findings used to motivate the "two visual systems" hypothesis have been taken to endanger a pair of widely accepted claims about spatial representation in conscious visual experience. The first is the claim that visual experience represents 3-D space around the perceiver using an egocentric frame of reference. The second is the claim that there is a constitutive link between the spatial contents of visual experience and the perceiver's bodily actions. In this paper, I review and assess three main sources (...) of evidence for the two visual systems hypothesis. I argue that the best interpretation of the evidence is in fact consistent with both claims. I conclude with some brief remarks on the relation between visual consciousness and rational agency. (shrink)
There has been a troublesome anomaly in the UK between cash payment to men for sperm donation and the effective assumption that women will pay to donate eggs. Some commentators, including Donald Evans in this journal, have argued that the anomaly should be resolved by treating women on the same terms as men. But this argument ignores important difficulties about property in the body, particularly in relation to gametes. There are good reasons for thinking that the contract model and (...) payment for gametes are both inappropriate, and that a model based on altruism should be applied to both sexes. (shrink)
_The Sub ject of Con scious ness_ is a rich, strik ingly orig i nal and ambi tious work. It makes an impor tant and timely con tri bu tion to cur rent debates on a num ber of issues which over the last few years have been tak ing cen tre stage in the phi los o phy of mind: for exam ple, self-consciousness, selec tive atten tion and the nature of bodily aware ness. What makes this achieve ment (...) some what unusual, and all the more remark able, is that _The Sub ject of Con scious ness_ was pub lished thirty years ago (Evans, 1970). The reviews it received at the time ranged from the hos tile to the deri sory. (shrink)
This paper is devoted to an examination of some aspects of the central issue of Cognitive Dynamics, the issue about the conditions under which intentional mental states may persist over time. I discuss two main sorts of approach to the topic: the directly referential approach, which I take as best represented in David Kaplan?s views, and the neo-Fregean approach, which I take as best represented in Gareth Evans?s views. The upshot of my discussion is twofold. On the one hand, (...) I argue that both Kaplan?s account and Evans?s account are on the whole defective (for different sorts of reason, of course); even though there are features of each of those views which seem to me to be along the right lines. On the other, and in spite of that, I claim that a broadly Fregean theory is still to be preferred since by positing semantically efficacious modes of presentation it is clearly better equipped to deal adequately with some important phenomena in the area. In particular, I argue that the notion of a memory-based demonstrative mode of presentation of an object (a spatio-temporal particular, a region in space, a period of time, etc.) turns out to be indispensable for the purpose of accounting for the persistence of an important range of mental states with propositional content over time. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Dylan Evans proposed that emotions could help solve what has been known as ?the frame problem?. In the process, he first questioned the utility of using the frame problem as a framework. After tackling this issue, he provided an alternative terminology to the frame problem?termed ?the search hypothesis of emotion??in order to re-examine how emotions aid rational agents. His new terminology, however, opens itself to other critiques. While accepting the basic tenets of his analysis, I (...) question (i) whether a single search theory of emotion is adequate, and (ii) whether his theory would have been better termed ?the search hypothesis of feeling?. Finally, I extend some of the ideas developed in Evans' paper. Introduction Emotion, reason and ends The search hypothesis of emotion revisited Conclusion. (shrink)