The moral development of advertising educators is important to an understanding of how they teach ethics. This article describes a survey that explores how advertising educators define and think about ethics. It examines the theoretical foundations of moral development in relation to teaching advertising ethics and provides a summary describing advertising educators' ideas about the nature of ethics. We conclude by predicting today's advertising students' ability to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas.
Rowland Stout presents a new philosophical account of human action which is radically and controversially different from all rival theories. He argues that intentional actions are unique among natural phenomena in that they happen because they should happen, and that they are to be explained in terms of objective facts rather than beliefs and intentions.
A significant argument for the claim that knowing-wh is knowing-that, implicit in much of the literature, including Stanley and Williamson (2001), is spelt out and challenged. The argument includes the assumption that a subject's state of knowing-wh is constituted by their involvement in a relation with an answer to a question. And it involves the assumption that answers to questions are propositions or facts. One of Lawrence Powers’ counterexamples to the conjunction of these two assumptions is developed, responses to it (...) are rebutted, and the possibility of rejecting the second rather than the first of these assumptions is explored briefly. (shrink)
This paper takes up the claim, made in some Buddhist texts, that one can transcend morality. The author distinguishes a weak and a strong sense in which this might be so, and explicates the strong sense in terms of Strawson's notion of presupposition.
A fascinating study of moral languages and their discontents, Ethics after Babel explains the links that connect contemporary moral philosophy, religious ethics, and political thought in clear, cogent, even conversational prose. Princeton's paperback edition of this award-winning book includes a new postscript by the author that responds to the book's noted critics, Stanley Hauerwas and the late Alan Donagan. In answering his critics, Jeffrey Stout clarifies the book's arguments and offers fresh reasons for resisting despair over the prospects of (...) democratic discourse. (shrink)
This paper responds to David Little's recent discussion of the author's "holistic" criticisms of "Comparative Religious Ethics" (Little and Twiss, 1978). In two crucial areas, Little seems to have moved beyond his original position: first, in granting that the relation among the levels of the structure of practical justification is interactive; and second, in making explicit his conception of the point of pursuing comparative studies. Both developments are welcome, but they raise doubts about whether much of the (...) original position survives. The author articulates these doubts, and also reflects on what difference holism makes in ethics. (shrink)
The central claim of philosophical behaviourism is this: what it is to be in a certain state of mind is to be disposed to behave in a certain way. Most philosophers think that this claim is obviously false. They also think it is offensive. They think it is offensive because it appears to reduce or eliminate what is most valuable to us – our minds. It puts the notion of behaviour in the place of mind, and so removes what distinguishes (...) us from automata. B. F. Skinner, one of the most famous (notorious) behaviourists, thought that behaviourism was a tool for social control, albeit a very liberal sort of control. He thought that by understanding how to condition people’s behaviour we would know how to achieve a better society. (shrink)
Starting from the assumption that one can literally perceive someone's anger in their face, I argue that this would not be possible if what is perceived is a static facial signature of their anger. There is a product–process distinction in talk of facial expression, and I argue that one can see anger in someone's facial expression only if this is understood to be a process rather than a product.
Practical reasons figure in both the justification and the causal explanation of action. It is usually assumed that the agent’s state of believing rather than what they believe must figure in the causal explanation of action. But, that the agent believes something is not a reason in the sense of being part of the justification of what they do. So it is often concluded that the justifying reason is a different sort of thing from the causally motivating reason. But this (...) means that in a causal process of acting the justifying reasons have done their work by the time the agent has the appropriate beliefs and desires. Transforming these into behaviour is not guided by reason. This conception of action in which there is no role for reason in the part of the process where anything actually gets done is not acceptable. So the original assumption that beliefs rather than the believed facts figure in the casual explanation of action should be challenged. (shrink)
Are there any mechanisms in the natural world that respond to reasons – that are sensitive to considerations about what they should do? I think that the answer is that there are approximately 6.6 billion of them on this planet alone. This is not to say that there is nothing more to being a person than being a rational agent – a reasons-responder. My claim is just that to the extent that we are agents we are mechanisms that respond to (...) reasons. (shrink)
Despite being somewhat long in the tooth at the time, Aristotle, Hume and Kant were still dominating twentieth century moral philosophy. Much of the progress made in that century came from a detailed working through of each of their approaches by the expanding and increasingly professionalized corps of academic philosophers. And this progress can be measured not just by the quality and sophistication of moral philosophy at the end of that century, but also by the narrowing of some of the (...) gaps between Aristotelian, Humean and Kantian philosophers. (shrink)
Action is a fresh and engaging introduction to the many philosophical problems associated with agency and is ideally suited for students taking courses in philosophy of action, philosophy of mind and metaphysics.
An influential philosophical conception of our mind’s place in the world is as a site for the states and events that causally mediate the world we perceive and the world we affect. According to this conception, states and events in the world cause mental states and events in us through the process of perception. These mental states and events then go on to produce new states and events in the world through the process of action. Our role is as hosts (...) for these states and events that causally mediate the states and events on the input side and those on the output side. (shrink)
One of the key challenges confronting cognitive science is to discover natural categories of cognitive function. Of special interest is the unity or diversity of cognitive control mechanisms. Evolutionary history is an underutilized resource that, together with neuropsychological and neuroscientific evidence, can help to provide a biological ground for the fractionation of cognitive control. Comparative evidence indicates that primate brain evolution has produced dissociable mechanisms for external action control and internal self-regulation, but that most real-world behaviors rely on a combination (...) of these. The archeological record further indicates the timing and context of distinctively human elaborations to these cognitive control functions, including the gradual emergence of increasingly complex hierarchical action control. (shrink)
The book is an extended argument against neuralism (or against a sort of argument for neuralism), where neuralism is understood to be the identification of mental events with neurophysiological events. So an event of a trying is not supposed to be inner in the sense that a brain event is. And although Pietroski accepts Descartes metaphysical distinction between mental events and physical events, he does not need to extend this to the thought that mental events occupy a special mental realm. (...) So there seems to be no underlying theoretical motivation for denying the natural thought that tryings are usually ‘out there’ in.. (shrink)
The discipline of religious ethics consists in critical reflection on religious varieties of ethical discourse, but to study a variety of ethical discourse, we must look at particular examples of it. Which examples should we be look- ing at? What varieties or traditions shall we take them to represent? In answering these questions, scholars reveal much about their normative commitments. When "religious ethics" replaced "theological ethics" as a cur- ricular rubric in some schools, many ethicists attempted to present their work (...) as value neutral, but it is better to admit that commitments matter and are unavoidable. The new traditionalists make no secret of their nor- mative commitments, which imply an indictment of modern ethical dis- course as a whole. Their candor is commendable, but their indictment can be challenged. Debunkers of modernity have trouble accounting for their own position. Their samples of modern ethical discourse are not repre- sentative. Many democratic voices evidently remain unacknowledged and unexplained. (shrink)
This essay assesses Robert Merrihew Adams' contribution to the religion-morality debate in light of questions in philosophical semantics and metaphilosophy, questions Adams raises without addressing directly. It sketches a holistic theory of the use of language in thought in the hope of providing a context for determining the value and philosophical relevance of Adams' semantic claims. It concludes by suggesting that descriptive metaethics should give way to explicitly historical studies, and by maintaining that historians of ethics need not postulate "meanings" (...) in order to make sense of what they do. (shrink)
Wynn shows that intentionally standardized artifacts (handaxes) provide evidence of the ability to conceptualize form (symmetry). However, such conceptual ability is not sufficient for the actual production of these forms. Stone knapping is a concrete skill that is acquired in the real world. Appreciation of its perceptual-motor foundations and the broader issues surrounding skill acquisition may lead to further important insights into human cognitive evolution.
The purely theoretical notion of fitness or optimality that is employed for instance in optimization theory has come under attack from those who think that only a more historically based notion of fitness could have a central role in evolutionary explanation. They argue that the key notion is proven usefulness rather than theoretical usefulness. This paper articulates a notion of theoretical usefulness and defends its role in functional evolutionary explanations.
In 1994 the "Ramsey Colloquium," under the leadership of Richard John Neuhaus, posed a challenge to what it called the "homosexual movement" within the Christian Church. The challenge was to prove that it had reasons distinguishable from secular liberalism--reasons consistent with orthodox Christian theology--in favor of same-sex coupling. Eugene Rogers's book, "Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God, can be read as a response to this challenge. The book is important not only for the content of (...) its arguments, which are imaginative and theologically rigorous, but also for the exemplary way in which Rogers exhibits charity in his account of his conservative opponents. Rogers's recent anthology, "Theology and Sexuality", provides additional evidence that a new, more promising debate is arising within the Church, a debate that has some hope of transcending the rhetoric of the culture wars. (shrink)
A brave man leaveth not the battle, He who flieth from it is no true warrior, In the field of this body a great war is toward Against Passion, Hunger, Pride and Greed, It is for the Kingdom of Truth, of Contentment and of Purity that this battle is raging: And the sword that ringeth most loudly is the sword Of His name. —KABIR, Hindu Poet.
This paper is a rejoinder to papers by Sabina Lovibond, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Sumner B. Twiss, G. Scott Davis, M. Cathleen Kaveny, and John Kelsay on the author's recent book "Democracy and Tradition". The argument covers a host of topics, ranging from epistemology and methodology to human rights, the common law, and Islamic ethics.
 In chapter 2 of _The Concept of Mind_, “Knowing How and Knowing That”, and especially in the section on “Understanding and Misunderstanding”, Ryle rejects two approaches to the question of the interpretation of other minds that correspond quite closely with what are now called functionalism, or theory theory, and simulation theory. There is a painful irony here that the functionalist approach to the philosophy of mind, which developed in the late 60s and 70s, has widely been regarded as completely (...) superseding Ryle’s own approach. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for the thesis that Stout's category of abstract particulars (what Husserl calls "moments') has played a role in the transition from Bradleian idealism to British analytic philosophy. That category plays this role as part of a new theory of wholes, parts and relations that Stout develops in opposition to Bradley. In Stout's theory abstract particulars are dependent parts of wholes. The critical remarks that G. E. Moore and Kevin Mulligan have made concerning (...)Stout's identification of abstract particulars and predicates are elaborated in this paper. Notwithstanding the fact that Stout mistakenly identifies abstract particulars with predicates, the category of abstract particulars may be of value in a theory of individuals, universals and truthmakers. (shrink)
In his _Democracy and Tradition_, Jeffrey Stout confronts the problem of religious reasons in public deliberation. He finds Rawlsian "public reason" proposals unsatisfactory, and attempts to devise a better account. The authors argue that Stout's view does not avoid the problems attenindg the Rawlsian position.
In the last decade there has been a pragmatic turn in the work of those doing Christian ethics, especially as represented by the work of Jeffrey Stout and Franklin Gamwell. The pragmatic turn represents a critique of the highly influential work of Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre, which argues for a strongly intra-church ethics. The pragmatists are correct in arguing that Christian ethics must engage the public sphere. However, I argue that they are deeply mistaken in their claim that (...) this engagement must rest on a weak or non-existent theology. I show that the claim that robust theology adds nothing to ethics, and that we can get along without it, is unsustainable. (shrink)
The late twentieth century has provided both reasons and occasions for reassessing just war theory as an organizing framework for the moral analysis of war. Books by G. Scott Davis, James T. Johnson, and John Kelsay, together with essays by Jeffrey Stout, Charles Butterworth, David Little, Bruce Lawrence, Courtney Campbell, and Tamara Sonn, signal a remarkable shift in war studies as they enlarge the cultural lens through which the interests and forces at play in political violence are identified and (...) evaluated. In his review of the contribution made by these texts, the author focuses on the cohesion of just war theory, the asymmetry between Christian and Islamic attitudes toward holy war, and the need to develop just war theory into a tool adequate to assist in the moral evaluation of violent conflicts within, not just between, nation-states. (shrink)
In his 1904 letter to G.F. Stout, Cook Wilson distinguishes objective and sub- jective conceptions of appearance, and provides a diagnosis for the modern acceptance of the subjective conception in terms of a confused misdescrip- tion of the objective appearances that perceptual experience affords. More- over, Cook Wilson links subjective appearances with idealism, the suggestion being that perceptual appearances must be objective if they are to afford us with something akin to proof of a world without the mind.
I argue that it is possible literally to perceive the emotions of others. This account depends upon the possibility of perceiving a whole by perceiving one or more of its parts, and upon the view that emotions are complexes. After developing this account, I expound and reply to Rowland Stout's challenge to it. Stout is nevertheless sympathetic with the perceivability-of-emotions view. I thus scrutinize Stout's suggestion for a better defence of that view than I have provided, and (...) offer a refinement of my own proposal that incorporates some of his insights. (shrink)
According to the Simple View (SV) of intentional action famously refuted by Bratman (1984 & 1987), A-ing is intentional only if the agent intended to A. In this paper I show that none of five different objections to Bratman's counter-example – McCann's (1991), Garcia's (1990), Sverdlik's (1996), Stout's (2005), and Adams's (1986) – works. Therefore Bratman's contention that SV is false still stands.
This essay presents a version of divine command metaethics inspired by recent work of Donnellan, Kripke, and Putnam on the relation between necessity and conceptual analysis. What we can discover a priori, by conceptual analysis, about the nature of ethical wrongness is that wrongness is the property of actions that best fills a certain role. What property that is cannot be discovered by conceptual analysis. But I suggest that theists should claim it is the property of being contrary to the (...) commands of a loving God. This claim, if true, is a necessary but not an a priori truth. It also is a claim, not about the way in which some believers use the word 'wrong,' but about the wrongness that virtually everyone talks about. This position is distinguished from the author's previous views, and from a holistic development of the latter proposed by Jeffrey Stout. (shrink)
Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics. The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law. Readers get a clear sense of the wide diversity of viewpoints represented among contemporary theorists, and an opportunity to evaluate the arguments and counterarguments (...) exchanged in the current debates between natural law theorists and their critics. Contributors include Hadley Arkes, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., John Finnis, Robert P. George, Russell Hittinger, Neil MacCormick, Michael Moore, Jeffrey Stout, Joseph Raz, Jeremy Waldron, Lloyd Weinreb, and Ernest Weinrib. (shrink)
The question of domain-specific versus domain-general processing is an ongoing source of inquiry surrounding cognitive control. Using a comparative evolutionary approach, Stout (2010) proposed two components of cognitive control: coordinating hierarchical action plans and social cognition. This article reports additional molecular and experimental evidence supporting a domain-general attentional process coordinating hierarchical action plans, with the earliest such control processing originating in the capacity of dynamic foraging behaviors—predating the vertebrate-invertebrate divergence (c. 700 million years ago). Further discussion addresses evidence required (...) for additional, domain-specific, cognitive control processes, noting that proposed social processes may simply provide emotionally valenced representational information to the above hierarchical process. (shrink)
This paper discusses Jeffrey Stout's thesis that modern societies are "secular," not in the sense that religion has disappeared from them, but in a procedural sense having to do with what can properly be assumed by participants in moral or political discussion. I endorse this thesis, but argue that Stout employs a notion of justification (with regard to moral belief), which leans too far toward descriptivism or relativism. As an alternative account of the status of religion within "the (...) hypercontext, modernity," I commend Kant's view of the religious attitude as a fundamentally ethical one, destined eventually to dispense with any "historical vehicle" in the form of revealed doctrine or supernaturalism. Stout's discussion is weakened by its retreat from commitment to the unity of practical reason, though it does pay illuminating tribute to the democratic values of civility and attentiveness. (shrink)
: Beginning with Emerson's turn from his pulpit, many argue that American philosophy has rigorously held forth against supernaturalism and metaphysics. While most read self-reliance as a call for individualism, I argue that self-reliance is the application of the moral sentiment to the source of existence Emerson calls the Over-soul. Figures like George Kateb, Stanley Cavell, and Jeffrey Stout have presented a very different picture of American pragmatism. Stout, in particular, is responsible for building up what I call (...) "the myth of the Emersonian democrat." We find that a few philosophical positions generally constitute this myth. The Emersonian democrat is secular, sceptical, relativist, anti-realist, and anti-metaphysical. In fact, on my reading of the strand of pragmatism running from Emerson through James to Dewey, the pluralism of the Emersonian democrat depends on certain metaphysical commitments. The traditional reading of Emerson as anti-religion, and by extension, anti-religious, impedes a better understanding of self-reliance and obfuscates some of the Emersonian inheritances in James and Dewey. (shrink)
The causal theory of action (CTA) is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency--the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources while (...) others focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action-oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues. Contributors: Fred Adams, Jesus H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout. (shrink)
A reconstruction of Johnson's main contributions to philosophy is provided. Johnson's theories are grounded on his distinction between "substantives" and "adjectives", which governs the oppositions between (1) particular and universal, (2) determinandum and determinans in thought, (3) acts of separation and discrimination, (4) subject and predicate, (5) thing and quality, (6) substance and determination, (7) proposition and fact, (8) external and internal relations, (9) extension and intension. While substantives divide between continuants and occurrents, adjectives are fundamentally distinguishable into determinables and (...) determinates. The immediate (Stout, Broad) and later (Prior, Carnap, Searle, Armstrong, Hautamäki and Johansson) reception of Johnson's distinction between determinables and determinates is also discussed. (shrink)
The London suicide bombings of July 7, 2005 were partly the revolt of moral earnestness against a liberal society that, enchanted by the fantasy of rationalist anthropology, surrenders its passionate members to a degrading consumerism. The "humane" liberalism variously espoused by Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, and Jeffrey Stout offers a dignifying alternative; but it is fragile, and each of its proponents looks for allies among certain kinds of religious believer. Stanley Hauerwas, however, counsels Christians against cooperation. On the one (...) hand, he is right to resist, insofar as liberalism illiberally excludes theology from public discourse. On the other hand, not all humane liberalism does this: Stout's, for example, is genuinely polyglot, requiring not a common secularist language but a common ethic of communicating. Such a liberal ethic and its attendant anthropology merit the support of Christians: there may be more to be said about the Kingdom of God than respect, tolerance, and fairness, but there will not be less. The Christian has good theological reasons to expect some concord with other inhabitants of secular space. Ethical distinctiveness is no measure of theological integrity; and neither theology ( pace Barth) nor biblical narrative ( pace Richard Hays) should be expected to do all of the ethical running. If Christians are to be thorough in their moral theology and intelligible in their public statements, then they must borrow non-theological material, formulate abstract concepts, and engage in casuistical analysis. Nevertheless, if an anxious insistence on distinctiveness is a mistake, concern for theological integrity is not. When the moral theologian borrows ethical material from elsewhere, he should integrate it into a theological vision structured by the Christian salvation-historical narrative, which will sometimes modify the meaning of what is incorporated. So in affirming humane, polyglot liberalism, the moral theologian will at the same time make salutary qualifications. One of these is the assertion of the need of liberal institutions to own and promote their moral and anthropological commitments. In such a confessionally liberal society, universities in general, and the Arts and Humanities in particular, would recover their vocation to form citizens in communicative virtues and to offer them a dignifying, morally serious vision of human being that could save future generations from a degrading consumerism on the one hand and violent over-reaction on the other. (shrink)
The sense of moral horror at certain deeds and the related idea of the sacred have not been given as central a place in ethical theory, theological or secular, as they have in our moral consciousness. I place them in a broader theological metaethics, in a way that I hope avoids mere taboo and provides for a rational critique of our responses. Moral horror is understood here in terms of violation of the sacred, and the sacred is understood in terms (...) of images of God. The focus on images of God is defended against a less ontological approach suggested by Ronald Dworkin's recent discussion of the sacred, and the choice of violation rather than defilement as a central concept is defended in dialogue with Jeffrey Stout's discussion of abominations. (shrink)
What role should religion play in public discourse? Not too long ago, Richard Rorty argued, in more than one place, that religion is a "conversation stopper" which polite people refer to only in private conversations.2 Religious believers complain, however, that this practice renders it impossible for them to participate in public discourse. They ask whether a democratic community is worthy of the name if it effectively forbids (by custom or legislation) a significant segment of its citizens from acknowledging and drawing (...) upon their own traditions to help justify their moral and political claims?3In Democracy and Tradition, Jeffrey Stout argued that democratic communities are established by cultivating the habit .. (shrink)
In this book, controversial and world-renowned theologian, Stanley Hauerwas, tackles the issue of theology being sidelined as a necessary discipline in the modern university. It is an attempt to reclaim the knowledge of God as just that – knowledge. Questions why theology is no longer considered a necessary subject in the modern university, and explores the role it should play in the development of our “knowledge” Considers how theology is often excluded from the knowledges of the modern university because these (...) are constituted by an understanding of time necessary to make economic and state realities seem inevitable Argues that it is precisely this difference that makes Christian theology an essential resource for the university to achieve its task - that is, to form people who are able to imagine a different world through critical and disciplined reflection Challenges the domesticated character of much recent theology by suggesting how prayer and the love of the poor are essential practices that should shape the theological task Converses with figures as diverse as Luigi Giussani, David Burrell, Stanley Fish, Wendell Berry, Jeff Stout, Rowan Williams and Sheldon Wolin Published in the new and prestigious Illuminations series. (shrink)