In this article I describe the theoretical underpinnings of 20th-century British philosopher W. D. Ross's approach to linking deontological and teleological decision making. I attempt to fill in what Ross left on the whole unanswered, that is, how to use his duties to resolve dilemmas. A case study in journalism demonstrates how to apply the theory. I conclude with an analysis of what I take to be the strengths and weaknesses in Ross's theory.
The goal of this article is to try to resolve two key problems in the duty-based approach of W. D. Ross: the source of principles and a process for moving from prima facie to actual duty. I use a naturalistic explanation for the former and a nine-step method for making concrete ethical decisions as they could be applied to journalism. Consistent with Ross's position, the process is complicated, particularly in tougher problems, and it cannot guarantee correct choices. Again consistent with (...) Ross, such complexity and uncertainty speak in the method's favor, given the difficulty?factual, motivational, and organizational?of ethics problems and decision making. (shrink)
This paper traces the development of parental rights to accept or to refuse treatment for a defective newborn infant in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America; its main purpose is to explore the common trends from which an acceptable policy may be derived. It is probable that the British law on parental decision-making in respect of infants suffering from Down's syndrome is to be found in the civil case of In Re B rather than in the (...) criminal case of R v Arthur. United States court decisions are strongly influenced by constitutional law and reflect the right to personal privacy. The position on each side of the Atlantic seems very similar but this similarity includes a sense of uncertainty as to legal responsibility. There is a case for agreed guidelines and a suggested format is offered for consideration. (shrink)
In this paper I will argue against the Humean theory of motivation, or “conativism” which claims that all actions are ultimately generated by desires. Conativism is supported by (1) a behavioral analysis of desire as a disposition to act in certain ways, and (2) the difference between belief and desire in terms of their different “direction of fi t” with the world. I will show that this behavioral account of desire cannot provide an adequate explanation of action. Mere disposition to (...) act (what I call “wanting”) does not explain why the agent acts; insofar as it explains the action desire is a feeling. I will then argue against the direction of fit argument by showing that beliefs about what we ought to do have both directions of fit—the belief has one direction of fit, and the content of the belief (the ought-clause) has the opposite direction of fit. (shrink)
: J. David Velleman develops a canny, albeit mentalistic, theory of selfhood that furnishes some insights feminist philosophers should heed but that does not adequately heed some of the insights feminist philosophers have developed about the embodiment and relationality of the self. In my view, reflexivity cannot do the whole job of accounting for selfhood, for it rests on an unduly sharp distinction between reflexive loci of understanding and value, on the one hand, and embodiment and relationality, on the (...) other. I conclude that what is missing from Velleman's account is an appreciation of the psycho-corporeal attributes and capabilities embedded in the embodied self and the relational self. (shrink)
It is not uncommon for people to suffer identity crises. Yet, faced with similarly disruptive circumstances, some people plunge into an identity crisis while others do not. How must selfhood be construed given that people are vulnerable to identity crises? And how must agency be construed given that some people skirt potential identity crises and renegotiate the terms of their personal identity without losing their equilibrium -- their sense of self? If an adequate theory of the self and agency must (...) be able to account for this capacity to avert identity crises, I argue that it must include an account of agentic corporeity. After explaining what an identity crisis is, I examine Charles Taylor’s and David Velleman’s accounts of identity and agency and argue that their omission of agentic corporeity makes it impossible for them to convincingly account for the ability to avert an identity crisis. In the spirit of Merleau-Ponty’s account of the intentional arc and J. J. Gibson’s account of the relation between corporeity and affordances, I sketch an account of psychocorporeal practical intelligence that includes three main components – psychocorporeal insight, psychocorporeal values, and psychocorporeal versatility. I conclude by connecting my position to Aristotle’s views about practical understanding and by arguing that both Taylor and Velleman have reason to embrace my position. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Michael Murray and Kurt Meyers offer us (among other things) two innovative and thought-provoking responses to the important question of why God would, even occasionally, refrain from giving us that which he can and would like to give us until we request that he do so: to help the believer learn more about God and thus become more like him and to help the believer realize she is dependent on God. I (...) argue that neither explanation is adequate and thus that more work on this significant topic remains to be done. (shrink)
This study advances the claim that Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, which drew its inspiration and guidelines from Cicero's De Natura Deorum, fulfills four basic elements of Michel Meyer's theory of problematology. In doing so, it is argued, the Dialogues contribute importantly to our understanding of the question-answer pair, and to the notion of rhetoric as a way of knowing.
In recent decades, the individual has become more and more central in both national and world cultural accounts of the operation of society. This continues a long historical process, intensified by the consolidation of a more global polity and the weakening of the primordial sovereignty of the national state. Increasingly, society is culturally rooted in the natural, historical, and spiritual worlds through the individual, rather than through corporate entities or groups. The shift has produced a proliferation and specification of individual (...) roles, accounting for what individuals do in society. It has also produced an expansion in recognized individual personhood, accounting for who individuals are in the extrasocial cosmos and fueling elaborated personal tastes and preferences. Where it has been contested, the shift to the individual has also produced a rise in specializing identities (e.g., in such domains as ethnicity or gender). These offer accounts of individuals' distinctive linkages to the cosmos, and they serve to bolster individual claims to standard roles and personhood. Over time, specializing identities tend to get absorbed into roles and personhood. And in turn, expanded roles and personhood provide further bases for specializing identity claims. Because many theorists mischaracterize the relationship of specializing identities to roles and personhood, the literature often overemphasizes the anomic character of the identity explosion and the closeness of the coupling between social roles and identity claims. On the contrary, specializing identities tend to be edited to remain within general rules of individual personhood and to be disconnected from the obligations involved in institutionalized roles. (shrink)
For centuries, the processes of social differentiation associated with Modernity have often been thought to intensify the need for site-specific forms of role training and knowledge production, threatening the university’s survival either through fragmentation or through failure to adapt. Other lines of argument emphasize the extent to which the Modern system creates and relies on an integrated knowledge system, but most of the literature stresses functional differentiation and putative threats to the university. And yet over this period the university has (...) flourished. In our view, this seeming paradox is explained by the fact that modern society rests as much on universalistic cosmological bases as it does on differentiation. The university expands over recent centuries because – as it has from its religious origins – it casts cultural and human materials in universalistic terms. Our view helps explain empirical phenomena that confound standard accounts: the university’s extraordinary expansion and global diffusion, its curricular and structural isomorphism, and its relatively unified structure. All of this holds increasingly true after World War II, as national state societies made up of citizens are increasingly embedded in a world society constituted of empowered individuals. The redefinition of society in global and individual terms reduces nationally bounded models of nature and culture, extends the pool of university beneficiaries and investigators, and empowers the human persons who are understood to root it all. The changes intensify universalization and the university’s rate of worldwide growth. For the university’s knowledge and “knowers,” and for the pedagogy that joins them together, the implications are many. The emerging societal context intensifies longstanding processes of cultural rationalization and ontological elaboration, yielding great expansions in what can and should be known, and in who can and should know. These changes in turn alter the menu of approved techniques for joining knowledge and knower as one. The “knowledge society” that results is distinguished by the extraordinary degree to which the university is linked to society. But it is also distinguished by the degree to which society is organized around the university’s abstracted and universalized understandings of the world and its degree-certified graduates. (shrink)
I review this fine collection of articles on ancient ethics ranging from the Presocratics to Sextus Empiricus. Eight of the nine chapters are published here for the first time. Contributors include Charles H. Kahn on "Pre-Platonic Ethics," C. C. W. Taylor on "Platonic Ethics," Stephen Everson on "Aristotle on Nature and Value," John McDowell on "Some Issues in Aristotle's Moral Psychology," David Sedley on "The Inferential Foundations of Epicurean Ethics," T. H. Irwin on "Socratic Paradox and Stoic Theory," Julia (...) Annas on "Doing Without Objective Values: Ancient and Modern Strategies," and Susan Sauvé Meyer on "Moral Responsibility: Aristotle and After." There is also an introductory essay by the editor, Stephen Everson. I summarize and then critique each chapter in this rather lengthy review. (shrink)
I review this fine collection of articles on ancient ethics ranging from the Presocratics to Sextus Empiricus. Eight of the nine chapters are published here for the first time. Contributors include Charles H. Kahn on “Pre-Platonic Ethics,” C. C. W. Taylor on “Platonic Ethics,” Stephen Everson on “Aristotle on Nature and Value,” John McDowell on “Some Issues in Aristotle’s Moral Psychology,” David Sedley on “The Inferential Foundations of Epicurean Ethics,” T. H. Irwin on “Socratic Paradox and Stoic Theory,” Julia (...) Annas on “Doing Without Objective Values: Ancient and Modern Strategies,” and Susan Sauvé Meyer on “Moral Responsibility: Aristotle and After.” There is also an introductory essay by the editor, Stephen Everson. I summarize and then critique each chapter in this rather lengthy review. (shrink)
One of the most dominant approaches to semantics for relevant (and many paraconsistent) logics is the Routley–Meyer semantics involving a ternary relation on points. To some (many?), this ternary relation has seemed like a technical trick devoid of an intuitively appealing philosophical story that connects it up with conditionality in general. In this paper, we respond to this worry by providing three different philosophical accounts of the ternary relation that correspond to three conceptions of conditionality. We close by briefly discussing (...) a general conception of conditionality that may unify the three given conceptions. (shrink)
One of the most dominant approaches to semantics for relevant (and many paraconsistent) logics is the Routley-Meyer semantics involving a ternary relation on points. To some (many?), this ternary relation has seemed like a technical trick devoid of an intuitively appealing philosophical story that connects it up with conditionality in general. In this paper, we respond to this worry by providing three different philosophical accounts of the ternary relation that correspond to three conceptions of conditionality. We close by briefly discussing (...) a general conception of conditionality that may unify the three given conceptions. (shrink)
Global Prescriptions scrutinizes the movement to export a U.S.-oriented version of the " rule of law," found in the activities of philanthropic foundations, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and several other developmental organizations. Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth have brought together a group of scholars from a variety of disciplines--anthropology, economics, history, law, political science, and sociology--to create tools for understanding this movement. Comprised of two sections, the volume first develops theoretical perspectives key to an (...) understanding of the production and impact of new "global legal prescriptions." The second part shifts attention to the national importation of these legal orthodoxies. The scholars provide a diverse set of sophisticated approaches, both to the circumstances promoting the production of these prescriptions and to the limitations of the prescriptions in the different national settings. Thus, Global Prescriptions provides a unique treatment for readers interested in globalization generally or the potential spread of the "rule of law" in particular. This volume will intrigue scholars and students interested in a political science, economics, history, anthropology, law, and sociology. Contributors are Jeremy Adelman, Robert Boyer, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Miguel Angel Centeno, Heinz Klug, Larissa Adler Lomnitz, John W. Meyer, Setsuo Miyazawa, Hiroshi Otsuka, Rodrigo Salazar, Kathryn Sikkink, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Catalina Smulovitz. Yves Dezalay is Director of Research, National Center for Scientific Research, Paris. Bryant G. Garth is Director of the American Bar Foundation. (shrink)
Germany is considered to be a pioneer of social security systems; nonetheless, globalization and demographic changes have put enormous pressure on them. A solution is not yet in sight as the debate on the future of the German social security systems still lacks consensus. We argue that ideas matter and that the debate can benefit from a deeper reflection on the concept of social security. This objective is pursued along two lines. First, we take a historical perspective and reconstruct the (...) development of Germany's social security systems. Second, we scrutinize from a theoretical perspective how social security is conceptualized in public and theoretical debates. Behind the various positions, we identify four basic ideal types. We then analyze how these ideal types account for the benefits of social security systems and what role they assign to corporations in providing social security. While two ultimately reinforce potential conflicts between different groups in society, the other two ideal types reveal possible benefits for all. The last ideal type actually conceptualizes social security systems as insurance that fosters risky but overall productive investments in human and other forms of capital. Therefore, it can be shown that social security systems are not necessarily threatened by globalization and that incentives exist for corporations to invest in the provision of social security. (shrink)
In this paper a formal framework is proposed in which variousinformative actions are combined, corresponding to the different ways in whichrational agents can acquire information. In order to solve the variousconflicts that could possibly occur when acquiring information fromdifferent sources, we propose a classification of the informationthat an agent possesses according to credibility. Based on this classification, we formalize what itmeans for agents to have seen or heard something, or to believesomething by default. We present a formalization of observations,communication actions, (...) and the attempted jumps to conclusions thatconstitutes default reasoning. To implement these informative actionswe use a general belief revision action which satisfies theAGM postulates; dependent on the credibility of the incominginformation this revision action acts on one or more parts ofthe classified belief sets of the agents. The abilities of agents formalizeboth the limited capacities of agents to acquire information, and the preference of one kind of information acquisition to another. A very important feature of our approach is that it shows how to integratevarious aspects of agency, in particular the (informational) attitudesof dealing with information from observation, communication and defaultreasoning into one coherent framework, both model-theoretically andsyntactically. (shrink)
Much social theory takes for granted the core conceit of modern culture, that modern actors-individuals, organizations, nation states-are autochthonous and natural entities, no longer really embedded in culture. Accordingly, while there is much abstract metatheory about "actors" and their "agency," there is arguably little theory about the topic. This article offers direct arguments about how the modern (European, now global) cultural system constructs the modern actor as an authorized agent for various interests via an ongoing relocation into society of agency (...) originally located in transcendental authority or in natural forces environing the social system. We see this authorized agentic capability as an essential feature of what modern theory and culture call an "actor," and one that, when analyzed, helps greatly in explaining a number of otherwise anomalous or little analyzed features of modern individuals, organizations, and states. These features include their isomorphism and standardization, their internal decoupling, their extraordinarily complex structuration, and their capacity for prolific collective action. (shrink)
In a survey of newspaper staff members shows that, although implementation of public journalism projects is widespread at U.S. daily newspapers, tibe majority of jou!rnalists still adhere to traditional values in journalism practice and do not support public journalism values that depart from traditional journalism. Criticism of public journalism is that it poses a danger to traditional professional values of independence and objectivity. In the great majority of comparisons, we found thot journalists supporting certain public journalism practices were at least (...) as sensitive to traditional ethical concerns as those who did not support public journalism. (shrink)
We offer a formal account of the English past tenses. We see the perfect as having reference time at speech time and the preterite as having reference time at event time. We formalize four constraints on reference time, which we bundle together under the term ‘perspective’. Once these constraints are satisfied at the different reference times of the perfect and preterite, the contrasting functions of these tenses are explained. Thus we can account formally for the ‘definiteness effect’ and the ‘lifetime (...) effect’ of the perfect, for the fact that the perfect seems to ‘explain’ something about the present, and that the perfect cannot presuppose a past time point. We explain why perfect and preterite can sometimes be interchangeable, and we offer a solution to the ’present perfect puzzle’. We explain the unacceptability of notorious examples of the perfect such as * Gutenberg has discovered the art of printing . We give greater definition to the familiar notions of ‘current relevance’ and ‘extended now’. (shrink)
∗A special thanks to those who have assisted my archival research, including Aldo Antonelli, John Burgess, Michael Della Rocca, Herbert Enderton, Bernard Linsky, Heidi Lockwood, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Julien Murzi and Bas van Fraassen. An extra special thanks to Julien Murzi, who as my research assistant in the Fall of 2005 helped me to identify and think more clearly about the famous anonymous referee reports, which are central to the present paper. For discussion and/or assistance I am also grateful to (...) many others, including Scott Berman, Berit Brogaard, Judy Crane, Susan Brower- Toland, David Chalmers, Solomon Feferman, Nick Griﬃn, Michael Hand, Monte Johnson, Jon Kvanvig, Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Robert Meyer, Andreas Niederberger, Gualtiero Piccinini, Graham Priest, Krister Segerberg, Wilfried Sieg, Roy Sorensen, Kent Staley, Jim Stone, Neil Tennant, Achille Varzi, Nick Zavediuk, anonymous readers for OUP, and audience members at the Paciﬁc APA in Portland (March 24, 2006), the Goethe University of Frankfurt (May 15, 2006), the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam (May 23, 2006), and the Namicona Epistemology Workshop, at the University of Copenhagen (August 22, 2006). Thanks also to my department at Saint Louis University for granting time and resources to research and write the paper. (shrink)
S. Adams, W. Ambrose, A. Andretta, H. Becker, R. Camerlo, C. Champetier, J.P.R. Christensen, D.E. Cohen, A. Connes. C. Dellacherie, R. Dougherty, R.H. Farrell, F. Feldman, A. Furman, D. Gaboriau, S. Gao, V. Ya. Golodets, P. Hahn, P. de la Harpe, G. Hjorth, S. Jackson, S. Kahane, A.S. Kechris, A. Louveau,, R. Lyons, P.-A. Meyer, C.C. Moore, M.G. Nadkarni, C. Nebbia, A.L.T. Patterson, U. Krengel, A.J. Kuntz, J.-P. Serre, S.D. Sinel'shchikov, T. Slaman, Solecki, R. Spatzier, J. Steel, D. Sullivan, S. (...) Thomas, A. Valette, V.S. Varadarajan, B. Velickovic, B. Weiss, J.D.M. Wright, R.J. Zimmer. (shrink)
Commodity chain analysis (Bair and Ramsay, 2003 Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies) is used to explore where economic pressure (from consumers) or socio-political pressure (from governments and NGOs) can be applied to reduce worker exploitation. Six paths are illustrated with examples of successful and unsuccessful application of pressure. Three conclusions are reached :Economic pressure on companies and brand owners is more likely to lead to improved workplace conditions than socio-political pressure; Brand owners are more likely to implement improved (...) workplace conditions than retailers; and Retailers who are under extreme consumer price pressure will resist improving workplace conditions. (shrink)
Following in a psychological and musicological tradition beginning with Leonard Meyer, and continuing through David Huron, we present a functional, cognitive account of the phenomenon of expectation in music, grounded in computational, probabilistic modeling. We summarize a range of evidence for this approach, from psychology, neuroscience, musicology, linguistics, and creativity studies, and argue that simulating expectation is an important part of understanding a broad range of human faculties, in music and beyond.