The idea that we may continue to exist in a bodiless condition after our death has long played an important role in beliefs about immortality, ultimate rewards and punishments, the transmigration of souls, and the like. There has also been long and heated disagreement about whether the idea of disembodied existence even makes sense, let alone whether anybody can or does survive dissolution of his material form. It may seem doubtful that anything new could be added to the (...) debate at this late date, but I hope to show that this is not so. I will explore the problem of disembodiment from a somewhat different direction than has been tried before, one that leads to what seem to me more interesting and more definite conclusions about its unintelligibility. Furthermore, the approach I will be taking puts both the traditional mind-body problem and the competing claims of dualism and physicalism in a fresh light that can help us to understand better the nature of our embodied existence. (shrink)
This study investigated attitudes toward the use of deception in negotiation, with particular attention to the distinction between deception regarding the informational elements of the interaction (e.g., lying about or misrepresenting needs or preferences) and deception about emotional elements (e.g., misrepresenting one's emotional state). We examined how individuals judge the relative ethical appropriateness of these alternative forms of deception, and how these judgments relate to negotiator performance and long-run reputation. Individuals viewed emotionally misleading tactics as more ethically appropriate to (...) use in negotiation than informational deception. Approval of deception predicted negotiator performance in a negotiation simulation and also general reputation as a negotiator, but the nature of these relationships depended on the kind of deception involved. (shrink)
Ethical consumption is on the rise, however little is known about the degree and the implications of the sometime conflicting sets of values held by the broad category of consumers who report consuming ethically. This paper explores convergence and divergence of ethical consumption values through a study of organic, fair trade, and local food consumers in Colorado. Using survey and focus group results, we first examine demographic and attitudinal correlates of ethical consumption. We then report evidence that while many organic, (...) fair trade, and local food consumers converge around similar values, some Colorado consumers support only local food, while opposing the consumption of organic and fair trade products. Next, we investigate how ethical consumers who converge and diverge frame their commitment to consuming ethically. The discussion and conclusion suggest that community development planners of projects that focus on ethical consumption will need to successfully traverse issues stemming from convergence and divergence to enjoy long-term sustained success. (shrink)
[p. 259] After establishing his own existence by the Cogito argument, Descartes inquires into the nature of the self that he claims to know with certainty to exist. He concludes that he is a res cogitans, an unextended entity whose essence is to be conscious. Although a considerable amount of critical effort has been expended in attempts to show how he thought he could move to this important conclusion, his reasoning has remained quite unconvincing. In particular, his critics have insisted, (...) and I think quite rightly, that his claim to be "entirely and absolutely distinct"[i] from his body is not justified by the reasoning which he offers in its support.[ii] Nevertheless, I also believe that the proffered criticisms of Descartes. (shrink)
Over three decades ago, in a brief but provocative essay, Paul Ziff argued for the thesis that robots cannot have feelings because they are "mechanisms, not organisms, not living creatures. There could be a broken-down robot but not a dead one. Only living creatures can literally have feelings."[i] Since machines are not living things they cannot have feelings.
In my essay I contend that the three main avenues by which one might plausibly account for one's self-awareness are unavailable to an individual who is restricted to the skeptic's epistemic ground rules. First, all-encompassing doubt about the world cancels our "external" epistemic access via perception to ourselves as material individuals in the world. Second, one does not have direct cpistemic access to one's substantial self through introspection, since the self as such is not a proper object of inner awareness. (...) Third, we cannot claim, as Descartes did, that we have indirect epistemic access to the substantial self by inference from the occurrence of experiences.The summary conclusion for which I argue is that, if we are to account for our self-knowledge, we cannot adopt the purely subjective epistemological stance that is at the heart of global skepticism. (shrink)
One of the goals of physiologists who study the detailed physical, chemical,and neurological mechanisms operating within the human body is to understand the intricate causal processes which underlie human abilities and activities. It is doubtless premature to predict that they will eventually be able to explain the behaviour of a particular human being as we might now explain the behaviour of a pendulum clock or even the invisible changes occurring within the hardware of a modern electronic computer. Nonetheless, it seems (...) fair to say that hovering in the background of investigations into human physiology is the promise or threat, depending upon how one looks at the matter that human beings are complete physical-chemical systems and that all events taking place within their bodies and all movements of their bodies could be accounted for by physical causes if we but knew enough. I am not concerned at the moment with whether or not this ’mechanistic’ hypothesis is true, assuming that it is clear enough to be intelligible, nor with whether or not we could ever know that it is true. I wish to consider the somewhat more accessible yet equally important question whether our coming to believe that the hypothesis is true would warrant our relinquishing our conception of ourselves as beings who are capable of acting for reasons to achieve ends of our own choosing. I use the word ’warrant’ to indicate that I will not be discussing the possibility that believing the mechanistic hypothesis might lead us, as a matter of psychological fact, to think of human beings as mere automata, as objects whose movements are to be explained only by causes rather than by reasons, as are the actions of a personal subject. I intend to consider only whether the acceptance of mechanism would in fact justify such a change in conception. (shrink)
The ubiquity of family dominated firms in economies worldwide suggests that inquiry into the nature of the ethical frames of these types of firms is increasingly important. In the context of a social exchange approach and the norm of reciprocity, this manuscript addresses social cohesion in a dominant family firm coalition. It is argued that the factors underlying this cohesion, direct versus indirect reciprocity, shape unique attributes of family firms such as intentions for transgenerational sustainability, the pursuit of non-economic goals, (...) and strong interpersonal ties. Exchange structures, represented by direct and indirect reciprocity, lead family and non-family firms toward development of distinctive ethical frames of reference. (shrink)
A method based on Debye theory is developed to calculate the thermal conductivity of octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX). The phonon?phonon interaction model is built up for solid HMX. The phonon lifetime formula is derived by the phonon?phonon scattering mechanism, and the thermal conductivity tensor is derived by the phonon dispersion model. The thermal conductivities of α/?/δ-HMX are calculated in the temperature range 0?700?K and pressure range of 0?10?GPa. The phonon softening process of HMX is investigated. We have proven that the Debye frequency (...) and thermal conductivity tend to 0 at the phonon softening point. A physical picture of the phonon?phonon interaction, phonon lifetime and phonon softening is built up. (shrink)
The main goal of Hebrews is the renewal of Christian worship. Following Jesus the pioneer, freed by Jesus the liberator, and perfected by the offering of Jesus the great high priest, the faithful may enter the sanctuary with a clear conscience and stand boldly in the presence of God.
Recently, alternatives to both the structure and content of ‘orthodox’ just war theory have been proposed by Jeff McMahan and David Rodin. In this paper, I draw on this debate to show that key ideas in just war theory can be disputed in both of these respects. More broadly, it is unclear how we should assess the debate between differing conceptions of individual principles (such as just cause and proportionality) and the competing wider theories in which they might be situated. (...) I employ the idea of reflective equilibrium, taken from John Rawls, to show how these conflicting viewpoints might be understood and assessed. I argue, then, that contemporary just war theory faces both important questions of substance, and a set of difficult meta-theoretical issues concerning the grounds on which competing just war theories can be assessed. Futhermore, I contend, this should influence the character of – and our expectations for – real-world just war institutions. (shrink)
If preachers are going to get a fresh view of Romans, they will have to allow Paul to get up off the psychoanalyst's couch. Romans is the expression not primarily of an anxiety-ridden soul but of a confident apostle who has wagered his whole life on the promises of God.
It is at the juncture between human imagination and textual interpretation that the volatile environment of contemporary biblical hermeneutics becomes the true friend of the one who must proclaim what is found in the text.
The moral importance of the ‘intention–foresight’ distinction has long been a matter of philosophical controversy, particularly in the context of end-of-life care. Previous empirical research in Australia has suggested that general physicians and surgeons may use analgesic or sedative infusions with ambiguous intentions, their actions sometimes approximating ‘slow euthanasia’. In this paper, we report findings from a qualitative study of 18 Australian palliative care medical specialists, using in-depth interviews to address the use of sedation at the end of life. (...) The majority of subjects were agnostic or atheistic. In contrast to their colleagues in acute medical practice, these Australian palliative care specialists were almost unanimously committed to distinguishing their actions from euthanasia. This commitment appeared to arise principally from the need to maintain a clear professional role, and not obviously from an ideological opposition to euthanasia. While some respondents acknowledged that there are difficult cases that require considered reflection upon one's intention, and where there may be some ‘mental gymnastics,’ the nearly unanimous view was that it is important, even in these difficult cases, to cultivate an intention that focuses exclusively on the relief of symptoms. We present four narratives of ‘terminal’ sedation – cases where sedation was administered in significant doses just before death, and may well have hastened death. Considerable ambiguities of intention were evident in some instances, but the discussion around these clearly exceptional cases illustrates the importance of intention to palliative care specialists in maintaining their professional roles. (shrink)
Transplantation research on samples and organs from deceased donors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is under threat. The key problems relate to difficulties encountered in gaining consent for research projects, as distinct from consent to donation for clinical transplantation. They are due partly to the terms of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (the 2004 Act), and partly to its interpretation by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA). They include excessive interaction with donor representatives regarding ‘informed consent’ to research projects, uncertainty (...) as to the scope and duration of a donor's ‘authority’ over an organ, and restrictions caused by the apparent need for licensing of transplantation research under the 2004 Act, combined with lack of certainty, or guidance, as to the distinction between ‘research’, which requires a licence, and ‘service development’, which does not. In our view this confusion hinders and deters Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation in approaching donor representatives and discussing possible research projects with them. It has also, as we have reported elsewhere, led to abandonment of research projects for fear of liability, despite both Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval and donor consent. Such problems do not seem to occur under the transplant laws of most other comparable jurisdictions. The Transplantation Ethics Symposium, ‘The ethics of organ retrieval: goals, rights and responsibilities’, hosted by the MRC Centre for Transplantation at King's College London in December 2010, revealed that many senior clinicians and researchers, administrators, and lawyers are both unclear and in disagreement concerning the effects of the 2004 Act and the extent to which it is adhered to or ignored in practice. In this paper we examine the difficulties encountered and suggest solutions based on a less restrictive interpretation of the 2004 Act, or, more probably, a regulatory change under its authority. We propose that, in the long term, a law which includes consent for REC-approved research within the general consent for organ donation and transplantation seems preferable to the present system, both ethically and in practical terms. (shrink)
Is agency a straightforward and universal feature of human experience? Or is the construction of agency (including attention to and memory for people involved in events) guided by patterns in culture? In this paper we focus on one aspect of cultural experience: patterns in language. We examined English and Japanese speakers’ descriptions of intentional and accidental events. English and Japanese speakers described intentional events similarly, using mostly agentive language (e.g., “She broke the vase”). However, when it came to accidental events (...) English speakers used more agentive language than did Japanese speakers. We then tested whether these different patterns found in language may also manifest in cross-cultural differences in attention and memory. Results from a non-linguistic memory task showed that English and Japanese speakers remembered the agents of intentional events equally well. However, English speakers remembered the agents of accidents better than did Japanese speakers, as predicted from patterns in language. Further, directly manipulating agency in language during another laboratory task changed people’s eye-witness memory, confirming a possible causal role for language. Patterns in one’s linguistic environment may promote and support how people instantiate agency in context. (shrink)