We know we have thoughts, but are we aware that we have styles of thought? This book, written by one of the most gifted and celebrated social thinkers of our time, is a contribution to understanding the rules of the different styles of thinking. Author Mary Douglas takes us through a range of thought styles from the vulgar to the refined. Throughout this fascinating journey, Thought Styles shows us how the different styles work and how outsiders can learn the (...) styles of insiders. The discussion ranges from the style of folklore to the styles of therapy, shopping, religion, and animal rights. The result is a book full of insight. Readers will find themselves thinking in new ways about the mechanics of communication in everyday life. Professionals and researchers in sociology, communication, and anthropology will especially appreciate this auspicious new book. (shrink)
Aristotle is the most influential philosopher of practice, and Knight's new book explores the continuing importance of Aristotelian philosophy. First, it examines the theoretical bases of what Aristotle said about ethical, political and productive activity. It then traces ideas of practice through such figures as St Paul, Luther, Hegel, Heidegger and recent Aristotelian philosophers, and evaluates Alasdair MacIntyre's contribution. Knight argues that, whereas Aristotle's own thought legitimated oppression, MacIntyre's revision of Aristotelianism separates ethical excellence from social elitism and (...) justifies resistance. With MacIntyre, Aristotelianism becomes revolutionary. MacIntyre's case for the Thomistic Aristotelian tradition originates in his attempt to elaborate a Marxist ethics informed by analytic philosophy. He analyses social practices in teleological terms, opposing them to capitalist institutions and arguing for the cooperative defence of our moral agency. In condensing these ideas, Knight advances a theoretical argument for the reformation of Aristotelianism and an ethical argument for social change. (shrink)
Fraud from the frontlines: the importance of being nice Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9492-2 Authors Heather Douglas, Department of Philosophy, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 815 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0480, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
I present two measures of information for both consistentand inconsistent sets of sentences in a finite language ofpropositional logic. The measures of information are based onmeasures of inconsistency developed in Knight (2002).Relative information measures are then provided corresponding to thetwo information measures.
Douglas proposes a new ideal in which values serve an essential function throughout scientific inquiry, but where the role values play is constrained at key points, protecting the integrity and objectivity of science.
Sundry times and sundry places Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9670-5 Authors David Knight, Philosophy Department, Durham University, 50, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Johnstone, H. W., Jr. Rhetoric and communication in philosophy.--Smith, C. R. and Douglas, D. G. Philosophical principles in the traditional and emerging views of rhetoric.--Wallace, K. R. Bacon's conception of rhetoric.--Thonssen, L. W. Thomas Hobbes's philosophy of speech.--Walter, O. M., Jr. Descartes on reasoning.--Douglas, D. G. Spinoza and the methodology of reflective knowledge in persuasion.--Howell, W. S. John Locke and the new rhetoric.--Doering, J. F. David Hume on oratory.--Douglas, D. G. A neo-Kantian approach to the epistomology of (...) judgment in criticism.--Bevilacqua, V. M. Lord Kames's theory of rhetoric.--Brockriede, W. E. Bentham's philosophy of rhetoric.--Anderson, R. E. Kierkegaard's theory of communication.--Macksoud, S. J. Ludwig Wittgenstein, radical operationism and rhetorical stance.--Stewart, J. J. L. Austin's speech act analysis.--Torrence, D. L. A philosophy of rhetoric from Bertrand Russell.--Clark, A. Martin Buber, dialogue, and the philosophy of rhetoric.--Bennett, W. Kenneth Burke--a philosophy in defense of un-reason.--Dearin, R. D. The philosophical basis of Chaim Perelman's theory of rhetoric. (shrink)
Li Da (1890–1966) was one of China’s most important Marxist intellectuals and a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party. He played a major role in the introduction of Marxist philosophy and theory to China and in its dissemination among Chinese revolutionaries. His works are now regarded in China as classics of Marxist philosophy, and he is numbered among the ten most influential Chinese intellectuals of this century. Yet, almost nothing has been written about Li Da in English.In this seminal (...) study, Knight analyzes Li Da’s contribution to the flowering of Marxist philosophy and theory in China, examining Li’s writings and placing them in the context of the Marxist tradition. Knight also explores Li Da’s philosophical relationship with Mao Zedong, who was heavily influenced by Li’s works. Through the lens of Li’s life and thought, this book provides a detailed assessment of the introduction and dissemination of Marxist philosophy and social theory in China. (shrink)
This paper considers issues raised by Elizabeth Anderson's recent critique of the position she terms luck egalitarianism. It is maintained that luck egalitarianism, once clarified and elaborated in certain regards, remains the strongest egalitarian stance. Anderson's arguments that luck egalitarians abandon both the negligent and prudent dependent caretakers fails to account for the moderate positions open to luck egalitarians and overemphasizes their commitment to unregulated market choices. The claim that luck egalitarianism insults citizens by redistributing on the grounds of paternalistic (...) beliefs, pity and envy, and by making intrusive and stigmatizing judgments of responsibility, fails accurately to characterize the luck egalitarians rationale for redistribution and relies upon luck egalitarians being insensitive to the danger of stigmatization (which they need not be). The luck egalitarian position is reinforced by the fact that Anderson's favoured conception of equality, democratic equality, is counterintuitively indifferent to all unchosen inequalities, including intergenerational inequalities, once bare social minima are met. (shrink)
The terms ``objectivity'''' and ``objective'''' are among the mostused yet ill-defined terms in the philosophy of science and epistemology. Common to all thevarious usages is the rhetorical force of ``I endorse this and you should too'''', orto put it more mildly, that one should trust the outcome of the objectivity-producing process.The persuasive endorsement and call to trust provide some conceptual coherenceto objectivity, but the reference to objectivity is hopefully not merely an attemptat persuasive endorsement. What, in addition to epistemological endorsement,does (...) objectivity carry with it? Drawing on recent historical and philosophical work,I articulate eight operationally accessible and distinct senses of objectivity.While there are links among these senses, providing cohesion to the concept, I argue thatnone of the eight senses is strictly reducible to the others, giving objectivity itsirreducible complexity. (shrink)
Although a strict dichotomy between facts and values is no longer accepted, less attention has been paid to the roles values should play in our acceptance of factual statements, or scientific descriptive claims. This paper argues that values, whether cognitive or ethical, should never preclude or direct belief on their own. Our wanting something to be true will not make it so. Instead, values should only be used to consider whether the available evidence provides sufficient warrant for a claim. This (...) argument is made for all relevant values, including cognitive, ethical, and social values. The rational integrity of science depends not on excluding some values and including others in the reasoning process, but of constraining all values to their proper role in belief acceptance. (shrink)
Although epistemic values have become widely accepted as part of scientific reasoning, non-epistemic values have been largely relegated to the "external" parts of science (the selection of hypotheses, restrictions on methodologies, and the use of scientific technologies). I argue that because of inductive risk, or the risk of error, non-epistemic values are required in science wherever non-epistemic consequences of error should be considered. I use examples from dioxin studies to illustrate how non-epistemic consequences of error can and should be considered (...) in the internal stages of science: choice of methodology, characterization of data, and interpretation of results. (shrink)
Opponents of biomedical enhancement often claim that, even if such enhancement would benefit the enhanced, it would harm others. But this objection looks unpersuasive when the enhancement in question is a moral enhancement — an enhancement that will expectably leave the enhanced person with morally better motives than she had previously. In this article I (1) describe one type of psychological alteration that would plausibly qualify as a moral enhancement, (2) argue that we will, in the medium-term future, probably be (...) able to induce such alterations via biomedical intervention, and (3) defend future engagement in such moral enhancements against possible objections. My aim is to present this kind of moral enhancement as a counter-example to the view that biomedical enhancement is always morally impermissible. (shrink)
Applying social contract theory to business ethics is a relatively new idea, and perhaps nobody has pursued this direction better than Thomas Donaldson and Thomas W. Dunfee. Their "Integrative Social Contracts Theory" manages to combine culturally sensitive decision making capacities with trans-cultural norms by setting up a layered system of social contracts. Lurking behind their work is a concern with the problems of relativism. They hope to alleviate these problems by introducing three concepts important to the ISCT: "authentic norms," which (...) clarify culturally specific norms, "priority rules," which determine the rules of engagement when authentic norms clash, and "hypernorms," which measure the value of authentic norms against a thin set of universally upheld values. This paper traces the genealogy of these hypernorms and challenges their value for the ISCT. It argues that well-conceived priority rules can do everything hypernorms can, and can do so more simply. (shrink)
There has been much debate regarding the 'double-effect' of sedatives and analgesics administered at the end-of-life, and the possibility that health professionals using these drugs are performing 'slow euthanasia.' On the one hand analgesics and sedatives can do much to relieve suffering in the terminally ill. On the other hand, they can hasten death. According to a standard view, the administration of analgesics and sedatives amounts to euthanasia when the drugs are given with an intention to hasten death. In this (...) paper we report a small qualitative study based on interviews with 8 Australian general physicians regarding their understanding of intention in the context of questions about voluntary euthanasia, assisted suicide and particularly the use of analgesic and sedative infusions (including the possibility of voluntary or non-voluntary 'slow euthanasia'). We found a striking ambiguity and uncertainty regarding intentions amongst doctors interviewed. Some were explicit in describing a 'grey' area between palliation and euthanasia, or a continuum between the two. Not one of the respondents was consistent in distinguishing between a foreseen death and an intended death. A major theme was that 'slow euthanasia' may be more psychologically acceptable to doctors than active voluntary euthanasia by bolus injection, partly because the former would usually only result in a small loss of 'time' for patients already very close to death, but also because of the desirable ambiguities surrounding causation and intention when an infusion of analgesics and sedatives is used. The empirical and philosophical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
I provide a method of measuring the inconsistency of a set of sentences – from 1-consistency, corresponding to complete consistency, to 0-consistency, corresponding to the explicit presence of a contradiction. Using this notion to analyze the lottery paradox, one can see that the set of sentences capturing the paradox has a high degree of consistency (assuming, of course, a sufficiently large lottery). The measure of consistency, however, is not limited to paradoxes. I also provide results for general sets of sentences.
Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different (...) fields of biological research. (shrink)
This study developed and tested a model of culture’s effect on budgeting systems, and hypothesized that system variables and reactions to them are influenced by culture-specific work-related and ethical values. Most organizational and behavioral views of budgeting fail to acknowledge the ethical components of the problem, and have largely ignored the role of culture in shaping organizational and individual values. Cross-cultural differences in reactions to system design variables, and in the behaviors motivated or mitigated by those variables, has implications for (...) the design and effectiveness of budgeting systems. The data largely support our research model, demonstrating the hypothesized national cultural differences in system design variables (e.g., participation, standards tightness, budget emphasis, etc. which we characterized as the opportunity and incentives to create budgetary slack), and the expected relationship between incentives (but not opportunity) to create slack and slack creation behavior. The data demonstrate hypothesized cultural differences in ethical ideology but show ethical ideology related to slack creation behavior only for U.S. managers. A discussion of the results and their implications is included. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between organizational ethical culture in two large international CPA firms, auditors'' personal values and the ethical orientation that those values dictate, and judgments in ethical dilemmas typical of those that accountants face. Using an experimental task consisting of multiple judgments designed to vary in "moral intensity" (Jones, 1991), and unique as well as tried-and-true approaches to variable measurements, this study examined the judgments of more than three hundred participants in our study. ANCOVA and path analysis (...) results indicate that: (1) Ethical judgments in situations of high moral intensity are affected by personal values and by environmental variables, such as the professional code of conduct (direct and indirect effects) and previous ethics instruction (direct effect only). (2) Corporate ethical culture, and a relatively strong firm rules-orientation, affect auditors'' idealism but not relativism, and therefore indirectly affect ethical judgments. Jones'' (1991) moral intensity argument is supported: differences in the characteristics of specific judgment tasks apparently result in different decision processes. (shrink)
Although students bring to medical school a fairly well established value system, the potential for moral growth through the medical school environment and experience is substantial. The educational environment poses a succession of developmental and adaptive tasks to be accomplished. Several of these tasks are discussed here, tasks that are value-laden and involve, directly or indirectly, the interplay of ethical theory and practice. During the past quarter century, the two influences that have had the greatest impact on the moral growth (...) and moral reasoning capacity of medical students have been the incorporation into the medical school curriculum of courses in medical humanities and the admission to medical school of an increasing number of female students. The female students have brought to medical school a level or dimension of moral reasoning (morality as care or responsibility for others) to augment the male students' focus on rights and justice considerations. (shrink)
The "Ibercorp affair" was front-page news in Spain at various times between 1992 and 1995. In itself, there was nothing particularly new about it: a newly formed financial group engaged in legally and ethically reprehensible behaviour that eventually came to light in the media, ruining the company (and the careers of those involved). What aroused public interest at the time was the fact that it involved individuals connected with Spanish public and political life, the media and certain business circles. Above (...) all, it demonstrated the personal, economic, social and political consequences of a business culture based on the pursuit of easy profits at any price (what came to be known as the cultura del pelotazo or "culture of the fast buck"). Again, this is all too familiar in business ethics. But it served to goad Spanish society into a rejection of such behaviour. This article describes the facts and their ethical implications. (shrink)
Summary Historians of science in Britain lack a firm institutional base. They are to be found scattered around in various departments in universities, polytechnics and museums. Their history over the last thirty-five years can be seen as a series of flirtations with those in more-established disciplines. Beginning with scientists, they then turned to philosophers, moving on to historians and then to sociologists: from each of these affairs something was learned, and the current interest determined which aspects of the history of (...) science were seen as most interesting. At first it was settling who really discovered what; then an interest in concepts, methods and case-studies; then understanding the broader historical context of science; and after that seeing science in its social context, with special emphasis on institutions and professionalization. Where we shall go next is unclear: these vagaries may be no more than examples of intellectual fashion, but we may hope that they represent a zig-zag route towards deeper understanding. (shrink)