In EmanuelAdler's distinctive constructivist approach to international relations theory, international practices evolve in tandem with collective knowledge of the material and social worlds. This book - comprising a selection of his journal publications, a new introduction and three previously unpublished articles - points IR constructivism in a novel direction, characterized as 'communitarian'. Adler's synthesis does not herald the end of the nation-state; nor does it suggest that agency is unimportant in international life. Rather, it argues that (...) what mediates between individual and state agency and social structures are communities of practice, which are the wellspring and repositories of collective meanings and social practices. The concept of communities of practice casts new light on epistemic communities and security communities, helping to explain why certain ideas congeal into human practices and others do not, and which social mechanisms can facilitate the emergence of normatively better communities. (shrink)
Defence of conditions to withdraw an assertion that require evidence or epistemic reasons that the assertion is not true or warranted. (Adler, J. 2006. Withdrawal and contextualism. Analysis 66: 280–85) The defence replies to the claim that better methods justify withdrawal without meeting that requirement and without pragmatic encroachment.
Cost-benefit analysis is a widely used governmental evaluation tool, though academics remain skeptical. This volume gathers prominent contributors from law, economics, and philosophy for discussion of cost-benefit analysis, specifically its moral foundations, applications and limitations. This new scholarly debate includes not only economists, but also contributors from philosophy, cognitive psychology, legal studies, and public policy who can further illuminate the justification and moral implications of this method and specify alternative measures. These articles originally appeared in the Journal of Legal Studies. (...) Contributors: - Matthew D. Adler - Gary S. Becker - John Broome - Robert H. Frank - Robert W. Hahn - Lewis A. Kornhauser - Martha C. Nussbaum - Eric A. Posner - Richard A. Posner - Henry S. Richardson - Amartya Sen - Cass R. Sunstein - W. Kip Viscusi. (shrink)
In this classic work, Adler explores how man differs from all other things in the universe, bringing to bear both philosophical insight and informed scientific hypotheses concerning the biological and behavioral characteristics of mainkind. Rapid advances in science and technology and the abstract concepts of that influence on man and human value systems are lucidly outlined by Adler, as he touches on the effect of industrialization, and the clash of cultures and value systems brought about by increased communication (...) between previously isolated groups of people. Among the other problems this study addresses are the scientific achievements in biology and physics which have raised fundamental questions about humanity's essential nature, especially the discoveries in the bilogical relatedness of all living things. Thrown into high relief is humanity's struggle to determine its unique status in the natual world and its value in the world it has created. Ultimately, Adler's work develops an approach to the separation between scientific and philosophical questions which stands as a model of thought on philosophical considerations of new scientific discoveries and its consequences for the human person. (shrink)
Is it a good time to be alive? Is ours a good society to be alive in? Is it possible to have a good life in our time? And finally, does a good life consist of having a good time? Are happiness and “a good life” interchangeable? These are the questions that Mortimer Adler addresses himself to. The heart of the book lies in its conception of the good life for man, which provides the standard for measuring a century, (...) a society, or a culture: for upon that turns the meaning of each man’s primary moral right – his right to the pursuit of happiness. The moral philosophy that Dr. Adler expounds in terms of this conception he calls “the ethics of common sense,” because it is as a defense and development of the common-sense answer to the question “can I really make a good life for myself?”. (shrink)
Davidson's account of weakness of will depends upon a parallel that he draws between practical and theoretical reasoning. I argue that the parallel generates a misleading picture of theoretical reasoning. Once the misleading picture is corrected, I conclude that the attempt to model akratic belief on Davidson's account of akratic action cannot work. The arguments that deny the possibility of akratic belief also undermine, more generally, various attempts to assimilate theoretical to practical reasoning.
The dominant approach to environmental policy endorsed by conservative and libertarian policy thinkers, so-called (FME), is grounded in the recognition and protection of property rights in environmental resources. Despite this normative commitment to property rights, most self-described FME advocates adopt a utilitarian, welfare-maximization approach to climate change policy, arguing that the costs of mitigation measures could outweigh the costs of climate change itself. Yet even if anthropogenic climate change is decidedly less than catastrophic, human-induced climate change is likely to contribute (...) to environmental changes that violate traditional conceptions of property rights. Viewed globally, the actions of some countriesare likely to increase environmental harms suffered by other countries—less developed nations that have not (as of yet) made any significant contribution to climate change. It may well be that aggregate human welfare would be maximized in a warmer, wealthier world, or that the gains from climate change will offset environmental losses. Yet such claims, even if demonstrated, would not address the normative concern that the consequences of anthropogenic global warming would infringe upon the rights of people in less-developed nations. As a consequence, this paper calls for a rethinking of FME approaches to climate change policy. (shrink)
Numerous labor-management issues possess ethical dimensions and pose ethical questions. In this article, the authors discuss four labor-management issues that present important contemporary problems: union organizing, labor-management negotiations, employee involvement programs, and union obligations of fair representation. In the authors view, labor and management too often view their ethical obligations as beginning and ending at the law''s boundaries. Contemporary business realities suggest that cooperative and enlightened modes of interaction between labor and management seem appropriate.
This interdisciplinary work is a collection of major essays on reasoning: deductive, inductive, abductive, belief revision, defeasible (non-monotonic), cross cultural, conversational, and argumentative. They are each oriented toward contemporary empirical studies. The book focuses on foundational issues, including paradoxes, fallacies, and debates about the nature of rationality, the traditional modes of reasoning, as well as counterfactual and causal reasoning. It also includes chapters on the interface between reasoning and other forms of thought. In general, this last set of essays represents (...) growth points in reasoning research, drawing connections to pragmatics, cross-cultural studies, emotion and evolution. (shrink)
The following paper argues that J.G. Fichte, despite his apparent philosophical neglect of art and aesthetics, does develop a strong, original, and coherent account of art, which not only allows the theorization of modern, non-representative art forms, but indeed anticipates Nietzsche and Heidegger in conceiving of truth in terms of art rather than scientific rationality. While the basis of Fichte’s philosophy of art is presented in the essay “On Spirit and Letter in Philosophy,” it is not developed systematically either in (...) this text or anywhere else in his writings, but must be reconstructed through a broad consideration of all his works, including, above all, his political and economic writings. For Fichte, the art-work does not exist as an object possessing “aesthetic value” and which can, in turn, be possessed, consumed, and enjoyed through the subjective act of aesthetic experience. Rather, it involves a mode of praxis which, grounded in a radical and original power of imagination, creatively discloses possibilities for future forms of existence, experience, and political community that cannot be theoretically anticipated. While Fichte cannot himself theorize specific forms of art, since the art that concerns him belongs to the future, we can, however, retrospectively try to understand non-representational painting and non-mimetic dance as concrete realizations of Fichte’s art-work of the future. In this way, Fichte’s philosophy of art ultimately suggests an alternative to Heidegger’s understanding of the work of art as a projective institution of truth. Fichte suggests that the human body, rather than human language, is the fundamental medium of art. (shrink)
Fair lotteries offer familiar ways to pose a number of epistemological problems, prominently those of closure and of scepticism. Although these problems apply to many epistemological positions, in this paper I develop a variant of a lottery case to raise a difficulty with the reliabilist's fundamental claim that justification or knowledge is to be analyzed as a high truth-ratio (of the relevant belief-forming processes). In developing the difficulty broader issues are joined including fallibility and the relation of reliability to understanding.
The Pigou-Dalton (PD) principle recommends a non-leaky, non-rank-switching transfer of goods from someone with more goods to someone with less. This Article defends the PD principle as an aspect of distributive justice—enabling the comparison of two distributions, neither completely equal, as more or less just. It shows how the PD principle flows from a particular view, adumbrated by Thomas Nagel, about the grounding of distributive justice in individuals’ “claims.” And it criticizes two competing frameworks for thinking about justice that less (...) clearly support the principle: the veil-of-ignorance framework, and Larry Temkin’s proposal that fairer distributions are those concerning which individuals have fewer “complaints.” -/- The Article also clarifies the relation between the PD principle and prioritarianism. Prioritarians will surely endorse the PD principle (with the “good” individual well-being), but they are also committed to a distinct axiom of separability: the moral value of someone’s well-being change does not depend upon her position relative to others. The PD principle neither implies separability, nor is implied by it. Although prioritarianism is very plausible, the case for the PD principle is yet more compelling than for the combination of that principle with separability. In discussing prioritarianism, we should differentiate between these two, logically independent aspects of the view. -/- . (shrink)
Commentators often claim that medical research subjects are coerced into participating in clinical studies. In recent years, such claims have appeared especially frequently in ethical discussions of research in developing countries. Medical research ethics is more important than ever as we move into the 21st century because worldwide the pharmaceutical industry has grown so much and shows no sign of slowing its growth. This means that more people are involved in medical research today than ever before, and in the future (...) even more will be involved. However, despite the pressing need for reflection on research ethics, it is important to carefully identify the concerns we have about research. Otherwise we run the risk that the moral language we use, and which we hear other people use, may do our moral thinking for us. We argue that many recent claims about the occurrence of coercion in medical research are misguided and misuse the word "coercion." We try to identify the real problems, and urge people to attend carefully to the implications of their descriptions of moral problems in research. (shrink)
Why is there so much misrepresentation of arguments in public forums? Standard explanations, such as self-interested biases, are insufficient. An additional part of the explanation is our commitment to, or belief in, norms that disallow responses that amount to no firm judgment, as contrasted with definite agreement or disagreement. In disallowing no-firm-judgment responses, these norms deny not only degrees of support or dissent and a variety of ways of suspending judgment, but also indifference. Since these norms leave us with only (...) constricted options that are very intellectually demanding, in accepting these norms we impose on ourselves a pressure to justify our judgment that lends itself to relief through misrepresentation or distortion. (shrink)
Sunstein aims to provide a nonsectarian account of moral heuristics, yet the account rests on a controversial meta-ethical view. Further, moral theorists who reject act consequentialism may deny that Sunstein's examples involve moral mistakes. But so what? Within a theory that counts consequences as a morally weighty feature of actions, the moral judgments that Sunstein points to are indeed mistaken, and the fact that governmental action at odds with these judgments will be controversial doesn't bar such action.
This chapter is an essay in a volume that examines constitutional law in the United States through the lens of H.L.A. Hart's "rule of recognition" model of a legal system. My chapter focuses on a feature of constitutional practice that has been rarely examined: how jurists and scholars argue about interpretive methods. Although a vast body of scholarship provides arguments for or against various interpretive methods -- such as textualism, originalism, "living constitutionalism," structure-and-relationship reasoning, representation reinforcement, minimalism, and so forth (...) -- very little scholarship shifts to the meta-level and asks: What are the considerations that jurists and scholars bring to bear in arguing that one or another interpretive method is legally favored? And can we "make sense" of this body of argument? Is there a model of legal discourse that both accurately describes how U.S. jurists and scholars actually argue about interpretive methods, and that vindicates this discourse (in the sense of seeing these actors as making valid arguments)? I find that Hart's rule-of-recognition model fails to describe or vindicate how U.S. jurists and scholars argue about interpretive methods. The problem, in a nutshell, is that Hart sees legal argument as asserting or presupposing the social fact of contemporary official acceptance of a rule of recognition. By contrast, jurists and scholars typically point to social facts other than contemporary official acceptance in arguing for the legal status of an interpretive method -- for example, the fact that the method is supported by Framers' intent, or by U.S. culture and tradition, or by precedent. Further, jurists and scholars very often argue that some interpretive method is legally favored even though the method is controversial. On Hart's model, such a claim is problematic -- because, on his model, the content of the rule of recognition is not controversial, but rather a matter of consensus among officials. The upshot may just be that Hart's model is a failure. However, another possibility is to adopt an "error theory" of U.S. constitutional discourse. It may perhaps be the case that U.S. jurists and scholars often make claims for the favorable legal status of some interpretive method that are inconsistent with the best understanding of the nature of law. (shrink)
Reliabilism holds that knowledge is true belief reliably caused. Reliabilists should say something about individuating processes; critics deny that the right degree of generality can be specified without arbitrariness. It is argued that this criticism applies as well to processes mentioned in scientific explanations. The gratuitous puzzles created thereby show that the "generality problem" is illusory.
Three fallacies in the rationality debate obscure the possibility for reconciling the opposed camps. I focus on how these fallacies arise in the view that subjects interpret their task differently from the experimenters (owing to the influence of conversational expectations). The themes are: first, critical assessment must start from subjects' understanding; second, a modal fallacy; and third, fallacies of distribution.
Traditionally, biomedical research has been devoted to improvement in the understanding and treatment or prevention of disease. Building on the knowledge generated by the long history of disease-oriented research, the next few decades will witness an explosion of biomedical enhancements to make people faster, stronger, smarter, less forgetful, happier, prettier, and live longer (Turner et al. 2003; Vastag 2004; Rose 2002). As with other biomedical interventions, research to assess the safety and efficacy of these enhancements in humans should be conducted (...) before their introduction into clinical practice.1 However, various concerns regarding the ethics of enhancement research could be raised. Those who .. (shrink)
Objective Some researchers claim that the quality of informed consent of clinical research participants in developing countries is worse than in developed countries. To evaluate this assumption, we reviewed the available data on the quality of consent in both settings. Methods We conducted a comprehensive PubMed search, examined bibliographies and literature reviews, and consulted with international experts on informed consent in order to identify studies published from 1966 to 2010 that used quantitative methods, surveyed participants or parents of paediatric participants (...) in actual trials, assessed comprehension and/or voluntariness, and did not involve testing particular consent interventions. Forty-seven studies met these criteria. We compared data about participant comprehension and voluntariness. The paucity of data and variation in study methodology limit comparison and preclude statistical aggregation of the data. Results and Discussion This review shows that the assertion that informed consent is worse in developing countries than in developed countries is a simplification of a complex picture. Despite the limitations of comparison, the data suggest that: (1) comprehension of study information varies among participants in both developed and developing countries, and comprehension of randomisation and placebo controlled designs is poorer than comprehension of other aspects of trials in both settings; and (2) participants in developing countries appear to be less likely than those in developed countries to say they can refuse participation in or withdraw from a trial, and are more likely to worry about the consequences of refusal or withdrawal. (shrink)
Decision theory seems to offer a very attractive normative framework for individual and social choice under uncertainty. The decisionmaker should think of her choice situation, at any given moment, in terms of a set of possible outcomes, that is, specifications of the possible consequences of choice, described in light of the decisionmaker's goals; a set of possible actions; and a "state set" consisting of possible prior "states of the world." It is this framework for choice which provides the foundation for (...) expected utility theory, as demonstrated in the work of Leonard Savage. Problems arise, however, when the decisionmaker is boundedly rational: when the mental process of thinking about outcomes, actions, and states is itself expensive and time consuming. In the case of the unboundedly rational decisionmaker, decision theory enjoins her to employ maximally specific outcomes; to consider all possible actions; and to use a set of mutually exclusive and collective exhaustive states, each of which is sufficiently finely specified so that each action, together with each state, yields one and only one maximally specific outcome. In the case of the boundedly rational decisionmaker, this procedure is either infeasible or, if feasible, irrational. This paper presents the problem of bounded rationality. It surveys possible solutions, none of which are found to be attractive. And it concludes by discussing the difficulties that the problem of bounded rationality poses for the welfarist program for legal scholarship presented by Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell in their book, Fairness versus Welfare. (shrink)