The republican project of freedom as non-domination commits the State to endowing citizens with the resources and attitudes necessary to both apprehend domination and abstain from dominating others. This, some have argued, renders it incompatible with political liberalism, which eschews the promotion of personal liberal virtues, being derived independently of any 'comprehensive doctrine'. Republican freedom is therefore depicted as penetrating deeper, in its application, into intimate and 'private' spheres. I argue, through a Rousseauist interpretation of Rawls's social contract, that its (...) 'political' stricture need not, however, preclude any socially transformative, emancipatory role. Thus, the promotion of freedom as non-domination is compatible with the 'modelled constraints' of Rawls's original position. Far from transgressing the 'political' limits of State power, the goods associated with non-domination may instead be seen as necessary to the realisation of 'moral personality'—independently of the 'final ends' for which it may be exercised. (shrink)
Daly, Brendan A famous case involving the seal of confession was that of Father Francis Douglas. In 1938, a New Zealand Columban priest, Father Francis Douglas was appointed to Pililla, a town near Manila in the Philippines. It was a difficult assignment, made worse by the Japanese occupation of the country in January 1942. In July 1943 he was asked to visit some guerrillas who said that they needed his priestly services. Afterwards, the Japanese then thought he was a (...) spy. He was tortured for 3 days and presumably killed because among other things he would not break the seal of confession. Many regard him as a martyr for being faithful to his priestly obligations. (shrink)
In her signature style, revolutionary Mary Daly takes you on a Quantum leap into a joyous future of victory for women. Daly, the groundbreaking author of such classics as Beyond God the Father and The Church and the Second Sex , explores the visions of Matilda Joslyn Gage, the great nineteenth-century philosopher, and reveals that her insights are stunningly helpful to twenty-first-century Voyagers seeking to overcome the fascism and life-hating fundamentalism that has infused current power structures. Daly (...) shows us once again that Wild, Wise Women can learn to take charge of the current destructive patriarchal forces and use this as an Outlandish opportunity for change. (shrink)
Many contemporary philosophers rate error theories poorly. We identify the arguments these philosophers invoke, and expose their deficiencies. We thereby show that the prospects for error theory have been systematically underestimated. By undermining general arguments against all error theories, we leave it open whether any more particular arguments against particular error theories are more successful. The merits of error theories need to be settled on a case-by-case basis: there is no good general argument against error theories.
There is a recent and growing trend in philosophy that involves deferring to the claims of certain disciplines outside of philosophy, such as mathematics, the natural sciences, and linguistics. According to this trend— deferentialism , as we will call it—certain disciplines outside of philosophy make claims that have a decisive bearing on philosophical disputes, where those claims are more epistemically justified than any philosophical considerations just because those claims are made by those disciplines. Deferentialists believe that certain longstanding philosophical problems (...) can be swiftly and decisively dispatched by appeal to disciplines other than philosophy. In this paper we will argue that such an attitude of uncritical deference to any non-philosophical discipline is badly misguided. With reference to the work of John Burgess and David Lewis, we consider deference to mathematics. We show that deference to mathematics is implausible and that main arguments for it fail. With reference to the work of Michael Blome-Tillmann, we consider deference to linguistics. We show that his arguments appealing to deference to linguistics are unsuccessful. We then show that naturalism does not entail deferentialism and that naturalistic considerations even motivate some anti-deferentialist views. Finally, we set out deferentialism’s failings and present our own anti-deferentialist approach to philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
We defend Joseph Melia's thesis that the role of mathematics in scientific theory is to 'index' quantities, and that even if mathematics is indispensable to scientific explanations of concrete phenomena, it does not explain any of those phenomena. This thesis is defended against objections by Mark Colyvan and Alan Baker.
This paper distinguishes revolutionary fictionalism from other forms of fictionalism and also from other philosophical views. The paper takes fictionalism about mathematical objects and fictionalism about scientific unobservables as illustrations. The paper evaluates arguments that purport to show that this form of fictionalism is incoherent on the grounds that there is no tenable distinction between believing a sentence and taking the fictionalist's distinctive attitude to that sentence. The argument that fictionalism about mathematics is ‘comically immodest’ is also evaluated. In place (...) of those arguments, an argument against fictionalism about abstract objects of any kind is presented in the last section. This argument takes the form of a trilemma against the fictionalist. (shrink)
David Lewis’s genuine modal realism is a controversial thesis in modal metaphysics. Charles Chihara and Ross Cameron have each argued that Lewis’s defence of his thesis involves his committing serious methodological errors; in particular, that his replies to two well-known and important objections are question-begging. Scott Shalkowski has further argued that Lewis’s attempt to analyse modal talk in non-modal terms is viciously circular. This paper considers the methodology which Lewis uses to argue for his thesis, and the paper tries to (...) show that it is guilty of no methodological errors. (shrink)
Marx's thought about justice is essentialist and dialectical. It has been interpreted in terms of immoralism. It is rather a synthesis of the traditional natural law, based on the Aristotelian concept of nature as the potential for perfection or ideal fulfilment, radically different from the Hobbesian reductionist concept of nature as atomistic and mechanical; of the tradition of dialectics in its German idealist form; and of Feuerbach's humanism. Marx's explicitly realist idea of science reveals 'veiled wage-slavery'. Concentration on the market (...) exchange, to the exclusion of the subsequent exploitative use of labour power, deceives exclusively analytic observers into the belief that there is some justice in capitalism. Marx characterized the proletariat as the 'universal class', capable of bringing about the fulfilment of the human essence in a family-style mode of production , because it is the victim of total injustice . However, he criticized workers for not rising above such bourgeois selfishness as demanding 'a fair wage', which is not even a coherent concept. Capitalism is not only a moral injustice, but an ontological injustice, a violation of the worker's humanity. It is coercion into alienation, fetishism and idolatry. (shrink)
This paper considers two strategies for undermining indispensability arguments for mathematical Platonism. We defend one strategy (the Trivial Strategy) against a criticism by Joseph Melia. In particular, we argue that the key example Melia uses against the Trivial Strategy fails. We then criticize Melia’s chosen strategy (the Weaseling Strategy.) The Weaseling Strategy attempts to show that it is not always inconsistent or irrational knowingly to assert p and deny an implication of p . We argue that Melia’s case for this (...) strategy fails. (shrink)
Although environmental philosophy and the human exploration of space share common beginnings, scholars from either field have not given adequate attention to the possible connections between them. In this essay, we seek to spur the rapprochement and cross-fertilization of philosophy and space policy by highlighting the philosophic dimensions of space exploration, pulling together issues and authors that have had insufficient contact with one another. We do so by offering an account of three topics: planetary exploration, planetary protection and the search (...) for extraterrestrial life, and terraforming. The resulting synthesis seeks to change our thinking about earthbound environmental ethics as it considers the philosophical dimensions of space exploration, and introduces the possible benefits of a humanities-oriented approach to space policy. (shrink)
The virtue of internalizing environmental costs so that prices reflect full social opportunity costs at the margin, reaffirmed by Terry Anderson and Donald Leal, is unarguable. Beyond that, however, Anderson and Leal's Free Market Environmentalism neglects the classic works in the intellectual tradition to which it is supposed to be a contribution; is unconvincing and inconsistent in the functions it ascribes to the ?environmental entrepreneur?; conflates problems of distribution and scale with the problem of allocation; ignores international dimensions; and misrepresents (...) the debate over ?sustainable development.? (shrink)
This paper represents a preliminary investigation relating Bernard Lonergan’s thought to health science and the healing arts. First, I provide background for basic elements of Lonergan’s theoretical terminology that I employ. As inquiry is the engine of Lonergan’s method, next I specify two questions that underlie medical insights and define several terms, including health, disease, and illness, in relation to these questions. Then I expand the frame of reference to include all disciplines involved in the cycle of clinical interaction under (...) the heading health science and the healing arts. Finally, I analyze the cycle of clinical interaction in terms of Lonergan’s cognitive theory. I compare and contrast my analysis, based on Lonergan, with that of Pellegrino, Thomasma and Sulmasy as I proceed. In closing, I comment briefly on the next stage of this project regarding Lonergan’s theory of the human good in relation to the practice of the healing arts. (shrink)
The conference did not target only the U.S. Christian right for opposing such things as stem cell research. It challenged every faith community that believes a human being is more than just one more biological product. The weekend of Aug. 7 was organized by the World Transhumanist Association. In 2005 its conference will be in Caracas, Venezuela, where this small band of transhumanists will continue to challenge all larger faith communities to review what they have to say about a "brave (...) new world" that would carry us far beyond the engineered manipulations that seemed so distant when Aldous Huxley wrote in 1932 about creating babies in test tubes. (shrink)
I argue in this paper that the development and convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) is creating a global network of surveillance capabilities which affect the traveler. These surveillance capabilities are reminiscent of 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, and as such the emerging global surveillance network has been referred to as the travel panopticon. I argue that the travel panopticon is corrosive of personal autonomy, and in doing so I describe and analyse various philosophical approaches to personal autonomy.
When a member of an organization has to make a decision or act in a way that may benefit some stakeholders at the expense of others, ethical dilemmas may arise. This paper examines ethical sensitivity regarding the duties to clients and owners (principals), employees (agents), and responsibilities to society (third parties). Within this framework, ethical perceptions of male and female managers are compared between the U.S. and Turkey – two countries that differ on power distance as well as the individualism/collectivism (...) dimensions. Our results show that ethical sensitivity varies depending upon whether the interests of principals, agents, or third parties are affected by a given ethical dilemma. We also find that, contingent upon the principal-agent–society relationships, the nationality and gender of the decision-maker influences ethical sensitivity. (shrink)
One reason why humans don't behave according to standard game theoretical rationality is because it's not realistic to assume that everyone else is behaving rationally. An individual is expected to have psychological mechanisms that function to maximize his/her long-term payoffs in a world of potentially “irrational” individuals. Psychological decision theory has to be individualistic because individuals make decisions, not groups.
At the beginning of your paper you identify Dewey's concept of experience with "knowing how" to do something, skilled coping (pages 5 & 6). But as you discuss Dewey's concept in relation to Gibson's affordances, connectionist nets, and Schusterman's critique, it grows to encompass emotions, goals, and the felt quality of an experience. Still there is no full statement of how Dewey conceived of experience, much less, quotes from his work to match the many quotes from Sellars' work on sensation. (...) Let me propose one from among the many he wrote. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper, two arguments, one by Chomsky, and one by Bar-Hillel and Shamir, are examined in detail and rejected. Both arguments purport to show that the structure of English precludes its having a finite state grammar which correctly enumerates just the well formed sentences of English. In the latter part of the paper I consider the problem of supporting claims about the structure and properties of a natural language when no grammar for the language has (...) yet been accepted. (shrink)
Human males are more polygamously inclined than females. However, there is substantial within-sex variation in polygamous inclinations and practices. This is acknowledged by Gangestad & Simpson but we pose the question: Is the target article's “strategic pluralism” pluralistic enough? In addition, we argue that the hypothesis that the female orgasm is an adaptation for post-copulatory female choice between rival ejaculates demands more research.
Henrich et al.'s nice cross-cultural experiments would benefit from models that specify the decision rules that humans use and the specific developmental pathways that allow cooperative norms to be internalized. Such models could help researchers to design further experiments to examine human social adaptations. We must also test whether the “same” experiments measure similar constructs in each culture, using additional methods and measures.
Schmitt finds that national sex ratios predict levels of sociosexuality, but how we should interpret this result is unclear for both methodological and conceptual reasons. We criticize aspects of Schmitt's theorizing and his analytic strategy, and suggest that some additional analyses of the data in hand might be illuminating.
The relationship between constitutional secularism and gender equality acquires peculiar dimensions in the context of the laïcité project in republican France – particularly, in the contemporary conflict between a laïcité interpreted as a politics of emancipatory social transformation, and the more minimalist liberal conception prevailing in French law. The dominant narrative in the republican establishment, shared between left and right, has been that laïcité will lead to gender emancipation not only by dissolving any sectarian dimensions of women’s citizenship – that (...) is, by sustaining a religiously neutral public sphere – but also, by preventing the domination as well as the coercion of religious choice in the intimate and private spheres of family and community. In this narrative, laïcité represents a more ambitious project of gender emancipation than that promised by the liberalisms more redolent of the Anglo-American world. The apogee of this expansionary interpretation of constitutional secularism is expressed in the 2004 prohibition on conspicuous markers of religious affiliation in the public schools, and the recent debate on the ‘full’ Islamic veil. This article considers the relationship of laïcité to gender equality through the lens of the broader theoretical debate surrounding the relationship of political liberalism to the politics of non-domination. The elusive challenge is to craft a constitutional secularism that can sustain a viable politics of non-domination – going beyond the formalist voluntarism redolent of classical liberalisms, offering undominated as well as uncoerced religious choice – yet also avoiding an overzealous emancipatory stance that itself assumes a regulative role for women’s religious choices. (shrink)
Moral error theory claims that no moral sentence is (nonvacuously) true. Atheism claims that the existence of evil in the world is incompatible with, or makes improbable, the existence of God. Is moral error theory compatible with atheism? This paper defends the thesis that it is compatible against criticisms by Nicholas Sturgeon.