Even though the philosophy of common sense is not justifi able as such, the assump- tion upon which it rests, namely that there are things which we are not in position to doubt is correct. The reason why Thomas Reid was unable to bring this assumption out in a justifi able manner is that his views, both on knowledge and nature, are to be considered dogmatic. American pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey on the other hand, may (...) be seen as offering us a ‘critical’ and post-Darwinian philosophy of common sense. (shrink)
The paper argues that the relation between the philosophy of common sense and skepticism ought to be perceived of as the relation between the two horns of a dilemma. Each position, it is therefore said, is able to confront the other with a valid objection, something which implies that neither of the two positions are defensible as such. The dilemma is only resolved, it is argued, by the way in which a pragmatic approach to knowledge enables us to incorporate the (...) insights of both common sense and skepticism in a single position. (shrink)
The proliferation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into all aspects of life poses unique ethical challenges as our modern societies become increasingly dependent on the flawless operation of these technologies. As we increasingly entrust our privacy, our well-being and our lives to an ever greater number of computers we need to look more closely at the risks and ethical implications of these developments. By emphasising the vulnerability of software and the practice of professional software developers, we want to make (...) clear the ethical aspects of producing potentially flawed software. This paper outlines some of the vulnerabilities associated with software systems and identifies a number of social and organisational factors affecting software developers and contributing to these vulnerabilities. Scott A. Snook’s theory of practical drift is used as the basis for our analysis. We show that this theory, originally developed to explain the failure of a military organisation, can be used to understand how professional software developers “drift away” from procedures and processes designed to ensure quality and prevent software vulnerability. Based on interviews with software developers in two Norwegian companies we identify two areas where social factors compel software developers to drift away from a global set of rules constituting software development processes and methods. Issues of pleasure and control and difference in mental models contribute to an uncoupling from established practices designed to guarantee the reliability of software and thus diminish its vulnerability. (shrink)
Material kept in the National Library of Finland shows that from 1963 until 1969 Erik Stenius (1911–1990) worked on a book on antinomies , having been invited by the Dutch logician Evert Beth (1908–1964) to contribute a monograph to the North-Holland series Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics . The book was never published, but the manuscript has been found, and it is the purpose of this note to report on this finding.
Erik Erikson's work in psychosocial developmental theory has made valuable contributions to the field of religious ethics on some very basic issues. This paper makes scattered elements of Erikson's explicit ethical perspective available in concise fashion for critical ethical reflection. It does this in such a way as to highlight the centrally important fact for religious ethics that implicitly operative in Erikson's view is a criterion of "self-transcendence" as definitive of mature personal (fully human, ethical) development.
In my response to Kevin Carnahan, I explain the concept of religion that I have been working with in my writings on the place of religious reasons in public political discourse. While acknowledging that religion is often privatized, my concern has been with religion as a way of life. It is religion so understood that raises the most serious issues concerning the role of religion in public discourse. In my response to Erik A. Anderson, I go beyond what I (...) have previously said about the role of religious reasons in public discourse. As an alternative to Rawlsian public reason, I argue that the essence of liberal democracy is that every citizen is to have equal political voice. I go on to consider what it is to exercise one’s equal political voice as a moral engagement. (shrink)
An Internet persona known as "Erik" reviewed those aspects of my book No Free Lunch dealing with the Law of Conservation of Information and specificational resources. Erik's review is titled "On Dembski's Law of Conservation of Information" and is available at http://www.talkreason.org/articles/dembski_LCI.pdf. I respond to the review here.
Erik Schokkaert's note presents a very good summary of the theory of macrojustice and a very good list of the directions of research it points to. This is quite fitting since a research programme defines a paradigm, and he sees this proposal as a paradigm shift. This is also very appropriate since his own qualifications are the best for advancing fast in these research topics. I have only a very small number of qualifications to add to his presentation, but (...) I prefer to begin with emphasizing the most important issues. Two aspects can be seen as the most important: the de facto axiomatic derivation of the solution ELIE and its application on the one hand, and the present state of scholarly studies of the optimum or just distribution of income on the other hand. Let us enter by the second door (as opposed to what is done in the book Macrojustice). This will lead us to conclude with a more synthetic and broader view of the basic logic of the paradigms of justice and of the surprising recent history of their interpretations. (shrink)
Jeffrey Alexander and Erik Olin Wright are among the leading sociologists of their generation. Each has published his magnum opus in the past several years: The Civil Sphere (Alexander) and Envisioning Real Utopias (Wright). This paper—a dual review essay—lays out the core arguments of each work; situates each within the personal and intellectual contexts of its production; and critically assesses each in terms of its contributions to sociological theory and research. It also argues that the works converge (unexpectedly, given (...) Alexander’s intellectual origins in neo-functionalism and Wright’s in neo-Marxism) upon a common intellectual position, that of Deweyan pragmatism. It tries to make sense of Alexander’s and Wright’s peculiar dual voyage in a Deweyan direction and offers some reflections as to what that journey might tell us about social theory and political thought today. (shrink)
I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...) good. I argue that the best theory of the meaning of life should clearly distinguish between subjective fulfillment and objective meaningfulness. The GCA respects the distinction. And it is superior to its leading rivals in the recent literature, most notably those of Erik Wielenberg and Susan Wolf. (shrink)
Upshot: Hutto & Myin’s latest “radical enactive cognition” manifesto is a truly exciting book and – despite its short length – quite thick with argumentation. The word “manifesto” here does not only describe the rousing writing style (filled with witty and resounding expressions), but also the general awed feeling one gets, while reading, of the importance of “RECtifying” the current state of research in enactive cognition. Interestingly for the constructivist community, the hallmark thesis of their book is that there can (...) be intentionally directed cognition and perceptual experience without content. (shrink)