The predominant view of moral virtue can be traced back to Aristotle. He believed that moral virtue must involve intellectual excellence. To have moral virtue one must have practical wisdom - the ability to deliberate well and to see what is morally relevant in a given context. Julia Driver challenges this classical theory of virtue, arguing that it fails to take into account virtues which do seem to involve ignorance or epistemic defect. Some 'virtues of ignorance' are counterexamples to (...) accounts of virtue which hold that moral virtue must involve practical wisdom. Modesty, for example, is generally considered to be a virtue even though the modest person may be making an inaccurate assessment of his or her accomplishments. Driver argues that we should abandon the highly intellectualist view of virtue and instead adopt a consequentialist perspective which holds that virtue is simply a character trait which systematically produces good consequences. (shrink)
Ethics: The Fundamentals explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series. Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas. Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.
Normative Ethical theory underwent a period of refinement in some areas and proliferation in others during the 20th century. Theories prominent in the 19th century, such as Utilitarianism, underwent refinement in light of criticisms; other approaches, such as normative intuitionism and virtue ethics, were developed in new directions, ones that reflected the sophistication of analytical techniques developed by philosophers in the 20th century, particularly in ordinary language philosophy. The middle of the 20th century was marked by an interest in conceptual (...) analysis and what could be revealed about our concepts in the analysis of ‘ordinary’ language appeals to those concepts. For example, Gilbert Ryle argued that the hope of clearing up our concepts via formalizing them was futile, and instead the task of philosophy was to clear up confusions present in the ordinary use of concepts, concepts employed by ordinary people as well as specialists in a given area. Normative ethicists in the very early part of the 20th century had not yet adopted a ‘scientizing’ attitude to philosophy. They believed, for example, that one could rely on intuition in formulating ethical theories.1 Theorists in the early part of the century were also optimistic about the prospects of systematizing normative ethics in a way that would be faithful to our common sense normative judgments. This began, largely, with a critical look at Utilitarianism. (shrink)
: This essay attempts to show that sophisticated consequentialism is able to accommodate the concerns that have traditionally been raised by feminist writers in ethics. Those concerns have primarily to do with the fact that consequentialism is seen as both too demanding of the individual and neglectful of the agent's special obligations to family and friends. Here, I argue that instrumental justification for partiality can be provided, for example, even though an attitude of partiality is not characterized itself in instrumental (...) terms. (shrink)
We seem less likely to endorse moral expertise than reasoning expertise or aesthetic expertise. This seems puzzling given that moral norms are intuitively taken to be at least more objective than aesthetic norms. One possible diagnosis of the asymmetry is that moral judgments require autonomy of judgement in away that other judgments do not. However, the author points out that aesthetic judgments that have been ‘borrowed’ by aesthetic experts generate the same autonomy worry as moral judgments which are borrowed by (...) moral experts. The author then explores various approaches to accepting the testimony of moral experts and concludes that the asymmetry may best be explained by (1) the conditions for moral expertise being more difficult to satisfy than those of aesthetic expertise and (2) the intuitive greater seriousness of accepting the moral judgments of others, since moral norms are generally viewed as more binding than aesthetic norms. (shrink)
This paper begins with the idea that we can learn a good deal about promising by examining the conditions and norms that govern promise- breaking. Sometimes promises are broken as a deliberate plan, other times they are broken because they are simply incompatible with other, more signifi cant moral norms, or because it becomes clear that they are impossible to keep. There are cases where people make promises that are actually incompatible with each other. Politicians, for example, often give such (...) incompatible promises, either intentionally, or by making too many commitments, some of which turn out to be incompatible. In making such promises, agents guarantee that at least one promise be broken. Is the agent who makes incompatible promises under any obli- gation? If ‘ought’ implies ‘can,’ and promises entail obligations, then it seems that one cannot, in fact, make promises one cannot keep. This paper explores the problem by drawing analogies between incompatible promises and other promises that cannot be kept. It suggests that we can deny ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ strictly speaking, but recognize that there is a practical limit on what the agent can be called on to do. On this view, even promises to do the impossible commit the agent. Similarly, politi- cians who promise too much are still obligated to do as promised. (shrink)
This essay is a rejoinder to comments on Uneasy Virtue made by Onora O'Neill, John Skorupski, and Michael Slote in this issue. In Uneasy Virtue I presented criticisms of traditional virtue theory. I also presented an alternative – a consequentialist account of virtue, one which is a form of ‘pure evaluational externalism’. This type of theory holds that the moral quality of character traits is determined by factors external to agency (e.g. consequences). All three commentators took exception to this account. (...) Therefore, the bulk of my response focuses on defending the externalist account of virtue presented in the final chapters of Uneasy Virtue. (shrink)
This paper focuses on an underappreciated issue that dreams raise for moral evaluation: is immorality possible in dreams? The evaluatiotial internalist is committed to answering ‘yes.’ This is because the internalist account of moral evaluation holds that the moral quality of a person's actions, what a person does, her agency in any given case is completely determined by factors that are internal to that agency, such as the person's motives and/or intentions. Actual production of either good or bad effects is (...) completely irrelevant to the moral evaluation of that agency. Since agency can be expressed in a dream, the internalist is committed to dream immorality. Some may take this as a reductio of evaluational internalism, but whether or not this is the case the issue reveals what such a theory is committed to. In this paper I explore the significance of dreams to morality, and argue that the absurdity of dream immorality supports an account of moral evaluation with an externalist component, rather than a purely internalist account of moral evaluation. (shrink)
This essay explores the obligations that may arise from benevolently intended interventions that go awry. The author argues that even when the intervening agent has acted with good intentions and in a non-negligent manner, she may be required to continue aid in cases where her initial intervention failed. This is surprising because it means that persons who perform supererogatory acts run the risk of incurring additional heavy obligations through no fault of their own. The author also considers deflationary accounts that (...) run counter to her own analysis. (shrink)
This paper responds to criticisms of sympathy-based approaches to ethics made by Jesse Prinz, focusing on the criticism that emotions are too variable to form a basis for ethics. I draw on the idea, articulated by early sentimentalists such as Hutcheson and Hume, that proper reliance on sympathy is subject to a corrective procedure in order, in part, to avoid the variability problem.
But in many orders of beauty, particularly those of the ﬁner arts, it is requisite to employ much reasoning, in order to feel the proper sentiment; and a false relish may frequently be corrected by argument and reﬂection. There are just grounds to conclude, that moral beauty partakes much of this latter species, and demands the assistance of our intellectual faculties, in order to give it a suitable inﬂuence on the human mind (EPM, 173).
Comparisons between modally and amodally completed regions show that perceptual filling-in is not merely the ignoring of absences. Illusory filled-in colour arises for modal completion, but not for amodal completion in comparable displays. We find that attention spreads automatically to modally but not amodally completed regions from their inducers, revealing a functional effect of filled-in colour.
The purpose of this paper is to advance research on CSR beyond the stalemate of economic versus ethical models by providing an alternative perspective integrating existing views and allowing for more shared dialog and research in the field. It is suggested that we move beyond making a normative case for ethical models and practices of CSR by moving beyond the question of how to manage organizational self-interest toward the question of how accurate current conceptions of the organizational self seem to (...) be. Specifically, it is proposed that CSR is not a question of how self-interested the corporation should be, but how this self is defined. Economic and ethical models of CSR are not models of opposition but exist on a continuum between egoic and post-egoic, illusory and authentic conceptions of the organizational self. This means that moving from one to the other is not a question of adopting different paradigms but rather of moving from illusion and dysfunction to authenticity and functionality, from pathology to health. (shrink)
The scientific study of the human mind and brain has come of age with the advent of technologically advanced methods for imaging brain structure and activity in health and disease, plus computational theories of cognition. These advances are leading to sophisticated new accounts for how mental processes are implemented in the human brain, but they also raise new challenges. -/- Mental Processes in the Human Brain provides an integrative overview of the rapid advances and future challenges in understanding the neurobiological (...) basis of mental processes that are characteristically (and in some cases, perhaps uniquely) human, including: language; thought; understanding of others; attention; planning and decision-making; emotion; memory; prediction; and awareness itself. The book also presents the latest insights into how these various processes can break down after brain injury. With chapters from some of leading figures in the brain sciences, this book will be essential for all those in the cognitive and brain sciences. (shrink)
Roger Garrison's commentary on Alan Meltzer's interpretation of Keynes and Meltzer's interpretation itself are closer to each other and further from Keynes's sense than one might imagine. Keynes's logic rests on an unsubstantiated guess, as Keynes admitted, about the tendency for consumption to stagnate in an advanced economy; and on the nonsensical proposition that the possessors of loanable funds are unilaterally able to determine the cost of those funds outside of the supply?and?demand financial market.
Many organisms possess multiple sensory systems, such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. The possession of such multiple ways of sensing the world offers many benefits. These benefits arise not only because each modality can sense different aspects of the environment, but also because different senses can respond jointly to the same external object or event, thus enriching the overall experience - for example, looking at an individual while listening to them speak. However, combining information from different senses also (...) poses many challenges for the nervous system. -/- In recent years there has been dramatic progress in understanding how information from different sensory modalities gets integrated in order to construct useful representations of external space; and in how such multimodal representations constrain spatial attention. Such progress has involved numerous different disciplines, including neurophysiology, experimental psychology, neurological work with brain-damaged patients, neuroimaging studies, and computational modelling. -/- This volume brings together the leading researchers from all these approaches, to present the first integrative overview of this central topic in cognitive neuroscience. (shrink)
Keynes is widely accepted to have proved the existence of a consumption gap as a cause of economic depressions. Such a gap meant that, ironically, depressions could get worse as a result of the greater wealth produced by the modern economy, since, as Keynes argued, the wealthy consumed proportionately less than the lower?income groups. Textual analysis, however, shows that Keynes's arguments amounted to assumptions, not demonstrations. And a survey of the empirical research of the subsequent half?century reveals a lack of (...) convincing evidence of the consumption gap. (shrink)
This is my review of Howard B. Radest's book on Felix Adler and Ethical Culture. The book involves interesting comparisons of Adler to Emerson and to the pragmatists, and Radest is well qualified to tell the history of Adler's work and its influence.
Piccione and Rubinstein (1997) present and analyse the sequential decision problem of an “absentminded driver”. The driver's absentmindedness (imperfect recall) leads him to time-inconsistent strategy evaluations. His original evaluation gets replaced by a new one under impact of the information that the circumstances have changed, notwithstanding the fact that this change in circumstances has been expected by him all along. The time inconsistency in strategy evaluation suggests that such an agent might have reason to renege on his adopted (...) strategy. As we shall see, however, this danger is only apparent. There is no serious problem of dynamic inconsistency in this case. My diagnosis of the case under consideration is in many respects similar to the one provided by Aumann, Hart and Perry (1997), but the analysis leading to this diagnosis is not quite the same. (shrink)
This collection of original essays on political and legal theory concentrates on themes dealt with in the work of Felix Oppenheim, including fundamental political and legal concepts and their implications for the scope of morality in politics and international relations. Among the issues addressed are the relationship between empirical and normative definitions of "freedom", "power", and "interests", whether governments are free to act against the national interest, and whether they can ever be morally obliged to do so.
Julia Driver's Uneasy Virtue offers a theory of virtue and the virtues without being an instance of virtue ethics. It presents a consequentialist challenge to recent virtue ethics, but its positive views – and especially its interesting examples – have great significance in their own right. Driver's defence of ‘virtues of ignorance’ has force despite all the challenges to it that have been mounted over the years. But there are also examples differing from those Driver has mentioned (...) that favour the idea of such virtues. Perhaps certain virtues of religious faith and the virtue necessary for dealing as best one can with moral dilemmas both require ignorance. However, some of the examples Driver does discuss raise the question whether virtue status is based solely on consequences, rather than perhaps having (in addition) a motivational component. (shrink)
In “Supralapsarianism, or ‘O Felix Culpa,’” Alvin Plantinga turns from defensive apologetics to the project of Christian explanation and offers a supralapsarian theodicy: the reason God made us in a world like this is that God wanted to create a world including the towering goods of Incarnation and atonement—goods which are appropriate only in worlds containing a sufficient amount of sin, suffering, and evil as well. Plantinga’s approach makes human agents and their sin, suffering and evil, instrumental means to (...) the end of God’s cosmic aims. I press the objection that means/end conceptuality is inadequate to explain how God is loving and merciful (as opposed to abusive) towards human sinners and sufferers. Plantinga’s theodicy remains under-developed without an explanation of how Incarnation and atonement benefit them. (shrink)
A long-standing tenet of virtue theory is that moral virtue and knowledge are connected in some important way. Julia Driver attacks the traditional assumption that virtue requires knowledge. I argue that the examples of virtues of ignorance Driver offers are not compelling and that the idea that knowledge is required for virtue has been taken to be foundational for virtue theory for good reason. I propose that we understand modesty as involving three conditions: 1) having genuine accomplishments, 2) (...) being aware of the value of these accomplishments, and 3) having a disposition to refrain from putting forward one’s accomplishments. When we understand modesty this way, we can properly identify genuine cases of modesty and see how modesty requires knowledge. Something similar can be said about other alleged virtues of ignorance. With the proposal in place, we have no serious reason to think that moral virtue requires ignorance. Additionally, we have good reasons for thinking that acting virtuously requires having good intentions and that a necessary condition of having a virtue is having knowledge. Although some might take these results to be trivial or obviously true, I think the Julia Driver’s challenge should not be dismissed out of hand. Even though there are some reasons for thinking that some situations suggest that knowledge and virtue can be separated from one another, close analysis reveals this impression is only surface deep. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with an aspect of Deleuze and Guattari's thought which has not been duly analyzed: systematicity. More specifically, it deals with their conception of the system in three co-authored major works: What is Philosophy?, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. These works are of renewed interest because they tease out, each in its own way, a particular type of system. Regardless of whether it has a philosophical import, a botanical reference, a social dimension, or a libidinal investment, the (...) system that Deleuze and Guattari advocate is allegedly a hyper-dynamic system that resists closure. Thus, in an interview with Didier Eribon, Deleuze points out that philosophy is 'an open system' and then, referring to A Thousand Plateaus, he further observes that what he and Guattari 'call a rhizome is also one example of an open system'. The purpose of this essay is not merely to explore how the system in the works of these two prominent poststructuralists is conceived, how it is structured, and how it works, but also to show how it is only superficially open. Paying a special attention to Deleuze and Guattari's exegesis on capitalism, I argue that the proposed system is cynical and ultimately untenable. Key Words: capitalism Gilles Deleuze Félix Guattari open system philosophy total system. (shrink)
Arguably, the most philosophically nuanced defense of a Felix Culpa theodicy, born out of serious theological reflection, is to be found in Alvin Plantinga’srecent article entitled “Superlapsarianism, or ‘O Felix Culpa.’” In this paper I look at Plantinga’s argument for the necessity of evil as a means to God’s fargreater ends and raise four objections to it. The arguments I give are aimed at the theological adequacy of explaining the emergence of evil as a functionalgood. I conclude that (...) Plantinga’s Felix Culpa approach fails to demonstrate the necessity of evil for heightened intimacy with God, and collides with agent-centeredconsiderations. Moreover, I argue that all Felix Culpa theodicies reverse the apparent value God places on means and ends in the economy of salvation, while lending to evil a potentially morally and theologically distorting rational legitimacy. (shrink)
We adventure becomings-Merry Pranksters with Félix Guattari on Ken Kesey's magic bus to resonate the group's transversality that we already affect subjunctively, individually and plurally from which our subjectivities crystallise collectively and independently with intensive-extensions to go viscerallectric and fractalactic. Yet in-process, before our consciousnesses go motored, we swim with jet streams of both Guattari and transversal poetics to navigate subjective affects by which wilful parameterisations achieve desirable eventualisations.
Le Grand describes a situation where a drunk driver, who has medical insurance, is the cause of an accident in which he and a sober pedestrian, who has no medical insurance, are both equally and seriously injured. At the private hospital to which they are both taken, there is available emergency treatment for one of them only. Who should receive it? The issues raised by Le Grand's example are shown to be more interesting, more complex and less clearcut than (...) Le Grand suggests and implies. In particular, it is not the case that, unequivocally, the drunkenness of the driver establishes that the pedestrian rather than he should be treated nor that, unequivocally, the driver's possession of health insurance is morally irrelevant. (shrink)
The paper reproduces a hitherto unpublished report of 1902 by the mathematician of GÃ¶ttingen, Felix Klein, to the Prussian ministry of education on his travels, in 1893 and 1896, to the United States. Introduction and commentary stress the relation of this document to the beginnings of German foreign cultural policy, in particular to the German-American professors' exchange program since 1905.
In their critiques of my book, Julia Driver, Brad Hooker, and Alastair Norcross have focused on my argument from rationality to morality that attempts to complete the Kantian project of justifying morality and my use of the “ought” implies “can” principle to reconcile the differences between Kantian and utilitarian ethical perspectives. While treating respectfully the ingenious arguments and counterexamples that each of my critics employs against my views, I explain, in detail, why their arguments and counterexamples do not work (...) against my views, properly interpreted, although they do suggest ways that I might better present my views in the future in order to attract more adherents to my reconciliationist project. (shrink)
Arguably, two of the most important forces affecting contemporary global culture are the growing awareness of ecological crises and the rapid spread of digital media. Félix Guattari's unfinished concept of ecosophy suggests the basis of a theoretical framework for constructing productive syntheses between the ecological and the digital. Moreover, a Guattarian rethinking of the ecological turn in the humanities challenges the philosophical basis of the pedagogy of Nature appreciation that has characterised the eco-humanities landscape since the 1970s. Guattari's ecosophy gestures (...) towards a transversal eco-humanities, which would be rhizomatically rooted in autopoiesis and becoming-other, rather than defined by static allegiance to the ideals of ‘Self-realisation’ postulated by the deep ecology movement. (shrink)
Luck threatens in similar ways our conceptions of both moral and epistemic evaluation. This essay examines the problem of luck as a metaphilosophical problem spanning the division between subfields in philosophy. I first explore the analogies between ethical and epistemic luck by comparing influential attempts to expunge luck from our conceptions of agency in these two subfields. I then focus upon Duncan Pritchard's challenge to the motivations underlying virtue epistemology, based specifically on its handling of the problem of epistemic luck. (...) I argue that (1) consideration of the multifold nature of the problem of epistemic luck to an adequate account of human knowledge drives us to a mixed externalist epistemology; and (2) the virtue-theoretical approach presents a particularly advantageous way of framing and developing a mixed externalist epistemology. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Metaphilosophy is the property of Blackwell Publishing Limited and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts). (shrink)
This study proposed a novel construct – green core competence – to explore its positive effects on green innovation and green images of firms. The results showed that green core competences of firms were positively correlated to their green innovation performance and green images. In addition, this research also verified two types of green innovation performance had partial mediation effects between green core competences and green images of firms. Therefore, investment in the development of green core competence was helpful to (...) businesses for the enhancement of their green innovation and green images. Furthermore, this study found that green core competence, two types of green innovation performance, and green images of medium & small enterprises (SMEs) were all significantly less than those of large enterprises in the information and electronics industry in Taiwan. Therefore, there was the advantage of firm size for the green core competence in this industry, and it was imperative for SMEs to develop and create their green core competences to strengthen their green innovation performance, and green images. (shrink)
This paper examines Flix Ravaisson's account of habit, as presented in his 1838 essay _Of Habit_, and considers its significance in the context of moral practice. This discussion is set in an historical context by drawing attention to the different evaluations of habit in Aristotelian and Kantian philosophies, and it is argued that Kant's hostility to habit is based on the dichotomy between mind and body, and freedom and necessity, that pervades his thought. Ravaisson (...) argues that the phenomenon of habit challenges these dualisms, and at least in this respect anticipates the discussions of habit in the work of twentieth-century phenomenologists such as Merleau-Ponty and Ricoeur.
The paper outlines Ravaisson's account of habit in general, showing how his analysis of the “double law” of habit develops from the work of Maine de Biran, and highlighting the way in which Ravaisson offers a new and original philosophical interpretation of the phenomena of habit. Whereas Maine de Biran remains within a dualistic framework, and finds that habit is problematic within this framework, Ravaisson uses habit to demonstrate continuity between mind and body, will and nature. Then the focus is narrowed to consider how this analysis of habit is applied to a specifically moral context, and how it illuminates traditional Aristotelian theories of virtue. The paper ends by considering several practical consequences of the foregoing discussion of habit and the moral life. (shrink)