The indexical thesis says that the indexical terms, “I”, “here” and “now” necessarily refer to the person, place and time of utterance, respectively, with the result that the sentence, “I am here now” cannot express a false proposition. Gerald Vision offers supposed counter-examples: he says, “I am here now”, while pointing to the wrong place on a map; or he says it in a note he puts in the kitchen for his wife so she’ll know he’s home even though (...) he’s gone upstairs for a nap, but then he leaves the house, forgetting to remove the note. The first sentence is false by virtue of “here” not necessarily referring to the place of utterance, the second sentence, by virtue of “now” not necessarily referring to the time of utterance. We argue that these sentences express falsehoods only because the terms are being used demonstratively, not indexically – the distinction pertains not to words simpliciter, but to uses of words. When used indexically, the terms refer in accord with the indexical thesis; but when used demonstratively, their referents depend on how devices of ostension are used with their utterance – pointings, and the like. Thus Vision’s first sentence really says, “I am there now”, referring to the place on the map the finger is pointing to. As for his second sentence, we distinguish the time of utterance or production of a sentence from the time of its uptake. Due to the pragmatics of interpretation, the sentence really says “I” – the person ‘uttering’ the note – “am here” – here where the note is, with the note serving as a kind of proxy ‘finger’ – “now” – where “now” refers to the time of uptake of the note, i.e., when it is read. “I” refers indexically, “here”, demonstratively, and “now”, indexically, but indexically to the time of uptake. Since the sentence is not purely indexical, its falsehood doesn’t threaten the indexical thesis. A similar treatment is given of teletyped messages about the typer’s location. (shrink)
Part One of this essay considered familiar ways of characterizing deontology, which focus on the notions of the good and the right. Here we will take up alternative approaches, which stress the type of reasons for actions that are generated by deontological theories. Although some of these alternative conceptualizations of deontology also employ a distinction between the good and the right, all mark the basic contrast between deontology and teleology in terms of reasons to act.
Current moral philosophy is often seen as essentially a debate between the two great traditions of consequentialism and deontology. Although there has been considerable work clarifying consequentialism, deontology is more often attacked or defended than analyzed. Just how we are to understand the very idea of a deontological ethic? We shall see that competing conceptions of deontology have been advanced in recent ethical thinking, leading to differences in classifying ethical theories. If we do not focus on implausible versions, the idea (...) of a deontological ethic is far more attractive than most philosophers have thought. Indeed, I shall argue that in an important sense, only a deontological ethic can be plausible. (shrink)
Gerald Nissenbaum, JD and John Sedgwick. 2010. Sex, love and money: Revenge and ruin in the world of high-stakes divorce Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9243-5 Authors Katrina A. Bramstedt, Clinical Ethicist, Program in Medicine & Human Values, California Pacific Medical Center, 2395 Sacramento St, 3rd floor, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 7 Journal Issue Volume 7, Number 3.
The author attempts to apply semiotic analysis to a question of family law. By examining the language used by the Supreme Court in the title case, Michael H. v. Gerald D., along with the case briefs, lower court opinions, other Supreme Court cases and prior legal scholarship, the author attempts to determine the requisite relationships between father–child and father–mother in order for a legal tie to exist between a father and his biological child. The author tries to not only (...) determine the necessary circumstances but also the political ideology that distinguishes these familial ties. The author further attempts to analyze the goals of these underlying political ideologies. (shrink)
We describe the important role that the conjectures and questions posed at the end of the two editions of Gerald Sacks's Degrees of Unsolvability have had in the development of recursion theory over the past thirty years.
People in our liberal pluralistic society have conflicting intuitions about the legitimacy of coercive hard paternalism, though respect for agency provides a common source of objection to it. The hard paternalist must give adequate reasons for her coercion which are acceptable to a free and equal agent. Coercion that fails to meet with an agent’s reasonable evaluative commitments is at least problematic and risks being authoritarian. Even if the coercer claims no normative authority over the coercee, the former still uses (...) coercion to replace the latter’s reasons or will with his own reasons or will. But does every hard paternalistic view have to invite such objection? Throughout I will assume that defenders of what I will call “Neutral Paternalism” (NP) and “Commonsense Paternalism” (CP) aim to offer reasons for coercion all can reasonably endorse despite evaluative diversity, in opposition to more objectionable forms of coercive paternalism, such as those which defend it on religious or perfectionist grounds. I will argue, nonetheless, that Gerald Dworkin’s defense of NP and Danny Scoccia’s defense of CP succumb to the same problems of objectionable imposition that saddle other forms of coercive paternalism. The shortcomings in their views suggest that even modest hard paternalism is nonetheless problematic for liberals. (shrink)
Public justification-based accounts of liberal legitimacy rely on the idea that a polity’s basic structure should, in some sense, be acceptable to its citizens. In this paper I discuss the prospects of that approach through the lens of Gerald Gaus’ critique of John Rawls’ paradigmatic account of democratic public justification. I argue that Gaus does succeed in pointing out some significant problems for Rawls’ political liberalism; yet his alternative, justificatory liberalism, is not voluntaristic enough to satisfy the desiderata of (...) a genuinely democratic theory of public justification. So I contend that—pace Gaus, but also Rawls—rather than simply amending political liberalism, the claims of justificatory liberalism bring out fatal tensions between the desiderata of any theory of liberal-democratic legitimacy through public justification. (shrink)
Contemporary theories of justice frequently suppose that a legitimate state does not coerce people to comply with values or principles that they could reasonably reject. This ideal of legitimacy is thought to imply neutrality on the good: The State should not coerce people to comply with controversial conceptions of the good (which people could reasonably reject). As Ronald Dworkin puts the point, the government's policies should “be neutral on the question of the good life, or of what gives value to (...) life." Liberal neutrality is sometimes described as a generalization of policies of religious tolerance: Just as the state should be neutral with respect to religious questions, so too the state should be neutral with respect to questions about the good life.". (shrink)