Most people working on linguistic meaning or communication assume that semantics and pragmatics are distinct domains, yet there is still little consensus on how the distinction is to be drawn. The position defended in this paper is that the semantics/pragmatics distinction holds between (context-invariant) encoded linguistic meaning and speaker meaning. Two other ‘minimalist’ positions on semantics are explored and found wanting: Kent Bach’s view that there is a narrow semantic notion of context which is responsible for providing semantic values for (...) a small number of indexicals, and Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore’s view that semantics includes the provision of values for all indexicals, even though these depend on the speaker’s communicative intentions. Finally, some implications are considered for the favoured semantics/pragmatics distinction of the fact that there are linguistic elements (lexical and syntactic) which do not contribute to truth-conditional content but rather provide guidance on pragmatic inference. (shrink)
The generative grammar approach to language seeks a fully explicit account of the modular systems of knowledge (competence) that underlies the human language capacity. Similarly, the relevance-theoretic approach to pragmatics attempts an explicit characterisation of the sub-personal systems involved in utterance interpretation. As an on-line performance system, however, it is subject to certain additional constraints; this is demonstrated by the way in which matters of computational (processing effort) economy are currently employed in the two types of theory. A sub-module of (...) “discourse competence” is shown to be compatible with and complementary to the wider system of pragmatic processes. (shrink)
Most agree that when it comes to so-called 'first-order' normative ethics and political philosophy, constructivist views are a powerful family of positions. When it comes to metaethics, however, there is serious disagreement about what, if anything, constructivism has to contribute. In this paper I argue that constructivist views in ethics include not just a family of substantive normative positions, but also a distinct and highly attractive metaethical view. I argue that the widely accepted 'proceduralist characterization' of constructivism in ethics is (...) inadequate, and I propose what I call the 'practical standpoint characterization' in its place. I then offer a general taxonomy of constructivist positions in ethics. Since constructivism's standing as a family of substantive normative positions is relatively uncontested, I devote the remainder of the paper to addressing skeptics' worries about the distinctiveness of constructivism understood as a metaethical view. I compare and contrast constructivism with three other standard metaethical positions with which it is often confused or mistakenly thought to be compatible: realism; naturalist reductions in terms of an ideal response; and expressivism. In discussing the contrast with expressivism, I explain the sense in which, according to the constructivist, the distinction between substantive normative ethics and metaethics breaks down. I conclude by distinguishing between two importantly different debates about the mind-dependence of value. I argue that a failure to make this distinction is part of what explains why the possibility of constructivism as a metaethical view is often overlooked. (shrink)
The results, conclusions and claims of science are often taken to be reliable because they arise from the use of a distinctive method. Yet today, there is widespread skepticism as to whether we can validly talk of method in modern science. This outstanding survey explains how this controversy has developed since the 17th century, and explores its philosophical basis.
The study extends and tests the issue contingent four-component model of ethical decision-making to include moral obligation. A web-based questionnaire was used to gauge the influence of perceived importance of an ethical issue on moral judgment and moral intent. Perceived importance of an ethical issue was found to be a predictor of moral judgment but not of moral intent as predicted. Moral obligation is suggested to be a process that occurs after a moral judgment is made and explained a significant (...) portion of the variance in moral intent. (shrink)
Avicenna (d. 1037) and T?s? (d. 1274) have different doctrines on the contradiction and conversion of the absolute proposition. Following Avicenna's presentation of the doctrine in Pointers and reminders, and comparing it with what is given in T?s?'s commentary, allow us to pinpoint a major reason why Avicenna and T?s? have different treatments of the modal syllogistic. Further comparison shows that the syllogistic system Rescher described in his research on Arabic logic more nearly fits T?s? than Avicenna. This in turn (...) has consequences for analysing Avicenna's logic, and for writing the history of a fascinating period of change and diversity in the discipline in the medieval Islamic world. (shrink)
T?s?, a thirteenth century logician writing in Arabic, uses two logical connectives to build up molecular propositions: ?if-then?, and ?either-or?. By referring to a dichotomous Tree, T?s? shows how to choose the proper disjunction relative to the terms in the disjuncts. He also discusses the disjunctive propositions which follow from a conditional proposition.
Despite the recent emergence of many new ethical decision making models, there has been minimal emphasis placed on the impact of escalating commitment on the ethical decision making process. In this paper a new variable is introduced into the ethical decision making literature. This variable, exposure to escalation situations, is posited to increase the likelihood that individuals will choose unethical decision alternatives. Further, it is proposed that escalation situations should be included as a variable in Jones's (1991) comprehensive model of (...) ethical decision making. Finally, research propositions are provided based on the relationship between escalating commitment and the ethical decision making process. (shrink)
Behavioural scientists show altruism to exist as a distinctive personality. Yet when subjected to philosophical scrutiny, and altruistic personality is prima facie paradoxical. To motivate herself to help others, the altruist needs ?extensivity?, the capacity to compassionately identify with others. To aid others effectively, however, the altruist must have individuation, the possession of highly developed autonomy and self-efficacy. We assert that a better understanding of the relationship between concern for others and concern for self reveals the paradox to be merely (...) apparent. We find that, in extending themselves in caring behaviours, altruists actually enhance their individuality. Moreover, given the differences between compassion and empathy and the way empathy medicates between compassionate co-feeling and individuation, extensivity and individuation do not necessarily conflict. We conclude therefore that despite appearances the altruistic personality is a coherent construct. (shrink)
This article summarizes a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) workshop that was convened to address the ethical and methodological issues that arise when conducting controlled psychosocial interventions research and introduces 6 thoughtful and inspiring papers prepared by workshop participants. These papers, on topics ranging from informed consent to ethnic minority issues, reflect the depth and breadth of expertise represented by the multidisciplinary group of scientists and ethicists present at the meeting. More extensive follow-up, particularly from federal research applications and (...) publications, of how investigators balance the need for strong research design with ethical considerations may help advance the science of psychosocial intervention research. (shrink)
Although scholars have invoked the escalation framework as a means of explaining the occurrence of numerous organizationally undesirable behaviors on the part of decision makers, to date no empirical research on the potential influences of escalating commitment on the likelihood of unethical behavior at the individual level of analysis has been reported in either the escalation or the ethical decision-making literatures. Thus, the main purpose of this project is to provide a theoretical foundation and empirical support for the contention that (...) escalating commitment situations can induce unethical behavior in decision makers. An experimental research design utilizing a computerized investment task was administered to 155 undergraduate business majors as a means of assessing the hypotheses presented here. Results from a hierarchical logistic regression analysis found strong support for the contention that exposure to an escalation situation increases the likelihood of unethical behavior on the part of decision makers. Further, results also supported previous ethical decision-making findings by confirming the effects of locus of control (LOC) on ethical behavior. Specifically, the data indicated that individuals with an external LOC orientation were significantly more likely to select the unethical option than were individuals with an internal LOC orientation. Interestingly, support was not found for the effects of Machiavellianism or gender on ethical decision-making. (shrink)
This paper offers a deconstructive reading of the pure actuality of the unmoved mover of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Lambda. Aristotle describes this first, unmoved principle of movement as a divine sovereign—the king of the cosmos—and maintains that the good governance of the cosmos depends on its unmitigated unity and pure actuality. It is striking, then, when Giorgio Agamben claims that Aristotle bequeathed the paradigm of sovereignty to Western philosophy not through his arguments for the pure actuality of the unmoved mover but (...) rather through his description of the essence of potentiality. An interpretation of Aristotle’s account of potentiality in Metaphysics Theta therefore prepares the way for a deconstruction of the unity and pure actuality of the divine sovereign. I argue that the repetition of nous in Aristotle’s description of the divine thinking of thinking betrays traces of division and difference at the heart of divine sovereignty. If this is the case, then actuality and potentiality become indiscernible at the level of the absolute and the sovereign corresponds to the bifurcated site of this indiscernibility. (shrink)
According to Arthur Danto, post-modern or post-historical art began when artists like Andy Warhol collapsed the Modern distinction between art and everyday life by bringing “the everyday” into the artworld. I begin by pointing out that there is another way to collapse this distinction: bring art out of the artworld and into everyday life. An especially effective way of doing this to make street art, which, I argue, is art whose meaning depends on its use of the street. (...) I defend this definition and show how it handles graffiti and public art. (shrink)
The theory of everything? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9527-3 Authors Emma Tobin, Science and Technology Studies, University College London, GowerStreet, London, WC1E 6BT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Science and Christianity Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9544-2 Authors Geoffrey Cantor, Science and Technology Studies, University College London, GowerStreet, London, WC1E 6BT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Science and Christianity Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9544-2 Authors Geoffrey Cantor, Science and Technology Studies, University College London, GowerStreet, London, WC1E 6BT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In this essay, author?educator?photographer A.D. Coleman considers a number of dilemmas inherent in photographing private persons in public places. ?Street photography?; is a genre whose ethical dimensions are often overlooked, despite the photographer's efforts to humanize and universalize a moment in time. According to the author, the dilemmas of street photography are imagistic, general, and philosophical, as well as pragmatic, specific, and legislative.
There are important ethical issues that must be carefully thought through when undertaking research with children. This paper explores how the context of such issues changes with the individual circumstances of the children involved, particularly when they are marginalised or excluded by wider society. By reflecting on experiences of research with Kampala street children, this paper highlights how participation throughout the research process can both raise and resolve ethical dilemmas. This is illustrated by reflecting on two examples, namely discussing (...) sensitive topics and the dissemination of socio-spatial research findings. In conclusion, the paper demonstrates the importance of ethical sensitivity to the changing situations that arise when conducting research with street children and the importance of incorporating and involving them in both the research process and ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
Over the past decade, Canadian media coverage of street sex work has steadily increased. The majority of this interest pertains to graphic violence against street sex workers, most notably from Vancouver, British Columbia. In this article, the authors analyze newspaper coverage that appeared in western Canadian publications between 2006 and 2009. In theorizing the violence both depicted and perpetrated by newspapers, the authors propose an analytic framework capable of attending to the process of othering in all of its (...) complexity. To this end, the authors supplement a Foucauldian analysis of abjection by considering the work of Judith Butler along with Julia Kristeva's conceptualization of abjection. Using excerpts from western Canadian newspapers, the authors illustrate how the media's discursive practices function as triggers for the process of cultural abjection by inscribing street sex workers with images of defilement. The authors argue that newspaper coverage of street sex workers reinforces the inviolability of normalized life by constantly reiterating the horror reserved for abjected bodies. (shrink)
A menu of twelve moral issues that seem to be common to all organizations is described and illustrated. This menu identifies some of the most prominent moral issues requiring individuals to decide where to draw the line between moral and immoral conduct. A review ofThe Wall Street Journal during just one week provided over sixty articles illustrating how moral issues are inherent in almost every business decision. The articles included several illustrations of stealing, lying, and fraud that are (...) immoral, although in some cases not technically illegal. Other articles illustrated conflicts of interest, influence buying, hiding information, divulging personal information, taking unfair advantage, personal decadence, interpersonal abuse, organizational abuse, rule violations, being an accessory to unethical acts, and balancing ethical dilemmas. These illustrations are intended to help individuals identify moral issues and recognize the situations when they arise so they can avoid unwitting immoral behavior. (shrink)
This article develops a sociological reading of Walter Benjamins Arcades Project, or Passagen-werk . Specifically, the essay seeks to make explicit Benjamins non-dualistic account of structure and agency in the urban milieu. I characterize this account as the dialectic of urbanism, and argue that one of the central insights of Benjamins Passagen-werk is that it locates an emergent and innovative cultural form - a distinctive street culture or jointly shared way of modern urban life - within haussmannizing techniques of (...) architectural administration and spatial domination. In the modern metropolis, Benjamin sees a new kind of collective - an embedded and effervescent sociocultural group held together not by the functionalist imperatives of capitalist urban planning but by an improvisational mode of street life. Key Words: agency culture embeddedness structure urbanism. (shrink)
Understanding Arab public opinion is central to the search for sustainable po- litical solutions in the Middle East. The way Westerners think about Arab public opinion may be affected by how it is referred to in their news media. Here, we show that Arab public opinion is rarely referred to as such in the US media. Instead, it is usually referred to as the Arab street, a metaphor that casts Arab public opinion as irrational and volatile. We trace the (...) origins of this metaphor to similar expressions in both English and Arabic, and note similarities and impor- tant differences between the English and Arabic usages. Ultimately, we argue that.. (shrink)
To agonise is to undergo great mental anguish through worrying about something, according to the New Oxford Dictionary of English. I suggest that agonising in this sense is a fundamental response to any ethical dilemma. It has a long intellectual and literary lineage. In this essay, I agonise over the dilemmas posed by street beggars, their intrusiveness and their appeal to our intuitive sense of social duty. I explore the discomfort we may feel at their presence, and the value (...) that discomfort may have for the evolution of our ethical lives. (shrink)
The malfeasance and misfeasance crises within corporate America have prompted a tripartite response from policymakers. Stringent legislation targeting somnambulant boards has been introduced; enforcement departments have been strengthened at the federal, state and self-regulatory bodies charged with overseeing the markets; the Department of Justice and the New York District Attorney's Office have taken notably aggressive stances in the criminal prosecution of individual malefaction. This paper critically assesses the implications of the changes to the legislative, regulatory and criminal justice frameworks on (...) the governance of Wall Street. Specifically, I deconstruct the rationale governing a plea-agreement entered into by Merrill Lynch in return for the temporary abeyance of criminal charges. The paper argues that this intervention, if implemented, has far-reaching consequences, effectively criminalising standard Wall Street practice. (shrink)
Wall Street and Main Street have become opposing icons in narratives of boom and bust that endeavor to account for the financial meltdown in fall 2008 and the Great Recession that followed. In many such narratives, Wall Street denizens are said to have brought on the economic collapse in which ordinary Main Streeters became collateral damage. Economic analysis and political advocacy are carried on in a metaphorics which implicates the fate of Main Street in the rituals (...) of Wall Street. Metaphors can enlighten and mislead, and likely these do both. The present effort aims to go behind the metaphors in order to understand the worlds of Wall Street and Main Street mobilizing the conceptual resources of Schutzian phenomenology. (shrink)
This paper explores the construction of habitat that potentially imperils its inhabitants by considering the case of Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit and specific threats to coyotes and gulls occupying this urban dump and wilderness refuge. The paper argues that while there are many positive dimensions of aesthetic engagement, aesthetics may also blind humans to ecological problems experienced by nonhumans, and suggests a need to enhance aesthetic awareness with accounts derived from natural history and sciences.
Back in the nineteen-seventies, inflation and unemployment were rapidly increasing together in the Western world, although according to the then ruling Keynesian priesthood they would never do so. By the end of the decade, the proudly proclaimed ability of the Keynesians to fine-tune the economy was shown to be a sham. Their performance records varied from country to country but the overall picture was bleak. Their technocratic macroeconomic management had delivered high levels of public spending, taxation, public debt, inflation, unemployment (...) and bureaucracy and little else.1 As the size of government expanded, the productive sectors of the economy contracted. It became clear to almost everybody that the Keynesian orthodoxy was if not a road to serfdom then certainly a dead end street. Yet, now, in the wake of the spectacular crisis following the bursting of the housing bubble in the U.S.A., people from all over the political spectrum are clamoring for the return of Keynes. On all sides, greed is denounced as the motive.. (shrink)
Evolutionary debunkers of morality hold this thesis: If S’s moral belief that P can be given an evolutionary explanation, then S’s moral belief that P is not knowledge. In this paper, I debunk a variety of arguments for this thesis. I first sketch a possible evolutionary explanation for some human moral beliefs. Next, I explain how, given a reliabilist approach to warrant, my account implies that humans possess moral knowledge. Finally, I examine the debunking arguments of Michael Ruse, Sharon (...) class='Hi'>Street, and Richard Joyce. I draw on the account of moral knowledge sketched earlier to illustrate how these arguments fail. -/- . (shrink)
If Dinesh D'Souza knew just a little bit more philosophy, he would realize how silly he appears when he accuses me of committing what he calls "the Fallacy of the Enlightenment." and challenges me to refute Kant's doctrine of the thing-in-itself. I don't need to refute this; it has been lambasted so often and so well by other philosophers that even self-styled Kantians typically find one way or another of excusing themselves from defending it. And speaking of fallacies, D'Souza contradicts (...) himself within the space of a few paragraphs. If, as he says, Kant showed that we humans "will never know" the universe in itself, then theists couldn't "know that there is a reality greater than, and beyond, that which our senses and our minds can ever comprehend." They may take this on faith, if they wish, but they mustn't claim to know it, on pain of contradiction. We brights see no good reason to join them in their conviction, and they must admit that they see no good reason either. If they did, it wouldn't be purely a matter of faith. (shrink)
The idea for this paper started with an image that is likely wholly imaginary but interesting nonetheless. It's the late 1920s in New York City. John Dewey, after a busy day of teaching and working through the notes that will eventually become Individualism Old and New, leaves his office at Columbia University. Instead of turning south toward home, he turns north and east, into Harlem. He strolls for a bit, turns up 7th Ave., and stops in front of the Regent (...) Theatre. He goes inside, takes off his coat, and catches the early showing of The Lights of New York. Fifty-seven minutes later, he leaves the Regent. He heads home, has a bite to eat with his daughter, but still feels restless. After dinner, he puts on his .. (shrink)
This article explores the law and ethics of lobbying. The legal discussion examines disclosure regulations, employment restrictions,bribery laws, and anti-fraud provisions as each applies to the lobbying context. The analysis demonstrates that given the social value placed on the First Amendment, federal law generally affords lobbyists wide latitude in determining who, what, when, where, and how to lobby.The article then turns to ethics. Lobbying involves deliberate attempts to effect changes in the law. An argument is advanced that because law implicates (...) the use of force and because law ideally reflects the values of a democratic society, seeking to slant the law to serve a client’s narrow interests cannot provide an adequate ethical end for a lobbyist. On the contrary, a lobbyist has an affirmative moral duty to seek reasonably balanced and just laws. The article examines, refines, and defends this proposition in a number of settings. (shrink)
A considerable literature exists regard-ing the moral obligation to keep one's promises. Several authors have focused on the exceptional circumstances which may or should excuse this moral duty. Less frequently discussed is the question of how this general moral obligation and its possible exceptions play out in the context of negotiable written promises to pay money, i.e., so-called "commercial paper."This paper focuses on the application of the legal rules governing commercial paper, and on the ethical implications involved in the application (...) of those rules. More specifically, it asks whether the assertion of the technical doctrine known as "holder in due course," and the denial of that status in some cases, promotes ethical behavior in the marketplace. By examining the circumstances of one case, involving a substantial investment and a large bank, I hope to shed some light on how the legal and ethical rules do in fact "intersect.". (shrink)