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)
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)
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.
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)
The paper examines states in the gap in amorphous silicon and chalcogenides and their effect on photoconductivity, luminescence and drift mobility. It is supposed that carriers in an ?ideal? glassy semiconductor without defects would move by hopping at the band edge at low temperatures and by excitation to a mobility edge at high temperatures, and that the carriers do not form polarons; the results of Spear and co-workers (e.g. Spear 1974 a) for glow-discharge-deposited silicon and of Nagels, Callearts and Denayer (...) (1974) for quenched As2Te3 containing silicon are considered. The effectively zero value of the Hall coefficient in the hopping regime is discussed. States in the gap are supposed to be due to dangling bonds which may form pairs at divacancies; if the concentration is high, these may have a predominating effect on the conductivity and in this case polaron-type hopping could occur, both for chalcogenides and for silicon. For the chalcogenides (in contrast to silicon), it is proposed, adapting a model due to Anderson (1975), that all dangling bonds are positively or negatively charged due to a large distortion energy associated with the former state; the absence of Curie paramagnetism and variable-range hopping is thereby explained; a.c. conductivity is also discussed. The reason why chalcogenides differ in this respect from silicon and germanium lies in the differing natures of the upper parts of the valence bands, which in the former case arise from non-bonding lone-pair states. It is suggested that the same conclusions may be valid for oxide glasses. The recombination mechanisms active in photoconduction and photoluminescence are described; for non-radiative transitions we use a method due to Englman and Jortner (1970). It is emphasized that hydrogen can greatly accelerate multiphonon recombination. (shrink)
To give priority to the young over the elderly has been labelled ‘ageism’. People who express ‘ageist’ preferences may feel that, all else equal, an individual has greater right to enjoy additional life years the fewer life years he or she has already had. We shall refer to this asegalitarian ageism. They may also emphasise the greater expected duration of health benefits in young people that derives from their greater life expectancy. We may call thisutilitarian ageism. Both these forms of (...) ageism were observed in an empirical study of social preferences in Australia. The study lends some support to the assumptions in the QALY approach that duration of benefits, and hence old age, should count in prioritising at the budget level in health care. (shrink)