This article is an amendment to Drengson (2011) that offers examples from fieldwork and reporting of practices influenced by the technocratic paradigm. Specifically (1) Krippner's work with Brazilian shamans and the theft of their tribal knowledge by the biotechnology industry that Krippner refers to as ecopiratism. (2) Hitchcock's field research with indigenous populations in the northwestern Kalahari Desert region of southern Africa and his documented assault of these indigenous peoples by private companies that Hitchcock refers to as developmental genocide. And (...) (3) Walker's summary of Monsanto's patenting of seeds, and her warning of the health and environmental problems associated with genetically modified organisms. These examples offer support for the hypothesis that the eco-crisis is born of conscious agency. Beyond documenting and diagnosing these symptoms of the eco-crisis, this article puts forth the thesis that a transformation of consciousness would change the conditions of our present situation by providing the opportunity for different solutions to be found through the creation of a new mind set to make the necessary decisions for change. Many refer to the emerging field concerned with developing approaches to this transformation of consciousness as ecopsychology that Schroll prefers to call transpersonal ecosophy. (shrink)
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our (...) identities, values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
The Ismailis, among whom are the followers of the Aga Khan, rose to prominence during the 4th Islamic/10th Christian century. They developed a remarkably successful intellectual programme to sustain and support their political activities, promoting demands of Islamic doctrine together with the then newly imported sciences from abroad. The high watermark of this intellectual movement is best illustrated in the writings of the Ismaili theoretician Abu Ya´qub al-Sijistani. Using both published and manuscript writings of al-Sijistani that have hitherto been largely (...) hidden, forgotten or ignored, Dr Paul Walker reveals the scholar's major contribution to the development of philosophical Shiism. He analyses his role in the Ismaili mission (da'wa) of that time and critically assesses the major themes in his combination of philosophy and religious doctrine. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Maternal Body is a fascinating exploration of an overlooked aspect of feminist thought: what is the role of maternity in philosophy and in what ways has it been used by male theorists to effectively "silence" the voices of women in philosophy? Drawing on rich examples such as Plato's allegory of the cave, Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein's writing on the mother and the mother-daughter relationship, and the psychoanalytic and feminist insights of Irigaray and Kristeva, Michelle Boulous (...) class='Hi'>Walker clearly shows how terms such as denial, repression and foreclosure offer crucial insight into the philosophical construction of the maternal body. (shrink)
Kupperman, Joel J., Theories of Human Nature Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11712-012-9264-3 Authors Matthew D. Walker, Philosophy Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009.
William Walker's original analysis of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding offers a challenging and provocative assessment of Locke's importance as a thinker, bridging the gap between philosophical and literary-critical discussion of his work. He presents Locke as a foundational figure who defines the epistemological and ontological ground on which eighteenth-century and Romantic literature operate and eventually diverge. He is revealed as a crucial figure for emerging modernity, less the familiar empiricist innovator and more the proto-Nietzschean thinker whose (...) text fosters hitherto unsuspected instabilities and promotes a new kind of rhetorical force to counterbalance them. Walker's reading of Locke is at once finely attentive to the text and engagingly resourceful in placing the Essay in its broadest philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
In a comment on my paper "Feminism, Ethics, and the Question of Theory" (Walker 1992), Keith Burgess-Jackson argues that I have misdiagnosed the problem with modern moral theory. Burgess-Jackson misunderstands both the illustrative-"theoretical-juridical"-model I constructed there and how my critique and alternative model answer to specifically feminist concerns. Ironically, his own view seems to reproduce the very conception of morality as an individually internalized action-guiding code of principles that my earlier essay argued is the conception central to modern (...) moral theories. (shrink)
Evidence for instances of astrophysical 'fine tuning' (or 'coincidences') is thought by some to lend support to the design argument (i.e. the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). We assess some of the relevant empirical and conceptual issues. We argue that astrophysical fine tuning calls for some explanation, but this explanation need not appeal to the design argument. A clear and strict separation of the issue of anthropic fine tuning on one hand and any form of (...) Eddingtonian numerology and teleology on the other, may help clarify arguably the most significant issue in the philosophy of cosmology. (shrink)
The article argues for an alliance of the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen with ideas from critical pedagogy for undergraduate university education which develops student agency and well being on the one hand, and social change towards greater justice on the other. The purposes of a university education in this article are taken to include both intrinsic and instrumental purposes and to therefore include personal development, economic opportunities and becoming educated citizens. Core ideas from the capability approach are outlined, (...) with examples, before possible articulations of capability and Sen's notion of process freedom with critical pedagogy are investigated. It is argued that each approach has something to offer when brought alongside as ‘critical capability pedagogies’, which seek to enhance and expand student experiences of learning and their ‘valuable beings and doings’. Finally core capabilities in a university education are considered and some of the problems of domesticating the capability approach addressed. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of akrasia over the last fifteen years have focused on certain skeptical arguments which purport to question the possibility of a kind of akratic action which, following Pears, I call 'last ditch akrasia' (Pears ). An agent, succumbing to last ditch akrasia, freely, knowingly, and intentionally performs an action A against his better judgment that an incompatible action B is the better thing to do. (See Audi  for a detailed analysis.) Last ditch akrasia is not the only (...) kind that has been discussed. Some philosophers (Mele , Scaltas ) have been concerned with a more extreme form of akratic action, viz. one in which the agent not only judges that action B is best, but in addition intends (chooses, decides) to B. Some have even questioned whether freely acting against one's better judgment is sufficient for akratic action (Schiffer : 201-3).1 Weaker types of akratic action have been discussed, though to a much lesser extent, since they are thought less problematic. Pears distinguishes last ditch akrasia from what he calls, "motivated irrational action" (: 160). In cases of the latter, the akrates' rebellious desire infects his prior reasoning and thinking in such a way that his contemplated action seems to him warranted, and he acts accordingly. (For a taxonomy of cases of akratic action, see Rorty ()). Nor has the discussion of akrasia been restricted to akratic action. Philosophers have discussed whether akrasia can be exhibited in the formation of intentions, wants (See Audi : 181-185), and beliefs (Mele : ch. 8; Heil ). The primary focus in this paper is on last ditch akratic action. (shrink)
Abstract: International instruments now defend a "right to the truth" for victims of political repression and violence and include truth telling about human rights violations as a kind of reparation as well as a form of redress. While truth telling about violations is obviously a condition of redress or repair for violations, it may not be clear how truth telling itself is a kind of reparations. By showing that concerted truth telling can satisfy four features of suitable reparations vehicles, I (...) defend the idea that politically implemented modes of truth telling to, for, and by those who are victims of gross violation and injustice may with good reason be counted as a kind of reparations. Understanding the doubly symbolic character of reparations, however, makes clearer why truth telling is unlikely to be sufficient reparation for serious wrongs and is likely to be sensitive to the larger context of reparative activity and its social, political, and historical background. (shrink)
In a health service with limited resources we must make decisions about who to treat first. In this paper I develop a version of the restoration argument according to which those whose need for resources is a consequence of their voluntary choices should receive lower priority when it comes to health care. I then consider three possible problems for this argument based on those that have been raised against other theories of this type: that we don't know in a particular (...) case that the illness is self-inflicted, that it seems that all illness is self-inflicted in the sense used in my argument, and finally that this type of approach incorporates an unacceptable moralising element if it is to avoid giving those like fire-fighters a lower priority for treatment. I argue that the position outlined here has the resources to respond to each of these objections. (shrink)
In a recent study of astrophysical “fine-tunings” (or “coincidences”), Robert Klee critically assesses the support that such astrophysical evidence might be thought to lend to the design argument (i.e., the argument that our universe has been designed by some deity). Klee argues that a proper assessment indicates that the universe is not as “fine-tuned” as advertised by proponents of the design arguments. We argue (i) that Klee’s assessment of the data is, to a certain extent, problematic; and (ii) even if (...) Klee’s assessment of the data is correct, it provides a necessary but not a sufficient response to the design argument. However, an adequate skeptical rejoinder to the design argument can be made by appealing to the anthropic principle. (shrink)
Neil Levy argues that while addicts who believe they are not addicts are self-deceived, addicts who believe they are addicts are just as self-deceived. Such persons accept a false belief that their addictive behaviour involves a loss of control. This paper examines two implications of Levy's discussion: that accurate self-knowledge may be particularly difficult for addicts; and that an addict's self-deceived belief that they cannot control themselves may aid their attempts at self-control. I argue that the self-deceived beliefs of addicts (...) in denial and of self-described addicts differ in kind. Unlike the self-deception of an addict in denial, that of the self-described addict allows them to acknowledge their behaviour. As such, it may aid an addict to develop more self-control. A paradoxical implication is that this self-deception may allow an addict more self-knowledge. (shrink)
If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists. This is the ‘anthropic argument’. The anthropic argument, is related to, but distinct from, the traditional argument from evil. The anthropic argument forces us to consider the ‘creation question’: why did God not create other gods rather than (...) humans? That is, if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect then why didn’t He create a world populated exclusively by beings that are perfect in the same way that He is—ontological equivalents— rather than choosing to create humans with finite natures and all the suffering that this entails? (shrink)
It has long been disputed whether Kant's transcendental idealism requires two worlds ? one of appearances and one of things in themselves ? or only one. The one-world view must be wrong if it claims that individual spatio-temporal things can be identified with particular things in themselves, and if it fails to take seriously the doctrine of double affection; versions that insist on one world, without making claims about the identity of individual things, cannot say in what way the world (...) as we know it and the world of things in themselves can be ?the same?. The two-world view must be wrong if it denies Kant's empirical realism, or offers a phenomenalist interpretation of it. On moral grounds Kant ?identifies? each human person with a particular thing in itself, but the relationship here cannot be strict identity; instead its closeness may warrant regarding the two distinct entities as part of a composite whole. Perhaps up to the first edition of the Critique, Kant thought that empirical knowledge required a particular kind of close correspondence between appearances and things in themselves, one that would make it appropriate to speak of composite wholes here also. By the time of the second edition, he saw that there could be no good grounds for thinking that. In this respect something a bit like the one-world theory might make more sense for the first edition than for the second; but in both cases there is room to speak of two worlds as well. Talk of the number of worlds is metaphorical, and both metaphors have their dangers. (shrink)
Studies have shown that as MRI T2 relaxation time lengthens there is a shift toward more unbound or “free-water” and less partitioning of the protein/lipid molecules per unit volume. A shift toward less water partitioning or lengthened MRI T2 relaxation time is linearly related to reduced high frequency EEG amplitude, reduced short distance EEG coherence, increased long distance EEG coherence, and reduced cognitive functioning (Thatcher et al. 1998a; 1998b).
Human beings with diminished decision-making capacities are usually thought to require greater protections from the potential harms of research than fully autonomous persons. Animal subjects of research receive lesser protections than any human beings regardless of decision-making capacity. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely animals’ lack of some characteristic human capacities that is commonly invoked to justify using them for human purposes. In other words, for humans lesser capacities correspond to greater protections but for animals the opposite is true. Without explicit (...) justification, it is not clear why or whether this should be the case. Ethics regulations guiding human subject research include principles such as respect for persons—and related duties—that are required as a matter of justice while regulations guiding animal subject research attend only to highly circumscribed considerations of welfare. Further, the regulations guiding research on animals discount any consideration of animal welfare relative to comparable human welfare. This paper explores two of the most promising justifications for these differences␣between the two sets of regulations. The first potential justification points to lesser moral status for animals on the basis of their lesser capacities. The second potential justification relies on a claim about the permissibility of moral partiality as␣found in common morality. While neither potential justification is sufficient to justify the regulatory difference as it stands, there is possible common ground between supporters of some regulatory difference and those rejecting the current difference. (shrink)
While various items closely associated with belief, such as speech?acts of assertion, or what have recently been termed acts of ?acceptance?, can clearly be voluntary, it is commonly supposed that belief itself, being intrinsically truth?directed, is essentially passive. I argue that while this may be true of belief proper, understood as a kind of disposition, it is not true of acts of assent or ?judgment?. Judgments, I contend, must be deemed voluntary precisely because of their truth?aimedness, for in their case (...) this feature entails that they can always be regarded as the subjects of a kind of implicit practical reasoning. By emphasizing the familiar point that voluntariness need not involve anything more than this, and by invoking the soft determinist option of holding causation to be compatible with choice, I seek to deflect some anticipated objections to this argument. (shrink)
Researchers working on drug addiction may, for a variety of reasons, want to carry out research which involves giving addicts their drug of choice. In carrying out this research consent needs to be obtained from those addicts recruited to participate in it. Concerns have been raised about whether or not such addicts are able to give this consent. Despite their differences, however, both sides in this debate appear to be agreed that the way to resolve this issue is to determine (...) whether or not addicts have irresistible cravings for drugs – if they do, then they cannot consent to this type of research; if they do not, then they can. This I will argue is a mistake. Determining whether or not addicts can say 'No' to offers of drugs will not help us to make much progress here. Instead we need to look at the various ways in which different types of research may undermine an addict's competence to give consent. What we will find is that the details of the research make a big difference here and that, as such, we need to steer a course between, on the one hand, painting all addicts as being unable to consent to research which involves providing them with drugs, and, on the other, maintaining that there are no problems in obtaining consent from addicts to take part in such research. (shrink)
It is generally held that doctors and researchers have an obligation to obtain informed consent. Over time there has been a move in relation to this obligation from a requirement to disclose information to a requirement to ensure that that information is understood. Whilst this change has been resisted, in this article I argue that both sides on this matter are mistaken. When investigating what information is needed for consent to be informed we might be trying to determine what information (...) a person would need in order to consent at all, or we might be trying to determine what information a person needs in order to make an informed choice about whether or not to consent. I argue that the obligation to ensure understanding only applies to information generated by the first type of enquiry; but that much of the information generally thought necessary in order for consent to be informed is only required if our concern is with the second type of enquiry. For this reason it is neither the case that doctors and researchers should ensure all the information they provide is understood, nor is it the case that their only obligation is to disclose it. (shrink)
There is widespread agreement that it would be both morally and legally wrong to treat a competent patient, or to carry out research with a competent participant, without the voluntary consent of that patient or research participant. Furthermore, in medical ethics it is generally taken that that consent must be informed. The most widely given reason for this has been that informed consent is needed to respect the patient's or research participant's autonomy. In this article I set out to challenge (...) this claim by considering in detail each of the three most prominent ways in which ‘autonomy’ has been conceptualized in the medical ethics literature. I will argue that whilst these accounts support the claim that consent is needed if the treatment of competent patients, or research on competent individuals, is to respect their autonomy, they do not support the claim that informed consent is needed for this purpose. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Identity of meaning Adrian Poole; 2. Identity and the law Lionel Bently; 3. Species-identity Peter Crane; 4. Mathematical identity Marcus Du Sautoy; 5. Immunological identity Philippa Marrack; 6. Visualizing identity Ludmilla Jordanova; 7. Musical identity Christopher Hogwood; 8. Identity and the mind Raymond Tallis; Notes on the contributors; Index.
Research in the neurosciences continues to provide evidence that sleep plays a role in the processes of learning and memory. There is less of a consensus, however, regarding the precise stages of memory development during which sleep is considered a requirement, simply favorable, or not important. This article begins with an overview of recent studies regarding sleep and learning, predominantly in the procedural memory domain, and is measured against our current understanding of the mechanisms that govern memory formation. Based on (...) these considerations, I offer a new neurocognitive framework of procedural learning, consisting first of acquisition, followed by two specific stages of consolidation, one involving a process of stabilization, the other involving enhancement, whereby delayed learning occurs. Psychophysiological evidence indicates that initial acquisition does not rely fundamentally on sleep. This also appears to be true for the stabilization phase of consolidation, with durable representations, resistant to interference, clearly developing in a successful manner during time awake (or just time, per se). In contrast, the consolidation stage, resulting in additional/enhanced learning in the absence of further rehearsal, does appear to rely on the process of sleep, with evidence for specific sleep-stage dependencies across the procedural domain. Evaluations at a molecular, cellular, and systems level currently offer several sleep specific candidates that could play a role in sleep-dependent learning. These include the upregulation of select plasticity-associated genes, increased protein synthesis, changes in neurotransmitter concentration, and specific electrical events in neuronal networks that modulate synaptic potentiation. Key Words: consolidation; enhancement; learning; memory; plasticity; sleep; stabilization. (shrink)