What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory (...) of justice. He urges its adoption on the basis of a sustained critique of the former approach, which he calls “transcendental.” In this paper I pursue two tasks, one critical and the other constructive. First, I argue that Sen’s account of the contrast between the transcendental and the comparative approaches is not convincing, and second, I suggest what I take to be a broader and more plausible account of comparative assessments of justice. The core claim is that political philosophers should not shy away from the pursuit of ambitious theories of justice (including, for example, ideal theories of perfect justice), although they should engage in careful consideration of issues of political feasibility bearing on their practical implementation. (shrink)
[Working paper] Philosophers occasionally invoke Lipsey and Lancaster's "general theory of second best" to challenge the ideal guidance view, the view that ideal political principles can provide normative guidelines for our efforts to address injustice amidst unfavorable circumstances. Roughly, the theorem says: if certain conditions are met, then what we should do in nonideal circumstances does not necessarily approximate what we should do in ideal circumstances. But extant challenges to the ideal guidance view are (...) based on mistaken interpretations of the theorem's antecedent condition. I show that, once we understand the antecedent condition correctly, the theory of second best does not present as tough a challenge to the ideal guidance view as is typically believed. (shrink)
Are government restrictions on hate speech consistent with the priority of liberty? This relatively narrow policy question will serve as the starting point for a wider discussion of the use and abuse of nonidealtheory in contemporary political philosophy, especially as practiced on the academic left. I begin by showing that hate speech (understood as group libel) can undermine fair equality of opportunity for historically-oppressed groups but that the priority of liberty seems to forbid its restriction. This tension (...) between free speech and equal opportunity creates a dilemma for liberal egalitarians. Nonidealtheory apparently offers an escape from this dilemma, but after examining three versions of such an escape strategy, I conclude that none is possible: liberal egalitarians are indeed forced to choose between liberty and equality in this case and others. I finish the paper by examining its implications for other policy arenas, including markets in transplantable human organs and women’s reproductive services. (shrink)
[Working paper] Political philosophers frequently claim that political ideal can provide normative guidance for unjust and otherwise nonideal circumstances. This is mistaken. This paper demonstrates that political ideals contribute nothing to our understanding of the normative principles we should implement amidst unjust or otherwise nonideal circumstances.
I argue that recent virtue theories (including those of Hursthouse, Slote, and Swanton) face important initial difficulties in accommodating the supererogatory. In particular, I consider several potential characterizations of the supererogatory modeled upon these familiar virtue theories (and their accounts of rightness) and argue that they fail to provide an adequate account of supererogation. In the second half of the paper I sketch an alternative virtue-based characterization of supererogation, one that is grounded in the attitudes of virtuous ideal observers, (...) and that avoids the concerns raised in the first part of the paper. (shrink)
By illustrating the presence and scope of the bodhisattva ideal in Theravāda Buddhist theory and practice, this article shows that some of the distinctions used to separate Mahāyāna Buddhism from Hīnayāna Buddhism are problematic, and, in particular, calls into question the commonly held theoretical model that postulates that the goal of Mahāyāna practitioners is to become buddhas by following the path of the bodhisattva (bodhisattva-yāna), whereas the goal of Hīnayāna practitioners is to become arahants by following the path (...) of the hearers of Buddha's disciples (śrāvaka-yāna). (shrink)
Abstract: Philosophers who have addressed the problems of enduring racial injustice have been suspicious of the role played by idealtheory in ethics and political philosophy generally, and in contemporary liberal political philosophy in particular. The theoretical marginalization of race in the work of Rawls has led some to charge that idealtheory is at the very least unhelpful in understanding one of the most significant forms of contemporary injustice, and is at worst ideological in the (...) pejorative sense. To explore these concerns, I formulate five related criticisms of idealtheory and examine each as it would be applied to Rawls's political philosophy. My thesis is that the strongest criticisms—namely, that idealtheory is essentially ideological and cannot provide adequate grounds for justifying race-conscious, equality-securing measures—ultimately miss the mark. But other criticisms of idealtheory are more plausible, and most plausibly directed to an area of Rawls's thought often ignored in discussions of liberalism and race, namely, his account of citizenship and public reasoning. (shrink)
In Moral Animals, Catherine Wilson develops a theory of morality based on two fundamental premises: first that moral progress implies the evolution of moral ideals involving restraint and sacrifice; second that human beings are outfitted by nature with selfish motivations, intentions, and ambitions that place constraints on what morality can demand of them. Normative claims, she goes on to show, can be understood as projective hypotheses concerning the conduct of realistically-described nonideal agents in preferred fictional worlds. Such claims (...) differ from empirical hypotheses, insofar as they cannot be verified by observation and experiment. Yet many, though not all, moral claims are susceptible of confirmation to the extent that they command the agreement of well-informed inquirers. With this foundation in place, Wilson turns to a defense of egalitarianism intended to address the objection that the importance of our non-moral projects, our natural acquisitiveness and partiality, and our meritocratic commitments render social equality a mere abstract ideal. Employing the basic notion of a symmetrical division of the co-operative surplus, she argues that social justice with respect to global disparities in well-being, and in the condition of women relative to men, depends on the relinquishment of natural and acquired advantage that is central to the concept of morality. (shrink)
Highlighting the distinct approaches to behavior guidance employed by law and aspirational religious institutions like Buddhism, focusing on the work of Lon Fuller. There is importance to both baseline or duty-centered rules such as found primarily in criminal law and deontic morality, as well as aspirational guidance principles that are found in religious law, virtue ethics, and sometimes seen in civil law. However, the specific assumptions and aims of these two modes of guidance must be harmonized to be effective.
This paper discusses the theory of socialism endorsed by Li Dazhao, China's first Marxist, as an effort to integrate western ideas into the traditional Chinese thinking during the chaotic years of the 1920s. There are two aspects of Li's theory of socialism which, while related, are distinct: (1) a theory about the nature of socialist society, and (2) a theory about how a socialist society can be achieved in China. Li's development of (1) is influenced by (...) his acceptance of the classical Confucian notion of the Great Harmony while his account of (2) draws upon both his acceptance of the Daoist account of historical change and on classic Confucianism. Understanding his theory of socialism thus requires locating it within these two doctrines of classical Chinese philosophy. (shrink)
It is conventional wisdom among political philosophers that ideal principles of justice (i.e., principles that would regulate the constitutions of fully just institutional arrangements) must guide our attempts to design institutions to avert actual injustice. Call this the ideal guidance approach. I argue that this view is misguided—ideal principles of justice are not appropriate "guiding principles" that actual institutions must aim to realize, even if only approximately. Fortunately, the conventional wisdom is also avoidable. In this paper, I (...) develop an alternative approach to institutional design, which I call institutional failure analysis. The basic intuition of this approach is that our moral assessment of institutional proposals is most effective when we proceed from a detailed understanding of the causal processes generating problematic social outcomes. Failure analysis takes the institutional primary design task to be obviating or averting institutional failures. Consequently, failure analysis enables theorists to prescribe more effective solutions to actual injustice because its focuses on understanding the injustice, rather than specifying an ideal of justice. (shrink)
This paper systematically extends John Rawls' original position to nonidealtheory, showing how parties to a "nonideal original position" ought to prioritize four "nonideal primary goods" over Rawls' principles and priority relations, and then agree to five lexically ordered principles of nonidealtheory for distributing those goods. Finally, these five principles are shown to fare very well in reflective equilibrium, cohering with a number of pretheoretic moral intuitions.
In this paper I argue that Care theory has the resources to offer an insightful and original theoretical perspective on issues in medical ethics. The paper begins with a discussion of the sort of theory Care is, and argues that it closely resembles virtue theory. After a discussion of cammon features of Care theories, I respond to a few of the criticisme that have been levied against the theory. The final section of the paper is a (...) discussion of the question of neutrality in public moral discourse. Care theory is not a neutral theory with regard to questions of the nature of the good life for humans, but I argue that this should not preclude Care from playing a part in the public debate over policy decisions. (shrink)
An intensified discussion on the role of normative ideals has re-emerged in several debates in political philosophy. What is often referred to as “idealtheory,” represented by liberal egalitarians such as John Rawls, is under attack from those that stress that political philosophy at large should take much more seriously the nonideal circumstances consisting of relations of domination and power under which normative ideals, principles, and ideas are supposed to be applied. While the debate so far has (...) mainly been preoccupied with defending or rejecting idealtheory through a defense or rejection of a specific idealtheory, this paper instead focuses on a number of general philosophical concerns on which the critique relies. More specifically, it brings up for scrutiny, and ultimately rejects, three charges against idealtheory: the charge that idealtheory is not action-guiding, that idealtheory is impossible, and that idealtheory is distorting. By investigatingthese charges in tandem, the paper shows that the criticism against idealtheory is premised on assumptions about the relationships between thought and action and between concepts and the world for which there is little or no support. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of the morality of suicide have tended to focus on its justifiability from an agent’s point of view rather than on the justifiability of attempts by others to intervene so as to prevent it. This paper addresses questions of suicide intervention within a broadly Kantian perspective. In such a perspective, a chief task is to determine the motives underlying most suicidal behaviour. Kant wrongly characterizes this motive as one of self-love or the pursuit of happiness. Psychiatric and scientific (...) evidence suggests that suicide is instead motivated by a nihilistic disenchantment with the possibility of happiness which, at its apex, results in the loss of the individual’s conception of her practical identity. Because of this, methods of intervention that appeal to agents’ happiness, while morally benign, will prove ineffective in forestalling suicide. At the same time, more aggressive methods violate the Kantian concern for autonomy. This apparent dilemma can be resolved by seeing suicide intervention as an action undertaken in non-ideal circumstances, where otherwise unjustified manipulation, coercion, or paternalism are morally permitted. (shrink)
The axiomatic approaches of quantum mechanics and relativity theory are compared with approaches in which the theories are thought to describe readings of certain measurement operations. The usual axioms are shown to correspond with classes of ideal measurements. The necessity is discussed of generalizing the formalisms of both quantum mechanics and relativity theory so as to encompass more realistic nonideal measurements. It is argued that this generalization favours an empiricist interpretation of the mathematical formalisms over a (...) realist one. (shrink)
The axiomatic approaches of quantum mechanics and relativity theory are compared with approaches in which the theories are thought to describe readings of certain measurement operations. The usual axioms are shown to correspond with classes of ideal measurements. The necessity is discussed of generalizing the formalisms of both quantum mechanics and relativity theory so as to encompass more realistic nonideal measurements. It is argued that this generalization favours an empiricist interpretation of the mathematical formalisms over a (...) realist one. (shrink)
This book examines the relationship between environmental and democratic thought and the apparent compatibility of ecology and democracy. Although environmental politics is quite rightly seen as a progressive force, it has also featured a strand of extreme right "eco-authoritarianism" and its proponents have sometimes developed controversial positions on such issues as population policy. There have also been a number of situations where radical environmental activists have broken the laws of democratic societies in pursuit of ecological objectives and the book examines (...) this in a number of case studies on biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity. This is a significant contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy. (shrink)
Virtue theorists in ethics often embrace the following characterizationof right action: An action is right iff a virtuous agent would performthat action in like circumstances. Zagzebski offers a parallel virtue-basedaccount of epistemically justified belief. Such proposals are severely flawedbecause virtuous agents in adverse circumstances, or through lack ofknowledge can perform poorly. I propose an alternative virtue-based accountaccording to which an action is right (a belief is justified) for an agentin a given situation iff an unimpaired, fully-informed virtuous observerwould deem the (...) action to be right (the belief to be justified). (shrink)
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in conjunction with (...) these favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
In this work I will put forward the idea that Max Weber's conception of the "ideal type" may have a role in the process aimed at formulating a reliable concept of scientific law and scientific theory. The connection between Weber, theorist of socio–historical science, and postpositivist philosophy of science has been made possible by Carl Hempel, who grasped the importance of Weber's work and, at the same time, interpreted the movement towards modernization of neo-empiricism by supporting the passage (...) to a semantic conception of scientific theories. I will therefore analyze the role of idealizing procedure in the formation of theoretical entities and in the process of organization and coordination of laws that govern complex causal systems. (shrink)
Within traditional decision theory, common decision principles - e.g. the principle to maximize utility -- generally invoke idealization; they govern ideal agents in ideal circumstances. In Realistic Decision Theory, Paul Weirch adds practicality to decision theory by formulating principles applying to nonideal agents in nonideal circumstances, such as real people coping with complex decisions. Bridging the gap between normative demands and psychological resources, Realistic Decision Theory is essential reading for theorists seeking precise (...) normative decision principles that acknowledge the limits and difficulties of human decision-making. (shrink)
A succinct introduction to mathematical logic and set theory, which together form the foundations for the rigorous development of mathematics. Suitable for all introductory mathematics undergraduates, Notes on Logic and Set Theory covers the basic concepts of logic: first-order logic, consistency, and the completeness theorem, before introducing the reader to the fundamentals of axiomatic set theory. Successive chapters examine the recursive functions, the axiom of choice, ordinal and cardinal arithmetic, and the incompleteness theorems. Dr. Johnstone has included (...) numerous exercises designed to illustrate the key elements of the theory and to provide applications of basic logical concepts to other areas of mathematics. (shrink)
This dissertation is an analysis of the development of dialectic and argumentation theory in post-classical Islamic intellectual history. The central concerns of the thesis are; treatises on the theoretical understanding of the concept of dialectic and argumentation theory, and how, in practice, the concept of dialectic, as expressed in the Greek classical tradition, was received and used by five communities in the Islamic intellectual camp. It shows how dialectic as an argumentative discourse diffused into five communities (theologicians, poets, (...) grammarians, philosophers and jurists) and how these local dialectics that the individual communities developed fused into a single system to form a general argumentation theory (adab al-bahth) applicable to all fields. I evaluate a treatise by Shams al-Din Samarqandi (d.702/1302), the founder of this general theory, and the treatises that were written after him as a result of his work. I concentrate specifically on work by 'Ad}ud al-Din al-Iji (d.756/1355), Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani (d.816/1413), Taşköprüzâde (d.968/1561), Saçaklızâde (d.1150/1737) and Gelenbevî (d.1205/1791) and analyze how each writer (from Samarqandi to Gelenbevî) altered the shape of argumentative discourse and how later intellectuals in the post-classical Islamic world responded to that discourse bequeathed by their predecessors. What is striking about the period that this dissertation investigates (from 1300-1800) is the persistence of what could be called the linguistic turn in argumentation theory. After a centuries-long run, the jadal-based dialectic of the classical period was displaced by a new argumentation theory, which was dominantly linguistic in character. This linguistic turn in argumentation dates from the final quarter of the fourteenth century in Iji's impressively prescient work on 'ilm al-wad'. This idea, which finally surfaced in the post-classical period, that argumentation is about definition and that, therefore, defining is the business of language—even perhaps, that language is the only available medium for understanding and being understood—affected the way that argumentation theory was processed throughout most of the period in question.The argumentative discourse that started with Ibn al-Rawandi in the third/ninth century left a permanent imprint on Islamic intellectual history, which was then full of concepts, terminology and objectives from this discourse up until the late nineteenth century. From this perspective, Islamic intellectual history can be read as the tension between two languages: the "language of dialectic" (jadal) and the "language of demonstration" (burhan), each of which refer not only to a significant feature of that history, but also to a feature that could dramatically alter the interpretation of that history. (shrink)
This introduction to mathematical logic starts with propositional calculus and first-order logic. Topics covered include syntax, semantics, soundness, completeness, independence, normal forms, vertical paths through negation normal formulas, compactness, Smullyan's Unifying Principle, natural deduction, cut-elimination, semantic tableaux, Skolemization, Herbrand's Theorem, unification, duality, interpolation, and definability. The last three chapters of the book provide an introduction to type theory (higher-order logic). It is shown how various mathematical concepts can be formalized in this very expressive formal language. This expressive notation facilitates (...) proofs of the classical incompleteness and undecidability theorems which are very elegant and easy to understand. The discussion of semantics makes clear the important distinction between standard and nonstandard models which is so important in understanding puzzling phenomena such as the incompleteness theorems and Skolem's Paradox about countable models of set theory. Some of the numerous exercises require giving formal proofs. A computer program called ETPS which is available from the web facilitates doing and checking such exercises. Audience: This volume will be of interest to mathematicians, computer scientists, and philosophers in universities, as well as to computer scientists in industry who wish to use higher-order logic for hardware and software specification and verification. (shrink)
Implicit in feminist and other critiques of ideal theorizing is a particular view of what normative theory should be like. Although I agree with the rejection of ideal theorizing that oppression theorists (and other theorists of justice) have advocated, the proposed alternative of nonideal theorizing is also problematic. Nonideal theorizing permits one to address oppression by first describing (nonideal) oppressive conditions, and then prescribing the best action that is possible or feasible given the conditions. (...) Borrowing an insight from the “moral dilemmas debate”—namely that moral wrongdoing or failure can be unavoidable—I suggest that offering (only) action-guidance under nonideal conditions obscures the presence and significance of unavoidable moral failure. An adequate normative theory should be able to issue a further, non-action-guiding evaluative claim, namely that the best that is possible under oppressive conditions is not good enough, and may constitute a moral failure. I find exclusively action-guiding nonidealtheory to be both insufficiently nonidealizing (because it idealizes the moral agent by falsely characterizing the agent as always able to avoid moral wrongdoing) and meanwhile too strongly adapted to the nonideal (because normative expectations are lowered and detrimentally adapted to options that, while the best possible, are still unacceptable). (shrink)
Embodiment and embeddedness define an attractive framework to the study of cognition. I discuss whether theory of mind, i.e. the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their behaviour, fits these two principles. In agreement with available evidence, embodied cognitive processes may underlie the earliest manifestations of social cognitive abilities such as infants’ selective behaviour in spontaneous-response false belief tasks. Instead, late theory-of-mind abilities, such as the capacity to pass the (elicited-response) false belief test (...) at age four, depend on children’s ability to explain people’s reasons to act in conversation with adults. Accordingly, rather than embodied, late theory-of-mind abilities are embedded in an external linguistic practice. (shrink)
Recently, a number of Anglo-American philosophers of very different sorts--pragmatists, metaphysicians, philosophers of language, philosophers of law, moral philosophers--have taken a reflective rather than merely recreational interest in literature. Does this literary turn mean that philosophy is coming to an end or merely down to earth? In this collection of essays, one of the most insightful of contemporary literary theorists investigates the intersection of literature and philosophy, analyzing the emerging preferences for practice over theory, particulars over universals, events over (...) structures, inhabitants over spectators, an ethics of responsibility over a morality of rules, and a desire for intimacy with the world instead of simply a disengaged knowledge of it. (shrink)
This two-volume work bridges the gap between introductory expositions of logic or set theory on one hand, and the research literature on the other. It can be used as a text in an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate course in mathematics, computer science, or philosophy. The volumes are written in a user-friendly conversational lecture style that makes them equally effective for self-study or class use. Volume II, on formal (ZFC) set theory, incorporates a self-contained 'chapter 0' on proof (...) techniques so that it is based on formal logic, in the style of Bourbaki. The emphasis on basic techniques will provide the reader with a solid foundation in set theory and provides a context for the presentation of advanced topics such as absoluteness, relative consistency results, two expositions of Godel's constructible universe, numerous ways of viewing recursion, and a chapter on Cohen forcing. (shrink)
The article attempts to clarify the appeal to the Benedictine ideal that Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) makes in The Aims of Education and Other Essays as a way to renew the life of the spirit in education. In particular, the essay will consider St. Benedict's three central themes of Whitehead's philosophy: freedom and discipline, the teacher as artist and the art of life, and universities as workshops or homes of creative energy. The aim is to bring about a harmony (...) of thought and action, the mind to the feelings of the heart, to subordinate scientific or critical pedagogy to aesthetic-spiritual instruction. This deserves our attention because today's educational theories and practices emphasize the technical, the critical, and the social sides to the neglect of the aesthetic-spiritual side. On both its practical and theoretical side, the educational theory of Whitehead falls within the Benedictine tradition of ora (meditative reading) and labora (work). (shrink)
Music theorists of almost all ages employ a concept of "Nature" to justify observations or statements about music. The understanding of what "Nature" is, however, is subject to cultural and historical differences. In tracing these explanatory strategies and their changes in music theories between c. 1600 and 1900, these essays explore (for the first time in a book-length study) how the multifarious conceptions of nature, located variously between scientific reason and divine power, are brought to bear on music theory (...) and how they affect our understanding of music. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt to defuse a set of epistemic worries commonly raised against ideal observer theories. The worries arise because of the omniscience often attributed to ideal observers -- how can we, as finite humans, ever have access to the moral judgements or reactions of omniscient beings? I argue that many of the same concerns arise with respect to other moral theories (and that these concerns do not in fact reveal genuine flaws in any of these (...) theories), and further, that we can and often do have knowledge of the reactions of ideal observers (according to standard, prominent theories in the domain of epistemology). (shrink)
This dissertation defends a “non-idealtheory” of justice: a systematic theory of how to respond justly to injustice. Chapter 1 argues that contemporary political philosophy lacks a non-idealtheory of justice, and defends a variation of John Rawls’ famous original position – the Non-Ideal Original Position – as a method with which to construct such a theory. Finally, Chapter 1 uses the Non-Ideal Original Position to argue for a Fundamental Principle of Non- (...) class='Hi'>IdealTheory: a principle that requires injustices to be dealt with in whichever way will best satisfy the preferences of all relevant individuals, provided those individuals are all rational, adequately informed, broadly moral, and accept the correct “idealtheory” of fully just conditions. Chapter 2 then argues for the Principle of Application – an epistemic principle that represents the Fundamental Principle’s satisfaction conditions in terms of the aims of actual or hypothetical reformist groups. Chapters 3-5 then use these two principles to argue for substantive views regarding global/international justice. Chapter 3 argues that the two principles establish a higher-order human right for all other human rights to promoted and protected in accordance with the two principles of non-idealtheory. Chapter 4 argues that the two principles defeasibly require the international community to tolerate unjust societies, provided those societies respect the most basic rights of individuals. Finally, Chapter 5 argues that the two principles imply a duty of the international community to ameliorate the most severe forms of global poverty, as well as a duty to pursue “fair trade” in international economics. (shrink)
Rhetorical ethos and dramatic theory -- Syntax, style, and ethos -- The worth of words -- Memory and ethos -- Shaw, ethos, and rhetorical wit -- Athol Fugard's dramatic rhetoric -- Rhetoric and silence in Holocaust drama.
We investigate the implications of protective measurement for de Broglie-Bohm theory, mainly focusing on the interpretation of the wave function. It has been argued that the de Broglie-Bohm theory gives the same predictions as quantum mechanics by means of quantum equilibrium hypothesis. However, this equivalence is based on the premise that the wave function, regarded as a Ψ-field, has no mass and charge density distributions. But this premise turns out to be wrong according to protective measurement; a charged (...) quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. Then in the de Broglie-Bohm theory both Ψ-field and Bohmian particle will have charge density distribution for a charged quantum system. This will result in the existence of an electrostatic self-interaction of the field and an electromagnetic interaction between the field and Bohmian particle, which not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Therefore, the de Broglie-Bohm theory as a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics is problematic according to protective measurement. Lastly, we briefly discuss the possibility that the wave function is not a physical field but a description of some sort of ergodic motion (e.g. random discontinuous motion) of particles. (shrink)
The emergence of queer theory represents a huge leap in our understanding of lesbian and gay peoples. It embodies a context for treating these people as worthy of consideration in their own rights and not as an appendage to general cultural theory. Max Kirsch argues that the current development of this area is in danger of repeating past mistakes in the construction of analyses, and ultimately, social movements. In this way, the book presents an alternative to the current (...) fascination with the abstract categories of identity, culture and difference, and emphasizes the need for a discussion of the importance of communities and role of globalization on queer movements. (shrink)
This book explores concepts of rationality drawn from philosophy and the social sciences, in relation to traditions of literary enquiry. The author surveys basic assumptions and questions in philosophical accounts of action, in decision theory, and in the theory of rational choice. He gives examples ranging from Icelandic sagas to Poe and Beckett, and examines some situations and actions drawn from American and European fiction in order to analyze issues raised by contemporary models of agency. Challenging poststructuralism's irrationalist (...) images of science, this innovative study crosses the boundary between literary and philosophical studies in a bold interdisciplinary spirit. (shrink)
Recent encounters with structuralist and poststructuralist critical theory, linguistics, and cognitive sciences have brought the theory and analysis of music into the orbit of important developments in present-day intellectual history. Without seeking to impose an explicit redefinition of either theory or analysis, this book explores the limits of both. Essays on decidability, ambiguity, metaphor, music as text, and music analysis as cognitive theory are complemented by studies of works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Birtwistle and Boulez.
Methods developed in a previous paper are employed to define an exact correspondence between the states of a deterministic cellular automaton in 1+1 dimensions and those of a bosonic quantum field theory. The result may be used to argue that quantum field theories may be much closer related to deterministic automata than what is usually thought possible.
The Topos of Music is the upgraded and vastly deepened English extension of the seminal German Geometrie der Töne. It reflects the dramatic progress of mathematical music theory and its operationalization by information technology since the publication of Geometrie der Töne in 1990. The conceptual basis has been vastly generalized to topos-theoretic foundations, including a corresponding thoroughly geometric musical logic. The theoretical models and results now include topologies for rhythm, melody, and harmony, as well as a classification theory (...) of musical objects that comprises the topos-theoretic concept framework. Classification also implies techniques of algebraic moduli theory. The classical models of modulation and counterpoint have been extended to exotic scales and counterpoint interval dichotomies. The probably most exciting new field of research deals with musical performance and its implementation on advanced object-oriented software environments. This subject not only uses extensively the existing mathematical music theory, it also opens the language to differential equations and tools of differential geometry, such as Lie derivatives. Mathematical performance theory is the key to inverse performance theory, an advanced new research field which deals with the calculation of varieties of parameters which give rise to a determined performance. This field uses techniques of algebraic geometry and statistics, approaches which have already produced significant results in the understanding of highest-ranked human performances. The book's formal language and models are currently being used by leading researchers in Europe and Northern America and have become a foundation of music software design. This is also testified by the book's nineteen collaborators and the included CD-ROM containing software and music examples. (shrink)
Feminist theory is a central strand of cultural studies. This book explores the history of feminist cultural studies from the early work of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, through the 1970s Women's Liberation Movement. It also provides a comprehensive introduction to the contemporary key approaches, theories and debates of feminist theory within cultural studies, offering a major re-mapping of the field. It will be an essential text for students taking courses within both cultural (...) studies and women's studies departments. (shrink)
Introduction -- The dialectic's narrow margin: film noir between Adorno and Hegel -- On critical theory's dialectical dilemma -- a configuration pregnant with tension: Fritz Lang for critical theory -- Coda: the enjoyment of film in theory.
Economic theories of democratic legitimacy (discussed here as minimalist theories) have criticized deliberative accounts of democratic legitimacy on the grounds that they do not represent a practical possibility and that they create conditions that make actual democracies worse. It is not simply that they represent the wrong ideal. Rather, they are too idealistic – failing to show proper regard for the cognitive and moral limitations of persons and the depth of disagreement in democratic society. This article aims to show (...) (1) that the minimalist criterion of democratic legitimacy is self-defeating and (2) that even if there are minimal cognitive, moral, and social requirements for the possibility of practicable deliberative democracy, these limitations do not necessarily impose insuperable barriers for democratic deliberation as the normative basis of democratic legitimacy. Thus, the limiting facts do not dictate the structure of appropriate normative models of democracy in the way minimalists have supposed. (shrink)
The ability to reason and think in a logical manner forms the basis of learning for most mathematics, computer science, philosophy and logic students. Based on the author's teaching notes at the University of Maryland and aimed at a broad audience, this text covers the fundamental topics in classical logic in an extremely clear, thorough and accurate style that is accessible to all the above. Covering propositional logic, first-order logic, and second-order logic, as well as proof theory, computability (...) class='Hi'>theory, and model theory, the text also contains numerous carefully graded exercises and is ideal for a first or refresher course. (shrink)
[Working paper] Recent methodological debates regarding the place of feasibility considerations in normative political theory are hindered for want of a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier. To address this shortfall, I present an analysis of feasibility that generalizes the economic concept of a production possibility frontier and then develop a rigorous model of the feasibility frontier using the familiar possible worlds technology. I then show that this model has significant implications for political philosophy. On the Standard View, a (...) political ideal serves as an important reference point for our specification of normative political principles. I use the model to, first, differentiate three distinct specifications of the Standard View and, then, to show that the Standard View (in its several guises) is committed to implausible or controversial theses. It follows from this discussion that feasibility considerations and moral considerations are equally fundamental inputs to normative political analysis. (shrink)
Abstract Following John Rawls, nonidealtheory is typically divided into: (1) “partial-compliance theory” and (2) “transitional theory." The former is concerned with those circumstances in which individuals and political regimes do not fully comply with the requirements of justice, such as when people break the law or some individuals do not do their fair share within a distributive scheme. The latter is concerned with circumstances in which background institutions may be unjust or may not exist at (...) all. This paper focuses on issues arising in transitional theory. In particular, I am concerned with what Rawls’ has called “burdened societies," that is, those societies that find themselves in unfavorable conditions, such that their historical, social or economic circumstances make it difficult to establish just institutions. The paper investigates exactly how such burdened societies should proceed towards a more just condition in an acceptable fashion. Rawls himself tells us very little, except to suggest that societies in this condition should look for policies and courses of action that are morally permissible, politically possible and likely to be effective. In this paper I first try to anticipate what a Rawlsian might say about the best way for burdened societies to handle transitional problems and so move towards the ideal of justice. Next, I construct a model of transitional justice for burdened societies. Ultimately, I argue for a model of transitional justice that makes use of a nonideal version of Rawls’ notion of the worst-off representative person. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9300-0 Authors Lisa L. Fuller, Department of Philosophy, University at Albany (SUNY), 1400 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12222, USA Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820. (shrink)
There exists a standard view of Kant’s position on global order and this view informs much of current Kantian political theory. This standard view is that Kant advocates a voluntary league of states and rejects the ideal of a federative state of states as dangerous, unrealistic, and conceptually incoherent. This standard interpretation is usually thought to fall victim to three equally standard objections. In this essay, I argue that the standard interpretation is mistaken and that the three standard (...) objections miss their target. Kant does advocate the establishment of a non-coercive league of states, at least in his mature political writings (such as Perpetual Peace and the Metaphysics of Morals), but he does so for different reasons than is usually thought and without rejecting the ideal that a world federation of states eventually be realized. I end by indicating how Kant’s revised view can be made productive for present-day philosophical purposes. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to show how some of the controversial questions concerning utilitarianism can be clarified by the modelling techniques and the other analytical tools of decision theory (and, sometimes, of game theory). It is suggested that the moral rules of utilitarian ethics have a logical status similar to that of the normative rules (theorems) of such formal normative disciplines as decision theory and game theory.The paper argues that social utility should be defined, (...) not in hedonistic or in ideal-utilitarian terms, but rather in terms of individual preferences, in accordance with the author's equiprobability model of moral value judgments. (shrink)
Now in its second edition, this collection is an intelligent, accessible overview of the entire Critical Theory Tradition, written by one of the leading experts on the subject. Filled with original insights and valuable historical narratives, this work is a contribution that furthers the idea and spirit of critical theory as it weaves together a narrative from a series of examinations of the thoughts of many of the most important left Western intellectuals of the twentieth century. Covering the (...) work of major philosophical thinkers such as Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and Habermas and revisiting the contributions of lesser-known figures such as Karl Korsch and Ernst Bloch, Bronner measures the writing of these theorists against each other, postmodernist philosophers and the critical tradition reaching back to Hegel, and then connects the history of critical theory with important historical events and develops in the twentieth century. Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists presents new insights useful to experienced scholars and offers clear summaries for students making this book an ideal introduction to the debates surrounding one of the most important intellectual traditions of the 20th Century. (shrink)
Rawlsian liberalism is best understood and defended on the basis of a concrete but widely shared ideal of the person as a rational agent capable of normative self?determination in the proper political and economic conditions. In Rawls? recent works, this neo?Kantian ideal of free moral personality is no longer understood as a requirement of rational or moral agency as such, but is a concrete historical ideal or meta?value presupposed by the living tradition of liberal?democratic judgment and practice, (...) which reason can recover through a critical reflection upon this tradition. Read in this way, Rawls? theory of social justice articulates a quite powerful, rational, concrete, historical, and social dimension of modern political identity, which the critics of liberalism cannot plausibly deny. But there are other rival, powerful bourgeois?individualist and patriarchal ideals of personhood, equally rooted in modern political judgments and practices, which Rawlsian liberalism ignores, and which taken together generate the social tensions, instabilities, and conflicts of social justice characteristic of modern liberal?democratic society. Rawlsian theory and liberal political thought requires but essentially lacks a conception of moral reason adequate to comprehend and mediate these normative incoherences built into modern Western political identity. A larger more adequate paradigm of moral reason and political theory is required to overcome these deficiencies. (shrink)
Abstract This article examines the Kibbutz children's society as an ideal and as it is in reality. Following an account of the vision and theory of the children's society four case studies are reported. Two are historical: the local children's society founded in Kibbutz Ein Harod in 1924; and the attempt by Zisling of Ein Harod to found a national children's society on the basis of local models. The other two are contemporary and relate to studies in the (...) early 1990s at the integrative Anne Frank Haven at Kibbutz Sasa, and at the computerised greenhouse at the Mevo'ot Evon, the educational institution at Kibbutz Ein Shemer. The conclusion indicates how the children's society can be used as a model elsewhere. (shrink)
Traditionally, conceptualizations of human values are based on the assumption that individuals possess a single integrated value system comprising those values that people are attracted by and strive for. Recently, however, van Quaquebeke et al. (in J Bus Ethics 93:293–305, 2010 ) proposed that a value system might consist of two largely independent value orientations—an orientation of ideal values and an orientation of counter-ideal values (values that individuals are repelled by), and that both orientations exhibit antithetic effects on (...) people’s responses to the social world. Following a call for further research on this distinction, we conducted two studies to assess the independent effects of ideal and counter-ideal values in leadership settings. Study 1 ( N = 131) finds both value orientations to explain unique variance in followers’ vertical respect for their leaders. Study 2 ( N = 136) confirms these results and additionally shows an analogous effect for followers’ identification with their leaders. Most importantly, we find that both value orientations exhibit their effects only independently when the content of the two orientations pertain to different value types in Schwartz’s (in J Soc Issues 50:19–46, 1994 ) circumplex model. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Charles Mills has critiqued of the whiteness of the discipline of Philosophy by showing how ideal theorizing dominates Anglo-American philosophy and functions there as ideology, while it is non-ideal theorizing that can better attend to the realities of racialized lives. This paper investigates how idealization within the subfield of ethics leads mainstream ethical theorizing to fail to reflect moral life under racial and other forms of domination and oppression. The paper proposes recognizing the dilemmaticity that moral life tends (...) to exhibit under certain non-ideal conditions. (shrink)
This paper has three aims. First, it argues that the present use of ‘idealtheory’ is unhelpful, and that an earlier and apparently more natural use focusing on perfection would be preferable. Second, it has tried to show that revision of the use of the term would better expose two distinctive normative issues, and illustrated that claim by showing how some contributors to debates about idealtheory have gone wrong partly through not distinguishing them. Third, in (...) exposing those two distinct normative issues, it has revealed a particular way in which idealtheory even under the more specific, revisionary definition will often be central to working out what to do in non-ideal circumstances. By clarifying the terms on which debates over ideal and non-idealtheory should take place, and highlighting the particular problems each deals with, it tries to clear the ground for turning to the actual problem, which is what to do in our non-ideal and often tragic circumstances. (shrink)
This paper evaluates Tu Wei-ming's proposal that the Confucian ideal model of human society should be viewed as a fiduciary community. To do the evaluation, I provide a systematic elaboration of Tu's proposal, which is essentially absent in Tu's writings, and a systematic explication of the Confucian theory of fiduciarity, which is supposed to be the theoretical foundation of Tu's proposal but is completely absent in the studies of Confucianism, including Tu's own. On the basis of these studies, (...) I conclude that the notion of fiduciary community is entailed by the Confucian tradition; tapping the resource of the Confucian tradition for appreciating, supporting and justifying a properly defined model of fiduciary society is practically relevant and important to the modern world; however, given Tu's own definition, the model of fiduciary community does not sufficiently characterise the Confucian ideal society. In the end, I suggest a new way to study Confucian social ideals. (shrink)
Classical bargaining theory attempts to solve a bargaining problem using only the information about the problem contained in the representation of its possible outcomes in utility space. However, this information usually underdetermines the solution. I use additional information about interpersonal comparisons of utility and bargaining power. The solution is then the outcome that maximizes the sum of power-weighted utilities. I use these results to advance a contractarian argument for a utilitarian form of social cooperation. As the original position, I (...) propose a hypothetical situation in which the members of society are rational, fully informed, free, and equal. I argue that in this original position they would adopt a utilitarian form of social cooperation. I conclude that utilitarian cooperation constitutes a moral ideal toward which society ought to aspire. (shrink)
I defend the projection postulate against two of Margenau's criticisms. One involves two types of nonideal measurements, measurements that disturb and measurements that annihilate. Such measurements cannot be characterized using the original version of the projection postulate. This is one of the most interesting and powerful objections to the projection postulate since most realistic measurements are nonideal, in Margenau's sense. I show that a straightforward generalization of the projection postulate is capable of handling the more realistic kinds of (...) measurements considered by Margenau. His other objection involves the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) situation. He suggests that there is a significant potential for violations of the no-superluminalsignals requirement of the special theory of relativity, if projections occur in this situation and others like it. He also suggests that what is paradoxical about this situation disappears if the projection postulate is rejected. I show that it is not possible to use measurements on pairs of spatially-separated systems whose states are entangled to transmit information superluminally, and generalize this result to include nonideal measurements. I also show that EPR's dilemma does not really depend on the projection postulate. (shrink)
Contemporary discussions of the positive relation between rational choice and moral theory are a special case of a much older tradition that seeks to show that mutual agreement upon certain moral rules works to the mutual advantage, or in the interests, of those who so agree. I make a few remarks about the history of discussions of the connection between morality and self-interest, after which I argue that the modern theory of rational choice can be naturally understood as (...) a continuation of this older tradition. I then go on to argue for a controversial three-fold thesis: (1) that grounding a theory of morality in terms of rational self-interest is the only epistemologically respectable way to proceed with the justification of moral principles; (2) that despite this, most of the contemporary explorations of rational choice foundations for moral principles do not work—that the models of rational choice to which they appeal yield less than the substantial results that they are intended to yield; but (3) that if one rethinks just what it means to be rational, one can find in fact a promising way to connect the two—specifically through the development of a theory of genuinely cooperative activity. (shrink)
The vegan ideal is entailed by arguments for ethical veganism based on traditional moral theory (rights and/or utilitarianism) extended to animals. The most ideal lifestyle would abjure the use of animals or their products for food since animals suffer and have rights not to be killed. The ideal is discriminatory because the arguments presuppose a male physiological norm that gives a privileged position to adult, middle-class males living in industrialized countries. Women, children, the aged, and others (...) have substantially different nutritional requirements and would bear a greater burden on vegetarian and vegan diets with respect to health and economic risks, than do these males. The poor and many persons in Third World nations live in circumstances that make the obligatory adoption of such diets, where they are not already a matter of sheer necessity, even more risky.Traditional moral theorists (such as Evelyn Pluhar and Gary Varner whose essays appear in this issue) argue that those who are at risk would beexcused from a duty to attain the virtue associated with ethical vegan lifestyles. The routine excuse of nearly everyone in the world besides adult, middle-class males in industrialized countries suggests bias in the perspective from which traditional arguments for animal rights and (utilitarian) animal welfare are formulated. (shrink)
Judgment aggregation theory, or rather, as we conceive of it here, logical aggregation theory generalizes social choice theory by having the aggregation rule bear on judgments of all kinds instead of merely preference judgments. It derives from Kornhauser and Sager’s doctrinal paradox and List and Pettit’s discursive dilemma, two problems that we distinguish emphatically here. The current theory has developed from the discursive dilemma, rather than the doctrinal paradox, and the final objective of the paper is (...) to give the latter its own theoretical development along the line of recent work by Dietrich and Mongin. However, the paper also aims at reviewing logical aggregation theory as such, and it covers impossibility theorems by Dietrich, Dietrich and List, Dokow and Holzman, List and Pettit, Mongin, Nehring and Puppe, Pauly and van Hees, providing a uniform logical framework in which they can be compared with each other. The review goes through three historical stages: the initial paradox and dilemma, the scattered early results on the independence axiom, and the so-called canonical theorem, a collective achievement that provided the theory with its specific method of analysis. The paper goes some way towards philosophical logic, first by briefly connecting the aggregative framework of judgment with the modern philosophy of judgment, and second by thoroughly discussing and axiomatizing the "general logic" built in this framework. (shrink)
Thomas L. Carson: Lying and Deception. Theory and Practice, Oxford Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9320-9 Authors Norbert Anwander, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
A number of cognitive and behavioral variables influence the performance in tasks of theory of mind (ToM). Since two of the most important variables, memory and explicit expression, are impaired in schizophrenic patients, the ToM appears inconsistent in these patients. An ideal instrument of ToM should therefore account for deficient memory and impaired ability of these patients to explicitly express intentions. If such an instrument is developed, it should provide information that can be used not only to understand (...) the pathophysiology but also to monitor patients. (shrink)
Despite the variety of competing interpretations of domination, a common feature of the most influential analyses of the concept is their reliance on a normative criterion: the detrimental effect of domination on those subject to it. This article offers a non-evaluative, non-consequence-based definition of domination, in line with the perspective on power developed by the theory of the social exchange. Domination, it is argued, should be seen as a structural property of a power relation, and consists in an extreme (...) inequality in the social distribution of power. It is contended, accordingly, that the postulation of a society in which domination is avoided (or minimized) should rely on the ideal of the minimization of inequality, and, more specifically, that it should be based on a distributional pattern of maximally equal social resources. (shrink)
Recent work in the ethics of war has done much to challenge the collectivism of the convention-based, Walzerian just war theory. In doing so, it raises the question of when it is permissible for soldiers to resort to force. This article considers this issue and, in doing so, argues that the rejection of collectivism in just war should go further still. More specifically, it defends the ‘Individual-Centric Approach’ to the deep morality of war, which asserts that the justifiability of (...) an individual’s contribution to the war, rather than the justifiability of the war more generally, determines the moral acceptability of their participation. It then goes on to present five implications of the Individual-Centric Approach, including for individual liability to attack in war. (shrink)
In this article, I explore some advantages of viewing well-being in terms of an individual's health status. Principally, I argue that this perspective makes it easier to establish that rich countries at least have an obligation to transfer 1 percent of their GDP to poor countries. If properly targeted at the fundamental determinants of health in developing countries, this transfer would very plausibly yield a disproportionate `bang for the buck' in terms of individual well-being. This helps to explain how the (...) obligation can be both light enough in its burden on the rich to avoid being `too demanding' and yet also bountiful enough in its effects to be worthy of the status of a `minimum obligation'. The advantages I enunciate are particularly relevant to establishing an obligation in the context of a non-idealtheory of international justice, which aims to set interim targets for practical action before an idealtheory has been settled. Key Words: health international justice foreign aid determinants of health non-idealtheory. (shrink)
Max Weber and Georg Simmel are considered as ideal-typical founders of sociology. Whereas Simmel pleaded for a large conception of sociology, which would include the epistemological and metaphysical issues as well, Max Weber explicitly excluded philosophical questions from the domain of sociology. A philosophical reading of Max Weber's sociology, which uncovers his philosophy in the margins of his sociological texts, shows, however, that his sociology is predicated on a disenchanted Weltanschauung, a decisionistic ideology and a nominalist epistemology. Key Words: (...) critical theory decisionism disenchantment epistemology foundations nominalism philosophy realism Simmel sociology value-freedom Weber. (shrink)
We identify three points of intersection between economics and ethics: the ethics of economics, ethics in economics and ethics out of economics. These points of intersection reveal three types of conversation between economists and moral philosophers that have produced, and may continue to produce, fruitful exchange between the disciplines.
New natural lawyers--notably Grisez, Finnis, and George--have written much on civil marriage's moral boundaries and grounds, but with slight influence. The peripheral place of the new natural law theory (NNLT) results from the marital grounds they suggest and the exclusionary moral conclusions they draw from them. However, I argue a more authentic and attractive NNLT account of marriage is recoverable through overlooked resources within the theory itself: friendship and moral self-constitution. This reconstructed account allows us to identify the (...) relation between marriage and human flourishing and the morality of same-sex marriage without making marriage infinitely plastic. (shrink)
According to moral error theory, moral discourse is error-ridden. Establishing error theory requires establishing two claims. These are that moral discourse carries a non-negotiable commitment to there being a moral reality and that there is no such reality. This paper concerns the first and so-called non-negotiable commitment claim. It starts by identifying the two existing argumentative strategies for settling that claim. The standard strategy is to argue for a relation of conceptual entailment between the moral statements that comprise (...) moral discourse and the statement that there is a moral reality. The non-standard strategy is to argue for a presupposition relation instead. Error theorists have so far failed to consider a third strategy, which uses a general entailment relation that doesn’t require intricate relations between concepts. The paper argues that both entailment claims struggle to meet a new explanatory challenge and that since the presupposition option doesn’t we have prima facie reason to prefer it over the entailment options. The paper then argues that suitably amending the entailment claims enables them to meet this challenge. With all three options back on the table the paper closes by arguing that error theorists should consider developing the currently unrecognised, non-conceptual entailment claim. (shrink)
This article presents and discusses Axel Honneth's theory of recognition as a specific constellation, i.e. as a theoretical endeavour spanning over and interrelating positions in the fields of anthropology, social theory, and politics. As essential components in this constellation I discern an anthropology of recognition, a social philosophy of different forms of recognition, a morality of recognition, a theory of democratic ethical life as a social ideal, and a notion of political democracy as an ambitious reflexive (...) form of social cooperation. A tentative attempt is also made to elucidate the motivational history that underlies and animates Honneth's theoretical endeavour and accounts for its specific 'spirit'. (shrink)
The theory of Markov decision processes (MDP) can be used to analyze a wide variety of stopping time problems in economics. In this paper, the nature of such problems is discussed and then the underlying theory is applied to the question of arranged marriages. We construct a stylized model of arranged marriages and, inter alia, it is shown that a decision maker's optimal policy depends only on the nature of the current marriage proposal, independent of whether there is (...) recall (storage) of previous marriage proposals. (shrink)