Of Goals and Goods and Floundering About: A Dissensus Report on Clinical Ethics Consultation Content Type Journal Article Pages 275-291 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9101-1 Authors Jeffrey P. Bishop, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Joseph B. Fanning, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Mark J. Bliton, Vanderbilt University Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society 2525 West End Avenue, Suite (...) 400 Nashville Tennessee 37203 USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal Issue Volume 21, Number 3. (shrink)
Yesterday I received a letter in which you demand from me a detailed judgment of Proudhon. Lack of time prevents me from fulfilling your desire. Added to which I have none of his works to hand. However, in order to assure you of my good will I will quickly jot down a brief outline. You can then complete it, add to it or cut it – in short do anything you like with it.
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting was (...) whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre (inherited from Carnap), Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. References H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75):155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75): 155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, The Rationalist Annual, pages 5-13. London, Watts & Co, 1948. A. J. Ayer. The Definition of Liberty: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Doctrine of Commitment. The Listener, 44(1135):633-634, 1950. A. J. Ayer. Jean-Paul Sartre. Encounter, 15(4):75-77, 1961. A. J. Ayer. On Existentialism. Modern Languages, 48(1):1-12, 1967. A. J. Ayer. Sartre on the Jews. The Spectator, 211(7317):394-395, 1968. A. J. Ayer. Reflections on Existentialism. In Metaphysics and Common Sense, pages 203-218. London, Macmillan,1969. A. J. Ayer. Part of my Life: The Memoirs of a Philosopher. New York, Harcourt Brace Janovich, 1977. A. J. Ayer. Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. London, Unwinn, 1984. A. J. Ayer. A Defence of Empiricism. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 1-16. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. G. Bataille. Un-knowing and its Consequences. A. Michelson, translator, October, 36:80-85, 1986. G. Bataille. On Nietzsche. B. Boone, translator. London, Continuum, 2004. G. Bataille, I. Waldberg, & R. Lebel, editors, Encyclopaedia Acephalica. (I. White, D. Faccini, A. Michelson, J. Harman, A. Lykiard, et al., translators.) London, Atlas Press, 1995. I. Berlin. Review of My Philosophy (And other Essays on the Moral and Political Problems of our Time) by Benedetto Croce. Mind, 61(244):574-584, 1952. T. Carman. Continental Themes in Analytic Philosophy. In C. V. Boundas, editor, Columbia Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies, pages 351-366. New York, Columbia University Press, 2007. R. Carnap. The Elimination Of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language (A. Pap, translator). In A. J. Ayer, editor, Logical Positivism, pages 60-81. Glencoe, IL, The Free Press, 1959. J. Chase & J. Reynolds. Analytic versus Continental: Arguments on the Methods and Value of Philosophy. Durham, Acumen, 2010. S. Collini. Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. S. Critchley. Very Short Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. H. J. Dahms. Neue Sachlichkeit in the Architecture and Philosophy of the 1920s. In S. Awodey & C. Klein, editors, Carnap Brought Home: The View From Jena, pages 357-376. Chicago, Open Court, 2004. P. J. R. Dempsey. The Psychology of Sartre. Cork, Cork University Press,1950. V. Descombes. Modern French Philosophy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980. B. Flynn. Merleau-Ponty. In E. N. Zalta, editor, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, , 2004. M. Friedman. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago, Open Court, 2000. G. Gabriel. Carnap’s “Elimination of Metaphysics Through the Logical Analysis of Language:” A Retrospective Consideration of the Relationship between Continental and Analytic Philosophy. In P. Parrini, W. C. Salmon, & M. H. Salmon, editors, Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, pages 30-42. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. P. Galison. Constructing Modernism: The Cultural Location of Aufbau. In R. N. Giere, A. Richardson, editors, Origins of Logical Empiricism, pages 17-44. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1996. S. Glendinning. In the Name of Phenomenology. London, Routledge, 2007. Gary Gutting. Continental Philosophy of Science. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. M. Hammond, J. Howarth, & R. Kent. Understanding Phenomenology. Oxford, Blackwell, 1995. M. Heidegger. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. R. Taft, translator. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. M. Heidegger. Pathmarks. W. MacNeil, editor. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. J. M. Heimonet. Bataille and Sartre: The Modernity of Mysticism. Diacritics, 26(2):59-73, 1996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/dia.1996.0016 J. Himanka. Does the Earth Move?: A Search for a Dialogue Between Two Traditions of Contemporary Philosophy. The Philosophical Forum, 31(1):57-83, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0031-806X.00028 A. M. Hollywood. The Philosopher – Sartre – and Me. In Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference and the Demands of History, pages 25-36. Chigago, University of Chicago Press, 2002. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(8):186-189, 1915. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(10):234-236, 1916. S. P. James. Merleau-Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(4): 501-519, 2007. S. Käufer. Logic. In H. Dreyfus & M. Wrathall, editors, A Companion to Heidegger, pages 141-155. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. E. W. Knight. Literature Considered as Philosophy: The French Example. New York, Macmillan, 1958. C. A. Mace. Review of The Psychology of Sartre by Peter J. R. Dempsey. Mind, 61(243):425-427, 1952. B. Magee. Men of Ideas: Some Creators of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982. A. R. Manser. Sartre and "Le Néant." Philosophy, 36(137):177-187, 1961. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100058022 M. Martin. Sensible Appearances. In T. Baldwin, editor, The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1870-1945, pages 521-532. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.044 PMid:14585038 F. Maubert. Francis Bacon, sa dernière interview: “Je poursois le peinture car je sais qu’il n’est pas possible de l’arreter.” Paris-Match, 2242:92-93, 1992. J. M. E. McTaggart. The Unreality of Time. Mind, 17:457-474, 1908. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/XVII.4.457 M. Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. C. Smith, translator. London, Routledge, 2002. M. Merleau-Ponty. Texts and Dialogues: On Philosophy, Politics, and Culture. H. J. Silverman, editor (M. B. Smith, et al., translators). New York: Humanity Books, 2005. M. Merleau-Ponty & T. Baldwin. Maurice Merleau-Ponty. London, Routledge, 2004. H. Meyerhoff. Emotive and Existentialist Theories of Ethics. The Journal of Philosophy, 48(25):769-783, 1951. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2021208 I. Murdoch. Sartre, Romantic Rationalist. Cambridge, Bowes and Bowes, 1953. I. Murdoch. The Idea of Perfection. In The Sovereignty of Good, pages 1-44. London, Routledge, 2001. A. Oliver. A Few More Remarks on Logical Form. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 99:247-272, 1999. A. Plantinga. An Existentialist’s Ethics. Review of Metaphysics, 12(2):235-56, 1958. S. Priest. Merleau-Ponty. New York, Routledge, 2003. W. V. Quine. Word and Object. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1960. A. Quinton. Which Philosophy is Modernistic? In Thoughts and Thinkers, pages 39-51. New York, Holmes and Meier, 1982. J. Rée. English Philosophy in the Fifties. Radical Philosophy, 65:3-21, 1993. S. Richmond. Sartre and Bergson: A Disagreement about Nothingness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(1):77-95, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550601143201 B. Rogers. Ayer: A Life. New York, Grove Press, 2002. K. Romdenh-Romluc. Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. London, Routledge, 2009. G. E. Rosado Haddock. The Young Carnap’s Unknown Master: Husserl's Influence on Der Raum and Der logische Aufbau der Welt. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008. B. Russell. Nightmares of Eminent Persons And Other Stories. London, The Bodley Head, 1954. G. Ryle, H. A. Hodges, & H. B. Acton. Symposium: Phenomenology. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 11:68-115, 1932. G. Ryle. Phenomenology vs. The Concept of Mind. In Collected Papers: Critical Essays, Vol. 1, pages 179-196. London, Hutchinson, 1971. J. P. Sartre. Un nouveau mystique. In Critiques littéraires (Situations I), pages 174-229. Paris, Gallimard, 1975. J. Skorupski. The Presidential Address: The Legacy of Modernism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 91:1-19, 1990. A. Stone. Heidegger and Carnap on the Overcoming of Metaphysics. In S. Mulhall editor, Martin Heidegger, pages 217-244. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006. M. Surya, K.Fijalkowski, & M. Richardson. Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography. K. Fijalkowski & M. Richardson, translators. London, Verso, 2002. C. Taylor, & Alfred J. Ayer. Symposium: Phenomenology and Linguistic Analysis. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, 33:93-124, 1959. N. Trakakis. Meta-philosophy of Religion: The Analytic-Continental Divide in Philosophy of Religion. Ars Disputandi, 7, 2007. J. Wahl. The Pluralist Philosophies of England and America. F. Rothwell, translator. 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In Plato’s Apology (29a-b), Socrates agues that he does not fear death; indeed, to fear death is a sign of ignorance. It is to claim to know what one in fact does not know (Ap. 29 a-b). Perhaps, Socrates suggests, death is not a great evil after all, but “the greatest of all goods.” At the end of the dialogue, after the judges have voted on the final verdict and Socrates has received the death penalty, the philosopher considers two common (...) views of death: that death is a long dreamless sleep and that death is a journey to another place - Hades. According to Socrates, either of these views of death would be acceptable to him; the one, because he would receive a wonderful rest with no dreams to disturb him; the other, because he would be able to talk philosophy with those who had gone before with impunity. In this paper, I will examine Socrates’ view of death, and I will argue that, according to Socrates, there could be a third perspective on death that will not only make him truly immortal in a certain way, but will also immortalize the practice of Socratic philosophy. Hence, Socrates embraces his sentence because dying at the right time and dying in the right way provides him the possibility of a good death. <br><br>. (shrink)
This study investigates specific behavioral perceptual differences of ethics between practitioners and students enrolled in sales classes. Respondents were asked to indicate their beliefs to issues related to ethics in sales. A highly significant difference was found between mean responses of students and sales personnel. Managers indicated a greater concern for ethical behavior and less attention to sales than did the students. Students indicated a strong desire for success regardless of ethical constraints violated.
Fr. Sala attempts in this article to provide readers and students of Lonergan with a clear, precise, and condensed presentation of his conception of method in theology in today’s context. He does this by sketching the most important stages in the evolution of Lonergan’s thought. The core of this presentation is the analysis of the “human subject in its subjectivity.” Lonergan deals primarily not with the content of theological science but with the operations theologians perform in constructing theology. He endeavors (...) to clarify this subjectivity in all its dimensions. Having given us an analysis of Lonergan’s Verbum articles, Sala goes on to present Lonergan’s Insight under three headings: knowledge, objectivity, and reality. This done, he proceeds to summarize Method in Theology under these headings: the religious dimension of the subject, the structure of theological method, the specific theological principle of a method in theology, and the authentic subject as the foundation for theological reflection.The article is a masterly presentation of a vast area of research and a good introduction to Lonergan’s works.This article appeared in Theologie und Philosophie 63 (1988) 34-59 and was titled: “B. Lonergans Methode der Theologie: Ein Theologe hinterfugt seinen eigenen Verstand.” Von Giovanni B. Sala, S.J. (shrink)
continent. 2.2 (2012): 76–81 Comments on Eugene Thacker’s “Cosmic Pessimism” Nicola Masciandaro Anything you look forward to will destroy you, as it already has. —Vernon Howard In pessimism, the first axiom is a long, low, funereal sigh. The cosmicity of the sigh resides in its profound negative singularity. Moving via endless auto-releasement, it achieves the remote. “ Oltre la spera che piú larga gira / passa ’l sospiro ch’esce del mio core ” [Beyond the sphere that circles widest / penetrates (...) the sigh that issues from my heart]. 1 The axiomatic sigh of the pessimist is in a way the pure word of philosophy, a thought that thinks without you, speaks where you are not. The live pneumatic form of the soul’s eventual exit from the dead body’s mouth, the sigh restores consciousness to the funeral of being, to the passing away that is existence. Pessimism speaks in piercing aphorisms because first it sighs. “Beyond the sphere passeth the arrow of our sigh. Hafiz! Silence.” 2 … pessimism is guilty of that most inexcusable of Occidental crimes—the crime of not pretending it’s for real. To the pessimist, the ‘real’ world—the world on whose behalf we are expected to wake up in the morning—is a ceaseless index of its own unreality. The pessimist’s day is not an illumined space for the advancement of experience and action, but a permanently and inescapably reflective zone, the vast interior of a mirror where each thing is only insofar as it is, at best, a false image of itself. Within this speculative situation, inside the doubleness of the mirror, pessimism splits into two paths, false and true, one that tries to fix pessimism (establish a relation with the mirror) and decides in favor of the apparent real, and another that totally falls for pessimism (enters the mirror) and communes with the greater reality of the unreal. These two paths are distinguished by their relation to pessimism’s guilt vis-à-vis the world’s reality-project. The first form, that which remains pessimism for the world and puts on a smiling face, stays guilty to itself (i.e. unconscious) and thus turns hypocritical, becoming at once the pessimism of the commoner who really just wants things to be better for himself and the pessimism of the elite who wants to critically refashion reality in his own image. The general form of this worldly, hypocritical pessimism is the impulse to ‘make the world a better place’, which is the global mask under which the world is diurnally made worse. The second form, that which follows pessimism away from the world and ceases to put on a smiling face, refuses guiltiness as itself theessential Occidental mode of pretense and turns honest, becoming at once the intelligent pessimism required of all ordinary action and the radical pessimism necessary for self-knowledge: seeing that no one is capable of doing good. The general form of this universal, honest pessimism is the impulse not to worry, to give up and embrace dereliction, which is the only real way the world is actually improved. Where worldly pessimism is the engine productive of interminably warring secular and sacred religions (good-projects), universal pessimism strives hopelessly for the paradise of a supremely instantiated pessimus: things are getting so bad that there is no longer any time for them to get worse; things are so constantly-instantly worst that this is BEST. Cosmic pessimism is the mode of universal pessimism which can yet discourse with the world, which has not chosen silence and can spread the inconceivably BAD NEWS in an orderly form ( kosmos ) that the world can understand (if it wanted to). … the result of a confusion between the world and a statement about the world. That is what the world is (the result of a confusion between the world and a statement about the world). … a generalized misanthropy without the anthropos. Pessimism crystallizes around this futility—it is its amor fati , rendered as musical form. Pessimism’s love of fate is a blind love, a love of the blindness of being human in a cosmos conceived around the human’s eclipse, a heavy levitation in the contradictory space between the inescapability of its having been and the impossibility of its will-be. Pessimism’s song of futility is a sensible way of loving fate, with a minimum of eros, by means of a kind of matrimonial love of the fatal. As music, pessimism stays open to the irreparable and the inexorable without the binding of affirmation, in the apparent absence of the radical, infinitely surplus will that absolute amor fati seems to require. Crying, laughing, sleeping—what other responses are adequate to a life that is so indifferent? “Unless a man aspires to the impossible, the possible that he achieves will scarcely be worth the trouble of his achieving it. We should aspire to the impossible, to absolute and infinite perfection [….] The apocatastasis is more than a mystical dream: it is a norm of action, it is a beacon for high deeds [….] For true charity is a species of invasion [….] It is not charity to rock and lull our fellow men to sleep in the inertia and heaviness of matter, but rather to arouse them to anguish and torment of spirit.” 3 … the impossibility of ever adequately accounting for one’s relationship to thought. “The paroxysm of interior experience leads you to regions where danger is absolute, because life which self-consciously actualizes its roots in experience can only negate itself [….] There are no arguments [….] On the heights of despair, the passion for the absurd is the only thing that can still throw a demonic light on chaos [….] I live because the mountains do not laugh and the worms do not sing .” 4 It took three attempts before she was fully decapitated, all the while she continued, perhaps miraculously, to sing. According to the earliest account of Cecilia’s martyrdom, the beheading turns out worse. After not severing her head in three strokes, “the cruel executioner left her half dead” (seminecem eam cruentus carnifex dereliquit). 5 Cecilia’s effortlessly powerful endurance of the three strokes—a fitting icon for pessimism as an art of dereliction—demonstrates the “passivity and absence of effort [….] in which divine transcendence is dissolved.” 6 There’s a ghost that grows inside of me, damaged in the making, and there’s a hunt sprung from necessity, elliptical and drowned. Where the moving quiet of our insomnia offers up each thought, there’s a luminous field of grey inertia, and obsidian dreams burnt all the way down. Like words from a pre-waking dream. There is no reason to think that they are not. NOTES 1. Dante Alighieri. Vita Nuova . ed. and trans. Dino S. Cervigni and Edward Vasta. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. 1995. 41:10. 2. Hafiz of Shiraz. The Divan . trans. H. Wilberforce Clarke. London: Octagon Press. 1974. 10.9. 3. Miguel de Unamuno. The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations . trans. Anthony Kerrigan. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1972. 305-6. 4. E.M. Cioran. On the Heights of Despair . trans. Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1992. 9-10. 5. Giacomo Laderchi. S. Caeciliae Virg[inis] et Mart[yris] Acta. . . Rome. 1723. 38. 6. Georges Bataille. On Nietzsche . trans. Bruce Boone. London: Continuum. 2004. 135. See Nicola Masciandaro. “ Half Dead: Parsing Cecilia .” A Commentary on Eugene Thacker’s "Cosmic Pessimism" Gary J. Shipley Pessimism is the refusal to seek distraction, the refusal to remodel failure into a platform for further (doomed) possibilities, the refusal of comfort, the acceptance of the sickness of healthy bodies, the cup of life overflowing with cold vomit. If, as Ligotti suggests when discussing Invasion of the Body Snatchers , 1 humans prefer the anxieties of their familiar human lives to the contentment of an alien one, then the pessimist, we could argue, represents some perverted combination of the two, preferring (presuming he has a choice) the defamiliarization of human life to the contentment of its unquestioned mundanity. The quasi-religious state of mind that Wittgenstein would mention on occasion, that of “feeling absolutely safe,” 2 is a state the pessimist could only imagine being approximated by death, or perhaps some annihilative opiate-induced stupor. This Wittgensteinian commingling of certainty and faith looks every bit the futile gesture, a mere rephrasing of collapse or partial collapse. The only certainty open to the pessimist is that of the toxic formula of life itself—a formula known and lacuna-free. Certainty, far from being the gateway to deliverance, becomes the definitive impediment; and the possibility of salvation, as long as it remains, becomes crucially reliant on postulations of ignorance, epistemic gaps, a perennial incompleteness: “the perfect safety of wooed death […] the warm bath of physical dissolution, the universal unknown engulfing the miniscule unknown.” 3 The height of Leibniz’s Panglossian insanity nurtured the idea that our knowing everything—via the universal calculus—could be accurately described a triumph, as opposed to a nightmare in which our every futility is laid bare. Stagnancy and boredom are perhaps two of the greatest ills of Western civilisation, and the most potent pessimism tells you that you’re stuck with both. The most we can hope for, by way of salvation, is to throw open our despair to the unknown. The fact that Schopenhauer’s pessimism stopped short of morality and allowed him to play the flute, as Nietzsche complained, highlights the predicament of a man who despite having adorned nothingness with a smiling face still found himself alive. The demand here is that it be felt: a cross-contamination of intellect and emotion. The safety net of numerous parentheses makes for a failed philosophy, rather than a philosophy of failure. Depressives make bad pessimists, because, unless they choose to die, living will always infect them with necessities of hope, forcing them to find something, anything (all the various “as ifs”) to make existence tolerable. For as Cioran observed, while “[d]epressions pay attention to life, they are the eyes of the devil, poisoned arrows which wound mortally any zest and love of life. Without them we know little, but with them, we cannot live.” 4 And even when cured of our depressions we’ll find ourselves consumed, eaten alive by the hyper-clinical (borderline autistic) mania that replaces them: a predicament captured all too clearly in the microscriptual fictions of Robert Walser, where spectral men and women stifle their depressive madness with protective comas of detail, their failed assimilations buried beneath thick crusts of remote data. Like Beckett’s Malone their stories may have ended, but cruelly their lives have not. Pessimism is an extraneous burden (a purposeless weight) that makes everything else harder to carry, while at the same time scooping it out and making it lighter. If pessimism had a sound it would be the harsh non-noise of tinnitus—the way that every person would hear themselves if they refused their distractions long enough to listen: a lungless scream from the extrasolar nothing of the self. The music of pessimism—if indeed we can imagine such a thing—is the reverberating echo of the world’s last sound, conjectured but never heard, audible only in its being listened for. The one consolation of this hollow paradox of audibility being, that “he will be least afraid of becoming nothing in death who has recognized that he is already nothing now.” 5 The pessimist suffers a derangement of the real, a labyrinthitis at the nucleus of his being: he’s the stumbling ghost relentlessly surprised that others can see him. If Cioran’s refusal is manifested in sleep (when even saying ‘no’ is too much of a commitment), then Pessoa’s resides in the dreams inside that sleep. Pessoa chooses to exploit the fact that he’s being “lived by some murmuring non-entity both shadowy and muddied” 6 by growing more voids to live him. His is a Gnostic breed of sleep, “sleeping as if the universe were a mistake,” 7 a sleep that dreams through Thacker’s cosmic pessimism (“a pessimism of the world-without-us.”, “the unhuman orientation of deep space and deep time” 8 ), through the critical error of there being anything at all when there could be nothing. The metaphysical pessimist is someone who, however well life treats them, still desires to wake from it, as from the poisonous air of a bad dream. Pessimism is a paradox of age, being simultaneously young and old; its youth residing in a refusal to accept the authority of existence (its rich history, its inherent beneficence), a refusal to “get over” the horror of what it sees with its perpetually fresh eyes, and its maturity in the unceremonious disposal of the philosophical playthings (those futile architectures) of adolescence. As Thacker remarks: “Pessimism abjures all pretenses towards system—towards the purity of analysis and the dignity of critique.” 9 A sentiment shared with Pessoa, who duly categorizes those that choose to enact this futile struggle: “The creators of metaphysical systems and of psychological explanations are still in the primary stage of suffering.” 10 If the pessimist has shared a womb with anyone, it’s with the mystic and not the philosopher. As Schopenhauer tells us: “The mystic is opposed to the philosopher by the fact that he begins from within, whereas the philosopher begins from without. […] But nothing of this is communicable except the assertions that we have to accept on his word; consequently he is unable to convince.” 11 The crucial difference between the mystic and the pessimist is not the latter’s impassivity and defeatism, but his unwillingness/inability to contain in any way the spread of his voracious analyticity, his denial of incompleteness, his exhaustive devotion to failure. The truth of our predicament, though heard, is destined to remain unprocessed. Like the revelations of B.S. Johnson’s Haakon (“We rot and there’s nothing that can stop it / Can’t you feel the shaking horror of that?” 12 ) the pessimist’s truths are somehow too obvious to listen to, as if something inside us were saying, “Of course, but haven’t we gotten over that?” Pessimism is simple and ugly, and has no desire to make itself more complex or more attractive. The true moral pessimist knows that the Utilitarian’s accounts will always be in the red. He can see that for all his computational containments, his only honest path is a negative one, and that such a path has but one logical destination: that of wholesale human oblivion. Thacker notes how at the core of pessimism lies the notion of “the worst,” through which death is demoted by the all-pervasive suffering of a life that easily eclipses its threat. And so with doom made preferable to gloom, death begins to glint with promise, “like beauty passing through a nightmare.” 13 But even among pessimists suicide is, for the most part, thought to be an error. Schopenhauer, for instance, regarded suicide a mistake grounded in some fundamentally naïve disappointment or other. Pessoa too thought suicide an onerous escape tactic: “To die is to become completely other. That’s why suicide is a cowardice: it’s to surrender ourselves completely to life.” 14 There is a call here to be accepting of and creative with the puppetry of your being, an insistence that it’s somehow a blunder to attempt to hide in death from the horrors you find inlife. 15 Tied up with this perseverance is the slippery notion of the good death, for maybe, as Blanchot warns, suicide is rarely something we can hope to get right, for the simple reason that “you cannot make of death an object of the will.” 16 “Even in cases where the entire corpus of an author is pessimistic, the project always seems incomplete,” 17 and this is not simply because the project itself belies something yet to be disclosed, but because the project itself is a thing waiting. It waits on a cure it knows will not come, but for which it cannot do anything (as long as it continues to do anything) but wait. NOTES 1. See Thomas Ligotti. The Conspiracy Against the Human Race . New York: Hippocampus Press. 2010. 91. 2. Ludwig Wittgenstein. “A Lecture on Ethics.” Philosophical Review . (74) 1. 1965. 8. 3. Vladimir Nabokov. Pale Fire . New York: Vintage. 1989. 221. 4. E. M. Cioran. The Book of Delusions . trans. Camelia Elias. Hyperion. 5.1. (2010): 75. 5. Arthur Schopenhauer. The World as Will and Representation. vol. 2 . trans. E .F J. Payne. New York: Dover. 1966. 609. 6. Eugene Thacker. “Cosmic Pessimism.” continent. . 2.2 (2012): 67. 7. Fernando Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet . trans. Richard Zenith. London: Penguin. 2002. 35. 8. Eugene Thacker. “Cosmic Pessimism.” continent. . 2.2 (2012): 68. 9. Ibid. 73. 10. Fernando Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet . trans. Richard Zenith. London: Penguin. 2002. 341. 11. Arthur Schopenhauer. The World as Will and Representation. vol. 2 . trans. E .F J. Payne. New York: Dover. 1966. 610-11. 12. B.S Johnson. “You’re Human Like the Rest of Them.” in Jonathan Coe. Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson . London: Picador. 2004. 177. 13. Fernando Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet . trans. Richard Zenith. London: Penguin. 2002. 415. 14. Ibid. 199. 15. “Suicide is, after all, the opposite of the poem.” Anne Sexton. No Evil Star: Selected Essays, Interviews and Prose . ed. Steven Gould Axelrod. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1985. 92. 16. Maurice Blanchot. The Space of Literature . trans. Ann Smock. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1989. 105. 17. Eugene Thacker. “Cosmic Pessimism.” continent. . 2.2 (2012): 75. (shrink)
What are "private events" and what is their significance? The term is B. F. Skinner's, but the idea is much older. Before J. B. Watson challenged their methods and their metaphysics, virtually all psychologists assumed that the only way to discover a person's supposedly private states of mind was to ask her about them. Not a believer in minds, Skinner nevertheless agreed that sensations, feelings, and certain unspecified forms of "covert behavior" cannot be observed by others, because they take place (...) inside the body underneath the skin. Then he added that these inner events are of interest only to the physiologist; the concern of the behavior analyst is how intact organisms interact with their environment, not how their inward parts interact with each other. That compromise enabled Skinner to pursue behavior analysis in disregard of neurophysiology, which there was at the time no good way to study anyhow. But Skinner's talk of ineluctably private events was ill considered and ill conceived. There is no well understood sense in which people observe their own sensations, feelings, and "covert behavior," but if these take place inside the body, as it is reasonable to believe, the physiologist can observe them given the sophisticated new machines now available. And since these events inside the body vary with circumstances and influence behavior, the psychologist cannot afford to ignore what the physiologist has to say about them. Black box psychology is out of date. Though it is opaque, the skin is not an epistemological barrier. (shrink)
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...) more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. References T. Bays. The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis and Williams. Philosophical Review 116:401–425, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-003 J. Hawthorne. Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116:427–440, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-004 R. Holton. David Lewis's Philosophy of Language. Mind and Language 18:286-295, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00228 D. Lewis. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. D. Lewis. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27:331–344, 1974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00484599 D. Lewis. Languages and Language. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 7:3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975. D. Lewis. Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. Philosophical Review 88: 513–543, 1979. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2184843 D. Lewis. Mad Pain and Martian Pain. In Ned Block, editor, Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, pages 216-232. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980. D. Lewis. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61: 343–377, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408312341131 D. Lewis. Putnam's Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62: 221-236, 1984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408412340013 D. Lewis. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986. D. Lewis. Meaning without Use: Reply to Hawthorne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70: 106-110, 1992. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408112340093 D. Lewis.. Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan, editor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, pages 412–431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Reprinted in Lewis 1999. References to reprint. D. Lewis. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625343 W. Schwarz. Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness. Unpublished manuscript, 2006. W. Schwarz. David Lewis: Metaphysik und Analyse. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 2009. T. Sider. Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis. Philosophical Perspectives 15: 189–209, 2001a. T. Sider. Four-Dimensionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001b. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924443X.001.0001 T. Sider. Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. PMCid:3539916 R. Stalnaker. Lewis on Intentionality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: 199–212, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659796 B. Weatherson. What Good Are Counterexamples?. Philosophical Studies 115: 1-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024961917413 B. Weatherson. Vagueness as Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi, editors, Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, pages 77–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0005 J. R. G. Williams. Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116: 361-399, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-002. (shrink)
What should maximin egalitarians think about seniority privileges? We contrast a good-specific and an all-things-considered perspective. As to the former, inertia and erasing effects of a seniority-based allocation of benefits from employment are identified, allowing us to spot the categories of workers and job-seekers made involuntarily worse off by such a practice. What matters however is to find out whether abolishing seniority privileges will bring about a society in which the all-things-considered worst off people are better off than in the (...) seniority rule's presence. An assessment of the latter's cost-reduction potential is thus needed, enabling us to bridge a practice taking place within a firm with its impact on who the least well off members of society are likely to be. Three accounts of the profitability of seniority privileges are discussed: the “(firm specific) human capital”, the “deferred compensation” and the “knowledge transfer” ones. The respective relevance of “good-specific” and “all-things-considered” analysis is discussed. It turns out that under certain circumstances, a maximin egalitarian case for seniority privileges could be made. Senior: Do you know that they are planning layoffs? Of course, it is only fair that they lay-off the newcomers first! After all, I have been loyal to the company for many years. Junior: Did I choose to be a newcomer? Footnotes1 Many thanks to two anonymous referees, to P.-M. Boulanger, B. Cockx, C. Fabre, L. Jacquet, E. Lazear, I. Robeyns, G. Vallée, Y. Vanderborght, Ph. Van Parijs, V. Vansteenberghe and J. de Wispelaere for their help and critical comments. Earlier versions of this paper were presented in Louvain-la-Neuve, Ghent, Montevideo and London. I am very grateful to these audiences. Special thanks to G. Brennan for his extensive and extremely valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The usual disclaimers apply. (shrink)
Unlike most other sciences, psychology has no true core theory to guide a coherent research programme. It does have James J Gibson’s ecological approach to visual perception, however, which we suggest should serve as an example of the benefits a good theory brings to psychological research. Here we focus on an example of how the ecological approach has served as a guide to discovery, shaping and constraining a recent hypothesis about how humans perform coordinated rhythmic movements (Bingham 2004a, b). Early (...) experiments on this task were framed in a dynamic pattern approach. This phenomenological, behavioural framework (e.g. Jeka & Kelso 1989) classifies the behaviour of complex action systems in terms of the key order parameters, and describes the dynamical stability of the system as it responds to perturbations. Dynamical systems, however, while a valuable toolkit, is not a theory of behaviour, and this style of research is unable to successfully predict data it is not explicitly designed to fit. More recent work by Bingham & colleagues has used dynamical systems to formalise hypotheses derived from Gibson’s ecological approach to perception and action, with a particular emphasis on perceptual information. The resulting model (Bingham 2001, 2004a, b; Snapp-Childs et al. 2011) has had great success with both the phenomena it was designed to explain as well as a wide range of empirical results from a version of the task it is not specifically designed to explain (specifically, learning a novel coordination). This model and the research programme that produced it stand as an example of the value of theory driven research, and we use it to illustrate the contemporary importance the ecological approach has for psychology. (shrink)
This paper addresses the following questions: (a) what did Locke mean when he said that ‘words signify ideas’? and (b) what is Locke’s argument for this thesis, and how successful is it? The paper argues that the two most prominent interpretations, those of Norman Kretzmann and E. J. Ashworth, attribute to Locke an argument for his semantic thesis that is fallacious, and that neither can make good sense of two key passages in book 3 of the Essay concerning Human Understanding. (...) An alternative understanding of signification, drawn from the works of Hobbes and the Port-Royal logicians, is explored and shown to provide both a satisfactory interpretation of these two passages and an understanding of Locke’s argument for the thesis that absolves him of fallacy. (shrink)
. The uniform prior distribution is often seen as a mathematical description of noninformativeness. This paper uses the well-known Three Prisoners Paradox to examine the impossibility of maintaining noninformativeness throughout hierarchization. The Paradox has been solved by Bayesian conditioning over the choice made by the Warder when asked to name a(nother) prisoner who will be shot. We generalize the paradox to situations of N prisoners, k executions and m announcements made by the Warder. We then extend the consequences of hierarchically (...) placing uniform and symmetrical priors (for example in the classical N = 3, k = 2, m = 1 scenario) for the probability p of the Warder naming Prisoner B, say. We prove that breaks of indifference and neutrality caused by assignment of uniform and symmetrical priors in lieu of degenerate indifference probabilities hold in general. Speaking of unknown probabilities or of probability of a probability must be forbidden as meaningless. Bruno de Finetti, 1977 I regard the use of hierarchical chains as a technique helping you to sharpen your subjective probabilities. I. J. Good, 1981. (shrink)
Venkataramanaiah, V. Introduction.--Narla, V. R. Russell and his rejection of religion.--Mehta, G. L. The sceptical crusader.--Dalvi, G. R. Russell, the man.--Venkatarao, V. The nuclear war and the future of man.--Innaiah, N. Bertrand Russell's philosophy.--Subbarayudu, P. Rationality vis-a-vis faith.--Nageswar Rao, B. Russell and nuclear warfare.--Rajagopala Rao, M. Rebel in Russell.--Shankar, G. N. J. The man who revolutionised modern thought.--Maharajasri. Russell, the social scientist in the four-dimensional universe.--The life of Bertrand Russell.--Acknowledgements.--A list of principal works of Bertrand Russell.--Russell's conception of good society (...) in a democratic socialist order.--Objects. (shrink)
Frankena, W. K. Morality and moral philosophy.--Soltis, J. F. Men, machines and morality.--Chazan, B. I. The moral situation.--Phenix, P. H. Ethics and the will of God.--Moore, G. E. The indefinability of good.--Morgenbesser, S. Approaches to ethical objectivity.--Sartre, J. P. Existentialism and ethics.--Hare, R. M. Decisions of principle.--Singer, M. G. Moral rules and principles.--Hare, R. M. Adolescents into adults.--Wilson, J. Assessing the morally educated person.--Kohlberg, L. The child as a moral philosopher.--Frankena, W. K. Toward a philosophy of moral education.--Archambault, R. D. (...) Criteria for success in moral instruction.--Raths, L., Harmin, M., and Simon, S. Teaching for value clarity.--Bibliography (p. 188-192). (shrink)
Henri J. Renard, S. J.: a sketch, by J. P. Jelinek.--The good as undefinable, by M. Childress.--Gottlieb Söhngen's sacramental doctrine on the mass, by J. F. Clarkson.--Christ's eucharistic action and history, by B. J. Cooke.--Objective reality of human ideas: Descartes and Suarez, by T. J. Cronin.--A medieval commentator on some Aristotelian educational themes, by J. W. Donohue.--God as sole cause of existence, by M. Holloway.--Knowledge, commitment, and the real, by R. O. Johann.--John Locke and sense realism, by H. R. Klocker.--The (...) being of nonbeing in Plato's Sophist, by Q. Lauer.--Ethics and verification, by R. McInerny.--Analogy and the fourth way, by J. J. O'Brien.--Love and being, by W. L. Rossner.--Complexity in human knowledge: its basis in form/matter composition, by E. L. Rousseau.--Toward a more dynamic understanding of substance and relation, by J. M. Somerville.--The origin of participant and of participated perfections in Proclus' Elements of theology, by L. Sweeney. (shrink)
Hacker, P. M. S. Hart's philosophy of law.--Baker, G. P. Defeasibility and meaning.--Dworkin, R. M. No right answer?-Lucas, J. R. The phenomenon of law.--Honoré, A. M. Real laws.--Summers, R. S. Naïve instrumentalism and the law.--Marshall, G. Positivism, adjudication, and democracy.--Cross, R. The House of Lords and the rules of precedent.--Kenny, A. J. P. Intention and mens rea in murder.--Mackie, J. L. The grounds of responsibility.--MacCormick, D. N. Rights in legislation.--Raz, J. Promises and obligations.--Foot, P. R. Approval and disapproval.--Finnis, J. M. (...) Scepticism, self-refutation, and the good of truth.--Barry, B. M. Justice between generations.--Feinberg, J. Harm and self-interest. (shrink)
Introduction, by Willard Huntington Wright.--Thus spake Zarathustra, translated by Thomas Common.--Beyond good and evil, translated by Helen Zimmern.--The genealogy of morals, translated by Horace B. Samuel.--Peoples and countries, translated by J. M. Kennedy.--Ecce homo, translated by Clifton P. Fadiman.--The birth of tragedy from the spirit of music, translated by Clifton P. Fadiman.
About Christian philosophy, by J. Maritain.--Von Hildebrand and Marcel: a parallel, by A. Jourdain.--Love and philosophy, by J. V. Walsh.--The concepts of cyclic and evolutionary time, by B. de Solages.--The sovereignty of the object; notes on truth and intellectual humility, by A. Kolnai.--Authentic humanness and its existential primordial assumptions, by C. Marcel.--Individuality and personality, by M. F. Sciacca.--Can a will be essentially good? By H. de Lubac.--Reason and revelation on the subject of charity, by R. W. Gleason.--Technique of spiritualization and (...) transformation in Christ, by J. A. Cuttat.--Some reflections on gratitude, by B. V. Schwarz.--Bibliography of the works of Dietrich Von Hildebrand (p. 195-210). (shrink)
Both I and Belnap, motivated the "Belnap-Dunn 4-valued Logic" by talk of the reasoner being simply "told true" (T) and simply "told false" (F), which leaves the options of being neither "told true" nor "told false" (N), and being both "told true" and "told false" (B). Belnap motivated these notions by consideration of unstructured databases that allow for negative information as well as positive information (even when they conflict). We now experience this on a daily basis with the Web. But (...) the 4-valued logic is deductive in nature, and its matrix is discrete: there are just four values. In this paper I investigate embedding the 4-valued logic into a context of probability. Jøsang's Subjective Logic introduced uncertainty to allow for degrees of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty. We extend this so as to allow for two kinds of uncertainty— that in which the reasoner has too little information (ignorance) and that in which the reasoner has too much information (conflicted). Jøsang's "Opinion Triangle" becomes an "Opinion Tetrahedron" and the 4-values can be seen as its vertices. I make/prove various observations concerning the relation of non-classical "probability" to non-classical logic. (shrink)
Analysis of 'the common good' reveals moral elements in the concept. The common good, Traditionally regarded as a major political goal, Is served by measures that promote the interests of all citizens equitably, Within the limitations of 'the accepted morality'. Measures for the common good thus often impose moral restraints on individuals' interests, As numerous examples show. Positivist analyses are generally defective because they do not give the normative elements their proper place.
This study investigates the educative process in restorative justice reforms, revealing three characteristics effective in facilitating moral learning for the common good. These three characteristics can be formulated as principles to guide the theory and practice of communitybased moral education. First, restorative justice brings the moral authority in personal communal traditions and the moral authority in impersonal universal norms together in a mutually reinforcing combination. Secondly, restorative justice processes focus on the "space between places" in social relations-not on individuals or (...) families or particular institutions, but on the space where these important social bodies intersect. Thirdly, restorative justice harnesses the resources of whole communities to take the actions and make the changes that can successfully address the problems that emerge as crime, rather than continuing the criminal justice system's focus on individual offenders or individual victims. These characteristics can be translated into three educational principles to guide the theory and practice of community-based moral education: (a) the complementarity between communal and universal moral norms; (b) the locus of moral education at the intersection between multiple levels of social experience; and (c) community development as a model of moral development. (shrink)
We live in an age of “high tech” medicine which affects both health care recipients and physicians who are taught its many wonders and uses. It is easy in this atmosphere of specialization for clinicians, professors and medical students to become isolated and to ignore social issues which affect health care in its broadest sense.Individuals who are committed to the “common good” are the ones historically who have been effective change agents. It would be tragic simply to stand back and (...) allow the cynical and greedy to dominate any profession which deals with the poor, the uninsured and the homeless.It is imperative for physicians to take a broad view of today's problems in health care delivery systems, for they can have an enormous impact on the kind of world our children will inherit. It is essential for physicians to become involved in social concerns, and in improving health care delivery, at all levels in their practice.Given their power and prestige, it is crucial for physicians and aspiring physicians to have positive role models. Dr. Julius B. Richmond provides an admirable example of a physician who cares about his profession, his patients and his nation. Through his research, his public service and his teaching, Dr. Richmond has demonstrated the difference a single individual can make in improving the quality of life for all Americans. (shrink)
In the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle sets down a scattered and fractional account of the development of moral virtue within young people. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum defends Aristotle's neglect of a systematic account of moral development and argues that more complex expressions of character?building, such as learning to expose oneself to proper desires, feelings, pleasures and pains, are better illustrated through drama or literature than through philosophy. In this vein, the author draws upon literary thinkers J.B. Kerfoot, Sven Birkerts and Wayne C. (...) Booth, as well as the imaginative Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, to illustrate more concretely Aristotle's process of moral development. The author concludes with a proviso about the vulnerability of the connected process of reading and moral development in the current consumer culture. (shrink)
The writings of Joseph Henry Woodger (1894–1981) are often taken to exemplify everything that was wrongheaded, misguided, and just plain wrong with early twentieth-century philosophy of biology. Over the years, commentators have said of Woodger: (a) that he was a fervent logical empiricist who tried to impose the explanatory gold standards of physics onto biology, (b) that his philosophical work was completely disconnected from biological science, (c) that he possessed no scientific or philosophical credentials, and (d) that (...) his work was disparaged – if not altogether ignored – by the biologists and philosophers of his era. In this paper, we provide the first systematic examination of Woodger’s oeuvre, and use it to demonstrate that the four preceding claims are false. We argue that Woodger’s ideas have exerted an important influence on biology and philosophy, and submit that the current consensus on his legacy stems from a highly selective reading of his works. By rehabilitating Woodger, we hope to show that there is no good reason to continue to disregard the numerous contributions to the philosophy of biology produced in the decades prior to the professionalization of the discipline. (shrink)
This essay is a response to Peter E. Vedder's Fall 2007 review of the authors' book, Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics. Vedder argues that the authors 1) have a Kantian notion of self-directedness, and 2) are inconsistent in the application of their philosophical anthropology to their view of political liberty. In denying both claims, the authors assert that Vedder both fails to define certain terms and holds them to positions they do not accept.
When J. L. Austin introduced two “shining new tools to crack the crib of reality”—the theory of performative utterances and the doctrine of infelicities—he could not have imagined that he was also about to inaugurate a shining new industry in the philosophy of the social sciences. But with its evident concern for the features to which “all acts are heir which have the general character of ritual or ceremonial,” Austin’s theory soon became indispensable in the analysis of ritual, linguistic and (...) every kind of social action. While Indianists such as Frits Staal, Bimal Matilal and David Seyfort Ruegg have made good use of the work of Austin and his “ordinary language” school, it is Quentin Skinner who has attempted to turn Austin’s insights into a general “theory and method” for the study of intellectual cultures. The question I want to address in this paper has to do with the applicability of Skinnerian techniques to the study of literary and intellectual Sanskrit culture in premodern India. If not all of Skinner’s methods transfer to the new context, identification of the points at which they breakdown helps to clarify the distinctive contours of Indian intellectual history, and suggests appropriate methodological innovation. (shrink)
Theory. Moral knowledge and moral principles -- Victorian Matters. First principles and common-sense morality in Sidgwick's ethics ; Moral problems and moral philosophy in the Victorian Period -- On the historiography of moral philosophy. Moral crisis and the history of ethics ; Modern moral philosophy : from beginning to end? : No discipline, no history : the case of moral philosophy ; Teaching the history of moral philosophy -- Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century moral philosophy. The divine corporation and the history of (...) ethics ; Natural law ; The misfortunes of virtue ; Voluntarism and the foundations of ethics ; Hume and the religious significance of moral rationalism -- On Kant. Why study Kant's Groundwork ; Autonomy, obligation, and virtue : an overview of Kant's moral philosophy ; Kant and Stoic ethics ; Toward enlightenment : Kant and the sources of darkness ; Kantian unsocial sociability : good out of evil -- Moral psychology. The active powers -- Afterword. Sixty years of philosophy in a life. (shrink)
Abstract Philosophical discussions of experiment usually focus exclusively on testing predictions. In this paper I compare G. Morpurgo's experimental test of the Gell?Mann/ Zweig quark hypothesis with two neglected uses of experiment: constructing representations of new phenomena and inventing the instruments that produce such phenomena. These roles are illustrated by J. B. Biot's 1821 observations of electromagnetism and by Michael Faraday's invention of the first electromagnetic motor, also in 1821. The comparison identifies similarities between observation and experiment, showing how both (...) observation and experiment actively engage the natural world and how each engagement shapes representation and subsequent empirical work. This challenges the post?empiricist assumption of the sufficiency of knowing only the outcomes of experiments. I conclude that traditional views of observational access have looked in the wrong place for empirical constraints on theorizing. The active character of observation implies that a realist interpretation of experimenters? discourse should be grounded in the fine structure of experimental practice rather than the supposedly decisive, golden events favoured by hypothetico?deductive methodology. (shrink)
This research, couched in the resourcebased view of the firm, investigates the potential for reducing an organization's decision uncertainty within its structural equation modeling, we empirically test if organizational design can reduce the perceived uncertainty related to an IC context, which we refer to as knowledge uncertainty. We found evidence that decentralization and technology infrastruture support a resultsbased IC mangement contrl system which in turn is associated with reduced support a good overall fit for our model. Our findings suggest that (...) if managers structure their organizational control systems appropriately for developing IC capabilities, these systems can lead to reduced internal uncertainty regarding human, structural, and relational capital. (shrink)
The Concealed Information Test (CIT) is a psychophysiological technique for examining whether a person has knowledge of crime-relevant information. Many laboratory studies have shown that the CIT has good scientific validity. However, the CIT has seldom been used for actual criminal investigations. One successful exception is its use by the Japanese police. In Japan, the CIT has been widely used for criminal investigations, although its probative force in court is not strong. In this paper, we first review the current use (...) of the field CIT in Japan. Then, we discuss two possible approaches to increase its probative force: sophisticated statistical judgment methods and combining new psychophysiological measures with classic autonomic measures. On the basis of these considerations, we propose several suggestions for future practice and research involving the field CIT. (shrink)
We calculate the vibrational spectra of straight screw and edge dislocations in several body-centered cubic (bcc) (Mo and Fe) and face-centered cubic (fcc) (Cu and Al) metals within the harmonic approximation. We take advantage of the translational symmetry of straight dislocations to efficiently calculate their phonon eigenstates in the harmonic limit. This allows us to calculate the low-temperature contribution of straight screw and edge dislocations to the heat capacity of each respective metal, and show that the dominant temperature dependence below (...) 5 K is linear. Comparison with heat capacity measurements of heavily cold-worked Cu reveals very good agreement with our calculations. At higher temperatures, the contribution from the non-linear terms becomes significant. As a result, maxima in the straight dislocation heat capacities are observed in the temperature range from 9% to 16% of the Debye temperature. We investigate the appearance of localized and resonance peaks in the vibrational spectra induced by dislocations, and study in detail their spatial spread around the dislocation cores by projecting vibrational eigenstates onto individual atoms. We study the deviation of these atomic-level vibrational free energies from that of the perfect crystal as a function of distance to the dislocation cores, and establish that, similar to the dislocation energy, the vibrational free energy of an isolated dislocation behaves logarithmically in the long-range limit. Finally, we obtain vibrational spectra for propagating waves along the dislocation line and find that the dispersion for these waves is consistent with the notion of kink formation and motion for screw dislocations. (shrink)
John Rawls’s political liberalism and its ideal of public reason are tremendously influential in contemporary political philosophy and in constitutional law as well. Many, perhaps even most, liberals are Rawlsians of one stripe or another. This is problematic, because most liberals also support the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex unions, and as I show, Rawls’s political liberalism actually prohibits same- sex marriage. Recently in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, however, California’s northern federal district court reinterpreted the traditional rational basis review (...) in terms of liberal neutrality akin to Rawls’s “public reason,” and overturned Proposition 8 and established same-sex marriage. (This reinterpretation was amplified in the 9th Circuit Court’s decision upholding the district court on appeal in Perry v. Brown.) But on its own grounds Perry should have drawn the opposite conclusion. This is because all the available arguments for recognizing same-sex unions as civil marriages stem from controversial comprehensive doctrines about the good, and this violates the ideal of public reason; yet there remains a publicly reasonable argument for traditional marriage, which I sketch here. In the course of my argument I develop Rawls’s politically liberal account of the family by drawing upon work by J. David Velleman and H. L. A. Hart, and discuss the implications of this account for political theory and constitutional law. (shrink)
This paper argues Confucianism is a compelling managerial ethic for several reasons: 1) Confucianism is compatible with accepted managerial practices. 2) It requires individuals and organizations to make a positive contribution to society. 3) Recognizes hierarchy as an important organizational principle and demands managerial moral leadership. 4) The Confucian "golden Rule" and virtues provide a moral basis for the hierarchical and cooperative relationships critical to organizational success. The paper applies Confucianism to the H. B. Fuller in Honduras: Street Children and (...) Substance Abuse case. (shrink)
Earl Conee has argued that the metaphysics of personal identity is irrelevant to the morality of abortion. He claims that doing all the substantial work in abortion arguments are moral principles and they garner no support from rival metaphysics theories. Conee argues that not only can both immaterialist and materialist theories of the self posit our origins at fertilization, but positing such a beginning doesn’t even have any significant impact on the permissibility of abortion. We argue that this thesis is (...) wrong on both accounts. We do so, in part, by relying on a hylomorphic rather than a Cartesian conception of the soul. There are good reasons for believing such a soul theory can favor an earlier origin than the leading materialist accounts. We also show that the theological metaphysics of hylomorphism provide greater support for a pro-life position than the Cartesian position Conee discusses. However, we argue that even on a materialistic account of personal identity, metaphysics has substantial bearing upon the morality of early abortions. (shrink)