This paper addresses a recent wave of criticisms of liberal peacebuilding operations. We decompose the critics’ argument into two steps, one which offers a diagnosis of what goes wrong when things go wrong in peacebuilding operations, and a second, which argues on the basis of the first step that there is some deep principled flaw in the very idea of liberal peacebuilding. We show that the criticism launched in the argument’s first step is valid and important, but that the second (...) step by no means follows. Drawing a connection between liberal peacebuilding and humanitarian intervention, we argue that the problems that the critics point to are in fact best addressed within the framework of liberal internationalism itself. Further, we argue that the development of the notion of human security marks a dawning awareness within liberal internationalism of the kinds of problems that the critics point to, however difficult it may still be to embody these ideas in practice. (shrink)
I aim to show how and why some definitions can be benignly circular. According to Lloyd Humberstone, a definition that is analytically circular need not be inferentially circular and so might serve to illuminate the application-conditions for a concept. I begin by tidying up some problems with Humberstone's account. I then show that circular definitions of a kind commonly thought to be benign have inferentially circular truth-conditions and so are malign by Humberstone's test. But his test is too demanding. The (...) inferences we actually use to establish the applicability of, e.g., colour concepts are designed to establish warranted assertability and not truth. Understood thus, dispositional analyses are not inferentially circular. (shrink)
One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed (...) with any predicate which, like 'heap', displays borderline vagueness. Although I have frequently heard it said that there is no completely credible and satisfying dissolution of the paradoxes of the Sorites family; and although there is no possible approach to dissolution which has not been at least partially explored, philosophers continue glibly to use vague language as though it were entirely unproblematic. Since no argument has ever been produced which would justify our ignoring the para~doxes, this situation is extremely unsatisfactory. (shrink)
The argument from potential has been hard to assess because the versions presented by friends and those presented by enemies have born very little resemblance to each other. I here try to improve this situation by attempting to bring both versions into enforced contact. To this end, I sketch a more detailed analysis of the modern concept of potential than any hitherto attempted. As one would expect, arguments from potential couched in terms of that notion are evident non-starters. I then (...) ask how the modern notion of potential needs to be supplemented in order to produce a more convincing argument. I then enquire whether the supplementations utilised in the most distinguished recent presentations of the argument have anything better than an ad hoc role to play in contemporary metaphysics. I conclude that the rehabilitation of the argument is unlikely; in any event, the onus of proof seems to be on the friend of that argument to show that it is uncontrived. Finally, I argue that the (modern) notion of potential has an important role to play in any plausible account of foetal value. (shrink)
In 'Vague Identity: Evans Misunderstood' David Lewis defends Gareth Evans against a widespread misunderstanding of an argument that appeared in his article 'Can There be Vague Objects?'. Lewis takes himself to be 'defending Evans' and not just correcting a mistake; witness his remark that, 'As misunderstood, Evans is a pitiful figure: a "technical philosopher" out of control of his technicalities, taken in by a fallacious proof of an absurd conclusion'. Let me say at the outset that I take Lewis to (...) be exactly right in regarding as a misunderstanding the interpretation of Evans which he exposes as such. On Lewis's account, everything Evans says 'falls into place', and he quotes from a letter that 'settles the matter'. (shrink)
Extant semantic theories for languages containing vague expressions violate intuition by delivering the same verdict on two principles of classical propositional logic: the law of noncontradiction and the law of excluded middle. Supervaluational treatments render both valid; many-Valued treatments, Neither. The core of this paper presents a natural deduction system, Sound and complete with respect to a 'mixed' semantics which validates the law of noncontradiction but not the law of excluded middle.
Whenever some form of beneficent killing--for example, voluntary euthanasia--is advocated, the proposal is greeted with a flood of slippery-slope arguments warning of the dangers of a Nazi-style slide into genocide. This paper is an attempt systematically to evaluate arguments of this kind. Although there are slippery-slope arguments that are sound and convincing, typical formulations of the Nazi-invoking argument are found to be seriously deficient both in logical rigour and in the social history and psychology required as a scholarly underpinning. As (...) an antidote, an attempt is made both to identify some of the likely causes of genocide and to isolate some of the more modest but legitimate fears that lie behind slippery-slope arguments of this kind. (shrink)
For the sentences of languages that contain operators that express the concepts of definiteness and indefiniteness, there is an unavoidable tension between a truth-theoretic semantics that delivers truth conditions for those sentences that capture their propositional contents and any model-theoretic semantics that has a story to tell about how indetifiniteness in a constituent affects the semantic value of sentences which imbed it. But semantic theories of both kinds play essential roles, so the tension needs to be resolved. I argue that (...) it is the truth theory which correctly characterises the notion of truth, per se. When we take into account the considerations required to bring model theory into harmony with truth theory, those considerations undermine the arguments standardly used to motivate supervaluational model theories designed to validate classical logic. But those considerations also show that celebration would be premature for advocates of the most frequently encountered rival approach - many-valued model theory. (shrink)
A. F. Losev, one of the most important Russian philosophers and historians of ancient aesthetics and culture in the 20th century, develops in his ‘Dialectics of the Myth’ (Dialektika mifa), 1930, a personalistic ontology by using elements of neoplatonic philosophy and Orthodox Christian belief. According to Losev reality in all its different expressions and ontological strata must be understood as “mythical”, i.e. as “living mutual exchange of subject and object”. The subjective and personal aspect of reality is not grounded in (...) man’s epistemic relation to it alone; reality in itself has to be characterized as personal and subjective. The main philosophical opponent is Descartes, the founder of “modern rationalism and mechanism”. (shrink)
This study examined whether worktime control buffered the impact of worktime demands on work–family interference (WFI), using data from 2,377 workers from various sectors of industry in The Netherlands. We distinguished among three types of worktime demands: time spent on work according to one’s contract (contractual hours), the number of hours spent on overtime work (overtime hours), and the number of hours spent on commuting (commuting hours). Regarding worktime control, a distinction was made between having control over days off and (...) vacations (leave control) and having control over starting and finishing times (flextime). These three worktime demands were expected to have separate as well as joint effects on WFI, whereas worktime control should buffer these adverse effects of worktime demands on WFI. Stepwise regression analyses showed that working high numbers of contractual and overtime hours was indeed associated with high WFI. Further, worktime control indeed made a difference in terms of WFI: whereas leave control contributed directly to lower WFI, flextime buffered the adverse effects of long contractual workhours. Our results suggest that very long working days should be prevented, and that worktime control may be a powerful tool to help workers maintaining a good work–family balance. (shrink)
Neonatal intensive care nurses are often involved in research protocols as investigators, research assistants or staff nurses implementing the protocol and providing support and explanations to families. It is important, therefore, that nurses have information about parents’ understanding of and attitudes towards the research process. The purpose of this study was to begin an exploration of parents’ perceptions about research with newborn babies through the development and validation of a survey instrument. The questionnaire included: demographic questions; scaled items about research (...) with newborn babies; scenarios describing research studies that varied in degree of risk and benefit to the newborn baby; questions about parents’ willingness to enrol their newborn baby in the studies described; and questions regarding circumstances under which consent should be sought. Content and face validity were established by an expert panel and a pilot test conducted with a small group of health care professionals and lay persons. A convenience sample of 231 parents of newborn babies completed the final version of the questionnaire. Factor analysis revealed seven factors corresponding to issues identified in the literature, providing evidence of construct validity. Parents appeared to have no difficulty in completing the instrument and all questions were answered by the majority of participants. It was concluded that the questionnaire had adequate psychometric properties and that a mixed method approach can be fruitful in exploring sensitive issues. (shrink)
This article traces the continuities in Pocock's work from his early exploration of the 'common law mind' to his recent work calling for a rethinking of English history and an appreciation of its British context. His work is understood here as the product of perspectives available to him as a New Zealander made aware by his own history of the central roles in all human history played by the movement of people across continents and (especially) across oceans, and by the (...) ways in which different cultures situate themselves in time. Pocock's exploration of the history of 'political thought' has, indeed, often been concerned most with that form of political thinking and identity formation that was rooted in a society's understanding of its own past. This is the key continuity explored in the article. (shrink)
The role of Scripture as norm is growing significantly in Catholic theological work. But with that growth the problems of its relation to other norms become clearer and more urgent as the agenda for systematic theology.
In the same year, 1961, Peter D. Mitchell and Robert R.J.P. Williams both put forward hypotheses for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and photophosphorylation in chloroplasts. Mitchell's proposal was ultimately adopted and became known as the chemiosmotic theory. Both hypotheses were based on protons and differed markedly from the then prevailing chemical theory originally proposed by E.C. (Bill) Slater in 1953, which by 1961 was failing to account for a number of experimental observations. Immediately following the (...) publication of Williams's hypothesis and before his own was published, Mitchell initiated a correspondence. Examination of the letters shows the development of a dispute based on the validity of the proposals, who should have priority and particularly whether Mitchell had drawn on Williams's work without acknowledgement. We have concluded that Mitchell's proposals were original (a view still questioned by Williams) although it is evident that prior to the correspondence Williams had considered and rejected a proposition similar to Mitchell's theory. However, a major cause of the dispute was the difference in disciplinary backgrounds of Mitchell, a microbial biochemist and Williams, a chemist. (shrink)
Peter G. Brown and Jeremy J. Smith (eds): Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9310-x Authors Neelke Doorn, Department of Technology Policy and Management, Section of Philosophy, 3TU. Centre of Ethics and Technology/Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.