Most critics of species egalitarianism point to its counter-intuitive implications in particular cases. But this argumentative strategy is vulnerable to the response that our intuitions should give way in the face of arguments showing that species egalitarianism is required by our deepest, most fundamental moral principles. In this article, I develop an argument against deontological versions of species egalitarianism on its own terms. Appealing to the fundamental moral ideal of proportionality, I show that deontological species egalitarianism is morally objectionable as (...) a matter of principle: it is committed to treating two individuals who are extraordinarily similar in morally relevant respects drastically differently. I then illustrate how an inegalitarian account of moral standing might be incorporated into traditional moral theories in ways that make them far more promising as theories of our obligations to the non-human world. (shrink)
This study examined more than 2,500 war images from U.S. television news, newspapers, news magazines, and online news sites during the first five weeks of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and found that only 10% showed injury or death. The paper analyzes which media platforms were most willing to show casualties and offers insights on when journalists should use gruesome war images or keep them secret.
Understanding disgustingness is philosophically important partly because claims about disgustingness play a prominent role in moral discourse and practice. It is also important because disgustingness has been used to illustrate the promise of "neo-sentimentalism." Recently developed by moral philosophers such as David Wiggins, John McDowell, Simon Blackburn, Justin D'Arms and Dan Jacobson, neo-sentimentalism holds that for a thing to be disgusting is for it to be "appropriate" to respond to it with disgust. In this paper, I argue that from what (...) we currently know about the disgust response, these accounts are mistaken. Instead, disgustingness is best understood as a descriptive property: fundamentally, things that are disgusting-for-S are things that possess triggers for S's disgust mechanism. Theoretically, my account puts pressure on neo-sentimentalists to show that the responses they appeal to can anchor normative properties. Practically, my account shows that we must abandon authoritative claims that certain things really are--or are not--disgusting. (shrink)
Accountability is viewed as a civilizing element in society, with professional accountability formalized in most cases as duties dating to the Greeks and Socrates; journalists must find their own way, without formal professional or government regulation or licensing. Three scholars look at the process in a line from the formal professional discipline to suggesting problems the journalism fraternity faces without regulation to suggesting serious internal ethics conferences as 1 solution to the problem.
In their important paper “Autonomous Agents”, Floridi and Sanders use “levels of abstraction” to argue that computers are or may soon be moral agents. In this paper we use the same levels of abstraction to illuminate differences between human moral agents and computers. In their paper, Floridi and Sanders contributed definitions of autonomy, moral accountability and responsibility, but they have not explored deeply some essential questions that need to be answered by computer scientists who design artificial agents. One such question (...) is, “Can an artificial agent that changes its own programming become so autonomous that the original designer is no longer responsible for the behavior of the artificial agent?” To explore this question, we distinguish between LoA1 (the user view) and LoA2 (the designer view) by exploring the concepts of unmodifiable, modifiable and fully modifiable tables that control artificial agents. We demonstrate that an agent with an unmodifiable table, when viewed at LoA2, distinguishes an artificial agent from a human one. This distinction supports our first counter-claim to Floridi and Sanders, namely, that such an agent is not a moral agent, and the designer bears full responsibility for its behavior. We also demonstrate that even if there is an artificial agent with a fully modifiable table capable of learning* and intentionality* that meets the conditions set by Floridi and Sanders for ascribing moral agency to an artificial agent, the designer retains strong moral responsibility. (shrink)
In an analysis of 47 U.S. journalism ethics codes, we found that although most consider images, only 9 address a gripping issue: how to treat images of tragedy and violence, such as those produced on the battlefields of Iraq, during the 2005 London bombings, and after Hurricane Katrina. Among codes that consider violent and tragic images, there is agreement on what images are problematic and a move toward green-light considerations of ethical responsibilities. However, the special problems of violence and truth (...) telling in wartime and issues of how to handle graphic images across media platforms receive virtually no attention. (shrink)
Like many disciplines, the study of political philosophy has, to a large extent, been the study of modern western political philosophy, particularly liberalism, utilitarianism, and socialism. As a consequence, the study of comparative political philosophy is still in its infancy. The contributors to this volume move beyond this Eurocentric bias to facilitate and exchange perspectives originating in European, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic communities. They document the responses to the perilous transition from "tradition" to "modernity" and address the commonality of human (...) distress which characterizes such momentous transition. With respect to the central theme of transition, Comparative Political Philosophy is unusual in its coverage of so many eminent political philosophers--Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Voltaire, Hegel, Marx, Confucius, Mao Zedong, Kautilya, Gandhi, Farabi, and Khomeini. The book will be of interest to those interested in political theory, intellectual history, philosophy, as well as the general disciplines of political science, history, and area studies. "The book should appeal to readers across the disciplinary boundaries.". (shrink)
Continuing professional education in ethics for psychologists is becoming more common, as psychology licensing boards in 14 states now require continuing education in ethics as a condition of licensure renewal. This article suggests ways to improve the quality of ethics continuing education by diversifying the content and teaching methods.
An advertising firm''s ethical culture (as defined by the firm''s managerial and peer ethical behaviors) may affect the employees'' comfort levels and ethical behaviors. In this research, scenarios were used to describe advertising firms with various ethical cultures. Respondents'' perceived comfort levels in working for the firms described in the scenarios and the respondents'' behavioral intentions when faced with various advertising situations were assessed. Results of the study indicate that peer ethical behavior exerts a strong influence on the comfort or (...) discomfort level and the ethical behavioral intentions of potential advertising employees. Further, the strong influence exerted by peers seems to transcend the ethical behavior of the manager and carry over to the attitude toward the entire corporate advertising environment. This study provides insights for firms and researchers interested in assessing the impact of an advertising firm''s ethical culture on potential employees. (shrink)
By analyzing cases in which we must choose between options whose values are not precisely comparable, this paper presents the case for the existence of a previously unrecognized class of practical reasons – reasons that arise from how the value of an option compares to the values of the alternatives. Several implications of these comparative value-based reasons are discussed – including the context-dependence of one option’s being ‘rationally preferable to’ an alternative, and the fact that, even when the values of (...) an agent’s alternatives fail to be precisely comparable, practical reason will always be able to determine that the choice of at least one option is justified. (shrink)
Shors & Matzel's conclusion that LTP is not related to learning is similar to one we reached several years ago. We discuss some methodological advances that have relevance to the issue and applaud the authors for challenging existing dogma.
Newspaper copy editors labor in anonymity and struggle for respect in their newsrooms. These conditions may make it difficult for them to realize their potential as the last line of defense against violations of ethical practice. By adopting existentialism as a guiding moral philosophy, however, copy editors can find the courage and confidence to act as final guardians of ethical journalism. This article examines how copy editors are often overlooked in the literature of journalism ethics and suggests ways in which (...) existential philosophy would address specific problems of copy editors. The article examines whether a model for the existential copy editor is morally defensible and how adopting it might benefit copy editors, their newsroom colleagues, and readers. (shrink)
In science, it sometimes occurs that an event is directly observed, and on other occasions that it is not directly observed but one can make the unambiguous inference that it has occurred. Is there any difference concerning the analysis of data arising from these two situations? In this note we show that there is such a difference in one case arising frequently in genetics. The difference derives from the fact that the ability to make the unambiguous inference arises only from (...) a restricted form of data. (shrink)
This paper deals with problems that vagueness raises for choices involving evaluative tradeoffs. I focus on a species of such choices, which I call ‘qualitative barrier cases.’ These are cases in which a qualitatively significant tradeoff in one evaluative dimension for a given improvement in another dimension could not make an option better all things considered, but a merely quantitative tradeoff for the given improvement might. Trouble arises, however, when one of the options constitutes a borderline case of an evaluative (...) kind. I argue that in such cases we can neither affirm nor deny that trading off losses in one evaluative dimension for gains in another yields a better outcome. Theoretically, this result provides a way to defuse an argument that has been presented by both Larry Temkin and Stuart Rachels that purports to show that the ‘better than’ relation is intransitive. Practically, it allows us to undermine the claim that rational agents are better off withholding their contribution to a public good in certain instances of the free-rider problem, and thus to take an important step towards solving these problems. (shrink)
I should say at the outset that I actually like this book a lot, but I am not sure how comfortable I am with liking it. It is the sort of innovative, exciting, exasperating, infuriating, and provocative book that's good even when it's bad, because it sets everyone to talking and arguing about all kinds of things. Initially, I will give a brief gloss (if such a thing makes sense in reference to a piece of Steve Fuller's writing) of (...) the main points of the book and of its virtues. Then I would like to single out two issues for brief discussion: Fuller's conception of rhetoric and in what sense he is still a philosopher, in both his case studies and curriculum, despite advertising to the contrary. (shrink)
This paper begins with a description of common grading practices at universities in the U.S., and analyzes the unfairness, injustice, and harm they produce. It then proposes a solution to these problems in the form of an alternative grading system: institutions should adopt a grading system that assesses students’ performance relative to the performance of their peers. That is, institutions should abolish the practice of attempting to assign grades that correspond to an absolute standard of intrinsic merit. Instead, our evaluation (...) should simply communicate how the quality of a student’s work compares to the work submitted by other students in the class. (shrink)
Introduction: image ethics -- Harnessing the visual: from illustration to ekphrasis -- From visible to invisible: Spenser's Aprill and messianic ethics -- Looking for ethics in Spenser's Faerie queene -- "To look, but with another's eyes": translating vision in A midsummer night's dream -- The ethics of temporality in Measure for measure -- "Ocular proof" and the dangers of the perceptual faith -- "Disliken the truth of your own seeming": visual and ethical truth in The winter's tale.
Zusammenfassung Im Gegensatz zur verbreiteten Auffassung Ã¼ber die Voraussetzungen zur Ausbildung neuen Wissens entstehen wichtige Umstellungen im Denken hÃ¤ufignicht durch harte Konfrontationzwischen Hypothesen bzw. Theorien. Vielmehr sind oft allmÃ¤hliche Deutungsverschiebungen bei der Auffassungeiner einzigen Hypothese bzw. Theorie zu beobachten. Derartige Prozesse erstrecken sich in der Regel Ã¼ber vergleichsweise lange ZeitrÃ¤ume und sind nicht wie die erstgenannten VorgÃ¤nge von eher kurzfristiger Natur. Verglichen mit dem Ausgangspunkt der jeweiligen Entwicklung tritt uns aber eine oft an ihrem Ende tiefgreifend verÃ¤nderte Wissenssituation entgegen. Infolge (...) derLangsamkeit der geschilderten Entwicklungen und der damit zugleich gegebenen GewÃ¶hnung ihrer Vertreter an die geÃ¤nderte Situation sind derartige VerÃ¤nderungen des Wissens selten in einem AusmaÃ vom BewuÃtsein der Neuheit begleitet, wie dies bei VorgÃ¤ngen der zuerst geschilderten Art der Fall ist. Trotzdem kÃ¶nnen aber gerade diese VerÃ¤nderungen nachhaltiger und von grundlegenderer Art sein als jene. (shrink)
In this paper, we review Keith Lehrer’s account of the basing relation, with particular attention to the two cases he offered in support of his theory, Raco (Lehrer, Theory of knowledge, 1990; Theory of knowledge, (2nd ed.), 2000) and the earlier case of the superstitious lawyer (Lehrer, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 311–313, 1971). We show that Lehrer’s examples succeed in making his case that beliefs need not be based on the evidence, in order to be justified. These cases (...) show that it is the justification (rather than the belief) that must be based in the evidence. We compare Lehrer’s account of basing with some alternative accounts that have been offered, and show why Lehrer’s own account is more plausible. (shrink)
In this paper I reply to Keith Yandell's recent charge that Anselmian theists cannot also be Trinitarians. Yandell's case turns on the contention that it is impossible to individuate Trinitarian members, if they exist necessarily. Since the ranks of Anselmian Trinitarians includes the likes of Alvin Plantinga, Robert Adams, and Thomas Flint, Yandell's claim is of considerable interest and import. I argue, by contrast, that Anselmians can appeal to what Plantinga calls an essence or haecceity – a property essentially (...) unique to an object – to distinguish Trinitarian members. I go on to show that the main Yandellian objection to this individuative strategy is not successful. (shrink)
Keith Donnellan (1931 – ) began his studies at the University of Maryland, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He stayed on at Cornell, earning a Master’s and a PhD in 1961. He also taught at there for several years before moving to UCLA in 1970, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Donnellan’s work is mainly in the philosophy of language, with an emphasis on the connections between semantics and pragmatics. His most influential work was (...) his 1966 paper “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. In this paper, he challenges the canonical view, due to Bertrand Russell, about definite descriptions. Russell had argued that the proper semantic treatment of a definite description such as “the present king of France” was quantificational. Thus, a sentence like “the present king of France is bald” should be analyzed as “There exists one and only one entity x that is the present king of France, and x is bald”. Donnellan argues that in natural languages, there are actually two different kinds of uses of definite descriptions. Russell’s analysis picks out the “attributive” use of definite descriptions. When we use a definite description (“the F”) this way, we mean to make statements about the unique entity x that is F. However, Donnellan notes that we also sometimes use definite descriptions “referentially” to pick out a given entity and say something about it. To see this, imagine you are at a party where virtually everyone is drinking beer. However, you and your friend are observing a man in a corner of the room holding a martini glass. Unbeknownst to you, the man’s glass is filled with water. You turn to your friend and ask, “who is the man drinking a martini?” Suppose further that your friend knows that the man in question is Fred and that Fred’s glass is filled with water. According to the Russellian attributive analysis, such a question would amount to asking for the identity of the one and only one man drinking a martini. But the presupposition that there is a man drinking a martini is false, and so there should be no answer to the question.. (shrink)
In response to criticisms made by Keith Dowding (hereafter KD) of `Capitalists Rule OK', this article argues (1) that there is a genuine structural conflict of interest between consumers and producers, voters and politicians, and capitalists and governments, and (2) that only by ad hoc and arbitrary limitations on the scope of the concept of power can it be denied that consumers collectively have power over producers and capitalists (collectively) have power over government. KD accepts that voters (collectively) have (...) power over governments. Ironically, however, this is by far the most tenuous and generally problematic of the three putative power relations. Furthermore, there is no plausible way of conceding that voters (collectively) have power over politicians without also having to accept the validity of a power relation in the other two cases. The implication is that the thesis that is supposed to justify the standard North American or western European politico-economic system, according to which consumers and voters have power but capitalists do not, is nothing more than ideology, in Marx's sense of a fantastical picture of the world designed by the beneficiaries of the status quo to protect their privileged positions against legitimate demands for revolutionary change. The article concludes by taking up KD's primary objection to `Capitalists Rule', which is its rejection of the proposal to equate power with resources. According to KD's official definition, `resources' are the means of raising and lowering others' utilities. I pointed out in `Capitalists Rule' that KD himself acknowledges the inadequacy of this definition, since he almost immediately goes on to say that people do not necessarily have the power that is attributed to them. Obviously, `power' in this new sense must be something different, and is, in fact, the ability to get people to do what you want them to do or to refrain from doing things you do not want them to do. This is precisely my own proposed definition in `Capitalists Rule'. The only remaining disagreement arises from KD's wish to turn everything that lies between power in his first sense and power in his second (and my) sense into a further `resource'. I argue that this is obfuscatory and, in any case, infeasible. Key Words: power democracy capitalism. (shrink)
Keith Lehrer is one of the leading proponents of a coherence theory of knowledge that seeks to explain what it means to know in a characteristically human way. Central to his account are the pivotal role played by a principle of self-trust and his insistence that a sound epistemology must ultimately be ecumenical in nature, combining elements of internalism and externalism. The present book is an extensive, self-contained, up-to-date study of Lehrer's epistemological work. Covering all major aspects, it contains (...) original contributions by some of the most distinguished specialists in the field, outgoing from the latest, significantly revised version of Lehrer's theory. All basic ideas are explained in an introductory chapter. Lehrer's extensive replies in a final chapter give unique access to his current epistemological thinking. (shrink)
Commenting on recent articles by Keith Sawyer and Julie Zahle, the author questions the way in which the debate between methodological individualists and holists has been presented and contends that too much weight has been given to metaphysical and ontological debates at the expense of giving attention to methodological debates and analysis of good explanatory practice. Giving more attention to successful explanatory practice in the social sciences and the different underlying epistemic interests and motivations for providing explanations or reducing (...) theories (which ask for different kinds of explanatory information to be found on the social or on the individual level) might lead to real progress in the debate on methodological individualism, and away from the unending battles of (metaphysical) intuitions. Key Words: methodological individualism • nonreductive materialism • pluralism • pragmatics of explanation. (shrink)
R. Keith Sawyer rightly claimed that the formulation of several cross-level regularities does not disprove the “autonomy” of sciences. Nevertheless, first, this autonomy becomes gradual because cross-level regularities narrow the scope for strong emergence and, second, these examples do not disprove the metaphysical premises of Kim’s critique. Sawyer and I concur on the thesis according to which the proof of strong emergence is in part an empirical question. However, it also depends on the concept of individualism applied whether a (...) description or explanation can count as reducible or not. Even if some of the examples given might leave open the possibility of strong emergence, to generalize, to consider relations or to point to the unpredictability of social processes do not prove the existence of irreducible multiple realization. (shrink)
Sir Keith Thomas is one of the most innovative and influential of English historians, and a scholar of unusual range. These essays, presented to him on his retirement as President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, concentrate on one of the broad themes illuminated by his work - changing notions of civility in the past. From the sixteenth century onwards, civility was a term applied to modes of behaviour as well as to cultural and civic attributes. Its influence extended from (...) styles of language and sexual mores to funeral ceremonies and commercial morality. It was used to distinguish the civil from the barbarous and the English from the Irish and Welsh, and to banish superstition and justify imperialism. The contributors - distinguished historians who have been Keith Thomas's pupils - illustrate the many implications of civility in the early modern period and its shifts of meaning down to the twentieth century. (shrink)
Keith Lehrer's notion of acceptance and its relation to the notion of belief is analyzed in a way that a person only accepts some proposition p if she decides to believe it in order to reach the epistemic aim. This view of acceptance turns out to be untenable: Under the empirical claim that we don't have the power to decide what to beheve it follows that we cannot accept anything. If reaching the truth is the epistemic aim acceptance proves (...) ill-formed, it is impossible to pursue the aim of truth by believing or accepting something because belief itself is a truth-directed attitude. If the epistemic aim is formulated in a weaker sense, combined with other aims, the danger lurks that accepting a proposition p is in the end loosing any connection with the truth of p. (shrink)
This paper shows how to reconcile epistemic invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion. My basic proposal is that we can comfortably combine invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion by endorsing contextualism about speech acts. My demonstration takes place against the backdrop of recent contextualist attempts to usurp the knowledge account of assertion, most notably Keith DeRose’s influential argument that the knowledge account of assertion spells doom for invariantism and enables contextualism’s ascendancy. The paper’s plan: Section 1 explains (...) contextualism and invariantism. Section 2 recounts a common influential objection to contextualism, to wit, that its proponents confuse warranted assertability with truth. Section 3 reviews DeRose’s response to this objection, wherein he argues that contextualism’s opponent, in leveling this objection, is hoist with his own petard. Sections 4 – 6 develop resources for crafting a version of invariantism that escapes DeRose’s argument. Section 7 introduces us to this freshly equipped version of invariantism, which can be wedded to the knowledge account of assertion. Sections 8 – 11 entertain and respond to objections. Section 12 concludes our discussion by suggesting how our new invariantist could respond to the radical skeptic, in a way that rivals the anti-skeptical contextualist’s response. (shrink)
Recent work on the evidential argument from evil offers us sundry considerations which are intended to weigh against this form of atheological arguments. By far the most provocative is that on a priori grounds alone, evil can be shown to be evidentially impotent. This astonishing thesis has been given a vigorous defense by Keith Yandell. In this paper, we shall measure the prospects for an a priori dismissal of evidential arguments from evil.
Epiphenomenalism is a theory concerning the relation between the mental and physical realms, regarded as radically different in nature. The theory holds that only physical states have causal power, and that mental states are completely dependent on them. The mental realm, for epiphenomenalists, is nothing more than a series of conscious states which signify the occurrence of states of the nervous system, but which play no causal role. For example, my feeling sleepy does not cause my yawning — rather, both (...) the feeling and the yawning are effects of an underlying neural state. (shrink)
In recent publications, Keith Lehrer developed the intriguing idea of a special mental process– exemplarization – and applied it in a sophisticated manner to different phenomena such as intentionality, representation of the self, the knowledge of ineffable content (of art works) and the problem of (phenomenal) consciousness. In this paper I am primarily concerned with the latter issue. The target of this paper is to analyze whether exemplarization, besides explaining epistemic phenomena such as immediate and ineffable knowledge of experiences, (...) can also solve the ontological problem of consciousness. In particular, Lehrer suggests that if we consider exemplarization, zombies cannot provide an argument for anti-physicalism. I argue that exemplarization offers neither a physicalist explanation of the conceivability of zombies nor a physicalist account of their impossibility. Therefore, exemplarization cannot offer a physicalist solution to the “hard problem” of consciousness. (shrink)