This paper defends moral realism against Sharon Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” (this journal, 2006). I argue by separation of cases: From the assumption that a certain normative claim is true, I argue that the first horn of the dilemma is tenable for realists. Then, from the assumption that the same normative claim is false, I argue that the second horn is tenable. Either way, then, the Darwinian dilemma does not add anything to realists’ epistemic worries.
In the large and complex landscape of pedagogy, the focus seems to have turned away from the concept of teaching and towards a stronger emphasis on learning, probably supported by neo-liberal ideology. The teacher is presented more as part of the force of production than as an autonomous performer of a mandate given to him/her by society. He/she is supposed to supply knowledge that is considered useful to a society geared to production and consumption. During the past few decades, enlightenment (...) as a legitimising concept for education has been challenged from different angles, both by a self-critique from within and from external forces. One angle of approach is the questioning of the relationship between the state and education, by way of a critique of modernity. Another approach comes from a critique of knowledge, which has lost most of its universal implications and is left with more pragmatic and utilitarian considerations. Into this landscape of lost legitimisation, I will make an attempt to visualise an impossible/possible position for teaching, featuring ancient, contemporary and phantom-like figures. I am suggesting the concept of transformation as an alternative to development or improvement, which I find to be concepts with a close link to modernity and its linearity. By a careful and conscious use of the word transformation, taking Derrida's intensified focus of language into account, a possible active position might be intimated in spite of the fundamental critique, which has been directed at pedagogy and its imperialistic implications from different angles. (shrink)
Contributing Authors: Lilli Alanen & Frans Svensson, David Alm, Gustaf Arrhenius, Gunnar Björnsson, Luc Bovens, Richard Bradley, Geoffrey Brennan & Nicholas Southwood, John Broome, Linus Broström & Mats Johansson, Johan Brännmark, Krister Bykvist, John Cantwell, Erik Carlson, David Copp, Roger Crisp, Sven Danielsson, Dan Egonsson, Fred Feldman, Roger Fjellström, Marc Fleurbaey, Margaret Gilbert, Olav Gjelsvik, Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin, Ebba Gullberg & Sten Lindström, Peter Gärdenfors, Sven Ove Hansson, Jana Holsanova, Nils Holtug, Victoria Höög, Magnus Jiborn, Karsten Klint (...) Jensen, Sigurður Kristinsson, Isaac Levi, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, David Makinson, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Philippe Mongin, Kevin Mulligan, Lennart Nordenfelt, Jonas Olson, Erik J. Olsson, Ingmar Persson, Johannes Persson, Björn Petersson, Philip Pettit, Hans Rott, Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen, Krister Segerberg, John Skorupski, Howard Sobel, Fredrik Stjernberg, Fred Stoutland, Caj Strandberg, Pär Sundström, Folke Tersman, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Peter Vallentyne, Bruno Verbeek, Stella Villarmea, and Michael J. Zimmerman. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Fred Dretske's account of knowledge critically, and try to bring out how his account of informational content leads to cases of extreme epistemic good luck in his treatment of knowledge. My main interest, however, is to establish that the cases of epistemic luck arise because Dretske's account of knowledge in a fundamental way fails to take into account the role our actual recognitional capacities and powers of discrimination play in perceptually based knowledge. This result is, (...) I believe, new. The paper has three sections. In Section 1 I give a short exposition of Dretske's theory, and make some necessary qualifications about how it is to be understood. In Section 2 I discuss in greater detail how the theory actually works, and provide some examples I think are very troublesome for Dretske. In Section 3 I argue that these cases establish my main claim. I also show that there are cases of epistemic bad luck due to Dretske's account of how information causes belief. (shrink)
Normative thinking about addiction has traditionally been divided between, on the one hand, a medical model which sees addiction as a disease characterized by compulsive and relapsing drug use over which the addict has little or no control and, on the other, a moral model which sees addiction as a choice characterized by voluntary behaviour under the control of the addict. Proponents of the former appeal to evidence showing that regular consumption of drugs causes persistent changes in the brain structures (...) and functions known to be involved in the motivation of behavior. On this evidence, it is often concluded that becoming addicted involves a transition from voluntary, chosen drug use to non-voluntary compulsive drug use. Against this view, proponents of the moral model provide ample evidence that addictive drug use involves voluntary chosen behaviour. In this paper we argue that although they are right about something, both views are mistaken. We present a third model that neither rules out the view of addictive drug use as compulsive, nor that it involves voluntary chosen behavior. -/- . (shrink)
Science can (also) be studied as responsible and rational human activity, guided and legitimated by its own normative system: a finite and ordered set of norms and values for agents in a given field of activity. Such norms of inquiry are needed for a rationality requirement of science, which also presupposes a partial agreement on (acceptance of, respect for) these norms between scientists and their social environment. The notions of scientific accountability, autonomy, and freedom of inquiry are elucidated by means (...) of an action-theoretic definition of science and by a certain use of the distinction between internal methodological) and external norms of science. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre criticises the ethics of modernity as fallacious, and wants it replaced by Aristotelian virtue ethics. He is particularly critical concerning modernity’s non-contextual understanding of reason, and wants to renew the ethical significance of concepts like tradition and context.
Departing from frequent use of moral conflict cases in business ethics teaching and research, the paper suggests an elaboration of a moral conflict approach within business ethics, both conceptually and philosophically. The conceptual elaboration borrows from social science conflict research terminology, while the philosophical elaboration presents casuistry as a kind of practical, inductive argumentation with a focus on paradigmatic examples.
This paper analyses and criticizes S. Kripke's celebrated argument against materialist identity?theories. While criticisms of Kripke in the literature attack one or more of his premisses, an attempt is made here to show that Kripke's conclusion is unjustified even if his premisses are accepted. Kripke's premisses have sufficient independent plausibility to make this strategy interesting. Having stated Kripke's argument, it is pointed out that Kripke must assume that the contents of the Cartesian intuitions are clear and of a kind suited (...) for the type of explanation he favours, while his own result concerning contents in epistemic contexts is precisely that this might not be so when objects or events we thought distinct happen to be identical. The point is that only by assuming that the identity?theory is false, can Kripke maintain that the Cartesian intuitions express contents which can be explained in his favoured way. But such an assumption is clearly illegitimate when the aim is to establish that the identity?theory is false. Kripke cannot conclude that the identity?theory is false because no explanation of epistemic possibilities is produced, since by his own standards no such explanation can be produced if the identity?theory is true. (shrink)
In this study we argue that there is an interconnection between; the mechanistic worldview and competition, and the organic worldview and cooperation. To illustrate our main thesis we introduce two cases; first, Max Havelaar, a paradigmatic case of how business might function in an economy based upon solidarity and sustainability. Second, TINE, a Norwegian grocery corporation engaged in collusion in order to force a small competitor out of the market. On the one hand, in order to encourage market behaviour (...) that integrates economic, societal and environmental values we find that transparent cooperation within a context of an organic worldview takes care of important intrinsic as well as instrumental values. On the other hand, we find evidence for asserting that cooperation based upon a mechanistic worldview, typically leads to group egotistical consequences undermining the long term common good. (shrink)
In this essay I argue for a constructivist account of the entities composing the object languages of Davidsonian truth theories and a quotational account of the reference from metalinguistic expressions to interpreted utterances. I claim that ‘radical quotation’ requires an ontology of repeatable events with strong similarities to Derrida's account of iterable events. In part one I summarise Davidson's account of interpretation and Olav Gjelsivk's arguments to the effect that the syntactic individuation of linguistic objects is only workable if (...) interpreters make richer assumptions about semantic properties than Davidson can tolerate. In part two I show that the objectivist account of syntactic objects which Gjelsivk's arguments presuppose is incompatible with one corollary of Davidsonian semantic indeterminacy: namely, the relativity of language to interpretative scheme. In place of this an account of radical interpretation is presented in which a quotational theory of metalinguistic reference furnishes the requisite relativity. In part three I argue that this account requires that particular utterance events must be repeatable to be radically quotable and give reasons why particularity and repeatability are not incompatible. (shrink)
This article analyses the influence of Hinduism on Ecosophy T. Arne Naess in several of his environmental writings quotes verse 6.29 of the Bhagavadgit?, a Hindu sacred text. The verse is understood to illustrate the close relationship between the ideas of oneness of all living beings, non?injury and self?realization. The article compares the interpretations of the verse of some of the most important Hindu commentators on the Bhagavadgit? with the environmentalist interpretation. There is no agreement in the history of the (...) Hindu tradition on the meaning of the verse. The interpretation of Ecosophy T contrasts sharply with the interpretations of the Hindu monastic traditions but has similarities with the twentieth?century social activist interpretations of Mohandas K. Gandhi and S. Radhakrishnan. In Ecosophy T aspects of this social activist version of Hinduism have been creatively reinterpreted in the context of contemporary environmentalism. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prakti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the Sākhya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in Sākhya and Yoga texts the word prakti is used in various ways. Prakti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prakti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prakti in the Sākhya-Yoga texts the Yogastra and the Vyāsabhāya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)
Ethical notions such as good and bad, are often treated as though they were ?symmetric? in the sense of having the same moral ?weight?, one in a positive the other in a negative sense. I argue that they are in fact ?asymmetric? and that the negative members of such pairs of notions are more fundamental and definite, logically speaking, and operationally more important than the positive members. Detailed arguments are given to show this for some non?moral notions, such as life (...) and death, health and illness; some semi?moral notions such as pleasure and pain; and finally for the moral notions of happiness, benevolence, right, and good and their negative counterparts. One of the intentions of the article is to show that a systematic view of such asymmetries may have consequences for one's view of the proper or desirable structure of a general theory of ethics: norms stating prohibitions and norms stating permissions will be seen to be, in a sense defined in the text, more fundamental and important than norms stating ('positive') obligations. (shrink)
Among the foundations of the sciences and the humanities should be counted the norms and values which they necessarily presuppose. This argument requires us to view science and scholarship (systematic cognitive activity) as deliberate and complex forms of human activity . Human action can be ('rationally') guided and legitimated only by reference to norms and values. It is shown that, historically, there are at least three distinct traditions: (1) The Platonic-Aristotelian, (2) the Baconian, and (3) the Weberian. The first is (...) based on the value of 'self-realization'; the second on welfare as a function of technological control; and the third on the justification of science through the Wertfreiheit of its practitioners. It is then argued that when we add (4), a set of general methodological norms, and (5), the ideal of academic freedom or autonomy, we have before us an 'ideology of cognitive activity' which it is now important to study, historically, critically, and constructively. For some such ideology is as indispensable as internal and external demands for legitimation (of science, etc.) are now both inescapable and justified. (shrink)
Evil should be characterised as a specific constellation, which results from destructive connections between individual activities and systemic influences. The article shows some important aspects of the structure of evil and prefers the terms of wickedness and obscene coincidences to describe its own character. Therefore, also the division between rationality and affectivity appears as inadequate, because evil has on the one side an intrinsic attractiveness for individuals and is on the other side in modern societies more and more a product (...) of a rationality, which is free from passion. Especially the emotional impoverishment is responsible for the increase of evil, which is demonstrated by two examples. Based on Paul Ricoeur, the evolution of malum can be developed by a short analyse of the relationship between Ethics and Emotions. (shrink)
Much of the most typical “New Criticism”; has been strongly rationalistic; especially critics who follow the line of I. A. Richards emphatically hold that one can reason about everything in poetry. The techniques developed within modern analytical philosophy have properties which make them well adapted to reconstructive criticism of such reasoning about poetry, for which purpose Professor Hunger-land uses them with evident success. I shall give an account of her brilliant book, and after some critical remarks proceed to a discussion (...) of the fruitfulness of her approach. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to diagnose the so-called two envelopes paradox. Many writers have claimed that there is something genuinely paradoxical in the situation with the two envelopes, and some writers are now developing non-standards theories of expected utility. I claim that there is no paradox for expected utility theory as I understand that theory, and that contrary claims are confused. Expected utility theory is completely unaffected by the two-envelope paradox.
Among the foundations of the sciences and the humanities should be counted the norms and values which they necessarily presuppose. This argument requires us to view science and scholarship (systematic cognitive activity) as deliberate and complex forms of human activity. Human action can be ('rationally') guided and legitimated only by reference to norms and values. It is shown that, historically, there are at least three distinct traditions: (1) The Platonic?Aristotelian, (2) the Baconian, and (3) the Weberian. The first is based (...) on the value of ?self?realization'; the second on welfare as a function of technological control; and the third on the justification of science through the Wertfreiheit of its practitioners. It is then argued that when we add (4), a set of general methodological norms, and (5), the ideal of academic freedom or autonomy, we have before us an ?ideology of cognitive activity? which it is now important to study, historically, critically, and constructively. For some such ideology is as indispensable as internal and external demands for legitimation (of science, etc.) are now both inescapable and justified. (shrink)
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prak?ti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the S??khya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in S??khya and Yoga texts the word prak?ti is used in various ways. Prak?ti does not always (...) refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prak?ti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prak?ti in the S??khya-Yoga texts the Yogas?tra and the Vy?sabh??ya and criticises some translation practices. (shrink)