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.
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)
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)
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)
In Norway, by tradition a Lutheran country, the puritan ethics of a moral minority has a strong influence on the development and manifestations of medical ethics. Those who exert this influence are found primarily among politicians, the clergy, and, last but certainly not least, among nurses and doctors. The focus of interest is not so much on problems of bioethical moral theory or the teaching of bioethics to students, but very much on attitudes and policies with regard to substantive issues (...) traditionally regarded in Norway as burning bioethical issues, such as: medical research ethics, abortion, prenatal diagnosis, euthanasia, definitions of death, and reproductive technologies. (shrink)
Familial clustering of a disease is defined as the occurrence of the disease within some families in excess of what would be expected from the occurrence in the population. It has been demonstrated for several cancer types, ranging from rare cancers as the adenomatosis-coli-associated colon cancer or the Li-Fraumeni syndrome to more common cancers as breast cancer and colon cancer. Familial clustering, however, is merely an epidemiological pattern, and it does not tell whether genetic or environmental causes or both in (...) combination are responsible for the familial clustering. Familial clustering may be due to genetic predisposition to the disease, but exposure to environmental factors — shared by members of some families, but not by members of other families — may also cause familial clustering and hence mimic genetic inheritance in the study of nuclear families. Based on assumptions regarding the individual steps in the biological process starting with exposure to carcinogens and ending with death from disseminated cancer we suggest that genetic and environmental factors may both be involved in most of these steps. The present paper focuses on research methodologies necessary to discriminate between the effect of genes and family environment in the development of cancer. (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)
Throughout the ages writers have been concerned with contemporary problems. Their reflection became part of their literary works. By tracing and interpretating mathematical references in literature information can be obtained: on the attitude towards mathematics, on its prestige in society, its cultural recognition and its significance for education. This article analyses the implication of mathematics in some exemplary novels, essays and theoretical writings on literature of authors from the 17th to the 20th century.
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.
The principle of non-injury toward all living beings (ahimsā) in India was originally a rule restraining human interaction with the natural environment. I compare two discourses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment in ancient India: the discourse of the priestly sacrificial cult and the discourse of the renunciants. In the sacrificial cult, all living beings were conceptualized as food. The renunciants opposed this conception and favored the ethics of non-injury toward all beings (plants, animals, etc.), which meant (...) that no living being should be food for another. The first represented an ethics modeled on the power that the eater has over the eaten while the second attempted to overturn this food chain ethics. The ethics of non-injury ascribed ultimate value to every individual living being. As a critique of the individualistic ethics of noninjury, a holistic ethics was developed that prescribed the unselfish performance of one’s duties for the sake of the functioning of the natural system. Vegetarianismbecame a popular adaptation of the ethics of non-injury. These dramatic changes in ethics in ancient India are suggestive for the possibility of dramatic changes in environmental ethics today. (shrink)
One of the major challenges facing modern-day secular states is the issue of social integration. The issue discussed in this article is how it is possible to arrive at unifying values in a multicultural society that is characterised by secularisation and disintegration of the Christian hegemony of former times on the one hand and by the emergence of cultural and religious diversity on the other. The analysis is centred around Norwegian kindergarten, which represent a key institution for communicating values and (...) morals in contemporary Norwegian society. The objects clause states that the kindergarten is based on the fundamental values of Christian and humanistic heritage and traditions, combined with values that are expressed in different religions and philosophies and that are also clearly expressed in the Declaration of Human Rights. I argue that the objects clause can be understood as a form of ?common ground strategy.? This can be seen as a possible unifying values base and a key strategy for future social integration, across cultural affiliations. (shrink)
Abstract This paper analyses the uses of the word ?nature? (in P?li pakati, Sanskrit prakrti) in the P?li scripture. In the P?li scripture pakati is never used as a concept of nature considered as a unity or an entity, or as a material cause, as in the S?mkhya and Yoga, but it describes acts which are considered natural, regular and usual. The article tries to answer three questions. 1. What is the meaning of the term pakati in the P?li scripture? (...) 2. What is the relation between the term pakati in the P?li scripture and the Sanskrit term prakrti in general and as a technical term in the S?mkhya and Yoga schools, in the Medical schools and in the Jain scriptures? 3. What view of nature does analysis of the term reveal? (shrink)
International companies expanding and competing in an increasingly global context are currently discovering the necessity of sharing knowledge across geographical and disciplinary borders. Yet, especially in such contexts, sharing knowledge is inherently complex and problematic in practice. Inspired by recent contributions in science studies, this paper argues that knowledge sharing in a global context must take into account the heterogeneous and locally embedded nature of knowledge. In this perspective, knowledge cannot easily be received through advanced information technologies, but must always (...) be achieved in practice. Empirically, this paper draws from two contrasting initiatives in a major international oil and gas company for improving its current ways of sharing knowledge between geographically distributed sites and disciplines involved in well planning and drilling. The contrasting cases reveal that while a shared database system failed to improve knowledge sharing across contexts, a flexible arrangement supporting collaboration and use of different representation of knowledge was surprisingly successful. Based on these findings the paper underscores and conceptualizes various triangulating practices conducted in order to achieve knowledge across borders. More accurately these practices are central for individuals’ and communities’ abilities to: (i) negotiate ambiguous information, (ii) filter, combine, and integrate various heterogeneous sources of information, and (iii) judge the trustworthiness of information. Concerning the design and use of information technologies this implies that new designs need to facilitate triangulating practices of users rather than just providing advanced platforms (“digital junkyards”) for sharing information. (shrink)
This article is an attempt to evaluate the Oregon plan from the perspective of a Scandinavian national health care system. The Nordic welfare states are marked by a strong emphasis on equality. As an example of an egalitarian system we present the Norwegian health care model in part one. In part two, the arguments in favor of a one tier system in Norway are presented and compared to Oregon's two tier system. Although we argue, in part three, that a comparison (...) of the degree of explicitness in the prioritization process shows that Norway has much to learn from Oregon, we do believe that the Norwegian system has some attractive elements that may function as an important corrective. In part four we present the Norwegian Guidelines for priority-setting and discuss the weight assigned to the severity of disease criterion. It is argued that the exclusion of information about the severity of disease partly explains the counterintuitive ranking of treatment-condition pairs in Oregon's initial method based on the principle of health maximization. A normative analysis of the conflicting norms of efficiency and equality of results is called for. The final part of the paper is devoted to the problem of rigidity. Henry J. Aaron has argued that the Oregon system is insensitive to inter-individual variations within each diagnosis-treatment pair. This objection is a severe one, since the system might end up treating patients unfairly on the individual level. To overcome this problem, we suggest a selection rule that should be more capable of dealing with the problem of rigidity. Keywords: equality, fairness, one tier system, prioritization, severity of disease, rigidity CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
A survey of recent research reveals that there is a growing interest in knowledge regarding the opinions and attitudes toward ethics amongst business school faculty members. Based on an empirical study conducted in Norway we address the following issue: “What do faculty members of the Norwegian Business Schools consider to be their responsibilities in preparing their students for leading positions in public and private organizations?” Moving on to interpreting the results from the survey, we discuss the empirical findings by comparing (...) the data using four different theoretical perspectives; neo-classical economics, strategic management, corporate social responsibility and socio-economics. The implications are highlighted. (shrink)
The role of narrativity in the constitution of personal identity, a widely discussed topic in recent philosophy, is also an important issue in Robert Musil’s novel “The Man without Qualities.” Apart from a theoretical passage, where the coherence established by life-narratives is explicitly rejected as an illusion, the novel displays various instances of reflection in which characters seek to articulate their identity by narrating parts of their lives. Not all of these self-narratives are presented as flawed; rather, by highlighting the (...) differences between various instances of self-reflection, the novel suggests that a life-narrative has to meet certain standards in order to further self-understanding. The essay seeks to identify these standards by analysing two examples of self-reflection rendered in Musil’s novel. Furthermore, it briefly compares the novel’s dealing with the issue of narrativity and personal identity with recent philosophical approaches, in particular with Charles Taylor’s view that in order to have an identity, human beings have to understand their lives in the form of a narrative that determines their place relative to the good. (shrink)
Do economists accept absurd and unsupported claims about reality, and if so, why? We define four types of claims commonly made in economics that require different types of evidence, and show examples of each from the rational addiction literature. Claims about real world causal mechanisms and welfare effects seem poorly supported. A survey mailed to all researchers with peer-reviewed work on rational addiction theory provides some evidence that criteria for evaluating claims of pure theory and statistical prediction are better (...) understood than those needed for claims of causality or welfare analysis. We suggest that unsupported claims about real world causality or welfare may be accepted in parts of economics provided they derive from a formally correct model consistent with certain types of (often aggregate) data. The rational addiction literature illustrates that this can lead to absurd and unjustified claims being made and accepted in even highly-ranked journals. (shrink)
THE KEYNESIAN REVOLUTION AND ITS CRITICS: ISSUES OF THEORY AND POLICY FOR THE MONETARY PRODUCTION ECONOMY by Gordon A. Fletcher New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987. 348pp., $35.00 A commonplace of the history of economic thought, repeated by Fletcher, holds that Keynes was the first economist of the 1930s to reject Say's Law of Markets. It is argued that Fletcher ignores many of Keynes's contemporaries, especially those influenced by Knut Wicksell, who disagreed with Say but who used a framework (...) for monetary analysis that was sounder in all respects than that of Keynes's General Theory. (shrink)
The idea that Heidegger's thinking is essentially anti-sociological is very widespread and seems to be commonly accepted. Nevertheless, a closer examination of Heidegger's reading of Aristotle, particularly in his early Freiburg and Marburg lectures, provides a quite different picture. In his attempt to overcome the shortcomings of Husserl's phenomenology, by studying Aristotle Heidegger makes an important discovery. Being sociological is an existential feature of human being. Here, the lecture of the summer term 1924, Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie (Fundamental concepts of (...) Aristotelian Philosophy), which mainly deals with Aristotle's Rhetoric, is of special importance. In analyzing the phenomenon of speaking within the polis as some kind of apophantic language, Heidegger hits upon the fact that the political is grounded in social communication. The idea of human being as existing within a context of communication developed in this lecture is an important starting point of Heidegger's later philosophy of language. (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)