In the course of its preparation, the 1997 convention on human rights and biomedicine adopted by the Council of Europe instigated a widespread debate. This article examines one of the core issues: the notion of the human being as depicted in the convention. It is argued that according to the convention, this being may exist in three different legal categories, namely 'human life', 'embryo', and 'personhood', each furnished with an inherent set of somewhat different rights, yet none of them clearly (...) defined, thus leaving it to domestic law to regulate at what point a human being belongs to which category. While this approach is understandable from a political point of view, it creates a vicious circle, since law thereby has to define its own foundation and, in the case of the convention, to protect a being that it cannot define. It appears that this form of life is seen rather as a given entity, taking precedence over the interests of society and science, and its dignity and identity forming criteria for the subsequent systems of culture, simply because this life is human and nothing else. Thus, the convention approaches a natural law position. (shrink)
This article presents an interpretation of Merleau-Ponty's notion of pre-reflective intentionality, explicating the similarities and differences between his and Husserl's understandings of intentionality. The main difference is located in Merleau-Ponty's critique of Husserl's noesis-noema structure. Merleau-Ponty seems to claim that there can be intentional acts which are not of or about anything specific. He defines intentionality by its ``directedness'', which is described as a bodily, concrete spatial motility. Merleau-Ponty's understanding of intentionality is part of his attempt to rewrite the relation (...) between the universal and the particular. He claims that meaning is intrinsic to the phenomenal field and impossible to analyse by a distinction between form and matter. Still, Merleau-Ponty's notion of meaning and philosophy is strictly opposed to any naturalized philosophy. This becomes explicated at the end of the article, where his attempt to embody intentionality is compared to Daniel Dennett's corresponding approach. (shrink)
The literature suggests that in sensory imagination we focus on the imagined objects, not on the imaginative states themselves, and that therefore imagination is not introspective. It is claimed that the introspection of imaginative states is an additional cognitive ability. However, there seem to be counterexamples to this claim. In many cases in which we sensorily imagine a certain object in front of us, we are aware that this object is not really where we imagine it to be. So it (...) looks as if in these cases of imagination, we are aware of the mere appearance of the imagined object, and hence introspection is a constitutive part of imagination. In this article, I address this contradictory state of affairs and argue that we should classify at least some forms of sensory imagination as introspective. For this purpose I use the appearance-reality distinction as a central notion for introspection. I also defend the thesis of introspective imagination against the objection that young children imagine without yet understanding the concept of experience. (shrink)
It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by (...) people's varying confidence about their pain, and indicates that 'feeling pain' can be identified as introspective report and 'having pain' as an objective statement — analogous to the traditional sense modalities. However, if people have the ability to make both introspective and objective statements about pain, then it seems indeed the case that they distinguish the appearance from the reality of pain. (shrink)
Technological advancement has an ambivalent character concerning the impact on biodiversity. It accounts for major detrimental environmental impacts and aggravates threads to biodiversity. On the other hand, from an application perspective of environmental science, there are technical advancements, which increase the potential of analysis, detection and monitoring of environmental changes and open a wider spectrum of sustainable use strategies.The concept of biodiversity emerged in the last two decades as a political issue to protect the structural and functional basis of (...) earthbound life. In this respect, it represents a great challenge for science, in particular for ecology, which is the scientific discipline mainly involved in contributing to understand biodiversity issues.In this paper, we state a strong necessity for ecologists to work in close connection with other disciplines and within their own discipline across the different organisation levels. Each level has some specific properties to which ecological terminology has been adapted, and joint views are necessary to understand complex networks. In this context, ecological theory provides the background to analyse biological complexity and the relationship of structure and dynamics on different integration levels and provides the interface to mediate social and political issues.Important features of new technologies for advances in ecological theory refer to (1) an increase in information processing capacities, (2) more efficient automatic data acquisition and device operation, and (3) an increase in resolution (grain and extent).One crucial consideration we analyse is the trend that a quantitative development in one particular discipline may open a new potential for qualitative advancement in other disciplines when the quantitative advancement is applied in a new disciplinary context.We illustrate these qualitative developments that are based on technological advancements and which helped to advance ecological theory qualitatively with two examples: (1) The underlying mechanisms causing regularly oscillating rodent populations are subject to a decade long discussion in ecology. Using the possibilities of modern information processing, it is possible to represent the discussed hypotheses in an integrative object oriented model and analyse how the underlying causal net works. (2) The second example originates from biosafety research dealing with the environmental impact of genetically modified organisms (GMO). The project GenEERA develops a complex up-scaling procedure from below field-level information to the landscape scale in order to investigate spread and persistence of GM oil seed rape (Brassica napus) under different scenarios. The approach gives an example, how ecological modelling can be used to combine different information levels to derive conclusions on a higher spatial scale.In an overall conclusion we relate the described approaches to a wider system analytical context in which we interpret theory developments and biodiversity issues with a system theoretical description of growth processes. We obtain the view that in self-organising systems there is a tendency for autonomous development which tends to be dominating far away from capacity limitations. However, while approaching capacity limitations, a tendency towards closer coupling of internal and external cause-effect networks emerges. We also find that the relation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and social dynamics can be interpreted in this framework. In this context, the demand for closer interdisciplinary cooperation to solve existing problems appears as an indication of emerging capacity limitations (or the reaching of saturation levels) both, in the theoretical as well as in the (bio-) physical domain. (shrink)
Konfabulacja to błędnie ugruntowane przekonanie, które jest skutkiem wypełniania luk w systemie poznawczym. Konfabulację należy odróżnić od kłamstwa, gdyż osoby konfabulujące nie mają intencji oszukania odbiorcy. Wyróżniam konfabulacje patologiczne oraz konfabulacje normalne. Przedstawiam dwa podejścia do problematyki konfabulacji: podejście pamięciowe i epistemiczne. Wedle tego pierwszego, wąskiego podejścia, konfabulacje są wynikiem uzupełniania luk w systemie pamięci. Zgodnie z drugim, szerszym podejściem, konfabulacje mogą być związane także z innymi domenami wiedzy, takimi jak np. percepcja wzrokowa czy percepcja ciała. W artykule proponuję, by (...) przyjrzeć się konfabulacjom jako różnego rodzaju trybom pracy umysłu w sytuacji braku dostępu do informacji. Wyróżniam konfabulacje wypełniające, scalające i addytywne. (shrink)
The ethical debate on whistleblowing concerns centrally the conflict between the right to political free speech and the duty of loyalty to the organization where one works. This is the moral dilemma of whistleblowing. Political free speech is justified because it is a central part of liberal democracy, whereas loyalty can be motivated as a way of showing consideration for one’s associates. The political philosophy of John Rawls is applied to this dilemma, and it is shown that the requirement of (...) loyalty, in the sense that is needed to create the moral dilemma of whistleblowing, is inconsistent with that theory. In this sense, there is no moral dilemma of whistleblowing. This position has been labelled extreme in that it says that whistleblowing is always morally permitted. In a discussion and rejection of Richard De George’s criteria on permissible whistleblowing, it is pointed out that the mere rejection of loyalty will not lead to an extreme position; harms can still be taken into account. Furthermore, it is argued that the best way is, in this as in most other political circumstances, to weigh harms is provided by the free speech argument from democracy. (shrink)
Introduction: What is evil and how can we understand it? -- The theology of evil -- Theodicies -- The privation theodicy -- The free will theodicy -- The Iraenean theodicy -- The totality theodicy -- History as secular theodicy -- Job's insight-the theodicy of the hereafter -- Anthropology of evil -- Are people good or evil? -- The typologies of evil -- Demonic evil -- Evil for evil's sake -- Evil's aesthetic seduction -- Sadism -- Schadenfreude -- Subjective and objective (...) evil -- Kant and instrumental evil -- The impossibility of a "devilish" will -- The paradox of evil -- Moral rebirth -- The evil is the other-idealistic evil -- "Us" vs. "them" -- Violent individuals -- Arendt and stupid evil -- The evil and the stupid -- Radical and banal evil -- Eichmann, Hoss, and Stangl -- Normal people and extreme evil -- Thinking as opposition -- Evil people -- The problem of evil -- Theory and praxis -- Ethics of conviction and ethics of responsibility -- Politics and violence -- Evil as a concrete problem. (shrink)
Danto, A. The artworld.--Dickie, G. What is art?--Margolis, J. Works of art are physically embodied and culturally emergent entities.--Kjørup, S. Art broadly and wholly conceived.--Meyer, L. B. Forgery and the anthropology of art.--Brunius, T. Theory and ideologies in aesthetics.--Tilghman, B. R. Artistic puzzlement.--Binkley, T. Deciding about art.--Alexander, H. G. On defining in aesthetics.--Iseminger, G. Appreciation, the artworld, and the aesthetic.--Glickman, J. Creativity in the arts.--Sclafani, R. The theory of art.--Lyas, C. Danto and Dickie on art.--Beardsley, M. C. Is art essentially (...) institutional? (shrink)
In On Certainty, the emphasis is on the solitary individual as subject of knowledge. The importance of our dependence on others, however, is brought out in Wittgenstein's remarks about trust. In this paper, the role and nature of trust are discussed, the grammar of trust being contrasted with that of reliance. It is shown that to speak of trust is to speak of a fundamental attitude of one person towards others, an attitude which, unlike reliance, is not to be explained, (...) or assessed, by an appeal to reasons. It is, rather, because we have such a fundamental readiness to accept what we are taught by others that we can come to develop an understanding of reasons. The idea that believing something without evidence is always a weakness is shown to be a philosophical prejudice. Trust is always for something we can rightfully demand from others: misplaced trust, accordingly, is not a shortcoming on the part of the trustful person, but of the person in whom the trust was placed. The destruction of trust is a tragedy of life; in Culture and Value, Wittgenstein suggests a connection between distrust and madness. (shrink)
In patient-centred care, shared decision-making is advocated as the preferred form of medical decision-making. Shared decision-making is supported with reference to patient autonomy without abandoning the patient or giving up the possibility of influencing how the patient is benefited. It is, however, not transparent how shared decision-making is related to autonomy and, in effect, what support autonomy can give shared decision-making. In the article, different forms of shared decision-making are analysed in relation to five different aspects of autonomy: (1) self-realisation; (...) (2) preference satisfaction; (3) self-direction; (4) binary autonomy of the person; (5) gradual autonomy of the person. It is argued that both individually and jointly these aspects will support the models called shared rational deliberative patient choice and joint decision as the preferred versions from an autonomy perspective. Acknowledging that both of these models may fail, the professionally driven best interest compromise model is held out as a satisfactory second-best choice. (shrink)
Three paradigms of legal positivism -- The pure theory of law : science or political theory? -- Kelsen's principles of legality -- Kelsen's theory of democracy : reconciliation with social order -- Democratic constitutionalism : Kelsen's theory of constitutional review -- Kelsen's legal cosmopolitanism -- Conclusions : the pure theory of law and contemporary positivism.
According to Nozick’s tracking theory of knowledge, an agent a knows that p just in case her belief that p is true and also satisfies the two tracking conditionals that had p been false, she would not have believed that p , and had p been true under slightly different circumstances, she would still have believed that p . In this paper I wish to highlight an interesting but generally ignored feature of this theory: namely that it is reminiscent of (...) a dispositional account of knowledge: it invites us to think of knowledge as a manifestation of a cognitive disposition to form true beliefs. Indeed, given a general account of dispositions in terms of subjunctive conditionals, the two tracking conditionals are satisfied just in case the belief in question results from some cognitive disposition to form true beliefs. Recently, such a conditional account of dispositions has, however, been criticised for its vulnerability to so-called ‘masked’, ‘mimicked’ and ‘finkish’ counterexamples. I show how the classical counterexamples to Nozick’s theory divide smoothly into four corresponding categories of counterexamples from epistemic masking, mimicking and finkishness. This provides strong evidence for the thesis that satisfaction of the two tracking conditionals is symptomatic of knowledge and that knowledge is instead constituted by a dispositional capability to form true beliefs. The attempt to capture such a cognitive, dispositional capability in terms of the tracking conditionals, although providing a good approximation in a wide variety of cases, still comes apart from the real thing whenever the epistemic layout is characterised by masking-, mimicking- and finkish mechanisms. In the last part of the paper I explore the prospect of improving the tracking theory in the light of these findings. (shrink)
We know things that entail things we apparently cannot come to know. This is a problem for those of us who trust that knowledge is closed under entailment. In the paper I discuss the solutions to this problem offered by epistemic disjunctivism and contextualism. The contention is that neither of these theories has the resources to deal satisfactory with the problem.
This article outlines the structure of a Rawlsian theory of justice in the employment relationship. A focus on this theory is motivated by the role it plays in debates in business ethics. The Rawlsian theory answers three central questions about justice and the workplace. What is the relationship between social justice and justice at work? How should we conceive of the problem of justice in the economic sphere? And, what is justice in the workplace? To see fully what demands justice (...) makes on the workplace, we should first spell out the implications that domestic justice has for working conditions. When this is done, we can develop a conception of workplace justice and investigate what content such local justice should have. John Rawls’s political liberalism was constructed for the specific problem of a just basic structure; in order to apply it to another problem the key theoretical concepts must be revised. Reasons for a specific construction of a local original position are given and arguments are presented in support of a principle of local justice, which takes the form of a choice egalitarian local difference principle. (shrink)
In her essay 'What Nonsense Might Be'1, Cora Diamond discusses different ways of understanding the concept of nonsense. She defines and criticizes what she calls a 'natural' view of nonsense, and points to the possibility of a different view, which she says is the one to be found in Frege, and also in the Tractatus as well as in Philosophical Investigations. Let me briefly recapture her argument. Consider the sentences..
Brogaard's non-indexical version of moral contextualism has two related problems. It is unable to account for the function of truth-governed assertoric moral discourse, since it leaves two (semantically clearheaded) disputants without any incentive to resolve seemingly contradictory moral claims. The moral contextualist could explain why people do feel such an incentive by ascribing false beliefs about the semantic workings of their own language. But, secondly, this leaves Brogaard's moral contextualism looking weaker than a Mackie-style invariantist error theory about morals. The (...) latter is equally non-objectivist, but less revisionist, since it takes the semantics of moral discourse at face value, and can also explain all of Brogaard's other linguistic evidence. (shrink)
Neo-Republicans claim that Hobbes’s constitutional indifferentism (the view that we have no profound reason to prefer one constitutional form over another) is driven exclusively by a reductive understanding of liberty as non-interference. This paper argues that constitutional indifferentism is grounded in an analysis of the institutional presuppositions of well-functioning government that does not depend on a conception of liberty as mere non-interference. Hence, indifferentism cannot be refuted simply by pointing out that non-domination is a distinctive ideal of freedom. This result (...) does not suffice to defend the strong version of indifferentism put forward by Hobbes. But it does point to an important limitation of neo-republican constitutional theory: Neo-republicanism will amount to a distinctive paradigm of constitutional thought only if it is understood in a way that conflicts with Hobbes’s understanding of the institutional presuppositions of well-functioning government. It is doubtful that we have good reason to embrace neo-republicanism, so understood. (shrink)
Ethical evaluation of deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease is complicated by results that can be described as involving changes in the patient’s identity. The risk of becoming another person following surgery is alarming for patients, caregivers and clinicians alike. It is one of the most urgent conceptual and ethical problems facing deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease at this time. In our paper we take issue with this problem on two accounts. First, we elucidate what is (...) meant by becoming another person from a conceptual point of view. After critically discussing two broad approaches we concentrate on the notion of individual identity which centers on the idea of core attitudes . Subsequently we discuss several approaches to determine what distinguishes core attitudes from those that are more peripheral. We argue for a foundational-function model highlighting the importance of specific dependency relations between these attitudes. Our second aim is to comment on the possibility to empirically measure changes in individual identity and argue that many of the instruments now commonly used in selecting and monitoring DBS-patients are inappropriate for this purpose. Future research in this area is advised combining a conceptual and an empirical approach as a basis of sound ethical appraisal. (shrink)
If it is asked: “How do sentences manage to represent?” – the answer might be: “Don’t you know? You certainly see it, when you use them.” For nothing is concealed. How do sentences do it? – Don’t you know? For nothing is hidden. But given this answer: “But you know how sentences do it, for nothing is concealed” one would like to retort “Yes, but it all goes by so quick, and I should like to see it as it were (...) laid open to view.”. (shrink)
We present a short introduction to, and the first English language translation of, Theodor W. Adorno's 1964 article, "Meinungsforschung und Öffentlichkeit." In this article, Adorno situates the misunderstanding of public opinion within a dialectic of elements of publicness itself: empirical publicness' dependence on a normative ideology of publicness, and modern publicness' tendency to undermine its own principles. He also locates it in the dual role of mass media as both fora for the expression of opinion and, as he calls them, (...) "organs of public opinion." The introduction provides a discussion of Adorno's reception in the American academy, arguing that contemporary sociological practice should be concerned with the problems Adorno raises. We suggest that Adorno's relegation to the fields of philosophy and aesthetics belies his relevance to empirical sociological research. (shrink)
This study reports findings of gender differences in tax attitude changes influenced by better tax knowledge. Male students are more exposed to tax knowledge in a way that makes them reconsider more easily their attitudes towards their own tax evasion, i.e. tax ethics, than their female peers. Male students get a significantly stricter attitude towards their own tax evasion. On the other hand, female students are more exposed to tax knowledge in a way that makes them reconsider their attitude towards (...) other people's tax evasion than their male peers, i.e. they get a significantly stricter attitude towards others tax evasion. Improved tax knowledge significantly changed both male and female students attitude towards the fairness of the tax system, i.e. they considered the tax system to be more fair. Implications for ethical behaviour of taxpayers are highlighted. (shrink)
The article points to similarities between Radical Orthodoxy and the Post-Structuralist critique of rationalistic secularism together with a shared appraisal of aesthecism. However, although the people of Radical Orthodoxy are sympathetic to the modern experience of immanence, they criticize the flattened immanence which seems to result from a post-structuralist perspective, and claim instead that immanence has to be appreciated as creational (and therefore participating in the divine) in order to withstand the threat of nihilism. Thus, Post-Structuralism is only an ally (...) up until the point where it tends to undermine the foot-hold in pre-modern tradition and the commitment to revealed truth. Yet, the way in which Radical Orthodoxy appeals to the better myth (contrary to the ontology of difference pertaining to Post-Structuralism) still carries with it traits of postmodernism and thereby risks the relativism it strives to avoid. (shrink)
The aim of the article is to contribute to the conceptualization of creativity in education. The article makes use of the self-Bildung perspective, which is an up-to-date version of the Neo-humanistic notion of the formation of the personality in order to interpret the original notion of the 'four stages' of the creative process. The conclusion is that in this perspective creativity can be understood as a state of transcendence and a practice of taste. Finally, the article seeks to sketch out (...) a suggestion of the creative capacities that are important to cultivate in education. (shrink)
The primary human rights documents of the United Nations claim that every human has a right to development, a right that also includes continuous improvement of each person's living conditions. On one interpretation, this implies a right to a never-ending improvement of living conditions. According to the author, this interpretation faces several counterintuitive implications. First, it seems reasonable that we cannot have a right to improvement without regard to environmental sustainability; improvements must instead focus on well-being, a concept that is (...) partially unrelated to material improvements. Second, if development is a human right, there are several distributional problems with this right. The paper discusses three different responses to the idea that everybody has a right to continuous improvement and concludes that the best solution is to reject the idea that everyone has such a right. This does not imply that we must reject a right to a certain minimum level of well-being; it just means that this right cannot include claims for never-ending improvement. (shrink)
A fundamental assumption of theories of decision-making is that we detect mismatches between intention and outcome, adjust our behavior in the face of error, and adapt to changing circumstances. Is this always the case? We investigated the relation between intention, choice, and introspection. Participants made choices between presented face pairs on the basis of attractiveness, while we covertly manipulated the relationship between choice and outcome that they experienced. Participants failed to notice conspicuous mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome (...) they were presented with, while nevertheless offering introspectively derived reasons for why they chose the way they did. We call this effect choice blindness. (shrink)
In Reason, Truth and History and certain related writings, Hilary Putnam attacked the fact-value distinction. This paper criticizes his arguments and defends the distinction. Putnam claims that factual statements presuppose values, that “the empirical world depends upon our criteria of rational acceptability,” and that “we must have criteria of rational acceptability to even have an empirical world.” The present paper argues that these claims are mistaken.
W. V. Quine has made statements about truth which are not obviously compatible, and his statements have been interpreted in more than one way. For example, Donald Davidson claims that Quine has an epistemic theory of truth, but Quine himself often says that truth is just disquotational. This paper argues that Quine should recognize two different notions of truth. One of these is disquotational, the other is empiricist. There is nothing wrong with recognizing two different notions of truth. Both may (...) be perfectly legitimate, even though, to some extent, they may be applicable in different contexts. Roughly speaking, a sentence is true in the empiricist sense if it belongs to a theory which entails all observation sentences which would be assented to by the speakers of the language in question (and no observation sentences which would be dissented from by these speakers). Various objections to this idea are discussed and rejected. (shrink)
What is privacy? What does privacy mean in relation to biobanking, in what way do the participants have an interest in privacy, (why) is there a right to privacy, and how should the privacy issue be regulated when it comes to biobank research? A relational view of privacy is argued for in this article, which takes as its basis a general discussion of several concepts of privacy and attempts at grounding privacy rights. In promoting and protecting the rights that participants (...) in biobank research might have to privacy, it is argued that their interests should be related to the specific context of the provision and reception of health care that participation in biobank research is connected with. Rather than just granting participants an exclusive right to or ownership of their health information, which must be waived in order to make biobank research possible, the privacy aspect of health information should be viewed in light of the moral rights and duties that accompany any involvement in a research based system of health services. (shrink)
The concept of need is often proposed as providing an additional or alternative criterion to cost-effectiveness in making allocation decisions in health care. If it is to be of practical value it must be sufficiently precisely characterized to be useful to decision makers. This will require both an account of how degree of need for an intervention is to be determined and a prioritization rule that clarifies how degree of need and the cost of the intervention interact in determining the (...) relative priority of the intervention. Three common features of health care interventions must be accommodated in a comprehensive theory of need: the probabilistic nature of prognosis (with and without the intervention); the time course of effects; and the fact that the most effective treatments often combine more than one intervention. These common features are problematic for the concept of need. We outline various approaches to prioritization on the basis of need and argue that some approaches are more promising than others. (shrink)
systematicity is. Until systematicity is adequately systematicity. Most contributors to these debates have clarified, we cannot know whether classical paid little or no attention to the alleged empirical.
By comparing alternative evolutionary models, the International Sexuality Description Project marks the transition of evolutionary psychology to the next level of scientific maturation. The lack of final conclusions might partly be a result of the composition of the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory and the sampled populations. Our own data suggest that correcting for both gives further support to the strategic pluralism model.
Abstract Applied ethics is commonly carried out on the assumption that moral decisions can be handled by experts. This involves a failure to recognize that being morally serious means recognizing that one cannot hand over responsibility for certain decisions to anyone else. The idea of moral expertise is shown to be based on a misconstrual of the nature of moral discourse, one that can be overcome by following Wittgenstein's exhortation to philosophers to pay heed to the actual uses of language. (...) The sense of a moral judgment cannot be considered in isolation from what the speaker is doing in the context of utterance. The author concludes by suggesting that this discussion can provide the basis for a new reading of Anscombe's essay ?Modern Moral Philosophy? (shrink)
Addressing the issue of how to read Nietzsche, this book presents an accessible series of essays for students and general readers on Nietzsche's individual works, written by such distinguished Nietzsche scholars as Frithjof Bergmann, Arthur Danto, Bernd Magnus, Christopher Middleton, Eric Blondel, Lars Gustaffson, Alexander Nehamas, Richard Schacht, Gary Shapiro, Hugh Silverman, and Ivan Soll. Among the works discussed are On the Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols and The Will to (...) Power. (shrink)