We hope—even as we doubt—that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing—but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity.This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. Yet these (...) traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Ecospirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activateimagination, humor, ritual, and hope. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue for a particular informative and unified analysis of normative reasons. According to this analysis, a fact F is a reason to act in a certain way just in case it is evidence that one ought to act in that way. Similarly, F is a reason to believe a certain proposition just in case it is evidence for the truth of this proposition. Putting the relatively uncontroversial claim about reasons for belief to one side, we present (...) several arguments in favor of our analysis of reasons for action. We then turn to consider a series of objections to the analysis. We conclude that there are good reasons to accept the analysis and that the objections do not succeed. (shrink)
The paper challenges Williamson’s safety based explanation for why we cannot know the cut-off point of vague expressions. We assume throughout (most of) the paper that Williamson is correct in saying that vague expressions have sharp cut-off points, but we argue that Williamson’s explanation for why we do not and cannot know these cut-off points is unsatisfactory. -/- In sect 2 we present Williamson's position in some detail. In particular, we note that Williamson's explanation relies on taking a particular safety (...) principle ('Meta-linguistic belief safety' or 'MBS') as a necessary condition on knowledge. In section 3, we show that even if MBS were a necessary condition on knowledge, that would not be sufficient to show that we cannot know the cut-off points of vague expressions. In section 4, we present our main case against Williamson's explanation: we argue that MBS is not a necessary condition on knowledge, by presenting a series of cases where one's belief violates MBS but nevertheless constitutes knowledge. In section 5, we present and respond to an objection to our view. And in section 6, we briefly discuss the possible directions a theory of vagueness can take, if our objection to Williamson's theory is taken on board. (shrink)
It is commonly held that no one can be morally responsible for a necessary truth. In this paper, I will provide various examples that cast doubt on this idea. I also show that one popular argument for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and determinism (van Inwagen’s Direct Argument) fails given my examples.
Alfred Mele’s zygote argument for incompatibilism is based on a case involving an agent in a deterministic world whose entire life is planned by someone else. Mele’s contention is that Ernie (the agent) is unfree and that normal determined agents are relevantly similar to him with regards to free will. In this paper, I examine four different ways of understanding this argument and then criticize each interpretation. I then extend my criticism to manipulation arguments in general. I conclude that the (...) zygote argument is no threat to compatibilism. (shrink)
This paper explores Church's Thesis and related claims madeby Turing. Church's Thesis concerns computable numerical functions, whileTuring's claims concern both procedures for manipulating uninterpreted marksand machines that generate the results that these procedures would yield. Itis argued that Turing's claims are true, and that they support (the truth of)Church's Thesis. It is further argued that the truth of Turing's and Church'sTheses has no interesting consequences for human cognition or cognitiveabilities. The Theses don't even mean that computers can do as much (...) as peoplecan when it comes to carrying out effective procedures. For carrying out aprocedure is a purposive, intentional activity. No actual machine does, orcan do, as much. (shrink)
Ryle (1949, Chapter V) discusses a range of predicates which in different ways exemplify a property I shall call quasi-duality - they appear to report two actions or events in one predicate. Quasi-duality is the key property of predicates Ryle classed as achievements. Ryle's criteria for classification were not temporal or aspectual, and Vendler's subsequent adoption of the term achievement for the aktionsart of momentary events changes the term - Rylean achievements and Vendlerian achievements are in principle different classes. Nevertheless, (...) I shall argue in this paper that certain kinds of quasi-duality do have aspectual significance. This paper examines a number of quasi-dual predicates which are not generally discussed in the aktionsart literature, including break a promise, miscount, and cure the patient. Two types of quasi-dual predicates are identified and dubbed criterion predicates and causative upshot predicates. It is shown that both types of quasi-dual predicate lack process progressives, despite being durative, and it is argued that the lack of process progressives identifies these predicates as (aspectual) achievements. They are termed durative achievements to distinguish them from canonical, momentary achievements. It is argued that these predicates lack process progressives, and hence are achievements, because they express individual-level predicates on the event argument. A process progressive is stage-level for the event, and hence is incompatible with a predicate which is lexically individual-level for the event. (shrink)
This paper uses the resources of illocutionary logic to provide a new understanding of the Liar Paradox. In the system of illocutionary logic of the paper, denials are irreducible counterparts of assertions; denial does not in every case amount to the same as the assertion of the negation of the statement that is denied. Both a Liar statement, (a) Statement (a) is not true, and the statement which it negates can correctly be denied; neither can correctly be asserted. A Liar (...) statement, more precisely, an attempted Liar statement, fails to fulfill conditions essential to statements, but no linguistic rules are violated by the attempt. Ordinary language, our ordinary practice of using language, is not inconsistent or incoherent because of the Liar. We are committed to deny Liars, but not to accept or assert them. This understanding of the Liar Paradox and its sources cannot be fully accommodated in a conventional logical system, which fails to mark the distinction between sentences/statements and illocutionary acts of accepting, rejecting, and supposing statements. (shrink)
This paper further develops the system of illocutionary logic presented in ?Propositional logic of supposition and assertion? (Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 1997, 38, 325-349) to accommodate an ?I believe that? operator and resolve Moore's Paradox. This resolution is accomplished by providing both a truth-conditional and a commitment-based semantics. An important feature of the logical system is that the correctness of some arguments depends on who it is that makes the argument. The paper then shows that the logical system (...) can be expanded to resolve the surprise execution paradox puzzle. The prisoner's argument showing that he can't be executed by surprise is correct but his beliefs are incoherent. The judge's beliefs (and our beliefs) about this situation are not incoherent. (shrink)
Diagnostic self-testing devices are being developed for many illnesses, chronic diseases and infections. These will be used in hospitals, at point-of-care facilities and at home. Designed to allow earlier detection of diseases, self-testing diagnostic devices may improve disease prevention, slow the progression of disease and facilitate better treatment outcomes. These devices have the potential to benefit both the individual and society by enabling individuals to take a more proactive role in the maintenance of their health and by helping society improve (...) health and reduce health costs. However, the full implications of future home-based diagnostic technology for individuals and society remain unclear due to their novelty. We argue that the development of diagnostic tools, especially for home use, will heighten a number of ethical challenges. This paper will explore some of the ethical implications of home-based self-testing diagnostic devices for the autonomous and relational dimensions of the person. This will be facilitated by examining the impact of diagnostic devices for individual autonomy, for the delivery of accurate diagnosis and for the personal significance of the information for the user. The latter will be examined using Charles Taylor's view of personhood and his emphasis on human agency and interpretation. While the ethical issues are not necessarily new, the development of home-based self-testing diagnostic devices will make issues regarding autonomy, accuracy of information and personal significance more and more demanding. This will be the case particularly when an individual's autonomous choices come into conflict with the person's relational responsibilities. (shrink)
The main aim of the book is to provide a good understanding of a range of semantic phenomena and issues in semantics, adopting a truth-conditional account of meaning, but without using a compositional formalism. The book assumes no particular background in linguistics of philosophy, and all the technical tools used are explained as they are introduced. They style is accessible, with numerous examples.
I have argued recently that compatibilism cannot resist in a principled way the temptation to prepunish people, and that it thus emerges as a much more radical view than is typically presented and perceived; and is at odds with fundamental moral intuitions (Smilansky 2007a). Stephen Kearns (2008) has replied, arguing that ‘Smilansky has not shown that compatibilism cannot resist prepunishment. Prepunishment is so bizarre that it can be resisted by just about anybody’. I would like to examine his challenging (...) arguments. (shrink)
The anthology, Feminist Bioethics, edited by Jackie Leach Scully, Laurel E. Baldwin-Ragaven, and Petya Fitzpatrick, examines how feminist bioethics theoretically and methodologically challenges mainstream bioethics, and whether these approaches are useful for exploring difference in other contexts. It offers critical conceptual analyses of "autonomy", "universality", and "trust", and covers topics such as testing for hereditary cancer, prenatal selection for sexual orientation, midwifery, public health, disability, Indigenous research reform in Australia, and China's one child policy.
In his recent paper in History and Philosophy of Logic, John Kearns argues for a solution of the Liar paradox using an illocutionary logic (Kearns 2007 ). Paraconsistent approaches, especially dialetheism, which accepts the Liar as being both true and false, are rejected by Kearns as making no ?clear sense? (p. 51). In this critical note, I want to highlight some shortcomings of Kearns' approach that concern a general difficulty for supposed solutions to (semantic) antinomies like (...) the Liar. It is not controversial that there are languages which avoid the Liar. For example, the language which consists of the single sentence ?Benedict XVI was born in Germany? lacks the resources to talk about semantics at all and thus avoids the Liar. Similarly, more interesting languages such as the propositional calculus avoid the Liar by lacking the power to express semantic concepts or to quantify over propositions. Kearns also agrees with the dialetheist claim that natural languages are semantically closed (i.e. are able to talk about their sentences and the semantic concepts and distinctions they employ). Without semantic closure, the Liar would be no real problem for us (speakers of natural languages). But given the claim, the expressive power of natural languages may lead to the semantic antinomies. The dialetheist argues for his position by proposing a general hypothesis (cf. Bremer 2005 , pp. 27?28): ?(Dilemma) A linguistic framework that solves some antinomies and is able to express its linguistic resources is confronted with strengthened versions of the antinomies?. Thus, the dialetheist claims that either some semantic concepts used in a supposed solution to a semantic antinomy are inexpressible in the framework used (and so, in view of the claim, violate the aim of being a model of natural language), or else old antinomies are exchanged for new ones. One horn of the dilemma is having inexpressible semantic properties. The other is having strengthened versions of the antinomies, once all semantic properties used are expressible. This dilemma applies, I claim, to Kearns' approach as well. (shrink)
This collection of ground-breaking essays considers the many dimensions of prayer: how prayer relates us to the divine; prayer's ability to reveal what is essential about our humanity; the power of prayer to transform human desire and action; and the relation of prayer to cognition. It takes up the meaning of prayer from within a uniquely phenomenological point of view, demonstrating that the phenomenology of prayer is as much about the character and boundaries of phenomenological analysis as it is about (...) the heart of religious life.The contributors: Michael F. Andrews, Bruce Ellis Benson, Mark Cauchi, Benjamin Crowe, Mark Gedney, Philip Goodchild, Christina M. Gschwandtner, Lissa McCullough, Cleo McNelly Kearns, Edward F. Mooney, B. Keith Putt, Jill Robbins, Brian Treanor, Merold Westphal, Norman Wirzba, Terence Wright and Terence and James R. Mensch. Bruce Ellis Benson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College. He is the author of Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion on Modern Idolatry and The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue: A Phenomenology of Music. Norman Wirzba is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown College, Kentucky. He is the author of The Paradise of God and editor of The Essential Agrarian Reader. (shrink)
Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...) Many have thought that, intuitively, you should not. Recently, Alfred Mele has employed this line of thought to mount what many have taken to be a powerful argument for incompatibilism: the “Zygote Argument”. However, in interesting new papers, John Martin Fischer and Stephen Kearns have each independently argued that the Zygote Argument fails. As I see it, the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns reveal some important questions about how the argument is meant to be—or how it would best be—understood. Once we make a slight (but important) modification to the argument, however, I think we will be able to see that the criticisms of Fischer and Kearns do not detract from its substantial force. (shrink)
In a series of recent papers Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star argue that normative reasons to ϕ simply are evidence that one ought to ϕ, and suggest that “evidence” in this context is best understood in standard Bayesian terms. I contest this suggestion.
Although in modern times and clinical settings, we rarely see the old characteristics of tribal shamanism such as deep trances, out-of-body experiences, and soul retrieval, the archetypal dreams, waking visions and active imagination of modern depth psychology represents a liminal zone where ancient and modern shamanism overlaps with analytical psychology. These essays explore the contributors' excursions as healers and therapists into this zone. The contributors describe the many facets shamanism and depth psychology have in common: animal symbolism; recognition of the (...) reality of the collective unconscious; and healing rituals that put therapist and patient in touch with transpersonal powers. By reintroducing the core of shamanism in contemporary form, these essays shape a powerful means of healing that combines the direct contact with the inner psyche one finds in shamanism with the self-reflection and critical awareness of modern consciousness. The essays draw from the contributors' experiences both inside and outside the consulting room, and with cultures that include the Lakota Sioux, and those of the Peruvian Andes and the Hawaiian Islands. The focus is on those aspects of shamanism most useful and relevant to the modern practice of depth psychology. As a result, these explorations bring the young practice of analytical psychology into perspective as part of a much more ancient heritage of shamanistic healing. Contributors: Margaret Laurel Allen, Norma Churchill, Arthur Colman, Lori Cromer, Patricia Damery, C. Jess Groesbeck, Pansy Hawk Wing, June Kounin, Carol McRae, Pilar Montero, Jeffrey A. Raff, Janet S. Robinson, Meredith Sabini, Dyane N. Sherwood, Sara Spaulding-Phillips, Bradley A. Te Paske and Louis M. Vuksinick. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Political scientist James Fishkin has devised ?deliberative polling? as a means to better informed, more autonomous, and more reflective participant opinion. After a deliberative poll, this improved form of public opinion can be disseminated to the general public and to policy makers so as to influence public opinion (as it is normally construed) and public policy. Close examination of the results of deliberative polling, however, suggests no evidence of a normatively desirable gain in informed, autonomous, or considered opinion?as opposed (...) to minor gains in participants' general political knowledge and in ideological constraint, which is likely attributable to the pre-packaged ?expert? views set forth in the briefing materials provided to the participants. (shrink)
Some anthropogenic environmental changes that produce net benefits for the current generation will also produce foreseeable net harms to future generations. Well recognized as “time-lag effects,” these changes are environmental issues with strongly differential benefits and burdens between generations. Some of the world’s largest environmental issues fall into this category, including biodiversity loss and global climate change. The intractability of these issues for Western governments is not merely a practical problem of avoiding unpopular policy options; it is a theoretical problem (...) for liberal democracy. Current conceptions of political legitimacy authorize governments to act for the benefit of their respective current citizens but not for future generations. A liberal democratic government is not authorized to enact policies for the benefit of future generations if so doing would entail unwanted constraints on the current electorate. To do so would fall beyond the jurisdiction—the legitimate scope of decision making—of government. The result is an entire category of environmental issues that is largely beyond the jurisdiction of government to resolve. These are ultra vires (beyond jurisdiction) environmental issues. To the extent that the concept of sustainability embodies intergenerational justice, then current conceptions of political legitimacy are impeding sustainability. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Laurel Gleason contends that deliberative polling constrains the autonomy of participants and substitutes the ideas and agendas of ?experts? for those of the deliberators. However, the format and informational constraints faced by participants in deliberative forums are no worse, and are in many ways better, than those faced by ordinary citizens. The real problem with deliberative polls is that if they were to become popular, it would be tempting for interest groups and partisan elites to create polls in (...) which the constraints and briefing materials subtly tilted the participants in a desired direction. Public criticism of biased deliberative polls would, in turn, invite biased criticism of unbiased polls. In short, ?policing? the quality of deliberative polls could recreate the very pathologies of real-world democratic discourse that the polls are designed to rectify. However, this problem is not insurmountable, because the participants themselves can police the proceedings by questioning the veracity and balance of the briefing materials. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Contrary to LaurelGleason's assertions, Deliberative Polling among random samples is not a process that is dominated by ?experts? or by certain categories of deliberator; it produces genuine gains among the participants in knowledge of information that has been verified as true and relevant; it does not cause ideological polarization; and it is not intended as a substitute for, rather than a supplement to, deliberation on the part of the general public.
Glover's planning–control model accommodates a substantial number of findings from subjects who have motor deficits as a consequence of brain lesions. A number of consistently observed and robust findings are not, however, explained by Glover's theory; additionally, the claim that the IPL supports planning whereas the SPL supports control is not consistently supported in the literature.
The offering which the most prominent leader of the younger generation of the historical school has made to the founder and head of that school, Wilhelm Roscher, at the fiftieth anniversary of his doctorate, is a most fitting tribute.(1) It is as if Schmoller had presented a laurel- wreathed portrait of the veteran's intellectual self. A vigorous sketch, which forms the centre of the book (pp. 147171), shows Roscher's place and significance in political economy, and around this Schmoller has (...) set a frame of older sketches, consisting chiefly of the literary portraits which he has made of other economists, as occasion served, during the twenty-five years between 1863 and 1888, and made, too, in the light of the historical school. It is this. latter element which gives unity to the book. Embodied in these portraits a whole literary epoch stands before us an epoch which includes the beginning and growth of the political economy founded by Roscher upon historical method, its battles and victories and renewed battles. The life-stage upon which Roscher's scientific mission was fulfilled is thus faithfully exhibited to us. (shrink)
Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch (...) on consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
Science, Richard Holmes suc- ISBN 9780375422225. Paper, Harper, ceeds admirably in pursing the London, 2009. £9.99, C$21.95. ISBN latter meaning, though he has 9780007149537. Vintage, New York, ambitions also to explore the 2010. $17.95. ISBN 9781400031870. former. Holmes, a biographer of Shelley, Coleridge, and Dr. Johnson, has woven together several tales of English scientists who ventured to exotic lands, flung themselves into love affairs, and wrote sonnets to science. The likes of Joseph Banks, William and Caroline Herschel, Mungo Park, (...) and Humphry Davy displayed, in the calmer English manner (even if the Herschels stemmed from Hanover), the kind of personalities that discovered the “beauty,” if not exactly the “terror,” of science. Holmes dishes up the faux terror in his chapter on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, although the wilder opinions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who passes through his pages in a drug-induced ramble, are unsettling enough. The lives of the individuals whose accomplishments Holmes depicts are bracketed by James Cook’s ﬁ rst voyage to the South Paciﬁ c (1768–1771) and Darwin’s Beagle adventure (1831–1836). With dexterity and considerable but unobtrusive scholarship, Holmes goes far to reveal “the scientiﬁ c process by which a mind of acknowledged power actually proceeds in the path of successful enquiry.” That last line comes from David Brewster’s Life of Sir Isaac Newton (1831). The minds Holmes depicts, however, stand deep in the shadow of the standard by which Brewster gauged scientiﬁ c power. Joseph Banks, botanist and long-time president of the Royal Society, serves Holmes as his Virgil, helping to link together the lives of his other protagonists. Banks gained his scientiﬁ c reputation as a botanist on Cook’s ﬁ rst voyage, though Holmes only touches lightly on the botanical work. He rather lingers, as a deft biographer might, over the scientist’s.. (shrink)