Jules Coleman, one of the world's leading philosophers of law, here presents his most mature work so far on substantive issues in legal theory and the appropriate methodology for legal theorizing. In doing so, he takes on the views of highly respected contemporaries such as Brian Leiter, Stephen Perry, and Ronald Dworkin.
In this essay, author?educator?photographer A.D. Coleman considers a number of dilemmas inherent in photographing private persons in public places. ?Street photography?; is a genre whose ethical dimensions are often overlooked, despite the photographer's efforts to humanize and universalize a moment in time. According to the author, the dilemmas of street photography are imagistic, general, and philosophical, as well as pragmatic, specific, and legislative.
This book by one of America's preeminent legal theorists is concerned with the conflict between the goals of justice and economic efficiency in the allocation of risk, especially risk pertaining to safety. The author approaches his subject from the premise that the market is central to liberal political, moral, and legal theory. In the first part of the book, he rejects traditional "rational choice" liberalism in favor of the view that the market operates as a rational way of fostering stable (...) relationships and institutions within communities of individuals with broadly divergent conceptions of the good. However, markets are needed most where they are most difficult to create and sustain, and one way to understand contract law in liberal legal theory, according to Professor Coleman, is as an institution designed to reduce uncertainty and thereby make markets possible. Another target of this book is the prevalent view that tort law helps rectify market failures when transaction costs are too high to permit contracting. The author argues instead that tort law should be understood as a way of rectifying wrongful losses not inefficient exchanges. (shrink)
In Enlightenment-era France, theologians, philosophers, and politicians contested the nature and prerogatives of human personhood with particular vehemence. Yet historians have tended to reduce these struggles to a narrative of ascendant individualism. This essay seeks to recover non-individualist formulations of the self in eighteenth-century France, and, in doing so, to offer a more nuanced account of subjectivity during the period. Out of debates over Christian mysticism, radical philosophy, and republican politics emerged two distinct and conflicting modes of formulating the self (...) 's relationship to its ideas and actions. On one side, mainstream philosophes joined Descartes, Locke, and orthodox Catholic theologians in elaborating the individual's capacity to accumulate existential goods in terms of a discourse of self-ownership. Opposition to this view, in contrast, challenged such claims by employing a discourse of dispossession, which stressed the human person's resignation to, and ultimate identification with, a totalizing force outside the self. The essay traces a specific genealogy of this discourse in the writings of Fénelon, Rousseau, and the Illuminist theologian Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, in the context of intellectual polemics ranging from the role of self-love in Christian devotion to the virtues of self-sacrifice in a republican polity. If the Fénelonian doctrine of spiritual abandon called on believers to surrender their particular desires in the love of God, Rousseau likewise demanded that citizens place their property and their persons under the direction of the general will. Saint-Martin, for his part, applied Rousseau's politics of alienation to his vision of a theocratic republic in the wake of the French Revolution, thereby posing the mystic ideal of dispossession as a means of transforming the self and its world along communal, rather than individualist, lines. (shrink)
In this paper I first examine two important assumptions underlying the argument that physicalism entails panpsychism. These need unearthing because opponents in the literature distinguish themselves from Strawson in the main by rejecting one or the other. Once they have been stated, and something has been said about the positions that reject them, the onus of argument becomes clear: the assumptions require careful defence. I believe they are true, in fact, but their defence is a large project that cannot begin (...) here. So, in the final section I comment on what follows if they are granted. I agree with Strawson that --broadly -- 'panpsychism' is the direction in which philosophy of mind should be heading; nevertheless, there are certain difficulties in the detail of his position. In light of these I argue for changes to the doctrine, bringing it into line with the slightly. (shrink)
According to the Humean theory of motivation, a person can only be motivated to act by a desire together with a relevantly related belief. More specifically, a person can only be motivated to ϕ by a desire to ψ together with a belief that ϕ-ing is a means to or a way of ψ-ing. In recent writings, Michael Smith gives what has become a very influential argument in favour of the Humean claim that desire is a necessary part of motivation, (...) and a great deal has been written about Smith's defence of this Humean claim. However, no one has yet identified the fundamental weakness of his defence. The fundamental weakness is that there is no single conception of directions of fit that does all the work Smith needs it to do throughout the various stages of his defence. (shrink)
This article is a textual analysis of messages and themes in "Calvin and Hobbes," a comic strip nationally syndicated from 1985 to 1995. The article examines the content found in "Calvin and Hobbes" to determine underlying messages concerning ethics and values. Specifically, the messages are analyzed to determine under which category of metaethics-deontological, teleological, and virtue-they fall.
Thought experiments are profitably compared to compasses. A compass is a simple but useful device for determining direction. Nevertheless, it systematically errs in the presence of magnets ...it becomes unreliable near the North Pole, in mine shafts, when vibrated, in the presence of metal ...experts will wish to use the compass as one element in a wider portfolio of navigational techniques. Analogously, thought experiments are simple but useful devices for determining the status of propositions. Sadly, they systematically err under certain (...) conditions and so are best used with sensitivity to their foibles and limited scope (Sorensen, 1992, pp. 288–289). (shrink)
This paper discusses privacy and the monitoring of e-mail in the context of the international nature of the modern world. Its three main aims are: (1) to highlight the problems involved in discussing an essentially philosophical question within a legal framework, and thus to show that providing purely legal answers to an ethical question is an inadequate approach to the problem of privacy on the Internet; (2) to discuss and define what privacy in the medium of the Internet actually is; (...) and (3) to apply a globally acceptable ethical approach of international human rights to the problem of privacy on the Internet, and thus to answer the question of what is and is not morally permissible in this area, especially in light of recent heightened concerns about terrorist activities. It concludes that the monitoring of e-mail is, at least in the vast majority of cases, an unjustified infringement of the right to privacy, even if this monitoring is only aimed at preventing the commission of acts of terrorism. (shrink)
Here it is shown that the discourse of contemporary advertising derives from verbal and visual narratives encoded in Locke's representation of American landscape. These narratives embrace the idea of nature as an artifact, the imperial self, picture theory, and palimpsest representation. They are given careful attention in this study not because of their timely value but, precisely, because they are anachronistic and widely disseminated by the advertising media, a national nostalgia industry parasitical upon an intellectual inheritance originating with Locke. Incident (...) to the popularity of Lockean ideas achieved by these means is that counter-narratives on the environment advanced by resource economics and conservation biology are rendered marginal and ineffective. (shrink)
In today’s society, models of God are challenged to account for more than the postmodern context in which Western Christianity finds itself; they should also consider the reality of religious pluralism. Non-monotheistic religions present a particular challenge to Western theological and philosophical God-modeling because they require a model of Gods. This paper uses an African traditional religion as a case study to problematize the effects of monotheism on philosophical models of God. The desire to uphold the image of a singular (...) God tends to invalidate religious experiences that deviate from a given scientifically-verifiable norm. It also mischaracterizes the concept of divinity in religions that maintain divine multiplicity. That is, scholars of African traditional religions affirm that “polytheism” is not an accurate naming of their traditions; rather these religions affirm a community of gods. I propose a Whiteheadian process model that describes a community of gods that has active interaction with the temporal world. Such a model not only broadens conversations of religious pluralism for Western-trained religious scholars, but also acknowledges the Western context in which many practitioners of African traditional religions live. (shrink)
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis — for the law of torts. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider and (...) reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous arguments by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the use of principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victims claims to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
Traditional approaches to computer ethics regard computers as tools, andfocus, therefore, on the ethics of their use. Alternatively, computer ethicsmight instead be understood as a study of the ethics of computationalagents, exploring, for example, the different characteristics and behaviorsthat might benefit such an agent in accomplishing its goals. In this paper,I identify a list of characteristics of computational agents that facilitatetheir pursuit of their end, and claim that these characteristics can beunderstood as virtues within a framework of virtue ethics. This (...) frameworkincludes four broad categories – agentive, social, environmental, and moral– each of which can be understood as a spectrum of virtues rangingbetween two extreme subcategories. Although the use of a virtue frameworkis metaphorical rather than literal, I argue that by providing a frameworkfor identifying and critiquing assumptions about what a `good' computer is,a study of android arete provides focus and direction to the developmentof future computational agents. (shrink)
One approach to legal theory is to provide some sort of rational reconstruction of all or of a large body of the common law. For philosophers of law this has usually meant trying to rationalize a body of law under one or another principle of justice. This paper explores the efforts of the leading tort theorists to provide a moral basis - in the sense of rational reconstruction based on alleged moral principles - for the law of torts. The paper (...) is divided into two parts. In the first part I consider and reject the view that tort law is best understood as falling either within the ambit of the principle of retributive justice, a comprehensive theory of moral responsibility, or an ideal of fairness inherent in the idea that one should impose on others only those risks others impose on one. The second part of the paper distinguishes among various conceptions of corrective or compensatory justice and considers arguments — including previous ones by the author himself — to the effect that tort law is best understood as rooted in principles of corrective justice. This paper argues that although the principles of justice may render defensible many (but by no means all) of the claims to repair and to liability recognized in torts, it cannot explain why we have adopted a tort system as the approach to vindicating those claims. Some other principle — probably not one of justice — is needed to explain why it is that the victim's claim to repair is satisfied by having his losses shifted to his injurer — rather than through some other means of doing so. The paper concludes that the law of torts cannot be understood — in the sense of being given a rational reconstruction — under any one principle of morality. (shrink)
Donald T. Campbell outlines an epistemological theory that attempts to be faithful to evolution through natural selection. He takes his position to be consistent with that of Karl R. Popper, whom he credits as the primary advocate of his day for natural selection epistemology. Campbell writes that neither he nor Popper want to give up the goal of objectivity or objective truth, in spite of their evolutionary epistemology. In discussing the conflict between an epistemology based on natural selection and objective (...) truth, Campbell cites an article by the German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel entitled 'On a Connection of Selection Theory to Epistemology', as presenting the issue in a notably forthright manner.The present essay summarizes Simmel's article, with the purpose of clarifying, in terms that Campbell apparently finds satisfactory, the conflict that Campbell acknowledges between an evolutionary epistemology and ultimate truth; the essay then examines the responses of Campbell and Popper to Simmel's position. While Campbell and Popper acknowledge the work of Simmel, their responses suggest something less than a full consideration of Simmel's position. (shrink)
We review three possible theoretical mechanisms for the placebo effect: conditioning, expectancy and endogenous opiates and consider the implications of the first two for clinical research and practice in the area of pain management. Methodological issues in the use of placebos as controls are discussed and include subtractive versus additive expectancy effects, no treatment controls, active placebo controls, the balanced placebo design, between- versus within-group designs, triple blind methodology and the double expectancy design. Therapeutically, the possibility of shaping negative placebo (...) responses through placebo sag, overservicing and the use of placebos on their own are explored. Suggestions for using conditioned placebos strategically in conjunction with nonplacebos are made and ways of maximizing the placebo component of nonplacebo treatments are examined. Finally, the importance of investigating the placebo effect in its own right is advocated in order to better understand the long-neglected psychological aspects of the therapeutic transaction. (shrink)
We attempt to defend the species-as-individuals hypothesis by examining the logical role played by the binomials (e.g., "Homo sapiens," "Pinus ponderosa") in biological discourse about species. Those who contend that the binomials can be properly understood as functioning in biological theory as singular terms opt for an objectual account of species and view species as individuals. Those who contend that the binomials can in principle be eliminated from biological theory in favor of predicate expressions opt for a predicative account of (...) species and view species as kinds. We contend that biologists' talk about species is talk about species as individuals, and we conclude that the most plausible account of species is an objectual account. (shrink)
This study gathered preliminary baseline data on the moral development of journalists using the Defining Issues Test (DIT), an instrument based on Kohlberg's (1969) 6 stages. Results show that a sample of journalists scored 4th highest among professionals tested using the DIT. The journalists ranked behind seminarians/philosophers, medical students, and physicians but above dental students, nurses, graduate students, undergraduate college students, veterinary students, and adults in general. No significant differences were found between various groups of journalists, including men and women, (...) and broadcast and print journalists. The journalists in the study scored significantly higher on the 3 journalism-specific dilemmas than on 3 nonjournalism dilemmas. (shrink)