In this wide-ranging study, Quinn argues that human moral autonomy is compatible with unqualified obedience to divine commands. He formulates several versions of the crucial assumptions of divine command ethics, defending them against a battery of objections often expressed in the philosophical literature.
Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of (...) substantial, practical moral issues. For example, there are important pieces here on the permissibility of abortion, the justification (if any) of punishing criminals when no particular good seems likely to result, and on the distinction between killing and allowing to die, a distinction crucial to the subject of euthanasia and other topics in medical ethics. The volume would be ideally suited to upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on the foundations of ethics. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen of the best papers by the late PhilipQuinn, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion. It covers the following topics: religious epistemology, religious ethics, religion and tragic dilemmas, religion and political liberalism, topics in Christian philosophy, and religious diversity.
These essays are the fruit of many years' research by one of the world's leading Hobbes scholars. Noel Malcolm offers not only succinct introductions to Hobbes's life and thought, but also path-breaking studies of many different aspects of his political philosophy, his scientific and religious theories, his relations with his contemporaries, the sources of his ideas, the printing history of his works, and his influence on European thought.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge in 1951, is one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was essentially a private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein, which was published in 1958 and was immediately recognized as a moving and truthful portrait of this gifted, difficult man. -/- This edition includes also the complete text of the fifty-seven letters which Wittgenstein wrote to (...)Malcolm over a period of eleven years. Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished. They reveal how much friendships mattered to Wittgenstein, and how concerned he was for the health and well-being of his friends. His human qualities become evident; he advises, warns, jokes. and is grateful and affectionate. -/- The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by another leading philosopher who was a friend of Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright. -/- Much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, but nothing brings us closer to the man himself than this modest classic of philosophical biography. -/- . (shrink)
Acclaimed writer and historian Noel Malcolm presents his sensational discovery of a new work by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): a propaganda pamphlet on behalf of the Habsburg side in the Thirty Years' War, translated by Hobbes from a Latin original. Malcolm's book explores a fascinating episode in seventeenth-century history, illuminating both the practice of early modern propaganda and the theory of "reason of state".
In this book, Malcolm presents a new and radical interpretation of Plato's earlier dialogues. He argues that the few cases of self-predication contained therein are acceptable simply as statements concerning universals, and that therefore Plato is not vulnerable in these cases to the Third Man Argument. In considering the middle dialogues, Malcolm takes a conservative stance, rejecting influential current doctrines which portray the Forms as being not self-predicative. He shows that the middle dialogues do indeed take Forms to (...) be both universals and paradigms, and thus to exemplify themselves. The author goes on to consider why Plato should have been unsuccessful in avoiding self-predication. He shows that Plato's concern to explain how the truths of mathematics can indeed be true played an important role in his postulation of the Form as an Ideal Individual. The author concludes with the claim that reflection on the ambiguity of the notion of the "Standard Yard" may help us to appreciate why Plato failed to distinguish Forms as universals from Forms as paradigm cases. (shrink)
Philippa Foot is one of the most original and widely respected philosophers of our time; her work has exerted a lasting influence on the development of moral philosophy. In tribute to her, twelve leading philosophers from both sides of the Atlantic have contributed essays exploring the various topics in moral philosophy to which she has made a distinctive contribution--virtue ethics, naturalism, non-cognitivism, relativism, categorical requirements, and the role of rationality in morality.
This essay outlines an account of virtue ethics applied to the profession of journalism. Virtue ethics emphasizes character before consequences, requires the "good" prior to the "right," and allows for agent-relative as well as agent-neutral values. This essay offers an exploration of the internal characteristics of a good journalist by focusing on moral virtues crucial to journalism. First, the essay outlines the general tenets of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Second, it offers arguments touting virtue ethics in comparison with other popular normative (...) theories such as Mill's utilitarianism and Kant's deontology. Finally, an original account of journalistic virtue ethics is offered, with an emphasis on the virtues of justice and integrity. (shrink)
This paper compares Wittgenstein's conception of ?objective certainty? with Descartes's ?metaphysical certainty?. According to both conceptions if you are certain of something in these senses, then it is inconceivable that you are mistaken. But a striking difference is that for Descartes, if you are metaphysically certain of something it follows both that the something is so and that you know it is so; whereas on Wittgenstein's conception neither thing follows. I try to show that there is a form of ?scepticism? (...) in Wittgenstein's outlook on the concept of certainty, although it is not the familiar Philosophical Scepticism. The Appendix takes issue with a recent essay by John Cook which argues that the ?hinge propositions? of On Certainty are based on ?the metaphysics of phenomenalism? (shrink)
Good journalism is based—and to some extent thrives—on a diversity of perspectives from those who supply information and informed opinions to the public. New media journalism is a contemporary newsgathering and disseminating method with enormous communication potential because it is an online forum that can connect a great number of diverse contributors and audiences. Citizen journalism—performed on a global level through the Web—is a potential marvel because of its wide reach and range of diversity. This paper offers an examination and (...) philosophical analysis that shows which facets of new media information ethics and epistemology can be reconciled with universal ethical and epistemological principles and which, if any, cannot. To that end, we wish to provide groundwork for the description and critical evaluation of universal ethical and epistemic standards consistent with the phenomenon of new media journalism. (shrink)
To date, the study of business ethics has been largely the study of the ethics of large companies. This paper is concerned with owner/managers of small firms and the link between the personal ethics of the owner/manager and his or her attitude to ethical problems in business. By using active membership of an organisation with an overt ethical dimension (for example, a church) as a surrogate for personal ethics the research provides some, though not unequivocal, support for the models of (...) Trevino and others that suggest a link between personal ethics and business ethics. (shrink)
Although higher education understands the need to develop critical thinkers, it has not lived up to the task consistently. Students are graduating deficient in these skills, unprepared to think critically once in the workforce. Limited development of cognitive processing skills leads to less effective leaders. Various definitions of critical thinking are examined to develop a general construct to guide the discussion as critical thinking is linked to constructivism, leadership, and education. Most pedagogy is content-based built on deep knowledge. Successful critical (...) thinking pedagogy is moving away from this paradigm, teaching students to think complexly. Some of the challenges faced by higher education moving to a critical thinking curricula are discussed, and recommendations are offered for improving outcomes. (shrink)
This paper critically examines what Nicholas Wolterstorff has to say in Divine Discourse in response to the two questions in the title. It tries to show that his argument for the conclusion that God can have the obligations of a speaker is defective. It also tries to show that his argument for the conclusion that some actual person is entitled to believe that God has spoken to her is incomplete. The paper's conclusion is that Wolterstorff's arguments fail to establish, or (...) to provide strong grounds for accepting, a positive answer to either of the questions in its title. (shrink)
This paper is a critical and exploratory discussion of Plantinga’s claim that certain propositions which self-evidently entail the existence of God could be properly basic. In the critical section, I argue that Plantinga fails to show that the modem foundationalist’s criterion for proper basicality, according to which such propositions could not be properly basic, is self-referentially incoherent or otherwise defective. In the exploratory section, I try to build a case for the view that, even if such propositions could be properly (...) basic, they would seldom, if ever, be properly basic for intellectually sophisticated adult theists in our culture. (shrink)
The author has surveyed a quarter of the accredited undergraduate computer science programs in the United States. More than half of these programs offer a “social and ethical implications of computing” course taught by a computer science faculty member, and there appears to be a trend toward teaching ethics classes within computer science departments. Although the decision to create an “in house” computer ethics course may sometimes be a pragmatic response to pressure from the accreditation agency, this paper argues that (...) teaching ethics within a computer science department can provide students and faculty members with numerous benefits. The paper lists topics that can be covered in a computer ethics course and offers some practical suggestions for making the course successful. (shrink)
In this paper I develop a social conception of integrity while still holding onto the original meaning of the term. To that end I build mainly on the works of Cheshire Calhoun, whose view of integrity, developed over a decade ago, I consider to be one of the best, Charles Taylor, who has an insightful understanding of the self, which helps provide a richer conception of integrity than I believe Calhoun developed, and Lawrence Langer, who gives an instructive critique of (...) Taylor, which I use to provide the foundation for an integrity richly grounded in community. Finally I discuss how community can contribute to or diminish one’s integrity and how it can help restore one’s integrity if it has been diminished or lost. (shrink)
THIS PAPER IS A STUDY OF KANT’S ATTEMPT TO RECONSTRUCT THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT WITHIN THE LIMITS OF REASON. IT BEGINS WITH A BRIEF SKETCH OF ANSELM’S SATISFACTION-THEORETIC ACCOUNT OF ATONEMENT AND THEN PRESENTS THE MAIN OBJECTIONS TO THAT ACCOUNT. NEXT KANT’S ACCOUNT OF ATONEMENT IS GIVEN A DETAILED EXPOSITION, AND IT IS SHOWN THAT IT AVOIDS THE DIFFICULTIES THAT PLAGUE ANSELM’S ACCOUNT. KANT’S ACCOUNT IS THEN SUBJECTED TO CRITICISM.
The boundaries of honesty are the focal point of this exploration of the individualistic origins of modernist ethics and the consequent need for a more pragmatic approach to business ethics. The tendency of modernist ethics to see honesty as an individual responsibility is described as a contextually naive approach, one that fails to account for the interactive effects between individual choices and corporate norms. By reviewing the empirical accounts of managerial struggles with ethical dilemmas, the article arrives at the contextual (...) preconditions for encouraging the development of reflective moral agents in modern corporations. (shrink)
In this response to the papers on Jonathan Edwards's ethical thought by Stephen A. Wilson, Gerald R. McDermott, William C. Spohn, and Roland A. Delattre, I comment on their efforts to show that ideas drawn from Edwards can be successfully appropriated for use in contemporary ethics. I conclude that the four authors build a strong cumulative case for the view that some elements of Edwards's thought can serve as resources for our ethical reflections. But I also argue for a deflationary (...) view of how much of Edwards we will find it feasible to take on board when we engage in the task of working out a religious ethics we might accept. (shrink)