I develop resources from Hume to account for moral knowledge in the qualified sense developed by Bernard Williams, according to which the proper application of thick ethical terms constitutes moral knowledge. By applying to moral discernment the criteria of the good aesthetic critic, as explained in Hume's “ Of the Standard of Taste ”, we can see how Humean moral knowledge might be possible. For each of these criteria, an analogous trait would contribute to moral discernment. These traits would enable (...) moral judges to distinguish valid from invalid uses of thick moral terms. The deliverances of such judgments constitute mitigated moral knowledge, as opposed to knowledge in the stricter sense that Hume clearly says cannot be had of moral distinctions. This account has the potential to explain how moral judgments may be valid or invalid without appealing to unique operations of the understanding and how moral knowledge might escape the threat, identified by Williams, of reflective destruction. (shrink)
Recent moral philosophy emphasizes both the particularity of ethical contexts and the complexity of human character, but the usual abstract examples make it difficult to communicate to students the importance of this particularity and complexity. Extended study of a literary text in ethics classes can help overcome this obstacle and enrich our students’ understanding and practice of mature ethical reflection. Jane Austen’s Persuasion is an ideal text for this kind of effort. Persuasion augments the resources for ethical reflection that students (...) bring to our courses, provides a multitude of fecund examples to inspire discussion, and introduces philosophical points of its own. I explain specific ways to integrate this novel into courses and why some approaches work better than others, and I highlight themes for three different levels of study: reflection on particular virtues and vices, illustration of broader ethical issues, and discussion of virtues that the philosophical literature neglects. In each case, I discuss a particular example in detail: the question of whether or not pride can be a virtue, the varieties of friendship and their relation to virtue, and the virtue of proper persuadability. These examples suggest ways in which ethics teachers might explore the resources of other literary works towards similar ends. (shrink)
Eric Watkins argues that a grasp of Leibnizian and anti-Leibnizian thought in eighteenth-century Germany helps one to see how Kant (in his critical period) argued for causal principles that have both metaphysical and epistemological elements. According to this interpretation, Kant's model of causality does not consist of events, but rather of substances endowed with causal powers that are exercised according to their natures and circumstances.
Sellars and McDowell, among others, attribute a prominent role to the Myth of the Given. In this paper, I suggest that they have in mind two different versions of the Myth of the Given and I argue that Kant is not the target of one version and, though explicitly under attack from the other, has resources sufficient to mount a satisfactory response. What is essential to this response is a proper understanding of (empirical) concepts as involving unifying functions that can (...) take sensations as input and deliver normative representations as outputs. By understanding concepts in this way, one need not, as the second version of the Myth of the Given maintains, take sensations to be both natural and normative. Instead, they can be understood as the natural effects of external objects on us, but natural effects that can nonetheless play a role in a normative process because the concepts that are responsible for the normativity of the results can require that such natural effects be present as inputs into the process. (shrink)
: This paper argues that Kant's model of causality cannot consist in one temporally determinate event causing another, as Hume had thought, since such a model is inconsistent with mutual interaction, to which Kant is committed in the Third Analogy. Rather causality occurs when one substance actively exercises its causal powers according to the unchanging grounds that constitute its nature so as to determine a change of state of another substance. Because this model invokes unchanging grounds, one can understand how (...) Kant could have thought that causal laws could be justified. Further, because this model, along with the broader ontology it presupposes, is radically different from Hume's, Kant's Second Analogy cannot be understood as a refutation of Hume's position on Hume's own terms; instead, Kant must be proposing an alternative view that competes against Hume's thoroughgoing empiricist account. (shrink)
By treating colours as sui generis intrinsic properties of objects we can maintain that (1) colours are causally responsible for colour experiences (and so agree with the physicalist) and (2) colours, along with the similarity and difference relations that colours bear to one another, are presented to us by casual observation (and so agree with the dispositionalist). The major obstacle for such a view is the causal overdetermination of colour experience. Borrowing and expanding on the works of Sydney Shoemaker and (...) Stephen Yablo, the paper offers a solution. (shrink)
Recent criticisms of non-reductive accounts of color assume that the only arguments for such accounts are a priori arguments. I put forward a posteriori arguments for a non-reductive account of colors which avoids those criticisms.
This paper considers Kant's conception of force and causality in his early pre-Critical writings, arguing that this conception is best understood by way of contrast with his immediate predecessors, such as Christian Wolff, Alexander Baumgarten, Georg Friedrich Meier, Martin Knutzen, and Christian August Crusius, and in terms of the scientific context of natural philosophy at the time. Accordingly, in the True estimation Kant conceives of force in terms of activity rather than in terms of specific effects, such as motion (as (...) unnamed Wolffians had done). Kant's explicit arguments in the Nova dilucidatio for physical influx (in the guise of the principle of succession) are directed primarily against the conception of grounds and existence held by Wolff, Baumgarten, and Meier, and only secondarily against Leibniz (by asserting the priority of bodies over mind rather than vice versa). Finally, Kant's reconciliation of the infinite divisibility of space and the unity of monads in the Physical monadology is designed to respond to objections that could be raised naturally by Wolff and Baumgarten. (shrink)
This paper considers criticisms of the author's Science and Scepticism advanced (in a Festchrift volume) by Fred D' Agostino, Graham Oddie, Elie Zahar, Alan Musgrave, and John Worrall. The criticisms concern the following topics: the aim of science, unified theoryhood, the empirical basis, corroboration by already known evidence, the idea that scientific theories need be no more than possibly (as opposed to probably or certainly) true, and the pragmatic problem of induction. Various clarifications and improvements result, and on the (...) last topic the author significantly modifies his position. (shrink)
The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of individual and firm moral philosophies on marketing exchange relationships. Personal moral philosophies range from the extreme forms of true altruists and true egoists, along with three hybrids that represent middle ground (i.e., realistic altruists, tit-for-tats, and realistic egoists). Organizational postures are defined as Ethical Paradigm, Unethical Paradigm, and Neutral Paradigm, which result in changes to personal moral philosophies and company and industry performance. The study context is a simulation of (...) an exchange environment using a variation of the prisoners' dilemma game. A literature review is provided in the opening section, followed by details on the simulation, discussion of the results, and the implications for theory and practice. (shrink)
In this article we assess the extant literature on women’s careers appearing in selected career, management and psychology journals from 1990 to the present to determine what is currently known about the state of women’s careers at the dawn of the 21st century. Based on this review, we identify four patterns that cumulatively contribute to the current state of the literature on women’s careers: women’s careers are embedded in women’s larger-life contexts, families and careers are central to women’s lives, women’s (...) career paths reflect a wide range and variety of patterns, and human and social capital are critical factors for women’s careers. We also identify paradoxes that highlight the disconnection between organizational practice and scholarly research associated with each of the identified patterns. Our overall conclusion is that male-defined constructions of work and career success continue to dominate organizational research and practice. We provide direction for a research agenda on women’s careers that addresses the development of integrative career theories relevant for women’s contemporary lives in hopes of providing fresh avenues for conceptualizing career success for women. Propositions are identified for more strongly connecting career scholarship to organizational practice in support of women’s continued career advancement. (shrink)
Archaeologists employed in governmental positions often deal with issues that produce conflicts between their professional duties to their employer, their ethical responsibilities to the resource, and their obligations as established by legislation. The paper examines some of the conflicts imposed on governmental archaeologists by each of these systems but focuses on the conflicts imposed by federal legislation and regulations on governmental archaeologists, using “Kennewick Man” as an example.
Syndromic surveillance uses new ways of gathering data to identify possible disease outbreaks. Because syndromic surveillance can be implemented to detect patterns before diseases are even identified, it poses novel problems for informed consent, patient privacy and confidentiality, and risks of stigmatization. This paper analyzes these ethical issues from the viewpoint of the patient as victim and vector. It concludes by pointing out that the new International Health Regulations fail to take full account of the ethical challenges raised by syndromic (...) surveillance. (shrink)
Non-invasive neuroimaging in humans permits direct investigation of the potential role for mesodiencephalic structures in consciousness. Activity in the superior colliculus can be correlated with the contents of consciousness, but it can be also identified for stimuli of which the subject is unaware; and consciousness of some types of visual stimuli may not require the superior colliculus. (Published Online May 1 2007).
Watkins proposes a neo-Popperian solution to the pragmatic problem of induction. He asserts that evidence can be used non-Inductively to prefer the principle that corroboration is more successful over all human history than that, Say, Counter-Corroboration is more successful either over this same period or in the future. Watkins's argument for rejecting the first counter-Corroborationist alternative is beside the point, However, As whatever is the best strategy over all human history is irrelevant to the pragmatic problem of induction (...) since we are not required to act in the past, And his argument for rejecting the second presupposes induction. (shrink)
It has often been noted that Margaret Cavendish discusses God in her writings on natural philosophy far more than one might think she ought to given her explicit claim that a study of God belongs to theology which is to be kept strictly separate from studies in natural philosophy. In this article, I examine one way in which God enters substantially into her natural philosophy, namely the role he plays in her particular version of teleology. I conclude that, while (...) Cavendish has some resources with which to partially alleviate this tension, she is nonetheless left with a significant difficulty. (shrink)