: This paper proposes to supplement an American self-identity predicated on a model of absolute difference from the Taliban (good versus evil, etc.) by exploring affinities between their respective ideologies. The place of "woman," within and through the preponderance of sexual exploitation/violence common to both, is the starting point of this analysis. This article reads the two conflicting powers in a Lacanian/Zizekian dyad of the "Law" and its "obscene superego underside.".
In the contemporary debate on moral status, it is not uncommon to find philosophers who embrace the following basic moral principle: -/- The Principle of Full Moral Status: The degree to which an entity E possesses moral status is proportional to the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties until a threshold degree of morally relevant properties possession is reached, whereupon the degree to which E possesses morally relevant properties may continue to increase, but the degree to which E (...) possesses moral status remains the same. -/- One philosopher who has contributed significantly to the contemporary debate on moral status and embraces the Principle of Full Moral Status is MaryAnne Warren. Warren holds not only that it is possible for some entities to possess full moral status, but that some entities actually do, e.g., normal adult human beings. I argue that two of Warren’s primary arguments for the Principle of Full Moral Status—the Argument from Pragmatism and the Argument from Explanatory Power—are significantly flawed. (shrink)
In her book, Moral Status, MaryAnne Warren defends a comprehensive theory of the moral status of various entities. Under this theory, she argues that animals may have some moral rights but that their rights are much weaker in strength than the rights of humans, who have rights in the fullest, strongest sense. Subsequently, Warren believes that our duties to animals are far weaker than our duties to other humans. This weakness is especially evident from the fact that (...) Warren believes that it is frequently permissible for humans to kill animals for food. Warren’s argument for her view consists primarily in the belief that we have inevitable practical conflicts with animals that make it impossible to grant them equal rights without sacrificing basic human interests. However, her arguments fail to justify her conclusions. In particular, Warren fails to justify her beliefs that animals do not have an equal right to life and that it is permissible for humans to kill animals for food. (shrink)
Warren’s goal is to present a ‘multi-criterial’ account of moral status—she eschews any view that holds ‘X has moral status iff X has N’ (where ‘N’ might be life, or personhood, or sentience, for example). Moral status, she asserts, is a more complex affair: it comes in degrees and there are a variety of sufficient conditions. The first part of the book (roughly three quarters of it) is devoted to outlining some standard ‘uni-lateral’ accounts, criticising them in so far as (...) they purport to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for status, but selecting the plausible parts of each to come together later in the multi-criterial account. (shrink)
[Sebastian Gardner] German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in terms (...) of its combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of (objectual) relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [PaulFranks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
The connection between idealizations, competence and multi-level explanations in cognitive psychology is discussed, in response to Patterson's () reply to Franks (). I argue that idealizations are inherent in competence explanations and as a result, such explanations cannot be formulated in the multi-level terms widely used in the cognitive sciences. Patterson's argument was that neither competence nor performance involve idealizations, and, since they are separate 'systems', it is inappropriate to apply a single multi-level explanation to them. I suggest that (...) there is evidence that, although competence and performance are very often explicated in terms of levels of description, both none the less involve idealizations. However, I also suggest that Patterson's argument rests on confounding the demarcation of cognitive explanations with the demarcation of cognitive systems. Hence, even if competence and performance are different levels of a single system, questions concerning idealizations still arise when they are combined in an explanation. (shrink)
MaryAnne Warren explores a theoretical question which lies at the heart of practical ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? In other words, what are the criteria for being an entity towards which people have moral obligations? Some philosophers maintain that there is one intrinsic property--for instance, life, sentience, humanity, or moral agency. Others believe that relational properties, such as belonging to a human community, are more important. In Part I of the book, Warren argues (...) that no single property can serve as the sole criterion for moral status; instead, life, sentience, moral agency, and social and biotic relationships are all relevant, each in a different way. She presents seven basic principles, each focusing on a property that can, in combination with others, legitimately affect an agent's moral obligations towards entities of a given type. In Part II, these principles are applied in an examination of three controversial ethical issues: voluntary euthanasia, abortion, and the moral status of animals. (shrink)
MaryAnne Perkins re-examines Coleridge's claim to have developed a "logosophic" system which attempted "to reduce all knowledges into harmony." She pays particular attention to his later writings, some of which are still unpublished. She suggests that the accusations of plagiarism and of muddled, abstruse metaphysics which have been levelled at him may be challenged by a thorough reading of his work in which its unifying principle is revealed. She explores the various meanings of the term "logos," a (...) recurrent theme in every area of Coleridge's thought--philosophy, religion, natural science, history, political and social criticism, literary theory, and psychology. Coleridge was responding to the concerns of his own time, a revolutionary age in which increasing intellectual and moral fragmentation and confusion seemed to him to threaten both individuals and society. Drawing on the whole of Western intellectual history, he offered a ground for philosophy which was relational rather than mechanistic. He is one of those few thinkers whose work appears to become more interesting and his perceptions more acute as the historical gulf widens. This book is a contribution to the reassessment that he deserves. (shrink)
(2013). Review of Jeffrey P. Spike, Thomas R. Cole, Richard Buday, Freeman Williams, and Mary Ann Pendino, The Brewsters. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 52-54. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2013.760988.
Anne-Marie Weidler Kubanek: Nothing less than an adventure: Ellen Gleditsch and her life in science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9119-8 Authors Marelene Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Geoff Rayner-Canham, Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL, Canada Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
: If liberal theory is to move forward, it must take the political nature of family relations seriously. The beginnings of such a liberalism appear in Mary Wollstonecraft's work. Wollstonecraft's depiction of the family as a fundamentally political institution extends liberal values into the private sphere by promoting the ideal of marriage as friendship. However, while her model of marriage diminishes arbitrary power in family relations, she seems unable to incorporate enduring sexual relations between married partners.
A History of Women Philosophers, Volume I: Ancient Women Philoophers, 600 B.C. - 500 A.D., edited by Mary Ellen Waithe, is an important but somewhat frustrating book. It is filled with tantalizing glimpses into the lives and thoughts of some of our earliest philosophical foremothers. Yet it lacks a clear unifying theme, and the abrupt transitions from one philosopher and period to the next are sometimes disconcerting. The overall effect is not unlike that of viewing an expansive landscape, (...) illuminated only by a few tiny spotlights. (shrink)
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument (KA) aims to prove, by means of a thought experiment concerning the hypothetical scientist Mary, that conscious experiences have non-physical properties, called qualia. Mary has complete scientific knowledge of colours and colour vision without having had any colour experience. The central intuition in the KA is that, by seeing colours, Mary will learn what it is like to have colour experiences. Therefore, her scientific knowledge is incomplete, and conscious experiences have qualia. In this (...) paper I consider an objection to the KA raised by Daniel Dennett. He maintains that the KA is vitiated by Jackson’s account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. While endorsing this criticism, I will defend the plausibility and relevance of the type of strategy involved in the KA by offering an account of Mary’s scientific knowledge. This account involves formulating a reasonable and not immediately false version of the physicalist thesis with regard to colour experiences. Whether this version of the KA is successful against this type of physicalism is not investigated here. (shrink)
Mary is confined to a black-and-white room, is educated through black-and-white books and through lectures relayed on black-and white television. In this way she learns everything there is to know about the physical nature of the world. She knows all the physical facts about us and our environment, in a wide sense of 'physical' which includes everything in completed physics, chemistry, and neurophysiology, and all there is to know about the causal and relational facts consequent upon all this, including (...) of course functional roles. If physicalism is true, she knows all there is to know. For to suppose otherwise is to suppose that there is more to know than every physical fact, and that is just what physicalis.. (shrink)
The Knowledge Argument of Frank Jackson has not persuaded physicalists, but their replies have not dispelled the intuition that someone raised in a black and white environment gains genuinely new knowledge when she sees colors for the first time. In what follows, we propose an explanation of this particular kind of knowledge gain that displays it as genuinely new, but orthogonal to both physicalism and phenomenology. We argue that Mary’s case is an instance of a common phenomenon in which (...) something new is learned as the result of exploiting representational resources that were not previously exploited, and that this results in gaining genuinely new information. (shrink)
Feared and admired in equal measure, Mary Midgely has carefully, yet profoundly challenged many of the scientific and moral orthodoxies of the twentieth century. The Essential Mary Midgley collects for the first time the very best of this famous philosopher's work, described by the Financial Times as "commonsense philosophy of the highest order." This anthology includes carefully chosen selections from her best-selling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry and The Myths We Live By . It (...) provides a superb and eminently accessible insight into questions she has returned to again and again in her renowned sharp prose, from the roots of human nature, reason and imagination to the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment. It offers an unrivalled introduction to a great philosopher and a brilliant writer, and also includes a specially written foreword by James Lovelock. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that physicalism faces its most serious challenge when it comes to making room for the phenomenal character of psychological experience, its so-called what-it-is-like aspect. The challenge has surfaced repeatedly over the past two decades in a variety of forms. In a particularly striking one, Frank Jackson considers a situation in which Mary, a brilliant scientist who knows all the physical facts there are to know about psychological experience, has spent the whole of her life in (...) a black and white room. He asks, What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a colour television monitor? Will she learn anything or not? It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then it is inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. (Jackson 1986: 130). (shrink)
Does birth make a difference to the moral rights of the fetus/infant? Should it make a difference to its legal rights? Most contemporary philosophers believe that birth cannot make a difference to moral rights. If this is true, then it becomes difficult to justify either a moral or a legal distinction between late abortion and infanticide. I argue that the view that birth is irrelevant to moral rights rests upon two highly questionable assumptions about the theoretical foundations of moral rights. (...) If we reject these assumptions, then we are free to take account of the contrasting biological and social relationships that make even relatively late abortion morally different from infanticide. (shrink)
I argue that the equal rights views of Tom Regan and Evelyn B. Pluhar must be rejected because they have unacceptable consequences. My objection is similar to one made in the literature by MaryAnne Warren, but I develop it in more detail and defend it from several plausible responses that an equal rights theorist might make. I formulate a theory, a moderate form of perfectionism, that makes a valuedistinction between moral agents and moral patients according to which (...) although both have rights, these rights are not equal. This theory avoids the unacceptable consequences of the equal rights view and is immune to the marginal cases arguments that typical full-personhood theories succumb to. This moderate perfectionism generates an obligation for people to be vegetarians (in most cases) and to severely curtail animal experimentation. (shrink)
A continuing challenge for researchers and practitioners alike is the lack of data on the effectiveness of corporate–community investment programmes. The focus of this article is on the minerals industry, where companies currently face the challenge of matching corporate drivers for strategic partnership with community needs for programmes that contribute to local and regional sustainability. While many global mining companies advocate a strategic approach to partnerships, there is no evidence currently available that suggests companies are monitoring these partnerships to see (...) if they do, in fact, represent ‘strategic’ investments. This article argues that applying the management concept of ‘investment performance’ to corporate–community partnerships requires questioning traditional evaluation methods that focus on the results of programmes or activities. We adopt a case study approach to introduce an evaluation framework that considers performance from both corporate and community perspectives and that conceptualises partnership performance as comprising four aspects: (1) the contribution of the partnership to the overall portfolio of a company’s community investment programmes, (2) the appropriateness of the partnership model, (3) the effectiveness of the partnering relationship and (4) the ability of the partners to achieve programme goals. The application of this evaluation framework to an established corporate–community partnership programme provided some useful insights as to how partnership performance can be improved. (shrink)
In this essay, I provide evidence that a new generation of prochoice advocates wishes to move away from defending abortion rights via the view that fetal life has little or no value (for example, as MaryAnne Warren does in her “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”) and toward a more complex view of abortion rights. This newer view simultaneously grants that fetuses are more than simply “clumps of cells,” that they are, to some extent, entities (...) that possess some degree of value, and also that women still have the right to decide whether they wish to continue a pregnancy (for example, as can be found in the writings of Rosalind Hursthouse, Judith Jarvis Thomson, and Margaret Olivia Little). Prima facie, this may sound like an impossible task—an instance of “having your cake and eating it too”—but I will show throughout my paper that, and how, such a task can indeed be accomplished. (shrink)
In The Twentieth-Century Humanists from Spitzer to Frye, William Calin examines the contributions of eight scholar-critics who produced their most important work between the mid-1930s and the early 1960s, before the advent of contemporary critical theory. Five are from Continental Europe. Leo Spitzer, Robert Curtius and Erich Auerbach were German-language students of Romance literatures, while Albert Béguin and Jean Rousset, both speakers of French, were leading figures of the Geneva school. Calin also includes English-language scholars: the Oxford don C. S. (...) Lewis, the American F. O. Mathiessen, and the Canadian Northrop Frye. Calin's goal is threefold. He wants to draw distinctions between the mid-twentieth .. (shrink)
This paper investigates simple syntactic methods for revising prioritized belief bases, that are semantically meaningful in the frameworks of possibility theory and of Spohn''s ordinal conditional functions. Here, revising prioritized belief bases amounts to conditioning a distribution function on interpretations. The input information leading to the revision of a knowledge base can be sure or uncertain. Different types of scales for priorities are allowed: finite vs. infinite, numerical vs. ordinal. Syntactic revision is envisaged here as a process which transforms a (...) prioritized belief bases into a new prioritized belief base, and thus allows a subsequent iteration. (shrink)
Scientists often collect (kill) organisms in pursuit of human knowledge. When is such killing morally permissible? I explore this question with particular reference to ornithology and against the background of animal liberation ethics and a land ethic, especially MaryAnne Warren’s account that finds the two ethics complementary. I argue that the ethical theories offered provide insufficient guidance. As a step toward the resolution of this serious problem, I offer a set of criteria to determine when collecting is (...) morally permissible. (shrink)
MaryAnne Warren's claim that there is room for only one person with full and equal rights inside a single human skin (, p. 63) calls attention to the vast range of moral conflict engendered by assigning full basic moral rights to fetuses. Thereby, it serves as a goad to thinking about conflicts between pregnant women and their fetuses in a way that emphasizes relationships rather than rights. I sketch out what a care orientation might suggest about resolving (...) gestational conflicts. I also argue that the care orientation, with its commitment to the significance of the partial and the particular, cannot be absorbed within standard, impartialist moral theory. (shrink)
A new methodology for developing theories of action has recently emerged which provides means for formally evaluating the correctness of such theories. Yet, for a theory of action to qualify as a solution to the frame problem, not only does it need to produce correct inferences, but moreover, it needs to derive these inferences from a concise representation of the domain at hand. The new methodology however offers no means for assessing conciseness. Such a formal account of conciseness is developed (...) in this paper. Combined with the existing criterion for correctness, our account of conciseness offers a framework where proposed solutions to the frame problem can be formally evaluated. (shrink)
The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition, is organized into three parts, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. The first part, Historical Sources, moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill), culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers (Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Camus, and Sartre). The second part, (...) Modern Ethical Theory, includes many of the most important essays of the past century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Foot, Brandt, Williams, Wolf, and Nagel). Landmark selections (Moore, Prichard, Ross, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Baier, Anscombe, Gauthier, and Harman) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of justice (Rawls) and rights (Feinberg) are explored, as well as recent views on the importance of virtue ethics (Rachels) and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held). In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, the death penalty, and whether numbers should play a role in making moral decisions. The third edition expands Part II, Modern Ethical Theory, adding essays by Onora O'Neill, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Allan Gibbard, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, and Martha Nussbaum. Part III, Contemporary Moral Problems, features new essays on abortion by MaryAnne Warren, Don Marquis, and Rosalind Hursthouse; an essay on the death penalty by Stephen Nathanson; and a debate between John M. Taurek and Derek Parfit on when and why one should save from harm a greater rather than a lesser number of people. The book concludes with an essay by Judith Jarvis Thomson on the trolley problem. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety. (shrink)