This paper explores tensions in Ronald Dworkin's liberal theory (and liberalism more generally) about the appropriate relationship of the state to the different conceptions of the good that may be adopted by its citizens. Liberal theory generally supposes that the state must exhibit a kind of impartiality to different conceptions of the good. This impartiality is often thought to be captured by an anti-perfectionist ideal of liberal neutrality. But neutrality is often criticized as an ideal that lacks adequate theoretical support (...) and is difficult to reconcile with liberalism's commitment to government support of various elements of a community's culture. Nonetheless, Dworkin has tried to explain systematically how his egalitarian brand of liberalism can explain the appropriateness of a particular variety of neutrality. I argue, however, that Dworkin's account of the relationship between liberalism and the good is ambiguous. I suggest that an ideal of tolerance which embraces a mild form of perfectionism fits better with the egalitarian foundations of Dworkin's liberalism than neutrality. Moreover, tolerance is an ideal through which familiar tensions about the liberal state's relationship to the good may be resolved. (shrink)
Universals are a class of mind independent entities, usually contrasted with individuals, postulated to ground and explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals. Individuals are said to be similar in virtue of sharing universals. An apple and a ruby are both red, and their common redness results from sharing a universal. If they are both red at the same time, the universal, red, must be in two places at once. This makes universals quite different from individuals, and controversial. (...) Whether universals are in fact required to explain relations of qualitative identity and resemblance among individuals has engaged metaphysicians for two thousand years. Disputants fall into one of three broad camps. Realists endorse universals. Conceptualists and Nominalists, on the other hand, refuse to accept universals and deny that they are needed. Conceptualists explain similarity among individuals by appealing to general concepts or ideas, things that exist only in minds. Nominalists, in contrast, are content to leave relations of qualitative resemblance brute and ungrounded. Numerous versions of Nominalism have been proposed, some with a great deal of sophistication. Contemporary philosophy has seen the rise of a new form of Nominalism, one that makes use of a special class of individuals, known as tropes. Familiar individuals have many properties, but tropes are single property instances. Whether Trope Nominalism improves on earlier Nominalist theories is the subject of much recent debate. In general, questions surrounding universals touch upon some of the oldest, deepest, and most abstract of philosophical issues. (shrink)
Patients belonging to ethnic, racial, and religious minorities have been all but excluded from the legal academy's on-going conversation about informed consent. This article repairs that egregious omission. It begins by observing the narrowing of ethical justifications that underlie our informed consent law, tracing the ethical literature from the ancients to modern formulations of autonomy-centered models. Next, this article reviews the vast body of empirical data available in social science literature, that demonstrates how distinct from the autonomy model the broad (...) range of values and priorities held by patients from racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups is. The conclusion that informed consent's focus on the western notion of autonomy affirmatively harms minority patients is inescapable. The article concludes by offering a fiduciary model of informed consent law that could improve the quality of health care for more than 100 million minority patients, potentially at risk under current law while also regulating the informed consent procedure and practice in a way that will bring balance and justice to all American patients and providers. (shrink)
have recently provided a compelling demonstration of enhanced attentional control under post-hypnotic suggestion. Using the classic color-word interference paradigm, in which the task is to ignore a word and to name the color in which it is printed (e.g., RED in green, say ''green''), they gave a post-hypnotic instruction to participants that they would be unable to read. This eliminated Stroop interference in high suggestibility participants but did not alter interference in low suggestibility participants. replicated this pattern and further demonstrated (...) that it is not due to a visual strategy (such as blurring or looking at a different location). As a historical footnote, we describe a ''case study'' from 18 years ago in which we observed the same result using a hypnotic instruction to a single highly suggestible individual that he could not read. The elimination of Stroop interference has important implications for both the study of attention and the study of hypnosis. (shrink)
H. B. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at the influential 'Pennsylvania School' was (roughly) a contemporary of C. I. Lewis who was similarly interested in a proper account of 'implication'. His research also led him into the study of modal logic but in a different direction than Lewis was led. His account of modal logic does not lend itself as readily as Lewis' to the received 'possible worlds' semantics, so that the Smith approach was a casualty rather than a beneficiary of (...) the renewed interest in modality. In this essay we present some of the main points of the Smith approach, in a new guise. (shrink)
In this article the extent to which stories and personal narratives can and should be used to inform education policy is examined. A range of studies describable as story or personal narrative is investigated. They include life-studies, life-writing, life history, narrative analysis, and the representation of lives. We use 'auto/biography' as a convenient way of grouping this range under one term. It points to the many and varied ways that accounts of self interrelate and intertwine with accounts of others. That (...) is, auto/biography illuminates the social context of individual lives. At the same time it allows room for unique, personal stories to be told. We do not explicitly discuss all the different forms of auto/biography. Rather, we investigate the epistemology underlying the personal story in the context of social action. We discuss the circumstances in which a story may validly be used by educational policy makers and give some examples of how they have done so in the past. (shrink)
This essay provides a critical notice of T.M. Scanlon's book _What We Owe to Each Other. Special attention is given to assessing the success of Scanlon's theory of practical rationality as it provides a basis for his account of value and his contractualist moral theory.
Can memory be cast as a system that meshes events to actions? This commentary considers the concepts of mesh versus association, arguing that thus far the distinction is inadequate. However, the goal of shifting to an action-based view of memory has merit, most notably in emphasizing memory as a skill and in focusing on processes as opposed to structures.
The target article by Ceci et al. provides some interesting results regarding how faculty might react to difficult social dilemmas, but it has little to say about tenure and its effect upon academic freedom. This comment discusses briefly what we know about tenure, and employment protection more generally, and why it may be in a university's best interest to hire tenured faculty. The comment concludes by pointing out that the results make a rather useful contribution regarding the difficulty of eliciting (...) information on malfeasance in organizations, an area of enormous importance. For example, the results may help us understand why the government has introduced rewards for the reporting of fraud under the whistle-blowing provisions of the Federal Claims Act. (Published Online February 8 2007). (shrink)
In a simple economic decision problem with multi-tasking the dimensionality of the problem is neither a necessary nor a sufficient measure of complexity. Rather, dimension is good measure of complexity when there is an aggregate resource constraint that creates an interaction between the different activities, resulting in a problem with high algorithmic complexity.
Confirmation of a hypothesis by evidence can be measured by one of the so far known incremental measures of confirmation. As we show, incremental measures can be formally defined as the measures of confirmation satisfying a certain small set of basic conditions. Moreover, several kinds of incremental measure may be characterized on the basis of appropriate structural properties. In particular, we focus on the so-called Matthew properties: we introduce a family of six Matthew properties including the reverse (...) class='Hi'>Matthew effect; we further prove that incremental measures endowed with reverse Matthew effect are possible; finally, we shortly consider the problem of the plausibility of Matthew properties. (shrink)
Through an argumentation analysis can one show how it is feasible to view a narrative religious text such as the Gospel of Matthew as a literary argument. The Gospel is not just good news but an elaborate argument for the standpoint that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. It is shown why an argumentation analysis needs to be supplemented with a pragmatic literary analysis in order to describe how the evangelist presents his story so as to reach (...) his argumentative objective. The analysis also shows why in the case of historical religious literary texts, certain demands are put on the analyst that are not normally present. (shrink)
I would like to thank the editors of Philosophy East and West for courteously asking me if I would like to respond to Matthew Dasti and Stephen Phillips' very thoughtful remarks about the review I wrote of Phillips' translation and commentary on the pratyakṣa chapter of Gaṅgeśa's Tattvacintāmaṇi, prepared in collaboration with N. S. Ramanuja Tatacharya (Phillips and Tatacharya 2004). Let me begin by reaffirming what I said at the beginning of my review, that the book is "a monumental (...) and momentous achievement, one whose importance cannot be understated." I have indeed enormous admiration for the magnitude of their achievement and respect for the contribution they have made through this translation to the field of .. (shrink)
Philosophy for Children arose in the 1970s in the US as an educational programme. This programme, initiated by Matthew Lipman, was devoted to exploring the relationship between the notions ‘philosophy’ and ‘childhood’, with the implicit practical goal of establishing philosophy as a full-fledged ‘content area’ in public schools. Over 40 years, the programme has spread worldwide, and the theory and practice of doing philosophy for or with children and young people appears to be of growing interest in the field (...) of education and, by implication, in society as a whole. This article focuses on this growing interest by offering a survey of the main arguments and ideas that have given shape to the idea of philosophy for children in recent decades. This aim is twofold: first, to make more familiar an actual educational practice that is not at all well known in the field of academic philosophy itself; and second, to invite a re-thinking of the relationship between philosophy and the child ‘after Lipman’. (shrink)
Robert Merton observed that better-known scientists tend to get more credit than less well-known scientists for the same achievements; he called this the Matthew effect. Scientists themselves, even those eminent researchers who enjoy its benefits, regard the effect as a pathology: it results, they believe, in a misallocation of credit. If so, why do scientists continue to bestow credit in the manner described by the effect? This paper advocates an explanation of the effect on which it turns out to (...) allocate credit fairly after all, while at the same time making sense of scientists' opinions to the contrary. (shrink)
Matthew D. Eddy and David Knight’s new edition of William Paley’s Natural Theology deserves to become the standard scholarly edition of what is a historically, theologically, and philosophically important work, despite a certain neglect of philosophical issues on the part of the editors.
In Practice in Christianity, Søren Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Anti-Climacus enters into an extended engagement with Matthew 11.6, ‘Blessed is he who takes no offense at me’. In so doing, he comes to an understanding that ‘the possibility of offense’ characterises the ‘crossroad’ at which one either comes to faith in Christ's revelation or rejects it. Such a choice, as he is well aware, cannot be made from a neutral standpoint, and so he is led to propose that it is ‘the (...) thoughts of the heart’ (i.e. a person's disposition) that constitute the pivotal factor in determining whether or not God will reconcile a person into the Christian faith. In this paper, I discuss Anti-Climacus' interpretation of Mt. 11.6 and consider his reasons for interpreting a person's predisposition as being so decisive for faith. (shrink)
In Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life, Matthew Foust richly examines the nature of a controversial virtue: loyalty. It is well known that for Royce loyalty was not only a fundamental moral concept but an anthropological one since, in his view, loyalty to a cause allows individuals to become selves, creatures with unity of purpose in life. However, this ground level of loyalty is not the only one existing for him. Simultaneously to a particular cause (...) one must adhere to loyalty to loyalty, a universal cause that is a moral obligation for each human being. Foust attempts to recover this dual aspect of the Roycean conception of loyalty with the purpose of defending his contemporary relevance .. (shrink)
Kenney, Mark Review(s) of: A source critical edition of the gospels of Matthew and Luke in Greek and English, 2 vols., Christopher J. Monaghan, C.P., Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2010, pp.378, 45.00.
The Matthew Effect refers to the hypothesis that a scientific contribution will receive disproportionate peer recognition whenever there are sharp and distinct differences in prestige within the academic stratification system. This paper empirically examines whether there is an institutional Matthew Effect in economics: does the prestige of an author's economics department influence the visibility or allocation of peer recognition of a scientific contribution? After controlling for author quality, journal quality and article?specific characteristics, the empirical results showed nineteen universities (...) classified as elite have a statistically and numerically positive impact on the level of peer recognition of a scientific contribution. However, further analysis found that the positive institutional Matthew Effect of these elite universities was due solely to the differential peer recognition of scientific contributions by economists affiliated with the economics departments of Harvard University and the University of Chicago. (shrink)
It should be evident from the foregoing discussion that one man's natural selection is not necessarily the same as another man's. Why should this be so? How can two theories, which both Matthew and Darwin believed to be nearly identical, be so dissimilar? Apparently, neither Matthew nor Darwin understood the other's theory. Each man's viewpoint was colored by his own intellectual background and philosophical assumptions, and each read these into the other's ideas. The words sounded the same, so (...) they assumed the concepts must als be the same.123As Ghiselin has pointed out, historians attempting to evaluate Darwin's predecessors have been similarly blinded by a preoccupation with words, without regard to their proper context.124 In the case of Matthew, the practice of quoting only brief passages from the appendix to Naval Timber and Arboriculture, without relating them to the rest of his work, has suggested a greater resemblance to Darwin's theory than actually exists.It is clear, both from the use which Matthew made of his ideas and from the philosophical roots of his natural world view, that he could not have arrived at the concept of natural selection by the same thought process which Darwin employed. His discussion of natural selection is presented not as an argument, but as an axiom. No theory is proposed, no evidence marshaled to support it. Natural selection is stated as a fact, a Law of Nature, unquestioned, and presumably, unquestionable.Despite his clamor for recognition as the discoverer of natural selection, Matthew recognized and acknowledged this very fundamental difference between Darwin and himself. In a letter to the Gardener's Chronicle of May 12, 1860, he wrote:To me the conception of this law of Nature came intuitively as a self-evident fact, almost without an effort of concentrated thought. Mr. Darwin here seems to have more merit in the discovery than I have had—to me it did not appear a discovery. He seems to have worked it out by inductive reason, slowly and with due caution to have made his way synthetically from fact to fact onwards; while with me it was by a general glance at the scheme of Nature that I estimated this select production of species as an a priori recognisable fact—an axiom, requiring only to be pointed out to be admitted by unprejudiced minds of sufficient grasp.125In the same letter, Matthew maintained that his ideas had not been accepted because “the age was not ripe for such ideas.”126 Nor, he said, was the present age. He considered the inability of most of Darwin's critics to grasp his theory to be “incurable.” Yet he did not argue that natural selection should be accepted because of the evidence, but rather, that it should be accepted on faith:Belief here requires a certain grasp of mind. No direct proof of phenomena embracing so long a period of time is within the compass of short-lived man. To attempt to satisfy a school of ultra skeptics, who have a wonderfully limited power of perception of means to ends... would be labour in vain.... They could not be brought to conceive the purpose of a handsaw though they saw its action, if the whole individual building it assisted to construct were not presented complete before their eyes... Like a child looking upon the motion of a wheel in an engine they would only perceive and admire... without noticing its agency in... affecting the purposed end.127Here, then, is the final irony. In a passage urging acceptance of Darwin's theory, a theory which was to banish design and purpose from the natural world, we find echoes of Paley and of Providence.Loren Eiseley has lamented the fact that Matthew “did not bring his views into the open, because the amount of ground he was able to cover in a few paragraphs suggests that he might have been able to sustain a longer treatise.”128 Now that the intellectual and historical context of Matthew's ideas are known, this statement is no longer tenable. Matthew was not a scientist, and his books were not written as biological treatises. His discussions of natural selection were not attempts to “cover ground” in advancing a particular scientific theory, but were simply reflections of his own assumptions about the natural world.Furthermore, despite Matthew's acceptance of evolution and natural selection, his biological thought was basically conservative on points where Darwin's was radical. Where Matthew saw a series of stable worlds interrupted by violent upheavals, Darwin saw a continuous process of change in an ever-fluctuating world. Where Matthew conceived of species in terms of Aristotelian classes and essences, Darwin revolutionized our concept of species by treating them as populations. Where Matthew saw a world of design and beauty functioning according to natural laws laid down by benevolent Providence, Darwin abolished design and Providence from nature and ushered in a world which cycles ever onward according to laws of chance and probability.It is not even particularly useful to point to Matthew as evidence that evolution was “in the air” prior to 1859.129 His ideas did not represent the first wave of a coming revolution, but were the product of his own personal philosophical outlook, as expressed in the context of the biological thought of the 1830's. Matthew is important in the history of ideas, not simply because he accepted the concept of evolution or thought of something resembling natural selection, but because he did so without overthrowing, in his own mind, any of the basic philosophical assumptions which had underlain biological science since Aristotle. In recognizing Matthew's failure to do so, we are in a position to appreciate more fully the significance of the Darwinian Revolution. (shrink)