Here, we argue that any neurobiological theory based on an experience/function division cannot be empirically confirmed or falsified and is thus outside the scope of science. A ‘perfect experiment’ illustrates this point, highlighting the unbreachable boundaries of the scientific study of consciousness. We describe a more nuanced notion of cognitive access that captures personal experience without positing the existence of inaccessible conscious states. Finally, we discuss the criteria necessary for forming and testing a falsifiable theory of consciousness.
We motivate and formalize the idea of sameness by default: two objects are considered the same if they cannot be proved to be different. This idea turns out to be useful for a number of widely different applications, including natural language processing, reasoning with incomplete information, and even philosophical paradoxes. We consider two formalizations of this notion, both of which are based on Reiter’s Default Logic. The first formalization is a new relation of indistinguishability that is introduced by default. We (...) prove that the corresponding default theory has a unique extension, in which every two objects are indistinguishable if and only if their non-equality cannot be proved from the known facts. We show that the indistinguishability relation has some desirable properties: it is reflexive, symmetric, and, while not transitive, it has a transitive “flavor.” The second formalization is an extension (modification) of the ordinary language equality by a similar default: two objects are equal if and only if their non-equality cannot be proved from the known facts. It appears to be less elegant from a formal point of view. In particular, it gives rise to multiple extensions. However, this extended equality is better suited for most of the applications discussed in this paper. (shrink)
The reputation and influence of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-96) have grown powerfully in recent years. Well known in France in his lifetime, he has since his death become widely regarded as a major European moral philosopher profoundly shaped by his Jewish background. A pupil of Husserl and Heidegger, Levinas pioneered new forms of exegesis with his postmodern readings of the Talmud, and as an ethicist brought together religious and non-religious, Jewish and non-Jewish traditions of contemporary thought. Richard A. Cohen has (...) written a book which uses Levinas' work as its base but goes on to explore broader questions of interpretation in the context of text-based ethical thinking. Levinas' reorientation of philosophy is considered in critical contrast to alternative contemporary approaches such as those found in modern science, psychology, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Ricoeur. Cohen explores a manner of philosophizing which he terms 'ethical exegesis'. (shrink)
In ?The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation? I distinguished between two ways in which the labour theory of value is formulated, both of which are common. In the popular formulation, the amount of value a commodity has depends on how much labour was spent producing it. In the strict formulation, which is so called because it formulates the labour theory of value proper, the amount of value a commodity has depends on nothing about its history but (...) only on how much labour would (now) be required to produce something just like it. I argued that strict and popular formulations are often wrongly treated as substantially equivalent, and that the practice of conflating them sustains two false impressions: that the labour theory of value is a basis for saying that capitalists exploit workers, and that the labour theory of value is true. The present paper is a reply to Nancy Holmstrom's recent attempt, in ?Marx and Cohen on Exploitation and the Labor Theory of Value?, to refute the theses of the article referred to above. (shrink)
This paper argues that Rawls’ principles of justice provide a normative foundation for stakeholder theory. The principles articulate (at an abstract level) citizens’ rights; these rights create interests across all aspects of society, including in the space of economic activity; and therefore, stakeholders – as citizens – have legitimate interests in the space of economic activity. This approach to stakeholder theory suggests a political interpretation of Boatright’s Moral Market approach, one that emphasizes the rights/place of citizens. And this approach to (...) stakeholder theory – in terms of citizens – raises a further question, what rights and obligations do economic agents have, beyond those attached to their roles as citizens? Rawls would reject additional rights and obligations of this sort for two reasons, one tied to freedom and one tied to pluralism. Rawls’ work therefore presses us to re-conceptualize the place of ethical claims in the economic context. (shrink)
Laurence Goldstein has ‘re-created’ Wittgenstein's doctoral viva, arguing that had Wittgenstein's dissertation, his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, ‘been judged by normal standards of originality and philosophical argumentation, it would have failed’. Goldstein claims that Wittgenstein ‘lifted’ central doctrines from Russell and from Bernard Bolzano. I point out that passages allegedly plagiarized from Russell are actually criticisms of his doctrines, and that there is no evidence that Wittgenstein even knew Bolzano's work, directly or indirectly. I argue that alleged similarities, substantial and stylistic, between (...) his work and Bolzano's give no support even to a weaker claim of influence. (shrink)
Most writers now recognize that mental health policy and the mental health system are extremely resistant to real changes that reflect genuine biopsychosocial paradigms of mental disorder. Writers bemoaning the intransigence of the mental health system tend to focus on a small analytical level, only to find themselves mired in the rationalities of the existing system. Problems are acknowledged to be system-wide, yet few writers have used a method of analysis appropriate for systemic problems. Drawing upon the General System Theory (...) (GST) analytical perspective, this article advances a systematic approach to understand the mental health system and to facilitate the development of reform strategies that recognize the system's complexity and changing nature. The article first discusses the failure of major reform efforts in the mental health system and the limitations of mainstream analysis of mental health politics and policies with respect to the objectives of analysis and reform. This article describes how systems thinking has thus far influenced the study of the mental health policy and politics system, and argues that a systemic perspective is profitable for reconceiving the mental health system, enabling a fresh basis for the development of reform strategies. The mental health system should be seen as a social system influenced by larger political and economic dimensions, not just as a 'delivery system' scientifically constructed by neutral experts. Furthermore, the policy planning process should be viewed as part and parcel of a mental health system modeled as complex and dynamic. The systemic perspective outlined here should help both to clarify the value-based objectives that we hold for the system and, consequently, to plan for the strategic reforms that have so far eluded us. (shrink)
The following text is an introduction to Ed Cohen’s book A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body. Author investigates the way in which immunology influences the perception of both the human body, and political entities, demonstrating that contemporary conceptualizations of these phenomena exist in a double bind. The historical framework Cohen applies allows for tracing the history of the metaphor of immunity in politics and medicine.
Identification of those who have the potential to become knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate physicians, and determining how best to prepare them for medical education has been an on ongoing challenge since the mid-1800s (Ludmerer 1985). When medical education was almost exclusively proprietary, the primary consideration for admission was having adequate financial resources. However, in the late 1800s, two men became the driving forces for structuring medical and premedical education in the United States. Daniel Coit Gilman, of Yale and the University (...) of California, later the founding President of Johns Hopkins University, and Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard, articulated two radical objectives that .. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show firstly why Kant believes we should hang on to teleology, and, secondly, that his views on the matter are still relevant to contemporary epistemology despite the fact that theories of evolution now allow purely mechanical explanations of organic processes. By considering Kant’s account in light of that of Daniel Dennett, I elucidate what I believe to be the strength of Kant’s theory, namely, the pragmatic role it assigns to reflective teleological principles. (edited).
One of the most salient facts about our experience of the world is that objects appear to have colors. This feature of our experience is both striking and pervasive. Indeed, representations of colors of objects are among the most notable deliverances of the visual modality, which is perhaps our most important source of information about the world. For this reason, among others, questions about the nature of color have crucial significance for a variety of philosophical subjects including perception, ontology, epistemology, (...) semantics, and philosophy of mind. But the nature of color is a fascinating philosophical topic in its own right, and there has been a significant increase in the philosophical attention paid to this matter in recent years. In this essay I'll survey some of the main views about the nature of color in the contemporary literature and attempt to lay out some of the arguments that have been used to support or reject various of these accounts. (shrink)
Let us now suppose that I have sold the product of my own labour for money, and have used the money to hire a labourer, i.e., I have bought somebody else's labour-power. Having taken advantage of this labour-power of another, I turn out to be the owner of value which is considerably higher than the value I spent on its purchase. This, from one point of view, is very just, because it has already been recognized, after all that I can (...) use what I have secured by exchange as is best and most advantageous to myself...1 Persons, who under a vicious order of things have obtained a competent share of social enjoyments, are never in want of arguments to justify to the eye of reason such a state of society; for what may not admit of apology when exhibited in but one point of view? If the same individuals were tomorrow required to cast anew the lots assigning them a place in society, they would find many things to object to.2. (shrink)
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Many people, including many egalitarian political philosophers, professa belief in equality while enjoying high incomes of which they devotevery little to egalitarian purposes. The article critically examinesways of resolving the putative inconsistency in the stance of thesepeople, in particular, that favouring an egalitarian society has noimplications for behaviour in an unequal one; that what''s bad aboutinequality is a social division that philanthropy cannot reduce; thatprivate action cannot ensure that others have good lives; that privateaction can only achieve a ``drop in (...) the ocean''''; that private effortis not called for, since justice is a matter for the state to enforce;that private effort cannot remove the fundamental injustice, whichis inequality of power; and that private effort involves an unreasonablylarge psychological burden. (shrink)
The article studies the implications for historical materialism of the failure of the socialist project in the Soviet Union. The author demonstrates that the said failure broadly confirms central historical materialist theses, which would have been difficult to sustain if the Russian revolution had succeeded in its goal of superseding capitalism and establishing a socialist society.
In this paper we present an account of practical rationality and weakness of will in terms of rational capacities. We show how our account rectifies various shortcomings in Michael Smith’s related theory. In particular, our account is capable of accommodating cases of weak-willed behaviour that are not ‘akratic’, or otherwise contrary to the agent’s better judgement. Our account differs from Smith’s primarily by incorporating resolve: a third rational capacity for resolute maintenance of one’s intentions. We discuss further two ways (...) to explain the importance of resolve to practical rationality: one based on Richard Holton’s recent work, and an alternative, non-consequentialist account. (shrink)
In these essays, we are concerned with virtue in journalism and the media but are mindful of the tension between the commercial foundations of publishing and broadcasting, on the one hand, and journalism's democratic obligations on the other. Adam outlines, first, a moral vision of journalism focusing on individualistic concepts of authorship and craft. Next, Craft attempts to bridge individual and organizational concerns by examining the obligations of organizations to the individuals working within them. Finally, Cohen discusses the importance (...) of resisting the powerful corporate logic that pervades the news media in the United States and calls on journalists to be courageous. (shrink)
Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...) of novel MRL theories, some of which solve problems the original MRL theory could not. Hence we conceive of the paper as moving toward a better Best System theory of laws. (shrink)
I argued in Karl Marx's Theory of History that the central claims of historical materialism are functional explanations, and I said that functional explanations are consequence explanations, ones, that is, in which something is explained by its propensity to have a certain kind of effect. I also claimed that the theory of chance variation and natural selection sustains functional explanations, and hence consequence explanations, of organismic equipment. In Section I I defend the thesis that historical materialism offers functional or consequence (...) explanations, and I reject Jon Elster's contention that game theory can, and should, assume a central role in the Marxist theory of society. In Section II I contrast functional and consequence explanation, thereby revising the position of Karl Marx's Theory of History, and I question whether evolutionary biology supports functional explanations. Section III is a critique of Elster's views on functional explanation, and Sections IV and V defend consequence explanation against metaphysical and epistemological doubts. A concluding section summarizes my present understanding of the status of historical materialist explanations. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing important methodological (...) characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between subjects and objects. The most historically important form of color relationalism is the classic dispositionalist view according to which, for example red is the disposition to look red to standard observers in standard conditions (mutatis mutandis for other colors).1 However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a commitment to the relationality of colors bears interest that goes beyond dispositionalism (Cohen, 2004; Matthen, 1999, (...) 2001, 2005; Thompson, 1995). Accordingly, it is an important project for those interested in the metaphysics of color to sort through and assess different forms of color relationalism. There is, however, a powerful and general cluster of objections that has been thought by many to amount to a decisive refutation of any and all forms of color relationalism. Although this idea has been developed in a number of ways, the basic thought is that relationalism — qua theory of color — is at odds with the manifest evidence of color phenomenology, and that this clash between theory and data should be resolved by giving up the theory. (shrink)
But Hardin hasn’t contented himself with reframing traditional philosoph- ical issues about color in a way that is sensitive to relevant empirical con- straints. In addition, he has been a staunch defender of color eliminativism — the view that there are no colors, qua properties of tables, chairs, and other mind-external objects, and a vociferous critic of several varieties of re- alism about color that have been defended by others (e.g., [Hardin, 2003], [Hardin, 2005]). These other views include the so-called (...) color physical- ism of [Hilbert, 1987], [Byrne and Hilbert, 1997a], [Byrne and Hilbert, 2003], and [Tye, 2000],1 and, inconveniently, even the relationalist view defended in [Cohen, 2003a], [Cohen, 2004a], [Cohen, 2003b], [McLaughlin, 2003], and [Jakab and McLaughlin, 2003]. (shrink)
In reply to Narveson, I distinguish his no-proviso argument from his liberty argument, and I show that both fail. I also argue that interference lacks the strategic status he assigns to it, because it cannot be appropriately distinguished, conceptually and morally, from prevention; that natural resources do enjoy the importance he denies they have; that laissez-faire economies lack the superiority he attributes to them; that ownership can indeed be a reflexive relation; that anti-paternalism does not entail libertarianism; and that he (...) misrepresents the doctrines of a number of philosophers, including John Locke, Ronald Dworkin, and myself. In reply to Brenkert, I show that he seriously misconstrues my view of the nature of freedom, and of its relationship to self-ownership. I then refute his criticisms of my treatment of the contrasts between self-ownership, on the one hand, and autonomy and non-slavery, on the other. I also show that his attempt to exorcize the demon of self-ownership is multiply flawed. (shrink)
Various explanations are offered to explain why employees increasingly work longer hours: the combined effects of technology and globalization; people are caught up in consumerism; and the "ideal worker norm," when professionals expect themselves and others to work longer hours. In this article, we propose that the processes of employer recruitment and selection, employee self-selection, cultural socialization, and reward systems help create extended work hours cultures (EWHC) that reinforce these trends. Moreover, we argue that EWHC organizations are becoming more prevalent (...) and that organizations in which long hours have become the norm may recruit for and reinforce workaholic tendencies. Next, we offer spiritual leadership as a paradigm for organizational transformation and recovery from the negative aspects of EWHC to enhance employee wellbeing and corporate social responsibility without sacrificing profitability, revenue growth, and other indicators of financial performance. Finally, we will offer suggestions for future theory, research, and practice. (shrink)
Michael Smith has resisted Harry Frankfurt's claim that moral responsibility does not require the ability to have done otherwise. He does this by claiming that, in Frankfurt cases, the ability to do otherwise is indeed present, but is a disposition that has been `finked' or masked by other factors. We suggest that, while Smith's account appears to work for some classic Frankfurt cases, it does not work for all. In particular, Smith cannot explain cases, such as the Willing Addict, (...) where the Frankfurt devise - e.g. the addiction - is intrinsic to the agent. (shrink)
Are colors relational or non-relational properties of their bearers? Is red a property that is instantiated by all and only the objects with a certain intrinsic (/non-relational) nature? Or does an object with a particular intrinsic (/non-relational) nature count as red only in virtue of standing in certain relations - for example, only when it looks a certain way to a certain perceiver, or only in certain circumstances of observation? In this paper I shall argue for the view that color (...) properties are relational (henceforth, relationalism), and against the view that colors are not relational (henceforth, anti- or non-relationalism). (shrink)
What is the relationship between sounds and time? More specifically, is there something essentially or distinctively temporal about sounds that distinguishes them from, say, colors, shapes, odors, tastes, or other sensible qualities? And just what might this distinctive relation to time consist in? Apart from their independent interest, these issues have a number of important philosophical repercussions. First, if sounds are temporal in a way that other sensible qualities are not, then this would mean that standard lists of paradigm secondary (...) qualities offered by Locke, Galileo, and other modern philosophers — lists which include colors, odors and sounds without any significant distinctions — overlook significant metaphysical differences. This, in turn, would threaten to undermine the coherence of the modern understanding of secondary qualities itself. Moreover, a number of authors have recently urged that the essential temporality of sounds makes it impossible to understand sounds as properties (except on a trope theory of properties; see note 3). If true, and given the more or less universal view that colors are properties, this last conclusion would make potentially inapplicable to sounds much of the comparatively well-developed philosophical taxonomy and apparatus that has arisen in philosophical disputes over the status of colors (for presentations of this taxonomy and apparatus see, for example, Byrne and Hilbert (2003); Cohen (2008b)).1 Therefore, the conclusion that sounds are distinctively temporal would be a serious blow to hopes for a theoretically unified treatment of the sensory qualities.2 For all these reasons, quite a lot seems to hang on the question of the temporality of sounds. (shrink)
It is shown that quantum mechanics cannot be formulated as a stochastic theory involving a probability distribution function of position and momentum. This is done by showing that the most general distribution function which yields the proper quantum mechanical marginal distributions cannot consistently be used to predict the expectations of observables if phase space integration is used. Implications relating to the possibility of establishing a "hidden" variable theory of quantum mechanics are discussed.
Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account (...) for errors of color perception. I’ll conclude that worries about making room for error are worries the relationalist can meet. (shrink)
Critics of liberalism have argued that liberal individualismmisdescribes persons in ignoring the degree to which they aredependent on their communities. Indeed, they argue that personsare essentially socially constituted. In this paper, however, Iprovide two arguments – the first concerning communitariandescriptive claims about persons, our society, and the communitarian ideal society, and the second regarding thecommunitarian view of individual autonomy – that the communitariantheory of Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and Michael Sandel,relies on individuals either being independent from theircommunities or having (...) a community-independent desire. Thisis indicative of a deep contradiction in communitarian thought. (shrink)
Empirical evidence shows that non-conscious appraisal processes generate bodily responses to the environment. This finding is consistent with William James’s account of emotion, and it suggests that a general theory of emotion should follow James: a general theory should begin with the observation that physiological and behavioral responses precede our emotional experience. But I advance three arguments (empirical and conceptual arguments) showing that James’s further account of emotion as the experience of bodily responses is inadequate. I offer an alternative model, (...) according to which responses (physical states) are perceived and interpreted by a separate cognitive process, one that assigns meaning to those responses. The non-conscious appraisal process and the interpretive process are distinct, hence a two-stage model of emotion. This model is related to Schachter and Singer’s two-factor theory. Their often-discussed experiment showed that interpretation can play a role in producing emotions. But they do not show that interpretation is necessary for producing emotions in general, outside of the experimental conditions that generated unexplained arousal in subjects. My two-stage model supports this stronger claim by situating the interpretive process in a comprehensive model of emotion. (shrink)
In this paper I propose and defend an account of color that I call color functionalism. I argue that functionalism is a non-traditional species of primary quality theory, and that it accommodates our intuitions about color and the facts of color science better than more widely discussed alternatives.
I defend a neo-Kantian view wherein we are capable of being completely autonomous and impartial and argue that this ability can ground normativity. As this view includes an existentialist conception of the self, I defend radical choice, a primary component of that conception, against arguments many take to be definitive. I call the ability to use radical choice “existentialist voluntarism” and bring it into a current debate in normative philosophy, arguing that it allows that we can be distanced from all (...) ends at once so as to be completely impartial. Finally, I indicate how this can be the source of normativity as it provides a purely impartial reason for being rational. (shrink)
In this essay we shall examine the contemporary jurisprudential thinking and legal precedents surrounding the issue of the sanctionability of pornography. We shall catalogue them by their logical presumptions, such as whether they view pornography as speech or act, whether they view pornography as obscenity, political hate-speech or anomalous other, whether they would scrutinize legislation governing pornography by a balancing of the harm of repression against the harm of permission, and who exactly they view as the victims.We shall take a (...) special interest in the most recent, but unsuccessful, attempt by a subgroup of feminists to proscribe pornography by treating it as neither political speech nor sexual speech but speech which causes harm which is both political and sexual. They would like it to be considered as a special kind of odious propaganda undeserving of protection because it promulgates a mental state conducive to criminal activity, and hence is criminal in and of itself. However, the repression of propaganda, even odious propaganda, is not so easily accomplished in this country. (shrink)
abstract Intuitively, all killings are equally wrong, no matter how old one's victim. In this paper we defend this claim — The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis — against a challenge presented by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen. Lippert-Rasmussen shows The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis to be incompatible with two further theses: The Unequal Wrongness of Renderings Unconscious Thesis and The Equivalence Thesis. Lippert-Rasmussen argues that, of the three, The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis is the least defensible. He suggests that the (...) most convincing considerations apparently in favour of the Equal Wrongness thesis may be satisfied just as well if we adopt an alternative principle, a 'Prioritarian View' about the wrongness of killing. We argue that The Prioritarian View does not resolve the trilemma: it too is inconsistent with the other two theses. Instead, we argue, the most plausible resolution of the trilemma involves a rejection, rather, of The Unequal Wrongness of Renderings Unconscious Thesis. In its place, we offer an attractive principle that is compatible with both The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis as well as The Equivalence Thesis. (shrink)
The author comments on the article “The neurobiology of addiction: Implications for voluntary control of behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. The author agrees with Hyman that debate persists whether addiction is a brain disease or a moral condition. The author states that Hyman has not fully answered the question of when addicted persons are responsible for what they do. The author also suggests that addiction is a brain disease and therapy can improve the symptoms of this life-threatening syndrome. Accession Number: (...) 24077918; Authors: Cohen, Peter J. 1; Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org; Affiliations: 1: Georgetown University Law Center; Subject: EDITORIALS; Subject: ADDICTIONS; Subject: BRAIN -- Diseases; Subject: SYNDROMES; Subject: HYMAN, S. E.; Number of Pages: 3p. (shrink)
Teaching economics has been shown to encourage students to defect in a prisoner's dilemma game. However, can ethics training reverse that effect and promote cooperation? We conducted an experiment to answer this question. We found that students who had the ethics module had higher rates of cooperation than students without the ethics module, even after controlling for communication and other factors expected to affect cooperation. We conclude that the teaching of ethics can mitigate the possible adverse incentives of the prisoner's (...) dilemma, and, by implication, the adverse effects of economics and business training. (shrink)
Section I argues, against Peter Mew, that, since people create nothing ex nihilo, everything now privately owned incorporates something that once was not, and that this has important consequences for distributive justice. Section II defends the ?diachronic? approach to distributive justice against Mew's charge that it is ?otiose?, and section III claims that beliefs about distributive justice have a big effect on political conflict in the real world. Section IV enters a few disagreements with Mew's account of the political ?quiescence? (...) of the Western proletariat. Section V relieves the tension between the Marxist commitment to the advancement of productive power and the Marxist commitment to those at whose expense that advancement occurs. (shrink)
In this paper, I first argue that waste is best understood as (a) any process wherein something useful becomes less useful and that produces less benefit than is lost—where benefit and usefulness are understood with reference to the same metric—or (b) the result of such a process. I next argue for the immorality of waste. My concluding suggestions are that (W1) if one person needs something for her preservation and a second person has it, is avoidably wasting it, and refuses (...) to allow the first to make some greater use of it, the second may be morally wrong and that (W2) if one person needs something for her preservation understood according to her metric and a second person has it, is avoidably wasting it according to his own metric, and refuses to allow the first to make some greater use of it, the second is morally wrong. (shrink)
Review: Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology. Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology Jeanette Kennett New York Oxford University Press 2001 viii + 229 Hardback US$45 By Jeanette Kennett. Oxford University Press. New York. Pp. viii + 229. Hardback:US$45.
Cotard's syndrome is a psychotic condition that includes delusion of a supernatural nature. Based on insights from recovered patients who were convinced of being immortal, we can (1) distinguish biographical experiences from cultural and evolutionary backgrounds; (2) show that cultural significance dominates biographical experiences; and (3) support Bering's view of a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of immortality.
This paper discusses the relevancy of a contingent factors model posited by Jones for conducting accounting ethics research. Using a sample of 37 experienced Australian auditing managers and partners of all of the ‘Big Four’ multinational accounting firms, we find that the contextual model developed by Jones can help guide accounting ethics research by isolating the contingent factors that affect ethical decision making. Moreover, we examine how the factors differ across different accounting settings. Implications for accounting ethics research and accounting (...) practice are then discussed. (shrink)
Is cybernetics good, bad, or indifferent? SherryTurkle enlists deconstructive theory to celebrate thecomputer age as the embodiment of difference. Nolonger just a theory, one can now live a virtual life. Within a differential but ontologically detachedfield of signifiers, one can construct and reconstructegos and environments from the bottom up andendlessly. Lucas Introna, in contrast, enlists theethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to condemn thesame computer age for increasing the distance betweenflesh and blood people. Mediating the face-to-facerelation between real people, allowing and (...) encouragingcommunication at a distance, information technologywould alienate individuals from the social immediacyproductive of moral obligations and responsibilities. In this paper I argue against both of thesepositions, and for similar reasons. Turkle''scelebration and Introna''s condemnation of informationtechnology both depend, so I will argue, on the samemistaken meta-interpretation of it. Like Introna,however, but to achieve a different end, I will enlistLevinas''s ethical philosophy to make this case. (shrink)
In this article, I describe the need for tomorrow's scientists to be tutored in a personal ethic that values ethical responsiveness as the core, organizing principle for guiding research, teaching, application, and career direction. To address this need, I describe a teaching approach that instills science students with an understanding that moral reflection and action are the core tenets of scientific thinking and practice. The approach empowers students to reflect openly and discuss ongoing, ethical concerns as they face them in (...) their research and scholarship. Out of this, students naturally see the urgency to explore ethical issues and thinking from multiple perspectives, to develop and refine their ethical thinking, and to make moral choices in their routine scientific activities. (shrink)
In this paper, we present and defend the theoretical framework of an empirical model to describe people’s fundamental moral attitudes (FMAs) to animals, the stratification of FMAs in society and the role of FMAs in judgment on the culling of healthy animals in an animal disease epidemic. We used philosophical animal ethics theories to understand the moral basis of FMA convictions. Moreover, these theories provide us with a moral language for communication between animal ethics, FMAs, and public debates. We defend (...) that FMA is a two-layered concept. The first layer consists of deeply felt convictions about animals. The second layer consists of convictions derived from the first layer to serve as arguments in a debate on animal issues. In a debate, the latter convictions are variable, depending on the animal issue in a specific context, time, and place. This variability facilitates finding common ground in an animal issue between actors with opposing convictions. (shrink)
Health care resource distribution is a subject of debate among health policy analysts, economists, and philosophers. In the United States, there is a widening gap between the more-and less-advantaged socioeconomic sub-populations in terms of both health care resource distribution and outcomes. Conventional wisdom suggests that there is a tradeoff, a zero-sum game, between efficiency and fairness in the distribution of health care resources. Promoting fairness in the distribution of health care resources and outcomes is not efficient in terms of maximization (...) of a health outcome production function. On the other side of the coin, improving efficiency comes at the expense of fairness. Such conventional wisdom is supported in part by standard static Paretian welfare analysis. However, in this paper it is shown that in a dynamic setting in which there are efficiency gains in the health production function, fairness in distribution of health care resources can improve simultaneously. (shrink)
The classical analysis of relevance in probabilistic terms does not fit legal, moral or conversational relevance, and, though analysis in terms of a psychological model may fit conversational relevance, it certainly does not fit legal, moral or evidential relevance. It is important to notice here that some sentences are ambiguous between conversational and non-conversational relevance. But, if and only ifR is relevant to a questionQ, R is a reason, though not necessarily a complete or conclusive reason, for accepting or rejecting (...) something as an answer toQ. Reasons of this kind are governed by appropriate covering laws or principled probabilities and a number of questions thus arise about the relationship between relevance and certain formal-logical properties. (shrink)
Recent years have featured a spate of regulatory action pertaining to the development and/or disclosure of corporate governance structures in response to financial scandals resulting in part from governance failures. During the same period, corporate governance activists and institutional investors increasingly have called for increased voluntary governance disclosure. Despite this attention, there have been relatively few comprehensive studies of governance disclosure practices and response to the regulation. In this study, we examine a sample of 50 U.S. firms and their public (...) disclosure packages from 2004. We find a high degree of variability in the presentation and reporting format choices for many elements of the governance structure. This variability includes several items for which disclosure is mandated by regulators or legislative action. In particular, smaller firms offer fewer disclosures pertaining to independence, board selection procedures, and oversight of management (including whistleblowing procedures). There are also trends associated with board characteristics: boards that are less independent offer fewer disclosures of independence and management oversight matters. Moreover, large firms provide more disclosures of independence standards, board selection procedures, audit committee matters, management control systems, other committee matters, and whistleblowing procedures but do not appear to have a strictly superior information environment when compared to smaller firms. The findings raise questions about compliance with regulatory requirements and the degree to which conflicts of interest between managers and directors are being controlled. While there have been notable improvements in the information environment of governance disclosures, there remain structural issues that may possess negative ramifications for stakeholders. (shrink)
Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are widely offered in public accounting as a tool to retain valued professional staff. Previous research has shown that participants in FWAs are perceived to be less likely to succeed in their careers in public accounting than individuals in public accounting who do not participate in FWAs (Cohen and Single, 2001). Research has also documented an increasing backlash against family–friendly policies in the workplace as placing unfair burdens on individuals without children. Building directly on a (...) previous study in this journal (Cohen and Single, 2001), this study addresses the issue of whether the documented perceptions toward FWA participants are the result of electing to take part in the FWA or the result of bias against employees with children. The research questions are addressed in a 3 × 2 experimental setting in which we manipulate FWA participation, along with family status and gender of a hypothetical manager in a public accounting firm. Our findings indicate that FWA participants are viewed as less likely to advance and as less committed than individuals without children or individuals who had children but who were not taking part in a FWA. Male FWA participants are viewed as less likely to succeed than female FWA participants. This effect appears to arise from a perception that FWA participants are willing to make sacrifices in their careers to accommodate family needs and thus may not be as committed to making the sacrifices perceived as necessary to meet the rigorous demands of the public accounting environment. This raises the ethical question of what could be done to change the culture in public accounting to foster a substantive support system for individuals who want to balance a family and a career. (shrink)
Critics of liberalism in the past two decades have argued that the fact that we are necessarily "situated" or "embedded" means that we can not always choose our own ends (for example, our conceptions of the good or our loyalties to others). Some suggest that we simply discover ourselves with these "connections." If correct, this would argue against (Rawlsian) hypothetical contract models and liberalism more broadly, make true impartiality impossible, and give support to traditionalist views like those of Alasdair MacIntyre, (...) Charles Taylor, and Michael Sandel. These same critics argue that liberalism's rejection or neglect of this supposed fact of our moral life has pernicious anti-social affects. I argue that the critics are wrong in both cases, defending what I call "strong voluntarism." In contrast both to recent critics of liberalism and the dominant trend in recent liberal thought, my defense of strong voluntarism allows that we can always choose to accept or reject any end we happen to have but that this does not lead to any pernicious anti-social effects. (shrink)
This study develops a pedagogy for the teaching of ethical principles in information systems (IS) classes, and reports on an empirical study that supports the efficacy of the approach. The proposed pedagogy involves having management information systems professors lead questioning and discussion on a list of ethical issues as part of their existing IS courses. The rationale for this pedagogy involves (1) the maturational aspects of ethics, and (2) the importance of repetition, challenge, and practice in developing a personal set (...) of ethics. A study of IS ethics using a pre-post test design found that classes receiving such treatment significantly improved their performance on an IS ethics questionnaire. (shrink)
Reidenbach and Robin (1988, 1990) proposed and refined a multidimensional ethics scale. This study replicates and extends their work by examining the generalizability of the scale beyond marketing to accounting, and to subjects from across the United States and other countries. Results indicate that, in general, the scale holds for this different sample and context. However, an additional utilitarian construct emerged in the current study as important for accounting academics in their ethical decision-making. We also found that when we refined (...) Reidenbach and Robin's measure of intention to make a particular choice, a social desirability bias or halo effect was identified. Methodological implications for business ethics research are also presented. (shrink)
In this second edition of his best-selling introduction to philosophy, Martin Cohen combines new and topical problems with humorous and engaging discussion. The new edition includes an updated glossary of helpful terms, possible new solutions to the problems, as well as many classic problems and new contemporary problems taken from the media to physics, medical ethics to artificial intelligence. 101 Philosophy Problems, Second Edition combines wit with philosophical scholarship and is ideal for anyone interested in this exciting and stimulating (...) topic. Examples of problems included: * Protagoras' Problem * The Lost Kingdom and the Pesky-Fly Problem * Life on Sirius * Achilles and the Tortoise * The Value of Stamps and Potatoes * The Cube and the Triangle * The Microworld Time Forgot * A Problem Arranging Ship Battles * But Will the Waterfall? * Kant's Problem * A Sinister Transplant Problem * The Evangelist * Problems with the Speed of Light * Schopenhauer's Problem. (shrink)
Objective: Ethical guidelines are designed to ensure benefits, protection and respect of participants in clinical research. Clinical trials must now be registered on open-access databases and provide details on ethical considerations. This systematic survey aimed to determine the extent to which recently registered clinical trials report the use of standard of care and post-trial obligations in trial registries, and whether trial characteristics vary according to setting. Methods: We selected global randomized trials registered on http://www.clinicaltrials.gov and http://www.controlled-trials.com. We searched for intervention (...) trials of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis from 9 October 2004, the date of the most recent version of the Helsinki Declaration, to 10 April 2007. Results: We collected data from 312 trials. Fifty-eight percent (58%, 95% CI = 53 to 64) of trial protocols report informed consent. Fifty-eight percent (58%, 95% CI = 53 to 64) of trials report active controls. Almost no trials (1%, 95% CI = 0.5 to 3) mention post-trial provisions. Most trials measure surrogate outcomes. Twenty percent (20%, 95% CI = 16 to 25) of trials measure patient-important outcomes, such as death; and the odds that these outcomes are in a low income country are five times greater than for a developed country (odds ratio (OR) 5.03, 95% CI = 2.70 to 9.35, p = < 0.001). Pharmaceutical companies are involved in 28% (CI = 23 to 33) of trials and measure surrogate outcomes more often than nonpharmaceutical companies (OR 2.45, 95% CI = 1.18 to 5.09, p = 0.31). Conclusion: We found a large discrepancy in the quality of reporting and approaches used in trials in developing settings compared to wealthier settings. (shrink)
No one disputes that certain cognitive tasks involve the use of images. On the other hand, there has been substantial disagreement over whether the representations in which imaginal tasks are carried out are imaginal or propositional. The empirical literature on the topic which has accrued over the last twenty years suggests that there is a functional equivalence between mental imagery and perception: when peopIe imagine a scene or event, the mental processes that occur are functionally similar in important senses to (...) what happens when they visually perceive an analogous scene or event. What is in dispute is not this principle of equivalence, but rather what conclusions should be drawn from it about the representational medium used in imagery.The problem to be explained is what internal cognitive events transpire when people answer questions like “What color is a bee’s head?” Most people report that they imagine a picture of the insect and then look at the head in the image to determine its color. Although there is no more reason to accept these introspective reports as a good account of cognitive processes than in any other cognitive phenomena, there are many empirical results which lend credence to the idea that there are mental images of some kind.Some theorists have taken the empirical results as evidence that there exists a special, non-symbolic representational medium for imagery. Others have insisted that the imagery data can be explained best in terms of the more general, symbolic representations which are usually taken to underly higher level cognitive tasks. In this paper I shall evaluate the arguments for both imaginal and propositional representations in the hope of assessing the status of the imagery debate. I shall conclude that imaginal theories represent the most reasonable account of imagery. (shrink)
The work of Jacques Derrida has transformed our understanding of a range of disciplines in the humanities through its questioning of some of the basic tenets of western metaphysics. This volume is a trans-disciplinary collection dedicated to his work; the assembled contributions - on law, literature, ethics, history, gender, politics and psychoanalysis, among others - constitute an investigation of the role of Derrida's work within the field of humanities, present and future. The volume is distinguished by work on some of (...) his most recent writings, and contains Derrida's own address on 'the future of the humanities'. In addition to its pedagogic interest, this collection of essays attempts to respond to the question: what might be the relation of Derrida, or 'deconstruction' to the future of the humanities? The volume presents the most sustained examples yet of what deconstruction is in its current phase - as well as what its possible future may be. (shrink)
In his target article, Pulvermüller addresses the issue of word localization in the brain. It is not clear, however, how cell assemblies are localized in the case of sensory deprivation. Pulvermüller's claim is that words learned via other modalities (i.e., sign languages) should be localized differently. It is argued, however, based on experimental and theoretical ground, that they should be found in a similar place.
Patients with persistent pain who lack adetectable underlying disease challenge thetheories supporting much of biomedicalbody-mind discourse. In this context,diagnostic labeling is as inherently vulnerableto the same pitfalls of uncertainty that besetany other interpretative endeavour. The endpoint is often no more than a name ratherthan the discovered essence of a pre-existentmedical condition. In 1990 a Committee of theAmerican College of Rheumatology (ACR)formulated the construct of Fibromyalgia in anattempt to rectify a situation of diagnosticconfusion faced by patients presenting withwidespread pain. It was (...) proposed thatFibromyalgia existed as a ``specific entity'',separable from but curiously able to co-existwith any other painful condition. Epistemological and semiotic analyses ofFibromyalgia have failed to find any sign,clinical or linguistic, which coulddifferentiate it from other diffusemusculoskeletal pain states. The construct ofFibromyalgia sought to define a discernablereality outside the play of language and topass it off as a natural phenomenon. However,because it has failed both clinically andsemiotically, the construct also fails the testof medical utility for the subject inpersistent pain. (shrink)
Levinas seamlessly unites philosophy and religion via ethics. By doing so he satisfies philosophy's quest for justification by finding it neither in epistemology nor aesthetics (nor in an escapist "fundamentalism") but in the responsibility of each person for each other and for all others. That is to say, the "ground" of meaning emerges neither in intellect nor imagination but in the moral responsibilities one person has for another and, beyond these already infinite obligations, in the justice - law and equality (...) - that such responsibilities require and engender. All of this is at the same time a consistent expression, indeed a profoundly mature expression of the ethical monotheist vision of traditional rabbinic Judaism and of non-mythological religious consciousness more generally. /// O pensamento de Emmanuel Levinas induz uma união perfeita entre Filosofia e Religião mediante a Ética. Nesta medida, o filósofo dá resposta à pergunta da Filosofia pela sua própria justificação, justificação essa que ele não encontra nem na epistemologia nem na estética (nem em qualquer forma de escapismo fundamentalista), mas na responsabilidade de cada pessoa por cada um e por todos. Or a isto equivale a dizerque o "fundamento" para o sentido não emerge nem do intelecto nem da imaginação, mas sim da responsabilidade moral que nos obriga a cada um diante dos outros e, para lá destas obrigações infinitas, nos compromete com a justiça - representada no princípio da legalidade e da equidade - requerida e engendrada por essas mesmas responsabilidades. Tudo isto, para o autor, é ao mesmo tempo expressão consistente, de facto, uma expressão profundamente madura da visão ética monoteísta do Judaísmo rabínico e, de uma forma mais geral, de toda a forma de consciência religiosa não mitológica. (shrink)
In July 2011, the ACGME implemented new rules that limit interns to 16 hours of work in a row, but continue to allow 2nd-year and higher resident physicians to work for up to 28 consecutive hours. Whether the ACGME's 2011 work hour limits went too far or did not go far enough has been hotly debated. In this article, we do not seek to re-open the debate about whether these standards get matters exactly right. Instead, we wish to address the (...) issue of effective enforcement. That is, now that new work hour limits have been established, and given that the ACGME has been unable to enforce work hour limits effectively on its own, what is the best way to make sure the new limits are followed in order to reduce harm to residents, patients, and others due to sleep-deprived residents? We focus on three possible national approaches to the problem, one rooted in funding, one rooted in disclosure, and one rooted in tort law. (shrink)
"The central advantages of this book are undoubtedly its lucidity, range and unorthodox approach to presenting key thinkers who have deeply influenced political philosophy. ... This wide range is covered with surprising agility and clarity. The book offers an engaging account of political philosophy where great schools of thought are audaciously summarized in a paragraph or two." --- Times Higher Education Supplement "Reliable and fair... Clear, relaxed, jargon-free and often attractively witty." --- The Philosopher "A handbook of the history of (...) political philosophy." --- Choice Guiding the reader through the key arguments of the classic figures of Western political philosophy, from Plato through to the modern era, this revised edition includes new essays on Aristotle's "Politics", Confucianism, Islamic social philosophy, and Nazism as well as additional material on "Roman Law", Anarchism and "anti-capitalism". Cohen moves chronologically through the development of political philosophy presenting it as a series of "key texts", which (after setting in context) he allows to speak in their own terms before offering short, precise analyses of their strengths, weaknesses and influence. The book finishes with a discussion of modern liberalism and conservatism. Providing both a broad overview and precise summaries of key ideas, this guide will be invaluable for all students of political thought. (shrink)
Abstract The prevalence of military activity in the experience of modern Israel has recently generated several attempts to compare western teachings on warfare and its exercise with those found in Jewish sources. The present article constitutes a contribution to that enterprise, focusing on attitudes towards what are here termed ?unlicensed wars? in the overall just war tradition. The article first defines that specific category of armed conflict, arguing that ?unlicensed wars? are characterized by a failure to follow the constitutional procedures (...) required to set the military apparatus in motion. It then goes on to analyze specifically Jewish textual traditions relating to the consequences of this situation. Finally, the paper discusses the broader messages conveyed by the term ?unlicensed war?, demonstrating how it reflects the Jewish conception of the polity as a covenantal community. (shrink)
The material elements of writing have long been undervalued, and have been dismissed by recent historicising trends of criticism; but analysis of these elements - sound, signature, letters - can transform our understanding of literary texts. In this book Tom Cohen shows how, in an era of representational criticism and cultural studies, the role of close reading has been overlooked. Arguing that much recent criticism has been caught in potentially regressive models of representation, Professor Cohen undertakes to counter (...) this by rethinking the 'materiality' of the text itself. Through a series of revealing new readings of the work of writers including Plato, Bakhtin, Poe, Whitman and Conrad, Professor Cohen exposes the limitations of new historicism and neo-pragmatism, and demonstrates how 'the materiality of language' operates to undo the representational models of meaning imposed by the literary canon. (shrink)
Two new philosophical problems surrounding the gradation of certainty began to emerge in the 17th century and are still very much alive today. One is concerned with the evaluation of inductive reasoning, whether in science, jurisprudence, or elsewhere; the other with the interpretation of the mathematical calculus of change. This book, aimed at non-specialists, investigates both problems and the extent to which they are connected. Cohen demonstrates the diversity of logical structures that are available for judgements of probability, and (...) explores the rationale for their appropriateness in different contexts of application. Thus his study deals with the complexity of the underlying philosophical issues without simply cataloging alternative conceptions or espousing a particular "favorite" theory. (shrink)
Major Philosophers of Jewish Prayer in the Twentieth Century addresses the troubling questions posed by the modern Jewish worshiper, including such obstacles to prayer as the inability to concentrate on the words and meanings of formal liturgy, the paucity of emotional involvement, the lack of theological conviction, the anthropomorphic and particularly the masculine emphasis of prayer nomenclature, and other matters. In assessing these difficultites, Cohen brings to the reader the writings on prayer of some seminal 20th century Jewish theologians. (...) These include Herman Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Avraham Yitzhak, Hoakohen Kook, Mordecai M. Kaplan, R. Arele, Aaron Rote, Elie Munk, Abraham J. Heschel, Jakob J. Petuchowski, Eugene B. Borowitz, and Lawrence A. Hoffman. (shrink)
Johnathan Cohen's book provides a lucid and penetrating treatment of the fundamental issues of contemporary analytical philosophy. This field now spans a greater variety of topics and divergence of opinion than fifty years ago, and Cohen's book addresses the presuppositions implicit to it and the patterns of reasoning on which it relies.
The man behind the New York Times Magazine ’s immensely popular column “The Ethicist”–syndicated in newspapers across the United States and Canada as “Everyday Ethics”–casts an eye on today’s manners and mores with a provocative, thematic collection of advice on how to be good in the real world. Every week in his column on ethics, Randy Cohen takes on conundrums presented in letters from perplexed people who want to do the right thing (or hope to get away with doing (...) the wrong thing), and responds with a skillful blend of moral authority and humor. Cohen’s wisdom and witticisms have now been collected in The Good, the Bad & the Difference , a collection of his columns as wise and funny as a combination of “Dear Abby,” Plato, and Mel Brooks. The columns are supplemented with second thoughts on (and sometimes complete reversals of) his original replies, follow-up notes on how his advice affected the actions of various letter writers, reactions from readers both pro and con, and observations from such “guest ethicists” as David Eggers and the author’s mom. Each chapter also features an “Ethics Pop Quiz,” and readers will be invited to post their answers on the book’s Web site. The best of them will appear in a future paperback edition of the book. The Good, the Bad & the Difference is divided into seven sections: •Civic Life (what we do in public) •Family Life (what we do at home) •Social Life (what we do in other people’s homes) •Commercial Life (what we do in situations where money is a factor) •Medical Life (the rights and obligations of patients and caregivers) •Work Life (ethics for the professional sphere) •School Life (moral questions from and about kids) Each section provides a window into how we live today, shedding light on the ways in which a more ethical approach to the decisions we make, and to our daily behavior, can make a big difference in how we feel about ourselves tomorrow. (shrink)
What does it mean to"do theory" in America? In what ways has "French Theory" changed American intellectual and artistic life? How different is it from what French intellectuals themselves conceived, and what does all this tell us about American intellectual life? Is "French Theory" still a significant force in America, raising conceptual questions not easily answered? In this volume of new work--including the French writers Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, and Gilled Delezue, as well as essays by Sylvere Lotringer (...) and Sande Cohen, Mario Biagoli, Elie During, Chris Kraus, Alison Gingeras, and Kriss Ravetto, among others--French theorists assess the impact and reception of their work in America, and American-based critics account for their effects in different areas of cultural criticism and art over the last thirty years. (shrink)