Logical positivism is widely associated with an illiberal technocratic view of politics. This view is a caricature. Some members of the left Vienna circle were explicit in their criticism of this conception of politics. In particular, Neurath's work attempted to link the internal epistemological pluralism and tolerance of logical empiricism with political pluralism and the rejection of a technocratic politics. This paper examines the role that unified science played in Neurath's defence of political and social pluralism. Neurath's project of unified (...) science addressed problems that lie at the centre of recent debates around liberalism concerning the possibility of social co-operation in conditions of pluralism. His response is distinctive in calling upon an empiricist tradition that differs from Kantian proceduralist approaches that have predominated in recent liberalism. While Neurath's position has problems, it deserves reconsideration, especially in so far as it questions the Kantian assumption that a thin language of abstract rights provides the best basis for the cosmopolital lingua franca required by conditions of social pluralism. An investigation of the role that unified science plays in Neurath's politics also gives reasons for revising common misconceptions about the nature of the unity of science programme itself. (shrink)
This review essay looks at two important recent books on the empirical social science of inequality, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level and John Hills et al .'s Towards a More Equal Society? , situating these books against the important work of Michael Marmot on epidemiology and health inequalities. I argue that political philosophy can gain a great deal from careful engagement with empirical research on the nature and consequences of inequality, especially in regard to empirical work (...) on the relationship between socioeconomic inequality, status, self-respect, domination, autonomy, the quality of social relations, and societal health outcomes. The essay also raises some methodological questions about the approach taken by Wilkinson and Pickett, as well as questioning the ways in which their argument is (or is not) best understood as being fundamentally egalitarian in character. It concludes with some reflections, prompted by Hills et al ., on the lessons that should be learned by egalitarians from the experience of the Blair and Brown governments in the UK. (shrink)
This article investigates a significant problem in contemporary critical theory, namely its failure to address effectively the possibility that a campaign of political violence may be a legitimate means of fighting grave injustice. Having offered a working definition of 'political violence', I argue that critical theory should be focused on experiences of in justice rather than on ideals of justice. I then explore the reasons as to why, save for some intriguing remarks on retrospective legitimation, J rgen Habermas has not (...) addressed this issue directly. While Axel Honneth's recognition theory may have greater potential here, the absence of explicit consideration of the matter by him leaves considerable work to do. I introduce five questions in the concluding section that provide a starting point in setting out an appropriately stringent, normative test for claims that support violent action against injustice. (shrink)
Contemplating Suicide: The Language and Ethnics of Self Harm By Gavin J. Fairbairn Routledge, 1995. Pp. xxx. ISBN 415?10606. £12.95(pbk). Religious Transformation in Western Society. The End of Happiness By Harvie Ferguson, Routledge, 1992. Pp. xvi + 269. ISBN 0?415?02574?5. £XX.xx. Feminism and the Self: The Web of Identity By Morwenna Griffiths Routledge, 1995. Pp. 191. ISBN 0?415?09821?1. £12.99 (pbk). Faith, Scepticism and Personal Identity. A Festschrift for Terence Penelhum Edited by J.J. Macintosh and H. A. Meynell University of Calgary (...) Press, 1994. Pp. vii + 304. CAN$27.95. The Shape of Space (second edition) By Graham Nerlich Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 0?521?45645?2. Logical Learning Theory: A Human Teleology and its Empirical Support By Joseph F. Rychlak University of Nebraska Press, 1994. Pp. 387. ISBN 0?8032?3904?1. £32.95 Philosophical Idealism and Christian Belief By Alan P.F. Sell University of Wales Press, 1995. Pp. x + 338. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas is well known to students of twentieth-century continental philosophy and especially French philosophy. But he is largely unknown within the circles of Anglo-American philosophy. In Discovering Levinas, Michael L. Morgan shows how this thinker faces in novel and provocative ways central philosophical problems of twentieth century philosophy and religious thought. He tackles this task by placing Levinas in conversation with philosophers such as Donald Davidson, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, Onora O'Neill, Charles Taylor, and Cora Diamond. He (...) also seeks to understand Levinas within philosophical, religious, and political developments in the history of twentieth-century intellectual culture. Morgan demystifies Levinas by examining in illuminating ways his unfamiliar and surprising vocabulary, interpreting texts with an eye to clarity, and arguing that Levinas can be understood as a philosopher of the everyday. Morgan also shows that Levinas's ethics is not morally and politically irrelevant nor is it excessively narrow and demanding in unacceptable ways. Neither glib dismissal nor fawning acceptance, this book provides a sympathetic reading that can form a foundation for a responsible critique. (shrink)
G.A. Cohen, and J. Raz object that Constructivism is incoherent because it crucially deploys unconstructed elements in the structure of justification. This paper offers a reply on behalf of constructivism, by reassessing the role of such unconstructed elements. First, it shows that a shared conception of rational agency works as a starting point for the justification, but it does not play a foundational role. Second, it accounts for the unconstructed norm that constrains the activity of construction as constitutive. Finally, on (...) this basis, it draws a contrast between constructivism and foundational methods of ethics, such as deontology and teleology. -/- . (shrink)
This essay discusses engineering ethics in Puerto Rico by examining the impact of the Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico (CIAPR) and by outlining the constellation of problems and issues identified in workshops and retreats held with Puerto Rican engineers. Three cases developed and discussed in these workshops will help outline movements in engineering ethics beyond the compliance perspective of the CIAPR. These include the Town Z case, Copper Mining in Puerto Rico, and a hypothetical case researched by (...) UPRM students on laptop disposal. The last section outlines four future challenges in engineering ethics pertinent to the Puerto Rican situation. (shrink)
Professor Sterba delivered these comments at the International Society for Environmental Ethics panels on Environmental Virtue Ethics, at the annual meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, April 2000, in Albuquerque, NM. The papers by L. Gerber, J. O’Neill and G. Frasz are published in Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8:2. P. Cafaro’s paper “Thoreau, Leopold and Carson: Toward an Environmental Virtue Ethics” was published in Environmental Ethics 23 (2001): 3-17.
Praise for Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, Third Edition "This is absolutely the best text on professional ethics around. . . . This is a refreshingly open and inviting text that has become a classic in the field." —Derald Wing Sue, professor of psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University "I love this book! And so will therapists, supervisors, and trainees. In fact, it really should be required reading for every mental health professional and aspiring professional. . . . And it is (...) a fun read to boot!" —Stephen J. Ceci, H. L. Carr Professor of Psychology, Cornell University "Pope and Vasquez have done it again. . . . an indispensable resource for seasoned professionals and students alike." —Beverly Greene, professor of psychology, St. John's University "[The third edition] focuses on how to think about ethical dilemmas . . . with empathy for the decision-maker whose best option may have to be a compromise between different values. If there is only room on the shelf for one book in the genre, this is it." —Patrick O'Neill, former president, Canadian Psychological Association "This third edition of the classic ethics text provides invaluable resources and enables readers to engage in critical thinking in order to make their own decisions.?This superb reference belongs in every psychology training program's curriculum and on every psychologist's?bookshelf." —Lillian Comas-Diaz, 2006 president, APA Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice "Ken Pope and Melba Vasquez are right on target once again in the third edition, a book that every practicing mental health professional should read and have in their reference library." —Jeffrey N. Younggren, risk management consultant, American Psychological Association Insurance Trust "Without a doubt, this is the definitive book on ethics within psychology that can inform students, educators, clinical researchers, and practitioners." —Nadine J. Kaslow, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Emory University School of Medicine "This stunningly good book . . . should be on every therapist's desk for quick reference." —David Barlow, professor of psychology and psychiatry, Boston University. (shrink)
This essay is a rejoinder to comments on Uneasy Virtue made by Onora O'Neill, John Skorupski, and Michael Slote in this issue. In Uneasy Virtue I presented criticisms of traditional virtue theory. I also presented an alternative – a consequentialist account of virtue, one which is a form of ‘pure evaluational externalism’. This type of theory holds that the moral quality of character traits is determined by factors external to agency (e.g. consequences). All three commentators took exception to (...) this account. Therefore, the bulk of my response focuses on defending the externalist account of virtue presented in the final chapters of Uneasy Virtue. (shrink)
Jean-Francois Lyotard is often considered to be the father of postmodernism. Here leading experts in the field of cultural and philosophical studies, including Barry Smart, John O' Neill and Victor J. Seidler, tackle many of the questions still being asked about this controversial figure.
The last few years have seen a remarkable revival of interest in the virtues, which have regained their central role in moral philosophy. This thought-provoking new collection is a much-needed survey of virtue ethics and virtue theory. The specially commissioned articles by an international team of philosophers represent the state of the art in this subject and will set the agenda for future work in the area. The contributors--including Lawrence Blum, John Cottingham, Julia Driver, Rosalind Hursthouse, Terence Irwin, Susan Moller (...) Okin, Onora O'Neill, Michael Slote, Michael Stocker, and David Wiggins--cover practical virtue ethics, ancient views of the virtues, impartiality and partiality, Kant, utilitarianism, human nature, natural and artificial virtues, virtue and the good life, the vices, emotions, politics, feminism, moral education, and community. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine whether ethics officers are able to perform their assigned duties independently of organizational management. Specifically, we investigate whether inherent conflicts of interest with company management potentially hinder the ability of ethics officers to serve as an effective monitor and deterrent of unethical activity throughout the organization. As part of our analysis, we conducted 10 detailed phone interviews with current and retired ethics officers in order to determine whether practicing ethics officers feel the need for additional (...) independence protection from management. We propose that the current system in which ethics officers report to management must be changed in order for ethics officers to effectively perform their jobs. Specifically, we maintain that ethics officers should (1) be hired by, (2) be fired by, and (3) report directly to the corporate board of directors rather than company management. Such a change in the reporting environment would greatly enhance the independence of ethics officers. (shrink)
In this paper, criticisms are made of the main tenets of Professor Mellor's argument against ‘backwards’ causation. He requires a closed causal chain of events if there is to be ‘backwards’ causation, but this condition is a metaphysical assumption which he cannot totally substantiate. Other objections to Mellor's argument concern his probabilistic analysis of causation, and the use to which he puts this analysis. In particular, his use of conditional probability inequality to establish the ‘direction’ of causation is shown to (...) be in error. 1I am indebted to Drs H. Krips, L. O'Neill and to the anonymous referee for their suggestions and critical comments on earlier drafts. (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 Mary Anne 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)