This volume is a collection of essays in appreciation, analysis and honor of Paul Ziff, one of the leading American philosophers of the post-World War II period. The essays address questions that loomed large in Ziff's own work. Essays by Zeno Vendler, Jay Rosenberg, and Tom Patton address topics in philosophy of language: understanding, misunderstanding, rules, regularities, and proper names. Michael Resnik examines the nature of numbers, Rita Nolan addresses `mutant predicates', and Peter Alexander discusses microscopes and corpuscles. Douglas C. (...) Long ruminates on Ziff's claim that machines can neither think nor feel. The essays of Dale Jamieson, Bill E. Lawson, Douglas Dempster, and Joseph Ullian address various questions in aesthetics: aesthetic appreciation and morality, expression, the scope of appreciation, and the aesthetics of sport. In the spirit of Ziff, Douglas Stalker criticizes some of the `mush' that looms large in our intellectual lives. The volume begins with a reminiscence by Paul Benacerraf, and ends with selections from an unpublished volume of plays by Paul Ziff. The volume should appeal to anyone whose work has been influenced by Ziff, or is interested in central philosophical problems concerning language, mind, and art. (shrink)
In his classic article, Famine, Affluence, and Morality (Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1972), pp. 229–243), Peter Singer claimed that affluent people in the developed world are morally obligated to transfer large amounts of resources to poor people in the developing world. For present purposes I will not call Singers argument into question. While people can reasonably disagree about exactly how demanding morality is with respect to duties to the desperate, there is little question in my mind that it is (...) much more demanding than common sense morality or our everyday behavior suggests. Even someone who disagrees with this might still find some interest in seeing what a demanding morality would imply for well-off residents of the rich countries of the world. I proceed in the following way. First, I survey humanitarian aid, development assistance, and intervention to protect human rights as ways of discharging duties to the desperate. I claim that we should be more cautious about such policies than is often thought. I go on to suggest two principles that should guide our actions, based on an appreciation of our roles, relationships, and the social and political context in which we find ourselves. (shrink)
In an influential essay published in 1980, J. Baird Callicott argued that animal liberation and environmental ethics are distinct and inconsistent perspectives. Callicott had harsh words both for animals and animal liberationists. He referred to domestic animals as "living artifacts" and claimed that it is "incoherent" to speak of their natural behavior (30). He wrote that it is a "logical impossibility" to liberate domestic animals and that "the value commitments of the humane movement seem at bottom to betray a world-denying (...) or rather a life-loathing philosophy" (31). All of this is in distinction to Aldo Leopold's "land ethic" which, according to Callicott, is holistic. (shrink)
In recent years the idea of geoengineering climate has begun to attract increasing attention. Although there was some discussion of manipulating regional climates throughout the l970s and l980s. the discussion was largely dormant. What has reawakened the conversation is the possibility that Earth may be undergoing a greenhouse-induced global wamring, and the paucity of serious measures that have been taken to Prevent it. ln this paper Iassess the ethical acceptability of ICC, based on my impressions of the conversation that is (...) now taking place. Rather than offering a dispassionate analysis, I argue for a point of view. I propose a set of conditions that must be satisfied for an ICC project to be morally permissible and conclude that these conditions are not now satisfied. However, research on ICC should go forward.. (shrink)
In their marvelous book, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior, Sober and Wilson identify two distinct problems of altruism.’ The problem of Evolutionary Altruism (EA) “is to show how behaviors that benefit others at the expense of self can evolve;” (17) group selection is the key to the solution of this problem. The problem of Psychological Altruism (PA) is to determine whether people “have altruistic desires that are psychologically ultimate.” (201) After carefully considering the arguments of both (...) psychologists and philosophers, Sober and Wilson render the verdict “not proven.” But just in the nick of time, evolutionary biology rides to the rescue; it succeeds where psychology and philosophy fail in vindicating our good nature. In this paper, I will discuss Sober and Wilson’s treatment of PA. (shrink)
The phenomenon of hypnosis provides a rich paradigm for those seeking to understand the processes that underlie consciousness. Understanding hypnosis tells us about a basic human capacity for altered experiences that is often overlooked in contemporary western societies. Throughout the 200 year history of psychology, hypnosis has been a major topic of investigation by some of the leading experimenters and theorists of each generation. Today hypnosis is emerging again as a lively area of research within cognitive (systems level) neuroscience informing (...) basic questions about the structure and biological basis of conscious states. This book describes the latest advances in understanding hypnosis and similar trance states by researchers within the neuroscience of consciousness. It contains many new and exciting contributions from up and coming researchers and provides a lively debate on methodological and theoretical issues central to the development of emerging research paradigms in the neuroscience of conscious states. The book introduces and describes many of the recent new tools that have become available to researchers in this field. Academics, researchers, and clinicians wanting to develop their knowledge of the latest findings, theories and methods in the scientific study of hypnosis and related states of consciousness will find this an up to date guide to this rapidly advancing field. (shrink)
In recent years both philosophers and scientists have been sceptical about the existence of animal minds. This is in distinction to Hume who claimed that '...no truth appears to me more evident, than that beasts are endow'd with thought and reason as well as men'. I argue that Hume is correct about the epistemological salience of our ordinary practices of ascribing mental states to animals. The reluctance of contemporary philosophers and scientists to embrace the view that animals have minds is (...) primarily a fact about their philosophy and science rather than a fact about animals. The recognition of this fact is the beginning of any serious effort to develop a science of cognitive ethology. (shrink)
Jan Narveson has suggested that rational egoism might provide a defensible moral perspective that would put animals out of the reach of morality without denying that they are capable of suffering. I argue that rational egoism provides a principled indifference to the fate of animals at high cost: the possibility of principled indifference to the fate of “marginal humans.”.
I argue that the trivial neuron doctrine as characterized by Gold & Stoljar is not trivial; it appears to be inconsistent with property dualism as well as some forms of functionalism and externalism. I suggest that the problem is not so much with the particular way in which Gold & Stoljar draw the distinction as with the unruliness of the distinction itself. Their failure to see this may be why they misunderstand the views of the Churchlands.
The first anthology to highlight the problems of environmental justice and sustainable development, Reflecting on Nature provides a multicultural perspective on questions of environmental concern, featuring contributions from feminist and minority scholars and scholars from developing countries. Selections examine immediate global needs, addressing some of the most crucial problems we now face: biodiversity loss, the meaning and significance of wilderness, population and overconsumption, and the human use of other animals. Spanning centuries of philosophical, naturalist, and environmental reflection, readings include the (...) work of Aristotle, Locke, Darwin, and Thoreau, as well as that of contemporary, mainstream figures like Bernard Williams, Thomas Hill, Jr., and Jonathan Glover. Works by Val Plumwood, Bill Devall, Murray Bookchin, and John Dryzek comprise a radical ecology section. Featuring insightful section introductions by the editors, this comprehensive and timely collection of philosophical and environmental writing will inform, enlighten, and encourage debate. (shrink)
In this paper I make the following claims. In order to see anthropogenic climate change as clearly involving moral wrongs and global injustices, we will have to revise some central concepts in these domains. Moreover, climate change threatens another value (“respect for nature”) that cannot easily be taken up by concerns of global justice or moral responsibility.
This collection gathers a set of seminal papers from the emerging area of ethics and climate change. Topics covered include human rights, international justice, intergenerational ethics, individual responsibility, climate economics, and the ethics of geoengineering. Climate Ethics is intended to serve as a source book for general reference, and for university courses that include a focus on the human dimensions of climate change. It should be of broad interest to all those concerned with global justice, environmental science and policy, and (...) the future of humanity. (shrink)
This paper is a short commentary on Michelle Dempsey's contribution to a symposium on the work of John Finnis which took place at Villanova Law School in the fall of 2011. It focuses on Finnis's claim that there is a presumptive obligation to obey the law and some worries that Dempsey raises against this claim. It is forthcoming, along with several other papers from the symposium, in the Villanova Law Review.
Michelle Kosch examines the conceptions of free will and the foundations of ethics in the work of Kant, Schelling, and Kierkegaard. She seeks to understand the history of German idealism better by looking at it through the lens of these issues, and to understand Kierkegaard better by placing his thought in this context. Kosch argues for a new interpretation of Kierkegaard's theory of agency, that Schelling was a major influence and Kant a major target of criticism, and that both (...) the theory and the criticisms are highly relevant to contemporary debates. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Maternal Body is a fascinating exploration of an overlooked aspect of feminist thought: what is the role of maternity in philosophy and in what ways has it been used by male theorists to effectively "silence" the voices of women in philosophy? Drawing on rich examples such as Plato's allegory of the cave, Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein's writing on the mother and the mother-daughter relationship, and the psychoanalytic and feminist insights of Irigaray and Kristeva, Michelle Boulous (...) Walker clearly shows how terms such as denial, repression and foreclosure offer crucial insight into the philosophical construction of the maternal body. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, we explore how the application of technological tools has reshaped food production systems in ways that foster large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness. Outbreaks of foodborne illness have received increasing attention in recent years, resulting in a growing awareness of the negative impacts associated with industrial food production. These trends indicate a need to examine systemic causes of outbreaks and how they are being addressed. In this paper, we analyze outbreaks linked to ground beef and salad greens. (...) These case studies are informed by personal interviews, site visits, and an extensive review of government documents and peer-reviewed literature. To explore these cases, we draw from actor-network theory and political economy to analyze the relationships between technological tools, the design of industrial production systems, and the emergence and spread of pathogenic bacteria. We also examine if current responses to outbreaks represent reflexive change. Lastly, we use the myth of Prometheus to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of technology in food production. Our findings indicate that current tools and systems were designed with a narrow focus on economic efficiency, while overlooking relationships with pathogenic bacteria and negative social impacts. In addition, we find that current responses to outbreaks do not represent reflexive change and a continued reliance on technological fixes to systemic problems may result in greater problems in the future. We argue that much can be learned from the myth of Prometheus. In particular, justice and reverence need to play a more significant role in guiding production decisions. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-26 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9357-8 Authors Diana Stuart, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, 3700 East Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA Michelle R. Woroosz, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, 306A Comer Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
This essay explores the practical significance of Michel Henry’s “material phenomenology.” Commencing with an exposition of his most basic philosophical intuition, i.e., his insight that transcendental affectivity is the primordial mode of revelation of our selfhood, the essay then brings to light how this intuition also establishes our relation to both the world and others. Animated by a radical form of the phenomenological reduction, Henry’s material phenomenology brackets the exterior world in a bid to reach the concrete interior transcendental experience (...) at the base of all exteriority. The essay argues that this “counter reduction,” designed as a practical orientation to the world, suspends all traditional parameters of onto(theo)logical individuation in order to rethink subjectivity in terms of its transcendental corporeality, i.e., in terms of the invisible display of “affective flesh.” The development of this “metaphysics of the individual” anchors his “practical philosophy” as he developed it—under shifting accents—throughout his oeuvre. In particular, the essay brings into focus Henry’s reflections on modernity, the industry of mass culture and their “barbaric” movements. The essay briefly puts these cultural and political areas of Henry’s of thinking into contact with his late “theological turn,” i.e., his Christological account of Life and the (inter)subjective self-realization to which it gives rise. (shrink)
Centralizing ignorance and surprise in the production of knowledge Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9614-5 Authors Michelle Olsgard Stewart, Harvard Kennedy School, Program of Science, Technology and Society, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Cet article cherche à rendre compte de la signification du concept d'habitus que nous retrouvons chez Michel Henry en tentant de le situer par rapport aux principaux concepts qui sont au fondement de la phénoménologie matérielle.
Cette étude, dans un premier temps, apporte des preuves à la possibilité d’interpréter la pensée politique de Hannah Arendt comme un projet phénoménologique original dont le but est d’élever l’apparence de la personne au rang de mode unique de l’apparaître. Puis elle présente brièvement la phénoménologie matérielle de Michel Henry dans laquelle le Soi individuel joue un rôle tout aussi central, puisqu’il est la condition de l’apparence de la vie et le fondement de tout apparaître. En conclusion, l’étude esquisse les (...) conséquences d’une telle position privilégiée du sujet individuel pour la conception théorique de la réalité effective de l’apparaître, de même que pour les problèmes pratiques de l’action de l’homme dans le monde. (shrink)
Questo articolo cerca di esplorare il rapporto tra parrēsia ed exemplum negli ultimi Corsi al Collège de France di Michel Foucault. A partire da L’ermeneutica del soggetto , viene analizzato il campo semantico e pratico relativo alla direzione di coscienza stoica ed epicurea, in cui Foucault oppone la parrēsia all’adulazione e alla retorica per collocarla invece all’interno di un’importante serie di concetti: la paradosis (la trasmissione dei discorsi di verità), il kairos (il momento giusto, la circostanza opportuna) e l’exemplum definito (...) come «il cuore della parrēsia » poiché esso assicura l’ adæquatio tra il soggetto di enunciazione e il soggetto di comportamento che si conforma alla verità espressa dal primo. Successivamente, viene posta l’attenzione sul legame tra parrēsia ed exemplum nell’ultimo Corso, Il coraggio della verità , per mettere in evidenza un’importante riconfigurazione all’interno della parrēsia cinica, in cui l’esempio appare come una categoria etica basata sulla permanenza e sull’identità a sé. Pertanto, esso si rivela inadeguato per questo regime aleturgico della parrēsia cinica, che invece consiste in un atteggiamento etico sperimentale, una mise à l’épreuve cui sottomettere la vita per arrivare a una trasformazione politica del mondo attraverso una continua e scandalosa provocazione degli altri, in grado di mettere in discussione la percezione di norme culturali e di abitudini consolidate. (shrink)