The biological theories of dreaming provide no explanation for the transduction from neuronal discharge to dreaming or waking consciousness. They cannot account for the variability in dream content between individuals or within individuals. Mind-brain isomorphism is poorly supported, as is dreaming's link to REM sleep. Biological theories of dreaming do not provide a function for dreaming nor a meaning for dreams. Evolutionary views of dreaming do not relate dream content to the current concerns of the dreamer and using the nightmare (...) as the paradigm dream minimizes the impact of poor sleep on adaptations. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms]. (shrink)
John Locke's labor theory of property is one of the seminal ideas of political philosophy and served to establish its author's reputation as one of the leading social and political thinkers of all time. Through it Locke addressed many of his most pressing concerns, and earned a reputation as an outstanding spokesman for political individualism - a reputation that lingers widely despite some partial challenges that have been raised in recent years. In this major new study Matthew Kramer offers (...) an extensive critique of the labor theory and investigates the consequences of its downfall. With incisive analyses of the merits and failings of many aspects of Locke's political thought, Kramer advances a powerful challenge to Locke's image as an individualist. Employing a rigorously philosophical methodology, but remaining aware of the insights generated by historical approaches to Locke, Kramer concludes that Locke's political vision was in fact profoundly communitarian. (shrink)
What is objectivity? What is the rule of law? Are the operations of legal systems objective? If so, in what ways and to what degrees are they objective? Does anything of importance depend on the objectivity of law? These are some of the principal questions addressed by Matthew H. Kramer in this lucid and wide-ranging study that introduces readers to vital areas of philosophical enquiry.
This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain of (...) jurisprudence. (shrink)
At least since the publication of Isaiah Berlin's famous essay "Two Concepts of Liberty" nearly half a century ago, political philosophers have argued vigorously over the relative merits of "positive" and "negative" accounts of freedom. Matthew Kramer writes squarely within the negative-liberty tradition, but he incorporates a number of ideas that are quite often associated with theories of positive liberty. Much of The Quality of Freedom is devoted to elaborating the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of particular (...) freedoms and unfreedoms; however, the book's cardinal objective is to establish the measurability of each person's overall freedom and of each society's aggregate freedom. On the one hand, Kramer contends that the existence of any particular instance of liberty or unfreedom is a matter of fact that can be confirmed or disconfirmed without any reliance on evaluative or normative considerations. On the other hand, he argues that the extent of each person's overall freedom or unfreedom cannot be ascertained entirely in the absence of evaluative assumptions. By combining those two positions and developing them in detail, Kramer pits himself against all positive accounts of liberty and most negative accounts. In the course of so doing, he aims to demonstrate the rigorous measurability of overall liberty - something that many writers on freedom have casually dismissed as impossible. Although Kramer concentrates principally on constructing a systematic analysis of sociopolitical freedom, he engages critically with the work of many of the leading contemporary writers on the topic. (shrink)
How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? In Part I of this book, Matthew Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral (...) principles are consistent with all the essential characteristics of any legal system. Part II reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings. In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law. Through a variety of arguments, Where Law and Morality Meet highlights both some surprising affinities and some striking divergences between morality and law. (shrink)
In a recent full‐length review of Matthew Kramer's In Defense of Legal Positivism, David Dyzenhaus has attacked legal positivists' accounts of adjudication and their views of the relationship between law and morality. The present essay defends legal positivism against his strictures, by arguing that he has misunderstood specific texts and the general lines of enquiry which the positivists pursue.
Debate has long been waged over the morality of capital punishment, with standard arguments in its favour being marshalled against familiar arguments that oppose the practice. In The Ethics of Capital Punishment, Matthew Kramer takes a fresh look at the philosophical arguments on which the legitimacy of the death penalty stands or falls, and he develops a novel justification of that penalty for a limited range of cases. -/- The book pursues both a project of critical debunking of the (...) familiar rationales for capital punishment and a project of partial vindication. The critical part presents some accessible and engaging critiques of major arguments that have been offered in support of the death penalty. These chapters, suitable for use in teaching courses on capital punishment, valuably take issue with positions at the heart of contemporary debates over the morality of such punishment. -/- The book then presents an original justification for executing truly terrible criminals, a justification that is free-standing rather than an aspect or offshoot of a general theory of punishment. Its purgative rationale, which has not heretofore been propounded in any current philosophical and practical debates over the death penalty, derives from a philosophical reconception of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. -/- As the book contributes to philosophical discussions of those phenomena, it also contributes importantly to general normative ethics with sustained reflections on the differences between consequentialist approaches to punishment and deontological approaches. Above all, the volume contributes to the philosophy of criminal law with a fresh rationale for the use of the death penalty and with probing assessments of all the major theories of punishment that have been broached by jurists and philosophers for centuries. Although the book is a work of philosophy by a professional philosopher, it is readily accessible to readers who have not studied philosophy. It will stir both philosophers and anyone engaged with the death penalty to reconsider whether the institution of capital punishment can be an appropriate response to extreme evil. -/- . (shrink)
J. R. and Philip Milton present the first critical edition of John Locke's Essay concerning Toleration and a number of other writings on law and politics composed between 1667 and 1683. Although Locke never published any of these works himself they are of very great interest for students of his intellectual development because they are markedly different from the early works he wrote while at Oxford and show him working out ideas that were to appear in his mature political (...) writings, the Two Treatises of Government and the Epistola de Tolerantia. The Essay concerning Toleration was written in 1667, shortly after Locke had taken up residence in the household of his patron Lord Ashley, subsequently Earl of Shaftesbury. It has been in print since the nineteenth century, but this volume contains the first critical edition based on all the extant manuscripts; it also contains a detailed account of Locke's arguments and of the contemporary debates on comprehension and toleration. Also included are a number of shorter writings on church and state, including a short set of queries on Scottish church government (1668), Locke's notes on Samuel Parker (1669), and 'Excommunication' (1674). The other two main works contained in this volume are rather different in character . One is a short tract on jury selection which was written at the time of Shaftesbury's imprisonment in 1681. The other is 'A Letter from a Person of Quality', a political pamphlet written by or for Shaftesbury in 1675 as part of his campaign against the Earl of Danby. This was published anonymously and is of disputed authorship; it was first attributed to Locke in 1720 and since then has occupied an uncertain position in the Locke canon. This volume contains the first critical edition based on contemporary printed editions and manuscripts and it includes a detailed account of the Letter's composition, authorship, and subsequent history. This volume will be an invaluable resource for all historians of early modern philosophy, of legal, political, and religious thought, and of 17th century Britain. (shrink)
John Milton was not only the greatest English Renaissance poet but also devoted twenty years to prose writing in the advancement of religious, civil and political liberties. The height of his public career was as chief propagandist to the Commonwealth regime which came into being following the execution of King Charles I in 1649. The first of the two complete texts in this volume, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, was easily the most radical justification of the regicide at (...) the time. In the second, A Defence of the People of England, Milton undertook to vindicate the Commonwealth's cause to Europe as a whole. They are central to an understanding both of the development of Milton's political thought and the climax of the English Revolution itself. This is the first time that fully annotated versions have been published together in one volume, and incorporates a wholly new translation of the Defence. The introduction outlines the complexity of the ideological landscape which Milton had to negotiate, and in particular the points at which he departed radically from his sixteenth-century predecessors. Further aids to students include a full chronology of Milton's life and important contemporary events, a select bibliography and biographies of persons mentioned in the text. (shrink)
In his important and engaging book LEGALITY, Scott Shapiro seeks to provide the motivation for the development of his own elaborate account of law by undertaking a critique of H.L.A. Hart’s jurisprudential theory. Hart maintained that every legal system is underlain by a Rule of Recognition through which the officials of the system identify the norms that belong to the system as laws. Shapiro argues that Hart’s remarks on the Rule of Recognition are confused and that his model of law (...) ─ though commendably more sophisticated than any model propounded by earlier legal positivists ─ is consequently untenable. Having thus endeavored to establish that Hart’s exposition of the nature of legality is unsustainable, Shapiro contends that a new approach is vital for progress in the philosophy of law. With his lengthy presentation of his own Planning Theory of Law, he aspires to pioneer just such an approach. -/- Except for a very terse observation in the final main section, this article will not directly assess the strengths and shortcomings of Shapiro’s piquant Planning Theory. Instead, I will defend Hart against Shapiro’s charges and will thereby undermine the motivation for the development of the Planning Theory. Nearly all the objections to Hart’s work posed by Shapiro are inapposite, or so this article will aim to show. (shrink)
Research shows that a culture of consumerism and materialism has a dramatic and negative impact on children's physical and psychological health. Psychologists have a duty to act to reverse this trend. Information on why and how to act is the key. This article explores the use of psychology to improve the effectiveness of advertising to youth and details the harm suffered by children as a result of some of this advertising. A discussion of ethical considerations related to specific guiding principles (...) and ethical standards of the 2002 American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code frames why action is imperative. Actions for psychologists to take in applying the 2002 APA Ethics Code are suggested herein. (shrink)
This essay argues against the commonly held view that "ought" implies "can" in the domain of morality. More specifically, I contest the notion that nobody should ever be held morally responsible for failing to avoid the infliction of any harm that he or she has not been able to avoid through all reasonably feasible precautions in the carrying out of some worthwhile activity. The article explicates the concept of a moral right in order to show why violations of moral rights (...) can occur even when no one has acted wrongfully in any fashion. In so doing, it will effectively be maintaining that strict liability (i.e., liability irrespective of the presence or absence of culpability) exists in morality as well as in law. When we take account of the distinction between exoneration and extenuation, we can see that scrupulously thorough precautions are never sufficient to constitute an excuse in morality. Having made that point with some extended examples, the article goes on to consider a number of possible objections - objections that lead into discussions of some basic distinctions within moral philosophy and some central principles within deontic logic. (shrink)
Two recent high-quality articles, including one in this journal, have challenged the Inclusivist and Incorporationist varieties of legal positivism. David Lefkowitz and Michael Giudice, writing from perspectives heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Raz, have endeavored—in sophisticated and interestingly distinct ways—to vindicate Raz's contention that moral principles are never among the law-validating criteria in any legal system nor among the laws that are applied as binding bases for adjudicative and administrative decisions in such a system. The present article (...) responds to their defenses of Raz's Exclusive Legal Positivism. (shrink)
This article delineates some of the main issues that are debated by philosophers of law. It explores the connections between legal philosophy and other areas of philosophy, while also seeking to specify the distinctiveness of many of the concerns that have preoccupied philosophers of law. It illustrates its abstract points with examples focused on the separability of law and morality, the nature of the rule of law, the nature of rights, justifications for the imposition of punishment, and the identification of (...) basic legal entitlements. (shrink)
During the past few decades, Quentin Skinner has been one of the most prominent critics of the ideas about negative liberty that have developed out of the writings of Isaiah Berlin. Among Skinner?s principal charges against the contemporary doctrine of negative liberty is the claim that the proponents of that doctrine have overlooked the putative fact that people can be made unfree to refrain from undertaking particular actions. In connection with this matter, Skinner contrasts the present-day theories with the prototypical (...) liberal account of negative freedom propounded by Thomas Hobbes. The present essay challenges Skinner?s position both philosophically and exegetically. Because an agent can always elect to cease his activity as an agent, the ostensible inescapability of certain actions is not the same as the outright inescapability of certain instances of inaction. Once this point is properly recognized, the way is clear for a re-evaluation of Hobbes (and of Skinner on Hobbes). (shrink)
Edited by leading contributors to the literature, Freedom: An Anthology is the most complete anthology on social, political and economic freedom ever compiled. Offers a broad guide to the vast literature on social, political and economic freedom. Contains selections from the best scholarship of recent decades as well as classic writings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant among others. General and sectional introductions help to orient the reader. Compiled and edited by three important contributors to the field.
The twofold world -- Three relational realms -- What is "genuine community" -- Who is the "real I"? -- Glimpsing the "eternal thou" -- The way of "turning" -- Postscript -- Frequently asked questions -- The way of "inclusion".
The discovery of mirror neurons in both primates and humans has led to an enormous amount of research and speculation as to how conscious beings are able to interact so effortlessly among one another. Mirror neurons might provide an embodied basis for passive synthesis and the eventual process of further communalization through empathy, as envisioned by Edmund Husserl. I consider the possibility of a phenomenological and scientific investigation of laughter as a point of connection that might in the future bridge (...) the gap Husserl feared had grown too expansive between the worlds of science and philosophy. Part I will describe some implications of the discovery of mirror neurons. Part II will address Husserl’s concept of embodiment as it relates to neuroscience and empathy. Part III will be a primer to investigating laughter phenomenologically. Part IV will be a continuation of the study of laughter and empathy as possible elements helpful in broadening the scope of what Husserl calls the Life-World. (shrink)
This article explores some implications of the counterfactual aspect of freedom and unfreedom. Because actions can be unprevented even if they are not undertaken, and conversely because actions can be prevented even if they are not attempted and are thus not overtly thwarted, any adequate account of negative liberty must ponder numerous counterfactual chains of events. Each person's freedom or unfreedom is affected not only by what others in fact do, but also by what they are disposed to do. Their (...) dispositions play a key role in determining whether the abilities and inabilities of each person would continue as such if the person's conduct or situation were altered in various respects. Until one knows whether people would or would not have acted in certain ways if a given person had sought to do something, one cannot know whether that person was free to do that thing. Nor can one know whether the person was free to perform that action in combination with manifold subsequent actions. Thus, whether tacit or explicit, counterfactual scenarios are indispensable for any enquiry into a person's liberty. By relying (albeit perhaps only implicitly) on such scenarios, which trace how people are disposed to act vis-a-vis one another, one takes account of the central role of unmanifested dispositions in setting the bounds of people's sociopolitical freedom. Among the principal theorists whose work is critically examined in this article are Hillel Steiner, Ian Carter, and G.A. Cohen. Key Words: freedom liberty unfreedom negative liberty counterfactuals disposition. (shrink)
Many social situations require a mental model of the knowledge, beliefs, goals, and intentions of others: a Theory of Mind (ToM). If a person can reason about other people’s beliefs about his own beliefs or intentions, he is demonstrating second-order ToM reasoning. A standard task to test second-order ToM reasoning is the second-order false belief task. A different approach to investigating ToM reasoning is through its application in a strategic game. Another task that is believed to involve the application of (...) second-order ToM is the comprehension of sentences that the hearer can only understand by considering the speaker’s alternatives. In this study we tested 40 children between 8 and 10 years old and 27 adult controls on (adaptations of) the three tasks mentioned above: the false belief task, a strategic game, and a sentence comprehension task. The results show interesting differences between adults and children, between the three tasks, and between this study and previous research. (shrink)
This article provides current Schwartz Values Survey (SVS) data from samples of business managers and professionals across 50 societies that are culturally and socioeconomically diverse. We report the society scores for SVS values dimensions for both individual- and societal-level analyses. At the individual-level, we report on the ten circumplex values sub-dimensions and two sets of values dimensions (collectivism and individualism; openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence). At the societal-level, we report on the values dimensions of embeddedness, hierarchy, mastery, affective (...) autonomy, intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism, and harmony. For each society, we report the Cronbach’s α statistics for each values dimension scale to assess their internal consistency (reliability) as well as report interrater agreement (IRA) analyses to assess the acceptability of using aggregated individual level values scores to represent country values. We also examined whether societal development level is related to systematic variation in the measurement and importance of values. Thus, the contributions of our evaluation of the SVS values dimensions are two-fold. First, we identify the SVS dimensions that have cross-culturally internally reliable structures and within-society agreement for business professionals. Second, we report the society cultural values scores developed from the twenty-first century data that can be used as macro-level predictors in multilevel and single-level international business research. (shrink)
Legal positivism’s multi-faceted insistence on the separability of law and morality includes an insistence on the thoroughly conventional status of legal norms as legal norms. Yet the positivist affirmation of the conventionality of law may initially seem at odds with the mind-independence of the existence and contents and implications of legal norms. Mind-independence, a central aspect of legal objectivity, has been seen by some theorists as incompatible with the mind-dependence of conventions. Such a perception of incompatibility has led some anti-positivist (...) theorists to reject the notion of law’s conventionality, and has led some positivist theorists to query law’s mind-independence. What will be contended here is that both camps are mistaken. (shrink)
This analysis comments on Bernstein’s lack of clear understanding of subjectivity, based on his book, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis. Bernstein limits his interpretation of subjectivity to thinkers such as Gadamer and Habermas. The authors analyze the ideas of classic scholars such as Edmund Husserl and Friedrich Nietzsche. Husserl put forward his notion of transcendental subjectivity and phenomenological ramifications of the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity. Nietzsche referred to subjectivity as perspectivism, the inescapable fact that any and (...) all consciousnesses exist in space and time. Consciousness is fundamentally constituted of cultural, linguistic, and historical dimensions. (shrink)
Kristeva’s Revolution in Poetic Language offers a challenge to theories of the subject in psychoanalysis, linguistic theory, and in philosophy. Central to that challenge is Kristeva’s conception of negativity. In this article, I trace the development of the concept of negativity in Revolution in Poetic Language from its root in Hegel, to rejection, which Kristeva develops out of Freud. Both are crucial to the development of the material dialectic between the semiotic and the symbolic that makes up Kristeva’s subject-in-process/on trial. (...) I argue that a clearer understanding of Kristeva’s conception of negativity helps us to better appreciate the force of Kristeva’s challenge, both philosophically and politically. Finally I argue that Kristevan negativity also helps us to clarify the relation between the delimited space of politics and its conditions, laying the groundwork for constitutive exclusion as political critique and opening a space for the possibility of political re-constitutions. (shrink)
Alan Gewirth has propounded a moral theory which commits him to the view that prescriptions can appropriately be addressed to people who have neither any moral reasons nor any prudential reasons to follow the prescriptions. We highlight the strangeness of Gewirth's position and then show that it undermines his attempt to come up with a supreme moral principle.