In the last few years H.G. Callaway has produced several helpful editions of some important texts by Emerson. Emerson's Conduct of Life was originally published in 1860, and it has appeared in a number of editions since then, but Callaway's edition has several noteworthy features that cause it to stand out from the crowd and make it an important contribution to Emerson studies. This is a rare volume that will serve students, academic philosophers, and causal readers alike: a (...) critical edition of a less-familiar text that is attractive to ordinary readers without sacrificing scholarly rigor. (shrink)
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history. Here is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing (...) a life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet's life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet's example for some of today's most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet's life remain--or become again--an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism--a fixation on ritual--toward a committed spiritual and social presence? In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad's life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam. (shrink)
This well-organized editorial material is useful especially for students and general educated readers coming to study these works for the first time, but also for the specialist who wants to check details or keep up with central literature. The editor's notes offer historical contextualization, terminological and etymological clarifications, and information on both the well-known and the relatively unknown authors cited by Emerson.... Callaway has modernized the spelling of the prose, but otherwise the editions follow the originals. ".
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” (...) and “Illusions.” As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
This rare and important contribution to the field of Islamic studies, philosophy, and comparative religion achieves a twofold objective. First, it draws from a broad and authoritative well of sources, especially in the domain of Sufism, or Islamic mysticism. The scholarship is impeccable. Second, it is an in-depth meditation on the relationship between love and knowledge, multiplicity and unity, the example of the Prophet Muhammed viewed as Universal Man, spiritual union, heart and intellect, and other related themes--conveyed in fresh, contemporary (...) language. The book is as much a work of Sufism as it is a book about Sufism. Many of these themes have a universal appeal for students of mysticism; consequently, there are distinct resonances with other traditions, especially within certain schools of Christian mysticism dominated by the language of love. In our day, when the divisions between many Muslims and many Christians have broadened into chasms of suspicion and fear, books such as this one are especially important for the help they can offer in bridging these rifts. The capacity of scholars to understand these two religions, which stem from the same Abrahamic source, is of the utmost significance, and the best approach to better understanding may be through the mystical traditions, which tend to reflect more tolerance and to recognize a potential for seeing unity in a multiplicity of perspectives. This work conveys the beauty at the heart of the Islamic tradition in a language devoid of technical terminology. (shrink)
A leading metaphysician of the 19th century, Schopenhauer dispensed with traditional philosophic jargon in favor of a brisk, compelling style. In The Wisdom of Life, an essay from his final work, Parerga und Paralipomena (1851), the philosopher favors individual strength of will and independent, reasoned deliberation over the tendency to act on irrational impulses. He examines the ways in which life can be arranged to derive the highest degree of pleasure and success, presents guidelines to achieving this full (...) and rich manner of living, and advises that even a life well lived must always aspire to grander heights. This excellent translation by T. Bailey Saunders abounds in subjects of enduring relevance. (shrink)
The potential for dual use of research in the life sciences to be misused for harm raises a range of problems for the scientific community and policy makers. Various legal and ethical strategies are being implemented to reduce the threat of the misuse of research and knowledge in the life sciences by establishing a culture of responsible conduct.
This companion to Elliot Dorff's three books on Jewish ethics -- Matters of Life and Death , To Do the Right and the Good , and Love Your Neighbor and Yourself -- is designed for group as well as individual study. Through suggested readings from Dorff's books, probing questions, lively discussion topics, and simple writing exercises, readers will be able to analyze and clarify their own positions on a host of controversial issues: sex, surrogate motherhood, adoption, family abuse, responsibilities (...) for charitable giving, the ethics of war, suicide, and euthanasia, and more. (shrink)
Still-vital lectures on teaching deal with psychology and the teaching art, the stream of consciousness, the child as a behaving organism, education and behavior, native and acquired reactions, habit, association of ideas, attention, memory, acquisition of ideas, perception, will, and more. The three addresses to students are "The Gospel of Relaxation," "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings," and "What Makes a Life Significant?" Preface. 2 black-and-white illustrations.
Recent political and social events as well as advances in science and technology have posed challenges to the traditional Muslim discourse on ethics. In this latest in the series of Occasional Papers produced by the Institute of Ismaili Studies, Amyn B. Sajoo examines these challenges, and through a critical analysis of the implications of emerging initiatives in political pluralism and civic culture, in bio-medicine and environmental conservatism, considers how the contours of public ethics in Islam may be redefined to provide (...) shared conceptions of the good in pluralist societies. (shrink)
Part I: The representation of life -- Can life be given a real definition? -- The representation of the living individual -- The representation of the life-form itself -- Part II: Naive action theory -- Types of practical explanation -- Naive explanation of action -- Action and time -- Part III: Practical generality -- Two tendencies in practical philosophy -- Practices and dispositions as sources of the goodness of individual actions -- Practice and disposition as sources of (...) individual action. (shrink)
This paper considers multiple meanings of the expression ‘dual use’ and examines lessons to be learned from the life sciences when considering ethical and policy issues associated with the dual-use nature of nanotechnology (and converging technologies). After examining recent controversial dual-use experiments in the life sciences, it considers the potential roles and limitations of science codes of conduct for addressing concerns associated with dual-use science and technology. It concludes that, rather than being essentially associated with voluntary self-governance (...) of the scientific community, codes of conduct should arguably be part of a broader regulatory oversight system. (shrink)
From the New York Times bestselling author Derrick Bell, a profound meditation on achieving success with integrity. As one of the country's most influential law professors, Derrick Bell has spent a lifetime helping students struggling to maintain a sense of integrity in the face of an overwhelming pressure to succeed at any price. Frequently asked how he managed to be so extraordinarily successful while never giving up the fight for justice and equality, Bell decided to spend his seventieth year writing (...) a book of insight and guidance. The result, Ethical Ambition , is a deeply affecting, uplifting, and brilliant series of meditations that not only challenges us to face some of the most difficult questions that life presents, but dares to offer some solutions. Using incidents from his own life, Bell also looks to literature, history, and other contemporary figures who have refused to compromise their beliefs. In chapters that explore passion, faith courage, inspiration, humility, and relationships, Ethical Ambition address the most fundamental issues of life. (shrink)
The Art of Living Consciously Is an Operating Manual for Our Basic Tool of Survival In The Art of Living Consciously, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, our foremost authority on self-esteem, takes us into new territory, exploring the actions of our minds when they are operating as our life and well-being require -- and also when they are not. No other book illuminates so clearly what true mindfulness means: * In the workplace * In the arena of romantic love * In (...) child-rearing * In the pursuit of personal development Today we are exposed to an unprecedented amount of information and an unprecedented number of opinions about every conceivable aspect of life. We are thrown on our own resources as never before -- and we have nothing to protect us but the clarity of our thinking. In The Art of Living Consciously, Branden gives us the tools with which to draw out the best within us. (shrink)
The Weight of Things explores the hard questions of our daily lives, examining both classic and contemporary accounts of what it means to lead 'the good life'. Looks at the views of philosophers such as Aristotle, the Stoics, Mill, Nietzsche, and Sartre as well as contributions from other traditions, such as Buddhism Incorporates key arguments from contemporary philosophers including Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick, John Finnis, and Susan Wolf Uses examples from biography, literature, history, movies and media, and (...) the news Gives a fresh perspective on the hard questions of our daily lives An engaging read; an excellent book for both students and general readers. (shrink)
With “slow living” as the newest incarnation of the simplicity movement, the search for fresh inspiration on ways to live a more authentic life is as pressing as ever. Turning to Eastern traditions, people are discovering the Japanese concept of wabi sabi. The perfect antidote to today’s frenzied, consumer-oriented culture, wabi sabi encourages slowing down, living modestly, and appreciating the natural and imperfect aspect of material culture. While defying definition, wabi sabi is best expressed in brief, evocative bites. In (...) The Little Wabi Sabi Companion, Diane Durston, a noted writer on Japanese art and culture, presents a collection of reflections, along with classic poetry and verse from both Eastern and Western traditions, that capture the wabi sabi moment, and inspire readers to do the same. The subtle beauty of nature, the simplicity of a found object, the impermanence of an autumnal flower arrangement, the solitude of a single fisherman in his boat are all celebrated and reflected upon in this easily browseable book. The text is complemented by photography and calligraphy inspired by the wabi-sabi spirit. This collection of simple, yet profound insights in an irresistable, hold-in-the-hand package offers readers the opportunity for integrating moments of contemplation and meditation into their daily lives, and to discover the essence of wabi sabi. (shrink)
Michael Cook's classic study, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (Cambridge, 2001), reflected upon the Islamic injunction to forbid wrongdoing. This book is a short, accessible survey of the same material. Using Islamic history to illustrate his argument, Cook unravels the complexities of the subject by demonstrating how the past informs the present. At the book's core is an important message about the values of Islamic traditions and their relevance in the modern world.
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
My new edition of Emerson's Conduct, modernizes the prose spelling, annotates the text and adds a short chronology, a bibliography foused on Emerson's sources, a new Introduction, and a comprehensive index. Available in HB and PB.
The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy;it's no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr (...) Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady courss between these two extremes. We feels instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. But in the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and nothing less than this will ever make us truly happy. But Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is Happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly know. Certainly it is not a comfort for comfort spells seciurity and hapiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all secutiry is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation. (shrink)
In the United States a rapidly increasing regulatory burden for life scientists has led to questions of whether the increased burden resulting from the Select Agent Program has had adverse effects on scientific advances. Attention has focussed on the regulatory “fit” of the Program and ways in which its design could be improved. An international framework convention to address common concerns about biosecurity and biosafety is a logical next step. Keywords Biosafety - Biosecurity law - Biosecurity regulations - Scientist (...) - Laboratories - Research - Bioterrorism - Terrorism. (shrink)
This work is Emerson's set of essays published in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War: 'Fate,' 'Power,' 'Wealth,' 'Culture,' 'Behavior,' 'Worship,' 'Considerations by the Way,' 'Beauty,' 'Illusions.'.
When making end-of-life decisions in intensive care units (ICUs), different staff groups have different roles in the decision-making process and may not always assess the situation in the same way. The aim of this study was to examine the challenges Danish nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians experience with end-of-life decisions in ICUs and how these challenges affect the decision-making process. Interviews with nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians were conducted, and data is discussed from an ethical perspective. All three (...) groups found that the main challenges were associated with interdisciplinary collaboration and future perspectives for the patient. Most of these challenges were connected with ethical issues. The challenges included different assessments of treatment potential, changes and postponements of withholding and withdrawing therapy orders, how and when to identify patients’ wishes, and suffering caused by the treatment. To improve end-of-life decision-making in the ICU, these challenges need to be addressed by interdisciplinary teams. (shrink)
This collection of eminently practical advice from the likes of Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, Pythagoras, and Aristotle covers subjects as diverse as money, child-raising, politics, philosophy, law, and relationships--all aspects of life and how to live it. Thomas Cleary has translated these sayings and aphorisms from the Arabic sources that preserved Greek thought throughout the Middle Ages. Many of the texts no longer exist in the original Greek. Included in the book is an appendix that presents resonant sayings and fragments (...) from Buddhist, Taoist, and Muslim sources, demonstrating the universal quality of the teachings of the Greek sages and hinting at the interaction between Western and Eastern cultures. (shrink)
Kant’s treatment of teleology and life in the Critique of the Power of Judgment is complicated and difficult to interpret; Hegel’s response adds considerable complexity. I propose a new way of understanding the underlying philosophical issues in this debate, allowing a better understanding of the underlying structure of the arguments in Kant and Hegel. My new way is unusual: I use for an interpretive lens some structural features of familiar debates about freedom of the will. These debates, I argue, (...) allow us to see more clearly the underlying structure of a great many philosophical issues. Aside from some suggested avenues of approach, however, I do not aim to interpret what Kant or Hegel has to say about freedom of the will. The idea is to use this interpretive lens to better understand the philosophical issues at stake in their disagreement concerning teleology and life. This will clarify the precise philosophical burden that must be met by Kant’s argument in defense of his skepticism, and why his case has considerable philosophical force. But it will also explain why Kant’s argument itself inevitably provides the opening for Hegel’s reply, and sets a standard that Hegel will meet in a surprising way. Finally, this approach will explain why we can learn a great deal from the philosophical arguments in Kant and Hegel about this topic, despite the intervening years of such great progress in the biological sciences: by looking to Kant and Hegel we can better understand the structure of underlying philosophical terrain of the issues concerning teleology and life—terrain we are still fighting over today. (shrink)
I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally (...) responsible for the good. I argue that the best theory of the meaning of life should clearly distinguish between subjective fulfillment and objective meaningfulness. The GCA respects the distinction. And it is superior to its leading rivals in the recent literature, most notably those of Erik Wielenberg and Susan Wolf. (shrink)
This paper discusses the concept of Dána or charity as the foundation of Indian Social life. Dána has been in vogue in India since the Vedic times, but it was codified by the smritis which prescribe do’s and don’ts of the life of the individual. Limiting its scope to Yagnavalkya smriti the paper analyses the significance of Dána as a regulative principle of accumulation of wealth.
There is an apparent tension between two familiar platitudes about the meaning of life: (i) that 'meaning' in this context means 'value', and (ii) that such meaning might be ineffable. I suggest a way of trying to bring these two claims together by focusing on an ideal of a meaningful life that fuses both the axiological and semantic senses of 'significant'. This in turn allows for the possibility that the full significance of a life might be ineffable (...) not because its axiological significance is ineffable, but because its semantic significance is ineffable in virtue of the signification relation itself being unsignifiable. I then explore to what degree this claim about signification can be adequately defended. (shrink)
The game of life is an excellent framework for metaphysical modeling. It can be used to study ontological categories like space, time, causality, persistence, substance, emergence, and supervenience. It is often said that there are many levels of existence in the game of life. Objects like the glider are said to exist on higher levels. Our goal here is to work out a precise formalization of the thesis that there are various levels of existence in the game of (...)life. To formalize this thesis, we develop a set-theoretic construction of the glider. The method of this construction generalizes to other patterns in the game of life. And it can be extended to more realistic physical systems. The result is a highly general method for the set-theoretical construction of substances. (shrink)
In parts of his Notebooks, Tractatus and in “Lecture on Ethics”, Wittgenstein advanced a new approach to the problems of the meaning of life. It was developed as a reaction to the explorations on this theme by Bertrand Russell. Wittgenstein’s objective was to treat it with a higher degree of exactness. The present paper shows that he reached exactness by treating themes of philosophical anthropology using the formal method of topology.
It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946) presents a plausible theory of the meaning of life: One's life is meaningful to the extent that it promotes the good. Although this theory is credible, the movie suggests a problematic refinement in the Pottersville sequence. George's waking nightmare asks us to compare the actual world with a world where he did not exist. It tells us that we are only responsible for the good that would not exist had we not (...) existed. I argue that this is a bad test. It fails when there are redundant causes. (shrink)
Do trees of life have roots? What do these roots look like? In this contribution, I argue that research on the origins of life might offer glimpses on the topology of these very roots. More specifically, I argue (1) that the roots of the tree of life go well below the level of the commonly mentioned ‘ancestral organisms’ down into the level of much simpler, minimally living entities that might be referred to as ‘protoliving systems’, and (2) (...) that further below, a system of roots gradually dissolves into non-living matter along several functional dimensions. In between non-living and living matter, one finds physico-chemical systems that I propose to characterize by a ‘lifeness signature’. In turn, this ‘lifeness signature’ might also account for a diverse range of biochemical entities that are found to be ‘less-than-living’ yet ‘more-than-non-living’. (shrink)
In this paper, after outlining the methodological role Wittgenstein's appeal to language-games is supposed to play, I examine the picture of language which his discussion of such games and their relations to what Wittgenstein calls forms of life suggests. It is a picture according to which language and its employment are inextricably connected to wider contexts—they are embedded in specific natural and social environments, they are tied to purposive activities serving provincial needs, and caught up in distinctive ways of (...)life which creatures of a certain sort enjoy. In the remainder of the paper, I consider whether Wittgenstein's emphasis on the link between language and the circumstances surrounding its use points in the direction of an influential view widespread in contemporary philosophy of language, namely, semantic contextualism. I examine carefully a number of passages which scholars have appealed to in support of the claim that Wittgenstein advances contextualism and argue that they in fact provide no such support. The connection which Wittgenstein sees between what is expressed in the use of words and the circumstances in which they are used is not the connection the contextualist insists on. (shrink)
Systems Biology and the Modern Synthesis are recent versions of two classical biological paradigms that are known as structuralism and functionalism, or internalism and externalism. According to functionalism (or externalism), living matter is a fundamentally passive entity that owes its organization to external forces (functions that shape organs) or to an external organizing agent (natural selection). Structuralism (or internalism), is the view that living matter is an intrinsically active entity that is capable of organizing itself from within, with purely internal (...) processes that are based on mathematical principles and physical laws. At the molecular level, the basic mechanism of the Modern Synthesis is molecular copying, the process that leads in the short run to heredity and in the long run to natural selection. The basic mechanism of Systems Biology, instead, is self-assembly, the process by which many supramolecular structures are formed by the spontaneous aggregation of their components. In addition to molecular copying and self-assembly, however, molecular biology has uncovered also a third great mechanism at the heart of life. The existence of the genetic code and of many other organic codes in Nature tells us that molecular coding is a biological reality and we need therefore a framework that accounts for it. This framework is Code biology, the study of the codes of life, a new field of research that brings to light an entirely new dimension of the living world and gives us a completely new understanding of the origin and the evolution of life. (shrink)
The pursuit of happiness is a long-enshrined tradition that has recently become the cornerstone of the American Positive Psychology movement. However, “happiness” is an over-worked and ambiguous word, which, it is argued, should be restricted and only used as the label for a brief emotional state that typically lasts a few seconds or minutes. The corollary proposal for positive psychology is that optimism is a preferable stance over pessimism or realism. Examples are presented both from psychology and economics that illustrate (...) the dangers of optimism, and in which better outcomes can occur with a pessimistic stance. A more sophisticated approach is then presented in which, in relation to well-being and quality of life, neither optimism nor pessimism is seen as inherently better than the other, but, rather, in which psychological flexibility may contribute optimally to health and well-being. (shrink)
This paper presents the concept of the idealization of the interchangeability of phases of life as an enhancement, or rather as a further development of Alfred Schutz’s general thesis of the reciprocity of perspectives. It claims that the according figure of thought is a constitutive part of acts of understanding in everyday life where, in order to understand each other, individuals of different age-groups have to overcome the difference of perspectives that are attached to their particular ages. This (...) is accomplished by a specific assumption that is also applied in the case of intrasubjective, autobiographical understanding. By discussing its sociological significance as well as its philosophical background, this paper introduces the idealization of the interchangeability of phases of life as a fundamental and universal figure of understanding. (shrink)
One of the fundamental aims of nursing is to safeguard or promote patients' "quality of life." Perspectives on Quality of Life examines existing ways of defining the concept and argues that nurses need to adopt a fresh approach, which more accurately reflects patients' concerns and helps them to develop practical ways of promoting the well-being of people in their care. Part One provides an analysis of statistical approaches to quality of life, including social indicators, the Quality Adjusted (...)Life Year (QALY), and the medical outcomes literature. Part Two proposes an alternative, qualitative approach to organizing care, which respects the patients' choice and individuality. Part three presents the findings of new research into the quality of life of older people in hospital wards. (shrink)
In spite of ethical analyses assimilating the palliative deactivation of pacemakers to commonly accepted withdrawings of life-sustaining therapy, many clinicians remain ethically uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation at the end of life. Various reasons have been posited for this discomfort. Some cardiologists have suggested that reluctance to deactivate pacemakers may stem from a sense that the pacemaker has become part of the patient’s “self.” The authors suggest that Daniel Sulmasy is correct to contend that any such identification of the (...) pacemaker is misguided. The authors argue that clinicians uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation are nevertheless correct to see it as incompatible with the traditional medical ethics of withdrawal of support. Traditional medical ethics is presently taken by many to sanction pacemaker deactivation when such deactivation honors the patient’s right to refuse treatment. The authors suggest that the right to refuse treatment applies to treatments involving ongoing physician agency. This right cannot underwrite patient demands that physicians reverse the effects of treatments previously administered, in which ongoing physician agency is no longer implicated. The permanently indwelling pacemaker is best seen as such a treatment. As such, its deactivation in the pacemaker-dependent patient is best seen not as withdrawal of support but as active ending of life. That being the case, clinicians adhering to the usual ethical analysis of withdrawal of support are correct to be uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation at the end of life. (shrink)
According to the "sanctity-of-life" view, all human lives are equally valuable and inviolable, and it would be wrong to base life-and-death medical decisions on the quality of the patient's life. Examining the ideas and assumptions behind the sanctity-of-life view, Kuhse argues against the traditional view that allowing someone to die is morally different from killing, and shows that quality-of-life judgments are ubiquitous. Refuting the sanctity-of-life view, she provides a sketch of a quality-of-life ethics (...) based on the belief that there is a profound difference between merely being alive and life being in the patient's interest. (shrink)
Brackets and tables, circles and maps, 1554-1872 -- Early botanical networks and trees, 1766-1815 -- The first evolutionary tree, 1786-1820 -- Diverse and unusual trees of the early nineteenth century, 1817-1834 -- The rule of five, 1819-1854 -- Pre-Darwinian branching diagrams, 1828-1858 -- Evolution and the trees of Charles Darwin, 1837-1868 -- The trees of Ernst Haeckel, 1866-1905 -- Post-Darwinian nonconformists, 1868-1896 -- More late-nineteenth-century trees, 1874-1897 -- Trees of the early twentieth century, 1901-1930 -- The trees of Alfred Sherwood (...) Romer, 1933-1966 -- Additional trees of the mid-twentieth century, 1931-1943 -- The trees of William King Gregory, 1938-1951 -- Hints of new approaches, 1954-1969 -- Phenograms and cladograms, 1958-1966 -- Early molecular trees, 1962-1987 -- Notable trees of the past four decades, 1970-2010 -- Primeval branches and universal trees of life, 1997-2010. (shrink)
The importance of public confidence in scientific findings and trust in scientists cannot be overstated. Thus, it becomes critical for the scientific community to focus on enhancing the strategies used to educate future scientists on ethical research behaviors. What we are lacking is knowledge on how faculty members shape and develop ethical research standards with their students. We are presenting the results of a survey with 3,500 research faculty members. We believe this is the first report on how faculty work (...) with and educate their PhD students on basic research standards. Specifically, we wanted to determine whether individual faculty members, who are advisors or mentors, differ in how they implemented components of responsible conduct of research (RCR) with their PhD students. Mentors were more likely than advisors or supervisors to report working with all of their PhDs, who graduated in the last 5 years, on the 17 recognized critical components of RCR training and research skill development. We also found about half of the faculty members believe RCR is an institutional responsibility versus a faculty responsibility. Less than a quarter have had opportunities to participate in faculty training to be a better mentor, advisor, or research teacher, and about one third of faculty did not or could not remember whether they had guidelines related to their responsibilities to PhD students. We discuss the implications of our findings and focus on ways that PhD research mentoring can be enhanced. (shrink)
What does it mean to lead a moral life?In her first extended study of moral philosophy, Judith Butler offers a provocative outline for a new ethical practice—one responsive to the need for critical autonomy and grounded in a new sense of the human subject.Butler takes as her starting point one’s ability to answer the questions “What have I done?” and “What ought I to do?” She shows that these question can be answered only by asking a prior question, “Who (...) is this ‘I’ who is under an obligation to give an account of itself and to act in certain ways?” Because I find that I cannot give an account of myself without accounting for the social conditions under which I emerge, ethical reflection requires a turn to social theory.In three powerfully crafted and lucidly written chapters, Butler demonstrates how difficult it is to give an account of oneself, and how this lack of self-transparency and narratibility is crucial to an ethical understanding of the human. In brilliant dialogue with Adorno, Levinas, Foucault, and other thinkers, she eloquently argues the limits, possibilities, and dangers of contemporary ethical thought.Butler offers a critique of the moral self, arguing that the transparent, rational, and continuous ethical subject is an impossible construct that seeks to deny the specificity of what it is to be human. We can know ourselves only incompletely, and only in relation to a broader social world that has always preceded us and already shaped us in ways we cannot grasp. If inevitably we are partially opaque to ourselves, how can giving an account of ourselves define the ethical act? And doesn’t an ethical system that holds us impossibly accountable for full self-knowledge and self-consistency inflict a kind of psychic violence, leading to a culture of self-beratement and cruelty? How does the turn to social theory offer us a chance to understand the specifically social character of our own unknowingness about ourselves?In this invaluable book, by recasting ethics as a project in which being ethical means becoming critical of norms under which we are asked to act, but which we can never fully choose, Butler illuminates what it means for us as “fallible creatures” to create and share an ethics of vulnerability, humility, and ethical responsiveness. Judtith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. The most recent of her books are Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence and Undoing Gender. (shrink)
Daniel Russell develops a fresh and original view of pleasure and its pivotal role in Plato's treatment of value, happiness, and human psychology. This is the first full-length discussion of the topic for fifty years, and Russell shows its relevance to contemporary debates in moral philosophy and philosophical psychology. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life will make fascinating reading for ancient specialists and for a wide range of philosophers.
In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will. Beginning with the contrast (...) between "eastern" and "western" attitudes toward assertive willing, Davenport traces the lineage of the idea of projective motivation from NeoPlatonic and Christian conceptions of divine motivation to Scotus, Kant, Marx, Arendt, and Levinas. Rich with historical detail, this book includes an extended examination of Platonic and Aristotelian eudaimonist theories of human motivation. Drawing on contemporary critiques of egoism, Davenport argues that happiness is primarily a byproduct of activities and pursuits aimed at other agent-transcending goods for their own sake. In particular, the motives involved in virtue and in its practice as understood by Alasdair MacIntyre are projective rather than eudaimonist. This theory is supported by analyses of radical evil, accounts of intrinsic motivation in existential psychology, and contemporary theories of identity-forming commitment in analytic moral psychology. Following Viktor Frankl, Joseph Raz, and others, Davenport argues that Harry Frankfurt's conception of caring requires objective values worth caring about, which serve as rational grounds for projecting new final ends. The argument concludes with a taxonomy of values or goods, devotion to which can make life meaningful for us. (shrink)