The Mental Capacity Bill endangers the vulnerable by inviting human rights abuse. It is perhaps these grave deficiencies that prompted the warnings of the 23rd Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights highlighting the failure of the legislation to supply adequate safeguards against Articles 2, 3 and 8 incompatibilities. Further, the fact that it is the mentally incapacitated as a class that are thought ripe for these and other kinds of intervention, highlights the Article 14 discrimination inherent in this (...) and related legislation. The financial, medical and research interests that underpin the legislation highlight how the legilsation endangers the ulnerable. It appears to be both a responsibility shifting exercise. Most alarmingly of all, efforts to permit non-therapeutic research on the non-consenting vulnerable as well as sterilisation and abortion on those who do not consent suggest that the legislation heralds a new era o gross human rights abuse in instutions around the UK. (shrink)
This note examines two recent judgements of theEnglish Court of Appeal, Re S.L. and ReA., concerning the sterilisation of a womanand a man with learning disabilities. The casesare significant for health care lawyers in thatthey effect a reworking of the common lawdoctrine of necessity, which serves as thelegal justification for providing medicaltreatment to adults lacking capacity to giveconsent. The cases are also significant forfeminist scholars engaged in the project of`sexing' the subjects of legal discourse (forexample, Naffine and Owens, 1997). (...) Thejudgments of Re S.L. and Re A.,consistent with earlier sterilisation cases,fail to offer a conception of learning disabledsubjects as `sexed'. (shrink)
Commentators routinely urge that it is morally permissible forcibly to treat psychiatric patients (1) to preserve the patient's best interests and (2) to restore the patient's autonomy. Such arguments specify duties of beneficence toward others, while appreciating personal autonomy as a positive value to be weighted against other factors. Varying by jurisdiction, legal statutes usually require, in addition, at least (3) that there exists the threat of harm to self or others. In this paper, I argue against embracing the first (...) two elements of this prevailing view. I also argue for a very restricted reading of the third element, based on the moral limits of permissible state action. (shrink)
Helga Kuhse suggested in 1985 at a session of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies in Nice, that once dehydration to death became legal and routine in hospitals, people would, on seeing the horror of it, seek the lethal injection. The strategy of legalising passive euthanasia is itself flawed. Laing argues that the Mental Capacity Bill threatens the vulnerable by inviting breaches of arts 2,3,5,8, and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Most at risk are the (...) disabled and incapacitated. Sections permitting non-therapeutic research and non consensualsterilisation are at odds with the Nuremberg Code. New third party powers to dehydrate the vulnerable permit new systemic human rights abuse of a clinical though not historically unfamiliar variety. (shrink)
To study Judicial determinants of the ordered obstetrical and fertility interventions. Nature, corresponding laws, decisions upon the 37 expounded holdings at the Probate, Trial, District, Appellate, and Supreme Courts are studied in 92 published materials identified through the ACOG, RCOG, SOCG portals, and Legal Scholarship Repository. Hearings are held in the US (83.8 %), Canada (10.8 %) and U.K (5.4 %). Of all the hearings reviewed, 27 % concern mentally impaired, 37.8 %-maternal incompetence, and 21.6 % cases are of criminal (...) nature. The Judicial determinants vary from country to country. In Canada, the ordered medical interventions are effected by the child protection legislation, whereas in the US, by court orders. In majority of cases, orders are obtained by dismissing the patriae petitions for involuntary sterilizations of mentally impaired sui juris adults (57 %); coerced obstetrical interventions (33.3 %), fetal custody (50 %); enforcement of surrogacy contracts (62.5 %) in favor of the Common Humanity Benefit clause; and recognizing the rights to inherit in posthumously conceived children (80 %) pursuant to the Social Security Act, Law of obviousness, Law of inherent anticipation, and Intestacy statute. Current study prioritizes two questions: (1) whether it is justified to override the wishes of a competent patient purportedly in her best interests; and (2) whether the patient’s autonomy and competence is an absolute concept. With the law unsettled as to a woman’s right to assent a treatment and contradict her fetus, parties concerned with fetal rights should consider exercising of screening tools on maternal judgmental fitness jointly developed by medical and legal practitioners. Further, given the advances in gamete conservations, states consider enacting legislation in order to safeguard the orderly administration of estates disrupted by claims from posthumously conceived children. A balance must be struck between the child’s right to inherit, the state’s interest, as well as the interests of prior born children. (shrink)
Under what conditions is it morally permissible to commit suicide, to assist in someone’s suicide, or to kill another person with his/her consent? Under what conditions is it morally permissible to use force to prevent such acts? I shall defend a libertarian answer to these questions. On this view, autonomous agents initially fully own themselves in the same sense that one can fully own an inanimate object such as a car. Just as full owners of cars are morally permitted, under (...) a broad range of conditions, to destroy their cars or have someone else do so, autonomous agents who fully own themselves are permitted, under a broad range of conditions, to terminate their lives or to have someone else do so. Furthermore, under these conditions, other agents are not permitted to use force to prevent a full self-owner’s consensual death. I shall focus on consensual killing (i.e., with the killed person’s consent) of autonomous agents. This includes suicide, assisting with suicide, voluntary euthanasia, and even cases where a non-sick person requests that another kill her. I shall not address cases of killing that are involuntary (against the will of the person killed) or non-voluntary (where the being killed is not autonomous; e.g., killing animals, children, and incapacitated adults). These are important issues, but they cannot be addressed here. (shrink)
The non-Fregean logic SCI is obtained from the classical sentential calculus by adding a new identity connective = and axioms which say ?a = ß' means ?a is identical to ß'. We present complete and sound proof system for SCI in the style of Rasiowa-Sikorski. It provides a natural deduction-style method of reasoning for the non-Fregean sentential logic SCI.
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in conjunction with these (...) favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
The Mental Incapacity Bill not only paves the way for euthanasia, but invites wholesale abuse and homicide, writes Jacqueline Laing. On 19 October 2004, when the Mental Capacity Bill was at its crucial committee stage, the Law Society issued a statement of ‘strong support’, claiming that it empowers patients and in no way introduces euthanasia. Laing argues that the Bill threatens the incapacitated by granting a raft of new third parties power to require that health professionals withhold ‘treatment’, which, after (...) the controversial decision in Airedale NHS Trust v Bland  AC 789, includes food and fluids delivered both by tube and, in certain cases, by spoon. The Bill further endangers the vulnerable, first, by allowing non-therapeutic research on the non-consenting mentally incapacitated, in breach of the Nuremberg Code and First Declaration of Helsinki, and secondly, by permitting new agents power to undertake on people with learning disabilities certain questionable procedures currently authorised by the High Court, such as non-voluntary sterilisation. (shrink)
In this chapter I seek to examine the credibility of Finnis’s basic stance on Aquinas that while many neo-Thomists are meta-ethically naturalistic in their understanding of natural law theory (for example, Heinrich Rommen, Henry Veatch, Ralph McInerny, Russell Hittinger, Benedict Ashley and Anthony Lisska), Aquinas’s own meta-ethical framework avoids the “pitfall” of naturalism. On examination, the short of it is that I find Finnis’s account (while adroit) wanting in the interpretation stakes vis-à-vis other accounts of Aquinas’s meta-ethical foundationalism. I think (...) that the neo-Thomists are basically right to argue that for Aquinas we cannot really understand objective truths about moral standards unless we derive them from our intellective knowledge of natural facts as given to us by the essential human nature that we have. While I find Finnis’s interpretative position on Aquinas wanting, I go on to argue that his own attachment to non-naturalism is justified and should not be jettisoned. Because I think non-naturalism important to the future tenability of a viable natural law ethics (an ethics that is both cognitive and objectivist), I argue that Finnis should, so to speak, “beef up” his “fundamental option” for non-naturalism and more fully avail himself of certain argumentative strategies available in its defense, argumentative strategies that are inspired by the analytical philosophy of G.E. Moore. (shrink)
The aim of this work is to show that the reality is not only the world of being, it is equally the world of non-being. Such an approach, as I think, is not nihilism, on the contrary - it helps to resolve many problems and contradictions confusing the philosophical mind. The reader will not find any citations or references in this work because I tried to bring it closer to Philosophy as it used to be in its early stages and (...) from which it has departed so far nowadays. (shrink)
The goals of this paper are two-fold: I wish to clarify the Aristotelian conception of the law of non-contradiction as a metaphysical rather than a semantic or logical principle, and to defend the truth of the principle in this sense. First I will explain what it in fact means that the law of non-contradiction is a metaphysical principle. The core idea is that the law of non-contradiction is a general principle derived from how things are in the world. For example, (...) there are certain constraints as to what kind of properties an object can have, and especially: some of these properties are mutually exclusive. Given this characterisation, I will advance to examine what kind of challenges the law of non-contradiction faces; the main opponent here is Graham Priest. I will consider these challenges and conclude that they do not threaten the truth of the law of non-contradiction understood as a metaphysical principle. (shrink)
There is a common belief that non-being and nothingness are identical, a widespread, even general delusion the wrongness of which I will try to demonstrate in this work. And which I consider even more important, that is to define nothingness for further determination of “its” place and role in the reality and especially in human life.
Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper (...) he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states. (shrink)
Inspired by Kant's account of intuition and concepts, John McDowell has forcefully argued that the relation between sensible content and concepts is such that sensible content does not severally contribute to cognition but always only in conjunction with concepts. This view is known as conceptualism. Recently, Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais, among others, have brought against this view the charge that it neglects the possibility of the existence of essentially non-conceptual content that is not conceptualized or subject to conceptualization. Their (...) defense against McDowell amounts to non-conceptualism. Both views believe that intuition is synthesized content in Kant's sense. In this article, I am particularly interested in how their views are true to Kant. I argue that although McDowell is right that intuition is only epistemically relevant in conjunction with concepts, I also believe that Hanna and Allais are right with regard to the existence of essentially non-conceptual content, but that they are wrong with regard to intuition being synthesized content in Kant's sense. I also point out the common failure to take account of the modal nature of Kant's argument for the relation between intuition and concept. [the article is written in Dutch]. (shrink)
Intuitively, the knowledge of one’s own intentional actions is different from the knowledge of actions of other sorts, including those of other people and unintentional actions of one's own. But how are we to understand this phenomenon? Does it pertain to all actions, under every description under which they are known? If so, then how is this possible? If not, then how should we think about cases that are exceptions to this principle? This paper is a critical survey of recent (...) attempts to answer these questions. I consider views under three headings: "special source" views, which hold that the knowledge of one's intentional actions has a non-perceptual source; "special domain" views, which hold that some but not all aspects of one's intentional actions are known in a special way; and "special character" views, which hold that the knowledge of intentional actions is special not because of where it comes from, but because of some other respect in which it is different in kind from the knowledge of other things. (shrink)
A number of authors have objected to the application of non-classical logic to problems in philosophy on the basis that these non-classical logics are usually characterised by a classical metatheory. In many cases the problem amounts to more than just a discrepancy; the very phenomena responsible for non-classicality occur in the field of semantics as much as they do elsewhere. The phenomena of higher order vagueness and the revenge liar are just two such examples. The aim of this paper is (...) to show that a large class of non-classical logics are strong enough to formulate their own model theory in a corresponding non-classical set theory. Specifically I show that adequate definitions of validity can be given for the propositional calculus in such a way that the metatheory proves, in the specified logic, that every theorem of the propositional fragment of that logic is validated. It is shown that in some cases it may fail to be a classical matter whether a given sentence is valid or not. One surprising conclusion for non-classical accounts of vagueness is drawn: there can be no axiomatic, and therefore precise, system which is determinately sound and complete. (shrink)
There are perceptual states whose representational content cannot even in principle be conceptual. If that claim is true, then at least some perceptual states have content whose semantic structure and psychological function are essentially distinct from the structure and function of conceptual content. Furthermore the intrinsically “orientable” spatial character of essentially non-conceptual content entails not only that all perceptual states contain non-conceptual content in this essentially distinct sense, but also that consciousness goes all the way down into so-called unconscious or (...) subpersonal mental states. Both my argument for the existence of essentially non-conceptual content and my theory of its structure and function have a Kantian provenance. (shrink)
Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism (NRP) is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism (contra Non-reduction ), or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety (contra Physicalism ). I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may (...) hold between the degrees of freedom needed to characterize certain special science entities, and those needed to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities; these correspond to what I call ‘reductions’, ‘restrictions’, and ‘eliminations’ in degrees of freedom. I then argue that eliminations in degrees of freedom, in particular—when strictly fewer degrees of freedom are required to characterize certain special science entities than are required to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities—provide a basis for making sense of how certain special science entities can be both physically acceptable and ontologically irreducible to physical entities. (shrink)
It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...) problem of non-existence, despite what some philosophers say. (shrink)
A novel conceptual framework is introduced for the Complexity Levels Theory in a Categorical Ontology of Space and Time. This conceptual and formal construction is intended for ontological studies of Emergent Biosystems, Super-complex Dynamics, Evolution and Human Consciousness. A claim is defended concerning the universal representation of an item’s essence in categorical terms. As an essential example, relational structures of living organisms are well represented by applying the important categorical concept of natural transformations to biomolecular reactions and relational structures that (...) emerge from the latter in living systems. Thus, several relational theories of living systems can be represented by natural transformations of organismic, relational structures. The ascent of man and other living organisms through adaptation, is viewed in novel categorical terms, such as variable biogroupoid representations of evolving species. Such precise but flexible evolutionary concepts will allow the further development of the unifying theme of local-to-global approaches to highly complex systems in order to represent novel patterns of relations that emerge in super- and ultra-complex systems in terms of compositions of local procedures. Solutions to such local-to-global problems in highly complex systems with ‘broken symmetry’ might be possible to be reached with the help of higher homotopy theorems in algebraic topology such as the generalized van Kampen theorems (HHvKT). Categories of many-valued, Łukasiewicz-Moisil (LM) logic algebras provide useful concepts for representing the intrinsic dynamic ‘asymmetry’ of genetic networks in organismic development and evolution, as well as to derive novel results for (non-commutative) Quantum Logics. Furthermore, as recently pointed out by Baianu and Poli (Theory and applications of ontology, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, in press), LM-logic algebras may also provide the appropriate framework for future developments of the ontological theory of levels with its complex/entangled/intertwined ramifications in psychology, sociology and ecology. As shown in the preceding two papers in this issue, a paradigm shift towards non-commutative, or non-Abelian, theories of highly complex dynamics—which is presently unfolding in physics, mathematics, life and cognitive sciences—may be implemented through realizations of higher dimensional algebras in neurosciences and psychology, as well as in human genomics, bioinformatics and interactomics. (shrink)
I present a high-level account of the semantical distinction between count nouns and non-count nouns (concrete non-count nouns sometimes being dubbed 'mass nouns'). The basic idea is that count nouns are semantically either singular (one-one semantic correlation) or plural (one-many semantic correlation) and non-count nouns (one-much semantic correlation) are neither.
John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and (...) appreciating his insight into the experiential synthesis of intuition and conception (in particular, its role in grasping objects), I will argue that Edmund Husserl presents an even more comprehensive account of perceptual experience that explains how we experience the contribution of receptivity and sensibility and how they cooperate in perceptual discrimination. Further, it reveals “horizons”—a unique kind of contents, surplus content (rather than independent non-conceptual content)—beyond the synthesis of intuitive and conceptual contents through which objects are grasped. Such horizons play a constitutive role, making experience with its conceptual dimensions and justificatory potential possible; they in no way function like a bare given that is to fulfill some independent justificatory role. Whereas McDowell focuses on how experience does not take place in isolation from the exercise of conceptual capacities, Husserl complements his view by situating experience in a more encompassing whole and by elucidating the surplus-horizons that exceed the conceptual content of experience; play an inseparable, constitutive role within it; and indicate the limits of conceptual comprehension. (shrink)
I argue that an adequate account of non-reductive realization must guarantee satisfaction of a certain condition on the token causal powers associated with (instances of) realized and realizing entities---namely, what I call the 'Subset Condition on Causal Powers' (first introduced in Wilson 1999). In terms of states, the condition requires that the token powers had by a realized state on a given occasion be a proper subset of the token powers had by the state that realizes it on that occasion. (...) Accounts of non-reductive realization conforming to this condition are implementing what I call 'the powers-based subset strategy'. I focus on the crucial case involving mental and brain states; the results may be generalized, as appropriate. I ﬁrst situate and motivate the strategy by attention to the problem of mental causation; I make the case, in schematic terms, that implementation of the strategy makes room (contra Kim 1989, 1993, 1998, and elsewhere) for mental states to be ontologically and causally autonomous from their realizing physical states, without inducing problematic causal overdetermination, and compatible with both Physicalism and Non-reduction; and I show that several contemporary accounts of non-reductive realization (in terms of functional realization, parthood, and the determinable/determinate relation) are plausibly seen as implementing the strategy. As I also show, implementation of the powers-based strategy does not require endorsement of any particular accounts of either properties or causation---indeed, a categoricalist contingentist Humean can implement the strategy. The schematic location of the strategy in the space of available responses to the problem of mental (more generally, higher-level) causation, as well as the fact that the schema may be metaphysically instantiated, strongly suggests that the strategy is, appropriately generalized and instantiated, sufficient and moreover necessary for non-reductive realization. I go on to defend the sufficiency and necessity claims against a variety of objections, considering, along the way, how the powers-based subset strategy fares against competing accounts of purportedly non-reductive realization in terms of supervenience, token identity, and constitution. (shrink)
Some argue that Candrakīrti is committed to rejecting all theories of perception in virtue of the rejection of the foundationalisms of the Nyāya and the Pramāṇika. Others argue that Candrakīrti endorses the Nyāya theory of perception. In this paper, I will propose an alternative non-foundationalist theory of perception for Candrakīriti. I will show that Candrakrti’s works provide us sufficient evidence to defend a typical Prāsagika’s account of perception that, I argue, complements his core non-foundationalist ontology.
It is widely accepted that the ethical supervenes on the natural, where this is roughly the claim that it is impossible for two circumstances to be identical in all natural respects, but different in their ethical respects. This chapter refines and defends the traditional thought that this fact poses a significant challenge to ethical non-naturalism, a view on which ethical properties are fundamentally different in kind from natural properties. The challenge can be encapsulated in three core claims which the chapter (...) defends: that a defensible non-naturalism is committed to the supervenience of the ethical, that this commits the non-naturalist to a brute necessary connection between properties of distinct kinds, and that commitment to such brute connections counts against the non-naturalist’s view. Each of these claims has recently been challenged. Against Nicholas Sturgeon’s recent doubts about the dialectical force of supervenience, this chapter defends a supervenience thesis as deserving to be common ground among ethical realists. It is then argued that attempts to explain supervenience on behalf of the non-naturalist either fail as explanations, generate near-identical explanatory burdens elsewhere, or appeal to commitments that are inconsistent with core motivations for non-naturalism. The chapter concludes that, suitably refined, the traditional argument against nonnaturalism from supervenience is alive and well. (shrink)
In recent times, Evans’ idea that mental states could have non-conceptual contents has been attacked. McDowell (Mind and World, 1994) and Brewer (Perception and reason, 1999) have both argued that that notion does not have any epistemological role because notions such as justification or evidential support, that might relate mental contents to each other, must be framed in conceptual terms. On his side, Brewer has argued that instead of non-conceptual content we should consider demonstrative concepts that have the same fine (...) grainess of non-conceptual contents while having conceptual structure. In what follows I will argue that, first, that the notion of demonstrative concept is not viable and, second, that there is an epistemological role for non-conceptual content. (shrink)
Though Nietzsche traditionally often used to be interpreted as a nihilist, a range of possible metaethical interpretations, including varieties of realism, subjectivism and fictionalism, have emerged in the secondary literature. Recently the possibility that Nietzsche is a non-cognitivist has been broached. If one sees Hume as a central non-cognitivist figure, as recent non-cognitivists such as Simon Blackburn have, then the similarities between Nietzsche and Hume can make this reading seem plausible. This paper assesses the general plausibility of interpreting Nietzsche as (...) a non-cognitivist. Non-cognitivism can mean various things and so some attempt is made to lay out the various kinds of non-cognitivism one might ascribe to Nietzsche. As part of the overall assessment of the plausibility of a non-cognitivist Nietzsche, the paper considers in detail the arguments of Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick on behalf of a non-cognitivist reading. It argues, however, that there is insufficient evidence to justify the interpretation and that the analogy to Hume is unhelpful. (shrink)
We propose an alternative approach to probability theory closely related to the framework of numerosity theory: non-Archimedean probability (NAP). In our approach, unlike in classical probability theory, all subsets of an infinite sample space are measurable and only the empty set gets assigned probability zero (in other words: the probability functions are regular). We use a non-Archimedean field as the range of the probability function. As a result, the property of countable additivity in Kolmogorov’s axiomatization of probability is replaced by (...) a different type of infinite additivity. (shrink)
Recently theorists have demonstrated a growing interest in the ethical aspects of resource allocation in international non-governmental humanitarian, development and human rights organizations (INGOs). This article provides an analysis of Thomas Pogge's proposal for how international human rights organizations ought to choose which projects to fund. Pogge's allocation principle states that ?an INGO should govern its decision making about candidate projects by such rules and procedures as are expected to maximize its long-run cost-effectiveness, defined as the expected aggregate moral value (...) of the projects it undertakes divided by the expected aggregate cost of these projects? (2007. Moral priorities for international human rights NGOs. In Ethics in action, ed. D. Bell and J. Coicaud, 218?56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 241). I critique Pogge's argument on two fronts: (1) I demonstrate that his view is problematic on his own terms, even if we accept the cost-effectiveness framework he employs. (2) I take issue with his overall approach because it generates results which can undermine the integrity of INGOs. Further, his approach mis-characterizes the nature of INGOs, and this mistake is at the root of his problematic view of INGO priority-setting. Ultimately, I argue for a conception of INGOs in which they are understood as ?organizations of principle?, in the sense that they are independent moral agents and so should be permitted a fairly wide sphere of autonomy within reasonable moral constraints. (shrink)
This paper defends my claim in earlier work that certain non-causal conditions are sufficient for the truth of some reasons explanations of actions, against the critique of this claim given by Randolph Clarke in his book, Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.
Many people in the developing world access essential health services either partially or primarily through programs run by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). Given that such programs are typically designed and run by Westerners, and funded by Western countries and their citizens, it is not surprising that such programs are regarded by many as vehicles for Western cultural imperialism. In this chapter, I consider this phenomenon as it emerges in the context of development and humanitarian aid programs, particularly those delivering medical (...) treatment, nutrition and access to clean water. I argue that in order to avoid contributing to cultural imperialism, INGOs have a duty to ensure that they do not offer services in a way that requires their beneficiaries to choose between accessing essential health services and violating or otherwise undermining traditional norms and practices which have significance for their beneficiaries. Following Onora O'Neill, I argue that offers requiring such a choice are effectively “unrefuseable” and so coercive. INGOs therefore, must avoid making such offers, and can accomplish this by means of an iterated process of reciprocal negotiation under conditions of equality, in which both the INGOs’ and the beneficiaries’ deep values and concerns play a role. In essence, I claim that employing such a process is a requirement of procedural justice, given the non-ideal conditions in which INGOs must operate. (shrink)
After a brief outline of the topic of non-language thinking in mathematics the central phenomenological tool in this concern is established, i.e. the eidetic method. The special form of eidetic method in mathematical proving is implicit variation and this procedure entails three rules that are established in a simple geometrical example. Then the difficulties and the merits of analogical thinking in mathematics are discussed in different aspects. On the background of a new phenomenological understanding of the performance of non-language thinking (...) in mathematics the well-known theses of B. L. van der Waerden that mathematical thinking to a great extent proceeds without the use of language is discussed in a new light. (shrink)
This essay in the comparative metaphysic of nothingness begins by pondering why Leibniz thought of the converse question as the preeminent one. In Eastern philosophical thought, like the numeral 'zero' (śūnya) that Indian mathematicians first discovered, nothingness as non-being looms large and serves as the first quiver on the imponderables they seem to have encountered (e.g., 'In the beginning was neither non-being nor being: what was there, bottomless deep?' RgVeda X.129). The concept of non-being and its permutations of nothing, negation, (...) nullity, etc., receive more sophisticated treatment in the works of grammarians, ritual hermeneuticians, logicians, and their dialectical adversaries variously across Jaina and Buddhist schools. The present analysis follows the function of negation/the negative copula, nãn, and dialetheia in grammar and logic, then moves onto ontologies of non-existence and extinction and further suggestive tropes that tend to arrest rather than affirm the inexorable being-there of something. After a discussion of interests in being (existence), non-being and nothingness in contemporary metaphysics, the article examines Heidegger’s extensive treatment of nothingness in his 1929 inaugural Freiburg lecture, 'Was ist Metaphysik?', published later as 'What is Metaphysics?' The essay however distances itself from any pretensions toward a doctrine of Metaphysical Nihilism. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I argue that a broadly Kantian strategy for demonstrating and explaining the existence, semantic structure, and psychological function of essentially non-conceptual content can also provide an intelligible and defensible bottom-up theory of the foundations of rationality in minded animals. Otherwise put, if I am correct, then essentially non-conceptual content constitutes the semantic and psychological substructure, or matrix, out of which the categorically normative a priori superstructure of epistemic rationality and practical rationality ? Sellars?s ?logical space of (...) reasons? ? grows. (shrink)
Recent discussions of physicalism have focused on the question how the physical ought to be characterized. Many have argued that any characterization of the physical should include the stipulation that the physical is non-mental, and others have claimed that a systematic substitution of ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ is all that is needed for philosophical purposes. I argue here that both claims are incorrect: substituting ‘non-mental’ for ‘physical’ in the causal argument for physicalism does not deliver the physicalist conclusion, and the specification (...) that the physical is non-mental is irrelevant to the task of formulating physicalism as a substantive, controversial thesis. (shrink)
Sagoff [Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (2005), 215–236] argues, against growing empirical evidence, that major environmental impacts of non-native species are unproven. However, many such impacts, including extinctions of both island and continental species, have both been demonstrated and judged by the public to be harmful. Although more public attention has been focused on non-native animals than non-native plants, the latter more often cause ecosystem-wide impacts. Increased regulation of introduction of non-native species is, therefore, warranted, and, contra Sagoff’s (...) assertions, invasion biologists have recently developed methods that greatly aid prediction of which introduced species will harm the environment and thus enable more efficient regulation. The fact that introduced species may increase local biodiversity in certain instances has not been shown to result in desired changes in ecosystem function. In other locales, they decrease biodiversity, as they do globally. (shrink)
Recent writers on negligence and culpable ignorance have argued that there are two kinds of culpable ignorance: tracing cases, in which the agent’s ignorance traces back to some culpable act or omission of hers in the past that led to the current act, which therefore arguably inherits the culpability of that earlier failure; and non-tracing cases, in which there is no such earlier failure, so the agent’s current state of ignorance must be culpable in its own right. An unusual but (...) intriguing justification for blaming agents in non-tracing cases is provided by Attributionism, which holds that we are as blameworthy for our non-voluntary emotional reactions, spontaneous attitudes, and the ensuing patterns of awareness as we are for our voluntary actions. The Attributionist explanation for why some non-tracing cases involve culpability is an appealing one, even though it has limited scope. After providing a deeper account of why we should take the Attributionist position seriously, I use recent psychological research to argue for a new account of the conditions under which agents are culpable for straightforward instances of blameworthy acts. That account is extended to blameworthiness for non-voluntary responses. I conclude that even when the agent’s failure to notice arises from a nonvoluntary objectionable attitude, very few such cases are ones in which Attributionism implies that the agent is blameworthy for her act. (shrink)
The reductivist view of war holds that the moral rules of killing in war can be reduced to the moral rules that govern killing between individuals. Noam Zohar objects to reductivism on the grounds that the account of individual self-defence that best supports the rules of war will inadvertently sanction terrorist killings of non-combatants. I argue that even an extended account of self-defence—that is, an account that permits killing at least some innocent people to save one's own life—can support a (...) prohibition on terrorism, provided that it distinguishes between direct and indirect threats. What such an account cannot support is the blanket immunity of non-combatants to defensive killing. If a non-combatant is morally responsible for indirectly threatening in an unjust war, she can be liable to defensive killing. However, this gives us reason to revise our account of permissible killing in war, rather than to reject the reductivist account. (shrink)
The Non-Identity Problem is the problem of explaining the apparent wrongness of a decision that does not harm people, especially since some of the people affected by the decision would not exist at all were it not for the decision. One approach to this problem, in the context of reproductive decisions, is to focus on wronging, rather than harming, one's offspring. But a Non-Person Problem emerges for any view that claims (1) that only persons can be wronged and (2) that (...) the person-making properties allow for there to be human non-persons. Consider an individual human organism that is prevented from ever possessing the person-making properties. On person-only accounts of the victims of wronging, this organism cannot be wronged by anyone. Hence even individuals whose decisions prevent it from ever possessing the person-making properties cannot wrong it. But this is counter-intuitive. We can think of examples where a human organism is wronged by precisely those decisions that prevent it from possessing the person-making properties. The best solution to this problem, in the case where the person-making property is rational self-governance in pursuit of a meaningful life, is to adjust the concept of a person so that it refers, not merely to those with the immediate capacity for rational self-governance in pursuit of a meaningful life, but also to those with a higher-order capacity for such self-governance. Any solution to the Non-Identity Problem that focuses on wronging rather than harming should incorporate this sort of solution to the Non-Person Problem. (shrink)
Non-Identity arguments have a pervasive but sometimes counter-intuitive grip on certain key areas in ethics. As a result, there has been limited success in supporting the alternative view that our choices concerning future generations can be considered harmful on any sort of person-affecting principle. However, as the Non-Identity Problem relies overtly on certain metaphysical assumptions, plausible alternatives to these foundations can substantially undermine the Non-Identity argument itself. In this paper, I show how the pervasive force and nature of Non-Identity arguments (...) rely upon a specific adoption of a theory of modality and identity and how adopting an alternative account of modality can be used to reject many conclusions formed through Non-Identity type arguments. By using Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic account to understand ways we might have been, I outline the basis of a modal account of harm that incorporates a person-affecting aspect. This, in turn, has significant implications for ethical decision-making in areas such as reproductive choice and the welfare of future generations. (shrink)
In the paper, the proof of the non-locality of quantum mechanics, given by Bedford and Stapp (1995), and appealing to the GHZ example, is analyzed. The proof does not contain any explicit assumption of realism, but instead it uses formal methods and techniques of the Lewis calculus of counterfactuals. To ascertain the validity of the proof, a formal semantic model for counterfactuals is constructed. With the help of this model it can be shown that the proof is faulty, because it (...) appeals to the unwarranted principle of “elimination of eliminated conditions” (EEC). As an additional way of showing unreasonableness of the assumption (EEC), it is argued that yet another alleged and highly controversial proof of non-locality of QM, using the Hardy example, can be made almost trivial with the help of (EEC). Finally, a general argument is produced to the effect that the locality condition in the form accepted by Stapp and Bedford is consistent with the quantum-mechanical predictions for the GHZ case under the assumption of indeterminism. This result undermines any future attempts of proving the incompatibility between the predictions of quantum theory and the idea of no faster-than-light influence in the GHZ case, quite independently of the negative assessment of the particular derivation proposed by Stapp and Bedford. (shrink)
Confucianism is a rather typical non-universalism, even though it does believe that its own doctrines are indeed the ultimate truth, and denies the validity of any higher, universalist meta-standard. Therefore, when facing the contemporary culture intercourse, Confucianism advocates genuine discourse: It rejects any cultural conflict to-the-death, refuses to engage in universalist competition and antagonism, and maintains a mutually-beneficial interaction with other cultures. However, it also adheres to a “free-to-terminate-relations” principle, which implies that any side is free to terminate, at any (...) time, all potential and actual interactions, whenever it feels that its original cultural vitality is threatened. In other words, cultural interactions must only occur when the cultural uniqueness and independence of all participating sides is guaranteed. (shrink)
Moral non-cognitivists hope to explain the nature of moral agreement and disagreement as agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitudes. In doing so, they take on the task of identifying the relevant attitudes, distinguishing the non-cognitive attitudes corresponding to judgments of moral wrongness, for example from attitudes involved in aesthetic disapproval or the sports fan’s disapproval of her team’s performance. We begin this paper by showing that there is a simple recipe for generating apparent counterexamples to any informative specification of the (...) moral attitudes. This may appear to be a lethal objection to non-cognitivism, but a similar recipe challenges attempts by non-cognitivism’s competitors to specify the conditions underwriting the contrast between genuine and merely apparent moral disagreement. Because of its generality, this specification problem requires a systematic response, which, we argue, is most easily available for the non-cognitivist. Building on premisses congenial to the non-cognitivist tradition, we make the following claims: (1) In paradigmatic cases, wrongness-judgements constitute a certain complex but functionally unified state, and paradigmatic wrongness-judgments form a functional kind, preserved by homeostatic mechanisms. (2) Because of the practical function of such judgements, we should expect judges’ intuitive understanding of agreement and disagreement to be accommodating, treating states departing from the paradigm in various ways as wrongness-judgements. (3) This explains the intuitive judgements required by the counterexample-generating recipe, and more generally why various kinds of amoralists are seen as making genuine wrongness-judgements. (shrink)
Adams' famous thesis that the probabilities of conditionals are conditional probabilities is incompatible with standard probability theory. Indeed it is incompatible with any system of monotonic conditional probability satisfying the usual multiplication rule for conditional probabilities. This paper explores the possibility of accommodating Adams' thesis in systems of non-monotonic probability of varying strength. It shows that such systems impose many familiar lattice theoretic properties on their models as well as yielding interesting logics of conditionals, but that a standard complementation operation (...) cannot be defined within them, on pain of collapsing probability into bivalence. (shrink)
In this article, we document the growing influence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the realm of socially responsible investing (SRI). Drawing from ethical and economic perspectives on stakeholder management and agency theory, we develop a framework to understand how and when NGOs will be most influential in shaping the ethical and social responsibility orientations of business using the emergence of SRI as the primary influencing vehicle. We find that NGOs have opportunities to influence corporate conduct via direct, indirect, and interactive (...) influences on the investment community, and that the overall influence of NGOs as major actors in socially responsible investment is growing, with attendant consequences for corporate strategy, governance, and social performance. (shrink)
In this article I will do three things: I will argue that solidarity is not necessary for political legitimacy, that non-domination is a strong candidate for legitimacy criterion, and, finally, that non-domination can legitimate the egalitarian welfare state.
The purpose of this article is threefold. Firstly, it aims to present, in an educational and non-technical fashion, the main ideas at the basis of Aerts’ creation-discovery view and hidden measurement approach : a fundamental explanatory framework whose importance, in this author’s view, has been seriously underappreciated by the physics community, despite its success in clarifying many conceptual challenges of quantum physics. Secondly, it aims to introduce a new quantum machine—that we call the δ quantum machine —which is able to (...) reproduce the transmission and reflection probabilities of a one-dimensional quantum scattering process by a Dirac delta-function potential. The machine is used not only to demonstrate the pertinence of the above mentioned explanatory framework, in the general description of physical systems, but also to illustrate (in the spirit of Aerts’ ∊-model) the origin of classical and quantum structures, by revealing the existence of processes which are neither classical nor quantum, but irreducibly intermediate. We do this by explicitly introducing what we call the k-model and by proving that its processes cannot be modelized by a classical or quantum scattering system. The third purpose of this work is to exploit the powerful metaphor provided by our quantum machine, to investigate the intimate relation between the concept of potentiality and the notion of non-spatiality , that we characterize in precise terms, introducing for this the new concept of process-actuality. (shrink)
This work will focus on some aspects of descriptive names. The New Theory of Reference, in line with Kripke, takes descriptive names to be proper names. I will argue in this paper that descriptive names and certain theory in reference to them, even when it disagrees with the New Theory of Reference, can shed light on our understanding of (some) non-existence statements. I define the concept of descriptive name for hypothesised object (DNHO). My thesis being that DNHOs are, as I (...) will specify, descriptions: a proposition expressed by the utterance ‘n is F’, where ‘n’ is a DNHO, is not singular at all; it is a descriptive proposition. To sum up, concerning proper names, the truth lies closer to the New Theory of Reference, but descriptivism is not altogether false. As for DNHOs descriptivism is, in some cases, the right fit. (shrink)
We use a simple relational framework to develop the key notions and results on hidden variables and non-locality. The extensive literature on these topics in the foundations of quantum mechanics is couched in terms of probabilistic models, and properties such as locality and no-signalling are formulated probabilistically. We show that to a remarkable extent, the main structure of the theory, through the major No-Go theorems and beyond, survives intact under the replacement of probability distributions by mere relations.