The paper pores over the recent conceptions of normative judgement developed against the background of advances in psychology and neuroscience. It begins by analyzing what normative claim of morality and law consists of before presenting and criticizing the Social Intuitionist Model of normative judgement developed by Jonathan Haidt. The model poses serious challenges for well-established normative concepts, and the concept of normativity as objective reason for action in particular. A question is asked of what the relationship (...) between philosophical conceptions and the findings of neuroscience should be. The conclusion is that, in the face of new scientific facts, philosophers have no choice but to carefully revise their conceptual schemes. (shrink)
This paper considers normative naturalism, understood as the view that (i) normative sentences are descriptive of the way things are, and (ii) their truth/falsity does not require ontology beyond the ontology of the natural world. Assuming (i) for the sake of argument, I here show that (ii) is false not only as applied to ethics, but more generally as applied to practical and epistemic normativity across the board. The argument is a descendant of Moore's Open Question Argument and (...) Hume's Is-Ought Gap. It goes roughly as follows: to ensure that natural ontology suffices for normative truth, there must be semantically grounded entailments from the natural truths to the normative truths. There are none. So natural ontology does not suffice for normative truth. (shrink)
The paper discusses the sense in which the changes undergone by normative economics in the twentieth century can be said to be progressive. A simple criterion is proposed to decide whether a sequence of normative theories is progressive. This criterion is put to use on the historical transition from the new welfare economics to social choice theory. The paper reconstructs this classic case, and eventually concludes that the latter theory was progressive compared with the former. It also briefly (...) comments on the recent developments in normative economics and their connection with the previous two stages. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 This paper suspersedes an earlier one entitled “Is There Progress in Normative Economics?” (Mongin 2002). I thank the organizers of the Fourth ESHET Conference (Graz 2000) for the opportunity they gave me to lecture on this topic. Thanks are also due to J. Alexander, K. Arrow, A. Bird, R. Bradley, M. Dascal, W. Gaertner, N. Gravel, D. Hausman, B. Hill, C. Howson, N. McClennen, A. Trannoy, J. Weymark, J. Worrall, two annonymous referees of this journal, and especially the editor M. Fleurbaey, for helpful comments. The editor's suggestions contributed to determine the final orientation of the paper. The author is grateful to the LSE and the Lachmann Foundation for their support at the time when he was writing the initial version. (shrink)
In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.
The impact of science on ethics forms since long the subject of intense debate. Although there is a growing consensus that science can describe morality and explain its evolutionary origins, there is less consensus about the ability of science to provide input to the normative domain of ethics. Whereas defenders of a scientific normative ethics appeal to naturalism, its critics either see the naturalistic fallacy committed or argue that the relevance of science to normative ethics remains undemonstrated. (...) In this paper, we argue that current scientific normative ethicists commit no fallacy, that criticisms of scientific ethics contradict each other, and that scientific insights are relevant to normative inquiries by informing ethics about the options open to the ethical debate. Moreover, when conceiving normative ethics as being a nonfoundational ethics, science can be used to evaluate every possible norm. This stands in contrast to foundational ethics in which some norms remain beyond scientific inquiry. Finally, we state that a difference in conception of normative ethics underlies the disagreement between proponents and opponents of a scientific ethics. Our argument is based on and preceded by a reconsideration of the notions naturalistic fallacy and foundational ethics. This argument differs from previous work in scientific ethics: whereas before the philosophical project of naturalizing the normative has been stressed, here we focus on concrete consequences of biological findings for normative decisions or on the day-to-day normative relevance of these scientific insights. (shrink)
This paper concerns non-causal normative explanations such as ‘This act is wrong because/in virtue of__’ (where the blank is often filled out in non-normative terms, such as ‘it causes pain’). The familiar intuition that normative facts aren't brute or ungrounded but anchored in non-normative facts seems to be in tension with the equally familiar idea that no normative fact can be fully explained in purely non-normative terms. I ask whether the tension could be resolved (...) by treating the explanatory relation in normative explanations as the sort of ‘grounding’ relation that receives extensive discussion in recent metaphysics. I argue that this would help only under controversial assumptions about the nature of normative facts, and perhaps not even then. I won't try to resolve the tension, but draw a distinction between two different sorts of normative explanations (one concerning ‘bearers’, the other concerning ‘sources’ of normativity) which helps to identify constraints on a resolution. One distinctive constraint on normative explanations in particular might be that they should be able to play a role in normative justification. (shrink)
How or in virtue of what does any one particular action differ from another? Available views on the issue of action individuation tend to emphasize the descriptive features of actions, such as where and when they occur, or what they cause or are caused by. I contend instead that actions are individuated by their normative features, such as what licenses them and what they license in turn. In this essay, deploying a suggestion from Sellars and Brandom, I argue specifically (...) that actions are individuated by their normative function or role. (shrink)
abstract This article briefly examines Onora O'Neill's account of the relation between normative principles and practical ethical problems with an eye to suggesting that philosophers of practical ethics have reason to adopt fairly high moral ambitions to be edifying and instructive both as educators and as advisors on public policy debates.
Donald Davidson's theory of mind is widely regarded as a normative theory. This is a something of a confusion. Once a distinction has been made between the categorisation scheme of a norm and the norm's force-maker, it becomes clear that a Davidsonian theory of mind is not a normative theory after all. Making clear the distinction, applying it to Davidson's theory of mind, and showing its significance are the main purposes of this paper. In the concluding paragraphs, a (...) sketch is given of how a truly normative Davidsonian theory of mind might be formulated. (shrink)
This paper extends the discussion of guanxi beyond instrumental evaluations and advances a normative assessment of guanxi. Our discussion departs from previous analyses by not merely asking, Does guanxi work? but rather Should corporations use guanxi? The analysis begins with a review of traditional guanxi definitions and the changing economic and legal environment in China, both necessary precursors to understanding the role of guanxi in Chinese business transactions. This review leads us to suggest that there are distinct types of, (...) and uses for guanxi. We identify the potentially problematic aspects of certain forms of guanxi from a normative perspective, noting among other things, the close association of particular types of guanxi with corruption and bribery. We conclude that there are many different forms of guanxi that may have distinct impacts on economic efficiency and the well-being of ordinary Chinese citizens. Consistent with Donaldson and Dunfee (1999), we advocate a particularistic analysis of the different forms of guanxi. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a detailed critical reading of Robert Brandom’s project to give an expressive bootstrapping account of intentionality, cashed out as a normative-phenomenalist account of what I will call genuine normativity. I claim that there is a reading of Making It Explicit that evades the predominant charges of either reductionism or circularity. However, making sense of Brandom’s book in the way proposed here involves correcting Brandom’s own general account of what he is doing in it, and (...) thus presenting the argumentative structure of Making It Explicit in a new light. (shrink)
The ‘Wrong Kind of Reason’ problem for buck-passing theories (theories which hold that the normative is explanatorily or conceptually prior to the evaluative) is to explain why the existence of pragmatic or strategic reasons for some response to an object does not suffice to ground evaluative claims about that object. The only workable reply seems to be to deny that there are reasons of the ‘wrong kind’ for responses, and to argue that these are really reasons for wanting, trying, (...) or intending to have that response. In support of this, it is pointed out that awareness of pragmatic or strategic considerations, unlike awareness of reasons of the ‘right kind’, are never sufficient by themselves to produce the responses for which they are reasons. I argue that this phenomenon cannot be used as a criterion for distinguishing reasons-for-a-response from reasons-for-wanting-to-have-a-response. I subsequently investigate the possibility of basing this distinction on a claim that the responses in question (e.g. admiration or desire) are themselves inherently normative; I conclude that this approach is also unsuccessful. Hence, the ‘direct response’ phenomenon cannot be used to rule out the possibility of pragmatic or strategic reasons for responses; and the rejection of such reasons therefore cannot be used to circumvent the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem. (shrink)
This article proposes a formal analysis of a fundamental aspect of legal reasoning: dealing with normative conflicts. Firstly, examples are illustrated concerning the dynamics of legal systems, the application of rules and exceptions, and the semantic indeterminacy of legal sources. Then two approaches to cope with conflicting information are presented: the preferred theories of Brewka, and the belief change functions of Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson. The relations between those approaches are closely examined, and some aspects of a model of (...) reasoning with normative conflicts are outlined. Since this model takes into account an ordering of the involved regulations, criteria to order legal norms are finally specified. (shrink)
The article tries to inquire a third way in normative ethics between consequentialism or utilitarianism and deontology or Kantianism. To find such a third way in normative ethics, one has to analyze the elements of these classical theories and to look if they are justified. In this article it is argued that an adequate normative ethics has to contain the following five elements: (1) normative individualism, i. e., the view that in the last instance moral norms (...) and values can only be justified by reference to the individuals concerned, as its basis; (2) consideration of the individuals’ concerns and interests—aims, desires, needs, strivings—insofar as they have a justificatory function; (3) a pluralism of references of these concerns and hence of moral norms and values to all possible elements of actions; (4) the necessity of a principle of aggregation and weighing with regard to these concerns; (5) finally, as a central principle of aggregation and weighing, the principle of relative reference to self and others, operating as a generalizing meta-principle that guides the application of concrete principles and decisions. (shrink)
The article tries to inquire a third way in normative ethics between consequentialism or utilitarianism and deontology or Kantianism. To find such a third way in normative ethics, one has to analyze the elements of these classical theories and to look if they are justified. In this article it is argued that an adequate normative ethics has to contain the following five elements: (1) normative individualism, i. e., the view that in the last instance moral norms (...) and values can only be justified by reference to the individuals concerned, as its basis; (2) consideration of the individuals' concerns and interests—aims, desires, needs, strivings—insofar as they have a justificatory function; (3) a pluralism of references of these concerns and hence of moral norms and values to all possible elements of actions; (4) the necessity of a principle of aggregation and weighing with regard to these concerns; (5) finally, as a central principle of aggregation and weighing, the principle of relative reference to self and others, operating as a generalizing meta-principle that guides the application of concrete principles and decisions. (shrink)
McDowell argues that the shortcomings of recent theories of experience are the product of the modern scientistic conception of nature. Reconceive nature, he suggests, and we can explain how perceptual experience can be an external constraint on thought that, moreover, has conceptual import. In this article I argue that McDowell’s project is unsuccessful. Those wishing to construct normative theories, including theories of perceptual experience, face the normative trilemma—they must choose one of three styles of theory, each of which (...) exhibits a distinctive weakness. If we view McDowell’s approach in light of this choice, we see that he cannot adequately explain the link between experience and the world itself. I conclude that the real problem with theories of experience flows not from scientistic naturalism, but rather from the inconsistent demands we place on normative theories in general.McDowell soutient que les défauts des théories récentes sur l’expérience sont engendrés par la position scientifique moderne sur la nature. En reconcevant la nature, suggère-t-il, on est en mesure d’expliquer comment l’expérience sensorielle peut être une contrainte extérieure sur la pensée, contrainte qui joue, de plus, un rôle conceptuel. Je soutiens dans cet article que le projet de McDowell se solde par un échec. Ceux qui souhaitent élaborer des théories normatives, y compris des théories sur l’expérience sensorielle, font face au trilemme normatif — ils doivent choisir un type de théorie parmi trois types qui trahissent tous une faiblesse particulière. Si l’on envisage la démarche de McDowell dans la perspective de ce choix, on s’aperçoit qu’il ne peut expliquer de manière satisfaisante le lien entre l’expérience et le monde lui-même. J’en conclus que le véritable problème des théories sur l’expérience ne découle pas du naturalisme scientifique, mais plutôt des exigences incohérentes auxquelleson soumet les théories normatives en général. (shrink)
We present the inconsistency-adaptive deontic logic DP r , a nonmonotonic logic for dealing with conflicts between normative statements. On the one hand, this logic does not lead to explosion in view of normative conflicts such as O A ∧ O ∼A, O A ∧ P ∼A or even O A ∧ ∼O A. On the other hand, DP r still verifies all intuitively reliable inferences valid in Standard Deontic Logic (SDL). DP r interprets a given premise set (...) ‘as normally as possible’ with respect to SDL. Whereas some SDL-rules are verified unconditionally by DP r , others are verified conditionally. The latter are applicable unless they rely on formulas that turn out to behave inconsistently in view of the premises. This dynamic process is mirrored by the proof theory of DP r. (shrink)
During the 1980s, empirical social sciences and normative theory seemingly converged within ethical debates. This tendency kindled new debates about the limits and possibilities of empirical-normative collaboration. The article asks for adequate ways of collaboration by taking a closer look at the philosophy of science of empirical social sciences as well as normative theory development and its logical groundings. As a result, three possible modes of cooperation are characterized: first, the empirical assessment of conditions that actually necessitate (...) the translation of normatively derived basic principles into practice rules; second, the empirical assessment of conditions for application of a moral norm which are formulated by bridging principles; third, the empirical assessment of social practice which allows (a) to measure whether adopted norms actually are implemented in practice or not and (b) to encounter new moral problems which are in need of ethical guidance. Finally, the article defends a symbiotic position in Weaver’s and Trevino's triad of possible approaches to empirical-normative collaboration in ethics. (shrink)
Much of the literature on practical authority concerns the authority of the state over its subjects—authority to which we are, as G. E. M. Anscombe says, subject “willy nilly”. Yet many of our “willy” (or voluntary) relationships also seem to involve the exercise of practical authority, and this species of authority is in some ways even more puzzling than authority willy nilly. In this paper I argue that voluntary authority relies on a form of voluntary obligation that is akin (in (...) some respects) to the kind of obligation one undertakes in making a promise. Voluntary authority depends, that is, on the possibility of taking on certain obligations more or less at will. It is generated through an interpersonal transaction that involves a directed act of deference, on one side, paired with appropriate uptake of that deference, on the other. Deference, in the relevant sense, should be understood as a normative power that is exercised when agents transfer deliberative discretion to others, undertaking directed obligations to treat others’ directives as content-independent and peremptory reasons. Voluntary authority, thus understood, is both grounded in and constrained by the equal moral authority or autonomy of the participants, since only autonomous agents have the standing to defer in a normatively significant way. (shrink)
As business environments become more complex and reliant on information systems, the decisions made by managers affect a growing number of stakeholders. This paper proposes a framework based on the application of normative theories in business ethics to facilitate the evaluation of IS related ethical dilemmas and arrive at fair and consistent decisions. The framework is applied in the context of an information privacy dilemma to demonstrate the decision making process. The ethical dilemma is analyzed using each one of (...) the three normative theories—the stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, and social contract theory. The challenges associated with the application of these theories are also discussed. (shrink)
The article argues that theorists who try to justify 'ought'-claims, i.e., who try to show that a standard of behavior has normative authority, will run into a regress problem. The problem is similar in structure to the familiar regress in the justification of belief. The point of the paper is not skeptical. Rather, the aim is to help theorists better understand the challenges associated with formulating a theory of normative authority.
After decades of vigorous debate, many contemporary philosophers in the Kantian tradition continue to believe, or at least hope, that morality can be given a firm grounding by showing that rational agents cannot consistently reject moral requirements. In the present paper, I do not take a stand on the possibility of bringing out the alleged inconsistency. Instead I argue that, even if a successful argument could be given for this inconsistency, this would not provide an adequate answer to “the (...) class='Hi'>normative question” (i.e., “why should I be moral?”). My defense of this claim emerges from a defense of a claim about Kant, namely, that he did not attempt to answer the normative question in this way. After carefully articulating Kant’s answer to the normative question, I argue that his answer to this question contains a lesson about why we should not embrace the approach that is popular among many contemporary Kantians. (shrink)
A review of the stakeholder literature reveals that the concept of "normative core" can be applied in three main ways: philosophical justification of stakeholder theory, theoretical governing principles of a firm, and managerial beliefs/values influencing the underlying narrative of business. When considering the case of Wall Street, we argue that the managerial application of normative core reveals the imbedded nature of the fact/value dichotomy. Problems arise when the work of the fact/value dichotomy contributes to a closed-core institution. We (...) make the distinction between open- and closed-core institutions to show how in the case of the closed-core, ethical decision-making is viewed by the institution as a separate domain from the core business of the institution. The resulting blind spot stifles meaningful exchanges with stakeholders attempting to address the need for reform. We suggest in conclusion that ethical considerations are less about casting a value judgment and more about creating a process for meaningful conversation throughout an institution and its stakeholders. (shrink)
This paper presents positivistic, normative/theological, and strategic analyses of the application of religion to the practice of strategic leadership in business. It is argued that elements of religion can enrich several components of strategic leadership. Furthermore, it is argued that the question of whether religion ought to be applied involves the more basic question of whether there is a common basis or a meta-framework relating theological and normative analyses. Finally, because the strategic value of religion in strategic leadership (...) involves varying costs and benefits, an optimal level of integration can be established by applying a cost/benefit analysis to a framework of four ways of relating religion to the business arena based on the degree of integration. (shrink)
Conceptualization and measurement of organizational commitment involve different dimensions that include economic, affective, as well as moral aspects labelled in the literature as: ‘continuance’, ‘affective’ and ‘normative’ commitment. This multidimensional framework emerges from the convergence of different research lines. Using Aristotle’s philosophical framework, that explicitly considers the role of the will in human commitment, it is proposed a rational explanation of the existence of mentioned dimensions in organizational commitment. Such a theoretical proposal may offer a more accurate definition (...) of ‘affective commitment’ that distinguishes feelings from rational judgments. The use of a philosophical explanation coherent with psychological findings also allows the discovery of a wider moral concept of ‘normative commitment’. (shrink)
We re-examine the construct of Moral Hypocrisy from the perspective of normative self-interest. Arguing that some degree of self-interest is culturally acceptable and indeed expected, we postulate that a pattern of behavior is more indicative of moral hypocrisy than a single action. Contrary to previous findings, our results indicate that a significant majority of subjects (N = 136) exhibited fair behavior, and that ideals of caring and fairness, when measured in context of the scenario, were predictive of those behaviors. (...) Moreover, measures of Individualism/Collectivism appear more predictive of self-interested behavior than out-of-context responses to moral ideals. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss how descriptive studies of science, increasingly emphasised by philosophers of science, can be used to testnormative theories of science. I claim that we can use cases of scientific practice as counter examples; if the practice of a given scientist can be shown to be justified and it diverges from the prescriptions of a scientific theory then the theory should be rejected. This approach differs from those offered by previous philosophers of science and (...) at the same time brings the philosophy of science more into line with other areas of philosophy. (shrink)
The study extends the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) in a cross-cultural setting, incorporating ethical judgments and locus of control in a comparison of Taiwanese and US businesspersons. A self-administered survey of 698 businesspersons from the US and Taiwan examined several hypothesized differences. Results indicate that while Taiwanese respondents have a more favorable attitude toward a requested bribe than US counterparts, and are less likely to view it as an ethical issue, their higher locus externality causes ethical judgments and behavioral (...) intentions to conform to normative influences of in groups and superiors. In the Taiwanese sample, locus externality effectively functions as a countervailing pressure against the unethical behavior in the scenario. No such effect is found in the US sample. A path model fitted to the data shows that locus internals exhibit more consistency among attitudes, judgments, and behavioral intentions than locus externals. Implications for managers and researchers are discussed, and suggestions and precautions for development of efficacy-enhancement programs are offered. (shrink)
Diversity in society can be viewed from two perspectives, normative and descriptive, both of which define how we think, discuss, and live. Normatively we are called to be responsible. This notion ideally depicts the vision of people of various backgrounds and beliefs living with an attitude of tolerance, respect, and the desire for justice. Descriptively, it is to recognize that people of diverse ethnic, social, economic, and philosophical backgrounds come together to live in various geographic locations, often resulting in (...) heated tension and turmoil. Cultural backgrounds are a primary source of identity for many and serve as a foundation for a great deal of self-definition, expression, and sense of individual identity and group belonging. (shrink)
In this paper I address some shortcomings in Larry Laudan's normative naturalism. I make it clear that Laudan's rejection of the "meta-methodology thesis", or MMT is unnecessary, and that a reformulated version MMT can be sustained. I contend that a major difficulty that attends Laudan's account is his contention that a naturalistic philosophy of science cannot accommodate any a priori justification of methodological rules, and consider what sort of naturalism might best replace Laudan's. To do this, I discuss Michael (...) Friedman's account of a relativised a priori and show that it is consistent with naturalistic philosophy of science and that it can help form the basis of a plausible normative naturalism. In particular, this Discussion shows that Laudan's rejection of any a priori justification of methodological rules is unjustified and inconsistent with scientific practice. Finally, I point the way to a version of normative naturalism that includes MMT and accounts for the role of constitutive a priori principles within science. (shrink)
This paper is a preliminary investigation into the application of the formal-logical theory of normative positions to the characterisation of normative-informational positions, pertaining to rules that are meant to regulate the supply of information. First, we present the proposed framework. Next, we identify the kinds of nuances and distinctions that can be articulated in such a logical framework. Finally, we show how such nuances can arise in specific regulations. Reference is made to Data Protection Law and Contract Law, (...) among others. The proposed approach is articulated around two essential steps. The first involves identifying the set of possible interpretations that can be given to a particular norm. This is done by using formal methods. The second involves picking out one of these interpretations as the most likely one. This second step can be resolved only by using further information (e.g., the context or other parts of the regulation). (shrink)
Imperatives occur ubiquitously in natural languages. They produce forces which change the addressee’s cognitive state and regulate her actions accordingly. In real life we often receive conflicting orders, typically, issued by various authorities with different ranks. A new update semantics is proposed in this paper to formalize this idea. The general properties of this semantics, as well as its background ideas are discussed extensively. In addition, we compare our framework with other approaches of deontic logics in the context of (...) class='Hi'>normative conflicts. (shrink)
The paper discusses normative systems and their revision within an algebraic framework. If a system is logically well-formed, certain norms, called connecting norms, determine the system as a whole. It is maintained that, if the system is well-formed, a relation at least as low as determines a lattice or quasi-lattice of its connecting norms. The ideas are presented mainly in the form of comments on a legal example concerning acquisition of movable property by extinction of another person's previous rights.
Gibbard argues that we have to accord others a certain fundamental epistemic normative authority. To avoid skepticism we must accept some of our normative principles; since the influence of others was a major factor in the process that led us to adopt them, we must accord others fundamental normative authority. The argument ought to be of interest to a wide range of philosophers, since while compatible with expressivism, it does not assume expressivism. It has rarely been discussed. (...) In this essay I analyse the argument, explain why it is not sound and make a suggestion about the real upshot of the rejection of normative skepticism. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a formal analysis of the idea of normative co-ordination. We argue that this idea is based on the assumption that agents can achieve flexible co-ordination by conferring normative positions to other agents. These positions include duties, permissions, and powers. In particular, we explain the idea of declarative power, which consists in the capacity of the power-holder of creating normative positions, involving other agents, simply by proclaiming such positions. In addition, we account also (...) for the concepts of representation, namely the representatives capacity of acting in the name of his principal, and of mandate, which is the mandatees duty to act as the mandator has requested. Finally, we show how the framework can be applied to represent the contract-net protocol. Some brief remarks on future research and applications conclude this contribution. (shrink)
This paper considers the relation between the sources of normativity, reasons, and normative conflicts. It argues that common views about how normative reasons relate to their sources have important consequences for how we can understand putative normative conflicts.
In 1935, the Nazi government introduced what came to be known as the abrogation of the pro- hibition of analogy. This measure, a feature of the new penal law, required judges to stray from the letter of the written law and to consider instead whether an action was worthy of pun- ishment according to the ‘sound perception of the people’ and the ‘underlying principle’ of existing criminal statutes. In discussions of Nazi law, an almost unanimous conclusion is that a system (...) of criminal law ought not to contain legislation of this sort. This conclusion is often based on how the abro- gation relates to the normative claim that the law ought to be predictable. In particular, it has been argued that since the law ought to be predictable, and since this type of analogy legis- lation implied, caused or contributed to the diminution of the law’s predictability, this type of legislation ought to be prohibited. In this paper, we argue that this argument is not entirely correct. While we believe that the law ought to be predictable and that there is evidence for the claim that the Nazis’ intro- duction of analogical reasoning implied, caused, or contributed to a diminution of predictability, this fact is logically too weak to ground the conclusion that necessarily a penal system ought not to contain legislation of this kind. Despite the undeniable wickedness of the Nazi penal system, this type of analogical reasoning can be made consistent with the pre- dictability of the law. We argue that consistency of this sort depends on whether the use of analogy is supplemented by certain contextual background conditions. The occurrence of these conditions blocks an inference from the fact that the law ought to be predictable to the conclusion that a penal system ought not to allow for this type of analogical reasoning. (shrink)
Two areas of importance for agents and multiagent systems are investigated: design of agent programming languages, and design of agent communication languages. The paper contributes in the above mentioned areas by demonstrating improved or novel applications for deontic logic and normative reasoning. Examples are taken from computer-supported cooperative work, and electronic commerce.
Goal setting is an important professional method and one of the key concepts that structure a practical field such as physical rehabilitation. However, the actual use of goals in rehabilitation practice is much less straightforward than the general acceptance of the method suggests as goals are frequently unattained, modified or contested. In this paper, I will argue that the difficulties of goal setting in day-to-day medical practice can be understood by unravelling the normative assumptions of goal setting, in this (...) case three different tensions that come along with it. First, goals are developed for a future state that may require activities that clash with necessities of the present situation. Second, professionals in clinical rehabilitation centres elaborate goals for an environment that differs in terms of spatial and social characteristics from the environment in the centre, where people train for the accomplishment of goals. Finally, goal setting requires active patient participation and individual control that sometimes appears impossible, unrealistic, and undesirable. I will describe how professionals deal with these tensions in a creative and dynamic way. With my articulation of the assumptions of goal setting, I hope to contribute to the self-reflection of rehabilitation practitioners as well as to theoretical discussions of goal setting in contexts other than rehabilitation. (shrink)
This article offers an analysis of normative practical reasoning. Reasoning of this type includes at least one normative belief and it has a practical conclusion (roughly, a conclusion about what to do). The principal question I am interested in is whether this type of practical reasoning can be logically conclusive. This issue has received remarkably little philosophical discussion despite the central role this reasoning plays in our everyday discourse about action and in the resolution of ethical problems. I (...) distinguish three kinds of normative reasons. Quasi -normative reasoning, I maintain in Section 1, can only be valid if it is in fact theoretical reasoning, despite appearance to the contrary. In Section 2, I argue that there are two kinds of genuine normative reasoning (purely normative reasoning and hybrid reasoning) that can be logically conclusive. This article also shows that practical arguments are non-trivially ambiguous (which has been largely ignored in the literature) because they can at the same time express different pieces of practical reasoning that have a different logical status. (shrink)
I defend a conception of Logic as normative for the sort of activities in which inferences super-vene, namely, reasoning and arguing. Toulmin’s criticism of formal logic will be our framework to shape the idea that in order to make sense of Logic as normative, we should con-ceive it as a discipline devoted to the layout of arguments, understood as the representations of the semantic, truth relevant, properties of the inferences that we make in arguing and reason-ing.
Bioethical research has tended to focus on theoretical discussion of the principles on which the analysis of ethical issues in biomedicine should be based. But this discussion often seems remote from biomedical practice where researchers and physicians confront ethical problems. On the other hand, published empirical research on the ethical reasoning of health care professionals offer only descriptions of how physicians and nurses actually reason ethically. The question remains whether these descriptions have any normative implications for nurses and physicians? (...) In this article, we illustrate an approach that integrates empirical research into the formulation of normative ethical principles using the moral-philosophical method of Wide Reflective Equilibrium (WRE). The research method discussed in this article was developed in connection with the project ‘Bioethics in Theory and Practice’. The purpose of this project is to investigate ethical reasoning in biomedical practice in Denmark empirically. In this article, we take the research method as our point of departure, but we exclusively discuss the theoretical framework of the method, not its empirical results. We argue that the descriptive phenomenological hermeneutical method developed by Lindseth and Norberg (2004) and Pedersen (1999) can be combined with the theory of WRE to arrive at a decision procedure and thus a foundation for the formulation of normative ethical principles. This could provide health care professionals and biomedical researchers with normative principles about how to analyse, reason and act in ethically difficult situations in their practice. We also show how to use existing bioethical principles as inspiration for interpreting the empirical findings of qualitative studies. This may help researchers design their own empirical studies in the field of ethics. (shrink)
This article argues that the courts, not the Home Secretary, should be empowered to issue Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs). It explains that at the heart of the debate are three questions: whether measures like TPIMs should be viewed primarily from the perspective of security or liberty; how we should conceive the executive and the courts; and the empirical question of how these two arms of government answer these questions. The non-mechanistic nature of legal reasoning means that legal reasons (...) may be constructed to fit one’s normative viewpoint on each of the first two questions. Importantly, however, the case law on judicial scrutiny of control orders consistently demonstrates that the courts themselves regard TPIMs as being primarily a restriction on liberty, which require a fair hearing before an independent court. Whilst this does provide some protection of individual rights, the nature of law as an unfinished practice means that for stable protection of individual rights judicial independence must be promoted and nurtured in both the legal and political realms. The failure of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 to vest the power to issue TPIMs in the courts thus represents a missed opportunity to secure political endorsement of enhanced legal protection of individual liberty in cases involving national security. (shrink)
Is appealing to emotions in argumentation ever legitimate and, if so, what is the best way to analyze and evaluate such appeals? After overviewing a normative pragmatic perspective on appealing to emotions in argumentation, I present answers to these questions from pragma-dialectical, informal logical, and rhetorical perspectives, and note positions shared and supplemented by a normative pragmatic perspective. A normative pragmatic perspective holds that appealing to emotions in argumentation may be relevant and non-manipulative; and that emotional appeals (...) may be analyzed as strategies that create pragmatic reasons and assessed by the standard of formal propriety or reasonability under the circumstances. I illustrate the explanatory power of the perspective by analyzing and evaluating some argumentation from Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” I conclude that a normative pragmatic perspective offers a more complete account of appealing to emotions in argumentation than a pragma-dialectial, informal logical, or rhetorical perspective alone, identifies a range of norms available to arguers, and explains why appealing to emotions may be legitimate in particular cases of argumentation. (shrink)
What is ethics in the contemporary world? What is the need of defining ethics and, secondly, defining it in contemporary context? The meaning of ethics is so ambiguous to nonphilosophical academicians, corporate world, and others who look to the meaning in the branch of Philosophy called Ethics. At the end of endless debates, if the purpose of getting a definition is done, it is clarity in thinking in defining ethics which would happen. This may lead to clarity in the study (...) of ethics. And why should one study ethics at all? Ethics is interwoven at various levels in our life. The same individual is often in an obligation to face ethics at different levels like home, office, society, etc., or different ethical obligations. With a number of normative theories, the individual mind would be indefinite as to which one to follow. Is it just one theory alone which can be resorted to in an ethical dilemma or a combination of them? Are these theories practical also? Or are they just theories per se? To clear this ambiguity and in order to define ethics, the discussion of the meaning of ethics is important. This paper answers the above questions and throws light on the enquiry. This study hence is an exploratory one. Since the word ethics is interwoven with morality, it is worthwhile to define the word moral. (shrink)
In any given day, I do many things. I perspire, digest and age. When I walk, I place one foot ahead of the other, my arms swinging gently at my sides; if someone bumps into me, I stumble. Perspiring, digesting, aging, placing my feet, swaying my arms and stumbling are all things I do, in some sense. Yet I also check my email, teach students and go to the grocery store. Those sorts of doings or behaviors seem distinctive; they are (...) things I do intentionally. -/- What exactly is an intentional action? How does it differ from other things we do? -/- In this essay, I motivate and sketch an answer to those questions. On this view, an intentional action is a behavior that essentially alters what the actor is rationally accountable for, what she is rationally permitted or obliged to do, think, or feel. On this view, acting intentionally essentially involves a normative expectation that one has reasons for what one does. I call this view Normative Functionalism. -/- I begin in §2 by presenting a different, somewhat intuitive and popular view of intentional action, the so-called Causal Theory of Action. While that view does seem plausible, I allege that it doesn’t seem to accommodate the apparent fact that actors are accountable for their intentional actions. That motivates Normative Functionalism, which I sketch in §3. I conclude in §4 by offering an interim assessment of the discussion. (shrink)
Sellars, Brandom, and McDowell (whom Maher aptly calls the “Pittsburgh School”) have tremendous influence on the current shape of the analytic tradition. Despite their differing views on philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, and epistemology, their shared application of ‘normative functionalism’ highlights important similarities in their approaches to the aforementioned disciplines. Normative functionalism interprets the ability to form judgments, possess concepts, rationally defend or be critical of judgments, and consequently act as an agent, as (...) largely guided by one’s responsiveness to norms. In this article, I argue for two related claims. First, I argue that the Pittsburgh School’s normative functionalism has germinated from the seed of Sellars’ ‘psychological nominalism’ and cannot be separated from it. Second, no philosophical question or approach can be free of competing claims as to the manner in which human beings think, communicate, act, and know. As a result, normative functionalism (insofar as it is a natural extension of psychological nominalism) is relevant to many philosophical disciplines, because it opposes nearly all the traditional views concerning how the human intellect comes into being and functionally operates. (shrink)
This paper is about the relationship between two widely accepted and apparently conflicting claims about how we should understand the notion of ‘reason giving’ invoked in theorising about reasons for action. According to the first claim, reasons are given by facts about the situation of agents. According to the second claim, reasons are given by ends. I argue that the apparent conflict between these two claims is less deep than is generally recognised.