This paper investigates the interpretation of the modal particle bylo in Modern Russian. On the intuitive level, sentences in which this particle appears report events that do not proceed normally and fail to receive an expected continuation. For instance, the particle is appropriate in a context whereby an eventuality begins but fails to reach completion, is intended but fails to be realized, or reaches completion, but its result is annulled. The paper proposes an intensional analysis of the particle, making use (...) of the notion of inertia worlds, worlds in which events are not interrupted and reach their normal completion (Dowty, Word and meaning in Montague grammar, 1979 ). The particle signals that an event that takes place in the actual world is followed by an eventuality of a certain type in all of the corresponding inertia worlds but not in reality. The bylo construction is further compared to the progressive aspect, which has been argued to involve a statement about inertia worlds. It is shown that the two phenomena describe eventualities from different perspectives but are unified by their intensional flavor, as well as by pointing to a distinction between the actual world and the inertia ones. (shrink)
Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately (...) defended. In criticizing arguments for limited moral requirements as well as those for unconditionally prohibited acts, Kagan offers a sustained attack on two of the most basic features of ordinary common sense morality. (shrink)
According to the dominant philosophical tradition, intrinsic value must depend solely upon intrinsic properties. By appealing to various examples, however, I argue that we should at least leave open the possibility that in some cases intrinsic value may be based in part on relational properties. Indeed, I argue that we should even be open to the possibility that an object''s intrinsic value may sometimes depend (in part) on its instrumental value. If this is right, of course, then the traditional contrast (...) between intrinsic value and instrumental value is mistaken. (shrink)
000000001. Introduction Call a theory of the good—be it moral or prudential—aggregative just in case (1) it recognizes local (or location-relative) goodness, and (2) the goodness of states of affairs is based on some aggregation of local goodness. The locations for local goodness might be points or regions in time, space, or space-time; or they might be people, or states of nature.1 Any method of aggregation is allowed: totaling, averaging, measuring the equality of the distribution, measuring the minimum, etc.. Call (...) a theory of the good finitely additive just in case it is aggregative, and for any finite set of locations it aggregates by adding together the goodness at those locations. Standard versions of total utilitarianism typically invoke finitely additive value theories (with people as locations). A puzzle can arise when finitely additive value theories are applied to cases involving an infinite number of locations (people, times, etc.). Suppose, for example, that temporal locations are the locus of value, and that time is discrete, and has no beginning or end.2 How would a finitely additive theory (e.g., a temporal version of total utilitarianism) judge the following two worlds? Goodness at Locations (e.g. times) w1:..., 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ..... w2:..., 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ..... Example 1 At each time w1 contains 2 units of goodness and w2 contains only 1. Intuitively, we claim, if the locations are the same in each world, finitely additive theorists will want to claim that w1 is better than w2. But it's not clear how they could coherently hold this view. For using standard mathematics the sum of each is the same infinity, and so there seems to be no basis for claiming that one is better than the other.3 (Appealing to Cantorian infinities is of no help here, since for any Cantorian infinite N, 2xN=1xN.). (shrink)
Thinking about death -- Dualism vs. physicalism -- Arguments for the existence of the soul -- Descartes' argument -- Plato on the immortality of the soul -- Personal identity -- Choosing between the theories -- The nature of death -- Two surprising claims about death -- The badness of death -- Immortality -- The value of life -- Other aspects of death -- Living in the face of death -- Suicide -- Conclusion: an invitation.
The purpose of this paper is to present the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the Nursing Manifesto , written by three activist scholars whose objective was to promote emancipatory nursing research, practice, and education within the dialogue and praxis of social justice. Inspired by discussions with a number of nurse philosophers at the 2008 Knowledge Conference in Boston, two of the original Manifesto authors and two colleagues discussed the need to explicate emancipatory knowing as it emerged from the Manifesto . (...) Our analysis yielded an epistemological framework based on liberation principles to advance praxis in the discipline of nursing. This paper adds to what is already known on this topic, as there is not an explicit contribution to the literature of this specific Manifesto , its significance, and utility for the discipline. While each of us have written on emancipatory knowing and social justice in a variety of works, it is in this article that we identify, as a unit of knowledge production and as a direction towards praxis, a set of critical values that arose from the emancipatory conscience-ness and intention seen in the framework of the Nursing Manifesto. (shrink)
The enactive approach to perception describes experience as a temporally extended activity of skillful engagement with the environment. This paper pursues this view and focuses on prosopagnosia both for the light that the theory can throw on the phenomenon, and for the critical light the phenomenon can throw on the theory. I argue that the enactive theory is insufficient to characterize the unique nature of experience specific to prosopagnosic subjects. There is a distinct difference in the overall process of detection (...) (with respect to eye movement sequence) of familiar and unfamiliar faces in prosopagnosia; in contrast, normal subjects use the same scanning strategy when exploring both kinds of faces despite an obvious difference in qualitative character. In light of this limitation I outline a supplemental view basing sensorimotor contingencies upon the establishment and reaffirmation of regularities within the organism as it engages with the environment. (shrink)
Moral desert -- Fault forfeits first -- Desert graphs -- Skylines -- Other shapes -- Placing peaks -- The ratio view -- Similar offense -- Graphing comparative desert -- Variation -- Groups -- Desert taken as a whole -- Reservations.
The moral distress of psychologists working in psychiatric and mental health care settings was explored in an interdisciplinary, hermeneutic phenomenological study situated at the University of Alberta, Canada. Moral distress is the state experienced when moral choices and actions are thwarted by constraints. Psychologists described specific incidents in which they felt their integrity had been compromised by such factors as institutional and interinstitutional demands, team conflicts, and interdisciplinary disputes. They described dealing with the resulting moral distress by such means as (...) silence, taking a stance, acting secretively, sustaining themselves through work with clients, seeking support from colleagues, and exiting. Recognizing moral distress can lead to a significant shift in the way we perceive moral choices and understand the moral context of practice. (shrink)
Chances are if someone were to ask you, right now, if you were happy, you'd say you were. Claiming that you're happy Â—that is, to an interviewer who is asking you to rate your "life satisfaction" on a scale from zero to tenÂ—appears to be nearly universal, as long as you're not living in a war zone, on the street, or in extreme emotional or physical pain. The Maasai of Kenya, soccer moms of Scarsdale, the Amish, the Inughuit of Greenland, (...) European businessmenÂ—all report that they are happy. When happiness researcher Ed Diener, the past president of the International Society of Quality of Life Studies, synthesized 916 surveys of over a million people in forty-five countries, he found that, on average, people placed themselves at seven on the zero-to-ten scale. (shrink)
Thirty-six 1-year-old middle-class children with fathers who spent differential time with them at home were observed in two experimental contexts separated by 2 weeks. In the first, each infant was shown six to eight repetitions of three different nonsocial events followed by a change in..
In this article, I attempt to resuscitate the perennially unfashionable distinctive feeling theory of pleasure (and pain), according to which for an experience to be pleasant (or unpleasant) is just for it to involve or contain a distinctive kind of feeling. I do this in two ways. First, by offering powerful new arguments against its two chief rivals: attitude theories, on the one hand, and the phenomenological theories of Roger Crisp, Shelly Kagan, and Aaron Smuts, on the other. Second, (...) by showing how it can answer two important objections that have been made to it. First, the famous worry that there is no felt similarity to all pleasant (or unpleasant) experiences (sometimes called ‘the heterogeneity objection’). Second, what I call ‘Findlay’s objection’, the claim that it cannot explain the nature of our attraction to pleasure and aversion to pain. (shrink)
author. University Professor in the School of Law, Columbia University. (From July 2006, Professor of Law, New York University.) Earlier versions of this Essay were presented at the Colloquium in Legal and Social Philosophy at University College London, at a law faculty workshop at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and at a constitutional law conference at Harvard Law School. I am particularly grateful to Ronald Dworkin, Ruth Gavison, and Seana Shiffrin for their formal comments on those occasions and also to (...) James Allan, Aharon Barak, Richard Bellamy, Aileen Cavanagh, Arthur Chaskalson, Michael Dorf, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried, Andrew Geddis, Stephen Guest, Ian Haney-Lopez, Alon Harel, David Heyd, Sam Issacharoff, Elena Kagan, Kenneth Keith, Michael Klarman, John Manning, Andrei Marmor, Frank Michelman, Henry Monaghan, Véronique Munoz-Dardé, John Morley, Matthew Palmer, Richard Pildes, Joseph Raz, Carol Sanger, David Wiggins, and Jo Wolff for their suggestions and criticisms. Hundreds of others have argued with me about this issue over the years: This Essay is dedicated to all of them, collegially and with thanks. (shrink)
Fred Feldman's fascinating new book sets out to defend hedonism as a theory about the Good Life. He tries to show that, when carefully and charitably interpreted, certain forms of hedonism yield plausible evaluations of human lives. Feldman begins by explaining the question about the Good Life. As he understands it, the question is not about the morally good life or about the beneficial life. Rather, the question concerns the general features of the life that is good in itself for (...) the one who lives it. Hedonism says (roughly) that the Good Life is the pleasant life. After showing that received formulations of hedonism are often confused or incoherent, Feldman presents a simple, clear, coherent form of sensory hedonism that provides a starting point for discussion. He then presents a catalogue of classic objections to hedonism, coming from sources as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Brentano, Ross, Moore, Rawls, Kagan, Nozick, Brandt, and others. One of Feldman's central themes is that there is an important distinction between the forms of hedonism that emphasize sensory pleasure and those that emphasize attitudinal pleasure. Feldman formulates several kinds of hedonism based on the idea that attitudinal pleasure is the Good. He claims that attitudinal forms of hedonism - which have often been ignored in the literature -- are worthy of more careful attention. Another main theme of the book is the plasticity of hedonism. Hedonism comes in many forms. Attitudinal hedonism is especially receptive to variations and modifications. Feldman illustrates this plasticity by formulating several variants of attitudinal hedonism and showing how they evade some of the objections. He also shows how it is possible to develop forms of hedonism that are equivalent to the allegedly anti-hedonistic theory of G. E. Moore and the Aristotelian theory according to which the Good Life is the life of virtue, or flourishing. He also formulates hedonisms relevantly like the ones defended by Aristippus and Mill. Feldman argues that a carefully developed form of attitudinal hedonism is not refuted by objections concerning 'the shape of a life'. He also defends the claim that all of the alleged forms of hedonism discussed in the book genuinely deserve to be called 'hedonism'. Finally, after dealing with the last of the objections, he gives a sketch of his hedonistic vision of the Good Life. (shrink)
Accoding to G.E. Moore, something''s intrinsic valuedepends solely on its intrinsic nature. Recently Thomas Hurka andShelly Kagan have argued, contra Moore, that something''s intrinsic valuemay depend on its extrinsic properties. Call this view the ConditionalView of intrinsic value. In this paper I demonstrate how a Mooreancan account for purported counterexamples given by Hurka and Kagan. I thenargue that certain organic unities pose difficulties for the ConditionalView.
Over the last few decades, there has been an increasing interest in global consequentialism. Where act-consequentialism assesses acts in terms of their consequences, global consequentialism goes much further, assessing acts, rules, motives — and everything else — in terms of the relevant consequences. Compared to act-consequentialism it offers a number of advantages: it is more expressive, it is a simpler theory, and it captures some of the benefits of ruleconsequentialism without the corresponding drawbacks. In this paper, I explore the four (...) different approaches to global consequentialism made by Parfit, Pettit and Smith, Kagan, and Feldman. I break these up into their constituent components, demonstrating the space of possible global consequentialist theories, and I present two new theories within this space. (shrink)
The processing, representation, and perception of bodily signals (interoception) plays an important role for human behavior. Theories of embodied cognition hold that higher cognitive processes operate on perceptual symbols and that concept use involves reactivations of the sensory-motor states that occur during experience with the world. Similarly, activation of interoceptive representations and meta-representations of bodily signals supporting interoceptive awareness are profoundly associated with emotional experience and cognitive functions. This article gives an overview over present findings and models on interoception and (...) mechanisms of embodiment and highlights its relevance for disorders that are suggested to represent a translation deficit of bodily states into subjective feelings and self-awareness. (shrink)
Boghossian’s (2003) proposal to conditionalize concepts as a way to secure their legitimacy in disputable cases applies well, not just to pejoratives – on whose account Boghossian first proposed it – but also to thick ethical concepts. It actually has important advantages when dealing with some worries raised by the application of thick ethical terms, and the truth and facticity of corresponding statements. In this paper, I will try to show, however, that thick ethical concepts present a specific case, whose (...) analysis requires a somewhat different reconstruction from that which Boghossian offers. A proper account of thick ethical concepts should be able to explain how ‘evaluated’ and ‘evaluation’ are connected. (shrink)
A desert-sensitive moral theory says that whether people get what they deserve, whether they are treated as they deserve to be treated, plays a role in determining what we ought to do. Some popular forms of consequentialism are desert-sensitive. But where do facts about what people deserve come from? If someone deserves a raise, or a kiss, in virtue of what does he deserve those things? One plausible answer is that what someone deserves depends, at least in part, on how (...) well he meets his moral requirements. The wicked deserve to suffer and the decent do not. Shelly Kagan (2006) has argued that this plausible answer is wrong. But his argument for that conclusion does not succeed. I will show how to formulate a desert-sensitive moral theory (and also a desert-sensitive version of consequentialism) on which this answer is correct. (shrink)
In this paper I describe basic features of traditional (British) emergentism and Popper’s emergentist theory of consciousness and compare them to the contemporary versions of emergentism present in connectionist approach in cognitive sciences. I argue that despite their similarities, the traditional form, as well as Popper’s theory belong to strong causal emergentism and yield radically different ontological consequences compared to the weaker, contemporary version present in cognitive science. Strong causal emergentism denies the causal closure of the physical domain and introduces (...) genuine new mental causal powers and genuine downward causation, while weak emergentism provides new insights in understanding the mechanisms and explanation that is compatible with physicalism. (shrink)
In this paper I examine nonreductive materialism (physicalism). This is a position that Terry Horgan favors in his papers and is probably the most widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind in recent decades. In contrast to this, I will argue that nonreductive materialism is an unstable position and will suggest that we can show this using Horgan's own work on the concept of superdupervenience.
Consequentialism involves a kind of strong impartiality which seems incompatible with the sort of partiality manifested in friendships. Consequentialists such as Kagan respond that friendship does not, in fact, require partiality. Against this, I argue that friendship cannot exist without expressions of personal feeling, and that such expressions necessarily involve a kind of partiality. Because her every action is determined by the goal of maximizing the impersonal good, a consequentialist cannot use her actions (including actions of speech) to express (...) her feelings for her fellows. I argue that we should expect this problem to afflict sophisticated as well as straightforward consequentialism. Finally, I consider and reject the suggestion that the consequentialist agent, who has no particular friends, can be considered a friend to everybody. (shrink)
Abstracts The aim of the paper is to propose an alternative model to realist and non-cognitive explanations of the rule-guided use of thick ethical concepts and to examine the implications that may be drawn from this and similar cases for our general understanding of rule-following and the relation between criteria of application, truth and correctness. It addresses McDowell’s non-cognitivism critique and challenges his defence of the entanglement thesis for thick ethical concepts. Contrary to non-cognitivists, however, I propose to view the (...) relation between the two terms of the entanglement as resulting from the satisfaction of a previously applied moral function. This is what I call a “Three-Fold Model”. (shrink)
I argue that the Nineteenth Century phenomenon of Russian nihilism, rather than belonging to the spiritual crisis that threatened Europe, was an independent and historically specific attitude of the Russian intelligentsia in their wholesale and utopian rejection of the prevailing values of their parents’ generation. Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons, exemplifies this revolt in the literary character Bazarov, who embodies an archetypical account of the conflict between generations, social values, and traditions in Russian—but not just Russian—culture.
The simple model maintains that morally relevant factors combine in a simple, additive way, like weights on a scale. Although intuitive and familiar, this model entails that certain plausible views about particular cases and how morally relevant factors combine and interact therein are false. Shelly Kagan suggests that we could accommodate the relevant views and interactions by rejecting either of two assumptions the simple model makes: that the moral status of an act is determined by the sum of the (...) contributions made by each of the factors relevant thereto (additivity); and that neither the “weight” nor the “valence” of a factor’s contribution can be affected by other factors (atomism). But is there an atomistic option, a way of accommodating the relevant views and interactions by rejecting additivity rather than atomism? I argue that developing an atomistic option requires offering a conception of contribution that renders coherent the particular claims that must be true if there is, indeed, such an option. And I consider whether Rossian pluralism—the locus classicus for the idea of a contributory right-making factor—offers the resources necessary to offer such a conception, and whether it could accommodate the relevant views and interactions other than by rejecting atomism. (shrink)
We address the question of how finitely additive moral value theories (such as utilitarianism) should rank worlds when there are an infinite number of locations of value (people, times, etc.). In a recent contribution, Hamkins and Montero have argued that Weak Pareto is implausible in the infinite case and defended alternative principles. We here defend Weak Pareto against their criticisms and argue against an isomorphism principle that they defend. Where locations are the same in both worlds but have no natural (...) order, our argument leads to an endorsement, and strengthening, of a principle defended by Vallentyne and Kagan, and to an endorsement of a weakened version of the catching-up criterion developed by Atsumi and by von Weizsäcker. (shrink)
Drawing on the Second Discourse and the Social Contract and Notes from Underground and “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man,” this essay examines the striking similarities and fundamental differences between Dostoevskij’s and Rousseau’s treatment of the problem of individual vs. society and their notions of ideal social relations. The essay investigates Rousseau’s attempt to absorb morality into politics and “to concretize” Diderot’s universal moral man into citizen. It also suggests that Dostoevskij takes Rousseau’s attempt at concretization a step further by (...) exposing humanist conceptions of man and society in general as fiction and creating a model of ideal society that absorbs morality, not into politics (as does Rousseau’s model), but into the sanctity of the Word. (shrink)
Heuristic is a central concept of Lakatos' philosophy both in his early works and in his later work, the methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP). The term itself, however, went through significant change of meaning. In this paper I study this change and the ‘metaphysical' commitments behind it. In order to do so, I turn to his mathematical heuristic elaborated in Proofs and Refutations. I aim to show the dialogical character of mathematical knowledge in his account, which can open a (...) door to hermeneutic studies of mathematical practice. (shrink)
Meaningful interactions with works of art are often absent from education. Across the country, art museums are intent on changing this situation. But to incorporate art viewing1 into an educational milieu that does not value art, art museum educators are constantly forced to justify the educational value of their programs. One common argument to substantiate the worth of art viewing is that it promotes critical thinking. In fact, several museums across the United States assert that the goal of their education (...) programs is precisely to foster critical thinking in students.2 These assertions are aligned with a growing body of research that proves that encounters with works of art can help develop skills .. (shrink)
In this paper I seek to answer two interrelated questions about pleasures and pains: (i) The question of unity: Do all pleasures share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pleasures, and do all pains share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pains? (ii) The question of commensurability: Are all pleasures and pains rankable on a single, quantitative hedonic scale? I argue that our intuitions draw us in opposing directions: (...) On the one hand, pleasures and pains seem unified and commensurable; on the other hand, they do not. I further argue that neither intuition can be abandoned, and examine three different paths to reconciliation. The first two are response theory and split experience theory. Both of these, I argue, are unsuccessful. A third path, however—which I label “dimensionalism” —succeeds. Dimensionalism is the theory that pleasure and pain have the ontological status as opposite sides of a hedonic dimension along which experiences vary. This view has earlier been suggested by C. D. Broad, Karl Duncker, Shelly Kagan, and John Searle, but it has not been worked out in detail. In this paper I work out the dimensionalist view in some detail, defend it, and explain how it solves the problem of the unity and commensurability of pleasures and pains. (shrink)
We address the question of how finitely additive moral value theories (such as utilitarianism) should rank worlds when there are an infinite number of locations of value (people, times, etc.). In the finite case, finitely additive theories satisfy both Weak Pareto and a strong anonymity condition. In the infinite case, however, these two conditions are incompatible, and thus a question arises as to which of these two conditions should be rejected. In a recent contribution, Hamkins and Montero (2000) have argued (...) in favor of an anonymity-like isomorphism principle and against Weak Pareto. After casting doubt on their criticism of Weak Pareto, we show how it, in combination with certain other plausible principles, generates a plausible and fairly strong principle for the infinite case. We further show that where locations are the same in all worlds, but have no natural order, this principle turns out to be equivalent to a strengthening of a principle defended by Vallentyne and Kagan (1997), and also to a weakened version of the catching-up criterion developed by Atsumi (1965) and by von Weizsäcker (1965). Footnotes1 For valuable comments, we would like to thank Marc Fleurbaey, Bart Capéau, Joel Hamkins, Barbara Montero, Tim Mulgan, and two anonymous referees for this journal. (shrink)
Many philosophers with hedonistic sympathies (e.g., Mill, Sidgwick, Sumner, Feldman, Crisp, Heathwood, and Bradley) have claimed that well-being is necessarily experiential. Kagan once claimed something slightly different, saying that, although unexperienced bodily events can directly impact a person’s well-being, it is nonetheless true that any change in a person’s well-being must involve a change in her (i.e., either in her mind or in her body). Kagan elaborated by saying that a person’s well-being cannot float freely of her such (...) that it is affected by events that do not affect her (Kagan 1992, 169-189). These two claims – that well-being is necessarily experiential and that changes in well-being must involve changes in the person – are two different ways of specifying the general intuition that a person’s well-being must be strongly tied to her. This general intuition imposes an adequacy constraint on welfare theorizing: To be adequate, a welfare theory cannot allow that someone can be directly benefited by events that are not strongly tied to her. Call this the strong-tie requirement. The strong-tie requirement is easily satisfied by welfare hedonism, but it poses problems for desire-fulfillment welfare theories and objective-list welfare theories. Though a great deal has been written about desire-fulfillment welfare theories in relation to the strong-tie requirement, not as much has been written about objective-list welfare theories in relation to the strong-tie requirement. This paper argues that objective-list welfare theories can satisfy the strong-tie requirement, though probably only if they take a perfectionist form, as opposed to a brute-list form. (shrink)
The Russian-Jewish religious thinker Lev Shestov (1866–1938) has returned from obscurity in the post-Soviet revival of religious and philosophical thought in Russia. Despite his reputation as an anti-modern irrationalist, his heritage is of key relevance to contemporary currents in Russia and the wider world; we here explore the implications of his contribution in religious, social, philosophical and literary-cultural contexts. In particular, we trace Shestov's relation to post-modernism in various settings. We explore the connection between his thought and the conflict between (...) moral principles and scientific advance, and argue that his existential perspective is a precursor to anti-globalism. We expose a link between the apophatic theology that underlies modern Russian religiosity and the Hassidic tradition which, arguably, influenced Shestov's thought, and show the relevance of his premonitions to contemporary religious developments in Russia. (shrink)