Since the inception of their discipline, anthropologists have studied virtually every conceivable aspect of other peoples' morality - religion, social control, sin, virtue, evil, duty, purity and pollution. But what of the examination of anthropology itself, and of its agendas, epistemes, theories and praxes? Conceived as a response to Patrick Tierney's hugely inflammatory book Darkness in El Dorado , whose allegations of immoral and negligent anthropological research in South America caused a storm of protest and debate, the book combines theoretical (...) papers and case studies from eminent scholars including Steven Nugent, Marilyn Silverman and Veronica Strang. Showing how the topic of ethics goes to the heart of anthropology, it raises the controversial question of why - and for whom - the anthropological discipline functions. (shrink)
Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
Presentists say that only the present is real.1 Saying that might seem like a pretty good way of accounting for what is special about the present, but it might also seem like a pretty bad way of accounting for anything about the past. To begin with, presentists face an ontological challenge. To say that only the present is real is, in part, to say that only presently existing things exist, that existence is present existence. The ontological challenge is to account (...) for merely past things like Socrates or Hunter S. Thompson, things that were but are no more. This challenge has been widely discussed in the recent literature, where many of the stock characters of late twentieth-century analytic metaphysics—noncommittal paraphrase, property bundles, uninstantiated haecceities, quasi-truth, and so on—have been called upon to play their stock roles in various.. (shrink)
In my dissertation (UCLA 2002), I argue that, by appropriating Fregean resources, Millians can solve the problems that empty names pose. As a result, the debate between Millians and Fregeans should be understood, not as a debate about whether there are senses, but rather as a debate about where there are senses.
Some descriptivists reply to the modal argument by appealing to scope ambiguities. In this paper, we argue that those replies donâ€™t work in the case of apparently empty names like â€˜Sherlock Holmesâ€™.
In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...) particular, the theory that we defend takes musical works to be fusions of performances. We defend this view from a series of objections, the first two of which are raised by Julian Dodd in a recent paper and the last of which is suggested by some comments of his in an earlier paper. (shrink)
Can a musical work be created? Some say ‘no’. But, we argue, there is no handbook of universally accepted metaphysical truths that they can use to justify their answer. Others say ‘yes’. They have to find abstract objects that can plausibly be identified with musical works, show that abstract objects of this sort can be created, and show that such abstract objects can persist. But, we argue, none of the standard views about what a musical work is allows musical works (...) both to be created and to persist. (shrink)
: Pluripotent human stem cell research may offer new treatments for hundreds of diseases, but opponents of this research argue that such therapy comes attached to a Faustian bargain: cures at the cost of the destruction of many frozen embryos. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), government officials, and many scholars of bioethics, including, in these pages, John Robertson, have not offered an adequate response to ethical objections to stem cell research. Instead of examining the ethical issues involved in sacrificing (...) human embryos for the goal of curing fatal and disabling diseases, they seek to either dismiss the moral concerns of those with objections or to find an "accommodation" with those opposed to stem cell research. An ethical argument can be made that it is justifiable to modify or destroy certain human embryos in the pursuit of cures for dread and lethal diseases. Until this argument is made, the case for stem cell research will rest on political foundations rather than on the ethical foundations that the funding of stem cell research requires. (shrink)
In 1988, Michael Nyman composed the score for Peter Greenaway’s film Drowning by Numbers (or did something that we would ordinarily think of as composing that score). We can think of Nyman’s compositional activity as a “generative performance” and of the sound structure that Nyman indicated (or of some other abstract object that is appropriately related to that sound structure) as the product generated by that performance (ix).1 According to one view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by the Numbers—the musical work—is (...) the product generated by Nyman’s compositional activity (namely, an abstract object) and, more generally, artworks are identified with the products generated by compositional or other creative activities. Let’s call this view The Product Theory. By contrast, according to another view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by Numbers is the generative performance itself (namely, Nyman’s compositional activity) and, more generally, artworks are identified with generative performances themselves. Following David Davies in Art as Performance, let’s call this view The Performance Theory (80). In that book, Davies argues for The Performance Theory and against The Product Theory. (shrink)
Thanks to David Kaplan (1989a, 1989b), we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context cwhose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to (...) a context 0* whose agent is Alexius.. (shrink)
In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for <span class='Hi'>perdurantism</span>. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; indeed, we (...) argue that anyone who accepts TOPO should reject endurantism. (shrink)
There has been a great deal of discussion, in this journal and others, about obstacles hindering the evolution of the philosophy of medicine. Such discussions presuppose that there is widespread agreement about what it is that constitutes the philosophy of medicine.Despite the fact that there is, and has been for decades, a great deal of literature, teaching and professional activity carried out explicitly in the name of the philosophy of medicine, this is not enough to establish that consensus exists as (...) to the definition of the field. And even if consensus can be obtained as to what constitutes the philosophy of medicine, this does not mean that it exists as a field. (shrink)
Jerrold Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a (...) number of problems, it is nonetheless supported (at least to some extent) by critical practice. (shrink)
Debates over vaccine mandates raise intense emotions, as reflected in the current controversy over whether to mandate the vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that can cause cervical cancer. Public health ethics so far has failed to facilitate meaningful dialogue between the opposing sides. When stripped of its emotional charge, the debate can be framed as a contest between competing ethical values. This framework can be conceptualized graphically as a conflict between autonomy on the one hand, which militates (...) against government intrusion, and beneficence, utilitarianism, justice, and nonmaleficence on the other, which may lend support to intervention. When applied to the HPV vaccine, this framework would support a mandate based on utilitarianism, if certain conditions are met and if herd immunity is a realistic objective. (shrink)
Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...) Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to quotation marks. And Super Duper Widescopers should be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that, when the definite description that a name is synonymous with itself contains a name, the definite description that that name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs, complementizers, and quotation marks. But Descriptivists should not be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers. So Descriptivists should not be Widescopers either. (shrink)
The movement to try to close the ever-widening gap between demand and supply of organs has recently arrived at the prison gate. While there is enthusiasm for using executed prisoners as sources of organs, there are both practical barriers and moral concerns that make it unlikely that proposals to use prisoners will or should gain traction. Prisoners are generally not healthy enough to be a safe source of organs, execution makes the procurement of viable organs difficult, and organ donation post-execution (...) ties the medical profession too closely to the act of execution. (shrink)
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...) subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)
Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a number (...) of problems, it is nonetheless supported (at least to some extent) by critical practice. (shrink)
The societal and ethical impacts of emerging technological and business systems cannot entirely be foreseen; therefore, management of these innovations will require at least some ethicists to work closely with researchers. This is particularly critical in the development of new systems because the maximum degrees of freedom for changing technological direction occurs at or just after the point of breakthrough; that is also the point where the long-term implications are hardest to visualize. Recent work on shared expertise in Science & (...) Technology Studies (STS) can help create productive collaborations among scientists, engineers, ethicists and other stakeholders as these new systems are designed and implemented. But collaboration across these disciplines will be successful only if scientists, engineers, and ethicists can communicate meaningfully with each other. The establishment of a trading zone coupled with moral imagination present one method for such collaborative communication. (shrink)
Abstract In the 1920s, Austrian?school economists began to argue that in a fully socialized economy, free of competitively generated prices, central planners would have no way to calculate which methods of production would be the most economical. They claimed that this ?economic calculation problem? showed that socialism is ?impossible.? Although many believe that the Austrian position was later vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the Austrian school's own methodology disallows such a conclusion. And historical evidence suggests that poor (...) incentives?not lack of economic calculation?were the main source of the economic defects of ?really existing socialism.? (shrink)
Alan Berger’s Terms and Truth covers various expressionsparticularly names and anaphoric pronouns, but also demonstratives and general termsas they occur in various linguistic contexts, including identity sentences, belief ascriptions, and negative existentials. A central thesis of Berger’s book is that all of these expressions are rigid designators. (So I assume that Berger would say, contrary to what the subtitle might suggest, that anaphoric reference is direct reference.).
Myriad Genetics holds a patent on testing for the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and therefore has a forced monopoly on this critical genetic test. Myriad launched a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing campaign in the Northeast United States in September 2007 and plans to expand that campaign to Florida and Texas in 2008. The ethics of Myriad's patent, forced monopoly and DTC campaign will be reviewed, as well as the impact of this situation on patient access and (...) care, physician liability, and the future of DTC campaigns for genetic testing. (shrink)
I heartily accept the motto, - "That government is best which governs least;" and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - "That government is best which governs not at all;" and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
JEL Classifications: L13, K42, L15 Keywords: anarcho-capitalism, networks, collusion Abstract: There is a tension between libertarians' optimism about private supply of public goods and their skeptical of the viability of voluntary collusion. (Cowen 1992; Cowen and Sutter 1999) Playing off this asymmetry, Cowen (1992) advances the novel argument that the "free market in defense services" favored by anarcho-capitalists is a network industry where collusion is especially feasible. The current article dissolves Cowen's asymmetry, showing that he fails to distinguish between self-enforcing (...) and non-self-enforcing interaction. Case study evidence on network behavior before and after antitrust supports our analysis. Furthermore, libertarians' joint beliefs on public goods and collusion are more theoretically defensible than Cowen and Sutter (1999) indicate. (shrink)
The intentionalist about consciousness holds that the qualitative character of experience, “what it's like,” is determined by the contents of a select group of special intentional states of the subject. Fred Dretske (1995), Mike Thau (2002), Michael Tye (1995) and many others have embraced intentionalism, but these philosophers have not generally appreciated that, since we are intimately familiar with the qualitative character of experience, we thereby have special access to the nature of these contents. In this paper, we take advantage (...) of this fact to show that intentionalism is incompatible with the idea that these contents are singular or general propositions, and thus that intentionalism is incompatible with one dominant trend in thinking about contents in general. In particular, there appear to be insoluble difficulties in explaining how the phenomenology of place and time can be explained by any intentionalist theory appealing to singular or general propositions. (shrink)
Abstract This has been an unusually productive exchange. My critics largely accept my main theoretical claims about economic calculation and socialism. They have also started to do what advocates of the Misesian view should have been doing for decades: offer empirical evidence that that the calculation problem is serious. While I continue to believe that incentive problems explain most of the failures of socialism, I am slightly less confident than I was before. Fortunately, there are many unexploited sources of information (...) to help resolve the issue. (shrink)
Much attention has been focused in recent years on the ethical acceptability of physicians receiving gifts from drug companies. Professional guidelines recognize industry gifts as a conflict of interest and establish thresholds prohibiting the exchange of large gifts while expressly allowing for the exchange of small gifts such as pens, note pads, and coffee. Considerable evidence from the social sciences suggests that gifts of negligible value can influence the behavior of the recipient in ways the recipient does not always realize. (...) Policies and guidelines that rely on arbitrary value limits for gift-giving or receipt should be reevaluated. (shrink)
The contributions that the philosophy of medicine can make to both the philosophy of science and the practice of science have been obscured in recent years by an overemphasis on personalities rather than critical themes. Two themes have dominated general discussion within contemporary philosophy of science: methodological essentialism and dynamic gradualism. These themes are defined and considered in light of Kenneth Schaffner's argument that theories in biomedicine have a structure and logic unlike that found in theories of the natural sciences. (...) Schaffner's arguments are suggestive but not definitive as a refutation of methodological essentialism. I argue that a primary reason for differences in the logic and structure of theories in biomedicine is not, as some philosophers have suggested, a product of ontological differences, but rather a product of the practical and pragmatic concerns of scientific theorizing in many areas of science, such as medicine. Keywords: philosophy of medicine, philosophy of science, logic of medicine, medical theory, methodological essentialism, dynamic gradualism CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Traditionally, species have been treated as classes or kinds in philosophical discussions of systematics and evolutionary biology. Recently a number of biologists and philosophers have proposed a drastic revision of this traditional ontological categorization. They have argued that species ought be viewed as individuals rather than as classes or natural kinds. In this paper an attempt is made to show that (a) the reasons advanced in support of this new view of species are not persuasive, (b) a reasonable explication can (...) be given of the treatment of species as classes that is consistent with current theory and practice in evolutionary biology and systematics, and (c) that once certain confusions concerning the species concept have been clarified, there are good theoretical grounds for maintaining that species are best viewed as classes or kinds. (shrink)
Commentaries on our target article raise further questions about the validity of an undifferentiated central executive that supplies resources to all verbal tasks. Working memory tasks are more likely to measure divided attention capacities and the efficiency of performing tasks within specific domains than a shared resource pool. In our response to the commentaries, we review and further expand upon empirical findings that relate performance on working memory tasks to sentence processing, concluding that our view that the two are not (...) strongly related remains viable in light of the material presented in the commentaries. We suggest that a productive research enterprise would be to develop the concept of working memory as a pool of resources in relation to specific tasks. (shrink)
Data from published case and group studies bear on the trace deletion hypothesis. The deficit-lesion correlational literature does not support Grodzinsky's claim that lesions in and around Broca's area inevitably lead to comprehension deficits specifically related to coindexation of traces or his claim that other lesions spare this function.
*I am very pleased to be able to contribute this paper to a festschrift for Andrea Bonomi. This is not however, the paper I really wanted to write; I would have much rather have contributed a paper comparing the pianistic styles of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, which I think Andrea would have found much more fascinating than an essay devoted to an understanding of Frege’s thinking. But I do not totally despair. Andrea’s first paper published in English was (...) entitled “On the Concept of Logical Form in Frege,” so perhaps I can maintain some hope that this paper will appeal to lingering interests that Andrea wrote of in the past. I would like to thank Johannes Brandl, Ben Caplan, Bill Demopoulos, Bob Fiengo, Mark Kalderon, Patricia Marino, Gila Sher, Michael Thau, Dan Vest and especially Aldo Antonelli for very helpful discussion. (shrink)
Bryan Caplan’s 2007 book, The Myth of the Rational Voter, created some controversy by stating that voters make irrational political decisions. While it has commonly been accepted in public choice discourse that citizens are ignorant of the complexities of politics, Caplan takes the argument one step further and states that citizens [...].