This paper focuses on four brief points only: first, the general character of today’s understandings of globalization; then, one substantive danger that arises from this general understanding of globalization; third, by contrast, the universal character of just one of the most important traditional understandings of cosmopolitanism; and, finally, on what might bring together a certain globalization and a certain cosmopolitanism into something more than either just a so-called European or African “anthropocentric ethics.” The key conceptual resource highlighted is that of (...) friendship. (shrink)
Objectives: To investigate life scientists’ views of accountability and the ethical and societal implications of research. Design: Qualitative focus group and one-on-one interviews. Participants: 45 Stanford University life scientists, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Results: Two main themes were identified in participants’ discussions of accountability: (1) the “how” of science and (2) the “why” of science. The “how” encompassed the internal conduct of research including attributes such as honesty and independence. The “why,” or the motivation for conducting research, (...) was two-tiered: first was the desire to positively impact the research community and science itself, and second was an interest in positively impacting the external community, broadly referred to as society. Participants noted that these motivations were influenced by the current systems of publications, grants and funding, thereby supporting a complex notion of boundary-setting between science and non-science. In addition, while all participants recognised the “how” of science and the two tiers of “why,” scientists expressed the need to prioritise these domains of accountability. This prioritisation was related to a researcher’s position in the academic career trajectory and to the researcher’s subsequent “perceived proximity” to scientific or societal concerns. Our findings therefore suggest the need for institutional change to inculcate early-stage researchers with a broader awareness of the implications of their research. The peer review processes for funding and publication could be effective avenues for encouraging scientists to broaden their views of accountability to society. (shrink)
Talk of fictions is usually problematic. One reason is our habitual difficulty in distinguishing clearly between discourse about fiction and fictional discourse. And part of our problem is understanding more clearly what such various discourse refers to. In this paper I would like to examine critically a recent influential account of "fictional discourse" with a view towards offering several proposals for reconstructing that account.
It is striking that one of the most consequential representatives of [the] abstract scientific orientation of the seventeenth century [Thomas Hobbes] became so personalistic. This is because as a juristic thinker he wanted to grasp the reality of societal life just as much as he, as a philosopher and a natural scientist, wanted to grasp the reality of nature.... [J]uristic thought in those days had not yet become so overpowered by the natural sciences that he, in the intensity of his (...) scientific approach, should unsuspectingly have overlooked the specific reality of legal life. Carl Schmitt, Political Theology (1922)In the light of Hobbes's natural science, man and his works become a mere phantasmagoria. Through Hobbes's natural science, “the native hue” of his political science “is sicklied o'er with the pale cast” of something which is reminiscent of death but utterly lacks the majesty of death—of something which foreshadows the positivism of our day. It seems then that if we want to do justice to the life which vibrates in Hobbes's political teaching, we must understand that teaching by itself, and not in the light of his natural science. Can this be done?² Leo Strauss, “On the Basis ofHobbes's Political Philosophy” (1959). (shrink)