In Finding Your Moral Compass, Craig Nakken, author of the best-selling book The Addictive Personality, gives readers in recovery the model and tools needed to make life decisions in the pursuit of good.
In the last few years H.G. Callaway has produced several helpful editions of some important texts by Emerson. Emerson's Conduct of Life was originally published in 1860, and it has appeared in a number of editions since then, but Callaway's edition has several noteworthy features that cause it to stand out from the crowd and make it an important contribution to Emerson studies. This is a rare volume that will serve students, academic philosophers, and causal readers alike: a (...) critical edition of a less-familiar text that is attractive to ordinary readers without sacrificing scholarly rigor. (shrink)
This well-organized editorial material is useful especially for students and general educated readers coming to study these works for the first time, but also for the specialist who wants to check details or keep up with central literature. The editor's notes offer historical contextualization, terminological and etymological clarifications, and information on both the well-known and the relatively unknown authors cited by Emerson.... Callaway has modernized the spelling of the prose, but otherwise the editions follow the originals. ".
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” (...) and “Illusions.” As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
The potential for dual use of research in the life sciences to be misused for harm raises a range of problems for the scientific community and policy makers. Various legal and ethical strategies are being implemented to reduce the threat of the misuse of research and knowledge in the life sciences by establishing a culture of responsible conduct.
A leading metaphysician of the 19th century, Schopenhauer dispensed with traditional philosophic jargon in favor of a brisk, compelling style. In The Wisdom of Life, an essay from his final work, Parerga und Paralipomena (1851), the philosopher favors individual strength of will and independent, reasoned deliberation over the tendency to act on irrational impulses. He examines the ways in which life can be arranged to derive the highest degree of pleasure and success, presents guidelines to achieving this full (...) and rich manner of living, and advises that even a life well lived must always aspire to grander heights. This excellent translation by T. Bailey Saunders abounds in subjects of enduring relevance. (shrink)
This companion to Elliot Dorff's three books on Jewish ethics -- Matters of Life and Death , To Do the Right and the Good , and Love Your Neighbor and Yourself -- is designed for group as well as individual study. Through suggested readings from Dorff's books, probing questions, lively discussion topics, and simple writing exercises, readers will be able to analyze and clarify their own positions on a host of controversial issues: sex, surrogate motherhood, adoption, family abuse, responsibilities (...) for charitable giving, the ethics of war, suicide, and euthanasia, and more. (shrink)
Still-vital lectures on teaching deal with psychology and the teaching art, the stream of consciousness, the child as a behaving organism, education and behavior, native and acquired reactions, habit, association of ideas, attention, memory, acquisition of ideas, perception, will, and more. The three addresses to students are "The Gospel of Relaxation," "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings," and "What Makes a Life Significant?" Preface. 2 black-and-white illustrations.
This paper considers multiple meanings of the expression ‘dual use’ and examines lessons to be learned from the life sciences when considering ethical and policy issues associated with the dual-use nature of nanotechnology (and converging technologies). After examining recent controversial dual-use experiments in the life sciences, it considers the potential roles and limitations of science codes of conduct for addressing concerns associated with dual-use science and technology. It concludes that, rather than being essentially associated with voluntary self-governance (...) of the scientific community, codes of conduct should arguably be part of a broader regulatory oversight system. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas' construction of a critical social theory of society grounded in communicative reason is one of the very few real philosophical inventions of recent times that demands and repays extended engagement. In this elaborate and sympathetic study which places Habermas' project in the context of critical theory as a whole past and future, J. M. Bernstein argues that despite its undoubted achievements, it contributes to the very problems of ethical dislocation and meaninglessness it aims to diagnose and remedy. Bernstein (...) further argues that the precise character of the failures of Habermas' program demonstrate the necessity for a return to the first generation critical theory of Adorno. Reading across nearly the whole range of Habermas' corpus, Recovering Ethical Life traces the development of the theory of communicative reason from its inception in Knowledge and Human Interests through its elaboration in The Theory of Communicative Action and into its defense against postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity . In separate chapters Habermas' readings of Freud, Durkheim amd Mead, Adorno and Foucault, Castoriadis and Taylor are critically examined. The focus of Bernstein's analyses, however, is always problem centered and thematic rather than textual psychoanalytic theory as an account of self knowledge, the competing claims of ethical identity and moral reason, the place of judgment in practical reason, and the debate between philosophies of language based communities versus those oriented towards world-disclosure. Critical theory is unique among current philosophies in engaging with the problems of social injustice and nihilism by siding with an abstract moral reason that forfeits the processes of intersubjective recognition it intended to salvage. Even in the fine grain of Habermas' account of performative contradictions and the theory of discourses of application, Bernstein perceives a squandering of the resources of an ethical life in need of transfiguration. (shrink)
Part I: The representation of life -- Can life be given a real definition? -- The representation of the living individual -- The representation of the life-form itself -- Part II: Naive action theory -- Types of practical explanation -- Naive explanation of action -- Action and time -- Part III: Practical generality -- Two tendencies in practical philosophy -- Practices and dispositions as sources of the goodness of individual actions -- Practice and disposition as sources of (...) individual action. (shrink)
From the New York Times bestselling author Derrick Bell, a profound meditation on achieving success with integrity. As one of the country's most influential law professors, Derrick Bell has spent a lifetime helping students struggling to maintain a sense of integrity in the face of an overwhelming pressure to succeed at any price. Frequently asked how he managed to be so extraordinarily successful while never giving up the fight for justice and equality, Bell decided to spend his seventieth year writing (...) a book of insight and guidance. The result, Ethical Ambition , is a deeply affecting, uplifting, and brilliant series of meditations that not only challenges us to face some of the most difficult questions that life presents, but dares to offer some solutions. Using incidents from his own life, Bell also looks to literature, history, and other contemporary figures who have refused to compromise their beliefs. In chapters that explore passion, faith courage, inspiration, humility, and relationships, Ethical Ambition address the most fundamental issues of life. (shrink)
The Art of Living Consciously Is an Operating Manual for Our Basic Tool of Survival In The Art of Living Consciously, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, our foremost authority on self-esteem, takes us into new territory, exploring the actions of our minds when they are operating as our life and well-being require -- and also when they are not. No other book illuminates so clearly what true mindfulness means: * In the workplace * In the arena of romantic love * In (...) child-rearing * In the pursuit of personal development Today we are exposed to an unprecedented amount of information and an unprecedented number of opinions about every conceivable aspect of life. We are thrown on our own resources as never before -- and we have nothing to protect us but the clarity of our thinking. In The Art of Living Consciously, Branden gives us the tools with which to draw out the best within us. (shrink)
The Weight of Things explores the hard questions of our daily lives, examining both classic and contemporary accounts of what it means to lead 'the good life'. Looks at the views of philosophers such as Aristotle, the Stoics, Mill, Nietzsche, and Sartre as well as contributions from other traditions, such as Buddhism Incorporates key arguments from contemporary philosophers including Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick, John Finnis, and Susan Wolf Uses examples from biography, literature, history, movies and media, and (...) the news Gives a fresh perspective on the hard questions of our daily lives An engaging read; an excellent book for both students and general readers. (shrink)
With “slow living” as the newest incarnation of the simplicity movement, the search for fresh inspiration on ways to live a more authentic life is as pressing as ever. Turning to Eastern traditions, people are discovering the Japanese concept of wabi sabi. The perfect antidote to today’s frenzied, consumer-oriented culture, wabi sabi encourages slowing down, living modestly, and appreciating the natural and imperfect aspect of material culture. While defying definition, wabi sabi is best expressed in brief, evocative bites. In (...) The Little Wabi Sabi Companion, Diane Durston, a noted writer on Japanese art and culture, presents a collection of reflections, along with classic poetry and verse from both Eastern and Western traditions, that capture the wabi sabi moment, and inspire readers to do the same. The subtle beauty of nature, the simplicity of a found object, the impermanence of an autumnal flower arrangement, the solitude of a single fisherman in his boat are all celebrated and reflected upon in this easily browseable book. The text is complemented by photography and calligraphy inspired by the wabi-sabi spirit. This collection of simple, yet profound insights in an irresistable, hold-in-the-hand package offers readers the opportunity for integrating moments of contemplation and meditation into their daily lives, and to discover the essence of wabi sabi. (shrink)
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history. Here is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing a (...)life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet's life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet's example for some of today's most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet's life remain--or become again--an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism--a fixation on ritual--toward a committed spiritual and social presence? In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad's life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- (...) A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
My new edition of Emerson's Conduct, modernizes the prose spelling, annotates the text and adds a short chronology, a bibliography foused on Emerson's sources, a new Introduction, and a comprehensive index. Available in HB and PB.
The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy;it's no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr (...) Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady courss between these two extremes. We feels instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. But in the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and nothing less than this will ever make us truly happy. But Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is Happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly know. Certainly it is not a comfort for comfort spells seciurity and hapiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all secutiry is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation. (shrink)
In the United States a rapidly increasing regulatory burden for life scientists has led to questions of whether the increased burden resulting from the Select Agent Program has had adverse effects on scientific advances. Attention has focussed on the regulatory “fit” of the Program and ways in which its design could be improved. An international framework convention to address common concerns about biosecurity and biosafety is a logical next step. Keywords Biosafety - Biosecurity law - Biosecurity regulations - Scientist (...) - Laboratories - Research - Bioterrorism - Terrorism. (shrink)
This work is Emerson's set of essays published in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War: 'Fate,' 'Power,' 'Wealth,' 'Culture,' 'Behavior,' 'Worship,' 'Considerations by the Way,' 'Beauty,' 'Illusions.'.
When making end-of-life decisions in intensive care units (ICUs), different staff groups have different roles in the decision-making process and may not always assess the situation in the same way. The aim of this study was to examine the challenges Danish nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians experience with end-of-life decisions in ICUs and how these challenges affect the decision-making process. Interviews with nurses, intensivists, and primary physicians were conducted, and data is discussed from an ethical perspective. All three (...) groups found that the main challenges were associated with interdisciplinary collaboration and future perspectives for the patient. Most of these challenges were connected with ethical issues. The challenges included different assessments of treatment potential, changes and postponements of withholding and withdrawing therapy orders, how and when to identify patients’ wishes, and suffering caused by the treatment. To improve end-of-life decision-making in the ICU, these challenges need to be addressed by interdisciplinary teams. (shrink)
Kant’s treatment of teleology and life in the Critique of the Power of Judgment is complicated and difficult to interpret; Hegel’s response adds considerable complexity. I propose a new way of understanding the underlying philosophical issues in this debate, allowing a better understanding of the underlying structure of the arguments in Kant and Hegel. My new way is unusual: I use for an interpretive lens some structural features of familiar debates about freedom of the will. These debates, I argue, (...) allow us to see more clearly the underlying structure of a great many philosophical issues. Aside from some suggested avenues of approach, however, I do not aim to interpret what Kant or Hegel has to say about freedom of the will. The idea is to use this interpretive lens to better understand the philosophical issues at stake in their disagreement concerning teleology and life. This will clarify the precise philosophical burden that must be met by Kant’s argument in defense of his skepticism, and why his case has considerable philosophical force. But it will also explain why Kant’s argument itself inevitably provides the opening for Hegel’s reply, and sets a standard that Hegel will meet in a surprising way. Finally, this approach will explain why we can learn a great deal from the philosophical arguments in Kant and Hegel about this topic, despite the intervening years of such great progress in the biological sciences: by looking to Kant and Hegel we can better understand the structure of underlying philosophical terrain of the issues concerning teleology and life—terrain we are still fighting over today. (shrink)
This paper discusses the concept of Dána or charity as the foundation of Indian Social life. Dána has been in vogue in India since the Vedic times, but it was codified by the smritis which prescribe do’s and don’ts of the life of the individual. Limiting its scope to Yagnavalkya smriti the paper analyses the significance of Dána as a regulative principle of accumulation of wealth.
I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally (...) responsible for the good. I argue that the best theory of the meaning of life should clearly distinguish between subjective fulfillment and objective meaningfulness. The GCA respects the distinction. And it is superior to its leading rivals in the recent literature, most notably those of Erik Wielenberg and Susan Wolf. (shrink)
This collection of eminently practical advice from the likes of Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, Pythagoras, and Aristotle covers subjects as diverse as money, child-raising, politics, philosophy, law, and relationships--all aspects of life and how to live it. Thomas Cleary has translated these sayings and aphorisms from the Arabic sources that preserved Greek thought throughout the Middle Ages. Many of the texts no longer exist in the original Greek. Included in the book is an appendix that presents resonant sayings and fragments (...) from Buddhist, Taoist, and Muslim sources, demonstrating the universal quality of the teachings of the Greek sages and hinting at the interaction between Western and Eastern cultures. (shrink)
There is an apparent tension between two familiar platitudes about the meaning of life: (i) that 'meaning' in this context means 'value', and (ii) that such meaning might be ineffable. I suggest a way of trying to bring these two claims together by focusing on an ideal of a meaningful life that fuses both the axiological and semantic senses of 'significant'. This in turn allows for the possibility that the full significance of a life might be ineffable (...) not because its axiological significance is ineffable, but because its semantic significance is ineffable in virtue of the signification relation itself being unsignifiable. I then explore to what degree this claim about signification can be adequately defended. (shrink)
In parts of his Notebooks, Tractatus and in “Lecture on Ethics”, Wittgenstein advanced a new approach to the problems of the meaning of life. It was developed as a reaction to the explorations on this theme by Bertrand Russell. Wittgenstein’s objective was to treat it with a higher degree of exactness. The present paper shows that he reached exactness by treating themes of philosophical anthropology using the formal method of topology.
The game of life is an excellent framework for metaphysical modeling. It can be used to study ontological categories like space, time, causality, persistence, substance, emergence, and supervenience. It is often said that there are many levels of existence in the game of life. Objects like the glider are said to exist on higher levels. Our goal here is to work out a precise formalization of the thesis that there are various levels of existence in the game of (...)life. To formalize this thesis, we develop a set-theoretic construction of the glider. The method of this construction generalizes to other patterns in the game of life. And it can be extended to more realistic physical systems. The result is a highly general method for the set-theoretical construction of substances. (shrink)
It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946) presents a plausible theory of the meaning of life: One's life is meaningful to the extent that it promotes the good. Although this theory is credible, the movie suggests a problematic refinement in the Pottersville sequence. George's waking nightmare asks us to compare the actual world with a world where he did not exist. It tells us that we are only responsible for the good that would not exist had we not (...) existed. I argue that this is a bad test. It fails when there are redundant causes. (shrink)
Do trees of life have roots? What do these roots look like? In this contribution, I argue that research on the origins of life might offer glimpses on the topology of these very roots. More specifically, I argue (1) that the roots of the tree of life go well below the level of the commonly mentioned ‘ancestral organisms’ down into the level of much simpler, minimally living entities that might be referred to as ‘protoliving systems’, and (2) (...) that further below, a system of roots gradually dissolves into non-living matter along several functional dimensions. In between non-living and living matter, one finds physico-chemical systems that I propose to characterize by a ‘lifeness signature’. In turn, this ‘lifeness signature’ might also account for a diverse range of biochemical entities that are found to be ‘less-than-living’ yet ‘more-than-non-living’. (shrink)
In this paper, after outlining the methodological role Wittgenstein's appeal to language-games is supposed to play, I examine the picture of language which his discussion of such games and their relations to what Wittgenstein calls forms of life suggests. It is a picture according to which language and its employment are inextricably connected to wider contexts—they are embedded in specific natural and social environments, they are tied to purposive activities serving provincial needs, and caught up in distinctive ways of (...)life which creatures of a certain sort enjoy. In the remainder of the paper, I consider whether Wittgenstein's emphasis on the link between language and the circumstances surrounding its use points in the direction of an influential view widespread in contemporary philosophy of language, namely, semantic contextualism. I examine carefully a number of passages which scholars have appealed to in support of the claim that Wittgenstein advances contextualism and argue that they in fact provide no such support. The connection which Wittgenstein sees between what is expressed in the use of words and the circumstances in which they are used is not the connection the contextualist insists on. (shrink)
Systems Biology and the Modern Synthesis are recent versions of two classical biological paradigms that are known as structuralism and functionalism, or internalism and externalism. According to functionalism (or externalism), living matter is a fundamentally passive entity that owes its organization to external forces (functions that shape organs) or to an external organizing agent (natural selection). Structuralism (or internalism), is the view that living matter is an intrinsically active entity that is capable of organizing itself from within, with purely internal (...) processes that are based on mathematical principles and physical laws. At the molecular level, the basic mechanism of the Modern Synthesis is molecular copying, the process that leads in the short run to heredity and in the long run to natural selection. The basic mechanism of Systems Biology, instead, is self-assembly, the process by which many supramolecular structures are formed by the spontaneous aggregation of their components. In addition to molecular copying and self-assembly, however, molecular biology has uncovered also a third great mechanism at the heart of life. The existence of the genetic code and of many other organic codes in Nature tells us that molecular coding is a biological reality and we need therefore a framework that accounts for it. This framework is Code biology, the study of the codes of life, a new field of research that brings to light an entirely new dimension of the living world and gives us a completely new understanding of the origin and the evolution of life. (shrink)
The pursuit of happiness is a long-enshrined tradition that has recently become the cornerstone of the American Positive Psychology movement. However, “happiness” is an over-worked and ambiguous word, which, it is argued, should be restricted and only used as the label for a brief emotional state that typically lasts a few seconds or minutes. The corollary proposal for positive psychology is that optimism is a preferable stance over pessimism or realism. Examples are presented both from psychology and economics that illustrate (...) the dangers of optimism, and in which better outcomes can occur with a pessimistic stance. A more sophisticated approach is then presented in which, in relation to well-being and quality of life, neither optimism nor pessimism is seen as inherently better than the other, but, rather, in which psychological flexibility may contribute optimally to health and well-being. (shrink)
This paper presents the concept of the idealization of the interchangeability of phases of life as an enhancement, or rather as a further development of Alfred Schutz’s general thesis of the reciprocity of perspectives. It claims that the according figure of thought is a constitutive part of acts of understanding in everyday life where, in order to understand each other, individuals of different age-groups have to overcome the difference of perspectives that are attached to their particular ages. This (...) is accomplished by a specific assumption that is also applied in the case of intrasubjective, autobiographical understanding. By discussing its sociological significance as well as its philosophical background, this paper introduces the idealization of the interchangeability of phases of life as a fundamental and universal figure of understanding. (shrink)
The importance of public confidence in scientific findings and trust in scientists cannot be overstated. Thus, it becomes critical for the scientific community to focus on enhancing the strategies used to educate future scientists on ethical research behaviors. What we are lacking is knowledge on how faculty members shape and develop ethical research standards with their students. We are presenting the results of a survey with 3,500 research faculty members. We believe this is the first report on how faculty work (...) with and educate their PhD students on basic research standards. Specifically, we wanted to determine whether individual faculty members, who are advisors or mentors, differ in how they implemented components of responsible conduct of research (RCR) with their PhD students. Mentors were more likely than advisors or supervisors to report working with all of their PhDs, who graduated in the last 5 years, on the 17 recognized critical components of RCR training and research skill development. We also found about half of the faculty members believe RCR is an institutional responsibility versus a faculty responsibility. Less than a quarter have had opportunities to participate in faculty training to be a better mentor, advisor, or research teacher, and about one third of faculty did not or could not remember whether they had guidelines related to their responsibilities to PhD students. We discuss the implications of our findings and focus on ways that PhD research mentoring can be enhanced. (shrink)
One of the fundamental aims of nursing is to safeguard or promote patients' "quality of life." Perspectives on Quality of Life examines existing ways of defining the concept and argues that nurses need to adopt a fresh approach, which more accurately reflects patients' concerns and helps them to develop practical ways of promoting the well-being of people in their care. Part One provides an analysis of statistical approaches to quality of life, including social indicators, the Quality Adjusted (...)Life Year (QALY), and the medical outcomes literature. Part Two proposes an alternative, qualitative approach to organizing care, which respects the patients' choice and individuality. Part three presents the findings of new research into the quality of life of older people in hospital wards. (shrink)
In spite of ethical analyses assimilating the palliative deactivation of pacemakers to commonly accepted withdrawings of life-sustaining therapy, many clinicians remain ethically uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation at the end of life. Various reasons have been posited for this discomfort. Some cardiologists have suggested that reluctance to deactivate pacemakers may stem from a sense that the pacemaker has become part of the patient’s “self.” The authors suggest that Daniel Sulmasy is correct to contend that any such identification of the (...) pacemaker is misguided. The authors argue that clinicians uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation are nevertheless correct to see it as incompatible with the traditional medical ethics of withdrawal of support. Traditional medical ethics is presently taken by many to sanction pacemaker deactivation when such deactivation honors the patient’s right to refuse treatment. The authors suggest that the right to refuse treatment applies to treatments involving ongoing physician agency. This right cannot underwrite patient demands that physicians reverse the effects of treatments previously administered, in which ongoing physician agency is no longer implicated. The permanently indwelling pacemaker is best seen as such a treatment. As such, its deactivation in the pacemaker-dependent patient is best seen not as withdrawal of support but as active ending of life. That being the case, clinicians adhering to the usual ethical analysis of withdrawal of support are correct to be uncomfortable with pacemaker deactivation at the end of life. (shrink)
According to the "sanctity-of-life" view, all human lives are equally valuable and inviolable, and it would be wrong to base life-and-death medical decisions on the quality of the patient's life. Examining the ideas and assumptions behind the sanctity-of-life view, Kuhse argues against the traditional view that allowing someone to die is morally different from killing, and shows that quality-of-life judgments are ubiquitous. Refuting the sanctity-of-life view, she provides a sketch of a quality-of-life ethics (...) based on the belief that there is a profound difference between merely being alive and life being in the patient's interest. (shrink)
Brackets and tables, circles and maps, 1554-1872 -- Early botanical networks and trees, 1766-1815 -- The first evolutionary tree, 1786-1820 -- Diverse and unusual trees of the early nineteenth century, 1817-1834 -- The rule of five, 1819-1854 -- Pre-Darwinian branching diagrams, 1828-1858 -- Evolution and the trees of Charles Darwin, 1837-1868 -- The trees of Ernst Haeckel, 1866-1905 -- Post-Darwinian nonconformists, 1868-1896 -- More late-nineteenth-century trees, 1874-1897 -- Trees of the early twentieth century, 1901-1930 -- The trees of Alfred Sherwood (...) Romer, 1933-1966 -- Additional trees of the mid-twentieth century, 1931-1943 -- The trees of William King Gregory, 1938-1951 -- Hints of new approaches, 1954-1969 -- Phenograms and cladograms, 1958-1966 -- Early molecular trees, 1962-1987 -- Notable trees of the past four decades, 1970-2010 -- Primeval branches and universal trees of life, 1997-2010. (shrink)
What does it mean to lead a moral life?In her first extended study of moral philosophy, Judith Butler offers a provocative outline for a new ethical practice—one responsive to the need for critical autonomy and grounded in a new sense of the human subject.Butler takes as her starting point one’s ability to answer the questions “What have I done?” and “What ought I to do?” She shows that these question can be answered only by asking a prior question, “Who (...) is this ‘I’ who is under an obligation to give an account of itself and to act in certain ways?” Because I find that I cannot give an account of myself without accounting for the social conditions under which I emerge, ethical reflection requires a turn to social theory.In three powerfully crafted and lucidly written chapters, Butler demonstrates how difficult it is to give an account of oneself, and how this lack of self-transparency and narratibility is crucial to an ethical understanding of the human. In brilliant dialogue with Adorno, Levinas, Foucault, and other thinkers, she eloquently argues the limits, possibilities, and dangers of contemporary ethical thought.Butler offers a critique of the moral self, arguing that the transparent, rational, and continuous ethical subject is an impossible construct that seeks to deny the specificity of what it is to be human. We can know ourselves only incompletely, and only in relation to a broader social world that has always preceded us and already shaped us in ways we cannot grasp. If inevitably we are partially opaque to ourselves, how can giving an account of ourselves define the ethical act? And doesn’t an ethical system that holds us impossibly accountable for full self-knowledge and self-consistency inflict a kind of psychic violence, leading to a culture of self-beratement and cruelty? How does the turn to social theory offer us a chance to understand the specifically social character of our own unknowingness about ourselves?In this invaluable book, by recasting ethics as a project in which being ethical means becoming critical of norms under which we are asked to act, but which we can never fully choose, Butler illuminates what it means for us as “fallible creatures” to create and share an ethics of vulnerability, humility, and ethical responsiveness. Judtith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. The most recent of her books are Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence and Undoing Gender. (shrink)
Daniel Russell develops a fresh and original view of pleasure and its pivotal role in Plato's treatment of value, happiness, and human psychology. This is the first full-length discussion of the topic for fifty years, and Russell shows its relevance to contemporary debates in moral philosophy and philosophical psychology. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life will make fascinating reading for ancient specialists and for a wide range of philosophers.
In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will. Beginning with the contrast (...) between "eastern" and "western" attitudes toward assertive willing, Davenport traces the lineage of the idea of projective motivation from NeoPlatonic and Christian conceptions of divine motivation to Scotus, Kant, Marx, Arendt, and Levinas. Rich with historical detail, this book includes an extended examination of Platonic and Aristotelian eudaimonist theories of human motivation. Drawing on contemporary critiques of egoism, Davenport argues that happiness is primarily a byproduct of activities and pursuits aimed at other agent-transcending goods for their own sake. In particular, the motives involved in virtue and in its practice as understood by Alasdair MacIntyre are projective rather than eudaimonist. This theory is supported by analyses of radical evil, accounts of intrinsic motivation in existential psychology, and contemporary theories of identity-forming commitment in analytic moral psychology. Following Viktor Frankl, Joseph Raz, and others, Davenport argues that Harry Frankfurt's conception of caring requires objective values worth caring about, which serve as rational grounds for projecting new final ends. The argument concludes with a taxonomy of values or goods, devotion to which can make life meaningful for us. (shrink)
My personal odyssey -- Tripping the night fantastic. Who-and what-am I? -- The journey home. Take me to the river-- -- The being human -- White crows : mystics, savants, and other harbingers of human potential. Mystic mind (or how to crack open the cranium) -- Wake up! Greek philosophy breaks the trance -- The ultimate cage match : philosophy, science, and religion (or togas, Bibles, and microscopes : why can't we all just get along?) -- Homo anxious : I (...) think, therefore I worry. Mindfulness walk : "being" without thinking -- Why philosophy matters-and how it just might save your life! Am I a neuron in the mind of God? -- Reality bites -- The physical world : the tip of the reality iceberg. More to reality than meets the eye -- Real deal reality : beyond sense and beyond reason. Beyond logic : riddles and paradoxes. Pyramids, togas, and cosmic consciousness -- Pythagoras squared : who was this mystic mathemagician? Infinity : the ultimate mind trip -- Good vibrations : Pythagoras and the big beat. The cosmic symphony : music from the universal orchestra -- Escaping Plato's cave -- Plato's retreat-from the material world. the universe as one big thought -- On the nature of change : the more things change--. Change : the great illusion -- Death : the new birth. Incubation (or how death can transform your life) -- Yes, but what does it all mean? -- New science and old wisdom -- Musings from my dissertation -- Some final thoughts. (shrink)
This is the first book in the Practical and Professional Ethics Series, sponsored by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. It is a reissue of a long-unavailable work by the English philosopher and educator Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900). The book, first published in 1898, collects nine essays, most of which represent addresses to members of two ethical societies that Sidgwick helped found in Cambridge and London in the 1880s. Sidgwick indicates that these societies aimed to allow academics, professionals, and others (...) to pursue joint efforts at reaching "some results of value for practical guidance and life." Sidgwick hoped that the members of these societies might discuss, for example, when public officials might be justified in lying or breaking promises, whether scientists could legitimately inflict suffering on animals for research purposes, or the problem of possible exceptions to common moral ideals that professionals advocate for their own group, along with a score of other problems in practical ethics. Throughout these essays, Sidgwick addresses such problems with the acuity, the genuine concern, and the patient rationale that he brought to all his writings. (shrink)
Claude Mediavilla brings to the Greek text his training as both a painter and calligrapher, marrying modern variants of both medium and style with classical forms in a way that brings Epictetus’ words to life with beauty and startling immediacy. Calligraphy (from the Greek for "beautiful writing") is an art where word and image meet, where the artist strives to give visual expression to the meaning of words in a way that transcends the text while remaining completely faithful to (...) it. It is a discipline that has been invested with spiritual significance wherever it has arisen--and it has arisen throughout the world in every age, in virtually every language, culture, and religion. The Shambhala Calligraphy series is a collection of books devoted to contemporary expressions of this "art of the word," featuring contemporary calligraphers' striking new interpretations of texts that have been traditional subjects for calligraphic interpretation. Whether in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, or Chinese pictographs, the characters, words, and sentences are brought to life anew here in a choreography of mind, hand, and heart by which letter and spirit fuse in a single stroke. (shrink)
" The Way of the Small teaches ways to embrace even life's more difficult passages such as aging, failure, illness, or the loss of a loved one, making even our pain a path to the sacred that helps us find meaning in life as it happens. * ...
A new collection of inspiring personal philosophies from another noteworthy group of people This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventyfive essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. With contributors who run the gamut from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to ordinary folks like a diner waitress, an Iraq War veteran, a farmer, a new husband, and many others, This I Believe II , like the first New York Times bestselling collection, showcases moving and (...) irresistible essays. Included are Sister Helen Prejean writing about learning what she truly believes through watching her own actions, singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore writing about a hard-won wisdom based on being generous to others, and Robert Fulghum writing about dancing all the dances for as long as he can. Readers will also find wonderful and surprising essays about forgiveness, personal integrity, and honoring life and change. Here is a welcome, stirring, and provocative communion with the minds and hearts of a diverse, new group of people—whose beliefs and the remarkably varied ways in which they choose to express them reveal the American spirit at its best. (shrink)
Objective: To measure the stability of life-sustaining treatment preferences amongst older people and analyse the factors that influence stability. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Primary care centres, Granada (Spain). Eighty-five persons age 65 years or older. Participants filled out a questionnaire with six contexts of illness (LSPQ-e). They had to decide whether or not to receive treatment. Participants completed the questionnaire at baseline and 18 months later. Results: 86 percent of the patients did not change preferences. Sex, age, marital (...) status, hospitalisation, and self-perception of health and pain did not affect preferences. Morbidity and the death of a relative did. Conclusion: Stability of preferences of older persons in relation to end-of-life decisions seems to be more probable than instability. Some factors, such as the death of a relative or the increase in morbidity, can change preferences. These findings have implications for advance directives (ADs) and advance care planning. (shrink)
Ethics in business is the most urgent problem facing America today. Now two of the best-selling authors of our time, Kenneth Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale, join forces to meet this crisis head-on in this vitally important new book. The Power of Ethical Management proves you don't have to cheat to win. It shows today's managers how to bring integrity back to the workplace. It gives hard-hitting, practical, ethical strategies that build profits, productivity, and long-term success. From a straightforward three-step (...) Ethics Check that helps you evaluate any action or decision, to the "Five P's" of ethical behavior that will clarify your purpose and your goals, The Power of Ethical Management gives you an immensely useful set of tools. These can be put to work right away to enhance the performance of your business and to enrich the quality of your life. The Power of Ethical Management is no theoretical treatise Peale and Blanchard speak from their own enormous and unique experience, They reveal the nuts and bolts, practical strategies for ethical decisions that will show you why integrity pays. "So Vince Lombardi was wrong. Winning is not the only thing as headlines and hearings from Wall Street to Washington confirm. Now comes a better game plan from the powerful one-two punch of Ken Blanchard and Norman Vincent Peale in a quickreading new book, The Power of Ethical Management. Peale and Blanchard may be the best thing that has happened to business ethics since Mike Wallace invented 60 Minutes. -- JOHN MACK CARTIER Editor-in-Chief Good Housekeeping. (shrink)
In The Philosophy of Manners Peter Johnson makes a compelling case for manners as a subject for investigation by modern moral philosophy. He examines manners as 'little virtues', explaining their distinctive conceptual characteristics and charting their intricate detail and relationships with each other. In demonstrating why manners are important to our mutual expectations, Johnson reveals a terrain which modern moral philosophy has left largely unmapped. Through a critical examination of the ethics of John Rawls and Alasdair MacIntyre, Johnson shows how (...) the nature of manners constitutes a philosophical problem both for liberalism and its critics. Taking the recent revival of virtue ethics as its broad starting point, The Philosophy of Manners discusses the 'little virtues' as they are treated in the Aristotelian and Kantian traditions of writing on ethics. Original features of the book include discussions of nameless virtues, the logical intricacy of the 'little virtues' which compose manners, and the nature of their orchestration by the more substantial virtues and moral concerns. The aim throughout is to give manners a philosophically defensible place in the moral life - a place which neither inflates nor understates their importance. --an examination of why manners are essential to moral literacy and an ethical society --the first work of its kind - no other ethical investigation concentrates on manners --relevant to the recent revival of interest in virtue ethics and any course in contemporary ethics --will provoke argument and disagreement. (shrink)
Bambrough, R. Essay on man.--Quinton, A. Has man an essence?--Warnock, G. J. Kant and anthropology.--Honderich, T. On inequality and violence, and the differences we make between them.--Cherry, C. Agreement, objectivity and the sentiment of humanity in morals.--Gregory, I. Psycho-analysis, human nature and human conduct.--Gosling, J. The natural supremacy of conscience.--Scruton, R. Reason and happiness.--Wollheim, R. Needs, desires, and moral turpitude.--Hollis, M. My role and its duties.--Watkins, J. Three views concerning human freedom.--Letwin, S. R. Nature, history, and morality.--Passmore, J. Attitudes (...) to nature.--Benson, J. Hog in sloth, fox in stealth: man and beast in moral thinking.--Hare, R. Contrasting methods of environmental planning.--Self, P. Techniques and values in policy decisions. (shrink)
This new translation of Epictetus' Handbook brings his ancient teachings to those who wish to live the philosophic life by finding a way to live happily in the world without being overwhelmed by it. This modern English translation of the complete Handbook is supported by the first thorough commentary since that of Simplicius, 1500 years ago, along with a detailed introduction, extensive glossary, index of key terms, and helpful tables that clarify Stoic ethical doctrines as a glance. Accompanying the (...) Handbook is the Tablet of Cebes , a curious and engaging text from an unknown author. In complete contrast to the Handbook 's more conventional philosophical presentation, the Tablet is an allegory that shows progress to philosophical wisdom as a journey through a landscape inhabited by personifications of Happiness, Fortune, the Virtues and Vices. (shrink)
What is the meaning of life? In the post-modern, post-religious scientific world, this question is becoming a preoccupation. But it also has a long history: many major figures in philosophy had something to say on the subject. This book begins with an historical overview of philosophers from Plato to Hegel and Marx who have believed in some sort of meaning of life, either in some supposed "other" world or in the future of this world. Young goes on to (...) look at what happened when the traditional structures that provided life with meaning ceased to be believed. (shrink)
Human beings have the unique ability to consciously reflect on the nature of the self. But reflection has its costs. We can ask what the self is, but as David Hume pointed out, the self, once reflected upon, may be nowhere to be found. The favored view is that we are material beings living in the material world. But if so, a host of destabilizing questions surface. If persons are just a sophisticated sort of animal, then what sense is there (...) to the idea that we are free agents who control our own destinies? What makes the life of any animal, even one as sophisticated as Homo sapiens, worth anything? What place is there in a material world for God? And if there is no place for a God, then what hold can morality possibly have on us--why isn't everything allowed? Flanagan's collection of essays takes on these questions and more. He continues the old philosophical project of reconciling a scientific view of ourselves with a view of ourselves as agents of free will and meaning-makers. But to this project he brings the latest insights of neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychiatry, exploring topics such as whether the conscious mind can be explained scientifically, whether dreams are self-expressive or just noise, the moral socialization of children, and the nature of psychological phenomena such as multiple personality disorder and false memory syndrome. What emerges from these explorations is a liberating vision which can make sense of the self, agency, character transformation, and the value and worth of human life. Flanagan concludes that nothing about a scientific view of persons must lead to nihilism. (shrink)
An adaptation of Pascal’s Wager argument has been considered useful in deciding about the provision of life-sustaining treatment for patients in persistent vegetative state. In this article, I assess whether people making such decisions should resort to the application of Pascal’s idea. I argue that there is no sufficient reason to give it an important role in making the decisions.
Recent successes of systems biology clarified that biological functionality is multilevel. We point out that this fact makes it necessary to revise popular views about macromolecular functions and distinguish between local, physico-chemical and global, biological functions. Our analysis shows that physico-chemical functions are merely tools of biological functionality. This result sheds new light on the origin of cellular life, indicating that in evolutionary history, assignment of biological functions to cellular ingredients plays a crucial role. In this wider picture, even (...) if aggregation of chance mutations of replicator molecules and spontaneously self-assembled proteins led to the formation of a system identical with a living cell in all physical respects but devoid of biological functions, it would remain an inanimate physical system, a pseudo-cell or a zombie-cell but not a viable cell. In the origin of life scenarios, a fundamental circularity arises, since if cells are the minimal units of life, it is apparent that assignments of cellular functions require the presence of cells and vice versa. Resolution of this dilemma requires distinguishing between physico-chemical and biological symbols as well as between physico-chemical and biological information. Our analysis of the concepts of symbol, rule and code suggests that they all rely implicitly on biological laws or principles. We show that the problem is how to establish physico-chemically arbitrary rules assigning biological functions without the presence of living organisms. We propose a solution to that problem with the help of a generalized action principle and biological harnessing of quantum uncertainties. By our proposal, biology is an autonomous science having its own fundamental principle. The biological principle ought not to be regarded as an emergent phenomenon. It can guide chemical evolution towards the biological one, progressively assigning greater complexity and functionality to macromolecules and systems of macromolecules at all levels of organization. This solution explains some perplexing facts and posits a new context for thinking about the problems of the origin of life and mind. (shrink)
Commercial interest in land (large-scale land acquisition, LaSLA) in developing countries is a hot topic for debate and its potential consequences are contentious: proponents conceive of it as much needed investment into the formerly neglected agricultural sector while opponents point to severe social and environmental effects. This contribution discusses, if and how sustainability standards and codes of conduct can contribute towards governing LaSLA. Based on the WCED-definition we develop a conception of sustainability that allows framing potential negative effects as (...) issues of intra- and intergenerational justice. In a second step we specify these claims of justice, drawing on a human rights approach as well as three guidelines for sustainable development, namely, efficiency, consistency and resilience, to arrive at six guidelines for social and environmental sustainability criteria of LaSLA. We compare our suggestions with existing proposals for sustainability standards of LaSLA and with the certification schemes for sustainable production of bioenergy. From this we draw lessons for development and implementation of sustainability standards for LaSLA. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the view, put forward by several people from Aristotle to Russell, that knowledge is the ultimate purpose and meaning of human life, and I find it wanting. I also argue that all attempts to show that human life has a meaning from an external and higher point of view have been unsuccessful, human life having a meaning only from an internal point of view. I discuss such meaning and argue that, while knowledge (...) is not the ultimate purpose and meaning of human life, it is a precondition of its meaning from an internal point of view. (shrink)
Part of a special Issue on Robert Trivers’ The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self‐Deception in Human Life, with some focus on the implication of self-deception and related mental states for meaning in life.
In this paper I analyze interpersonal and institutional recognition and discuss the relation of different types of recognition to various principles of social justice (egalitarianism, meritarianism, legitimate favouritism, principles of need and free exchange). Further, I try to characterize contours of good autonomous life, and ask what kind of preconditions it has. I will distinguish between five kinds of preconditions: psychological, material, cultural, intersubjective and institutional. After examining what the role of recognition is among such preconditions, and how they (...) figure in the work of Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser and Charles Taylor, I suggest a somewhat complex and hopefully rich picture of interpersonal and institutional recognition as a precondition of autonomous good life. (shrink)
1. The Place of Intellectual Life: The University -- The University as an Institutional Solution to the Problem of Knowledge -- The Alienability of Knowledge in Our So-called Knowledge Society -- The Knowledge Society as Capitalism of the Third Order -- Will the University Survive the Era of Knowledge Management? -- Postmodernism as an Anti-university Movement -- Regaining the University's Critical Edge by Historicizing the Curriculum -- Affirmative Action as a Strategy for Redressing the Balance Between Research and Teaching (...) -- Academics Rediscover Their Soul: The Rebirth of Academic Freedom' -- 2. The Stuff of Intellectual Life: Philosophy -- Epistemology as 'Always Already' Social Epistemology -- From Social Epistemology to the Sociology of Philosophy: The Codification of Professional Prejudices? -- Interlude: Seeds of an Alternative Sociology of Philosophy -- Prolegomena to a Critical Sociology of Twentieth-century Anglophone Philosophy -- Analytic Philosophy's Ambivalence Toward the Empirical Sciences -- Professionalism as Differentiating American and British Philosophy -- Conclusion: Anglophone Philosophy as a Victim of Its Own Success -- 3. The People of Intellectual Life: Intellectuals -- Can Intellectuals Survive if the Academy Is a No-fool Zone? -- How Intellectuals Became an Endangered Species in Our Times: The Trail of Psychologism -- A Genealogy of Anti-intellectualism: From Invisible Hand to Social Contagion -- Re-defining the Intellectual as an Agent of Distributive Justice -- The Critique of Intellectuals in a Time of Pragmatist Captivity -- Pierre Bourdieu: The Academic Sociologist as Public Intellectual -- 4. The Improvisational Nature of Intellectual Life -- Academics Caught Between Plagiarism and Bullshit -- Bullshit: A Disease Whose Cure Is Always Worse -- The Scientific Method as a Search for the (Piled) Higher (and Deeper) Bullshit -- Conclusion: How to Improvize on the World-historic Stage -- Summary of the Argument. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the contribution of meta-regulation in responding to the regulatory needs of a field beset by significant uncertainties concerning risks, benefits and development trajectories and characterised by fast development. Meta-regulation allows regulators to address problems when they lack the resources or information needed to develop sound “discretion-limiting rules”; meta-regulators exploit the information advantages of those actors to be regulated by leveraging them into the task of regulating itself. The contribution of meta-regulation to the governance of nanotechnologies is (...) assessed in terms of responsibilisation. Responsibilisation is regarded as a pre -requisite for regulatory actors to internalise social values (such as consumer safety and occupational health) and to ensure that these values are built into regulatory practice. In order to explore the potential of responsibilisation, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies Research launched by the European Commission in 2008 is evaluated. The Code is a good case of meta-regulation that aims to steer the self-regulation of nanotechnological business and research organisations. The paper concludes that, while efforts were made on the part of meta-regulators and self-regulators to contribute to responsibilisation, important opportunities for responsibilisation such as dissemination and promotion of the Code, trust-building activities, and failure to provide rewards, incentives and stakeholder guidance were not taken up. In order to foster responsibilisation within the meta-regulatory instrument of the EC Code, a number of crucial activities to be undertaken by meta-regulators are recommended. (shrink)