God alone is the true agreement of concept [Begriff ] and reality [Realität ]; all finite [endlichen] things involve some untruth [Unwahrheit], they have a concept and an existence [Existenz] which are incommensurable [unangemessen]. For this reason they inevitably go to ruin [zugrunde gehen], that the incommensurability [Unangemessenheit] of their concept and their existence may be evident [manifestiert]. The animal, as an individual, has its concept in the species [Gattung]; and its death [Tod] sets the species free from individuality [Einzelnheit]. (...) [§ 24, note 2]. (shrink)
Focusing on Truth explores the question of what truth is, balancing historical with issue-orientated discussion. The book offers a comprehensive survey of all the major theories of truth. Lawrence Johnson investigates a number of closely related matters of truth in his inquiry, such as: What sorts of things are true or false? What is attributed to them when they are said to be true or false? What do facts have to do with truth? What can we learn from previous (...) theories? The book opens with an analysis of the coherence theory of truth and then the correspondence theory of truth, as developed by Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein. Through a study of the semantic conceptions of truth, the author reveals that an adequate theory of truth must take account of the pragmatics of person, purpose, and circumstance. A full understanding of facts and truth bearers is considered central to Johnson's criticism of the opposing truth theories of J. L. Austin and P. F. Strawson. Drawing on the merits of these theories and others, while identifying their deficiencies, Johnson presents a new account of truth, based on the correlation of referential foci and the use of linguistic conventions. This account is defended as being adequate to meet the legitimate demands made on a theory of truth. Johnson argues that the account leaves scope for statements of many different sorts to be true in their own widely varying ways, without the existence of a need to posit fundamentally different kinds of truth. (shrink)
While the origin and development of the just war tradition until the early modern period blended concerns, ideas, and practices from the moral, legal, political, and military spheres, from the mid-seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth it largely disappeared as a conscious source of moral reflection about war and its restraint. Beginning in the 1960s, however, American theologian Paul Ramsey initiated a recovery of just war thinking in a series of writings applying the principles of discrimination and proportionality, ideas he (...) traced both to Augustinian theology and to natural law, to the debate over nuclear weapons and later to the Vietnam War. Ramsey's work directly engaged both theological and policy debate over military force, initiating lines of reflection that have since developed further and become increasingly institutionalized. This brief essay examines the nature of Ramsey's just war thought and its influence over the last 40 years. (shrink)
An effort to recover and explicate the idea of just war in Christian terms spans Paul Ramsey's career for almost four decades, from his earliest book (1950: 166-84) to his last (1988). His writings on this subject constitute one of the most important thematic and substantive contributions of his thought. This essay begins with a summary of classical just war tradition and assesses the relation of Ramsey's conception of just war to it. Then it examines that conception in (...) detail, focusing on three topics: the core idea of Christian love as an absolute moral norm expressed in the principle of discrimination, Ramsey's conversionist understanding of history and of politics that undergirds his argument from both discrimination and proportionality in conversation with the secular policy community, and the imbalance between treatment of the "jus in hello and the jus ad helium" in Ramsey's just war thought. Emphasis throughout is given to the influence of the contexts of debate in which Ramsey developed his ideas. (shrink)
A year before, at Trinity, Cambridge, Wittgenstein had been involved in a row with Karl Popper, and had reputedly threatened him with a poker. On this evening, too, Wittgenstein's behavior let [sic] to a row, with an elderly philosophy don. No poker was flourished. But the don dropped dead a few days later.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a new statutory offence of "sexual activity in a public lavatory" into English law. Although written as a gender-neutral offence, the statute was formulated and enacted on the basis of concerns about male homosexual sexual activity in public lavatories ("cottaging"). This paper examines the justifications for, and implications of, the legislation. It considers the main arguments made in support of the offence and situates these within established moral, legal, and social debates about homosexuality. The (...) paper considers the relationship between conceptions of public and private morality in relation to the legal regulation of homosexual sex. It goes on to explore the complex nature of regulating public sex in relation to sexual practices which often maintain high degrees of privacy. The final part of the paper argues that the legislation is largely in contradiction with the realities of police work and contemporary law enforcement. (shrink)
Case-based instruction is a stable feature of ethics education, however, little is known about the attributes of the cases that make them effective. Emotions are an inherent part of ethical decision-making and one source of information actively stored in case-based knowledge, making them an attribute of cases that likely facilitates case-based learning. Emotions also make cases more realistic, an essential component for effective case-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional case content, and complementary (...) socio-relational case content, on case-based knowledge acquisition and transfer on future ethical decision-making tasks. Study findings suggest that emotional case content stimulates retention of cases and facilitates transfer of ethical decision-making principles demonstrated in cases. (shrink)
Organizational leaders face environmental challenges and pressures that put them under ethical risk. Navigating this ethical risk is demanding given the dynamics of contemporary organizations. Traditional models of ethical decision-making (EDM) are an inadequate framework for understanding how leaders respond to ethical dilemmas under conditions of uncertainty and equivocality. Sensemaking models more accurately illustrate leader EDM and account for individual, social, and environmental constraints. Using the sensemaking approach as a foundation, previous EDM models are revised and extended to comprise a (...) conceptual model of leader EDM. Moreover, the underlying factors in the model are highlighted—constraints and strategies. Four trainable, compensatory strategies (emotion regulation, self-reflection, forecasting, and information integration) are proposed and described that aid leaders in navigating ethical dilemmas in organizations. Empirical examinations demonstrate that tactical application of the strategies may aid leaders in making sense of complex and ambiguous ethical dilemmas and promote ethical behavior. Compensatory tactics such as these should be central to organizational ethics initiatives at the leader level. (shrink)
Human experts are the source of knowledge required to develop computer systems that perform at an expert level. Human beings are not, however, able to reliably express what they know. As a result, experts often develop non-authentic accounts of their own expertise. These accounts, here termed reconstructed methods of reasoning, lead to computer systems that perform at a high level of proficiency but have the disadvantage that they often do not reflect the heuristics and processing constraints of a system user. (...) Reconstructed methods of reasoning are compared with authentic methods derived from the study of expert human behavior. Tests are proposed to establish the authenticity of reasoning methods and examples from medical diagnosis are used to illustrate how authentic methods of reasoning can be incorporated into an expert computer system. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The similarity of documents in a large database of published Fractals articles was examined for redundancy. Three different text matching techniques were used on published Abstracts to identify redundancy candidates, and predictions were verified by reading full text versions of the redundancy candidate articles. A small fraction of the total articles in the database was judged to be redundant. This was viewed as a lower limit, because it excluded cases where the concepts remained the same, but the text was altered (...) substantially. Far more pervasive than redundant publications were publications that did not violate the letter of redundancy but rather violated the spirit of redundancy. There appeared to be widespread publication maximization strategies. Studies that resulted in one comprehensive paper decades ago now result in multiple papers that focus on one major problem, but are differentiated by parameter ranges, or other stratifying variables. This ‘paper inflation’ is due in large part to the increasing use of metrics (publications, patents, citations, etc) to evaluate research performance, and the researchers’ motivation to maximize the metrics. (shrink)
Modern (western) healthcare with its many remarkable innovations has failed to prevent either the pandemic of life style-related diseases now accounting for over 2/3rd of illness and healthcare cost globally, or cure them. Most are preventable and reversible with a change in lifestyle. Since less than 3% of western healthcare budgets are spent on health promotion and disease prevention this is unlikely to change. What little health promotion there is focuses on diet and exercise with the mind neglected except recently (...) in the treatment of depression (1). (shrink)
Defective newborn children are to be considered human persons. Thus, primary duty in proxy consent is to act with the infant's best interest in mind. This duty may at times override the otherwise prima facie right to life, but only under restricted circumstances. Refinements of McCormick's relational potential criteria and of ordinary-extraordinary means analysis prove useful in such decisions. Utilitarian considerations of social consequences have impact but can be kept subsidiary. The importance for decision making of available child support services (...) is considered. Spina bifida is used throughout as an example of issues discussed. (shrink)
Although case-based training is popular for ethics education, little is known about how specific case content influences training effectiveness. Therefore, the effects of (a) codes of ethical conduct and (b) forecasting content were investigated. Results revealed richer cases, including both codes and forecasting content, led to increased knowledge acquisition, greater sensemaking strategy use, and better decision ethicality. With richer cases, a specific pattern emerged. Specifically, content describing codes alone was more effective when combined with short-term forecasts, whereas content embedding codes (...) within context was more effective when combined with long-term forecasts, leading to greater knowledge acquisition and sensemaking strategy use. (shrink)
This study examined how ethical case study content and the process for working through case material influenced training effectiveness. Specifically, the effects of behavioral modeling content and the use of forecasting prompt questions on knowledge acquisition and transfer were tested. Graduate students participating in a case-based ethics training course read a case where the main actor demonstrated key behaviors effectively (mastery model), some behaviors effectively and some ineffectively (mixed model), or no behaviors (no model). The students then responded to forecasting (...) or summarizing prompts. Results revealed a main effect for modeling content. Explicitly modeling key behaviors within a case improved constraint analyses, sensemaking, and decision ethicality on a transfer task. The mastery model using effective behaviors was most beneficial. Forecasting prompts resulted in better transfer performance when the main actor used a mix of ineffective and effective behaviors. Implications for designing ethics training programs are discussed. (shrink)
Living man and ventriloquist's doll -- The ugly joker with the gift for happiness -- Socrates and the climax of Athenian optimism -- Socrates the philosophical genius -- Socrates and justice -- The demoralisation of Athens and the death of Socrates -- Socrates and philosophy personified.
What exactly is complexity science? Two's company, three is complexity ; Disorder rules, OK? ; Chaos and all that jazz ; Mob mentality ; Getting connected -- What can complexity science do for me? Forecasting financial markets ; Tackling traffic networks and climbing the corporate ladder ; Looking for Mr./Mrs. Right ; Coping with conflict : next-generation wars and global terrorism -- Catching a cold, avoiding super-flu and curing cancer ; The mother of all complexities : our nanoscale quantum world (...) ; To infinity and beyond. (shrink)
Review of Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen and Guy Kahane eds., Enhancing Human Capacities Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9148-y Authors Thomas Johnson, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia Journal Neuroethics Online ISSN 1874-5504 Print ISSN 1874-5490.
An argument is made for the relevance of phenomenological hermeneutics to economics, with special attention to recent debates on hermeneutics among economists of the Austrian school of Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. Hermeneutics is explicated in the context of Husserlian phenomenology, with special attention to phenomenology's Aristotelian roots. Naive and methodological forms of ?objectivism?; are contrasted with hermeneutics, which recovers the horizons of scientific knowledge: the whole, and the activities of the human knower. Finally, the charges that hermeneutics (...) entails pernicious forms of relativism and historicism are confronted. (shrink)
This article reviews some linguistic and philosophical work in lexical semantics. In Section 1, the general methods of lexical semantics are explored, with particular attention to how semantic features of verbs are associated with grammatical patterns. In Section 2, philosophical consequences and issues arising from this sort of research is reviewed.
Keith Donnellan (1931 – ) began his studies at the University of Maryland, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He stayed on at Cornell, earning a Master’s and a PhD in 1961. He also taught at there for several years before moving to UCLA in 1970, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Donnellan’s work is mainly in the philosophy of language, with an emphasis on the connections between semantics and pragmatics. His most influential work was his (...) 1966 paper “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. In this paper, he challenges the canonical view, due to Bertrand Russell, about definite descriptions. Russell had argued that the proper semantic treatment of a definite description such as “the present king of France” was quantificational. Thus, a sentence like “the present king of France is bald” should be analyzed as “There exists one and only one entity x that is the present king of France, and x is bald”. Donnellan argues that in natural languages, there are actually two different kinds of uses of definite descriptions. Russell’s analysis picks out the “attributive” use of definite descriptions. When we use a definite description (“the F”) this way, we mean to make statements about the unique entity x that is F. However, Donnellan notes that we also sometimes use definite descriptions “referentially” to pick out a given entity and say something about it. To see this, imagine you are at a party where virtually everyone is drinking beer. However, you and your friend are observing a man in a corner of the room holding a martini glass. Unbeknownst to you, the man’s glass is filled with water. You turn to your friend and ask, “who is the man drinking a martini?” Suppose further that your friend knows that the man in question is Fred and that Fred’s glass is filled with water. According to the Russellian attributive analysis, such a question would amount to asking for the identity of the one and only one man drinking a martini. But the presupposition that there is a man drinking a martini is false, and so there should be no answer to the question.. (shrink)
Through the framework of Merleau-Ponty's aesthetics, the author explores fundamental themes of the retrieval of the beautiful--desire, repetition, difference, rhythm and the sublime--drawing also from the works of Paul Czanne, August Rodin ...
To assess the utility of appeals to natural law as a way of projecting ethical claims across ideological and cultural boundaries, three examples of such appeals in just war theory are critically analyzed and evaluated: those of contemporary international lawyers Myres McDougal and Florentino Feliciano, theological ethicist Paul Ramsey, and Franciscus de Victoria, a sixteenth-century Spanish theorist whose recasting of Christian just war thought gave rise to secular international law. The conclusion is that natural-law appeals today can no (...) longer depend on their own self-evidence, but must be attempts to uncover commonality as to what is natural. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether the fundamental linguistic insights and intuitions of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), which is usually presented as a constraint-based linguistic theory, can be reformulated in a resource sensitive framework using a substructural modal logic. In the approach investigated here, LFG's f-descriptions are replaced with expressions from a multi-modal propositional logic (with permutation and possibly limited contraction). In effect, the feature structure unification basis of LFG's f-structures is replaced with a very different resource based mechanism. It turns out (...) that some linguistic analyses that required non-monotonic devices in LFG (such as the constraint equations in the Andrews (1982) analysis of Icelandic) can be straightforwardly expressed in the framework presented here. Moreover, a Curry–Howard correspondence between proofs in this logic and -terms provides a semantic interpretation as a by-product of the process of showing syntactic well-formedness. (shrink)
Work with people with Williams syndrome is reviewed relative to Atran's claim that the universality of taxonomic rank in the animal and plant domains derives from a biological construal of generic species. From this work it is argued that a biological construal of animals is not necessary for the construction of the adult taxonomy of animals and therefore that the existence of an animal (or plant) taxonomy cannot be taken as evidence of a biological domain.
This article describes the racial integration of Emory University and the subsequent creation of Pre-Start, an affirmative action program at Emory Law School from 1966 to 1972. It focuses on the initiative of the Dean of Emory Law School at the time, Ben F. Johnson, Jr. (1914-2006). Johnson played a number of leadership roles throughout his life, including successfully arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court while he was an Assistant Attorney General of Georgia, promoting legislation (...) to create Atlanta's subway system as a state senator, and representing Emory in its lawsuit to strike down the state statute that would have rescinded its tax exemption if it admitted African American students (Emory v. Nash, 218 Ga. 317 (Ga. 1962)). This account supplements my related article on Pre-Start, "'A Bulwark against Anarchy': Affirmative Action, Emory Law School, and Southern Self-Help" (SSRN abstract 1007006), providing more information about historical context generally, and particularly about Emory v. Nash. Johnson was ambitious for Emory as a whole, and particularly for the Law School, and he saw in segregation the single largest impediment to making Emory a nationally prominent research university. The story of Emory's integration, and Johnson's leadership, requires revision of the prevailing story of integration generally, and especially of universities. Integration at Emory came about because of the pressure that African Americans and their supporters created through the civil rights movement, but Emory administrators responded to such pressure more constructively than most (e.g., Universities of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Vanderbilt). Their actions provide an interesting case study in effective leadership during a period of significant moral and political conflict. (shrink)