Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...) of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour. (shrink)
Did the Gulf War defend moral principle or Western oil interests? Is violent pornography an act of free speech or an act of violence against women? In Casuistry and Modern Ethics , Richard B. Miller sheds new light on the potential of casuistry--case-based reasoning--for resolving these and other questions of conscience raised by the practical quandaries of modern life. Rejecting the packaging of moral experience within simple descriptions and inflexible principles, Miller argues instead for identifying and making (...) sense of the ethically salient features of individual cases. Because this practical approach must cope with a diverse array of experiences, Miller draws on a wide variety of diagnostic tools from such fields as philosophy of science, legal reasoning, theology, literary theory, hermeneutics, and moral philosophy. Opening new avenues for practical reasoning, Miller's interdisciplinary work will challenge scholars who are interested in the intersections of ethics and political philosophy, cultural criticism, and debates about method in religion and morality. (shrink)
In a wide-ranging inquiry Richard W. Miller provides new resources for coping with the most troubling types of moral conflict: disagreements in moral conviction, conflicting interests, and the tension between conscience and desires. Drawing on most fields in philosophy and the social sciences, including his previous work in the philosophy of science, he presents an account of our access to moral truth, and, within this framework, develops a theory of justice and an assessment of the role of morality (...) in rational choice. In Miller's view, we are often in a position to claim that our moral judgments are true descriptions of moral facts. But others, relying on contrary ways of moral learning, would reject truths that we are in a position to assert, in dissent that does not depend on irrationality or ignorance of relevant evidence or arguments. With this mixed verdict on moral realism, Miller challenges many received views of rationality, scientific method, and the relation between moral belief and moral choice. In his discussion of justice, Miller defends the adequacy, for modern political choices, of a widely shared demand that institutions be freely and rationally acceptable to all. Drawing on social research and economic theories, he argues that this demand has dramatically egalitarian consequences, even though it is a premise of liberals and conservatives alike. In the final chapters, Miller investigates the role and limits of morality in the choice of conduct, arguing for new perspectives on reason and impartiality. (shrink)
Recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathological studies have indicated that axonal loss is a major contributor to disease progression in multiple sclerosis. 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), through measurement of N -acetyl aspartate (NAA), a neuronal marker, provides a unique tool to investigate this. Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis have few lesions on conventional MRI, suggesting that changes in normal appearing white matter (NAWM), such (...) as axonal loss, may be particularly relevant to disease progression in this group. To test this hypothesis NAWM was studied with MRS, measuring the concentration of N -acetyl derived groups (NA, the sum of NAA and N -acetyl aspartyl glutamate). Single-voxel MRS using a water-suppressed PRESS sequence was carried out in 24 patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and in 16 age-matched controls. Ratios of metabolite to creatine concentration (Cr) were calculated in all subjects, and absolute concentrations were measured in 18 patients and all controls. NA/Cr (median 1.40, range 0.86–1.91) was significantly lower in NAWM in patients than in controls (median 1.70, range 1.27–2.14; P = 0.006), as was the absolute concentration of NA (patients, median 6.90 mM, range 4.62–10.38 mM; controls, median 7.77 mM, range 6.60–9.71 mM; P = 0.032). There was no significant difference in the absolute concentration of creatine between the groups. This study supports the hypothesis that axonal loss occurs in NAWM in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and may well be a mechanism for disease progression in this group. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jon Miller; Part I. Textual Issues: 1. On the unity of the Nicomachean Ethics Michael Pakaluk; Part II. Happiness: 2. Living for the sake of an ultimate end Susan Sauve;; 3. Contemplation and Eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics Norman O. Dahl; 4. Aristotle on Eudaimonia, Nous, and divinity A. A. Long; Part III. Psychology: 5. Aristotle, agents, and action Iakovos Vasilou; 6. Wicked and inappropriate passion Stephen Leighton; 7. Perfecting pleasures: the metaphysics of pleasure (...) in Nicomachean Ethics X Christopher Shields; 8. Aristotle's definition of non-rational pleasure and pain and desire Klaus Corcilius; 9. Non-rational desire and Aristotle's moral psychology Giles Pearson; Part IV. Virtues: 10. Beauty and morality in Aristotle T. H. Irwin; 11. Justice in the Nicomachean Ethics Book V Hallvard Fossheim. (shrink)
The separation, uniformization, and other properties of the Borel and projective hierarchies over hyperfinite sets are investigated and compared to the corresponding properties in classical descriptive set theory. The techniques used in this investigation also provide some results about countably determined sets and functions, as well as an improvement of an earlier theorem of Kunen and Miller.
In the Statesman , Plato brings together--only to challenge and displace--his own crowning contributions to philosophical method, political theory, and drama. In his 1980 study, reprinted here, Mitchell Miller employs literary theory and conceptual analysis to expose the philosophical, political, and pedagogical conflict that is the underlying context of the dialogue, revealing that its chaotic variety of movements is actually a carefully harmonized act of realizing the mean. The original study left one question outstanding: what specifically, in the metaphysical (...) order of things, motivated the nameless Visitor from Elea to abandon bifurcation for his consummating non-bifurcatory division of fifteen kinds at the end of the dialogue? Miller addressed in a separate essay, first published in 1999 and reprinted here. In it, he opens the horizon of interpretation to include the new metaphysics of the Parmenides , the Philebus , and the "unwritten teachings." "This study demonstrates how the Statesman is the culminating expression of Plato's lifelong effort, both in Athens and in the Academy, to bring metaphysical insight to the unending political crisis of his times."The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman a trail-blazing work. While not every reader will agree with the lessons Miller himself draws from this approach, none should fail to be impressed by its interpretive power. All this is exciting stuff. The interpretive pathway on which Miller has embarked has the potential for changing the face of scholarship on the late Platonic dialogues. Parmenides [Publishing] is to be commended for making these two important contributions available under a single cover." -- Kenneth Sayre, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame "Miller casts considerable light on virtually every aspect of the dialogue. . . . All in all, this book is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the Statesman." -- Stanley Rosen, Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy, Boston University MITCHELL MILLER is Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College. He is the author of Plato's Parmenides. (shrink)
Pragmatism is a distinctive approach to clinical research ethics that can guide bioethicists and members of institutional review boards (IRBs) as they struggle to balance the competing values of promoting medical research and protecting human subjects participating in it. After defining our understanding of pragmatism in the setting of clinical research ethics, we show how a pragmatic approach can provide guidance not only for the day-to-day functioning of the IRB, but also for evaluation of policy standards, such as the one (...) that addresses acceptable risks for healthy children in clinical research trials. We also show how pragmatic considerations might influence the debate about the use of deception in clinical research. Finally, we show how a pragmatic approach, by regarding the promotion of human research and the protection of human subjects as equally important values, helps to break down the false dichotomy between science and ethics in clinical research. (shrink)
United States will question a prospective loan early in the preparation process, And during final deliberation of a loan proposal by the Bank's executive board, it will make comments designed to draw attention to general matters of ...
According to Peter Singer, virtually all of us would be forced by adequate reflection on our own convictions to embrace a radical conclusion about giving. The following principle, he says, is “surely undeniable” -- at least once we reflect on secure convictions concerning rescue, as in his famous case of the drowning toddler.
The JSTOR Archive is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academic journals and scholarly literature from around the world. The Archive is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers, and foundations. It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community take advantage of advances in technology. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This essay argues on behalf of a hybrid theory for an ethics of self-defense understood as the Forfeiture-Partiality Theory. The theory weds the idea that a malicious attacker forfeits the right to life to the idea that we are permitted to prefer one's life to another's in cases of involuntary harm or threat. The theory is meant to capture our intuitions both about instances in which we can draw a moral asymmetry between attacker and victim and cases in which we (...) cannot. I develop the theory by attending to instances of intentional, villainous harm and instances of involuntary danger—the latter of which are a matter of bad luck. I call some bad luck cases "Interpersonal Lottery Conflicts." These cases refer to potentially lethal conflicts into which parties are thrown as victims of circumstance. Although neither party has a moral advantage over another, that fact does not preclude permissible self-defense. (shrink)
Despite strong growth in scientific investigation of the placebo effect, understanding of this phenomenon remains deeply confused. We investigate critically seven common conceptual distinctions that impede clear understanding of the placebo effect: (1) verum/placebo, (2) active/inactive, (3) signal/noise, (4) specific/nonspecific, (5) objective/subjective, (6) disease/illness, and (7) intervention/context. We argue that some of these should be eliminated entirely, whereas others must be used with caution to avoid bias. Clearing away the conceptual underbrush is needed to lay down a path to understanding (...) and harnessing placebo effects in clinical medicine. (shrink)
Political choices favoring one''s country or one''s nationality are wrong if they conflict with a principle of universal free acceptability, prohibiting choices that violate every set of rules to which any willing cooperator would want all to conform. Despite its universalism, this principle requires patriotic favoritism in political choices and permits individuals to assert nationalist interests in claims for state aid. But it deprives patriotism and nationalism of any distinctive role in establishing the legitimacy of wars and uprisings. These restrictions (...) are appropriate even if stronger forms of patriotism and nationalism are psychologically indispensable for achieving social goals required for universal free acceptability. (shrink)
Memory brings the past into the present. It is a feature of human temporality, contingency, and identity. Attention to memory's psychological and social importance suggests new vistas for work in religious ethics. This essay examines four recent works on memory's importance for self-interpretation, social criticism, and public justice. My focus will be on normative questions about memory. The works under review ask whether, and on what terms, we have an obligation to remember, whether memory is linked to neighbors near and (...) distant, how memory is related to justice and forgiveness, and whether memory sits easily with the kind of relationships that allegedly characterize life in democratic public culture. (shrink)
This essay argues that the ethics of humanitarian intervention cannot be readily subsumed by the ethics of just war without due attention to matters of political and moral motivation. In the modern era, a just war draws directly from self-benefitting motives in wars of self-defense, or indirectly in wars that enforce international law or promote the global common good. Humanitarian interventions, in contrast, are intuitively admirable insofar as they are other-regarding. That difference poses a challenge to the casuistry of humanitarian (...) intervention because it makes it difficult to reason by analogy from the case of war to the case of humanitarian intervention. The author develops this point in dialogue with Michael Walzer, the U.S. Catholic bishops, and President Clinton. He concludes by showing how a casuistry of intervention is possible, developing a motivational rationale that draws on the Golden Rule. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen incisively argued that our judgments of social justice should fit our convictions about how to interact with others in our personal lives. Ironically, the ordinary morality of cooperation invoked in his last book undermines his favored principle of equality, and supports John Rawls' reliance on a relevantly impartial choice promoting appropriate fundamental interests as a basis for distributive standards. His further objections to Rawls' account of distributive justice neglect the role of social relations in establishing the proper (...) scope of that impartiality and the moral force of Rawls' taxonomy of non-ideal societies. In contrast, the powerful evocation of goods of community at the end of Cohen's last book points to a genuine inadequacy. Conscientious fellow-citizens must take account of the impact of their political choices on options for sharing and caring. In finding a proper balance between these goods and competing individualist concerns, the original position is of too little use to sustain Rawls' assessment of his conception of justice as complete. In the face of our strong moral convictions about how to live together, both Cohen's luck egalitarianism and Rawls' barriers between aspirations to community and political choice must give way. (shrink)
Past criticisms to the contrary, methodological individualism in the social sciences is neither trivial nor obviously false. In the style of Weber's sociology, it restricts the ultimate explanatory repertoire of social science to agents' reasons for action. Although this restriction is not obviously false, it ought not to be accepted, at present, as a regulative principle. It excludes, as too far-fetched to merit investigation, certain hypotheses concerning the influence of objective interests on large-scale social phenomena. And these hypotheses, in fact, (...) merit empirical consideration. The attractiveness of methodological individualism as a regulative principle depends on two independent confusions, the conflation of an agent's reasons for action with the beliefs, needs, desires, or goals which are the reasons why he acted as he did, and the identification of explaining a phenomenon and describing its causes. (shrink)
We often legitimately ascribe reality both to social and to natural kinds. But the bases for these ascriptions are not entirely the same. In both cases, reality is typically determined by what characterizations of causal factors are indispensable to adequate explanation. Nonetheless, a psychological role as part of an identity that instances embrace is sometimes, distinctively, a condition for ascribing reality to a social kind. Although such assessments of reality can be construed as employing a standard of causal activity shared (...) with natural science, they reveal a distinctive moral dimension in the bases for ascribing reality to social kinds. (shrink)
Hobbes promises to teach philosophers how to imitate God. With this bold claim as its basis, the paper questions the widely accepted view that Hobbes authored an early instance of a modern social science. It focuses on the constraints that Hobbes imposes on the language of philosophical practitioners. He restricts its truth-claims to the closed circle of language; he does not philosophize to describe, model, predict, or mirror empirical reality. He nevertheless makes claims for a useful science, (...) one that can construct a stable commonwealth. The restrictive claims concerning truth and Hobbes's claim to a practical philosophy are reconciled through an investigation of his distinction between 'a posteriori' and 'a priori' sciences. Hobbes teaches philosophers to imitate God as a creator : as a 're-creator' of divinely produced effects (a posteriori), or (like an architect) by manipulating matter to create things we design ourselves (a priori). The science of politics is a priori. It dictates the motions (of men) so as to create a well-ordered commonwealth, an artificial man, a creation made in our own image. (shrink)
How should the task of containing the global greenhouse effect be divided internationally, especially as between developed and developing countries? It is hard to overestimate the importance of this question. When George W. Bush, in agreement with a 95-0 vote of the U.S. Senate, refused to sign on even to the utterly inadequate constraints of Kyoto, he did not affirm junk science; he rejected an arrangement that "exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India (...) ..."1 It is also hard to be too cynical about the interests and powers that will largely shape any ultimate greenhouse regime. Above all, U.S. political leaders will (in effect, whatever they say to others and to themselves) resist arrangements that help humanity but advance the time when the rising star of Chinese power overtakes declining U.S. power. Still, the growing social movement concerned with the greenhouse effect can have some impact, by increasing the reputational costs of immoral choices. I will try to contribute to this supplement to power politics and disasters by defending a view of cogent reasoning over the fair division of tasks among the world's people in responding to the challenge of global climate change. (shrink)
'Hobbes and the Imitation of God' ( Inquiry , 44, 223-6) is Eric Brandon's criticism of my article, 'Thomas Hobbes and the Constraints that Enable the Imitation of God' ( Inquiry , 42, 149-76). Brandon's criticisms are rooted in a misunderstanding of what is argued. Observations made concerning Hobbes's claims about prudence - a form of thinking Hobbes distinguishes from philosophic practice - are erroneously described by Brandon as a part of arguments concerning Hobbes's claims about philosophy. Brandon's own account (...) reaffirms a conventional interpretation by claiming that Hobbes envisioned philosophers discovering order, an interpretation challenged in the original argument. Hobbes privileged the creation of order over attempts to discover the order of the world, and this is reflected in his affinity for geometry over physics. (shrink)
Our primary focus is on analysis of the concept of voluntariness, with a secondary focus on the implications of our analysis for the concept and the requirements of voluntary informed consent. We propose that two necessary and jointly sufficient conditions must be satisfied for an action to be voluntary: intentionality, and substantial freedom from controlling influences. We reject authenticity as a necessary condition of voluntary action, and we note that constraining situations may or may not undermine voluntariness, depending on the (...) circumstances and the psychological capacities of agents. We compare and evaluate several accounts of voluntariness and argue that our view, unlike other treatments in bioethics, is not a value-laden theory. We also discuss the empirical assessment of individuals? perceptions of the degrees of noncontrol and self-control. We propose use of a particular Decision Making Control Instrument. Empirical research using this instrument can provide data that will help establish appropriate policies and procedures for obtaining voluntary consent to research. (shrink)
Shareholder and investor relations, and the closely related area of corporate governance have been the arenas of much dispute, much of which has not been confined to practical financial matters. Ethical challenges have come as well from persons and groups with widely differing value systems. This paper presents the Corporate Value Exchange Model (CVE) as a framework for analyzing the corporate-shareholder and corporate-investor relationships, and for formulating decisions that can respond ethically to these groups without subordinating the interests of other (...) constituents. (shrink)
This article assays Paul Ramsey's influential attempt to conceive possible nuclear deterrents within the confines of just war tenets. I look first at Ramsey's construction of just war ideas according to a protection paradigm, one in which agape is deontically defined. I also note a subtle sub-theme in Ramsey's construction of just war ideas, what I call a preservation motif. I then assess Ramsey's discussion of nuclear deterrence, closing with a critique of his treatments of intention and proportionality. I conclude (...) by arguing that Ramsey's argument falters, and that the weaknesses of his argument can be rendered intelligible by noting how the full implications of the protection paradigm are attenuated by the preservation motif. (shrink)
This paper seeks to differentiate negative properties from positive properties, with the aim of providing the groundwork for further discussion about whether there is anything that corresponds to either of these notions. We differentiate negative and positive properties in terms of their functional role, before drawing out the metaphysical implications of proceeding in this fashion. We show that if the difference between negative and positive properties tabled here is correct, then negative properties are metaphysically contentious entities, entities that many philosophers (...) will be unwilling to countenance. (shrink)
The procurement of fetal tissue for transplantation may promise great benefit to those suffering from various pathologies, e.g., neural disorders, diabetes, renal problems, and radiation sickness. However, debates about the use of fetal tissue have proceeded without much attention to ethical theory and application. Two broad moral questions are addressed here, the first formal, the second substantive: Is there a framework from other moral paradigms to assist in ethical debates about the transplantation of fetal tissue? Does the use of fetal (...) tissue entail cooperation in abortion? To answer these questions I develop a theoretical framework by combining the paradigm of just-war reasoning with canons governing the use of cadaverous tissue. The kinds of safeguards provided by this paradigm allow fetal tissue to be procured without the taint of association with abortion. Central to solving the problem of cooperation is the distinction between intending and foreseeing a moral misdeed. Fetal researchers may foresee fetal death in elective abortions without intending such deaths to occur. Thus, even those who object unequivocally to elective abortion may condone the procurement of fetal tissue, if sufficient reason exists. Keywords: fetal tissue, casuistry, prima facie duties, just-war tenets, complicity CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Everyday tasks, such as getting groceries en route from work, involve two distinct components, one prospective (i.e., remembering the plan) and the other retrospective (i.e., remembering the grocery list). The present investigation examined the size of the age-related performance declines in these components, as well as the relationship between these components and age-related differences in processing resources. The subjects were 133 community-dwelling adults between 65 and 95 years of age. They completed a large battery of tests, including tests of pro- (...) and retrospective memory as well as tests for indexing processing resources. The results showed similar age-related declines in pro- and retrospective memory. There was only a weak relationship between pro- and retrospective memory, and the age-related decline in processing resources was related more strongly to retro- than prospective memory. (shrink)
The humanist face of Hobbes's mathematics, part 1 -- Constraints that enable the imitation of God -- King of the children of pride : the imitation of God in context -- Architectonic ambitions : mathematics and the demotion of physics -- Eloquence and the audience thesis -- All other doctrines exploded : Hobbes, history, and the struggle over teaching -- The humanist face of Hobbes's mathematics, part 2 : Leviathan and the making of a masque-text -- Appendix. Who is a (...) geometer?. (shrink)
Analytically inclined philosphers of religion have commonly assumed that 1) “God” must be defined before arguments for or against his existence can be evaluated 2) the history of religious beliefs is irrelevant to their justification. In this paper I apply the causal theory of reference to “God” and challenge both assumptions. If, as Freud supposes, “God” originates in the delusions of the mentally ill then it does not refer. On the other hand, if “God” originates in encounters with some Entity, (...) no matter how vaguely conceived, then That is God. (shrink)
Immoral excesses of American foreign policy are so severe and so deep-rooted that American patriotism is now a moral burden. This love, which pulls toward amnesia, wishful thinking and inattention to urgent foreign interests, should be replaced by commitment to a global social movement that seeks to hem in the American empire. Teachers can advance this cause without abusing their positions. But to do so, they must violate distinctive social expectations at different levels of American education.
One approach to understanding model-based reasoning in science is to examine how it develops during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The way in which thinking changes sometimes provides clues to its nature. This paper examines cognitive developmental aspects of modeling practices and discusses how a developmental perspective can enrich the study of model-based scientific reasoning in adults. The paper begins with issues concerning developmental change, followed by a model of model-based reasoning. The rest of the paper describes how several key concepts (...) from recent developmental work could contribute to current work on model-based reasoning. Specifically, developmental research shows that (a) social processes are involved in model-based reasoning and scientific discovery, (b) the development of a theory of mind contributes to the development of scientific reasoning, (c) changes in scientific reasoning are characterized by cognitive variability, and (d) microgenetic methods could clarify conceptual change during model-based reasoning. (shrink)